Jordan Peterson v. The Catholic Hierarchy – The Grudge Match

 

In my occasional wanderings on social media, I’ve noticed a certain dismissive or snarky narrative cropping up from members of the Catholic clergy about Dr. Jordan Peterson. Though many admire his intellect, Dr. Peterson comes in for a lot of tut-tutting, tsk-tsking, dismay and disappointment because he won’t emphatically state that he is a Christian or that he believes in God.

Peterson, is a well-read intellectual grounded in years of listening to his clinical patients and who has adhered to a fairly rigorous scientific methodology. For those who have spent any time watching him speak before a large audience, debate or respond to sometimes hostile interviewers, it’s evident that Peterson thinks very carefully before he speaks. At times, one can even see him struggling as his dancing fingers appear to search the ether around him for just the right word to accurately express his thoughts accompanied by an oft repeated question, “…how would you say…?” Peterson has indeed been reluctant to answer whether he believes in God, as he says, because he’s not sure what his interrogator means by the terms “believe” and “God” or if the intent of the interrogator is to pigeon-hole him or immediately embrace him as a member of his particular faith or version of Christianity. Some may find Peterson’s reluctance to be evasive and perhaps even cowardly. I find it refreshing and intellectually honest.

Recently Father Kevin M. Cusick tweeted:

He mimics Christianity to sound original while claiming not to be Christian. Ultimate responsibility is taking ownership for Faith rather than borrowing piecemeal from it to craft a personal brand.

Note in particular the not too subtle snide phrases “…to sound original…” and “…to craft a personal brand”. Peterson has openly and frequently admitted that what he is articulating is not original but grounded in ancient Judeo-Christian ethical teaching. And given his unlikely path to celebrity, which was as a result of posting a YouTube video criticizing Canada’s (at the time, pending) compelled speech laws which exposed him to heaps of criticism from government and academic authorities, and threatened his own livelihood as a professor at the University of Toronto, it doesn’t seem that Peterson was somehow “crafting” a “personal brand” unlike some celebrities or even certain Catholic prelates who are obsessed with their public persona.

It seems, on the contrary, that celebrity was thrust upon Peterson when he found he had to defend his objections to the notorious and totalitarian Bill C-16 and his exposure, in the news and on social media began to grow. If he has a “personal brand” that he “crafts” it seems to be that he is fearless in articulating his thoughts on the prevailing and militant push by Leftists, post-modernists and neo-Marxists to dominate and distort the English language, politics and the culture at large and the detrimental effect that is having, as well as, the more catastrophic harm that could come of embracing identity politics and socialism to their logical or illogical conclusions. A Catholic hierarchy that is openly embracing the strident LGBTQ+ agenda, embracing Marxist ideology while denigrating capitalism and the idea of national sovereignty, deliberating using ambiguous language, playing fast-and-loose with the truth, flirting with or promoting heresies — would do well to emulate Peterson’s so-called personal brand.

Father Cusick aside, we are too often presented with men of God who can quickly invoke The Almighty or Jesus Christ with flourish and flamboyance or even a theatrically-conjured solemnity but whose own lives have little adherence to Christian ethical behavior. The current Catholic hierarchy, from Pope Francis on down, is replete with frauds, deceivers, quislings, cowards, Marxists, embezzlers, outright criminals, modernists and post-modernists, and sexual predators or those that excuse, protect and promote them. Peterson, on more than a few occasions, has said that he acts as though he believes in God. Can that really be said of many in the clergy or the Vatican hierarchy?

Unfortunately, the more humble and holy members of the clergy often refrain from criticizing the wolves in the hierarchy for fear of retribution and demotion. That’s what happens when hierarchies become corrupt and in this case, the laity is the worse for it. One has to ask, how many in the Church hierarchy can’t seem to adhere to Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life or may even be deliberately breaking those rules, particularly Rules 8, 9, and 10: Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie; Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t (Archbishop Vigano, the laity, etc.); Be precise in your speech (particularly applicable to Pope Francis).

So, what explains this apparent antagonism toward Dr. Peterson? Is it jealousy? Is it envy? Or do some in the hierarchy actually feel threatened by the unambiguous message that Peterson is delivering? Perhaps the corrupt Church hierarchy is realizing, as have many in corrupt Left-leaning political, media, and academic hierarchies, that what Peterson has to say is actually an existential threat to their hold on power and so, it might be time to attempt to take him down a peg or two and keep him checked.

To quote Bogart’s Rick in Casablanca, “Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.” The late songwriter, Jim Croce also made reference to the potential hazard of tugging on Superman’s cape. Thus far, Dr. Peterson has either been too busy to closely examine, or comment at length on what’s been happening in the Catholic Church or has been reluctant to be critical of the rampantly corrupt Church hierarchy; but perhaps at some point he will engage if some of the members of the clergy or celebrity-seeking prelates concerned with crafting their own personal brand keeping nipping at him.

Unlike many in the Catholic hierarchy, Peterson is a good father, a good teacher and a courageous fighter for truth. The Catholic hierarchy would do well to follow his example. If they continue to be critical of Peterson…well, it might get ugly.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 22 comments.

  1. Fake John/Jane Galt Thatcher

    I like Peterson’s stuff. He has an interesting point of view of things. His biggest thing is his absolute position of all free speech should be permitted and not constrained by the government. Outside that he calls himself a liberal but never really defines it. I suspect that is because his definition more of a classical liberal position and not the current definition that seems to include Leftism.

    On God, I think he does believe but will not say because to do so will pressure him to pick up various religions and histories.

     

    • #1
    • April 13, 2019, at 2:55 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    I like Peterson’s stuff. He has an interesting point of view of things. His biggest thing is his absolute position of all free speech should be permitted and not constrained by the government. Outside that he calls himself a liberal but never really defines it. I suspect that is because his definition more of a classical liberal position and not the current definition that seems to include Leftism.

    On God, I think he does believe but will not say because to do so will pressure him to pick up various religions and histories.

    Actually, he has described himself as a classical liberal on several occasions.

     

    • #2
    • April 13, 2019, at 3:22 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Rodin Member

    Curious criticism by the Fr. Cusick. I thought that Peterson made it clear that he was agnostic but that he believed that the Judeo-Christian traditions were the result of millennia of trial and error that identified good strategies for living and for healthy individuals and societies. Peterson also draws from other religious traditions in the aggregation of what humans have learned to be successful. Peterson is no enemy of religious tradition and practice but might not sign on to a particular doctrine if he does not deem it as promoting a healthy life or society.

    The clergy should embrace Peterson even if he is not a believer, because he really does no violence to a person’s faith. He supports religious belief and communion which clergy can then seek to direct within their particular faith. 

    • #3
    • April 13, 2019, at 3:27 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  4. I Walton Member

    A really great article on the man. Thanks. We need him, so does the Church.

    • #4
    • April 13, 2019, at 4:44 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. Larry3435 Member

    Brian Watt:

    [quoting] “Ultimate responsibility is taking ownership for Faith rather than borrowing piecemeal from it to craft a personal brand.”

    This phrase struck me. Why in the world does “ultimate responsibility” consist of blind adherence to doctrine; rather than learning from faith, accepting what seems right, and crafting your own message based on what you have learned? I’m not very open to the idea that “ultimate responsibility” means “sit down and shut up!”

    • #5
    • April 13, 2019, at 4:58 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Front Seat Cat Member

    Many good points – why can’t there be both? There will always be a critic, but Petersen is a psychologist, and he doesn’t have to declare his faith – either way, unless he wants to. I am glad to know someone in the non-religious world is having a positive impact on youth, because things are a mess – a royal mess! The Church, given Pope Emeritus Benedict’s recent statement, best heed that these are the signs of the times, and there’s no more time for fiddling, in the secular or religious world.

    • #6
    • April 13, 2019, at 5:22 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  7. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Brian Watt:

    So, what explains this apparent antagonism toward Dr. Peterson? Is it jealousy? Is it envy? Or do some in the hierarchy actually feel threatened by the unambiguous message that Peterson is delivering? Perhaps the corrupt Church hierarchy is realizing, as have many in corrupt Left-leaning political, media, and academic hierarchies, that what Peterson has to say is actually an existential threat to their hold on power and so, it might be time to attempt to take him down a peg or two and keep him checked.

    It occurs to me that atheists often sneer about Christian thinkers – how can they believe X and still expect to be listened to regarding Y. 

    Cusik seems to be returning the favor to an un-, semi-, or different believer on the strength of Peterson’s failure to adopt Cusik’s preferred religion. 

    I don’t think trying to say what is true is, properly speaking, a ‘brand’, but surely any given religion is more brand-like than what Peterson has come up with. 

    There is a distrust of intellectualism in all churches, as faith requires something that is other-than-intellect. Which is all well and good, but some people go so far as to be anti-intellectual, which has its uses (C. S. Lewis might agree as intellectualism is one of his demons’ best tools). 

    Or it could just be envy of Peterson’s popularity. 

    • #7
    • April 13, 2019, at 7:12 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  8. HeavyWater Coolidge

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Brian Watt:

    [quoting] “Ultimate responsibility is taking ownership for Faith rather than borrowing piecemeal from it to craft a personal brand.”

    This phrase struck me. Why in the world does “ultimate responsibility” consist of blind adherence to doctrine; rather than learning from faith, accepting what seems right, and crafting your own message based on what you have learned? I’m not very open to the idea that “ultimate responsibility” means “sit down and shut up!”

    Ah, maybe it all comes down to Proverbs 3:5

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.

    Are you willing to be “all in” or not?

     

     

     

    • #8
    • April 14, 2019, at 12:33 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Ed G. Member

    Larry3435 (View Comment):
    Why in the world does “ultimate responsibility” consist of blind adherence to doctrine; rather than learning from faith, accepting what seems right, and crafting your own message based on what you have learned?

    I’m not sure anyone is expecting blind adherence. I’m pretty sure that the Catholic Church doesn’t expect it. However, there is simply no getting around some elements of faith: existence of God, Jesus as God, death and resurrection – these are all elements of faith. Otherwise, Catholic doctrine (depending on what you mean by this term) is most often just reasoning from elements of faith and empiricism. If Jesus isn’t God, if He didn’t die, rise from the dead, and ascend into heaven, then Christianity would no longer be capable of giving us shoulds as opposed to simply coulds like all philosophical attempts at the questions have resulted in.

    On the opposite end, there’s real danger in depending on your own judgement alone to accept what seems right. Humans are great at justification as it is. Then consider that reason alone is amoral as are first principles (without God) – monstrous things can be reasoned to. Heck, even picking out which standard by which to guide “what works” or “seems right” is hopelessly subjective

    • #9
    • April 14, 2019, at 12:49 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Ed G. Member

    Brian Watt: It seems, on the contrary, that celebrity was thrust upon Peterson when he found he had to defend his objections to the notorious and totalitarian Bill C-16 and his exposure, in the news and on social media began to grow. If he has a “personal brand” that he “crafts” it seems to be that he is fearless in articulating his thoughts on the prevailing and militant push by Leftists, post-modernists and neo-Marxists to dominate and distort the English language, politics and the culture at large and the detrimental effect that is having, as well as, the more catastrophic harm that could come of embracing identity politics and socialism to their logical or illogical conclusions. A Catholic hierarchy that is openly embracing the strident LGBTQ+ agenda, embracing Marxist ideology while denigrating capitalism and the idea of national sovereignty, deliberating using ambiguous language, playing fast-and-loose with the truth, flirting with or promoting heresies — would do well to emulate Peterson’s so-called personal brand.

    I agree with all you say here, except that I think Peterson has been crafting a personal brand for a good long time. Books, articles, hundreds of hours of lectures online. Unlike Fr. Cusick, though, I don’t say that as a sneer. Yes, Peterson is crafting a brand. So what and good for Peterson. We should all do the same with as much integrity and impact.

    • #10
    • April 14, 2019, at 12:56 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Rodin Member

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    I think Peterson has been crafting a personal brand for a good long time. Books, articles, hundreds of hours of lectures online. Unlike Fr. Cusick, though, I don’t say that as a sneer. Yes, Peterson is crafting a brand. So what and good for Peterson. We should all do the same with as much integrity and impact.

    Yes, we used to call it a “reputation.”

    • #11
    • April 14, 2019, at 1:03 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  12. HeavyWater Coolidge

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    On the opposite end, there’s real danger in depending on your own judgement alone to accept what seems right. Humans are great at justification as it is. Then consider that reason alone is amoral as are first principles (without God) – monstrous things can be reasoned to. Heck, even picking out which standard by which to guide “what works” or “seems right” is hopelessly subjective

    Obedience to authority appears “objective.” But the authority figure’s preferences are subjective. God prohibited X instead of allowing X. That’s God’s subjective preference.

    But even that makes obedience to God appear more objective than it really is. Isn’t the decision to be a Catholic or a Muslim or a Mormon or an Atheist a subjective decision?

    If Jordan Peterson says something that doesn’t make sense, it’s likely some journalist or some other layman like Sam Harris or Ben Shapiro will publicly dispute Peterson on the issue.

    But if the Pope says something that doesn’t make sense, who’s going to tell him he’s wrong?

    Maybe the reason why Peterson is getting the attention he’s getting is because he isn’t claiming infallibility whereas the principle of Papal Infallibility in a counter-intuitive way makes people less likely to listen to the Pope than Peterson.

    • #12
    • April 14, 2019, at 1:39 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Eugene Kriegsmann Member

    In terms of belief, I share a lot with Peterson. I was raised in the Catholic faith, but left the Church many, many years ago. For most of those years I considered myself an atheist, however, over the last few I have been more on the side of agnosticism. Despite leaving the Church I never broke with the essential rules and ethics of Christianity. I have lived my life largely in a Christian mode, though I have not called myself a Christian in more than 50 years. I have long disputed the concept that many believers hold that without God there is no justification for living an ethical existence. Quite to the contrary, I believe that without God it is essential that we maintain an ethical existence grounded in concept of absolute right and wrong. One cannot attain forgiveness if there is no one to grant it. Therefore, if one is going to live as something more than an animal, there really is only one course. A great Jewish thinker, Mordecai Kaplan, said that for the existentialist, God is the sum total of those things that work for the self fulfillment of man. It is, to my way of thinking, absurd for Father Cusick to claim these values as belonging to Catholicism or any other religion. They belong to the universe and existed before man and before organized religion. Without them evolving mankind would never have reached civilization. That is not to say that religion isn’t important. For many, being without an organized system of belief structured around a priesthood and an all powerful God is the only justification they have for continuing to live in civilized manner. Without that, they seek consolation in idiocies like Progressivism, socialism, and communism. We all know where that leads.

    • #13
    • April 14, 2019, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Larry3435 Member

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Brian Watt:

    [quoting] “Ultimate responsibility is taking ownership for Faith rather than borrowing piecemeal from it to craft a personal brand.”

    This phrase struck me. Why in the world does “ultimate responsibility” consist of blind adherence to doctrine; rather than learning from faith, accepting what seems right, and crafting your own message based on what you have learned? I’m not very open to the idea that “ultimate responsibility” means “sit down and shut up!”

    Ah, maybe it all comes down to Proverbs 3:5

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.

    Are you willing to be “all in” or not?

    Not. And especially Not when “the Lord” actually consists of some human telling me what the Lord wants or what scripture means. But you’re being sarcastic, right?

    • #14
    • April 15, 2019, at 3:58 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    In terms of belief, I share a lot with Peterson. I was raised in the Catholic faith, but left the Church many, many years ago. For most of those years I considered myself an atheist, however, over the last few I have been more on the side of agnosticism. Despite leaving the Church I never broke with the essential rules and ethics of Christianity. I have lived my life largely in a Christian mode, though I have not called myself a Christian in more than 50 years. I have long disputed the concept that many believers hold that without God there is no justification for living an ethical existence. Quite to the contrary, I believe that without God it is essential that we maintain an ethical existence grounded in concept of absolute right and wrong. One cannot attain forgiveness if there is no one to grant it. Therefore, if one is going to live as something more than an animal, there really is only one course. A great Jewish thinker, Mordecai Kaplan, said that for the existentialist, God is the sum total of those things that work for the self fulfillment of man. It is, to my way of thinking, absurd for Father Cusick to claim these values as belonging to Catholicism or any other religion. They belong to the universe and existed before man and before organized religion. Without them evolving mankind would never have reached civilization. That is not to say that religion isn’t important. For many, being without an organized system of belief structured around a priesthood and an all powerful God is the only justification they have for continuing to live in civilized manner. Without that, they seek consolation in idiocies like Progressivism, socialism, and communism. We all know where that leads.

    It is a truism that successful politicians find out where people are already going and get out in front. It may be that religions find out where people are and then surround them. 

    • #15
    • April 15, 2019, at 1:13 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  16. HeavyWater Coolidge

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Larry3435 (View Comment):

    Brian Watt:

    [quoting] “Ultimate responsibility is taking ownership for Faith rather than borrowing piecemeal from it to craft a personal brand.”

    This phrase struck me. Why in the world does “ultimate responsibility” consist of blind adherence to doctrine; rather than learning from faith, accepting what seems right, and crafting your own message based on what you have learned? I’m not very open to the idea that “ultimate responsibility” means “sit down and shut up!”

    Ah, maybe it all comes down to Proverbs 3:5

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.

    Are you willing to be “all in” or not?

    Not. And especially Not when “the Lord” actually consists of some human telling me what the Lord wants or what scripture means. But you’re being sarcastic, right?

    Yes. I should have added the ~sarcasm~ part at the end.

     

    • #16
    • April 15, 2019, at 4:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Could Be Anyone Member

    Brian Watt:

    Unlike many in the Catholic hierarchy, Peterson is a good father, a good teacher and a courageous fighter for truth. The Catholic hierarchy would do well to follow his example. If they continue to be critical of Peterson…well, it might get ugly.

    I don’t know the exact motivations of those clerics critical of Peterson but it may result from the fact that Peterson’s tenets and the like are influenced by his understanding of evolutionary psychology. Peterson’s understanding of evolutionary psychology would contradict the Catholic understanding of God. As an example here is this video.

    Now you might ask so what? The reason why this understanding is detrimental is that human development becomes a product of nature and competition, rather than God’s will. Man is no longer the bearer of the Imago Dei but is instead the result of environmental and sexual selection. If one wants to argue that evolution was God crafting the Imago Dei then one has to answer why the crafting isn’t finished and justify the method of crafting.

    Jordan’s rules for life come from this, as he argues the Judeo-Christian tradition does, and that would mean that Christianity is just the composition of the values of past generations and in particular females, as it was their sex that had more selective power.

    Take it a step further and ask what happens when the environment changes, because obviously that happens, and what will happen to those values? Because their value was predicated on certain variables being constant. When those variables change that would mean new rules, and that would also be contradictory to the Christian idea of God, who being perfect has no need to change.

    • #17
    • April 17, 2019, at 8:39 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Rodin Member

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    When those variables change that would mean new rules, and that would also be contradictory to the Christian idea of God, who being perfect has no need to change.

    One need not abandon a belief in G-d and still credit evolutionary processes. But it does make certain Christian tenets difficult to explain. But mankind and religious teachers have always been adept at fashioning reasons that certain seeming inconsistencies are yet reconcilable. If nothing else there is the mysteries and unknowability of G-d. After all, our science continues to create as many mysteries as it solves.

    So clerics need not be threatened. They should take the “win” and step up their game.

    • #18
    • April 17, 2019, at 8:58 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. Could Be Anyone Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    When those variables change that would mean new rules, and that would also be contradictory to the Christian idea of God, who being perfect has no need to change.

    One need not abandon a belief in G-d and still credit evolutionary processes.

    Indeed. But it is not the same God then. It would make him more distant and aloof at the least. If God made man and then let evolution go to work then he is letting the Imago Dei dissipate, and it would also speak to his design as being inherently flawed. If God is making man out of evolution then again his methods are most cruel and it also dehumanizes those who were unable to procreate. Maybe God is helpless to stop it? But if so then his power is diminished.

    Regardless it is not the same God as imagined before.

    But it does make certain Christian tenets difficult to explain. But mankind and religious teachers have always been adept at fashioning reasons that certain seeming inconsistencies are yet reconcilable.

    Somethings cannot be justified, whether one wants them to or not.

    If nothing else there is the mysteries and unknowability of G-d. After all, our science continues to create as many mysteries as it solves.

    The expansion of empirical knowledge may increase the knowledge of our ignorance but genetics is not an area where that has happened, on the contrary it is an area that receives massive attention and research.

    So clerics need not be threatened. They should take the “win” and step up their game.

    Perhaps I should make it more clear. In the case of the Catholic Church God is a perfect being: all powerful, all good, and all knowing. God wills creation and love, willing the good of another. God does not will competition and chaos between his creation but rather harmony and order. The explanation for the current state-of-affairs is that mankind had a fall that changed our nature and made us apart from God. Even with that fall though God has revealed himself to us and given his rules to live by, that if the virtuous follow their descendants will be as many as the stars and they will shall have eternal life in Heaven.

    Now add in evolution to that story. Evolution favors those most suited to what is being selected for. In the case of humans psychological research has shown dominance, physical build, wealth and power are major attractive traits for males by females. Not anything related to virtue.

    Genetic research, as Peterson mentioned, has shown that for every male who successfully procreated two women did—and more importantly that there was at least one point in time when a select number of men had a literal monopoly on sexual access to women.

    Anatomical comparisons of human physique to other species have shown that humans bear mild forms of polygynous traits, where males compete for harems of females. Essentially males competed for as many females as they could afford within reason. At a certain point the cost became too high and males had to settle for one female in most cases, aside from certain instances.

    All that points to the Catholic origins of man as being wrong in several ways. Not only was man not made in an image that followed God’s will but the human species has never followed his will and evolution has chosen not the virtuous and good but rather vicious team players.

    One can try to “reconcile” that all they like but lipstick will not make a pig pretty.

    • #19
    • April 17, 2019, at 9:50 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):
    When those variables change that would mean new rules, and that would also be contradictory to the Christian idea of God, who being perfect has no need to change.

    One need not abandon a belief in G-d and still credit evolutionary processes.

    Indeed. But it is not the same God then. It would make him more distant and aloof at the least. If God made man and then let evolution go to work then he is letting the Imago Dei dissipate, and it would also speak to his design as being inherently flawed. If God is making man out of evolution then again his methods are most cruel and it also dehumanizes those who were unable to procreate. Maybe God is helpless to stop it? But if so then his power is diminished.

    Regardless it is not the same God as imagined before.

    But it does make certain Christian tenets difficult to explain. But mankind and religious teachers have always been adept at fashioning reasons that certain seeming inconsistencies are yet reconcilable.

    Somethings cannot be justified, whether one wants them to or not.

    If nothing else there is the mysteries and unknowability of G-d. After all, our science continues to create as many mysteries as it solves.

    The expansion of empirical knowledge may increase the knowledge of our ignorance but genetics is not an area where that has happened, on the contrary it is an area that receives massive attention and research.

    So clerics need not be threatened. They should take the “win” and step up their game.

    Perhaps I should make it more clear. In the case of the Catholic Church God is a perfect being: all powerful, all good, and all knowing. God wills creation and love, willing the good of another. God does not will competition and chaos between his creation but rather harmony and order. The explanation for the current state-of-affairs is that mankind had a fall that changed our nature and made us apart from God. Even with that fall though God has revealed himself to us and given his rules to live by, that if the virtuous follow their descendants will be as many as the stars and they will shall have eternal life in Heaven.

    Now add in evolution to that story. Evolution favors those most suited to what is being selected for. In the case of humans psychological research has shown dominance, physical build, wealth and power are major attractive traits for males by females. Not anything related to virtue.

    Genetic research, as Peterson mentioned, has shown that for every male who successfully procreated two women did—and more importantly that there was at least one point in time when a select number of men had a literal monopoly on sexual access to women.

    Anatomical comparisons of human physique to other species have shown that humans bear mild forms of polygynous traits, where males compete for harems of females. Essentially males competed for as many females as they could afford within reason. At a certain point the cost became too high and males had to settle for one female in most cases, aside from certain instances.

    All that points to the Catholic origins of man as being wrong in several ways. Not only was man not made in an image that followed God’s will but the human species has never followed his will and evolution has chosen not the virtuous and good but rather vicious team players.

    One can try to “reconcile” that all they like but lipstick will not make a pig pretty.

    There is a great deal of mystery still that anyone of faith or any questioning intellectual has to contend with regarding the characterization of a perfect being that appears to use a pretty good but still imperfect mechanism for the replication of life. I’m not sure you want to wade into those waters because that may take an entirely new and more expansive discussion and even on Ricochet, I doubt that any consensus or reconciliation on that front would be possible.

    Re: Peterson himself – I think some may be quick to characterize him, or suggest that he would characterize himself as one who has all the answers. That doesn’t fit the profile of the Peterson I’ve listened to over numerous videos. He has on many occasions said that there is so much he hasn’t quite figured out and he is still grappling with and even when he thinks he’s close to an answer he’ll characterize it by saying, “I think that’s about right.”

    In this interview with Patrick Coffin, Peterson does suggest that there may be moments in time where the spiritual actually touches the literal and when that happens a miracle occurs. He relates this in responding to a question about Christ’s passion and resurrection which he states he will need a good three years to really examine and address to try and understand beyond the symbolic or archetypal meaning of it because he knows that there is much more to the story to understand. That particular discussion starts at about 33:28 in the video below…suffice to say when Peterson speaks in this way he sounds like more of a believer than many in the Church hierarchy who don’t seem to believe in much or have allied themselves with a more malevolent being. Bottom line, I think taking potshots at Peterson isn’t a wise policy especially for the good that he is doing and that it would be more refreshing if some in the clergy became more courageous and Christ-like and instead focused their attention on the rot and insidious corruption within their own ranks.

    • #20
    • April 17, 2019, at 11:45 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Could Be Anyone Member

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    There is a great deal of mystery still that anyone of faith or any questioning intellectual has to contend with regarding the characterization of a perfect being that appears to use a pretty good but still imperfect mechanism for the replication of life. I’m not sure you want to wade into those waters because that may take an entirely new and more expansive discussion and even on Ricochet, I doubt that any consensus or reconciliation on that front would be possible.

    Sexual reproduction in a polygynous species is not the mechanism of the Christian God. A mechanism characterized by domination and lust in the literal and historical sense.

    Re: Peterson himself – I think some may be quick to characterize him, or suggest that he would characterize himself as one who has all the answers.

    There are some priests who think that. But as I mentioned before they could be worried about what those who do research into his thinking and come to agree with the foundation of it, which is not religious but rather evolutionary biology.

    That doesn’t fit the profile of the Peterson I’ve listened to over numerous videos. He has on many occasions said that there is so much he hasn’t quite figured out and he is still grappling with and even when he thinks he’s close to an answer he’ll characterize it by saying, “I think that’s about right.”

    In this interview with Patrick Coffin, Peterson does suggest that there may be moments in time where the spiritual actually touches the literal and when that happens a miracle occurs. He relates this in responding to a question about Christ’s passion and resurrection which he states he will need a good three years to really examine and address to try and understand beyond the symbolic or archetypal meaning of it because he knows that there is much more to the story to understand. That particular discussion starts at about 33:28 in the video below…suffice to say when Peterson speaks in this way he sounds like more of a believer than many in the Church hierarchy who don’t seem to believe in much or have allied themselves with a more malevolent being.

    You are projecting additional meaning into what he said. He stated that he believed Jesus probably was a person in history and that he understood the abstract significance of his passion, not much else. But my point remains that some may be worrying about his foundational concepts.

    Bottom line, I think taking potshots at Peterson isn’t a wise policy especially for the good that he is doing and that it would be more refreshing if some in the clergy became more courageous and Christ-like and instead focused their attention on the rot and insidious corruption within their own ranks.

    Not all priests have, I have spoken with at least one priest that spoke positively of him. But to put it in slightly more serious manner the evolutionary psychological foundation which Peterson uses could be alternatively used towards pickup art and its ideology.

    • #21
    • April 17, 2019, at 3:38 PM PDT
    • Like
  22. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Post author

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    There is a great deal of mystery still that anyone of faith or any questioning intellectual has to contend with regarding the characterization of a perfect being that appears to use a pretty good but still imperfect mechanism for the replication of life. I’m not sure you want to wade into those waters because that may take an entirely new and more expansive discussion and even on Ricochet, I doubt that any consensus or reconciliation on that front would be possible.

    Sexual reproduction in a polygynous species is not the mechanism of the Christian God. A mechanism characterized by domination and lust in the literal and historical sense.

    I was speaking more fundamentally about DNA replication FWIW. If you want to take issue with many of the aspects of ToE that you either dislike or run counter to Christian theology, I suggest you start another post. Evolution posts on Ricochet are always fun. 

    Re: Peterson himself – I think some may be quick to characterize him, or suggest that he would characterize himself as one who has all the answers.

    There are some priests who think that. But as I mentioned before they could be worried about what those who do research into his thinking and come to agree with the foundation of it, which is not religious but rather evolutionary biology.

    That doesn’t fit the profile of the Peterson I’ve listened to over numerous videos. He has on many occasions said that there is so much he hasn’t quite figured out and he is still grappling with and even when he thinks he’s close to an answer he’ll characterize it by saying, “I think that’s about right.”

    In this interview with Patrick Coffin, Peterson does suggest that there may be moments in time where the spiritual actually touches the literal and when that happens a miracle occurs. He relates this in responding to a question about Christ’s passion and resurrection which he states he will need a good three years to really examine and address to try and understand beyond the symbolic or archetypal meaning of it because he knows that there is much more to the story to understand. That particular discussion starts at about 33:28 in the video below…suffice to say when Peterson speaks in this way he sounds like more of a believer than many in the Church hierarchy who don’t seem to believe in much or have allied themselves with a more malevolent being.

    You are projecting additional meaning into what he said. He stated that he believed Jesus probably was a person in history and that he understood the abstract significance of his passion, not much else. But my point remains that some may be worrying about his foundational concepts.

    Then you weren’t listening very carefully. A clinical psychologist who admits that on occasion a miracle can occur when the spiritual and the literal (or one might say observable day-to-day reality) touches, comes across as much more open minded and receptive to the idea of something divine is at work in the universe.

    Bottom line, I think taking potshots at Peterson isn’t a wise policy especially for the good that he is doing and that it would be more refreshing if some in the clergy became more courageous and Christ-like and instead focused their attention on the rot and insidious corruption within their own ranks.

    Not all priests have, I have spoken with at least one priest that spoke positively of him. But to put it in slightly more serious manner the evolutionary psychological foundation which Peterson uses could be alternatively used towards pickup art and its ideology.

    I never stated that “all priests have”. There are some very good members of the clergy. Unfortunately, many of them aren’t in positions of power and influence and able to change the disastrous course the Church is on. Bottom line, Peterson is not the enemy. The enemy is huddled in Vatican City and in dioceses around the world.

    • #22
    • April 17, 2019, at 4:59 PM PDT
    • Like