Jordan Peterson has over a milllon YouTube followers and is offering the 12 rules for life in his new book. Below is a bit I wrote on it. I would be interested with any thoughts on his new book or advice on the piece below.
I agree with most if not all of the life advice Jordan Peterson has to offer in his new book 12 Rules for Life , such as being honest, eating breakfast, and sitting up straight. I especially appreciate his motivational talk on focusing on what you can do to improve today. In reading his book and learning about some of the stories from his profession, I can see how he must be an amazing psychologist and really improve the lives of those who see him. However, while he offers great advice, the worldview that he presents and that drives his thinking is Taoism. Jordan wraps this Taoism in distorted Christian stories to make it palatable for his western audience to consume this eastern philosophy. Jordan’s worldview is built on the Taoist notion of chaos and order. As Jordon puts it, “reality—itself is composed of two opposing principles….” He presents a world of good and evil—a yin and yang—order and chaos—as opposing eternal truths that coexist with each needing the other. As Jordan writes, “Hell is eternal. It has always existed.” C.S. Lewis responded brilliantly to this dualistic worldview in Chapter 7 of Mere Christianity which is worth reading in its entirety, “I personally think that next to Christianity Dualism is the manliest and most sensible creed on the market. But it has a catch in it.” This catch is found when you try to distinguish between good and evil, “But the moment you say that, you are putting into the universe a third thing in addition to the two Powers: some law or standard or rule….” Jordan has made the individual the final arbiter of these rules as he states, “Each human being understands, a priori perhaps not what is good, but certainly what is not.” This standard of morality works well when you are sitting around with those you agree with, however it does not work so well when ISIS is beheading you. To quote Ravi Zacharias, this subjective morality fails us because, “In some countries you love your neighbors, and in others you eat them.” Jordon leaves morality to be defined by the individual, but this temptation was proposed once before as I quote Ravi Zacharias expanding on Genesis: “God gave only one law in the Garden of Eden, “Do not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” But Satan twisted that by telling Adam and Eve they would become God and could define their own good and evil.” In Jordan’s book it states, “At the beginning of time the Word of God transformed,” however Genesis 1:1 reads differently, “In the beginning God created….” I am sure Jordan was precise in his speech—notice that his rendition of the beginning is quite different from the Bible as he changes the scripture to fit his Taoism of god that transforms chaos into order. Jordan tells us “your truth is something only you can tell” and gives us 12 rules to live by. Jesus said, “I am and the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6) and gave us this to live by, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”