Jordan Peterson on Masculinity, Meaning, God And Fatherhood (with Gadi Taub)

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oh thank you yeah great much appreciated so we'll stop at 4:15 sure okay that gives you 90 minutes yeah yeah gives me a bit of time before I have to do my next thing and if we finish before that if we're I'll talk quickly yeah we can emphasize just directly okay if I had to point at the major theme of your work would it be right to say that I suffer therefore I am and that the antidote for suffering or what helps us cope with it is meaning yes is that a philosophical argument say no it's a theological argument is that it so I'll rephrase is that a theological argument or a psychological argument do we need meaning or do we need a sense of meaning no we need meaning meanings real so a sense of meaning would not do it's not it's not as reduce - no no it's an irreducible phenomena so we need we need we need answers to our questions yes that's right we don't need to think we have answers to our questions no no the illusion would not help no the illusion will hurt you know what I'm trying to suggest to people is that the the pathway to meaning meaning is the antidote to to suffering as far as I can tell the question is where is meaning to be found and my sense is that it's to be found in responsibility and and not in relationships because and this is a curious thing I don't pretend to have an explanation but say in in social workers you often get their sense of meaning from they get paid so low in Israel that you can't believe but they're addicted to their work because when you feel you make a difference in someone's life that creates a sense of meaning sure is that responsibility for someone else or is that just a connection because Parenthood's both it's both it's both I mean there is there's more to a relationship than mutual responsibility because there's lots of dynamic processes cementing a relationship right but a long-term relationship is definitely the voluntary acceptance of mutual responsibility right in sickness and in health all of that it's an it is a formalization of that ideas we're going to take responsibility for what another but I want to try and separate I don't I'm not sure I can but to ask if a sense of meaning is generated by a clear philosophical answer or by a belonging to a group because sometimes it seems that just belonging creates at least a sense of meaning I see what you're saying yes definitely well I would say it's the sense of the the sense of meaning there or the purpose is implicit you don't know what it is but it's in there it's it's still it's like you're a member of a wolf pack as the wolf pack is is doing something you don't know what it is because you're just a wolf well if you're a person and you're associated with a bunch of other people you find meaning and it doesn't mean you can articulate it so if you are treating an alcoholic yeah what's your way of reconstructing for him or her the connection between meaning and and belonging well we would do that very we do that in a very idiosyncratic way you know I do a careful analysis of the person's situation it's like well do you have any friends no okay that's a problem zero friends is the wrong number okay so we need to find out how you can reestablish some new social connections that would be experimental it's like well there are meetup groups online well what are you interested in well I used to be interested in literature well here's a meetup group why don't you go to the group and you know see what I see how that goes with regards to their conversation about literature see if you can make a friend but if you generalize from that can you see any treatment without a sense of belonging to the social group I mean if you're not if that's lacking I mean some people need less connection than others but we're intensely social and a lot of what we do is outsource our sanity you know so so one of the things I've come to realize and this is an error that I think the psychoanalyst made is that you don't solve a problem cognitively that you can outsource to the community now your basic goal say with regards to raising a child is to make the child minimally sick socially acceptable and the reason for that is as long as the child is minimally socially acceptable everyone else will regulate their behavior problem solved their friends will you know like if you have a friend you have to act properly or your friend isn't gonna be happy if you have five friends well even more you have to toll whatever the line is you know and it doesn't mean that you just have to be strictly obedient and nice because if you have friends they might expect you to be unpredictable and interesting from time to time or daring like it's complicated what people demand from another but yeah you you that's all intensely social there's a continual dialectic between individuals and and between the individual and the group and all of that has to be optimized it's not rugged individualism and you know and what I was writing about in twelve rules and what I talk about the lectures is it's not see individualism is also often associated same with the individual pursuit of happiness let's say or self-expression or self actualization or something like that some dissident is fetish tends to be generated to something like self expression I was just reading about exactly that but you know what I'm trying to suggest to people is that the the pathway to meaning meaning is the antidote to to suffering as far as I can tell the question is where is meaning to be found and my sense is that it's to be found in responsibility if you go from you to the behavior also underneath there there is there are archetypes they are not exactly yours they're not generated from within they echo the culture and the nature yeah well they're an interplay between between like like what would you call let's think about the figure the great figure of Evil's this figure of Satan well what is that well it's cultural it's a cultural construct that's something that has its autonomous existence in some sense as a as like as a meme to use darkins terms that's extended over thousands and thousands of years like it's a personality that occupies a transpersonal space and you can this is independent of your religious beliefs it's something you interact with so if you're normally from the Rudyard Kipling jungle story is it in English Jungle Book jungle book and if wolves brought you up you would not have these archetypes or you would you have a version of them well you'd still have you'd still have the version that would be generated as a consequence of your own experience you'd have the fragments of the archetype anyways because the archetypes they have let's say that they're they're partly grounded in in in biological experience like there's an archetype of rage there's an archetype of fear there's even gods representing those sorts of thing pan is the god of fear right Ari's or Mars so without just completely hypothetically without culture yeah they would be just blind drives or feelings or concepts what would the archetypes biologically well might be well I would say you can probably figure that out to some degree by watching a two-year-old you know two-year-olds are are possessed by one emotional state after another it's one of the things that makes them quite delightful you know because when they're happy they're just 100% happy but they cycle a they'll be happy and then they'll cry then they'll be hungry then they'll be angry and then they'll be exhausted and they'll go to sleep and then you know it's just one it's it's the domination by one instinctual system after another and what happens as a child is enculturated is that those each of those biological systems has its own viewpoint and its own aims let's say its own mode of interpreting the world but that has to be integrated into something proximate in a unity that allows all of the drives to work together harmoniously but also allows them to work together in a landscape that's populated by everyone else who's doing the same thing and so there's that capability for the unity within that's what makes us socialized Abul but it won't manifest itself without the continual interplay with other people other people right and one of the ways of thinking about that this is a good way of thinking about it is that what really happens to children as they become socialized isn't that they inhibit in the Freudian sense he was wrong about that you don't inhibit your aggression you don't inhibit your playfulness not not optimally I mean you do so channel them you integrate them and you integrate them into something approximating a game and that was the real that's the real that's the brilliant what would you say that's the brilliant innovation of Jean Piaget the developmental psychologist who you know he knew the Freudian corpus but but he his theory is better it's not inhibition it's integration and so like if you have an aggressive child at the age of two because a number of children are quite aggressive at the age of two it's part of their temperament most of them are socialized by the age of four and what that means is they learn how to play with others and then their aggression is integrated you know like a great athlete it's like great athlete is a competitive person that they that that aggression is driving them forward like it's a primordial moving force but it's not haphazard and scattered like it's disciplined and focused and and it's it's it's become sublimated maybe it's there no integration is the right thing it's like it's it's so you harness it's just something useful yes that's right that's right it's it starts to act in the service of a higher order if your attitude towards sexuality is inhibition the sexuality is going to become a monster because like you you can't here's here's an example a lot of these systems are rooted in the hypothalamus and it's a part of the brain that's right above the spinal cord a very small part of the brain but a very important part fact if you take a cat because a lot of this research was done with cats if you take a female cat and you take out its whole brain like 90 percent of its brain literally and just leave it with a hypothalamus and a spinal cord it can do most things that a cat can do although it's hyper exploratory which is pretty bloody weird for a cat with no brain right it's like hyper hyper exploratory how do you explain that you can but does it does it hurt the memory oh yes anything so that can explain that I won't try that oh that's exactly right like what what memory does is inhibit exploration and the rest of the brain is this essentially a memory structure that regulates these lower order motivational systems but but anyways the connections going up from the lower systems pain anxiety and then the hypothalamic systems are way thicker than the connections going down so like you can so it's a tree like storm that's a tree like structure exactly with some descending inhibition and the descending inhibition works but don't mess around with your fundamental biological systems they kick back and they have to because they you know they're they're instinctual systems that are have been instantiated over the evolutionary process to ensure your survival do we need to be God because it's useful or do we absolutely need to believe in God yeah am I making the difference clear that question always stops me take your time you need to aim at a transcendent you need to aim at some some transcendent ethic you have to do that and and the reason for that is that the transcendent ethic is the way that things are put right it's not an illusion and and and it's not it's not a mere rational construct it's not an invention it's none of those things it's something that you discover and and you discover it despite yourself like see one of the things that's one of the things Nietzsche proposed when he talked about the death of God and the potential for catastrophe that would be would emerge as a consequence of that was that people would have to create their own values we'd have to replace the external valuation scheme that religion provided with something that was psychological let's say it's fine it's a it's a daring hypothesis the psychoanalysts especially you were great students of Nietzsche and you knew what it was wrong because of what he learned from Freud what you learned from Freud was that we weren't masters in our own house that were beholden to psychological phenomena that are beyond our voluntary control we have a nature and that expresses itself within us in ways that we cannot control rationally it manifests itself as part of reality it's phenomenological raelynne this subjective reality what's reality nonetheless like the reality of a dream you don't invent your dreams like in a voluntary sense they manifest themselves in the field of your imagination but Freud was painfully secular Freud thought God was it a childish disease yes he did he thought that religion was a grand wish-fulfillment but it's a very shallow criticism and he should have known better and that's why you and Freud broke I guess that that would be one of your most complicated messages is that your evil side should not be divorced but rather harnessed good yes so that because there's so evil that blurs the difference between good and evil and it's in a sense no it just makes it it just makes it more complicated it's like you can't you can't identify evil with something simple oh it's aggression is evil it's like no it's not fear is evil no it's not neither is pain it's not that simple whatever evil is is very complicated and into and to attribute to society for example or to attribute it to a particular psychological trait that's just that's where that's it's not anywhere near as sophisticated enough to come to terms with the problem so evil is is something that's resentment is closer to something that's at the core but even that's not sufficiently complicated and and evil it's much better construed as a complex personality which is why that is how its construed there's a great figures of evil Satan is the ultimate figure of evil why because in order to flesh out the concept you need a character and a personality and a story you can't reduce it to a set of descriptions partly because it it moves it's like well sometimes aggression is evil well yeah that's true sometimes it's not it's it's so so you that that's why the personality is a better represented representative of these sorts of concepts because a personality is something that's got a certain amount of coherence and identity but it's also something that's adaptive and flexible in different situations so and these things are to think of evil as a personality and to think of good as a personality is much more appropriate than to think of them as tables of rules or something like that or descriptions or instincts re-install yeah definitely not instincts it's like you just can't dam an instinct you know it's not hell it's not helpful and there's aggression it's like what you're gonna get rid of aggression it's like what you don't like ambition you don't like purpose you don't like persistence so you're not happy with the APA is recent paper guideline on how absolutely ashamed to call myself a psychologist in the aftermath of the let's just say what it is what exactly did they say that well they said it was guidelines for the treatment of boys and psychological treatment of boys and men that isn't what it is and that social justice treatise on how you better think if you're a psychologist if you don't want to be pursued that's exactly what it is but what they actually said was that traditional masculinity was harmful and the and the argue they said they two reasons to raises compromise the mental health of boys and men and presented a social danger and it's an absolute bloody lie and here's here's how you know it's very straightforward biggest risk factor for long-term delinquency antisocial behavior and violent criminality in boys are their lessness fatherless right okay so let's let's walk through it okay so the good idea is that boys are socialized to be pathologically masculine by men we're assuming their fathers okay so then why is it in families with no fathers that everything falls apart and then like no one disputes that that's the case they don't cover that in that damn article so and then they you know they also assume that aggression is socialized it's like no aggression is innate peacefulness is socialized and how is it socialized well men for example one of the things that men do with their young boys is wrestle with them they rough-and-tumble play with them well what is that well it's aggression it's like no it's not it's play and what do you do when you're rough-and-tumble playing it's like you show the boy and the girl too because it happens with girls how much they can exert themselves physically and still have the game continue what hurts and what doesn't how far someone else can be pushed how much fainting and and and tactical maneuvering you can do how much you can be extended how you can trust if you're thrown in the air like these things are fundamentally important and men do a lot of that and they regulate the such that that article is just it's absolutely scandalous what they've done they've inverted it it's not even it's not even wrong it's anti it's worse than wrong I'll play devil's advocate at least in part there was a book I think in the 80s by David Gilmore not the one from the Pink Floyd manhood in the making where he said that the the common denominator in most cultures not all is that maleness is associated with suppression of emotions he had a SAN an SI quarter of kind of argument for the psycho the psychoanalytic side but he said if you look at cultures manhood is a test of endurance almost everywhere so like they would in some cultures he surveyed they would torture you and if you flinched you lose your man yeah so is that would you consider that part of masculinity harmful well it depends on the degree to which it trains you to endure it's like look there's all what you say it's defined by suppression of feelings because not if it's done in sophisticated manner it's it's defined by the by the what would you call by the by the by the sophisticated integration of the emotions it's like there's gonna be you're gonna be facing hard things man in your life it's like you're gonna break down and I mean look I'm saying this as a very emotional male right like my proclivity to tears has been overwhelming all my life and so so so sometimes in your talk yes yes and so so I'm saying that knowing that about myself what's wrong with the ability to endure like lots of times endurance is what you have when things are really going badly and they will you have the ability to put one goddamn foot in front of the other and like and maybe you're even manifesting negative emotion about it but that doesn't mean you stop you don't stop and that's not just a cardinal ask element of masculinity although it is in the symbolic sense it's a cardinal aspect of the development of a forthright character you want your children to be able to endure we're so naive it's like no you want them to be happy it's like yeah fine but what about when they're not happy what about win what about when they have a sick child what about when someone's dying you know like what they should be happy it's like god it's it's it's Finn gruel it's a leaky boat and so you train you train stalwart individuals to endure now cannot go too far well obviously you know I mean every culture can degenerate into into cruel tyranny you know and they can make an engage in sadistic rituals that have this justification to to to train endurance but what's wrong with endurance and to inhibit emotion isn't it's not to inhibit emotion precisely it's to put things in their proper place when you when you have people relying on you including yourself but when you have people relying on you you don't get to quit people die if you quit they suffer if you quit it's like if you're a parent if yes of course and you know in this this is this is why I like the Christian metaphor at least in part it's like pick up your bloody cross and walk up the hill you know and of course there's suffering in catastrophe associated with that it doesn't mean that men should pretend that they don't have emotions but you know that's so obvious that it hardly needs to be discussed I want to end on a personal note again and ask you if you just to remember one moment of parent I think the people who wrote that article are reprehensibly weak and deceitful the APA yes yes and I think that they justify their reprehensible weakness by an all-out assault on the idea of strength and competence and that they clothed that in virtue it's it's a it's a it's it's a it's a nauseating document so I'll end with the question about you as a father do you do you have moments that use you specifically cherish of your relations with your the whole time any specific anecdote any specific thing that stands out for you any specifically hard hard moment oh god it's been brutal my daughter was unbelievably ill for like decades it's been brutal she hasn't lost her sense of humor no man she's tough yeah well we taught her to you know right from the beginning you can lose your body and you could lose your soul and she lost her body but she didn't lose her soul and part of the reason for that was we tried to encourage her never never never to use her illness as an excuse because you blur the line you know it's like maybe you can't do something and that's that's not good you can't do it it's something that someone else can do but maybe one day you use the fact that you're suffering in your real has an excuse not to do something that you should have done then you've opened a little door you know you've opened the door to a place you do not want to go and you do that a hundred times and you no longer know where they ulness stops and then you're done you've done and so I think she didn't do that and now she's healthy you know it's like she's completely recovered by all appearances she was just in Switzerland which is part of the reason I'm here to have she had an ankle replacement when she was a kid and it didn't go quite well her bones weren't strong enough to hold the artificial ankle in place properly and so we came here because the originator of the artificial joint practice is here and he's done a superb job by all appearances they screwed the tibia to the fibia to make the leg stronger and fix the joint up and now she seems to have full range of motion which is a complete bloody miracle and you know and she seems to have emerged out of this well unscathed would be pushing it because you shouldn't be unscathed by that sort of experience but she's tough as a bloody boot that girl and she has a great sense of humor and she's really enthusiastic about being alive and so so that's really something but a little victimization in there that wouldn't have gone good you don't want that when when when when trouble emerges you don't want that yeah so we'll wish Michaela a speedy recovery and thank you so much for this conference exact thank you very nice talking with you
Channel: Gadi Taub
Views: 277,974
Rating: 4.9417 out of 5
Keywords: Jordan Peterson, Gadi Taub, Political Correctness, Mikhaila Peterson, 12 Rules for Life, APA Guidlines
Id: OwFdvVBPn5Q
Channel Id: undefined
Length: 25min 1sec (1501 seconds)
Published: Sat Feb 16 2019
Reddit Comments

Great interview, thank u very much. Dr. Peterson is an excellent example of masculinity. He's a man who endures hardship while focused on supporting himself, his family and the community to the best of his ability.

👍︎︎ 3 👤︎︎ u/YOUREABOT 📅︎︎ Apr 27 2019 🗫︎ replies

This is a great interview, and it's refreshing to see the interviewer not trying to play games or trap JBP, but still press when he's misunderstood.

👍︎︎ 2 👤︎︎ u/higzmage 📅︎︎ Apr 27 2019 🗫︎ replies

Published February 19, 2019

👍︎︎ 1 👤︎︎ u/URGENTCAFE 📅︎︎ Apr 27 2019 🗫︎ replies
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