Jordan Peterson: political saviour or false god?
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Parker Wieck03 Feb 2018 18:13
"that human imagination provides the means of changing the world, only distracts us from the real nature of our position as a ‘naked ape’, doomed to replicate many of our biologically hardwired instincts, he argues."

This is patently false. Nowhere has he made this argument. The fact that dominance hierarchies exist does not entail biological determinism nor does he ever claim it does.

"But we should not rush to welcome Peterson as the saviour of political thinking. Because in truth, he is an anti-political thinker. He sees political ideas as inherently dangerous."

This is also incorrect. He regards ideologies as inherently dangerous. He states himself that he is a British Classic Liberal, which is a political belief structure which is predicated on Judeo-Christian thought but in no way requires the belief in God. It only requires an belief in individual human value and the value of truth.

"Peterson’s answer to man’s misery is a religious one. Only in recognising our suffering and returning to God can we find true meaning."

While it is a religious one, it is a definition of religious that is equivalent to "a complete and sophisticated belief structure." That does not require any specific religion. He is not trying to convert people, he is trying to show that there exist transcendent values that give life meaning.

"It would be a real tragedy if his biologically determined, individualistic outlook was to prevent a generation of young people from seeking out solidarity and shared visions of the future."

Not if those shared visions are ideological, which is the only thing he rails against politically. He has expressed visions of a positive shared future. For example, a quote from a recent interview on the Joe Rogan Experience: "[if we got our lives in order as indiviuals] in twenty years there wouldn't have to be a single person in the world that was hungry, in twenty years we could get rid of the five biggest diseases that currently plague the planet, we could straighten things up"
Johannes Böckmann03 Feb 2018 13:31
The third to last Paragraph is misleading. Peterson does not see all political ideas as dangerous. Instead, you should have written "political ideologies". That is, he sees rigid points of views that try to explain every complex problem with a simple solution as dangerous. Peterson has literally written the book an belief systems. It is called "Maps of Meaning". It explaines that belief systems can solidify, and fail to adapt to the ever changing environment they are supposed to explain and keep at bay. To not let a belief system degenerate, it is necessary to criticize its flaws and actively take steps to renew it. Not in returning to God and praying our meaninglessness away, but in recreating society from its ashes, in lifting the heaviest burden, taking responsibility, we can find true meaning.
Peterson does not argue against solidarity. I don't know where you got that from. Citation needed (for much in this article in general)!

The second to last paragraph is incorrect. A deterministic worldview would render most of his arguments for self-improvement nonsensical.
If by "biological determinism" you mean that we are determined in part by our biological body, than yes, obviously that is the case. We cannot exist without the constraints of our body.
Peterson actually believes that these hierarchies are "competence hierarchies". These are of course ever-changing. We should strive to be good at something -- even better than someone else. He does believe that "the fact that there are hierarchies" will not change and constitutes, therefore, part of the evolutionary landscape: we are biologically adapted to the fact of our culture. We cannot not have one.
Peterson has actually spent a good part of his academic career to argue FOR creative endeavour to change the world. He believes that to be the act of creating meaning, restoring culture and keeping things from degenerating.
IF WE DO NOT know about our hidden motives, our underlying nature, our "hardwired instinct", we are doomed to act it out. This is precisely what he is trying to prevent.

To the last paragraph:
"It would be a real tragedy if his biologically determined, individualistic outlook was to prevent a generation of young people from seeking out solidarity and shared visions of the future." That would be a shame. If he was arguing that point, that is. Luckily, it is the opposite of what he actually believes.

G. Ander03 Feb 2018 12:12
For Peterson, human society is ordered into competence hierarchies not ‘dominance hierarchies’. An important difference.
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