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Life is Suffering and Other Jordan Peterson Quotes


Life is suffering. Love is the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated. Truth is the handmaiden of love. Dialogue is the pathway to truth. Humility is recognition of personal insufficiency and the willingness to learn. To learn is to die voluntarily and be born again, in great ways and small. Speech must be untrammeled so that dialogue can take place; so that we can all humbly learn, so that truth can serve love, so that suffering can be ameliorated, so that we can all stumble forward to the kingdom of God.

–Jordan Peterson, Apr. 24, 2017, at the Speak Freely Series. Hosted by the Young Americans For Liberty chapter at Linfield College as part of the Speak Freely Series.

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“In order to speak what you regard as the truth, you have to let go of the outcome. You have to think, “OK, I’m going to say way I think. Stupid as I am, biased as I am, ignorant as I am, I’m going to state what I think as clearly as I can. And I’m going to live with the consequences no matter what they are.”

Debating with Brenda Cossman and Mary K Bryson. Nov 19th 2016. The debate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Arts & Science Forum examining Bill C-16 and the Ontario Human Rights Code h. Debate moderated by Prof Mayo Moran & foreword by David Cameron Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Science.

Without Christianity, and its emphasis on truth at all costs, science would never have come about.

Talking with Dave Rubin, May 5, 2017, the Rubin Report.

We don’t understand the world. I do think the world is more like a musical masterpiece than it is like anything else. And things are oddly connected.

Talking with Philosophy Insights, May 12, 2017.

Timothy Lott: “Quick question: are you a Christian?”

Jordan Peterson: “I suppose the most straightforward answer to that is ‘Yes.’ But it’s… let’s leave it at ‘Yes.’”

TL: “I’m a bit dissatisfied with that, because there are many different kinds of Christians and I would never imagine that you were a very literal-minded Christian.”

Jordan Peterson: “Well there truths other than the literal that perhaps are more truthful than even literal truths. You know, there are many kinds of truth. And I don’t mean that in a postmodern way, actually. But the truths that govern behavior and the truths that emerge from facts are not the same truths.”

TL: “But do you believe that Jesus rose again from the dead? Literally?”

Jordan Peterson: “I cannot answer that question. And the reason is because… let me think about it for a minute to see if I can come up with a reasonable answer to that… well the first answer to that is ‘it depends on what you mean by Jesus’.”

TL: “A historical human being that existed in a body, a physical body, that was on earth, and that was literally … that came back to life after death.”

Jordan Peterson: “I would say at the moment that I’m agnostic about that issue. Which is a lot different than saying that I don’t believe that it happened.”

TL: “That’s very interesting.”

Jordan Peterson: “I have to explain why. When I get to the New Testament in my biblical lectures, I’ll spend like six hours trying to explain what I think about that. But one of the things I have come to learn over the last 15 years in particular is that the world is a very, very strange place. It’s far stranger than we think. And what we don’t understand about consciousness and its relation to the body could fill many books. And you could say the same thing about our relationship with time; and perhaps corporeality; and vulnerability; and death for that matter. So I don’t understand the structure of being well enough to make my way through the complexities of the resurrection story. I would say its the most mysterious element of the Biblical stories to me. And perhaps I’m not alone in that. It’s the central drama in the Christian corpus. But I don’t believe that it’s reasonable to boil it down to something like ‘do you believe that or do you not believe it?’ I don’t the limits of human possibility.”

TL: “That’s an intriguing answer. And it surprised me.”

Jordan Peterson: “It’s metaphorical. It’s a phoenix story.”

TL: “That’s what I expected you to say.”

Jordan Peterson: “Just because that’s true doesn’t mean that’s all that’s true about it.”

Talking with Timothy Lott, youtube clip, Aug 1, 2017.