Paul Gosselin (6/6/2022)
Peterson, a critic of the Enlightenment/modernism
Peterson's Maps of Meaning (MoM) is a rather massive book, over 500 pages with large page size. It is perhaps more academic in approach than Peterson's more popular books, though he is NOT boring to read and is open about his own life struggles and search for meaning. MoM begins with a description of his own (VERY typical) drift away from nominal Christianity as a teenager. Peterson then describes his conversion to socialism and his drift away from that. The problem of human evil in the period dominated by Enlightenment thinking plays a significant part in this drift away from socialism and the rationalistic Enlightenment ideologico-religious culture that so dominated the 20th century West. Another element that ticked Peterson off is the modern principle which holds that if something is wrong with the world then it (conveniently) has to be someone else's fault... It is pointless to ask a modern to repent of their sins seeing as repentance has no place in Enlightenment theology... No doubt, Peterson's critique of ideologies derived from the Enlightenment will not have won him friends in academia. Such views are certainly sufficient to be viewed as suspect...
In the first half of this book, Peterson spends much time discussing mythology and it's psychological significance. I expect Peterson would accept the concept that humans are genetically hardwired for myth. I would concur with Peterson that no civilisation and no individual can escape myth, that is dealing, in one shape of form, with the big WHY questions of life, the search for meaning. One of the most pathetic delusions of a civilisation anchored in the Enlightenment is the belief that one can do without religion or myth. While postmoderns may reject Judeo-Christian beliefs or supernatural concepts generally, no one can avoid religion, worldview or myth. Thus those who reject Judeo-Christian beliefs must be asked what their current religion or myths are, that is with what have they replaced their previous (?) Judeo-Christian beliefs. To avoid thinking about such matters academics will offer the outworn trope “myth deals with the supernatural” and thus materialistic origins myths get no attention (since they are Science) and thus can be ignored. Convenient... Postmoderns are hard to nail down as they typically buy into an ever-changing eclectic and subjective collection of inconsistent beliefs and presuppositions. Peterson's perspective on myth is thus psychological/relativistic and in my view he spouts a lot of nonsense on such matters (as he is anchored in the postmodern dogmatic precept that all religions are baiscally the"same/equivalent"...). The unique and specific claims made by particular religions get no attention from Peterson. All is symbolism... But towards the middle of the book it gets interesting, as Peterson dares suggest that ideologies in the West are in fact mythologies... Needless to say, these are ideologies that Peterson personnally rejects...
It would appear that Peterson has travelled on an ideologico-religious pilgrimage parallel to the one previously run by the American sci-fi novelist and WWII veteran Kurt Vonnegut. In this regard, Vonnegut offered some self-dialogue concerning his pilgrimage and drift away from modernism into postmodernism (1975: 162):
"Hey, Corporal Vonnegut," I said to myself, "maybe you were wrong to be an optimist. Maybe pessimism is the thing." I have been a consistent pessimist ever since, with a few exceptions. In order to persuade my wife to marry me, of course, I had to promise her that the future would be heavenly. And then I had to lie about the future again every time I thought she should have a baby. And then I had to lie to her again every time she threatened to leave me because I was too pessimistic. I saved our marriage many times by exclaiming, "Wait!; Wait! I see light at the end of the tunnel at last!" And I wish I could bring light to your tunnels today. My wife begged me to bring you light, but there is no light. Everything is going to become unimaginably worse, and never get better again. If I lied to you about that, you would sense that I'd lied to you, and that would be another cause for gloom. We have enough causes for gloom.
(1975: 163-64) I know that millions of dollars have been spent to produce this splendid graduating class, and that the main hope of your teachers was, once they got through with you, that you would no longer be superstitious. I'm sorry I have to undo that now. I beg you to believe in the most ridiculous superstition of all: that humanity is at the center of the universe, the fulfiller or the frustrator of the grandest dreams of God Almighty. If you can believe that, and make others believe it, then there might be hope for us. Human beings might stop treating each other like garbage, might begin to treasure and protect each other instead. Then it might be all right to have babies again. Many of you will have babies anyway, if you're anything like me. To quote the poet Schiller: "Against stupidity the very gods themselves contend in vain." About astrology and palmistry: They are good because they make people feel vivid and full of possibilities. They are communism at its best. Everybody has a birthday and almost everybody has a palm.
Now Jordan Peterson is too sophisticated to become a horoscope vender, yet at the end of the day there is good reason to believe he has ended up in the same postmodern boat as Vonnegut. This results from the fact that to go up against the massive human evil produced by the Enlightenment (exposed to view by the 20th century) all Peterson has to offer is the “startling revelation” that myth is important and will (hopefully) save us from the cruel void where the Enlightenment left us (Peterson 1999: 261)
Every culture maintains certain key beliefs that are centrally important to that culture, upon which all secondary beliefs are predicated. These key beliefs cannot be easily given up, because if they are, everything falls, and the unknown once again rules. Western morality and behaviour, for example, are predicated on the assumption that every individual is sacred. This belief was already extant in its nascent form among the ancient Egyptians, and provides the very cornerstone of Judeo-Christian civilization. Successful challenge to this idea would invalidate the actions and goals of the Western individual; would destroy the Western dominance hierarchy, the social context for individual action. In the absence of this central assumption, the body of Western law—formalized myth, codified morality—erodes and falls. There are no individual rights, no individual value— and the foundation of the Western social (and psychological) structure dissolves. The Second World War and Cold War were fought largely to eliminate such a challenge.
Now if Peterson has discovered that that “myth is important/significant”, for what it's worth this must be considered an implicit repudiation of materialistic worldview produced by the Enlightenment. So where does this take Peterson?
Peterson and the Covid crisis
Despite the fact that Peterson wrote Maps of Meaning well BEFORE the Covid crisis, Peterson provides material here that sheds useful light on these recent events. In a context of rising totalitarianism, Peterson notes two compliant psychological types in reaction to such systems, the fascist and the decadent. Peterson points out the fascist type is willing to go along with any State lie if such behaviour ensures ORDER (which basically means the maintenance of the individual's comfort, life style and survival) (1999: 307):
The fascist sacrifices his soul, which would enable him to confront change on his own, to the group, which promises to protect him from everything unknown. The decadent, by contrast, refuses to join the social world, and clings rigidly to his own ideas—merely because he is too undisciplined to serve as an apprentice. The fascist wants to crush everything different, and then everything; the decadent immolates himself, and builds the fascist from his ashes. The bloody excesses of the twentieth century, manifest most evidently in the culture of the concentration camp, stand as testimony to the desires of the adversary and as monument to his power. The pitfalls of fascism and decadence may be avoided through identification with the hero, the true individual. The hero organizes the demands of social being and the responsibilities of his own soul into a coherent, hierarchically arranged unit. He stands on the border between order and chaos, and serves the group as creator and agent of renewal.
(1999: 339): The fascist, who will not face the reality and necessity of the unknown, hides his vulnerable face in a "pathological excess of order." The decadent, who refuses to see that existence is not possible without order, hides his immaturity from himself and others in a "pathological excess of chaos." The fascist is willing to sacrifice painful freedom [facing doubt and uncertainty -PG] for order, and to pretend that his unredeemed misery is meaningless, so that he does not have to do anything for himself. The decadent believes that freedom can be attained without discipline and responsibility, because he is ignorant of the terrible nature of "the undifferentiated ground of reality" and is unwilling to bear the burden of order.
Examining the development of the fascist type, Peterson quotes the French psychologist Jean Piaget discussing the three stages of game learning in children (Peterson 1999: 373):
During the second stage (apogee of egocentric and first half of cooperating stage) rules are regarded as sacred and untouchable, emanating from adults and lasting forever. Every suggested alteration strikes the child as a transgression.
These observations shed light on the behaviour of many citizens in the West during the Covid crisis... Some people need only a little nudge, a little pressure, a small threat to reach this condition and accept any lie from the State at which point the State narrative becomes “the unquestionable rule”... But State pressure must be restrained. Open violence would shatter the illusion and expose the lies and Totalitarian Evil in all its brutality. Postmodern elites have clearly learned their lessons from the experiences of 20th century totalitarian regimes. No, the illusion of reasonable persuasion MUST be maintained (as long as possible). The illusion of credibility and State benevolence can be an effective weapon... In the long term open violence and brutality has the disadvantage of producing committed enemies of the Totalitarian State.
With civil servants and bureaucrats, the job of instilling compliance is easy as the more senior and powerful they are, in most cases the more conformist and compliant they will be, which means that indirect threats will be quite effective to insure their complete submission. And once individuals reach that state that Peterson calls fascist, unless they are forced to face severe personal trauma, a big shock, the official narrative will be their sole refuge as they have abandoned any interest in the truth of the situation or in facts. Who knows if the following New Testament verse may in fact apply to many who call themselves Christians: "in them that perish; because they received not the love of the Truth, that they might be saved.” (2Th 2: 10)
Since postmodernism rejects the idea of an Absolute moral law above man (and above the State) it must be noted that this worldview offers NO obstacle to the LIE. In his novel That Hideous Strength (1945: chap. 11) novel CS Lewis skilfully exposes the psychological roots of the character Studdock's acceptance of organisational lies:
What a fool — a blasted, babyish, gullible fool — he had been! He sat down on the floor, for his legs felt weak, as if he had walked twenty-five miles. Why had he come to Belbury in the first instance? Ought not his very first interview with the Deputy Director to have warned him, as clearly as if the truth were shouted through a megaphone or printed on a poster in letters six feet high, that here was the world of plot within plot, crossing and double-crossing, of lies and graft and stabbing in the back, of murder and a contemptuous guffaw for the fool who lost the game? Feverstone's guffaw, that day he had called him an "incurable romantic," came back to his mind. Feverstone... that was how he had come to believe in Wither: on Feverstone's recommendation. Apparently his folly went further back. How on earth had he come to trust Feverstone — a man with a mouth like a shark, with his flash manners, a man who never looked you in the face? Jane, or Dimble, would have seen through him at once. He had "crook" written all over him. He was fit only to deceive puppets like Curry and Busby. But then, at the time when he first met Feverstone, he had not thought Curry and Busby puppets. With extraordinary clarity, but with renewed astonishment, he remembered how he had felt about the Progressive Element at Bracton when he was first admitted to its confidence; he remembered, even more incredulously, how he had felt as a very junior Fellow while he was outside it — how he had looked almost with awe at the heads of Curry and Busby bent close together in Common Room, hearing occasional fragments of their whispered conversation, pretending himself the while to be absorbed in a periodical but longing — oh, so intensely longing — for one of them to cross the room and speak to him. And then, after months and months, it had happened. He had a picture of himself, the odious little outsider who wanted to be an insider, the infantile gull, drinking in the husky and unimportant confidences, as if he were being admitted to the government of the planet. Was there no beginning to his folly? Had he been utter fool all through from the very day of his birth?
As Lewis points out, at the root of this state of vulnerability to lies we find a mixture of ambition and fear of men... What will they think of me if...???
In the following excerpt, Peterson discusses a phenomenon often studied by anthropologists, namely the coming of age ritual initiations that young teenage males are often subjected to in many cultures of the world. These rituals by trial teach these young men the basics of their society's worldview and open the doors of the adult world (with it's privileges and responsibilities) to the successful initiates. Peterson describes the psychological process involved and it's impact on initiates (1999: 223-224)
The terror induced by ritual exposure to the forces of the unknown appears to put the brain into a state characterized by enhanced suggestibility—or, at least, by dramatically heightened need for order, by need for coherent and meaningful narrative. The person who is in a “state” where he no longer knows what to do or what to expect is highly motivated to escape that state, by whatever means necessary. The stripping away of a former mode of adaptation, engendered by dramatic shift of social locale (of “context”), produces within the psyche of those so treated a state of acute apprehension, and intense desire for the re-establishment of predictability and sense. This acute apprehension is, as we have seen, the consequence of the “renovelization” of the environment: sufficient challenge posed to the integrity of a previous personality disrupts its structure, “freeing” phenomena previously adapted to from the grasp of familiar action and valuation. The phenomena, thus “free,” then once again “possess” sufficient “energy” to motivate their reconceptualization (that is, to make of that process of reconceptualization something sufficiently vital and important to stamp itself into memory—into permanent incarnation as “personality”).
The ritually “reduced” and terrified initiates, unable to rely on the adaptive strategies utilized during their childhoods, desperately need new explanations and new patterns of behavior to survive in what is, after all, a new environment.
Now after reading this excerpt it seems logical to compare the fear-mongering and manipulation that the Davos puppets (in positions of political power in Canada and elsewhere) have put the world through during the Covid crisis to this description of ritual initiations and if one allows such a parallel then it is also logical to give thought to the heightened of suggestibility of the world population and on the resulting intense desire for ‘order' that has followed this crisis. Yes, it seems quite likely to me that the world has been put through an unprecedented global scale INITIATION. Now if we do accept that the Davos sect has put the world through an INITIATION, then it is time to seriously consider WHAT they want us to accept, i.e. the purpose of this initiation, the new order. But since Davos puppets are arrogant, they have no qualms about announcing to us with great pomp and circumstance (in published books) this new order they want to bring about.
Jordan Peterson, “a Christian”?
I'd guess many reading this review have bumped into rumours that Jordan Peterson has become “a Christian”. While it is true that Peterson does discuss a lot of Christian theology, this is not very significant on it's own. After all, many heretics also have serious interest in Christian theology. The issue of Jordan Peterson's true beliefs is NOT a matter to be shuffled aside, obeying postmodern wisdom "not to judge" as more and more Peterson has set himself up as an influence on the Church (see article below by Mitchell). I am not insinuating that Christians should ignore anything Peterson says about the Church, but seeing Peterson is putting himself in a place of influence OVER the Church, the issue of Jordan Peterson's true beliefs CANNOT be ignored. Inevitably Peterson's true beliefs will shape his influence over Christians... While Peterson certainly discusses a lot of Christian theology and Christian principles, in this particular book (MoM) it is quite clear that Peterson has a VERY postmodern perspective on Christianity... Here is a sample (1999: 456):
The central ideas of Christianity are rooted in Gnostic philosophy, which, in accordance with psychological laws, simply had to grow up at a time when the classical religions had become obsolete. (...) In so far as the archetypal content of the Christian drama was able to give satisfying expression to the uneasy and clamorous unconscious of the many, the consensus omnium raised this drama to a universally binding truth—not of course by an act of judgment, but by the irrational fact of possession, which is far more effective.
This is of course a VERY syncretistic view of Christianity. Since Peterson openly concedes having come under the influence of the Swiss psychoanalyst Karl Jung, it is likely the views expressed above have their source in Jung... This is a view of Christianity that is comparable to views that Baha'i Faith devotees would hold... claiming that Jesus Christ was one of MANY “Illuminated Masters” (along with Buddha, Moses, Mohamed, Zarathustra, etc.)... I've seen no evidence in Maps of Meaning that Peterson accepts the Protestant concepts of Sola Scriptura, the inerrancy of the Bible or concedes the truth of the unique claims Christ made for himself. In Mere Christianity CS Lewis nailed such a perspective when he observed:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
Regarding theological matters I don't think it would be of any use to anyone to consider Peterson a “confused person”. In Peterson's case, Lewis might have added... (1955/1970: 126)
Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.
That said, Peterson is no idiot and has reflected deeply on masculinity in the postmodern world as well as the problem of Evil. As a result Christians and non-Christians may find there are a number of useful things to be gleaned from reading MoM, but it would be rather naïve to consider him a Christian influence. Jordan Peterson is NOT a 21st century Francis Schaeffer... Among the useful things to be gleaned from reading MoM in the 2nd half of the book, Peterson provides us with the following quote from Marie-Louise von Franz (a disciple of Karl Jung), which examines some fundamental contributions of Christianity to science (1999: 403-404)
In classical physics, up to the end of the 18th century, one of the working hypotheses, arrived at either unconsciously, or half-consciously, was that space had three dimensions, an idea which was never questioned. The fact was always accepted, and perspective drawings of physical events, diagrams, or experiments, were always in accordance with that theory. Only when this theory is abandoned does one wonder how such a thing could have ever been believed. How did one come by such an idea? Why were we so caught that nobody ever doubted or even discussed the matter? It was accepted as a self-evident fact, but what was at the root of it? Johannes Kepler, one of the fathers of modern or classical physics, said that naturally space must have three dimensions because of the Trinity! So our readiness to believe that space has three dimensions is a more recent offspring of the Christian trinitarian idea.
Further, until now the European scientific mind has been possessed by the idea of causality, an idea hitherto accepted without question: everything was causal, and the scientific attitude was that investigations should be made with that premise in mind, for there must be a rational cause for everything. If something appeared to be irrational, it was believed that its cause was not yet known. Why were we so dominated by that idea? One of the chief fathers of natural sciences—and a great protagonist of the absoluteness of the idea of causality—was the French philosopher Descartes, and he based his belief on the immutability of God. The doctrine of this immutability of God is one of the Christian tenets: the Divinity is unchanging, there must be no internal contradictions in God, or new ideas or conceptions. That is the basis of the idea of causality! From the time of Descartes onwards this seemed so self-evident to all physicists that there was no question about it. Science had merely to investigate the causes, and we still believe this. If something falls down then one must find out why—the wind must have blown it, or something like that, and if no reason is discovered I am sure that half of you will say that we do not yet know the cause, but that there must be one! Our archetypal prejudices are so strong that one cannot defend oneself against them, they just catch us.
In the last half of the book, Peterson spends a lot of time exploring Jung's meditations on Gnostic and alchemic thinking. It does NOT end well. The last paragraphs of Peterson's conclusion are a lengthy quote from a Gnostic Gospel. Unless Peterson were to publicly repudiate the Gnostic view that so strongly comes across in MoM and until further evidence appears, as a Christian,I have to place him in the wolf category, one of those “holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof: from these also turn away.” (2Tim. 3: 5). It is true that Peterson's Maps of Meaning dates from 1999 and it is possible that he has since evolved in his thinking... In any case his clear courage in going against woke currents of thought is admirable, but this does NOT make him a Christian. Here is something to consider though. Peterson spent 13 years writing Maps of Meaning. It is a massive work. One does NOT spend so much time on such a work, without exposing who you are and what you really believe. Such matters must be taken into consideration when evaluating Peterson's influence. Since he has joined Daily Wire, more and more he is positioning himself as someone who wants to speak to the Church and have influence over the Church. This is NO small matter. It is VERY important that Peterson lay his cards down on the table. This is NOT a time for games.
At this point, I don't see any evidence that Peterson is a Christian or clearly understands the Gospel, but I do admire his courage to stand with Christians on some issues at a time when Christianity is so reviled and hated. That may count for something in the long run. And VERY clearly Peterson has the guts to go against the Woke Inquisition, even at some personal cost. That is admirable. Time will tell...
If I were asked to provide a nutshell view of Western civilisation I'd say that in the West, the Greco-Roman worldview sank deep roots, centuries before Christianity appeared. Even the so-called Christian Middle Ages were never purely Christian. In fact the Medieval West was always schizophrenic in terms of worldviews, with Greco-Roman influence in a symbiotic and parasitic relation with Judeo-Christian influence.
Thus the Renaissance was not just a artistic or architectural fad, but, more profoundly, an attempt by some to escape Judeo-Christian influence and develop an alternative worldview, that is to recreate a civilisation based on Greco-Roman thinking (just the concept of "Renaissance" (or Rebirth) begs the question, rebirth of what?). But with the rise of natural science (and it's growing prestige) in the West, the GREAT prestige long enjoyed by Greco-Roman philosophers for so many centuries began to erode. Some of those who'd jumped on the Renaissance bandwagon realized they'd bet on the wrong horse. Another alternative to the Judeo-Christian worldview was needed.
The Enlightenment worldview was then the next step. Now all worldviews have to answer the basic question: Where is Truth? Where do you find the deepest wisdom? For the Renaissance the answer was Greco-Roman philosophical thinking, but the founders of the Enlightenment rejected that and turned to science (as Truth), empirical science of course. This set up the stage for the prestige of science to be exploited for ideological purposes and scientists to become the new priesthood. Anyone adding a capital S to the word "Science" in their writing is a conscious or unconscious devotee of this ideologico-religious current.
Further along the line, postmoderns have appeared. Postmoderns have rejected the modern/Enlightenment answer to the question: Where is Truth? For postmoderns, science is no more than a particular Western belief system, it is NOT a universal Truth in any absolute sense (though these hypocrites dare not question Darwin). In postmoderns' view, the only "truth" left is that of the individual.
Now to understand the postmodern belief system, we have to go back in time to the Modern belief system. The modern view is rooted in the Enlightenment (or the Siècle des Lumières as the French would say). One thing one has to realise is that the Modern belief system is largely a reaction to the Judeo-Christian outlook, which was dominant in the West. It was first of all a rejection of the Judeo-Christian cosmology and in particular Genesis. The modern system of belief rejected the core presuppositions of Christianity as expressed in the Bible. For moderns the source of truth was no longer to be found in some kind of revelation, but in Science and Reason. Empirical observation was supposed to lead us to the Absolute, to TRUTH. If Americans have the motto “In God We Trust” on their bills, a fitting motto for the Modern view would be In Man (or Reason) We Trust! In the modern belief system, scientists, technicians and educators became the high priests (or philosopher-kings) who will lead the masses out of captivity from religious superstition and on to the land of progress where oppression has been eliminated and all wars have stopped because all have learned to be rational and tolerant….
In the same way the modern outlook was a reaction to the, then dominant Judeo-Christian world-view, the postmodern is, as it name implies, a reaction to the modern, but is also a continuation of the modern reaction to the Judeo-Christian world-view in the sense that is a reaction to various Western cultural concepts with links to the Christian world-view. In fact, postmodernism is an even more extreme reaction to Christianity than modernism (the Enlightenment) ever was. This explains why postmoderns demand that everyone should be tolerant, but when it comes to Christianity, postmoderns themselves show very little tolerance. While in the monotheistic religions you typically get explicit creeds, that is lists of beliefs and one can find much the same in modern religions, postmoderns (much the same as Freemasons) typically deny their religious perspective and keep their core beliefs buried, out of view. If you want an explicit list of postmodern beliefs, typically you’re on your own (or check out my attempt).
-- (2023) Jordan Peterson Considers Every Possible Meaning of Bible Story Except That it Might Mean Exactly What it Says. (BabylonBee - May 25, 2023)
Arendt, Hannah (1948/1976) The Origins of Totalitarianism. Harvest Book New York xliii-576 p.
Fava, Anthony (2022) The Idolatry of Jordan Peterson. (Evangelical Dark Web - 10/7/2022)
Hilton, David (2022) Beware Pseudo-Christian Gurus "This fame is being fed by a youth hungry for truth in a culture of lies, and to our shame, this mission field is being neglected by a self-absorbed, self-satisfied and too often self-deceiving church comfortable in spiritual Babylon." (Caldron Pool - 17/7/2022)
Lewis, C. S. (1955/1970) Magician's Nephew. Collier Books New York 186 p. Ebook
Lewis, C. S. (1945/1970) That Hideous Strength. Ebook
Mitchell, Cody (2022) "You're Churches… attend to some souls!" Jordan Peterson's Scathing Message to Churches. (Daily Declaration - 14/7/2022)
Peterson, Jordan (1999) Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. Rougledge New York & London 541 p.
Provine, William B. (1990) Response to Phillip Johnson. (Letter) pp. 23-24 First Things n° 6 Oct.
Vonnegut, Kurt Jr. (1975) Wampeters, Foma & Granfalloons, Dell Publishing Co. Inc, New York 238 p.
 - Inevitably, labelling Peterson a postmodern will draw objections from some parties. To avoid pointless misunderstanding, check out the Modernism/Postmodernism: A Nutshell View section. While worldviews can be looked at from a variety of perspectives, one can quickly go to the heart of the matter by examining how each worldview handles the simple question: “Where is Truth?” (or for philosophers "What is the ultimate epistemological reference point?").
 - A bogus and unsubstantiated claim that the Judeo-Christian imago dei concept is derived from pagan Egypt... An outworn Enlightenment trope.
 - Now if Peterson is aware of the effect (moral decline), he has little to say about the cause of this situation. William B. Provine, evolutionary biology professor at Cornell University, made the following blunt observations on the cultural and ethical impact of the materialist cosmology that has been dominant in the West for over a hundred years now (1990: 23):
Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin's views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That's the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either. What an unintelligible idea.
 - In 2022, we seem to have first-row seat to this process...
 - Along with Darwin ?? Postmodern elites are typically very careful to bend the knee to this idol. While Peterson has courageously critiqued transgender ideology I am unaware that he has ever dared seriously question Darwinism, cornerstone to both the Modern and Postmodern worldviews.
 - And if the Davos sect is in fact a Masonic project, it should come to no surprise that they have putting world population through an INITIATION, because Freemasons are a secret initiatory society where only the highest level initiates really know what Masons really believe and what their agenda truly is. Among Freemasons, initiations open the doors to Enlightenment/gnosis, and are a critical part of their system of belief. Low level Masons are just useful pawns who can be lied to with impunity. Of course there will be many people who just can't "see" (don't want to see) the many parallels between the initiatory process Peterson describes and the events the planet has experienced since March 2020... This is entirely predictable seeing that such questions logically lead to the identification of major social institutions such as the State, mainstream media, the medical system, etc. as ENEMIES of the people. Denial/refusal to deal with such matters offers a convenient and welcome escape... Now typically any finger-pointing at Freemasons regarding their real-world influence makes people nervous and will be immediately laughed off as conspiracy-theorism nonsense. In her magnum opus, The Origins of Totalitarianism (written immediately after WWII), the very rational political philosopher Hannah Arendt exhaustively examined 20th century totalitarian regimes, but "oddly enough" linked these regimes to secret societies. To avoid any misunderstanding, Arendt does not name Freemasons, but the comments below fit in quite well with what is known about the operating principles of Freemasons. Arendt observed (1948/1976: 376-377):
The totalitarian movements have been called "secret societies established in broad daylight." Indeed, little as we know of the sociological structure and the more recent history of secret societies, the structure of the movements, unprecedented if compared with parties and factions, reminds one of nothing so much as of certain outstanding traits of secret societies." Secret societies also form hierarchies according to degrees of "initiation," regulate the life of their members according to a secret and fictitious assumption which makes everything look as though it were something else, adopt a strategy of consistent lying to deceive the non-initiated external masses, demand unquestioning obedience from their members who are held together by allegiance to a frequently unknown and always mysterious leader, who himself is surrounded, or supposed to be surrounded, by a small group of initiated who in turn are surrounded by the half-initiated who form a "buffer area" against the hostile profane world. With secret societies, the totalitarian movements also share the dichotomous division of the world between "sworn blood brothers" and an indistinct inarticulate mass of sworn enemies." This distinction, based on absolute hostility to the surrounding world, is very different from the ordinary parties' tendency to divide people into those who belong and those who don't. Parties and open societies in general will consider only those who expressly oppose them to be their enemies, while it has always been the principle of secret societies that "whosoever is not expressly included is excluded." This esoteric principle seems to be entirely inappropriate for mass organizations; yet the Nazis gave their members at least the psychological equivalent for the initiation ritual of secret societies when, instead of simply excluding Jews, from membership, they demanded proof of non- Jewish descent from their members and set up a complicated machine to shed light on the dark ancestry of some 80 million Germans.
 - There is a LOT more to be said about the link between Christianity to science. A good starting point is historian of science Stanley Jaki's groundbreaking work, Science and Creation (1974).
 - Here is a sample (1999 : 445)
This final value, the goal of the pursuit of the alchemists, is discovery and embodiment of the meaning of life itself: integrated subjective being actively expressing its nature through manipulation of the possibilities inherent in the material/unknown world. This final goal is the production of an integrated intrapsychic condition—identical to that of the mythological hero—“acted out” in a world regarded as equivalent to the self.
 - Check out this recent article by Peterson himself. Again, there's a LOT of Christian theology.
Jordan Peterson Tells Graduates Faith ‘Is a Form of Courage,' Warns Them of the ‘Devil at the Crossroads'. (Tré Goins-Phillips - Faithwire - 9/5/2022)
 - Why I am no longer a tenured professor at the University of Toronto: The appalling ideology of diversity, inclusion and equity is demolishing education and business. (Jordan Peterson - National Post - 19/1/2022)