Past Meetup

Decoding Jordan Peterson (Lesson 4): Words Have Consequences, Speak the Truth

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Price: CA$5.00 /per person
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Chapter 8 on “Tell the truth—or, at least don’t lie” is probably the most important chapter dealing with the interpersonal realm or social space. It is intertwined with Chapter 7, wherein if you pursue what is meaningful rather than what is expedient, you will choose to do the right thing and speak the truth. The choice before us is not a simple decision among several options, but a fundamental choice between two different worldviews or orientations towards life, between two different ways of existence.

In a polarized world full of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” it becomes increasingly difficult to define or discern what is truth. The same event can be perceived differently, and the same term can be interpreted differently. To make things worse, there is a vast conspiracy to convince us that lying is good for us. This pernicious dark net includes the Devil, father of all lies; the post-modern teaching that all truth is relative; the ubiquitous advertising machinery; government-sponsored brain-washing apparatus; our unconscious fear of shame, rejection, and danger; our conscious intention to look and act better than we are; and the misguided ambition to be rich and famous so that we can be happy.

Even in scientific research, the quest for truth can be compromised in many ways. First of all, truth means more than “factfulness” (Rosling, 2018), because we can always cherry pick statistics to support our position. Secondly, our worldview or point of view not only shapes our perceptions, but also affects how science is done (Medin, Lee, & Bang, 2014). Therefore, we need to examine the lens through which we view the world. Finally, scientists’ own desires for survival and academic success may contaminate their findings (Hesselmann, Graf, Schmidt, & Reinhart, 2017; Watson, 2018).

In a time of universal deceit, what can we believe, who can we trust? How can we discern the difference between truth and falsehood? In this chapter, Peterson argues that truth telling is important for our survival and wellbeing; he is also optimistic that we can escape from the powerful and vast dark net of deception with...



Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos (Random House) is currently the No. 1 bestseller on Amazon, in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Australia. This phenomenal success makes us wonder why this book attracts so much attention and whether we all can benefit from reading it.

Unfortunately, Peterson is such a polarizing public figure that people either love him or hate him. His anti-PC campaign has contributed to this celebrity status, but this notoriety has also made him the target of hatred for an equal, if not a greater, number of people. Consequently, his detractors simply dismiss his book offhand without reading it, while his fans embrace him hook, line, and sinker without fully understanding it.

My attempt to decode Peterson is for both groups of people. I believe that if one can get past his transgender pronoun battle and understand his complicated language of using metaphors, myths, and riddles in articulating his ideas, one will discover that he has something original and significant to contribute to the academic dialogue on such important topics as the meaning of suffering and the pathway to living a good life. His recent book actually covers the same terrain as Viktor Frankl’s (1985) Man’s Search for Meaning but within the current political and cultural context...

I invite to join me on an intellectual and spiritual journey to discover what Jordan Peterson actually says. After all, “if Peterson is right, you have nothing to lose but your own misery” (Grainger, 2018). I am looking forward to seeing you all in this new series of meetups.