My views on Peterson are… complicated.

I don’t agree with everything the guy says. Some of his views are pretty wackadoo (the claim that it’s not possible to quit smoking without a belief in God, for example); occasionally he is intellectually dishonest (as when he and Sam Harris spent the better part of an hour arguing about the definition of “truth,” or when he shucked and jived when Harris asked him point-blank if he believed in Christianity literally or as a mythology); and I have also noticed some self-contradiction, perhaps rising to the level of hypocrisy, in some of the views he espouses (Peterson advocates for equality of opportunity and denounces equality of outcome, but it seems to me that his ideas of “enforced monogamy” are advocating for what is essentially a system that is equality of outcome).

That said, I agree, I also haven’t heard Peterson say anything that I would consider racist or sexist or bigoted in any way. I disagree with those who have denounced him as transphobic over the gender pronoun issue which catapulted him to fame. Peterson was voicing his concerns over his interpretation of proposed legislation — as it turned out, his interpretation was wrong, or so Canadian officials have said, but I think it’s understandable how he could arrive at such an interpretation. Peterson even said that if a student came to him and requested he use a different pronoun, he would respect that request. It was entirely a freedom of speech issue.

Finally, on the subject of guilt by association, yes, it’s an absurd thing to judge people by.

That said, while I don’t judge Peterson for the guests that Rogan brings on, I do wish Rogan would pick his guests a little better. He is longtime friends with Alex Jones, which is why he wanted Jones on the show. But I do think that was a mistake. The criteria for any potential guest should always be intellectual honesty. Those who engage in intellectual dishonesty should not be invited on, and that includes people like Alex Jones, and also people like Milo Yiannopoulos, who has also been a guest of Rogan’s on multiple occasions.

Writer.

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