Why I’m So Obsessed with Free Speech…

Why is free speech important – just to defend hedonic freedom? Is there any difference between free speech and free thought? Do we (mostly) think in words or images? Was Plato right – does learning equal remembering, in a sense? How do internal debates work?

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Written by Jordan B Peterson

Dr. Jordan B Peterson is a professor and clinical psychologist. The videos are derived from two sources: 1. His UToronto courses Maps of Meaning (which describes how values, including beliefs about good and evil, regulate emotion and motivation); and Personality & Its Transformations (which describes psychological theories from Eliade, Jung, Freud, Rogers, Gray, Luria, Sokolov, Vinogradova, Panksepp, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Solzhenitsyn as well as psychometric models such as the Big Five). 2. His public lectures on topics of general psychological relevance, including the meaning of music, the significance of hero mythology, and the structure of the world as represented in religion.


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  1. The notion that free speach is what you can be "obsessed about" rather than taking it for granted…if anyone questions why someone is "obsessed" about free speech, it means that guy…believes free speech to not be a big deal after all, easily tossable aside? It's significant

  2. The idea that personal beliefs are acted out in the individuals behavior seems to be lost upon so many these days.

    When I hear people's argumentation in support of their ideas, I find them overwhelmingly contradictory. They say, for example, well, I don't believe in God… there is no meaning or value that transcends the material. However, these same people act out in their lives the very objective meaning and value that they reject. They hold a transcendent meaning and value for their own life that governs reality.. because subconsciously, we just know this is truth, objectively.

    Doug Wilson often says, most recently regarding Sam Harris, these individuals are not truly atheists, they are Christian atheists. They hold to the truth of meaning and value but reject the giver of said meaning and value. Without the giver, there is nothing to make that fabric of reality real. Further, as Jordan Peterson has recently articulated on Joe Rogan's podcast, the Bible is more than just true, it's the predication of truth… meaning it is the foundation to truth itself. This is pretty profound if you sit and really think about it.

    In the past Jordan Peterson talked about, based on his years in clinical psychology, people twist the fabric of reality, and they might get away with it… for awhile, but the fabric of reality will always snap back, and it will hurt and bring more chaos, disorder, into the individuals life than prior to that point they manipulated the fabric of reality. I think this fabric of reality is the sphere of influence between God's sovereignty and human's free will.

    We search, learn, and think as if there is something to be truly known about reality, we act this out in our lives, all of us. We search for that meaning and value because it's the only thing that holds society together, a common meaning and value to life, without it, there is only chaos, never order. Free speech is called offensive, but the offense is not a testament to truth, or the pursuit thereof, rather offense is a product of the reflection of the chaos eithin, the areas in our lives that we are twisting the fabric of reality, that we suppress in the attempt to present ourselves to the highest degree to those around us.

    So what? Don't let your offense to truth allow you to shirk the responsibility you hold to your behavior and the consequences of it. Offense is a you problem, not a free speech problem.

  3. When Free Speech ends, the shooting begins. Peterson knows this and he knows that the right wing has all the guns and the training and the means to do whatever needs to be done and no one short of nukes can stop them.

  4. Jordan, I’m sure you’ll come to this conclusion as well… “thought” is the 4th dimension that surrounds us and connects us to the beginning and ending of time. It’s said that time is the 4th dimension, but that’s too narrow. An increase in knowledge is an increase of accessibility to the past, and an increase in imagination is an increase in accessibility to the future. Our desires become us, our regrets become us.

  5. Courageous man. Most US and Canadian universities need to be shut down if it was possible. Then fire all and re hire with a free speech test. The Ralston college and University of Austin are a start.

  6. Free discussion is how we exchange ideas and uncover what’s true and what isn’t. If we can’t discuss certain topics then it diminishes the chance of actually uncovering what is true. If anything only half truths or bits and pieces of the truth will emerge from stifled speech. He’s totally spot on when it comes to saying that there is no difference between thought and speech. Speech is merely external dialogue, outward expression of internal thought.

  7. Leftist criminals and perverts are trolling the right into acceptance. They are over asking and hope for normalization. It’s both evil and understandable. However, most criminals and perverts want to confront law, order, biology, tradition and God in their war for “normalization.” It’s ugly.

  8. You can't say everything you want to say. But you can be a girl with a dink. So glad I never brought any children into this world, because I would NEVER be able to explain that to them.

  9. Free speech is not an absolute. Yelling "fire!" in a crowed theater is dangerous. When speech is dangerous to others, this speech cannot be tolerated in a functional society.

  10. We ask ourselves a question and it generates answers like where did this come from? I like that point in that there are mechanisms we don't fully understand but it's troubling to me that some think that would be to say we're playing some sort of game in our heads, as if it was ridiculous. Surprising myself through my own insights aren't really "my own" insights. I didn't have them previously, they formed based on what was given. This is actually how the bible describes the Spirit of Truth, in how it functions. It doesn't speak on its own authority but on what it hears. Alongside this, understanding the biblical concept of Light… you can be really lethal in exposing darkness coupled with that form of Spirit. This is what makes me, personally, obsessed with Freedom of Speech. We should have the right to voice our thoughts in exposing the darkness of society by factors of truth. It's not up to any single one person to determine these things. These should be free forming and thus forming society, not the other way around.

  11. Sad to see a former academic scholar like JP reduced to a simplistic culture warrior troll. He seems to enjoy rolling around in the mud of reactionary politics.

    He just wants to cash in on the payoff that comes with pandering to weak-minded right-wing YouTubers, especially disaffected young men suffering from white male anxiety brought on by the radical left-wing boogeyman.

  12. Do you believe free speech and political correctness are mutually exclusive?
    In my opinion political correctness is only something to use to put focus on the issue at hand and not to make listeners so hostile that they get mentally incapable of absorbing what you're trying to communicate.
    You can speak about any issue but if you make yourself the enemy of the listeners in your first sentence you won't get your point across so the communication has failed.
    It's like using profanities – you're completely allowed to but it might not serve your purpose.
    So use political correctness to avoid any unnecessary triggers until you've arrived at your point.
    If you are point is to aggravate and divide, you've got far worse issues than political correctness.

  13. The definition of speech is the expression of or the ability to express thoughts and feelings by articulate sounds. EXPRESS is the key word here. Speaking is the expression of such which clearly distinguishes the two. If you can say there's no difference between thought and speech by his argument, you can also argue there's no difference between thought and behavior. Clearly there's a difference between the latter because thinking about hugging someone or hitting someone is obviously different than actually putting that behavior into the world to deal with the consequences of such. If there's no difference between thought and speech, how come you can get fired for speech and not thought? How come you can lose a marriage for speech and not thought? How come you can be isolated are celebrated for speech and not thought? How come you can close business deals over speech and not thought? What about babies who can't speak and yet, obviously, can still think?

  14. I have recently discovered this man …I find myself watching more and more
    The way he delivers his statements with such intellect
    I love how he can talk about controversial topics with ease and without bias in my opinion.
    Not scared to lay facts and his thoughts while being respectful

    Wow this man is very under appreciated..I’d love to have a convo with this guy about what ever topics come to mind …

  15. i don't believe in absolute free speech. some people abuse others mentally bullying and calls it free speech. imagine someone goes to the hospital and make jokes and insult the cancer patients and old people and sick children. are those free speech? i don't know how to put it together but i don't believe in absolute free speech. we live in a diverse world, we need to respect others too.

  16. I think so many every day people get tripped up with free speech because they've come to expect a consistency between legal/illegal and moral/immoral. That is, there is a strong tendency for illegal actions to be immoral. It seems difficult for some to be comfortable with the notion that certain immoral speech might be legal. It's as though some internalize the concept of free speech as a suggestion that they must condone speech they feel is incorrect or immoral.

    But free speech protects the ability for us to disagree with speech we dislike. If you dislike the content of the speech you heard, go and oppose it with your own ideas. Any notion that we should censor ideas we dislike is a deflection of responsibility.

  17. Always considered myself to be a lefty but I can’t believe how much I appreciate the opportunity to be able to listen to Mr. Peterson. My son has introduced me to his thought and intellectual genius. I don’t agree with everything he says but this man is so good at all he does. I’m disgusted with the treatment he takes and I have no clue why anyone would want to silence him? I know it’s just my opinion and I’m no more important than the next fella but I just appreciate my chance to be able to hear his wisdom!

  18. Obsessed with free speech at Hoover institute ? More than half of the totalitarian regimes on the planet ( supported by this institution ) they enforced capitalism— Did Peterson say even anything about that? Of course not …

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