Jordan Peterson: freedom of speech vs. political correctness

Jordan Peterson. I’m not sure how many people are talking about this guy, but I feel like there should be more of them. Peterson is a research and clinical PhD psychologist who currently teaches at the University of Toronto. Now, of course, he might lose that job since his political views are considered bigoted and transphobic.

A month ago he posted a series of videos on his Youtube channel criticizing the proposed Bill C-16 and refusing to use gender neutral pronouns. This triggered a lot of people, especially students who consider college as a safe space where any opinion that doesn’t match their own has to be silenced. Instead of discussing this topic in an intellectual debate, they decided to protest against free speech using white noise machines and yelling ‘shame! shame!‘ as the professor tried to speak. You can watch the entire video here and judge by yourself.

I would also suggest checking out his ”genders, rights and freedom of speech” panel where you can clearly understand his point of view and what he’s trying to achieve. There are people who hate him for being an oppressive white cis male who doesn’t recognize non-binary people and others admire him for speaking up and rebelling against liberal nonsense. And me? Well, I’m just here listening to both sides of the debate and educating myself. A debate that is possible thanks to Jordan Peterson. And it should be possible because there always has to be an exchange of ideas and opinions, no matter how ‘offensive’ and ‘hurtful’ they might be. I still don’t know how I feel about gender identity and gender expression, but I strongly support Peterson when it comes to free speech. We should always be free to criticize, analyse and question things. As one of Peterson’s supporters said:

”the opinion that is silenced, for all we know, is the opinion that could be true. And when you silence others’ opinions, no matter what those opinions are, even if you strongly disagree with those opinions, you could be silencing the truth.”

So yeah, I encourage you to stay tuned on this topic since there will soon be a debate at the University of Toronto and even if this is all happening in Canada, I think it should be relevant to all of us.

PS: this has nothing to do with free speech and political correctness, but if you’re interested in philosophy, literature and psychology, check out Peterson’s lectures on Youtube. He seems to be very passionate about the subject and one of his main topics is existentialism!

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5 Comments

  1. I applaud you for speaking about this topic. I considered doing so myself. The right to free speech is so important. Especially to people like us who love expressing our thoughts and opinions creatively. The fact that people are actually rallying against it and even assaulting people who disagree with this right TERRIFY me. I don’t want to live in an echo chamber. I don’t want to live in a society governed by the thought police. Taking away someone’s freedom to speak because they might offend someone isn’t progress, it’s fascism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Thank you for commenting, Rachel. As a new blogger, I feel uncomfortable expressing my own opinion because I’ve seen how people attack others simply because they don’t agree with them. Internet (as well as real life) should be a place where we can have a dialogue, a diversity of ideas and opinions that are exchanged and discussed. That’s why I support Peterson and that’s why I think more people should be talking about him.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re preaching to the choir. I’ve considered writing about the importance of freedom of speech in my own blog, but have feared backlash at the hands of people who don’t share my beliefs in the free market place of ideas. You’re right that we should be able to discuss opinions openly without shutting other people down. That’s one of the main problems I have with this regressive movement of shutting down free speech. Nobody is providing a decent argument for it. There’s no word on how this will actual benefit people. It’s all ad hominem and shutting down “haters” (which these days basically just means anyone who dares to disagree with you).

        Liked by 1 person

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