More on the Same Topic

The controversy about Dr. Peterson’s reflections on whether truth must prove itself in action, I hope has been exhausted, and will die down.

I think the matter is too plain to admit of further debate. My own patience is exhausted, and my temper is short, so best if I withdraw from the discussion.

Here is one comment that seems to me to be exceeding wise on the topic, so allow me to quote it and step aside. This is from a reader with the exclusively egress-like name of Exit Only:

“When Peterson says you just a truth by its effect on life and healthy and happiness, critics jump on him. But when Christ says you will know true prophets and teacher from false by the fruits of their doctrines, that is, by the practical results when ideas are put in action, that is saluted as divine wisdom.”

I think the element of time, or better yet the word eternity, puts the definition of truth past beyond mere practical moral utility for this mortal life spent on earth. To be true is to have character, in and out of season, even when no one is watching, even at the cost of one’s time, convenience, or standing within a community.

Now why would anyone care to practice such truth, if no good deed, as Mark Twain once quipped, never goes unpunished? Unless we instinctively know we are preparing to go to a place to where character counts more earthly accomplishments?

Atheists attribute their inherent moral virtues to reason, not the spirit that makes them a child of God. Their academic pride is rebellion against God (Ever notice how Atheists can never stop talking about Him, He whom they don’t believe in?), and places themselves up as the sole arbitrator of reason, making them judgemental of everyone else. Ironic, considering how people of faith are frequently berated for being judgemental.

So thus is a backdoor to moral expediency built in by atheists and secularists with no qualms. To them, this life, and this life only, is the only concern we have, thus only those empirical truths/facts that make one prosper are relevant–since they are so dang sure there is no afterlife to account for one’s life, or any point in developing character that will not exist after the grave.

So in this vein Peterson is correct. Though science uncovers facts and gathers knowledge, truth, eternal and transcendent, tells how to employ those facts and knowledge in a moral context. Harris thinks that his version of truth is so self-evident, that it would be “Illogical” as Dr. Spock would say, to meta-game such knowledge and facts for the purpose of exploiting others. Harris believes cold reason is sufficient to bring people into virtuous conduct. How history has proven him wrong as to which way man will sway when given amoral knowledge. Dynamite, which can be employed to save time and labor to make roads through mountains, or used to blow up large numbers of people, was developed by the man who established the Nobel peace prize.

Peterson’s version is the application of knowledge only matters if it is beneficial. I believe he came to this position because he subconsciously believe there is more to life than just this life to validate living impractical truths now to prepare to live in a better world that they will be fully operational. The Jungian archetypes he goes by are the thinnest veil that bring him oh so close but not quite to seeing God.