On Claiming Belief In God: Discussion with Dennis Prager

On Claiming Belief In God: Discussion with Dennis Prager

You So everybody When I never met in person I never met Jordan Peterson in person But I said to him when we met right before lunch Something that I said to me by so many people who meet me for the first time. I feel like I know you and I that is the highest compliment in in effect I now understand what a compliment that is what I receive it because I never gave it to somebody before you and I I have watched you for hours and listen To you and read your book and in fact, I didn’t just read your book. I heard your book from you so I want to tell you something without embarrassing you, but I think I I’d like to you open your heart and your mind and so do I? When I was very young I realized that God or nature had given me What I have called a goodness detector And I knew I always knew when I was in the presence of a good person Because that’s all I really care about. I think brains are wildly overrated wildly That’s why I think you’re not bright if you join Mensa Why you would want to announce to the world your IQ is so bizarre to me that I I’m sure there are nice people there, but I I don’t understand it, but I always picked up That and I’ve and I’ve always been right it’s a it’s a I’m batting a thousand essentially and When I heard you read your book the passion comes from I just want to help people lead a better life and It’s really it’s it’s quite overwhelming you you didn’t just read that book you Won’t say you sang it but I like that you use music. I’m very much into music, too so this is the man that I’m Honored to have this dialogue with because you’re out everybody knows you’re bright But I know you’re good So I want them to take that at the outset. I Was something to say about that good that’s good See I don’t think it’s true I mean, this is why I Got motivated to do what I’ve been doing and I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for. I would say since about 1979 In one form or another because things take a long time to generate and one of the things I learned in the early 80s was that People have a great capacity for evil and I didn’t really understand that of myself until The early eighties something like that after meditating on it for a long time and So I would say It’s not that done I would never claim to be good. I think it’s dangerous But I did become terrified of how terrible I could be And I mean, I became terrified about how terrible human beings could be and that’s one thing but that’s easy It’s easy to confuse that with other human beings You know, it’s a different thing to Understand that it’s true of yourself. I often recommend to my students that they read history as a perpetrator and not as a victim or a hero and People very seldom do that and it’s no wonder But I would say perhaps that I became terrified enough from learning what I learned that I tried to Avoid the pathways that lead people to the dark places that they go And there’s something in that that might approximate good Yeah, it does approximate good III I I would agree with that The parallels between Us are so eerie to me that in my book on happiness, which came out of 99. I Actually have a chapter on the necessity of having a tragic view of life and then I hear you speak of light just now this tragic view of life and Ironically if you don’t have that you can’t be happy so it’s just another example of This in that you’re getting this message out if you want to comment on that, please if not I’ll go on I you you you are such an I watch you and you’re such an intense listener I don’t know when you’re gonna react so There’s this old idea You know you all know this idea It’s an idea that’s Expressed for example in the classic Disney movie classic Disney movie which I really like called Pinocchio and you know when Pinocchio is attempting to free himself from the forces that manipulate him as a puppet and to become an autonomous being He is required to go to the darkest place To find the worst Catastrophes that Voluntarily and in doing so he rescues his father. That’s a very old idea I Don’t know how old it is it it’s It’s one of the oldest ideas we have in written form and and there’s no doubt that in its pre written form it would be tens of thousands of years older than that and it’s a very strange idea that you have to Journey to the darkest abyss to free the spirit of your father But there’s a reason for it and it has to do with the tragic view of life Which is that you can’t discover What you’re capable of? Being or withstanding and and those are the same things Without if you hide away from any of the things about life that are terrible but true and and and the reason you can’t discover Who you are? without doing that is that only necessity will force that out of you and and it I mean that I mean that From the perspective of learning if you go work in a palliative care award. You’ll learn to deal with death you’ll learn that this psychological strategies necessary the Steps you’ll become more informed but it’s deeper than that. Even we know now from a biological perspective that If you put yourself in new situations in new and challenging situations That new genes turn on in your nervous system and code for new proteins that produce new neurological structures And so you can’t even be what you are fully biologically unless you expose yourself to everything that you can expose yourself to as you journey through life the old idea of a Pilgrimage was predicated on on that idea as is walking the Shark Cathedral the the labyrinth The idea that you walk the labyrinth in in Chartres and you come to the center is that you traverse every corner of the world quarter by quarter, and then you come to the center and The center is the center of the church and it’s the center of the crucifixion. It’s the center of suffering and You can’t get to what that Center Signifies without having journeyed everywhere and so The tragic view of life is necessary Because it puts you on the journey that reveals to yourself who you could be if you were courageous as courageous as you could be and as truthful as you could be and that’s equivalent to discovering 2/3 vivifying your dead father because you Are an ancient creature in some sense and and perhaps one with a spark of divinity Inherent in it, but you will never release that Unless you’re willing to go everywhere that you have to go because only necessity will call that out of you and so you can’t be Happy You can’t be complete without You can’t know what you could withstand. You can’t have any proper sense of self-respect unless you know what you can tolerate and if you avoid Everything that you have reason to avoid but should nonetheless not avoid you won’t know who you are and then you can’t live properly So you you have said on a number of occasions and in every on every occasion that I have watched you say it Not a single person in the panel you often talk on panels. Not one person has ever actually reacted to it. I Totally get it Nevertheless, it’s one of the most important things you regularly say you live as if there is a God Is that correct? well people ask me if I believe in God, you know, I just said I’m gonna release a Podcast about that because I answered that question for about two hours in Australia because people kept asking me about question which I really don’t like I don’t like that question and So I hadn’t thought about it for a good while and I tried to figure out why and and then I thought well He said you believe you see I thought who would have the audacity to claim That they believed in God if They examined the way they lived Who would dare say that? To to believe you think to believe in a Christian Actually, this is why Nietzsche said there was only ever one Christian and that was Christ To have the audacity to claim that means that you live it out fully and That’s an that’s an unbearable Task in some sense. I just debated to Tsavo Asia About a week ago, although it wasn’t really much of a debate It was it was a strange event But he said something very brilliant and to me that justified the entire event at least from my perspective He talked about Christ’s moment of crisis on the cross when he cried out to God that he had been Forsaken and what Dziedzic said was that what that meant was that the conditions of human existence are so tragic That even God himself in human form Lost faith for a moment in the goodness of being and I thought that was a remarkable observation because Well, if God Himself would lose faith under such conditions What would you expect from normal human beings? confronted with what we’re confronted by and To be able to accept the structure of existence the suffering that goes along with it and the disappointment and the betray land and – Nonetheless act properly right to aim it the good with all your heart right – to dispense with the malevolence and your desire for destruction and revenge and all of that and to face things courageously and to tell the truth To speak the truth and to act it out. That’s what it means to believe That’s what it means it doesn’t it doesn’t mean to state it it means to act it out and Unless you act it out. You should be very careful about claiming it and so I’ve never been comfortable saying anything other than I try to act as if God exists because god only knows what you’d be if you truly believed I Mean if you think about it in some sense that’s the central idea in Christianity is that if you were capable of believing, it would be a transfiguring event a Truly transfigure event and I know people experience that to one degree or another But we have no idea what the limit of that is we have no idea what the possibility is within each person if they lived a life that was maximally courageous and maximally truthful You know because maybe you’re running that 60 percent or 70 percent or twenty percent and at cross-purposes to yourself God only knows what you’d be if you believed and so Well I act I try to act like I believe But I’d never claim that I manage it Because it’s too it’s it’s a lot to manage properly and you have to be careful about claiming to manage things that you can’t manage and so That’s part of the answer to that question. It’s a great answer as it happens Like you to react to something that Is very operative in my life. I just and if you I always tell people on my radio showing Totally feel free. He’d say sorry. I really don’t don’t find that tenable or whatever you however you want to react Am I my route as an adult to God has been completely circuitous I have come through the the back door. I Wrote 25 years ago how I found God at Columbia. I realized in the 70s at graduate school at Columbia that I was being taught nonsense literally nonsense things that made no sense and It drove me crazy because they were all bright bright people taught me nonsense One day walking through Columbia. The only time I ever had I wouldn’t say I never had a theophany, but I did have an epiphany all of a sudden one of the verses from my yeshiva education in Brooklyn, New York the Cloistered Orthodox world of my childhood and I don’t use cloistered and I don’t like clustered But I’m not using it at a pejorative way. I’m just explaining what I had and All of a sudden one of the verses that we said every morning in kindergarten first grade and second grade For the first time since second grade came to my brain rashid lafayette other than my wisdom begins with fear of the Lord Changed my life. There’s no wisdom at Columbia because there’s no God at Columbia and That has been That is one of the ways I knew Oh Without God. Look what happens without God look what happens morally intellectually in terms of wisdom, and I my biggest reasons for belief in God are Watching what happens when people don’t So I’d love to have your reaction If you cease to believe in God you’ll start to believe in anything that Was the British tested and yet just thank you. Yeah. Well, that’s that’s a That’s a good that’s a good way of looking at it. I mean if Catholicism, you know I’ve gone through lots of Catholic cathedrals in Europe. And of course, they’re stunning creations and but they’re gothic and strange and the doctrine is eerie, and and Complex and surreal and and and the biblical writings are the same You think of a book like revelation for example But I think that the Catholicism that’s as sane as people can get You know Broadly speaking is that you we need a metaphysic a narrative metaphysic to hold us together and it has to be Predicated on something that’s transcendent and absolute And if you lose that then you’ll fall for something else you’ll fall for something else or you’ll fall for nothing which is which is no better and I learned that from reading Nietzsche and I learned that from reading Dostoevsky and This is the problem with the rationalists like Sam Harrison and and and the atheists Dawkins Now they believe that if we dispensed with our superstitions, we’d all become Harris and Dawkins Rational beings Devoted towards the good However, we conceptualize that for rational reasons and I don’t believe that because I don’t believe that we are rational beings fundamentally I think we’re deeply irrational It’s amazing that we can all sit in this room together without tearing ourselves into shreds And I mean that it’s really quite a remarkable thing that all of us who’ve come from all over North America can sit here so peacefully and concentrate on a single thing without any tension or trouble The the improbability of that should not be underestimated The the unlikelihood that that might be the case and then the issue of God as well is that there has to be something a fundamental worth There is something that you consider a fundamental worth You know what? I think that regard for other people for the consciousness of other people for the conscious being of other people is Is is in that realm if you’re going to Have a relationship with yourself if you’re going to be able to love someone else if you’re going to be able to take care of Your family and your community you have to attribute to human beings and a value that Might as well be described as divine given that it has to be the the ultimate value that you hold and I see it seems to me that it’s not unreasonable to associate that value that is Intrinsic in humanity with something. That’s of Metaphysically that’s metaphysically real that’s part of the structure of reality itself and My sense has been that it’s It makes If you watch how people act when they’re acting properly the hypothesis that there is Divinity within us that reflects divinity itself is the only conclusion that makes sense that works and so I think the evidence I think the evidence suggests that You know, you said you look look what happens when societies lose their bearings. It’s like Yeah you that’s what convinced me to the degree that I became a religious person I didn’t wasn’t as if I discovered God it was more like I discovered Satan discovered the devil and certainly believed that very powerfully metaphysically or not You don’t have to read that much about what happened in Nazi Germany or what happened in The Soviet Union or what happened in Mao’s China what continues to happen in many places around the world? to be convinced that there’s a great darkness and it seems to me that if there’s a great darkness then there has to be a great light and the first part of that is True beyond any hope of refutation and The second seems to be a logical necessity in the light of the first It’s a powerful line that you you know, I feel so obviously the same I want to talk to you about the darkness so I’ve often said all of my life really that we Have a wrong metaphor in calling evil dark because it’s it’s actually so bright That people can stare it in the face the number of Canadian or American students at the most prestigious universities who could identify Pol Pot or even the Gulag Archipelago Let alone the Great Leap Forward in China is so small The knowledge of evil it is now up to over a quarter of kids never heard of Auschwitz It’ll be a half very silly. It will be three quarters in a generation. They don’t know evil. I At Berkeley I was had a dialogue with two leftist students My last question to them was do you believe people are basically good and they said yes And I said, it’s so demonstrably wrong that belief That there’s only one possible explanation for why you hold it because you live in such a good country yeah, well, that’s the that’s the goodness of naivety right and it’s something that’s that’s Encouraged, you know you encourage that by Producing safe spaces around people you produce that by sheltering them you want to preserve that childlike? Innocence but once you’re no longer a child, it’s not childlike. It’s just childish And that’s that’s not good to be a 40 year old child and to think that people are fundamentally good. It’s it’s not Good is very difficult? It’s by no means the default position. What’s the default position entropy? Catastrophe tragedy malevolence and death that’s the default position the good struggles up against that That’s no easy thing to manage to think of that is intrinsic. It’s an intrinsic possibility, but it’s not something that you It’s not something that It’s not something that you can manifest without faith and commitment and and the more faith and the more commitment the better and the deeper the better and it’s the most difficult of things to do and and it is It’s appalling to teach people the alternative and I know that speaking I think speak of this clinically You know The people who are most prone to post-traumatic stress disorder are naive people This is well known clinically. It’s there’s nothing about this. That’s it’s it’s It’s questionable or for unorthodox If you believe that people are basically good and that the world rewards goodness with good in return if that’s your fundamental belief that there’s not really any such thing as evil and You encounter someone malevolent, which could be yourself Well, that’s often what happens to people who develop post-traumatic stress disorder, you know, they’re there it’s very common that people develop PTSD because they’ve done something so incomprehensibly Morally repugnant that it’s damaged them Psycho physiologically and they cannot recover. It’s very common among soldiers It’s not what they saw. Although sometimes it is it’s what they did They have no framework within which to conceptualize it If you have no theory of evil if you have no theory of good and evil, if you have no metaphysics and someone malevolent touches you you’re done and so telling people that Human beings are basically good and that evil doesn’t exist makes them ripe fruit for the picking by the malevolent and There’s nothing about that that’s positive. It’s mere Cowardice masquerading as virtue. It’s the devouring mother and from the Freudian perspective. I’ll keep you innocent I’ll keep you young and naive and nothing will ever come to harm you it’s like precisely the opposite is the case in life That is why by the way, I truly yep That is why I truly believe that a 12 year old at a traditional Christian or a Jewish school is wiser and More likely to be happy than a secular professor of philosophy who is 50 years old Just because I knew I went again to yeshiva all the so half the day in Hebrew Jewish studies have today in English secular Studies I knew at 6 people were not basically good because God said so in Genesis When he decided to destroy the world because it turned out rotten so I knew at the earliest possible age people were not basically good and it not only Affected my felt and show my worldview It made me happy because then I realized wow I’m eating good people despite the fact that people about basically good I really do it but people in my life am I lucky or what? Yeah. Yeah. Well that that’s a that’s a really good. That’s a really good point because You see when I said that it was a miracle that we can all sit here peacefully Like that is how I look at it I think every day when I walk out into the world and it’s not rack and Runes and flames and floods that it’s a bloody miracle. It was I mean it that we hold this together It’s not an easy thing to do and release to think of pace as the default position is a form of deep insanity like it’s it requires work to do to to maintain peace and You can’t be properly grateful Unless you understand how unlikely it is that? Well, we’re not in the throes of World War 3. We’re not still in the depths of World War 2 that the Cold War is mostly over that the economic conditions of people everywhere on the planet are improving at a rate that could only be described as miraculous and that most things are going in a positive direction if you assume that that’s Normative, then you think well, that’s life. But and you have no reason to to be wide-eyed To have your eyes wide open admiration and gratitude at the fact that the worst which is frequently manifested itself is not Knocking at your door at this moment Because that’s the story of humanity and not peace and prosperity So here we have it and here we should preserve it and here we should spread it We should do everything we can to live in a manner that makes that most likely and we should do that Because well you said what did you say fear of God? It’s like Throughout the Old Testament, you know It’s one story after another is that people develop? Societies and they become arrogant and they wander off the path. And as soon as they wander off the path all hell breaks loose and If you’re fortunate enough to be where all hell isn’t breaking loose you should do everything you can to help ensure that we Stay the course and walk the straight and narrow path so I have a So I have a very deep worry in light of our absolute Unanimity if you could speak of unanimity among two people, but we’re so consonant in this this is shocking how good things are and Yet in the United States and I follow Canada a lot but love to speak about America right now in The United States half at least half of young people think they are living in a rotten society Sexist intolerant xenophobic homophobic Islamophobic racist bigoted That’s six herb. That’s my acronym for what I just said this is frightening to me and I want to know is it frightening to you? Well You know, I always try to give the devil his due and the idea that the West is a oppressive patriarchy Characterized by the sins that you just described It’s true You know, there’s if we look through our history personal or political There’s no shortage of things to be appalled by That’s not the question Exactly, or that’s not the issue The issue is compared to what No, I was Churchill this time I’ve got this right It was Churchill who said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the other forms of government and I would say that about our societies is that There’s no we have every reason to be awake and cognizant of our errors Whether they’re political or economic or personal But Compared to how it could be And now it has been in many places and how it is most Everywhere in the world and how it was for much of the 20th century things are so good here that it’s absolutely beyond comprehension and So along with that Careful awareness of the flaws of the patriarchy let’s say should be an unbelievable gratitude that we could wake up in the morning and The lights are on and the and the the freeways are running and there’s no starvation Directly facing us and that our children will live and that the probability that any one of us will die a violent death is negligible and The thing that bothers me about one of the things that bothers me about the modern University is the absolute lack of gratitude that characterizes its teachings. It’s like it’s half the story, you know, it’s like people are oppressed by Nature and People are oppressed by culture and people are oppressed by their own dark Nate their own dark side It’s an existential reality But you have to you have to balance that you have to understand that nature has its benevolent element and that’s what’s giving you life and you have to be grateful for your culture for everything that it’s provided to you and you have to understand that people can be good as well as Adversarial and malevolent and you have to be grateful for that and there’s damn there’s a there’s there’s a There’s a damnable shortage of gratitude in the modern Academy and that’s based on a naivety or a resentment That’s so deep that it’s almost in comprehending a naivety and a resentment and a willful blindness to the reality of history That’s so deep that it’s almost incomprehensible So if we ask you it may be you may strike. Whose absurd I’m gonna ask it anyway Except for technical knowledge like medicine or engineering mathematics obviously any of the Natural Sciences law if nobody went if all North Americans Graduating high school decided I’m not going to college With the with North America be a better or a worse place If you took away the STEM fields Yeah taking away the STEM fields. I think that universities Not colleges necessarily. I Think that universities do more harm than good now that and I’m very loath to say that, you know because I’ve been Part of the Academy for thirty years and taught it great institutions but the The postmodern collectivist doctrine is so Psychologically and politically toxic That I think that Academia now does more harm than good and It’s not only what it teaches which is the ideology this ungrateful ideology which denies the existence of the individual One of the things I might tell you just so you know, this is that You know that you hear that there are debates about free speech on campus About who should talk and who shouldn’t and people think that’s what the debate is about About who should talk and who shouldn’t but that’s not what the debate of it is about that You don’t even scraping the surface of the debate if that’s what you think. It’s about The debate on campus is about whether or not a human being has the capacity to communicate intelligibly as an individual or not and the answer for the postmodernist collective types is that there is no such thing as an individual and Therefore the very notion of free speech is absurd Because free speech is predicated on the idea that each of us have something to say, that’s ours That’s a consequence of our unique individuality not our group identity or or the multiplicity of our group identities but something that it’s something that we have that speaks from our spirit that can speak to the spirit of another and produce a negotiated peace and That’s what’s being debated That the war that’s going on philosophically or theologically in the campuses is far deeper than you think it no the entire notion of the reality of the individual which is I think also the entire notion of The idea that human beings are made in the image of God most fundamentally That is what’s being attacked. It wasn’t for nothing that Derrida called Western culture FAL logo centric phallus for Masculine logos for logos for truth and courage and centric for centric that was a criticism from his perspective the idea of the sovereignty of the individual if you don’t have the idea of the Sovereignty of the individual because there’s no individual. There’s no free. Speech All you are is an avatar of your group interests, and if I’m not in your group It’s not in my interest to let you speak There’s nothing that we have to say to one another there’s nothing but power it’s a Hobbesian nightmare of group against group and That’s the postmodern doctrine and so it’s to call it appalling is to barely scrape the surface it’s it’s an assault it is it is truly an assault on the most fundamental principles by which the West is governed it’s not Surface level philosophy, it goes all the way to the bottom this is partly why I’ve been concentrating on religious themes in my lectures say Because the argument goes all the way down to first principles Is there is The in is the idea of the sovereignty of the individual Correct The Western answer is it’s the great discovery of the West the Western answer is that’s the most fundamental truth that is Exactly, what’s under assault at the universities? The reason that the collectivist types hate me is Because I’ve got their number. I know what they’re up to And I think I think further that They do not wish to shoulder the unbearable responsibility of being a sovereign individual So not only is it And That accounts for the cowardice and that accounts for the attempt to weaken the spirit of the people that they’re teaching by over protecting them they’re not willing to take on the responsibility and the Fault has to lie elsewhere And I think that’s a good judge of someone Someone’s character in general. It’s like Well, the world is in the messy State. Let’s say And the question is whose fault is it an answer is yours That’s the right answer it’s not the patriarchy it’s not Some identifiable group. It’s not some structure that’s gone wrong, even though those things can go wrong And that’s the other fundamental truth of the West is that things would be a lot better if you were a lot better and you Have to decide if you’re willing to accept that and and you have every reason not to it’s a terrible thought Don’t With Solzhenitsyn, I think this is a paraphrase, but it’s close enough he said that one person who stopped lying could bring down a tyranny and that that When I first read that I thought that can’t possibly be true and as I understood it, I thought that can’t possibly not be true because the only thing that can break, the spine of a tyranny is the truth and the only person that and the only Way that the truth can be told is that some individual tells it? And so it’s necessarily the case that tyranny is broken by the truth of the individual But then the question is well, is it going to be you that’s going to do that? It’s no trivial thing, you know people come and tell me Very frequently and they write me and they say well, you know I agree with what you say and this terrible thing is happening in my workplace And you know, I don’t know what to do about it And I don’t want you to make my story public and because of the potential for repercussions and I think yeah Well, I mean, I understand your position. It’s no joke – it’s no joke – stand up when when when When the when the amateur totalitarians are knocking on your office door But if you don’t then sooner sooner than you think it’ll be the professional Totalitarians and then you’ll be in this sort of trouble that that unless you’ve tried to imagine it you can’t possibly imagine so in the minutes remaining I’m gonna ask you a few personal questions As I did with the late great Charles Krauthammer at one of our weekend’s Because people like including me just fascinated belicus. So here’s one What was the city in Alberta you grew up in? Well, it wasn’t a city exactly. Okay little town It’s called Fairview It’s about 800 miles north of the American border. So it’s a long ways up there. Right so How often if at all that do you think? when people stop you at airports and you go around the world lecturing Jordan Peterson from Fairview It’s hard to believe Does that happen? Well, I live I live in a constant state of disbelief I mean I’m dead serious about this like I think it’s a form of post-traumatic Post-traumatic shock in some sense. I mean my life in the last three years has been just a continuous series of surreal Impossibilities. I mean on the one hand I’ve been involved in a political scandal of some sort For a good year and a half. It was at least twice a week And then for the entire three year period it’s been at least once a week. It’s nonstop and sometimes it’s national and sometimes it’s international but it’s continual and so that’s I’ll give you an example. This is a funny little story my son came over one day about year-and-a-half ago And I was having a kind of a rough day because 200 of my colleagues at the University had signed a document trying to get me fired and Then they gave it to the Union and and the Union presented it to the administration without even informing me Even though I’m part of the faculty union, and so I said to my son Julian you know 200 of my colleagues today just signed a letter saying that I should be fired and he said oh Dad, don’t don’t worry about that. It was only 200 And I thought well that’s where we were out, you know, it was like, oh that’s not that’s nuts That’s a that was a light day I was ok, you know And then so there’s that and and the fact that it doesn’t quit. That’s another thing. I can’t understand it’s like, you know all this blew up around me around Bill c16 and I thought well, I’ve had my 15 minutes or mine then it was like well, I’ve had my week and then it was like oh I must have had my month and then but none of that happened it just kept expanding and expanding and expanding and expanding and expanding and and every day I wake up and I think well this is gonna come to an end, but it doesn’t it just expands and and that just doesn’t seem credible in the least every time I come to an event like this or I mean when I was in Australia I was speaking to audiences of 5,500 people and it’s like how in the world can you believe that it’s like I you heard what I just said who there who in their right mind would come and listen to someone who just told you what I told you you know, it’s so dark and it’s so demanding you wouldn’t think that people would Line for blocks and spend their hard-earned money and and come because it’s a like a marital anniversary That’s what they say. This was our anniversary present to each other. I thank you people you my you’re completely out of your mind And so and then I think to you know that that That the state of disbelief is necessary and maybe that’s an advantage to being older Because I’m too old to adapt rapidly and this isn’t the sort of thing that you should adapt to right I should be in a constant state of shock disbelief because it keeps my head on straight. I Don’t know what’s going on. Exactly. I don’t know why it’s the case that what I’m saying is so necessary Apparently but it seems to be and I’m trying to figure out why But I’m certainly not for a second. I think I take very little for granted And I mean, I think I take even less for granted than you might think I told you that I don’t take it for granted that you can all sit here peacefully, you know and And that is how I look at the world is that if it isn’t if it isn’t burning in rock and runes then I think it’s a bloody miracle and the fact that things have gone well for me and That I’m still standing which is also a miracle of sorts, you know, I mean There were probably 30 different scandalous Episodes that had every that anyone with any sense would have thought would finish me and They’ve all backfired and that’s all so I Also don’t understand that It’s like I don’t understand that I get attacked in new york times and my friends Call me who are New York Times readers and they say You you you you’ve had it this time cuz that was the New York Times, you know You’re not gonna recover from that and I think well, that’s probably true I mean I was expecting it to happen all along and then I wait and then you know everybody clamors out me and then I don’t respond too much to that and it starts to die away and then all the supporters come out and then there’s a Hundred people who clamor and ten thousand supporters and you know, here’s something I can tell you about my life That’s really remarkable so, you know if you just Read the press Well, you’d have all sorts of ideas about me. I mean You know that I’m a bigot in the broadest possible sense. And so that’s you know racist sexist homophobic Ethnocentric white nationalists. All right All of those things And you’d think that there was just nothing but hatred Although I have been treated well by many journalists But you you could easily get that sense that like I live in a world Where I’m surrounded by hatred and that is absolutely not true it’s so not true that that that it’s You know There are lies and then there are there are there are anti truths then and an anti truth is even worse than a lie It’s like the ultimate form of lie, and that is what my life is like at all what my life is like is that I Travel with my wife and wherever we go. And I mean that literally wherever we go We’ve been to I don’t know how many countries in the last year. It’s like I Don’t know how many 30 40 many countries If I go down the street nor if I’m in an airport, or if I’m in a cafe or if I’m in a movie theater, or if I’m in a mechanic’s shop Some person comes up to me every 10 minutes and says I hope I’m not disturbing you and they’re very very polite and they say I’ve been listening to your lectures or I’ve been watching your YouTube videos or I read your book and I was in this dreadful place six months ago and then they tell me a little bit about the particulars of that little corner of hell they were in sconce tin and then they say Well, I’ve been trying to develop a vision for my life or I’ve been trying to take more responsibility Are being trying to be grateful for my job Mundane though it may be or I’ve decided that I’m going to try to put my family together and make peace and I’ve really been trying and it’s really working and things are way better and Thank you And so Well, it’s so overwhelming to have that happen. Continually. It’s very difficult to believe but It’s unbelievably positive You know, I mean it’s if you could imagine if you could ask for what you want today. You could have anything you wanted You might think It would be lovely if I could give my life in a manner so that wherever I went in the world Perfect strangers would come up to me one after the other and tell me that They’re suffering much less That their families are in better shape and that their lives are on course because they took They they took to heart some something that I was communicating That’s as good as it gets as far as I could I Had really I don’t want to ask anything else I think this was so powerful and if that didn’t prove my instinct is right Nothing will Georgie Peterson You are a good man. You are doing a lot of good. I thank God he made you Thank you You

100 thoughts on “On Claiming Belief In God: Discussion with Dennis Prager

  1. I'm 70, a Sentimentalist and a Christian Scholar of 37 years with a lot of Life and loss behind me.
    Mr. Peterson speaks as a man who's experienced first hand the Pain and Suffering that this 'Vail of Tears' has to offer.
    I'm not trying to nitpick but when Matt. 27; Psalm 22's "My God, My God, Why…" comes up, that's a very Tall and Deep area of Scripture.
    All Scripture has a "Primary" meaning and often the words are set-up by God to invite more thought and other Secondary Meanings and Applications!
    Some Scriptures are Unknowable or unknowable until God releases the Meaning at a much late time.

    TO ME: 
    This out cry to God the Father was necessary for at least Two reasons:
    1. To SHOW the Place and Time WHEN the SINS of the World were Placed upon the Account of Jesus Christ. Since God will not 'look upon' Sin, there was a 'Separation' for a moment(?).
    Was the 'Sin' placed upon Jesus the Perfect Man, or Yahweh God the Son or Both? The Nature of Jesus Christ still has 'some' Ambiguity as the "Lamb of God"! 
    As a Person: Jesus Christ is Yahweh God the Son who became a Man without 'Blending' the two natures!  
    Perhaps a better 'scholar' than me can clarify.
    2. As a Perfect Man but still a "Man", this Jesus for the Pain simply Cried out! That is, a natural reaction to physical and emotional PAIN!

  2. I am somewhat at odds with 'doing good' from fear of God. Fear and love aren't necessarily felt consistently manifest towards anyone, or entity. Love is an easier burden to carry, yet, more difficult to attain, generally..

  3. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
    (Jeremiah 17:9)

    Why, I wonder, is Mr. Prager, right off the bat so to speak, there speaking of having a "goodness detector" in such a casual way? . . Why would he speak as though what the Book says of such a potential, is so easily dismissible by him? Why is he "modeling" such a contra-Biblical concept? . . (an occultist concept, to my mind).

    I cannot trust these men, period, because I trust that Book, because I once asked a God I did not believe existed, to convince me He (I thought more in terms of an It at the time ; ) existed, if that's what He wanted me to believe.
    I did not want to live out my life unaware of such an immensely important truth if it was indeed true, so I asked earnestly for some help to believe, since it seemed to me I couldn't on my own. I had nothing significant to lose by asking, I thought . . If nothing could hear me ask, what harm in essentially granting permission, as I saw it, to a God that wasn't there, to convinced me of anything at all?

    To my utter amazement He did as I requested. (Over the course of several weeks He "interacted" with me, in ways that only something that could see right into my mind could have . . which I rationalized away until I just couldn't any longer . . He wore skeptical me down . . in a breathtakingly kind and gentle manner. And always, though when I had asked I did not think it possible that a given "religious" text could actually be a communication from a God, He kept using that Book to get my attention and reveal things to me (I had a copy, it was an actual physical object to me, and I was/am a time-space continuum trusting kinda guy ; )

    Jesus said; "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." I suggest the reader go right to the source, so to speak, and not trust the "wisdom of men" . . such as these ; )

  4. Great! Dr. Jordan Peterson is awesome! I'm watching from Portugal. Thank you much for your beautiful speeches/lectures.
    Kind regards. God bless you and your family, dear Mr. J.P.

  5. Dr. Peterson and Mr. Prager: There is a amazing, new book out that explains exactly what is God, where She is, man's relation to Her, and the purpose of the creation, and the doings of mankind. It is not religious – no belief or faith involved — but a report of the actual experience of a mystic, of an enlightened being. He teaches how anyone can verify what he says.

    The title is: ESSENTIALITY I: A Complete and Scientific Explanation of Existence, Spirituality, Awakening, and Enlightenment.

    It is downloadable FREE from www.Essentiality.org (by anyone). May I urge you to read it? In the first 3 chapters, you will know if it is of interest or not.

  6. To ignorant idiots:
    – it’s so very, very easy to be bad, evil person. But it’s so unimaginably hard to be good person !!!

  7. I found the interviewer to be frustrating in how he kept talking about himself and never really stopped slobbing JPs nob

  8. He's truly surprised by how he's effected people! It's so touching to see how touched he is by how his work is working on us all!

  9. As a great admirer of Jordan, It's a little disappointing that you can literally watch and listen to him and Sam Harris have discussion for 6 hours, and still here he summarized his position RE religion with such little nuance or charity. I doubt Sam Haris would do the same the other way around.


    The British left India in 1947 but with a very dirty conscience. We Indians of the
    farming marshal tribes Jatt, Gujjar, Pathan, Arian, Saini, etc., the once-born simpletons served the British
    faithfully and made them win the two world wars but they colluded with the twice-born
    people of business tribes and hypocritically divided our Jatt tribal
    homeland, the Punjab plunging us into the
    sectarian civil war that could have been
    avoided. This is how they ignited this civil war:-


    1.      They knew that the
    people kill each other frantically in the name of religion as Catholics and
    Protestants did in Britain and so, they supported the heads of religious
    parties financially and paid them money secretly under the table.

    2.      There used to be
    elections held for the Parliament but no such election was held to hand over
    the Government into the hands of responsible political leaders in 1947.

    3.      They just colluded
    with the heads of religious Parties; all clever shopkeepers – Lala M.K.
    Gandhi, a Baniya, Lala Tara Singh Malhotra, a Khatri and Lala Mohd. Ali Jinnah,
    a Babla Bhatia. These Lalas least served in the
    British Army.

    4.      We Jatts of the Punjab served the British Army the best but
    we were divided into India and Pakistan like the deserted Christmas Puppy.

    5.      And our Governments
    were told that when you fight with each other, then we will sell you weapons of
    mass destruction to kill each other. What a business idea out of misery?


    Politics is a dirty game of the psychic hypocrites whom Jesus condemned
    the most and he was killed by them. Look what the USA, U.K. and other European
    collaborators are doing in the world today?


    End times are not far away – Matt. 13v24-30 and the TRIBULATIONS have already started from 14/05/2018 when the child-like USA
    President Donald Trump pressed the TRIBULATIONS BUTTON by declaring
    Jerusalem to be the Capital of Israel. These world-wide TRIBULATIONS will last
    for FIVE YEARS
    to ATOMIC WAR EXPECTED ON 14/05/2023.


    let us join hands together to expose these hypocrites with the Gospel Truth of
    our Supernatural Father Elohim, Allah, Parbrahm, etc. In Jesus, we are
    Labourers working in the Royal Vineyard of our Father that has a Narrow Gate
    for the Solitary of discerning intellect called “holy spirit”, common sense or
    Surtti. Earn your Salvation by Preaching the Gospel.


    Holy spirit, “common
    sense”, shatters the fetters of the dead Letters, the Holy Books and their Laws
    that have been corrupted. Remember that Law and
    Prophets were till John, the Baptist – Luke 16v16 and after that, the Narrow Gate to the Royal Kingdom of
    God has been opened by Christ Jesus and
    He has appointed St. Peter as the “Gatekeeper”. That is why Peter killed two
    hypocrites/Blasphemers Ananias and
    Sapphira for speaking against the Holy Spirit that rests in our own heart, the Treasury
    of the Gospel Truth Brewed through “Logical Reasoning”.

    Watch mine over 7000 Youtube Videos; channel nijjhar1 and my services are FREE. I have written two Books; one in English; “FIRST GNOSTIC PRINCIPLES OF ONE GOD ONE
    FAITH” and the other in Punjabi; “KAKHH OHLAE LAKHH”. Search them on
    internet. I need technical help to revise them for publication. FREELY RECEIVED; FREELY GIVEN IS OUR

    “Agape”, our Father God blesses everyone alike and please do not miss your great opportunity to earn salvation by Preaching
    Gospel from the Rooftops. https://youtu.be/yTSYd_FujE4

    Qom and not Hindu Jatt, Sikh Jatt, Muslim Jatt, etc. http://www.gnosticgospel.co.uk/jattparty.htm


    Ch. Rajinder Nijjhar Jatt, M.Sc. Retired
    Senior Lecturer in Metallurgy.

  11. Two very DANGEROUS men …. but ONLY if you are the evil which so fiercly wars against the highest Good .

  12. Peterson seems to totally confuse the idea of believing in God and of being a true Christian. These 2 conditions don't have to be interconnected at all, because people could e.g. also accept that God is real, and deliberately decide to serve the devil; or admit that they are simply too weak to live as proper Christians (despite believing in God); or simply rely on the mercy of God, and therefore tolerate some sin in their lives, etc.


  14. Not sure if anyone has said this but I long for the day when Dr Jordan and Dr Ravi Zacharias, have a discussion. Maybe one day…

  15. Jordan’s bold impression says to man to move away from Almighty GOD, while Almighty GOD beck•ons man to COME towards HIM. Almighty GOD’s Covenant with man is through HIS Only Begotten Son’s sacrifice on the Cross. So ALL Humanity is able to Live IN the presence of Almighty GOD. This is what, our beacon, The Holy Bible, IS all about. HEBREWS 8:11 thru chapters 9 & 10, 1TIMOTHY 2:1-6, 11PETER 3:9, JOHN 17(JESUS prays for us, GOD & HIMSELF). 🎚📖🔥🎶⛲️⚖️♥️

  16. Dear Dr. Peterson, thank you so much for one more brilliant lecture, and for your humble honesty. I learned about you only 5 days ago, but I'm already delighted to learn from you in each podcast, interview, and lectures. Listening to you will certainly become a new habit.

    If you may allow me to give you only one suggestion of topic for study, please explore the greatness of God's grace in His redemption place accordingly to the Christian view. I am convinced that this topic will change your life in many ways, and in many levels.

    God bless you, dear professor!

  17. Peterson fans …. anyone know why he sounds like hes about to cry often ? i get that he cries sometimes when speaking of emotional topics but this seems a peryy odd thing to get choked up about talking on stage

  18. Before you can make any specific claims about the nature of any god, you must first prove that supernatural events actually take place.

    OK Dennis, your proof please.

  19. I read a book when I was 8, a paperback for a road trip, The Theory and Practice of Heel", I was 8 and it had "HELL" on the cove, so. When I asked my Dad questions about it said they were all true. I turned out just fine, I am rarely shocked or disappointed and it takes very little to make me happy,, and I Am Grateful.

  20. 35:38…is the most abomination to God. 39:50….If you read what Adam said to God after being asked if he ate from the tree that was forbidden. Adam didn't shoulder his responsibility for breaking the rules. He blamed it on God for giving him the woman that talked him into eating the fruit. In a secular way Peterson explains that is what the academics are doing .

  21. I appreciate Jordan Peterson. I agree in that we need to hear this sort of things as we tend to be strong with words but shallow and weak in reality. Today, whether you are a christian (as an example) is determined by a set of things that you declare and not by the life you live. So it's good to be challenged at this level.

    On the other I would like expand a bit on what Christian faith is.

    James says: 'You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!'
    Now the demons know perfectly well that God is there and they shudder. They are not obedient. But they do believe. Therefore even true statement of belief in God's existence isn't enough.

    So James here and before where he says : 'Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?' wants to flesh out those kind of people who claim certain things about their faith and maybe even boast about it a little, but don't want to conform their lives to the actual contents of their faith.

    So that's kind of inline with Jordan Peterson. But there is the other side of the coin. The question is : is anyone able to do the deeds of God? Is anyone perfect like He is? To what extend you need to be 'real' and 'true' and 'obedient' to be able to say 'I believe in God' ? You will never be able to utter these words in truth. And whoever things he is able to 'rub shoulders with God' is self deluded, because he does two things : 'He disregards God's holy, pure, perfect character and His law' and His provision on the Cross. The Cross uplifts the law because it's the only way that a sinner can be justified. If the Law had a loophole it wouldn't be perfect. How are we then justified? By faith! And faith in this context isn't 'I believe that you exits' – no that's not enough. Faith is trust. It's exactly what's needed because we cannot and will never be able to truly live 'as if He is there'. So we trust that despite our sin and failures and lack of obedience He has justified us as a Gift, freely because Jesus has satisfied the payment that the Law demands. And it needs to be as a Gift, because otherwise we are doomed. If you want payment for what you do, then you are in trouble.

    This is why the New Testament is full of teaching that counteract people who would go around saying things like : 'If we are justified apart from the Law then we can just go on sinning'.
    (like James above – but Paul himself counteracts this , and John)

    Paul says :
    What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? Certainly not! (the word used here is much stronger in Greek) Do you not know that when you offer yourselves as obedient slaves, you are slaves to the one you obey, whether you are slaves to sin leading to death, or to obedience leading to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you once were slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were committed. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

    And this is where obedience comes in. But it's obedience as the consequence of our trust (in God's provision – Grace)) and not the other way round. It's the obedience out of love and not out of fear that if I do not obey I will be damned. And so once I trusted in the work on the Cross and I want to obey, to follow Him out of love, I still keep trusting that if I fail He will lift me up. The focus is on Him now and not on my performance. So the question isn't whether I believe that God exist, but whether I trust Him.

    Jesus said : 'believe in Me and believe in God' – now how could he say 'believe in Me' meaning 'believe that I exist' – He meant 'trust me'.

    Sadly the world is filled with people of that kind .. who claim things in vain, but that doesn't mean that we need to hit the other extreme and forget that perfection needs to come from above.

  22. I like Jordan but I'm tired of hearing him almost cry while he talks for hours, especially when I've heard him say the same things multiple times.

  23. Dr. Peterson, the way God revealed to you is so high and deep. As a normal person,i can somehow feel you,but i cannot experience or understand or feel what is inside you and even what you say. I am extremely happy as well as sad for you.
    May the good and terrifying God bless you.

  24. I'm was afraid a blackhole would erupt from having these two stars on the same stage!
    Love them both!!!

  25. You can't prove faith… I don't want to spend eternity in hell or heaven..let me rest. Billions of years is alot of time.

  26. Well, we're about nine minutes in and he's off on a rant that nobody understands or believes including Prager who will shortly fall on his knees in worship at the sound of the master's voice and I'm going to listen to the rest of this?  I belong in an institution.  But, of course, Peterson knows that and he's properly ignoring me.

  27. 11:20…..you came to the right movie, Peterson, because I dare say that.  I believe in God.  There!  You think that took guts?  I know lots of people who say they believe in God and that's their right.  They're called True Believers.  I've met them.  They're the real thing.  Prager didn't hear what Jesus Christ said about being good but you heard it recently.  None good, remember?  That's what the Bread of Life said.

  28. Well, what do you think God expects from normal human beings oh Great White Thinker?  Shouldn't take any deep thought to figure than one out.  Christ said to take up your cross and follow me.  Forget about Peterson.  Follow me.  Did you get that one, Peterson?  Do you know what it means to follow Christ or would you prefer not to engage in such an undertaking because you have a better idea?  Arrogance.

  29. 13:29…..You are absolutely correct when you say "act it out."  That's what it means to "follow me."  Of course!  What else could it mean?  To take up your cross.  What does it mean?  You know what your cross is, Peterson.  What is your burden?  You know what your burden is.  Every human has a burden.  Find it.  Root it out.  AND IT WILL BE PAINFUL.  You know that.  I know that.  The Buddha knew that.  Anyone who has done the work or is in the process of doing the work knows what it means.

  30. 14:10…..Jesus Christ said, "if thou canst believe all things are possible to him that believeth."  I'm beginning to feel as if I'm a preacher and I'm not a preacher and I don't want to be a preacher but these things are coming out of me because I have read them many years ago.

  31. what a wonderful thing to say.  "God only knows what you'd BE if you believed."  That sentence says a lot.  It should be ringing from every pulpit in the country.  But then the people would have to know what it is they are being asked to believe and what their conduct should therefore be.  Man's Search For Meaning.  What does it mean to be Christlike?  I'll leave that for you to answer Mr. Peterson.

  32. Don't act.  Acting is a pretence.  A pretense is falsehood.  You don't want that.  You want to be true.  You want Truth.  You don't want Falsehood.  Don't act.  Be who you are.  You owe nothing to the world but to be a decent human being.  That is what my spiritual master taught me 35 years ago.  I am not a better man than you.  I am not a better man than any man.

  33. 41:43…..You've got 'em, Peterson.  Oh, they hate you?  Well, bring 'em on because they have no leg to stand on in a million years if that is there position.  You can't lose, Peterson.  Just keep swinging and bring on your allies because they don't stand a prayer.  Their house is built on sand.  Shame on the spineless cowards that run the universities in this country!

  34. This man's message is powerful, because there's truth in it! He shows, through his actions and words, that he is a good and reliable person and it's not difficult to realize that he truly believes in what he's teaching! Thank you, Jordan Peterson.

  35. Now I understand how this man stays so ready to combat those who oppose him. He gets tried ever day by very intelligent people determined to ruin him but he's ready to go 12 rounds with with every one of them. That energy appears to come from an intense sense of satisfaction for helping others. Am I right?

  36. "Why callest thou me good? None is good save one, that is God." – JC
    "I would never claim to be good, I think it's dangerous. But I did become terrified about how terrible I could be" – JP.

  37. My proof of the existence of God? Everytime I try to get my homeowner's insurance to pay off they claim "Act of God" and refuse. If Allstate says there's a God…

  38. I can attest to what he says about the dark places. Once you have gone through and survived persistent malevolence, life becomes a breeze. It become hard not to be happy when you are not powerless and have free choice even if entails doing your duty. In that I mean you have a choice in HOW you choose to make your bed and do the laundry and if you feel like singing or listening to music while you do so.

  39. the end where dennis shared "i thank God He made you"–i couldn't agree more. thank you Dr. Peterson for inspiring me to use my voice and live courageously. (from, a 24-year-old clinical psych student from the philippines)

  40. Sir… I love when you express things with emotion… but in a mature, intelligent way. It's obvious you really believe what you'e saying and that means something. Especially today.

  41. JP's brilliant mind, recognizing the Greatness of GOD, resulting in the humble heart in pursuit of sharing truth and Love. I have been discouraged lately because so many in "Ministry" speak as if they have authority over the Word of GOD rather than being subjet to GOD'S Word. I do believe I just witnessed a fine example of how my heart should stand before a great and mighty GOD.

  42. Why does Peterson always talk with these Talmudic Jews who are really just Neo-con Trotskyites? Ever wonder why Peterson only discusses the old-testament and never talks about Jesus?
    Ever wonder why Peterson won't intellectually address the Jewish Question and purposefully ignores Alexandr Solzhenitsyn' 200 Years Together? (Read the damn book Peterson!)
    Because Peterson is not really Christian, and has never publicly accepts Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Peterson is really working for the Globalist/Zionists who want to rule over the rest of the world, and Peterson is a really socialist Trotskyite who lied his way into your hearts and minds!

  43. Without the books of the New Testament there is no closure to the Old Testament and thus the full revelation of the plan of salvation that God in HIS infinite wisdom and mercy had predestinated before HE created anything.

    Philippians 3:3-6 > For we are the circumcision [Jews], which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I [Paul nee Saul of Tarsus] might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

    And don't forget that the same zealous Apostle Paul clearly articulates what is the one shortcoming of Jews or Israel as a nation.

    Romans 9:31-33 > But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
    As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    Isaiah 28:16 > Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

    In as much as I appreciate Dennis Prager and other Jews who are believers, they shy away from fully embracing the entirety of the Word of God [Bible] but restrict themselves to just the Torah.

    It's very clear that even the Old Testament it says in Psalm 14:2-3 > The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Yet, this self justification has not gone away from the psyche. And that's the stumbling block that needs to be overcome.

    Torah – Genesis 15:6 > And he [Abraham] believed in the LORD; and HE counted it to him for righteousness.

    The bedrock principle of Salvation is why God imputed HIS own righteousness to Abraham is so clearly stated in Romans 4:1-5 > What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.


  44. To me, believing is an intellectual pursuit while having faith is spiritual reality. We live in a fallen world where we cannot be perfect in mannering our lives, thoughts and behaviors. What we can do is acknowledge our failures and ask for forgiveness as we pursue the Truth of God in our lives. When Jesus acknowledged for a split-second his human-half separation from God "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" at His human-death, He was experiencing that separation from God so we would not have to endure it because we cannot be perfect in this fallen world.

  45. Even as someone who's essentially an atheist, I still think the fact Judaism and Christianity and their societies survived and prospered in the face of so much Social Darwinism is an indication they are a good source of wisdom.

  46. 18:22
    This really speaks to me. Even though I'm not Christian, I appreciate Christianity can be a buffer against some real craziness.

  47. AMEN! To the last comment from Dennis Prager. I thank God our creator that he made man like Jordan Peterson who share His light! The truth will set you free.

  48. "…I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world." Romans 1:8 NLT.

  49. 6:00 The darkest place is the origin of Time Matter and Life – its the black Void -an endless Ocean – – all Realities coming out of this are more or less bent in a Simulation by Demiurges which themselfs call Gods of the Creation what They are not ! when you get it in first place you will be shocked ! English is not my first language Jordan !

  50. Dennis displayed genuine respect. I like him. Peterson breaks up and the same point in many interviews. I wonder, what is at the heart of that

  51. I feel like Jordan peterson is communicating the fact that the cure to nihilism isn't to change the way you view the world, but to realise that the nihilistic way in which you already see the world is a tool, a tool for better appreciating the miracle that anything exists at all, despite feeling it might be ultimately meaningless. It's not that life isn't writhe with suffering, it's that we're sometimes incapable of gratitude for the little peace we have, when its not so little after all, considering it's a miracle.

  52. Concerning the neo-marxist postmodern personality that Dr Peterson often speaks about, I've never encountered a less tolerant, less articulate group. I spent some time in California over the summer, and I attempted to discuss some of the sacred cow "beliefs" that they hold. I felt as if I were talking to petulant children who lack the ability or desire to reason; they can not even talk to a person who questions their ideas, or offers alternatives. It was a strange experience, and not rare. Talk about Diversity-phobes and Tolerance-phobes!

    To consider the possibility that a personage will come along to seize and manipulate this mass hysteria and naivete is frightening. (Refer to 26:10 of this discussion) I think a society that is so rigid and intolerant in its beliefs, combined with naiveté is a recipe for disaster on the scale of 20 century Europe and Russia.

  53. Just listening makes me think of beautiful afternoons with the sun shining mildly on and all is warm and orange marmalade.

  54. Dear Dr. Peterson, I doubt that you read any of the comments on your videos but just wanted to speak my peace. Belief and knowing are two very different ideas. Carl Jung was asked if he believed in God and his reply was, “believe? I know.” Knowing God in whatever small increment I do, has given me the peace that is past explanation. It has also given me the door to which I could know myself, become the self which God had in mind when He loved me into being. I hope sharing this reaches the ones to whom it is intended to reach and that they may come to know God and not just believe, because in knowing Him and His Son Jesus gives us the power and direction to live the life He meant for us to live. Thank you Dr. Peterson for sharing your wisdom

  55. Peterson is correct in deflecting Pagers' claim Peterson is 'Good"……per Jesus….."There is none Good, but God"

  56. So you expect people to act like they believe perfectly, or they've no right to claim they believe? Not even God Himself expects human perfection. Enter Jesus…

  57. the presence of evil in the light does not make the light evil. Rather, people in the Light become so blind being desensitized or amoral. Darkness is blinding and so is brightness but they are totally contradicting within the extent of our ability to hide or ignore what comes into our awareness. I don't think I am confused or led to be confused by this mixed up. We can hide in darkness but not in light. Yes, we can stare at evil in the light but NOT DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT IS THE DARKNESS IN OUR HEART RATHER THAN LIGHTNESS IN OUR EYES. What really counts is the connection between the heart and the mind.. rather than eyes and ears on evil. We don't do enough to change the world.

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