The Union should not welcome Jordan Peterson

Different opinions are one thing, but Peterson is unworthy of an invitation

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Jordan Peterson is a charlatan. Let’s be completely honest about what he represents. Through watching his speeches and reading his book, it becomes clear that everything he says is either incredibly vague, or flat out wrong. While I am in favour of inviting individuals who I disagree with to speak at the Union, I do not think we should be inviting a man to speak who has nothing of worth to say, and who actively harms debate.

The Oxford Union term card helpfully proves my first point here, stating that Peterson became famous for “criticising the Canadian government’s move to enact Bill C-16, which made misgendering a form of hate speech”.

Anyone who bothers to Google “C-16 makes misgendering illegal” can find out that this is a blatant lie. One must consider whether the Union is either incredibly sloppy with their research or is purposely misleading members with harmful falsehoods. Let me make this clear: the very thing that Jordan Peterson became famous for is a lie that the Union is now publishing in their term card. C-16 was a law specifically targeting sustained harassment of trans people. Simply using the wrong pronouns would never be considered a hate crime, unless it was coupled with harassment of a trans individual.

Jordan Peterson’s claim to fame is a lie attacking trans people for wanting fair protection against hate crimes. Peterson has lied about many other issues, from claiming that Google was manipulating search results for the word ‘bikini’ to include fat women (spoiler: they weren’t), to saying “there are far more female physicians than there are male physicians” which is provably false. He also likes to channel his bigotry through false and inflammatory statements like “the idea that women were oppressed throughout history is an appalling theory.” Not to mention the fact that he says his awakening that socialism was evil came from reading The Road To Wigan Pier, despite Orwell arguing for socialism in that book, not against it. Do we seriously want a liar who can’t even read the books that he said changed his ideology to come and speak at the Union?

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While Jordan Peterson lies about an incredible number of things, his statements that aren’t false frankly say nothing of substance. Let’s examine the summary of principles from the end of his book, 12 Rules for Life: “What shall I do to strengthen my spirit? Do not tell lies or do what you despise. What shall I do to ennoble my body? Use it only in the service of my soul. What shall I do with the most difficult of questions? Consider them the gateway to the path of life. What shall I do with the poor man’s plight? Strive through right example to lift his broken heart. What shall I do with when the great crowd beckons? Stand tall and utter my broken truths.”

Now, we can read into these statements whichever way we like. But ultimately, Peterson is doing what many of us have done in our essays – overcomplicating statements in an attempt to make them sound profound. These can literally be summed up by saying: don’t lie, look after yourself, take problems as opportunities, set good examples, and do speeches at the Oxford Union.

Time after time, as you read Peterson’s work and watch his speeches, you realise that he purposely acts as if he’s saying something enlightening when he’s no different to any other self-help guru, repeating the most basic of lessons. When Peterson says “You can’t make rules for the exceptional”, that’s true by definition, not some deep statement on our potential.

His mantra – “Meaning is an expression of the instinct that guides us out into the unknown so that we can conquer it” – is so incredibly ambiguous that I can’t even begin to talk about it. Why should we invite an ‘academic’ to speak when the majority of their work consists of boring self-help nonsense that actually says nothing and helps no one?

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When the lies have run out and the statements can’t be made vague enough, Peterson instead defaults to basic ad hominem insults. Comparing trans activists to Mao in his famous Channel 4 interview but being unable to explain how their ideologies are the same, complaining about “crazy women” and “harpies”, and claiming everything he disagrees with “Postmodern Neo-Marxism”. Peterson leans on his background in psychology to throw psychoanalysis at his opponents, not bothering to dismantle their argument, but instead explaining how the insults he spews at them are the real reason they support their beliefs.

This is not someone who contributes to the intellectual debate we want at the Oxford Union. This is someone who hurts the very ideals it stands for. A liar, a name caller, and someone who has nothing of worth to say. As paying Union members, we should be insulted that this man is coming to speak at the great institution.

126 COMMENTS

  1. According to Wikipedia, “Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, criticized the bill, claiming that it infringed freedom of speech and enacted compelled speech.[12][13] Some academics challenged Peterson’s interpretation of the legal effects of the bill,[14] while others such as Robert P. George supported him.”

    To me, this sounds as if Peterson’s opinion about C-16, while not necessarily true, was a reasonable one to hold.

    I disagree with your statement that him holding this opinion shows him to be a liar. In my opinion, it is more likely that he simply has different ideas and a different view-point to yours.

    Since I disagree with your strong statements that you have put forward with little evidence, I could easily come to the conclusion that it is you who is a wilful liar. But I suspect very strongly that I would be mistaken – again, the more likely explanation is that your opinion is a reasonable one to hold given the evidence you have seen, and the lack of evidence in your piece is simply because of lack of time etc.

    Would you argue against this?

    • Where are the citations that back up anything said in this article? Assertion is the same as proof once again… Differing opinions are one thing (that you claim to support) but Peterson’s opinions are dangerous (according to you dear writer) so somehow, by your ridiculous logic, his cannot be heard. This is lazy leftist journalism crafted with nothing but intent to shut down open discussion. Appalling article and if Peterson gets turned away by the Union it is a further step towards a very dark future for free speech and free expression.

      • Spot on.. liberalism stink and is actually not liberalism at all its bigotry. My way or No way..

  2. It’s clear from this entire article that your problem isn’t with what he says but that you disagree with him. I doubt you’ve actually read anything he s written.

  3. The writer would most likely call you a lieing bigot and then speed off on their ptoverbial high horse having won yet another victory against those who oppose their high and mighty superior opinion

  4. No reasonable person would criticize Peterson’s abilities as a professor of his subject, as a talker and as a communicator. He is because of that in every way the perfect personality for a public discussion. Claiming he is a charlatan is not a matter of opinions but about understanding him.

  5. He’s helped me and many other people change their lives around, he must be right about something.

  6. Hmm interesting article. It doesn’t sound like the writer has actually read Dr Peterson’s book or watched many of his lectures or understands the concept of compelled speech or he’d see the irony of none-platforming a polarizing character like Dr Peterson because he doesn’t like what is being said.

    If your arguments are too weak to debate someone convincingly then that’s a you problem rather than a me problem. Shutting someone down because you disagree with them is the worst type of narcissism.

    Get over yourself. If you can’t do that then at least move over so the grown ups can have an adult discussion.

    • I think the reason they don’t want him is because JP is exactly the person you described in your second paragraph. His rhetoric is far too simplistic and unacademic to be on this Union. It is, however, perfect for YouTube videos and self-help books.

  7. “Hi, I read a bunch of articles from angry students about Jordan Peterson and now I hate him. So, no reason to actually read him, because now I know the truth.”

    *Yawn*

  8. I simply do not recognise the man you describe. Unlike others I do not question that you have read his work because if you have seen his “famous channel 4 interview” with Cathy Newman and still retain such opinions, you clearly are not possessed of a mind capable of being touched by reason. I mean of course merely that like an Evangelical or a Muslim fundamentalist, there is an intellectually unmovable World view preserved in a site immune to any form of rational debate.
    This is of course entirely compatible with your general intelligence and undoubted abilities in many other areas.
    The clue is in your attempt to block him even from speaking.
    You are a disgrace.

  9. I’ve watched most of Jordan Peterson’s lectures and interviews over the last year, and as an expert in human nature myself, as well as many other far wider academies, I’m convinced the Professor makes every effort to be impeccable with his word, and be open to any challenge, especially when he thinks it loud so he can know what he thinks about a subject.

    Even if he is mistaken about the C-16 bill, or any other subject, I would not agree that he lies. I understand all of his points about the dangers of comnunism, Marxism, ideologies, idealogues, and everything he says about personality and personal transformation, including his opinions (statements of fact) about the alleged gender post gap etc.. I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, but it is grounded in truth dependant on one’s frame of reference.

    There are other freaked of reference to take into account, and it must be understood that language is terribly limited and can easily elicit misleading interpretations of intention. Everything Jordan says in every interview (true for probably everyone in every interview) needs *unpacking*, i.e. looking into the depth of a statement, which only usually gets addressed adequately in a long lecture, if at all. Without an awareness of the limitation of language and the necessity of condensing deep truths, condensed in a similar way to a lossy compression algorithm like MP3 files, the slightest cognitive bias will likely get amplified into vilifying opposition.

    Too much more to say, but my processor is overheating compressing my thoughts into the text above!

    (Btw, I agree with Jordan that we can be grateful we live in a society – in UK, Canada, USA, Europe, etc – in which daily fear of tyranny is not rife, but I disagree that we should have to clean out rooms before discussing solutions to the endemic corruption, debt slavery and induced ignorance that the masses still endure. Much room for improvement, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to think and talk about it!)

  10. Tl;dr version of the article above:

    I disagree with this man so he shouldn5be invited to speak.

  11. Everything he says is incredibly vague or flat out wrong? Well, no. A friend said he propounded magical thinkings, so I listened to his lectures actually looking for a magical thought and finally found one – he stated to a pastor a star millions of miles away could not have sent out a photon without his eye being there to receive it. Specifically magical, I thought. Case closed. Not so. I was listening to one of his Bible lectures, filling in an idle hour with the fascinating thought that this is actually interesting to young men, when he expounded this same theory, but with a context, he had it from the reading of a physicist (possibly James Murray?) insofar as he understood it – it appeared to be to do with the strange relationship of consciousness to the physical universe (perception of movement at a subatomic level affecting movevement and all that). Of course, I started with a statement “He’s a magical thinker” and found something (eventually) to substantiate it – but then listening to him more, I discovered there was some physical/intellectual basis for his statement. (I could have discovered this by asking him a question, should I ever get a chance to meet him.)

    That women have been oppressed by patriarchy is an appalling theory is a truth universally acknowledged, I don’t think. But he might be referring to the fact that the economic and legal disadvantaging of women does not deprive them of their inalienable spirit – see Fanny Price’s conquest of Mansfield (could be called Patriarchy) Park (it’s a man’s field out there). Of his own daughter he has said, or to her I should say, don’t use this (your mental and physical conditions) as a crutch. He doubtless says the same thing to himself about his own – though there is a question to be asked there. Does he need to be top lobster in order to keep his serotonin levels up? And not crash into a severe depression? A question to be asked (should you ever get to meet him – which you could).

    The question I would ask is, is it intellectually honest to blame Marx for Stalinist oppression because of how he feels about such Neo-Marxist Post-Modern oppression as he finds in academe? To claim Dostoevski’s approach to the vanities of young up and coming Socialists is the same as he found in Canada in his early life is a truth, I assume, as he says it is – but this is the problem of humankind, not of Socialism which has been tried out in various forms with various degrees of success at different times around the world. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. (I thnk.)

    I would like to close with thanking Jordan Peterson for his inestimable contribution to my emotional and cultural life – this by tweeting a link to One Froggy Evening on YouTube. Perhaps the most riveting cartoon of my young life was the followup, The Singing Frog. Since then I have been following the creator, Chuck Jones, round YouTube from his Bugs Bunny/Roadrunner shorts, through his So Much For So Little 1949 shoutout for socialised medicine, through his Young Men’s Group friendly Kipling cartoons, to his simply staggering The Bear Who Wasn’t which you simply just have to go see.

    Also, as an avid Jungian, ask Jordan one simple question. Does he have Saturn rising? Saturnine, or what?

    Tony Addison (sorry, Oxon).

    Falling between these two stools goes his words on Marx –

  12. Not welcoming any discussion is only going to lead to stagnation. All idea’s should be welcome to create debate. That’s been how civilization has progressed through all history. There is no upside for society to refuse to engage.

  13. “Through watching his speeches and reading his book, it becomes clear that everything he says is either incredibly vague, or flat out wrong.”

    That means you are either incredibly dense, or incredibly dishonest.

    Which is it?

    • Exactly! The author of this piece has revealed not that JP is an emperor without clothes, but that he himself is an arrogant dolt who thinks he has superior skills and wants to stifle discussion. Yes, let’s ban a Harvard chap who has been immensely successful because you don’t like him. I would love to see him debate Dr Peterson as he’d surely fail miserably.

  14. Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t make it vague. If you know his ideas well you can tell exactly what he is saying.

    • I understand what Peterson is trying to say but I agree with the author that he’s vague.

      His understanding of Marxian theory is very basic (social science basic) and he makes very obvious and self evident points that do come across as self help mantras.

      I much preferred the pre self help guru Peterson but he really lacks in any substantive thought in my opinion. There are far better conservative minds out there.

  15. I really don’t understand— if he is as you say he is, then why not public debate to expose him?

    No excuse. If you are correct in what you say— something which I am unqualified to judge— wouldn’t it be *more* important, being you are aware of his lies, to ‘take him on’, so to speak, and ‘expose’ him on camera and put it all over the internet to prevent more people being fooled?

    Aren’t that concerned that tens of thousands of people take Professor Peterson seriously?Are you happy to watch people taken in by this ‘charlatan’ as long as it doesn’t affect you. Are you are unwilling to stand up for logic, reason, and your beliefs in the face of nonsense. I don’t think you are. But this post certainly implies it. Do nothing rather than pick apart the weak arguments of those who harm debate but are becoming increasingly more popular around the world. Do nothing, ducking underneath the covers, running away, cannot count as ‘doing something about it, rather, let the problem fester until it’s uncontrollable; people in their tens of thousands yell ‘crazy third waves’ as they stand up straight in unison. But maybe this is not the place to do something about it. Maybe it’s not even Oxford’s problem. Thank you for the article, nonetheless.

    PS: Maybe at the very least, we could give him the credit he’s reached a portion of the public in a way other self-help gurus have been yet to after all these years.

  16. Incorrect, he became famous for refusing to refer to someone by their chosen ‘pronoun’.
    Which is a choice I agree with.
    Biologically there are two sexes, mentally there can be as many as a person chooses, but that doesn’t make it accurate.

  17. It is a typical liberal elite conspiracy to stop freedom of speech and the truth. The liberal elite are hypocrites of the highest order.

  18. Mmm, so being young and stupid entitles you to criticise a person who’s been lauded as one of the most important intellectual thinkers of the last 20 years, by people who would know far better than you how to recognise such a person?
    Is being an idiot the price you pay for being “woke”?

  19. Of course Jordan Peterson should be allowed to speak. He has some very interesting views and shows particular concern for the role of young men in modern society. Debate is paramount whether or not you agreevwith a speaker’s views.

  20. You say that he said “there are far more female physicians than there are male physicians,”
    I remember him saying that there are now (in the UK) already more female physicians than male physicians. This is in fact true and has been since last year.

    It would be good if you were more careful when collecting allegedly false statements.

  21. This is a typical response from universities these days – along the lines of “I find what you (petersen – or any speaker) say is offensive, therefore i’m going to stop you saying it”. A corruption of free speech and debate; which is the prime aim. To win the argument by killing it.

    Personally I agree with some of what he says, some not, but to get to that point one has to first open ones mind, listen, evaluate, reflect and move on. Its an ‘I think thing’ not ‘group think thing’ – we are humans not the borg.

    As a footnote. If you think he is a charlatan, prove it. Debate your point, keep him honest; in footballing terms “make him play”; if you have the courage.

  22. It has always been clear that C16 would depend on a code of practice, moreover it was made clear that this would follow the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s example. This characterizes refusing to use certain
    pronouns as harrasment per se.
    Of course there may still be room for debate, but it would appear the author of this blog has not done anything like enough research to entitle them to express an opinion.

  23. Sad you want to shut someone down because you don’t agree with them.

    You lie when you say Jordan Peterson hasn’t helped anyone, listening to his talks has helped me, and I am a black woman.

    You should grow up, the world is full of people we don’t agree with.

  24. It is so disappointing to see an opinion piece with so little originality, confidence and gumption in a student newspaper. Opposing a speaker that challenges left-wing ideas at a student university is just so predictable and mainstream. If the author disagrees with Professor Peterson’s views, or thinks that he has nothing of value to say, perhaps he could apply his extensive study of Peterson’s work to an article challenging his thesis that the emergence of post-structuralism in the academy in the 1960s is responsible for stultifying the promise of liberation feminism of the 2nd wave. After all, that is the level of discourse Professor Peterson operates at. If the author of this article thinks he has nothing of any value to say, perhaps he could engage this debate.

  25. This is one of the most arrogant articles I think I’ve ever read; mischaracterizing and oversimplifiying someone’s beliefs to the point at which you argue they have nothing of value to say, despite them being an ideological icon to many people is honestly disgusting. The author of this article should be ashemed of themselves for their hubris if they actually believe what they’ve wrote, claiming someone’s opinion is of such little worth they should not be allowed to speak was one of the most disappointing things I’ve read for a while. I really hope the editor doesn’t let nonsense like this slip through again.

  26. … it becomes clear that everything he says is either incredibly vague, or flat out wrong…

    Are you for real???? He’s the most sane, humane, honest clinical psychologist I’ve ever listened to. The problem is, his home truths are unpalatable to many, who don’t want to hear them and continue to live in some airy-fairy world. Get real.

  27. Elliot, you are a disgrace to academia. You can use many words to produce this ‘article’ whilst completely not knowing what you are trying to do. Typical ‘strawman’ endeavour. Disgusting, blatant and purposeful misrepresentation of JBP and the things that he speaks of. Your piece reeks of low level attempt at researching his work and philosophy whilst admitting that what you get from that ‘research’ is at its best vague to you. This shows intellectual inferiority in grasping the man’s main points he’s been putting across over last 2 years and it shows, oh so clearly, the effect of powerful brainwashing you’ve sustained by not sticking your head out of the leftist information bubble you clearly reside. Accusing the man of lies at the same time admitting you don’t know what he’s talking about? (vague). You are an utter disgrace to academia and logical, open discourse. You are the exact type of person free speech advocates warn us against. What a desperate man you must be if you’d rather kill open discussion to hold on to your imaginary views. Cowardice is one of the main characteristics of leftist ideologues – you are afraid of anyone who can coherently and brick by brick deconstruct your utopian monuments. Therefore you fight to silence them as you have no chance in battle. Pathetic.

  28. One should always be willing to listen/debate another regardless of their beliefs, biases or reputation and should listen objectively.

  29. One should always be willing to listen/debate another regardless of their beliefs, biases or reputation and should listen objectively.

  30. The only message I’m getting here is this article was written by an angry person who certainly made up their mind that they really don’t like Jordan Peterson.

    Judgement seriously impaired – nothing he says is seriously vague. He talks with incredible precision if you listen.

  31. This whole article is another way to say, “So tell me about the lobster…”

    If Peterson is so dishonest and incompetent, DEBATE HIM. Show. Me. What. You. Got!

  32. […] In an article on a blog I have never encountered, but somehow still popped up on my phone went I went to Google, Mr. E Gulliver-Needham (a student at Oxford) argues that Dr Jordan Peterson should not be allowed to speak at the Oxford Union, an institution known for hosting controversial debates and speakers. I believe he is wrong (you can read the blog I am referring to here). […]

  33. Hi, actual Canadian here, and one of the many lawyers in Canada who are concerned about Bill C-16 and its legality, application, enforceability, and opportunity for abuse to either unduly restrict or compel speech. We need look no further than recent events at Wilfred-Laurier University to see exactly the latter concern manifesting.

    Perhaps the best argument in favour of Peterson being invited to Oxford Union is the existence of this very article.

    What is the purpose of a University, if not to dispel ignorance; and this article has demonstrated ignorance in abundance, with its glib and wildly innacurate interpretation of the situation with Bill C-16 and of Peterson himself.

    Let the man speak and be judged on his own words, rather than those of a poorly informed commentator.

    • I couldn’t have put it better myself. This article typifies why proper (actual) debate is needed.

  34. I am so glad to see so many sensible replies here.
    For a moment I was truly worried that the youth was being brain washed by this garbage article but faith restored.
    We will not have our speech suppressed and open debate must continue

  35. You are an advocate for anti-free speech. If all human beings are equal in your far left ideology, then just like you are allowed to express your opinion then this guy is entitled to express his. Equality under the law and not bias under social construct.

  36. I will bet my life that the author of this article has not read The Road to Wigan Pier.

    Orwell was arguing for socialism, but he also made enough criticisms of it that the Left Book Club initially asked him to cut the entire second half of the book!

  37. The article says lies, yet fail to address any one lie they claim Peterson speaks, as he and others with differing opinions have stated many time people who disagree don’t want to debate his ideas as they don’t stand up, watch the channel 4 interview and make Ur own conclusions as this article is obviously trying to discredit a person that goes against an agenda that is being pushed by the media and others. Peterson uses facts and statistics for his claims and those who disagree call him a liar for it, hence why the article doesn’t address anything he says specificly. Peterson is a freedom of speech advocate and wants equally of opportunity, this article states this is hate or a disguise to spread hate speech, remember Peterson has a growing following and papers, media have a dwindling one, mainly due to the agenda the liberal media have been spreading for years with devastating consequences. Anyone who reads this should look at Petersons work and talks themselves and see if it makes sense, when ever people try to silence someone they generally have a motive to do so.

  38. Typical leftist response to silence viewpoints they don’t agree with. It really is laughable.

  39. No doubt the volume of replies this article has stirred up will be seen or interpreted by those who disagree with Professor Peterson as the commenters being his ‘hate army’ out to chastize those like the Channel 4 interview with Cathy Newman.
    I think his viewpoints are a breath of fresh air, in a much needed time of clouded judgments and political lunacy the world over.
    I’m 39, I never had a positive male role model (my father used domestic violence as a tool to achieve his goals), and whilst I was lucky enough not to get de-railed in life through drugs or alcohol, I never felt I had someone to look up to. JP has been a huge inspiration to me, and whilst you are entitled to your opinion about him, the evidence you present and your reasoning is obviously very shallow and not well thought through, which I find a little insulting given he has helped thousands of people ‘stand up straight with their shoulders back’. Is that a lie?
    If I didn’t know better, I’d think the point of this article is to stir up a hornet’s nest and use the comments as ammunition against Jordan Peterson.

  40. “I am in favour of inviting individuals who I disagree with to speak at the Union”

    No you’re not, as you state in your article. Seems like you are the liar here.

  41. Jordan Peterson is one of the sane voices speaking out about the dreadful state of modern society and some of the cures necessary, and to call him a charlatan is flat out wrong. Typical of the left not wanting there paradigm disturbed and not wanting to hear the opposite argument. If you want to believe what Politicians and their servant- the media are telling you, get on with it. You tell yourself that everything is alright and just dandy and walk off the cliff with everyone else!!

  42. It is true that it [Bill C-16] is not explicit in compelling speech; however, the policy and sentencing guidelines surrounding it are clear and they state that the Ontario Human Rights commission are the interpreters of it and ‘misgendering’ of someones pronouns is considered discrimination/ hate speech – not to mention that along with gender identity – an uneccessary addition considering it is inseperable from sex (already protected) – the Bill implies that ‘gender expression’ is a protected group.

  43. Well, this hasn’t gone the way the author expected. Bravo, fellow free-thinkers, it’s always heartening to see ignorance being stamped out where it’s found.

  44. What I struggle to understand here is why would anyone not want the opportunity to debate someone they thought was a liar and a charlatan?
    Would it not be more noble to expose their hypocrisy publicly rather than merely seek to attempt to silence them?
    I have watched many of his interviews and lectures and though I don’t agree with everything he says I have found a lot of sense, clarity and reason also.
    One key point he seems to repeat in relation to freedom of speech and hate crime is ‘what motivates those who wish to define hate?’. By advocating that his right to speak should be denied are you not in effect trying to argue that your point of view is superior to his to such a degree that his point view should not even be heard, and therefore advocating restriction of speech when that speech opposes your view? Your are in short saying you should be given the tasks to define what constitutes truth and hate.
    This is the debate Peterson has inspired, a debate that is long overdue. The right to speak freely is not the right to be deliberately offensive, offence is a risk when searching for truth, if you actively seek to discover the truth you risk being offended, you risk your opinion being challenged, you should welcome that challenge if truly want to test your opinion. Not welcoming that challenge displays doubt in the validity of your own opinions, fear that what you belief may be wrong, and cowardice in face of that fear.

  45. The snowflake generation want to ban Peterson from campuses because they fear what he has to – and the truth hurts sometimes. Peterson is in many ways a liberal, but liberal in the truest sense in that he believes in free speech.

  46. This article is at the heart of so called social justice warriors schtick who kick and scream and anything that offends, this is the absurd reality we are in now. If you disagree with him, fine, to stop him from speaking…well…that isn’t a left or right argument but an authoritarian view of my way or the highway, it serves no purpose other to make you out to be a wailing, spoilt snowflake…mommy…mommy
    ..he called me a snowflake…mommy…get real man!!

  47. Would enjoy a debate between JP and EG-N – same result as most I have witnessed methinks!

  48. Elliot,

    May I suggest you join the discussion? Doing so generally reflects well on the writer. Don’t worry about any comments that come across as rude – just ignore them and we will probably find that the discussion becomes civil and worthwhile.

  49. Let him go and talk then and if he is the liar you say he is then the audience will see that, what are you afraid of? don’t insult the audience.

  50. He packages truisms in an interesting way with a psychological basis, a way of gently testing those boundaries we are allowed to test. He is likely a good force, but a lot of what you say is true—he is too creative to be analytical.

  51. Not wanting a professional Doctor to speak because you dont agree with what he says. Hmm, you know facism is defined as forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, right? There is so much personal feelings attached to this and the article is written in such a subjective manner. Well, one of the major things DR Jordan Petetson talks about is thr lefty nonsense being entrenched in universities, so thank you, for proving his point beyond any reasonable doubt.

  52. Open and honest debate is the only way to protect society from extreme views. You have a golden opportunity to interrogate and expose what you regard as hateful rhetoric and instead of showing the courage to defeat this evil curse you simply move him on to continue to damage the socialist project elsewhere. Debate him and show everyone that compassion trumps reason.

  53. If you are going to be the gatekeeper of ‘worthiness’ – then we are all screwed. Petit Robespierre.

  54. The Union has invited Tommy Robinson, Ann Coulter, and many other people with whom the author of this article might also deeply oppose. It’s too late to begin laying injunctions. If you don’t like his arguments or thoughts, then face him in debate. I’m quite frankly bored of the high-brow pontification aimed at everyone except left-wing, “PC” speakers. I have my criticisms of Peterson and would not consider myself a devoted follower of his, but I see no reason why he cannot come to the Union. He would be far more interesting than the zombie profession of liberal elites who have no connection to ordinary people. Whether you like him or not, he can connect to ordinary people.

  55. Jordan speaks a lot of sense about modern western society. He is a sensitive man with great intellect

  56. If you were around when Copernicus discovered the sun was the centre of the solar system you probably would have written this same trash about him … Wake up and open your mind a little maybe then you will begin to grow as a human ….being!!!!

  57. Sorry, Elliot, but we have freedom of speech in this country, and the Union can invite whoever the hell they like.

  58. You start by saying let’s be completely honest, then go on the biggest tirade founded on a lie that I’ve seen in a long time. Like him or loathe him, you only have to hear Peterson to realise he is logical, rational and quotes his sources. By all means argue with him after you’ve heard him, but you can’t dismiss him out of hand as being irrational without you being so. In fact, he’s exactly the sort of person to provoke careful and in depth thinking (even if only to refute him) – which is exactly what a university should encourage. He should be heard.

  59. Clearly the numbers and quality of replies mostly denouncing the authors stance shows this chap is worthy of listening.
    Of course the author may simply be trying to provoke a response in which case he has succeeded.
    I look forward to his Union speech even more.

  60. As stated by scores of others before me, the author of this inflammatory article has obviously not read or listened to Jordan Peterson’s lectures or conversations.

    If you have, you are egregiously misrepresenting his views, and it occurs that you are attempting to deplatform him because you don’t like what he has to say.

    Fascism of that sort is not attractive. I hope your readers don’t take you seriously, you are an awful journalist.

  61. “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”
    – United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    This quote should indicate enough that despite how you may FEEL about someone, and how RIGHT or WRONG you believe their views to be, you have no say in their upheld ability to express those views in a formal or informal setting. Challenge him if it so suits you, as that is your right (and I’m sure someone such as Dr. Peterson would encourage such an endeavour), but don’t use your proselytizing to take away a right that you or I nor anyone else can withhold from him

  62. As a left wing person for over 40 years I find this article a total embarrassment .

        • I’d like to offer my own summary interpretation if that’s alright:

          Personal responsibility and personal resolve are both tremendously necessary to one, and to all. Responsibility without resolve is impotence. Resolve without responsibility is tyrannical. Lack of resolve coupled with lack of responsibility is parasitic to the self, as well as to everyone who dares lift a finger to help.

          This may seem common knowledge but losing sight of priorities is equally as common. I used to equate being harmless with choosing to do no harm. I couldn’t realize it was exactly that inability that was causing me to lose faith in myself. Tempering responsibility especially when it’s inconvenient, telling the truth particularly when it’s most important, and striving for strength, when such a thing seems least likely to happen are benevolent goals.

  63. You’re a double barrelled twit with a double barrelled name and a shocking indictment of any educational system that would churn out such diatribe. You’re a waste of space, ink and bytes. Go away and stop darkening the world with your half baked snowflake musings. Seriously. Go. Now.

  64. I disagreed with a lot of what Peterson says, don’t get me started on his ideas about truth….
    But if your suggesting deplatforming him you’ve proven his ideas correct.

  65. Whilst I am not a disciple, and have sometimes had a tough time at the hands of those who are, a debate with JP is entirely worthy. You can’t turn him off like a tv channel. And if Oxford no longer has the debating chops to take him on, I despair.

  66. I strongly doubt you’ve actually read what he has written – especially maps of meaning. It seems like you just don’t like his opinions, this article is just an embarrassment.

    Also in regards to C16 go watch the YouTube video with Jordan Peterson in court actually debating it. You’ll see how poorly written and contradictory that bill was.

    You’ve already set out your clear disdain towards the man so anything he proceeded to do you see it in a negative light. Can’t believe that this piece was even published

    • Also, I would advise you to read The Road to Wigan Pier again. There are a lot of criticisms of socialism embedded within it

  67. Its funny but your doing all of what your accusations describe . your desperation is obvious , yet you still released the article . cheesy I know but people are to put bluntly tired of manipulative crap . wake up

  68. Even if you think he has “nothing of worth” to say, let him speak regardless. If you are right people will ignore him, however i think the opposite is true. I believe you are worried that letting him speak will change peoples minds.
    You have to encourage speech from both sides, it cant always be an echochamber in our higher education.
    I am surprised you had called him a bigot. He has never been against women, he merely has a different view as to the role that both sexes play in society.
    If people could take off the bigot, racist, mysogynist glasses when they read or watch something they dont agree with. Things could be discussed in an adult environment where each others counter arguments arent “well he is a bigot dont listen”
    You stopping dr petersen speak only fuels peoples interest to search for him

  69. Typical to see the lefty establishment trying to smear anyone who dares speak some truth. Dr Peterson is one of the greatest minds of our time. It’s about time that so called liberals allow people to have free speech instead of slandering anyone who isnt a leftist ideologue.

  70. How should one judge a system of thought? By its outcomes seems a reasonable approach. Post-modernism, political correctness is corrupting language, thought and has ruined large parts of our higher educational system. Are its adherents happy contented or productive members of society? I would say not, childish, petulant and borderline pyshcotic would be more accurate, with a dash of fascist witch hunter thrown in. The Oxford union has a wonderful track record of being in the wrong side of history, not fighting Hitler being one of them. Marxism and it’s bastard child post-modernism need to be cast into the same dustbin of ideas as national socialism, feudalism and the divine right of kings. Those unwilling to do this will pay a terrible price whatever the outcome with the most terrible prospect that there dark dreams come true and they are faced by the horrible reality of just how wrong they were!

  71. “Why should we invite an ‘academic’ to speak when the majority of their work consists of boring self-help nonsense that actually says nothing and helps no one?”

    His words have helped me to help myself — pulling out of a tailspin of despair, and doubt. I’ve since lost 15 of the ~35 pounds I’ve gained since falling into depression in October 2017. I’m able to support myself again monetarily, and am repairing and reconnecting with friends, and family. No longer so quick to anger or provoke in online discussions and I have re-learned to forgive myself and others. I have more hope and excitement for the future now, than any time in the past 3 years, even in the face of global dilemmas. My goal is to be ready to face as many challenges as possible with courage.

    Currently looking up how Peterson might have been wrong about the effects of Bill C-16. Once I come to understand the issue in its entirety, if it is the case that he’s wrong; it doesn’t invalidate him, or his words on other topics. It’s just another point on which to explore, and consider possibility. I’m also doing what I can with my spare time outside of exercise, career-building, and relationships, to avoid video games and instead, learn and research. Since your metric for inviting someone is to be a help to more than ‘no one’, then let me be that someone that suggests there is no need to stand guard at the gate.

    While time will tell if he speaks nonsense, his words have nonetheless reached me. In turn, I’m speaking and listening to myself again too. This is doing nothing but good for everyone I meet and care about which, Elliot, you may benefit from as well. I hope you decide to attend and listen to a lecture.

  72. The author of this article fires some venom and i guess he has not listened to Jordan Peterson much and made a judgement on lazy research and the cross of narrow mindedness which he bears. Poor chap.
    Listen to JP in detail and with an open and unbiased mind and the heaven’s may open for you.

  73. First off, he was on about norway when he said there are more female physicians than male physicians and hes right its literally close to a 20 to 1 ratio he didnt lie, you misquoted him ( i garauntee on purpose ).
    Secondly, reading George Orwell who is a well known defender of socialism doesnt me you cant realise that socialisms wrong when reading him ie. Does that mean he has to come out agreeing with Orwell after reading his book, thats just complete idiocy. For example if i read mein kampf and think wow hitler national socialism is evil and wrong is that me drawing a falsehood? No, i just think all his arguments for it are wrong. ( i know mein kampf doesnt talk about national socialism but you get my point )
    Thirdly, stopping the guy from speaking is suppression of free speech so no youre not pro free speech; this article just makes you look worse than Peterson.
    Lastly, the ontario human rights commision released a document saying that misusing a persons pronouns is classed as gender based harassment.
    You are so wrong its not even funny to be honest, why post something so wrong and deluded and with an obvious political agenda. Funny thing is youll know youre wrong and will continue to believe this because youre a slave to one idealogue.

  74. I read your article twice, just to ensure I understood your stance. Your piece is nothing more than opinionated drivel. It is obvious, that your resentment of his intellect, is the real issue. Even in your attempts to explain, in your view, his very deep messages, you show how intellectually inferior you are to him. I am really very sorry that you allow your feelings and beliefs to blindly guide you through life. Jordan Peterson is far more necessary, to any debate, than a whole generation of people like you could ever be. Hopefully, he can shine a great big light on the dangers of indoctrinating young minds into hatred, identity politics and backwards political correctness.

  75. The thing that disturbs me about this article and others like it is that while the writer is obviously of some intelligence they put forth arguments that are either completely without foundation or, and I find this most likely, they have been convinced of such facts by someone of a biased opinion who most probably has a compelling conviction or persona, this they blunder off in to the world repeating this wisdom and looking at us like we’re the mad ones when in fact they are the ones who have been brain washed.

  76. I think he makes excellent points about the pay gap myth and as somebody concerned about the double standards of feminism and the misandrist angle, I’d love to hear him.

  77. Even the suggestion of no platforming Jordan Peterson should embarras anyone who believes they are able to engage in intellectual debate but for the Oxford Union to do so would be a clear sign that it had completely lost its purpose.

  78. Perhaps you offer to debate your views face to face with Professor Peterson when he comes to Oxford Professor Peterson has repeatedly asserted that he seeks to understand others’ views, challenge his own beliefs and seek to further an understanding of the subject. Your views would, I suggest, be helpful in Professor Peterson’s quest for understanding and truth.

  79. The only things I have seen or heard from J Peterson are untrue. I have never managed to get more than a few minutes into what he is saying as his premise for his argument is always false. There for he can come up with any conclusions he likes. He may of said something of worth but I have yet to hear it.. A case of the boy who cried wolf to many times I am afraid. He appeals to those on the right that are desperate for some validation of their own agenda. It does not take the great minds of the union to unravel his arguments, a well educated child could do that. So I hope he speaks and is shot down and humiliated for his falsehoods.

  80. I absolutely agree with this article and fail to see any appeal in JP. I sincerely hope Oxford University sends him packing and others will do likewise

  81. I absolutely agree with this article and fail to see any appeal in JP. I sincerely hope Oxford University sends him packing and others will do likewise

    • “…fail to see any appeal…”

      And? Others do and are willing to hear him speak. This is a free country. Should you be “sent packing” because I fail to see any appeal in your comment?

  82. In what could be (but presumably isn’t) a reply to my observation above that it would be intellectually dishonest, would it not, to blame Marx for Stalinist and other tyrannical Communist-originated regimes Jordan Peterson recently posted a link to an eight hundred plus page book called The Black Book Of Communism. This, unsurprisingly, details all the horrors perpetrated by the tyrannical leaders of such-named regimes. I mention this only because it highlights one enormous difficulty in the way of debating with Jordan Peterson. If he can say, they want to tear down the patriarchy, and do you know what the patriarchy is, man? That’s Western civilisation. It may not be perfect but it gave us the best idea human beings ever came up with, and that’s the idea of the individual. And that’s a whole lot better than starvation and a totalitarian regime! And he can say that, and does, and they may be women socialists in Sweden or legislators urging him to use certain transgender-friendly pronouns, then it’s a kind of difficulty here, debating with him, is it not? You’re stating that a Western civilisation that’s a patriarchy ia better than a totalitarian system that kills people by the millions and sends th4m to gulags because it fosters the primacy of the individual. What’s good about a civilisation that sends people to die in their millions in war? That slaughters them systematically in concentration camps? Or engages in mass genocides against them? Enslaves them en masse, deprives them of their land, burns them as witches? The problem would appear to be one of consciousness, arising from the original act of eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the projection of the shadow of evil onto others as a result of that in the light of the overweening ego. But to have this debate out in full I would need more words than would be possible in the format provided.

    Sincerely.

    Does not your Bible class, Jordan, and your Jungian strudies tell you that the prohem

    But to have this debate out in full I would have to have the same amount of words as Jordan Peterson at my disposal and in this respect he is the patriarch here.

  83. Those bits of slight overstatement at the end are there to be edited out. Problems of the machine. Well, and the editing process. Sorry about that.

    T,

  84. Free speech is so very important so he must of course be allowed to speak. I disagree almost entirely with the content of your article but respect your right to that opinion.

  85. The writer of this article has never remotely implied that Peterson shouldn’t be invited because he personally doesn’t agree with him. Where did he say that?

    He simply thinks that Peterson lacks sufficient substance, as a thinker, to merit the invitation.

    That’s different.

  86. “Jordan Peterson is a charlatan. Let’s be completely honest about what he represents. Through watching his speeches and reading his book, it becomes clear that everything he says is either incredibly vague, or flat out wrong.”

    After reading this I knew there wouldn’t be anything of substance to read so I stopped.

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