From Dr. Jordan B. Peterson <[email protected]>
Subject JBP Weekly
Date August 17, 2020 12:16 PM
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Calculating Depth of Betrayal, Beyond Good and Evil, and Revisiting Toxic Masculinity with Jocko

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** August 17, 2020 | DR. JORDAN B. PETERSON

** On Calculating Depth of Betrayal
The following is from a previous draft of Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life.

It’s no simple thing to calculate degree of betrayal, but it can be done. To do so, it’s necessary to consider the hierarchical manner in which we organize our value structures. We know that it is better to be a good person than a good parent or a good friend, as a good person subsumes good parent and good friend. It is better to be a good parent than to be a good cook, and better to be a good cook than a competent dicer and peeler of vegetables, for exactly the same reason. The ways in which we consider ourselves and others moral, in general—that is, properly oriented in the world; trustworthy; competent—are amalgams of micro-skills, sequenced into minor skills, arranged into expert abilities, compiled into higher-order values. You cannot teach a three-year-old child to clean his room by locking him in his room and commanding “clean your room.” There is no reason to assume that he has the higher-order skills (and the corresponding moral value) that corresponds to that command: not without
a lot of practice.

You can walk into his toy-scattered room with him, and point at a toy, and say, “see that doggy?” and wait for him to nod yes and give him a pat on the head for manifesting low-level skill and value number one. Then you can say “could you pick up that doggy?” and when he does so indicate approval once again. Then you could point to the shelf, and say, “see that shelf?” and when he shows his understanding you can say, “see where there is a space, beside your teddy bear? Could you take the doggy and put it beside the teddy bear?” And then you can do that thirty times and you have started to build up the micro-structure of the moral hierarchy “clean your room,” which you might regard, in turn, as a micro-element of “be a civilized and competent child (or adult).” And there are many such micro-elements. They don’t generally all have to be built painstakingly piece by piece from the absolute bottom-up, because children (and adults) can generalize. Often a few examples will suffice.

Understanding the hierarchical structure of moral value helps explain perceived severity of offence (and of likely sensitivity to insult). “You’re a bad child,” pretty much criticizes every subordinate skill and ability that the child in question has developed to date. The same might be said of a very general criticism of a marital or other intimate partner: “You can’t do anything right,” for example, is a real killer, particularly if you add to it “and you’ve never done anything right in your life.” “You’ll never change,” is also effective, particularly when added to the previous two. I am not saying that people are not sometimes driven to extremes, and even justifiable extremes, by the repeated recalcitrance and misbehavior of those they have the misfortune to know and love. But, generally speaking, a very specific, high-resolution criticism, perhaps couched in something approximating an affirmation: “Thanks for cleaning up the dishes. Do you think you could wring out the dishrag,
and hang it up? Then it would be perfect.” I know that’s a bit pollyannish, but it beats the hell out of “every time you do the damn dishes you leave that filthy rag in the sink.”

Now we tend to produce negative emotion in precise proportion to the hierarchical level of our error. It is much worse to be accused by someone of being an unreliable and dishonest person than to be taken to task for a single, precisely specified untruth: “You are a liar,” said to your teenager, is not as effective, except in special circumstances, as “You told me you were going to your friend John’s last night to study, and I found out you went to a movie” or even “Look, kiddo: You usually tell me the truth, and that makes our relationship a lot easier. Thank God for that, because enough lies and we’re sunk. But I just found out that you went to a movie last night, instead of going to your friend John’s to study. What’s up with that?” And it’s even more helpful if the question is genuine, instead of merely rhetorical and accusatory. Maybe, with an overture like that, you might be able to coax (1) a genuine admission from your recalcitrant teenager, who doesn’t feel like he is about t
o be flayed; (2) have a real conversation about why the lie appeared to be necessary (and whether it was; and (3), more importantly, determine jointly how to ensure that even a rather minor mistruth of that magnitude might be unnecessary in the future. That’s the point, right? Precision reduces conflict and increases the probability of problem solution. It raises fewer hackles. It threatens less of the accused person’s map. It destabilizes their emotions less intensely. It increases the probability that they might admit to the error, and reconsider. The purpose of catching the lies of the past is to stop the untruths of the future. And it’s very important to keep that point in mind because it helps limit the tendency toward impulsive, angry, and counterproductively harsh punishment.

Join the discussion on thinkspot ([link removed])

Recommended Reading

** Beyond Good & Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future ([link removed])

Friedrich Nietzsche
[link removed]

** Beyond Good and Evil
"The Brilliant Arrogance of Nietzsche"
[link removed]

"'s hard to read difficult books, like Beyond Good and Evil, because you're just forced to think and think, and it's just exhausting. You wish that he would just go away. Which is why they are trying to not teach difficult books in universities anymore so that people don't have to undergo the difficult process of actually having to think and transform themselves."
-An excerpt taken from S2 E48: Our Emotions and the Social Hierarchy – Part One ([link removed])

Recent Media Releases
Maps of Meaning is now airing on the Jordan B. Peterson Podcast.
* Released yesterday: S3 E19: Maps of Meaning 4 – Marionettes & Individuals (Part 3) ([link removed])
* This podcast series is taken from Dr. Peterson's 2017 lectures at the University of Toronto. The third part in this mini-series concludes the analysis of Pinocchio, to illustrate the manner in which great mythological or archetypal themes inform and permeate both the creation and the understanding of narratives. Listen to the episode and join the discussion. ([link removed])

The first episode of Maps of Meaning ([link removed]) was released three weeks ago. Join the discussion on the Context and Background ([link removed]) of the lecture series: the search for meaning against the backdrop of the Cold War, chaos, and ideological conflict.


** thinkspot: New and Trending
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* REVIST: "Toxic Masculinity" and the Powerful Dichotomy of Being a Man - Gregg Hurwitz ([link removed]) - Jocko Willink ([link removed])
* On Jordan Peterson ([link removed]) - So Much Things To Say ([link removed])
* We know what personality is; but what is character and can it be measured? ([link removed]) - Bael
* Why Virtue Signaling is a Progressive Phenomenon ([link removed]) - gwp
* Ethics are embedded in Science ([link removed]) - KrisKobi

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