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Maps of Meaning by Jordan B. Peterson, a book review

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A Review of "Maps of Meaning: The architecture of Belief" by Jordan B. Peterson

Professor Jordan B. Peterson (JBP), a Canadian, grew up as a Christian, but like many of us, did so as a religious skeptic, just short of a heretic on the religious spectrum.

Believing that many Christian tenets were absurd, he willingly gave up the Church and the cultural infrastructure that had nurtured him.

But when he asked himself how evil came into the world, he had no answers, having willfully abandoned the moral platform upon which he stood.

He believes that our progression through human motivation has left us on a barren post-modern nihilistic landscape, a Hobbesian dessert neutered of values that give rise to human meaning.

It is a moral cul de sac in which group identities "duke it out" for their slice of an empty concept of empowerment.

Seeing where this progression has led us, JBP goes back to the moral drawing board, beginning with first principles, to reinvent the moral wheel for himself as a Psychologist and academician.

Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Jung and Orwell, amongst many others, help him along this journey, but they too give only partial answers.

When younger, JBP's default position was ideology.

Socialism allowed him to adopt a utopian stance where he concluded that the moral issue of the day was lack of "economic justice."

But was this really the root of all evil?

While at University he noticed that those he respected had achieved something both "difficult" and "consequential."

However, his left-wing cut-buddies had nothing to show but stored-up ideological resentments.

They lived only to complain.

Until he read Orwell's "Road to Wigan Pier," JBP had begun to distrust the questions ideologies were capable of answering.

Orwell taught him that Socialists didn't really like the poor, they just hated the rich more.

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Retired Foreign Service Officer and past Manager of Political and Military Affairs at the US Department of State. For a brief time an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the University of Denver and the University of Washington at (more...)
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