I deeply respect Jordan Peterson and the work he's done to help people improve their lives, however I've always had a fundamental disagreement with
his core message. He talks a lot about the need for order and purpose, how it's important to be tidy and well groomed, to stand up straight, etc. Now
he isn't wrong in the fact that these things tend to help you succeed because they make you look more mature, so he's basically giving people the
right advice to improve their lives. However on a deeper level I would argue such an approach to life is shallow and ultimately not very fulfilling
because it's aimed at impressing others instead of being true to yourself. There is a story from Principia Discordia that always stuck with me:
Before he became a hermit, Zarathud was a young Priest, and took great delight in making fools of his opponents in front of his followers.
One day Zarathud took his students to a pleasant pasture and there he confronted The Sacred Chao while She was contentedly grazing.
"Tell me, you dumb beast." demanded the Priest in his commanding voice, "why don't you do something worthwhile. What is your Purpose in Life,
Munching the tasty grass, The Sacred Chao replied "MU".*
Upon hearing this, absolutely nobody was enlightened. Primarily because nobody could understand Chinese.
* "MU" is the Chinese ideogram for NO-THING
This argument could easily be interpreted as an excuse for people to do nothing and contribute nothing to society, but I think the moral of this story
has more to do with the fact that life shouldn't be about work, the message is you shouldn't do something just because that's what society expects
of you. There are many examples of mavericks who have transformed our society, we all know one tech guy who walks around in flip flops and never
brushes his hair, yet these people still manage to partake in business meetings or even run entire businesses. Also consider the fact that these types
of geniuses rarely have clean and well organized working environments, they usually aren't messy but they also wont obsess over order and
The point I'm basically trying to convey is that there is no "greater plan" for each of us, we really do create our own purpose and there is
nothing wrong with that, it still can still provide just as much purpose. However there is a very real risk of this philosophy being bastardized and
taken too far, being used to justify what is clearly terrible behavior, by saying things such as "well morality is simply what you make of it, there
is no real meaning or purpose to anything". This is obviously a dangerous way of thinking, and I'm seeing it used by the more extreme liberal groups
who see it as a way to justify their morally questionable behavior. A recent video from VICE titled
The Satanic Temple's Protest for First Amendment Rights
demonstrates this nicely.
The leader of the Satanic Temple, who looks hilariously like a real life villain, says something I find extremely interesting: "They don't have to
pretend they believe in things that are simply intellectually insulting today, that they can still have their ethics, their symbols, they can still
use this metaphorically to contextualize their lives. I think we'll find a lot of people identifying non-theistically with their religions, I think
we're just a little bit ahead of the game", he then explains how Neo-Nazis and KKK members have attempted to derail his agenda. This is precarious
logic because a large fraction of Christians already use the bible as more of a metaphorical tool than a factual retelling of historical events.
The difference with Satanists is that they've chosen to attach themselves to the religion with the darkest symbolism. Satanists may claim that they
don't really believe in a god, but that's really irrelevant to the underlying point. The VICE video covers their attempt to get their statue placed
on the Capitol lawn, a statue of a creepy goat dude being worshiped by children. It's true that morality is subjective, however over time our
societies converge on a system of morality, and moreover it's really much less subjective than one may first assume, for example if something appears
"creepy" to one person there is a substantial probability it will appear creepy to other people. They know the statue will upset most people yet
they push it anyway.
Those people who are drawn to the darker symbology found within Satanism are not necessarily bad people, but they aren't the people we want
decorating public spaces or shaping the moral fabric of society. Also it's quite clear a large fraction of Satanists do believe Satan exists, and
again that's not necessarily a bad thing from my perspective because I'm agnostic and don't particularly care what people believe. That is
precisely why it's highly conceited to believe you're "ahead of the curve" and that it's your job to shatter the belief systems of all religious
people so they can see the world like you do, which is impossible because we all have different ways of coping with existence and I see no reason to
take that away from people.