This is Part Six of "12 Rules for Protecting Life: An Antidote to Abortion"—which applies Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life to the issue of abortion.
Rule #11 Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
There are lots of reasons why parents and municipalities frown upon skateboarding. It’s dangerous. It’s countercultural. It’s a public nuisance, and it creates all sorts of liability issues. But Jordan Peterson isn’t buying any of that. More precisely, he doesn’t regard any of these reasons as providing a sufficient rationale for trying to shut skateboarding down or squelch its irreverent boundary-pushing soul. Here’s why:
Kids need to go out and push themselves against danger, because that’s what life is—pushing yourself against danger. And when you see kids doing things that are dangerous but spectacular you kind of have a moral obligation to back the hell off and…
This is Part Five of "12 Rules for Protecting Life: An Antidote to Abortion"—which applies Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life to the issue of abortion.
Rule #9: Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don't
If Rule 7 offers the most straightforward condemnation of abortion, this one might be the most roundabout. I say that because—at first glance—it’s a rule devoid of internal substance. It’s ideologically neutral. It’s the Switzerland of life rules. It refuses to take a side. How then can Rule 9 offer anything like a definitive condemnation of abortion? To my thinking, it all hinges on the word “might.” Jordan Peterson isn’t arguing that all people have something to teach us or that all positions are equally valid, but he does commend a willingness to listen to all comers with an open mind. In today’s political clime, that is an ideological position—and it’s one that moves people emphatically away from abortion.
There are two…
This is Part Four of "12 Rules for Protecting Life: An Antidote to Abortion"—which applies Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life to the issue of abortion.
Rule #7: Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
Of all Jordan Peterson’s rules for life, I would call this one the most explicitly anti-abortion. Abortion, after all, is almost always carried out in service to expedience while opposition to abortion stems from the conviction that every human life is meaningful—and worth protecting. Peterson himself calls Rules 7 & 8 the most central of the twelve. It’s not hard to see why. They are the broadest and most far-reaching. Peterson writes:
Expedience—that’s hiding all the skeletons in the closet. That’s covering the blood you just spilled with a carpet. That’s avoiding responsibility. It’s cowardly, and shallow, and wrong. It’s wrong because mere expedience, multiplied by many repetitions, produces the character of a demon.
Virtually all of the…
This is Part Three of "12 Rules for Protecting Life: An Antidote to Abortion"—which applies Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life to the issue of abortion.
Rule #5: Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
On the surface, this rule may sound pompous and self-serving—the kind of thing you’d expect from not-to-be-bothered parents who won’t deign to be inconvenienced by their kids. But that isn’t it at all. This principle is not primarily for the benefit of parents. It’s for the safety and well-being of children. Jordan Peterson is a big fan of kids, but he’s been around enough of them to know that they’re not the innocent cherubs society makes them out to be. Young children need no instruction when it comes to selfishness and savagery. Peterson writes:
Imagine a toddler repeatedly striking his mother in the face. Why would he do such a thing? It’s a stupid question. It’s unacceptably naive. The answer is obvious. To dominate his mother. To see if…
This is Part Two of "12 Rules for Protecting Life: An Antidote to Abortion"—which applies Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life to the issue of abortion.
Rule #3: Make friends with people who want the best for you
The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about friendship. So does Jordan Peterson. “If you’re going to take responsibility for your own life,” Peterson told one of his Canadian audiences, “then one thing you do is you surround yourself with people who are unhappy when you do things for yourself that aren’t good.” That’s something worth thinking about. There is a category of things you can do for yourself that are not good. The question to ask then is this. Do your friends love you enough to get upset when you do one of those things, or do they just cheer you along towards any end? Love is a tricky thing, you see, and it bears little resemblance…
Since its release in 2018, millions of people—myself included—have read Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. For the uninitiated, you might call it a book-length treatise of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.” If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change. Peterson—who has become a cultural phenomenon in his own right—puts it this way: “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.” That’s Rule 6, and while I might question the inclusion of the word “perfect,” maybe that’s the whole point. So long as there is work to be done in my own life, why waste precious time blaming my ills on someone or something else?