We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Your group identity is not your cardinal feature. That’s the great discovery of the west. That’s why the west is right. And I mean that unconditionally. The west is the only place in the world that has ever figured out that the individual is sovereign. And that’s an impossible thing to figure out. It’s amazing that we managed it. And it’s the key to everything that we’ve ever done right

Jordan Peterson

36 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Mr Ed

    In a way, I think that this point is adumbrated 😉 in Mozart (and E. Schickaneder’s) The Magic Flute, when Papageno is asked by the Prince who he is and he replies’Wer ich bin? (Dumme Frage!) Ein Mensch wie Du! Wenn ich dir fragte wer Du bist?

    Who am I? (Stupid Question!) A person like you. When did I ask you who you are?“.

    i.e. ‘We are all individuals.

  • staghounds


  • Paul Marks

    I agree with what Jordan Peterson says here – but the People’s Republic of China does not agree, and the PRC is becoming the most powerful nation on Earth (not yet – but things are going that way). Partly because China has the largest population on Earth and mostly privately owned manufacturing exporters – but also because the West is horribly corrupted, government spending (mostly on the Welfare States) is around half the entire economy in most Western countries – and the rest of the economy is dominated by endless regulations. We have betrayed our traditions and inheritance – and our enemies smile and prepare our destruction.

  • Janine P.

    but the People’s Republic of China does not agree

    Yeah but their bubble will burst eventually, exactly because the current prosperity and growth is incompatible with Chinese state values. And history shows China is prone to consumes itself in a shower of blood.

  • the other rob

    Given that I am incapable of not petting a cat that I meet on the street and that my default position is “Life is pain, Princess”, I think that I might enjoy reading this book.

    I shall do so. I may or may not report back.

  • Flubber

    “China is prone to consumes itself in a shower of blood”

    Well so are nations with a small percentage of Muslims and we’ve taken care of that precondition…

  • Thailover

    True, individualism is difficult for most people to even remotely get right. 99 out of 100 don’t know egoism from egoTism. (Ego simply means “I”, BTW in Latin). And understanding that helping myself helps others too rather than “steals from them”? Forget about it. Getting people to understand the win-win of free exchange (of ideas, goods and services or even a tip of the hat) is mindbogglingly difficult it seems. Zero sum seems to be hard wired into most people’s brains. ‘Must be an evolutionary tribal thing. The other side of the altruist coin is self loathing. Just ask Nancy Peloci about those rotten white people, right?

    If you find Jordan B. Peterson even remotely interesting, then you MUST watch this short youtube interview by “Roaming Millennial”. She’s an up and coming youtube star. (Relatively smart and definitely beautiful).

    I find Peterson usually all over the place in his reasoning process, but he seems rather down to earth and passionate in this vid, even if he does exasperate himself at one point.

  • Julie near Chicago


    “…all over the place in his reasoning process….”


  • Julie near Chicago

    A. A violent order is a disorder; and
    B. A great disorder is an order. These
    Two things are one. (Pages of illustrations.)


    –Wallace Stevens, “Connoisseur of Chaos”

    ( http://djstein.tripod.com/ and elsewhere)


  • Julie near Chicago

    Although Mr. Stevens ends his poem with this:


    The pensive man . . . He sees the eagle float
    For which the intricate Alps are a single nest.

    . . .

    I suppose that the Crazy Man *g* is trying to be that pensive man … but he chooses Jung as his guide — no time to finish the thought, but the nest is encircled by the mountains of Mordor I guess.

  • Janine P.

    Well so are nations with a small percentage of Muslims and we’ve taken care of that precondition…

    Hahaha. You think that’s showers of blood? Muslim violence in the west is a rounding error! No, this is showers of blood. If you’re not talking dead in the tens of millions then GTFO.

  • bob sykes

    Unfortunately, the idea that one’s true identity is one’s race and/or sex has won the day. Listen to any young person, especially a college kid, and hear the hive mind buzzing.

  • terence patrick hewett

    That the true conservative believes that man is an original sinner and all his works are flawed, is a classical Christian outlook. Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost may give us an insight into the opposing view:

    “Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit,
    Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste,
    Brought death in to the World, and all our woe.”

    Thus does John Milton frame the argument that Satan, an heroic but flawed figure, is brought down by Pride: tortured by the knowledge of his reliance upon his Creator, he argues that he should have equal rights to God and that Heaven is an unfair Monarchy. Satan is cast as a classical hero but because of his arrogance and delusion ends as a dust eating serpent, unable to control even his own body. The Devil’s logic:

    “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”

    Everything changes and nothing is absolute he says.

    Satan was a good Progressive and a good Socialist as Phillip Pullman has spotted to his advantage.

    The words “fairness,” “equality” and “progressive,” all words much loved by politicians, become subjective and meaningless when not measured against absolute values. Britain no longer has an absolute set of moral ethics: they have abandoned western society’s Judaeo-Christian roots and repudiated and vilified the very structure and basis of society itself.

    The concept of Western Values is a lazy vacuous platitude: the last refuge of a political scoundrel.

  • Thailover

    Terence, Ironically, the Satanists and Luciferians use the early Christian and Islamic view of Satan to support their anti-monarchal and pro-freedom views. They just have a different take on the same story. In the Koran, Iblis, soon to be Shatan, (but probably Azayzel pre-rebellion), a being of power and ‘tenure’ refused to bow down to something as flawed as humanity in the garden of eden, which for Muslims, was located in heaven. God/Allah sentenced Iblis to death for his rebellion. Satan, in essence said OK, but asked for a temporary reprieve, a chance to see if individual humans would likewise rather die on their feet than live on their knees serving a capricious unjust god. (Of course the proposal wasn’t worded that way). Allah/God agreed.
    (It should be noted that Iblis was known as Shatan after “the fall” from grace.)

    So, the Christians, Muslims, Satanists and Lucerferians are viewing roughly the same story from an entirely different perspective. The “Left Hand Path” view the rebel as a freedom fighter, where as the Right Hand Path view him as a hate filled terrorist. It’s a fascinating story if nothing else.
    Notice the similaity to Emmanual Goldstein in Orwell’s 1984

  • Laird

    “To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
    Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven.”


  • Thailover

    “Satan was a good Progressive and a good Socialist as Phillip Pullman has spotted to his advantage.”

    Quite the opposite in fact.

    Is this the Region, this the Soil, the Clime,
    Said then the lost Arch-Angel, this the seat
    That we must change for Heav’n, this mournful gloom
    For that celestial light? Be it so, since he
    Who now is Sovran can dispose and bid
    What shall be right: fardest from him is best
    Whom reason hath equald, force hath made supream
    Above his equals. Farewel happy Fields
    Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail
    Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
    Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings
    A mind not to be chang’d by Place or Time.
    The mind is its own place, and in it self
    Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n.
    What matter where, if I be still the same,
    And what I should be, all but less then he
    Whom Thunder hath made greater? Here at least
    We shall be free; th’ Almighty hath not built
    Here for his envy, will not drive us hence:
    Here we may reign secure, and in my choyce
    To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
    Better to reign in Hell, then serve in Heav’n.

    A key phrase here is “Here at least We shall be free”. By reign it seems that Satan is talking about self-reign or self sovereignty if you will. Rather than being anti-“western values”, it seems that Satan in P.L. is anti-Monarchy.

  • Lee Moore

    That the true conservative believes that man is an original sinner and all his works are flawed, is a classical Christian outlook.

    Peterson is himself rather enigmatic about matters religious. He seems to confess to being a Christian, but to be less sure of the existence of God. I recall reading a comment somewhere attempting to summarise his philosophy as roughly :

    “God might be dead, but you should behave as if he wasn’t.”

  • Eric

    Peterson is himself rather enigmatic about matters religious. He seems to confess to being a Christian, but to be less sure of the existence of God.

    Has he stated he’s a Christian? He’s certainly very familiar with the Christian bible, which he uses in class to make points about psychology, and I have seen him say something like “every religion has a story similar to this, but even though I’m studying them now I just don’t know them as well as Christianity.” But I’ve never seen or read him profess actual belief in Christianity.

  • Lee Moore

    Well I’m going to stick with enigmatic :

    This is an interview in The Observer :

    Having said that, and noting that his lectures are purely about the psychological rather than the theological value of the Bible, Peterson is a devout Christian. “Yes. Which is a form of insanity. The ethical burden is ridiculous. God might swipe you down even though you’re doing the right thing. But it’s your best bet.


    Note that we don’t get the interviewer’s actual question.

    And then there’s this one :

    I want to ask direct questions about Christianity. Firstly, do you believe Christ existed as a man?
    Do you believe Christ existed within the conception of the Trinity?
    That’s a harder question because it starts to depend on what you mean by the Trinity. The problem with a question like that is that it assumes that the questioner, and the audience and the answerer share the same conceptualisation of the categories. So I would say yes, but it’s a bounded yes because I have a particular conceptualisation of what the Trinity means.
    You call yourself a Christian?
    I don’t, other people do
    Do you object to that?
    I don’t object to it, but it’s complicated.
    So, it’s not unfair?
    It’s not unfair, but I’m not sure that what I mean by that is generally what is meant by that. I could give you a more specific example of that. You have an ethical responsibility if you are a Christian to imitate Christ. So you think “What the hell does that mean? It’s not the Middle East two thousand years ago. What are you supposed to do? put on a robe and parade around on the street?” That’s not what it means. It means something like you need to take responsibility for the evil in the world as if you were responsible for it.
    That’s part of it. That’s the idea of taking the sins of the world unto yourself. And you need to understand that you determine the direction of the world whether it’s toward heaven or hell by your actions of speech and you need to take responsibility for that. I would say that if you do those things then you’re a Christian. But I don’t think that that’s the way people generally conceptualise Christianity.


  • Alisa

    Enigmatic to Peterson himself, it seems, with ‘I’m not sure’ being the indicator.

  • Thailover

    “It means something like you need to take responsibility for the evil in the world as if you were responsible for it.”

    The Rolling Stone’s Sympathy for the Devil is not merely a strange song (a somba in fact), but actually a proper riddle. That’s fairly unique IMO.

    You should give it another listen and try to solve the riddle, and here’s a hint, it’s not about Lucifer. One key is to ask yourself, why have sympathy for the devil?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    So, the Christians, Muslims, Satanists and Lucerferians are viewing roughly the same story from an entirely different perspective. The “Left Hand Path” view the rebel as a freedom fighter, where as the Right Hand Path view him as a hate filled terrorist.

    This is correct except for one thing. Islam, Satanism, most of modern Christianity, Luciferianism, Progressivism, etc view the rebel as a freedom fighter, but Traditionalist Catholicism (which hardly even exists anymore) does not view the rebel as a freedom fighter. Protestantism was originally rightfully viewed as having far more in common with Islam than with Catholicism. Both Protestantism and Islam (unlike Catholicism) rejected hierarchy in favor of scripture, both rejected the reality that spiritual authority is prior and superior to temporal authority, both relied far less on oral law than on scripture, both banned images from places of worship, both largely rejected sacraments (except Baptism and Eucharist in Protestantism which quickly lost their sacramental character), both largely rejected religious sacrifice, and both rejected monastic orders.

    The Left Hand Path does indeed view the rebel as a freedom fighter. But, rightfully understood, in Star Wars the Sith are the good guys and the rebels are the villains because, as King Solomon said, the wise man’s heart inclines to the Right.

    By reign it seems that Satan is talking about self-reign or self sovereignty if you will. Rather than being anti-“western values”, it seems that Satan in P.L. is anti-Monarchy.


    Monarchy is of the Right, after all.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    All together now, all sing, “We’re all individuals!”, as in The Life Of Brian.

  • “Well I’m going to stick with enigmatic” (Lee Moore (January 28, 2018 at 6:14 am)

    I’d say there’s nothing enigmatic about whether he was a Christian or not: clearly, Peterson is a Christian.

    His character – his habit of being very precise with words and meanings – comes through strongly in the interview you quote. Most obviously, he states “”It’s not unfair” for anyone to call him a Christian, while noting that what that means may not be exactly what a questioner thinks it means. Partly, this care is merely prudential (one can so easily imagine Cathy Newman responding, “So you’re saying we must kill all muslims and members of other rival faiths at once to avert Jesus’ wrath” or suchlike), but it also reflects his habit of thinking; I’m not at all surprised that he indicates that if he were asked to clarify his belief in the doctrine of the trinity, he would not just repeat the words of a confessionary formula.

  • Julie near Chicago

    A late-breaking question: Does anyone know whether Dr. Peterson has read what I think is called “the Lamas Bible”?

    And, has anyone an opinion as to its credibility, or its acceptability, by various students of Christian theological history?

    (The subject of this version of the Bible came up some years ago, either here or on the Yahoo Individual-Sovereignty group. I haven’t been able to find the reference using any of the search programs, and of course Yahoo effectively destroyed its Groups’ ability to present search results.)

    P.S. I haven’t gotten much of anything in general searches, not even using Google *expression of grave distaste*. Many the results run to what look (from their names or descriptions) to be some sort of “naughty” sites.

  • Julie near Chicago

    As to whether J.P. “is” a Christian:

    Does he worship?

    It seems to me that whatever “Christianity” means to most Christians, and whatever one’s understandings and beliefs and even agreements with various “Christian doctrines” (be they moral/ethical or theological), there is a regard for God as a being to be worshipped, although not necessarily as a group activity.


  • Julie near Chicago

    Of course, one then must also ask just what the other guy means by “worship.”…

  • Thailover

    After listening to much of his new book, (Audio book of course), it’s plain to me that Dr. Peterson is very sympathetic to much of the modern interpretations of the biblical scriptures, while ignoring the (let’s say “problematic”) aspects of the same.

    He subscribes to a proper understanding of evolution theory, (i.e. that’s where species come from and not a mere “macro” evolution where “kinds” differ after centuries of environmental influence). He thinks the “Eden” texts including the god-cain interaction in chapter 4, is glorious. (I think it’s monstrous).

    He acknowledges that Gen chapters 1 and 2 are retellings of roughly the same story from much older sources/cultures and they in fact contradict each other. I don’t think Dr. Peterson can be called a Christian with a straight face, that is, I have no doubt that he does not believe in a literal, actual, material, magic, flying Jesus rising from the dead and going, literally up, to “heaven” in…uh…outer space.

    Dr. Peterson deals much with allegory and metaphor. That’s fine as long as we keep in mind that actual Christians believe in an actual raised-from-the-grave Jesus who will, actually and literally come back as a harbinger of the “end of times” where you either bow down in subjugation or get tossed into a lake of fire where there will be “wailing and gnashing of teeth”. ‘Totalitarianism by any reasonable assessment.

  • Thailover

    Julie near Chicago wrote,

    “Of course, one then must also ask just what the other guy means by “worship…”

    My view is that it involves not merely putting the sacred on a pedestal, but also immolating oneself in inevitable comparison. ‘A literal endorsement of groveling. “We’re not worthy” indeed. That’s why I’ll never worship anything. I consider it anti-humanity, anti-self respect and anti-material world. It’s not an accident that “Paul” wrote in Romans 1 that humanity is of “depraved” and “reprobate” mind.

    The purpose of the sacred is to sacrifice to it.

    Worship isn’t merely to honor the sacred but to abase the worshiper. I agree with Christopher Hitches in that the Abrahamic traditions have an element of sado-masichism.

  • bobby b

    “I don’t think Dr. Peterson can be called a Christian with a straight face, that is, I have no doubt that he does not believe in a literal, actual, material, magic, flying Jesus rising from the dead and going, literally up, to “heaven” in…uh…outer space.”

    C’mon. I know people who DO believe such things who do not define Christianity so narrowly. Peterson’s take on scripture is entirely consistent with any modern scientific interpretation of 2000-year-old religious text. One can accept the root philosophical precepts without the ancient dross. “God speaks in visions and concepts, man interprets with stilted words and preconceptions.”

  • Thailover

    Bobby B, anyone who does not believe in a literal Jesus can’t seriously be called a Christian. Even Christopher Hitchens believed that “Jesus” was a real historical figure central to all the mish mash trappings and believed in the “golden rule”, but alas he was hardly a Christian.

  • Thailover

    “One can accept the root philosophical precepts without the ancient dross.”

    Accepting root philosophical precepts doesn’t make one a member of an organized religion. I understand that conceptual “things” like rocks and trees and rivers have a nature, and the nature of the thing is the spirit of the thing, which defines it and are qualities that it “contains”. That hardly makes me an animist.

    I recognize that every coin has two sides, that giving and receiving are two views of a single action, that up and down are two views of a single axis. That electron theory and hole theory are two views of a single electronics theory that all circuitry is based on. That hardly makes me a Taoist.

  • bobby b

    T, I have no disagreement with that, but the “magic, flying Jesus” and the ““heaven” in…uh…outer space” parts are what lose me. I’m an agnostic too, but I doubt that many of the eminent scientists and philosophers through history who were far smarter than us but who did believe in Christianity thought to look for heaven behind the moon or thought Jesus could fly, or believed everything came together in seven days, or that all of those animals fit on an ark, or . . .

    I’m guessing you can be a Christian if you believe in a god that delivered agency and choice to people and then forgives them their mistakes through the symbolism of the Trinity (which necessarily includes a living Christ.)

  • Julie near Chicago

    Leaving the theology aside, it’s difficult to find items when one does not call them by their proper names.

    It turns out that I was wondering about the Lamsa, not “Lamas,” nor “Lama,” Bible.

    Per the Foot, it is “derived from the Syriac Peshitta,” which is the version of the Bible used by the Syriac Christians:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamsa_Bible .

    The article on the Peshitta is found, strange to say, at


    . . .

    Thai, J.P. is indeed “all over the place” in his public expostulations, and I don’t see great evidence that in the privacy and convenience of his own head he has what I, at least, would consider to be a rationally systematic logical structure that holds his ideas together. But then I haven’t spent more than 3 or 4 hours, total, with him.

    Already I find a lot that’s jarring, that’s inconsistent, that doesn’t make logical sense, that seems disingenuous; that gets my Inner Critic all stirred up. Overall, he’s not my cuppa, I’m afraid.

    But he really is passionate about the danger present in the idea of governmentally-imposed rules for the use of words, and in that I’m convinced he’s 1000% right. My opinion did indeed go up some notches after I heard one of his UTs on that issue.

    And Yaron Brook is right that it must have taken some guts for him to come out so publicly against the position of his own employer, the U. of Toronto. (Not a big fan of Y.B. either, but some parts of his “show” on J.P. raised my opinion of him some notches also. –“My opinion of him”: going only by his appearances on UT and some of what he’s written, that is. Never actually dated Yaron. *g*)

    bobby, I grew up in the Congregational Church, var. Northern Illinoisian, in the ’40s and ’50s, which was distinctly not doctrinaire — one of the defining features of the denomination at that time and in that place, in fact.

    At that time, every Congregational church was a body unto itself, with no organizational relationship with other Congregational churches and no set doctrine. (Around 1960, many of the Congregational churches gave up their individual nature and merged with the Evangelical and Reformed denomination to form the United Church of Christ. A great pity. For one thing, the “E&R’s” were subject churches. For another, they were Evangelical (in the proper sense), “mission” churches; whereas our church did not proselytize at all, ever — a man’s religion was a matter for his own conscience, or you might say “a man who has not found his own way to God has not found God at all,” if you want to get all flowery about it. Now we have the “Trinity United Church of Christ,” with the REV. Jeremiah “God-DAMN-the-USA” Wright poking the Sith regularly every Sunday with his red-hot pitchfork. 👿 )

    Ahem. Just sayin’.

    So here is what I took away from my own Christian background:

    1. God gave us a brain. He expects us to use it.

    So, God is all for science; and what “God Wants” is for us to figure out for ourselves what is what, and what we — we individuals — should do. We are to make sense of the world as best we can, and to behave as well as we can — in our treatment of ourselves and of others.


    It is said that to be a Unitarian, you must believe in not more than one God. Congregationalism is stricter:

    2. A Congregationalist must believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

    [All mankind are sons of God, and the Biblical Jesus is the symbol of Man as the son, or creation, of God. Thus we are all “equal in the eye of God,” thus no man may be permitted to own another !!! (And yes, many so-called Christians have enslaved others, and done other terrible crimes; this only proves that for whatever reason, they couldn’t sign on fully to the commitment.)]

    We have in English the word “spirit,” a certain sense of our lively selves; we sense the “spirit” also in others (and animals, and music, and many other things as well). The Holy Spirit is the “soul of the Universe,” the spirit that pervades the Universe, which is the Spirit of God Himself.

    What’s so hard about the Trinity? Many things have more than one face, more than one aspect. To me, the Trinity is just a way of stressing the defining attributes, or aspects, of God.


    Just as you say, there are and have been over two millenia many sound, sensible, intelligent, persons, definitely including scientists, who were or are Christians.

  • Thailover

    Julie near Chicago,
    I tried to watch a lecture by J.P. on youtube and he was unfollowable in that particular lecture. But since then I’ve seen him in several interviews and as Yaron Brook said in his podcast, Peterson is literally, physically, all over the place. As I mentioned before, I have his book and I’m about halfway through it now and he’s seemed much more cogent in the other venues I’ve experienced him in.

    Dr. Peterson is given to allegory and metaphor when it comes to religion and spirituality, but I’m not sure how much emphasis he puts on the fact that 99% (I’m guessing) of the people who would call themselves religious are not talking about religion in a Jungian context or talking about a divinity/perfection that would include many religions, not just their religion of preference. I can certainly sympathize with his points, as I’ve been paying attention to the “bigger picture” myself lately. What is it in the human race that compels us to look for a “higher perfection”, and is it important for our species or is it atavistic…etc. Were the ancient Norse tales morality stories only, or were the worshipers expected to believe in a literal, physical Thor, or was Thor personified in the stories, but understood to be a disembodied natural force in reality? ‘Interesting questions.

    Odin, it’s apparent to me, is the progenitor of the wizard archetype, with long white hair and beard, long cloak, big brimmed floppy hat, magical staff and an expert in all forms of magic, even the girly type. (Odin learned the witchcraft usually reserved to women, very un-PC.) A wizard, or wise-ard is someone viewed as wise in all ways, and Odin was considered to be wise and certainly driven to excel. But I digress.

  • Julie near Chicago

    I just saw his BBC-5 interview from a few days ago:


    Some minor quibbles here and there, but no where near as flakey as the pronouncements of some of the Self-Improvement gurus we’ve seen. Reasonably sound, on the whole. I once noticed a young lady who had recently learned to walk, as she quite carefully and deliberately set herself down beside a nice clear space on the wall just above the baseboard, and applied a shortish stroke of crayon. She then set the crayon on the floor beside her and slapped her right hand gently with her left, saying softly, “No!”

    But no one had ever told her not to make crayon marks on the walls. She figured that out on her own, and that it was an act requiring Correction, and what form the Correction would take.


    As to religious stories, it seems to me that many of them, particularly in the Old Testament, are really folklore, with the dressing of the tales varying among the various tribes. It seems to me that many of them can be taken as allegorical commentary on the Human Condition, whether or not they were understood that way when they were still “living” folklore. So by me, J.P. is perfectly welcome to do that, and to make the claim that this or that story is rooted in human psychology (well, where else would it come from — unless you believe in an Interventionist god! *g*) and is reflective of it. But to be taken seriously as a scientific theory, the reasoning supporting the claim has to be given. There’s more to it than just hand-waving and saying “It’s like when …,” which is by the way a phraseology distressingly present even in “highly educated” circles.

    Jung. Jung always struck me as a man whose Mental Map was fantastical, composed of feelings and urges which he couldn’t express except as verbal pictures. (For instance, I think of Munch, “The Scream.” Whatever Munch had in mind, it seems like a painting of something primal.) What the heck is this Collective Unconscious? I am told that it is not, as one would suppose, merely a matter of unconscious mentations or feelings or urges that everyone (for some value of “everyone”) experiences, but an actual thing or entity in its own right.

    When we read a bit of Jung in college, it seemed to me that he himself theorized psychology as a set of allegories. Which is also all right with me, as long as I don’t have to buy the package and no one takes it too seriously in setting public policy. Or uses it to frighten the horses (and the children). And it can be interesting, even entertaining, while still being fictive.

    Actually, I don’t see why people wouldn’t come up with the idea of “gods.” In particular, of a God (or Gods) who is in the position of parental authority, an absolute and absolutely standard fixture in the life of almost every human being since the moment of birth. A Superior Being who may help us or hurt us, praise us and tell us we’re doing fine or punish us and excoriate us, and who may, if he/she/it sees fit, comfort us, support us, help us out when we’re in trouble or lost. A Superior Being who will take care of us at need.

    That is what parents do; God is just the Supreme Parent. It seems like a most natural extrapolation from experience.

    But all of that is highly personal to me, and I would not be entirely shocked to discover it’s all wet.

    Following the link given by Alisa (I think), I couldn’t help noticing that the Dutch interviewer (who looks to me as if he might be of Somali extraction) speaks much better English than does J.P. He actually said “archetypical,” which is correct, and caused my heart to burst with joy. (Yesterday I noticed that same correct usage in a piece by Anthony Flew.) When I was in grade school and high school, we were taught to add suffixes at the end of the word-stem — not to drop the last part of the word and stick the suffix onto the poor amputated thing.


    Thai, are you sure you mean Odin? Your Odin sounds to me a lot like Gandalf. But then, as we know by his own words, the Professor was in thrall of “the Northern thing.” 😉