Psychology professor Jordan Peterson told Breitbart News that people should strive to “lead by example” if they wish to assist others in avoiding the pitfalls of ideology. He spoke with Breitbart News’ Alana Mastrangelo on Thursday at Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit in Palm Beach, Florida.
MASTRANGELO: You talk a lot about the ideologue, and how people fall into the trap of repeating the talking points that they are trained to repeat. How do you make somebody aware that they have fallen into that trap of being an ideologue pr how do make someone aware that they themselves have become ideologues?
PETERSON: That’s partly was education was supposed to do. Hypothetically, you expose people to a variety of different viewpoints; a variety of different deep viewpoints. — so that they actually learn how to think .
In my personality class, for example, the one I taught at the University of Toronto, I go through a whole sequence of psychological schools of thought, and there are contradictions between the schools, and I put forth each school powerfully. I say, ‘Look, this is the axiomatic structure. This is the way the thinking lays itself out in the world. Here’s why it’s useful. Here’s what’s good about it.’ Then I move to the next one and do the next thing.
It isn’t obvious that all of these different things can be true at the same time . That’s what you learn when you finally start to think, You also learn that problems are so complicated that the simple solution that you and a 150 thousand or ten million other people share is unlikely to actually solve the problem when you implement it.
Education is supposed to be, at least in part, the alternative to low-resolution indoctrination. If you’re dealing with people one-on-one, and you’re dealing with someone who’s particularly ideological, sometimes it’s best not to engage. If you can manage it, I would say your other best bet is to lead by example. Have a life. It makes you a credible person, and then maybe you’re someone who can be taken seriously in the context of a discussion.
This is part of the individual responsibility issue. Best to concern yourself with what you can do to straighten things up around you. The people who are opaque to that, until they’re willing to open their eyes to some degree, there isn’t much you can do to force them open. You can offer and hand and can say, ‘Look, we can talk.’ That’s about as far as you can go, but you may find that the conversation goes nowhere, in which case you should probably find something better to do.
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