Power Claims and Culture Wars
A couple of interesting comments in this exchange:
JV: Christianity is trying to integrate agape and logos together.
JP: Love is the goal and truth is its servant. Truth is the servant of reality, and reality best manifests itself as love.
Generally, both Peterson and Vervaeke are – as has usually been the case – quite respectful of the Christian tradition, despite their each having less than satisfactory church experiences when young.
But I want to point to something else – something very important, something that I have been pointing to in this conversation (Peterson, Vervaeke, Pageau, VanderKlay): natural law. Building on the reality that love, as Peterson points out, is the best manifestation of reality. It is man’s telos, his highest purpose. Pointing to it enables one to deduce the natural law. It’s just that no one in this conversation ever says the two words.
Beginning here, they come to discuss the culture wars – Are the culture wars that deep? The question, referring to the exchange immediately above, about love and truth, and if the culture wars today are a direct repudiation of this. Instead of love and truth, our society is based on nothing but claims of power.
Which comes to my view that the enemy in the culture war is Christianity, but more specifically the enemy is natural law – with love as the goal (telos) for man and truth is its servant.
Peterson asks Vervaeke: is the culture war that deep? Is it a claim of satanic possession of the West? Vervaeke doesn’t answer the question, instead explaining how Foucault and Derrida (post-modernists to Peterson’s thinking) changed their views as they progressed in thought.
JP: is it reasonable for me to assume that Derrida’s and Foucault’s thinking is at the bottom of the claim that I am discussing, which culminates in the assumption that the exercise of arbitrary power is at the core of the Western endeavor? Is that the center of the culture war?
JV: I think that’s symptomatic of something much deeper and has been going on much longer.
Peterson says that this is fair enough, but doesn’t answer the question: Peterson is looking for a corrective, if necessary, or agreement. “Am I taking this in the wrong direction, or am I seeing this clearly?”
JV: I want to say something other than those.
He then discusses his work in cognitive science. He brings it back to Descartes – that we have entered a place that all knowledge is propositional, and what is happening is that the West is realizing that the propositional way is inadequate.
Peterson wants to return to his power claim – recognizing that Vervaeke may have answered this, but Peterson wants to move one step at a time. Vervaeke doesn’t discount Peterson’s views, however he clarifies that it
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