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"Skeptical Neutrality" and "Courageous Trust"

I picked up this piece on Dr. Jordan Peterson, psychology professor at the University of Toronto. He is deliberately challenging the PC guys on "compelled speech," on forcing people to use transgender pronouns. Or else you lose your psych. prof. gig.

Go and read it, and also my blog post.

But now I want to go into details on his principled objection to compelled speech. He introduces two notions: "skeptical neutrality" and "courageous trust." Here is how he introduces the terms when he says that you have no right to insist on what I call you, that you have no right to action against me if I call you "he" and you want to be called "xe."

First of all, “he” and “she” are not marks of respect. They’re the most casual terms possible. If I refer to someone as “he” or I refer to someone as “she,” it’s not a mark of respect, its just categorization of the most simple and obvious kind. There’s not anything about it that’s individual, or characteristic of respect. Second, you have no right to demand from me that I do anything with regards to you that’s respectful. The best you can hope for from me is sceptical neutrality and courageous trust. That’s it. That’s what you get from me.
There is an interesting point here. If I am talking to you, then we use "you" and "me." It is only in the third person that "he" and "she" occur, when I am talking to a third person about you. So the gender thugs want to control speech between other persons. Also, of course, there is the culture of honor that says that if you question my honor -- usually expressed as courage in battle -- then I have a right to challenge you to mortal combat.

But let us get back to "skeptical neutrality and courageous trust." I immediately pricked up my ears because of the relevance to capitalism, to action in the market, and also to the Prisoner's Dilemma, which ends up in the TIT-FOR-TAT protocol that I offer trust on the first transaction with someone, and then mirror their behavior thereafter. So let's unpack the two terms.
Skeptical neutrality is ‘you’re a bucket of snakes, just like me. However, if you’re willing to abide by your word, and I’m willing to abide by my word, then we’re able to engage in mutually beneficial interactions, so that’s what we’re going to do’.
This is so clear as to be obvious. Any sensible person treats other people with skeptical neutrality unless they have shown themselves to be untrustworthy. You know, like a lefty activist, operating on Alinsky's rules, who really is a snake, because he takes advantage of other peoples' trust to humiliate and marginalize them.
The reason I said courageous trust is to distinguish it from naiveté. Naive people think that everybody’s good. That’s false, everybody’s not good. But acting in a manner that’s hostile and sceptical and anti-social is completely counter-productive.
Gosh. "Hostile and skeptical" would mean that acting like a lefty and using Alinsky's Rules for Radicals would demonstrate to the world that you are hostile and anti-social and any interaction with you would be counter-productive.
So what you do if you’re a mature person is you say ‘well, yeah, you’ve got a dark side, so do I. That doesn’t mean we can’t engage in productive interactions’. We do that by sticking to our damned word. Honesty simplifies us to the point where we can engage in mutually beneficial interactions. But you certainly don’t get my respect by demanding it. You have no right whatsoever to ask me to mark you out as special in any way whatsoever.
In other words, the TIT-FOR-TAT rules apply. The point is that skeptical neutrality and courageous trust apply to all human interactions between consenting individuals. Every act that I initiate is based on a judgement that I can probably trust you, and so I will, this time, always assuming that you are honest and stick "to you damned word." Because if you don't there will be no next time.

The whole point of the lefty world view is that it demands that the rest of the world act in a trusting and honest manner, but that lefties are exempt, per Alinsky, because social justice.

But the whole point of humans as social animals is that, as far as possible, we remove force and subjection, and substitute skeptical neutrality and courageous trust.

All this completely fits into my Three Peoples theory, because the People of the Subordinate Self are people that only understand force and subjection, and People of the Responsible Self act in the world on the basis of skeptical neutrality and courageous trust. As any responsible person must.

Thank you, Dr. Jordan Peterson, for making this so crystal clear. The good doctor has a youTube channel.


perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/07/16 6:54 pm ET


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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/06/16 1:09 am ET


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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/05/16 8:07 pm ET


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perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/02/16 4:14 pm ET


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