Jordan Peterson On Why Free Speech Is Necessary

In the video below, Jordan Peterson gives his views regarding why he believes free speech is absolutely necessary in order to be able to get to the truth.

The video opens with Jordan Peterson stating that he is not necessarily a free speech advocate, but rather a true speech advocate.

He recognizes that in order to be able to get to the point of being able to speak what you believe to be true, you need to be able to speak without barriers of censorship. He believes that speaking what you believe to be true is your right and your obligation.

He makes the point that in the process of formulating ideas that you believe to be true, you will inevitably make mistakes, and these mistakes will manifest themselves in your speech. He states that people are not that good at thinking and upon formulation of ideas, you will enter unchartered territory.

It is inevitable when learning anything new, that you will ‘stumble around’ and make mistakes. People need to be able to make these mistakes in order to get to the truth.

One way in which we are able to begin to move towards truth, is to make mistakes in our speech and be able to gage people’s reactions to what is being said.

The likelihood of being right from the outset is extremely unlikely when formulating new ideas, because you don’t know everything.

You need to be able to be a ‘fool’ in order to be able to make progress when formulating ideas.

‘So practically speaking, free speech has to be as untrammelled as possible so that people can be wrong and they can be biased and they can still express their opinions, including their darker ones. [Then] allow themselves to be subject partly to improvement by the world because if you say things that are too stupid and then act them out, the world smacks you a good one. But there’s also the social intermediaries, the other people that you are communicating with, who will also do the same thing.’

It is crucial that people are exposed to feedback on their ideas as they formulate, in order to avoid drifting into territories not grounded in truth. This critical feedback partly guides new ideas towards truth.

‘Jung said at one point that people don’t think so much as thoughts appear in their head and they believe them.’ In order to get to true thought, you need to be able to separate yourself from the thought and be able to critique it.

You need to be able perform an ‘editing function’ and objectively determine whether something is a good idea or not. This takes a great deal of time to get right, and is unfortunately lost on so many, especially today.

People’s ability to think about ideas is one characteristic that separates us from animals. Animals think by moving, with the obvious downside being that if they make a wrong move, the consequences can be severe.

People are able to create fictional scenarios and are able to better determine if an idea is good or not by manifesting ideas in these fictional scenarios and assessing what the possible outcomes may be.

He goes on to talk about the importance of being able to ‘sharpen’ your arguments properly, articulate your ideas, and be able to defend them.

You can watch the video here:

SHARE this using the button below

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *