Peterson To Rogan: Bible ‘Precondition For The Manifestation Of Truth,’ ‘Way More True Than Just True’

Peterson To Rogan: Bible ‘Precondition For The Manifestation Of Truth,’ ‘Way More True Than Just True’

Psychologist Jordan Peterson joined famed podcast host Joe Rogan on Tuesday where he discussed a variety of issues, including his views on the Bible after recently visiting the Museum of the Bible.

“If categories just dissolve, especially fundamental ones, the culture is dissolving, because the culture is a structure of category. That’s what it is,” Peterson said. “So and in fact, culture is a structure of category that we all share. So we see things the same way. But that’s why we can talk, I mean, not exactly the same way, because then we have nothing to talk about, but, roughly speaking, we have a bedrock of agreement. That’s the Bible, by the way.”

When asked by Rogan if “structure” is what the Bible provides, Peterson responded, “Yeah, that’s what I figured out.”

“I just figured this out this week,” Peterson said. “The Bible, isn’t a book, it’s a library. It’s a collection of books. And so what I figured out was, partly because I was talking to my brother in law, Jim Keller, who’s the world’s greatest chip designer, and has now designed a chip that’s as powerful as the human brain, which is optimized for artificial intelligence learning, by the way. And so I talked to him about that, he said, ‘you heard of the internet?’ I said, ‘Yeah, Jim, I’ve heard of the internet.’ He said, ‘this is way more revolutionary than that.’”

Peterson listed off several of the most notable authors in the history of the world and noted how their writings became the fundamental basis for many things that came after those writings, adding that the Bible is “certainly” at the “base” of it all.

“And so it isn’t that the Bible is true,” Peterson concluded, “it’s that the Bible is the precondition for the manifestation of truth, which makes it way more true than just true. It’s a whole different kind of true, and I think this is, I think this is not only literally the case, factually, I think it can’t be any other way.”

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TRANSCRIPT:

JORDAN PETERSON: If categories just dissolve, especially fundamental ones, the culture is dissolving, because the culture is a structure of category. That’s what it is. So and in fact, culture is a structure of category that we all share. So we see things the same way. But that’s why we can talk, I mean, not exactly the same way, because then we have nothing to talk about. But, roughly speaking, we have a bedrock of agreement. That’s the Bible, by the way. So, I just walked through the Museum of the Bible in Washington. That was very cool. It’s very cool museum.

JOE ROGAN: So the structure, that’s what the Bible provides?

PETERSON: Yeah, that’s what I figured out. I just figured this out this week. So it was a cool, it was cool thing to walk through, because it’s, it’s chronological, they have one floor, which is the history of the Bible. It’s not exactly that, it’s really what it is, is the history of the book. Now, in many ways, the first book was the Bible. I mean, literally, because at one point, there was only one book, like, as far as our western cultures concerned, there’s one book. And for a while, literally, there was only one book. And that book was the Bible. And then before it was the Bible, it was, you know, scrolls, and it was writings on papyrus. And, but it was, we were starting to aggregate written texts together. And it went through all sorts of technological transformations. And then it became books that everybody could buy, the book everybody could buy, and the first one of those was the Bible, and then it became all sorts of books that everybody could buy. But all those books, in some sense, emerged out of that underlying book. And that book itself, the Bible, isn’t a book, it’s a library. It’s a collection of books. And so what I figured out was, partly because I was talking to my brother in law, Jim Keller, who’s the world’s greatest chip designer, and has now designed a chip that’s as powerful as the human brain, which is optimized for artificial intelligence learning, by the way. And so I talked to him about that, he said, you heard of the internet? I said, Yeah, Jim, I’ve heard of the internet. He said, this is way more revolutionary than that. So, in any case, we were talking about meaning and text, because we were talking about translation and the problem of understanding text. And Jim said, the meaning of words is coded in the relationship of the words to one another, and the postmodernist make that case that all meaning is derived from the relationship between words, that’s wrong, because, well, what about rage? That’s not words? And what about moving your hand? That’s not words. So it’s wrong, but part of its right, because the meaning we derive from the verbal domain is encoded in the relationship between words. So now, then you think, well, let’s think about the relationship between words while some words are dependent on other words, some ideas are dependent on other ideas, the more ideas are dependent on a given idea, the more fundamental that idea is … that’s a definition of fundamental. So now imagine you have an aggregation of texts in a civilization, you say, which are the fundamental texts? And the answer is the texts upon which most other texts depend. And so you’d put Shakespeare way in there in English, because so many texts are dependent on Shakespeare’s literary revelations, and Milton would be in that category. And Dante would be in that category, at least in translation, fundamental authors, part of the Western canon, not because of the arbitrary dictates of power, but because those texts influenced more other texts, and then you think about that as a hierarchy, okay? With the Bible at its base, which is certainly the case. Now imagine that’s the entire corpus of linguistic production, all things considered. Now, how do you understand that? Like, literally, how do you understand that? The answer is, you sample it by reading and listening to stories and listening to people talk, you sample that whole domain, you build a low resolution representation of that inside you, and then you listen and see through that. And so it isn’t that the Bible is true. It’s that the Bible is the precondition for the manifestation of truth, which makes it way more true than just true. It’s a whole different kind of true, and I think this is, I think this is not only literally the case, factually, I think it can’t be any other way. It’s the only way we can solve the problem of perception.

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