Jordan Peterson 12 Rules for Life

12 rules for Life is a practical rule book for helping people how to live meaningful lives in chaotic world. The book is packed with biblical stories to illustrate the Petersons thesis. But why does Peterson draw so extensively upon biblical stories to explain life?

Petersons own answer is: Two reasons:

  1. The problem of how to live in the face of the undeniable tragedy of life.
  2. what to do with the fact that malevolence exists

So, apprehension (ængstelse) of tragedy is one of the things that drives people towards towards malevolence

T: Why is life a tragedy? It is not if you see it in the light of Christianity.

Jordan opstiller en præmis som han bygger sin overbevisning på: Livet er tragisk og fordi det er tragisk, så bliver folk ængstelige (apprehensive) og fordi de er ængstelige drives de imod ondskab (malevolence). Dette er Jordan Petersons teori! Og han argumenterer for dens gyldighed i kapitlet om the Columbine Highs School shooters. Men er præmissen gyldig?

Peterson says in an interview that “I’ve tried to track how it is that people develop a malevolent attitude towards being, I would say towards life”. Then Peterson goes on to say that the “great stories” (in the Bible) “are antidotes to both malevolence and tragedy”. He doesn’t explain in what way but goes on to say: “…the deep reason that they were formulated is as a response to the tragic conditions of life and to malevolence”.

That last statement is an assertion there is no biblical evidence for. The Bible is not saying that the reason for its stories, is as an antidote to malevolence and tragedy or a response to the tragic conditions of life. What is the biblical argument for telling us the Old Testament stories?