21 March 2018

Why Writing Is Important
By Jordan Peterson

As I've mentioned in previous posts here, I enjoy listening to Professor Jordan B. Peterson on YouTube. His perspective is thoughtful and thought provoking. I'm currently reading his book, 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos (I'm not sure yet if I like it enough to recommend).

In the above YouTube video (less than 3 minutes in length), Peterson talks about the importance of learning to write. He says there is a connection between critical thinking and writing. 

Professor Peterson says that no one ever tells students why they should learn to write, and then he explains the reason ...

"If you can think, and speak, and write, you are absolutely deadly. Nothing can get in your way. It's the most powerful weapon that you can possibly provide someone with."

He is not saying this to encourage malevolence (a word he uses often), but to help make the world a better place, starting with oneself. Personal opportunities and influence for good naturally come to people who have the ability to write clearly. There is also the ability, when needed, to protect oneself (or others) from malevolent forces.

Lamenting the lack of emphasis on writing in higher education, Professor Peterson says : 

"It's like there's a conspiracy to bring people into the educational system to make them weaker."

(That quote is not in the above YouTube clip, but it is in other videos of the same presentation.)

Personally, I can relate to everything Peterson says. The ability to write is the most useful skill I have learned in life. I'm relieved that he doesn't say the same thing about math skills.


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  1. I'm not a good writer, but I do like a good debate and I find myself getting better at it because I am debating on social media ,in print , as opposed to just running my hot headed mouth.I can SEE how I can present my ideas more logically. I never really thought of it before , thanks for the insight. Karen Jones

  2. Elizabeth L. Johnson said, Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. My gosh! Imagine if children in government schools, and students at universities were taught why to write! Peterson says writing forces you to think, think for yourself, which spells freedom: freedom means no chains of bondage to wrong thoughts, wrong actions, wrong motives, and wrong media. It means articulation of freedom in the citizenry and thus the conservation of righteous living and a move away from the "isms".

  3. 'I am relieved that he doesn't say the same thing about math skills.'
    That is too funny.

  4. I have found writing to be one of the most valuable skills I have acquired and developed over the years - not because it makes me a better apologist or debater (I am neither), but what it has taught me about expressing my thoughts and by expressing them, to learn from them.

  5. I agree that writing well is invaluable - a skill I sadly haven't mastered. I'd like to comment on Jordan Peterson's book. I haven't read his book but I have read reviews and, more importantly, have also noticed the fruit that's come into several Christian young men's lives we know after reading that book. My husband and I have noticed that young men who read Jordan Peterson's book and embrace the thoughts in it have changed a lot and now tend towards self centredness. We've noticed that those young men that were faithfully serving their family (parents and siblings) in preparation for marriage have sadly now abandoned them and don't want to help them in any way - or have anything to do with their families, even when their families were helping them get established to give them a good foundation for their lives. Rather, they are now pursuing self-centred living and think this is what they need to do to be a mature man. From reading reviews of the book, it seems that Jordan Peterson is promoting self centredness, pride and envy and the same old individualistic way of thinking that has helped push the West to the point of collapse. Christ, on the other hand, commands us to live lives of service, humility and contentment - the opposite of what Peterson is encouraging.