'Faith is a Form of Courage’: Jordan Peterson Gives Powerful Commencement Address at Hillsdale College
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is an intellectual giant. There’s no denying this fact. He's also not too shabby at writing music. And he’s been a loud voice opposing the leftist ideologies that have become pervasive in academia. It forced him to resign his position at the University of Toronto, and it probably played into his choice to accept the chancellorship at Ralston College. And it was woven throughout his commencement address at Hillsdale College.
Hillsdale College One Hundred and Seventieth Commencement | LIVESTREAMwww.youtube.com
“A crossroads—the metaphor works because you make a decision. You go one direction or another. There’s an old ‘blues’ idea that you meet the devil at the crossroads. I always wondered why that was—I found it true. It’s a really compelling idea.”
“Why do you meet the devil at the crossroads? And the answer is, most fundamentally, because when you come to a place in your life where you have to make a choice … you aim up or down. And there is always an agent of temptation at every choice point, enticing you to aim down.”
As noted by Ben Zeisloft at Daily Wire, Dr. Peterson “dove into the meaning of the term ‘sin’,” saying it meant “to miss the mark.”
“It implies that it has something to do with aim or the lack thereof. I love that. … There’s a variety of ways you can miss the mark, right? Don’t aim at all—that’s a good one. Assume there is no such thing as aim. Assume all aims are equal.”
This is something a graduating class would do well to take to heart, especially after four years in an American university, conservative as it may be. No doubt, the culture of the American campus is one in which leftism thrives and with it the various postmodern notions upon which leftism is built: nihilism, subjectivity, and Marxism.
But then Dr. Peterson turn to faith.
“One of the things I’ve thought a lot about in relationship to faith—we have this idea, and it’s not a good idea, and it’s certainly an idea for which religious people are often pilloried—that faith means the sacrifice of reason and the willingness to believe things that are patently not true … I don’t think that’s what faith is at all in some fundamental sense. I think faith is a form of courage.”
“If you’re hurt by life—and you will be—it’s understandable that you might react in a nihilistic and hopeless fashion … and I think part of what helps you through that is faith,” Peterson described. “And part of that faith is that it’s incumbent on you … to maintain faith in the fundamental goodness of existence, including your own, despite the evidence to the contrary.”
“When you’re at the crossroads and you’re counseled to despair—rise up in courage and see if you can resist it. It’s better for you, and it’s better for the people around you.”
As the graduates look to enter what we might call the real world, taking aim at something is exactly what each of them must now do. Many taking that step out of other universities across the country will undoubtedly aim down. They’ll choose to internalize the leftist propaganda they’ve been bombarded with for years and continue to perpetuate it in the ways they decide to live out their days. Hopefully, for the students of Hillsdale, this won’t be the case.
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