The Jordan Peterson craze has swept the online blogosphere, from his appeal to traditionalist archetypes to his attacks on gender theory. What does the professor think about abortion, a topic he rarely speaks about in public?
According to a lecture Peterson gave last year that LifeSiteNews uncovered, the Canadian psyche professor says abortion is “clearly wrong.” When asked about the morality of abortion during his lecture, Peterson denounced it as a universal wrong that nobody disputes.
“I don’t think anybody debates that. You wouldn’t recommend that someone you love have one,” he said.
Peterson admitted the practice wrong while not trying to “eliminate the complexity” of what leads to an abortion. “The first question is, ‘Should everything wrong be illegal?’” he said. “That’s a tough question. Everything that’s wrong isn’t illegal. Then there’s the additional complication of the difference, let’s say, in gravity … regarding the problem in relationship between men and women.”
“No matter what you do, it’s wrong. So then the question is, ‘How did you get there?’” he said. “Well, let’s say you’re in a position where you’re inclined to seek an abortion. The question is, ‘How did you get there?’”
Part of the answer to the question is the important debate swirling around sexual morality and the relationship between men and women, which Peterson has helped to restore.
“The discussion regarding the legality of abortion is nested inside a larger discussion about the morality of abortion, and that’s nested inside a larger discussion about the proper place of sexuality in human behavior,” he said. “And to me that’s the level at which the problem needs to be addressed.”
Peterson expanded on his point by saying that Western society needs to “straighten out” out its confusion about the relationship between men and women.
“They’re bent and warped and demented out of shape,” he said. “One of the things I see with young people, for example, is that they will engage in sexual acts with one another that they would not talk about with one another. … It seems to me that if you are willing to engage in a sexual act with someone with whom you would not discuss that act, you probably put the cart before the horse.”
Obviously, Peterson suggests that monogamy and marriage are proper remedies to this increasing problem. However, he believes that the culture will not accept this message and proponents need to tailor their rhetoric.
“You can’t just say to people in the modern world, well, ‘no sex till you’re married’ unless you’re going to get married when you’re very young, and perhaps you should,” he said. “I don’t know about that. But I don’t think that we’re mature enough as a culture to have a serious discussion about sexual propriety, especially in the aftermath of the birth control pill. We seriously need to do that, and we haven’t.”
To Peterson, the problem of abortion is a horrific symptom of a culture that has allowed men and women to fall out of sync with each other.
“We’re so immaturely cynical as a culture,” Peterson exclaimed. “We’re not wise enough to look at an institution like marriage and to really think about what it means and what it signifies.”
“It signifies a place where people can tie the ropes of their lives together so that they’re stronger,” he continued.“It signifies a place where people can tell the truth to one another. It signifies a place where sexuality can properly be integrated into life. That’s no easy task. It’s a place where children, at least in principle, can be put first and foremost as they should be, once they exist.”