“Virtue as a necessity”


in Bombs and rockets, Films and movies, Politics, Psychology

Jordan Peterson, Professor of Psychology, University of Toronto

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

. September 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm

“The Nuremberg decision denied human beings – regardless of their ethnicity or national background or beliefs – the legal right to use [the fact that they had been following orders] as a defence under certain limited circumstances.

And the argument was:

There are some things that are so self-evidently not good – not virtuous – that if you engage in them you’re existentially guilty – you’re guilty outside the bounds of your culture. There’s a trans-national and trans-ethnic morality. We don’t know what it is, but we know what it isn’t.

It isn’t pointless torture and genocide.

At minimum, to be virtuous is to live your life in such a way that the probability that you would engage in such actions – given the opportunity – is minimized.”

13:30 – 14:34

. September 27, 2012 at 4:32 pm

“You should always be cautious about making yourself the Judge of Being – because there’s always the possibility that there’s a few things you don’t know.”


Sasha September 28, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Looks as though the link is broken or the video is down. I wanted to watch on the train!

Milan September 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm

It works for me. Maybe VIA Rail blocks YouTube.

Milan September 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm

You may be able to get just the audio here:


It is also available for free through the iTunes store.

. October 24, 2018 at 12:17 pm

“So life is suffering. What does that do to people? It makes them resentful. These are pitfalls of being. Except being has a structure. One of its fundamental structural elements is suffering. But suffering produces other characteristics of being: resentment is a characteristic of being. People feel resentful when they believe that they’ve been taken advantage of. And if you feel resentful, it may be that you are being taken advantage of. It may also be that you should screw your head on straight and look at things properly. And it may also be that you should talk to somebody to find out if you’re being taken advantage of or if your head just isn’t screwed on straight. But to talk to them then you have to tell them the truth and in order to tell them the truth you have to have practised being honest. Because if you haven’t practised being honest, then you’re not going to have a friend that you can talk to and even if you did, you’re not going to be able to tell them what the problem is. And then they won’t be able to help you sort out whether or not you’re being taken advantage of or whether you’re a little bit insane.”


. October 24, 2018 at 12:17 pm

“If the things that you’re doing are landing you in hell, stop! Unless you want to be there. And you know if you think, all you have to do is think about your life over the last year. You can be certain that you can call to mind times when you would have rather’d that did not happen. And so the lesson from that is clear: don’t set up those conditions anymore. And by the same token, if you watch yourself you can tell when you’re where you want to be and I could say, well, if you’re where you want to be then that’s really the right place and all you should ever do is practice to be there.”

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