Jordan Peterson has been called many names over the years, but now we’re starting to wonder if he actually knew what any of them meant.
The controversial Canadian psychologist may have a PhD, but in one of his most recent interviews, he can’t seem to grasp very basic terms including “do”, “you” and “happen”.
Of course, we’re being facetious here, but during a discussion with YouTuber Mohammed Hijab, posted on Monday, Peterson gave such a mindbogglingly first-year-philosophy-student-style answer, it’s no wonder he’s turned himself into yet another meme.
Hijab was speaking about Christianity and the truth behind the religion’s doctrines when Peterson interjected: “When I hear something like that, the question that arises for me is, ‘What do you mean ‘happening’’?”
“So then when I look at a story like ‘Cain and Abel’ I think, well, the question ‘Did that happen?’ begs the question, ‘What do you mean by happen?’” he continued.
“Because when you’re dealing with fundamental realities and you pose a question, you have to understand that the reality of the concepts of your question, when you’re digging that deep, are just as questionable as what you’re questioning.”
It gets better.
“So people say to me [...], ‘Do you believe in God?’ And I think, ‘OK, there’s a couple of mysteries in that question – what do you mean ‘do’? What do you mean ‘you’? What do you mean ‘believe’? And what do you mean ‘God’?
“And you say, as the questioner, well we already know what all those things mean except belief in God and I think, ‘No! If we’re gonna get down to the fundamental brass tacks, we don’t really know what any of those things mean.”
A number of Twitter users have recognised similar mental meanderings in the essays of teenage students, and the parallels have been rolling in:
\u201cjordan peterson giving big 'just smoked a fat zoot before the philosophy class and have no idea what i'm talking about but i feel the need to speak more than anyone else in the classroom anyway' vibes\u201d
— hauntology of hill house (@hauntology of hill house)
\u201cJordan Peterson has real grad student who didn\u2019t do the reading energy.\u201d
\u201cJordan Peterson is an exquisite distillation of every 18-year-old emerging from their first freshman year philosophy 101 course newly endowed with the ability to prevaricate and prod the contents of folk concepts\u201d
\u201cI have a PhD in the Study of Religon, have taught some 4 courses in the field in two different countries, and Jordan Peterson would fail any class I taught. \n\nIt's what first years students write when they want to fill pages with bullshit.\u201d