Dr. Peterson vs. Jim Jeffries Interview

here is the video clip or Jordan Peterson:

From The Weekly Standard: What Jordan Peterson Doesn’t Understand About Religion and Free Speech

Recently, Jordan Peterson was interviewed by Australian comedian Jim Jeffries’s show on Comedy Central. The interview did not go particularly well for Peterson, who, among other things, has had a meteoric rise as public intellectual for deftly handling tense interviews regarding his opposition to the cultural left’s assault on free speech.

‘Did not go well’ as in a 6-minute clip taken out of context of presumably a much longer interview in which Jordan Peterson recants something he said earlier…yes.

If such ‘goodness’ is as obvious and self-evident as the author and Jim Jeffries believes it to be, of course, then that explains why it went to the Supreme Court, because as everyone knows, the highest court in the land handles the easiest, most obvious cases…

Dr. Peterson was not wrong and should have stuck to his guns, while acknowledging the complexity of the issue. Just because something seems good prima facie (as in bakers not being allowed to deny service to anyone), does not make it good policy. Dr. Peterson was right the first time in that governments should not coerce businesses; as the author says, let the free market decide. Of course, one can invoke a utilitarian classical liberal argument that ‘total liberty’ is maximized when businesses cannot discriminate, although given this issue is so controversial shows that such a determination is hard to make, and assuming even if liberty is ‘maximized’, that the means used to attain it are justified.

The issue becomes more subtle when it concerns participation. If the customer is not gay but wants a gay cake, then the baker can refuse on the grounds of not wanting to participate, similar to a right-wing speechwriter refusing to write a speech for a left-wing politician. But I don’t think it’s incompatible with libertarianism for someone to firmly believe in not having to be coerced into doing anything, whether participation or the gender status of the customer is concerned. If the baker does not want to make a certain theme of cake or a cake for a certain customer, then that is his choice and right, full stop.

The reason why it becomes so complicated is having to balance positive rights with negative ones; generally, the ‘left’ favors positive rights and the ‘right’ favors negative ones. So you have those on the ‘right’ arguing that the baker should have full discretion, and the ‘left’ argues about externalities.

Also, Dr. Peterson is from Canada, so he may not be familiar with US laws and regulations.