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  • Norman Young

Look to the Lobster? - An Analysis of Jordan Peterson's Moral Advice


In Proverbs 6:6-8, the wise King Solomon exhorts his listeners to go to the ant and consider its ways. In the first chapter of 12 Rules for Life, saintly professor Jordan Peterson exhorts us to consider another arthropod: the lobster. Not just any lobster, mind you, but the cock who successfully claws its way to the top of a status hierarchy and now dominates a whole community of lobsters.

You have heard professor Peterson say: "Stand Up Straight with Your Shoulders Back." He goes on (and I paraphrase)...

Go to the dominant male lobster, you weaklings. Consider his strength, his competence, and his confidence. Consider further that he has ample mating opportunities. ;-) Most importantly, from a psychological perspective, notice that his brain is high on serotonin.

Have you ever stood up to a bully? Even defeated him? If so, you have felt one of the most euphoric feelings in the world - especially if girls were watching. And, guess what? Your brain was high on serotonin, too, just like the lobster’s!

It is unfortunate that most people are too weak to fight back against bullies. I do not mean physically weak; I mean spiritually weak. These are the kind of people who are prone to compassion and self-sacrifice. They are naive and easily exploited by malevolent people because they cannot fathom how anyone might have malicious intent against them. When bullied, these people are tolerant, which allows evil to flourish.