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Jordan Peterson on the meaning of life for men – Analysis

Jordan Peterson is a psychologist and public speaker, whose talks had inspired many, especially the young men. His opinions are interesting to me too, because they are different.

In this video, Jordan Peterson talks about the meaning of life in man- which is to be responsible. According to him, men have this natural instinct to be responsible.

The reason why women do better in colleges and universities is that women are better at following the system. They are naturally best in following a structure. However, men are not really good in colleges and universities because men are disagreeable.

Men are generally creatures who are difficult to follow a certain structure. They would question why should he work when he can have fun.

What is really interesting is when Peterson went into the topic of rights vs responsiblities in the 4th minute. We usually talk about rights- human rights, women’s rights, workers rights, bla bla bla- but where are the talks about responsibilities? Because what YOUR RIGHTS are, they are ANOTHER PERSON’S RESPONSIBILITY.

“What are you leaving out if you’re leaving out responsibility? And the answer might be: Well, maybe you’re leaving out the meaning of life. …. Responsibility, that’s what gives life meaning.

Jordan B Peterson

That resonates very well with reality! Not only with men, but also women. We all need to feel a sense of purpose, of responsibility. That’s why I’m not very excited when talking about rights. But I do get real excited about the idea of making the world a better place!

I believe this is why most developed countries also have the highest number of depressed people. Their rights are all taken care of (to some extend), but what are all of those for? What is the purpose of these rights? In a society obsessed with rights, the talks about responsibility are hardly in sight. And without talking about responsibility, the youth today are more prone to depression.

This is also why I hate anarchism. Even if we have a perfect country with nice people without government, it’s simply a useless state of affairs. There’s nothing to look forward in life. There’s a reason why we form groups. There’s a reason why we have ideologies.

Questions to Jordan Peterson (and others)

Dear Dr Jordan B Peterson, if men need to have a sense of responsibility, we are talking about a duty. Responsibility is a duty. Now if we have a duty, to whom that duty is owned?

You or anyone might say “Oh, the duty is owed to family, people, society, the country, etc” but why should we obey that duty? Is the sense of duty really a duty or is it simply illusional and that which results from a blind process of Darwinian evolution?

If the sense of duty is simply a result of a billion years of Darwinian evolution, then can we all agree that we are illusional to carry out these sense of responsibility (especially if the sense of responsibility makes our lives harder)?

How can we even live when in the end we know that our sense of responsibility isn’t even real in the first place? We’re basically just living a life fooling ourselves. Why should I follow this ‘sense’ of responsibility when I can go and have fun, just like what Jordan Peterson said about male students in the video (at 2:11): “I’m not listening to your stupid classes. Why should I work, for you? I’ll just go have fun.”

The same question can and in fact logically should be asked to life itself. Why bother living a righteous responsible life? I’ll just go have fun.

Responsibilities are real

Of course, the questions above only apply if we accept the worldview that our selves are a product of blind random processes. The question then, to ask, if we really want to live a meaningful life, who gave these responsibilities to us?

Any logical man would come to a conclusion that the One who creates us is the One who gave us this sense of responsibility- and only from Him the can we get the answers for our questions of responsibility.

And what does the Creator say about our responsibility?

And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me.
(Quran, 51:56)

If you are like me, I don’t want to spend my whole life serving that which is useless and meaningless. I want to serve something that deserves to be served. Something that is high in its majesty. Something that is not to my opinion, or not to anyone’s opinion, but by virtue of reality, deserves to be served. And who else desires our servitude than the Highest and Wisest, the Lord of the heavens and earth?

That is our highest responsibility that overarches all other responsibilities. Without this highest responsibility, other responsibilities – like being righteous, taking care of parents, taking care of family- they all fall apart and become meaningless. Because all these other responsibilities need to be tied by one unifying responsibility- that is the highest responsibility- to serve our Lord.

jordan peterson meaning of life for men

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Published inFinding Islam


  1. R R

    So true, but do u know any differences between responsibility and obligation? For me, they are differents. Responsibility is a duty that humans can breach anytime they want, they easily lost the sense of the responsibility. But if its an ‘obligation’ or compulsory or wajib, then there is no ‘but’, no ‘if’, no excuses, just do it for the sake of Him who created you for showing your gratefulness towards Him, that is obligation. Obligation towards Him, Responsibility towards others.

    • I didn’t know about the difference. Thank you!

      “Responsibility is a duty that humans can breach anytime they want, they easily lost the sense of the responsibility.”

      It is no wonder then how some people betray their trusts towards others. In fact, there are people who fear God but do not serve the rights of other humans fairly. May we be protected from such things.

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