If the objective of free speech is to encourage the opportunity to engage a diversity of ideas, does freedom of speech really matter in an increasingly divided climate where consensus regarding indisputable facts no longer exists?

Is it free speech to give purveyors of misinformation and ignorance a forum? For example, radio commentator Rush Limbaugh has tens of millions of followers, and THEIR truths are largely alternative when compared to actual fact.

Moreover, all this misinformation has trickled down and turned the media into a mindless debating forum where the arguments of the right are placed in opposition to those of the left and the opportunity to reason is lost to Jerry Springer-style food fights.

That is why the media is currently as effective as the American Congress.

Mainstream media has become a battle of pundits where the one "on the left" disputes the one "on the right" and in the end, nothing is learned or resolved. This format is evidently supposed to be objective because we falsely assume that Truth generally lies in the coordination of antagonistice opinions. That kind of thinking was aptly shredded by Friedrich Nietzsche, and while his ideas are not widely understood, we live in a society that is constantly proving the validity of his wisdom.

What did Friedrich Nietzsche mean by "truth"?

In fact, the truth is not as complicated as we have made it out to be. Truth is simply a stake one continuously makes and affirms from within the context of one’s life. It has absolutely nothing to do with the food fights in the media.

Genuine truth is about human beings who impose their own truth on life instead of seeking truth within life. Truth presupposes a subject for whom it is true. Consequently, the only truth is that which is true for someone. There is no such thing as pure forms or things-in-themselves that are true, but cannot be known.

Consequently, Nietzsche opposed the Truths fabricated by idealists and declared that the sustenance of life had been due to their lies, not actual truth.

In other words, the brilliant Nietzsche was merely saying that you can never know the truth of anybody unless you walked a mile in his or her own shoes and in the final analysis, that is the only truth that matters. Everything else is a lie.

Under these circumstances, the pursuit and discovery of truth is an arduous task because everyone from Plato to the positivists had withdrawn from reality, running for cover, covering truth. Concealment of the truth involves abstracting from the transient world, subtracting from the variety of the world, as well as blanketing the world in a web of concepts. These fabrications and impositions of ideal Truth have excluded the possibility of exploring and affirming truth. Indeed, instead of exploring truth, we have a media that does nothing beyond review the food fight between the right wing and the left, and that is the onlty level of truth most people publicly discuss. Everything else is too personal -off limits -most of the time.

In this context, what is the point of complaining about the so-called lack of freedom of speech? Does it really matter when the only thing that anybody ever discusses is exclusively two dimentional -right versus left?

Given the fact that there is little room for discussing the truth, people confuse their efforts to impose their ideology with freedom of speach, and even a so-called academic like Jordan Peterson falls victim to imposing their own truth on life instead of seeking truth within life.

Consequently, this man who has become an icon for promting freedom of speech is actually a victim Nietzsche's warning -“Beware lest a narrow faith imprison you in the end—some harsh and severe illusion.” Mr. Peterson has evidently embraced some truths which simplify, concepyualize, circumscribe, systematize, and, thereby, fix and falsify the experiences of our life.

Jordan Peterson dislikes sociologists and they feel the same way about him. This is what Sociologist, Patrick G. Watson wrote about Jordan Peterson in the Hamilton Spectator on March 24, 2017:

Peterson rose to notoriety by making a series of protests against accommodating individuals non-gender conforming. Rather than being called him or her, these individuals prefer to be called they, zir, or zhe, among other terms. Peterson feels that being asked to accommodate such individuals is an infringement on his freedom of speech. To my knowledge, he has never addressed why it's his freedom to use the words "him" or "her" that ought to be prioritized, rather than his student's freedom to be addressed as they feel.

In a series of YouTube videos and interviews, Peterson has tied his objections to a conspiracy of Marxists taking residence in the Ontario premier's office. In an interview with the website C2C Journal, he suggests these Marxists will imprison anyone who finds themselves on the wrong side of a rampant culture war. His statements echo the hysteria of McCarthyism, when homosexuals were vilified as communist threats to the American way of life. Peterson never presents evidence of these claims, except legislation such as Bill C-16 and the Ontario Human Rights Code. The claims don't bear much credibility under even the most cursory scrutiny, from either academics or anyone with a passing familiarity with Canadian government.

If Mr. Watson is correct, Jordan Peterson is a predictable ideologue who has embraced the rather widespread belief that cultural leftism has completely taken over all our social institutions, most especially universities and the media. Consequently, everybody who is at war with this perceived Liberal dominance loves Jordan Peterson and anybody who does not see the world in terms of a cultural war between the left and the right is inappropriately targeted by the fanatics who have made it their mission to destroy Liberals.

Given the hysteria that evidetly dominates the lives of the extreme right and the extreme right, the truth is lost in the mudslinging. Kierkegard said that people demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use, and he was evidently right.

According to author, Maureen Finnigan, Nietzsche wants to leap beyond the conceptualization of Truth that has resulted in the decline of humanity. All philosophies, religions, sciences and other ideologies that have organized life around the ideal of the beyond have done so at the cost of denying life and alienating humanity from natural instincts and drives. Through the perpetuation of Truth as an ideal beyond the world in which humanity lives, humankind has become less natural. Nietzsche unmasks idealism as a beautiful word for anti-natural.

Our senses and the experiences of our lives are the sole testimony of truth and reality, according to Nietzsche. “All credibility, all good conscience, all evidence of truth come only from the senses.” But, truth is not empirical in the traditional sense. Our ideas are not empty receptacles waiting to be filled with collected data immediately received through the senses or directly derived from experience. Nietzsche strikes down such metaphors, because they sketch a picture of knowledge as reactive, whereas it is active. A lesson to the scientists, (which Nietzsche offers to psychologists in particular): “Never to observe in order to observe! This gives a false perspective, leads to squinting and something forced and exaggerated. Experience as the wish to experience does not succeed.” Truth does not exist in the world for an uncommitted observer to sight or a neutral arbiter to ascertain.

“At every step one has to wrestle for truth; [truth] requires greatness of soul: the service of truth is the hardest service.”

For a deeper understanding regarding what Nietzsche calls truth, read Maureen Finnigan's entire paper titled, Nietzsche’s Perspective: Beyond Truth as an Ideal.


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