The famed Canadian psychologist and free speech advocate has come up with a soothing note for women who would eagerly like to have a family but who are pressured by the media and their surroundings to change their mind due to kids allegedly having “a negative” effect on the environment, as left-leaning alarmists claim.
To bust the claims that Peterson views as outrageous, he openly called “to bring a child into the world” – “anyway”, as he put it, and embark on a “maternal adventure” empowered with a conviction that you’re thereby bringing someone into the world “who will be a net force for good rather than evil”, Peterson said during a conversation with Bishop Robert Barron. The respective video was posted on the psychologist’s YouTube channel last week.
The comments were designed to counter “climate change prophets’” claims that children are virtually “carbon legacies” as compared with adults taken alone, who leave merely carbon footprints, not far-reaching heritage.
“A carbon legacy occurs when a person chooses to procreate. All people have carbon footprints; only people with biological children have carbon legacies”, wrote Cristina Richie in a 2014 article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, suggesting that those people who give birth in today’s time and age indirectly – through their children – add to global carbon emissions and thus usher in an environmental crisis.
Along the same lines, in 2017, Dr Travis Rieder from the Berman Institute of Bioethics wrote in an article for NBC that having many children is “wrong, or at least morally suspect”, likening parents with a large family to releasing murderers from prison.
Peterson, on the contrary, deems it utterly wrong to treat maternity along the line of climate change, but suggests presenting it to young women as a major part of the adventure in their lives – “which is certainly the truth, is something that is attractive to far more of them than would be likely to admit it”, he said noting he learned it from the Old Testament and Abrahamic stories.
He also brought up a curious nuance – what actually constitutes the adventure – that is mother “knowing full well the consequence is a crucifixion-like brokenness”.
“And that it’s still a mark of faith in the possibilities of being [existence], to participate in that and not to hide from it and to say: ‘Well, despite everything, I’m going to act out my faith in life and in the possibilities of being [existence] and I’m going to bring someone into the world who will be a net force for good rather than evil. And that’s my moral obligation’”, Peterson attempted to play out what the mother-to-be would think.
He suggested there is no future for a civilisation that views children merely as “carbon footprints” and “not as beings with a spark of divinity in them that have something wonderful to contribute to humanity”.