Anti-humanism, hatred of humanity

As good as it gets on climate science from the most qualified experts…

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/05/13/fossil-fuels-and-greenhouse-gases-climate-science/

“Fossil Fuels and Greenhouse Gases Climate Science, posted May 13, 2024 on Wattsupwiththat.com

“Paper prepared by Richard Lindzen, William Happer, Steven Koonin and submitted April 16, 2024.

“Summary provided below and the entire paper can be accessed through a link included in the link above… (The summary below is fully quoted from above link)

“THERE WILL BE DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES FOR THE POOR, PEOPLE WORLDWIDE, FUTURE GENERATIONS AND THE WEST IF FOSSIL FUELS, CO2 AND OTHER GHG EMISSIONS ARE REDUCED TO “NET ZERO”

• CO2 is Essential to Our Food, and Thus to Life on Earth
• More CO2, Including CO2 from Fossil Fuels, Produces More Food.
• More CO2 Increases Food in Drought-Stricken Areas.
• Greenhouse Gases Prevent Us from Freezing to Death
• Enormous Social Benefits of Fossil Fuels
• “Net Zeroing” Fossil Fuels Will Cause Massive Human Starvation by Eliminating Nitrogen Fertilizer

“THE IPCC IS GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED AND THUS ONLY ISSUES GOVERNMENT OPINIONS, NOT SCIENCE

“SCIENCE DEMONSTRATES FOSSIL FUELS, CO2 AND OTHER GHGs WILL NOT CAUSE CATASTROPHIC GLOBAL WARMING AND EXTREME WEATHER

• Reliable Science is Based on Validating Theoretical Predictions With Observations, Not Consensus, Peer Review, Government Opinion or Cherry-Picked or Falsified Data
• The Models Predicting Catastrophic Warming and Extreme Weather Fail the Key Scientific Test: They Do Not Work, and Would Never Be Used in Science.
• 600 Million Years of CO2 and Temperature Data Contradict the Theory That High Levels of CO2 Will Cause Catastrophic Global Warming.
• Atmospheric CO2 Is Now “Heavily Saturated,” Which in Physics Means More CO2 Will Have Little Warming Effect.
• The Theory Extreme Weather is Caused by Fossil Fuels, CO2 and Other GHGs is Contradicted by the Scientific Method and Thus is Scientifically Invalid

Coming soon...

“Death and rebirth, disintegration of the old and re-integration around the new”, Wendell Krossa

Now some interesting articles from here and there…

Below is what Paul Watson, the leader of the Sea Shepherd Society in BC suggested years ago– i.e. cull 85% of humanity to save the world, but not including him and his family. And this below is also what Paul Ehrlich hoped for. But again, not for themselves as “enlightened elites”, as heroic saviors of the planet who need to travel the world in private jets lecturing the rest of us to stop using fossil fuel energy and to eat bugs while they dine on the best cuts of Japanese beef, as apparently happened at a recent WEF confab of elites.

These prophets of apocalyptic expose the underlying anti-human hatred behind their alarmism crusades. They exhibit a nihilism to mass-death scale, put forth as enlightened activism to “save the world”, a righteous and heroic crusade against the great “evil” that is all those industrial society consumers who oppose their views, the “unbelievers, deniers” of apocalyptic hysteria.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/05/15/climate-professor-thinks-we-should-cull-the-human-population-to-reach-emissions-targets/

“Climate Professor Thinks We Should ‘Cull’ the Human Population to Reach Emissions Targets”, By Paul Homewood, May 15, 2024

Post of the climate professor:

“If I am brutally honest, the only realistic way I see emissions falling as fast as they need to, to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown, is the culling of the human population by a pandemic with a very high fatality rate”.

Responses:

“Ooopsie. McGuire deleted the tweet a few hours later but had no regrets. The trouble is, we just don’t understand how brilliant he is.

Further post by climate professor:

“Right, I am deleting the initial Tweet now. Not because I regret it, but because so many people out there have mistakenly or intentionally, taken it the wrong way”.

A response by Chris Martz: “No, nobody took it the wrong way. It was crystal clear. You believe that the best way to “save the planet” is to reduce the human population, but you don’t want to volunteer to go first and lead by your own example because you think your existence is superior to everyone else.

“And the folks reading this, academic institutions you send your children to for higher education are infested with dangerous people with this mentality. They hate you” (end of Martz response).

Here is another link to the full story:

https://pjmedia.com/rick-moran/2024/05/12/climatge-professor-thinks-we-should-cull-the-human-population-to-reach-emissions-targets-n4928981

There used to be a sort of widespread agreement (?) with Milton Freidman’s statement that inflation is always and everywhere a monetary issue. Government printing more money than the yearly GDP rate of expansion. The money supply, argued Freidman, should be the same rate of increase as the annual GDP rate.

This from…

https://www.racket.news/p/magic-monetary-theory-goes-primetime

“Magic Monetary Theory Goes Primetime: Modern Monetary Theory was interesting back when it was dismissed as a fringe curiosity, but more like terrifying now that it’s being taken seriously”, Matt Taibbi, May 18, 2024

The dangerously totalitarian project to criminalize opponents, critics of the climate alarmism crusade. So also, David Suzuki has called for the criminalization and imprisonment of executives of fossil fuel companies. The very people who provide us the fuel to heat our homes, drive our cars, and survive in this cold world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth. Think about such facts before mindlessly supporting the “disinformation” that is climate alarmism and its salvation scheme of ruinous decarbonization, to “save the world”.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/05/14/jail-the-deniers-british-environmentalist-demands-criminal-sanctions/

Quotes (see full article at link above):

“Jail the Deniers? British Environmentalist Demands Criminal Sanctions”, Essay by Eric Worrall, May 14, 2024

“Its time”: Speaking on GB News, British environmentalist Jim Dale demanded criminalisation of public climate denial.

“Andrew Doyle clashes with environmentalist demanding climate denial is criminalised: ‘Tyranny by stealth!’

“By Ben Chapman Published: 13/05/2024 – 09:57

“Jim Dale likened climate denial to flat earth conspiracy theories

“Andrew Doyle became embroiled in a feisty free speech row with environmentalist Jim Dale as the latter demanded climate denial be criminalised.

“Speaking on GB News, Dale likened climate denial to flat earth conspiracy theories, arguing they are too dangerous for public discourse.

“Andrew took a differing perspective on the matter, asking what Dale expects to achieve by silencing climate change sceptics….

“According to environmentalist Jim Dale, climate skeptics would still be allowed to talk to family and friends, “nobody would kick in the door”, but would face criminal sanctions if they “pollute” people by voicing their opinion in public.

“Asked for an example of how climate denial could be suppressed with criminal sanctions, Jim Dale suggested it would be like how racism has been driven from public discourse. Britain has harsh anti-hate speech laws.

“… environmentalist Jim Dale refused to concede the possibility that people who claim we are currently experiencing a climate crisis might be wrong.

“The reality of climate change is that the Earth is currently experiencing a very cold period by geological standards.

“We are currently living in the Quaternary ice age, a severe cold period which started two and a half million years ago, and continues to the present day.

“The Quaternary is one of only five great glaciation periods which have been detected in the geological record – the others are the Huronian (2.2 billion years ago), Cryogenian (720-635 million years ago), Andean-Saharan (460-420 million years ago), late Paleozoic (360-255 million years ago), and the Quaternary Ice Age, our current period of extreme cold.

“Think about that – during more than 2 billion years of geological history, only 5 great cold periods have been identified, and we are currently living in one of those periods. The last time the Earth was this cold for a sustained period was 255 million years ago.

“Given the geological evidence is that we are living in a geologically significant period of extreme cold, how can today’s temperatures possibly qualify as a global warming emergency?

“Yet an opinion such as I just provided, a simple statement of fact, would likely be illegal under Jim Dale’s climate denial rules. Under Dale’s proposed rules, myself or anyone who retweets this article could go to jail or lose their house, merely for suggesting that people living in the middle of an ice age should be more concerned about glaciers than beach weather.”

Another good one from Shellenberger

“Global Elites’ Fear Of Democracy Behind War On Free Speech: Beware politicians demanding censorship to ‘protect democracy’”, Michael Shellenberger, May 17, 2024

“Elites fear of democracy”-

My response to Shellenberger’s comments (Wendell Krossa)- Meaning, elites fear not getting their way, of losing the power to dominate/control all others. That is the naked totalitarian spirit. Today’s Western elites have been validating that control with the narrative they have created that they are in a righteous war against an intolerably evil enemy. Note the endless demonization of differing others with extremist smears of being “Nazis, racists, threats to democracy, purveyors of disinformation/hate speech, Russian agents, fascists…”, etc.

Hence, today’s elites are trying to revive waning zealotry for their narrative that they are in an existential battle to save democracy, to save the world, and to accomplish that they must heroically vanquish the threat of disagreeing others. This veers perilously close to the shift made by other totalitarians (when their movement starts to lose steam) toward the more dangerous stage of “exterminate or be exterminated”.

Leaders of apocalyptic millennial movements make this shift when growing disillusionment sets in with their narrative and their movement begins to fail. They then “double down” on the zealotry for their crusade and that becomes dangerous as democracy is intentionally set aside for more coercive forms of activism. Add the panic-mongering claim of the “immanence of the apocalypse” and that demands desperate measures. Richard Landes has detailed the stages of these apocalyptic millennial movements. It happened with Marxism, Nazism, and watch out if it (or as it) emerges in environmentalism.

https://public.substack.com/p/global-elites-fear-of-democracy-behind

“Misinformation, disinformation”- buzzwords of our era

“What is the most pernicious example of ‘Misinformation’ currently circulating?”, Francis Menton of Manhattan Contrarian, May 19, 2024

What Is The Most Pernicious Example Of “Misinformation” Currently Circulating?

““Misinformation” — It has been one of the most-used buzzwords of the past few years. The “misinformation” label has been applied by advocates on both sides of the political divide in the attempt to discredit their opponents. Numerous assertions that have dominated the news cycle for months or even years have ultimately proven to be completely false, that is, “misinformation.” Examples of such assertions that have been established as “misinformation” include the assertion that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election; the assertion that the Hunter Biden laptop was a Russian plant; and the assertion that the Covid virus originated in a wet market in Wuhan….

“Other serious contenders for the title of “most pernicious misinformation” could include the assertion that emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases constitute a danger to human health and welfare; or the assertion that Israel is conducting a “genocide” against Palestinians. Undoubtedly, you have other candidates to add to the list.

“So why do I say that the assertion of wind and solar being the cheapest ways to generate electricity is the very most pernicious of misinformation currently out there? Here are my three reasons: (1) the assertion is repeated endlessly and ubiquitously, (2) it is the basis for the misallocation of trillions of dollars of resources and for great impoverishment of billions of people around the world, and (3) it is false to the point of being preposterous, an insult to everyone’s intelligence, yet rarely challenged….

“Try to find in any of them a serious discussion of the costs of backup, storage, or transmission upgrades to try to make an electrical grid work with these intermittent generators. You won’t….

“The problem is that the idea that wind and solar make the cheapest electricity is plain wrong…. The idea that wind and solar are cheapest fails to take account of any of the ancillary costs necessary to make a fully-functioning grid: the entire system of backup facilities to provide the power when the wind is not blowing and the sun not shining; the transmission facilities to take the power from wherever is windy or sunny to anywhere else it may be needed on a moment’s notice; the batteries or other storage facilities to save up energy in anticipation of inevitable wind and solar droughts; and so forth. In short, the idea that wind and solar generation of electricity are the “cheapest” is classic misinformation, the endless repetition of an assertion that is clearly false and known to be false.”

“Price of Poilievre”- “New Democrats try out a sharper line of attack as Conservatives target NDP ridings”, David Thurton, May 18, 2024

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/new-democrats-try-out-a-sharper-line-of-attack-as-conservatives-target-ndp-ridings/ar-BB1mErUS?ocid=BingNewsSerp

My response to the NDP charge against Poilievre (Wendell Krossa):

No, the real issue that the NDP need to sharpen their focus on is their refusal to fully and properly account for price of NDP socialist policies.

NDP, like all socialists, appear to have never understood the real damaging price of their approach to managing economies. They obsessively promise all sorts of free stuff- i.e. free dental, educational, and other goodies, to buy votes. But they never explain how to create the wealth to pay for that stuff. I watched Bernie Sanders during his 2016 presidential run, promising all sorts of freebies, and I never heard him explain how he would promote the wealth creation to pay for his gifts.

These people just assume more deficit spending by government will cover the costs (i.e. redistributive policies). That approach, among other damage like “lost opportunity costs”, exacerbates the inflation problem.

Collectivist advocates lack basic understanding of what promotes wealth creation. Wealth creation depends largely on “productivity increases” in business which is then directly related downstream to wage increases for workers.

Promoting wealth creation in a society, means- Respect business, not government, as the creator of wealth in a society. This was the insightful admission of the leader of the Communist party in Mitterrand’s 1980 coalition in France after they tried, like all socialists, to nationalize sectors of the French economy, which tanked the economy within a year. They had the sense to back off and reverse their nationalization approach, with the Communist leader admitting- “We must respect business as the creator of wealth in a society”. Speaking of true “wokeness”, eh.

To have the freedom to create wealth, businesses (small, medium, large) need protection from excessive state appropriation of resources through taxation, and excessive state/bureaucratic control through regulation, a protection that socialists do not understand with their obsession to eliminate private property ownership as the great evil in the world. Marx, and fellow Marxist theorists, stated that the number one enemy to eliminate was private property, if he were to install collectivist utopia- “the elimination of all private property… abolish private property and evil will vanish from the Earth”, (Heaven On Earth, Richard Landes).

Socialist types, with their obsession for redistribution of wealth, have repeatedly ruined economies and impoverished all citizens. Sources: “Socialism: The Failed idea that Never Dies”, also former Socialist Joshua Muravchik’s “Heaven On Earth”, along with Daniel Hannan’s “Inventing Freedom”, and William Bernstein’s “The Birth of Plenty”.

Ben Carson, who ran for president in 2016, had a folksy way of explaining this issue of business creating wealth. He displayed a good grasp of the basics of Classic Liberalism principles. He said that government’s role was to promote an environment in which business could flourish with low regulation and low taxation. And that nails the essence of the conflict between the socialist and the free market approaches in our formerly liberal democracies- i.e. state control of economies through taxes and regulations and the battle for freedom from such assaults.

State bureaucrats and elites, oriented to collectivist approaches, believe that they know better than businesses and average people how to spend their money, so they appropriate citizen’s wealth through taxation. And then, further indulging the totalitarian impulse, they interfere, manipulate and control commoner’s lives with endless rules and regulations. That ruins economies by clogging up the ability of businesses to operate freely. And yes, some minimal basic regulation is useful to protect equal opportunity for all citizens, and to protect from corrupting influences on economies (a threat usually emanating from governing elites). Good regulation will embody and summarize the wisdom from past experience to help the wealth creators of the present avoid past mistakes, but will not function as immutable law and must be subjected to regular de-regulation mechanisms and processes to unclog business operating environments.

Protecting the freedom of individuals in free markets is about fundamentally trusting people to choose what is best for themselves (given full information on any issue), protecting their self-determination and freedom of choice. Socialists don’t trust average people to do what collectivists believe is right for all (“common or greater good” where collectivist elites dominate in defining such common good). Framing themselves as “enlightened vanguard elites” they despise commoners as the deeply religious Marx and Engels did, so also Mao. Deeply religious? Yes, see Richard Landes’ history of Marxism in “Heaven On Earth”.

Added note-

The past few centuries have shown that “greater or common good” has been better affirmed by the approach to organizing societies that promotes the freedom and rights of individuals. And greater or common good has been undermined, even devastated, by the approach that subjects individuals to collectives.

The socialist failure to not trust individuals to do what is best for all, is rooted in an elite despising of commoners that speaks, among other factors, to a deeply embedded self-hatred that is based on the primitive mythology that views of people as fundamentally corrupt or evil. This anti-humanism expressed in the earliest mythology and religion (the myth of essentially “sinful or fallen humanity”) has cursed our consciousness from the beginning. It has long incited hatred of humanity in general, as well as self-hatred. It does not appreciate the true state or story of humanity as having risen out of a barbaric past to become something ever better across time- evident in lessening violence, becoming more compassionate and creative, and thereby successfully improving life over the long term.

In this edition below, Taibbi and Kirn play a clip of Fareed Zakaria of CNN, notably his warning recently that the Biden campaign is failing badly and then they make these comments- It’s about the “denial” that Biden is voicing, claiming that he is ahead and the polls are all wrong… not facing the truth that most Americans are unhappy with his presidency. These two are good on unsettling trends/events occurring in our societies today, and the corruption of mainstream media that have repeatedly lied to us over past years about so many critical issues like Russiagate, election interference, partisan censorship, Covid, etc. Media coming out in a highly partisan, biased manner, coming out as activists, propagandists for the Woke Progressive movement that, having gone extremist left, is fronting the new collectivist totalitarianism that is the real threat to democracy today…

“America This Week: Delusion, Not Just Once A Year”, Matt Taibbi and Walter Kirn, May 18, 2024

https://www.racket.news/p/transcript-america-this-week-may-66e?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

“A wild backlash against a poll underscores the never-ending cycle of mad delusions that American pop culture has become. Plus, Heinrich Böll’s my-how-relevant “Christmas Not Just Once a Year.”

(Here are some quotes from below for those who find these discussions too long. My recommend is that these two along with others like Greenwald, Shellenberger, etc. do some of the best commentary on what is wrong in our societies- touching the main features of our democracies today)

Starting with some comment on the Zakaria warning…

“Walter Kirn: And I felt it was a fairly adequate analysis of the situation. I think it may be that inside the bubble, they’re waking up to the fact that everything that they thought was going to work didn’t work, because now they’re admitting that they’re on the Biden side. They’re admitting that they’re cheerleaders, that they’re concerned about Trump getting in and so on. There’s no more beating around the bush. They in the media and CNN and so on are with the party, and the party is behind Biden at the moment. And I think they’re just waking up inside the dome and going, “Wait, these trials aren’t hurting him. Wait, the economy that on paper looks so good to us because we’re all freaking millionaires anyway. How would we know?” Really, how would they know?

“It must look like delusion to them to get in their town car at the end of the day and go to whatever Connecticut suburb they live in and then read that Americans are upset about the economy. Where? You mean those people at the news stand where I buy my paper? So I think it may be a genuine case of them feeling alarm at the fact that everything they anticipated, as Zakaria said, isn’t happening. They got it all wrong.

“Matt Taibbi: Okay, so here we come to the big headline, just basically impossible revelation of this week and maybe the theme of this show. Is it possible that these people all really thought that the trials, Biden, who can’t speak a sentence, the relentless putting of the thumb on the scale and every conceivable media platform, the censorship, everything, that they thought this was going to work with actual voters, and they’re only now waking up to the fact that it’s not working? I mean, forget-

“Walter Kirn: Yes, it’s possible, Matt, because from the inside, delusion looks like truth. And we should never underestimate the ability of people in a insular environment to lose touch with reality. And I think they did, and they’re losing it a little less now….

“Matt Taibbi: The Stormy Daniels thing is just absurd. I’m sorry, it’s absurd. The other ones, maybe we can talk about there being some reality behind it, but this one, no. So when you do that and you put it on TV every single day, that plus Russiagate, plus a million other things, there was abundant evidence that this did not work, that every time they did this kind of thing, it hurt them. Same thing with when these figures endorse somebody like Ron DeSantis publicly and he sank like a stone in the poles. They should have gotten a hint there. I mean, there have been a thousand times that when they should have been able to look at data or the real world reacting in a certain way and understood that this is how things go. It just boggles the mind that it’s taken until now to recognize that you actually have to win the election and that what they were doing before wasn’t working.

“Walter Kirn: But Matt, is it any different than what we’ve been told about the Ukraine war? Is it any different than what we’ve been told about a number of things that were supposedly on the verge of success or breakthrough and it was always tomorrow and tomorrow, and then they just fade off when the script doesn’t play out the way they anticipated? The inertia inside these groups is great too.”

(Taibbi and Kirn discuss the delusion of living in a bubble reality that denies actual reality)

“Matt Taibbi: Anyway, he goes on, but you get the point. Jonathan Karl, who’s normally, I would say, as anchor people go, he’s usually relatively in touch with reality. But his whole thing is, the problem is people just haven’t heard the bad news about Trump enough. He’s still in that place. If you don’t by now understand that the bad news about Trump is what’s actually driving him up in the polls, it’s amazing to me.

“Walter Kirn: So first of all, the Gilligan’s Island reference, which unfortunately most people now are too young to understand. But Karl is the professor and Joe is the skipper. And Joe Scarborough’s the person who gets frustrated and isn’t very smart, but whatever, puts his foot down and gets upset. Jonathan Karl is the professor. But they both agree on one thing. The problem is perception, not reality. It couldn’t possibly be reality. If you like Trump, it’s just that you haven’t seen enough bad news about him. Or if you don’t hate him enough, you just haven’t seen enough bad news about him. If you think the economy’s bad, it’s just because you don’t understand the statistics or you haven’t applied them to your real life or you’re subject to some kind of irrational attachment to ideology that won’t allow you to see how good you have it. They’re all disappearing into the other realm in which, as you say, with that brilliant comparison to the Joseph Heller play, “The map is more important than the territory.” As a certain philosopher put it.

“And they are preferring the map to the territory at this point and saying, if you’re not upset about Trump, if you don’t realize what a terrible threat he is, it’s because you have a bad map. And if you don’t realize that Joe Biden’s actually winning, not losing, and doing much better than we could expect, then you have a bad map.

“Now, the Times I think last week suggested, and we covered it on the show, that they are going to make a concerted effort to cover reality after having been maybe a little too lost in the partisan bubble. And maybe that’s what’s upsetting these people because they’re all stuck behind in the old model while the New York Times has decided it’s going to be a fearless reporter of actual news and try to make polls that reflect actuality and so on. And it’s going to ruin the game for all of us.

“Now, a lot of these people who do campaign reporting, they’ve been doing it forever. They’ve been doing it since the ‘80s, in some cases since the ‘70s in some extreme cases. And the tradition with campaign journalism is that campaign journalists had a very heavy hand in deciding who won elections…

“And the voters were really exalting in this new power they had to decide for themselves. And that came across over and over again with Bernie, with the rejection of media favorites like Beto O’Rourke and Kamala and Pete Buttigieg. They not only didn’t vote for those people, but they made sure that the numbers were one or zero in the polls. How much evidence do you need that the game is different?…

Walter Kirn: They may just be facing this time a kind of terror that, wait, we thought that was permanent. We thought we had our mojo. We thought we were back in the driver’s seat. Maybe we’re not. And what you’re seeing is a kind of chaos wave passing through the 500 as they go, are we going to do it again? Are we all on the same team again? Can we pull it off again?

“Matt Taibbi: It’s an Austin Powers movie. They lost their mojo. They’re going to have to go back in time and seize it from… Right? Okay. So yes, Joe Biden did get elected in 2020, but one thing that has been a constant is that the public reacts negatively to media pronouncements about things. I mean, it’s impossible that they cannot be aware of that phenomenon. That whenever the press hypes something up-

“Walter Kirn: The Streisand effect kind of thing or a related phenomenon.

“Matt Taibbi: Yeah.

“Walter Kirn: But it’s not impossible that they are unaware of it. First of all, their choral point about this election is that it’s an emergency. It’s the end of democracy if Trump gets elected. It’s the greatest crisis, probably civilization ending in the United States. And they must, I think, be shocked that at that level of rhetoric, they’re not moving the needle. I mean, we’re declaring that apocalypse for democracy is imminent and yet this guy’s still ahead. That must be frightening to them….

“Walter Kirn: Yeah. They’re calling him just still being alive a free ride. And here’s the problem, and I’ll just confess this to our audience. I’m not one of those who believes that the world’s going to end if Donald Trump is elected. I think this is a presidential election, not the edge of eternal damnation. So I can’t buy into that. But they really want you to, and they think America should too. And I do think they’re in actual real, sincere denial about the failure of their siren to wake outrage at the level they think it should.

“Matt Taibbi: You’re just bringing up the idea that this is just a normal presidential election. Let’s cover it like that. Instead of the continuation of democracy versus the end of the world, which is a storyline the public is not accepting, or a lot of them aren’t accepting anyway. There is a reluctance to do this because that would mean conceding on some level that it would be okay or it would be something that we could live with if Donald Trump was president. And just to give an example of how people think about this, Nancy Pelosi was approached by a reporter in the halls of Congress this week and asked about the possibility of Trump and Biden debating. And she offered her opinion that she doesn’t believe it’s a good idea. And the reason is essentially that that would give people the impression that this is normal and that it’s okay to be on the same stage with him, which it is an amazing scene.”

(Insert: Then Taibbi and Kirn play a clip of Nancy Pelosi stating Biden should not debate Trump because he has no “dignity” and should not be president because of that…)

“Walter Kirn: … brought out the saxophone or whatever, the presidency has been, to some extent, showbiz in America. And they always retreat to this dignity argument when they want to cover some other, I don’t know, bit of cowardice or something. I think she’s saying he might lose a debate so he shouldn’t do it. And in the name of dignity.

“Matt Taibbi: Yeah. I don’t know. I mean, I think she really believes that.

“Walter Kirn: You think she really believes that he was stalking Hillary Clinton? Remember that? When they were both standing on stage and he moved behind her? Maybe to show his stature, I am not sure. But it was treated almost like a mugging in an alley in downtown Brooklyn or something. I don’t think they’re worried about dignity at all. They have no dignity. I think they’re worried about him losing.

“Matt Taibbi: And the last thing about this though, Walter, yeah, I do believe they are worried about him losing. But the reaction that you have about, oh my God, eye rolling at the dignity of the presidency. That’s why Trump won in 2016. It’s because people think presidents are shameless whores for money and power who sit around every week guffawing over which people they’re going to drone in whatever country. They change their opinions based on what their donations are. They will suck a golf ball through a garden hose for a vote. Everybody knows this. There was a moment, I think, in time where the public realized, okay, we’ve got to stop placing all our hopes in presidents being, at the real, perfect creatures.

“And here comes Donald Trump, the vision of the imperfect human being, and he’s stomping all over the dignity of the presidential election process. And people voted for it in huge numbers. They just voted for that concept. And here’s Pelosi still not getting it and saying, “Yes, there should be separate procedures for those of us who are worthy and those of us who are not.” And if they keep that up, they’re going to elect the guy again, I think, is what’s going to happen.

“Walter Kirn: How dignified is it to have a president who’s constantly slurring and staring off into space and walking like he’s on hot lava on another planet? One could argue that the dignity of the office has been forever corrupted, even further than it might’ve been by Donald Trump, by a kind of patient, someone who’s not all there, being constantly touted as a strong leader. The presidency, whatever it was supposed to look like in 1950s movies, is not that anymore. It just isn’t. Maybe there was a chance for it with Mitt Romney. Or maybe that’s what people are most nostalgic about with Obama, that he was an elegant character who-

“Walter Kirn: I think we’ve both thought out loud, done a lot of speculating, tested hypotheses here. And what I’ve come to believe about this whole thing is that denial is real. That people tend to discover reality later than they would have otherwise when they’re in these enclosed and insular environments. And I don’t see, in any case, whether it’s Biden or the press, much incentive to rock the boat. But I did find Joe funny finally, because he was playing whistleblower. He was saying that the New York Times does clickbait and that they run 17 fake stories off each one of these polls and so on. He was playing media critic as though he was telling you from the inside how the game is played. And that’s when I knew he was a fraud in this respect. Because Joe being outraged about the wily ways of the press. Come on, that’s an act. But maybe, as I said earlier, the New York Times-

“Matt Taibbi: MSNBC, I mean, you take any tiny little detail, “Trump uses Russian dressing on salad. Conspiracy discovered.” And you would have 59 stories about that. Right?”

Adults taking charge of the kids…

This from below:

“In a recent op-ed for the Wall Street Journal , University of Florida president Ben Sasse said things that would be unthinkable on any Canadian campus, but he got right to the heart of the matter.

“At the University of Florida, we have repeatedly, patiently explained two things to protesters: We will always defend your rights to free speech and free assembly — but if you cross the line on clearly prohibited activities, you will be thrown off campus and suspended. In Gainesville, that means a three-year prohibition from campus. That’s serious. We said it. We meant it. We enforced it. We wish we didn’t have to, but the students weighed the costs, made their decisions, and will own the consequences as adults. We’re a university, not a daycare. We don’t coddle emotions, we wrestle with ideas.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Anti-humanism, hatred of humanity

Two of the best (journalists/social commentators) Matt Taibbi and Walter Kirn on Trudeau’s Online Harms bill

More is coming– I have slowed a bit in posting material here due to daily radiotherapy for aggressive metastatic prostate cancer. Appointments are in another city, usually in the middle of the day, so travel takes up lot of time.

I’ve been surprised at the normal tone of the waiting room conversations with patients expressing good humor, even joking, as we wait our turns to go in for radiation. One elderly man entered the waiting room the other day with a broad smile, stating, “Well, our fun place, eh”.

We hope our bladders are full enough and that we have no gas, both micro-offenses that get you sent out to either walk off the gas or drink more water and thereby rachet up the pee pot into the “dancing on the spot” pain of a full bladder. Walking off gas demands holding the full bladder till some rumble emits from the nether regions.

Another fellow traveller on this quest said with a smile the other day, “Look, if I gotta fart I’m just letting it go right here (in the waiting room)”. We smiled back with understanding affirmation- gotcha.

After an initial CAT scan to see how inner organs are lining up, the scan machine pulls back, and you lay still, waiting tensely for a minute or so as technicians in their outer room examine the results to see if they can go ahead with the radiation machine or need to come back in with the bad news that its walking time. They reassure us that we will thank them for being strict about full bladders and no gas. If not, the side effects are nasty diarrhea, painful peeing, rectal bleeding, and so on. A full bladder, for example, pushes the little intestines up and out of the way of inflaming radiation so as to avoid creating the diarrhea problem.

The radiation destroys healthy organ cells along with cancer cells. The healthy organ cells will recover but the cancer cells will not.

I joke with one fellow patient about his good fashion sense and taste in pants as we all wear the same brown pajama-like bottoms for our treatments. There is no other alternative. His wife hoots at the back and forth between us over our “haute couture”.

Also, some sad stories that express and highlight the mess that the Canadian health care system is, though the people working in the system are beyond wonderful for all they do, the help they provide given what they have to work with.

Trudeau, you gave tens of billions in subsidies to foreign companies for battery plants to chase your Net Zero fantasy that even the eco-zealots of Europe are abandoning because it doesn’t work (i.e. physics limits on renewable input due to natural factors, massive state subsidies to produce renewables, and consequent higher energy costs, destabilized grids, declining economies, etc.). That subsidies funding, adds unnecessarily to taxpayer’s already too heavy tax burdens, and it could have gone to medical equipment located nearer sick folk like the man who has to travel from Kamloops, a 3-hours journey, to get radiation treatment in Kelowna as he suffers bone cancer that is creeping painfully up his spine. Have some mercy, Justin. Get your priorities right.

Re your eco-zealotry- Listen to the best of atmospheric physicists like Richard Lindzen and William Happer (co2coalition.org) who are telling us that the warming influence of CO2 is now “saturated” (a physics term re its limited operating range on the infrared spectrum) and any further warming, as with the recent past mild warming, will be caused mainly by natural factors. Further, there is no threat of a “climate emergency”. Point? There is no need to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies, a ruinous “salvation” scheme that is destroying our societies. Stop it already, eh.

Even the Greens of Germany have recognized that their decarbonization policies are ruining German industry and have backed off somewhat. Wendell Krossa

Anyway… more coming soon…

I have spent much of a lifetime fascinated by love, this highest of human ideals, the singular feature that identifies us as authentically human. I eventually discovered, and concluded to my own satisfaction, that the true nature of love was stunningly, inexpressible unconditional. That takes love a magnitude of reach higher than so much common understanding of love that is limited to tribal versions of love (i.e. favors family, friends, but not outsiders/enemies so much).

Unconditional was the final piece in the meaning puzzle to satisfy my impulse to understand- What is the true nature of ultimate reality/deity and, hence, what is conscious human life to be about? What is the true nature our highest ideal and, consequently, what does successful human life and experience involve, among the many other things that occupy successful human stories?

Again, that brilliant summary statement of the wisdom sage- “Love your enemy unconditionally because God does”. The most profound statement ever uttered on theology and human ethics. And as this site repeatedly qualifies- This is not an advocacy for pacifism in the face of evil. Violent people must be restrained to protect others. They must take full responsibility for their behavior and consequences as essential to proper human development. Unconditional has more to do with the nature of ultimate reality and hence, with ultimate human ideals. What we never attain perfectly, but constantly reach for in our quest to tower in stature as maturely human, as heroes of our personal stories.

Note: Why are so many of the 18 themes, in the section below, related to metaphysical realities? Because the themes they express have to do with the fundamental themes/realities that are behind all else in human narratives. These themes still frame the core of the human search for meaning. Consider, for example, the persistent search for the fundamental nature of reality as per cosmological theories, or physics theories and research- i.e. the Hadron collider and the search for the ultimate foundational nature of physical reality, as in the fundamental nature of mass or the atom (e.g. “Mass: The Quest to Understand Matter from Greek Atoms to Quantum Fields”, James Baggott).

So with spiritual traditions and the millennia-long quest to understand the nature of deity as the fundamental or ultimate reality (i.e. creating, sustaining Source). This explains the overall search for a version of TOE, whether in material or “spiritual” terms. In religious or spiritual terms- Who or what created material reality and for what purpose?

Physical science will never cease this quest for fuller understanding, though, limited by its mandate and methodology, it will never provide the full answer. And just like religious/spiritual folks have always crossed the science/religion boundary, so scientists will keep crossing the science/philosophy boundary in their quest for ultimate meaning, for ultimate explanation (Sabine Hossenfelder- “Lost in Math”).

Also, because bad metaphysical ideas have existed and dominated human narratives from the beginning and will persist due to our primal impulse to meaning, so this site recognizes that we should unapologetically engage such reality and provide better (as in more humane) alternatives for consideration. Human curiosity and quest for fullest understanding and explanation will not and should not be squelched. The freedom thing, even in relation to speculation. Hence, my disagreement with the pissed atheist- “Lets get rid of all this metaphysical bullshit”. Even most materialist scientists disagree with that (by their actions, not their proclamations).

Some examples of materialist (“scientific”) speculation on metaphysical realities- i.e. Multi-verse theory, Self-Organizing Principle, String theory (Lee Smolin, “The Trouble With Physics: the Rise of String Theory, the Fall of Science, and What Comes Next”), etc. Point? We all engage speculation in response to our primal impulse to meaning. Wendell Krossa

Some free advice:

You want a career in politics? The two most critical areas of experience/knowledge if you are ever elected to run a major economy, or any economy. (1) Business experience (actually running a successful business). And (2) an understanding of Classic Liberal principles and practises, as per “Inventing Freedom”- Daniel Hannan, “The Birth of Plenty”- William Bernstein, “Ultimate Resource”- Julian Simon, and similar research.

Site project: “That’s alright now, momma”, Elvis Presley

This site maintains one central purpose or project, to tell people- “Don’t be afraid. Its going to be alright”. Whether in this world with the good evidence that life is improving over the long term, as per all the main indicators on the true state of the world (i.e. forests, land species, ocean fisheries, agricultural land, etc.). And further, ultimately alright in terms of the big background reality of the metaphysical Source of this material world- the Creator and Sustainer of all reality.

The nature of ultimate reality, as stunningly no conditions love, takes the sting out of the fear of death, a millennia-long and deeply embedded primal anxiety that has been intensified over millennia by bad mythology and religious belief that promotes the primitive themes of ultimate harsh judgment, ultimate separation and exclusion of unbelievers, ultimate punishment for wrongs done in this life, and ultimate destruction myths (i.e. Hell myths). A nasty psychic load to carry through life and spoil the fun.

Add the burdensome mythical theme that humans are punished through the bad things that happen randomly throughout our world (i.e. natural disaster, disease, accident, cruelty from others). The threat of punitive divinity behind such things adds the unnecessary additional burden of psychic suffering to our already unbearable physical suffering. Remember that Japanese lady after the 2011 tsunami, “Are we being punished for enjoying the good life too much?”

Further weighting the unnecessary psychic load, there is the central curse of religion with its endless conditions, conditions, and more damn conditions- conditions for salvation, sacrifice, endless guilt payments, prescribed rituals and detailed religious lifestyle as identity markers of being a true believer in a chosen tradition. And don’t forget the oppressive domination by priesthoods and religious authorities with all their fun-killing constraints on life. Sheesh, eh.

The Daddy re-assuring thing (there are no monsters):

You are all safe, ultimately, because God is no conditions love as per the central message of Historical Jesus, a message that has been re-affirmed by the central discovery of the Near-Death Experience movement- i.e. that the Light or God is a stunningly inexpressible transcendent unconditional Love.

With that breeze in your sails, liberated from the metaphysical terrors of threat theology, go out into life and engage it fully. Create a unique life story. Suffer whatever your life throws at you as something to struggle with and thereby learn lessons that will make you more empathic toward suffering others. Learn the lessons and gain the insights to help others.

Serving others is critical to countering and alleviating our own often unhealthy pre-occupation with our personal problems and feelings. Serving others is essential to our “towering in stature of heroically and maturely human”.

Make some contribution to improving life for others. Create some service or product to make life better for others and most of all- bring some silly fun and humor into life, to lighten the mood in others around you. You got your mandate, comedians. And oh, have you seen the Tom Brady roast on Netflix? Good one. Raw, raunchy, but another illustration of good comedy. Wendell Krossa

Here’s a good one- Piers Morgan interviewing Stephen Meyer, author of “The Return of the God Hypothesis”, Wendell Krossa

I don’t fully affirm Meyers’ conclusions (i.e. a Christian deity behind reality or life) but he is one of the best arguing for “Intelligence” as the most logical and reasonable conclusion to explain the great mysteries of (1) the creation of this material cosmos, (2) the origin of life on this planet, and (3) the subsequent long-term development of life till it arrived at the greatest mystery of all- i.e. human consciousness, the conscious human self or person.

Later in the interview they shift to the question of evil in life. Meyers is right that the existence of evil has to be understood as the outcome of a God who granted humans authentic freedom, authentic freedom of choice. I would have honed that more to the issue of “the inseparable nature of love and freedom”.

This question of evil is often framed by theologians and philosophers in terms of- Why does evil exist if God is all powerful and good? But that misunderstands what “God is love” means. A God of love will not coercively override human freedom and self-determination. God will not overwhelm and violate freedom because that would be a violation of love. A God of authentic love cannot do that.

Meyers missed a chance to make Bob Brinsmead’s point that love and freedom are inseparable. As Brinsmead says, where there is no authentic freedom, there is no authentic love.

Others make a related point- that you cannot know and experience good aside from a contrast with the opposite of good. Authentic moral good only exists as the outcome from authentical free choice against the opposite. Hence, good cannot be known and experienced aside from this realm of dualism where both good and evil are possible outcomes.

Fortunately, we are told by witnesses in the Near-Death Experience movement that the dualism of good and evil only exists in this material realm. It is not some eternal reality. Joseph Campbell also noted this, as do the NDE accounts, that in ultimate eternal reality there is only the oneness of a stunningly inexpressible love. Unconditional love dominates ultimate eternal reality because the Creator, Source, and Sustainer of all things is that love. That provokes a reconsideration of theology, speculation on ultimate realities, a new understanding of why this material realm exists (as an experience and learning arena), and more.

Some of the NDE accounts note that the very atoms, the very “substance of God” is unconditional love. Meaning that the foundational core of all is love. Hence, God is not just some ultimate Consciousness or Intelligence/Mind, but more fundamentally- deity is composed of love. Love then is more than just one of the attributes or features of God but is the most fundamental reality in itself. Love is the fundamental, foundational reality. Meaning that the materialist search for subatomic particles and TOE misses this. At the root of all reality, whether material or metaphysical, is love. Marinate your mind on this. Its among the biggest of “Wows” ever. The Oneness that is the ultimate metaphysical reality, the Source of all, is pure love in essence. Love is its substance and reality.

And yes, this is theological speculation. But among the best of alternatives available to counter the long history of mythical and religious threat theology that has deformed human consciousness and life for millennia.

And it’s a critical part of my project to affirm that “Its going to be alright”.

Taibbi and Kirn discuss their “torn on this issue” re Palestine and Israel…

Transcript – America This Week, May 3, 2024: Gaza, Columbia, and More, in “I&P”, Matt Taibbi, Walter Kirn

Some quotes from their discussion….

“Hate speech laws can indeed, through mission creep, become chilling to discourse in general”…

“Walter Kirn: And also, sensibilities evolve. Three quarters of what these kids are offended by or made to feel unsafe by or triggered by is stuff that just passes right by me. In other words, it seems that every year that passes makes these nervous systems more sensitive. And what’s hate speech today was just people talking in my youth. So it’s not just that the laws tend to become more general, it’s that people for a while now have become more and more sensitive. And between those two trends, the range of permissible speech would become narrower and narrower mathematically every year….

“I mean, I think my tendencies in terms of how I feel about the war (Gaza), I’ve kind of always believed that occupation and peace are irreconcilable, that it doesn’t work no matter what you do. It almost always results in something that’s oppressive and monstrous, and it ends up being a cancer in every society that tries it. The British will tell you that about Northern Ireland. To a lesser extent, we learned it Vietnam and Iraq.

“But at the same time, I just can’t get behind any kind of terrorist act that involves civilians, kids, even if… I’ve seen dialogues between people talking about, “Well, it was only 36 on this side and it was a thousand over here, or 8,000.” It’s almost like sometimes, the debate about this has turned into competing dehumanization campaigns, “The Zionists are evil,” and then over there it’s, “You’re a Hamas supporter, you’re a terrorist.” So it’s terrorists versus genocide apologists, and this is going to be kind of a trend in American political life, is that we create these monikers that are indefensible political categories, the anti-vaxxer, the conspiracy theorist, the insurrectionist, the white supremacist.

“And we don’t have discussions about things, we just kind of proceed straight to trying to herd people into this other camp. And the act of just being uncertain starts to look criminal to some people when you’re in this kind of fight. I mean this is what’s happened in the Trump era just generally, is if you’re not loudly declaring that you’re for one side or the other, each side puts you in the other camp. And I don’t know, I really dislike that too….

“I like seeing the worm turn a little bit. What I don’t like is that the Republican faction has just decided to abandon what was their outrage over the suppression of their own speech to embrace the suppression of the other sides. We can’t get a sensible coalition on this because one of the problems with free speech in general is that it allows the speech of zealots. Zealots tend to want to take advantage of free speech most. Its protections are particularly welcome if you have a strong unpopular cause to support….

“But zealots also tend to be people who want their enemies not to be able to speak. So, free speech always generates the zealotry that then becomes an enemy of speech. And that’s just part of the paradox of this thing. And one of the reasons why I think we have to be incredibly principled about it, because the groups that benefit from speech are often ones that don’t want others to speak….

“The underlying issue here, the war in Israel, the incursion into Gaza is one which I am genuinely ambivalent about still. And one of my problems is that the reporting of the war, like everything else these days, is so partisan, so impossible to parse at times. The claims are extreme on both sides. And this has been true of Ukraine too for me, I just don’t feel that I as a citizen get the information necessary to have a reasoned and reasonable position. I don’t. I don’t know quite how to get it.”

A note on the Climate Files:

These are one potential contributing factor to global warming. This relates to Henrik Svensmark’s “The Chilling Stars”, his theory affirmed by Hadron collider experiments. These flares are part of the activity of the Sun’s magnetic field that spreads across our solar system and helps block incoming cosmic rays. Due to that field strengthening, there is less cloud formation, clouds that reflect solar energy coming in. Less cloud cover means more warming of Earth. This is all due to natural factors, not CO2.

“NOAA Forecasts Severe Solar Storm: Five CMEs Are Heading For Earth”, Wattsupwiththat.com post on NASA report, May 10, 2024

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/05/10/noaa-forecasts-severe-solar-storm-five-cmes-are-heading-for-earth/

“NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) — a division of the National Weather Service — is monitoring the sun following a series of solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that began on May 8.….

“CMEs are explosions of plasma and magnetic fields from the sun’s corona. They cause geomagnetic storms when they are directed at Earth.”

The stunning contradiction at the heart of Christianity– This is essential to the project here to go to root contributing factors as in the core themes of narratives that incite and validate bad behavior, and also to offer alternatives themes to shape narratives… Wendell Krossa

Historical Jesus (not the Christian “Jesus Christ” but the historical opposite, someone entirely opposite to the Christian version) offers the most potent way to conquer the real enemy, the real evil in life. Historical Jesus offers his simple summary (my paraphrase of the Luke 6:27-36 or Matthew 5:38-48 messages posted below) that presents the most potent way to slay the inner evil of our animal impulses, meaning the “evil triad” of impulses.

Summary of Jesus’ core message:

On how to end cycles of retaliatory violence and achieve peace in societies…. By going to the root causal factors in the greatest battle of all, the battle of good against evil that takes place inside each human heart- the battle of our human spirit against our “evil triad” of inherited animal impulses to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of differing others. That is the real enemy and monster we face in life and must heroically conquer and subdue. Then we become the heroes of our personal quest, towering in stature as maturely human.

The ideas/beliefs that we embrace inspire, guide, and help us conquer our inner monster. Our beliefs powerfully influence our thinking, worldview, emotions, motivations, and responses/behavior.

Here is the summary of the core of Jesus’ message that is the single most profound statement ever offered to liberate us from enslavement to the inner animal, to point us in the direction of true human achievement and success.

“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full”.

In the above statements he exposes tit for tat thinking and relating as not praiseworthy. It is average human behavior, even petty and subhuman. It is tribal tit for tat love. What family and friends show to one another. Anyone can exhibit such love if they know they will receive the same treatment in return. I will do this, only if you respond the same way, treat me the same. And I will be on edge with the trigger of reaction and retreat to eye for eye if you don’t give me a similar response. Then its back to petty eye for eye retaliatory pathology.

He sets the stage with this average behavior as a contrast with what real love is about and will do. He wants to set the contrast with what real authentic love is and does, which is his main point below.

“But if you want something better, something higher, a real experience of being truly human, maturely human, something transformative and liberating, authentically spiritual, then here is what love really is. It is not just tribal, limited by conditions, with no love for the outsider, the opponent or enemy. To the contrary, this is what real spirituality is about, the love that is being like God. This is how we tower in stature as maturely human, as heroes of our story, having conquered our inner monster and enemy- the impulses to tribalism, domination, and punitive treatment of differing others.

“So do something more heroic, more humane. (Live on a higher plane of human experience). Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God indiscriminately, inclusively causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”. (My paraphrase of Matthew 5:38-48 or Luke’s better version in Luke 6:27-36.)

This can be summarized in this single statement: “Don’t just tribally love your family, friends, and neighbors, but Love your enemy also because God does”.

Do you really want to be something better than average? To reach some higher plane of experience, something divine? To have a real spiritual experience, that is not about a rush of inner enlightenment that is ego-oriented, self-satisfying, self indulgent, but oriented to helping others, to serving others, especially love for those who we find unloving, most repulsive, yet still our family (the no enemies oneness that he is referring to).

Example of non-retaliatory, unconditional love: The Prodigal Father story in Luke 15:11-31.

The Father (representing God) did not demand a sacrifice, restitution, payment, apology, or anything else before forgiving, fully accepting, and loving the wasteful son.

Again, that is what God is like as the ultimate human ideal. And that orients us to the attitudes and responses that we should strive toward. It is not a proscription for running a business or shaping criminal justice as in de-carceration and no cash bail policies, etc. It is not an advocacy for pacifism as in “turn the other cheek”.

But yes, treating all offenders humanely as they are held fully responsible for their crimes (incarcerated until safe to return to the public and if not, then kept separated from innocent people). The statement of Jesus is very much oriented to how we view and treat even the worst among us and thereby maintain our own humanity in the face of evil.

Add the vineyard owner choosing freely to give everyone the same treatment. Not a proscription on how to run a business but the freedom of the owner of resources to do what they want with their personal property, to offer scandalous generosity to others if they so choose. Another example, Jesus inviting the outcasts of society to meals, treating them with inclusive and equal love.

Leo Tolstoy: “The whole trouble lies in that people think there are conditions excluding the necessity of love in their intercourse with man, but such conditions do not exist. Things may be treated without love… but one can no more deal with people without love than one can handle bees without care.” Leo Tolstoy in “Resurrection”

The above statement and illustrations by Jesus overturn the highly conditional Christian religion and Paul’s Christ mythology. Paul, along with the rest of the New Testament, preached a retaliatory God who demanded full payment and punishment of all sin in a substitutionary blood sacrifice of atonement before he would forgive, accept, and ultimately love anyone. That is a denial of the message of Historical Jesus. No wonder, as scholars point out, that Paul does not quote the actual message of Jesus but focuses on “his Christ myth about the man”, a myth that denies the “very message of the man” (another Brinsmeadism).

Another example of unconditional love (the Good Samaritan story):

Bob Brinsmead:

“Jesus’ teaching in parables was not as allusive and as mystical as you might make it sound. It was all too plain and practical for some people to stomach. All too many preferred to worship him rather than do what he said. That could be summarized while one stood on one leg- love of neighbour as expressed in the Golden Rule. This, Jesus said, is the whole of the Law and Prophets, the whole duty of man. The rest is only commentary.

“He was not the first to teach this, but he taught it in the light of a new and stunning teaching about God. Micah the prophet expressed it well when he said, “The Lord has shown you, O man, what is good: It is to act justly, to practice lovingkindness, and to walk in the humble service of others just like God does.” The parables of Jesus mirrored both divine and human behaviour, without using words that hostile hearers could use against him.

“Why keep staring at this “love your enemies” like a cow stares at a new barn door? Just think through that parable of the good Samaritan again. What an amazing parable Jesus used to illustrate to a Jewish Rabbi the meaning of the Second Commandment. Consider the lengths this despised Samaritan went to show compassion to his traditional Jewish enemy! That, said Jesus, is an example of what it means to love your neighbour. Yes, we would all find it easier to worship Jesus than to do what he says.”

Here Bob Brinsmead makes the similar point of how Jesus’ message was turned into something contrary to what he had actually taught…

Brinsmead post to a member of a discussion group:

“___, what about that sect which still exists in Iraq which worships in the name of John the Baptist and even believes in the efficacy of “the blood of John the Baptist”?

“So the followers of John the Baptist still exist, and they are not followers of Jesus.

“In trying to follow the reasons why Jesus became the new god of the Greco-Roman world, we cannot discount how well he was packaged and “marketed” to that Greco-Roman world with lots of miracles and myths that fitted with the long history of Greco-Roman culture. In order to appeal to that culture, his story-tellers had to remove some Jewish barnacles from the man and things that would be off-putting to the Gentile audience.

“Justin Martyr openly admitted in his polemics (to Cellus) how very similar their claims for Jesus were to the old pagan myths- like the gods impregnating women, of worshippers eating the flesh and drinking the blood of their god, and the same kind of miracles claimed. When the writers of the NT Gospels told the story of Jesus, it was for the purpose of convincing their audience that he was the Messiah from heaven, which meant that it was inevitable that the story got embellished in their literary process of retrojection.

“As the story was repeated, the wonders kept getting embellished. Mark tells a story of Jesus doing some modest healings in a village, but by the time Matthew writes up the incident, it becomes a spectacular healing event of all that were sick in the entire village.

“And in the same way, each story of the resurrection becomes longer and more spectacular in relation to the order in which they were written. Jesus was not God to start with and was not even pre-existent, but by the time John is written, he is a full blown divinity and well on the way to be “God of very God” according to the Athanasian Creed.

“So I ask the simple question, when and in what sense was it seen that divinity was flashing through humanity. I can see it flashing through his humanity when he prayed for his killers, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Or when he declined any titles of authority by calling himself “the son of man.” Not “no man’s son.” Or when he was prodigious in forgiveness because “to forgive is divine.”

“I can’t see the divinity flashing through his humanity in any spectacular nature miracles like stilling a storm, remembering how Elijah didn’t see the God of Israel in great fire and storm, but only in a quiet human voice. No, No. Jesus was no super-human figure striding like a colossus through the earth, stilling storms and raising the dead, as one destined to rule the nations with a rod of iron. Such a story only re-works ancient myths.

“Maybe that smart set in Athens who waited to hear if Paul preached some new thing, started to mock when his story got to proclaiming another divinity rising from the dead. “Ah Paul, we thought you were going to tell us about some new divinity, but it is only another same old, same old story of a dying and rising divinity that has been going the rounds for centuries…”

The inseparable union between God and the common human spirit of all humanity. Rethinking traditional theology (immanence, oneness, etc.), Wendell Krossa

There is no, and never has been, any such thing, as an absent “sky God”. And there is no incarnation of God only in special “holy people” (see Bob’s comment below). God is commonly and equally present in every human being, inseparable from the common human spirit. We do not only access God in special holy places (i.e. temples, churches), in specially favored religious groups (i.e. among true believers). God is not mediated to the masses via special mediators (priesthoods, pastors, gurus).

Note the long ago priest who climbed a tower in his search for God somewhere above in the heavens, pleading, “God, where are you?”. God answered him, “I am down here among my people”.

God is the most common street level reality (the creating, sustaining Source of all reality), equally present to everyone and loving every human being equally. Hence, the statement of Jesus- “Don’t just tribally love your family, friends, and neighbors, but Love your enemy also because God does”.

Bob Brinsmead’s response to another participant in a discussion group:

“Yes. It is important that we recognize that God was manifested in the life and teachings of Jesus. It is also important to recognize that God is constantly being manifested in the arena of human existence. As Thomas Sheehan says, “God has disappeared into humanity and can be found nowhere else.” Jesus does not have a monopoly or exclusive rights in the manifestation of God.

“Am I wrong to be stunned at the surprising manifestation of people being kind, generous, forgiving and helpful to me? – in so many ways stopping to give me a cup of cold water when it is not expected. There is of course a well of evil in everyone who is human, but more significantly, there is a well of goodness and generosity there too indicating the manifestation of the Spirit of God at work.

“And I refuse to think that this world of human history is getting worse and worse like that declining Image from gold to clay (i.e. the Old Testament book of Daniel). That is pure Zoroastrian apocalyptic. The human race is on a destined journey of gaining ground because it is “in Him we live and move and have our being.”

“So, as 1 John says, “the one who loves lives in God and God lives in him.” The manifestation of God might be the loving kindness of a Hindu woman who ministers to my need. I do not, therefore, believe in one exclusive incarnation, or one Avatar of God (a wonderful Hindu term), but everyone can be an Avatar of God. That is what Jesus teaches in the Sermon: “You are the light of the world… let me see your good works, and glorify your Father etc.” “Be compassionate [OT word here is “hesed”] just like the Most High is mercifully forgiving…” (Luke 6).”

Now the Climate Files again

This from Sterling Burnett’s ‘Climate Change Weekly’, edition 505, “The High Price of Climate Alarm”, May 5, 2024

“Experimental Evidence Indicates CO2 is Saturated, Can’t Drive Temperatures”

Quotes:

“A recent series of papers suggests that the world has already surpassed the level at which adding additional carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere can have no additional warming effect, “due to saturation, higher and higher concentrations do not lead to any further absorption of radiation.”

“In a series of peer reviewed papers from 2020, 2022, and 2024 published in the journal Applications in Engineering Science, a team of Polish physicists examined the extent to which CO2 saturation occurs in the atmosphere, limiting its warming impact. The authors concluded that, “as a result of saturation processes, emitted CO2 does not directly cause an increase in global temperature.”

“Saturation is a well-known process that occurs when no more of something (a chemical, molecule, or mixture, for example) can be absorbed, combined with, or added, or when added, has any additional effect….

“Atmospheric CO2 absorbs radiation in a particular band of frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum…. At a certain point, the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases absorbs the entire band of radiation, producing no more warming as additional units of CO2 or other gases that absorb the band are added.

“The research paper published in 2024, based on a series of experiments and measurements, suggests that CO2 is already saturated at current levels, possibly reaching the saturation point way back at 300 ppm.

“[A]s a result of saturation processes, emitted CO2 does not directly cause an increase in global temperature,” the researchers conclude….

“This research adds another layer to more than 50 years of research on the CO2 saturation principle.

“[For example,] Schack (1972)…demonstrated that for a concentration of 0.03% of carbon dioxide in the air, the absorption process in the troposphere is saturated.”

“Recently, other scientists (Chen et al., 2023) also reported that CO2 has a severely reduced effect on atmospheric transmissivity due to (a) absorption saturation (CO2 can have no effect beyond a pre-industrial concentration), and because (b) water vapor and cloud forcing overlap and thus dominate absorption in CO2’s band.

“[Transmissivity] in the CO2 band center is unchanged by increased CO2 as the absorption is already saturated…”

“[T]he water vapor and CO2 overlapping at an absorbing band prevents absorption by additional CO2.”

“If this research is correct, then worries about the climate impact of adding more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere are misguided. Meaning there is no climate need to end the use of fossil fuels or for governments to impose expensive carbon rationing policies that increase poverty, energy and food costs, and premature death.”

Who is your mass-death promoter now??

“Radical leftists say oil companies are committing climate murder”, Paul Driessen, May 4, 2024

Quote from the article “My book, Eco-Imperialism: Green power · Black death”, forcefully demonstrates that it is these self-righteous climate and environmental activists, and those who fund them, that are callously causing the eco-murder deaths of millions every year – and setting the stage for dramatically more in the future.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/05/04/radical-leftists-say-oil-companies-are-committing-climate-murder/

Quotes (see the many links to sources in original article at link above):

“They’re gaslighting voters and consumers – when the real mass killers are environmentalists…

“We’re constantly told fossil fuel use is causing an existential climate crisis, extreme weather, worsening wildfires, and more frequent and intense hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts.
“Actual temperature, storm and other records provide no support for these claims….

“The claims are based primarily on computer models that erroneously assume carbon dioxide and a few other “greenhouse gases” (0.05% of Earth’s atmosphere, in total) control the climate, while the sun plays virtually no role, urban heat islands are inconsequential, and incompetent forest management is irrelevant.

“It’s gaslighting: perversions of truth designed to make us guilt-ridden, willing to slash our living standards, and happy to keep poor countries energy-deprived and impoverished.

“In the USA and worldwide, fossil fuels still provide 80% of total energy. They’re also the foundation for our economy, living standards, health and longevity – and over 6,000 vital products, including plastics, paints, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, cell phones, eyeglasses, fertilizers and wind turbine blades….

“Others file endless lawsuits to bankrupt fossil fuel projects and promote their twisted views about “climate justice.” Their latest scheme could be viewed as the culmination of their self-indoctrination.

“A recent Harvard Environmental Law Review article proposes prosecuting major oil companies for “climate homicide” and “mass murder” – for supposedly killing people, by raising global temperatures and sea levels, and causing deadlier hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, heatwaves, blizzards and wildfires.

“Media outlets eagerly promoted the claims – and Soros-funded prosecutors will undoubtedly be thrilled to indict ExxonMobil and other companies, once they’ve put more flash-mob thieves back on our streets.

“But not even these prosecutors – or any judge, jury or “expert witness” – can separate natural from human causes of modern climate change….

“What they really don’t want addressed in this “climate homicide” discussion, however, is who is actually committing mass murder, especially of women and children, people with disabilities, people of color and other “particularly threatened” groups so supposedly beloved by climate justice warriors.

“My book, Eco-Imperialism: Green power · Black death, forcefully demonstrates that it is these self-righteous climate and environmental activists, and those who fund them, that are callously causing the eco-murder deaths of millions every year – and setting the stage for dramatically more in the future….

“More than 750 million people still have no access to electricity; nearly 2 billion have only sporadic access to barely enough electricity to charge cell phones and power a lightbulb or 1-cubic-foot refrigerator – and no juice for modern homes, schools and hospitals, water purification, or factories and other job-creating businesses.

“These people are forced to heat and cook with wood, charcoal or animal dung, inhaling noxious fumes that cause millions of deaths annually from respiratory diseases. Millions more die annually from intestinal diseases due to contaminated water and spoiled food, due to energy deprivation.

“Green fanatics perpetuate the death tolls, by battling anything except grossly insufficient, weather-dependent wind and solar power. (In European and other modern countries, people die of heatstroke when they cannot get or afford air conditioning; nine times more die from cold – from hypothermia and illnesses they’d normally survive if they could afford to heat their homes properly.)

“The fanatics also wage campaigns to deny Third World people access to insecticides and spatial insect repellants that would control disease-carrying flies and mosquitoes and even modern farming practices and technologies. Millions more thus die every year from diseases that are readily preventable or could be cured in modern hospitals (that don’t exist)….

“Radical food groups despise genetically engineered crops that multiply crop yields, survive droughts and slash pesticide spraying by 75% or more. They vilify Golden Rice, which enables malnourished children to avoid Vitamin A Deficiency, blindness and death….

“Even more bizarre and frightening, major philanthropies like the Rockefeller Foundation and Walton Family Foundation support this craziness! So do the World Bank and many UN agencies….

“It’s increasingly obvious that climate fear-mongering and GIGO computer models have replaced evidence-based science, history, human nutrition needs and traditional ethical principles. More and more, it is regulating and academic elites versus the rest of us, in rich and poor countries alike.

“But on a more positive note, climate cultists chomping at the bit to see oil companies prosecuted for climate murder should be careful what they wish for. Such a precedent could put eco-imperialists and their financiers on trial for manslaughter on a truly horrific scale.”

“Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of articles and books on environmental, climate and human rights issues.”

Menton gets ever more blunt in his assessments of the lunacy of all this….

“The Biden Administration Ever More Delusional on Energy”, Francis Menton of Manhattan Contrarian, May 4, 2024

“We are now well into the world of fantasy and delusion…. In the meantime we have completely ignorant and tyrannical regulators ordering up an energy system that can’t possibly work and heedless of the enormous destruction that they will likely cause if not stopped…. These people become more and more detached from reality with each passing day. They seem to have no idea how much damage they are doing, and they don’t care a bit. Somehow they have convinced themselves that they are “saving the planet,” when if they could do even a little arithmetic they would know that their efforts cannot possibly move the needle on that effort. It’s just another week in the Biden Administration energy clown show.”…

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/05/04/the-biden-administration-ever-more-delusional-on-energy/

“Even as the energy producers and consumers have figured out endless workarounds to avoid the fossil fuel suppression that the Bidenauts attempt to impose, the little regulatory tyrants have been busy preparing new bouts of punitive restrictions….

“In the new round, the regulators have gotten farther and farther away from anything realistic, anything consistent with the laws of physics or thermodynamics, anything that might actually work. We are now well into the world of fantasy and delusion….

“In the meantime we have completely ignorant and tyrannical regulators ordering up an energy system that can’t possibly work and heedless of the enormous destruction that they will likely cause if not stopped….

“These people become more and more detached from reality with each passing day. They seem to have no idea how much damage they are doing, and they don’t care a bit. Somehow they have convinced themselves that they are “saving the planet,” when if they could do even a little arithmetic they would know that their efforts cannot possibly move the needle on that effort. It’s just another week in the Biden Administration energy clown show.”

This excellent piece from Free Press on advocating for free speech– these agencies and episodes all illustrate the greater totalitarian threat to liberal democracies today as Woke Progressivism continues its crusade to dominate all areas of society.

https://www.thefp.com/p/lionel-shriver-pen-america-rewards

“PEN America Rewards Cowardice: We live in a world where an organization established for the defense of free speech is expected to openly advocate for Hamas”, Lionel Shriver, May 1, 2024

Quotes:

“Another day, another opportunity for huffy, hypocritical “progressive” posturing. PEN America has now been forced to cancel its World Voices literary festival in New York and L.A., on the heels of also canceling its 2024 awards ceremony. Too many authors had withdrawn from both events to make going ahead with staging either practicable. The reason for so many writers flouncing from these programs? PEN’s failure to publicly denounce Israel’s “genocide” in Gaza….

“To clarify: the purpose of PEN is to defend freedom of speech and to protect writers from political oppression and persecution. It makes perfect sense, therefore, that a significant cadre of its membership would seek to stifle freedom of speech and engage in political oppression and persecution. Or: we’re all for free speech so long as you say what we tell you….

“PEN is, by its nature, a big tent. It represents not only Muslim writers but Jewish ones too, some of whom might just support the existence of Israel, might just regard Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza as justified, and might just find alliance with genuinely genocidal terrorists whose unembarrassed aim is to wipe Israel and the Jewish people off the map as a teeny tiny bit obnoxious. While one PEN member decries the nonprofit’s “both-sidesing,” the truth is that PEN has no business taking a position on this issue whatsoever.

“Unfortunately, the left has successfully installed the expectation that, regardless of their established purpose, all institutions—companies, museums, theaters, universities, charities, you name it—must proclaim their fealty to the “right” (which is to say left) position on a host of inflammatory issues of the day. This hyper-politicization of entities that ought sensibly to remain politically neutral has been systematically debauching everything from the UK’s National Trust to its NHS, from Anheuser-Busch to the Chicago Art Museum….

“Thus, an organization established for the defense of free speech of every sort—including the overtly Zionist kind—is necessarily obliged to openly advocate for Hamas, a murderous, cheerfully antisemitic cult whose interest in free speech on its home turf would fit in a thimble….

“Moreover, for American writers to express increasingly shrill and little-disguised hostility to Jews is to disavow a substantial chunk of the country’s distinguished literary canon: Philip Roth, Saul Bellow, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Bernard Malamud, and Elie Wiesel just for starters.

“We’re all too capable of perversely embracing suppressive viewpoints that violate our own interest. We’re paid not only to write but to think, yet we don’t think; we listen keenly for whatever tune is playing in our fellow travelers’ AirPods and whistle along. Apparently, we’re no more creative than the average bear, and as soon as the memo goes out, we’ll chant along with the kiddies camped at Columbia University, “from the river to the sea!” whatever that means. We’ll obediently switch out one cause for another whenever we’re told…

“We’re cowards, conformists, and copycats. Real freedom of expression is too scary; we’d rather hide in a crowd whose keffiyeh-masked members all shout the same thing…. But too many of its members would have the nonprofit corrupt its global mission to protect free speech across the board so long as they can bully its leadership into pointless partisan posturing for progressives’ acrid flavor of the month.”

This on hate speech, free speech, and legitimate lines to be drawn. Good discussion of these issues.

https://www.thefp.com/p/where-free-speech-ends-and-lawbreaking-begins

“Where Free Speech Ends and Lawbreaking Begins: The First Amendment does not give carte blanche to intimidation and harassment” Ilya Shapiro, November 27, 2023

“Even antisemites have the right to free speech, as Nadine Strossen and Pamela Paresky correctly wrote in The Free Press. Since the Hamas massacre of October 7, they have been taking full advantage of that right. Especially on college campuses.

“Pro-Palestinian groups have harassed and even assaulted Jewish students; protesters have interrupted courses and taken over buildings; Ivy League professors have called Hamas’s attack “exhilarating” and “awesome”; students have torn down posters of missing Israeli children; others have chanted—and even projected onto university buildings—slogans, like “from the river to the sea,” “globalize the intifada,” and “glory to our martyrs.”

“In response to such activities, universities have suspended or banned student groups like Students for Justice in Palestine…. Republican lawmakers have suggested revoking the student visas of those participating in anti-Israel protests.

“Those who care deeply about free speech are asking themselves many questions at this urgent moment: What should we make of the calls to punish Hamas apologists on campus? After all, this is America, where you have the right to say even the vilest things. Yes, many of the same students who on October 6 called for harsh punishment for “microaggressions” are now chanting for the elimination of the world’s only Jewish state. But Americans are entitled to be hypocrites.

“Don’t these students have the same right to chant Hamas slogans as the neo-Nazis did to march in 1977 in Skokie, Illinois—a town then inhabited by many Holocaust survivors?…

“Much of what we’ve witnessed on campuses over the past few weeks is not, in fact, speech, but conduct designed specifically to harass, intimidate, and terrorize Jews. Other examples involve disruptive speech that can properly be regulated by school rules. Opposing or taking action against such behavior in no way violates the core constitutional principle that the government can’t punish you for expressing your beliefs.

“The question, as always, is where to draw the line, and who’s doing the line-drawing.

“Here are some of the most pressing questions those who care about civil liberties and protecting the rights of Jewish students are asking.

“What are some examples of protest activities that are rightly considered conduct rather than speech?

“In drawing the line between speech and conduct, some cases are easy.

“Beating someone up, as has happened at Columbia and Tulane, is assault. Crowding around someone in a threatening manner, like a group of Harvard students—including an editor of the Harvard Law Review—did to an Israeli student who filmed their protest, is commonly known as the crime of “menacing.” A pattern of actions designed to frighten and harass someone, like forcing Jewish students into the Cooper Union library while pounding on the doors and windows, is stalking.

“Defacing someone’s property by spray-painting swastikas and slogans, as happened at American University, is vandalism. So is tearing down posters—at least on private property and in most campus settings. And masking at a protest, also a hallmark of events sponsored by the Students for Justice in Palestine organization, is illegal in many states—a remnant of the battle against KKK intimidation.

“The proper response to such behavior, regardless of how “expressive” someone may claim it to be, is the same response we’d have to instances of assault, stalking, intimidation, and other crimes in any other context: identify, arrest, and prosecute the perpetrators. And in the campus setting, expel them.

“Are genocidal slogans like “globalize the intifada” or “from the river to the sea” protected by the First Amendment?

“It depends on the context.

“First, a clear-cut case: the Cornell student who posted death threats online to Jewish students was rightly arrested, because, as the Supreme Court held, the Constitution doesn’t protect “those statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of an intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals.”

“In addition to such “true threats” (and not simply political hyperbole), the First Amendment does not protect the incitement of violence, which the Supreme Court has defined as speech that is “directed at inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” The courts have set a high bar on meeting this standard—but it’s surely been reached in some recent cases both on and off-campus….

“Wait, but isn’t shouting antisemitic epithets hate speech?

“Offensive or “hate” speech is constitutionally protected—including burning a flag or giving a racially charged speech to a restless crowd….

“What about the interruption of classes and speakers by protesters? Isn’t this just more speech that’s protected by the First Amendment?…

“There’s a difference between protest and disruption…. But students aren’t allowed to shut down events, disrupt classes, or otherwise interfere with university programs….

“As Yascha Mounk, a liberal fed up with campus illiberalism, explained in a pithy X thread, “part of protecting free speech is to punish students who violate the rules that make free speech possible for everyone else….

“Many of the students who participated in the protests at MIT and elsewhere are foreign nationals. What are their free speech rights as noncitizens?…

“But MIT declined to take action against demonstrators who prevented Jewish students from attending class, despite warnings that they were violating university policies, precisely because officials knew that many of the harassers were foreign students subject to deportation. The school’s refusal to do so effectively gives foreigners—but not Americans—the right to harass, intimidate, and vandalize….

“Ilya Shapiro is the director of constitutional studies at the Manhattan Institute and author of Supreme Disorder: Judicial Nominations and the Politics of America’s Highest Court and the forthcoming Canceling Justice: The Illiberal Takeover of Legal Education (HarperCollins). He also writes the Shapiro’s Gavel newsletter on Substack.”

“For another view, read Choose Counterspeech Over Cancel Culture by Nadine Strossen and Pamela Paresky in Time. And let us know what you think in the comments.”

More on protecting free speech

https://public.substack.com/p/youre-only-for-free-speech-if-you

“You’re Only For Free Speech If You Defend It For People You Hate: We should protect people physically, not emotionally”, Alex Gutentag, Michael Shellenberger, May 1, 2024

Quotes:

“Pro-Palestine protests on college campuses around the country have inflamed debates about free speech and antisemitism. Some Republicans and Democrats claim that government oversight and censorship of hate speech is needed to address these protests….

“Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who in 2019 signed a bill to guarantee freedom of speech in Texas universities, suggested that protesters should be arrested for their views….

“And most recently, the House Rules Committee advanced the Antisemitism Awareness Act of 2023, a bipartisan bill to expand the definition of antisemitism in Title VI federal anti-discrimination law….

“All of these efforts are violations of freedom of speech and we condemn them unreservedly. It’s once again time to remind ourselves and our fellow citizens that the test of our commitment to free speech is when we demand its protection for our enemies and for speech we hate, not for our friends and for speech we like….

“Columbia students also pushed pro-Israel Jewish students out of their Gaza solidarity encampment on the campus lawn. In a similar incident, pro-Palestine protesters prevented a pro-Israel Jewish student at UCLA from accessing his route to class.

“In these instances, and others, protesters infringed on the rights of fellow tuition-paying students. University rules place limits on the time, place, and manner of protests. Constructing encampments, blocking parts of campus, and occupying buildings are clear violations of these rules and are not forms of protected speech….

“We reject the far left’s ideological extremism and its endorsement of Hamas’ actions on October 7. At the same time, we share the left’s concerns about civilian deaths in Gaza, violations of the Geneva Conventions, Israel’s political leadership, and potential escalation to a wider conflict.

“We believe there is currently a great deal of confusion and hypocrisy around free speech on both sides of this debate. Some on the right who once claimed to believe in absolute free speech are now calling for a crackdown on “hate speech.” Meanwhile, many on the left, who have endorsed “cancel culture” and basically all censorship of their opponents since 2016, are now crying “Free speech!” without recognizing or admitting to how their own activities have set a terrible precedent.

“Yet the line between speech and unlawful conduct is quite clear. Blocking traffic, taking over buildings, and constructing encampments are acts of force, and are not protected by the First Amendment….

“Supporting free speech requires supporting the speech rights of those you disagree with. We increasingly appear to be in a free speech crisis, in which few are willing to defend free speech for all. That needs to change, and well-meaning people on all sides need to speak out once again for freedom of speech.”

I would argue that the physics of CO2 is the real “elephant in the room”, but the 97% consensus claim is, with other issues, a close second.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/05/01/the-in-depth-story-behind-the-97-of-scientists-climate-fraud/

“The In-depth Story Behind the 97% of Scientists Climate Myth”, Climate Discussion Nexus, May 1, 2024

Some quotes from the above link:

“This four-year old presentation by Dr. John Robson investigates the unsound origins and fundamental inaccuracy, even dishonesty, of the claim that 97% of scientists, or “the world’s scientists”, or something agree that climate change is man-made, urgent and dangerous.

“There are so many empty slogans out there I wish we could tackle all of them at once. But the “97% of scientists agree” is surely the elephant in the room. Lots of people have tried to rebut it by dismissing the notion of consensus itself, or by praising the historical examples of renegade scientists who went against a prevailing consensus and turned out to be right. But that unnecessarily concedes the major claim itself, which the evidence shows is simply not true….

“The claim that 97% of the world’s scientists agree is pretty much the ace of trumps in the whole climate debate….

“At first glance it seems straightforward enough. In 2013 President Barack Obama famously tweeted that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.”

“In 2014, his Secretary of State John Kerry said 97% of “the world’s scientists tell us this is urgent.” And that same year, CNN said “97% of scientists agree that climate change is happening now, that it’s damaging the planet and that it’s manmade.”…

“Also, there are lots of indications that the world is somewhat warmer now than it was in the mid-1800s, the end of a natural cooling period called the Little Ice Age.

“Finally, virtually nobody disputes that humans have changed the environment of our planet, by releasing emissions into the air, changing the land surface, putting things in the water, and so forth.

“These aren’t controversial ideas, and they’re accepted even by most climate skeptics. What we don’t accept is that any of them prove that humans are the only cause of global warming, or that climate change is a dangerous threat….

“In 2009, a pair of researchers at the University of Illinois sent an online survey to over 10,000 Earth scientists asking two simple questions: Do you agree that global temperatures have generally risen since the pre-1800s? and Do you think that human activity is a significant contributing factor?…

“They found a 97 percent consensus among 2 percent of the survey respondents. And even so it was only that there’d been some warming since the 1800s, which virtually nobody denies, and that humans are partly responsible. These experts didn’t say it was dangerous or urgent, because they weren’t asked….

“The survey authors didn’t ask if climate change was dangerous or “manmade”….

“How many of the studies claimed that humans have caused most of the observed global warming?… A mere 64 out of nearly 12,000 papers! That’s not 97%, it’s one half of one percent. It’s one in 200.

“And it gets worse. In a follow-up study, climatologist David Legates read those 64 papers and found that a third of them didn’t even say what Cook and his team claimed. Only 41 actually endorsed the view that global warming is mostly manmade. And we still haven’t got to it being “dangerous”. That part of the survey results was simply invented, by politicians and activists….

“A social psychologist named Jose Duarte, who specializes in survey design, published an analysis of that one, pointing out that they diluted the sample by including large numbers of psychologists, philosophers, political scientists, and other non-experts, making their results meaningless as a measure of what scientists think. Just as you’ll find that the people who cite that 97% number are overwhelmingly not trained scientists, certainly not trained statisticians….

“The problem is, not a single one of those societies took a survey of their members before issuing their statements in the name of their members. The statements were put out by a small number of activists using their committee positions to make it look as though their views are shared by all the world’s experts….

“And then they’re spun wildly by non-scientists to tell us things they don’t begin to say, often about questions they didn’t even attempt to investigate…

“All this talk of a 97% consensus amounts to a dishonest bullying campaign to stifle scientific debate just when we need it most because the question looms so large in public policy….

“A scientist who contests the prevailing narrative on human-caused warming, or merely produces smaller estimates, will likely end up on a McCarthyite blacklist of ‘deniers’. Self-described mainstream climate scientists refer the public to such lists, implicitly endorsing the smearing of their colleagues. This is disturbing, and unheard of in other sciences.” (See full detail on the history of the 97% consensus claim at the link above)

This site will continue to affirm that its going to be alright, whether through the detailed research of people like Julian Simon on the main features of life that show the true state of life and the real trajectory of life as improving over long term. Or whether in terms of ultimate realities, for example, all the research on the central message of Historical Jesus that God is a stunningly unconditional, nonretaliatory reality that includes all both good and bad, and demands no conditions for salvation (no sacrifice or payment), makes no threat of ultimate judgment, no threat of exclusion, no separation, and no punishment or destruction… entirely contrary to the multitudinous conditions of religious traditions, the endless threat theology.

Affirming that its going to be alright, involves accessing the best sources on the basic facts of our world, and also considering the best insights from spiritual/philosophical traditions. This is all part of the project or quest to understand what this thing of life on Earth is all about, to answer our primal impulse for meaning.

The “elephant in the room” issue to engage in affirming that “its going to be alright” is to confront the great fraud and lie that is primitive apocalyptic mythology. This primitive psychopathology still dominates world religions today and has been embraced in varied “secular/ideological” versions like climate alarmism. If you doubt this “domination” of apocalyptic mythology today, see Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History” (“most dominant and influential theme today”), the surveys noted in “Ten Global Trends” (majorities of populations believing “the world is getting worse”), the daily obsession of news media with climate alarm reports (“worst on record”), and Hollywood’s growing obsession with apocalyptic-themed movies over past decades ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apocalyptic_films ), and so on.

Nothing is more devastating to hope than this antihuman nihilism of apocalyptic that deforms human spirits and even, in some, incites longing for the destruction of life and the world. The worst consequence of endlessly beating apocalyptic mythology into populations is that it leads people to mindlessly embrace irrational schemes to “save the world by destroying the world” (e.g. decarbonization). This site brings diverse sources of evidence and insights to counter this primitive lie, whether in good religious research that counters apocalyptic myths, or the material facts on the true state of the world. All to counter this consciousness-deforming myth that has a record of ruining life for many.

As Arthur Mendel said, apocalyptic is the most violent and destructive myth because, based on this falsehood, alarmists have terrorized populations with end of days scenarios that have aroused the survival impulse in people. Alarmists have then proposed salvation schemes to the frightened and susceptible populations, salvation schemes that have ruined life and societies (e.g. Richard Landes on the Xhosa cattle slaughter in South Africa). Look at what “save the world” decarbonization is doing right now to our societies. And remember what apocalyptic did through Marxism (100 million deaths) and Nazism (50-60 million deaths). So climate apocalyptic is shaping up to generate potentially even worse mass-death outcomes ( https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/05/04/radical-leftists-say-oil-companies-are-committing-climate-murder/ ).

Apocalyptic mythology has shaped the climate alarm as a “profoundly religious crusade”. Note the main themes/features of the apocalyptic complex of ideas, whether in religious or secular versions- i.e. (1) a lost or better past, (2) life now declining toward catastrophic “existential crisis” and the end of life, (3) the demand for sacrifice (suffering as redemptive) and (4) the purging of some evil threat (CO2, the food of all life, demonized as the great threat to life today), and (5) the promise of the restoration of the lost paradise in collectivist utopian society.

Many of us have observed the unsettling retreat into tribalism in our societies today. The intensifying divisiveness that exhibits in excessive demonization of differing others. That then festers and erupts in projects to dehumanize the other. Note these particular smears, common in public media tribalism (media, coming out as highly partisan propagandists, and no longer keeping up any pretense to fair balance or objectivity): These, in particular, are the common go-to smears of today’s partisan demonization crusades… “Nazi, fascist, racist, communist, foreign/Russian agent, right-wing (dog whistle for white supremacist extremist), domestic terrorist, disinformation hate speech proponent, etc.”.

As with all past similar excesses of demonization of differing others (e.g. Rwanda, Germany under Hitler), initial dehumanization then validates outraged hatred of the other as intolerably and dangerously evil, a threat to all that is good, to democracy, to civilization, even to life itself (i.e. as in the climate alarmism demonization of all humanity for enjoying the good life).

The demonization/dehumanization phase then validates the demand for required purging of the threat, for “coercive purification” as necessary to save something (“save the world… save democracy”). And hence, the totalitarian impulse is unleashed, though framed in terms of a heroically righteous crusade to conquer and eliminate evil as critical to the salvation of whatever is purported to be under existential threat.

These purging crusades have infected liberal democracies across the Western world- notable in laws now being pushed by governments (i.e. “Online Harms” bills- Canada), with ill-defined boundaries that do not distinguish true hate speech from differing opinion. Such laws arm powerholders with the tools to discredit and outlaw the “dangerous menace” that they feel is posed by differing others, by political opponents. Others have noted the danger here of “Concept creep” that expands “hate speech” to include opinions and speech that makes someone feel “uncomfortable.. threatened… upset… etc.”.

The exaggerated demonization of opponents has validated diverse public agencies (i.e. intelligence agencies, state bureaucracies, political parties) to create programs and projects to investigate and censor political opponents as guilty of “hate speech, disinformation, foreign interference, etc.”. Political opponents are now being censored, silenced, banned from public forums and arenas, cancelled, even criminalized.

Comedians are included in the authoritarian lockdowns of dissent today. Authoritarians do not tolerate being laughed at as public mockery undermines unquestioning belief in their heroic status as society saviors. Laughter weakens the potency of their authority.

Richard Landes warns of the potential extreme reach of this tribal authoritarianism, notably when alarmist movements shift dangerously toward “exterminate or be exterminated” phases. That is the real peril on the horizon of this tribal divisiveness, excessive demonization of differing others, dehumanization, intensifying hatred and calls for purging or coercive purification. Add the self-delusional framing that members of each side present, claiming that to save something under “existential threat” they must engage a heroic righteous battle against the intolerable evil on the other side, and that demands state policies and coercion to have others censored, silenced, banned, and criminalized.

On the Canadian “Online Harms” law and those who pooh-pooh its potential outcomes… “And for people who don’t think that this is going to happen or that people won’t turn each other in. From what I understand, when Scotland passed a law recently, they had 7,000 complaints in the first week where people were diming each other out.”

“America This Week, May 10, 2024: Canada Uber Alles! On Justin Trudeau’s Terrifying New Speech Law”, Matt Taibbi, Walter Kirn.

https://www.racket.news/p/transcript-america-this-week-may-bf9

My intro comments recommending this Taibbi/Kirn podcast to a discussion group:

“This is an important one to read fully. It’s about such fundamental things as liberal democracy, freedom, and so much more… Wendell Krossa

“First- Note their comments on media corruption (news media functioning as state propagandists). This has become so widespread, so common in news media that it has become “normalized”. It is a stunning abandonment of liberalism, of liberal democracy, by those formerly identifying as “liberals, Democrats” but now embracing “highly illiberal” authoritarianism, or “totalitarianism”, as Shellenberger says. Unbelievable rejection of former liberalism and yet the proponents just don’t realize it, or more correctly, they have framed themselves a narrative that tells them that they are heroes in a righteous battle against intolerable evil in the monster that they have created- a “Nazi, Hitler, racist, fascist, dictator, threat to democracy… etc.”. So, to save democracy, save the world, they are obligated to engage a righteous battle against this monster, democracy be damned.

“Blinded by their validating narrative, they engage censorship, criminalizing opponents, silencing opposition/dissent… One defender of the Democratic party actually stated that their liberal/leftist violence against conservatives was legitimate force. He compared liberal assaults on conservatives during the Trump administration to the Allies in WW2 fighting against Hitler. Their force (conservatives) was evil violence, he explained, and ours was good force. It was necessary to save the world. He said that on a Fox News interview during Trump’s presidency in a defensive response to the complaints of violence against Trump supporters.

“Note just some of the highlighted statements below for a taste of the fuller discussion further below. Taibbi and Kirn go over the surprising anger of executive editor Joe Khan (New York Times) over the White House pressure on the Times to “do its job” of propagandizing for the Democratic Party and his refusal, his desire to return the Times to actual journalism as part of the Fourth Estate in democracy.

“Kahn answers an interviewer, “Good media is the fourth estate. It’s another pillar of democracy. One of the absolute necessities of democracy is having a free and fair open election where people can compete for votes. And the role of the news media is not to skew your coverage towards one candidate or another, but just to provide very good, hard-hitting, well-rounded coverage of both candidates and informing voters. If you believe in democracy, I don’t see how we get past the essential role of quality media in informing people about their choice in a presidential election.”

“Kirn says this, “We live in this postmodern world where it’s not the facts, it’s the information, and it’s not the story, it’s how it’s reported and who it favors. And we’ve been in that mindset for so long now that the return of some kind of realism (as in Kahn’s statements) feels revolutionary”.

“And then they go into Trudeau’s own version of totalitarianism with his Online Harms bill and the danger that poses. As they say, this is something like N. Korean or Stalinist encouragement of snitching.” (end of my post to group)

Some quotes from Taibbi/Kirn discussion:

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: We’ve spent years working with different community groups, with advocates, with minority communities, with experts, with people in all sorts of different backgrounds to make sure that what we’re doing is actually protecting kids, and I look forward to putting forward that online harms bill, which people will see is very, very specifically focused on protecting kids and not on censoring the internet as misinformation and as the right wing tends to try and characterize it as. I think everyone, wherever they are on the political spectrum, can agree that protecting kids is something governments should be focused on doing.

“Matt Taibbi: Okay, so we have a bit of a confession to make. We had this entire podcast cut already, and then some more phone calls happened and we realized that, or at least I realized that I think we sort of undersold this story maybe a little bit the first time we discussed it. So we’re going to start with some information that’s really shocking. And for journalists, this is why you always make more phone calls because you never know what’s going to happen to a story. “This story about the online harms, bill, Walter, you reached out to me earlier this week about it, and some people here in the States have heard about it. When was the first time you heard about it, Walter?

“Walter Kirn: I heard it from a Twitter account who goes by the name Camus, as in Albert Camus, who retweeted some alarmist summary of the thing, which I thought couldn’t be true, so I passed it over to you, the human fact checking machine, to see if this crazy law that may be the last law that Canada ever needs to pass because it will-

“Matt Taibbi: Exactly.

Walter Kirn: It absolutely consolidate control over their society in a way that East Germany could only have dreamed of. Somebody in Canada went, “What if we try East Germany again with way better tech?” And they came up with this thing.

“Matt Taibbi: Yeah, that’s exactly right. When you first pass this to me, essentially the headline revelations in most American coverage of this, to the extent that there has been any, is that this is a bill that is going to aggressively punish hate speech, and it has unusual features like it will allow the government to prosecute crimes that, past statements, things that you said in the past, it will allow them to punish you for things you haven’t said yet, and it will carry extraordinary penalties, like for instance, life sentences for things like advocating genocide.

“Now, they already had laws against advocating genocide, but the maximum penalty was five years. So I thought that was crazy enough, and we discussed that a little bit, and then talked to some more lawyers. This bill is actually way worse than advertised. I don’t know how else to describe it except this is the blueprint for a modern dystopian state, basically.

“They’ve outlined the architecture for a state that basically enrolls all of society in the process of tattling on one another, similar to the way people do on the internet. Except here, there will be criminal penalties behind it and huge fines. And there’s even a funding mechanism whereby you can tell on other people for alleged hate crimes. And if that leads to a ruling…

“Walter Kirn: Not in every case, but we need to move now to the worst case scenarios and work backwards. And the truth of this is that once adopted, there will be almost no route to correcting it because it’s going to so fear and mutual suspicion to a point that I don’t think any society has had to deal with in the modern era.

“Matt Taibbi: It’s really amazing. I probably talked to a half dozen lawyers this week, Canadian lawyers, and one of the things they said is, “Thank God you’re calling because nothing ever happens in Canada until the Americans complain about it.” So if you’re listening to this podcast, there are people in Canada who are desperate for us to make us think about this because Canadians aren’t doing it on their own. There’s a very limited lobby for these kinds of problems.

“And as you say, there’s already a chilling effect on the speech climate there, a very serious one, as a matter of fact. So people aren’t talking very much, but let’s just go through the mathematics of how this works. And this is what’s so sinister. So as you say, the person who informs on you for a hate speech offense can do so in a manner that protects their identity, and they can receive $20,000 if it ends up being a penalty. And here’s the math of this.

“Walter Kirn: How publicly would you announce that you are one of the administrators of this program? These people are going to be the most secret star chamber FISA judge cloaked in mystery people because the first one will probably be assassinated. Okay? The first one to go public will need the greatest security available in Canada. All the next ones will be kept in an ice castle above the Arctic Circle.

“Here’s the problem, Matt. Every once in a while, there’s a certain pace to these chilling laws and these surveillance and censorship endeavors. You expect them to mount sort of like a staircase. But every once in a while, they launch a rocket with plasma energy that breaks the speed of light, and you think, wow, are they doing that because they expect it to work, or are they doing that to just show us how truly evil, evil can be? Because it almost doesn’t matter.

“Walter Kirn: We just saw Trudeau frame it as the salvation of children, as the only line standing between them and exploitation and abuse or whatever it is, the harm that they’ve imagined this addresses, but everything we see about the details of the law doesn’t seem to have much to do with children at all.

“Matt Taibbi: Right. Right. There are sections that have to do with abuses against children, child pornography, but there are almost all things that are already against the law in Canada.

“So, everyone is going to be cast in the role of a self-watcher at the most extreme and important levels because not to watch yourself carefully enough is to fall into the hands of these snitches, or these vague regulations or whatever.

“Matt Taibbi: And for people who don’t think that this is going to happen or that people won’t turn each other in. From what I understand, when Scotland passed a law recently, they had 7,000 complaints in the first week where people were diming each other out.

“Matt Taibbi: Yeah. And this thing is much more beneficial to the tipster, to the informant. They used the word informant in the law, which I think is creepy. And there’s no downside. There’s no cost to file. You don’t need to hire a lawyer, and it’s just all upside. You don’t pay anything if they find against you, but you do receive money if they find for you. And it’s just an extraordinary thing. And so, what kinds of things would this be?

“Well, they have hate speech laws, and it involves what they call detestation of an identifiable group. And that can be any section of the public distinguished by color, race, religion, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or mental or physical disability. Now, they added gender identity or expression, I think in 2017 or 2018. So what does this mean? This means if you get up and say, “I don’t think a biological male should be competing in a swim event,” that could end up being a case really easily.

“Walter Kirn: And Matt, I hesitate to ever use a specific example when we’re talking about something so amorphous as “hate speech”, because 20 years ago there were non-offenses that are offenses now. And five years from now at the rate things are going because this has gone parabolic, this process, there will be attitudes, statements, sentiments, which we don’t even consider a problem now, that will be of grave importance to the hate monitors.

“It is some kind of Peter’s principles of law enforcement that if not enough arrests are being made, they just lower the standards until they get them, or they raise the bounty. And they will get to whatever their goals are in terms of enforcement. But more importantly, they will instantly be at their goal in terms of fear.

“So politically, you’re going to see the elimination of almost any kind of dissenting, edgy material. There’s going to be all kinds of stuff that will just automatically disappear. Also, people will self-censor, absolutely.

“And then this is the last thing I want to say about this is just I think, Walter, you’re on the money when you talk about how we are just going to have to adopt, or at least Canadians will, they’re going to have to relearn how to think.

“Walter Kirn: Well, I’d go even further. And since the mind of Philip K. Dick, the amphetamine-soaked, LSD-enhanced mind of Philip K. Dick, paranoid cat fancier, anticipated this kind of thing, I think it behooves us to think like a paranoid, amphetamine-fueled cat fancier. Once it reaches this stage, I think it’s the end of rationality. The quality of a thought will no longer be measured by whether it flows from the premises on which it’s based, it will flow from its possible effect on the potential audience which might feel triggered or hated or sensitive to it.

“So, we’re no longer going to use a syllogistic or data-based or inductive or observational set of rules when we make a statement. We will work backwards from the potential effects and the potential offenses in any statement whatsoever.

“And that is, like you used the word metaphysical, that is a metaphysical revolution in what it means to be a thinking being. Because if you should see something, or come to a conclusion logically which has a hate element or could be construed to have it, you must not utter and hopefully even experience that thought or statement.

“Listen, it’s the end of anybody ever breaking up with their boyfriend or girlfriend too. The fear of creating enmity in your normal social life, no one will divorce, and anyone who isn’t married will not take the risk of getting married. This really makes personal relationships an intolerable risk. It simply does. Unless you know that you’re with someone of exactly the same profile.

“Matt Taibbi: And even then you’re not safe. I mean, it’s like the old Soviet Union, but it’s so much worse because of the technology. Your thoughts, your utterances, they’re captured by whatever devices you have at your home, things that you type. You’re going to be spending all of your mental energy thinking about these things.

“And yes, maybe it won’t go through exactly like this. Maybe some watered down version of this is coming, but it’s sort of like when we talked about the DIA app in Ukraine, we just have abundant evidence that all around the world, they’re passing laws like this and they keep upping the ante every time they introduce them.

“We already have the Digital Services Act, and in Europe they’ve passed, They have a law in Australia, the SMA, which is about to be updated, there’s one in Scotland, the Irish have a new online censorship bill. But this is different. This is transformational. At a societal level, it will change the whole nature of how people get along with one another and I think that’s something new. And we’ve been talking about the censorship topic, but this is beyond that. This is a new kind of governance that they’re talking about. Even it has less to do with censorship than it does with rewiring society completely. And I don’t know, I think it’s really scary and it’s going to warrant some more investigation, obviously too.

“Walter Kirn: They are the one country in the world that probably doesn’t need these laws for the next million years. They are the meekest, mildest, most neighborly people on earth. And as a reward for that, they’re going to get the biggest crackdown in planetary history because they’re not fearful and thoughtful enough. Talk about be careful what you wish for. Canada’s going to wish they had never said good day in their history because now the good day Borg is going to crush their minds. I find it amazing that a country where there is no thought crime is going to be the one that enforces it most vigorously.

“We grew up in a Western society where the idea that we wouldn’t be able to face our accuser, that’s just not possible or comprehensible to a person born in the United States. The idea that you could be punished pretty seriously without being judged by your peers, for instance, or going through a real process with real rules of evidence, or that you can be convicted on really, really bogus kinds of evidence, like hearsay evidence. Ex post facto laws, pre-crime, this is all stuff that nobody who grew up in a society, rights-based society could even conceive of. And so I think a lot of this is sort of aimed at that. It’s just aimed at reiterating our expectations of individual rights.”

(See full discussion at link above)

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two of the best (journalists/social commentators) Matt Taibbi and Walter Kirn on Trudeau’s Online Harms bill

18 of the worst, and 18 better alternatives- What shapes your narrative?

A reposting… Feel free to share this list anywhere… Revised, updated.

Humanity’s worst ideas, better alternatives, Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives: Rethinking 18 of the most fundamental bad ideas from across human history, and presenting 18 alternative ideas to transform narratives, human consciousness/subconscious, and liberate the human spirit, Wendell Krossa

“Worst” because of the deforming influence of bad ideas on human thought, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior, notably in inciting and validating the base impulses to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of “enemies” or differing others (See comments of psychologists/theologians Harold Ellens and Zenon Lotufo in “Cruel God, Kind God” on the potent influence of “threat theology” beliefs in deforming human consciousness and personality).

(1) Old story theme: The myth of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality that metes out final justice- i.e. rewarding the good, punishing the bad (i.e. threat theology affirming retributive justice). The myth of a “wrathful violent God” continues as the cohering center of the world religions and is now also given expression in “secular” versions such as “vengeful Gaia, angry planet, pissed Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma”- the new retaliatory, destroying gods of environmental alarmism, history’s latest apocalyptic movement. (Note: Western religious traditions have always affirmed violence in deities. Eastern traditions have similarly affirmed violence in deity as in “Lord Shiva the Destroyer”.)

The myth of God as a retaliating, punishing reality has long under-girded human justice systems as retaliatory and punitive. From early human beginnings, belief in a punitive deity has incited and validated the demand for punitive response to human imperfection and failure.

The primitive view of deity as punitive, i.e. God as the Ultimate Destroyer (via apocalypse, hell), is the single most important “bad idea” to engage and overturn. All other bad religious ideas are anchored to this foundational pathology in human thought, because deity has long functioned as the cohering center of human belief systems and narratives, and continues to do so today, even in “secularized, materialist” versions of theology/ultimate realities.

New story alternative: The “stunning new theology” that God (Ultimate Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence, Self/Personhood, Source, Transcendent Mystery) is an inexpressible “no conditions love”, a non-retaliatory Reality. The adjective “unconditional” points to our highest understanding of love. It is simply the best of being human and is therefore most critical for defining deity as transcendent “Goodness”.

Takeaway? There is no ultimate judgment, no ultimate exclusion of anyone, no demand for payment or sacrifice to appease angry deity, no need for redemption or salvation, and no ultimate punishment or destruction of anyone (no such mind-perverting horror as “hell”).

Why bother with these speculative metaphysical corrections? Concern for human well-being should include a response to humanity’s “primal fear of after-life harm” that is the personality-deforming outcome of millennia of shaman/priests/pastors beating bad religious ideas into human consciousness/subconscious. Fear of after-life harm adds intolerable sting to the already unbearable fear of death that many people suffer.

Also, we need to sever the age-old relationship of “bad beliefs validating bad behavior”. However you may try to affirm justice as punitive treatment of the failures of others, know that deity as unconditional reality does not validate such endeavors. See “The Christian Contradiction” below (Historical Jesus versus Paul’s Christ myth). http://www.wendellkrossa.com/?p=9533

None of the great world religions has ever presented the reality of an unconditional deity. All religion across history has been essentially about conditional reality- i.e. the required conditions to appease and please religious deities (i.e. conditions of correct belief, religious rituals required of insiders, demanded sacrifices/payment for wrong, and proper religious lifestyle as the identity marker of a true believer in the “true religion”, etc.).

Further, the new theology of God as unconditional Love overturns the singularly most psychologically damaging myth that has burdened and enslaved humanity from the beginning- the myth of divine retribution/punishment exhibited through the nastier elements of life. While there are natural and social consequences to living in this world, and to our choices and behavior, there is no punitive Force or Spirit behind natural world events and consequent suffering (i.e. no punitive God behind natural disasters, disease, accidents, or the predatory cruelty of others). The myth of punitive deity behind such things, whether angry God, vengeful Gaia, angry Planet, pissed Mother Earth, retributive Universe, or payback karma, has long burdened people with unnecessary guilt, shame, fear, and anxiety. Like the distressed Japanese woman who asked after the 2011 tsunami, “Are we being punished for enjoying life too much?”

Paul tormented the Corinthians with this psychic curse of threat theology, claiming that their sicknesses and deaths were punishment from God for their sins. He illustrated his point with an Old Testament claim that God had similarly punished the sin of the early Hebrews with snake bites.

(Note: To reject the myth of ultimate divine judgment and punishment, is not to deny the critical need in this life to hold people accountable for their behavior, the need to restrain bad behavior, as critical to promote responsible human maturing and growth that takes responsibility for failures. All necessary for healthy human development. But the rejection of the divine ideal of punitive justice is an advocacy for restorative justice approaches as the humane response to human failure. As in- “Love your enemy because God does”.)

2. Old story theme: The myth of a “perfect beginning” and that God is obsessed with perfection in the world and life, that God creates perfection (e.g. Eden, original paradise world, previous “golden age” Earth), that God is enraged at the subsequent loss of perfection, and God now threatens to punish imperfection. This idea of deity obsessed with perfection originated with the misunderstanding that any good and all-powerful deity would only create a perfect world, and if things are not perfect now then blame corrupt humanity for mucking things up that were once perfect. It can’t be God’s fault.

We- humanity- have always had difficulty understanding and embracing imperfection in life and in ourselves. Imperfection, and fear of divine rage at imperfection, has long deformed human consciousness with fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, depression, and fatalism/nihilism. We rightly struggle to improve ourselves and others, to improve life in general, and we ought to do so without the added psychic burden of fear of angry deity or divine threat over our remaining imperfection. (Balancing note: There are healthy forms of guilt over personal failure and the damaging outcomes of bad religious ideas.)

New story alternative: Life began in the “chaotic imperfection” of a brutal early earth, but has gradually evolved toward something more complex and organized. Life on this planet is never perfect, but with a lot of hard work and struggle, humanity has learned how to gradually improve life. Over history, humanity has created something better out of the original imperfect, wilderness world.

In this new story theme, God has no problem with imperfection but intentionally includes it in the original creation. Imperfection, in a new story, serves the important purpose of providing an arena where humanity struggles with a messy wilderness situation, and with human imperfection/failure, in order to learn to solve problems and create something better.

And we learn the most important lessons of life in our struggle with our own imperfection. For example, we learn how to choose love in our struggle with the animal inheritance in ourselves. We struggle and learn to win our personal battle with the base drives to tribally exclude, to dominate, to punish and destroy differing others. We learn what it means to be authentically humane in our “righteous struggle against evil” (Joseph Campbell), the battle of good against evil that runs through the center of every human heart (Alexander Solzhenitsyn).

Add here the philosophical points that we cannot know authentic good aside from the contrast with its opposite- evil. There can be no genuine moral good in life aside from the free choice against its opposite- evil.

Further, perfection, aside from being boring, does not bring forth the best of the human spirit. To the contrary, struggle with imperfection in life, and in others, brings forth the best in humanity. See Julian Simon’s argument (Ultimate Resource) that our struggle with problems in the world results in creative solutions that benefit others. See also the comment below on Joseph Campbell’s outline of human story (link) and our struggle with a personal monster or enemy (i.e. some life problem that may be physical, mental/emotional, interpersonal, financial, social, etc.). That struggle is where we gain insights and learn lessons that can subsequently help others. Personal suffering also promotes the development of empathy with others that similarly suffer. Empathy is fundamental to developing authentic and mature love.

http://www.wendellkrossa.com/?p=8661

(Note: The use of the term “imperfection” is not meant to generalize and diminish the horror and trauma that people suffer from natural disaster, disease, and the cruelty of others. But ‘old story’ explanations of the imperfection of the world as a fall from original perfection due to human corruption/sin, and subsequent imperfection introduced as punishment for that original sin… such myths tend to affirm deity as cruel, punitive, and destructive- i.e. God as the great obsessive-compulsive Punisher of imperfection. That only adds unnecessary psychic suffering to already unbearable human suffering- i.e. the added burden of unnecessary mental, emotional suffering. We can do better and find alternative explanations for original imperfection. This is the impulse to “theodicy”, as roughly a defense of the belief there is Ultimate Good/Love behind all. Add here the view that the world was purposefully created as an arena for human experience or learning.)

3. Old story theme (related to previous): The myth that humanity began as a more perfect species but then became corrupted/sinful (the “fall of man” myth). The idea of original human perfection, and subsequent human degeneration toward something worse today, is still common in the “noble savage” mythology that dominates throughout academia- i.e. the myth that original hunter/gatherer people were more pure, strong, noble, and more “connected to nature”, but humanity has since degenerated in civilization. See, for instance, Arthur Herman’s ‘The Idea of Decline”, or Steven LeBlanc’s “Constant Battles”.

Contemporary versions of “fallen humanity” mythology include the Green religion belief that humanity is a “virus” or “cancer” on the Earth. These are pathologically anti-human views.

New story alternative: Humanity has emerged from the brutality of animal reality (original imperfection) but has gradually become less violent, more humane, and overall more civilized. See James Payne’s “History of Force”, and Stephen Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature” on the long-term trajectory of improving humanity. Further, the amassed evidence that humanity has improved life in general over the long-term also affirms that “we are more creators than destroyers” (Julian Simon in “Ultimate Resource”).

A new alternative to “fallen humanity” myths will recognize that humanity, with human spirit and human consciousness, is intimately united with the greater Consciousness at the core of reality, the creating Consciousness that is Love. This “union with deity” is more than relationship. It is more about essential nature. This means that the same Love that is God, is also the essential nature of our human spirit or human self. We can then re-imagine ourselves as most essentially “beings of Love”. We are fundamentally good. This radically transforms human self-imaging. We are not the “fallen humans possessing sinful natures” as we have long been taught by mythological and religious traditions.

The real issue is not “how far humanity has fallen” (the mythical perspective) but the real wonder is how far we have risen (the evidence-based perspective) from our brutal animal and primitive human past. Our improvement over history is evidence of the essential goodness of humanity naturally emerging over time.

(Note: How to explain continuing bad human behavior? We have inherited a core animal brain with its base impulses to tribalism and exclusion of differing others (small band mentality), to domination of others (alpha male/female), and to retaliatory and destructive response to others viewed as “enemies”. Our human consciousness/spirit, existing alongside our inherited animal side, explains the great “battle between good and evil that takes place in every human heart”, (Alexander Solzhenitsyn). The bad side in humanity is not “inherited sin” but is better understood in terms of the complex of inherited animal impulses in us. See, for example, Lyall Watson’s “Dark Nature”. Fortunately, to paraphrase Jeffrey Schwartz, “We are not our brains”.)

4. Old story theme: The myth that consequent to the imagined loss of an original paradise (“Fall of man” myth) the overall trajectory of life has subsequently been “declining” or degenerating toward something worse (“Each present moment is a degeneration from previous moments”, Mircea Eliade).

The trajectory of life as a “decline toward something worse” is a core feature of apocalyptic mythology.

New story alternative: Life has not declined overall. Evidence on the long-term trajectory of life shows that life actually “improves/rises” toward something ever better. Humanity, as essentially good and creative, has matured across millennia and has become more responsible for the ongoing improvement of life and the world. Note again Julian Simon’s conclusion that we- humanity- over the millennia have become “more creators than destroyers”.

Evidence of life improving over past millennia and strikingly so over recent centuries: Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”, Greg Easterbrook’s “A Moment on the Earth”, Bjorn Lomborg’s “Skeptical Environmentalist”, Indur Goklany’s “The Improving State of the World”, Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”, Ronald Bailey’s “The End of Doom”, Desrocher and Szurmak’s “Population Bombed”, Bailey and Tupy’s “Ten Global Trends”, Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness”, James Payne’s ”History of Force”, Stephen Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature”, “Humanprogress.org”, and other sources.

Brian Green’s “The Universe Story” and Harold Morowitz’s “The Emergence of Everything” offer more evidence on the much longer “improving” trend of the overall cosmos. The cosmos emerged from chaotic super heat beginnings and developed toward a state that was amenable for carbon-based life to emerge. And over the long history of this planet, the trajectory of life has similarly developed toward more complexity, organization, and suitability to mediate human consciousness through complex multi-cellular biological forms. Further, even Darwin affirmed that evolution trended over the long term toward something more “perfect”.

This theme of long-term improvement, of a fundamental and purposeful direction toward something better, is critical for countering apocalyptic nihilism/despair and affirming hope as critical to human motivation to continue the hard work of gradually improving life.

5. Old story theme: The myth that natural disasters, disease, human cruelty, accidents, and death are expressions of divine punishment. This pathology of threat theology adds the unnecessary psychic burden of fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame to already unbearable physical suffering. Paul tormented the Corinthians with this argument that their sickness and deaths were punishment from God for their sins.

New story alternative: While there are natural and social consequences all through life, there is no punitive, destroying deity venting divine wrath through the imperfections of life. Ultimately, there is only Love at the core of reality (see alternatives below on the relationship of Love to the elements of freedom and randomness in nature and human life as helpful in understanding the presence of evil in this world).

6. Old story theme: The myth that humanity has been rejected by the Creator, that we are separated from our Source, and we need to be reconciled, we need to restore the broken relationship with God, and the psychopathology that restoration has to come by means of a violent blood sacrifice as punishment for sin.

New story alternative: No one has ever been separated from the unconditional Love at the core of reality- God. That Love has incarnated in all humanity as inseparable from the human spirit and consciousness. That Love is also the essence of the human self or person, though its expression is often hindered and buried by the free choice of people to act inhumanely.

But be assured that no one has ever been separated from the indwelling love that is God, no matter their failure to live as human. God as love is always closer than our breath or atoms. God as love is inseparable from our common human spirit and consciousness.

Note: The alternative idea that God is “incarnated” in all humanity demands a radical rethink of theology or God theory. There has never been any such reality as a separated ‘Sky God’ up in some distant heaven who comes down at times to intervene in events, to overrule the natural world/natural law.

God has always been intensely and immediately present in all humanity and this is evident in the best of humanity, in all human goodness. Conclusion? The reality that we call “God” is present in all human raging against evil and suffering. God is present in all human effort to make life better. There has never been any such thing as a separated, absent, or silent God. Just listen to and observe the common goodness in people all around you.

Again, as stated similarly in number 3 above, this new alternative overturns entirely the historically persistent anti-human myths of “fallen”, “essentially sinful”, or “bad-to-the-bone” humanity.

Further, the idea of God incarnated equally in every person presents a new metaphysical element for affirming equality among people, and equal respect for all. God incarnated in humanity offers a stunning new element to defining the essential core of being human- what we really are as human persons and that every human person ought to be highly esteemed as an embodiment of deity, no matter their failures to live as fully human. The Near-Death Experiences also repeatedly note this feature of the astounding human unity with deity- of inseparable oneness with the divine and of essential human goodness (NDE accounts of light emanating from the core of people).

7. Old story theme: The myth of a cosmic dualism, of a Good spirit (Ahura Mazda) that exists in opposition to a bad spirit (Angra Mainyu) , a demonic entity or Satan. Deity is thereby portrayed as embodying an essentially dualistic tribal reality- a good God that wars against evil opponents, a God that favors/saves believers and hates/punishes unbelievers. This ultimate ideal and validation by a fundamental cosmic dualism is embraced and exhibited through endless varied human dualisms- i.e. as in the tribal mindset of “us versus our enemies”, true believers versus unbelievers, or other racial, national, religious, or ideological divisions (include the appeal to gender as an oppositional divide). Dualism thinking deforms human identity and buries the fact of our essential oneness in the human family.

Dualism mythology affirms the inherited animal impulse that orients people to small-band thinking and behavior (the tribal exclusion of differing others). Embracing dualism as a divine reality and ideal then orients people to excluding, opposing, dominating, and fighting/destroying others as ‘enemies’.

New story alternative: We all come from the same Oneness and we are all equals in the one human family. We are not essentially defined by the tribal categories and divisions that we create to set ourselves apart from one another, to devalue one another. We are most essentially defined by our common human spirit and human consciousness that is rooted in the same Ultimate Consciousness that is God. And the essential nature of our human spirit is universal or unconditional love. That love is the expression of our true core humanity.

We base our oneness on the pretty much consensus view that all humans on earth today are descendants of an East African Eve (“Mitochondrial Eve”). Meaning we are one family descended from a common mother. Add here the quantum discovery of a fundamental oneness (“Quantum entanglement”). And the common discovery of the Near-Death Experience movement of human oneness with deity.

Added note: Most modern story-telling (e.g. movies) continues to re-enforce the primitive themes of dualism and tribalism. Note the all-too-common movie theme of good guy versus bad guy, and “justice” as the good guy beating and destroying the bad guy. There is nothing in such narratives affirming the oneness of the human family and the primary responsibility to “love one another”.

To the contrary, in contemporary story-telling we find commonly the endless affirmation of infantile tribalism and “justice” as punitive, violent retaliation toward offending others. The dualism that we ought to be concerned about is that of “the battle line between good and evil that runs through the heart of every person”, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This is the dualism that exists between our true human spirit or self and our inherited animal impulses.

Caution: The above comment on essential oneness is not intended to diminish the urgency to fight evil and affirm good in this world. However, some have suggested that dualism, and the apparent separation related to dualism- i.e. the division between good and bad- is only a temporal feature of this material realm. This world with its dualism provides an arena for us to live out our stories and engage our varied “righteous battles against evil”.

Others have argued that we only experience and learn what good means in our struggle with the opposites of good- i.e. the bad in others, and in life. Bad/evil in this realm provides a contrasting context in which we experience and learn good. Joseph Campbell suggests that this dualistic realm is where “we act out our differing roles on God’s stage” (some playing bad guy, some playing good guy). He and others suggest that the dualism between good and bad exists only here in this world. It is temporal and not part of any greater timeless reality. See also Natalie Sudman’s ‘The Application of Impossible Things” for personal illustration of these things.

Further note on oneness: The oneness of all, along with the unconditional nature of deity, counters the myth of some people as especially chosen of God and favored by God, more special than others. There are no “elect people”, or special “children of God”. The people who see themselves as “true believers”, more so than others, are not closer to God than any other people.

Essential oneness means that all humanity, that is every person, has God within them, equally. All people have equal access to the immediacy of God that is everywhere present as the sustaining Core or Source of all reality. Further, there are no special “holy places”- i.e. temples, churches- where religious groups limited to true believers gain more access to God than is available in the ordinary lives and daily mundane spaces of all people. Essential oneness of all with deity is a more humane theological basis for human equality in all aspects.

8. Old story theme: The myth of a looming/imminent apocalypse as the final judgment, punishment, and destruction of all things. The myth of an apocalyptic ending to the world embraces the pathological theology of God as the destroyer of all things. This divine ideal has incited endless destructive violence among the followers of such an ideal. Arthur Mendel called apocalyptic “the most violent and destructive idea in history” (Vision and Violence).

If you embrace and advocate apocalyptic mythology you embrace and advocate the epitome expression of nihilism- i.e. the complete and final destruction of life and the world.

Apocalyptic mythology still dominates much of modern story-telling, whether movies, TV, literature (the sub-genre of “post-apocalyptic”), and environmental alarmism or Green religion.

New story alternative: There are problems all through this imperfect world but there is no looming threat of a final destruction and ending of the world (the religious understanding of apocalypse since Zoroaster). The apocalyptic alarmist exaggerates problems in the world out to “end of days” scenarios, thereby distorting the true state of things, and that incites fear (the survival impulse), resignation/fatalism, nihilism, and even destructive violence in populations. The inciting of violence is evident in the consequent felt need of people to “coercively purge” what is believed to be some great threat to life, something that blocks the onset of their hoped-for new paradise. See the notes in other sections on the Marxist, Nazi, and Green apocalyptic movements and their mass-harm and even mass-death outcomes (detailed by Richard Landes in “Heaven On Earth” and by fellow historians Arthur Mendel, David Redles, Arthur Herman in their research).

In the new story alternative theme there is no destroying Force or Spirit behind the harsher elements of this world. Ultimately, there is only creating and sustaining Love. And again, how then do we understand the imperfection of this world? Theodicy scholars and philosophical types suggest that this imperfect world serves the purpose of providing a learning arena for humanity to struggle with in order to create something ever better. Even atheist Julian Simon suggested something similar in arguing that our problems are good for us because they push us to find solutions that benefit others. Much like Joseph Campbell’s more metaphysical argument re the hero’s quest- that in our struggle to conquer some monster/problem, we gain insights and learn lessons that we can then benefit others with.

Further, the destructive elements in the cosmos and world exist as part of the ongoing creative process (i.e. death as entirely natural and serving the purpose of making room for new life), just as Second Law dissipation of energy is “virtuous waste” that serves the creation of more order (e.g. Huber and Mills in “Bottomless Well”). Again, the element of destruction in the natural world is not evidence of some punitive deity threatening a final punishment and ending of all things. (See also the notes below on “natural consequences”.)

Further helpful here- In response to the theodicy question “Is this the best possible world?”, some have made the argument that there are also beneficial outcomes from the elements of nature that produce destructive outcomes. For example, the movement of tectonic plates generates destructive earthquakes but also generates mountain-building, which creates differences in regional climate and that contributes to the development of diversity in emerging life (i.e. different environmental pressures on populations and the changes that brings forth). Our project is to adapt to the destruction from plate tectonics, and we have done better over time. Our success is evident across history in the decreasing loss of life from natural disasters (i.e. a stunning 99% decline in human deaths from natural disasters over the past century).

9. Old story theme: The urgency of “imminence”. The myth of imminent apocalypse incites people to embrace the totalitarian push for “instantaneous transformation”, an immediate transformation of life that must be accomplished with coercion and violence. That is an abandonment of the approach that works through cooperative democracy and results in “gradualism” in the trajectory of history and life.

The always “imminent” element in apocalyptic proclamations (i.e. the “end is nigh”) demands urgent action to “save” something, to save the world or life. The exaggerated threat of immediately looming apocalyptic ending then incites the survival/salvation impulse in people. They feel intensely the need to take immediate and sometimes violent action to purge what is presented to them as the life-threatening thing. Alarmed populations are then more easily manipulated to embrace policies that will abandon the democratic process and will instead support “coercive purification” schemes directed at purported threats from opponents/enemies. “End-of-life” or “end-of-world” claims incite populations to embrace policies that will coercively and instantaneously install their version of salvation and security in some promised paradise.

Apocalyptic alarmism that exaggerates and distorts the true state of things has repeatedly unleashed the totalitarian impulse across history. Totalitarians using the threat of imminent danger will then convince people to embrace solutions that involve “exterminate or be exterminated” approaches. And the result can lead to mass-death outcomes.

We saw the mass violence of instantaneous transformation movements in the 100 million deaths that stemmed from Marxist urgency to coercively purge the world of the purported threat from “destructive capitalism”. Marxism advocated for “coercive transformation of societies”, to immediately install its salvation vision of communal utopia. We also saw apocalyptic urgency and totalitarianism in the 50-60 million deaths from Nazi alarmism and consequent action to violently purge Germany of the imagined threat from “destructive Jewish Bolshevism”. Nazis then coercively pushed to establish the millennial paradise of the Third Reich. And we are seeing “coercive purification” again today in the environmental alarmist push to save the world from “destructive humanity in industrial civilization” and to restore the lost paradise of a more wilderness world (Arthur Mendel in “Vision and Violence”, and Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline”).

The mass-harm, even mass-death outcomes of climate alarmism are from the salvation scheme (“save the world”) of decarbonization which is a front for more radical “de-development, de-industrialization, de-growth” as in a return to the primitivism of the supposedly “morally superior” noble savages of humanity’s ancient past, living low-consumption lives in communal utopia.

New story alternative: There is no “end of days” just over the horizon. Rather, life is improving gradually as creative humanity solves problems. The escapist desire for a coercive and immediately installed utopia misses the point of the human story as the struggle with imperfection throughout the world, a struggle that is gradually succeeding. Such struggle is essential to human development, learning, and growth. Mendel in “Vision and Violence” is good on this issue of “gradualism” versus the violence of “instantaneous transformation” movements. Humanity is learning to patiently improve life through democratic approaches that do not coercively overwhelm the freedom of differing others.

The search for instantaneous salvation resonates with the irresponsible escapist mindset of apocalyptic types who cannot endure the struggle to gradually and democratically improve an imperfect world. Such people irresponsibly seek to escape the boredom of gradual improvement of life through projects that promise instant and massive transformation into some quickly installed utopia, even if coercively and violently established. Imminence, and its related policy of instantaneous coercive purification, responds to the totalitarian’s impatience and lust to control others and all of life, right now.

10. Old story theme: The demand for a salvation plan- a required sacrifice or atonement (debt payment, punishment) as necessary to appease a threatening reality, whether a religious God or vengeful Gaia, angry planet, upset Mother Earth, punitive Universe, or payback karma.

New story alternative: In a stunning rejection of atonement mythology, Jesus rejected the payment of debt or punishment of wrong as the prerequisite demand before God would forgive. Jesus stated that the highest expression of love, or goodness, would forgive freely, give freely to everyone, love freely and inclusively or universally, without expecting any payment in return. He stated in Luke 6:30-36:

“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full.

“But do something more heroic, more humane. Live on a higher plane of human experience. Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God, because God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”. (My paraphrase of Luke 6:32-36.)

Jesus’ argument was that loving in this manner- i.e. exhibiting ‘no conditions love’ (not expecting payment) would enable people to be like God who was similarly no conditions love. The argument of Luke 6 is that if we do this- if we give without expecting payment in return- then we will be like God who similarly does not expect payment (again, the “behavior based on the same theological belief” shapes the context of Jesus’ arguments).

(Insert note: Again, see below the qualifiers denoting the obligation of love to view all others unconditionally, to treat all with unconditional humaneness and this is not incompatible with holding others responsible for their behavior and its consequences. Unconditional, universal love of all is not incompatible with the responsibility to obligate all to pay debts and make restitution for wrongs done. It grants, however, the freedom of choice to creditors to freely forgive debts and other obligations.)

Continuing….

The God of Jesus loves, gives, and does not expect anything in return. The above statement of Jesus overthrows the age-old religious belief that God demands retributive payment as reward for good done or punishment for wrongs committed, that God demands atonement or sacrifice in order for God to forgive and love. Read it again and again till the point that Jesus makes is clear. It is a time-bomb waiting to explode the shackles of distorting atonement mythology that has long enslaved human consciousness with strict conditions of payment and punishment as true justice.

The fundamental nature of God as unconditional love means absolutely no conditions. None. To affirm as pointedly as possible- there is no divine demand for ultimate payment, sacrifice, no conditions to fulfil in order to be forgiven, accepted, “saved”, or loved by God. With ultimate safety secured, the only “salvation” that we need to engage in this life is the ongoing and gradual struggle to make life better in this world.

The reality of God as “no conditions Love” liberates us to make further logical conclusions that arise from such a stunning new theology. Again, the critically important one is that an authentically unconditional God will not demand any conditions of payment or sacrifice before forgiving, accepting fully, and generously loving. God does not demand a balancing response to goodness or love that has been initially shown. God loves freely without any expectation of similar response. Jesus clearly argued this in these Matthew 5 and Luke 6 statements where he taught that an authentic universal love will not just love those who love in return (i.e. family, friends, or fellow tribe members).

Unconditional love will also love those who do not love in return. Unconditional love will freely give to all and not demand any return payment. Payment of debt is not required to earn forgiveness and love. Again, this is not prescriptive of creditors responsible for running businesses but has more to do with their free choice to do what they choose with what they own, similar to the vineyard owner who freely chose to pay all the workers the same wage despite differing hours worked.

This argument to dismiss conditions of demanded similar response to generosity shown, is overturning the age-old mythology of a necessary cosmic rebalancing of justice. That for truth, right, and justice to exist and flourish there must be a punishment of all wrong, a repayment of all debt. There can be no such thing as unconditionally free forgiveness and love. Wrong has to be punished somewhere, if not in this life, then in the next at some great final judgment and day of reckoning. Justice must be fully rebalanced somewhere in the cosmos.

But in these Matthew 5 and Luke 6 passages Jesus is arguing the opposite- that unconditional love does good to everyone without expecting a similar response, without expecting similar payback as in equal love returned for love shown. Get the point that this overturns the larger historical principle that atoning sacrifice is required to appease offended, holy deities who are responsible for upholding justice in life.

The rejection of the principle of rebalancing justice is how Jesus further defined a God that “loved enemies” and freely showered sun and rain on good and bad alike.

In the above statements, Jesus rejected outright the principle of debt payment as a fundamental requirement for divine love. Again, the overturning of the principle of “rebalanced cosmic justice” is clearly expressed in the statement to “give/love expecting nothing in return”. Keep in mind the “behavior based on similar belief” relationship that structures these passages (Matt.5 and Luke 6). Jesus urged people to love in a new unconditional manner because that was how God loved. He was arguing for a new standard of unconditional love among people that would show what God was like, that would enable people to do just what God did, to be just like God (i.e. “Love your enemy unconditionally because God does” summarizes the entirety of these passages).

Debt payment, or more generally the righting of wrongs, has always been the fundamental human understanding of justice- i.e. payment/punishment of some kind as the foundational requirement for forgiveness. Full payment or punishment of wrong had been the basis of atonement thinking from the beginning. That was based on the archaic belief that God, as holy, must punish all wrongs properly and fully, and must rectify all wrongs by demanding payment or retribution of some sort. God must right all wrong, and thereby rebalance the scales of justice in the cosmos. Wrong done had to be rebalanced by compensatory right done. God could not just forgive, accept, and love without somewhere, somehow making all wrongs right. That was necessary to restore divine honor. The God of that old atonement/sacrifice mythology could not just “freely” forgive and love.

But as Bob Brinsmead says, a God that demands full payment of debt and punishment of wrong, is a God who knows nothing of true forgiveness.

To modern sensibilities that old theology no longer makes sense because it argued that the love of God, based on prerequisite payment/punishment/atonement, was something less than the best of human love. We are expected to just forgive in an unlimited manner (“seventy times seven”), to accept all people universally, and to love without demanding prerequisite conditions or similar response. Again, that statement- “give without expecting payment in return, love without expecting love in return”.

Parents, spouses, and friends have all learned that no conditions love for imperfect, failing others is the best and highest form of love for daily relationships. Surely God as Ultimate Goodness and Love would, at the least, love as well as we are expected to love- that is, unconditionally.

In his parables, Jesus further illustrated and challenged the traditional religious belief that divine love was conditional and demanded full payment or punishment. His short stories illustrated the ‘no conditions’ love that defined his new theology. In his stories he stressed the point that divine love did not require the payment of debt, or more generally the righting of wrongs, before forgiving, accepting, and loving an offender.

Note this element in his Prodigal Son story where the father does not demand a sacrifice, restitution, or repayment before forgiving and fully accepting/loving the wayward son. All such conditions were brushed aside by the father. No conditions love meant no conditions at all. This teaching is a stunning rejection of the long history of sacrifice/payment as required to appease demanding deity that is responsible to uphold justice in the cosmos.

I reject, as Jesus did, the old theology that God as ultimate Goodness and Love is held to a lesser standard of love than we are held to. I reject the belief that God remembers all wrongs and can demand conditions before forgiving, while we are told that authentic love, for us, means “keeping no record of wrongs” for some future making-of-things-right. Our love is to be without condition because that is actually how God loves. And it is the unconditional nature of forgiveness and love that constitute the greatness and glory of these principles, not the conditions of religious holiness or honor mythology with its prerequisite demands that offenders make things right somehow as part of the forgiveness, acceptance, and love package.

Unfortunately, Paul refused the new theology of Jesus and retreated back to the traditional conditional theology of a punitive God that demanded full payment for sin as a basic requirement for offering forgiveness to anyone. We inherited Paul’s version of Christianity with its orientation to punitive and conditional justice. Note the clear New Testament statements that requisite payment is essential to the Christian gospel. The book of Hebrews (chapter 9), for example, states that “without the shedding of blood (sacrifice) there is no forgiveness”. The book of Romans (chapters 3-5) states that salvation (“saved from wrath”) is based the condition of a blood payment/sacrifice that has been fulfilled.

And of course, in this life people should learn to be responsible for their behavior, to make amends for wrongs done, and to pay their debts. That is all part of normal human development and growth. This is never in question, but such conditional behavior has no part in the new unconditional theology of Jesus. It does not define divine love. Our love, as with God’s love, is not to be conditional on anything done, or not done, by others. We are to treat others with unconditional humaneness and this unconditional love for all is not incompatible with holding others responsible for their behavior and its consequences.

Note: The theology of Jesus is not a prescriptive model for economic/commercial relationships in this world. Jesus was speaking to ultimate realities and the atonement mythology of his era. Further, my reference to “Historical Jesus” is not an appeal to him as some special religious authority on these issues. I refer to him simply because he continues to be revered as a notable religious icon. The unconditional love being argued here is a “self-validating” reality. It is good in and of itself.

And I would emphasize the larger religious context to these themes- for example, the profound contradiction that exists between the core message of Historical Jesus in the “Q Wisdom Sayings gospel”, and Paul’s Christ myth (the oxymoronic Christian “Jesus Christ”). These two contrary gospels illustrate the profound contradiction between the themes of unconditional and conditional, non-retaliation and retaliation, non-punitive/non-destructive and punitive/destructive, among other contrasting features. See “The Christian Contradiction” in sections below.

Bob Brinsmead has posted some excellent research on the anti-sacrifice message and ministry of Historical Jesus.

https://bobbrinsmead.com/the-historical-jesus-what-the-scholars-are-saying/

11. Old story theme (related to the above point): The belief that retribution or payback is true justice (i.e. eye for eye), based on the myth that God is a retributive reality that demands the reward of the good and the punishment of the bad. The myth that a retributive God demands full punishment of sin. This hurt for hurt theology, or pain returned for pain caused, still under-girds much thinking on justice today. It is often framed as the practical need to present the punishment of offenders as a warning to others, to serve as a deterrence example for the general public. Psychology now recognizes that such punitive approaches do not work with criminal offenders or children. Punitive response to human imperfection and failure “does not teach alternative humane behaviors”. Instead, punitive justice re-enforces retaliatory cycles.

New story alternative: Again, unconditional love keeps no record of wrongs, it does not obsess over imperfection, and it forgives all freely and without limit (“seventy times seven” which is to say- unlimited). But yes, there are natural and social consequences to bad behavior in this world. All of us are to be accountable and responsible for our choices and actions. This is essential to human development in this life. But all justice in response to human failure should be restorative or rehabilitative.

As Leo Tolstoy wrote regarding the criminal justice system, “The whole trouble is that people think there are circumstances when one may deal with human beings without love, but no such circumstances ever exist. Human beings cannot be handled without love. It cannot be otherwise, because mutual love is the fundamental law of human life.”

Added note: Yes, there is value in remembering past bad behavior, and the outcomes of such behavior, as a warning to others. The Holocaust is a signature example of this value. But we remember the bad behavior of others in a larger context of consciously forgiving, with an orientation to restorative justice that is victim-centered (i.e. fully deals with restitution issues). Simon Wiesenthal’s “Justice, Not Vengeance” illustrates the struggle for balance regarding these concerns.

12. Old story theme: The myth of future or “after-life” judgment, tribal exclusion (divine rejection of the “damned”), punishment, and destruction (Hell). The fear of after-life harm is the “primal human fear” (Michael Grosso). Myths of after-life harm have added a magnitude-of-order intensification of fear to the already burdensome fear of death that many people suffer under.

(Insert: Why bother with speculation about such unknowable realities as after-life reality? Why not just dismiss or ignore these unprovable metaphysical issues? Well, because the speculation has already been done by major belief systems and religions across history and across all the cultures of the world. Psycho-pathology- i.e. bad mythology such as the horrific myth of hell- already exists in human consciousness and ignoring it does nothing to solve the problems that the pathology contributes to- i.e. unnecessary fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, despair, etc. While after-life theorizing may be considered speculative, we can at least offer more humane alternatives with healthier insights that eliminate unnecessary worry regarding death, while at the same time focusing human orientation toward full involvement with here-and-now reality.)

New story alternative: Again, keep in mind the baseline ideal- that authentic love is unconditional and does not demand the fulfilment of conditions. Meaning- Unconditional love does not threaten ultimate exclusion or punishment. It embraces everyone with the same scandalous mercy and unlimited generosity. It gives sun and rain to all, to both good and bad. All- both good and evil- are ultimately safe and included in the love of an unconditional God. Such love scandalizes, offends, and even outrages minds that are oriented to ultimate (or after-life) conditional payback justice, or “deserved” punishment.

Illustration: Note again the stories that Jesus told of good, moral people who were offended by the unconditional generosity and love that was shown by, for example, the vineyard owner (Matthew 20: 8-15) and the father of the prodigal son (Luke 15: 11-32). The all-day vineyard workers and the older brother in the prodigal story were pissed because, in their view, such unconditional mercy and generosity was not “fair or moral”. It was not proper justice, in their eyes. Other “righteous” people were also offended and scandalized by Jesus when he invited local outcasts and scoundrels to meals with them. He did not respect the proper tribal boundaries between good and bad people, between true believers and unbelievers. He was too scandalously universal and unconditional and that enraged good, moral people.

Jesus’ illustrating stories affirm the conclusion that God is unconditional love and hence there will be no after-life harm. We all die as a transition and return back into the stunning “no conditions Love” that is our origin and final home. We are all safe in that Love (i.e. again, sun and rain are indiscriminately and generously given to all alike, to both good and bad people). We are never separated from that Love, no matter what we experience or suffer in this life.

Insert: It may help some to maintain the important distinction between Ultimate Reality and life in this imperfect world. We can recognize the ultimate reality of God as absolutely no conditions Love but at the same time not deny the reality of natural and social consequences in this life. The need to take personal responsibility for behavior is critical to human learning and development. Love here and now is responsible to restrain violence and to protect the innocent, even with force.

But our embrace of the ideal of ultimate unconditional love will orient our treatment of human failure and offense away from punitive approaches and toward restorative approaches. An unconditional attitude will recognize that, no matter how unconditional reality offends and scandalizes common views of required payback justice, all of us return safely to the same no conditions Love that birthed us and is our final home. We are all one family, and return safely to that Oneness, despite our diverse failures to live as fully human in this world.

Add here the insight that self-judgment and self-punishment are the most devastating experiences that human persons can embrace and endure (Note: We recognize exceptions to this such as psychopathy which may also result from genetic deformity, as well as early life trauma). Most people recognize their failures to live as human and take corrective steps to improve themselves, including apologies and restitution to offended others, and do not need further threat of ultimate judgment and punishment from some greater reality.

13. Old story theme: The myth of a hero messiah that will, in a totalitarian manner, use superior force (“coercive purification”) to overthrow enemies, to purge the world of evil, and to instantaneously install a promised utopia/salvation. This psychopathology validates the human impulse to abandon the historical process of gradual improvement (via creative human freedom and endeavor) and to opt for coercive totalitarian approaches. Hero messiah mythology that idealizes a coercive, dominating Messiah archetype, affirms the totalitarian demand for overwhelming revolutionary violence that seeks to instantly purge some “corrupt” entity that is viewed as the threat to others or to life, and then to instantaneously re-install some lost paradise.

Note again these quotes from Zenon Lotufo and Harold Ellens on how images of deity influence human behavior, again an affirmation of the potency of the “behavior based on similar belief” principle that has governed human life and societies since the beginning:

“There is in Western culture a psychological archetype, a metaphor that has to do with the image of a violent and wrathful God (see Romans, Revelation)….

“Ellens goes on by stating that the crucifixion, a hugely violent act of infanticide or child sacrifice, has been…. ‘right at the center of the Master Story of the Western world for the last 2,000 years. And the unavoidable consequence for the human mind is a strong tendency to use violence’.

“’With that kind of metaphor at our center, and associated with the essential behavior of God, how could we possibly hold, in the deep structure of our unconscious motivations, any other notion of ultimate solutions to ultimate questions or crises than violence- human solutions that are equivalent to God’s kind of violence’…

“Hence, in our culture we have a powerful element that impels us to violence…”.

As Harold Ellens says, “If your God uses force, then so may you, to get your way against your ‘enemies’”(“Cruel God, Kind God).

We saw the resort to “violent force against an enemy”, backed by appeal to an all-powerful warrior deity, recently with ISIS in Syria (i.e. the struggle to bring on the final annihilation/Armageddon battle and then in the name of God coercively spread the caliphate across the world- 2014 in Syria). We have also seen the same violence in the name of a crusading hero God throughout Jewish history (Old Testament) and Christian history (Crusades, Inquisitions, persecution of heretics, all appealed to forceful, violent deity for affirmation). Richard Landes (Heaven On Earth) presents evidence that the same religious ideas have also shaped the totalitarian violence in the so-called “secular” movements of Marxism, Nazism, and environmentalism.

Again, the ideals that we embrace, notably those projected onto deity, will potently shape our thinking, influence our feelings, our motivations, and our responses/behavior. We become just like the God that we believe in. Bad myths like coercive, destroying deity have repeatedly incited people to violent, destructive action, to act as the agents of their violent, destructive God to destroy some enemy and save something that was believed to be under dire and imminent threat from that enemy. Far too often across history, the belief in the divine use of violent force has been misappropriated to validate similar brutality and cruelty toward fellow human beings.

The myth of an intervening, over-powering deity is hard to dislodge from people’s minds. Even notable atheists fall back on this idea, as Larry King said to Norm MacDonald years ago, “I can no longer believe in God because of the horrible things that happen to innocent children and God is omnipotent, isn’t he?”. Meaning that King believed that God should have intervened with intervening, overwhelming power to prevent such things.

New story alternative (see also “16th bad idea” below): A God of authentic love does not intervene with overwhelming force that overrides human freedom and choice. Further, a non-intervening deity helps to understand the gradualism that has always been necessary for improving life. It is entirely up to humanity to make the world a better place, in all ways, and to do so while respecting the freedom of others to differ.

This is to say that there is no hero messiah, no tribal deity that will intervene with superior force to conquer some enemy of ours and grant us our vision of a paradise with our enemies excluded as per the vision of Revelation where unbelievers are violently cast out to suffer eternal rejection and punishment.

Note: This point on a general non-intervention in the freedom of differing others, recognizes the valid need at times for police/military to use legal force to restrain irrational violence. The legitimate use of force is to be distinguished from illegitimate uses of force based on inhumane mythology, notably the use of force by religious extremists and other varieties of totalitarian overreach. Examples include ISIS and the sorry history of Christian violence against fellow Christians that disagreed over theological issues, often very minor disagreements.

Add here the point that freedom is inseparable from authentic love. Where there is no freedom there is no love. Authentic love will not interfere and override the freedom of others. Hence, the wisdom encapsulated in the Classic Liberal/Libertarian maxim- “Live and let live”.

14. Old story theme: The fallacy of Biblicism, the myth that religious holy books are more special and authoritative than ordinary human literature, and that people are obligated to live according to the holy book as the will, law, or word of God. This myth argues that people must submit to divine conditions, or some heavenly model, as outlined by their holy book.

New story alternative: We evaluate all human thought and writing according to basic criteria of right and wrong, good and bad, or humane and inhumane, as agreed upon in common human rights codes, constitutions, or commonly embraced moral codes. Holy books are not exempted from this process of discernment between good and bad.

Further, our highest authority is our own personal consciousness of right and wrong as tuned by, again, common understanding of such things in widely adopted human rights codes and constitutions that are embraced by the entire human family. For example, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights”,
https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights

15. Old story theme: The myth of God as King, Ruler, Lord, or Judge. The idea that God relates vertically to humanity in domination/submission forms of relating.

New story alternative: There is no domination/subservience relationship of humanity to God. Jesus expressed the divine ideal when he said, “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant”. True greatness is to serve the other and not to dominate or control others. The greatness of God is exhibited in serving, not in taking position above others to rule or dominate.

Further, God is not “above” humanity but has incarnated in all people as equals. God relates horizontally to humanity. God is not a sky God existing in heaven above. God is a street-level deity present in all common humanity and “working” through mundane daily human activity. The God of boring daily details, evident/revealed in the hidden, forgotten acts of human goodness.
This is another stunning correction to traditional God theories.

We see the presence of this street-level God in all daily, mundane human goodness and love expressed toward others, especially toward enemies, which is the highest expression of authentic love or goodness. When we love unconditionally, we tower in stature as maturely human. We become the hero of our story and conquer our real monster and enemy, the animal inheritance that is within each of us- the drives to tribalism, domination of others, and punitive destruction of differing others. See the story outline of Joseph Campbell in sections below.

This portrayal of God as an egalitarian or equality advocate, and not a superior controlling entity, is more of the “stunning new theology” of Jesus, the radically new way of viewing ultimate ideals and authorities. Jesus is saying in effect, if you think that I am an incarnation of God, a “son of God”, then I will tell you just what God is like. God does not dominate people like a traditional lord, king, or ruler. God relates to all as equals, serving others, and not lording over them. That is the true greatness of God, or anyone else- to serve. As an equal.

This comment of Jesus overturns the entire history of human perspective on gods as dominating realities, lords, kings, rulers. One of the earliest and most primitive of all myths was that “humans were created to serve the gods”, to do their will and work, to provide food for them. Jesus overturned that primitive outlook that divine/human relationships were domination/subservience relationships. He said that type of thinking belonged to primitive, ignorant people (“the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them”). But if you want to be a great human being, heroically great, then you should not dominate or control others. Service to others is the secret to true greatness- i.e. to honor the freedom and self-determination of all others as true equals.

Added note:

The hierarchical institutions and organizations of our societies should operate fundamentally to embody and express the division of labor/work/responsibilities in our societies. They should not function to abuse the essential principles of Classic Liberalism or liberal democracy, notably they should never function to abuse rights of all to be treated as free equals. Threats from superiors, intimidation, domination, abuse… that is not democracy. It is anti-democratic. Note the research on behavior in human organizations and human well-being within the differing strata of organizations.

As with all true liberal democracy, those in government or occupying the supervisory roles of organizations, should exist to serve the will of the populace that elected them to serve (serve by the “consent of the governed”).

16. Old story theme: The idea that humanity is obligated to know, serve, and have some relationship with an invisible reality (deity), to give primary loyalty to something outside of and above people (i.e. primary loyalty to some law, will, or word of God). The loyalty to something other than real people has often led to neglect, abuse, and serious harm of people.

New story alternative: Our primary loyalty is to love and serve people around us. Their needs, here and now, take highest priority in life.

(17) A 17th Old Story theme: Absent deity (related to the earlier theme of a hero-messiah who will coercively intervene to save)

One of humanity’s greatest frustrations has been the apparent “the silence of God” across history. The Holocaust is the iconic example of this traumatizing silence of God.

Where was God when natural disasters took hundreds of thousands of lives? Where was God when human cruelty went unhindered during mass-death movements? That apparent absence should put to rest the common religious myth of a miraculously intervening God. The evidence has long been final that there never was any such reality as a supernaturally intervening deity that would, for example, violate natural law or overrule human choice and action, in order to protect or rescue people.

What then should we conclude? God is good but powerless to help humanity? Or the atheists are right that there is no God? No. I would offer that the evidence simply urges us to rethink the great question of how God relates to this world. Theologies like “Panentheism” (not Pantheism) are wrestling with this issue (i.e. God “works” through the natural laws of material reality).
And some versions of the Deist’s alternative are not much better than atheism. God is not the absent Creator who starts the whole thing running and then disappears off to some far away heaven to wait and watch as natural law works throughout life.

A new theory or theology is emerging that argues that God has incarnated in all humanity. God did not incarnate only in special ‘holy’ persons like the Christian Jesus. Rather, God has incarnated in all humanity in an inseparable oneness with the common human spirit or human consciousness. The human spirit has gradually emerged and developed toward something more humane across history. This maturing of humanity is evident in the long-term trends to decreasing violence, more democratic societies, and generally improved human well-being (the improvement of all areas of life).

And as Bob Brinsmead notes, the improvement in life has been a long, slow process of gradually developing understanding, growing problem-solving ability, and gradual implementation of practical solutions. It has, for instance, taken millennia for us to understand disease and come up with medical cures. See also the gradualism arguments in Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”.

We see the common human spirit, or God spirit, emerging and developing in all human goodness, whether expressed in commerce, art, sports, medicine, agriculture, entertainment, and all areas where people contribute to making life better and just having fun while doing so.

As some have stated, we are the voice, hands, and feet of the invisible God in this world.

Conclusion? God has never been silent or absent. There has never been a ‘Sky God’ up above the world in some heaven, above and outside of humanity, doing things to the world and to people from outside (the “yoyo God”, coming down to intervene in some way and then returning to heaven). To the contrary, God has always been within all things as the Creator and Sustainer of all reality, and especially this God is most prominently within the human family (“The kingdom of God is among and within you”).

Meaning that God is immediately present in all human misery and all human raging against suffering and evil. God is present in all human action to prevent evil, to solve problems, and to improve life. God has always been present in humanity and expressed in all good and useful human endeavor across history. The corollary to this is that it has always been our responsibility to prevent wrong and to promote good/right in our world. Yes, it is up to us. We must stop looking to the heavens for what is right here and now, in us.

Add this insight to your theology- God is at our very core, present as the human impulse to love, to be something better. God is inseparably united with the love that defines us at our best. God is at the core of the true or authentic human self and is evident in the human impulse to be more humane as expressed in all diverse human goodness.

Conclusion? God has always been closer to us than our own breath or atoms. God has never been absent or silent when people have suffered from natural disaster or human cruelty. Religious mythology has never framed this immanent feature properly. The immanence of deity speaks to the fundamental “oneness” behind all things. Even quantum mechanics points to this foundational oneness feature of reality.

The confusion over purportedly silent deity also has to do with the element of freedom or the inseparable relationship of love and freedom. God, as love, does not coercively overwhelm the independence, self-determination, and freedom of others. Better, God respects human freedom profoundly and influences with gentle, quiet impulses to do the right thing, what we “feel” is right (i.e. divine “persuasion”, not coercion. God not expressed in the storm, thunder and violence but presenting as the “still, small voice”).

Part of the confusion over how God relates to this world has to do with our inability to grasp that authentic divine Love prizes freedom highly and will not overwhelm or violate it. This is because true moral goodness emerges only from genuine freedom of choice. Such love entails great risk as authentically free people may choose wrongly. The upside is that nothing in life is pre-planned or predestined. We are free to create our own unique stories, to become the heroes of our own life adventures. And there is nothing more heroic than choosing no conditions love, even love of the enemy, as the supreme height of human achievement. Then we tower in stature like a Nelson Mandela.

Note: The above comments relate to one of the options offered in Jewish “Protest Theology” that emerged after the Holocaust (i.e. the idea of God willing/choosing to not intervene and override human freedom). Others have suggested that, as spirit, God cannot intervene in material reality, aside from gentle suasion on the human spirit and consciousness.

And of course, balancing the above points, there are still the myriad unexplainable and fascinating “coincidences/synchronicity” scattered through personal human stories that we may either view as just random, or the work of Providence. Interesting that people tend to explain good coincidences as Providence, but not so much the bad ones.

Added discussion group post from Bob Brinsmead: “____, many thanks for sending the link to this great Wikipedia article on Process Theology. I would have to say that I agree with the main thrust of the thesis.

“To say that God could have stopped the Holocaust but refrained from stopping it is very unsatisfactory to me. I agree with the argument of the PROCESS theologians here. If God is committed to love, then God is committed to human freedom. God can use persuasion but not coercion of the human will. Love would not allow God to do something that was inhuman (interfere, coerce, etc.). If you look at history and daily experience, there is no other conclusion that seems to be either logically or ethically possible. It is also hard to see God acting contrary to the laws of nature or the laws of physics.” This is similar to the insights of “panentheism”.

18. One more Old Story Theme, New Story Alternative to add to the list.

While human selfishness and greed are present in any approach to life, both left and right, these base features do not most essentially define the Classic Liberal industrial civilization and its outcomes. Collectivists have argued that the “free individuals” model that was developed over past centuries in England (i.e. the “Classic Liberalism” that protects the individual rights and freedom of all citizens, equally), this approach to organizing societies orients populations to destructive selfishness, greed, disconnect from nature, and violence, among other pathologies. But that is not generally true. More importantly, with the fundamental protection of private property rights, the free individual model has unleashed human creativity as never before to achieve unimaginable new heights in the improvement of all aspects of our lives, and improvement of the world in general (i.e. increased environmental improvement).

Now the Old story theme related to this: The myth of the moral and spiritual superiority of the simple, low-consumption lifestyle (i.e. self-produced, using only local resources- bioregionalism). This revering of low-consumption lifestyles relates to “noble savage” mythology, the belief that primitive hunter/gatherers were more pure and environmentally conservative before humanity “fell” and became corrupted in developing civilization, falling even further in the last few centuries of industrial civilization with its ever-growing abundance. This myth fosters endless guilt and shame over resource consumption and the enjoyment of the good life. “Small is Beautiful” by Schumacher was an affirmation of this mythology. Note that it is most often wealthy Western elites that advocate this “morally superior primitivism” lifestyle for poorer people in developing areas (more “Rules for thee but not for me”). That is due in part to the “zero-sum” or “limited-good, limited resources” ideologies of elites.

New story alternative: The search for a better life is the fundamental urge of love- to responsibly improve one’s life and the conditions of one’s family. And it is essential to freedom that people have the free choice to enjoy what they wish to use and enjoy. The abundance that most people enjoy today, with an ever-increasing proportion of humanity moving into middle class status, is part of the larger trajectory of developing technological, industrial civilization that is also lessening environmental impacts while it endlessly improves human well-being.

For example, the trend of continuing world urbanization is concentrating more people in smaller spaces (smaller environmental footprint) that can then better employ economies of scale that lessen pressure on natural areas (see population expert Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource” for detail). Industrial society further decreases per capita consumption of varied resources with ongoing technological development in the process of “de-materialization”. Thus, the general creation of wealth has also enabled more developed areas to better care for and improve their environments. This overturns the environmental alarmist argument that industrial society is “destroying the world”. See “Environmental transition” research, for example, by Indur Goklany. Also, Desrocher and Szurmak’s “Population Bombed”. Humanprogress.org is another good source of information on these issues.
Added note:

There is no finalized consensus on how much of the natural world humans can engage, use, and change. We are a legitimate species and not an intruding “virus or cancer” as per the view of those who demand a mostly untouched wilderness world. And from today’s progressing industrial civilization note the emerging trends like ‘peak agriculture’ and the return of agricultural lands to nature because, with safe GM crop inputs, we produce more crops on the same or less land.

Note also the improving status of world forests over the past seven decades (FAO reports on increasing world forest cover), and the strengthening of conservation and restoration trends in world fisheries (Ray Hilborn research, University of Washington). Further, there is no species holocaust occurring. It appears the “responsible stewardship” approach of the early 20th Century conservationists is working well (see Alston Chase’s “In A Dark Wood”).

As Julian Simon said, “Evidence on the big picture and long-term trends of life shows that we are more creators than destroyers”.

Added notes:

There is a long history of belief in the moral/spiritual superiority of the monkish ascetic lifestyle and engendering guilt over enjoying the good life too much (the good life condemned as selfishness, greed, the “base” obsession with materialism). Note past history’s cloistered mystics inflicting themselves with varied forms of denial and self-abuse in order to squelch worldly desires, enduring fasting, withdrawing from societies. Also, the revered naked or loin-clothed wandering holy men, and sages/monks begging for their daily needs. Those “holiness exhibited in simple living” cults are found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, and other movements.

Varied other beliefs play into the fear of consumption such as the fallacy of “limited good” that anthropology notes in hunter/gatherer societies where people believe that if some people in the group get more goods, then others must be getting less, as there are limited resources to go around (zero sum). But the evidence, while at first seeming counter-intuitive, comes down on the side of ever-expanding human resources across history. “Cornucopians” like Julian Simon were right.

Simon (Ultimate Resource) has outlined the steps in the process that results in the expansion or increase in resource stocks: Within traditional production there may emerge an apparent scarcity of some resource. This leads to increasing prices for that resource. That prompts the search for more reserves of the resource, the innovative creation of new technology that leads to discovery of more of a resource and more efficient production and use of the resource, or a search for alternatives to the resource (i.e. the shift from whale oil to fossil fuels). And ultimately there is a return to the trajectory of lowering the price of the resource. We saw the process above operating with the discovery of fracking technology and the opening of vast new sources of fossil fuels in the US.

Note how prominent this belief in full punishment of wrong (shame and restored honor) has been in human narratives, consciousness and hence in justice systems and throughout life
Movies beat this theme endlessly- wrong is done and full and harsh vengeance is the right, good, just response. No questions asked or allowed. This theme dominates modern story-telling as per Hollywood. Bad guy offends good guy so for the rest of the movie, bad guy goes about slaughtering all who offended him.

Its humanity acting as animal in the basest sense… Retaliation that renders us petty and like our offenders, not maintaining our humanity…

Added note to Old Story themes: Another critical old story theme- Holiness mythology

One of the most common responses from religious people to the idea of God as no conditions love is the claim that God is also holy and just and therefore must punish all wrong. God’s honor is tarnished by the wrongdoing of people so he must be just (exhibit strict eye for eye retaliation/retribution) and punish all sin. God cannot just freely forgive and love. This divine holiness myth is primitivism at its worst. How so? It is the very same reasoning that is behind practices like “honor killing”.

People in varied cultures today still reason that, for example, a daughter embracing modern habits has dishonored her family and their traditional culture. So the males of the family, feeling dishonored and shamed, are required to punish the “evil” daughter in order to restore their tarnished honor. Holiness theology is embracing this very same primitive reasoning that wrongs must be punished thoroughly and severely or justice and honor are not restored properly. Just another version of “eye for eye” retaliation.

I would counter that, contrary to holiness with its demand for punishment, unconditional forgiveness and love constitute the true glory of God, the highest goodness and love. Authentic goodness and love will just freely forgive without demanding payment or righting of wrongs first.

The holiness feature in theology affirms the myth of a God obsessed with perfection and punishing imperfection, hence the creation of a supporting complex of myths- i.e. original paradise/Eden (perfect creation), Fall of humanity and ruin of paradise (loss of perfection), and the subsequent need for an atonement (sacrifice/payment/punishment for ruining perfection) in order for God to restore the lost perfection.

And on another note (more on the holiness myth and shame-honor culture):

During recent demonstrations in the US people chanted “Death to America”. That has stirred recognition of the failures of a multi-culturalism that just welcomes immigrants without requirement that they leave some of the more barbaric values of their home cultures and embrace the values of Western Classic Liberalism or liberal democracy.

“Honor Killing” is one illustrative example of a barbaric home country value that must be rejected entirely. This belief is rooted in the ancient mythology of “shame/honor” thinking. That if someone feels their honor has been besmirched, that they have been offended and shamed in some manner, then they claim the right to retaliate, to punish the offender, even to use punitive violence to restore their offended honor. And hold your horses, this is not a “racist” discrediting of other cultures. Keep reading as I take this barbaric belief closer to home.

We had a notable Canadian example of this imported barbarity, in a family where the 3 daughters began to enjoy Western dress and dating. That enraged the father, wife, and elder son. It offended their sense of honor. So they killed the second wife and three daughters in a canal drowning. That was the outcome of the shame/honor mythology of that home culture. And the parents and older son went into prison adamant that they had done the right and just thing, according to the value of their home culture. They had to “cleanse shame and restore their offended honor”.

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/dad-killed-daughters-wife-over-western-habits-alleged-honour-killing-trial-hears

And now my point goes wider…

Most of us feel revulsion at such barbaric ideas and behavior. But then take that revulsion closer to home, perhaps uncomfortably close. That same shame/honor belief dominates our Western religions as a central feature of the God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This is the belief in the “holiness of God” and that this feature in deity takes precedence over the feature of love in deity. Christians will argue in defense of “holiness in deity as the supreme attribute of God”, stating that God, as holy, must punish all sin. Human sin offends the holiness of God, it shames God’s honor, and so God must rightly cleanse that shame and restore his honor by punishing someone.

As Harold Ellens so graphically expresses it- God is enraged at human imperfection and in response must kill someone, either us or his son. So he murders his son in a bloody human sacrifice. And this mythology has dominated the Master Story of Wester civilization for millennia.

Zenon Lotufo (Cruel God, Kind God) quotes Ellens: “There is in Western culture a psychological archetype, a metaphor that has to do with the image of a violent and wrathful God (see Romans, Revelation). Crystallized in Anselm’s juridical atonement theory, this image represents God sufficiently disturbed by the sinfulness of humanity that God had only two options: destroy us or substitute a sacrifice to pay for our sins. He did the latter. He killed Christ.

“Ellens goes on by stating that the crucifixion, a hugely violent act of infanticide or child sacrifice, has been disguised by Christian conservative theologians as a ‘remarkable act of grace’. Such a metaphor of an angry God, who cannot forgive unless appeased by a bloody sacrifice, has been ‘right at the center of the Master Story of the Western world for the last 2,000 years. And the unavoidable consequence for the human mind is a strong tendency to use violence’.

“’With that kind of metaphor at our center, and associated with the essential behavior of God, how could we possibly hold, in the deep structure of our unconscious motivations, any other notion of ultimate solutions to ultimate questions or crises than violence- human solutions that are equivalent to God’s kind of violence’…”. (See full Ellen’s statement below)

The Christian argument in defense of holiness (shame/honor) is that God cannot just freely forgive sin but must first rebalance an upset and offended justice in the cosmos. God, as holy, is obligated to make all wrongs right by punishment.

But why can’t God just forgive freely as Jesus advocated- unconditionally forgive, as argued in the Matthew 5:38-48 or Luke 6: 27-36 summaries of the teaching of Jesus? Just refuse to engage “eye for eye” retaliatory, punitive justice?

Note also how Jesus illustrated this free forgiveness and free acceptance in his story of the Prodigal Father as representing his “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory, unconditionally loving God” (paraphrase of James Robinson with my additions). That Father did not demand a sacrifice first before forgiving and welcoming the wasteful son back. He ordered a free celebration banquet with no prerequisite demands. Unconditional love.

So many similarly bad similar ideas as punitive justice still dominate our narratives and continue to incite and validate bad behavior. The root of the problem is that too many bad ideas have been projected onto deity, given the protection of the untouchable “sacred”, along with barriers to questioning or challenging, such as threats for blasphemy. Hence, bad ideas remain untouched and honored as ultimate truth and right. Hence, humanity’s long-standing ultimate ideal and authority- i.e. deity- has long validated similar thinking and behavior in people.

So go to the real root of the problem and solve it there thoroughly and for the long-term future.

Note also the Mennonite theologians point that punitive Christian theology was the basis for punitive Western justice systems and Ellens’ point that punitive justice in deity influences the same response and behavior in humanity- i.e. punitive justice.

And a bit more

“Metaphysical bullshit”? Yes, years ago some pissed atheist responded to someone in a public discussion, “Let’s get rid of all this metaphysical bullshit”. I get his frustration and point, but it ain’t gonna happen. Its that primal human impulse to meaning and the role that has always played in human consciousness and narratives. Hence, both the mythical/religious versions of theology across history and today, and the still emerging “secular/ideological” versions of the same across contemporary modern history.

Moving along…. This site takes seriously the statement of the military person who advised, during the outbreak of ISIS violence in Syria years ago (the spread of the Caliphate), that you can swat down these eruptions of insanity with military force, but they will keep breaking forth to curse life until you go after the ideas that incite, guide, and validate them.

I take that advice more widely to apply to all similar crusades, both religious and “secular”, because it is the same basic complex of themes that has shaped many notable mass-harm movements- i.e. the ”lost paradise, threat of apocalyptic ending, demand for coercive purging of threatening ‘enemies’, and promise of salvation in restored paradise” complex. Some historians term this the “apocalyptic millennialism” belief system and detail how this religious mythology shaped Marxism, Nazism, and now drives the climate alarmism crusade.

We do not have to continue suffering this psychopathology. We have better alternative insights to shape entirely new narratives, insights to liberate our consciousness and spirits toward a better future. So yes, one answer to the age-old problem of violence urges that we go to root contributing factors like the bad ideas that incite, guide, and validate bad behavior. Notably, tackle the inhumane mythical/religious themes in our narratives, themes that resonate with deeply embedded archetypes in our subconscious.

Once again, these insights from psychologists/theologians Harold Ellens and Zenon Lotufo (“Cruel God, Kind God”):

“There is in Western culture a psychological archetype, a metaphor that has to do with the image of a violent and wrathful God (see Romans, Revelation). Crystallized in Anselm’s juridical atonement theory, this image represents God sufficiently disturbed by the sinfulness of humanity that God had only two options: destroy us or substitute a sacrifice to pay for our sins. He did the latter. He killed Christ.

“Ellens goes on by stating that the crucifixion, a hugely violent act of infanticide or child sacrifice, has been disguised by Christian conservative theologians as a ‘remarkable act of grace’. Such a metaphor of an angry God, who cannot forgive unless appeased by a bloody sacrifice, has been ‘right at the center of the Master Story of the Western world for the last 2,000 years. And the unavoidable consequence for the human mind is a strong tendency to use violence’.

“’With that kind of metaphor at our center, and associated with the essential behavior of God, how could we possibly hold, in the deep structure of our unconscious motivations, any other notion of ultimate solutions to ultimate questions or crises than violence- human solutions that are equivalent to God’s kind of violence’…

“Hence, in our culture we have a powerful element that impels us to violence, a Cruel God Image… that also contributes to guilt, shame, and the impoverishment of personality…”.

Note: The reference to metaphysical reality here, as in “God”, is not about something outside and above humanity- i.e. a “sky God” in heaven, something separate from us and otherworldly. No, references to God on this site are about something inseparable from the human spirit right now, and something that epitomizes our highest ideal- love, something transcendently better than us that inspires us to be better persons.

While deity exists as real in itself, we do best to think of such mysterious reality in terms of the best of being human (i.e. doing theology from the best in humanity and projecting that onto our understanding of “God” as ultimate Good). Nothing more definitively and potently expresses God than love.

Mind, Consciousness, Intelligence, Spirit, etc. are all used to define deity, and of course with all this, Self- as in personhood. And with all that intimately and intensely present in us as inseparable from the human spirit (“The kingdom of God is within you”). So in the best of humanity, in all human goodness, we see God the Ultimate Good. In this sense we are the feet, hands, and voice of invisible deity. Hence, there is no such thing as an absent God. God is evident in all human suffering, all human raging against evil, all human effort to fight evil and to make life something better. Immediately present, always. And most powerfully manifested in human love. “Love your enemies because God does”. To love is to be most like God.

Be clear that the above are not religious terms, definitions, or categories. A materialist/atheist in showing love is exhibiting God as purely and powerfully as anyone else. This is to counter the natural tendency on hearing the term “God” to automatically orient most people to religious categories and definitions (e.g. the common religious view of deity as an exclusionary tribal reality- favoring true believers, excluding unbelievers). On alternative views of deity- let 8 billion flowers bloom.

Further- Ideas related to deity have dominated human narratives from the beginning, functioning as the cohering center of people’s worldviews, both in religious and “secular/materialist” versions (as in ultimate realities, ideals, authorities).

Added note: Some interesting contemporary alternatives to traditional deity theories and terms- “punitive Universe, angry Mother Earth, vengeful Gaia, payback karma, Self-Organizing Principle, Natural Law, ‘Natural Selection Is The Source Of All Enlightenment’ (Richard Dawkin’s all-capitals term for a reality-explaining Force)”, and others. Most lack the feature of personhood but point to some ultimate creating/influencing reality. Again, let 8 billion flowers bloom.

Why the dominating persistence of theology in human narratives (both in religious and “secular” versions)? Because, from the very earliest emergence of human consciousness, we have been powerfully influenced by our primal impulse to meaning. And if this material realm that we inhabit was created by some greater Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence, Spirit… then it only makes sense for us to try to understand why it was created, what was the purpose… and then for us to fulfill that purpose in order to give meaning to our lives in terms of the suffering that we endure, and the beauty that we experience.

Another way of putting this would be to consider- What embodies our highest ideals, the features that orient us toward becoming better persons, toward working to make life better for ourselves and others? What inspires us to become more loving, more humane? What is our highest ideal and authority? What is the true nature of that reality? Let the projection of 8 billion free creators continue in the public marketplace of ideas…. a Classic Liberal would say.

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Who do state elites/bureaucrats and mainstream media really serve?

Section topics:

(1) Tilak Doshi on the absurdity of the global warming narrative and lawfare to reduce CO2 emissions when 10 times more people die of cold every year than die from heat.

(2) Chris Morrison on the threat of mass-death if Net Zero is fully implemented in our societies. Fortunately, there are signs the decarbonization madness is falling apart as many realize the horrific damage it is causing.

(3) Danielle Smith (Alberta Premier) on the real cost of Net Zero (i.e. the battery storage issue).

(4) And a good discussion by Walter Kirn and Matt Taibbi on the exposure of the Woke Progressive bias at NPR by editor Uri Berliner. The NPR situation illustrates the same bias in most mainstream media that have abandoned true journalism to become loudspeakers for state propaganda.

(5) Richard Lindzen and William Happer on celebrating CO2.

(6) Discussion group posts on the Joe Rogan interview of Tucker Carlson- episode 2138 of JRE on Spotify. They cover some very interesting topics from aliens to elite control of government that has abandoned “consent by the governed”. Meaning, we don’t really live in liberal democracies any more. Add the comment of Carlson that most politicians are “terrified” of the intelligence agencies.

(7) A report showing changes in temperature precede increases in atmospheric CO2 and natural changes in CO2 far exceed human emissions. My conclusion- there is no good reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.

(8) Bill Maher praises Ron DeSantis. Huh? Holy Moly, what is the world coming to? And more….

We hear the climate alarmism crusade described with terms like “lunacy, crazy, insane, absurd…” How else to define the irrational, irresponsible and dogmatic spirit that promotes this “profoundly religious movement” and its highly destructive “decarbonization” salvation scheme (to “save the world”).

Decarbonization is one front in a larger political, ideological, environmental crusade that is promoting “de-development, de-growth, de-industrialization, de-pretty much everything of progress in the modern world”. Advocating for a return to primitivism but only for the common folk (“You will own nothing, and you will be happy eating bugs”), while dominating elites continue their obsession with controlling and debasing all aspects of our lives. Ah, it takes the psychologists to analyze and unravel this elite lunacy- as in “the psychopathology of left-wing authoritarianism”, or “the narcissism of left-wing totalitarianism”, etc. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The persisting evil of domination/control, the complex of “bad” ideas, and more…

New at bottom of this opening section: The impulse to domination in Christology (the transformation of common man Jesus into Lord Christ mythology- Brinsmead commentary), Martin Durkin on domination in climate class warfare, and musings from yours truly on this same issue of the base impulse to society-wrecking domination.

Why our hesitancy to purge our narratives/belief systems of the dangerous ideas that have, from the beginning of our history, incited and validated our inner inheritance of animal impulses? I give the nod to Solzhenitsyn’s point that the real battle of good against evil takes place inside every human heart, against what Campbell termed “the animal passions”. Most notably the “evil triad” of impulses to tribalism (exclusion of differing others), domination (coercive intervention to override the freedom of others, to control others), and destruction of the differing or competing other (punitive, retaliatory justice).

Our primitive ancestors, responding to the primal human impulse for meaning, manufactured ideas of deities (humanity’s highest ideal and authority) to validate the impulses and behavior that dominated their primitive existence. We excuse them for not knowing any better. But to continue affirming those same ideas/themes today is inexcusably irresponsible. And we see the same old outcomes of violence across today’s world.

The US military guy was right (during the ISIS eruption of insanity in Syria years ago) to state that you can destroy those violent groups with military force, but if you don’t go after the ideas that drive them you will only see more such eruptions of violent insanity. Hence, Hamas and Iran today.

See new material below on “Metaphysical bullshit”, apocalyptic and the challenges to the 2nd Law dominating the cosmos, and some Brinsmead “thought provokers”.

The Iranian attack on Israel brings to the fore, once again, a persistent threat to peace in our world. No, not primarily the actors involved in these “eye for eye” cycles, but the core ideas, themes, beliefs that deform human minds with tribal hatred and commitment to punitive destruction of differing others.

And this is not to deny the responsibility to take defensive action in the face of irresolvable commitment of attackers to extermination of differing others. Pacifism does not work, especially not in the face of religiously-inspired hatred that renders human minds delusionally oriented to irrational visions of apocalyptic millennialism.

Until we face head on and address the themes that continue to shape human narratives both religious and “secular/ideological”, we will not get to the root of this persisting problem of society-destroying violence. By avoiding the root contributing factors we only tinker around the edges. This is not to deny the importance of ceasefire and appeasement/settlement initiatives. They are critical in the short term, but they do not go to the root of the problem if we leave in place the very ideas that continue to deform human minds and lives, as they have across multiple millennia.

Unfortunately, many of the themes that I refer to are considered “sacred” and it is deemed “blasphemous” to confront and discredit them. So we back away fearfully and go back to tinkering with surface reformism projects that leave the root contributing factors in place.

When will we learn? As my friend Bob Brinsmead says, “We become just like the God that we believe in”. That is a message to all religious adherents, whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or other (i.e. include the true believers in the “secular/ideological” versions of the same mythical complex of ideas- bad ideas given differing expression but embodying the same core themes).

Give me a day or so and I will once again put up the insightful comments of Harold Ellens, Arthur Mendel, Zenon Lotufo, and others, on the personality-deforming influence of bad religious ideas. “Bad” to distinguish from the good ideas in the religious mix, just as Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstsoy distinguished between the “diamonds/pearls” of Jesus’ teaching and Paul’s Christology.

The full complex of bad ideas/themes/beliefs involved- Notably, the “lost paradise (better past), decline toward apocalypse, demand for sacrifice/punishment, purging of “evil” threat to life, need to heroically engage a righteous war against a demonized enemy, and promise of salvation for true believers in a restored paradise or new millennial kingdom”. This complex is representative of a larger body of myths.

As repeated here often- This same complex of ideas that has descended to us from the earliest human mythmaking, now dominates crusades like climate alarmism (“a profoundly religious movement”) and generates the same old destructive outcomes as we are seeing in the anti-human, anti-civilization decarbonization crusade dominating today’s world. Historians have done the detailed research on the core ideas and the consequent patterns that unfold under the influence of such ideas.

Sources: Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline In Western History), Richard Landes (Heaven On Earth: The Varieties of the Millennial Experience), Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence), Zenon Lotufo (Cruel God, Kind God), and more…

On another note: Here is some recent comment from Bob Brinsmead to a discussion group. Bob’s comments are in response to a fellow participant in the discussion group who takes a defensive stance regarding the New Testament gospel’s material that is attributed to Jesus. Bob and I take the position that very little in the gospels was actually taught by Jesus- i.e. notably the anti-sacrifice insights and related material. The rest was put in his mouth, material created by later writers that affirmed Paul’s Christ myth and blood atonement theology, the dominant theme of the rest of the New Testament.

This from Bob Brinsmead: April 14, 2024

“The issue, ___, is that all that is branded Jesus does not come from Jesus – not by a long shot! Indeed, most of the material that is written about Jesus did not come from Jesus at all. A lot of legendary material got added to the claims made about him after 70 CE and after members of the Jesus family were dead, after the apostles were dead, and after so much Jewish history and records were almost totally erased by the 70 CE event.

“This made it possible for later writers to invent and add legends and embellishments quite independent of any real history because so many of that era were not around to refute it. No one to this day can even prove what year Jesus was born and what year he died. Matthew and Luke exhibit an amazing 10-year difference re the time of his birth. The pretended “biographical” material” of his life was written not only many years later, but by non-Palestinian authors in far-away foreign lands, in another language and culture – and they did not always understand the culture, laws and even the geography of Palestine. We have not one eyewitness record of the birth, life, and death of Jesus.

“Like what happened with Moses, there are great gobs of material put into his mouth by lying priests or churchmen, or as Jefferson said, “inferior minds.” We have a very limited access to any solid information about the historical person. What he taught is more certain than who taught it, and the essence of what he taught is so simple it could be taught to another while he stood on one leg because the rest would only be commentary.

“Much of the New Testament is composed of forged documents which were supposedly written by persons who died long before they were written – six of them in the name of Paul, two in the name of Peter, two Gospels in the name of two of Jesus’ apostles, and other phoney names ascribed to other documents to give them the appearance of having apostolic authority when in fact they were written many years after the apostles were dead. Altogether these post-apostolic churchmen did to Jesus what the “lying priests” did to Moses.

“And you ask- Why then did Christians begin to worship Jesus if it was not a result of the impact of his person? It is clear now from history that the first Jesus movement which was wholly Jewish, including his own family, brother James, and later descendants called Ebionites, did not worship Jesus or claim he was a Divine man. The teaching of his divinity became a cardinal feature of the Christian religion, but this was a radical departure from the teaching of Jesus who claimed to nothing but “the son of man” (i.e., only human).

“For another example of the Christian departure from the clear teaching of Jesus, I refer to Paul’s statement that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scripture.” This was directly opposed to the teaching of the real Jesus who was passionately opposed to the practice of any blood sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins. John the Baptist and Jesus came in that prophetic tradition of rejecting sacrifices… totally! The prophets of the Old Testament did not believe that the elaborate sacrificial system was part of the law of Moses. They said this was added by lying priests to enhance their prestige and power.

“Some of these prophets were killed by the priesthood for challenging their hegemony. That opposition to sacrifices – a diabolical institution that goes right back to a very dark pagan history that was borrowed by Israel, for a long time included human sacrifices. There were always Jews who opposed this wretched institution. There were other great thinkers outside of Israel who shared this antipathy to sacrifices – men such as Pythagoras who would not even wear a woollen garment derived from sacrificing animals. Even after the voice of the prophets was silenced, there were Jews who maintained this antipathy to sacrifices. This opposition to the temple sacrifices was widely held among the Essenes in the first Century. When the prophetic voice was revived in John the Baptist, he inaugurated a baptism in water at the Jordan for the remission of sin.

“This was a direct assault on the entire priestly institution of sacrifices at the Jerusalem temple. Jesus joined this temple protest against blood sacrifices for the remission of sin. He freely declared the forgiveness of sin without a blood sacrifice.

“Citing an OT prophet, he declared “I will have mercy and not sacrifice.” Jesus’ teaching was against the whole idea that any shedding of blood was required for the remission of sin. The whole reasoning in his Sermon on the Mount was against it. And for his temple protest he was killed by the priesthood just as the OT prophets were killed by the priesthood.

“When the Hellenist followers of Jesus fled to Antioch, they began to claim that Jesus was the Christ who died as the supreme sacrifice for human sin. At first Paul opposed this teaching bitterly and then suddenly took it up (Paul never persecuted those thousands of Aramaic believers in Jerusalem, but only the Hellenists abroad). The teaching that Jesus’ death was an atoning sacrifice was in direct conflict with the teaching of Jesus. The reason why the NT Gospels skirt around the real point of what really happened when Jesus “cleansed the temple” is that they wrote under the influence of Paul’s apocalyptic interpretation of the death of Jesus. But as Patricia Williams says in “Where Christianity Went Wrong”, “it was ignorant and arrogant” for Christianity to teach this after Jesus had so explicitly opposed any need for a sacrifice.”

The long-term project for future “peace and love”-

Put this within the big picture story of humanity- the long-term trajectory of the human story, of humanity making an exodus from animal existence to learn to live as human, which has been very much about an exodus from animal-like retaliation and moving toward human existence defined by the ideal of no conditions love. Its all about the meaning/purpose thing- our primary impulse as human. Qualifier: Its never going to be utopia but an always improving trajectory toward a better future…

A notable guidepost and inspiration along the way… Wendell Krossa

“Love your enemy because God does”, Historical Jesus.

Why do we keep returning to focus on this Jesus material? Because it is the single most profound insight ever offered to humanity to solve the stubbornly persistent problems of tribal thinking, hatred of differing others, and punitive destruction of offending others (i.e. the “evil triad” that summarizes the worst impulses of our inherited animal brain). All three are dealt with in a profoundly consciousness-altering manner by a simple six-word statement that sums the message, stories, and behavior of Historical Jesus, a person entirely opposite to the Christian “Jesus Christ” of the New Testament. (A side note: The Christ myth of Paul buries the insights and message of H. Jesus. Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy stated well that the Jesus “diamonds were buried by Paul’s dung”. Their words, not mine.).

This six-word summary of the Jesus message went beyond anything ever offered previously over the history of humanity. There is no other statement anywhere in the history of human communication that gets the ethical element along with the validating ideal/idea as well as this does.

The Akkadian father of 2000 years earlier got the behavioral element right in telling his son to “Befriend your enemy”. But then he did not yet get the validating theology right when he advised “Make sacrifice to your god”. He still believed that deity was retaliatory in nature and had to be appeased with blood sacrifice. The old theology of cruel gods threatening and using violence to solve problems (i.e. justice restored through violence).

That primitive theological pathology- Gods demanding violent sacrifice- presents a deformed ideal for people to follow. People from the beginning have appealed to their views of deity as their highest ideal and authority to inspire, guide, and validate their behavior.

“Basing behavior on similar belief” (some human-created view of God) is as old as humanity. It stems from our primal impulse to meaning. We have long reasoned intuitively that if we are created for some purpose then it is natural to try to understand and explain the purpose and then fulfill it. Hence, the endless projection of our speculative explanations out to define some metaphysical creating Source.

Jesus was the first in history to get both the behavior and the validating belief right, in terms of our highest ideal of love. He stated, “Love your enemy because a non-retaliatory, unconditionally loving God does”. So be like that God (i.e. mimic your good Father, be like Daddy).

The “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God” (James Robinson), as presented by Jesus, transforms theology entirely as never before. His insight points to the “God beyond God” that Joseph Campbell talked about (transcendently beyond definitions, categories, words).

In all historically previous deity theories, whether in mythical or more formal religious traditions, the gods were retributive, the ultimate executors of retaliation in ultimate judgment and punishment of all human imperfection (threat theology). Jesus rejected all that in stating- “There must be no more eye for eye justice. But, instead, love your enemy because God does. How so? God gives the good gifts of life- sun and rain for crops- to both good and bad people alike. No retaliatory punishment of the bad ones. No discrimination between people. No exclusion of anyone. Only generous unconditional love to everyone, the same” (my paraphrase of his teaching).

Jesus challenged the long history of human belief and overturned the core themes of mythical and religious traditions. He presented something strikingly new and revolutionary, and profoundly upsetting to good religious, moral people who believed in retributive justice. Try to get something of what he did. It was breathtaking for its scandalous “blasphemy” and it nearly got him killed just as he was starting his public teaching career.

Note in Luke 4: 16-28, where he read a passage from Isaiah 61:1-2 about proclaiming good news, and freedom and favor from God. But then he left off the next statement about proclaiming “the day of vengeance of our God” because that was the theology that he rejected. And it thoroughly pissed off the people listening to him. In a rage they tried to throw him off a nearby cliff. His rejection of retaliatory justice offended their sense of righteousness.

This ethical/theological insight of Jesus transforms mythical and religious belief entirely. It goes to the very core of human narratives, to the single most important theme in human thought that has dominated all narratives across history- i.e. the theological ideas that are the cohering center of religious belief systems and embody humanity’s ultimate ideal and authority- deity.

The Jesus insight (his “stunning new theology”) is the singularly most liberating insight ever offered, in that it liberates from the psychopathology of threat theology that has cursed human consciousness for millennia- i.e. gods threatening punishment of human imperfection through natural world events like natural disasters, accidents, disease, and predatory cruelty. In overturning threat theology, the Jesus insight then promotes liberation from our inherited animal impulses- i.e. the drives to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of enemies. These inherited animal drives have long been validated by mythical/religious themes of gods as tribal deities, dominating deities, gods that execute punitive destruction of enemies as proper justice.

With the Jesus insight on non-retaliatory, unconditional deity, we overturn entirely the old validation for tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of differing others. The life-giving root of these impulses is cut completely.

Now to set forth a larger background context for the Israel/Iran conflict, here is some summary comment on the “baddest” of the worst of bad religious ideas. I am framing the big picture with a reposting of comments from psychologist Harold Ellens and psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo regarding their material on the influence of bad religious ideas on human personality and society. My point here is that the fundamental themes of primitive mythologies have not faded from human narratives and consciousness but continue to exert influence today in the great world religions. These ideas have also been given new embodiment in so-called “secular/ideological” versions, as in Marxism, Nazism, and the climate alarmism crusade. The old narrative themes still impact our consciousness, lives, and societies, often to great harm, and even to mass-death outcomes.

Here is my more complete summary of what Ellens and Lotufo refer to as “Cruel God” ideas. My point is to outline the supporting themes of which “Cruel God” is the central idea, the cohering center. I argue that basic themes of the “lost paradise, apocalyptic, redemption” complex of myths have dominated all primitive mythologies, later religious traditions, and now still dominate human narratives considered “secular/ideological”, and even scientific.

Main features of the “lost paradise/decline to apocalypse/demand for redemption”: Wendell Krossa

(1) The widely held belief that there was an original paradise that was subsequently ruined and lost. Consequent to this myth there has been deeply felt guilt/shame across the millennia over purported human badness/sinfulness that caused the ruin of the original paradise. Based on this foundational myth, early humans constructed the related belief (2) that we are now being punished for our sins- i.e. punished via the natural world (natural disaster, disease, accident, predatory cruelty). Add also the associated belief that (3) life, following the ruin of paradise, has been declining toward an apocalyptic ending as the great end-stage punishment for having ruined paradise.

Primitive logic continued to manufacture a growing complex of myths. Early awe at the natural world led to the belief in (4) spiritual forces behind all elements of nature, eventually anthropomorphizing those forces into personal gods. Gods of wind and storm, voicing and venting rage through thunder and lightning. Gods of trees and stream, gods of animal species, even gods of rocks. Gods behind earthquakes, drought, disease, and other natural disasters.

And where the natural world erupted harmfully, ancient logic concluded that the gods were angry and punishing people for their sins. Some creative mind then suggested (5) that the angry gods could be appeased with food offerings or blood sacrifices. The life of an animal as a substitute for human life?

Hence, shamed and guilty for being “bad to the bone”, further early mythmaking re-enforced intense inner and outer social pressure to make some atoning sacrifice, especially in order to be saved from the ultimate threat to humanity, the ultimate in divine rage and threat of punishment- i.e. the divine threat of a looming apocalyptic punishment in the destruction of the entire world, a graphic form of the great early fear of “return to chaos”.

Consequent to this primitive mythmaking, we hold the deeply felt archetypal need to be forgiven, reconciled/restored, and “saved”, because we are taught to believe (based on millennia of having such ideas beat into human consciousness) that we have become separated and alienated from our Source/God, because that deity is thoroughly pissed at our imperfection (inherent “sinfulness”). We must get right again.

And then to juice acceptance of the complex there is (6) the element of hope in some promised salvation for true believers (the “saved”)- whether in a restored paradise or the installation of a millennial paradise, a heavenly kingdom.

Further to this complex, note the widely held belief in a hero’s quest. This further shapes the primitive mythical complex of “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption”- i.e. that we must engage a righteous battle against some evil enemy/monster that threatens our world, that we must violently conquer the enemy/monster, we must punitively, even violently, purge the threat in order to “save the world”. The threat is usually defined in terms of differing others in the human family viewed and demonized as intolerable “enemies”. Once the violent purging of evil is accomplished, we can then fulfill the hope for a better future- for some utopian millennial paradise to be installed.

Further to the mix of beliefs- To fully intensify human fears of angry deity, add also the accompanying threat of after-life harm in fiery hells. The fear of death and the need to be saved from that, especially saved from the threat of after-life harm, intensifies human fear of death. After-life harm as in ultimate divine condemnation, judgment, and threat of eternal exclusion and punishment (hell). Fear of death incites the survival impulse and renders people susceptible to the most irrational salvation schemes proposed by those who alarm them. Fear is also often behind rage and violence.

Critical to overturning the above complex of bad ideas, go to the great cohering Center of all ideas, the monster Gods that validate entire complexes of mythical fallacies in human worldviews- i.e. the views of Cruel God theology- angry, threatening deities- that affirm the entire complex of myths of lost paradise, looming apocalypse, and schemes for redemption.

Further shaping the complex of inherited mythical ideas…. Zoroaster’s overarching myth of cosmic dualism (a great Good deity locked in eternal battle against an Evil entity). Cosmic dualism, as the ultimate archetypal model or ideal, intensifies the human impulse to tribalism and the belief of many people that in joining some religion (or other “just/righteous” crusade) they put themselves on the right side of a battle against a purported existential threat, some enemy that is intolerably evil, that must be eliminated in order to “save the world”. When people affiliate with what priests tell them is the “true religion”, they then view themselves as the specially chosen righteous ones on the side of the good God, fighting God’s great war against evil. Human action in varied apocalyptic millennial movements then takes on cosmic status and such people cannot be reasoned out of their irrational salvation schemes. Watch as support for the salvation scheme of decarbonization continues with ever-increasing zeal from the lead prophets of climate apocalypse.

“Monster deity” beliefs, at the core of mythical complexes of ideas, incite the similarly monstrous impulses in humanity to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of others. The validating beliefs work in tandem with the impulses- i.e. behaviors validated by beliefs, ethics validated by theology. And you get the outcomes of endless cycles of violence, human group set against differing human group, even to mass-death outcomes such as in the “secular” versions of such pathologies- i.e. Marxism, Nazism, and now emerging in environmentalism (i.e. decarbonization). Members of each new apocalyptic millennial crusade believing that they are the elect or chosen people of God, more special and enlightened than differing others who are caricatured and framed as unbelievers and enemies of God, the “satanic” infidels/deniers.

Hence, my insistent argument here to go to the ultimate root of the problem that you are trying to solve- what some psychologists/theologians call the “monster God” or “Cruel God” theology that energizes and validates the entire complex of related bad religious ideas.

We can understand the nature of primitive logic that has been deformed by the mythology of that ancient era, the worldview of that era. They didn’t know any better. But to continue to embrace and promote the same complex of themes today is inexcusable and irresponsible. Its just profound ignorance and denial of reality. Yet these themes still dominate world religions and many secular/ideological belief systems also.

More- The hero’s quest has long been deformed by the above distortions of primitive mythology. Wendell Krossa

The fact that bad ideas have deformed the hero’s quest is evident, notably, in people demonizing differing others as “enemies”, and the in endless retaliatory responses to differences of all kinds. We miss the true battle of life where we all face the same common shared monster and enemy at the root of many of our problems- the monster God (once again- deity as tribal, dominating, punitively destructive) that validates our monstrous inherited impulses to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of differing others. These impulses and the gods that we embrace to validate such impulses constitutes the monster inside us all.

Again, this is what Solzhenitsyn meant that the real battle against evil takes place inside every human heart. This is the real hero’s quest. This is where we gain insights, attain human maturity, tower in stature, and become what we are supposed to be.

Note: In defensively protecting the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” themes in our own religious traditions, as the originating sources of these themes in other “secular/ideological/scientific” versions, are we then playing a role in perpetuating a psychopathology, a destructive mind virus in public consciousness?

Qualifier note:

Granted, people who hold the above complex of myths may not do so with conscious intention and full awareness that they are profoundly mythical/religious ideas. They may have received them in some other form such as Marxist ideology where they are framed as “scientific history”, or as in purported “climate science”. But be aware, whatever version of these that you hold, the core themes, or contents, are the same as the more primitive mythical/religious versions.

A reposting of Ellens and Lotufo

Psychotherapist/theologian Zenon Lotufo (quoting psychologist/theologian Harold Ellens) explains how images/beliefs, notably images of ultimate reality and ideals like deity, how such images influence human consciousness, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior in daily life. Both men affiliated with the Christian tradition. Ellens was a US Army chaplain. There is no throwing of stones from without the religion.

Quotes from Lotufo’s book “Cruel God, Kind God”:

The Introduction states that, among others, “(Lotufo) explores the interface of psychology, religion, and spirituality at the operational level of daily human experience… (this is of the) highest urgency today when religious motivation seems to be playing an increasing role, constructively and destructively, in the arena of social ethics, national politics, and world affairs…” (An insert quibble- “seems to be playing an increasing role”. Nah. Religious motivation has never faded from playing a significant role in human affairs.)

The destructive outcomes of “religious motivation” are particularly notable, in a very public manner and definitely “increased” manner, in the “profoundly religious” climate alarmism crusade and its destructive “salvation” scheme of Net Zero decarbonization (“save the world”). Note the intensifying and spreading harm from Net Zero and renewables zealotry, in societies like Germany, Britain, and California. Climate alarmism exhibits the same old themes and destructive outcomes of all past apocalyptic crusades.

Lotufo then notes “the pathological nature of mainstream orthodox theology and popular religious ideation”.

He says, “One type of religiosity is entirely built around the assumption or basic belief, and correspondent fear, that God is cruel or even sadistic… The associated metaphors to this image are ‘monarch’ and ‘judge’. Its distinctive doctrine is ‘penal satisfaction’. I call it ‘Cruel God Christianity’… Its consequences are fear, guilt, shame, and impoverished personalities. All these things are fully coherent with and dependent on a cruel and vengeful God image…

“(This image results) in the inhibition of the full development of personality… The doctrine of penal satisfaction implies an image of God as wrathful and vengeful, resulting in exposing God’s followers to guilt, shame, and resentment… These ideas permeate Western culture and inevitably influence those who live in this culture…

“Beliefs do exert much more influence over our lives than simple ideas… ideas can also, in the psychological sphere, generate ‘dynamis’, or mobilize energy… (they) may result, for instance, in fanaticism and violence, or… may also produce anxiety and inhibitions that hinder the full manifestation of the capacities of a person…

“The image of God can be seen as a basic belief or scheme, and as such it is never questioned…

“Basic cultural beliefs are so important, especially in a dominant widespread culture, because they have the same properties as individual basic beliefs, that is, they are not perceived as questionable. The reader may object that “God”, considered a basic belief in our culture, is rejected or questioned by a large number of people today. Yet the fact is that the idea of God that those people reject is almost never questioned. In other words, their critique assumes there is no alternative way of conceiving God except the one that they perceive through the lens of their culture. So, taking into account the kind of image of God that prevails in Western culture- a ‘monster God’… such rejection is understandable…

“There is in Western culture a psychological archetype, a metaphor that has to do with the image of a violent and wrathful God (see Romans, Revelation). Crystallized in Anselm’s juridical atonement theory, this image represents God sufficiently disturbed by the sinfulness of humanity that God had only two options: destroy us or substitute a sacrifice to pay for our sins. He did the latter. He killed Christ.

“Ellens goes on by stating that the crucifixion, a hugely violent act of infanticide or child sacrifice, has been disguised by Christian conservative theologians as a ‘remarkable act of grace’. Such a metaphor of an angry God, who cannot forgive unless appeased by a bloody sacrifice, has been ‘right at the center of the Master Story of the Western world for the last 2,000 years. And the unavoidable consequence for the human mind is a strong tendency to use violence’.

“’With that kind of metaphor at our center, and associated with the essential behavior of God, how could we possibly hold, in the deep structure of our unconscious motivations, any other notion of ultimate solutions to ultimate questions or crises than violence- human solutions that are equivalent to God’s kind of violence’…

“Hence, in our culture we have a powerful element that impels us to violence, a Cruel God Image… that also contributes to guilt, shame, and the impoverishment of personality…”.

As Harold Ellens says, “If your God uses force, then so may you, to get your way against your ‘enemies’”.

Add also that the themes of (1) tribal dualism (true believers favored/saved versus unbelievers who are rejected and destroyed), (2) domination (deity as dominating Lord, Ruler, King that validates human forms of domination- state leaders, authoritative priesthoods, domineering fathers…), and (3) ultimate violent destruction of the differing others (apocalypse, hell)… these themes, sacralized in deity as ultimate ideals and authority, then serve to re-enforce the same features in the adherents of such belief systems. People become and act just like the God that they believe in.

OK, now how about in the messy present, the here and now– and sorting out the pathology of harsh and excessive vengeance from “just war” defensive action, as per, for example, Chinese sage Laotzi’s advice to defeat your attacking enemy but then after defeating him, you must reconcile with the enemy. He advised- “Do not gloat triumphally and humiliate your enemy in defeat”. Do what the Allies did after WW2 and post-defeat, restore the offenders back into the human family.

Recognize that harsh responses to assaults (with too many civilian deaths), such “go berserk” responses that are intended to teach an unforgettable lesson, most often will not make the intended point to enemies. “Iron fist” vengeance responses incite more bitterness, hatred, and determination to take further retaliatory response and perpetuate the eye for eye spirals into the insane maelstrom of violence.

https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/israel-iran-strikes-live-coverage/card/right-wing-israeli-politicians-call-for-israel-to-respond-to-iranian-attack-hq4wFju09AKmpB7S8sE4

https://www.lbc.co.uk/news/israel-prepared-to-go-berserk-on-iran-security-minister-rishi-sunak-restraint/

So where to next?? What is rational and “proportional defense” in the heat and cloud of the mutual hatred that is often unleashed during war?

One cautionary qualifier is always warranted no matter which parties are involved in cycles of violence.

All of us are always responsible to “maintain our own humanity in the face of evil”. To ensure that we do not lose our humanity.

As Joseph Campbell stated: “For love is exactly as strong as life. And when life produces what the intellect names evil, we may enter into righteous battle, contending ‘from loyalty of heart’: however, if the principle of love (Christ’s “Love your enemies”) is lost thereby, our humanity too will be lost. ‘Man’, in the words of the American novelist Hawthorne, ‘must not disclaim his brotherhood even with the guiltiest’” (Myths To Live By).

How do we do this? We orient our minds to humane ideas and related responses/behaviors that will help ensure that we maintain our humanity in all situations.

For one: We should always embrace a plan for a future where we have to cooperatively live with our enemies, even next door to them. It has to be a future where we mutually commit to break free of the endless downward spirals of ‘eye for eye’ treatment of one another (“getting even… tit for tat… justice as punitive destruction…”). Meaning, a mutual understanding to rise above and resist the impulse to retaliatory responses to offenses, knowing that retaliation renders us petty and inhuman. Add here that there is no future in perpetuating tribalism that too often fuels accompanying hatred, division, and punitive retaliation toward differing others.

But yes, in the present we are responsibly obligated to defend ourselves from, especially, those committed to our downfall, to overturning our freedoms and way of life, as in Russian and Chinese aggression and long-game goals of overturning the Classic Liberal world order to impose their totalitarian collectivism on humanity.

And this obligation to defend applies even more to the Israel/Hamas/Iran situation, where Israel’s neighbors are committed to repeated violent assault and eventual extermination of all Jews.

With Israel the defense issue is complex because you are left with no option but to take forceful defensive action against those committed to your extermination and who refuse to surrender peacefully. You have no other choice but to eliminate that threat because the Hamas leaders have told you that they will attack “again and again” (using ceasefires to recover, re-arm and prepare for the next assault), till you are exterminated. You cannot reason with the irrational, religiously-inspired tribal hatred that fuels such groups.

And these recent Hamas/Iran assaults push us again to confront the religious ideas that incite, guide, and validate such savagery such as committed by Hamas on Oct.7.

Religious ideas are the most dangerous of all because “men never do worse evil than when they do it in the name of God”. Or as Blaise Pascal stated it: “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction”. The belief that God smiles on one’s treatment of others with brutality is the greatest delusion to fall prey to.

This site has long engaged and repeated a notable complex of religious ideas (presented above) that have deformed human consciousness for millennia, ideas that have endlessly incited and validated our worst inherited impulses to harm one another. These ideas continue to dominate the world religions and have even been embraced in the modern era in new “secular ideological” versions. These ideas shaped Marxist violence in the 20th Century and continue to incite and guide the resurging Marxism of today. They also shaped Nazism and are now shaping environmental alarmism. Historians who research “apocalyptic millennial movements” have traced these ideas/themes in the above movements and their destructive impacts.

I would repeat Richard Landes summarizing statement regarding Hitler and the Nazis: If you dismiss Hitler as just another madman, then you have missed the real point of that insanity and you have learned nothing. And you will just repeat the same mistake of not confronting the inciting/validating ideas behind such movements. We need to understand the power of apocalyptic millennialism to incite societies toward mass-death crusades.

Landes and others have set forth the endlessly repeated patterns in apocalyptic movements, how the thinking of true believers develops throughout the life of a movement, and the dangerous outcomes of minds possessed with the fallacy of apocalyptic millennialism.

The fuller complex of apocalyptic millennial myths (again, outlined above) includes the idea of a lost paradise (something ruined and lost that must be recovered/restored), the subsequent decline of life toward the threat of imminent apocalyptic destruction, the felt need to make a sacrifice, the demand to actively purge the great threat to one’s society and existence- i.e. some demonized enemy that must be exterminated in order to protect oneself from extermination, the demand to heroically engage a righteous battle and slay the monster/enemy, the evil, and then, having exterminated the evil threat, the achievement of the promised millennial utopia or restored paradise- i.e. true believers acting as agents to exterminate evil then prepare the way to bring God down into life (to walk again with God in the garden as Adam and Eve supposedly did in a purified world).

A critically dangerous feature to note in relation to apocalyptic millennialism is the belief of true believers that they must become “active agents” to ensure that the apocalypse will actually occur, to instigate the violent purification of evil from the world, and that then becomes the preparation for the installation of restored paradise or new utopian kingdom of God.

The comments below on ISIS apply to Hamas, Iran, and in a wider manner also apply to most religions as well as to “secular/ideological” crusades. It’s the same old ideas in differing versions, whether religious or secular, and the same old outcomes.

Remember also, Ellen’s point that the belief in a God who uses violence to solve problems, as in the Biblical God, that violent deity then becomes the inspiring model that validates followers to also use violence to solve problems.

This author below (Boston University) analyzes how ISIS operated in Syria but, again, the beliefs and principles that ISIS followed are similar across all such movements. These same beliefs and principles apply to Christian apocalyptic movements, as well as to the secular/ideological versions of these movements.

I insist repeatedly that it is the same complex of ideas behind these varied religions, and their secular cousins. The same ideas that incite and validate tribal dualism, hatred of the differing others, and punitive destruction as justice or righteous battle. Ideas that shape emotions, thinking, motivation, and response/behavior.

Where ISIS believed that if they would attack then the Mahdi (Muslim savior) or God would intervene to finish the destruction of the enemy, and purge all evil from life, so Christians share similar beliefs in an apocalyptic ending and purging, and the descent of Lord Jesus to bring in the paradisal kingdom, heaven on earth. Do not doubt how these beliefs can incite true believers to take action to ensure the prophesies become fulfilled.

https://www.bu.edu/history/files/2015/04/The-Coming-Final-Battle1.pdf

Quotes:

“Many Muslims anticipate that the end of days is here, or will be here soon. In a 2012 Pew poll, in most of the countries surveyed in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, half or more Muslims believe that they will personally witness the appearance of the Mahdi. In Islamic eschatology, the messianic figure known as the Mahdi (the Guided One) will appear before the Day of Judgment….

“ISIS is trying deliberately to instigate a war between Sunnis and Shi’a, in the belief that a sectarian war would be a sign that the final times have arrived…

“Violent apocalyptic groups tend to see themselves as participating in a cosmic war between good and evil, in which ordinary moral rules do not apply….

“Like other apocalyptic groups in history, ISIS’s stated goal is to purify the world and create a new era, in which a more perfect version of Islam is accepted worldwide….

“Appealing to apocalyptic expectation is an important part of ISIS’s modus operandi. And goading the West into a final battle in Syria is a critical component of the scenario.”

The author of the above also notes that Muslim clerics urged their followers to engage jihad as “a sign that the end is nigh”. Again, true believers engaged “active agency” (violent agency) to precipitate the onset of the end of days. They engaged the purging of the evil enemy, to thereby prepare the way for God to fulfill the true believer’s millennial hopes by intervening to establish the new heavenly kingdom.

These are the elements of the very dangerous theology that is operating behind the Hamas and the Iranian attacks of today, and also behind related groups. Richard Landes, along with others, has detailed the patterns in these apocalyptic millennial crusades, and the special danger when these movements shift toward the belief that they face an “exterminate or be exterminated” stage of conflict. That is the desperation stage where true believers feel that they must actively incite the final purging of the world, a great Armageddon battle, in order to prepare for the descent of God to install their hoped-for paradise.

A sidebar note: Similar “destroy life to save the world” beliefs operate in climate alarmism- another “profoundly religious movement”. Look what is happening with the insanity of decarbonization that is the cutting edge of de-development, de-growth, de-civilization, and its looney-toon cousins like de-carceration of violent criminals, and de-prosecution (Hey, crime is way down, says the FBI. But smart fact-checking folks come back with- Of course it appears to be down, because you no longer prosecute violent criminals and their crimes. Duh.)

This comment from Landes on Nazism as similar to the Islamic extremist versions of the same apocalyptic millennialism where true believers feel they must engage active agency to ensure their end of days prophesies are fulfilled, notably in starting great final apocalyptic battles with enemies:

“The religious world out of which Hitler’s particular millennialism arose was that of the theosophical trends… In Germany it took a peculiar turn toward a racist mythology known as Ariosophy…. The ‘Great War’ (WW1) was only the opening act of the final drama… racist Ariosophists saw it as the onset of the final apocalyptic battle…”

Then more from Landes on the apocalyptic millennial movements of our day…

Landes’ chapters on the emergence and development of Marxism are good on the psychology of totalitarianism- i.e. the feverish dreams of perfecting human society into a millennial paradise freed of the evil of this present world order, the subsequent failure of the dream to materialize, and then the disillusion and bitterness with failure (cognitive dissonance). Disappointment, says Landes, then trips a switch and the apocalyptic millennial zealots shift to “coercive purification”- i.e. to force the arrival of the millennium. This is the “active apocalyptic” stage of such revolutions- i.e. to purge the old world in order to prepare the way for the new world. Today’s apocalyptic movements exhibit beliefs and actions that are no different from Zoroaster’s apocalyptic vision (circa 1500 BCE) that divine violence would exhibit itself with molten metal burning over the earth to purge away the evil, and through that purging, thereby open the way to restore the lost paradise or install the new kingdom.

Says Landes, “When the believer awaits no God or supernatural force to intervene, apocalyptic transformations must take place as a result of human action, and both the destruction of the old world and the building of the new become key events. Even using the term secular in a religious sense, ‘secular’ apocalyptic is virtually synonymous with active, indeed hyperactive apocalyptic: humans replace God as the active agent in the creation of the millennium… This peculiar… aspect of secular millennialism- the complete shift of responsibility, of agency, from divine to human forces- sets many of these movements on the road to totalitarianism.”

Out of disillusionment with the failure of their socialist revolutions, Landes notes the common response of Marxist apocalyptic millennialists to double down on the dream (“upping the ante”) and then to abandon gradual democratic transformation to, instead, embrace coercive purification as in purging the evil that prevents the onset of the millennial dream, exterminating those who block the onset of the millennium (i.e. whether opponents, or fellow socialists who differ, or those who lack similar zeal for the millennial crusade).

Leaders of apocalyptic millennial movements such as Marx, Lenin, Mao, and others, embraced violent coercive purification, justified by their proclaimed conviction that they were doing so out of compassion, out of love and concern to free people from their enslavement to the old world order. And where the oppressed don’t cooperate, then they must be forced to be “free”. And if many must die to achieve the dream of greater collective good, so be it. Sacrifice is believed necessary to achieve the greater good of the new world order- “brutal violence that must inevitably pave the way to the kingdom of love and brotherhood.”

Further…

“Marx’s millennial ideology operated as he hoped: it triggered repeated attempts at violent active cataclysmic apocalyptic movements (revolutions)… (but) like to many apocalyptic hopefuls, European radicals faced terrible disappointments with all the cognitive dissonance such experiences inflicted… How did the most determined of the modern (apocalyptic prophets) handle that dissonance? By clinging to the millennial promise; by redating the apocalyptic moment into the near future (postponing the event horizon) and by reframing the apocalyptic scenario and insisting that, to bring redemption closer, one needed to force things by a worst case scenario. If the millennium had not arrived yet, it was because things were not yet bad enough.… (Landes notes the resentment and anger produced by disappointment)…

“Like so many disappointed apocalypse hopefuls, the revolutionaries opted for coercive purity… apocalyptic scapegoats were targeted… Marxism increasingly, indeed with every disappointment, grew more violent and authoritarian…

“In the same way that the Xhosa chose (i.e. the 1856-57 apocalyptic movement in South Africa), with every disappointment to pursue coercive and scapegoating responses to failure, to seek still more self-mutilation in order to earn the millennium, so did some Marxists in pursuit of theirs. The worse it got, the better…”.

“Totalitarianism… is not so much inherent in ideology, as it is in certain millennial ideologies that, following the ‘logic’ of an active and violent apocalyptic scenario… attempt to perfect the world. The ‘logic’ of coercive purity ultimately attempts to destroy… human freedom… totalitarian societies want ‘salvation’ and demand the people’s ‘soul’… their obsession with ‘redeeming’ their chosen people at any cost to private life… their terrifying willingness to engage in ‘coercive purification’ as a means to accomplish their visionary goals with the stunning number of lives lost as a result.”

You will never solve the violence the eye for eye cycles until go to the root influence like these apocalyptic millennial myths and make fundamental changes in narratives, replacing these violence inducing themes with better alternatives. We have long had the alternatives… the Jesus insights, along with others like Laotzi’s, Mandelas, Gandhis and more…

See below- “Humanity’s worst ideas, better alternatives”, or “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”.

Now back to the Israeli/Hamas/Iran situation…

Further notes on “defensive” response: Wendell Krossa

Most of us can understand that “eye for eye” cycles of payback, punishment, revenge leads too often to destructive outcomes, even to potential eruptions of mass-death. But oh, the complexity of real-world situations.

First, most can recognize that pacifist responses just don’t work in the face of intractable evil, committed evil. Attackers, like the Iranian proxy Hamas, are committed to the total destruction of Israel, to the extermination of Jews. And they do not appear willing to surrender peacefully. What then would be the rational, reasonable response to such commitment? And if Iran gets nukes, do we doubt they will act similarly crazy? So what does “legitimate defense” mean now in the face of such madness?

And for all his faults (that’s my nod to the need to make a distinction between personality and policy), Trump understood that you don’t tell these threatening groups what your response will be. Let them keep guessing. Keep them off guard. Biden, before Russia invaded Ukraine, re-assured the Russians that there would be no US soldiers on the ground to counter any attack, and if they took the Dunbas region, he would do nothing. Re-assuring there would be no pushback if they attacked. How did that work out?

So with others threatening violent attack, like an aggressive Iran, Biden keeps re-assuring them that the US does not want conflict and will do nothing, and to add to his proclaimed non-response, he scolds Israel for taking defensive action that is among the most humane anywhere (i.e. warning civilians of coming bombing raids).

Biden and Co. don’t seem to get that we are facing threats that are not rational, not amenable to reason and peace initiatives, and that live, as bullies do, by aggression, unless stood up to. At least Trump would have kept them guessing and that may function more effectively as a preventative to attack.

And also in the mix of Hamas insanity is the irrational element of hatred fueled by religious ideas, hatred as an advanced and divinely approved state of righteousness. Hamas and co-groups are death cults that idolize martyrdom, death as glory, and fighting and dying for God as the road to blissful eternity. You cannot reason with such God-besotted minds, you cannot appease such zealotry. The only rationality involved is the psychopathic manipulation of goodwill for advantage over the long term (i.e. agree to ceasefires in order to recover and re-arm for further attacks).

My point in this- pacifism (much as we may admire the spirit of the pacifist) does not work in a world of bad actors committed to destruction of those who disagree with them. Add psychopathy to the mix- the absence of empathy, the lack of any concern for the harm that is done to others.

No people are more dangerous than people fueled with religious beliefs like apocalyptic millennialism. It incites the most basic of survival fears, paranoid fears of existential threats from demonized enemies out to dominate or exterminate. Such beliefs have incited mass death movements like nothing else in history. Landes, Mendel, Herman, and others detail how such ideas fueled, not just religious apocalyptic millennial movements, but also the Marxist and Nazi mass-death movements and now influence the environmental decarbonization crusade.

So what does legitimate defense and responsibility to protect the innocent mean? Do we want to wait till Iran is nuclear armed to find out? That is religiously incited and validated hatred of the differing other. That means it’s a notch above normal hate. It is God-approved hate and destruction. Like those Crusaders of a millennium ago praying in the streets of Jerusalem as they slaughtered Muslims, till the blood ran as high as their ankles- the blood of men, women, and children. They prayed and thanked God that they could take part in the slaughter of God’s enemies.

So are pre-emptive strikes to disarm such threat the best call now? We can only hope the political and military leaders will make the right calls, tempered by awareness of the long-term goal of acting humanely now as necessary for an eventual more peaceful world.

Here is more of the Landes comment on apocalyptic millennial movements, critical to understanding either the religious versions as in Hamas/Iran, and the secular versions as in Marxism and climate alarmism

Selected quotations from “Heaven On Earth” by Richard Landes, specifically from his Ch. 9 on “Democratic Millennialism” as in the French Revolution that turned horrifically violent.

Landes’ insights on the dynamics operating in the French Revolution are particularly helpful in understanding the emergence of authoritarianism in left-wing or progressive movements today as outlined by Christine Brophy in her research on “Narcissism Behind Left-Wing Authoritarianism: New psychological research finds that behind the progressive ‘be kind’ agenda often lies a far darker set of motivations”.

https://public.substack.com/p/christine-brophy-narcissism-and-agreeableness

Note, in particular, the extreme danger that arises as apocalyptic millennial crusades begin to fail and the apocalyptic true believers, facing humiliation, loss of influence/power, and fearing retaliation from opponents or from their own fellow believers, then become desperate to fire up zeal and keep the crusade going at fever pitch. This is when some turn to the violence of “coercive purification” that leads to mega-destruction and mass-death outcomes (think here of the increasingly mad push for Net Zero decarbonization despite growing evidence of widespread harm to both humans and the natural world).

This research (Brophy, Landes, and others) probes “the dark side of compassion”, how proclaimed compassion for victims has repeatedly turned violent and even led to mega-death outcomes as we saw with Marxist regimes over the last century that proclaimed their crusades were liberation movements for the poor and oppressed. You will get my drift of applying this to climate alarmism, and its decarbonization “salvation” scheme, that is already causing significant increased mortality among the most vulnerable, the people that leftists have long claimed they were most compassionate about- the victims they claim to fight for.

And acknowledging the element of “bothsideism”, the Right also needs to confront its own impulses to the same dark side of compassion and consequent resort to “coercive purification” responses and policies.

I would recommend, along with Landes’ book, read also Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”, David Redles’ “Hitler’s Millennial Reich”, and Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”. All give some sense of the profoundly religious nature of the narratives that shaped Marxism and Nazism, and now shape environmental alarmism/climate alarmism. Many young “secular materialists” of today, even claiming to be “atheist”, appear to have little awareness of how profoundly religious their beliefs really are. And, as primitively and irrationally mythological, how their beliefs are entirely distorting of reality and life.

Richard Landes quotes (in some of these quotations Landes is quoting others), see full chapter for much more detail:

“The tale of the French Revolution… constitutes a key story in the grand narrative of Western freedom… as one of the two inaugurating events of the modern world… a progressive demotic millennial movement- one inspired by a desire to perfect the world through egalitarian ideals. It entered apocalyptic time with an active, transformative scenario- legislate the just society in the context of widespread popular enthusiasm. But gradually, as the ‘voluntaristic’ effort failed, and with the inauguration of what they called the ‘Terror’, adopted an active cataclysmic scenario (only through merciless violence could the transformation come)….

“The close connection between the secular and religious manifestations of demotic millennialism… modern revolutionary thought is a more effective form of millennialism… How then did such non-, even anti-religious beliefs have anything to do with millennialism?… the secular turn of millennialism came… from a shift from passive to active apocalyptic scenarios, which involved a mutation in the response to the failure of apocalyptic prophecies…

Then Landes comments on the newly aroused desire in the French population for equality, the awakening of hopes for a better life and future, “A return to paradise on earth and the entry of apocalyptic discourse into public life… now is the time to fundamentally change the social order and passions swing from wild enthusiasms to paranoid panic…. and retaliation soon follows… no one dared to contradict the intoxication which swept up everyone’s spirits… the historian underestimates at his or her own peril the power of enthusiasm at such moments”…..

This is the result of the stirring of hopes in France for the new world of democratic millennialism- “The expressions of messianic joy that swept through France, flying on the wings of a suddenly potent ideology of human dignity and freedom, equality and fellowship”. This was a rebellion against the old oppressive aristocratic order….

“Millennialism doth make many hopeful fools… For the French Revolution, the millennial hope lay… in Rousseau’s theories of freedom and the general will… the desire of all… in reality, freeing the popular voice could lead to mob violence and vigilantism… the most idealistic of the revolutionaries believed that liberty went hand in hand with virtue….

“The descent of the Revolution into terror constitutes the most troubling issue for historians, particularly ones who thrill to the messianic slogan ‘liberte, egalite, fraternite’… Terror was predetermined by the ideology…. Looking at the advent of the Terror as a result of millennial disappointment… The problem of the revolutionaries, as for all apocalyptic believers, arose when, inevitably, their millennial premises proved false. Apocalyptic time does not last long; millennial moments rapidly lose their ardor. And when they do, they come crashing down to earth…

“Then the revolution began to tread the path of suspicion and distrust, from betrothal to betrayal… they believe that their trajectory goes straight up it the orbit of millennial salvation, and the cognitive dissonance of finding themselves still stuck in the banal reality of human failure and corruption… fills them with fear and loathing…

(Note on revolutionary’s impatience) “Once in power… revolutionaries would see to it that all of society corresponds to their model of purity and perfection… with little or no experience in compromising pragmatically with reality or with opposing points of view and… they would have little patience with anything or anyone inconsistent with their theories. If character and biography predisposed the revolutionary rationalist to totalitarian domination, the ideological heritage guided him to it and justified the way he used it… Their response, the ominous formula: ‘They must be forced to be free’…

“Millennial movements provoke apocalyptic responses…

(Landes then comments on the megalomania of apocalytics, their belief that they are at the center of cosmic history and all history culminate in their efforts- existential- and this provokes naturally hostile reactions from others) “They do not admit that domestic problems and foreign threats are due to their errors. And even honest disagreements from opposition are now viewed by the increasingly paranoid revolutionaries as from “the malevolent will to undermine the new and glorious experiment- the work of traitors to the revolution… Their opponents were not brother exercising their newly granted freedom; they were diabolic traitors”…

“The revolutionary vanguard now passed into the most extreme form of the paranoid imperative- ‘exterminate or be exterminated’…

“In revolutionary France paranoia carried the day… the logic of the Terror followed a classic… psychological and apocalyptic dynamic. Once successful, the best of intentions and finest expressions of demotic values launch an egalitarian experiment at once immensely powerful and enthusing, and also extremely vulnerable… the fear of vengeance from the now overthrown powers becomes a major concern…

“All too often, in these experiments that come to life in bursts of megalomaniacal enthusiasm, fears of vulnerability give way to ruthless paranoia… Historians have puzzled over the seeming incongruity of the pacifist sentiments of precisely the most bloodthirsty drivers of the Reign of Terror…

“Terror… serves as the destructive force that clears away the rot of the old world… And when God fails to inflict the terror, the task falls to those who could carry out God’s millennial promises… Anxiety, paranoia, and apocalyptic bloodlust… To active transformational apocalyptic believers… disappointment brings primarily humiliation… to active cataclysmic ones…

disappointment brings panic at the retaliation that will surely result from failure. (Apocalyptics) typically behave aggressively… when the expectation (of the old passing away in apocalypse) the ‘revelation’ becomes a nightmare of anticipated retribution. When this realistic fear joins with the cosmic humiliation of prophecy failed, such post-apocalyptic activists can plunge headlong into the paranoia of ‘exterminate or be exterminated’…

“Paranoic produces aggression… first fear, then aggression… exacerbated it …with both provocative rhetoric and behavior… to ask for acts of pragmatic calculation … defy the very logic of millennial ambitions…

“Rousseau’s dictum that… the general will could ‘force a man to be free’- became the driving ideological force of the Terror, or, in religious terms, ‘coercive purity’… a ruthless coercive purity that forces then to be ‘free’ in a state that uses terror to exact conformity… apocalyptic thinking… rationality… quickly cede to the imperative of sustaining the heat of apocalyptic time…

“In their disorientation, anxiety, and fear of vulnerability, the people demanded blood. It reassured them. It allowed them to project the evil and feel aggrieved; it slackened their thirst for vengeance…

“Millennial passions ride believers, digging their spurs deep into their mount’s flanks…

“The apocalyptic turn from transformative to violent even cataclysmic scenarios, from persuasion to coercive purity, had begun in earnest and brought with it a shift from demotic to imperial millennialism…

“Linguistic purity… The way in which the language question played out in the French Revolution follows closely the pattern of capacious diversity turning into dogmatic uniformity that so consistently marks the shift from demotic, voluntaristic to hierarchical, coercive apocalyptic styles….

“Revolt of the Vendee in 1793… Both sides slaughtered each other with the pitiless violence so characteristic of the earlier Christian religious wars…

“The mindset of the revolutionaries once they had shifted toward coercive purity has all the earmarks of a self-justifying paranoia. As they threaten and victimize their opponents, they bathe in a sea of self-pity and sense of their own victimization… ‘Here we are faced with a paranoic streak, a strange combination of the most intense and mystical sense of mission with a self-pity that expressed itself in an obsessive preoccupation with martyrdom, death, and even suicide’. In its worst forms, this paranoid omnipotence complex produces the apocalyptic principle of the most nihilistic of cataclysmic scenarios: ‘Destroying the world to save it’…

“And yet all the time, these agents of apocalyptic destruction insist they have nothing but the best intentions… Terrible hopes produce terrible loves. Indeed, the bloodiest crusading can present itself as an ‘act of love’…

“Historians of revolutionary France have shown little interest in understanding their Revolution in light of the dynamics of other millennial movements. The… French Revolution was such a movement, that its shift to terror was characteristic of millennial movements that take power… the psychology of messianism with its zeal, contradictions, and megalomaniac paranoia… tracked the slide of well-intentioned believers from an imminently perfect world into a nightmare of self-destructive terror…

“The phenomenon of millennialism… the link… between (exalted) ideology, (less exalted) emotions like revenge, paranoia, and rage, and (murderous) action. Perhaps one of the major blocks to recognizing the link derives from the profound attachment of progressives to those who claim to work for ‘the underdog’, sympathy for whom is ‘a psychological feature common to all humanitarian movements’…

“The history of leftist revolutions has, with terrifying regularity, gone from espousing the highest progressive values in the early stages, to mega-slaughters of their own people in subsequent stages, all to a chorus of approval and excuses from fellow travellers…

“They look at the psychological dynamics… about what circumstances… led the revolutionaries to tread so extraordinary path of betraying the very values with which they started… current dramas playout similar dynamics… this political debate about the excesses of well-intentioned leftist revolutionaries… they are the inheritors of the millennarian and apocalyptic collectivisms of Antiquity and of the Middle Ages…

“The denial that they are millennialists among both the eighteenth-century secular actors and their twentieth-century admirers at once disguises these origins and fuels the worst kind of repetition…

(quoting Nemo) “1793… is millennialism. It is a shameful religion, unconscious of itself because it presents itself as atheism, secularism, and materialism, but actually functions psychologically and sociologically as millennialism. I call this ersatz religion the ‘Left’ with a capital L, taking the word not in its parliamentary or partisan sense, but in its spiritual sense, a mysticism that will not brook discussion, resists all rational objection based on facts, and, on occasion, lifting whole mountains…

“I would like to propose a different kind of ‘millennial’ reading of the Revolution…. Let us consider the entire episode millennial, one in which we find, over the course of an apocalyptic curve, a characteristic shift from transformational demotic to cataclysmic hierarchical millennialism… the apocalyptic millennial one focuses specifically on a central paradox: the clash between perfectionist ideals and bitter disappointment…

“A sincere liberal impulse produced the ‘neo-liberals’… the more perfectionist the search for the millennium- ‘absolute freedom’- the more devastating the failure and the more violent the response to it. Nor need that failure derive from ‘pure’ motives: the base fears and desires that inform everyday decisions can mask themselves in ‘idealistic motives’ both as private and public justification….

“It is precisely the ‘good conscience’ of the totalitarian, the conviction that he does this for his victims, that he is ‘saving’ both them and others, that marks the true believer… (Communists in Russia) at the highest pitch of apocalyptic time, turned to state terror as a solution to the disappointments they faced…

“Neither external circumstances nor ideology alone make for the potent brew that leads to terror and its institutional offspring, totalitarianism. Rather, it is what happens to demotic millennialism (‘democratic political messianism’) when its millennial premises have failed, and cognitive dissonance set in precisely as the revolution feels threatened from without and within. At once fear and impatience seize hold of at least some of the actor, who believe that they alone can save the perilous situation… they turn a transformative scenario into a cataclysmic one, where they ‘up the ante’ and move from persuasion to coercive purity….

“These patterns may be powerfully compelling… it would happen again- often in even more violent forms- in Russia, China, Syria, Iraq, Cambodia, Iran. But such developments are not inevitable; it had not happened in the US in 1781, nor would it happen in Israel in 1948… the circumstances of external threat and internal dissension, militated for totalitarianism, rather than a democracy of tolerant dissent…

“(French Revolution)… 1789 was the voluntaristic transformative, and 1793, the coercive cataclysmic apocalyptic drive for demotic millennium… 1793 came as an unanticipated response to its failure whereby the same revolutionaries transgressed to many of the very values they initially upheld. And until we begin to sort out what makes some revolutions like the French and Communist ones, turn in their disappointment to coercive purity and others to retreat from that headlong dive into apocalyptic mega-violence, we cannot hope to learn how to deal with future manifestation of revolutionary millennialism, homegrown or foreign.” (End of quotes from Historian Richard Landes).

Landes then takes this into his next chapter (“Egalitarian Millennialism”) to explain and confirm that Marxism was/is an apocalyptic millennial crusade, despite Marx and Engel’s efforts to frame their ideological revolution as “secular/scientific history”. He shows how the French Revolution shaped Marxism and Nazism, and later environmentalism. Added note: Former socialist Muravchik in his history of collectivism (“Heaven On Earth”) notes that a critical difference between the French and American revolutions was the French push to include “equity” (equal outcomes) as the responsibility of states to guarantee. The American revolution would only protect “equality” as the general principle of equal status/rights/freedoms and opportunity, not equal outcomes.

Related material

And on that old persistent psychopathology of apocalypse:

There is nothing more irresponsible and insane than panic mongering over looming apocalypse. Traumatizing a generation of young people and pushing alarmed populations to embrace irrational and destructive salvation schemes like decarbonization. In the name of common human decency, stop it.

The cutting edge of the resurging totalitarianism/collectivism in the West today (more on patterns in alarmism movements) Wendell Krossa

Those among us who want to vent their pathological impulse to control others, the totalitarian impulse, begin by manufacturing fear of some purported “crisis/emergency”. They incite people’s survival impulse, thereby rendering people more susceptible to their “salvation” schemes (i.e. “save democracy, save society, save the world”).

H. L. Mencken: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary”.

This madness of insanely exaggerated alarmism is beaten into our consciousness daily in media. Just note the endless stream of alarmist news titles with terms like “catastrophic…. Emergency…. Crisis…. Worst on record…” and other terms affirming apocalyptic prophesies that the ‘end-is-nigh’. Add the obsession with endless setting and resetting of “end of days” dates to intensify a sense of imminent danger.

Panic mongers, driven by the narrative feature that the hero must vanquish a monster/enemy in order to save something, then in their perversion of the hero’s quest, create a monster, an enemy who they claim poses a great existential threat to life, to all. They then demonize the enemy as the worst ever, or as in their climate alarmism crusade, make the claim that natural weather changes today are “the worst on record ever”. The point in demonizing your enemy is to justify treating them inhumanely. So you first need to dehumanize as much as can- smearing with the ultimate pejoratives of evil, as “Hitler, Nazi, racist, bigot, terrorist, threat to democracy, threat to life and the world, etc.”.

Once you have alarmed people with threat, and your enemy as the greatest threat ever, now your targeted population of people will clamor for salvation. Add the element of chaos to the mix (sense of collapsing law and order, collapsing society- a favorite go-to technique of nihilist, anarchist revolutionaries whether ideological or religious).

Marxist scholar, James Lindsay, on a recent Joe Rogan podcast (episode 2119) noted that the open US southern border is contributing to the collapse of systems in US cities thereby creating an environment that the state can then use to institute strong measures such as the military now patrolling New York subways (he cautioned about “conspiracy theories” but added there was evidence to back such concerns).

Chaos and collapse enable the panic-mongers to prep populations to embrace their salvation schemes with promises to lead them to salvation. Much as WEF head Klaus Schwab argued that Covid chaos and lockdowns provided the model for climate lockdowns and the opportunity to institute his “Great Reset” where market capitalism would be changed for a new economic system along the lines of the anti-democratic Chinese model that he greatly admires (also admired by Justin Trudeau and his colleague Chrystia Freeland who is on the WEF board).

As noted above, also add “imminence” to your mix of panic-mongering. Now you have created the situation where you are justified to act immediately with “coercive purification” responses. Immediacy of threat justifies rejecting the normal protocols of freedom and democracy as a dangerous block to saving the world, and those dissenting to your salvation schemes now pose a dangerous threat to all. Hence, they must be censored, silenced, banned, even criminalized as intolerable threats to all that is good. Dissenters to coercive state approaches then face smears as advocates of “Russian/foreign disinformation, proponents of hate speech, racism, domestic terrorism, threat to democracy… etc.”.

Relating this to the left-wing assault on liberal democracies, the new totalitarian collectivism being forced onto societies… Often under the guise of noble crusade for “safety” as in protecting people from “harmful disinformation, hate speech, racism, bullying, etc.” ( https://www.thefp.com/p/censorship-in-the-name-of-safety-natcon-usc ). In reality the Brussels forceful police intervention to shut down a conservative conference for “safety” reasons was “a cowardly cover for an ulterior motive… They tried to shut down this conference because they know that national conservatism is the greatest threat to the totalitarian, liberal NGO-cracy in Brussels”.

And this illustrative piece… “Governments are creating a fake hate panic to censor, interfere in elections, and imprison their political enemies: Watch what’s happening in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Brazil, and the EU”, Mar. 22, 2024, Michael Shellenberger

https://public.substack.com/p/governments-are-creating-a-fake-hate

Quotes:

“A few weeks after the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel, the Director of the FBI said, “Our most immediate concern is that violent extremists—individuals or small groups—will draw inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks against Americans going about their daily lives. That includes not just homegrown violent extremists inspired by a foreign terrorist organization but also domestic violent extremists targeting Jewish or Muslim communities.”

“And indeed, in the three months after October 7, the Anti-Defamation League recorded 3,291 anti-Jewish incidents, which was a 361-percent increase compared to the same period one year prior.

“But the terrorist attacks the FBI Director warned about never arrived, and all but 56 of those 3,291 incidents were nonviolent, consisting of hate speech, vandalism, and rallies. And ADL has inflated its recorded number of nonviolent incidents by counting certain political speech as hate speech….

“In truth, most forms of violence have been declining in Western nations for centuries, even millennia.

“To the extent governments and NGOs are recording more so-called “hate speech,” it’s because people today are far more likely to label speech “hateful” than were people just a few decades ago. By almost every measure, our tolerance of racial, sexual, and religious minorities is at an all-time high.

“And we should also be very wary of governments hyping terrorism since it leads to abuses of power. After 9/11, the hyping of terrorism fears allowed the US to invade a country we never should have invaded, occupy a country we shouldn’t have occupied, use kidnapping and torture as standard operating procedures, and violate fundamental civil liberties.

“Now, it appears that the US and other governments around the world are hyping hate in order to weaponize the government against their political enemies.

“Ever since the 2019 shooting in New Zealand, governments have been using so-called hate speech, fake news, and misinformation as justifications for censorship. In Ireland, the government is pushing hate speech legislation that would allow police to invade homes and seize phones and computers. In Canada, Justin Trudeau is pushing legislation that would allow the government to sentence individuals to life in prison for things they said….

“The focus on so-called “hatred,” “harmful content,” and “extremist content” is dangerous. What one person thinks is extreme, another person may view as common sense.

“For the government to decide what is “extreme” is a way of labeling someone as a potential terrorist threat. We saw this clearly with the Trudeau government’s outrageous suppression of the Canadian trucker protesters in Ottawa, in which people’s bank accounts were frozen simply for supporting the anti-vaccine mandate protest movement…

“There is no reliable connection between people’s beliefs and violence. Attempting to stop violence by censoring speech is totalitarian and Orwellian. It effectively criminalizes speech and creates a new category of “pre-crime,” as depicted in the dystopian film Minority Report….

“The Biden administration is trying to portray Trump supporters as violent extremists…. governments routinely abuse understandable public fears in order to take away our fundamental rights, including our ability to criticize the very people who are seeking to censor us.”

More from Shellenberger on the pathology of today’s totalitarianism

“The Narcissism and Psychopathy of Seizing Trump’s Assets: Attorney General Letitia James could freeze the Republican front-runner’s back accounts, thus interfering in the presidential election, and rattling financial markets”, Mar.23, 2024, Michael Shellenberger, Alex Gutentag

https://public.substack.com/p/the-narcissism-and-psychopathy-of

And another– “They want to keep you afraid: Here’s the good news, it will only work if you let them”, Michael Shellenberger, Mar.19, 2024

https://public.substack.com/p/they-want-to-keep-you-afraid

And this on terrorizing and traumatizing kids with profoundly irresponsible climate alarmism. First, the adults terrorize the kids with wildly exaggerated claims of climate change and then worry about the emotional and psychological impacts of what they have promoted and propagandized children with…

“How long before climate change will destroy the Earth?: Questions from 10-14 year old kids’ Eric Worrall, Mar.21, 2024

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/03/22/how-long-before-climate-change-will-destroy-the-earth-questions-from-10-14yr-old-kids/

“My question – where is the climate class action lawsuit on behalf of kids who suffered mental health damage at the hands of climate educators?…

“In Australia, research shows 43% of children aged 10 to 14 are worried about the future impact of climate change, and one in four believe the world will end before they grow up….

“How did we let this education disaster happen?

“There is zero chance anthropogenic climate change in the foreseeable future will make the world uninhabitable for humans. The proof is that our monkey ancestors thrived in a much hotter world. The Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, 5-8C hotter than today, was the age of monkeys. Our monkey ancestors thrived on the abundance of the hothouse PETM, and colonised much of the world, only retreating when the cold returned.

“If a bunch of monkey ancestors with brains the size of matchboxes could figure out how to thrive in a hothouse world, we could certainly manage.

“Having said that, it is doubtful if anthropogenic CO2 could recreate anything like the hothouse conditions of the PETM, even if we burned every scrap of recoverable fossil fuel on the planet. Not only is the CO2 band of the atmosphere almost completely saturated, which severely limits the impact of additional CO2 on global temperature, the Earth has experienced significant geological changes since the PETM such as the establishment of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current 33 million years ago, which continues to exert a substantial cooling effect on the global climate. The Earth’s current geology is currently aligned so strongly against warming, from a geological perspective we are in the middle of an ice age, the Quarternary Glaciation.

“But kids are not being taught this basic science, this unequivocal proof that even if global warming occurs, global warming is not a threat to human survival and prosperity.

“What really outraged me, a sizeable fraction of kids (1 in 4) believe the world will end before they grow up. Some of them feel guilty about “consumptive practices” they believe are wrecking the planet, which presumably includes eating meat and other high carbon, high calorie foods which kids need to develop to their maximum potential. Even worse, those children have been made to feel a deep sense of responsibility – even though, as kids, they have very little responsibility for the state of the planet.

“How many of those one in four kids who believe the world is about to end will turn to hard drugs or other self-destructive behaviours, to escape the pain and guilt and feelings of responsibility, which have been inflicted on them by climate educators? Because we know climate despair is driving kids to abuse hard drugs: Leading rehab specialist Dr. Wodak testified in a government inquiry in 2019 that fear of climate change is a major motivation for kids giving up on life…

“Future generations will look on our era of “climate education” as an age of collective child abuse, and will wonder why nobody stood up to the abusers and put a stop to it. Because there will be a tomorrow, and a day of reckoning….

“This outrageous situation is just begging for a smart lawyer to launch the mother of all class actions, on behalf of drug addicts and mental health patients whose lives were ruined by climate educators.”

The facts on weather

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/03/23/history-of-weather-extremes-reveals-little-has-changed-new-report-shows/

Quotes from the “Executive summary:

“This report refutes the popular but mistaken belief that today’s weather extremes are more common and more intense because of climate change, by examining the history of extreme weather events over the past century or so. Drawing on newspaper archives, it presents multiple examples of past extremes that match or exceed anything experienced in the present day. That so many people are unaware of this fact shows that collective memories of extreme weather are short-lived.

“Heatwaves of the last few decades pale in comparison to those of the 1930s – a period whose importance is frequently downplayed by the media and environmental activists. The evidence shows that the record heat of that time was not confined to the US ‘Dust Bowl’, but extended throughout much of North America, as well as to other countries, such as France, India and Australia. US heatwaves during July 2023, falsely trumpeted by the mainstream media as the hottest month in history, failed to exceed the scorching heat of 1934.” (Full report at link above)

Why are media, hysterical over any warming events, dead silent on this global cooling? Cold is the far greater threat to life, with 10 times more people dying from cold every year than die from warming.

“Unusual Cold Plagues Both Northern, Southern Hemispheres… Arctic Sea Ice Strengthens”, P. Gosselin, Mar. 24, 2024

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/03/24/unusual-cold-plagues-both-northern-southern-hemispheres-arctic-sea-ice-strengthens/

Quotes:

“Unexpected snow in Saudi Arabia

“In the desert of Afif, west of Riyadh, it snowed unexpectedly, both citizens and tourists were shocked….

“Last year (2023), parts of Saudi Arabia saw its first snowfall in 100 years….

“Freezing Australia

“This past week, the Australian continent saw temperature anomalies of up to 28°C below the multi-decadal norm, affecting large regions…

“–57,9°C in Greenland

“Temperatures in Greenland have fallen sharply as the thermometer in Summit showed -55.1 °C on Saturday.

“On Monday it got even colder, falling to -57.9 °C, That’s about 15 °C below the seasonal norm….

“The exceptional cold in the far north has contributed to Arctic sea ice extent to be above the average for the period 2011-2020, and is rapidly approaching the average for the period 2001-2010…

“Obviously the Arctic is surprising the experts, who warned that sea ice there was supposedly in rapid decline.

‘Unusual, record-breaking cold in India

“Intense cold persists in Indian cities like Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Chandbali, Paradeep and Baripada, which are experiencing record-breaking low temperatures. On Wednesday, many places in the eastern state of Odisha experienced the coldest March days ever. In Bhubaneswar, a maximum temperature of only 19.2 °C was recorded yesterday, breaking the previous record of 24.3 °C by a whopping 5°C!

“In northern India, snow from the north is bringing down temperatures in the lower latitudes in central and southern India. In many cities, including the eastern metropolitan cities of Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Chandbali, Paradeep and Baripada, record low March temperatures were recorded, beating benchmarks from the 1970s and beyond.

“Record low in New Zealand

“In the southern hemisphere, where summer has come to an end, the temperature in Whanganui, New Zealand dropped to 4°C on Wednesday morning, the second lowest March temperature in the town’s history….

“New lows recorded in Australia

“A severe cold snap has hit southeastern Australia. In the mountains of New South Wales, there was frost in the Perisher Valley with temperatures as low as -5.7°C. This is only 1.4°C above the national record for the month of March…

“Temperature in Antarctica plummets to near -68°C

“On March 21, the seasonal minimum at Concordia dropped to -67.7°C, from -67.4°C on March 20. Antarctica is cooling, the data is clear…”

“Full report (in German) at EIKE.”

“Metaphysical bullshit”? Yes, but…. Wendell Krossa

“Let’s get rid of all this metaphysical bullshit”, argued an exasperated atheist. OK, I basically agree, wise guy. There is too much primitive metaphysical stuff distorting reality in our worldviews. But get the full extent of the problem- primitive metaphysical ideas still dominate human narratives, in both religious and secular/ideological, even scientific versions. Notably the themes of “lost paradise, life declining toward something worse, toward apocalypse, and demand for sacrifice/redemption”.

Take the theme of Declinism. Arthur Herman (“The Idea of Decline in Western History) rightly notes that the idea of Decline is “the most dominant and influential idea in the world today”. Declinism is the central feature of apocalyptic mythology (life declining toward something worse, toward ending). And be real clear that this is metaphysical myth that is entirely distorting of the real state of life. Julian Simon has exposed the fallacy of Declinism in his brilliant Ultimate Resource.

Further, the survival fear that Declinism arouses feeds the felt need for redemption, salvation, survival. Hence, the willingness of alarmed populations to submit to salvation schemes that demand some sacrifice to appease either wrathful God, vengeful Gaia, angry Planet or pissed Ma Earth, punitive Universe, or payback karma.

And the great sacrifice/salvation scheme today? Decarbonization- the front for de-development, de-growth, de-industrialization, de-everything, as in a return to primitivism. All to “save the world”.

So to our pissed atheist friend, when you decry “metaphysical bullshit”, are you including your own embrace of the very same themes noted above, in their secular/ideological and scientific versions? Like the Declinism that dominated Marxism, Nazism, and now dominates climate alarmism. Take your exasperation with the metaphysical to its destructive influence in all narratives, both religious and secular.

Most are unwilling to reject the metaphysical themes of “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” because they resonate with deeply embedded archetypal ideas, and consequent felt needs that have been beaten into human consciousness and subconscious for millennia. And those ideas continue to generate guilt and shame over our purportedly ruin of an original paradise. Hence, the continuing felt need to appease, make atonement, especially with self-punishment as essential to the demand for sacrifice (suffering as redemptive).

And on another note:

During recent demonstrations in the US people chanted “Death to America”. That has stirred recognition of the failures of a multi-culturalism that just welcomes immigrants without requirement that they leave some of the more barbaric values of their home cultures and embrace the values of Western Classic Liberalism or liberal democracy.

“Honor Killing” is one illustrative example of a barbaric home country value that must be rejected entirely. This belief is rooted in the ancient mythology of “shame/honor” thinking. That if someone feels their honor has been besmirched, that they have been offended and shamed in some manner, then they claim the right to retaliate, to punish the offender, even to use punitive violence to restore their offended honor. And hold your horses, this is not a “racist” discrediting of other cultures. Keep reading as I take this barbaric belief closer to home.

We had a notable Canadian example of this imported barbarity, in a family where the 3 daughters began to enjoy Western dress and dating. That enraged the father, wife, and elder son. It offended their sense of honor. So they killed the second wife and three daughters in a canal drowning. That was the outcome of the shame/honor mythology of that home culture. And the parents and older son went into prison adamant that they had done the right and just thing, according to the value of their home culture. They had to “cleanse shame and restore their offended honor”.

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/dad-killed-daughters-wife-over-western-habits-alleged-honour-killing-trial-hears

And now my point goes wider…

Most of us feel revulsion at such barbaric ideas and behavior. But then take that revulsion closer to home, perhaps uncomfortably close. That same shame/honor belief dominates our Western religions as a central feature of the God of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This is the belief in the “holiness of God” and that this feature in deity takes precedence over the feature of love in deity. Christians will argue in defense of “holiness in deity as the supreme attribute of God”, stating that God, as holy, must punish all sin. Human sin offends the holiness of God, it shames God’s honor, and so God must rightly cleanse that shame and restore his honor by punishing someone.

As Harold Ellens so graphically expresses it- God is enraged at human imperfection and in response must kill someone, either us or his son. So he murders his son in a bloody human sacrifice. And this mythology has dominated the Master Story of Wester civilization for millennia.

Zenon Lotufo (Cruel God, Kind God) quotes Ellens: “There is in Western culture a psychological archetype, a metaphor that has to do with the image of a violent and wrathful God (see Romans, Revelation). Crystallized in Anselm’s juridical atonement theory, this image represents God sufficiently disturbed by the sinfulness of humanity that God had only two options: destroy us or substitute a sacrifice to pay for our sins. He did the latter. He killed Christ.

“Ellens goes on by stating that the crucifixion, a hugely violent act of infanticide or child sacrifice, has been disguised by Christian conservative theologians as a ‘remarkable act of grace’. Such a metaphor of an angry God, who cannot forgive unless appeased by a bloody sacrifice, has been ‘right at the center of the Master Story of the Western world for the last 2,000 years. And the unavoidable consequence for the human mind is a strong tendency to use violence’.

“’With that kind of metaphor at our center, and associated with the essential behavior of God, how could we possibly hold, in the deep structure of our unconscious motivations, any other notion of ultimate solutions to ultimate questions or crises than violence- human solutions that are equivalent to God’s kind of violence’…”. (See full Ellen’s statement below)

The Christian argument in defense of holiness (shame/honor) is that God cannot just freely forgive sin but must first rebalance an upset and offended justice in the cosmos. God, as holy, is obligated to make all wrongs right by punishment.

But why can’t God just forgive freely as Jesus advocated- unconditionally forgive, as argued in the Matthew 5:38-48 or Luke 6: 27-36 summaries of the teaching of Jesus? Just refuse to engage “eye for eye” retaliatory, punitive justice?

Note also how Jesus illustrated this free forgiveness and free acceptance in his story of the Prodigal Father as representing his “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory, unconditionally loving God” (paraphrase of James Robinson with my additions). That Father did not demand a sacrifice first before forgiving and welcoming the wasteful son back. He ordered a free celebration banquet with no prerequisite demands. Unconditional love.

So many similarly bad similar ideas as punitive justice still dominate our narratives and continue to incite and validate bad behavior. The root of the problem is that too many bad ideas have been projected onto deity, given the protection of the untouchable “sacred”, along with barriers to questioning or challenging, such as threats for blasphemy. Hence, bad ideas remain untouched and honored as ultimate truth and right. Hence, humanity’s long-standing ultimate ideal and authority- i.e. deity- has long validated similar thinking and behavior in people.

So go to the real root of the problem and solve it there thoroughly and for the long-term future.

Note also the Mennonite theologians point that punitive Christian theology was the basis for punitive Western justice systems and Ellens’ point that punitive justice in deity influences the same response and behavior in humanity- i.e. punitive justice.

Netflix has another good series out on the problems with Western criminal justice systems- i.e. “Unlocked: A jail experiment”. Listen to those prisoners stating bitterly that “they (the guards) treat us like animals”.

Yes, incarcerate repeatedly violent people but don’t treat them punitively like animals. They are human and respond better to being treated as humans. And additionally, humane treatment of failing others is how we also maintain our own humanity in the face of evil. We degrade and dehumanize our own selves by treating others inhumanely.

The Western orientation to punitive justice operates as a significant block to more humane treatment of criminal offenders. As a lead prison official at Attica said after agreeing that he would prefer the Danish restorative justice approach, but it would be very difficult to engage because “The American public wants punishment”.

Offended holiness (imbalanced eye for eye justice) demands cleansing of shame and restored honor.

This response to a friend in a discussion group who regularly defends the idea of apocalypse, Wendell Krossa

“___, you are trying to salvage the single greatest distortion of reality in history- apocalyptic. The idea of the cosmos, life, and the trajectory civilization declining toward something worse, toward collapse and catastrophic ending distorts the true state of these trajectories. There used to be a cosmic version of this- i.e. the heat-death of the universe but that has been challenged by the discovery of things like eternal cosmic expansion, along with increasing order and complexity. Julian Simon goes over Stephen Hawking’s waffling over the domination of the Second Law in the cosmos and life, in “Ultimate Resource”.

“Other physicists came forward years ago with good material on how the Second Law serves the greater purpose of creating more order. Note the physicists Huber and Mills on this in their books (“Bottomless Well”, etc.) arguing the Second Law is subservient to a greater trend in reality- the creation of more order, more advanced forms of order/organization/complexity.

“So with life on this planet- increasing organization and complexity. Then add Freeman Dyson’s points that if this planet does peter out, then we will by that time already be “Greening the Galaxy”, taking life to other younger planets in our galaxy.

“Its like Jared Diamond’s narrative of civilizations collapsing as the sole truth about civilization. But he misses the larger picture that human civilization overall, while individual societies collapse and disappear, the overall human venture has gone from strength to strength, advancing constantly to ever better states, till, as Humanprogress.org rightly states, today we are in the best time ever to be alive on Earth.

“The fallacy of apocalyptic distorts this fact and truth entirely. And Paul’s Christ myth is most responsible for fostering and promoting this fallacy of decline toward apocalypse in Western narratives and consciousness to horrifically damaging outcomes for the past 2 millennia. Time to let it go. We have a much better narrative today. And it started with Historical Jesus rejecting apocalyptic in his “Love your enemies because God does”. How so?

“The context. He stated there should be no more eye for eye retaliation. He based that ethic on his stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God. He said, stop the eye for eye justice thing because God doesn’t do eye for eye. Instead, God gives sun and rain to all alike, both good and bad. So if God is non-retaliatory, then God will not engage the ultimate act of retaliation- an apocalyptic destruction of the world as the great payback punishment for human sinfulness. Kind of simple logic, eh.” Wendell Krossa

See also this article on the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It illustrates how apocalyptic mythology even permeates “science”.

“Life Need Not Ever End: New interpretations of the laws of thermodynamics suggest the infamous ‘heat death’ hypothesis, which foretells the end of all life and organization in the universe, might not hold”, Bobby Azarian, Feb. 28, 2023

https://www.noemamag.com/life-need-not-ever-end/

Quotes:

“Bobby Azarian is a cognitive neuroscientist, a science journalist and the author of the book “The Romance of Reality: How the Universe Organizes Itself to Create Life, Consciousness and Cosmic Complexity.”

“Perhaps the most depressing scientific idea that has ever been put forth is the infamous “heat death hypothesis.” It is a theory about the future of the universe based on the second law of thermodynamics, which in its most well-known form states that entropy, a complicated and confusing term commonly understood to simply mean “disorder,” tends to increase over time in a closed system. Therefore, if we consider that the universe is itself a closed system, the law seems to suggest that the cosmos is becoming increasingly disorganized. It has also been described by many as “winding down.”

“As such, the second law appears to hold a chilling prophecy for humanity in the very long term. Essentially, it would seem to imply that life is doomed — not just life on Earth, but life anywhere in the cosmos. Consciousness, creativity, love — all of these things are destined to disappear as the universe becomes increasingly disordered and dissolves into entropy. Life would merely be a transient statistical fluctuation, one that will fade away, along with all dreams of our existence having some kind of eternal meaning, purpose or permanence. This bleak idea is known as the “heat death hypothesis,” and the prophecy foretells a future where all pattern and organization has ceased to be. In this cosmological model, everything must come to an end. There is simply no possibility for continual existence.

“Fortunately, the gloomiest theory of all time may just be a speculative assumption based on a misunderstanding of the second law of thermodynamics. For one thing, the law may not be applicable to the universe as a whole, because the types of systems on which it has been empirically tested have well-defined boundaries. The expanding universe does not. Secondly, depending on how one interprets the second law, the inevitable increase in entropy may not correspond to an increase in cosmic disorder.

“In fact, some leading scientists are beginning to think that the cosmos is becoming increasingly complex and organized over time as a result of the laws of physics and the evolutionary dynamics that emerge from them. Seth Lloyd, Eric Chaisson and Freeman Dyson are among the well-known names who have questioned whether “disorder” is increasing in the cosmos. Outside of physics, complexity theorist Stuart Kauffman, neuroscientist Christof Koch and Google’s director of engineering Ray Kurzweil all believe that the universe is not destined to grow more disorganized forever, but more complex and rich with information. Many of them have a computational view of the universe, in which life plays a special role.

“As Paul Davies, a prolific author and a highly respected theoretical physicist, wrote: “We now see how it is possible for the universe to increase both organization and entropy at the same time. The optimistic and pessimistic arrows of time can coexist: The universe can display creative unidirectional progress even in the face of the second law.” In other words, if we understand the second law better, we can see that it does not actually prohibit the continual growth of complexity and order in nature.

“Essentially, the heat death hypothesis seems to imply that life is doomed — not just life on Earth, but life anywhere in the cosmos.”

“This is the cosmic narrative that the theoretical physicist and author Julian Barbour proposes in his new book “The Janus Point: A New Theory of Time,” which has received praise by some trusted names in the physics world, such as Martin Rees, Sean Carroll and Lee Smolin. Barbour believes that the second law — at least as it is popularly interpreted — does not apply to the universe as a whole, since it is always expanding due to the mysterious force known as dark energy. The old story of increasing cosmic disorder, Barbour concludes, may turn out to be the complete opposite of what is actually happening. Because the universe is not a bounded system, order can continue to increase indefinitely.

“Barbour is not alone. David Deutsch, the father of quantum computation, has expressed a similar view in his bestselling mindbender “The Beginning of Infinity,” in which he argues that there are no fundamental limits to knowledge creation. This is a much stronger claim than Barbour’s, because it specifically suggests that life in the universe need not come to an end.

“Life is a crucial part of the cosmic story because the growth of complexity and organization enters a new phase when biology emerges. Life is a special form of complexity: It has the ability to create more complexity and to maintain organization against the tendency toward disorder. In a universe expanding without limit, the ability of intelligent life to continually construct complex order may not be limited by the laws of thermodynamics in the way once imagined.

“This story of continual complexification would seem to go against the second law, a rock-solid pillar of physics. Remember, though, that both the first and second laws of thermodynamics were conceived before we knew the universe was expanding. To understand if these laws are applicable to the universe as a whole — and not just systems inside the universe — we must briefly explore the history of thermodynamics and understand its relationship with the phenomenon we call life….” (see full article at link above).

Thought provokers from Bob Brinsmead:

“Love that is not unconditional is not authentic love”.

“There are no really bad people, just bad ideas that lead people to do bad things”.

More of the “Best of Brinsmead”: Bob’s response to a fellow discussion group participant. This post by Bob tackles the issue of domination, the second of my “evil triad” of inherited animal impulses- i.e. (1) the impulses to tribalism (us versus them divisions), (2) domination (alpha control of weaker others), and (3) punitive destruction (extermination of competing others).

Bob Brinsmead: “___, this is a sensible article by Zarley. Thanks for sending it.

“Most good scholars would agree with Zaley that Paul does not call Jesus God. Zarley goes as far as to question whether Paul teaches his pre-existence. I have noted in the past that F.F. Bruce said he could not be sure if Paul taught that Jesus pre-existed, but I think Paul suggests it when he says that Christ was that Rock which followed Israel in the wilderness, and as God’s agent who slew thousands of those who were disobedient.

“I wish Zarley had commented on this passage in 2 Corinthians which suggests a pre-existence. I’ve also read a good Jewish scholar who says the belief that the Messiah pre-existed with God was held by some Jews. But biblically speaking, pre-existence can be ambivalent in that whom God foreknows already exists in the mind of God.

“But the important point is that what Paul’s Christology demonstrates clearly is that Christology was an evolving road. The road to the full Deity of Jesus was a 400-year road. Paul does not even suggest that Jesus was virgin born. Neither does the book of Mark which is a post-70 CE work. John does not need any virgin birth because he puts the origin of Jesus in the context of the eternal Logos. The virginity of Mary also was another evolving doctrine which took a long time to develop, including “the Immaculate Conception” which most Protestants would not know is about the parents of Mary and her birth.

“These were all part of a fermenting and developing Christology in a Greco-Roman culture. It was a long time after the first century before the Arian controversy arose. Arius proposed that the Sonship of Jesus meant that Christ was preceded by the Eternal Father. Athanasius argued that unless Christ was fully God and fully man, he could not redeem the race by bridging the gulf between God and man that was incurred by the Fall.

“Even with the Creed that settled that dispute, it took about another 400 years (according to Guthrie, a Jesuit scholar) to get Arianism defeated, and mainly by the kings of the Barbarian nations who one by one were converted to the Athanasian faith in this fashion: first the females of the king’s household would be converted by the subtlety of a bishop, and then the king would be won over by the females in his house. Then to please the ladies the king would decree that any Arian in his kingdom should be put to death. Christology was not only bathed in the blood of Christ, but in the blood of a lot of heretics too.

“I would suggest that the greatest mistake in this history was the first step of investing Jesus with the title of Christ. This was a title that Jesus not only rejected during his life, but excoriated it along with its apocalyptic expectations. The messianic expectation was contrary to the whole spirit of Jesus who repudiated the apocalyptic lust to reverse the dominion held by one’s enemies. That would include the apocalyptic hope of the book of Daniel that the dominion would be taken from “the beast” and given to the son of man, along with the saints.

“With Jesus, this whole concept of gaining dominion over others was anathema. He said that greatness consisted not in dominion but in servanthood. The greatest of all (God) is the servant of all who does not desire to have dominion over anybody. His kingdom is not a kingdom of coercion and monarchical dictatorship but a kingdom where all engage in freely serve others just like God does. The kingdom of love for all is a kingdom of freedom for all.

“When Jesus was on earth there were some who wanted to make him Messiah/King by force, but he would have none of it, because any son of God must do as God does. The temptation to possess dominion was, as Nolan points out in Jesus Before Christianity, one of the great temptations which Jesus resisted. Then how do we explain that within a short time after his death so many of his followers clothed him in a title he had resisted with such passion?

“There are now not a few Christian thinkers who realize that Christianity now finds itself saddled with all these titles and claims for a Christ of the church’s making – claims that make the religion about Christ appear triumphalist, arrogant, exclusive, intolerant, and not at all winsome in our present Global Village. In this situation the teachings of Jesus begin to look appealing, but the teaching of Christology looks appalling.”

Ah, I love clarity of thought and speech. Go Martin, go. And yes, this is about the fundamental divide in societies between elites and commoners/populists.

“Climate Change is Class Warfare”, Martin Durkin, April 18, 2024

https://dailysceptic.org/2024/04/18/climate-change-is-class-warfare/

Quotes (see full article at link above):

“The planet is boiling like a pan of porridge. We face the possible extinction of all life on earth. ‘Science’ says so. Anyone who questions it is a demonic scoundrel….

“Hmm. And yet, it is clear to anyone who has paid the slightest attention, that the tired, hysterical predictions of the climate alarmists (made repeatedly over four decades and based on their hypothetical computer-models) have proved to be spectacularly wrong, again and again and again. It does not take much digging (we have the internet these days) to discover that the outlandish claims of climate alarmists are flatly contradicted by lots and lots of perfectly good scientific evidence and data.

“We’re not talking here about fringe science put about by whackos. We’re talking about official data – mainstream science, published in respected journals. (Some of it is featured in my ‘climate-denier’ film, Climate: The Movie, available for free online).

“The world is not boiling. We are, as any geologist will tell you, in an ice age – one of the coldest periods in the last 500 million years. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere is not unnaturally or frighteningly high. Compared to the last half billion years of earth’s history it is extremely low. And there is no evidence that changing levels of atmospheric CO2 (it has changed radically many times in the past) has ever ‘driven climate change’…. Hurricane activity is not increasing, nor are the number of wildfires, nor are the number of droughts, and so on and so on. This is what the official data say. You can look it up….

“The climate alarm is not supported by scientific evidence. It is supported by bullying, intimidation and the censorship of anyone who dares to question it. Climate catastrophism is politics, shamelessly dressed up as science….

“At any social gathering, you can pretty confidently predict who will think what about climate, by asking them about taxes and regulation. People who love the Big State can’t get enough of climate chaos. People who want lower taxes and less regulation will roll their eyes and say rude things about little Greta.

“Across the Western world, the state has grown enormously over the last century, vastly increasing the number of people whose livelihoods depend on state-spending, and whose jobs are related, directly or indirectly, to government control….

“We are, as more people are beginning to realise, engaged in a class war. On one side, the tax-consuming regulating class that feeds from taxation and bosses us about. On the other, the rest of us in the private sector, who rather resent paying taxes and being told what to do and how to live our lives.

“This is the real basis for the consensus on climate change…. This is not a small group of people. It is an entire class. It is, if you will, the ruling class. It controls our civil service, our schools and universities, large parts of our arts and science establishments and much of the media. It is an intolerant class, deeply aware of its own interests. The taboo that surrounds climate scepticism is a reflection of its power.”

Added note: Wendell Krossa

Its interesting to keep an eye on the persisting dualisms of our societies where a few persistently seek domination over others. The pathology of domination has been present from prehistory, whether in the age-old “big man/chief” of primitive societies dominating weaker members of the tribe, or in the lords, kings, nobles of the Middle Ages, dominating the rest- i.e. the peasant hordes. It is always this elites versus commoners divide.

The deep historical background to this societal dualism and division? The base tribalism impulse of small band of kin against other small bands of extended kin, whether in animal or early human societies. And further within larger groups you get more dualisms of all kinds, such as the class divisions of larger later historical societies.

Richard Landes (Heaven On Earth) notes that across history societies have been divided by basically between elites and commoners. Arther Herman (The Cave and the Light) shows the struggle between the two dominant approaches to organizing human societies from the Greeks on down- i.e. the approach of collectivism (Plato’s Ideals/Forms that should shape the ideal society) versus the approach oriented to the individual (more Aristotle’s approach).

I would offer that the divide between elites and commoners can be understood as elites embracing collectivism with its centralization of power and control. And commoners represented by the Classic Liberal approach that disperses power among competing individuals and institutions, protecting the freedom and rights of all equally, ensuring commoners have individual self-determination and control over their lives.

The struggle of mature humanity is to overcome these divides, learning to view all as equals in the one human family, no matter their position in society’s hierarchies, and especially within hierarchies to treat all as equals despite differing roles.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The persisting evil of domination/control, the complex of “bad” ideas, and more…

“home-grown totalitarians in our formerly liberal Western societies now push for more and more control”

So also Justin Trudeau stated years ago that of all countries he admired China’s dictatorship the most because they could get things done quickly. Like father, like son. So he replicates his Dad’s fanboy admiration of Castro and Mao.

https://public.substack.com/p/brazil-should-terrify-you

“Brazil Should Terrify You: What’s happening here isn’t an isolated event”, MICHAEL SHELLENBERGER, APR 13, 2024

“Just a day and a half ago, it seemed like things were calming in Brazil. The Folha de Sao Paulo, the New York Times of Brazil, editorialized against censorship. The head of the Brazilian Bar Association gave a strong statement in support of freedom of expression. And the President of Brazil’s Supreme Court said the conflict between Brazil and X, formerly known as Twitter, was over. “People talk a big game but don’t act on their words,” he said.

“All of that has once again changed. Yesterday, Brazil’s President Lula called for criminalizing lies. Given that everybody lies, Lula is proposing to give the government the power to arrest anyone he wants. Thousands of Workers Party activists took to X yesterday to demand that I be arrested for things I said during my testimony before the Brazilian Senate. And today, the head of X in Brazil announced he had quit, fearing for his safety.

“I am not afraid for myself. As I said on X a few days ago, I fear neither the devil nor de Moraes, the Supreme Court justice rapidly turning himself into Brazil’s dictator. I am taking all necessary precautions to ensure that I can leave Brazil safely and without being arrested. You can help by sharing this video and spreading the word about what is happening here.

“And yet Brazil terrifies me nonetheless. I love this country and its people and fear that they are on the cusp of totalitarianism. A significant share of the Left wants to incarcerate their political enemies. Respected Brazilian journalists say with a straight face that the government must engage in mass censorship in order to protect democracy. Brazil is everything that George Orwell feared and worse. The Brazilian government appears to view “1984” not as a dystopian future to avoid but as an instruction manual for building a new future.

“I might be less worried if Brazil were a small and irrelevant country, but it’s not. Brazil is the largest and most important nation in Latin America. Just this week, top Brazilian government representatives were in China talking about how China, one of the most totalitarian nations in the world, is a model for Brazil. Brazil is an inspiration for European totalitarians who have weaponized government intelligence agencies to spread disinformation about their political enemies and are implementing a censorship system to control the entire Internet.

“The most terrifying part of all of this is the marriage of psychopathic government leaders like Lula and de Moraes with totalitarian activists and voters. Governments have successfully brainwashed a significant percentage of the population into supporting mass censorship. Young adults raised on social media are today more intolerant than the students in China’s Cultural Revolution in China who denounced their teachers and sent them off to work camps to be tortured.

“At the same time, people with a mentality no different from the people who ran the Stasi and the Gestapo are in charge of intelligence agencies in Europe and the United States.

“Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives renewed legislation that gives the US government the right to spy on Americans suspected of collaborating with foreign governments. The result will be McCarthyism on steroids. The FBI will be able to spy on any American citizen who dares to criticize the war in Ukraine. The US government will label people who oppose endless wars in Eurasia as “political extremists,” ruining their careers, or worse.

“During the rise of Communism and fascism in Europe, many Jews and other persecuted people could flee to the United States. Where will we flee if the United States continues down the road to totalitarianism? Not Europe. Not Brazil. Is any country safe in a world where every movement, transaction, and thought is being monitored?

“I keep waiting for the downward totalitarian spiral to hit bottom, and it never does. I am naturally optimistic, but sometimes, that means I have tended toward wishful thinking. Such wishful thinking is dangerous and irresponsible in moments like this one. So, too, is passivity.

We must act. That starts with standing up to the bullies, all of whom are cowards on the inside. Elon Musk stood up to the bully de Moraes last week and appears to be holding strong. Tonight, he will hold a Spaces with the controversial former president of Brazil, whom the Supreme Court has prevented from running for office again for another eight years.

“My colleagues and I are building a new free-speech movement. All of the organizations we used to rely upon to defend human rights, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and ACLU, have been taken over by totalitarians demanding censorship. We are gathering in London in June. We are starting our own NGOs around the world.

“We can’t do this alone. Please share this post, consider subscribing to my publication, Public, and make a donation. People are risking their lives to defend free speech for all human beings. You don’t need to risk yours, but we desperately need your help. Things won’t calm down until we stand up to the tyrants and remove every one of them from power.”

Note: Classic Liberal, Libertarianish-type principles, institutions, and policies will give you some criteria to evaluate what is going on today with this new collectivist totalitarianism trying to dominate our liberal democracy societies.

Another warning re the leftist assault on freedom

https://www.theepochtimes.com/opinion/yes-they-want-to-shut-down-free-speech-5625148

“Yes, They Want to Shut Down Free Speech”, By Jeffrey A. Tucker, 4/9/2024

Quotes:

“If you want to see the future of free speech in the United States, look to Brazil today. Speech that runs contrary to the existing regime of Brazilian President Lula da Silva is being criminalized. The restrictions grow tighter by the day….

“Tragically, the tech platforms themselves have proven to be incredibly unprincipled throughout this entire period. In both the United States and Brazil, most have gone along with the censorship push, even to the point of cheering it on.

“One of the few holdouts is the platform formerly known as Twitter, which is now X, managed by Elon Musk. He still believes in free speech as the foundation of all other freedoms….

“In the background is a gigantic protest that filled many city blocks in São Paulo. It was organized mainly through postings on X. This outraged the government and tipped it toward totalitarian controls, cracking down not only on the right of assembly but speech itself.

“The Lula regime is a close ally of the Biden administration, so of course the White House has said nothing about any of this….

“Free speech right now stands at a precipice. No question that many powerful people want it shut down completely.

“I don’t usually listen to podcasts, but I spent time with one on TechDirt. The person being interviewed was law professor Kate Klonick, who is a designated expert on free speech and the law. In matters of internet speech, she favors more control and cheers for the Biden administration in the case before the Supreme Court right now in Murthy v. Missouri.

“I listened hoping to discover some new arguments or facts of the case. She offered nothing new. What we got instead was a very long display of tribal loyalties….

“Listening to her interview, you would never know that most of the plaintiffs have no connection to anything “right-wing” at all but are rather just scientists trying to correct the record in times of extraordinary disinformation being dished out by the government. In this attempt, they ran headlong into a massive censorship industrial complex that involves a complicated web of control and influence, all being directed by the government itself….

“For her, it’s all a matter of tribal relationships. The censors are the good guys, her team, a gang of credentialed experts who know what is true and are determined to see it prevail in public culture as the dissidents are shoved to the margins. Her condescension is as palpable as her loathing of the very idea that speech should be free from coercive control.

“Sadly, she speaks for an entire class of rulers in many sectors of society today. They have sympathizers in the courts and every corporate boardroom. They are working to defend and celebrate the advent of totalitarian forms of governance in the West, all because they believe that they are and will be the ones in charge of it. The justification is to suppress the populist movements that threaten the entrenched power of global government elites….

“There was a time when people trusted sources such as Slate, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, Wired, and, of course, The New York Times. But now, they are very reliable tellers of ruling-class tales….

“The chasm that separates the venues of honest journalism from the repeaters of regime propaganda is growing ever wider…

“But we should ask ourselves: How is it that we know all this? It’s because of the freedoms we have left to publish, speak, read, and listen. It’s these freedoms that they want to take away. This is because the controlled venues of legacy media are losing money, while alternative sources are growing in traffic, influence, and profitability. The only real option remaining for the plotters is to seek a full shutdown of the internet and the criminalization of speech.

“That is exactly what is happening in Brazil and what many in the United States want in our future. And we are not talking about a far-distant future.”

Us old school liberals are still adjusting to the great switcheroo, Wendell Krossa

All of us who have associated with the liberal side over past decades are still adjusting our heads to the great switcheroo that has occurred within the formerly liberal side of society over the last 10 years. That those who only quite recently claimed to identify as liberal, those who once defended the liberal principles of “pro-free speech, anti-censorship, anti-war, inclusivity of all, pro-equality, etc.”, those liberals have now rejected these principles of “Classic liberalism” for a highly illiberal authoritarianism. They are now engaged in directly assaulting and undermining the basic principles of liberal democracy, attacking true liberalism. Note, for example, the surveys that show a majority of US Democrats now affirm censorship and banning of opponents from elections ( https://www.dailysignal.com/2023/09/26/poll-clear-majority-democrats-want-free-speech-restrictions/ ).

This is the great readjustment that we are wrapping our heads around as we see mainly the left side shifting toward extreme Woke Progressivism and the “psychopathology of left-wing authoritarianism”. These leftists appear to have locked themselves into a narrative where they actually believe that they are in a morally superior position by embracing collectivism as operating for the “greater or common good”. And their collectivism is posed as a righteous crusade against their caricature of differing others as being about too much evil individualism, as a counter to the Classic liberal protection of individual freedom and rights that they have caricatured as being about “selfish individualism”. And hence, those who advocate for the Classic Liberal system are now “threats to democracy”, democracy as they have framed it. But their mangled narrative no longer bears any remote resemblance to liberal democracy.

So listen to these true liberals- e.g. Matt Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger- representative of many others like them, who clearly see what is going on, and are detailing the actors and agencies involved that are pushing now for censorship, undermining free speech, and advocating for a new totalitarian intervention and control of populations.

Fortunately, many other “moderate liberals” today also recognize the threat that is coming from their side, though far too few are exhibiting the courage to speak out like Taibbi and Shellenberger. It reminds me of that police supervisor in the movie “Will”, who stated to the new recruits that would serve under the occupying Nazis during WW2, “You will stand silently and observe”. Or will you?

And in a nod to bothsideism, yes, there is always the threat of totalitarianism erupting from the right side of society. That has to be watched also, as in the recent conservative push to shut down pro-Palestinian protests and speech. See free speech and hate speech comments below.

So bothsideism is generally the cautionary stance that we need to hold. But today one side has taken the dominant position in pushing for intervention and control of citizens lives. Hence, it’s belief that it holds a “morally superior” position in society is undermined by its now unapologetic totalitarian stance. Therefore, the left today poses the greater threat to liberal democracy, as Robert F Kennedy recently stated to Erin Burnett on CNN.

Add here that where McCarthyism once came from the right side, today it comes to us on steroids from the left side (“Russia, Russia… Russian disinformation”).

Note my bothsideism qualifiers scattered throughout the comment here. That’s comes from my fierce independent stance as per Louis Zurcher’s “The Mutable Self”. That being said, as the historical pendulum swings, today the greater threat of totalitarianism is from the Woke Progressive left. Even many liberals acknowledge this.

This on defining “hate speech”: https://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/hate

“Under current First Amendment jurisprudence, hate speech can only be criminalized when it directly incites imminent criminal activity or consists of specific threats of violence targeted against a person or group”.

The safest approach to defining and criminalizing hate speech is to limit the definition to “Incites imminent lawless action”. This prevents the extending of hate speech boundaries (“concept creep”) which can then open the door to abuse, like infringements on the rights of others to freedom of speech, as well as the dangerous politicization of such laws against the speech of opponents (criminalizing differing speech that some consider upsetting, offensive, even repugnant).

https://www.aclu.org/wp-content/uploads/publications/4156_ri_1978.pdf

“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression, for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself,” Thomas Paine.

We are seeing varied forms of abuse of “hate speech” across the planet, presented in terms of “noble cause” legislative crusades against “disinformation, hate speech, exposure of children to porn and bullying, etc.”. And that element of legitimate harm exists but then the proposed legislation employs fuzzy boundaries and that opens the door for partisan abusers to criminalize speech that they don’t like, the speech of political opponents, and even comedy that upsets. That is a direct assault on liberal democracy.

https://www.gbnews.com/news/jk-rowling-not-delete-posts-scotlands-new-hate-crime-act

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA1p8jAp5ew

Regarding this last one- Scotland’s criminalization of “offensive” comedy- there is nothing that a totalitarian fears more than mockery of their nakedness, of being exposed as totalitarians, stripped of any pretense of remaining liberalism.

As liberalism is assaulted and abandoned in our societies, and the home-grown totalitarians in our formerly liberal Western societies now push for more and more control, the rest of us are left to ponder how former liberals have lost their way, now apparently unaware of what they are doing. Unaware that, in unleashing their impulse to totalitarianism, they are causing horrific damage to liberal democracy, And where are the courageous remaining liberals who get what is happening? Its time to speak out, guys.

I see part of the problem here is how people delude themselves with narratives that they are in a righteous battle against intolerable evil (the hysterically exaggerated demonization of differing others) and therefore must “save democracy, save the world”. They view themselves as heroes sent to slay the monster, the enemy. Walter Kirn and Matt Taibbi detailed how this story line played out recently in their “America This Week” comment on the MSNBC thing. This is the result of excessive demonization, over past years, of differing others as “Nazis, racists, far-right, fascists, threats to democracy and life,… etc.” You cannot go more extremist than to demonize the differing other as “Hitler, Nazi, etc.”.

The MSNBC folks portrayed themselves as courageous heroes for their expulsion of a dangerous threat in their midst- a balancing conservative voice. No DEI diversity and inclusion for them.

https://www.racket.news/p/transcript-america-this-week-april

Ira Glasser on Joe Rogan’s podcast- the important issues re free speech, Wendell Krossa

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kypokn111hU

The above link contains a brief explanation from Ira Glasser, former ACLU director, on the critical need to protect free speech, even hate speech, repugnant speech. The main issue, he says, is- “Who gets to decide what hate speech is?”. If your side bans the other side’s speech today as hate speech, then when the other side gains power in the future they will in turn ban your speech as hate speech. Everyone then suffers loss of freedom.

The only safe solution is to “duke things out in the public free speech arena”, countering other’s speech with your arguments and ideas. Protecting all speech, even repugnant speech, is the safest way to protect our own freedom of speech.

“Power is the antagonist”, says Glasser, and the great threat to civil liberties, and power must be restrained. No matter who has power. Both sides are equally dangerous with unrestrained power.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kypokn111hU

Glasser offers one of the best explanations and defenses of free speech anywhere. As Glasser says, freedom of speech is not intuitive but is a learned taste. He presents helpful illustrations of the issues involved.

And Glen Greenwald again: “Your defense of free speech only matters if you’re defending the free speech rights of people who not just disagree with you, but who expressed views you find repugnant”.

Similarly, physicist Lawrence Krause warns regarding the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the concern to teach AI “universal human values” so it will not pose a danger to humanity. Krause says, “This sounds good, in principle, until one tries to define universal human values, because it is difficult “to find consistent examples of logical, ethical, or moral behavior running across time and geography”. The problem, he says, “is the question of who gets to provide the guidance, and what their values are”. It is very much, says Krause, the coding problem of “junk in, junk out”.

https://quillette.com/2023/02/21/artificially-intelligent-offense/

My suggestion: Why not program AI with the basic principles of Classic Liberalism?

Added note: Who said that the most dangerous people in society are those who assume that they know what is best for all others and will coerce others to embrace their view of things, “for their own good” of course, or “for the greater or common good” as they see it.

Michael Shellenberger and others are good on this issue of liberals having abandoned liberalism for totalitarianism…

This article below illustrates the larger problem of how media lost the public’s trust, including the trust of many liberals.

This liberal NPR journalist and senior business editor is writing about his own media forum and illustrates exactly what has happened to most mainstream media outlets, how they have all abandoned journalism to become partisan activists, propagandists for the narrative of one side, a side gone Woke Progressive extremist. Now they act as the fronts for the new totalitarianism that has corrupted democracy, something Shellenberger and many others are warning us about. Canadian media have done exactly the same. This could be the CBC, Global, and other media. And after hysterical presentation of these false stories there is the repeated refusal of media to acknowledge how wrong they have been, and refusal to take responsibility or make corrections. How did we get here?

This quote from below: “What’s worse is to pretend it never happened, to move on with no mea culpas, no self-reflection. Especially when you expect high standards of transparency from public figures and institutions, but don’t practice those standards yourself. That’s what shatters trust and engenders cynicism about the media.”

And after shifting to let DEI dominate the NPR, this was the result: “And this, I believe, is the most damaging development at NPR: the absence of viewpoint diversity….”. Yes, from an ideology self-righteously claiming to promote more diversity and inclusion.

I’ve Been at NPR for 25 Years. Here’s How We Lost America’s Trust: Uri Berliner, a veteran at the public radio institution, says the network lost its way when it started telling listeners how to think.” Uri Berliner, April 9, 2024

https://www.thefp.com/p/npr-editor-how-npr-lost-americas-trust

Quotes:

“You know the stereotype of the NPR listener: an EV-driving, Wordle-playing, tote bag–carrying coastal elite. It doesn’t precisely describe me, but it’s not far off. I’m Sarah Lawrence–educated, was raised by a lesbian peace activist mother, I drive a Subaru, and Spotify says my listening habits are most similar to people in Berkeley.

“I fit the NPR mold. I’ll cop to that….

“It’s true NPR has always had a liberal bent, but during most of my tenure here, an open-minded, curious culture prevailed. We were nerdy, but not knee-jerk, activist, or scolding.

“In recent years, however, that has changed. Today, those who listen to NPR or read its coverage online find something different: the distilled worldview of a very small segment of the U.S. population….

“For decades, since its founding in 1970, a wide swath of America tuned in to NPR for reliable journalism and gorgeous audio pieces with birds singing in the Amazon. Millions came to us for conversations that exposed us to voices around the country and the world radically different from our own—engaging precisely because they were unguarded and unpredictable…..

“Back in 2011, although NPR’s audience tilted a bit to the left…

“By 2023, the picture was completely different… We weren’t just losing conservatives; we were also losing moderates and traditional liberals.

“An open-minded spirit no longer exists within NPR, and now, predictably, we don’t have an audience that reflects America….

“Like many unfortunate things, the rise of advocacy took off with Donald Trump. As in many newsrooms, his election in 2016 was greeted at NPR with a mixture of disbelief, anger, and despair….

“Persistent rumors that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia over the election became the catnip that drove reporting. At NPR, we hitched our wagon to Trump’s most visible antagonist, Representative Adam Schiff.

“Schiff, who was the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, became NPR’s guiding hand, its ever-present muse….

“But when the Mueller report found no credible evidence of collusion, NPR’s coverage was notably sparse. Russiagate quietly faded from our programming.

“It is one thing to swing and miss on a major story….

What’s worse is to pretend it never happened, to move on with no mea culpas, no self-reflection. Especially when you expect high standards of transparency from public figures and institutions, but don’t practice those standards yourself. That’s what shatters trust and engenders cynicism about the media….

“In October 2020, the New York Post published the explosive report about the laptop Hunter Biden abandoned at a Delaware computer shop containing emails about his sordid business dealings. With the election only weeks away, NPR turned a blind eye….

“The laptop was newsworthy. But the timeless journalistic instinct of following a hot story lead was being squelched. During a meeting with colleagues, I listened as one of NPR’s best and most fair-minded journalists said it was good we weren’t following the laptop story because it could help Trump….

“Politics also intruded into NPR’s Covid coverage, most notably in reporting on the origin of the pandemic. One of the most dismal aspects of Covid journalism is how quickly it defaulted to ideological story lines….

“I’m offering three examples of widely followed stories where I believe we faltered. Our coverage is out there in the public domain. Anyone can read or listen for themselves and make their own judgment. But to truly understand how independent journalism suffered at NPR, you need to step inside the organization.

“You need to start with former CEO John Lansing….

“He declared that diversity— on our staff and in our audience audience— was the overriding mission….

Race and identity became paramount in nearly every aspect of the workplace. Journalists were required to ask everyone we interviewed their race, gender, and ethnicity (among other questions), and had to enter it in a centralized tracking system. We were given unconscious bias training sessions. A growing DEI staff offered regular meetings imploring us to “start talking about race.”…

“All this reflected a broader movement in the culture of people clustering together based on ideology or a characteristic of birth….

“The current contract, in a section on DEI, requires NPR management to “keep up to date with current language and style guidance from journalism affinity groups” and to inform employees if language differs from the diktats of those groups…. (This “tyranny of the minority” inevitably emerges from this totalitarian ideology)

“But what’s notable is the extent to which people at every level of NPR have comfortably coalesced around the progressive worldview.

“And this, I believe, is the most damaging development at NPR: the absence of viewpoint diversity.

“There’s an unspoken consensus about the stories we should pursue and how they should be framed. It’s frictionless—one story after another about instances of supposed racism, transphobia, signs of the climate apocalypse, Israel doing something bad, and the dire threat of Republican policies. It’s almost like an assembly line….

“More recently, we have approached the Israel-Hamas war and its spillover onto streets and campuses through the “intersectional” lens that has jumped from the faculty lounge to newsrooms. Oppressor versus oppressed. That’s meant highlighting the suffering of Palestinians at almost every turn while downplaying the atrocities of October 7, overlooking how Hamas intentionally puts Palestinian civilians in peril, and giving little weight to the explosion of antisemitic hate around the world….

Concerned by the lack of viewpoint diversity, I looked at voter registration for our newsroom. In D.C., where NPR is headquartered and many of us live, I found 87 registered Democrats working in editorial positions and zero Republicans. None….

“With declining ratings, sorry levels of trust, and an audience that has become less diverse over time, the trajectory for NPR is not promising.”

“Uri Berliner is a senior business editor and reporter at NPR. His work has been recognized with a Peabody Award, a Loeb Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Society of Professional Journalists New America Award, among others. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @uberliner.”

Another counter point to the climate alarmism mantra pushed repeatedly in media:

“Is Weather Really Getting More ‘Extreme’: Despite the claim that weather is getting more ‘extreme’, some who track climate trends say the evidence suggests otherwise”, Kevin Stocklin, Sept. 8, 2023

https://co2coalition.org/news/is-weather-really-getting-more-extreme/

“NPR wrote in January that “climate change makes heat waves, storms, and droughts worse,” and according to the EPA, record-setting daily high temperatures have become more common in the United States since the 1970s. However, according to a more extensive set of climate data, the 1970s were an unusually cool period, and heat waves were significantly more extreme a century ago than they are today.

“Gregory Wrightstone, executive director of the CO2 Coalition, researched data over the past 100 years from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) and found that heat waves, measured as the number of days with temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, reached a peak in the 1930s and have been declining since.

“Data from the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) indicates heat waves were worse a century ago. (Courtesy of Gregory Wrightstone, USHCN)

(See the graph referred to at link above)

“Forest fires and hurricanes also appear not to be escalating.

“Climate analyst Bjorn Lomborg wrote last week in a New York Post op-ed that “since the early 2000s, when 3% of the world’s land caught fire, the area burned annually has trended downward. In 2022, the last year for which there are complete data, the world hit a record low of 2.2% burned area.”

“The New York Times… their reporting omitted the fact that forest fires have declined.

“The Biden administration and the Times can paint a convincing picture of a fiery climate apocalypse because they selectively focus on the parts of the world that are on fire, not the much larger area where fires are less prevalent,” Mr. Lomborg stated.

“A July 2021 report in Science News analyzed hurricane data from 1851 to 2019. The report “found no clear increase in the number of storms in the Atlantic over that 168-year time frame” and “more surprisingly … the data also seem to show no significant increase in hurricane intensity over that time.”…

“Mr. Wrightstone researched data from the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters and found that deaths from natural disasters worldwide have declined more than 90 percent from a century ago, down from an average of more than 500,000 deaths per year in the 1920s to 45,000 in the past decade.”

“The complete Epoch Times’ article, originally published August 5, 2023, can be accessed here”.

Keep an eye on the real enemy, the monster inside you, Wendell Krossa

We all have within us this dangerous impulse to totalitarianism that we inherited from our animal past, the Alpha female/male thing (yes, both sexes share this impulse). This impulse becomes especially dangerous when we grant it expression, intervening in the lives of others, controlling them, and while doing so, we delude ourselves by believing that we are doing something heroic, righteous, and for some “greater good”. And too bad for all those we hurt along the way- the collateral-damaged folks.

The prominent public example today, of course, is that of leftists/Progressives who claim to be engaging a righteous battle against intolerable evil, the evil of opposing viewpoints and speech that they frame as “disinformation, hate speech, threat to democracy, etc.”. And while some of that may be in the mix, too much of the speech they caricaturize in that way is just differing opinions and speech of political opponents. Even comedy, as in Scotland’s case.

https://www.gbnews.com/news/jk-rowling-not-delete-posts-scotlands-new-hate-crime-act

Leftists/Progressives today are dressing up their unleashed totalitarianism, their ugly impulse to intervene and control the lives of others as “compassion for the oppressed”, for victims. But their shutting down of differing others that they frame as “oppressors” is just more of the same old ugly totalitarianism as ever before, now rightly exposed for what it is- i.e. “cruel compassion, the psychopathology of left-wing authoritarianism, etc.”. (And as always, the qualifier- the right side is subject to this same destructive impulse to intervene and control others, notably on issues like women’s choice.)

The outcome of unleashed leftist totalitarianism? Their “noble cause” crusade is destroying true liberalism and democracy with their pretense to righteous crusade to “save democracy”. Their crusade is a rejection of the true liberalism that protects the freedom and equality of all, that includes true diversity of opinion and speech, especially the speech that upsets us, offends us, that we find repugnant. Such diversity and freedom of speech is critical to true freedom and love in a society.

Who said that the most dangerous people in our societies are those who believe that they know what is right for all others, what is truth, and they will use state force to coerce others to submit to their views, willing to censor, silence, and even criminalize differing, dissenting others? And where in all this is true DEI- i.e. diversity, equality (not illiberal equity), and inclusion?

Insert: Outcomes matter, Wendell Krossa

Most of us will admit that the intentions behind advocacy for collectivist approaches are good (i.e. concern for “greater or common good”). But it’s the evidence of outcomes that matter. And we are all responsible for the ideas, narratives, ideologies that we promote. And we have over a century of evidence on the outcomes of the two approaches to organizing human societies- i.e. the collectivist versus individual rights and freedoms approaches. Evidence from the 20th Century- 100 million deaths versus billions lifted out of poverty.

Meaning- The orientation to individual rights and freedom better produces “greater or common good”- i.e. the “greatest good for the most people” (Milton Freidman).

So (a note to collectivists), show some integrity and own the outcomes of your system. Stop the denial of what your system produces in human societies. Look again at the latest experiment in Venezuela. And ask, as many have after all the other experiments- Why are all those citizens fleeing?

A post to a discussion group: Wendell Krossa

“Hope all of you are making yourselves aware of how dangerous this is across Western societies, in its varied fronts coming at us…

“Note the pretense that censors use to validate their censorship- the claim to be protecting people from “disinformation, hate speech”, and then of course, the smear of “Right-wing extremism… far right” to discredit any dissent to the domination of their ideology. Again, in all this we see again the old psychopathologies of “Left-wing authoritarianism… cruel compassion…. Etc.” And the element of “projection”…..

“And note the comment in the Shellenberger article below on the “long march” plans of collectivists to take over societies. Just as Nial Ferguson said about 60s US Marxists changing strategy to go into teacher’s colleges to indoctrinate the upcoming generations of teachers and thereby students…. Shellenberger shares his own experience of this below….”

Socialist Strategy Behind Brazilian President Lula’s War On Free Speech: Free speech, not censorship, remains the only weapon for defeating disinformation and hate speech”, Michael Shellenberger, April 11, 2024

https://public.substack.com/p/socialist-strategy-behind-brazilian

Quotes:

“When I was in my early 20s, I became enamored with Brazil’s left-wing Workers Party (PT) and its leader, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. I read an inspiring 1991 book, Without Fear of Being Happy, whose title is the English translation of Lula’s campaign slogan. It described Lula and the PT as democratic socialists who embraced anti-poverty measures but also rejected the authoritarianism and censorship of Communist regimes such as the one in Cuba.

“In 1994, I interviewed the great man himself in his office in São Paulo. I asked Lula, if he were elected president, would he transform Brazil into another Cuba, complete with censorship? He said, emphatically, “No.” The Brazilian people loved freedom too much, he explained, as did he. After all, Lula had risen to fame in the 1970s when he led mass protests against Brazil’s military dictatorship as a labor union leader.

“Now, 30 years later, President Lula is seeking sweeping restrictions on freedom of speech as severe as the ones that have been in place in Cuba since the early 1960s….

“Lula also created the Digital Policies Secretariat, a body linked to the Ministry of Justice. “The Digital Policies Secretariat is responsible for,” it explained, efforts to “combat misinformation and hate speech on the Internet, in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice and Public Security.” Lula also created an innocent-sounding “fact-checking” website whose real purpose was to serve as a foundation for demanding censorship — a de facto “Ministry of Truth” straight out of 1984. And Lula supported the “Fake News” Bill, which would have created steep financial penalties for social media companies that refused to censor “fake news.”…

“But Lula and de Moraes have been close allies in demanding censorship, and the end of freedom of speech is a crucial first step toward dictatorship….

“And just yesterday, President Lula wrote a post on X that strongly suggests that his government will push for censorship legislation in order to counter the impact of the freedom of speech allowed for on X. “Right-wing extremism allows a foreign businessman [Elon Musk], who has never produced a stalk of grass in Brazil, to dare to speak ill of the Brazilian Court, its ministers, and the Brazilian people.”

“Such censorship is plainly illegal and undemocratic. It is a hallmark of democracies that people be allowed to “speak ill” of their government….

“Why Governments Censor

“Politicians and governments around the world say they must censor speech online to protect vulnerable individuals and democracy from hate speech and dictatorships….

“But free speech, not censorship, is the only tried and true way of correcting disinformation and hate speech….

“As for “hate speech,” it is best dealt with by publicly and openly seeking to humanize demonized groups. For more than three decades, a black blues musician named Darryl Davis engaged with and even befriended members of the Ku Klux Klan, the famously racist hate group. Davis famously asked KKK members if they hated him. “Initially,” said Davis, “they feel that if you’re not white, you are inferior. [They believe] that black people have smaller brains, we’re incapable of higher achievement.”

“Davis said one KKK member told him, “Well, we all know that all black people have within them a gene that makes them violent.” I turned to him, and I’m driving, and I said, “Wait a minute. I’m as black as anybody you’ve ever seen. I have never done a carjacking or a driveby. How do you explain that?” He didn’t even pause to think about it. He said, ‘Your gene is latent. It hasn’t come out yet.’” Responded Davis, ‘Well, we all know that all white people have a gene within them that makes them a serial killer… name me three black serial killers.’ He thought about it — he could not do it… Five months later, based on that conversation, he left the Klan. His robe was the first robe I ever got.”

“The functioning of X and Davis’ story are well-understood. Most children learn of the importance of freedom of speech starting in elementary school. In middle school, children around the world learn of the danger of letting governments censor and monopolize the truth. They read George Orwell’s 1984 where they learn about the danger of allowing for the creation of a “Ministry of Truth,” to decide what is true and false, which inevitably results in the censorship of true facts in service of political power.

“And, notably, the people demanding censorship are demanding it solely of their political enemies, not their own side….

“Socialism is fundamentally incompatible with free speech and democracy, note many. Under socialism and communism, where the government controls all business and enterprise, it must repress critics who object to it. “Democracy and Socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality,” said Alexis de Tocqueville. “But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

“The economist Friedrich Hayek, in his 1944 book, The Road to Serfdom, argued that “the democratic statesman who sets out to plan economic life will soon be confronted with the alternative of either assuming dictatorial powers or abandoning his plans.” The reason for this is that, as central planning fails, socialist governments must crackdown on their critics. And indeed, this has been the record of every genuinely socialist, rather than social-democratic welfare state government, for the last 100 years.

“The failure of communists to overthrow governments around the world during the mid-20th Century led many of them to seek a change in strategy. Instead of directly overthrowing governments, Communists should seek to take them over through elections and by occupying key societal institutions. Communists sought a “long march through institutions,” including the media, churches, and universities, rather than seek a rapid government overthrow, as in Cuba. And Communists sought to rebrand themselves as liberal democrats in favor of free speech and democracy for as long as they needed to until they could consolidate power and implement a dictatorship.

“In 1985, the Marxist press, Verso, published a landmark update to the long-march-through-institutions strategy in the form of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy, coauthored by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. The two argued that Marxists and socialists should de-emphasize class and emphasize instead a broader range of grievances, such as racism and sexism. The book was foundational to what is today called “Wokeism,” a political philosophy that is undermining civilizational institutions in the name of social justice….

“I know the hegemony strategy well because I was trained in it for four years at a Quaker school at Earlham University. There were multiple advantages to such a strategy. First, it avoided alarming both enemies and potential libertarian allies. Second, the strategy appears to convince its adherents to think they were genuine democrats, even though they were seeking communist rule. I, for example, didn’t realize that the “long march through institutions,” which my Earlham professors, called “cultural action,” would result in censorship and dictatorship….

“True Liberals Fight Back

Over the last week, after publishing the Twitter Files – Brazil, the mainstream news media have been attacking me, Elon Musk, and my Brazilian journalists colleagues as “far right” and part of a conspiracy to help former president Bolsonaro to overthrow the government….

“It’s worth putting the mainstream Brazilian news media’s reaction in context. Public trust and audiences for the mainstream news media are declining, as is advertising revenue. Instead of trying to regain public trust by engaging in real journalism, corporate media outlets demand to be paid by X and the government, so they engage in propaganda….

“This means that their financial incentives are to carry out state propaganda. If they report honestly and objectively about the Lula government, they risk losing government subsidies. As a result, they attract mediocre reporters willing to repeat state propaganda….

“Now that it has conceded the unpopularity of social media regulation, it is unlikely that re-branding it will be sufficient to overcoming the fact that it is, at the end of the day, censorship.” (See full article at link above)

In our discussion group I posted this response to another member about dying (i.e. my aggressive, metastatic cancer, and how I got over fear of death)…

“Just to add ___, long ago in the mists of the deep past I finally got the point of Jesus in that Matt.5:38-48 section, or the better version as Bob says, being the similar message in Luke 6. Better ending. But Jesus’ use of a “behavior based on similar belief” finally came through. Fortunately, Clifford Geertz who did his anthropology field work in Bali Indonesia, had witnessed the Balinese basing their houses, villages, and lives on what they believed was the divine model. Much like the Greeks did with Plato’s invisible Forms/Ideals/Ideas, that should guide the ideal society. So also the Hebrews in the OT modelled everything after their belief in the divine model, the law, will, word of God as revealed to them.

“And with that in mind it was a breakthrough of light into my head, that the behavior described the belief (as Bob argues- We do theology best from humanity to deity, projecting the best of being human out to define deity). Both behavior and belief were about no “eye for eye” retaliation, but as Jesus adds to this point about no eye for eye- “love your enemy because God does”. How so? God loves all the same by sending sun and rain to good and bad alike. Non-retaliatory, non-punitive, inclusive, universal, and all the rest that goes with such.

“So it was clear- God was just like that. There went any remaining shreds of concern about “afterlife harm”, noted by whoever it was that said fear of after-life harm was humanity’s “primal fear”. And I never was a “fear-of-death obsessed” person anyway. It was always just in the background, more like what the Australian actor Sam Neill said recently, just “an annoyance because I have so much to do yet”.

“And then reading the NDEs, well that backed up the “stunning new theology of Jesus”, more affirmation with lots of testimonial detail, for whatever your criteria can accept as credible in those accounts.

“So yes, the real remaining concern is the ruckus that you leave behind by upsetting family. But being durable, resilient people, family will get used to your empty space at the table, and maybe even celebrate a bit… after enough time passes. “The old bugger finally kicked the bucket, bought the farm, went belly up” …. And that joke may fall flat. As the comedians say when the audience boos at a bad joke about some tragedy— “Whaaat? Too soon?” Adds another layer of comedy.”

Bob Brinsmead responded to my post…. This is about his point that Jesus was not on about metaphysical things, after-life concerns, but focused intensely on life here and now and especially the love issue.

“This is how Tolstoy expressed what Jesus was on about:

“We must first understand that all the stories telling how God made the world six thousand years ago; how Adam sinned and the human race fell; and how the Son of God, a God born of a virgin, came on earth and redeemed mankind; and all the fables in the Old Testament and in the Gospels, and all the lives of the saints with their stories of miracles and relics – are nothing but a gross hash of superstitions and priestly frauds.

“Only to someone quite free from this deception can the clear and simple teaching of Jesus, which needs no explanation, be accessible and comprehensible. That teaching tells us nothing about the beginning, or about the end of the world, or about God and His purpose, or in general about things which we cannot, and need not know. It is only necessary to treat others as we wish them to treat us. In that is all the Law and the prophets, as Jesus said.”

“This reminds me of Hillel’s reply to the Gentile who asked Hillel what he could teach him about the Torah while he stood on one leg. Hillel simply said, “Whatever you would hate that others do to you, don’t you do to your neighbour. That is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary.” Jesus re-stated that in a more affirmative way: ”Treat others as you would have them treat you. That is the whole Law and the Prophets.” Implying what Hillel said, “The rest is only commentary.”

“So if you are asked whether you could say what the teachings of Jesus were all about while your hearer stood on one leg, you could repeat the Golden Rule, and add that the rest is only commentary.

“The remarkable thing is that Jesus taught it, as Geza Vermes pointed out, in a way that was more winsome and powerful that any before him, including the OT prophets.”

My further reply to Bob:

“Hence, to summarize the core and essence of Jesus- “Love your enemies because God does”… the single most profound statement ever uttered anywhere. “Jesus most important contribution to the history of human ideas”, James Robinson. And we honor the man for that, an insight unfortunately buried by Paul’s Christ myth, but not entirely for those who love treasure hunting as Jefferson and Tolstoy did.

And then my further response:

“The “single most profound statement ever uttered” because it takes us to the highest reach of what love actually means, what it means to be truly human and Jesus backs this with an illustration of how God does this, meaning what God is actually like (i.e. “Do this and be like God”). And we make many other conclusions from this central statement of Jesus. So my argument that this summary statement of Jesus answers all the most profound questions that people have had about reality and life, about deity and the meaning/purpose of our conscious existence on this planet. His statement takes us to the very essence of life as all about love, the highest reach of love, all in one simple six-word statement that sums it all.

“I like to poke and probe these things, like the nature of ultimate reality because we all have questions and curiosities about this and related things. And yes, its speculation, a lot of it is just that. But some answers are better than others and a lot of bad stuff is already lodged in our narratives and has been there for millennia and still sticks around in religious traditions and philosophy. And that speculation of our ancestors confuses and deforms human consciousness and life. So much of it frightens, alarms, and deforms human understanding so why not probe for better alternatives for our speculations on such things?

“Its always the Daddy thing for me, trying to comfort the kids, tell them- don’t be afraid because there are no real monsters, no ultimate monsters, whether angry punitive gods, vengeful Gaia, angry planet or angry mother earth, or payback karma. You are going to be safe. Its going to be all right in the ultimate end, for everyone.”

Interjecting a bit more philosophy, theological speculation into the mix here, Wendell Krossa

During the darker eras of our history, when totalitarian thugs rule, we are blessed with the appearance of the best of the human spirit as in pleasantly surprised by the emergence of heroic figures who, at serious risk to themselves, are willing to pushback against dominating elites on behalf of all us oppressed commoners. Today, we see this same emergence of heroes, seeing clearly the issues at stake, now stepping up to combat the new totalitarianism that threatens to overrun our free societies. Today’s heroes include journalists Michael Shellenberger, Glen Greenwald, and Matt Taibbi, businessman Elon Musk, author J. K. Rowling, psychologist Jordan Peterson, among many others who have emerged to fight the evil of totalitarianism shoving itself at us now through Woke Progressivism gone extremist with its varied fronts like ESG, DEI, Woke Racism, Climate Alarmism, and so on.

And here is the philosophical/theological point in this: Good emerges out of the bad in life, as the human response to evil….

Julian Simon (for one example) said that our problems are good for us because they bring out the best in us. Problems push us to find solutions that we then use to benefit others. I would relate that to the argument of some in the philosophy/theology community that evil, in general, exists in our world in order that good might be known and experienced, in contrast with the evil. Meaning that we would not know or experience good without the contrast with evil. Authentic good only emerges from the possibility of truly free choice between good and evil. Just as, for example, human courage emerges in contrast with totalitarian bullying.

Got that? It’s a bit of a stretch but a necessary setup for my point. Good needs the contrast with evil or otherwise we would not know it or experience it, and this helps to understand the presence of evil in our world.

This is a sensitive/delicate thing to engage, to delve into, and it demands that we put cautious qualifiers around this discussion, notably, that there is an absolute obligation/responsibility to fight evil in this world, in all its forms.

But, acknowledging the qualifiers, it helps to wade into these issues and consider the insights that others have offered. They may help to explain the cursed presence of evil and suffering in life. It is worth speculating on any possible role that evil plays in life. Again, this is not in any way a defense or excusing of evil because we are obligated to fight it with all the rage and ferocity that we can muster as the detestable ugliness that it is.

Some (e.g. Joseph Campbell) have suggested that in the larger scheme of reality, evil is only part of the temporary dualism of this material realm. It does not exist in ultimate, eternal reality. Hence, Zoroaster was wrong to suggest in his mythology that there was a cosmic dualism of a good God in an eternal battle with an evil Force or Spirit.

Evil only exists here, playing the role of a contrast to bring out the best in us.

So consider that in the totality of reality- i.e. physical and metaphysical- that dualism only exists in this material realm. Good vs evil doesn’t exist in ultimate eternal reality. Again, Zoroaster’s cosmic dualism myth can be rejected as wrong about deity. And from our long history we recognize that his dualism (another “bad religious idea”) has validated too much damaging dualism and tribalism among people- i.e. people validating their fighting of different others as enemies as part of a greater metaphysical battle of good versus evil.

So is Campbell perhaps right that evil has a role on the stage of this world where we are all actors in God’s drama of history, actors in God’s stage play, taking differing roles to help one another learn things, experience things, gain insights, with no lesson as important as learning to respond unconditionally to enemies, unconditional as the highest reach of love?

We have long had the counter narrative to this old complex- the new themes of Hist. Jesus arguing there is no dualism in God, meaning no ultimate realm of dualism, no metaphysical dualism between evil and good. There is only love in God.

And also loosely related

A conventional view is that over the last few centuries Christianity moderated its previously violent history as Christians felt revulsion over the bloodshed across their past. But I have a quibble with that view because historians have shown that basic Christian ideas incited and validated, in just the last century, the violence of Marxism, Nazism, and they now shape the very same framework of themes that drives environmental alarmism (i.e. the apocalyptic millennialism complex of myths). So yes, contemporary Christians in general have moderated their tendency to incite and engage violence. But the core ideas of the religion that have incited so much past violence, those basic ideas still dominate the religion and still pose the danger of inciting and validating ongoing destruction whether via religious or “secular/ideological” versions of the same.

Just to rehearse the ideas that I am referring to- I am talking about the “lost paradise, decline of life toward apocalyptic ending, and the demand for sacrifice to achieve salvation (give up the good life, decarbonize, de-develop). Add that true believers must heroically engage a righteous war against evil enemies in order to save the world. They must purge the world of some evil threat- like industrial civilization, CO2 as the threat to life- in order to recover a lost paradise or install a new utopia”.

The historians are right that this complex of ideas (“apocalyptic millennialism” is their term) has promoted endless harm across history and today this complex of themes shapes climate alarmism. Hence, we see the destructive outcome in the salvation scheme of the alarmists- decarbonization.

Its all the same old anti-human nihilism.

Point: The old themes are the same in essential nature but have been given new expression in today’s “secular/ideological” versions like the “profoundly religious crusade” that is climate alarmism. It’s the same old threat to humanity of personality-deforming ideas at the core.

Fortunately, in the NT there is the entirely contrary teaching of Hist. Jesus that overturns the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex of ideas. We are fortunate that his new insights were included but they are almost buried by the larger NT context that gives prominence to Paul’s Christ myth.

Again, kids, everything is going to be alright. There are no real monsters. All will be safe in the end.

A dissenting Democrat: Juan Williams

https://www.foxnews.com/media/juan-williams-responds-editors-charges-npr-bias-insulated-cadre-people-who-think-theyre-right

Williams was also fired from NPR.

Quote:

“So they are a very much an insulated cadre of people who think they’re right, and they have a hard time with people who are different,” Williams said.

This again illustrates what has happened to media in general as they have positioned themselves to be partisan activists for the Woke Progressive far left, refusing to tolerate different opinion and speech, refusing to include diversity on their stations. There is nothing of liberal equality in such forums.

Time for all true liberals to wake the fuck up and speak out as this tyranny continues to push everywhere for domination on our societies, to the destruction of liberal democracy.

And another in the endless series of prophesies of the end of days… this Chicken Little madness never ends.

“UN climate chief presses for faster action, says humans have 2 years left to ‘save the world’”, Canadian Press,

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/money/topstories/un-climate-chief-presses-for-faster-action-says-humans-have-2-years-left-to-save-the-world/ar-BB1lokzY?ocid=hpmsn&cvid=98bd452b38a34a6b80d4e32accd86fed&ei=15

And this on climate facts- The Honest Story of Climate Change: Weighed down by fear and intimidation”, Guus Berkhout, Kees de Lange, April 11, 2024

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/04/11/the-honest-story-of-climate-change-part-i-weighed-down-by-fear-and-intimidation/

“There is no climate crisis, even if politicians, climate institutes, and the media would have you believe there is. Climate change is a fact, but it is a change as in everything changes, both inside and outside our atmosphere. No surprise! We will show that we should not turn climate change into a drama. On the contrary, we should take advantage of it….

“In Part I, we urge politicians, climate researchers and journalists to stop fearmongering and stop citing results of flawed climate models. Our leaders must tell citizens the honest story….

“The climate represents an extraordinarily complex physical system and responds to all kinds of external influences from inside and outside our atmosphere. This has been happening for 4.5 billion years. We call these external influences the causes of climate change….

“Mitigation and adaptation

“If climate change can be shown to be dangerous, and the principal causes can be controlled by humans, then climate policy will have to focus on eliminating those causes. This is known as mitigation policy. But if humans are powerless against the dominant causes, then climate policy will have to focus on adaptation, the adaptation policy….

“CO2-contribution

“And 100% of scientists also agree that more CO2 contributes to warming, but only a minority really thinks that human CO2 is the dominant cause of current warming. That, too, is borne out by hard facts. In the first place, in the history of the Earth’s climate (long before there were humans) we see that there were periods with high CO2-concentrations and low temperatures, as well as periods with low CO2-concentrations and high temperatures. So, there were other causes at play, which had a major impact on the Earth’s temperature.

“Saturation effect

“But even more interesting are the modern satellite measurements that show that with more CO2 emissions there is a saturation effect, as we so often see in nature. The more CO2, the less the effect on temperature….

“Molecule of life

“In that light, we would like to say a few extra words about CO2. Laboratory measurements indicate that more CO2 does have a warming effect, but those measurements also indicate that this warming is modest and nonlinear. So, there is therefore no, we repeat no scientific evidence whatsoever for all those AGW scare stories. Moreover, measurements also show that CO2 is the molecule of life for all nature on Earth. The more CO2, the greener Earth becomes and the higher agriculture productivity becomes. If we compare both CO2 properties, nonlinear warming, and agricultural productivity, then the extremely expensive and disruptive “net-zero” climate policy being pursued is scientifically, economically, and socially irresponsible….

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) tells us an overly simplistic and alarmist story about climate change. In that story, anthropogenic CO2 is pointed out as the main cause (‘Science is settled‘). The consequence of this rigid statement is that a rapid phasing out of the use of fossil fuels is required. However, technical and economic realities will not allow this.

“Apart from the practical impossibility, there are the scientific arguments. We have shown above that there are many indications that there is much more going on than anthropogenic CO2 (‘The science is not settled at all‘). We still know far too little about Earth’s climate to claim that humans can control it….”

Added notes:

Why do so many of our fellow “liberals” not see clearly what is happening today with the outcomes of their brand of highly illiberal Progressivism? Because of the power of our narratives to delude us. Today’s delusion bubble is the outcome of framing the pathology of tribalism in terms of the ideology of collectivism as the best approach for organizing human societies for the “common or greater good” (Marxist claim that the state should take ownership of property to be used on behalf of the oppressed workers). And as collectivists have convinced themselves- How can organizing societies for greater good go wrong?

Especially when you also frame any opposition to your approach- the protection of individual freedom and rights as in Classic Liberalism- in terms of selfishness and greed. Collectivists convince one another that the individual “self-interest” approach, that gives prominence to individuals, is so obviously all about selfishness and greed. Case made- it’s clearly an issue of good against evil, according to collectivist reasoning.

And then also add a bit of religious backing as in Acts 2: 44-45, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” So there you go- real love is “You will own nothing and you will be happy eating bugs”, (WEF slogan, now taken down).

Real love will share everything in common, for the greater good. Hence, Christianity’s comfortable bed-sharing with socialism, as in Latin American “Liberation Theology”, etc.

But that caricature of Classic Liberalism distorts entirely. The individual responsibility to improve oneself and one’s family is the most basic form of love. And post-individual success, where sharing is uncoerced, where the free choice of the individual is protected, where self-determination is honored, well, we have much evidence of the success of this individually-oriented approach lifting billions out of poverty. And of course, there are the common or greater good elements in Classic Liberalism- in such things as taxation to share common infrastructure and other costs.

The genius of protecting individual rights and freedoms is that in dispersing power among those competing individuals and institutions/businesses you get the protection this affords against the totalitarianism that is unleashed by centralizing power as in the collectivist approach where “enlightened elites” take over the collectives.

None of us should delude ourselves that we would become the “benevolent rulers” that we like to imagine we would be. We all need checks against our impulse to totalitarianism.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on “home-grown totalitarians in our formerly liberal Western societies now push for more and more control”

The greatest liberation movement in history

The greatest ever liberation movement is the inner freedom from our animal impulses and the mythical/religious ideas that incite and validate these impulses. Our inner animal is the real monster of life and the inner struggle to conquer that monster/enemy is the true battle of life. These animal passions are summed in the “evil triad” of (1) tribalism (“us versus them” exclusionary thinking), (2) domination of weaker others, and (3) the punitive destruction of differing others. (More below)

This important report from Michael Shellenberger…

https://public.substack.com/p/elon-musk-is-all-that-stands-in-the

“Elon Musk Is All That Stands In The Way Of Totalitarianism: Brazil takes another step toward dictatorship”, Michael Shellenberger, April 8, 2024

“Last night, around 8 p.m. local time in São Paulo, Brazil, Federal Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes announced a criminal investigation into Elon Musk, the owner of X, formerly known as Twitter, for allegedly spreading disinformation, obstructing justice, and allowing people who De Moraes had banned from social media to freely express their views. De Moraes said he would fine X twenty thousand dollars per day for every banned person Musk allows to speak.

“As such, De Moraes has taken Brazil one step closer to being a dictatorship. What’s more, the events of the last few weeks make clear that Elon Musk is the only thing standing in the way of global totalitarianism. Without free speech, there can be no democracy.

“If X goes down, we must continue to fight. We can continue to communicate through email and other social media platforms, such as Facebook.

“But email is no substitute for social media platforms’ capacity to share information with millions of people. Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, abandoned his principled free speech position in 2020 after three years of relentless pressure from activist NGOs, Democrats, and corporate advertisers. Today, Facebook actively represses the spread of news.

“The mainstream corporate news media have never been more corrupt and totalitarian. With few exceptions, they spread government propaganda as a matter of policy. Nobody demands censorship more than the corporate media, which benefit from governments shutting down their competitors.

“Governments are either not protecting free speech or actively participating in the war upon it.

“Last month, the US Supreme Court held a hearing where justices made clear that they were fine with the US government pressuring social media companies to censor. Last week, the Scottish government implemented a law to crack down on so-called hate speech, including jokes by comedians. In Ireland, the government wants the power to send police into people’s homes to search computers and phones for hate speech. In Canada, the governing Liberal party wants the power to send people to prison for life for things they’ve said. And the European Union has empowered a tiny group of bureaucrats to decide what is true and false and engage in mass censorship.

“All of this is happening at the very same moment that my colleagues and I have revealed that government intelligence organizations are working through NGOs to interfere in elections by spreading disinformation about populist activists and political candidates. In other words, governments are demanding censorship in order to protect their ability to spread disinformation.

“Making matters worse, governments are directly financing corporate news media. The current Brazilian government is spending 30 times more than the previous government on media advertising in order to spread its disinformation.

I never in my life thought I would live to see the rise of totalitarianism in Western countries. A powerful minority of educated elites around the world are demanding the censorship, persecution, and incarceration of their political enemies. Naturally, they are doing so in the name of saving democracy. I am shocked and embarrassed that I used to call many of these totalitarians friends and allies. The only explanation is that they are in the grip of mass psychosis after years of media propaganda and government disinformation falsely claiming that populist political movements are undemocratic.

“The fact that the future of free speech rests upon the shoulders of a single individual is not something any of us should want. I do not think that this is a responsibility Elon Musk wants. He would be a far richer person had he never bought Twitter. He would also be living a more peaceful life. After Musk bought Twitter, the Biden administration and the Democratic Party declared war on him. Various government agencies filed multiple frivolous lawsuits against Musk and his companies in ways very similar to the war the Brazilian government is waging against X.

“What all of this reveals is that, until Musk bought Twitter, we didn’t really have freedom of expression. The US government felt that it controlled both the corporate news media and social media companies. We saw in the Twitter Files that the FBI orchestrated a disinformation and censorship campaign in order to protect Joe Biden.

“Starting with the Cyber Threat Intelligence League, operatives working for the US Department of Defense and the British Ministry of Defense sought to hide their censorship and disinformation efforts as “cyber security.” After that, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Stanford Internet Observatory engaged in a mass censorship effort around the 2020 elections and Covid.

It is today clear that intelligence and security agencies have been working together around the world to gain control over social media platforms in order to discredit, prosecute, and incarcerate populist leaders. The evidence is now overwhelming that the FBI and Secret Service are covering up evidence related to the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot in Washington DC. And there is still much we do not know about the eerily similar riot in Brazil’s capitol on January 8, 2023.

“There is much we need to do to fight back. First, everyone around the world should download a “VPN” to their computers and phones so that they can access the Internet in case governments shut down X. Millions of Chinese use VPNs safely to learn the truth about what is happening in the world.

“Second, you should actively distrust what the corporate news media tells you. With few exceptions, the media are controlled by governments, both directly and indirectly through corporate advertisers. Seek out multiple sources of information and verify information rather than blindly believing what you are told.

“Third, please show your support for Elon Musk and encourage him to stay strong in the face of government pressure. Many governments around the world may force X out of their countries, as the Brazilian government is currently attempting to do.

“Finally, thank you to all of you who have expressed your support for me over the last few days. I decided to stay in Brazil this week to continue my investigations into the government’s extraordinary and unprecedented crackdown on free speech. I am proud to stand with all of the courageous Brazilians who refuse to let their country descend into totalitarianism without a fight.”

This from Joe Oliver’s article below- “Progressive policies are driving dystopian results”

“The prime minister’s claim we must act now to avoid extreme weather is simply misinformation… And the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change tells us that in fact extreme weather events have not increased in severity or frequency.

Conclusion: There is no good scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.

Decarbonization is the irrational and destructive “salvation” scheme of the “profoundly religious crusade” that is “climate alarmism”. This latest apocalyptic movement is just another eruption in a millennia-long history of similar episodes of “madness of crowds” apocalyptic millennial crusades. Hopefully, pointing out the true nature of such crusades will give some sense of the primitiveness of the ideas involved.

Sources: Arthur Herman… Richard Landes… Arthur Mendel… David Redles….

These “social contagion” eruptions are repeatedly incited because of humanity’s refusal to abandon the primitive narrative themes that people repeatedly use to frame their belief systems. I refer to the complex of bad religious ideas known as “lost paradise/decline toward apocalypse/redemption through sacrifice”. This complex of myths continues to shape world religions and now also shapes the “secular/ideological” versions of the same mythology in our modern era. This very complex of themes shaped Marxism, Nazism, and now shapes environmental alarmism as in climate alarmism. Again, see the historians listed above to understand the patterns that unfold in these apocalyptic crusades.

The public zealots of today that continue to preach this primitive complex of themes are exhibiting the same old fringe lunacy of all apocalyptic zealots across history. To get, for example, the true nature of what a religious zealot like Justin Trudeau is doing- picture him on the sidewalk wearing a sandwich board sign printed with “Repent, the end is nigh”. That gets to the essence of his message and spirit. Integrity would urge him to speak just such words as he criss-crosses the world in his zealotry.

And yes, admittedly, he may be cluelessly unaware of how he is responding unquestioningly and uncritically to archetypes deeply rooted in his subconscious. We have all inherited the same archetypes and many of our fellow citizens find their consciousness resonates with the latest eruption of the “lost paradise/life declining toward apocalypse/redemption” complex of bad ideas, as in climate alarmism.

So also Al Gore has publicly stated that we are living through the New Testament book of Revelation today. https://www.courthousenews.com/gore-likens-climate-change-to-apocalypse-at-global-summit/

Hence, his repeated prophesying, along with many other apocalyptic prophets, of dates for the “end of days”, dates that are usually set just a few years or decades up ahead. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/al-gore-history-climate-predictions-statements-proven-false

Understand what motivates such people to do what they do, even if their salvation scheme of decarbonization destroys lives and societies. And then inform yourself of the better alternatives to the bad narrative themes that we have inherited. We have the insights to liberate ourselves from this worst form of slavery- i.e. the inner slavery of mind and spirit to harmful ideas like apocalyptic. (See the personality-deforming impacts of harmful mythologies in psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God”)

Section topics:
Brinsmead summaries on Historical Jesus research
How to destroy Western liberal society
Progressive policies driving dystopia
Peterson on Meaning
Main site themes/insights
The best book- complete big picture view of the true state of the world
The underpopulation alarm
The fundamental issue in climate
“America This Week”- Taibbi and Kirn on media propagandizing. Mainstream media operate now as fronts for the totalitarianism of “deep state” agencies, entrenched government bureaucracies that are the real powerholders in societies. And yes, we get that “deep state” has been demonized as “far-right conspiracy theory”, just as “populism” has similarly been smeared as “far right”, even though it represents right, left, and centers of populations. Populism and deep state represent more the divide of commoners versus elites.

Conquer the “dark triad” with Classic Liberalism, Wendell Krossa

Humanity has a well-established history of exhibiting fundamental goodness, evident in the improvement of civilization and life in general over the millennia (notably in such trends as the decline in violence across history). But there is also, undeniably, the long bloody stain on our history from our dark impulses repeatedly erupting in societies, impulses that have to be carefully watched and guarded against, guarded on all sides of our tribal divides.

The “dark triad” of impulses that require constant oversight and constraint- (1) the impulse to tribal bias and exclusion of differing others, (2) to domination of weaker others, and (3) to punitive destruction of differing others. This triad is a summary of the entire dark nature element in humanity- the animal inheritance.

Classic Liberalism is the best that we have come up with for constraining our dark impulses and keeping us generally on the right path toward a more humane future. It does this, notably, by protecting and promoting individual freedom and rights, by dispersing power among competing individuals and institutions. Classic liberalism protects the primacy of individual freedom against the collectivist centralization of power where controlling elites have inevitably found opportunity to unleash their impulse to dominate commoners, due to the dangerous pathology of centralizing power.

My advocacy for Classic Liberalism is based on the evidence that it does best to protect us from such dark totalitarian impulses. Classic liberalism works best to ensure the better impulses of our nature are expressed and habitualized in societies, helping us to become socialized as mature humans in civilization. And that is the critical goal of human life- to “tower in stature as maturely human”, as heroes of our personal quests who have conquered our basest impulses, thereby defeating the inner monster and enemy in what is the real battle of life (Solzhenitsyn’s point that the real battle of good against evil runs down the center of all human hearts).

Classic Liberalism promotes such “angel impulses” as the inclusion of all as family (human oneness), the respect and protection of the freedom and equality of all individuals (self-determination and personal control over one’s life), and the restorative treatment of offenders (but not as in, for example, progressive “cruel compassion” as per “de-carceration, no cash bail” policies that release violent offenders to harm innocents.)

Dogmatic and extremist pacifism does not work in the face of evil. All of us must be held responsible for our behavior and its consequences. All of us must “grow the fuck up” and stop acting like animals. If we don’t, then incarceration, restitution, and other forms of rehabilitation are necessary.

In the history of the two great approaches for organizing human societies, we have abundant evidence of the outcomes of each- i.e. one unleashing the worst of impulses and consequent horrific outcomes (i.e. 100 million slaughtered last century), the other constraining the worst of impulses to promote the better side of humanity with better outcomes (i.e. billions lifted out of poverty).

Added note: The point of viewing all the diverse and differing members of humanity as family, not enemies, does not lessen the need to defend against assault and the obligation to incarcerate the violent among us. Taking more humane views of offenders is about affirming more humane approaches as we engage force to defeat opponents in war or counter domestic assaults, and after defeating/restraining offenders, how do we then treat them. It comes back to the question of how we maintain our own humanity in the face of evil.

More from Bob Brinsmead

Response to a discussion group participant who argued that the temple incident was Jesus using violence to get the money changers out of the temple. And Jesus thereby represents God.

The other participant’s comment: “God is like the Jesus that got a whip and cleared the temple? A violent Jesus?”

Bob Brinsmead’s response:

“A whip is a tool to direct animals, not to chase people violently. Read John 2. Jesus used a whip to drive all the animals out of precincts of the temple- to save the animals from a barbaric slaughter. The sacrificial rituals “for the remission of sins” disgusted him far more than Luther was disgusted at the sale of Indulgences.

“The point ought to stick out like a pikestaff. But it has become buried in the teaching that Jesus died as a sacrifice for sin in a way that invested all those wretched barbaric Jewish sacrifices for hundreds of years with holy significance. When in fact he wanted to sweep the whole smelly, stinking religious institution into oblivion. But the elite churchmen who put the New Testament together tried to bury the real story under their pile of pious garbage about Jesus going up to Jerusalem to make a sacrifice for sin when he went there to protest the very notion that God could not forgive sin without a sacrifice being offered. Jesus got killed for proclaiming, whip in hand, “I WILL HAVE MERCY AND NOT SACRIFICE.”

“Religion is all about gaining God’s favour, one way or another. But as Harold Ellens says in “A Faith to Live By”, God forgave us before we were conceived or born. Not even clever sinners can sin themselves out of the reach of God’s unconditional grace to bring all of God’s children home to their safe and secure destiny.

“We are not arguing with ____ or anyone else into order to get them safely home. All whom God loves will arrive safely home. It is not as if our destiny will in any way depend on what we think of God but solely on what God thinks of us. The only thing that matters is having a more joyous and perhaps more productive ride in life’s journey rather than fretting and worrying about things that are better left in the hands of Unconditional Grace.”

Added note: We inherited the pro-sacrifice message of Paul, a denial of the anti-sacrifice message of Jesus.

https://bobbrinsmead.com/the-historical-jesus-what-the-scholars-are-saying/

And this on the destruction of Western liberal society

https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/11-ways-biden-handler-hell-bent-destroying-america

“11 ways Biden and his handlers are bent on destroying America: The path to civilizational destruction should be very familiar by now”, Victor Davis Hanson, April 4, 2024

“Hoover Institution senior fellow Victor Davis Hanson discusses several reported incidents of migrants committing crimes in the United States.

“Why are those controlling President Joe Biden using him to advance so much of a destructive agenda that it will likely end America as we know it?

“If someone wished to destroy America, could he do anything more catastrophic than what we currently see and hear each day?

“What would an existential enemy do that we have not already done to ourselves?

“Here are 11 now familiar steps to civilizational destruction:

“1. Wipe out a 2,000 mile border.

“Allow 10 million foreign nationals to enter unlawfully. Have no audit of any; nullify all federal immigration laws. Let in toxic drugs that kill 100,000 Americans a year. Give free support to those millions who broke the law. Smear any objectors as racists and xenophobes.

“2. Run up $35 trillion in national debt….

“3. Appease or subsidize enemies like Iran and China.

“Demonize allies like Israel. Allow terrorists to attack Americans without adequate response…

“4. In a multiracial democracy, redefine identity only as one’s tribal affiliation.

“Ensure each identity group rivals the other for victimhood…

“5. Recalibrate violent crime as understandable, cry-of-the-heart expressions of social justice.

“Ensure no bail and same-day release for arrested, repeat violent felons….

“6. Emasculate the military by using non-meritocratic standards of race, gender, and sexual orientation to determine promotion and commendation….

“7. Reinvent the justice system to indict, bankrupt, convict, jail and eliminate political opponents….

“8. Encourage the fusion of the bureaucratic state with the electronic media to form a powerful force for political audit, surveillance, censorship, and coercion….

“9. Make war on affordable gasoline and natural gas….

“10. Marry late, but preferably not at all.

“Consider males toxic…

“11. Turn world-class universities into indoctrination centers….

“Train youth to graduate despising their own culture and civilization. Recruit foreign students from hostile nations to subsidize campus commissar bloat. Replace the curriculum with therapeutic propaganda….

“Why could those controlling the president be doing all of the above?

“1. They are delusional and think their socialist and globalist agendas are working and will save us.

“2. They are raging nihilists who do not like the U.S. and deliberately want it destroyed as a service to the world. A ruined U.S. is preferable to a strong America.

“3. They are Jacobin revolutionaries who are intentionally erasing the old United States as a prerequisite for creating an entirely new America that will arise from the ashes with no trace or even memory of its past….

“There is cause for hope among this nihilist remaking of America: the people are fed up and will demand an accounting in the fall.”

Here is more on the big picture background that we should all be aware of– i.e. the resurgence of Marxist collectivism coming at us through varied new fronts like DEI, ESG, Woke Racism, etc. Coming at us masqueraded as compassion for the oppressed. But this is more “cruel compassion” that is the “psychopathology of left-wing authoritarianism, narcissism”, as analyzed by psychologists and others. It is the new collectivist totalitarianism…

https://public.substack.com/p/christine-brophy-narcissism-and-agreeableness

Along this same line….

“Joe Oliver: Irrational ‘progressive’ policies are driving dystopian results: From street names to gender, criminology and climate, our institutions are in thrall to crazy wokeness. We need to get our culture back”, April 5, 2024

https://financialpost.com/opinion/joe-oliver-irrational-progressive-policies-are-driving-dystopian-results#:~:text=Society%20is%20in%20the%20grip,the%20crypt%20of%20historic%20failures.

“Society is in the grip of irrational ideas that defy common sense and drive dystopian policies. Some inane beliefs and trends are made up out of whole cloth; others derive from ideas that have resurfaced, Zombie-like, from the crypt of historic failures. They are advanced by “progressive” activists in thrall to a post-modern woke-ism steeped in Marxist-Leninism. What makes the phenomenon so threatening is its pervasive influence in politics, academia, media, not-for-profits and big business.

“Two Finnish surveys published in March found that being woke was linked to anxiety, depression and a lack of happiness…. Or are depressed people simply prone to socially damaging notions?

“A decade or two ago people would have rejected these bizarre ideas for the nonsense they are, and their proponents as emperors with no clothes. But today they are conventional wisdom and skeptics are know-nothing deviants who must be de-platformed and punished for their heresy.

“A centrepiece of postmodern ideology is DEI which, by dividing us all into oppressor or oppressed, is neither diverse, nor equitable nor inclusive but conformist, unfair and exclusionary. It undermines excellence, productivity and competitiveness and is largely responsible for the assault on truth and inquiry at schools and universities, which have become left-wing breeding grounds for Gen Z.

“As for climate catastrophism…

“The prime minister’s claim we must act now to avoid extreme weather is simply misinformation… And the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change tells us that in fact extreme weather events have not increased in severity or frequency….

“On the criminal justice front… catch-and-release and lenient parole defy logic, put the public at risk and fuel the growing problem of urban crime.

“Males who identify as women and use women’s washrooms and compete against women in sports are hailed as avatars of progress while anyone who points out that this could put women at risk or female athletes at a disadvantage can have their career destroyed….

“Irrational, illiberal ideas are now entrenched in our most important institutions and the public is becoming habituated to them. It will require a determined effort to take the culture back and root out dysfunctional policies that undermine the economy, personal agency and our core rights and freedoms. But do we have any choice?”

“Joe Oliver was minister first of natural resources and then of finance in the Harper government.”

The Most Important Tool In Therapy, Jordan Peterson

We know that if you expose people to what they are afraid of but also avoid, they get better. You have to do it carefully and cautiously and with their own participation, but of all the things that clinicians have established that are credible, that is number one. The clinical experience is redemptive because it is designed to address suffering insofar as the people who are engaged in the process are both telling each other the truth. And just by talking about your problems, you have admitted that they exist now. That is a pretty good start.”

Find Meaning In Your Life, Jordan Peterson

“What are you leaving out of your life if you are leaving out responsibility? The answer might be: meaning. If you took on all the responsibility you could take on and faced all that you needed to face, who would you be? How would the world transform around you? If you did that even a little bit and your life got a fair bit better, the next question would be: What if you did that completely? Perfection is a horizon that constantly recedes, but it is not obvious what the upper limit to that is.

“Picking up and bearing your suffering is an idea deeply rooted in the West. It is a truth. Hell is often thought to be a bottomless pit because no matter how bad things are, there is always a way to make them worse. So what do you do about that? You accept it. That is what life is like. Life is suffering. But what do you do in the face of that suffering? You start with yourself.

“Get yourself together so you can stand up solidly so that people can rely on you. Lift a load — because then you can tolerate yourself. Pick something up and carry it. Make it heavy enough so that you recognize you are capable. When you do, you will develop some self-respect. “

Another example of “the psychopathology of left-wing authoritarianism” or Woke bullying…

Others have called it “delusional… cruel… psychopathic compassion”. How did we get here?

“Bullying, Cowardice, And Careerism Behind BBC Disinformation On Gender: Current and former BBC journalists condemn the British media giant for corruption of language and failing to safeguard children and vulnerable adults”, Michael Shellenberger, Mar.29, 2024

https://public.substack.com/p/bullying-cowardice-and-careerism

And one on the possible multiple origins or multiple strains of humanity– Not a disproof of human oneness as our oneness in the human family is based on our common human consciousness, human mind and spirit, the common human self, realities that all humans possess as fundamental identity markers (the primary identity markers of being human).

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/technology/the-first-humans-out-of-africa-weren-t-quite-who-we-thought/ar-AA1bofvD?ocid=hpmsn&cvid=466a2f243e4846b282033d212103eb78&ei=12

Over past decades this site has probed and promoted the following central insights/themes/discoveries: Wendell Krossa

(1) The insight of historical Jesus that God was an unconditional reality, a stunning new theology that was entirely contrary to all past mythical and religious presentation of gods as highly conditional realities demanding conditions of correct beliefs, required sacrifices/payment, and obligated religious rituals and lifestyle as identity markers of true believers in any given religious tradition. The profound insight of Jesus on unconditional deity and the nature of authentic love, was then buried by Paul’s Christ myth that is a retreat to highly conditional deity and atonement mythology (an ultimate cosmic sacrifice as the prerequisite condition for divine forgiveness, inclusion, and love).

The Christ myth buried the singularly profound insight of Historical Jesus. The project to recover that insight involves “separating diamonds from dung” (Thomas Jefferson, Leo Tolstoy).

http://www.wendellkrossa.com/?p=9533

(2) This site has offered the basic themes for a new narrative- an entirely new narrative to liberate human minds from the personality-deforming impact of bad religious ideas (psychotherapist/theologian Zenon Lotufo in “Cruel God, Kind God”). New narrative themes liberate us from the worst ideas that have dominated narratives across history- in both religious and secular narratives. This is about liberation at the deepest levels of consciousness, from subconscious archetypes.

Humanity’s worst ideas, better alternatives (Old story themes, new story alternatives).

http://www.wendellkrossa.com/?p=9533

(3) This site engages Joseph Campbell’s outline of the basic features common to all human life, notably the hero’s quest as living heroic stories of adventure, struggle, suffering, conquest of monsters/problems, entering righteous battles against evil to save something, the shaman’s experience of disintegration of the old and re-integration around something new, transformation, discovery and gaining insights that can then benefit others.

Speculating with Joseph Campbell on the meaning of life– the hero’s journey and conquest. The hero’s quest is an intensely inner battle to conquer the monster of inherited animal impulses, a battle that includes overturning the mythical narratives/themes that validate such impulses. We need fully humane ideas that inspire us to pursue fully humane ideals/behaviors and thereby tower in stature as maturely human.

http://www.wendellkrossa.com/?p=8661

(4) Further, this site recounts the big picture story of humanity’s exodus and liberation from animal reality to live as human in progressing civilization. The exodus of humanity from animal existence points to the foundational purpose of conscious humanity and human experience in this world- i.e. the purpose of becoming maturely human by orienting life toward the ideals of universal, unconditional treatment of all others (i.e. as in the ultimate reach of love in “love your enemies”). This is about understanding the fundamental meaning of our lives and resolving the question of what it means to be human, embracing ideals like unconditional love as critical to the goal of our lives, as an essential criterion or ideal for successful human life.

From Retaliation to Unconditional love- the story of humanity’s exodus/liberation from animal existence to become human. This is the greatest liberation movement ever- the inner freedom from inherited animal impulses.

http://www.wendellkrossa.com/?p=9809

This site also explores the “evil triad” as a summary of features that contrast with the basic features of being authentically human. The evil triad illustrates the worst of our animal inheritance. This site presents the contrasting ideals and behaviors that enable us to overcome that inheritance.

The inner battle with our animal inheritance is the real struggle of life, the real battle with an enemy/monster that must be vanquished in order to live as truly human, to become the heroes of our quests.

This site further offers the “lost paradise, apocalyptic, redemption” as a summary complex of the “bad religious ideas” that have shaped all human narratives across history, all mythologies, religions, and even the “secular/ideological” belief systems of the modern era. Again, see the research of historians Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles.

And finally, critical to understanding the true state of life is to recognize that life is not declining toward something worse but is improving toward something better. The evidence is overwhelming that the essential goodness and love of humanity has been expressed in the human improvement of life in this world, not just improvement for humanity but also for all other natural life. We have done well, and as Julian Simon says, we should hold a party to outdo all parties to celebrate how well we have done.

The “best book ever written”- Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”, Wendell Krossa

Simon was a population specialist who dissected and overturned the alarm of overpopulation which has persisted across millennia as a dominant narrative of nihilism. The overpopulation alarm exhibits the projection of self-hatred anti-humanism onto all humanity (“humanity as a virus, cancer, intruder into the natural world”). We see early expressions of this anti-humanism in the Sumerian Flood myth, where too many people making too much noise (naturally having fun, being sociable) irked the waterworks god- Enlil. That reminds me of the anthropologist who said that formerly pagan villages that converted to Western religious traditions then became quiet, sullen places. Like the Puritans who were constantly searching for people having too much fun to then rein that enjoyment of life in and constrain all life to the “narrow way” of a religious lifestyle.

Insert: Was Enlil and early Puritan, much like the Woke Progressivism of today? Totalitarians hate humor that pokes fun at their illiberal domination and control of others. They hate the little kids that blurt out- “Mommy, the emperor has no clothes”.

Simon’s book, published in 1986, needs updating of data and many others have done that (see list below). But his basic principles are as up-to-date as ever. I consider his work (pardon my zealous hyperbole) as the “Best book ever written” because of its comprehensive look at all the basic elements of life. Simon shows us how to get to “the true state of life, the true state of the world” by looking carefully at all the evidence on the main indicators of life, taking data from the best sources available, and including the longest-term data streams related to any given element of life. That is the best approach, the best science, that gets us past any personal confirmation bias (i.e. by including even the evidence that counters our personal beliefs).

And the conclusion from the evidence is that life is not declining toward a worsening state but has been improving, till today we live in “the best time ever to be alive on Earth”. https://humanprogress.org/is-this-the-best-time-to-be-alive/

Also good for understanding the true state of our world and why majorities of populations persist in believing the fallacy that the “world is getting worse”, see Arthur Herman on the historical development of the ideology of Declinism that has become the most dominant and influential theme in the world today (“The Idea of Decline in Western History”). Declinism mythology/ideology distorts the true state of life entirely. Media propagandize this madness daily- notably in things like climate alarmism and the persistent lying that every normal twitch in weather/nature is “the worst on record”.

The Amazon blurb on Simon’s book:

“Arguing that the ultimate resource is the human imagination coupled to the human spirit, Julian Simon led a vigorous challenge to conventional beliefs about scarcity of energy and natural resources, pollution of the environment, the effects of immigration, and the “perils of overpopulation.” The comprehensive data, careful quantitative research, and economic logic contained in the first edition of The Ultimate Resource questioned widely held professional judgments about the threat of overpopulation, and Simon’s celebrated bet with Paul Ehrlich about resource prices in the 1980s enhanced the public attention–both pro and con–that greeted this controversial book.

“Now Princeton University Press presents a revised and expanded edition of The Ultimate Resource. The new volume is thoroughly updated and provides a concise theory for the observed trends: Population growth and increased income put pressure on supplies of resources. This increases prices, which provides opportunity and incentive for innovation. Eventually the innovative responses are so successful that prices end up below what they were before the shortages occurred. The book also tackles timely issues such as the supposed rate of species extinction, the “vanishing farmland crisis,” and the wastefulness of coercive recycling.

“In Simon’s view, the key factor in natural and world economic growth is our capacity for the creation of new ideas and contributions to knowledge. The more people alive who can be trained to help solve the problems that confront us, the faster we can remove obstacles, and the greater the economic inheritance we shall bequeath to our descendants. In conjunction with the size of the educated population, the key constraint on human progress is the nature of the economic-political system: talented people need economic freedom and security to bring their talents to fruition.”

Other “best books on the improving state of life on Earth”:

Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”. Simon set the standard for understanding the “true state of life on Earth” by looking at the complete big picture (all the data on any issue) and longest-term trends (not just focusing on short-term aberrations or downturns in long trends).

Many subsequent studies affirmed Simon’s basic research on the big picture and long-term trends of life as improving…

Greg Easterbrook’s “A Moment On the Earth”,

Bjorn Lomborg’s “Skeptical Environmentalist”,

Ronald Bailey’s “The End of Doom”,

Desrocher and Szurmak’s “Population Bombed”,

Indur Goklany’s “The Improving State of the World”,

Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”,

Tupy and Bailey’s “Ten Global Trends”, also “Superabundance”

Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness”, and others.

Add here re the fact that humanity has improved across the millennia (the decline in violence)- James Payne’s “History of Force”, and the follow-up study “The Better Angels of Our Nature” by Stephen Pinker.

Other good sources- “Humanprogress.org”, and re climate- “Wattsupwiththat.com” “co2coaliition.org”.

This on population decline today: “The Age of Underpopulation is Here”, Steve Goreham, April 6, 2024

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/04/06/the-age-of-underpopulation-is-here/

Quotes (full article at link):

“The age of overpopulation is over. The age of underpopulation is here. After decades of warnings and fear about an overpopulation crisis, population is now rapidly declining in most of the world. The overpopulation disaster predicted by world elites did not occur.

“Total fertility rate is the average number of children born per woman. Demographers tell us that a country’s fertility rate must be at least 2.1 children per woman to sustain the current level of population.

“According to data from the United Nations, total world population still continues to rise, but population is declining in all major nations, where fertility rates have fallen below the minimum population replacement rate. Africa is the only continent where the population continues to grow. According to birth rates and without counting immigration flows, population is now falling in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, the United States, and all European nations except Monaco and the Faroe Islands.

“For the last four decades of the 20th Century, world leaders warned of a coming catastrophe from an uncontrolled rise in global population….

“The Population Bomb, written by Paul Ehrlich in 1968, became a worldwide best seller. The prologue of the book stated, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” The author warned of coming famines and resource shortages and advocated for compulsory population control.

“The fear of overpopulation produced a population control movement by the early 1970s….

“The United Nations indicated that people were not intelligent enough to plan their own families….

“Convinced by the overpopulation elites, governments of the world endorsed tragic population control measures. By the 1970s, it became US government policy to grant foreign aid only if population control measures were implemented. The World Bank and the UN also established policies requiring population control in exchange for loans or aid….

“During the last decades of the 20th Century, population programs proposed by Western intellectuals and the UN were implemented in the form of anti-human policies by the governments of China, India, and dozens of other nations. The government of India established sterilization and intrauterine device insertion quotas in 1966. Over 40 million people were sterilized between 1965 and 1985, most coercively….

“The People’s Republic of China implemented population policies in 1970 and adopted a one-child policy for all families in 1979. By March 2013, the China government reported that 336 million abortions and 222 million sterilizations had been carried out since 1971. Sex-selection abortion became common and even the killing of girl babies was practiced in both China and India.
“Population control policies typically disproportionally impacted disadvantaged races or social classes….

“But the overpopulation intellectuals were wrong. Famine did not kill hundreds of millions of people as Ehrlich predicted. Instead, an agricultural revolution increased global output of corn, rice, and wheat by a factor of five from 1960 to 2023. The malnourished portion of world population declined from 30 percent in 1950 to 10 percent today and continues to fall….

“Nations moved from agricultural, to industrial, to technological societies, achieving the elimination of infectious disease, improved sanitation, improved food supply, a decline in infant mortality, and rising levels of education. Women entered the work force in larger numbers and family sizes declined.

“But despite tragic implementation of population control policies in several nations, today’s families are having fewer children, the world population is stabilizing, and the predicted overpopulation disaster did not happen….

“But the United Nations and world elites now warn of a coming climate catastrophe. They demand a costly energy transition to Net Zero emissions. They demand that we change our transportation and our home appliances, that we stop eating meat, and that we adopt hundreds of other proposed climate-saving remedies. Will we have a climate disaster, or will the global elites be wrong again?

“Steve Goreham is a speaker on energy, the environment, and public policy and the author of the new bestselling book Green Breakdown: The Coming Renewable Energy Failure.”

This below reminded me of historian Nial Ferguson who said that 60s Marxists saw they could not win the public battle so they chose to go into the teacher’s colleges and indoctrinate new generations of teachers to then indoctrinate new generations of students. Looks like they have succeeded.

“Students Deserve to Know the Truth About Socialism” (from American Thinker), Chris Talgo, April 5, 2024

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2024/04/students_deserve_to_know_the_truth_about_socialism.html?utm

Quotes (full article at link):

“For the past few decades, American students have been taught a whitewashed version of socialism. Such is why nearly half of young Americans have a “positive” view of socialism and 70 percent of Millennials are “somewhat or extremely likely to vote for a socialist candidate.”

“This is a dire threat to the future of the United States considering this cohort will soon become the political, business, and societal leaders of this nation, not to mention the largest voting bloc for years to come.

“The reason that most young Americans have a distorted view of socialism is because the public school system has been derelict in its duty of properly educating students about the truth regarding socialism….

“In general, the vast majority of my former teaching colleagues both in Illinois and South Carolina harbored a positive disposition towards socialism. As far as I could tell, most of them were inundated with socialist rhetoric while they attended teacher college programs. Although most Americans are probably unaware, the overwhelming majority of higher education courses and programs designed for teachers are full of socialist propaganda….

“The reason I bring this all up is because there is a giant void in classroom materials and resources that present socialism in an honest light. In fact, most of the teachers I worked with while designing curricula for U.S. history, world history, and American government relied on the pseudo-textbook by avowed socialist Howard Zinn titled, A Young People’s History of the United States.

“To fill this void, I present Socialism At A Glance, a new book by the Heartland Institute’s Socialism Research Center. This book, co-written by yours truly and Jack McPherrin, provides a broad overview of socialism. Specifically, Socialism At A Glance examines the origins of socialist philosophy, which dates back to ancient times; covers the relationship between socialism and human nature; analyzes The Communist Manifesto; discusses the rise of “democratic socialism” in the late 20th century; and takes readers on an epic journey through socialist regimes beginning with the Soviet Union — the first and longest experiment with socialism on a grand scale. Readers will also learn what daily life is like under a variety of socialist governments, from Nazi Germany to modern-day China.

“Our objective in writing this book is to present the truth about socialism, which is why we rely upon original sources including speeches by prominent socialist leaders and various policy documents produced by these governments that explicitly outline the absence of freedom and private property rights that has been part and parcel to practically every socialist government that has existed to this day.

“For too long, millions of students in America have been brainwashed into believing that socialism is a preferable way of organizing society and distributing resources. But, as history shows, this is not true. In fact, history shows that socialism, even when implemented with the best of intentions, inevitably devolves into political persecution, abject poverty, mass murder, and general misery….”

“Chris Talgo (ctalgo@heartland.org) is editorial director at The Heartland Institute.”

The central issue in climate, the foundational factor to engage and understand– Wendell Krossa

The fundamental issue in climate science is “the physics of CO2” as in the actual warming effect of CO2. And the fact that warming effect has now almost reached “saturation”- meaning its ability to absorb and instantaneously re-emit infrared radiation on the infrared spectrum is now almost full. A doubling of CO2 over the next centuries (from today’s roughly 420 ppm to 800 ppm) will contribute very little to any possible further warming (we don’t know if any warming will continue). Such is the research of atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and others.

Put this “saturated warming effect” in the larger climate context which shows that other natural factors have been most responsible for the climate change that we have seen over past decades, centuries, and millennia. CO2 has been shown to have had a very small role in the larger context, a role that is consistently overwhelmed by the other natural factors. See, for example, Javier Vinos’ reports on “The Sun-Climate Effect: Winter Gatekeeper Hypothesis” and more at Wattsupwiththat.com and co2coalition.org, etc.

https://financialpost.com/opinion/carbon-tax-economists-letter-misses-point#:~:text=Layering%20a%20carbon%20tax%20on,the%20heavy%20lifting%20is%20needed

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/carson-jerema-economists-open-letter-oblivious-to-carbon-tax-realities#:~:text=The%20economists%20also%20fail%20to,year%2C%20will%20be%20worse%20off

See also “Climate Data Refutes Crisis Narrative: ‘If you concede the science and only challenge the policies… you’re going to lose’’, Climate Depot, Nov. 13, 2023

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2023/11/13/climate-data-refutes-crisis-narrative-if-you-concede-the-science-only-challenge-the-policiesyoure-going-to-lose/

Conclusion- There is no “climate crisis” and hence no good scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.

And then add the data on the immense benefits of more CO2 in our “CO2 starvation era”. Benefits like CO2 fertilization that has added some 15% more green vegetation to the Earth just since 1980. More food for animals and increased crop production for humanity.

https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2016/10/Moore-2.pdf

Another good one- Transcript, “America This Week, April 5, 2024, ‘The Nine Billion RFK Answers Ignored’”, Matt Taibbi and Walter Kirn.

“If CNN spends an hour interviewing Robert F. Kennedy and doesn’t hear his answers, did it happen? Walter and Matt discuss. Plus “The Nine Billion Names of God.”

This is another good discussion- This one on Erin Burnett’s (CNN) interview of Robert Kennedy and his now viral statement that “Biden was a greater threat to democracy than Trump”. But even more interesting is how they analyze Burnett’s treatment of Kennedy as illustrative of all that is wrong with mainstream media today- i.e. the confrontational activism, biased to one side, that does not want to hear truth or be challenged and questioned. As others have noted, these news media are no longer even pretending to do journalism but just propagandizing. As Taibbi and Kirn say- just repeating the catechism, just repeating the talking point smears that exhibit Trump Derangement Syndrome to extreme state.

This is some of the best commentary on what is happening in our societies today. Here are a few quotes before the discussion….

Quotes from discussion:

Burnett goes on and on about the evil of questioning elections…. And Kirn says this- “Now, I ask our audience to mark what I’m about to say. If we have a close election this year and Biden loses, you’re going to see all this go right down the memory hole and questioning elections will become the most patriotic thing a person can do.”

And other good points like Joy Behar’s follow-up to this CNN interview where she just smears Kennedy with a string of pejoratives. As Kirn says, “She loaded her shotgun with bad words, anti-science, conspiracy theorist, and so on, and she blew it off in front of the screen. Once again, the logical and argumentative poverty of these people is, I think, going to bite them in the ass, because she doesn’t feel any need to do anything except recite bad words.”

Kirn adds this about mainstream media today- “Walter Kirn: Well, you wonder who their audience really is. I don’t think these places pretend any more to have a broad swath of the American citizenry as their audience, nor do they even have big sections of it. They’re trying to, as I said last week, enact or model a kind of inquisitional attitude that they hope people will adopt themselves. They’re not trying to inform us. They’re not trying to open up debate or even make traditional political arguments. Both Joy Behar and Erin Burnett started with an assumption that they only consolidated and strengthened as they went on. There was no possibility that minds might open slightly as a result of these things. Their job was to close them further.

“And so, are they actually in the normal profession of letting people know more? Or are they now attempting to create by imitation a hypnotic suggestion that we don’t allow this to go any further, that we shut these people up, that this is how you should act at home? And they’re being ignored, their ratings are going down, the layoffs are rising, we have all kinds of acts in Congress and so on to limit the competition to them, which is starting to surge…

“They want to be able to teach everybody, even without them knowing it, to react negatively to ideas that are considered scary or unacceptable or unorthodox. And before you know it, we’ll lose the ability to watch an interview like that with Erin Burnett and feel anything but, “God, I can’t stand that Kennedy guy. What is he doing? Thank God for people like Erin Burnett who are saving us from the infidel.”

And just like the drone of an orthodox sermon that used to drive many of us to boredom, so mainstream media endlessly propagandize with their dogma… “And so, America’s turning it off. One of the reasons it might appear to many, to some at least, that I don’t give democratic media a lot of attention these days, is that I don’t have to. I know what they’re going to say. Why should I waste my time watching interviews like that? Why do I have to get more than two examples of these ritualistic scolding sessions to know what’s going to happen? They are telling me nothing new. And it’s not that I disdain their position as such, but I do disdain their rigidity and their repetitiveness and their predictability, which has become almost total.”

Kirn adds, “And on the great lie of Russian Collusion re Trump- Taibbi says, “even the height of McCarthyism, they didn’t quite try that one.”

“… (Such) is the actual state of the country, which no longer commands the interest of places like CNN. And in this sense, they are elitist. And in this sense, I think they are guilty as charged. They’re talking about inside politics, basically, and things like democracy, and these giant abstractions, while people stand at the gas pump watching the meter run over $100. And those kinds of things are happening really beneath the interest of the Erin Burnetts and the Joy Behars. This is a New York centric, to some extent, L.A. and Washington, D.C. centric media, all of which is pretty well off and insulated from an economy which isn’t working out for a lot of people, and they are just decided to ignore that fact, and have this internecine argument about who should be in the club and who shouldn’t be….

“… to remind people that individuals facing all sorts of difficulties and with all sorts of virtues live in the places that are just being brushed over negatively. But more than that, one thing I’ve noticed on social media, I’ve noticed with my own X account and my wife’s, is that whenever you make a critical comment about life today, about what’s going on out in the streets, out in the stores, in the airports, and so on, you are accused of helping Trump. Because negativity itself about modern American life is construed as an attack on the Democratic Party, an attack on Biden, which shows that there are people so defensive that they think that this country is now owned by them, if to criticize anything about it, is to criticize them…

“… there are all kinds… I mean, Paul Krugman is the greatest example, but there are all kinds of people in journalism and commentary who are now devoted to telling us that everything is great constantly, and to not believe our own eyes if we see contrary evidence. And they’re locked into it. Now they’re locked into it at CNN. The abiding impression I get from that long interview was that he said some rather shocking things about the vulnerability of the average American to an emergency at home, to an engine light going on, and she acted as though it was just dead air. I mean, she didn’t challenge it, she didn’t acknowledge it, she didn’t ask for more details, she didn’t want him to prove it. It just wasn’t material to her. The same Democratic Party that once said, “It’s the economy, stupid,” now wants to pretend that economic issues don’t exist.

“Matt Taibbi: Yeah. No, and you’re right. And that’s part of the catechism too, is that economic insecurity is just a code for white supremacy, Trumpism, et cetera, et cetera”.

More on the battle for free speech- “J. K. Rowling neutered Scotland’s hate speech law using only her words: Objective reality might sound hurtful to some, but they are indisputably not ‘hate’”, Amy Hamm, April 8, 2024

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/amy-hamm-j-k-rowling-neutered-scotlands-hate-speech-law-using-only-her-words

Quotes:

“J.K. Rowling is making headlines again: that quarrelsome, difficult woman — who just can’t for the life of her keep her mouth shut about women’s rights — has neutered new hate crime legislation that came into effect in Scotland on April 1. Using only her words! Is any further proof required that the woman is a bona fide witch?

“Scotland’s new law threatens up to seven years in prison for “stirring up hatred” against identifiable groups, including (not limited to) the religious, disabled, or transgender. Females, however, receive no protections under this new law. Critics — most notably Rowling — called hooey on its professed purpose and argued that what the law actually intends to do is to limit freedom of speech. And in particular, speech defending the sex-based rights of women. On X (formerly Twitter), Rowling was clear as a bell on this:

“In passing the Scottish Hate Crime Act, Scottish lawmakers seem to have placed higher value on the feelings of men performing their idea of femaleness, however misogynistically or opportunistically, than on the rights and freedoms of actual women and girls. The new legislation is wide open to abuse by activists who wish to silence those of us speaking out about the dangers of eliminating women’s and girls’ single-sex spaces, the nonsense made of crime data if violent and sexual assaults committed by men are recorded as female crimes, the grotesque unfairness of allowing males to compete in female sports, the injustice of women’s jobs, honours and opportunities being taken by trans-identified men, and the reality and immutability of biological sex,” she wrote.

“Scotland’s new law did not pass in a vacuum: it is but one example of similar legislation that is being pushed across the West, including in Britain, Ireland, and Canada….

“And flout she did: Rowling posted a provocative thread with examples of Scottish transwomen who’ve done heinous things — threatened violence against women; been convicted of rape (including of minors), indecent exposure, or possession of child pornography — and then ended up in women’s prisons; bragged about stealing and wearing their sister’s underwear; and replaced women in sports or professional roles, including as head of one Scottish rape crisis centre. Rowling even made jokes along the way — such audacity — concluding with a taunt for Scottish police to arrest her: “I’m currently out of the country, but if what I’ve written here qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment.”…

“Facts and objective reality might sound hurtful to some, but they are indisputably not “hate.” It is essential that we can all speak to biological facts without being criminalized or imprisoned for doing so….

“Across the pond, us Canadians face the prospect of similar legislation being enacted. Like Scotland’s “hate crime” act, the Trudeau government’s Online Harms Bill — headed for a second reading in the House of Commons — also seeks to censor and possibly imprison outspoken, anti-establishment citizens.”

National Post

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The varied fronts of resurging collectivist totalitarianism in Western societies today- the rejection of Classic Liberalism

Note posts below on the varied fronts in the resurging collectivist totalitarianism of today in Western societies.

Here is an important summary of research by Bob Brinsmead on the anti-sacrifice message of Historical Jesus, meaning that Jesus argued against Christology (i.e. the mythology of a cosmic godman sent to make atonement for human sin by offering himself as a blood sacrifice). So who is really the “anti-Christ”? Unfortunately, we received Paul’s Christ-ianity, not Jesus-ianity. We properly honor Jesus by doing what Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy did- make distinctly clear the “diamonds/pearls” of Jesus as contrasted with the larger New Testament context that buries the message of Jesus under Paul’s Christ myth.

https://bobbrinsmead.com/the-historical-jesus-what-the-scholars-are-saying/

More sage insight from Bob Brinsmead on Historical Jesus research

“Yes ____, some good reasoning here. Some of the miracles and stories in the Bible are no more literally true than the Greek myths which were designed to convey moral and ethical insights. The Bible is written by people like us. It is an expression of a faith journey and the evolving, human view of God – which is sometimes raw, primitive and brutal. Ellens (Faith to Live By) says that God’s behaviour in the OT is sometimes insane as well as sometimes sublime as in end of Micah.

“The priestly view of God (the Priestly author) never says a thing about the mercy of God. The Levitical laws were added to the original law of Moses hundreds of years later, and passed off as the words of Moses, but in reality based more on the old pagan sacrifices for which the later prophets, John the Baptist and Jesus expressed utter contempt and rejection, the same as some of the enlightened Greek thinkers such as Pythagoras. Just as the priestly elite put their rituals into the mouth of Moses, so the elite, educated churchmen did not hesitate to put their apocalyptic world view and their ecclesiology into the mouth of Jesus. Their deceitful construction of history led them to construct two entire NT books in the name of Peter to remake Peter in the image of Paul and more.

Another from Bob:

“Belousek’s book, which I have, is a monumental waste of time because he builds on the premise that Jesus’ death was in some sense a saving event or transaction. He simply tries to re-work a discredited doctrine in the same way as some try to rework the violent Christological imagery of the book of Revelation. When he gets through, he is trying to justify the Christian teaching that in some way the death of Jesus was an atonement. Wendell would say re-working of an old teaching is like putting lipstick on a pig.

“Even Catholic theologians have traditionally rejected Calvin’s substitutionary model for the atonement, and rather than trying to explain in what sense it was an atonement, Catholics have tended to say that it is a mystery – just like the Trinity – and that, after all, might be the best way to close down an argument. What is wrong with the whole box and dice of atonement theology is the stark fact that John the Baptist and Jesus stood in the best tradition of the Hebrew prophets who rejected the entire sacrificial system of the priesthood which they maintained was added to the law of Moses by the “lying priests.”

“And for this stance, some of them, like Isaiah, were put to death by the priesthood. This rejection of animal sacrifice as in way having anything to do with God’s forgiveness persisted among a significant segment of Judaism right down through the four centuries of prophetic silence until the arrival of the prophetic spirit again in the persons of John the Baptist and Jesus, and this was continued by James, the brother of Jesus and leader of the Jesus movement in Jerusalem for 32 years after the death of Jesus.

“With John and Jesus, as it was with Isaiah and Micah, forgiveness of sin rested solely on the compassionate justice of God and had nothing to do with either the offering of animal or human sacrifice. When John started to baptize in the Jordan as a ritual for the forgiveness of sins, he was by this rejecting the priestly system of sacrifices at Jerusalem for the remission of sins. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The profound rot in Western education (Peterson article), and more in defense of Classic Liberalism

See comments below on the best summary yet of the main issues related to climate change and the link to the movie posted at Wattsupwiththat.com

The human oneness thing again, the struggle against tribalism, Wendell Krossa

Even if multiple-origin theories become more credible (they keep popping up and then disappear), you still have the most critical and common identity markers of all humans on Earth today, the fundamental markers of being human- i.e. human consciousness, human mind, human spirit, and the human self- the foundational realities that mark us all as equal members of the same one human family with the same fundamental identity- human being. We are one family of equals. Get used to it. It is our fundamental reality and identity.

Example of multiple origin theories that regularly pop up:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/dna-suggests-modern-humans-emerged-from-several-groups-in-africa-not-one-180982242/

The identity markers that we give so much prominence to, like race, are peripheral in terms of fundamental biological importance. As one scientist said, on the human genome race/color amounts to nothing of anymore importance than a sunburn. It’s the difference between active melanocytes due to ancestors living for millennia in high sunlight areas, versus inactive melanocytes due to millennia of life in low sunlight regions.

Its as if a black person and a white person stated their differences as “You sunburned people… you not sunburned people”. Kinda petty, huh.

“I am you and you are me and we are all together”, paraphrase of John Lennon’s “I am the Walrus”.

The threat to liberal democracy is now coming from within, Wendell Krossa

Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and others have been warning us about a dangerous shift that has occurred as US intelligence agencies have moved from focusing more solely on threats from foreign enemies to now focusing excessively on “domestic threats”, claiming that Americans are functioning as agents of dangerous foreign governments. The agencies now frame many of their own citizens as the agents of dangerous “disinformation and hate speech” thereby validating US government projects to censor, ban, silence, and even criminalize their own citizens.

The new and intensified framing of “domestic threat” is a charge more commonly levelled toward conservative opinions and speech which exposes the ideological bias behind this project. The charge of domestic threat has also been levelled toward fellow liberals who do not zealously support the far-left Woke Progressive narratives that dominate so many social institutions and agencies.

The Twitter Files revelations exposed this new “counter-populism” crusade, promoted by the FBI, CIA, the Democratic party, and coercively pushed on the social media giants (Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc.). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Reframing the old elite/commoner divide in societies, creating fear to control populations, religious themes behind totalitarian movements

Site briefs:

This site notes the varied fronts that are coming at us today, the differing developments in a resurging collectivism that is very much a continuation of the same old collectivist crusade of the last century. The new fronts for collectivism are reframing the class distinction and dualism between capitalist owners and disenfranchised workers (oppressor/oppressed, victimizer/victimized). Today that dualism of oppressor/oppressed is divided more along racial lines.

Journalists like Glen Greenwald, Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, among many others, keep warning us that this new elite totalitarianism poses a constant threat to our freedom.

This site especially notes what is behind the public fronts of these varied collectivist crusades, whether they present as ideological, social, philosophical, or other. The “what is behind or beneath” as in the primitive mythical/religious themes that persistently dominate human narratives both religious and “secular/ideological”. Historians have shown that primitive religious themes were behind Marxism, Nazism, and now environmentalism. Richard Landes described Marxism as “the subtle alliance of what can be recognized as a modicum of scientific truth with a salvationist religion”, just another apocalyptic millennial crusade like all before it.

He quotes another scholar who noted the resistance of Western intellectuals to acknowledge the fundamentally religious nature of Marxism, “… any attempt to put this totalitarian system in the category of a closed and barbarian theocracy is very often vehemently refused… Everybody who dares to take the Bolshevik world as a religious community is considered a traitor betraying the humanitarian ideals of the modernity of the French Revolution… the proponents of the project of modernity, the distance between the old and the new modern world would shrink too much and the debts to the Christian tradition would become too heavy. Thus, when you treat the Bolsheviks as a millennial sect you are going to betray the project of modernity and treat the Bolsheviks despite their very modern efforts to industrialize backward Russia as a medieval sect of obscure believers”, (p.347, Heaven On Earth).

Western intellectuals refused to acknowledge that their Marxist heroes were essentially religious nutcases of the extreme variety.

On the religious themes shaping these crusades:

Note particularly, the theme of cosmic dualism that validates and promotes tribal dualisms among people as in the collectivist dualism of property or capital owners versus landless, poor commoners. Or the environmental narrative dualism of destructive consumers versus a pure and noble wilderness world. Or the many other dualisms that people embrace related to race/ethnicity, nationality, religion, social classes, gender, and so on.

Ancient and deeply embedded theological ideas (archetypes of subconscious such as Zoroaster’s cosmic divine dualism) influence, shape, and validate our worst inherited impulses to tribalism and the consequent retaliatory treatment of differing others as “enemies”. Cosmic dualism mythology traces deeper roots to the animal impulse to small band mentality and opposition to other small bands as competing “enemies” to be excluded, dominated, or destroyed. Ancient peoples, as their consciousness emerged and developed, and moved by their impulse to meaning, then created ideas, projected out to and embedded in ultimate metaphysical realities, to validate their primitive existence.

This site points to better alternatives such as the insights of Historical Jesus on a stunning new theology of an unconditional deity, insights that provide a better background narrative to affirm modern insights on human oneness, insights that reject primitive tribalism and its destructive outcomes in human civilization. Insights that affirm hope, love, and validate the better responses represented in humane systems of ethics such as Classic Liberalism. Further, evidence-based hope lightens human consciousness and contributes to creating an overall environment in which love can flourish and thereby enhance human peace, creative endeavor, and prosperity. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Site project: What does it mean to be human? What is the real nature of love?

“Where there is no authentic freedom there is no authentic love”, Bob Brinsmead.

The fundamental features of freedom and love are best expressed in Classic Liberal principles and institutions.

Section topics:

(1) Resurging tribalism and disarming the tribal impulse. Go right to the fundamental underpinnings of ideologies and belief systems. I would point to the Jesus insight on unconditional deity- his “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God” (James Robinson), his greatest contribution to the history of human ideas, an insight rejected 20 years later by Paul as he buried the message of Jesus under his Christ myth.

Jesus advocated unlimited, unconditional forgiveness, full and equal inclusion of all, and the end of tribally-limited love that favored friends over enemies, and true believers over unbelievers. His central message- “Love your enemy because God does”. Be like God. (This site embraces the general outlines of “The search for the Historical Jesus” as in Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy’s comments that “The diamonds/pearls of Jesus are buried under Paul’s Christology- his “Christian Jesus Christ”.)

(2) Basic features of Classic Liberalism as in things like the decentralization of power (dispersed among free individuals) to protect all against the centralizing of power in collectivism approaches to organizing human societies (i.e. elites controlling society’s resources and decision-making for the “greater or common good”, meaning in actual practise “the good of powerholding elites”). Abandoning the principle of government existing to serve the people.

Collectivism models (Owen’s communalism, Marx’s communism, socialism, and mixed socialism/democratic versions) for organizing human societies are fundamentally anti-freedom (anti-individual freedom- meaning anti-diversity, anti-inclusion, anti-equality), and therefore collectivism experiments have inevitably expressed as anti-human and anti-liberal. Collectivism exhibits a profound distrust of ordinary citizens. It expresses an elitist arrogance that believes that it alone knows what is best for all others and will force its elite vision and policies on all others via centralized state power.

(3) The war on agriculture as the next stage of climate alarmism and the populist pushback against that assault. Elites demonize populism as “right wing extremism” but it is a movement of liberals, independents, and conservatives to take back the freedom of all of us commoners who reject the WEF’s “’Great Reset’ where we will own nothing and be happy eating bugs”.

(4) The Climate movie. At last, the best climate science minds- Lindzen, Happer, Moore, Svensmark, and many more stating clearly that there is no climate crisis and CO2 is not a threat to life. And the mild warming of the last century is not a catastrophe but the best thing happening to life in an abnormally cold world where 10 times more people still die every year from cold than die from warmth.

(5) The responsibility for your ideas/beliefs and their outcomes.

(6) The unconditional treatment of all is not advocacy for pacifism. Love is always responsible, first and foremost, to protect the innocent. Meaning restraint and incarceration of violent people.

And more….

The resurging tribalism that we all fret over today, Wendell Krossa Read the rest of the opening comment here

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Site project: What does it mean to be human? What is the real nature of love?

The Holocene Optimum of 10,000 to 6,000 years ago was 3-4 degrees C warmer than today.

See below Michael Shellenberger on “The end of the transgender craze”, and Canada’s former chair of the Human Rights Commission on the threat to free speech from Justin Trudeau’s “Online Harms” bill.

This site probes the critical issue of how we maintain our humanity in the face of evil, when enduring hell on earth. Wendell Krossa

There are two sides to this ongoing horror: What Hamas terrorists did Oct.7 and are committed to doing “again and again”- exterminate Israelis. And on the other side, the suffering that Gazans are now undergoing due to the obligation of the Israeli military to rid that area of any further threat from Hamas. That must be done. When people commit themselves to violently exterminate others and will not embrace peaceful solutions or surrender peacefully, then there is no option but to, unfortunately, use force to stop them.

Add that the Gazan population will need to engage some profound changes in their understanding and attitude toward their neighbors as far too many of them have been indoctrinated into supporting Hamas. And there is hope that even though the human spirit can be deformed and suppressed by bad ideas and indoctrination, people, when offered the opportunity, can change their minds and come to their senses again. Some of the young Hamas men captured Oct.7 and interrogated by Israeli military admitted that they “had become animals… doing things no human would do”. They realized that their Hamas leaders had seriously misled them. They evidenced some residual and re-emerging shreds of humanity.

https://matzav.com/captured-hamas-terrorist-admits-we-became-animals-as-he-details-sick-suicide-mission/

Quote from above link:

“The terrorist said, “We became animals. Things that humans do not do.”

“They were explicitly told to “step on the heads of civilians” to “behead them and do whatever they felt like”.” (Others said they were told to slaughter even babies. See for yourself the interviews of these terrorists on YouTube.)

Let’s not avert our eyes from the suffering on all sides. But due to the insane eruption of antisemitism across Western societies and accompanying denial of what happened Oct. 7, more needs to be said about the horrors that were inflicted on young Israeli woman on that day and since. Click the links below and look at these young women’s faces and into their eyes.

Many Jews, during the Holocaust, caught in that eruption of hell on earth, wailed their version of Protest theology- “Where is God?”

The Oct. 7 horror again reminds us of the destructive outcomes of the tribal mentality that denies the fact of human oneness, that all of us are equal members of the same one human family and obligated, most primarily, to love one another. These eruptions of savagery against one another ought to raise questions concerning the ideas that feed such hatred and incite brutality toward differing others, that render people more animal than human.

In the mix of resolving these issues for the long-term future we have to set aside the defensive blaming of “they started it” and begin to probe and understand the deeper roots of such hatred and lust for never-ending vengeance. This has to be done if we are to escape these historically endless cycles of “eye for eye” that blind everyone.

True heroism will arise in those willing to grapple with history’s hardest saying to “Love your enemy” and then courageously initiate breaks in the cycles of eye for eye retaliatory response in order to then take degenerating situations in new directions. That will require those who are willing to tower in stature as maturely human, just as Nelson Mandela exhibited for us recently. People who understand that the real enemy is inside each of us. And the real battle against evil takes place inside us, the war against our inherited animal drives to tribalism, domination, and punitive destruction of others. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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