Legitimate and illegitimate fears. Responsibility and irresponsibility.

Be maturely responsible. Don’t scare the kids. Approach every apparent problem in life with skepticism and a commitment to understand the true state of the issue under concern. Remain open to all evidence, even evidence that contradicts your beliefs and counters your own personal ‘confirmation bias’.

I am a father and from the earliest years of my children’s lives I have wanted to re-assure them that there is nothing to inordinately fear, no great monsters in life. Of course, there are the healthy fears of natural disaster, accident, disease, and human cruelty. But then there is the irresponsible and unnecessary fear that is incited by people exaggerating things, whether in the physical realm or by appealing to metaphysical threats.

Example: One day my oldest son, only about 5 years old, rushed into the room to tell me that he was scared for me because a religious lady had just told him that I was going to hell. I had left my Christian religion, and in her view, I was now an eternally-condemned unbeliever. Such is a distorting metaphysical threat. There is no such thing as hell.

And then there are the fears that come from distorting and exaggerating physical or natural things. Our world is awash in ongoing hysteria over the apocalyptic claims that the world is coming to an end. Example: Nancy Pelosi’s recent ‘metaphysical’ claim that “Mother Earth is angry” and trying to punish us evil people through natural disasters. That affirms other recent hysterical prophecies such as Greta Thunberg’s claims that the world is soon to end.

And this hysteria continues in the face of good contrary evidence that the disturbances and changes we are seeing (e.g. in climate) are natural and mild compared to past eras of more sudden and severe changes in nature. Exaggerating such things to apocalyptic-scale distorts the true state of things and is highly irresponsible and dangerous. See “Patterns and outcomes of alarmism movements” below.

Point? Re-assure your children that there are no real monsters out there, just the exaggerated bogey-men of hysterical alarmists whose minds are clouded by the pathology of apocalyptic myths.

Note this press release (Sept. 18/2020) from the Global Warming Policy Foundation: “Official US Climate Data Reveals No Cause For Alarm”

“A new paper published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation shows that U.S. climate has been changing very gradually, and mostly in a benign way.

“The paper, by British climate writer Paul Homewood, examines official US weather sources and finds almost nothing to justify alarm.

“The temperature has risen a little”, says Homewood, “but temperature extremes are still a long way off the levels seen in the 1930s. And there has been a reduction in cold spells and climate-related deaths, so in many ways, the US climate has become less extreme compared to previous ages.”

“It is the same story for rainfall. There has been an increase overall, but the wettest year on record was nearly 50 years ago. Droughts were mostly far worse in the 1930s.

“It’s hard to find anything in the records of recent weather in the US that should give anyone any cause for alarm” says Homewood.

“It’s mostly rather reassuring. From heat to cold to storms and tornadoes, there is no trend that is out of the ordinary.”

“Homewood’s paper, entitled The US Climate in 2019, can be downloaded here- https://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2020/09/US-Climate-2019.pdf?utm_source=CCNet+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4c6226b7d3-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2020_09_18_09_56_COPY_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fe4b2f45ef-4c6226b7d3-20139177&mc_cid=4c6226b7d3&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f ”

“You may say that I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one”, John Lennon.

Site project: To deliver a death blow to humanity’s greatest monster and enemy. The monster/enemy is not some other person(s). Our great enemy/monster is embodied in the “cruel-God” features that have long been foundational to human God theories (i.e. ultimate reality/meaning beliefs). These features- e.g. judgment, retaliatory punishment, final destruction- promote unnecessary fear and bury the creating/sustaining Love that is at the core of reality. The darker features of divinities- humanity’s highest ideal and authority- have long incited the worst impulses in people to harshly judge imperfect others, to retaliate with punitive justice, and to destroy “enemy” others.

Punitive, destroying God theories anchor entire complexes of supporting bad ideas (see Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives below). This “threat theology” can also be traced behind contemporary alarmism movements like environmental alarmism. Note a recent example of threat theology from Nancy Pelosi (Sept. 2020), claiming that “Mother Earth is angry” and threatening to punish and destroy us bad people. Other contemporary versions of threat theology include vengeful Gaia, retributive Universe, angry Planet, and payback karma.

Threat theology is primitive mythology at its worst- the belief that there is some ultimate threat of punishment and destruction that is manifested through the natural world. These myths generate unnecessary fear, anxiety, guilt/shame, and even violence. Arthur Mendel was right that apocalyptic has been “the most violent and destructive idea in history” (Vision and Violence). How so? Apocalyptic threat incites the survival impulse in populations. It then arouses tribal hatred that is focused on some threatening other, some enemy that must be coercively and even violently purged in order to “save the world”. This alarmism becomes a direct assault on human freedom as frightened people believe that the threatening enemy must be silenced, banned, cancelled, and worse. See patterns and outcomes of alarmism movements in sections below.

My project may seem Quixotic, as in Don Quixote running his lance at windmills. But the monster is real. My intention is to promote liberation from primal fears of divine punishment through the natural world and from the primal human fear of after-life harm. This pathology has long buried the truth of a stunning no conditions Love at the core of reality, a love that is also our essential nature as human persons. We are not the fallen creatures of religious mythology that deserve divine punishment or destruction (i.e. apocalypse, hell). We are most essentially beings of love and light, inseparable from the great Love and Light at the core of reality.

This is a “go-to-the-ultimate-root” project that deals with the most fundamental pathology of all.

Climate change

The most severe swings of climate change occurred from 50-20,000 years ago. The climate changes since the beginning of our inter-glacial some 20,000 years ago have been mild in comparison. You get periodic swings between warming and cooling periods like the severe cold of the Little Ice Age from 1645-1715, a cold period that we are still recovering from. Nature throws all sorts of nasties at us like periods of extended drought, severe hurricanes and of course wildfires. But all such events must be placed in context in order to be properly understood. And all the factors involved in such events must be included in order for us to understand the actual root causes and true state of something and how to rationally respond.

Over the past three decades apocalyptic types have pushed a distorting narrative with hysterical exaggeration that focuses on only one element to the neglect of all others (i.e. CO2 as largely or solely responsible for climate change). They claim that the destructive events we are experiencing are due to an angry nature punishing bad people for their abuse of nature and they frame that almost solely in terms of our use of fossil fuels as the great evil to be banished.

As Nancy Pelosi claimed recently (Sept. 2020), “Mother Earth is angry” and then promised to enact policies to eliminate fossil fuels. This is mythology at its distorting worst. Credible scientists have noted that poor forest management is largely responsible for the severity of the California wildfire season, not the worst on record by far. See reports at Wattsupwiththat.com, notably, Richard Lindzen’s research on the minor role of CO2 in climate change.

Point? There is no “settled science” or “consensus” that CO2 is the dominant driver of climate change. Conclusion? There is no good scientific reason to decarbonize our societies and abandon fossil fuels.

Our struggle with imperfection and its influence on the early creation of mythology

The earliest human mythology reveals our struggle to understand and explain imperfection in our world and in our lives. Look at one of the earliest myths of the Sumerian city of Dilmun. These original perfection myths (original golden age or paradise, Eden) are found all across the world. They are stories of the ancient belief in original perfection and then the blaming of humanity for the ruin of that perfection (our ancestors commit an original error or sin) and therefore we deserve subsequent punishment with suffering in life- illness and thorns and death are all introduced to make our lives miserable, as punishment for our ancestor’s original sin.

In the Dilmun story: the early man Enki eats the original forbidden 8 plants and then becomes ill. Paradise is ruined.

Over subsequent millennia, Jewish and Christian theologians affirmed the belief in original perfection. Christian theologians, for example, were stunned, after the telescope was invented, with the discovery that the orbits of planets were elliptical (not “perfectly” circular as the Greeks had imagined) and the planets were pock-marked with craters. They had believed that the cosmos was created perfect, as was the earth. And they had long affirmed that the ruin of our originally perfect world was due to an original human sin.

This primitive mythology continues to dominate human consciousness today- i.e. the more general belief that the past was better (the pristine paradise of a wilderness world) but corrupt, greedy people have ruined that with industrial civilization. The ruin of the better past is due to our wanting a better life. The Japanese lady summed this belief after the 2011 tsunami, asking rhetorically, “Are we being punished for enjoying the good life too much?”

Much distorting mythology has resulted from our struggle to understand and explain imperfection in our world and our lives. This struggle with imperfection has been one of the central driving motives behind the creation of mythology and religion.

Science has now shown us that there was no original imperfection. But many still accept the core reasoning of primitive mythology (core themes) and continue to blame humanity for fucking things up, or more politely, for ruining things. Surely, we deserve punishment. Example: Nancy Pelosi re-affirmed this recently with her comments on the California wildfires, claiming that “Mother Nature is angry” and was punishing us for ruining things. The past was better (original paradise), we have ruined it (our bad), so we deserve punishment. We are subjected to endless browbeating with this primitive thinking.

I outright reject this distorting narrative. We are born imperfect in an imperfect reality, and imperfection was “built-in” originally for some overall higher reason. We struggle with our imperfection and to become something better. We struggle against imperfection all through life. But we must learn to do so without excessive guilt and shame and not beating ourselves up over remaining imperfection. There is a healthy recognition of our failures, and endeavor to become better, and an unhealthy shame and guilt that goes too far in self-recrimination.

Our personal experience of imperfection should be an empathy-generator and ought to make us more merciful toward the imperfection of others.

A new narrative will overturn these old themes and primitive reasoning and will embrace original imperfection as part of an original creation and the recognition that imperfection exists for some good purpose (i.e. providing an arena for human struggle and development, to bring forth the best of the human spirit). See Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives.

Climate

Looming climate catastrophe? 16 times more people die annually from cold than from warmth. With the mild one degree Centigrade of warming over the past century, animal life has benefitted with expanded seasons and habitat.

Also, the world is much greener today thanks to the small increase in basic plant food (i.e. more CO2 has resulted in adding green vegetation across the world equivalent to twice the size of the continental US). Small increase in CO2? Yes, from the pre-industrial 285 ppm to the 400 plus ppm of today. This is small compared to the multiple thousands of ppm of atmospheric CO2 that existed over much of the past 500 million years with little effect on world temperatures https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/09/15/cooling-the-hothouse/

The increase in plant food has resulted in increased crop productivity, more plant food for animals, overall a return to more optimal conditions for all life. More warmth and more plant food has resulted in net benefits for all life.

So yes, 97% of us agree climate change has been occurring. But so what? The outcomes have been largely beneficial, not “catastrophic” as the apocalyptics claim. Hence, there is no scientific basis for reducing human use of fossil fuels.

Site projects:

A central project here is to contribute to widespread endeavors to disarm contemporary alarmism (e.g. climate alarmism) with evidence on the true state of life as overall improving across the long-term. The intent is to affirm a rational basis for hope in the future. This site probes the root ideas behind alarmism- i.e. the persistent embrace of apocalyptic mythology in contemporary worldviews, both religious and “secular”. This site traces the historical roots of this pathology and locates the origin of apocalyptic in Western history in Paul’s Christ myth (see “The great Christian Contradiction”).

The project here is about responding to primal fears, primal impulses for meaning/purpose, and offering more humane alternatives than those offered by either religious traditions or materialism. This is about finding new ways forward to a more humane future. It is about probing the creation of more humane meta-ideals which is to say, for one, more humane God theories. Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives offers examples of more humane features for a new narrative of hope.

On the flip side: A central project here has been the endeavor to bring down the real monster and enemy in life- i.e. the monster gods of the past and present such as the punitive, destroying deities of religious traditions, and the contemporary versions of deity such as vengeful Gaia, angry Planet, punitive Universe, pissed Mother Earth, and payback karma. These larger Forces/Spirits are the cohering centers for entire sets of bad ideas. They continue to dominate human belief systems, both religious and “secular”, which is to say, they dominate the consciousness of most of humanity (the 85% affiliated with a world religion and the 15% that are still “spiritual but not religious”).

Freeing minds from “threat theology” is about liberating human consciousness from unnecessary fears. There is enough to fear in life, what with natural disaster, disease, accident, and human cruelty. We don’t need the added burden of mythically-based fear that there are angry gods or punitive forces behind the destructive elements of the natural world. Alarmists (modern apocalyptic prophets) take the harsher elements of our world to proclaim the final end of all things, endlessly setting end-of-days dates (the latest being 2030), and shamelessly claim that their apocalyptic scenarios are “science”. The costs of alarmism have been horrific, mostly for the poorest people in our societies (see Bjorn Lomborg’s False Alarm).

Further note: Apocalyptic with its punitive, destroying deity has been the most violent and destructive idea in history. The outcomes of apocalyptic have been traced in modern mass-death movements. The pattern in apocalyptic movements is as follows: The prophesying of the apocalypse incites the survival response populations and pushes people to embrace the apocalyptic salvation schemes that cause more harm because they demand “coercive purging” of some imagined threat- capitalist society in Marxist apocalyptic, Jewish Bolshevism in Nazi apocalyptic, and now in environmental apocalyptic the great threat to be purged is industrial, fossil fuel civilization. Apocalyptic movements also urge the abandoning of democratic processes with the silencing and banning of skeptics and shutting down open debate. Alarmism does not tolerate dissent and is a direct assault on freedom.

Also common to alarmist revolutions like Marxism, Nazism, and now environmentalism, is the push for the “instantaneous transformation” of society (e.g. rapid decarbonization), the total restructuring of societies in order to “save the world” from the always “imminent threat” and to restore some imagined lost paradise. Decarbonization will devastate societies with higher energy costs.

A further project: Focusing on the real enemy in life and the real battle in life- the one inside us all, the battle of our human spirit against our inherited animal brain and its dark impulses. See “Framework for human story”.

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The basic complex of “bad ideas”, and alternatives

Old story themes, new story alternatives (18 fundamental ideas to re-evaluate)

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 (threat theology). This core myth continues at the foundation 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- all the new retaliatory gods of environmental alarmism, history’s latest apocalyptic movement.

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

This primitive view of deity as punitive and God as the Ultimate Destroyer (i.e. via apocalypse, hell) is the single most important “bad idea” to engage and correct. All other bad religious ideas are anchored to this foundational pathology in human thought.

New story alternative: The “stunning new theology” that God is an inexpressible “no conditions love”, a non-retaliatory Reality. The adjective “unconditional” points to our highest understanding of love 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 thing as “hell”).

Why bother with such speculative metaphysical corrections? Because we need to counter humanity’s “primal fear of after-life harm” that is the outcome of millennia of bad religious ideas beaten into human consciousness and subconscious. Also, 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 efforts. See “The Christian Contradiction (Historical Jesus versus Paul’s Christ myth)”, below.

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 (conditions of right belief, proper religious rituals, religious lifestyle, demanded sacrifices/payment for wrong, etc.). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The Christ myth- separating diamonds from dung.

The fundamental problem with Paul’s Christ myth was outlined by Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy. They stated that the Christ of Paul “buries the diamonds” of Historical Jesus. The message of Jesus emphasized the themes of unlimited forgiveness and inclusion of all (sun and rain given to both good and bad), unconditional love (no payment or sacrifice demanded before forgiving- e.g. the Prodigal Father), and non-retaliatory justice (no eye for eye retaliation).

Paul’s Christ buries these themes in the “dung” of highly conditional salvationism- i.e. the appeasement of angry deity with the condition of a blood sacrifice as required payment (see Romans, Hebrews), the exclusion of unbelievers (Romans and elsewhere- note the condition of faith in Paul’s Christ for inclusion in salvation), and ultimate retaliation/punishment through apocalypse or hell (see the Thessalonian letters). The conditional religious mythology of Paul buries the unconditional reality that Jesus taught.

Preface to “Christian Contradiction”

Across history people have appealed to deity, as humanity’s highest ideal and authority, to validate their behavior and their treatment of others, notably, to validate justice as the punishment of others for wrongs done. That is the ‘behavior based on similar belief’ relationship. People have long used the features of retaliation and punishment in divinity as the ultimate validation for punitive, payback justice toward offending others. But Historical Jesus swept away that basis of divine validation by stating that God did not retaliate (“no more eye for eye”) but, to the contrary, generously forgave, included, and loved all people whether good or bad (“love your enemies… sun and rain given to both righteous and unrighteous”). Conclusion? You violate the central message of Historical Jesus if you try to use him or his theology to validate retaliatory, punitive justice. Christian Jesus (Paul’s “Jesus Christ”) of course, is another matter altogether. But that mythical Christ is something entirely opposite to Historical Jesus.

“The great Christian Contradiction” (Historical Jesus versus Paul’s Christ myth):

The feature of ‘unconditional’ should be central to an authentically humane theology (God theory or Ultimate Reality theory). Below, I appeal to the Jesus tradition to establish this point. But my argument is not dependent on first establishing the actual message of the original Jesus. I do not view Jesus as an authority figure and I do not need his actual words (the “original message”) as critical to affirm my point regarding an unconditional theology. I simply refer to the useful comments in the Jesus material (e.g. “love your enemy”) to illustrate something (i.e. unconditional) that stands on its own as authoritative.

Unconditional is the best of being human and holds authority in itself as ultimate goodness without the need for validation by some religious authority. It is “self-validating” as good or true. Unconditional does not need validation from Jesus but I do not mind touching base with such widely respected icons/symbols for illustrative purposes.

Unconditional love is not a religious insight or discovery. To the contrary, religious traditions across history have been essentially conditional traditions- promoting religious demands for right beliefs, correct rituals, required religious lifestyles to please religious deities, and the necessary conditions for religious salvation (i.e. sacrifices, payments). Religion as a conditional institution has never communicated the stunning unconditional nature of deity to humanity. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Living a human story

A framework for understanding human story (some essential features of human life and experience, or “the meaning of life”)

Scattered throughout his books, Joseph Campbell presents an outline for understanding human life/human story. I have added to his basic points, revising, paraphrasing, and changing some things.

The point of human life? We are here to love. This is the fundamental reason for the cosmos, our world, and conscious human life.

Where Campbell used the term “universal love” to define human maturity and “heroic” human story, I would use the broader term “unconditional” or “no conditions” love. It includes universal and more. My point: Unconditional, as our highest human ideal (the most humane expression of love), gives meaning to everything. It answers all the great questions about “Why existence?”; “Why this cosmos and this world?”, and “Why conscious human life?” Let unconditional define all areas of life- your goals, your mission in life, how you become the hero of your unique story, and how you mature as a human being. Unconditional is how you conquer your monster, your real enemy in life, and thereby “tower in stature” as a wise person, as a mature human person.

An insert qualifier: Unconditional does not mean pacifist inaction in the face of injustice, violence, or evil. In discussion groups you sometimes get smart-ass participants who respond to the suggestion of embracing unconditional as an ideal with this extremist dismissal, “Oh, you’re saying that we should let all the psychopaths go free”. No. In advocating for an unconditional mindset, no one is suggesting anything so thoughtlessly irresponsible. Embracing an unconditional ideal does not entail the abandonment of common sense in an imperfect world.

For one, unconditional is a profound redefinition of humanity’s ultimate ideal and authority- deity. And thereby related: Unconditional fully humanizes our life goal of becoming fully humane just as our originating Source is fully humane (i.e. the belief/behavior relationship). Embracing unconditional in our highest ideal and authority- i.e. deity- will shape our responses and treatment of human imperfection and failure. It will orient us away from punitive forms of justice and toward restorative or rehabilitative justice. An unconditional mindset will still hold all responsible for their behavior, including the restraining and imprisoning of people that are not able or not willing to self-control their worst impulses. Unconditional will even engage war to stop aggression against the innocent. But it will do so with the non-aggressive and humble attitude that was advocated by the Chinese sage, Laozi, noted below.

Now, those features of human storyRead the rest of the opening comment here

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Patterns and outcomes of alarmism eruptions

(Continuing the anti-alarmism project of this site)

As we grow up, we are exposed to a variety of inherited ideas. We embrace those to shape our personal understanding of life, and to explain the world to ourselves. Many of the themes that we adopt to formulate our own worldview, we embrace almost subconsciously, without too much introspective reflection on their actual content or nature. They just “seem to be true”. Our ideas are inherited mainly from parents/family. These ideas/themes are also voiced repeatedly in public by teachers, friends, and respected public figures, and that re-enforces our own beliefs/views.

We become emotionally attached to our personal belief system because it satisfies deeply embedded impulses for meaning and purpose. Our personal worldview is also very much the embodiment of our identity, our very self. That emotional attachment to our beliefs as our essential identity makes it difficult to remain open to the new, to change, and to further development.

Many people become selves that are rigidly oriented to fixed and finalized identity markers, whether religious, ideological, racial, ethnic, national, or occupational, and do not remain as selves continuing to develop in an open process (i.e. Louis Zurcher in The Mutable Self). These markers are important to human identity but when held in a divisive manner that overrides our common humanity (i.e. the oneness of the human family) they can then become problematic.

Our emotional attachment to our beliefs re-enforces our tendency to confirmation bias where we refuse new evidence that challenges our beliefs and defensively hold onto old evidence that affirms our beliefs and views. Much of this functions at almost subconscious levels.

Note the following themes that continue to dominate many people’s worldviews today: The past was better. Now life and the world are getting worse and declining toward some potentially disastrous ending. Corrupt people have ruined things and are responsible for the loss of the better past. Therefore, humanity deserves punishment, and a destroying apocalypse is coming, a great judgment just up ahead.

Salvation is to be found in purging the threat to life- i.e. today, the perceived threat is too many free people consuming too much in our industrial, technological civilization (consumer society). Fear, shame, and guilt are then used to pressure and control people to make a sacrifice/atonement, to return to a simpler lifestyle, to consume less of what is claimed to be the world’s “limited” resources. People are told that they can then restore the lost paradise of a wilderness world.

The above are more historically recent versions of some of the most primitive themes ever embraced by human minds. These themes have descended across history from the ancient ‘apocalyptic millennial’ complex of myths. They are themes that have long promoted fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, fatalism and resignation, survival desperation, and even violence among populations (see the research of the apocalyptic millennial scholars listed below). These ‘old story themes’ incite the worst of human thoughts, emotions, and responses. And they distort entirely the actual story of life on Earth. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Conquering fear with rational hope. An anti-alarmism site.

Section comments below: ‘Three nasty inherited animal impulses’- i.e. tribal exclusion, alpha domination, and retaliatory destruction. Counter these with ‘Three markers of authentic humanity’- i.e. the humane impulses to embrace the fundamental oneness of our human family, to respect the freedom and self-determination of others, and restorative justice toward all human imperfection. Also, ‘Patterns in alarmism movements, and outcomes’. Then- ‘Two best things happening today’- more plant food during an era of plant starvation, and more beneficial warmth during a sub-optimal ice-age era; ‘Theological musing’- purging pathology in deity theories; ‘Reflexive skepticism, not denial’; ‘Fear and social control’; ‘The never-ending end times prophesies’ of alarmism movements; ‘Deeper roots of alarmism in apocalyptic mythology’; and ‘Overturning threat theology’.

Many have commented on the “creeping totalitarianism” notable in things like ‘cancel culture’ and its intolerance of human diversity, freedom of speech, and alternative views. See also material below on ‘fear and social control’ (News media and the promotion of crisis/catastrophe).

US liberals warn of the intolerance of cancel culture- https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/maher-panel-blasts-cancel-culture. Conrad Black on Collectivists finding new life for their anti-industrial society crusade- eco-alarmism- https://nationalpost.com/opinion/black080120

From original apocalyptic to contemporary alarmism: The never-ending embrace of despair and nihilism. The worst ideas that we have inherited from primitive minds continue to shape our modern narratives and consciousness.

Orienting comments: An important question- Why do so many of us continue to believe the alarmist scenarios of environmental collapse and destruction? Why the stubborn persistence of many to focus on the darker side of life, to believe the worst scenarios will happen, and then to promote fear, despite the fact that apocalyptic has never come to pass (The 100% failure rate across history)? And to the contrary, amassed evidence shows that life continues to improve on all fronts (see sources below).

I would argue that many embrace apocalyptic catastrophism because of the residual influence of the apocalyptic complex of ideas that has been beaten into human consciousness since the beginning, starting back in prehistory. That complex is now embedded in the human subconscious. Those myths distort life entirely but they continue to shape our outlook today, and orient many of us to reflexively believe that the worst will happen. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The two basic approaches to organizing human societies

Section topics: The two main approaches to organizing human societies (the orientation to the individual or the orientation to the collective, the benefits of Classic Liberalism).

Scattered comment: Jim Baggott on “Mass” (quantum research and conclusions); Materialism/atheism or religion (and other alternatives for the human meaning impulse); Gradualism in human progress versus the violence of “instantaneous transformation” movements; Eruptions of public hatred (tribalism, outrage and cancel culture); Defending an unconditional approach to imperfect humanity (not pacifism but restorative justice); A framework for understanding human story.

The Two Main Approaches to Organizing Human Societies

Daniel Hannan in “Inventing Freedom”

Hannan on the Western contribution to the world: Personal property rights, personal liberty, and representative government. “There are three irreducible elements… The rule of law… the government of the day doesn’t get to set the rules… they are interpreted by independent magistrates… the law is not an instrument of state control but a mechanism open to any individual seeking redress…

“Personal liberty… freedom to say what you like, to assemble in any configuration you choose with your fellow citizens, to buy and sell without hindrance, to dispose as you wish of your assets, to work for whom you please, and to hire and fire as you will…”

“Representative government… Laws should not be passed, nor taxes levied, except by elected legislators who are answerable to the rest of us…”

“… the individual should be as free as possible from state coercion… (wars for freedom in the last century were between countries that elevated the state over individuals and countries that elevated the individual over the state) …”

Left/Right (and the immense benefits of Classic Liberalism)

The comment below comes from a “fiercely Independent” viewpoint. Kinda like Goldilocks- not too far Left, not too far Right. Sort of Libertarianish or Classic Liberalism. Just floating like a butterfly, free to alight wherever, enjoy the nectar, and then move on. A self that is free in an open process and not fixed rigidly on any object (i.e. not finding identity in some fixed ideology, religion, nationality, race/ethnicity, or other objects of human identity) as per The Mutable Self of Louis Zurcher. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Combating alarmism and its totalitarian, destructive outcomes.

See the “holy shit” posting below (my reaction) on Michael Shellenberger’s apology for promoting climate alarmism over the past 30 years. Also, see “The Great Christian Contradiction” re the Christ myth that has been primarily responsible for re-enforcing the primitive myth of apocalyptic in Western consciousness, belief systems, and ideologies over the past 2000 years. Apocalyptic continues to deform human consciousness with fear, anxiety, depression, and nihilism. It is the “most violent and destructive idea in history”, (Arthur Mendel).

Also, “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives” further below. The persistent core pathologies in our grand narratives (religious and “secular”) and the alternatives for a new worldview or meta-narrative. See just below “The Two best things happening today– rising CO2 levels and the warming of Earth’s average surface temperatures”.

Up from the basement… see also the latest GWPF newsletter: “We are facing a tsunami of censorship”, https://www.thegwpf.com/?s=we+are+facing+a+tsunami+of+censorship

The never-ending end times stuff (Reposted from below)

For over 5000 years apocalyptic mythology has been beaten into human consciousness as essential to defining the trajectory of life. Secular versions of apocalyptic mythology, notably the ideology of Declinism (i.e. life worsening toward some great disaster), still dominate public consciousness and narratives today. This is evident in the environmental alarmism movement and particularly in climate alarmism- the prophesies of looming, imminent climate catastrophe and the endless end of days scenarios presented to the public.

Remember AOC’s prophesy in 2018 that we had only 12 years to the end of the world or James Hansen’s prophesy in 2008 that “Its all over in five years”. In the last year of his life Stephen Hawking added his prophesy of apocalypse though he gave us some breathing room, declaring that we had 100 years till the apocalypse. Enough time for him to vacate the scene and avoid the humiliation that inevitably comes to all apocalyptic prophets. Life does not decline toward ending. Evidence shows that with creative human effort life rises toward an improving future. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Responding to alarmism with hope based on good evidence.

An important point below: Overturn the alarmist’s distorting apocalyptic narrative with the good evidence that the two best things happening on Earth today are (1) the increase in basic plant food (more atmospheric CO2 has greened the Earth by 14% since 1980), and (2) the benefits of more warmth in an abnormally cold ice-age era (e.g. expanding habitats for many life forms).

Comment in this section: Never-ending end time prophesying (environmental alarmism); Non-violent Crisis Intervention- techniques for de-escalating violence; Campbell’s advice on responding to injustice- maintain your humanity; The wonder of being human; Countering alarmism (responding to irresponsible and dangerous eruptions of fear-mongering); World Resource Updates- the improving state of world forests, soils, ocean fisheries, land species, and atmosphere; Two best things happening- more plant food in a dangerously low CO2 era and more warmth in an abnormally cold ice-age era; Outcomes of alarmism- unleashing the totalitarian impulse (silencing, banning, and criminalizing skeptical science); Deeper roots of alarmism in apocalyptic mythology; The Jesus versus Christ contradiction (history’s greatest scandal- Christianity buried Jesus, and his non-retaliatory theology, under its Christ myth).

The primacy of Forgiveness in maintaining our humanity

The great question in the face of injustice, wrong, and violence is- How do we maintain our humanity in our response? Forgiveness is a critical stance to a fully human response. And that does not mean feeling mushy, warm, or fuzzy toward inhumanity. It is not a call to pacifism or inaction in the face of wrong.

Psychologists have made this point that forgiveness is very much about one’s own equilibrium when wronged. We can choose to let bitterness and resentment fester, holding grudges that darken consciousness with hate, and seek retaliation in kind (i.e. eye for eye cycles- hate for hate, humiliation for humiliation, hurt for hurt, punishment for punishment). But that leads to personal enslavement to the worst of our inherited impulses. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Alarmism eruptions, ‘Two best things’, and ‘Slapping down a straw god’ (ultimate threat and primal fear)

This site presents the evidence that life on our planet is not declining toward an apocalypse but over the long-term life has gradually been improving toward a better future, due to human compassion, creativity, and hard work. Reasoning from that good evidence, this site is anti-fear (anti-apocalyptic) and pro-hope. Evidence sources: 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, Ronald Bailey’s The End of Doom, Desrocher and Szurmak’s Population Bombed, James Payne’s The History of Force, among others.

Arthur Herman’s said regarding Declinism (i.e. life becoming worse, declining toward some disastrous collapse and ending): “The theme of decline is the most dominant and influential theme in the modern world”.

“British historian and statesman Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote in 1830: “In every age everybody knows that up to his own time, progressive improvement has been taking place; nobody seems to reckon on any improvement in the next generation. We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who say society has reached a turning point – that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us and with just as much apparent reason. … On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?”

See “Two best things happening on Earth today (more atmospheric CO2, warmer average temperatures)” just below, regarding the two main claims of climate alarmism. And, “Slapping down a straw god”- comment on punitive deity myths (threat theology) that add an unnecessary psychic burden to already unbearable physical suffering.

Alarmism: The exaggeration of problems to apocalyptic-scale that distorts the true nature of problems, incites the survival impulse in populations, and renders people susceptible to the totalitarian salvation schemes of alarmists, schemes that often cause more harm than the original problem.

“The whole aim of practical politics”, wrote HL Mencken, “is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.” And John Adams, one of the founding fathers of America, echoed this sentiment, writing “Fear is the foundation of most governments”.

Dangerous patterns

An endless series of alarmist scenarios have assaulted public consciousness over just the past 70 years (see list below). These alarms have been accompanied by the troubling features of exaggerated outcomes (worst-case scenarios of apocalyptic-scale disaster) and over-reaction responses or salvation plans that have resulted in more harmful outcomes than any potential harm caused by the original problem. Unquestionably, most alarms arise out of authentic problems/threats that have to be confronted and resolved in order to protect populations.

This site probes the larger narratives that are embraced by populations and the persistence of pathological ideas that lead many people to view life’s problems with excessive fear and to then embrace the exaggeration and thereby distortion of problems that comes with viewing life through the lens of an apocalyptic viewpoint. We have experienced this repeatedly over the past 70 years.

This site explores the apocalyptic complex of myths that are still the dominant ideas in major world belief systems, in both religious and secular/ideological versions (i.e. Declinism). Thorough problem-solving must include all contributing factors. The ongoing influence of apocalyptic mythology has attuned populations around the world to believe the worst is coming, despite overwhelming evidence that life does not decline toward disaster but improves toward a better future. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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A “climate crisis”, or “Celebrating CO2”? Apocalypse, or life improving?

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca

Section topics: The apocalyptic complex of themes and coercive purging movements (unleashing the totalitarian impulse); A counter narrative to the imminent catastrophe narrative; Basic Climate Facts Project; Fear of change in nature; The fallacy of ‘presentism’; Dawkins on Joe Rogan; Love and justice issues (punitive/restorative justice approaches); A brief on human story, and more.

Video of Patrick Moore’s lecture to GWPF https://www.thegwpf.com/video-of-patrick-moores-gwpf-lecture-should-we-celebrate-co2/

“We are watching another apocalyptic movement play out today in the climate alarm”.

Introductory summary

We are all responsible for the ideas/themes that we promote and their outcomes in life.

Three mass-death movements erupted in the last century- Marxism, Nazism, and environmental alarmism. If the inclusion of environmental alarmism in the ‘triad of death’ seems extreme, consider that Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring contributed to the tens of millions of deaths in the wake of the ban on DDT (see The Excellent Powder for the science and history of DDT). So also activism against Golden Rice (anti-GM foods alarmism) has resulted in the deaths of 8 million children over a recent 12-year period. https://nationalpost.com/opinion/bjorn-lomborg-trashing-rice-killing-children

The “decarbonization” of our societies is already trending toward another potential mass-death movement. The harmful effects of the current anti-CO2 alarmism are now evident in the suffering from fuel poverty and increased mortality in countries like Britain, Germany, and even the US (see GWPF reports on rising energy costs, fuel poverty, and rising mortality rates). For example: https://www.thegwpf.com/britains-deadly-energy-madness-excess-winter-deaths-in-england-and-wales-highest-since-1976/ and https://www.thegwpf.org/green-policies-threaten-poor-nations/

Some stunning research has shown that all three mass-death movements have been influenced by the same complex of apocalyptic myths: (1) The myth of original paradise or better past, (2) the myth of corrupt humanity ruining paradise and deserving punishment, (3) the myth of life declining toward collapse and ending (apocalypse), (4) the urgent demand for a salvation scheme (i.e. sacrifice of the good life, and coercive purging of some evil threat), and (5) the promise of restored paradise/utopia. These have long been and still are the “most violent and dangerous ideas in history”. The outcomes of these ideas are well-documented. (see research of Richard Landes in Heaven On Earth, Arthur Mendel in Vision and Violence, David Redles in Hitler’s Millennial Reich, and Arthur Herman in The Idea of Decline).

The apocalyptic complex of myths distorts entirely the true narrative of humanity and life. This site offers an alternative set of themes more aligned with our contemporary evidence on the true story of life as an overall improving trajectory toward a better future, not declining toward collapse or ending. These alternative themes orient consciousness to the essential goodness and creativity of humanity and to evidence-based hope. See Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives below. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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There will be no apocalypse (climate or other).

Topics below: “The influence of the apocalyptic myth on mass-death movements”; “Bill Maher on Joe Rogan’s podcast” (picking a few bones in an otherwise good discussion); “A brief on human story” (my struggle with the defects in the Christian God and Paul’s Christ myth); “Facebook post” (the central discovery of the Near-Death Experience- i.e. the core Reality is a stunning ‘no conditions love’); “Slay the Beast… or stick a stake in it” (go to the core of human systems of meaning- i.e. deity ideas- and bring down the sub-human features long embedded there)…

Further topics… “Paleo-climate facts” (Don’t fear more warmth and more plant food. We are in an abnormal and sub-optimal cold era on Earth with life’s basic food- CO2- at dangerously low levels); “Auto-bio stuff”- leaving my religion; “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”; “History’s greatest religious contradiction”- the difference between Jesus-ianity and Christ-ianity, or the unconditional theology of Historical Jesus versus the highly conditional theology of Paul/Christianity; “Apocalyptic alarmism, salvation through ‘coercive purging’, and mass-death outcomes”, and more…

Across all history and across all the cultures of our world, in both religious and ideological narratives, one of the foundational themes has been that of punitive, destroying Force or deity at the core of reality. A new fundamental theme for truly humane meta-narratives would embrace the idea of a stunning ‘no conditions’ Love at the core of reality and life. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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