See new material below:
Empathy: “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another”.
Empathy is most fundamental to being authentically human with the ability to sense/feel harm caused to others. The lack of empathy has been behind some of the most destructive human behavior across history.
Lack of empathy has often erupted because of zealous commitment to some anti-human mythology/religion/ideology. Such commitment may be due to desire for heroic engagement in a righteous battle against evil. This springs from the human impulse for meaning/purpose in life. This impulse veers into dangerous territory when it becomes harmful to others, validating callousness to others out of commitment to a greater cause (something above or aside from real people and their well-being). Such commitment may even detour into psychopathy when it clearly harms the well-being of others.
I posit this in regard to the irresponsible panic-mongering over natural climate change. Stop traumatizing children with panic-mongering over what has now been identified as mostly natural changes. Note this brief presentation by respected climate physicist Richard Lindzen on why we should not worry about climate change… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwvVephTIHU
I would caution climate change alarmists, especially the apocalyptic types- be fully aware that you are severely harming a generation of children, now a majority of children. Try to “feel with your victims” the real life consequences of what you are promoting. The evidence is mounting daily.
“How many children’s lives are being ruined right now, because over half of young people in the USA believe there will be no tomorrow?
“When will the educators, the alarmist scientists, the sensationalist media, the unscrupulous politicians, who have promoted climate fear and destroyed economic opportunities with their regressive carbon taxes and expensive green energy plans, who have helped drain our young people of hope and a reason to make positive life choices, be made to face the horrific consequences of their selfishness?”
So again, stop the irresponsible lunacy of panic-mongering. Recognize what fear does to children in deforming personality, harming people of all ages, and ruining societies with irrational salvationist schemes like decarbonization (“save the world from looming apocalypse”).
Fossil fuels are vital to human civilization and well-being, enabling humanity to create the wealth that enables us to adapt to natural changes in climate. Yes, renewables may continue to play some part in the human energy mix but they still have significant hurdles to overcome- i.e. environmental damage, energy storage issues, intermittency, a massive cost burden that is now harming the most vulnerable people, the physics of energy density, and on and on (see “netzerowatch.com” newsletters for detailed reports on the consequences of irrationally rushed decarbonization).
The myth of apocalypse may be one of the oldest and most primitive of human beliefs. And its persisting power is stunning. It dominates human consciousness today, even in “ideological/scientific” versions like climate change apocalypse, aside from millennia-long dominance in the main world religions, both West and East (yes, Hinduism also has a version of cyclical apocalyptic in its great cycles of rise and progress followed by decline toward disastrous ending before repeating again).
Apocalypse as earliest myth? Yes, John Pfeiffer in his “Explosion: An inquiry into the origins of art and religion” suggests that the earliest conscious humans some 100,000 years ago may have held an original golden age myth. That is the first essential idea in apocalyptic mythology- that there was an original golden era or paradise that has subsequently been ruined by people and now life is declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending in apocalypse as punishment for ruining paradise.
The purported/imagined perfect past sets up the contrast with the obviously imperfect present and the consequently indisputable argument for decline based on such mythology.
The foundational plank of a better past, or perfect beginning, followed by the subsequent decline of life, is then affirmed with related ideas that people deserve punishment for ruining the original paradise (Eden), that humanity must make some sacrifice/payment for sin, that the thing that ruined paradise (i.e. corrupt, fallen humanity) must be purged violently from the world, and then the lost paradise can be restored or a new utopia attained.
After reading Pfeiffer’s comment on early humans holding an original paradise myth, I took a look at the ending of the Eemian interglacial around 100,000 years ago. That interglacial was on average about 3-5 degrees C warmer than our current Holocene interglacial. That would have been a paradisal time on Earth with lush plant growth, extended habitats for plant and animal life (note that the remains of tropical plants and animals have been discovered in polar regions though such evidence is dated further back than the Eemian).
Some research notes that the Eemian may have ended quite rapidly- cooling drastically over just a few centuries or even decades. That would have left early humans with memories of a former golden age and subsequently life declining toward something worse. The very template of perception and memories that provides a foundation for apocalyptic thinking.
An ever-growing mass of accumulating evidence has now revealed that the apocalyptic complex of ideas is entirely wrong and distorts entirely the actual trajectory of life on Earth, a trajectory that shows ongoing improvement on all the main indicators of life (the main resources that reveal the true state of life- i.e. ocean fisheries, soils, land species, forests, atmosphere). Life is not on a long-term trajectory of decline but on a long-term trajectory of rise and improvement. In regard to this I refer often to 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”, Hans Gosling’s “Factfulness”, Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”, Desrocher and Szurmak’s “Population Bombed” (an excellent update of Simon’s work), Humanprogress.org (“Ten Global Trends”), and others.
Yet despite such amassed evidence to the contrary, apocalyptic continues to dominate most contemporary thought and story-telling. See the endlessly growing list of apocalyptic-themed movies put out by Hollywood (it also dominates story-telling in the literature industry)…
Further evidence of the ongoing domination of apocalyptic mythology: The ideology of Declinism (life declining toward something worse, the world becoming worse) is as Arthur Herman said, the single most dominant and influential theme in the modern world. The world survey in Ten Global Trends affirmed this modern widespread despair over life. Again- a widespread belief held against amassed factual evidence to the contrary. Declinism is a central idea in apocalyptic- life declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending.
As Simon concluded: Yes, there are problems everywhere that we must solve. But our long-term record affirms that we are indeed “more creators than destroyers” and we have done well in solving problems and making the world better for our children. There is no “climate crisis”, no looming apocalyptic ending to life. Stop terrorizing children with such irresponsible exaggeration of problems. Wendell Krossa
Commentators bemoan the loss of religion and a meta-narrative to guide society. Well, what might a new meta-narrative look like that would replace the old religious narratives? What ideas might shape a new meta-narrative?
The point of the contrasted ideas below (old myths, new alternatives) is to go to the themes that are at the very core of all human narratives, whether in “secular” ideological narratives, in too much “science”, and certainly still dominant in the religious systems that most of humanity affiliates with- i.e. the 85% of humanity who affiliate with a world religion (see PEW religion survey of world population). The other 15% who identify as “unaffiliated” also hold similar themes in their non-religious or “secular” versions.
The themes listed below continue to potently shape human consciousness, emotion, motivation, response/behavior, and ultimately our societies overall. These themes/ideas guide people to embrace behavior and policies that direct the trajectory of civilization.
Commentators note that much response to crises is at the level of immediate corrective actions to resolve some threatening problem. But then the same old crises keep repeating without long-term resolution because we do not deal with other deeply embedded factors that also incite recurring problems.
Hence, the list below.
These are some of the most basic ideas that shape how we think, perceive, understand, feel, and hence respond and act, for good and bad. Yes, its about a mind revolution, about liberation at the most fundamental level of human existence- at the core of our perceptions, our understanding, emotions, and motivations. Its about the primal human impulse for meaning, including the roots of all this in the subconscious (that ‘archetype’ stuff).
The ideas listed below are some of the most powerful ideas that have been conceived by people across history, ideas with the potency to enhance or deform human personality (i.e. see, for example, the impact of theological ideas on human personality as detailed by psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo in “Cruel God, Kind God”). These ideas have enabled people to build and to destroy societies/civilization. Note for example, the intensity of belief today in the climate apocalyptic narrative (a profoundly mythical/religious story), and the subsequent devotion to the crusade of decarbonization (the salvation scheme of the climate apocalyptics), despite the growing evidence that their crusade is now devastating societies.
The most fundamental form of liberation- a mind revolution, liberating the core of human consciousness
Humanity’s worst ideas, better alternatives (short version), Wendell Krossa
1. Old story myth: The idea of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality (i.e. apocalypse, hell). Contemporary “secular” versions of judging, punishing deity include “Vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, punitive Universe, and payback karma”. Fear of ultimate threat incites the survival impulse in people, rendering them susceptible- that is, more easily manipulated by the irrational salvation schemes of alarmist prophets.
Alternative: The new theology of deity as a stunningly no conditions reality (no conditions love). There is no threat from an unconditional God, no judgment, no exclusion of anyone, and no ultimate punishment or destruction. All are safe- in the end.
2. Old story myth: The idea of a perfect beginning (original golden age, Eden) and a God obsessed with perfection, enraged at the loss of perfection, and demanding punishment of imperfection.
Alternative: The world was purposefully created as originally imperfect in order to serve as an arena for human struggle, experience, learning, and development. Deity has no problem with imperfection but includes it as a potent element in human development.
3. Old story myth: Humanity began as a more perfect species (the myth of primitive people as pure and noble hunter gatherers, “Adam/Eve”) but those early people became corrupted/sinful (i.e. the myth of the “Fall of mankind”). This myth has fed a persistent anti-humanism across history- i.e. blaming humanity for all the imperfections of the world and consequent suffering. It leads many to focus excessively on human failure and ignore human goodness and the achievements that far outweigh human failures.
Alternative: Humanity emerged from the brutality of animal reality to gradually become more humane across history (a long-term trajectory of humanity rising/improving, not “falling” into a trajectory of degeneration/decline). Further, our true self (our essential human spirit) is the same no conditions love that is deity. We are most fundamentally good, not evil. This revolutionizes human self-imaging.
4. Old story myth: The world began as an original paradise (the past was better) but after the “Fall” the overall trajectory of life has been declining, degenerating toward something worse.
Alternative: The long-term trajectory of life does not decline but overall rises/improves toward something ever better (i.e. ever more complex, organized, advanced).
5. Old story myth: The belief that natural disasters, disease, human cruelty, and death are expressions of divine punishment, and that imperfect humanity deserves punishment.
Alternative: While there are natural consequences all through life, there is no punitive, destroying deity behind the imperfections, and related natural consequences, of life.
6. Old story Myth: The belief that humanity has been rejected by the Creator and we must be reconciled via violent blood sacrifice/suffering.
Alternative: No one has ever been rejected by the unconditional Love at the core of reality. No one has ever been separated from God. Ultimate Love does not demand appeasement/payment/atonement or suffering as punishment for sin/imperfection.
7. Old story myth: The idea of a cosmic dualism between Good and Evil (i.e. God versus Satan) now expressed in human dualisms (i.e. tribes of good people versus their enemies- the bad people). The cosmic dualism of Ultimate Good versus Evil is used to validate our inherited animal impulse to tribalism- to view ourselves in opposition to differing or disagreeing others. This is not to deny that there is actual evil in life to be opposed, but to challenge the tendency to view differing others as “enemies”, because they are family.
Alternative: There is a fundamental Oneness at the core of all and we share that oneness. We all belong equally to the one human family and equally share the ultimate Oneness that is God.
8. Old story myth: The belief in a looming apocalypse as the final judgment, the ultimate punishment of wrong, and the final destruction of all things. Fear is the most potent tool for manipulating and controlling people and there is no greater fear that manipulators use than the threat of the imminent end of all things.
Alternative: There are problems all through the world but there is no looming threat of final divine destruction and ending. Apocalypse is a great fraud and lie. There will be no apocalypse as in the religious version of divine intervention to punish humanity and destroy the world (i.e. the New Testament book of Revelation).
9. Old story myth: The always “imminent” element in apocalyptic demands urgent action to save something, even the use of coercive violence to effect “instantaneous transformation”. (Arthur Mendel, in Vision and Violence, details the difference between the approaches of totalitarian “instantaneous transformation” and democratic “gradualism”.)
Alternative: While unexpected catastrophes may still occur, there is no imminent “end of days” on the horizon, inciting the urgency to “save the world”. Rather, life improves through gradual democratic processes as creative humanity cooperatively solves problems.
10. Old story myth: The demand for a salvation plan, a required sacrifice or atonement (debt payment, punishment). A “secular” version of salvationism is being promoted today in the decarbonization crusade, purportedly to “save the world”.
Alternative: Unconditional deity does not demand sacrifice, atonement, payment, or punishment as required for appeasement. Deity loves all unconditionally.
11. Old story myth: The belief that retribution or payback is true “justice” (i.e. eye for eye, hurt for hurt, humiliation for humiliation, punishment for punishment).
Alternative: Unconditional love keeps no record of wrongs, forgives freely and without limit. And yes (qualifier), there are natural consequences to bad behavior in this world, but all justice should be restorative/rehabilitative in response to human failure.
12. Old story myth: The belief in after-life judgment, exclusion, punishment, and destruction (i.e. hell). This pathology adds unnecessary sting to the natural human fear of death.
Alternative: Unconditional love does not threaten ultimate judgment, exclusion, punishment, or destruction. All are safe in the end. Feel the offensive scandal of that generosity just as many responded with outrage when Historical Jesus presented this message to “love your enemy”.
13. Old story myth: The idea of a “hero” messiah who will use superior force to overthrow enemies, purge the world of wrong, and install a promised utopia.
Alternative: A God of authentic love does not intervene with overwhelming force that overrides human freedom and choice. It is up to maturing humanity to make the world a better place through long-term gradualism processes that respect the freedom of others who differ. There is no authentic love where there is no authentic freedom.
14. Old story myth: The fallacy of biblicism- the belief that religious holy books are more special and authoritative than ordinary human literature, and the related fallacy that people are obligated to live according to the holy book as the revealed will, law, or specially inspired word of God.
Alternative: We evaluate all human writing according to basic criteria of right and wrong, good and bad, humane or inhumane. Holy books, written by fallible people like ourselves, are not exempted from this basic process of discernment.
15. Old story myth: The idea of God as King, Ruler, Lord, or Judge. This myth promotes the idea that God relates to humanity in domination/submission forms of relating. This is based on the primitive idea that humans were “created to serve the gods”.
Alternative: There is no domination/subservience relationship of humanity to God. True greatness is to relate horizontally to all as equals. The “greatness” of God is to relate to all as free equals, not to “lord over” others.
16. Old story myth: The idea that humanity is obligated to know, serve, or have a relationship with an invisible reality (deity), that we are to give primary loyalty to something separate from and above people.
Alternative: Our primary loyalty is to love and serve real people around us. Their needs, here and now, take priority in life. Loyalty to realities placed above people (laws, institutions, or higher authorities) has always resulted in the neglect or abuse of people.
17. Old story myth: The perception that God is silent or absent during the horrors of life (i.e. Where was God during the Holocaust?). This myth of absent deity is based on the primitive belief that God is a sky deity (dwelling in heaven above, separate from humanity), a deity that descends to intervene in life and change circumstances in order to save or protect people.
Alternative: There has never been a Sky God up above in some heaven. The reality we call “God” has always been incarnated equally in all humanity and God has always been immediately present in all human suffering and is intimately present in all human raging and struggle against evil. God is inseparable from the human spirit in all of us and is expressed in all human action to prevent evil, to solve problems, and to improve life. Each one of us is the embodiment/incarnation of God in this world, and nothing saves us except our choices and actions to oppose wrong and to help one another, to make life better in this world.
18. Old story myth: The fallacy of “limited good” and the belief that too many people are consuming too much of Earth’s resources, and hence world resources are being exhausted.
Alternative: More people on Earth means more creative minds to solve problems. More consumption means more wealth to solve problems and enable us to make life better- i.e. enable us to improve the human condition and protect the natural world at the same time. Evidence affirms that human improvement and environmental improvement has been the outcome of more people on Earth enjoying the good life. See “Population Bombed” by Desrochers and Szurmak, “Ultimate Resource” by Julian Simon, “Humanprogress.org”, and related studies.
Further, we are not exhausting Earth’s resources. With the emergence of some apparent resource scarcity, humanity through improving technology then works to discover more reserves of those scarce resources or makes the shift to alternative resources. There is a superabundance of resources in our world and that expresses the infinite generosity of the creating Source of all.
Add your own themes/ideas and alternatives.
Following recent past eruptions of religious terrorism (i.e. ISIS), varied public commentators rightly noted that such eruptions would continue into the future unless we confronted the ideas/ideologies behind such violence. Go to the root ideologies, they said, and deal properly with that. Apply this “go to the root of the problem” to all alarmism/apocalyptic movements. There are common ideas/themes behind such movements, worldviews/narratives that incite people to destructive action. If we are to problem-solve thoroughly and for the long-term future, then we need to tackle the root ideas/themes behind alarmism movements and deal thoroughly with those root contributing factors.
Humanity’s most prominent ideas (more on a “mind revolution” project)
We all embrace a collection of ideas/themes that shape how we view reality, life, human society, others and ourselves. The ideas we embrace influence how we think, feel, respond, and how we act/behave in life. Just below is a list of the most common and dominant ideas that have shaped human thought across history. These ideas/themes, or indistinguishable variants of them, still dominate most people’s thinking today.
Bad themes/ideas in the mix have incited incalculable harm across history while good ideas have enabled people to counter wrong in life and to construct societies and an overall developing civilization that has progressed toward more humane conditions/outcomes over the long-term. Evaluating the core ideas/themes of our personal worldviews is critical because we have inherited some bad stuff and common human decency obligates us to find better alternatives. We engage this project to better our thinking because we want to contribute something good to life and not waste time in misguided or harmful ventures.
The themes in my lists of “Bad ideas, better alternatives” have been beaten into human consciousness for multiple millennia. They are now hardwired in human subconscious as “archetypes”. With the modern era shift to a more “scientific” worldview these themes were not abandoned but were given new “secular” expression in ideologies and in even sometimes in science. The terms of expression were changed but the core themes remained the same old mythology as ever before. Joseph Campbell was right that the same primitive mythical themes have been repeated all across history and across all the cultures of our world.
These themes continue to dominate most belief systems today, notably as apocalyptic in religious traditions, or as ‘Declinism’ in ideological versions. Why do I offer counter-speculation in response to some of these ideas that have to do with the “metaphysical” or spiritual reality? Because bad ideas of the metaphysical already exist and continue to dominate most people’s speculation, so why not at least offer better alternatives? And I recognize that we cannot avoid speculating on a variety of these issues that have always been fundamental to the primal human impulse for meaning and purpose.
Preface to Humanity’s worst ideas, better alternatives (revised, updated long version available in sections below on this site) Wendell Krossa
The belief/behavior relationship, or theology/ethics relationship, is as old as conscious humanity. People, driven/inspired by their primary impulse for meaning, have always tried to model their lives and societies according to some greater ideal or authority, most commonly according to views of deity. Plato did this with his argument that the ideal life and society should be molded according to the invisible Forms or perfect Ideals. The Hebrews followed this pattern in the Old Testament, shaping all aspects of their lives and society according to what they believed was the law, word, and will of their God. Anthropologist Clifford Geertz noted this practice among the Balinese of Indonesia who patterned their villages and homes according to what they believed was the divine model.
The fundamental role of belief in shaping human behavior and society (inspiring, guiding, validating human behavior) makes it critically important that our guiding ideals/authorities are fully humane, in line with humanity’s ever-advancing understanding of the authentically humane in all areas of life. And there has never been a higher ideal to guide human life than the ideal of deity. The subhuman features that our ancestors projected onto deity ought to concern all of us because of the correlated subhuman treatment of others across history in the name of deity (i.e. horrific outcomes as in religious violence).
The 18 “Old story themes” focus on some of the most dominant and influential ideas from history. Ideas that have shaped human consciousness via mythical and religious traditions. They continue to shape the worldviews of most moderns in “secular” or ideological versions.
The consequences from these subhuman ideas have been, and still are, significantly damaging, both personally and across wider societies. Evidence? On the personal level see psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God”. Cruel God theologies include the pathological features of deity as a tribally exclusive (favoring true believers, antagonistic toward unbelievers/outsiders), retaliatory (divine payback), dominating (deity as Lord, King- validating domination of others), punitive (deity as harsh judge, justice as punitive), and deity as a destroying reality (apocalypse, hell). These themes have burdened human lives with unnecessary fear, anxiety, depression, despair, and violence. And the consequences in human behavior have been horrific because people “become just like the God that they believe in”.
See also the Millennial Studies historians noted in sections below- Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles. They have detailed how the ‘apocalyptic millennial’ complex of ideas contributed to the mass-death movements of the past century (Marxism, Nazism, environmental alarmism). Mendel (Vision and Violence) was right to conclude that “apocalyptic has been the most violent and destructive idea in history”. Further, Bob Brinsmead has often reminded us that “Men never do greater evil than when they do it in the name of God”. This is because we become just like the God that we believe in.
The project to embrace better alternatives is about the full transformation and liberation of consciousness, and more humane outcomes in human life. The old ideas are no longer credible for defining or explaining reality and life. In many cases, they have long been too dangerous to inspire and guide human thought and behavior.
Media obsessed with affirming the “climate crisis” narrative, Wendell Krossa
Many out-of-the-norm weather events today are framed as “disastrous/catastrophic” or even “worst on record” (the “record” that media refer to covers only the last few decades or century). Such hysterical panic-mongering distorts the true state of things. It alarms the public with a sense of threat that is exaggerated all out of proportion to reality.
Big picture evidence soundly counters the alarmist hysteria. For example, deaths from climate-related disasters have declined 99% over the past century. And there is no trend to increasing or worsening storms, droughts, fires, hot or cold events, floods, etc. Even the IPCC admits this. https://nypost.com/2022/04/30/deaths-in-climate-disasters-declined-99-from-a-century-ago/
Note also this report: https://www.heartland.org/news-opinion/news/ipcc-and-sceptics-agree-climate-change-is-not-causing-extreme-weather
Quote from above link: “Alexander’s paper begins by remarking, “The purported link between extreme weather and global warming has captured the public imagination and attention of the mainstream media far more than any of the other claims made by the narrative of human-caused climate change.” This is odd because data and analyses from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.N. body that climate alarmists in academic, political, and media circles continually cite as the authoritative source of information on climate change, confirm that “if there is any trend at all in extreme weather, it’s downward rather than upward. Our most extreme weather, be it heat wave, drought, flood, hurricane or tornado, occurred many years ago, long before the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere began to climb at its present rate,” writes Alexander.
“Recent atmospheric heat waves in western Europe,” writes Alexander, “pale in comparison with the soaring temperatures of the 1930s, a period when three of the seven continents and 32 of the 50 US states set all-time high temperature records, which still stand today.”
The true state of climate?
We have had a mild 1 degree C plus warming over the past century in a still too cold world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth (Lancet study- https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2015/05/20/cold-weather-deaths/27657269/).
The mild warming has actually lessened cold deaths far more than it has increased warm deaths, making global warming net beneficial. And more basic plant food (i.e. rising atmospheric CO2) has resulted in huge boon to all life- a 15% increase in green vegetation across the Earth that has resulted in more food for animals, and increased crop production for humanity.
Further, our Modern Warm Period is still the coldest part of our entire Holocene interglacial. We are still on an overall long-term cooling trend since the end of the Holocene Optimum of 10,000 to 6,000 years ago. Agriculture, civilization, and all life flourished during those much warmer eras.
And note that where there are warming events and areas of Earth there are also contrasting cooling events and areas that results in no observable global change in either direction (not overall warming or cooling). Why do media obsess only about the warming events and areas and not present the full picture, giving equal time to cold events and areas?
The contemporary alarmism over natural and ever-changing climate reveals the “climate crisis” narrative to be a profoundly religious and ideological/political narrative. It is not good science. Climate physicists have clearly shown that the warming influence of CO2 is very small and has declined logarithmically with increasing levels in the atmosphere. Rising CO2 is not responsible for most climate change and, in fact, the impact of more CO2 has been hugely net beneficial for life. CO2 is certainly not a pollutant or poison.
The climate crisis narrative (a “secular” apocalyptic story) has had devastating impacts on our societies. It is the ideological basis for the decarbonization crusade that has produced harmful impacts in terms of blocked fossil fuel development and consequent human-induced scarcity of energy supplies that result in price increases and related fuel poverty issues for the most vulnerable people (see regular reports at “netzerowatch.com”).
Human-caused restriction of energy supplies also impacts general inflation. Further, the premature push to replace fossil fuels with undependable renewables is producing disastrous outcomes due to problems of intermittent supply and insufficient storage capacity- i.e. environmental damage, destabilized electrical grids, blackouts, and dangerous dependency on totalitarian states for energy, etc.. Yet entire populations are embracing such madness.
The litany of destructive outcomes from the decarbonization crusade continues to mount and yet this only intensifies the commitment of climate apocalyptics to coercively push, through state policies, their irrational salvation scheme on the world. The climate alarmists are blindly committed to a religious crusade (apocalyptic is a religious myth) that is taking our societies into unnecessary suffering.
Yet this madness is framed as heroic embrace of a righteous battle against evil (the “evil” of fossil fuel-based civilization, with CO2 as a dangerous “pollutant/poison”).
But its never too late for rational moderates to bring back common sense based on good, rational science.
This essay by Eric Worral: “HSBC senior banker spanked after dissing the climate crisis, from…
Quotes: “Stuart Kirk said that throughout his 25-year career in the finance industry “there was always some nut job telling me about the end of the world… Unsubstantiated, shrill, partisan, self-serving, apocalyptic warnings are ALWAYS wrong”, he wrote on a slide accompanying his presentation.
“HSBC’s Stuart Kirk candidly sharing his frustration with economic ignorance of climate alarmists, and the wildly unrealistic assumptions he is being pressured to feed into climate economic models to make them produce interesting results.
“Stuart Kirk also claimed central banks designed climate stress tests to obtain alarming results.
“Harriet Agnew, Simon Mundy and Stephen Morris in London…
“The global head of responsible investing at HSBC Asset Management has drawn fire after accusing central bankers and policymakers of overstating the financial risks of climate change in an attempt to “out-hyperbole the next guy”.
Read more: https://www.ft.com/content/1716d9fb-4c8f-4d05-a6b4-bb02a48a73a4
“A video of Stuart’s speech; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfNamRmje-s&t=962s
“The video is straight to the point, entertaining, well worth watching. Stuart is fed up with government demanding he waste time examining climate risks he knows are a nonsensical exaggeration, so he doesn’t pull any punches. In this video he shares his frustration.
“Stuart’s video also contains a plea for regulators to respond with pragmatism to the current economic crisis, which Stuart emphasises has nothing to do with climate change.
“You’ve got my vote Stuart. I hope Stuart keeps his job. His points are well argued, but these days clarity and honesty sometimes gets you into trouble. Stuart is drawing a lot of fire for his candour.”
Comment- The decarbonization crusaders do not realize that crude oil is the basis of derivatives used to manufacture over 6,000 critical products used in our daily lives:
“The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investment community is divesting in crude oil that provides products and fuels for consumers that did not exist in the decarbonized world of the 1900s and before.
Published May 6, 2022 in the May/June issue of Oilman Magazine
By Ronald Stein Pulitzer Prize nominated author, and Policy advisor for The Heartland Institute on Energy
“Today, there is a lost reality that the primary usage of crude oil is NOT for the generation of electricity, but to manufacture derivatives and fuels which are the ingredients of everything needed by economies and lifestyles to exist and prosper. Energy realism requires that the legislators, policymakers, media, and the investment community begin to understand the staggering scale of the decarbonization movement.
“Of the three fossil fuels, the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) community is unaware that crude oil is not used for electricity. In fact, crude oil is virtually useless, unless it is manufactured (by refineries) into oil derivatives that are the basis of more than 6,000 products in our daily lives that did not exist before the 1900s, and the fuels to move the heavy-weight and long-range needs of aircraft, cruise and merchant ships, and the military and space program.
“Products from crude oil are the foundation of modern society and few consumers are willing to give up those benefits. Access to inexpensive, abundant and dependable crude oil has been the cornerstone of the Industrial Revolution and humanity’s achievements.
“Pervasive ignorance about crude oil usage and divesting in the oil and gas industry could do irreparable harm to the industry, as well as inflict supply shortages and soaring prices upon consumers for the lesser number of products manufactured from crude oil, to meet the growing demands from society.
“The renewables of solar and wind for the generation of electricity are unreliable because they are reliant on intermittent breezes and sunshine to work. To achieve continuous uninterruptible electricity, wind and solar need back-up provided by coal, natural gas or nuclear. Further, renewables CANNOT manufacture any of the products derived from crude oil, they can only generate intermittent electricity. In fact, renewables cannot exist without crude oil as all the parts of wind turbines and solar panels are made with oil derivatives manufactured from crude oil”…
“The products from fossil fuels have reduced infant mortality, extended longevity from 40+ to more than 80+, allowed us to move to anywhere in the world via planes, trains, ships and vehicles, and virtually eliminated weather related fatalities.
“As ESG progresses, banks and investment giants have short memories of petrochemical products and human ingenuity being the reasons for the world’s population increasing from one to eight billion in less than 200 years. Efforts to cease the use of crude oil could be the greatest threat to civilization, not climate change, and lead the world to an era of guaranteed extreme shortages of fossil fuel products, like we had in the decarbonized world in the 1800s, which may result in billions of fatalities from diseases, malnutrition and weather-related deaths trying to live without the more than 6,000 products currently benefiting society.
Some products based on crude oil derivatives:
Asphalt for roughly sixty-five million miles of roads in the world.
Tires for the 1.4 billion vehicles in the world.
Fertilizers to feed the 8 billion people in this world on an increasingly resource-stretched and crowded Earth.
Medical supplies that are primarily made from oil derivatives.
Jets that comprise more than 50,000 aircraft for military, commercial, private and the President’s Air Force One.
Merchant ships that comprise more than 53,000 vessels that move products throughout the world.
Vehicles that are mostly made of plastics.
Renewable components of wind turbines and solar panels that are made from oil derivatives.
Great replacement theory
Media (oriented to “Creating fear”) jump on incidents of the worst kind by society’s fringe crazies to vilify entire groups. Now media reports and commentators are claiming that the crazy action of a tiny violent few White Supremacists condemn an entire group of people by the association of skin color. Media and other reports on “great replacement theory” are not being careful about actual numbers involved. Implying that most or all whites hold such White Supremacy views and are therefore responsible for the insanity of a tiny few.
Where are the stats for claiming that most or all whites are guilty of such crazy theories when surveys, for example, of the US population show that over 95% of Americans affirm mixed marriages, mixed neighborhoods, and the full equality of all citizens in every respect. https://news.gallup.com/poll/354638/approval-interracial-marriage-new-high.aspx
Stop distorting the picture and condemning entire groups of people by the sins of a tiny few. That itself is a form of racism- i.e. sloppy generalizing, essentializing, and vilifying entire groups of people by skin color.
An example: After the Charlottesville clash and violence of 2017, Don Lemon of CNN made it appear that such people were infesting all neighborhoods across America. But as someone later responded to his comments, the subsequent gathering of White Supremacists at the White house brought out only about 40 people. Out of a population of 330 million. Where is the infestation of every American neighborhood in such tiny numbers?
Acknowledge that the vast majority of white people (survey above) do not hold such views and are, in fact, strongly against such ugly racism. Stop the sloppy reporting and guilt by association and implication. Present clearly the numbers involved- actual surveys and statistics. Who and how many people are you actually talking about?
Sources- Greg Gutfeld notes how media condemn an entire group of people for the sins of a few, vilifying an entire group based on skin color.
Note also the sloppy generalizing in the following comment. Where are the surveys and statistics to support such claims?: “It’s not the theory itself that is mainstreaming from the fringe, as many commentators have contended in recent days. It’s that white supremacism itself is mainstreaming, growing in numbers and accelerating the threat to such minority groups as Black and Jewish people and to America itself.” (quote from link below)
The author made these generalizations: “Mainstreaming… many commentators… growing in numbers… accelerating…”. But where is the evidence for such claims? What are the actual numbers? “Many commentators”? Other surveys such as noted above from Gallup show the exact opposite- that fringe White Supremacy ideas are declining in influence and, to the contrary, growing numbers are embracing racial equality viewpoints, inclusionary stances. Recognize that significant progress is continuing to be made on racial issues. Humanity is learning and maturing as a family.
Again- When commenting on such potentially inflammatory issues present surveys and actual stats. See also black scholar John McWhorter’s Woke Racism (“Third Wave Anti-racism”) and Doug Murray’s War on the West for detail on this new anti-racism that has become a form of racism itself, generalizing/essentializing entire groups by skin color. So against Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream that we would not judge one another by skin color but by character, as individuals, not irresponsibly vilifying entire groups with sloppy generalizing statements. That is irresponsible fear-mongering.
We don’t resolve one evil (past racism) by re-creating a similar wrong in response. That is only becoming just like the racist offender that we rightly condemn. Eye for eye (same hurt in response to original hurt caused) only continues the disgusting patterns of dehumanizing one another.
Additional note: Media endlessly distort the true state of things with exaggeration narratives that incite panic over what are more fringe incidents. The incidents by themselves are horrific and deserve the strongest condemnation by all sides. But what do the incidents say about larger public realities? Are they more anecdotal or “mainstream”?
(Insert: Panic-mongering is essential to media survival practises, the playing to tribal instincts in populations, inciting extremist elements on their side. The panic-mongering arises in part out of the natural human impulse to be heroic and engage a righteous battle against some evil threat, and this involves demonizing an opponent and catastrophizing the nature of the purported threat in order to gain support for your side. Scare the shit out of people and they will buy into your salvation schemes. This is a pathology that infects both sides of our societies. Ah, where are the common-sense majorities of moderates on both sides (surveys affirm that most on both sides claim “moderate” status) that are willing to cooperate over the many common concerns that both sides share. See Gingrich article below listing the many issues that surveys show majorities are willing to work together on.)
We need to call out this practise today (coming mainly from the Left/Democrats) of distorting the true state of things by extrapolating from fringe incidents to condemn entire groups as evil, just because of political affiliation or skin color (the disagreeing or different other). We have watched this for years now- e.g. Sonny Hostin of the View claiming that all Republicans are racist (also Joy Reid), or Michael Moore stating that all who voted Republican in past elections were “racists”. Many of those people voted on policy issues, distinguishing between the person behind the policies, just as many Democrats in the past made a distinction between person and policy when supporting Bill Clinton (“Slick Willy” who could not keep his own willy to himself).
Note also in regard to the practise of exaggerating incidents beyond factual evidence to demonize another group: Many Democrats believe that somewhere between 1000 to 10,000 black men are killed by police every year when, in fact, the actual number was 27 in 2019, and in other years is even less. Any untimely death is always regrettable for anyone, but facts also matter in making rational evaluations of social issues- i.e. their actual extent and hence seriousness.
Quotes from above link:
“Social movements tap into our most primitive emotions, obscuring the complexities of sociopolitical problems. Reason is traded for ideological fervor and skepticism is swapped with religious dogma. Such was the case in 2020 in the wake of several high-profile cases of alleged police brutality involving black victims. Across the US and Western countries worldwide, activists and average citizens alike vigorously protested against a perceived (but empirically refuted) “epidemic of racist police killings.”
“The media has the power to shape perceptions — and when they consistently prejudge, distort and exclusively focus on high-profile cases involving white police officers and black suspects (such as Jacob Blake most recently), it creates an illusion of pervasive police violence perpetrated toward African Americans…
“This isn’t to say the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Laquan MacDonald and several other black Americans at the hands of law enforcement shouldn’t catch the media’s attention or be peacefully protested on the streets. It’s that they must be honestly scrutinized, and police violence victims of all skin colors must be reported on to accurately inform the public.
“Meanwhile, voices of power continue to exploit these tragedies for social currency and political gain. In a presidential ad campaign last fall, Kamala Harris asserted, “Why in this nation do black Americans wake up knowing they could lose their life in the course of just living their life?” In the aftermath of Ahmed Arbery’s tragic killing early in 2020, NBA superstar Lebron James tweeted, “We’re literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME we step foot outside the comfort of our homes!”
“The continued blurring of political activism and objective reporting has real consequences. Media outlets, politicians, cultural icons, and other voices must take a hard look in the mirror over how they frame and react to an issue as fraught as police brutality.
“Otherwise, this cycle will inevitably repeat itself several times over. The next time a cop kills an unarmed black person — no matter the circumstances — it will be sensationalized to fit broad narratives of “systemic racism,” further misleading the public and fueling radical activists and naive politicians to take measures that only harm black lives.”
My Jefferson/Tolstoy view of the Christian New Testament, Christianity overall, and specifically the Christ myth of Paul, Wendell Krossa
I would launch my perspective on Christianity by affirming the statements of Leo Tolstoy and Thomas Jefferson who correctly framed the basic problem with the New Testament and Christianity’s Christ myth. They both stated that there were “diamonds/pearls” in the New Testament gospels but the diamonds/pearls were buried in the “muck, dung, garbage and slime” of Paul’s Christ myth (i.e. the rest of the New Testament). Ouch, eh. Kind of a blunt assessment. The diamonds, they said, were buried or distorted by the larger context of the New Testament.
In stating this, they were affirming the work of Historical Jesus research, now known as the Jesus Seminar. This movement has revealed that the New Testament includes the original message of Jesus but the New Testament authors have put a lot of other statements in the mouth of Jesus claiming he taught such things. But the other added material contradicts his core theme or message. The added material distorts and buries the main message of Jesus.
The key issue being that the message of Hist. Jesus was centered around a stunning new theology of a no conditions God (unconditional love for all, both bad and good, as per Matthew 5:38-48 and Luke 6:27-36). To the contrary, the rest of the New Testament affirms traditional deity theories centered on a God/Christ that is all about conditions, conditions, and more damn conditions (i.e. conditions of right belief, demanded sacrifices/payments, proper religious ritual, and required religious lifestyle to denote membership in a given religious tradition. Conditions of a highly limited form of love that tribally favors true believers and excludes unbelievers.).
An example of the contradiction between diamonds buried in a context that is the product of “lesser minds” (Jefferson): In Matthew 5 Jesus states that we are to “love our enemies” (the ultimate statement of love for anther). That is a “diamond/pearl” statement. But then a few chapters later (ch.11 and subsequent chapters), Matthew claims that Jesus stated that those refusing to believe his miracles (i.e. rejecting him and his message), those people would be cast into outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (i.e. Hell). There is no love of enemy in such a contradicting statement. To state that your enemy will be cast into Hell forever is the ultimate statement of hatred for another.
And that after-life threat toward those refusing to accept Jesus as the Christ, for refusing Paul’s Christ myth, dominates the rest of the New Testament (see also Galatians 1:8-9, the Thessalonian letters, Romans, Revelation, etc.). There is no ultimate love your enemy in Christianity, contrary to the core theme of Historical Jesus.
To better understand what the Historical Jesus actually taught, see the “Q Wisdom Sayings gospel” research by people like James Robinson, John Kloppenborg, Stephen Patterson (Jesus Seminar), and others.
Good one by Newt Gingrich regarding the many issues that a majority of Americans (Democrats and Republicans) agree on, based on surveys on the population. Jimmy Dore has also noted the varied common issues that most Americans could cooperate on (i.e. public safety, criminal justice reform, health care for all, good jobs and income, etc.).
Wall Street Journal on the fact that the zealots for censoring the other side are actually the purveyors of much misinformation themselves: “How disagreement became ‘Disinformation”.
How Disagreement Became ‘Disinformation’ – WSJ
Posts to discussion group in response to above WSJ article: Wendell Krossa
“This article is important to read- it reveals the naivete and self-delusion of those who believe that they know what is best for all others and feel they must censor their opponent’s different, disagreeing ideas, and coerce their opponents to embrace their views as the only truth and right (disagreeing opponents viewed with dehumanizing/demonizing terms like “fascists, white supremacists, racists, Alt-right” etc.).
“As someone said, the most dangerous people in society are those who see themselves as right and feel they are the heroes of a righteous crusade to get all others to agree with them, that they alone know what is best for all. Such self-delusion is the unleashing of the totalitarian impulse, especially when such people proceed to censor others as today’s wrongly identified “liberals” are doing on social media forums (censorship is highly “illiberal”). Thank God for Elon Musk, Joe Rogan, and others trying to restore freedom of speech, even though they face smears from the left (“racist, right wingers, alt right, white supremacist” and so on).”
“The self-delusion (lack of self-awareness) of Pres. Obama was evident early on. Obama himself used to state that his conservative opponents were being “partisan, ideological” if they disagreed with his policies. He saw himself, naively, as standing alone for good and truth and right, and all who disagreed with his policies were wrong. He claimed that he was standing for the good of all. He alone was not being “ideological or partisan”. That lack of self-awareness re his own partisan ideological stances was unsettling to me even though, overall, I applauded his election for breaking the color ceiling.
“Early in his 2008 candidacy for president, I watched news media on the left becoming angry and smearing guests for disagreeing with his policies- smearing such policy disagreements as “racist”. Their disagreement had nothing to do with his skin color but was solely over his policies. Even some Democrats noted that it was hard to disagree with the man over policies because of such smears. Obama himself (along with his wife) has intimated in more recent speeches and writing that he still views his political/policy opponents in racial terms, as “racists” for supporting the other side (generalizing entire groups by such limiting, “essentializing” categories).”
(Re the hysterical alarmist crusade over natural, mild, and net beneficial climate change): You wonder why depression is the world’s number one illness, why children suffer from “eco-anxiety” and are frightened of growing up in a world they are repeatedly told is heading for collapse and ending, why young couples refuse to have children in a world they believe is becoming worse, why alarmed populations are embracing an irrational scheme to “save the world” (decarbonization) that is impoverishing many with excessive energy costs and a return to primitivism with rolling blackouts, why fanatical groups (i.e. Extinction Rebellion) are trying to shut down daily life in countries, and so much more…
Psychologist Jordan Peterson responded to a YouTube video entitled, “Jordan Peterson Weeps Over Climate Activism.”
He explained, “I was speaking of the unacceptable demoralization of young people… I’ve seen it all over the world. And this cynical dismissal is all you can muster? How utterly pathetic.”
“How do you think endless apocalyptic catastrophizing affects children?” he asked.
The obsession today with apocalyptic reflects the resurgence of irrationality in modern thought and life:
Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline in Western History” noted the modern era rejection of rational thinking for a retreat to mythical modes of thinking that was part of the development of the ideology of Declinism (i.e. the belief that life was declining toward a worse future, toward collapse and ending). Herman quotes those who speak of the human longing for “a primitive mode of existence” and the resurgence of mythical thinking.
Declinism (and associated “degeneration theory”) claimed that humanity had degenerated from the state of noble savages in previous tribal existence- i.e. pure and strong original people- to a corrupted form of humanity in modern civilization. Part of the degeneration of humanity in civilization was the embrace of rational science. In reaction, Declinists chose to reject rational thinking for a retreat to mythical thinking as part of the project to recover the lost state of the noble savage with his mythical worldview (a more pure and strong form of existence).
To reiterate, part of the rejection of modern civilization as a corrupting force on Earth is the rejection of rational thinking for early mythical forms of thinking. I see this resurging irrationality in the widespread embrace of primitive mythological themes like apocalyptic.
Bjorn Lomborg reviews the latest UN climate disaster report: “… climate-related disasters kill 99 per cent fewer people than 100 years ago…”
Quotes from link…
“Not surprisingly, climate change is central to the UN agency’s narrative. Its report warns there is a risk of more extreme weather disasters because of global warming, so the acceleration of “climate action” is urgently needed. Somehow, this huge international organization has succumbed to the same basic fallacy many of us are prey to when we see more and more weather disasters aired on the TV news. Just because the world is much more connected than it used to be and we do see more catastrophic events in our media doesn’t mean climate change is making them more damaging.
“So how do we robustly measure whether weather disasters have become worse? The best approach is not to count the catastrophes, but to look instead at deaths. Major losses of life have been registered pretty consistently over the past century. This data shows that climate-related events — floods, droughts, storms, fires, and temperature extremes — are not killing more people. Deaths have actually dropped by a huge amount: in the 1920s, almost half a million people were killed by climate-related disasters; in 2021, fewer than 7,000. That’s right: climate-related disasters kill 99 per cent fewer people than 100 years ago…
“The truth is that deaths from climate disasters have fallen dramatically because wealthier countries are much better at protecting citizens. Research shows this phenomenon consistently across almost all catastrophes, including storms, floods, cold and heat waves.”
More excellent research from Jim Steele on how natural factors influence climate warming…
The past warming trend has weakened...
These comments on free speech, as good as you will read anywhere on this critical issue. These from…
“In another essay, columnist Gerard Baker begins:
“It’s always exciting for progressives when they create a new government office of something or other. They live for this: another excuse to spend piles of taxpayer dollars; another polysyllabic title and flashy logo; another opportunity to extend the long, comforting arm of the bureaucracy into the business of ordinary citizens who never knew how impoverished their lives were without it.”
After discussing false claims by President Obama, he concludes:
“You don’t promote truth by banning error. You don’t have a monopoly on truth in the first place, and you may discover your “truths” are errors or lies. Even if you’re right, and epistemically 100% certain, it doesn’t give you the authority to ban someone from saying something different.
“The only proven effective way to counter bad information is with good information. The only way to overcome lies is with truth, and the government can’t be the arbiter of what that is.”
The liberating potency of love
A central goal of this site has been to alleviate fear, unnecessary fear. I have tackled this project by presenting factual information from credible sources to counter movements like climate alarmism, and environmental alarmism in general.
I have listed the many good sources that affirm evidence-based hope, rational hope that counters the irrational fear generated by exaggerated panic-mongering, that counters the irresponsible terrorizing of populations with apocalyptic climate scenarios.
I have further tackled fear, notably more subconsciously rooted fear, by offering alternatives to the inherited mythical themes that have long dominated religious narratives, and over past centuries were then brought over to similarly dominate “secular/ideological” narratives. These mythical themes have generated excessive and unnecessary fear in human populations with, for example, ideas of life declining toward disaster (i.e. the ideology of “Declinism”), with ideas of life rushing toward apocalyptic ending, and with ideas of punitive forces/spirits behind life taking vengeance against human failure, whether “angry God, angry planet/Mother Earth, punitive Universe, payback karma, vengeful Gaia”, etc.
(“Subconsciously rooted fear”? Yes, those hardwired impulses and the related myths created to validate such deeply rooted impulses. What some call “archetypes”).
The single most potent insight to encourage people with, to counter the most deeply rooted of human fears (i.e. fear of punitive forces behind life, fear of after-life harm) is to re-assure people that they are ultimately safe in love. To tell them that love is the ultimate reality behind life, behind the material cosmos. Love generated all reality and sustains all reality in existence and will bring all home safely in the end. And the creating reality that I refer to is not just love but a stunning “no conditions love”. A form of love that is infinitely better than the best that we can imagine or express.
Skeptics rightly respond that this is speculation. Yes, but it is far better than the dark realities that dominate the great religious traditions, as well as most contemporary story-telling that is oriented to primitive mythical themes like apocalyptic. The obsession with the darker themes inherited from humanity’s mythical and religious past only re-enforces unnecessary fear in the present, fear of punitive, destroying forces behind life, and punitive, destroying after-life forces or spirits.
We have better insights to counter the mythical themes that we have inherited. See the short version of “Humanity’s worst ideas, better alternatives” reposted just below.
“The power inside you…. Its your mind and how you use it. That will mean much more in the battles to come”, Moiraine Damodred, Rosalind Pike’s character in Amazon Prime series “The Wheel of Time”.
Julian Simon called the human mind the “Ultimate Resource” (title of his excellent book). He argued that human minds can creatively solve all problems and make life ever better. The evidence that he marshalled overwhelmingly affirmed that conscious humanity has been wildly successful in doing so over the long term. Evidence on the main indicators of life has affirmed that we have been protecting the resources of our world and we are gradually creating a better future. Simon then rightly concluded that we have been “more creators than destroyers”. The evidence led Simon to abandon his depressing view of the world for a new worldview of evidence-based hope. After reviewing the evidence for himself, Simon said that his former “clinical depression” left him and never returned. He became a “rational optimist” (title of book by Matt Ridley).
Further, how we use our minds is critical to creating a more humane world. The mind is where the greatest battles across history have been fought and won. Solzhenitsyn pointed to this in his comment that the battle line of good against evil ran through the center of every human heart. It was more an inner battle before an outer battle.
The mind is, for example, where liberty is first imagined and understood, and then that vision is taken out into life. We first understand and embrace great human ideals like freedom in our minds and then fight for those throughout all areas of life. The mind is critical to the most important battles of life.
So how can we shape our minds with the best of human ideals to then inspire human effort toward the best outcomes in life?
Critical to imagining and then working for a better world, I would argue to consciously embrace love as the central ideal and goal of life, the ultimate meaning of life. Love has long been understood as the “best of being human”, our single greatest ideal and practise, the feature that most singularly identifies us as truly human.
Love embraces a diverse complex of related ideals/practices such as (1) inclusion of all as equals, (2) forgiveness and restorative justice versus punitive response to human failure, (3) respect for the freedom and self-determination of all others (non-dominating, non-coercive treatment of others), and more. Love is an encompassing term that embraces most of the features that comprise human goodness.
I further specify “no conditions love” (i.e. “unconditional”) as the highest and best good of humanity. And I argue that this is self-evident, that such love is self-validating as the highest and best good of humanity. It resonates as true in itself. It needs no outside authority to affirm it as ultimate good and therefore also the essential nature of deity or Ultimate Reality/Ultimate Good. No conditions love is the highest ideal that we should aim for in life- the summit ideal for our ethical system.
(Insert note: If no conditions love is the highest good of humanity then it is also the true nature of deity. I reason to this conclusion just as Historical Jesus did when he stated that we should no longer engage eye for eye response toward offenders. He said that, instead, we should love our enemies because that is what God does. How so? God gives sun and rain (the good gifts of life) to all alike, to both friends and enemies. Hence, the best of being human reveals what God is like. We properly understand theology by reasoning from the best of human behavior, only taking the divine to infinity and beyond- as “transcendently” better.)
Consciously embracing love as our highest ideal will then safely direct human emotions, motivation, and response to will love into life. Maintaining love as an apex ideal will orient our minds to the most humane outcomes and will shape all else toward the best achievements in human society.
And for contrast, note that embracing the subhuman ideals of inherited worldviews- for example, features in deity like tribal exclusion, domination, destruction of differing others (apocalyptic, hell) has produced destructive outcomes. Bad ideas like apocalyptic have endlessly generated fear, anxiety, despair, depression, and even nihilist violence among populations. Apocalyptic believers hold that it is necessary to engage a righteous battle to destroy some great threat to life in order to save the world from an imagined imminent apocalyptic ending. Watch this playing out today in the narratives of climate alarmism and its destructive “salvation” scheme of decarbonization. (See Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God” for detail on the personality deforming influence of subhuman features in God theories.)
We start by acknowledging the darker themes in our worldviews (mental pathologies) and then seek better alternatives, alternatives to structure new personal and public narratives that will serve to inspire and guide us toward a more humane future.
I would encourage people to embrace the quest that we are here primarily to learn love, to experience love, to live out love in life in all the diverse ways that billions of differing human persons express love- i.e. in their contributions through commerce (improving the human material condition through their jobs and hobbies), through engagement with social issues (fighting for rights, freedoms, equality), through sports, entertainment, and much more. Love expressed in all the infinite diversity of human stories, where people are trying to contribute to life, to make the world better for themselves, their families, and for others.
I would specify again, embrace the central ideal of love, not just love as commonly known in romantic, friendship, family, or familiar community versions of love- i.e. tribal forms of love. But press on toward the height of this love ideal- as in no conditions love. Even love of enemy. This offers a safe route to enduring peace among populations.
Qualifiers: Any discussion of love must clarify that it is not about a swing toward dogmatic pacifism. Love’s basic responsibility includes the obligation to protect the innocent, to restrain evil, and to hold accountable those who fail to live as human, to encourage proper human development where the first step is to take responsibility for one’s failures. In all our struggle to live as authentically human, no conditions love guides us to do the least harm to others and the most good to others (i.e. to choose restorative justice over punitive justice or vengeance).
With our conscious awareness we choose to embrace the best of ideals, to focus on ideals like no conditions love, and that beacon then inspires and guides us to live out such ideals in daily life, in our varied struggles with all sorts of ethical issues. The mind is where the greatest struggle of good against evil is first won, and then that prepares us to engage the varied struggles of life.
Added note: Enlightenment philosopher David Hume’s statement on empathy as the basis of morality and justice, “Morality is based on human’s natural attunement to one another’s feelings and a discomfort at sensing other’s discomfort that can be elevated into more impartial justice”.
Affirming love in human life. Some further thoughts…
“As we think so we are. We become what we believe.”
How we think- the ideas that we embrace- powerfully influence how we view life, how we understand things, how we feel about life, and how we respond and act (i.e. the policies we support, the programs we advocate).
For example, if we really believed that love was the core of reality and that love was the meaning of life (i.e. that we exist primarily to learn love, to show love) then what would be the outcomes of such thinking?
I repeatedly put forth a set of themes as alternatives to the many inherited ideas/myths from humanity’s past. We have inherited complexes of ideas from historical mythical and religious traditions, ideas that still dominate our public and personal narratives, both religious and secular.
Point? The alternative themes offer liberation from inherited ideas that are less than human. The alternatives are about pointing us toward a more humane future.
I would start with the most foundational idea of all- i.e. our views of deity, the reality that has served as humanity’s highest ideal and authority across history. Deity has long been the mother of all ideas from across the historical arc of conscious humanity wrestling with its primary impulse for meaning. This idea of Ultimate Reality, the ultimate embodiment of human ideals and authority, influences and shapes all else in human thinking. Deity is the Alpha idea. And it has been the repository of the worst and best features that humans have projected onto it across the millennia. I tackle it first as the most central idea to confront in the project of liberating human consciousness from bad influences, the most critical thing to deal with in the project to fully humanize our narratives and consciousness.
First: There is no threatening, punitive reality behind life but only “no conditions love”. This overturns the core pathology in human thought/belief- the millennia old perception that there is some great judgmental, retaliatory, punitive Force or Spirit behind all reality. This central belief has dominated human thinking across history in mythical and religious systems, and continues to dominate contemporary “secular/ideological” systems with updated versions of punitive deity- i.e. “Vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, punitive Universe, payback karma”.
On what authority do I base my confidence that there is a stunning no conditions love behind all? I base it on the single most important discovery of average people. I conclude that no conditions love is the very best thing that most ordinary people have discovered as the highest good that a person can engage in daily life. The common understanding and practise of such love by most people takes our highest ideal- love- to new heights of humaneness. Unconditional love is often evident between family members, between spouses, between parents and children, and between friends. It is the very best of being human that average people have discovered and practised. So ultimate Goodness- i.e. God- would get this even better than we do and would be this love to perfection. God would be such love to infinity and beyond (the true meaning of “transcendence” in deity).
Further, I would also add human experience and testimony as from, for example, the Near-Death Experience movement. While cautious about affirming all such experiences, it is interesting that common to many NDEs is the discovery that there is no judging, threatening, punitive deity beyond this life but only a stunningly scandalous no conditions love. Many people having NDEs realize that unconditional love is the essential nature of the great creating, sustaining Light behind all reality. That is the single most profound discovery of that experience. It overturns all that religious traditions have presented across the millennia about deity embodying ultimate judgment, ultimate tribal exclusion (true believers saved, unbelievers excluded), ultimate punishment and ultimate destruction (apocalypse, hell).
I embrace such speculation on the metaphysical because of the impact that deity theories have had on human thinking and life over millennia. People have always become just like the gods that they believe in, replicating in their lives what they believe is the divine ideal or pattern (i.e. the will, word, law, character, or plan of their god).
An equally critical alternative idea… associated with the above…
Second: We are not fallen, sinful beings though we have an inherited animal brain with its dark impulses to tribal exclusion, domination of others, and punitive/destructive responses toward others. I am framing here a “dualistic interactionism” similar to John Eccles. A “supernatural” (nonphysical) human self interacting intimately with a material brain. (Note: This is the “transmission” view- that human consciousness is transmitted through the material brain. The material brain serves as a limiting organism, limiting our greater consciousness to an experience in three-four dimensions with five main senses.)
Despite our inherited animal brain, our true self is the same no conditions love that is the creating Source at the core of all reality and life. We are one with that stunning love. Intensely intimate oneness, while maintaining distinct human personhood, is another discovery of the NDE movement.
This insight reshapes human self-imaging entirely. We are not our brains with their baser animal impulses/instincts (Joseph Campbell’s “animal passions”). We are essentially good at core though we have the freedom of choice to respond to our baser impulses and that explains the darker features that often erupt in human lives, the “evil” in life.
Despite our inherited “dark animal nature”, we have the counter ability to freely choose to respond to failure in others with our better impulses to exhibit inclusion, to show respect for the freedom of equal others, and to engage restorative justice toward other’s failure. Doing these things, we can tower in stature as mature humans, as the heroes of our stories.
And there are many more liberating alternatives (aside from the two above) to the numerous bad ideas that we have inherited from our past. After all, the main project here is freedom from all that restrains our better human impulses, freedom that goes to the very core of human understanding, feeling, and response, freedom that is oriented in the most fundamental way to love as the core reality.
Once again, no religious tradition has ever presented to humanity the reality of deity as no conditions love. All religious traditions have oriented human consciousness to deity as about conditions, conditions, and more conditions- conditions of correct dogma, required rituals, demanded sacrifice/payment, proper religious lifestyle, and obligatory membership in a religious tradition. No conditions love at the core of all reality eliminates all such conditions.
If God is no conditions love then who needs religion?
End the panic-mongering, free people from unnecessary fear
For decades environmental alarmists have trumpeted exaggerated apocalyptic scenarios into the public consciousness and now we have surveys showing widespread anxiety breaking forth in mental/emotional pathologies. We see this in the rising levels of eco-anxiety in children afraid of growing up in a world that they believe is getting worse and heading for collapse and even prophesied ending. We see this in adults suffering from fear, anxiety, depression, and despair.
It is insanity to panic-monger over the mild 1 degree C warming that occurred over the past century in a cold world where 10 times more people die from cold every year than die from warmth. The slight warming has decreased deaths from cold by far more than it has increased heat deaths.
This quote below re the Lancet study at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/07/04/climate-change-coverage-ignores-heavy-impact-of-heat-on-cold-deaths-bjorn-lomborg/
“Cold deaths plummet as temperature rises
“In The Lancet, some of the same authors estimated recent changes in full-year heat and cold deaths from the 1990s to the 2010s. Reliably, they found that heat deaths increased but cold deaths decreased even more for all regions and, on average, twice as much. This suggests that leaving out cold deaths flips the central message.
“Global warming up to now possibly means about 100,000 more heat deaths. But the Lancet full-year research shows it also very likely means we have avoided even more cold deaths, perhaps as much as twice that, equivalent to 200,000 avoided cold deaths.”
Additionally, how crazy is it to alarm people over the mild warming that has extended crop seasons and habitat for all life. And how insane is it to demonize CO2 when more of this basic plant food has resulted in a 15% increase in green vegetation across Earth over just the past 40 years (more food for animals, increased crop production for humanity).
Fear is a life-preserving emotion where the threat is credible. But inciting fear over a falsely identified threat is irresponsible and causes incalculable harm. Climate panic-mongering has incited the survival impulse in populations and has consequently led many to embrace the destructive decarbonization crusade. Destructive because it tries to prematurely and recklessly end the human use of fossil fuels that have been critical to human economic development and wealth creation that enables humanity to not only vastly improve the human condition, but to better care for nature as well.
Further, contrary to the climate alarm narrative, droughts, heat waves, floods, and storms are not becoming worse and in some cases have even been declining in frequency and intensity over past decades (i.e. tornadoes, land fall hurricanes). Media reports to the contrary are lying against good data that even the IPCC acknowledges. Most important, overall human deaths from climate and weather have declined 99% over the past century.
The only climate crisis is that it is still too cold and far more people die from cold every year than from extra warmth. Multiple further degrees of warming, and much more CO2, would continue to be a net benefit to all life.
Watch the ongoing dehumanization of the differing “other” today, the vilification of one’s political/social opponents. Both sides portray their opponents as dangerous threats that must be stopped (i.e. “threats to democracy, threats to safety”). Opponents are not just holding differing opinions but are purportedly guilty of “hate speech, racism, white supremacy, murder, etc.”.
We see this demonization of differing others notably in Woke Racism (John McWhorter). This third-wave anti-racism is now merged with resurging Marxism (not just the old anti-capitalism version of last century Marxists, but the more intense anti-Western everything- i.e. “War on the West”). Conservatives are portrayed as evil threats to society (racist, oppressor class) and must be stopped by state coercion (censored, silenced, banned, cancelled).
And on the conservative side we see the distorting demonization of opponents in the conservative narrative that women wanting choice are a tribe of evil baby killers that must be stopped by state coercion. You create a myth of your opponents as maliciously evil, committing intolerable evil, and therefore needing to be coerced into subjection to your agenda by law and state force. You create a narrative that validates your crusade to criminalize your opponents, in order to shut them down completely.
The intense tribal division continues with both sides unleashing extremist elements that engage too much demonizing of opponents. What to do? Find the issues that all can agree to cooperate on- i.e. criminal justice reform, universal health care, more employment and good income, public safety, etc. Moderates and independents need to come to the fore and bring societies back together around such common concerns.
Another former post on the left right tribal division of today: Tribal emotions are worsened by the practice of demonizing the other as less than fully human, not just different but evil in some way and a threat to your existence (threat to democracy), even a danger to your life. Add here that you feel you are in a righteous battle against evil with yourself as the hero who must conquer and destroy your “enemy” (cancel, censor, ban). This extremist thinking does not end well. The other (your opponents) is still family and we all need to “just get along” (Rodney King).
Central to Marxism was the dialectic of an oppressor class and oppressed class. Marx derived this from German philosopher Georg Hegel’s dialectic of thesis opposed by anti-thesis. Are we seeing elements of this again in Woke Racism with its oppressor class (all whites) against oppressed (all non-whites). These dialectic oppositions based around race tend to “essentialize” or generalize about entire populations or groups. This is quite contrary to Martin Luther King’s dream that we would not judge one another by color groupings but treat one another as individuals focusing on character not color.
The horror of the Little Ice Age
We can be very thankful that the world has warmed up, though only 1-1.5 degree C, since the Little Ice Age of approximately 1645-1715, the coldest time during our Holocene interglacial. Our current Modern era warming is still the coolest of the warm periods of our interglacial and we are at the tail end of a 6,000 year cooling trend that has been going on since the end of the Holocene Optimum of about 10,000 to 6,000 years ago (the Holocene Optimum was the warmest era of our interglacial and the following Roman and Medieval Warm Periods were also warmer than today).
Bill Nye, the anti-science guy, among many others wants to return to the pre-industrial cold of the Little Ice Age. That lunacy is what climate alarmism irrationality promotes.