Re-affirming the “wonder of being human” against the anti-humanism of much mythology, religion, and ideology. A new baseline for self-esteem. Also, theology and religious violence. Deal with it.

Comment below: It’s the theology, stupid (paraphrasing Bill Clinton’s “It’s the economy, stupid”); Responding to the meaning impulse in human consciousness- theology; Rediscovering the wonder of being human- countering the persistence of anti-humanism in mythology, religion, and ideology; More on exploring the full extent of human liberation; Humanity’s old story (grand narrative) and the confusion over imperfection in the world; Brief summary of bad ideas, Brief history of descent of bad ideas; Site projects- Devastating outcomes of apocalyptic exaggeration, The Christian role in this mess, The Christian scandal- burying the diamond of Jesus (yes, Jefferson and Tolstoy again); More on the profound contradiction between Jesus and Paul; and some comment on Grosso’s excellent article on fear of after-life harm- the primal human fear and the atheist response.

Being a generous person, I have included something in the comment below to offend everyone, both religious people and atheists. Just kidding, but perhaps offering a little “trigger warning”. Also, carefully note my response to the potential complaint of Islamophobia. I place Islam within the larger Western religious context, within the theological tradition of Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity. That theology/mythology is the core issue, not any one isolated version of it. Islam shares the very same theological heritage that has also produced violent outcomes in the other Western traditions that have embraced apocalyptic mythology, notably Judaism and Christianity.

Now a few balancing qualifiers to calm religious nerves and to affirm the majority moderate populations in our major world religious traditions:

First, the Christian tradition holds the single greatest discovery in the history of human thought- the statement by Historical Jesus (someone entirely opposite to Christian Jesus) that God is absolutely no conditions Love (i.e. the Matt.5:38-48 and Luke 6:27-36 summaries). James Robinson called the discovery of Jesus “his greatest contribution to the history of ideas”, referring specifically to the non-retaliatory element in Jesus’ theology. Unfortunately, the early Christians buried that discovery in the larger context of the New Testament that presented a God who demanded that supreme conditions be met before forgiveness would be offered (i.e. the death of the Christ to pay for sin, and the demand to believe this conditional gospel). Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy tried to make this point that the central theme of Jesus- his “diamond/pearl” discovery on unconditional love- had been buried in the wider New Testament teaching on an angry, punitive God.

Another balancing qualifier: Care is exercised here to distinguish between the humane features that people have projected onto their highest ideals and authorities (onto deity), and other subhuman or inhumane features, what some call “bad religious ideas” (Sam Harris). The humane is to be affirmed while the inhumane is to be condemned, anywhere that it is found. Human liberation must include the full liberation from things now broadly considered to be inhuman in any other area of life. The point? It is important to engage and reform/replace subhuman religious ideas as they continue to have a harmful impact on human consciousness and society. The “sacred” cannot be exempted from the project to fully humanize- to make fully humane- all areas of life.

If for no other reason, we should encourage people to fully humanize their views of God because “we become just like the God that we believe in”. This is about the age-old human impulse to base behavior on similar belief, and the outcomes of this practice. Bad ideas can incite bad behavior.

Setting the larger context:

I am puzzled at military officials and other public commentators- experts on violence- that appear unable to directly confront and deal with one of the central elements behind the religious violence from the ISIS and Al Qaeda movements- the element of theology, or God.

Theology (i.e. apocalyptic mythology) is also one of the core inciting elements behind environmental alarmism and its devastating outcomes, which have been far worse than the damage from religious violence, according to Bob Brinsmead. Numerous people have commented on the apocalyptic theme in contemporary environmentalism (“the end is nigh”) but do not go on to nail the theology at the root of that theme. This site details some of the core myths and historical background of environmental alarmism. I have always understood that in basic problem solving you need to include root causes, all the elements that contribute to any given problem.

Some commentators on religious violence appear to get close when they state that “We must win the battle of ideas, the ideological battle”. But ideology has more to do with economics and politics. It is still not getting to the root issue of theology. Fareed Zakaria in “Why They Hate Us” seemed to be getting close to fingering theology as playing a key inciting role in religious violence but then, confusingly, he backed off at the end of that documentary to conclude that the main culprit behind religious violence was politics, not theology. Huh?

ISIS leaders state clearly that theology is their ultimate motivation to commit terror (see, for example, Sam Harris’ comment “What Do Jihadists Really Want?”). Their primary motivation is not politics, economics, US foreign intervention, personal criminal histories, or Western social corruption. Yes, these elements are also part of the mix of inciting motivations. But do not neglect the central inciting role of theology.

In the final moments just before a suicide bomber presses the button on his/her vest, or opens fire in some crowded theater or market place, he/she does not scream ideology, politics, economics, personal criminal history, Western social corruption, or US intervention in the Mid East. No. Listen carefully- they shout “God” (specifically, “God is great”). They appeal to theology. And they are referring to a particular view of God as vengeful, retaliatory, punishing, and demanding the violent destruction of unbelievers. That view of God enables them to get past the last shreds of human restraint in their consciousness. It is an appeal to the ultimate motivation that enables them to commit terror. You see this appeal to a God that demands violent punishment all through the documentary “Terror in Mumbai”. See also Wafa Sultan’s “A God Who Hates”.

Until we deal with the theological issue at the core of religious violence, and also behind environmental alarmism, we are not fully solving these problems for the long-term future. They will continue to erupt in new versions just as they have in varied traditions across past history. And yes, the same core theological themes are found behind religious violence, “secular” mass-death movements like Marxism and Nazism (i.e. apocalyptic millennialism, see Richard Landes’ “Heaven On Earth”), and environmental alarmism. The same “Master Terrorist” plays his inciting role behind all these destructive movements. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Ultimate liberation of mind and spirit. The curse of environmental alarmism and its mass-death outcomes. Foundational issues behind human fear of the natural world. The profound contradiction between Historical Jesus and Paul/Christianity illustrates the history of alarmist beliefs.

Topics below: Why go after apocalyptic? (responding to “religious fear”); Mythical pathology and mass-death outcomes; Bad theology incites bad behavior; more on ‘The destructive outcomes of apocalyptic’; More on the Jesus/Paul contradiction; Discussion group posts; Float like a butterfly- Independent or Classic Liberalism; More discussion posts; Environmentalism, environmental concern; Climate debate- alarmists versus skeptics/deniers; The anti-humanism at the heart of environmentalism; In problem-solving go after the real monster; Human story and monsters- Joseph Campbell’s story outline; Primitive religious themes in contemporary environmental alarmism; Point form summary.

Further topics: Links/relationships/historical lines of descent- apocalyptic continues to dominate contemporary “secular” minds; A new take on the offensive “hard saying” of historical Jesus- the scandal of an unconditional God; Collectivism versus individual freedom- what really advances the greater good; Summarized template of apocalyptic ideas; Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas; Religion and God- the pairing of profound opposites; Historical descent of bad ideas- from mythology to religion to ideology and even to science.

More on the profound contradiction between Jesus and Paul/Christianity. The God of Jesus (his “stunning new theology”) rejected apocalyptic mythology (“no more eye for eye… instead, love your enemy”). And to the contrary, Paul’s entirely opposite God affirmed primitive apocalyptic mythology (“vengeance is mine, I will repay”). Paul’s God became the God of Christianity which has shaped Western consciousness, including Islam, Marxism, Nazism, and Environmentalism. Historical sources listed in comment below.

The scandal in this contradiction is that one of the greatest discoveries ever was buried in Christianity (Jefferson and Tolstoy’s point). Christianity was created as another conditional religion that made it impossible to see the true nature of deity as absolutely no conditions Love. The central discovery of Historical Jesus (“his most important contribution to the history of ideas”- Robinson)- that God was no conditions reality- was buried by Paul and other New Testament writers. Consequently, the greatest potential liberation ever- that of mind and spirit- was short-circuited before it could get started.

This site traces the relationships between belief systems across human history- noting that common themes continue from mythology, to religion, to contemporary ideology and philosophy. I note, in particular, the persistence of “bad ideas” and their harmful outcomes, especially the apocalyptic template of ideas with its core theme of a threatening, punishing God. I probe the most effective responses to these bad ideas. This is where the Jesus/Paul contradiction is useful because it illustrates the core themes on the opposite sides of this contradiction. Where Jesus advocated non-retaliation and no apocalypse, Paul advocated retaliation and apocalypse. Fundamentally, this is about the larger human story of leaving our animal past to become truly human. It is about what belief system we will use to define ourselves as truly human.

Does the above theology really matter? Bob Brinsmead: “You become just like the God that you believe in”. Bad ideas incite and validate bad behavior. Theology is critical to understanding the history of religious violence and the devastating outcomes of apocalyptic alarmism, notably from the environmental alarmism of today. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The myth of Ultimate Threat or Ultimate Harm (i.e. angry, retaliating, punishing deity) has been the single most damaging idea in the history of human thought and belief systems. The discovery of an absolutely no conditions Love at the core of reality is the potent response to the pathology of Ultimate Threat.

New topics: Summary of site themes; Pulling back to the big overall picture (Facebook discussion); Up from the basement; Love as TOE; Humanity’s greatest fear- Ultimate Harm; More on the “hard saying”; Post from discussion group (fallen humanity); Michael Hart quotes- environmental alarmism as apocalyptic religion; Imagination in the search for truth; Depression and Declinism; Commerce as social healer; Facebook note on Grosso; Post from discussion group; Extensive Facebook postings from discussion on environmental alarmism.

New Year’s Project: Major pathologies in thought and potent alternatives. Foundational themes for new narratives, for authentically humane worldviews.

Ultimate Harm and consequent Alarm:
The myth of Ultimate Threat has always incited alarmism across history. People have endlessly feared that the problems encountered all through life- i.e. natural disasters, extreme events or changes in nature, accident and disease- that these were expressions of angry gods punishing bad people. The fear of punishment from greater Forces or Spirits has continued into our modern “secular” age in myths of “the revenge of Gaia”, angry nature, and contemporary versions of karma.

Alarmism has persistently exaggerated problems to apocalyptic scale (the end is nigh, again and again and again…) and thereby distorted the problems of life, not presenting carefully the actual state of things. It has then incited frightened people to embrace damaging Salvationism schemes that have harmed humanity and life even more. I have traced this history of Ultimate Harm and consequent Alarm down through history, via mythology, religion, ideology (i.e. 19th Century Declinism), and even into science (e.g. climate science). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The ancient curse of alarmism (i.e. Threat theology); its destructive impact on human consciousness and society; countering this pathology with the breakthrough insight in the ‘hard saying’.

New Comment topics:

Alarmism: a curse on the human spirit (the deeply rooted mythology behind alarmism); Thoughts on the anti-human element in environmental alarmism; Climate alarmism as social control; Declinism Defined- the dominant worldview today.

Michael Grosso on the human fear of death (materialism misses the point); Clear away the garbage (Leo Tolstoy- Christianity buries the great discovery of Jesus); Religion and God- the pairing of entire opposites; Love your enemy- the “hard saying” that points to the greatest discovery ever and to the true nature of love.

Neglected Narrative: What really caused the 2008 financial crisis? Ronald Bailey- Federal regulations have made you 75 percent poorer; Rupert Murdoch links regulations, climate alarmism, to global financial turmoil; Investor’s Business Daily- How Reds became Greens.

Ebionism: the link from Jewish religion to Christianity to Islam; The Center- Joseph Campbell on presence; Change your story- we got the old one all wrong (Threat theology, apocalyptic, a new core ideal).

“Alarmist News Media” (comment on Trump hysteria) is at bottom of this section. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The ultimate liberation of consciousness- rejecting threat mythology and embracing an infinite ‘no conditions Love’ at the core of reality and life. See Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas below.

Site project and themes- Combating alarmism (i.e. exaggerated threat, metaphysical monsters, and resulting unnecessary fear). Purging the monster of threat mythology/theology, in all its variations, from human narratives- i.e. violent, punishing religious gods, revenge of Gaia, karma, or angry planet. Threat theology has long been the central theme of conditional Salvationism religion with its burdensome demands for required sacrifices, obligated beliefs, rituals, and a religious lifestyle to appease and please the divine threat.

Threat theology has also been central to religious violence, and is evident in supposedly more “secular” ideologies like 19th Century Declinism and its offspring- environmental alarmism. There is enough to fear in life without the added psychic burden of some great Threat behind life. Remember the Japanese lady after the tsunami, saying, “Are we being punished?” Threat theology has generated far too much unnecessary fear, anxiety (i.e. “eco-anxiety”), despair, and depression.

This site explores the single most profound and liberating shift in human consciousness- to abandon the idea of some great Threat and to embrace the discovery of a “no conditions Love” at the core of reality. No conditions love presents an authentically humane definition of ultimate reality for the foundation of a new human narrative. Explore this ultimate liberation movement with us.

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca

See new summary “The Science of Climate” (basic climate facts) further below in this opening section. Also at the bottom of this section, “The Ultimate Battle for Freedom (it takes place in our heads)”. And up from the basement- Joseph Campbell on human story (placing unconditional in Campbell’s story framework). “Love is all” is at the bottom of this section. See also material on religious violence in sections further below. The real battle of ideas takes place in the arena of theology, not just ideology. Julia Tyack also sparked some thoughts on what it might mean to practice unconditional in an imperfect world. Further, see new comment on “Making God Horizontal” (vertical/horizontal forms of relating).

Campbell offers the central discovery that enables the transition to mature adulthood- the centering of life on love. I reframe his story framework with “unconditional” in order to focus and clarify his point more. He uses “universal” and “unlimited” love.

The two most basic things… Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Top 10 Bad Religious Ideas; The descent of bad ideas over history; Embracing imperfection- we won’t be punished; Racial facts- we are all African; Islamic terror and God; Paul blew it.

Qualifier: Confronting bad ideas is not to “attack” or “trash” religion in general. It is about careful distinction between religious ideas that encourage human goodness and subhuman ideas that have a history of promoting inhumanity.

Section Content:
Bad religious ideas and the harm they have caused humanity. The descent of bad ideas over history- from mythology to religion to ideology (i.e. mythology given “secular” expression, see comment on 19th Century “Declinism”).
Understanding imperfection: God is not pissed at imperfection. Threat theology got it all wrong. Exploring alternative narratives: There is no ultimate punishment, no angry God, no revenge of Gaia, no karma.
Racial facts- countering race as tribalism. We all identify as African.
Islamic terrorism and God- its not just a fight with ideology but with theology. That is where the real battle of ideas takes place.
Paul’s big fails- The mistakes made by the founder of Christianity. He buried Jesus with his Christ myth. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Solving religious violence: Confronting the critical theological element; Humanizing our highest ideal and authority- deity.

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca (site is copyrighted material)

Section content: Why they Hate us (Fareed Zakaria documentary); Nowhere left to hide; What we are trying to do; Rethinking justice as unconditional; Tolstoy and Jefferson on the contradiction between Jesus and the gospels; Attack? Nah; Changing our thinking; Religion and violence; Sam Harris on bad religious ideas; The Jesus/Paul contradiction; Complaint re conditional religion; Pathology of Alarmism; Wealth creation enables environmental improvement; Sanders on climate hoax; Chronology argument for Christian contradiction; New comment from Bob Brinsmead; Notes on love (Can we find a better term than unconditional?); Large Hadron Collider documentary.

(Note: This site affirms all endeavor to reform religion, to make religious traditions more moderate. And when I point out the harmful elements in religious beliefs, I also recognize that it is important to re-assure religious people of the good features in their traditions. But my argument is that too much religious reform does not get to the root of the problem and slay the real monster. It does not eliminate the Master Terrorist. This is where humanity’s greatest battle takes place- conquering the metaphysical monsters that are humanity’s highest ideals and authorities. It is a battle in the depths of human consciousness with bad ideas that powerfully influence human perception, feeling, and response.)

“You become just like the God that you believe in”, Bob Brinsmead.

Much religious reform continues to protect “bad religious ideas” (Sam Harris’ term) at the core of religion. The humanizing project (making more humane) that has impacted much of the rest of thought and life must be taken to the very heart of religion- to deity. Religious gods must be fully humanized if we are to properly solve violence for the long term future. Anything inhumane or subhuman must be purged from humanity’s highest ideal and authority- deity. Pathological views of God have long been used as the ultimate validation for pathological human behavior- to incite, inspire, guide, and validate such behavior. See comment on the belief/behavior relationship below. People have always tried to model their lives and societies according to some greater reality or ideal.

This site is a project to combat alarmism in all its perverse forms- religious or secular. Alarmism generates fear and fear plays a central role inciting aggression and even violence (i.e. defense against perceived “threat”). Note carefully the role that theology- threatening, fear-inciting gods- has historically played in religious violence. This is one critical element to explore when trying to resolve the problem of religious violence.

Quote from below: “A central project on this page is to fully humanize theology (as in human perception of greater ideals and authorities); to purge deity of subhuman features such as animal-like vengeance, tribal exclusion and opposition, payback punishment, or violent destruction of outsiders. We already have the stunning discovery that points us in the right direction- the radical redefinition of deity with the ideal of absolutely no conditions love. A discovery that liberates entirely from the pathology of so much past mythology and religion.”

See Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas in next section just below, “Site Project: Conquering metaphysical monsters”. Immediately following this, note how these bad ideas descend down through history in “The Big Picture: Historical descent of mythical/religious pathology”. This helps to understand the never-ending eruption of religious violence across history. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Site Project: Conquering metaphysical monsters… Finding ultimate liberation in absolutely no conditions reality and existence.

List of contents for this section: Getting to the point; Fighting Monsters; Bad Religious Ideas; The Big Picture (Historical descent of mythical/religious pathology); Defending unconditional; Islamic violence; Introduction; Herman on Declinism; The Christian Contradiction (brief version); Page Content Lists; Terror in Mumbai; Ancient Alarmism; Calming religious concerns; It Stands on Its Own (Who needs Jesus?); Muhammad affirms Jewish/Christian influence; The real battle against terror, and more.

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca Copyright @ Wendell Krossa

It is the single most profound shift in human consciousness- to reject the myth of some ultimate Threat behind life (i.e. the punishing gods of mythology and religion, the core retribution of Greek thought, or contemporary “secular” Threat mythologies- the revenge of Gaia, angry planet, or payback Karma), and to embrace the view that there is only an “absolutely no conditions Love” behind all. Unconditional takes our supreme ideal of love to its highest expression. It is the ultimate definition of authentic humanity.

Getting to the point… a project to counter alarmism of all forms, religious and secular. Alarm/fear is often at the root of “defensive” aggression and violence. Add this to your understanding of movements like ISIS. Bad ideas incite, inspire, guide, and validate bad behavior.

Explanatory note… This site assumes the following basic relationship between belief and behavior: that people look to ultimate ideals and authorities- i.e. gods- for inspiration, guidance, and validation of their actions and lives. They have done this since the beginning. Unfortunately, over history some of the most inhumane features have been projected onto our gods- things like tribal exclusion (the “us versus them” of tribal thinking- opposition toward outsiders, enemies), hatred and vengeance toward outsiders, the condemnation and punishment of human imperfection, and the destruction of the enemy.

The outcome of projecting these base features onto our highest ideals and authorities is the creation of ultimate Monsters that validate the same inhuman features and behavior in people. We see this in religious violence across history, and still today. Violent, vengeful gods validating violence toward others. Therefore, you have to bring down the core metaphysical Monster in order to properly bring down the brood of related features that are validated by the core Ideal- religiously inspired hatred, tribal exclusion of unbelievers, vengeance, and the punishing spirit. In more positive terms- its not just “bringing down” something, but more about the full “humanization” of our highest ideals and authorities.

This site goes to the foundation of much alarmism over history- the myth of some ultimate Threat.

I’ll get right to the point…

There has never been some great metaphysical Threat behind life. There have never been angry, punishing gods, and there is no vengeful Gaia, angry planet, or payback Karma- some greater metaphysical intention behind the common natural consequences of life. The idea of some great retributive force or punitive spirit behind life has been the greatest fraud ever beaten into human consciousness. The accidents, disease, and other forms of imperfection and suffering in life, are not punishment from some greater force or spirit.

The result of this threat pathology has been millennia of wasted human endeavor on Salvationism, whether religious or secular. Think of the blood that has been shed in the sacrifice industry starting in prehistory, and the endless time wasted in religious ritual to appease threatening gods. Also include modern anti-development appeasement efforts and the trillions that this has cost humanity in hindered, blocked, or abandoned development projects- i.e. Earth goddess or Gaia appeasement. Add the emotional distress and despair from this mental pathology, and more. Salvationist responses have wasted immense amounts of human time, effort, thought, emotion, and resources that could have been better spent on improving the human condition from the healthy standpoint of “rational optimism”. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The Christian Contradiction…and its chronology.

Note especially the comment in the next section below- “Irresponsible environmental alarmism”, and “Climate deniers”.

Content in this section: The Chronology (unconditional was first, Paul rejected it); The Christian Contradiction- arguably history’s greatest religious scandal; Bob Brinsmead comment from discussion group.

I’ve brought this comment up from the basement because it may be the most important material on this site. If you can get the central insight of Historical Jesus clear, in contrast to the entirely contradictory message of Paul/Christianity, then you have gained some real ground on understanding the greater human story, what went wrong and how it can be made right.

The Christian contradiction (Jesus versus Paul) intensely focuses the struggle between the unconditional treatment of all people (i.e. “love your enemies”) and the traditional payback justice approach toward others (justice as getting even, or punishment). The Christian contradiction illustrates how these two approaches have struggled to shape human ethics over history.

Our treatment of others is very much based on how we view others. Do we embrace the tribal dualism view of humanity as divided into opposing groups of good versus bad. Or do we hold the view that all people are equal members of one human family, all “magnificent beings”, despite our differing imperfections (see “What are we, really?” in next section below). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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A journey towards no conditions reality and existence… the journey starts hot.

Comment in this section: The journey starts hot; The “stunning” new view of ultimate reality (also- evaluating the NDE movement); Reframing Campbell’s outline of human story (the Hero’s journey); What are we, really?; The humanizing project; News cycles; Christ myth; Embracing Imperfection; Irresponsible environmental alarmism; Scattered Notes; Climate deniers.

The journey starts hot:

Dad called my sisters and I into the kitchen to stand in front of an early 1950s wood-burning stove. It had white enamel sides with a black iron surface. A pipe to vent the smoke exited the back and up through the ceiling. Dad stood beside the stove. He then tapped the tip of his finger on the hot iron surface for a micro-second and sternly warned us, “Just like that burns your finger, so your whole body will burn in Hell”. Yikes.

They say that we forget most of our experiences before six years of age. But some memories are so traumatizing that they permanently scar our consciousness. It happened when I was three or four, but that sermon-in-a-second was not forgotten. And it was supplemented in following years with repeated warnings that “God was gonna get us” for any bad behavior, for any unchristian behavior. Because we deserved to be punished.

I did not have the mental tools through my early life to think myself free of those “bad religious ideas” (Sam Harris’ term). Finding those tools took a lifetime of search and struggle. And before I scare off the religious readers, let me affirm that some version of atheism/materialism was never a serious alternative.

Sparked by those early years of religious trauma, I have spent my life trying to understand it all- religion, atheism, the spiritual, science, mythology, meaning, purpose, suffering, evil, good, love, exclusion/inclusion, domination/equality, life, and death, and more. What does it mean to be human? To be consciously human in an imperfect world? To see and feel beauty, goodness, love, but also randomness and accident, hatred and violence, sickness and suffering, and the rest that is life. Is there a better way to understand and explain all this to ourselves? Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The Humanizing Project (to make humane)

Comment in this section: Creating a Safe God- understanding roots causes of violence; Global Religious landscape quote; Further comment on Monsters of the Metaphysical; Linkages; Historical damage from alarmism; More on basic linkages; Brinsmead quote on vertical relating; Some reactions to unconditional; One more on links; The grand trajectory of the cosmos and life toward unconditional.

This humanizing project recognizes a common feature that has contributed to a similar problem in all the great religious traditions- the problem of violence in the name of God. Basic to good problem-solving is to consider all the elements that are involved in causing a problem, and then embrace the best means of solving the problem properly and thoroughly for the long-term future. This is about fully humanizing our validating ideals.

Quote from below: “Note that the suicide bombers are not shouting “Political oppression”, “Economic disparity”, or “Social corruption”. They shout “God is great”. Their motivating ideal is God, a God that affirms violence. See Terror in Mumbai in next section below.

And pay careful attention to the comment on avoiding “us versus them” tribalism over this violence issue. Note the larger Western Christian context of religious violence. It is about a shared inheritance of bad religious ideas and who passed on what to whom. In regard to this, note research on Muhammad’s Jewish Christian mentor, Waraqa, and the scriptures that he used to fill Muhammad’s mind with visions of violence (i.e. the Gospel to the Hebrews, roughly similar to the gospel of Matthew). Islam is just the latest major religion in the Western tradition that embraces violent gods promoting violence to punish and destroy unbelievers, with the inevitable consequence of promoting violence between people. Other sections below treat this in detail.

To the affirmative- despite the all-too-common outcome of violence, many in these religious traditions have learned to moderate their behavior for the better. But the core inciting feature of violent deity still remains embedded at the very foundations of these traditions, in their holy books. The pathology has not yet been properly dealt with and others advocating violence will continue to replace the current terrorist groups that we are repeatedly obligated to defeat. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Site Comment: Section One

The true state of life- It gets better; Anti-science alarmism; CO2 alarmism; Plimer and Moore quotes on the benefits of CO2; Grappling with imperfection; Human narrative- Old story versus new story; Rethinking justice; Dogmatic meaninglessness; Defining the core of ultimate reality (some theological musing); Noble savage mythology; Authentic liberalism- its all about freedom; Alleviating irresponsible alarmism; Karma as payback myth.

What defines the overall trajectory of life and civilization- rise toward something better or decline toward something worse? Evidence on the complete picture and long-term trends shows improvement overall. There is much sound data to affirm hope. Life and civilization are rising toward a better future. Detail below. Critical to rational optimism is the evidence that humanity is in net terms creative and not destructive.

This site continues as a project to go after the foundational ideas behind all forms of alarmism, religious or secular, mythical or ideological. This is much more than some simple opposition between optimism and pessimism. It is about hard physical evidence and what this evidence shows about the complete picture of life and the long-term trends of life.

Life is story. Taking Joseph Campbell’s framework for human story (i.e. going out, fighting and conquering monsters, gaining insights to benefit others), I am going after a monster in human consciousness- the monster of vengeful, punishing, violent deity. That has been humanity’s supreme ideal and authority for most of human history. It is at the very foundation of much alarmism, past and present (note that ancient mythical themes have been given secular expression for the contemporary scientific era- see Declinism below). Read the rest of Section 1 here!

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