Rethinking the ideas we have inherited

Summaries of the basic issues in the climate debate…

Frequently Asked Questions

Ideas to shape our personal stories (revised and updated)

We all live by story. We embrace a story that gives us inspiration and guides our thinking, feeling, and responses/behavior. Our stories help us understand and explain life to ourselves and to others. And we create our personal story/worldview with features that we take from the larger stories of the history of the world, from the history of nations (mainly our own nations), and from the stories of religious and philosophical traditions, as well as ideologies. We take from all these sources to define our personal stories. Our stories are also influenced by our parents, peers, teachers, and other public figures. All of these give us ideas/themes that we then use to shape our personal worldviews and our stories.

Unfortunately, the story themes that still dominate the thinking of many people today are from the narratives of religious traditions that have embraced some of the worst ideas from humanity’s primitive past, primitive ideas that are no longer credible. For example, themes like the tribal division of humanity into classes of true believers versus unbelievers, the divine validation for domination of others (i.e. gods as Lords, Kings, Masters), and the divine validation of punitive, destroying justice (i.e. Hell myths).

Religious narratives have dominated human consciousness across history and still do. Note the 85% of humanity that still affiliates with the world religions and therefore hold religious worldviews. And many of the remaining 15% of the world population have simply shifted to “secular” versions of the same old story themes. We see the ongoing domination of primitive religious themes in modern ideologies like Declinism and its offspring- environmental alarmism or Green religion.

My point? The themes that we embrace to guide our stories have consequences for us and others- both good and bad. The ideas that we hold influence our thinking, feeling, response and behavior- for good and bad. Varied old story themes are now widely recognized as inhumane. Take apocalyptic as an example. Accumulated research shows that it has had a destructive influence across history (e.g. Richard Landes, Heaven On Earth). Yet many continue to believe that mental pathology of life declining toward disastrous collapse and ending.

Apocalyptic alarmists work their damage by terrorizing populations that life is under some exaggerated threat of collapse and ending. The apocalyptic-scale threats over the past 70 years have often been environmental with ‘climate change’ as the latest version of looming apocalypse. And like prophets of old, alarmists repeatedly set dates for the end-of-days. The latest? 2030. These modern-day apocalyptic prophets have to repeatedly push the dates back, resetting them again and again because the apocalypse never arrives. It is a false narrative of life.

Once populations have been alarmed, then the apocalyptic prophets offer a salvation scheme that involves purging their purported threat- in the case of climate alarmists, the evil enemy or threat to be purged is CO2 and, more generally, industrial civilization. Only when the threat is purged can there be salvation and restoration of what alarmists claim was a lost paradise that existed before humanity ruined the world.

The salvation scheme of “decarbonization” has already harmed the poorest people with rising energy/electricity costs. Further damage is yet to come as the hysteria to decarbonize continues.

We are responsible for the ideas that we choose to embrace, and for their outcomes. We are responsible to pick and choose the best ideas/themes to shape our stories, and to make changes where needed. We can do better. We have new story themes, much better alternatives.

Here is a short version of old and new story themes. Many of the old story themes below are behind the apocalyptic element in environmentalism. They are old mythical/religious themes that have been given new “secular” expression in climate alarmism.

A shortened list of Old Narrative themes, New Story alternatives– Wendell Krossa

These are some of the most influential ideas that have shaped human stories across history.

Qualifier: Many of the themes below deal with “spiritual” realities. A note to hard-core materialist types who want to “Get rid of all this metaphysical bullshit”:
Across history, the vast majority of people have speculated on spiritual issues and unfortunately, some very bad ideas have shaped people’s spiritual speculations. So, at a minimum, offer people better alternatives. This site engages such speculation because spiritual realities have always been fundamental to the human impulse for meaning. And too much speculation is shaped by primitive myths that have had a harmful influence on people. I would offer people better alternatives, while acknowledging that it is speculation. Just have your own criteria and reasons to back your personal speculation.

The intention here is freedom from fear. Liberating human consciousness from unnecessary or baseless fear. Fear of monsters that have never existed except in minds dominated by distorting mythology.

See the more detailed version of this list further below in the section “Four Main Essays”. My thanks to Bob Brinsmead for input on the varied themes below.

1. Old story theme: The myth of deity as a judging, punishing reality. This primitive “threat theology” has long defined the very core of all reality, the creating God behind all reality. Contemporary “secular” versions include “vengeful Gaia”, retributive Universe, “angry planet/Mother Earth”, and payback karma. This ‘worst of all bad ideas’- i.e. a retaliatory, punitive core reality- has shaped human justice systems to be punitive in orientation.

New story alternative: God as no conditions love. There is no such thing as “threat theology”. There is only a stunningly inexpressible Love at the core of all reality. This orients justice to restorative approaches.

2. Old story theme: There was a perfect beginning to life (i.e. original paradise, Eden, or “the past was better”).

New story alternative: Life began in chaotic imperfection but has gradually improved across the history of the world, becoming more organized, complex and dynamic.

3. Old Story theme: Humanity began as perfect but became corrupted (“fell into sinfulness”) and now deserves to be punished. “Secular” versions of the fallen humanity myth include the belief in the ‘Noble savage’ of pre-civilization that has become corrupted in human civilization. Other contemporary versions of fallen/sinful humanity include environmental myths of humanity as the “cancer/virus” on the planet, the illegitimate and unwanted intruder. This mythical theme feeds a virulent anti-humanism that devalues and even despises humanity.

New story alternative: Humanity has not fallen or become corrupted but has emerged from the brutality/imperfectness of animal existence to become ever more humane over history. The gradual improvement of humanity across history is evidence of the essential goodness of humanity that has been emerging, developing, and expressing itself. This essential human goodness foreshadows a revolution in human self-imaging. This alternative is an affirmation of the wonder of being human despite our imperfections.

4. Old story theme: Since the loss of the original paradise, life has been on a declining, degenerating trajectory. This theme feeds the life-denying fatalism and resignation that rejects the full engagement necessary to improve this world.

New story alternative: The long-term trajectory of life shows that with creative human input there is improvement toward something ever better. Volumes of good evidence affirm the “true state of life” as a rising/improving trajectory over the long-term (e.g. Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’, Bjorn Lomborg’s ‘Skeptical Environmentalist’, Indur Goklany’s ‘The Improving State of the World’, and others). This alternative affirms hope to fully embrace and celebrate life as we struggle to improve it.

5. Old story theme: The myth that natural disasters, disease, human cruelty, and death are expressions of divine punishment. This adds the unnecessary psychic burden of fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame to already unbearable physical suffering. Paul tormented the Corinthians with this argument that their sicknesses and deaths were punishment from God for their sins. This would be my choice for the single worst of all bad ideas in history- that unfortunate events in life are divine punishment for human sin.

New story alternative: While there are natural and social consequences all through life, there is no punitive, destroying deity behind the imperfections of life. Ultimately there is only Love at the core of reality (see alternatives below on the relationship of Love to freedom and randomness in life).

6. Old story theme: Humanity has been rejected by the Creator. We are separated from our Source.

New story alternative: No one has ever been separated from the ‘no conditions Love’ at the core of reality. No one needs to be reconciled or “saved”. All are safe in the end. Everyone returns safely to infinite Love.

7. Old story theme: The myth of a cosmic dualism between a Good Spirit and an opposing Bad Force/Spirit (i.e. the Zoroastrian dualism that shaped our modern religions and worldviews). Belief in cosmic dualism has subsequently influenced the affirmation of human dualisms. People are taught to view humanity as tribally divided with dualisms of good people versus bad people or enemies. People are then obligated to join and become loyal to the right tribe or true religion, in opposition to their “enemies” in other tribes or “false” religions.

New story alternative: We all come from the same Oneness and there are no fundamental tribal divisions of humanity, only the pseudo-ones that we create around religion, nationality, ethnicity/race, ideology, etc. Humanity is one family.

8. Old story theme: The myth of a violent, destroying God that threatens the total destruction of the world in an apocalypse. This idea derives from early Greek views of this world as a corrupted realm that should be rejected. Later Hebrew ideas added that this corrupted world should face catastrophic destruction in order to make way for a new world (Mendel in Vision and Violence).

New story alternative: Despite the problems in our imperfect world (i.e. natural and human violence) there is no threat of a violent deity enacting a final destruction and ending of the world.

9. Old story theme: The hope for instant transformation of the world through a violent purging of evil that will enable humanity to attain some utopia.

New story alternative: Life gradually improves through human struggle with imperfect social and environmental situations. See Arthur Mendel’s ‘Vision and Violence’ for detail on the “gradualism” of historical improvement, versus the escapist utopian demands for “instantaneous transformation”. Instantaneous transformation beliefs have shaped the violent purging movements of Marxism, Nazism, and now influence varied environmental extremism movements (i.e. the push today for rushed decarbonization).

10. Old story theme: The demand for a salvation plan/sacrifice.

New story alternative: God as no conditions love makes no demand for payment or sacrifice (no required atonement, appeasement, or payback). Divine forgiveness and love are freely given to all alike. God is a true unconditional universalist.

11. Old story theme: The belief that retributive punishment is true justice.

New story alternative: Unconditional Love keeps no record of wrongs but forgives freely and without limit (seventy times seven). It embraces restorative justice toward all (no eye for eye but sun and rain given generously to all, to both good and bad).

(Qualifier: Ultimate unconditional reality does not lessen the need to hold all responsible for the natural and social consequences of their behavior in this life.)

12. Old story theme: The threat of future or after-life judgment and punishment- humanity’s primal fear.

New story alternative: Everyone is safe in the end. The unconditional Love at the core of reality, inclusively and universally embraces all, both good and bad. And self-judgment is the worst form of judgment and punishment. It is the only ultimate judgment and punishment (i.e. the “Life review” of Near-Death Experiences).

13. Old story theme: The myth of a hero-messiah who uses superior force to conquer all.

New story alternative: God as love does not intervene, overwhelm, or dominate free others. Authentic love respects the freedom of all. God honors individual self-determination.

14. Old story theme: The fallacy of Biblicism, that religious holy books are special forms of writing and authority.

New story alternative: All human writings are to be subject to the same evaluating criteria of good/bad, or humane/inhumane. The sacred is not exempt from this process of evaluation.

15. Old story theme: The myth of God as Judge, Ruler, King, or Lord.

New story alternative: There is no domination/subservience relating with authentic love. True divine greatness is to serve, to relate horizontally to all as free equals. God is a common, ordinary street-level reality, not an elitist reality.

16. Old story theme: Humanity obligated to know, serve, and love some invisible reality above humanity.

New story alternative: Our primary loyalty is to love and serve people all around us, where God dwells. There is no need to focus on some vertical religious dimension (i.e. the myth of a “sky God”). We only need to focus on horizontal ‘here and now’ reality in daily, ordinary life where God actually exists.

17. Old story theme: God as absent and silent during disaster and episodes of human cruelty.

New story alternative: God has incarnated in all humanity as the common human spirit/consciousness and is immediately present in all human suffering, in all human raging against evil, and all human effort to make life better. There has never been a “sky God” separate from humanity and existing above in the heavens. God is at our very core, as the human impulse to love, to be something better. God is inseparably united with the love that defines us at our best. God is at the core of the real or authentic human self and is evident in the human impulse to be more humane as expressed in all human goodness.

Conclusion? While we may not be aware of it, God has always been closer to us than our own breath or atoms. God has never been absent or silent when people have suffered from natural disaster or human cruelty. Religious mythology has never framed this immanent feature properly. The immanence of deity speaks to the fundamental “oneness” behind all things. We are all part of the same greater creating and sustaining Consciousness that is deity. Even quantum mechanics points to this foundational oneness reality.

The confusion here over silent deity also has to do with the element of freedom or the inseparable relationship between love and freedom. God as love does not coercively overwhelm the independence, self-determination, and freedom of others. Better- God respects human freedom profoundly and only influences with gentle, quiet impulses to do the right thing, what we feel is right (i.e. God persuades and does not coerce).

Part of the human confusion over how God relates to this world has to do with our inability to grasp that divine Love prizes freedom highly and will not overwhelm or violate it. Authentic moral goodness emerges only from authentic freedom of choice. Such love entails great risk as authentically free people may choose wrongly. The upside is that nothing in life is pre-planned or predestined. We are free to create our own unique story on the fly, to become the heroes of our own life adventure in any way we choose.

18. Added Old Story theme: Holiness mythology

One of the most common responses from religious people to the idea of God as no conditions love is the defensive response that unconditional violates traditional justice as some form of necessary payback or punishment of wrong. Religious people argue that God is holy and just and therefore must punish wrong. God’s honor is tarnished by the wrongdoing of people so he must be just (exhibit strict eye for eye) and punish all sin. God cannot just freely forgive and love.

But this divine holiness myth is primitivism at its worst. How so? It is the very same reasoning that is behind practices like “honor killing”. People in varied cultures today still reason that, for example, a daughter who embraces modern habits has dishonored her family and their traditional culture. So the dishonored males are required to punish the “evil” daughter in order to restore their tarnished honor. Holiness theology is embracing this very same primitive reasoning that wrongs must be punished, or justice and honor are not restored properly.

The holiness feature in theology affirms the myth of God obsessed with perfection and punishing imperfection.

New story alternative: I would counter that unconditional forgiveness and love is the true glory of God, the highest goodness and love. Authentic good and love will just forgive without demanding payment or righting of wrongs first.

And of course, this needs the added qualifier that in this life there are social and natural consequences to all behavior, and it is part of healthy human development to be held responsible for one’s behavior. There is no contradiction here with affirming ultimate divine love as unconditional.

See more detailed list of Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives in sections below (i.e. The Four Main Essays).

More response to Bob’s excellent post below: Wendell Krossa

“I have been using some strong language of recent on this site… “insanity… lunacy” etc. to describe the current alarm over CO2 levels in our atmosphere and the alarmist narrative that this is a threat to life, that it portends some catastrophic collapse and even ending of life (note the endless setting of end-of-days dates by alarmist prophets, 2030 as the latest date for the apocalypse).

“When people demonize the very food of all life, the basis of life, then you know they have entered a state of “insanity… lunacy”, or madness, that is entirely disconnected from reality and science.

“As Patrick Moore does in his book ‘Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom’, put this climate issue in its full long-term context in order to understand properly what is happening. Over the past millions of years, during our ice-age era, CO2 levels have been at historical lows, dangerous lows that have threatened life. Just 30,000 years ago CO2 dipped below 200 ppm, down to 185 ppm, perilously close to the death of all plant life at 150 ppm. Now CO2 has rebounded slightly to 400 plus ppm, still far short of healthier levels around 1000-1500 ppm where life thrives, as it did across past history.

“Even with the slight rise to 400 plus ppm, plant life on Earth has responded with a massive greening of the planet, adding green vegetation comparable to twice the size of the continental US over just the past 40 years. This ought to be celebrated. Why are Greens not celebrating?

“We all accept there was some warming over the past half-century (no denial of “climate change” or “global warming”) but it was small and beneficial during this abnormally cold ice-age era on Earth. And there is no sound evidence that rising CO2 will produce catastrophic warming because the role of CO2 is minor compared to other natural influences on climate (see comment in sections below on the logarithmic decline in the warming influence of CO2 with rising levels, e.g. atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and others. CO2 is a “bit player” and not the “control knob” of climate).

“The conclusion? There is no “climate crisis”, no need to fear rising CO2 levels, and no need to embrace the insanity of the “decarbonization” of our societies. The consequences of such policy responses have already been devastating to the poorest people with rising energy/electricity costs. So yes, the anti-CO2 movement is a ‘madness of crowds’ movement. It is a form of mass “insanity… lunacy”.

Note: The terms “insanity… lunacy” are directed more toward ideas and policy positions and not intended to belittle the persons involved with such things. But at the same time, we are all responsible for the ideas and policies that we embrace. We are responsible to fully understand the outcomes of such things; how they impact others. We should all hold one another accountable to understand the true state of things. Sometimes that requires “bracing” language.

Post from Bob Brinsmead on CO2 2021/04/11 (Bob’s post is a response to another member of our discussion group who voiced the false claim that CO2 was a pollutant)

“Human ingenuity has developed ways to burn fossil fuels for carbon-based energy without pollutants escaping into the atmosphere. We are part way there when it comes to the pollutants from internal combustion engines. The invention of catalytic converters in cars was a big step forward in reducing air pollution. To a large extent, this invention cleaned up most of the smog in Los Angeles. If technology can attach scrubbers to take out the pollutants from coal-fired power stations, why can’t the same thing in principle be done with cars?

“The CO2 emissions are not a problem to the health of the earth because CO2 is a pure plant food. It is not a plant food among many other plant foods, but the one essential plant food, the only source of a plant’s energy.

“Simplifying the principle, all living things (plants and animals) are made of carbon. Consequently, their food is carbon. All living things ingest carbon as their source of energy for growth and development. Plants get it from CO2 alone. Creatures get it from eating plants, if not by eating other creatures which eat the plants. All food (carbo-hydrates, fats and proteins) is a carbon based chemical which is laced with a few trace minerals and other micro-nutrients.

“What has to be changed in this whole debate about carbon is the narrative. The prevailing narrative is that CO2 emissions from human activity are detrimental to the planet and have to be reduced. This entire narrative is focused on the demonization of carbon emissions (mostly in the form of CO2, and to a lesser extent methane). The whole human culture has become obsessed with the fear of carbon emissions, and the conversation is dominated by talk about reducing those emissions. It is called de-carbonizing. Even those who are against this depressing, alarmist narrative get caught up in using the language of this narrative when they argue that gas or nuclear is a superior source of energy because it creates fewer or no emissions. If gas or nuclear energy are superior, it is not because they create fewer emissions.

“What we are on about is changing the above narrative to a better one which says that higher carbon emissions are beneficial to both plants and animals. It has to be clearly and repeatedly said that CO2 is the one irreplaceable and essential plant food. More carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means a greener earth and more food. Here is a simple narrative, based on the known science of photosynthesis. More carbon dioxide emissions = more photosynthesis = more greening of the earth and more food.

“Who can’t understand that? This is the environmental gospel. It is the good news about greenhouse gases improving the environment by making this planet and climate more liveable. It is the good news about CO2 emissions enriching and stimulating the carbon cycle rather than impoverishing it. If one can understand that more circulation of the blood makes for a healthier body, or that more circulation of money makes for a stronger economy, one may understand that more circulation of carbon will make a more flourishing environment. Who can’t understand this upbeat narrative?

“The alarmist CO2 narrative is all bad news. It is utterly depressing stuff about how bad mankind is, how everything is going to hell in a handbasket, and how we must now decarbonize the economy and destroy human prosperity in the process. This whole narrative is misanthropic, it is depressing, it is based on false premises and it is supported by a massive web of fake news and wasted money. In this false narrative the language itself has become corrupted by calling pure gases like CO2 and water vapour “pollutants” and pollutants like wind turbines “clean.” In the language of the UN and its subsidiary Climate organization, any human impact on the climate is called “climate change” while any natural impact is called “natural variability,” so that with this fiddling of the language, climate change is only caused by human activity. Humanity is thereby damned as responsible no matter what the climate does.

“The alternative narrative is all about some very good news to set feet dancing and tongues singing. Far from being a pollutant, CO2 is the stuff that lavishes our tables every day with food and drink. CO2 is the lifeblood of the environment. The prospect for more of it is like the prospect of injecting more money into the economy for the benefit of everybody. Who does not want a greener earth with more food for all creatures great and small?

“These are the astounding benefits of more CO2 emissions.”

My response to Bob… “And if Patrick Moore is right re the sequestration of too much carbon in carbonaceous rocks (p. 44 of his book “Fake Invisible Catastrophes And Threats of Doom”) and hence the serious decline of atmospheric CO2 over the past 150 million years to life-threatening lows (one of nature’s dead-ends that Greg Easterbrook spoke of in “A Moment On The Earth”, due to random natural processes lacking intelligent mind), if Moore is right regarding the dangers of this “CO2 starvation era” then we are responsible to assist where we can to correct this and make sure that CO2 levels are returned to the healthy levels of past history- in the range of 1000-1500 ppm, when life really flourished. It may now be up to us to help regulate the CO2 or carbon cycles better than nature has done. Of course, this presupposes that we can get to some level of understanding natural processes much better than we do now. But Moore is right that our current contribution to CO2 levels has contributed to the present greening of our planet.

“Moore’s hypothesis: Humanity came along with industrial civilization and fossil fuels just in time to save life. Overturns the alarmist narrative entirely, doesn’t it.”

Moving on

Climate alarmism continues to exhibit its true nature as a profoundly religious movement based on the most primitive of mythical themes- apocalyptic nonsense. Note how climate alarmists endlessly set ‘end-of-days’ dates just as apocalyptic prophets have done across past history. But before many wake up to the real nature of this madness movement, horrific damage will be done to our societies via rushed decarbonization policies.

Atmospheric physicist Richard Lindzen, in a recent presentation, bemoaned the reality that scientific fact has not been effective in countering climate hysteria and its absurd narrative of looming climate disaster.

The Imaginary Climate Crisis: How can we Change the Message? A talk by Richard Lindzen

Climate scientist Roy Spencer has voiced the same frustration that scientific fact alone was not changing many minds.

Climate Extremism in the Age of Disinformation

Why the failure of good science to change alarmist minds? Because populations have been irresponsibly frightened by an apocalyptic narrative that the end is nigh and we are all gonna die. And that alarmist narrative resonates with the consciousness of most people who have long been attuned to apocalyptic as truth. We are the inheritors of millennia of such mythology/religious belief. Most people intuitively assume apocalyptic must be true because all the world religions still affirm it, and public story-telling forums like Hollywood relentlessly put out movies promoting this myth, and news media harp on it all day long.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apocalyptic_films

The lunacy of apocalyptic is endlessly beaten into people’s minds.

Apocalyptic-scale fear mongering incites the survival impulse and that overwhelms rationality in populations, pushing them to embrace destructive salvation schemes like decarbonization. Decarbonization is the latest form of apocalyptic insanity gone lunatic as Earth has just started to enjoy the benefits of more basic plant food (CO2) and more warmth in a cold ice-age era. The current massive greening of our Earth is evidence of the benefit of more CO2. Both animal life and humanity are benefitting from more food. Humanity has been breaking crop production records in recent years and now produces 25% more food than we need, enough to feed 10 billion people.

But apocalyptic hysteria has always confused normally bright minds and pushed scared people to embrace crazy projects in order to save themselves and life from some purported looming disaster. Example: Bill Gates now funding the lunatic project to dim the sun in a cold world. Sheesh, eh.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/bill-gates-backs-project-to-dim-the-sun-michael-shellenberger

Go to the root of this problem of alarmist hysteria and confront the fundamental mythical ideas that have long fed alarmism- i.e. the false narrative of apocalyptic that currently fuels climate alarmism. Apocalyptic is part of a larger narrative of old story themes. Offer people a better narrative that gets to the true state of things. Wendell Krossa

Note also the good report from Global Warming Policy Forum today on the profound disagreement between Prince Philip and his son Prince Charles over environmental issues.

RIP Prince Philip (1921 – 2021)

Quotes from “How we fool ourselves”, by Judith Curry at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/04/11/how-we-fool-ourselves-part-ii-scientific-consensus-building/

“The objective of scientific research is to find out what is really true, not just verify our biases. If a community of scientists has a diversity of perspectives and different biases, then the checks and balances in the scientific process including peer review will eventually counter the biases of individuals…

“Consensus is viewed as a proxy for truth in many discussions of science. A consensus formed by the independent and free deliberations of many is a strong indicator of truth. However, a consensus can only be trusted to the extent that individuals are free to disagree with it…

“Allen et al. (2020) demonstrate how dependence, pressure, and polarization can force a consensus, making reliance on consensus as an indicator of truth unreliable. As a result, a consensus can only be trusted to the extent that individuals are free to disagree with it, without repression or reprisal…

“The IPCC’s consensus-building process arguably promotes groupthink. ‘Groupthink’ is a pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values. Janis (1972) describes eight symptoms of groupthink:

• illusion of invulnerability
• collective rationalization
• belief in inherent morality
• stereotyped views of out-groups
• direct pressure on dissenters
• self-censorship
• illusion of unanimity
• self-appointed mind guards

“Many defenders of the IPCC consensus − both scientists and consensus entrepreneurs − show many if not all of these symptoms…

“The IPCC’s influence in climate science is pervasive, allowing it to largely ignore the usual scientific constraints on the acceptance of hypotheses. Professional success in climate science has become more tied to the acceptance of the IPCC’s pronouncements than with the exploration of contrary possibilities…”

Science and speculation, Wendell Krossa

Most of us are somewhat familiar with the theories of quantum physics, as far as the general public can understand such mystery. We share the fascination with the theoretical claims of multi-verse theories, quantum entanglement, black holes, string theory, dark energy/matter, and so on. But while we appreciate the effort of scientists to plumb such things, many of us feel some caution about the materialist assumption that these areas of reality will explain everything- that they will lead us to an overall theory of everything (TOE) that will bring human understanding of reality and life to some summit of finality. It appears that physicists are embracing a new reductionism in believing that their probing of the quantum realm will be the way to find ultimate and final answers to all things.

I side with the majority of people across history that have intuitively understood that the totality of reality is more than just something material. There is what has long been considered a “spiritual” element in the mix of reality. And many understand that the spiritual is more foundational than the material. The spiritual is the creating and sustaining reality behind the material realm. And today, with many uncomfortable with reference to spiritual reality as something by default “religious”, the preference is to refer to creating/sustaining reality with more correct and neutral terms like Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence and so on as alternatives to the term “God”. Consciousness replacing spirit. As a nonreligious person, I share this preference.

I would suggest that no theory of everything will ever be complete without the element of Consciousness as foundational to the mix (i.e. greater or Ultimate Consciousness as the foundational creating/sustaining reality). And I take this further- I would offer that the greater creating, sustaining Consciousness is most fundamentally love. Love of a stunningly inexpressible and wonderous “no conditions” nature (unconditional). This changes how we understand everything. I would offer that without this element in the mix of human understanding, understanding will always be incomplete and even dead-ended in philosophical materialist distortions.

I would offer love as my number one criterion for understanding reality- stunning no conditions love- as the ultimate reality behind all else. Take that and smoke it for a while. And that fills out my TOE (Theory of Everything). Unconditional love is the ultimate answer to the primal human impulse for meaning.

(Insert: In this “theological” mulling I recognize that the spiritual must be kept separate from science. Let science do what it does best in helping human understanding of material/physical reality. But then be careful of embracing the philosophical materialist claims that understanding material reality will explain all reality (TOE), including the ultimate meaning of all things. No. Science only takes us so far and then we rely on disciplines like philosophy and human spirituality to take us to the ultimate meaning and purpose of all things.)

From my “theoretical” position I therefore conclude that there is some over-riding purpose to this material realm and world, some purpose that has to do with love. There is some reason why love is our highest ideal and gives the most profound meaning to our stories, to human life. So include this in your project to understand TOE. Let the place of love in human existence unsettle narratives that are oriented almost solely to materialist reductionism.

I take insights, for example, from varied sources that suggest this realm was intentionally created with dualisms (good/bad, hate/love) that we might learn what love is, how to grow and develop in love. Joseph Campbell says something similar in his material- that the point of human story is to mature as human by orienting our lives to universal love. That is when we become the heroes of our story. I take such insights to conclude that this world was created as an experience and learning arena for people to come and live a story that is oriented to learning something of love- how to give and receive love. Love is the main purpose and point of our existence.

In many materialist minds, theoretical physics has become the sole route to ultimate understanding. But many others do not see it as the only road to a complete and final understanding of reality and life, especially not in its common form as shaped by materialist philosophy and assumptions, that lead too often to dogmatic materialist conclusions.

Further, just a caution on taking the theories that come out of physics too seriously as offering final truth about material reality. Theoretical physics also embraces a lot of mythical-like thinking on varied things (see, for example, Sabine Hossenfelder’s ‘Lost in Math’, or Jim Baggot’s ‘Farewell to Reality’ or ‘Mass: The quest to understand matter from Greek atoms to quantum fields’). Point? Theoretical physicists commonly cross the science/philosophy boundary (materialist “woowoo” in physics?). Just like the rest of us do in varied areas. But yes, crossing such boundaries is to engage something fundamentally human- that basic impulse for meaning and felt need for TOE of some kind, for completion and finality. Just recognize what you are doing when you do it (i.e. crossing a boundary).

Much of physics is still about a form of reductionism that hopes to explain all things in terms of something mainly material- i.e. vast arrays of subatomic particles (26 now??), fields and energies, or other features of nonvisible realms/dimensions. That is all helpful as far as it goes but does not fully deal with our most vital questions regarding meaning/purpose. Only love does that.

Note:

My theories/speculations above reject the assumption of materialism that all descends from the material and is explained mainly in terms of the material- i.e. the trajectory of the Big Bang producing the material cosmos, then galaxies/stars and worlds, to biology/life, to humanity with brains that produce conscious selves.

I take the position that a greater Consciousness/Mind pre-exists the material cosmos, creates the material cosmos, and then all else purposefully emerges over long-term stages of development as an eventual arena for conscious beings to experience life and learn from it. The material serves the Consciousness that purposefully creates it.

Our personal consciousness is part of that greater creating Consciousness that is love, thereby also making love the essential nature of the human self. This has to do with the “oneness” thing. Entanglement, if you will. And our personal consciousness is mediated through our brains in a relationship of close interaction (i.e. the material brain limiting our consciousness to five senses and four dimensions in order to experience life in this world). This is similar to John Eccles’ “dualist interactionism”. “Monism” is fine if it is understood that consciousness is fundamental in the monism, and it creates the material.
We ‘come into’ this material realm from our pre-existence to experience a personal story. See comment below on Joseph Campbell’s framework for human story.

Added note: Posts from discussion group…

“Yes, I do react to the dominance of philosophical materialism while also appreciating its contribution to human understanding. I am listening to Joe Rogan interviewing mathematician Eric Weinstein. Interesting to hear Weinstein offer his new TOE- Theory of Everything. Mind numbing complexity and too materialist in orientation.

“My comeback to him would be what is dismissed by hardcore materialists as “Woowoo” stuff. I reason from the primacy of love in defining our human being. Love is our highest ideal, the thing that is most important to most of us, the thing that makes us most human. And I embrace love in its widest meaning- all that all people do to make life better in some way, whether in agriculture, business, manufacture, retail, commerce, sports, music, entertainment and on and on. All contributing something to life and improving life.

“But I look at the general meaning of love, its primacy and I reason from that to the meaning of this cosmos and world and life. The end-product or outcome (conscious beings that love) does explain the reason/purpose for why it all exists. I do not accept meaningless randomness and that life and conscious humanity are accidental outcomes. Nonsense. And most of humanity across history agrees with such conclusions though so much mythical/religious explanation has been so off the mark in its barbarity and darkness (Old Story Themes).

“Hence, my TOE includes love as central to defining the meaning of it all, and I go to the highest form of love that we have discovered, the most common form of love- unconditional- that is expressed daily by parents, spouses, friends. That takes us to the meaning of all this cosmos, world, and life. Exclude that and you get lost in ultimately meaningless materialism nonsense. But sure, give em some credit for their reductionist exploration- telling us what this and that is made of and how it works (natural law). That is helpful as far as it goes. But it misses the most important things to most people across history.”

More posts from discussion group:

“In all things we recognize valued boundaries- the state and religion boundary, the science and philosophy/religion boundary, and so on. These are critical to healthy and safe society for all. But unfortunately, as Sabine Hossenfelder shows, boundaries are constantly crossed even in the most basic science of all, physics. Good to be aware of such and aware of the limits of any area of human endeavor and consequences of crossing boundaries, and so on. And don’t let the exaggeration of importance of one area (i.e. the materialist hope for physical science to explain all and solve all), don’t let that shut down other areas that have long been important to human existence for varied reasons. Just know the limits of any area of human exploration, and the reasons for limits, and so on that apply to all areas of human endeavor.

Post from a friend Noel…

“When you go down a set of stairs into the basement of a home, its dark but you can look at bare concrete, some wooden studs, electoral wiring, maybe some bricks and pipes etc. It’s not where you would want to live. Physicists are wandering around in the basement of the universe. I don’t think they will ever find a TOE there. I see God in a sunset, in a human smile and a thousand acts of love”. NM

My response to Noel:

“Yes, I am watching physicist Brian Greene do exactly this… taking the usual position of excessive hope in materialism, and the probing of the subatomic realm that is a kind of new reductionism… with the hope that we will find the final answers somewhere in physics, or the material universe. He speaks of all these subatomic elements as “what we really are”, the essence of us. So also mathematician Eric Weinstein the other day- that in the subatomic we will eventually understand something like love. Sheesh, the dominance of this materialist philosophy that denies what is dismissed as the “subjective”, called the “woowoo” stuff. No. That stuff is most real- our consciousness and what matters to that consciousness, things like beauty, love, and so on. That is what gets us to the real ultimate truth of things.”

Another:

“The points below on Old Story Themes have long been out there in general human worldviews and consciousness. Those ideas have already been critical to human speculation across history and much of that has been horrifically bad speculation (i.e. “bad religious ideas”). My response is that people are going to speculate on such things (i.e. spirituality), and we all do. At the very least, give people better alternatives for speculation. Just recognize where you are speculating and have your reasons for doing such. But none of us lives in a vacuum of not speculating because these things have to do with our greatest questions and our impulse for meaning.

“Science takes us only so far and then it is up to each of us to make our own conclusions about reality and life and the meaning of it all.

“And the impacts of all these ideas have been potent on human minds and life and societies. Look at history. Both good and bad impacts or outcomes.

“I am simply responding to something widespread across history as any study of mythology/religion will show. And I look at the impacts of bad ideas on people from those who research such things- whether psychotherapist Zenon Lofufo in ‘Cruel God, Kind God’, or Harold Ellens in his good material on similar stuff (“The destructive power of religion”), or Richard Landes and others on the history of apocalyptic millennial movements and their mass-death outcomes.

“So we can seek ways to deny all this, dismiss it, or deal with it as part of human problem solving, as part of improving the human condition.”

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Creating exaggerated fear

Section topics: Science and theology (climate alarmism and the Green movement in general are “profoundly religious movements” and must be responded to at that level); Climate complexity; Panic-porn; Excerpts on the radiative influence of CO2; Good fear, bad fear; Patrick Moore on the Agenda of fear; Bill Rees still pushing limits fear, and more…

Below is a reposting as climate alarmists continue to stir hysteria over natural climate change…

A brief summary of the basic issues of the climate debate (list of alarmist claims/facts just below)

These cover areas of disagreement between alarmists and skeptics.

Skeptics do not deny climate change but know that credible evidence challenges the extent of the ‘manmade’ element. Good evidence shows that we contribute very little to Earth’s Carbon cycles and that CO2 contributes very little to climate change in general (“A bit player”). Further, more warming and more CO2 will not be catastrophic to life but will be mostly beneficial, as increasing CO2 levels have already resulted in a significant greening of the planet with a 10-15% increase in green vegetation over just the past 4 decades. The outcome of this greening has been much more food for animal populations and increased crop production for humanity.

The climate issue concerns the future of our children and our civilization. Climate alarmism has become an apocalyptic movement that demonizes the basic food of all life- CO2- and wants to diminish that food supply with a destructive ‘salvation’ plan- “save the world” by decarbonization. That will be “The suicide of industrial civilization”, according to Richard Lindzen, atmospheric physicist and former MIT professor.

Posts on climate- evidence versus alarm

The following points are taken mainly from the “alarmist claim rebuttal update” posted at Wattsupwiththat.com Jan.14, 2021 https://thsresearch.files.wordpress.com/2018/02/ef-cpp-alarmist-claim-rebuttal-overview-021118.pdf. Other sources are from ‘Everythingclimate.org’ and other sites.

1. Alarmist claim: We have just experienced the hottest years on record.

Fact: For most of the past 10,000 years it has been hotter than today (i.e. Holocene Optimum, Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period). The hottest years of the past century were in the 1920s and 1930s. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The contemporary embrace of primitive mythology

Topics below: Climate basics; Courage in the face of crowd madness; Secular? Scientific? (the basic themes of primitive apocalyptic have been embraced in contemporary environmental alarmism); Analyzing an issue, solving a problem- more on the primitive apocalyptic mythology behind Green religion/climate alarmism; Buried Jesus and the ongoing domination of apocalyptic mythology in Western consciousness; The prominent features of apocalyptic; Baggot on Mass (materialism and the nature of physical reality); Main features of human story.

Note: The ‘climate change’ alarm is a tangled mix of climate science, politics, economics, and religion/mythology. Confronting and solving the issue involves embracing all these elements.

Another: Embracing the primitive myth of apocalypse in today’s dominant ideology of Declinism is not progressive thinking. Declinism is the belief/ideology that life is declining toward something worse, toward some great collapse and ending. Apocalyptic declinism is a regression toward primitive mythical/religious thought at its worst and is a close-minded denial of the evidence on the amazing progress that life is making on all fronts (see, for example, Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource, Humanprogress.org, and many similar sources).

Secular? Scientific?

A repeated argument on this site is that environmental alarmism is a profoundly religious movement, and a very primitive form of religious extremism and crowd madness, though its advocates/proponents may present themselves as modern, scientific, and even secular/atheist.

The basic themes that drive contemporary alarmism are mythical themes that differ very little from the ancient and primitive expressions that we find in early apocalyptic mythology. Those ancient themes have been given new expression with contemporary definitions, categories, and terminology. But the core ideas are just the same old, same old primitive thinking of past millennia.

Note these similarities between ancient mythology and contemporary “secular” alarmist ideology:

1. Ancient myth: There was an original paradise or perfection (Sumerian city of Dilmun, Eden).

Modern secular version: The past wilderness world was better, an earlier paradise world.

2. Ancient myth: Fallen, sinful people ruined the original paradise (Enki in Dilmun, Adam in Eden).

Modern secular version: Corrupt, greedy humanity has ruined the original paradise of a past wilderness world.

3. Ancient myth: After the “Fall”, life became corrupted and was heading toward apocalyptic disaster (e.g. the Zoroastrian vision of a corrupted world heading toward looming apocalypse, a vision that has shaped the Western religions).

Modern secular version: Life has become worse and is heading toward looming collapse and catastrophic ending (Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline in Western History”).

4. Ancient myth: The threat of apocalypse demands the violent purging of the threat to life (the “evil” corrupting thing in the world) in order to save the world. This also relates to the felt need to make a sacrifice to appease angered deity.

Modern secular version: We must save life from the corrupting threat that is industrial civilization (“population bomb”, too many longer-living people indulging over-consumption, enjoying the good life and modern technology too much). Today the coercive purging of an evil threat is seen in the push for rapid decarbonization (i.e. purging the “evil” pollution that is CO2). This is the “secular” sacrifice of moderns, giving up the good life in industrial civilization out of a felt need to appease for wrongs done.

5. Ancient myth: After the apocalyptic purging of the world, the lost paradise will be restored, or a new perfect world created.

Modern secular version: By limiting human population and purging the world of destructive industrial civilization, then we may restore the lost wilderness world, and install a new millennial paradise. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Same old patterns: Exaggerated fear… manipulation by apocalyptic prophets… incited survival response… widespread embrace of harmful “salvation” policies.

Same old patterns: There is a direct line from correlated causal factors to related responses. Apocalyptic-scale alarms incite survival fear in populations. Exaggerated fear leads to irrational acceptance of mythical apocalyptic scenarios and embrace of related harmful salvation schemes. The feature of “imminence” in apocalyptic scenarios, with dates repeatedly set just years or decades ahead, heightens fear and pushes populations to abandon democratic processes and embrace totalitarian solutions. Nothing is too crazy when you are told that you must help “save the world”… or else “we are all going to die” because the end is nigh.

Note on the true state of life: End-time dates are repeatedly set, and then reset again and again (goal posts repeatedly moved back), because the end never arrives. The rising and improving trajectory of life and human civilization refuse to cooperate with apocalyptic madness. Life is never perfect, and many problems remain to be solved, but over-all there is improvement across history, progress toward something better and not decline toward something worse. Human goodness and creativity continues to make life on this planet ever better. See ‘Humanprogress.org’ among other sources.

Good news update: https://notrickszone.com/2021/02/24/nasa-vegetation-index-globe-continues-rapid-greening-trend-sahara-alone-shrinks-700000-sq-km/?mc_cid=f8831d8b9b&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f.

Question: Why are the Greens not celebrating the massive greening of our planet? During this “CO2 starvation era”, with a small rise in basic plant food over the past century (increased atmospheric CO2), plant life is once again flourishing. And so animal and human life also benefits and flourishes. However, as was more common over most of past history, plants prefer CO2 levels in the 1000-1500 ppm. Those are more optimal and healthy levels.

Section topics:
– Super-predator gods
– Human story in Campbell’s “Hero’s journey” framework
– Illustrating madness movements in Manoboland
– Indur Goklany- there is no climate emergency.
– Rethinking drugs and addiction.
– Madness movements.
– The paleo-climate big picture for understanding climate issues.
– A list of Alarmist claims versus facts.
– There is a logarithmic decline in the warming influence of CO2 with increasing atmospheric levels (overturns the alarm over rising CO2 levels).
– 18 prominent myths and alternatives in theology/spirituality (the larger mythical background of contemporary alarmism movements like environmental alarmism).
– “Both-sideism” or Independent status.
– Bill Maher and self-awareness

More re site Project: Countering fear, exaggerated and unnecessary fear, notably, the fear some great metaphysical threat behind life, most commonly expressed through myths like apocalypse.

There is an ultimate meaning issue behind much human fear over history. It has to do with how early people, moved by their primary impulse for meaning, understood reality and life and explained that via their myths (systems of belief/meaning). The ancients struggled to understand and explain the obvious imperfections of the world (natural disasters, disease, animal predation and human cruelty) and the consequent suffering from that imperfection. Their solution was the creation of a complex of ideas that have continued to shape human understanding into the present in both religious and “secular” versions. And many of these primitive themes continue to incite unnecessary alarm in populations.

The central theme of early human narratives, the single most prominent pathology that has dominated human consciousness across history, has been the myth of some greater punitive, destroying Force or Spirit that punishes humanity through the natural world. This anti-human myth has deformed human consciousness with fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, and despair.

Bette Midler (Feb. 2021) offered a recent example of this still common belief in divine retaliation through nature- https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/bette-midler-texas-outages-god-punishing-ted-cruz-john-cornyn. She may have been joking somewhat, with only a smidgeon of truthiness, but her comment voiced, once again, the oldest and most destructive religious belief in our history- that of angry, vengeful gods punishing imperfect humanity. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Understanding apocalyptic alarmism and its anti-science mythology.

My own definition: Alarmism exaggerates legitimate problems out to apocalyptic scale with ‘end-of-days’ scenarios (i.e. apocalypse), speculating far beyond credible evidence, thereby distorting the true state of things.

From Wikipedia: “Alarmism is excessive or exaggerated alarm about a real or imagined threat. In the news media, alarmism can be a form of yellow journalism where reports sensationalise a story to exaggerate small risks.”

Another definition… “What is a alarmist person? Noun- a person who tends to raise alarms, especially without sufficient reason, as by exaggerating dangers or prophesying calamities.”

“Alarmist/alarmism” are not used as pejoratives but to distinguish an extremist fringe movement from the general environmental concern that all of us share.

Joe Biden, 2020, “The world is on fire!”

What is the true state of life on Earth? (a brief summary view)

While problems exist everywhere, they are solvable and humanity has done well in caring for and preserving world resources. See, for example, Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’ or ‘Population Bombed’ by Szurmak and Desrochers. Below are the main resources of our world. They are the main indicators of the true state of life on our planet. They all show that life is not declining toward something worse. There is no looming environmental apocalypse.

(1) World forest cover in the 1950s was 3.8 billion hectares (FAO stats). World forest cover today is 4.1-plus billion hectares, despite the world population tripling from 2.4 billion people in the early 1950s to almost 8 billion today. Deforestation rates continue to decline and reforestation/afforestation projects continue to succeed. We are not destroying the world’s forests. http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra/52045/en/

(2) Proven species extinctions. While any species extinction is unacceptable we have dramatically improved our care of nature. Species extinctions are on a notably declining trend line and have decreased from about 5 per year in 1870 to about 0.5 per year today (see the IUCN Red List All Extinct Species by Decade on p.101 of Patrick Moore’s new book ‘Fake Invisible Catastrophes And Threats of Doom’). While nature has destroyed over 95% of all species over the span of life on this planet, compassionate humanity is now protecting species as never before. See Julian Simon’s chapter on the IUCN report on species loss (in Ultimate Resource and other books) and the discredited assumption/correlation between habitat loss and species extinctions. The wrong assumption was that with habitat loss of 90% some 50% of species would go extinct. The assumption did not understand the resiliency, adaptability, and toughness of life. There is no species holocaust occurring.

(3) Climate change (the atmosphere as a main resource): There has been a mild one degree Centigrade of warming over the past century and a half. That slightly warmed our still abnormally cold world. We are in an “ice-age era”. Average surface temperatures today are around 14.5 degrees Centigrade. That is 5 degrees Centigrade below the more optimal average surface temperatures of the past 500 million years (19.5 degrees Centigrade). For over 90% of the past 500 million years there was no ice at the poles. That is a more normal and optimal world. And contrary to the falsified climate models, there is no settled evidence of much more warming occurring in the future. There is no “climate crisis” looming.

Also, most of our Holocene inter-glacial, that began around 11,000 years ago, has been warmer than today. The Holocene Climatic Optimum (roughly 10-5,000 years ago) was about 1 degree C. warmer. From about 5,000 years ago our interglacial began a long-term cooling trend (the “Neoglacial” period). However, two warm periods- The Roman Warm Period (250 BCE to 400 CE) and The Medieval Warm Period (950- 1,250 CE)- were warmer than today. Life overall and human civilization has flourished during such warming periods. (Correction: Previous comments re earlier Holocene temperatures 2-4 degrees C higher were references to localized situations and not global averages.)

(4) Ocean fisheries are not collapsing and aquaculture is meeting the growing human demand for fish. See Ray Hilborn reports and FAO summaries on fisheries. The world fisheries are not being decimated. https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/01/13/fisheries-management-is-actually-working-global-analysis-shows/

(5) The overall agricultural land-base is not severely degrading. Also, any soil erosion must be understood in net terms, as related to new soil regeneration rates. Further, over the past century and more, we have returned hundreds of millions of hectares of agricultural land back to nature as hi-yield GM crops enable farmers to produce more crop on the same or less land. We have probably already passed “peak-agricultural land” use. Humanity now produces 25% more food than we need. Hydroponics will also meet much of future food demands.

These, and other indicators, show that the overall long-term trajectory of life is improving, not worsening.

And a note to all of our children: Do not fear the future on our planet. With continued wealth creation we will continue to solve the remaining world resource problems and life will continue to get ever better than before. Your personal contribution to making life better will add to humanity’s overall success.

Section topics: Two best things happening today- the increase in basic plant food (rising CO2 levels) and the slight warming of an abnormally cold world; Dangerous patterns and outcomes in alarmism movements; Always the same old, same old (the same complex of primitive themes/myths have repeated across all history and across all the cultures of the world and still dominate world religions and contemporary ideologies like environmental alarmism; Two stories of life- decline and progress. Both cannot be true; Climate denialism/skepticism, alarmism, and good science; The death issue- arguments for why the conscious self does not die but transitions to an infinitely better existence; Resurging tribalism and the pettiness of retaliation cycles (eye for eye ethics); Fundamental shared values. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The four main essays

The 4 most important essays on this site: (1) Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives (18 alternatives to the primitive mythical ideas that continue to dominate most human narratives today, whether religious or “secular”); (2) Buried under the Christ myth- History’s single most profound insight, the discovery that deity is a non-retaliatory, no conditions reality (no judgment, no exclusion of anyone, no punishment or destruction). This insight has been buried under the retaliatory, highly conditional Christ myth of Paul; (3) Living a human story- some interaction with Joseph Campbell’s points on the ‘Hero’s Journey’; (4) The Two Main Approaches to Organizing Human Societies- Collectivism versus the free individual (Left/Right, with mixed versions, and the immense benefits of Classic Liberalism).

Preface to Old Story/New Story themes 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, mainly deity. Plato did this with his argument that the ideal life and society should be shaped 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 built their villages and homes according to what they believed was the divine model.

The critical role of belief in shaping human behavior and society (inspiring, validating human behavior) makes it vitally important that our guiding ideals/authorities are fully humane, in line with common humanity’s ever-advancing understanding of the authentically humane in all areas of life.

The 18 “Old story themes” below are some of the most dominant and influential ideas in history. They have shaped human consciousness across history 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. 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”. Also, Bob Brinsmead has often reminded us that “Men never do greater evil than when they do it in the name of God”.

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.

(Revised) Old story themes, new story alternatives (rethinking 18 of the most fundamental ideas from across human history)

1. Old story theme: The myth of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality that metes out final justice- rewarding the good, punishing the bad (i.e. threat theology). This myth continues as the cohering center of the world religions and is now also given expression in ‘secular’ versions such as vengeful Gaia, angry planet, pissed Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma- all the new retaliatory, destroying gods of environmental alarmism, history’s latest apocalyptic movement.

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

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

New story alternative: The “stunning new theology” that God (Ultimate Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence, Source) is an inexpressible “no conditions love”, a non-retaliatory Reality. The adjective “unconditional” points to our highest understanding of love and is therefore most critical for defining deity as transcendent “Goodness”. Takeaway? There is no ultimate judgment, no ultimate exclusion of anyone, no demand for payment or sacrifice to appease angry deity, no need for redemption or salvation, and no ultimate punishment or destruction of anyone (no such mind-perverting horror as “hell”).

Why bother with these speculative metaphysical corrections? Because we need to counter humanity’s “primal fear of after-life harm” that is the outcome of millennia of shaman/priests/pastors beating bad religious ideas into human consciousness and subconscious. Also, we need to sever the age-old relationship of validating bad behavior with bad beliefs. However you may try to affirm justice as punitive treatment of the failures of others, know that deity as unconditional reality does not validate such efforts. See “The Christian Contradiction (Historical Jesus versus Paul’s Christ myth)”, below. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The ultimate liberation- freedom from primal fears

Section topics: Going Green is going to hurt… a lot; Justin messing up grade school science; Alarmist exaggeration and hysteria; David Altheide on Creating Fear: News and the construction of crisis; Richard Lindzen on the “saturation” of the CO2 warming effect; The insane demonization and fear of CO2; The most basic of common shared values; Ideas and their impacts; End the curse of threat theology, both religious and environmental versions; Forget and repeat (apocalyptic millennial ideas in the mass-death movements of Marxism, Nazism, and now environmental alarmism; Blocking totalitarianism; Climate change agreement (basic assumptions in the climate debate).

Alarmist exaggeration and hysteria

Environmental alarmism exaggerates problems in life with speculation that is wildly beyond observed evidence. Alarmists focus on imperfections and natural changes in our world and exaggerate potential problems out to apocalyptic-scale and then prophesy that the end of the world is coming. That is stunningly irresponsible and dangerous fear-mongering with elements of pathological nihilism and anti-humanism (i.e. blame humanity for all problems).

Alarmism incites the worst of human emotions and responses. Alarmism burdens people with unnecessary fear, anxiety, and depression (i.e. majorities of the world population now believe that the world is getting worse). Alarmism irresponsibly arouses the survival impulse in populations and that overrides the rationality of many people. Alarmists then manipulate populations to embrace salvation schemes (i.e. “save the world”) that have far worse outcomes than the purported original problem.

The salvation schemes of alarmists advocate the need for “coercive purging” of some imagined threat. Alarmist salvationism argues for subverting normal democratic processes, banning dissent, silencing skeptics, and even criminalizing opponents to their apocalyptic movement. They advocate for the “instantaneous transformation” of society and life because the threat is always imminent and dire. There is no time for discussion debate, or disagreement. Dates must be legislated and enforced with state coercion because the alarmist’s apocalyptic vision is unquestionable dogma/truth.

The outcomes of alarmist terrorism have been horrifically destructive as evident in these examples: Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring influenced the ban on DDT that resulted in the unnecessary deaths of millions of people in following decades, many of them children (see The Excellent Powder by Tren and Roberts). The bio-fuels fiasco resulted in rising food prices for the poorest people and further deforestation for palm oil plantations. The anti-GM crops/foods activism resulted in the unnecessary deaths of millions of children denied Vitamin A in Golden Rice. The push for decarbonization has already harmed the poorest people with rising energy prices and will further devastate the populations of developing countries that are trying to escape poverty with the help of inexpensive fossil fuels.

Understand the background narratives- i.e. notably apocalyptic mythology- that fuel alarmist movements. This site probes the history and main themes of the apocalyptic complex of themes and their descent down through history- from primitive mythologies, to world religions, to the “secular” ideologies of our contemporary world (i.e. Declinism- the myth that life declines toward some great catastrophic collapse and ending). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Love at the core of reality- the rejection of divine threat

Section topics: Musing on theology- greater reality as Mind, Consciousness, and Self; Projecting subhuman features onto Ultimate Reality (monster gods); The features of humanity’s highest ideal and authority- deity- and the powerful influence on human life; Punitive, destroying deity and mass-death outcomes (a critical correlation- ‘apocalyptic millennial’ themes in Marxism, Nazism, and environmental alarmism); The alternative to punitive/destroying deity- God as no conditions Love; The true state of life on earth- evidence on the status of basic resources; Fear as manipulation (social control); Resurging tribalism; The logarithmically declining influence of CO2 on climate; Offensive justice (restorative); Today’s petty ‘eye for eye’ cycles.

End the insanity of apocalyptic hysteria, now oriented to the end-of-days coming via imminent “climate catastrophe”. A critical requirement: Bring down the punitive, destroying God at the core of apocalyptic mythology. Apocalyptic- “the most violent and destructive myth in history”- is still one of the most prominent myths of humanity, in both religious and secular versions. This site is a project to go to the root of the problem and counter the primitive “threat theology” of apocalyptic. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Don’t fear the basic food of life- CO2. It is not dangerously warming the planet. It is greening our planet.

Quotes from link below: “Hayden’s paper reinforces the findings of W. A. van Wijngaarden and W. Happer (W & H): adding CO2 to today’s atmosphere will not cause significant (or dangerous) warming… As the concentration increases, the strength wanes. Somewhat like the acceleration of a car, without gears. Initially, it will accelerate quickly but as it reaches maximum speed, acceleration slows, no matter how hard the driver presses the gas petal to the floor. As the concentration of CO2 increases the influence of each molecule declines.

“The lesson here is that at low concentrations, CO2 is a very effective Infrared Radiation (IR) absorber, hence a very effective greenhouse gas. By this, we mean that if a bit more CO2 is added, the greenhouse effect increases substantially.

“At higher CO2 concentrations, adding more CO2 does little to increase the greenhouse effect, for the simple reason that most (not all) of the IR that CO2 can absorb is already absorbed.” When CO2 ceases to be an effective IR absorber, the wavelengths are said to be saturated. Additional absorption requires absorption by other IR wavelengths, which are not absorbed as readily.

“In other words, at very low concentrations, CO2 is a strong Greenhouse Gas (GHG); at the present concentration, CO2 is a weak GHG. This information has been around since long before Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, and long before the First Assessment Report FAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…

“The paper reinforces the research showing the relationship between CO2 and temperatures are logarithmic. Adding CO2 to the current atmosphere will cause little warming, and carbon dioxide capture and sequestering is an exercise of little value.”

Source:

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #432

Section topics: The liberating role of blasphemy; The contradiction between the theology of Historical Jesus (non-retaliatory deity) and Paul’s theology of ultimate divine retaliation; The transformation of an ultimate ideal/authority- deity; Common shared values; Ongoing hysteria (panic-porn) over the natural world and natural change in climate; Basic climate facts; Two best things happening today (more plant food in a CO2 starvation era and more warmth in a suboptimal ice-age era); Deliver a death blow to humanity’s greatest monster and enemy- threat theology; More on climate change; Don’t scare the kids with apocalyptic nonsense. Help them know the true state of life as improving (Julian Simon); Rejecting the oppositional dualism of either religion or materialism/atheism as the two alternatives available to humanity; and more…

Blasphemy as defense of freedom

Most definitions state that blasphemy is “not respecting, insulting, or showing contempt for God, religion, or sacred things”. And it offends religious people.

These definitions miss a larger point. Blasphemy when done well is not primarily about offending, hurting, or humiliating religious devotees but about serving the larger purpose of protecting human freedom. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The complex of “bad ideas”, and alternatives

Preface to Old Story/New Story themes

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, mainly deity. Plato did this with his argument that the ideal life and society should be shaped 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 built their villages and homes according to what they believed was the divine model.

The critical role of belief in shaping human behavior and society (inspiring, validating human behavior) makes it vitally important that our guiding ideals/authorities are fully humane, in line with common humanity’s ever-advancing understanding of the authentically humane in all areas of life.

The 18 “Old story themes” below are some of the most dominant and influential ideas in history. They have shaped human consciousness across history 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. 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”. Also, Bob Brinsmead has often reminded us that “Men never do greater evil than when they do it in the name of God”.

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.

(Revised) Old story themes, new story alternatives (rethinking 18 of the most fundamental ideas from across human history)

1. Old story theme: The myth of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality that metes out final justice- rewarding the good, punishing the bad (i.e. threat theology). This myth continues as the cohering center of the world religions and is now also given expression in ‘secular’ versions such as vengeful Gaia, angry planet, pissed Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma- all the new retaliatory, destroying gods of environmental alarmism, history’s latest apocalyptic movement.

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

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

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The Christ myth- separating diamonds from dung.

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

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

Preface to “Christian Contradiction”

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

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

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

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

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

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Living a human story

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

Scattered throughout his books, Joseph Campbell presents an outline for understanding human life/human story- i.e. the point or meaning of it all. I have added to his basic framework, revising, paraphrasing, and changing some things.

Jumping right in… The point of human life? We are here to love, to learn what love is and how to love. This is the fundamental reason for the cosmos, our world, and conscious human life.

Where Campbell used the term “universal love” to define the transition to human maturity and “heroic” human story, I would use the broader term “unconditional” or “no conditions” love. It includes universal and more. My point: Unconditional, as our highest human ideal (the most humane expression of love), gives meaning to everything. It answers all the great questions: “Why existence?”; “Why this cosmos and this world?”; and “Why conscious human life?” Read the rest of the opening comment here

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