‘Two best things’ and ‘Slapping down a straw god’

See “Two best things happening on Earth today” just below.

Post from discussion group:

Slapping down a straw god (i.e. a reality that has never existed except in the imaginations of people across history). Threat of punitive justice usually through nature- i.e. flood/drought/earthquake, disease, or human cruelty- has been a prominent feature of deity from the beginning of human myth-making.

First, my intention behind the comments below (i.e. “Thanks Fergie for the opportunity to make a point” in regard to the article included just below- “Sarah Ferguson Tweets That Coronavirus Is Mother Nature’s Punishment of Feckless Mankind”). My comments relate to my life-long struggle with a personal monster from my previous religious tradition.

My intention? Yes, intention matters… Across human history, this most fundamental theme of world religions- i.e. that God is a judging, condemning, punitive, and destroying reality- has added an entirely unnecessary psychic burden to already horrific human suffering. That pathological mythology adds the elements of fear/anxiety, shame/guilt, and more that unnecessarily distress and torment people who are already suffering enough from some natural disaster, disease, or human cruelty. Shame on all those across history for pushing such mythically-based mental/emotional torture on fellow human beings.

To advocate any form of “Threat theology” is to add an unnecessary burden to already intolerable human suffering. My intention: Liberate people from such unnecessary added suffering by offering “a stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory deity” (James Robinson).

This has always been my point in going after this mythology of punitive, destroying deity. It misrepresents entirely the Ultimate Reality behind all else (Ultimate Mind, Consciousness, Spirit, Mystery) that humanity has long called deity or God. That Reality has always and only been Love, Love of a kind that is inexpressibly and scandalously universal, unlimited, unconditional.

How do I know Ultimate Reality or deity is non-retaliatory? I reason from the best in humanity- i.e. the common experience of parents, spouses, friends, that no conditions love is the best way to treat imperfect others. No conditions (unconditional) love is simply the best form of love that we have discovered. I then project that insight out to define Ultimate Goodness or Love. If we imperfect humans can get this right, then Ultimate Consciousness or deity can also get it right, even more so than our imperfect understanding and practice. Just sayin, eh.

No religion has ever communicated this wondrous reality to humanity. All religion by its very nature is conditional and cannot communicate an unconditional reality. Religion as a social institution exists to communicate conditions- i.e. right beliefs, correct religious rituals (offerings, sacrifices), and necessary lifestyle to appease and please the religious deities. You have to discover the wonder of an unconditional Ultimate Reality aside from religion.

Example of natural disaster viewed as divine punishment: A Japanese lady standing amidst the devastation after the 2011 tsunami and facing a TV camera, asked rhetorically, “Are we being punished for enjoying life too much?” She summarized and vocalized the ancient and historically persistent mythical theme of some core punitive, destroying reality.

Insert note: We do better to understand the suffering that arises from the imperfections of this world in terms of “natural consequences”. We all suffer the natural consequences from living in a world of natural disasters, disease, and human cruelty. We all suffer the consequences of our choices, notably our bad choices. Such consequences are not punishment from greater Forces or Spirits.

Qualifier re unconditional: I affirm with Tolstoy that there are no circumstances in which we can treat others without love (he was speaking to the criminal justice system). All failing humans deserve our unlimited forgiveness, our universal inclusion and love. This does not contradict the need to restrain violent people and hold all responsible for their behavior, within the approach of restorative justice.

(See also Bob Brinsmead’s comments to a discussion group on this issue, included below)

OK, now the recent post to a discussion group: “Run kiddies, we are being punished”.

“Fergie is sounding like Jerry Falwell after hurricane Katrina (i.e. blaming that on human “sin”). Thanks Fergie for the opportunity to once again make a point regarding the stunning and profound difference between the theology of Historical Jesus and Paul’s Christianity- his Christ myth. This is about a worldview that defines Ultimate Reality (Ultimate Ideal and Authority) in terms of non-retaliation, non-punitive Love, versus a worldview that defines its Ultimate Ideal/Authority in terms of retaliation, punishment. This is about the core orientation that we embrace, whether in religious or secular versions, and its outcomes in our lives.

“The author of the article below suggests that Fergie is a nut-case extremist: “Sarah Ferguson Tweets That Coronavirus Is Mother Nature’s Punishment of Feckless Mankind”. No, this primitive outlook that there is some punitive, destroying Reality behind natural disaster, disease, or other forms of suffering, is as old as humanity. It is still one of the most widespread and dominant myths that have been deeply lodged in the common consciousness of the human family. Christianity has long advocated this myth (i.e. Paul’s lecture to the Corinthians that their sickness and death was divine punishment for their sins). So also the other world religions embrace this pathological mythology along with many “secular” ideologies like environmental alarmism.

“The myth of punitive, destroying deity is the core of the apocalyptic complex of themes- that at the heart of reality there is a great punitive, destroying reality, some Force like karma, retributive Universe, vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, or Paul’s apocalyptic Christ (see, for example, his Thessalonian letters, and John’s Revelation). And such a Force, Entity, or Spirit will give us what we deserve, either now in this world or in some final end up ahead.

“The primitive myth of punitive, destroying deity is still the essential core belief of most religions and hence the power of those religions to engender fear and control people, subjecting them to the salvation plans of the religion.

“A notable historical rejection of punitive, destroying deity mythology is found in the Jesus tradition…

“The Matthew 5:38-48 statement of Jesus, and the better version in Luke 6:27-36, is the main statement of his core theme. That teaching of Jesus is the central message in the Q Wisdom Sayings gospel in its earliest version- i.e. Q1, the closest that we get to what the man actually taught somewhere around 27-36 CE. When the gospel writers wrote 40-50 plus years later, they shaped their biographies according to Paul’s later Christology and basically overturned that earlier core teaching of Jesus- i.e. they distorted and buried the Jesus teaching in their larger biographical contexts with many contradictory additions.

“My argument with the Christian embrace of retributive theology is that Historical Jesus had clearly rejected the myth of punitive, destroying deity entirely and offered a “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God” (James Robinson among others). He had overturned entirely all previous human thinking on Ultimate Reality or deity. While most the gods of the ancient world were also given more humane features like mercy, forgiveness, and compassion, they all retained varied elements of punishing destruction.

“Historical Jesus stated his central theme like this: “You should not engage eye for eye justice (retaliation in kind, punishment) but instead you should love your offender/enemy because God does. How so? God does not engage eye for eye punishment or destruction but loves all the same- as evident in God giving the basic good gifts of life, sun and rain for crops, to both good and bad people”. Jesus was pointing to universal, unlimited, unconditional love. Nothing of judgment, punishment, or destruction. He also reasoned from the best of human behavior (non-retaliatory, unconditional) and related that to define the true nature of deity/God.

“But Paul, a dominating, intolerant man, successfully defeated the other branches of the early Jesus movement (i.e. Jewish Christianity, Ebionites/Nazarenes). Paul presented his Christ myth as the one true understanding of the Jesus phenomenon. He was the creator of the version of Christianity that eventually dominated all the others and descended into our Western world, helped along the way by the coercive intervention of people like Emperor Constantine (see Constantine’s Sword by James Carroll. Re “dominant, intolerant”, see Charles Freeman’s chapter on Paul in ‘The Closing of the Western Mind’).

“In his Christ religion, Paul rejected the new non-retaliatory theology of Jesus and retreated to the same old primitive theology of a retaliating, punishing, destroying God. He stated his re-affirmation of retaliatory theology in Romans 12: 17-20 in such statements as, “Vengeance is mine. I will repay, says the Lord”. He had already said in his first letter to the Thessalonians (circa 50 CE) that his “Lord Jesus would return in flaming fire to punish/destroy all those who did not obey his gospel”. That sort of threat is scattered throughout his letters. Note, for example, his curse on the Jewish Christianity of Peter and James in Galatians 1:8,9. And yes, Paul also made some other very good points in that Galatians letter about freedom from law.

“Paul overwhelmingly shaped the thinking of the other later gospel authors (Mark, Matthew, Luke, John) whose works were included in the New Testament. Other gospels that did not affirm the themes of Paul were excluded as heretical- i.e. gospels of Mary, Philip, James, Thomas, and others.

“Some scholars believe that Jesus may have actually belonged to the Jewish Christian movement and he would never have embraced the Christology of Paul. He did not view himself as a reigning messiah figure. Note, for example, Jesus’ teaching that the essence of true greatness was not about lording over others but serving. Yet Paul ignored that teaching and presented Jesus as a supreme dominating Lord and Master. Such points of disagreement have been noted all through the Jesus material in the New Testament.

“Paul replaced Jesus-ianity (the original non-retaliatory teaching of Jesus) with his Christ-ianity (his retaliatory Christ myth). That is why scholars like James Tabor say the Historical Jesus has been buried and lost to us.

“Note: Sources for my conclusions regarding the stunning contradiction between Jesus and Paul? Three centuries of “Search for the Historical Jesus” (latest stage- the Jesus Seminar). Notably- Q Wisdom Sayings Gospel research. However, while drawing on Historical Jesus research, my conclusions above are my own.

“The Sixties duo of Peter and Gordon sang that classic “A world without love”, harmonizing that they would not want to live in a world without love. I would affirm that sentiment and I would not want to live or exist in any reality that was not ultimate Love as in universal, unlimited, or unconditional love in the most transcendent sense… something only a deity that is authentic love could be (gooder than good, infinitely beyond good or love as we imagine it from our limited perspectives). A stunning no conditions love that is something offensive to retributive/retaliatory justice and apocalyptic-oriented minds (i.e. the bad guys eventually getting their just deserts somewhere, somehow). A generous love that is something scandalous just as Jesus tried to portray in some of his parables and actions (e.g. the Prodigal Father, the vineyard owner, or inviting hookers, local scoundrels, and what not to neighbourhood parties and meals). Letting the lady caught with her panties down go without punishment as demanded by Jewish law (but a caution to treat herself better). And on and on… giving sun and rain to all alike, to both good and bad.

“And yes, in the New Testament you have to pick out the good stuff from a larger context of a lot of subhuman material that contradicts the better stuff. Just as Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy argued- we must pick “the diamonds out of the dung.” I embrace their perspective on how to view religious holy books like the Christian bible. Pick and choose the good stuff from what Jefferson said was a larger context of material created by “lesser minds”. Ouch, eh.

“You see, the “reform of religion” that I propose is much more than peripheral tinkering around the edges. I go directly to the core of the problem- the monstrous deity that threatens to punish and destroy. Is my project just whimsical, Don Quixotish adventurism? Yes, in the sense that a punitive, destroying God has always been just a straw God, a mythical reality, just like those windmill monsters that Quixote went after with his lance. But that monster God has always been very real to true believers.”

Now the article on Fergie’s comments…

From The Daily Beast: “Sarah Ferguson Tweets That Coronavirus Is Mother Nature’s Punishment of Feckless Mankind”, Tom Sykes

“In this uncertain world, one thing we can always trust to be a constant is unerring ability of Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Prince Andrew, to say utterly bizarre things.
“On Tuesday (March 24, 2020) she was at it again, tweeting a pair of extraordinary messages suggesting that “Mother Nature” had unleashed the coronavirus on humankind to punish us for not looking after the planet.

“Little did she know at the time of her social media fusillade, her former brother-in-law Prince Charles was already suffering from the virus. Charles had seen the Queen two weeks earlier prompting fears that the virus could spread within the royal household.

“One of Fergie’s tweets was accompanied by a charming picture of a cherry tree in full blossom that looks like it was taken at the massive private estate, Royal Lodge, where she lives rent free with her ex-husband.

“We have embedded the tweets below, but, just in case the Duchess (as she still insists on calling herself) wakes up this morning with a furry tongue, and a crashing case of tweeter’s regret once she sees that her host family is among the victims, and hastens to hit the delete button, fear not, we have the screenshots for posterity.

“Mother Nature has sent us to our rooms, like the spoilt children we are. She gave us time and she gave us warnings. She was so patient with us. She gave us fire and floods, she tried to warn us but in the end she took back control.

“She has sent us to our rooms and when she is finished clearing up our mess. She will let us out to play again. How will we use this time?

“Of course, these kind of rambling theories about how the coronavirus is actually good for the world have become something of a fad on social media in the past few days.

“But there is a pretty clear line between remarking on silver linings (We can hear the birdsong in cities! Pollution is down! I don’t need to charge my phone every night!) and feeling out the path for a Gaia death cult which believes that a killer virus is a good thing that’s going to “clean up” the planet.

‘These remarks, Sarah, are best saved for your creepy, ultra-right wing crystal therapist.”

Bob Brinsmead comment to discussion group re this topic of divine punishment through the natural world: “OK ____, show us how to do it. What is your theodicy? What do you make, for instance, of this Covid-19 pandemic? What might it teach us about man’s relationship to Mother Nature? Where is the real remedy going to be found? If you can address that question correctly, you will be on your way toward a good theodicy.

“Stroke was so named because it was thought to be a finger of God’s illness. (But) the main causes of dying prematurely seem to be Mother Nature at work, that ‘wicked old witch’ causing nature’s horrors that are inflicted on humanity, as well as human causes (bad habits, accidents, inhumanity). How much is the “finger of God”? In the Old Testament journey of the Hebrews from Egypt to Canaan you have God directly executing at least 30,000 Israelites. That puts God in the category of a celestial Pol Pot, eh? But in my reckoning, suffering is brought about either by what nature does or what humans do.

“In the case of natural deaths (epidemics, pandemics, diseases, abnormalities, germs, and natural disasters) the statistics show that as mankind progresses, we progressively gain the mastery over nature. World population has greatly expanded not because humans breed like rabbits but because we no longer die like flies. For example, we have medical knowledge to protect ourselves from many diseases caused by micro-organisms, and we protect ourselves from destructive weather events more effectively now as we can afford to protect ourselves.

“God did not send us some special revelation to tell us about germs and viruses but made us responsible for finding these things out.

“As for punishment, it is like Dustin Hoffman said in a movie, ‘Blame if for god and small children’.

“The Old Testament prophets sometimes give us the same reading of natural calamity as Falwell and Robertson. Example: Israel did not observe the Law to God’s satisfaction, so he sent in alien armies to burn their cities, rape their women and carry off their children. Later in history, it was claimed that the Jews were punished as much by Antiochus Epiphanes because they would not disobey the Law of Moses…. So I would simply say that on this reading of history, the Prophets got it wrong just as Falwell and Robertson got it wrong. God did not bring about the burning of the villages of Israel by the Assyrians any more than he punished the Jews by the Holocaust. These tragic events were just part of the messiness of human history and human actions”.

The two best things happening today– rising CO2 levels and the warming of Earth’s average surface temperatures.

Basic plant food

CO2 levels have been dangerously low over the past few million years of our ice-age era and this has stressed plant life. Over the past several hundred thousand years, CO2 levels have even dipped below 200 ppm, once down to 180 ppm. Plant life dies at 150 ppm. Normal and optimal levels of CO2 over the last 500 million years were in the multiple thousands of ppm. https://www.thegwpf.com/video-of-patrick-moores-gwpf-lecture-should-we-celebrate-co2/

During the Cambrian era life exploded with CO2 levels over 5000 ppm. There was no harm to life, or catastrophic collapse, with CO2 in multiple-thousands of ppm. Instead, life flourished.

“During the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods when our most useful plants evolved, CO2 levels were about five times higher than today…Our crop plants evolved about 400 million years ago, when CO2 in the atmosphere was about 5000 parts per million! Our evergreen trees and shrubs evolved about 360 million years ago, with CO2 levels at about 4,000 ppm. When our deciduous trees evolved about 160 million years ago, the CO2 level was about 2,200 ppm – still five times the current level”, (http://co2coalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Rising_CO2__Food-Security-2-21-19-1.pdf).

Contemporary plant response to more food

With the slight rise in CO2 levels from pre-industrial 285 ppm to the 400-plus ppm of today there has been a 14% increase in green vegetation across the Earth over the past 30 years. This is the equivalent to adding green vegetation twice the size of the mainland US. https://www.thegwpf.com/matt-ridley-rejoice-in-the-lush-global-greening/. Where are the celebrating Greens, the self-proclaimed advocates for a greener world?

A warming planet is a more optimal planet

There has been only a mild 1 degree Centigrade warming over the past century. This is part of the longer warming trend that began 300 years ago when Earth began to emerge out of the bitter cold of the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715. This longer warming trend is due to natural influences on climate, and that did not change with this past century (i.e. the same natural factors continue to overwhelmingly influence the present phase of this 300-year-long period of warming).

Our current world average surface temperature of 14.5 degrees Centigrade is still far below the normal and optimum 19.5 degrees C. average of the past hundreds of millions of years. For over 90% of the past 500 million years there has been no ice at the poles. That is a more normal and healthy Earth. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/01/03/earths-ice-ages/

With much higher average temperatures in the past there was no “climate catastrophe” or threat to life. To the contrary, life flourished.

A much warmer Earth will not “fry” because the planet has an efficient energy distribution system where heat rises at the tropics and is carried toward the poles. In a warming world the Equator does not become excessively hotter but rather the colder regions warm more and that benefits all life with extended habitats and less severe storminess because of less severe gradients between warm and cold regions. https://scied.ucar.edu/learning-zone/how-weather-works/global-air-atmospheric-circulation.

Note also that researchers have discovered tropical tree stumps in the Arctic from past warmer eras. Remember too that cold weather kills 10-20 times more people every year than heat does. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/20/moderate-cold-kills/, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150520193831.htm.

Plants, animals, and humans are benefiting immensely from this massive greening of our planet and the return to more normal and optimal conditions for all life. (“Average increase of 46% of crop biomass owing to increased CO2 fertilization”, Gregory Whitestone on Craig Idso research.)

Further, the actual influence of CO2 on climate warming is still not settled because many other natural factors have shown a stronger influence on climate and stronger correlations to the climate change that we have seen over the past few centuries (i.e. cosmic ray/sun/cloud interaction, ocean/atmosphere relationship).

Fact: There is no good evidence to support fear of looming catastrophe (i.e. “climate crisis”) in a much warmer planet with much higher levels of CO2. The benefits of more plant food and more warmth outweigh any potential negatives.

Consequent to this evidence, there is no good scientific reason for people to decrease their use of fossil fuels or to ban them. It is unscientific and irrational to “decarbonize” our societies or to embrace policies such as carbon taxes. CO2 is not a pollutant or poison that must be restrained. It is the most basic food of life and it has been in desperately short supply for millions of years. We should celebrate with all plant and animal life at the greening of our planet.

The above evidence affirms that there is no climate apocalypse on the horizon.

Insert: Craig Idso, scientist with the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, regarding the EPA Endangerment Finding for Greenhouse Gases (2009) and his petition to repeal the Finding:

“Multiple observations made over the past decade confirm the projected risks and adverse consequences of rising greenhouse gases are failing to materialize. The truth is, in stark contrast to the Endangerment Finding, CO2 emissions and fossil fuel use during the Modern Era have actually enhanced life and improved humanity’s standard of living. And they will likely continue to do so as more fossil fuels are utilized”.

“Multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies show (1) there is nothing unusual about Earth’s current warmth or rate of warming, (2) historic and modern records of atmospheric CO2 and temperature violate principles of causation, (3) model-based temperature projections since 1979 artificially inflate warming (compared to observations) by a factor of 3, invalidating the models and all their ancillary claims associated with greenhouse gas-induced warming, and that (4) key adverse effects of greenhouse gas-induced warming, including extreme weather events, temperature-induced mortality and sea level rise, are not occurring despite EPA predictions they would be worsening”.

“The petition also presents compelling evidence that CO2 emissions and fossil energy use provide critical benefits that act to enhance health and welfare for humanity and the natural world… ‘Without adequate supplies of low-cost centralized energy derived from fossil fuels, few, in any, of the major technological and innovative advancements of the past two centuries that have enhanced and prolonged human life could have occurred. Additionally, without the increased CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use over the past two centuries, Earth’s terrestrial biosphere would be nowhere near as vigorous or productive as it is today. Rather, it would be devoid of the growth-enhancing, water-saving, and stress-alleviating benefits it has reaped in managed and unmanaged ecosystems from rising levels of atmospheric CO2 since the Industrial Revolution began’”.

See also the hundreds of studies on CO2 at Idso’s site- co2science.org.

Note: “What is impossible to quantify is the actual percentage of warming that is attributable to increased anthropogenic (human-caused) CO2. There is no scientific evidence or method that can determine how much of the warming we’ve had since 1900 was directly caused by us and how much can be assigned to the continuing natural drivers of climate”, Gregory Whitestone.

“Let us dispel any notion that projected higher levels of CO2 will have a direct deleterious impact on humans… According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ‘CO2 levels may reach 900 ppm’ by 2100, which is well below the minimum threshold for negative impact to humans. The United States Department of Agriculture has set a maximum exposure limit for workers at 5,000 ppm and states that even at levels of 10,000 ppm there are typically no ill effects”, Gregory Whitestone.

The 130 ppm increase since the early stages of the Industrial Revolution is not an “alarming increase”. There is no “climate crisis”.

Note: Almost 32,000 scientists, many of the best scientific minds on the planet, signed the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine Protest Petition which states, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth”.

Environmental alarmism/climate alarmism has become the latest historical eruption of apocalyptic alarmism. These apocalyptic alarms are present in the earliest human writing- i.e. the Sumerian Flood myth, also in the Egyptian ‘Return to Chaos’ and ‘Destruction of Mankind’ myths. Little has changed across history. The same primitive themes have been repeated all across history and across all the cultures of the world. Today, environmental alarmism has taken up the apocalyptic themes to traumatize public consciousness with the same old, same old as ever before. Alarmist media thoughtlessly and obsessively push the endless “end of days” prophecies of environmentalism.

Insert post from a discussion group: Most profound words ever spoken

“Here is a summary of the most profound set of statements/aphorisms ever uttered by any human person. Most profound? Yes, because nothing else so potently counters the inherited animal in us and points us to the heights of being human, to being god-like. These best-of-all human insights/ideals enable us to tower in stature as maturely or heroically human. They enable us to maintain our humanity in our “righteous battles against evil”.

“There are much earlier versions of these in, for example, the “Akkadian Father’s advice to his son” (circa 2000 BCE), and in Hindu versions circa 600 BCE.

“Do not retaliate with eye for eye justice but instead love your enemies because God does, generously giving sun and rain to both good and bad people. Do good to them that hate you, expecting nothing in return, because God does this… Treat others as you would like them to treat you… Be merciful just as God is merciful.”

“Nelson Mandela’s version of the above was expressed in his signature statement, “Let us surprise them (i.e. our opponents/enemies) with our generosity… (with our inclusion, forgiveness, kindness)”.

Solving life’s problems (previous comment from sections below, related to the climate alarmism movement)

How do we get to the true state of something (i.e. a problem in life)? We include all the evidence related to that thing, even evidence that is contrary to a growing public “consensus” on the problem that we are focused on. Too often, full understanding of problems is hindered by the tendency of some to shut down contrary opinions, to silence the challenges of skeptics, and to settle around a final and closed consensus that is no longer open to challenge or change. That short-circuits the learning process. Add here ‘confirmation bias’ that only includes evidence that affirm one’s beliefs and ignores or dismisses contrary evidence.

Any problem-solving project must always remain open to questioning and contrary evidence that might give us the fuller picture regarding the problem or issue that we are looking at.

We must also beware the ever-present tendency to present problems in terms of apocalyptic scenarios (worst case catastrophe outcomes) and thereby unnecessarily alarm populations. That has led to policy responses that do more harm than good in the long run. Real problems in life are frightening enough without the added apocalyptic-scale exaggeration.

Further, all problems in life should be set in longer-term historical trends that give us the proper comparative context.

This tendency to promote apocalyptic-scale alarms has been repeated many times over just the past few decades (see comment just below). Exaggeration of problems only distorts the true state of things and that does not help promote rational problem-solving approaches. It tends to result in outcomes that may harm more than help over the long run.

Over past decades alarmists have advocated policy responses that have caused more harm than good. Note the bio-fuels fiasco that resulted in rising food prices for the poorest people and further deforestation for palm oil plantations. Anti-GM foods activists (e.g. Greenpeace) have contributed to millions of deaths of children denied Golden Rice (https://nationalpost.com/opinion/bjorn-lomborg-trashing-rice-killing-children). Also notable was Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring that influenced the ban on DDT and resulted in tens of millions of unnecessary deaths in following decades (see ‘The Excellent Powder’ for the science and history of DDT).

Add also the fallacy of “presentism” noted by James Payne in ‘The History of Force’. This is the tendency to view some problem as unique and worse than all others before in history because it is happening right now and we are experiencing it firsthand.

Alarmism (previous comment from sections below on varied modern era alarms)

(Note: This comment relates to the larger historical background from which humanity has been taught to view arising problems in life- i.e. the long-term historical influence of apocalyptic mythology on human consciousness.)

Definition: Alarmism exaggerates real problems out to apocalyptic-scale thereby distorting the true state of things. Alarmism incites unwarranted fear in populations to embrace/support salvation schemes that have repeatedly caused more destruction than the imagined and exaggerated apocalypses in the original alarm.

Most critical, alarmism is fed by a desperate urgency to survive against some exaggerated threat of chaos, destruction, or death. That survival urgency then unleashes the totalitarian impulse to demand coercive purging of the threat in order to save oneself, one’s family, or to “save the world”. Alarmism incites the demand for “instantaneous transformation” as in the contemporary push for rapid decarbonization of our societies. Alarmism promotes insistent fear-driven demands that overrule freedom and undermine democratic processes (i.e. the banning of open debate, disagreement, skepticism). Alarmism tries to shut down, even criminalize, normal and healthy scientific challenge to unsettled dogmas.

Alarmism is an ideologically and mythically-driven view of life that is too often anti-science, anti-industrial society, anti-technology/chemicals/GM foods, and fundamentally anti-human (i.e. humanity as the virus/cancer on Earth that must be purged).

Over the past 70 years public consciousness has been repeatedly assaulted by apocalyptic-scale hysteria, via alarmism-oriented news media. There were global cooling and global famine alarms in the 1970s. Prophesies of the end of minerals, oil, and resources in general. Population bomb explosion and mass famine. Apocalyptic plagues such as SARS, bird and swine flu, ebola, AIDs, and mad cow disease. Environmental apocalypses in the form of ozone depletion, acid rain, chemical apocalypses (i.e. DDT and CFCs), and killer bees. Then technology-induced apocalypse via nuclear war, Artificial Intelligence, or Y2K. Then climate catastrophes and end-of-life scenarios via warming, rising oceans, extreme storms, wars, and the myriad other apocalyptic outcomes attributed to climate change.

As someone said, we have become “apocaholics”. Public story telling media- i.e. movies, TV, literature- all affirm the apocalyptic narrative. The number one dominant ideology of our modern world- Declinism- embraces the core theme of apocalyptic mythology, that life is declining toward some disastrous collapse or ending (see Arthur Herman’s The Idea of Decline in Western History). Just as across all past history, apocalyptic mythology continues to shape human consciousness toward excessive alarmism over the varied problems in life.

News media have become the major promoters of alarmism today. See “Creating Fear: News and the manufacture of crisis” by Sociologist David Altheide. Altheide rightly says that news media are not truth-tellers but are entertainers competing with the rest of the entertainment industry. What dominates entertainment? Apocalypse. Over recent decades more than 100 Hollywood movies had apocalypse as a central theme. So also TV, literature (notably, the “post-apocalyptic” genre).

Media promote fear by the manner in which they present real life problems- e.g. by using extremist language (e.g. catastrophe, crisis, disaster are common media favorites), by focusing on worst case scenarios, and by not providing larger contexts related to problems (i.e. alternative evidence).

World surveys also show the high levels of pessimism regarding the future that rule public consciousness. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/12/you’re-probably-too-pessimistic/ And we wonder why depression (i.e. fatalism, resignation, anxiety) is the world’s number one illness?

And all this in the face of overwhelming evidence that life is getting better on all fronts. See Humanprogress.org for detailed summaries, also Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource, Greg Easterbrook’s A Moment On The Earth, Bjorn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist, Indur Goklany’s The Improving State of the World, Matt Ridley’s Rational Optimist, Ronald Bailey’s The End of Doom, Desrochers and Szurmak’s Population Bombed, and Hans Rosling’s Factfulness.

This site probes the apocalyptic myths behind alarmism that still dominate human consciousness and worldviews both religious and secular/ideological. See “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives” below.

A critical pattern to note in modern life

Watch how this pattern has played out over recent history in mass-destruction movements such as Marxism, Nazism, and now environmental alarmism.

First, there is the promotion of some public alarm, some problem in life that is exaggerated out to apocalyptic-scale. It is claimed to be the end of civilization or life, the end of days. Dates are set for the final collapse of things. Dates that have to be constantly revised forward because the end of days never arrives.

Next, the alarm- the threat of chaos, destruction, death- incites the survival impulse in populations. That leads populations to support salvation schemes that demand the coercive purging of the threat to life, and the demand for the instantaneous transformation of society. We see this today in the demand for rapid decarbonization of our societies. It is claimed that coercive purging and instantaneous transformation will restore some imagined lost paradise world.

The outcomes of these movements have repeatedly resulted in mass-death movements such as Marxism, Nazism, and environmentalism. Environmentalism? Yes, just one example: Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring influenced the ban on DDT that resulted in tens of millions of deaths in subsequent decades.

The demand for coercive purging and instantaneous transformation undermines freedom and democracy with calls to silence and ban dissenters/skeptics, to shut down or even criminalize opponents to the alarmist/apocalyptic movement.

We improve life over the long-term by “gradualism”, by solving problems in life gradually through normal democratic processes that maintain the priority of individual freedom and rights against collectivist tendencies that have a history of harmful outcomes.

Project: The subhuman themes still prominent in the mix of human belief systems

Why go after the theological element in the mix, the God factor, the touchiest of touchy subjects? Well, because deity features are the most fundamental features that shape and influence all else in our belief systems. Deity is the ultimate Ideal and Authority that all else bends to in the end. Reform of religion that only deals with more peripheral elements will fail to promote fully humane outcomes over the long term if that reform endeavor does not also transform or purge the subhuman features at the core of religion. The central themes that define our gods are the themes that most potently shape our attitudes, emotions, and behaviors, more so than anything else.

Take a good close look at your own version of deity- whether you hold a religious or “secular” version (e.g. God, Gaia, Mother Earth, Planet, Universe, karma, Natural Law, Self-Organizing Principle, Natural Selection, etc.). Our deities are those things that we hold as Ultimate Ideals and Authorities. What themes define your god and how do those themes influence your thinking, feeling, and behavior? For example, the Mennonite theologians were right to note that Christian theology, with the feature of punitive deity, shaped Western justice toward a punitive orientation.

And yes, even Richard Dawkins has a god. He capitalized a reference to his deity in his book ‘The God Delusion’: “Natural Selection is the Source of All Enlightenment”. It is his ultimate explanatory entity, giving ultimate meaning to his worldview.

Quote from below: “This (the comment on the Jesus/Paul contradiction) is about a worldview that defines Ultimate Reality (Ultimate Ideal and Authority) in terms of non-retaliation, non-punitive Love, versus a worldview that defines its Ultimate Ideal/Authority in terms of retaliation, punishment. This is about the core orientation that we embrace, whether religious or secular, and its outcomes in our lives.” (From “Post from discussion group” just below)

The project here? Fully humanize your god, or Ultimate Ideal/Authority, according to what we understand today in common human rights codes and constitutions. This will involve the embrace of features such as the full inclusion of all, equal rights and freedoms of all, restorative justice approaches, and so on. Any ultimate Ideal or Authority must embrace such features of authentic humanity if it is going to help promote a more humane future.

Good science

Good basic science will include all the data available in order to fill out a complete big picture of whatever issue, problem, or thing is being looked at. Good science will take special care to include contrary data, skeptical insights, and encourage open-ended debate. It will encourage replication and falsification. It will not deny, discredit, or dismiss contrary data that does not affirm its beliefs/positions. It will not seek a final consensus, or claim “settled science”, or engage ad hominem attack against critics.

Good science will also place any issue/problem within the longest-term context possible, noting the longest possible trends regarding the issue being researched. This will help to counter the tendency to “presentism”, to view some issue only within shorter-term contexts that may distort things. That can result in wrongly concluding that our experience of some problem must be the worst ever, because we are not seeing much larger numbers over the longer-term which may reveal that our experience is normal or even milder than other states of the problem in the past.

Example: We are regularly warned that the climate change we are experiencing over past decades is the worst ever and the outcomes will be catastrophic to life, perhaps even foretelling the collapse and ending of life. But we have experienced a climate warming of only one degree over the past century. That has brought us to world surface temperatures that average about 14.5 degrees Centigrade today. We are told that a further few degrees of warming will be catastrophic.

But the long-term history of Earth shows that world surface temperatures over the past 500 million years averaged 19.5 degrees and life flourished during such times. That is fully 5 degrees Centigrade warmer than today. The link below refers to a recent discovery that affirms a similar discovery years earlier in the Arctic- i.e. evidence of an ancient tropical forest (i.e. stumps of tropical trees). That affirms the much warmer world of most of the past 500 million years, versus the colder average world surface temperatures of today- i.e. around 14.5 degrees Centigrade. A much warmer world means vastly extended habitats for life, not a “frying” world that destroys life. Keep in mind those great upwellings of heat at the tropics that carry warm air north and south to the colder areas, evening out temperature differences across the Earth. That is why for over 90 percent of the past 500 million years there has been no ice at the poles. That is a more normal, healthy world. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/04/02/traces-of-ancient-rainforest-in-antarctica-point-to-a-warmer-prehistoric-world/

So also, average levels of atmospheric CO2 were much higher over the past 500 million years (multiple thousands of ppm) and again there was no climate crisis or catastrophe. Instead, life flourished during such times. Detail below.

Site project

The ongoing project of this site: To deal thoroughly and fundamentally with the problem of alarmism and its harmful outcomes on societies (e.g. climate alarmism and its policies). In this regard this site probes a fundamental issue behind alarmist movements- i.e. those deeply embedded themes that have always been central to the human search for meaning. Consequently, this site focuses regularly on the apocalyptic complex of themes in both their religious and secular versions.

Those inherited mythical themes still dominate human belief systems in both religious and secular versions. The contemporary widespread embrace of apocalyptic mythology continues to render populations susceptible to endless public narratives of the ‘end of days’- i.e. the apocalyptic scenarios, so common, for example, from the environmental alarmism movement.

Science helps to alleviate alarmism with factual evidence but often science by itself still does not change many minds due to the deeply embedded nature of the beliefs that most fundamentally incite alarmism. Apocalyptic mythology is notable here for its persistence across history. That complex of ideas embraces, at its core, the theme of some great retaliatory, punitive, and destroying reality- whether God, Gaia, Planet/Mother Earth, Universe, or karma.

Apocalyptic distorts the nature of ultimate reality and life entirely. Embracing the apocalyptic myth influences people to exaggerate problems out to apocalyptic-scale (endless prophecies of the end of days) thereby distorting the true state of problems and pushing populations toward salvation schemes that often cause more harm (i.e. cures worse than the diseases).
Most critical, apocalyptic incites excessive fear in populations and the desperation for totalitarian responses. We see this in the demand for “coercive purging” of some imagined threat to life, the desperation for “instantaneous transformation” of society in order to “save life or the world” from threats that are always presented as imminent, with dates repeatedly set for the end of the world.

Despite the natural consequences of living in an imperfect world (i.e. natural disaster, disease, human cruelty) there has never been and never will be a punishing apocalypse in the sense of a final collapse and end of all things brought on by some greater destroying Force or Spirit. The evidence of our long-term history affirms that we will continue to succeed in improving the long-term trajectory of life by “gradualism” in cooperative democracy that respects the freedom of individuals. (Sources of evidence listed in material below- e.g. Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’.)

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

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca

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

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

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

Introductory summary

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

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

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

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

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

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There will be no apocalypse (climate or other).

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

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

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

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New Story Alternatives to Declinist/Apocalyptic mythology

Fighting Declinist despair and apocalyptic nihilism

“The idea of decline (that things are getting worse, that life is declining toward some great collapse and ending) is the most dominant and influential theme in (society) today”, Historian Arthur Herman in ‘The Idea of Decline in Western History’. World surveys in recent years have affirmed this widespread pessimism in varied countries that the future will get worse and there might be an end to civilization and even life itself. Declinism is a modern version of primitive apocalyptic mythology.

Stephen Hawking fell for this Chicken Little myth in the final two years of his life, offering his own prophesies of the end-of-days and setting dates just like apocalyptic prophets have done across history. He initially announced the end in a thousand or so years (caused by AI or aliens), then finally settled on the end of days in just 100 years, caused by environmental catastrophe. 100 years reserved enough time for him to vacate the planet and avoid the embarrassment that all apocalyptics eventually face. Smart man. Apocalyptic prophesying has a 100% failure rate.

Add here that many believe that humanity, as essentially corrupt and bad-to-the-bone (i.e. the anti-human myth of “inherited sinful nature”), is the cause of the imagined worsening trajectory of life. People believe that we deserve some horrible future outcome as punishment for our “sins” of corrupting nature by developing industrial civilization, and for our greed- i.e. for enjoying the good life too much. The Japanese lady (post-2011 tsunami) summarized this outlook, affirming the common belief that harmful things from nature are expressions of punitive forces/deities. She asked, “Are we being punished for enjoying life too much?”

Contrary to Declinism ideology, amassed evidence has consistently shown improvement, not degeneration or decline, on all the main features of life. Our creation of industrial civilization has enabled us to create the wealth that enables us to, not only immensely improve the human condition, but to also better care for the natural world. We have done well as Julian Simon said, proving ourselves “to be more creators than destroyers”. For detail on the improving trajectory of life see Simon’s Ultimate Resource, Greg Easterbrook’s A Moment on the Earth, Bjorn Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist, Ronald Bailey’s The End of Doom, Desrocher and Szurmak’s Population Bombed, Indur Goklany’s The Improving State of the World, among others. See also the ‘Ecological Kuznets Curve’ research, or ‘Environmental Transition’ research (Google Indur Goklany on this).

The result of embracing Declinism has been widespread fear of some horrific collapse of life, often environmental collapse scenarios, and the outcome of such alarm is the incited urgency to “save the world”, to purge the world of some imagined threat to life. Today alarmists have isolated the threat as the “curse of fossil fuels” that are the main engine of industrial society, lasering in on the CO2 byproduct.

Note the profound distortion of basic reality here- that the basic food of all life is now widely viewed as a pollutant and poison that threatens life. Also note that there is no “climate emergency”. This quote from a recent GWPF newsletter, “Only last week, a declaration by more than 700 scientists and researchers was presented in the European Parliament, showing that global warming is happening, but is far more gradual and far less detrimental to the wellbeing of people and societies than activists have been claiming.” Further, few point out the many beneficial outcomes of more CO2 and warmer temperatures (i.e. increased plant growth and crop production, expanded habitats, less mortality from cold… overall, more of “life flourishing”).

Further, few point out the many beneficial outcomes of more atmospheric CO2 and warmer average temperatures (see, for example, Patrick Moore’s “Celebrating CO2” on Youtube).

Apocalyptic has always been a dangerous idea- “the most violent and destructive idea in history” (Arthur Mendel in Vision and Violence). The danger is that of populations being frightened into self-fulfilling prophesy outcomes. As Julian Simon warned, environmental alarmism creates fatalism and resignation in populations. Worse still, alarmed populations will embrace salvation schemes that involve the “coercive purging” of some threat to life that the apocalyptic prophets have advocated against (i.e. “save the world from the threat of CO2”). This has already led to outbreaks of the totalitarian impulse- i.e. projects to criminalize the skeptics of alarmist ideology (e.g. Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch trying to criminalize skeptical science), and to silence contrary evidence (see the Climategate emails- https://principia-scientific.org/climate-science-proves-scams-dont-die-from-exposure/). These fear-driven projects have been a direct assault on freedom and democracy.

The most dangerous outcome yet of alarmism is the insane push to “decarbonise” societies and the economic collapse that this threatens.

It is an irrational ‘denial’ of good science to claim that CO2 is the dominant variable that influences climate change. CO2, making up 0.04% of the atmosphere, plays a small role but that tiny influence is repeatedly overwhelmed by other natural factors that influence climate change. See, for example, the role of the cosmic ray/sun/cloud interaction on climate in Henrik Svensmark’s ‘The Chilling Stars’. Point? You cannot coercively push public policies to “decarbonise” entire societies, and consequently threaten widespread economic collapse, based on the complex and still unsettled climate science that does not affirm your beliefs or ideology. The harmful outcomes of such policies- i.e. rising energy costs that impact the poorest people, increased death rates from fuel poverty- are already being felt in countries like Germany, England, and even the US (see Global Warming Policy Forum reports).

Declinism is just another Johnny-come-lately version of the same old, same old apocalyptic mythology, one of the earliest and most pathological of all human myths. The earliest versions were expressed in the Sumerian Flood myth, and Egyptian myths of The Destruction of Mankind and Return to Chaos. Zoroaster later embraced apocalyptic in his formal religion that shaped the subsequent Hebrew/Jewish, Christian, and Muslim versions of apocalyptic religion. Apocalyptic decline was also embraced by Hinduism (i.e. great historical cycles of rise and then decline toward disastrous ending) and Buddhism (i.e. the belief that the human life-span was decreasing over time- see Mircea Eliade’s History of Religious Ideas).

We- humanity- have had a hard time letting go of this pathology of apocalyptic, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It continues to dominate public story-telling in movies, TV, and literature.

This nihilistic idea of apocalyptic is based on the core theological pathology of God as ultimate punisher and destroyer. The latest fad versions of this retributive and apocalyptic deity myth include vengeful Gaia, angry Planet, pissed Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma. All versions of punitive, destroying Forces/deity at the core of reality and life. These later versions are part of the modern “secularization of primitive mythology” (i.e. giving ancient ideas/themes new “secular” or ideological expression) that has occurred over the past few centuries. Joseph Campbell was right that the same mythical ideas are repeated all across history and across all the cultures of the world.

I would argue that science by itself won’t correct the problem of Declinism. You also have to go to the root ideas in human meta-narratives and deal with the theological pathology at the core of our great belief systems/religious traditions if you want to thoroughly correct the problem of bad ideas that still dominate the wider public consciousness. This is necessary to fully and properly deal with the primal human impulse for meaning. And of course, science is also vital to the project of transforming public consciousness.

This site probes the root ideas behind things like apocalyptic Declinism and offers alternatives to affirm hope, alternatives that are based on our contemporary understanding of reality and life. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The 16 fundamental themes of our human story… and the alternatives.

“The same mythical themes repeat across all history and across all the cultures of the world”, Joseph Campbell. They repeat in ancient mythologies, in world religions, and in the “secular/ideological” versions of the modern world.

The mythical or meaning element in alarm over nature.

Waves of alarm repeatedly surge through world media, often related to environmental issues. Over recent decades these surges of alarm have been mainly related to climate change. What drives this endless hysteria that natural world events/changes portend the end of the world? Here (the link just below) is one scientist’s comment on the political element in the mix. But as this author notes, there is something deeper going on, something religious- i.e. the “meaning” thing. He does not elaborate on the real nature of this meaning element. That is the project of this site.

See…

Understanding the climate movement: the impotence of science.

This site probes the mythical or meaning roots of human fear, anxiety, and despair, notably in relation to nature and the harsher outcomes of the natural world (e.g. natural disaster, disease, violence- the “imperfections” of our world). Alarm over nature is much more than just an ideological or scientific issue and that is why scientific fact alone, as vital as that is to all areas of life, will not correct the madness of environmental alarmism thoroughly and for the long term future.

Many people continue to embrace the pathology of some ultimate threat behind the natural world- i.e. the belief that harmful natural events are the work of destroying deity and are punishment for human sin. And yes, this myth of punitive, destroying deity is now given “secular” or ideological expression in versions like “vengeful Gaia… angry Planet/pissed Mother Earth… retributive Universe… and karma”.

But the natural world only presents us with ‘natural consequences’. For example, if you do not wash your hands before eating you will likely ingest some virus from something you touched earlier in the day. Consequence? A cold or worse. Or live in an earthquake zone and you may experience the damage from that natural world feature. But such things are not punishment from deity for being bad.

See the 16 fundamental ideas below that embody and express our primal human fears and concerns.

Quote: “Are we being punished for enjoying life too much?”, Japanese lady in the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami.

Site project: Liberate people from unnecessary fear and anxiety over the harmful elements of our world. How? Eliminate the sense of threat behind life- i.e. the great pathology of apocalyptic.

Note: There will be no apocalypse- environmental or other- because there is no God of apocalypse. How so? Here is one line of argument from a major world belief system. Historical Jesus in his most basic message of the Q Wisdom Sayings gospel (Matthew 5:38-48, Luke 6: 27-36) urged that there should be no more eye for eye retaliation but instead love for enemies. He argued that we should do so because God does that. God does not retaliate against the bad but generously forgives and includes all, giving the beneficial and fundamental gifts of life- i.e. sun and rain- to both good and bad people. In that statement Jesus offered the stunning new theology of an unconditionally loving God, inclusive of all, non-punitive, and non-destructive.

The point here? A God that does not retaliate is a non-apocalyptic God because apocalyptic is a great final act of eye for eye retaliation against enemies/evil. Apocalypse is an act of ultimate punishment and destruction. See the New Testament book of Revelation for detail.

Paul, contradicting Jesus, embraced a God of retaliation and apocalypse. He accepted the God of Zoroastrian and Jewish apocalyptic. Note that he quoted the Old Testament to affirm his retaliatory theology, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord” (Romans 12:17-20). And in his first letters (i.e. Thessalonians) he affirmed apocalypse: “Lord Jesus will return in blazing fire to punish/destroy all who do not believe my gospel”. Paul’s retaliatory/apocalyptic God became the Christian God in direct contradiction to the main non-retaliatory theme/theology of Historical Jesus.

This is the foundational contradiction of Christianity- i.e. the entirely opposite theologies of Jesus and Paul. This is about the fundamental and irreconcilable themes of non-retaliation vs retaliation, non-violent versus violent deity or non-destructive vs destructive deity, tribal exclusion vs universal inclusion, punitive justice vs restorative justice, and stunningly unconditional love vs highly conditional love.

And yes, Christian apocalyptic is mainly responsible for embedding the apocalyptic myth in Western consciousness. That then shaped 19th Century Declinism (“The Idea of Decline in Western History”, Arthur Herman) and birthed its offspring- contemporary environmental alarmism.

Main site topics:

16 themes for a new meta-narrative centered on the stunning new theology of unconditional deity.

Environmental alarmism as contemporary apocalyptic mythology (the offspring of Declinism). The endlessly destructive pathology of alarmism.

Campbell’s outline of the main features of human story and the meaning of life (i.e. universal love as mature humanity- see sections below).

The profound contradiction between Historical Jesus and Paul’s Christ myth. Jesus rejected Christ/messiah mythology. (also further below). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Climate alarmism and apocalyptic hysteria over change (change in nature alarmism).

We are not facing a “climate emergency”.

Section topics: Stasis versus change in nature (fear of change); The core climate issue (i.e. the prominence, or not, of CO2); Irresponsible and destructive apocalyptic alarmism; The origin and pathology of alarmism (original fear of nature; destructive nature as the expression of punitive, destroying deity; the continuing pathology of nature alarmism today); Climate facts; Countering the alarmist narrative (go to the root ideas behind the mythology).

Post from discussion group (this relates to the apocalyptic mythology that is regularly tackled on this site)

“Note, in today’s environmental alarmism, the promotion of endless fear over any “change” in nature. Climate physicist/meteorologist Richard Lindzen said regarding change, “we are scanning for small changes… we are talking about tenths of a degree… and viewing them as ominous signs of something…” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJwayalLpYY). Change itself has become the feared thing. This relates to what Alston Chase noted in his book ‘In A Dark Wood’, that many people believe there should be stasis in nature, at some optimal state. But there is no such stasis anywhere in nature and our past millions of years in this ‘ice-age era’ affirm the constancy of change. We exist in a world where there are massive swings between cold and hot periods on our planet, and many minor swings are constantly occurring between the big ones (see Ian Plimer’s graph of climate changes over the past 55,000 years in ‘Heaven And Earth’).

“But fear of change itself, even minor perturbations, is now reason for alarmists to argue that the apocalypse is coming. This is insanity gone insane. Every hiccup in weather or shift in an animal population is used as justification to bleat, or cluck with Chicken Little, that the apocalypse is coming. I would counter that while the constant change in nature means that we cannot maintain life at some optimal state, some states are more optimal for life- notably, warmer temperatures and with higher levels of CO2. Paleo-climate studies affirm that such states enable life to “flourish” (Ian Plimer).

“Plimer has a graph on page 33 of his book showing the changes in surface temperatures over the past 50,000 years. From 50,000 years ago to around 30,000 years ago there were major swings in averages from minus 10 degrees Centigrade to plus 15 degrees Centigrade. Then those wild swings levelled off when we entered our current inter-glacial with temperature changes of only a few degrees over the last 20,000 years. (Note at bottom of graph: “The amount of temperature and rate of temperature change over the last 50,000 years, showing wild swings in temperature during glaciations and far more stable temperatures during the current interglacial.”)”

Point: The climate change during our current interglacial has been mild compared to the last 30,000 years of the previous glaciation. There has been no climate crisis, and will be no climate crisis, according to the evidence of the past 20,000 years, the “historical record” of most importance.

The core climate issue

While media and politicians continue to get the vapors over every hiccup in nature (any change), keep your eye on the core issue in the climate debate- how prominent is the role of CO2 in the climate change that we are experiencing over these decades?

(Note: We are not experiencing any rise toward “catastrophic climate change” as predicted in the now falsified climate models. The actual change that we have experienced has been only in the tenths of a degree (see Youtube videos on Richard Lindzen- climate physicist). The warming over the roughly 1975-95 period was about 0.3 degree Centigrade. The temperature trend since has been flat, not rising toward some 3-6 degrees warming as per the models. So we are not facing a “climate emergency” as the politicians hysterically exaggerate (all apocalyptic claims are are irresponsible and distorting anti-science exaggeration). And as Lindzen says, we experience temperature differences every day that are 30-40 times the minor change that was experienced over the 1975-95 warming.) Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The pathology of apocalyptic (i.e. punitive, destroying God mythology)

Section topics

See “Religion represents God to humanity???” (highly conditional institutions cannot present unconditional reality), “Rethinking 16 Fundamental Ideas” (Old story themes, new story alternatives), “History’s single greatest contradiction (the central non-apocalyptic message of Jesus versus the contrary apocalyptic message of Paul)”, “Eye for eye cycles”, “Qualifier: unconditional is not warm and fuzzy pacifism”, and “Rethink Paul’s Christ myth” (Historical Jesus is not Christ; he was anti-Christology)- all just below. Also below- “Framework for human story”, “The persistence of the spiritual (the primary impulse to meaning) in secular society”, and “Love- not the Higgs- defines reality” (Brian Cox on Joe Rogan podcast). Also, “Decline or Rise: The long-term trajectory of life (forestry facts, fish facts…)”.

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

This site traces the line of historical descent of apocalyptic across history… from its earliest expression in myths like the Sumerian Flood myth, or the Egyptian Destruction of Mankind and Return to Chaos myths, down to Zoroaster’s apocalyptic theology that shaped Jewish religion, Christianity, and Islam as apocalyptic religions. Primitive apocalyptic mythology (via Paul’s apocalyptic Christ myth) was then given “secular” expression in 19th Century Declinism which became one of the dominant ideologies of our modern world, the ideology of today’s environmental alarmism. At the core of all this mythology is the belief in a great punitive, destroying Force or Spirit/God (or vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, retributive Universe, karma).

This site counters this primal fear of humanity (some ultimate punitive, destroying reality) with the most potent discovery ever- that deity is unconditional Love and does not ultimately punish or destroy anyone (sun and rain are given to all alike, to both good and bad). This is about transformation of worldviews/belief systems and liberation of consciousness at the deepest levels. It is all about conquering humanity’s greatest monster and enemy.

Critical point: The foundational pathology in human thought…

Apocalyptic mythology embraces the original and foundational error of our ancestors- i.e. that there were spirits behind all the elements of nature, and if nature was destructive (storm/flood, sun/drought, earthquake/tsunami) then the gods must be angry and were punishing people for their sins. That error then defined deity as punitive and destructive and that theological error became the foundational theme in human worldviews. It was embedded in the theologies (God theories) of subsequent world religions, and has now descended into the ideologies of the modern world (i.e. Declinism- a “secular” or ideological version of apocalyptic).

The supreme expression of divine anger and punitive destruction would be a life-ending, world-ending apocalypse.

Punitive deity theories (threat theology) have long been associated with demands for sacrifice/payment/appeasement, hence the salvation industry across history. The dark side of this apocalyptic mythology has been alarmed populations embracing salvation schemes that demand the coercive purging of some imagined threat, in order to save something believed to be under threat. The outcomes of apocalyptic salvationism have been devastating for many people and for nature- e.g. the bio-fuels fiasco and consequent deforestation, or Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring that contributed to the ban on DDT and subsequent deaths of tens of millions of people. Arthur Mendel was right that apocalyptic has been the most violent and destructive idea in history.

We have the potent corrective to this foundational error of punitive, threatening deity- the insight that deity is an inexpressible no conditions Love. This insight overturns the original error of the ancients and puts a stake through the heart of the apocalyptic fraud and the terrorizing God at the center of that fraud- humanity’s greatest monster and enemy.

Note: Any advocacy for non-punitive deity will have to explain the imperfection of this world (i.e. natural disaster, accident, disease) and the consequent suffering that humanity has long viewed as divine punishment. This requires the reframing of human meta-narratives with new insights on the purpose of conscious human existence in this imperfect world- e.g. imperfection in life is essential to the world as a learning arena for human development. But suffering is not punishment for sin as the world religions have long claimed (see ‘Framework for human story’, below).

Quotes from below...

“The same mythical themes have been repeated endlessly across history and across all the cultures of the world” (Joseph Campbell). Today, these primitive “old story themes” continue to shape the worldviews of the majority of humanity (85%) that is affiliated with one of the main world religions. These mythical themes also shape the thinking of many moderns that consider themselves secular and even materialist/atheist. Over the past few centuries these old themes have been given new expression in our ideologies and even in science.

(Note: This site affirms the varied good ideals in the mythological/religious mix but notes that the better ideals in religious traditions are often distorted by contexts containing “bad religious ideas”. For example, love in religious holy books is often a ‘tribal’ love that is limited to fellow true believers but ultimately excludes unbelievers. That is not authentic love.)

But the old story themes represent a worldview that does not present the true state of life on Earth or the truly humane nature of ultimate reality. Further, the “old story themes” have caused immense damage across history, inciting and validating the worst impulses of people to harm others. (Note: Historians, e.g. Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, David Redles, among others, have traced the role of these ideas behind the history of religious violence- notably the ideas of apocalyptic millennialism- and also their role in the mass-death movements of Marxism, Nazism, and now environmental alarmism.)

The “new story alternatives” are derived from contemporary science and the best of contemporary spiritual insight. They point more correctly to the true state of life and to a more humane view of Ultimate Reality or deity.

Also, the new alternatives potently overturn the ‘apocalyptic millennial’ complex of myths, the complex of themes that support the foundational mental pathology of belief in a retaliatory, punitive Force or God. A central project of this site is to bring down this greatest monster and enemy of humanity (i.e. Ultimate Reality/deity as retaliatory, punitive, exclusionary, dominating, and destructive).

These new alternative themes are also my response to the apocalyptic element in today’s climate change alarmism. I would urge people to probe the deeply embedded themes that continue to dominate contemporary public consciousness and worldviews. This will help to understand the confirmation bias of alarmists that, despite evidence to the contrary, endlessly claim that the “end of days” is looming just up ahead (i.e. the endless setting of end-time dates).

“Love your enemy… because God does”

This statement is from the Matthew 5 and Luke 6 summaries of the central message of Historical Jesus (the Q Wisdom Sayings Gospel). It is my paraphrase of that material: “Love your enemy… because God does”. It is the single most profound statement on love anywhere in human literature. It takes us to the height of humane ethics and humane theology. It is simply the finest statement anywhere on the meaning of authentic love- i.e. as universal (includes all, sun and rain on both good and bad), unlimited, and unconditional. It tells us what it means to be truly human. It is the best example of the behavior/belief relationship that is central to the human quest for meaning- i.e. to base our behavior/lives on a validating (inspiring, guiding) ideal.

The above statement is the single most important statement anywhere on the essential nature of deity. It tells us what God is like- a transcendently unconditional Reality. No religion has ever communicated this to humanity. As Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy concluded- this diamond of Jesus has been buried in highly conditional Christianity.

Note: The Christ myth of Paul is primarily responsible for affirming and embedding the destructive theme of apocalyptic in Western consciousness (see James Tabor quotes in next section below). Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline) also notes several features from the Christian tradition that formed the ideology of Declinism, a “secular” version of apocalyptic mythology- i.e. the Christian belief in the loss of an original paradise and the need for violent purging (an apocalypse) in order to cleanse the world and restore the lost paradise. Herman states that “Declinism is the most influential and dominant theme in modern society”. Declinism is the ideology of environmental alarmism or Green religion (Note: This site differentiates between the environmental concern that we all share and the alarmism that exaggerates environmental problems to apocalyptic scale, thereby distorting the true state of things- the endless prophesying of the end of days).

The project of this site is to go to root ideas/themes in human meta-narratives/worldviews and make fundamental corrections there (see “Old Narrative Themes, New Story Alternatives” below).

History’s single greatest contradiction? My candidate: The contradiction between the central message of Historical Jesus, and the central meaning and message of Paul’s Christ myth (his Christology theory). Or, “How history’s single most profound insight was subsequently buried in a major religious tradition”.

A side consideration: Think of the liberation that could have been promoted over the last two millennia if some movement had taken Jesus seriously (i.e. liberation from the unnecessary fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame that come from harsh and threatening God theories- Zenon Lotufo). But no one, not even his closest companions, took his scandalous and offensive insights seriously.

The contradiction at the core of Christianity has to do with the following profound opposites- i.e. non-retaliatory behavior versus retaliation, the non-punitive treatment of offenders versus a punitive approach, no conditions versus supreme condition (sacrifice, Salvationism), unlimited love versus limited tribal love, the universal embrace of humanity versus the restricted inclusion of only true believers, and non-apocalyptic versus total apocalyptic destruction. You can’t get more contrary or contradictory than these entirely opposite realities.

Psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo (Cruel God, Kind God), and others, point to the “cognitive dissonance” that arises when you try to hold opposites in some merger.

“Greatest contradiction?” How so? Because of the historical and current world-wide influence of the Christian religion, and notably the influence of Paul’s Christ myth. This myth has shaped the version of Christianity that has descended down to our contemporary world (compared, for instance, to the prominent Jewish Christianity of the first century CE).

And also “greatest” due to the very nature of the contradiction itself. It is hard to find a more stark contrast between entirely opposite realities than that between the main message of Jesus and the contrary Christ message of Paul. I use the term “the main message of Jesus” in reference to the Q Wisdom Sayings Gospel, specifically the Q1 version, and the most important statement in that gospel as now found in Matthew 5:38-48 and Luke 6:27-36.

Historical Jesus stated that, for him, the era of “eye for eye justice” was over. He rejected retaliatory justice and, instead, he promoted the restorative justice of “love your enemies” (Matthew 5). Why? Because that was what God did. It was what God was. The God of Jesus was love of a stunning new variety never before seen in the long history of God theories. His God did not retaliate with eye for eye justice but loved God’s enemies. And the evidence? Jesus illustrated his point with the main features of the natural world. God gave the good gifts of life- i.e. sun and rain for crops- to all, to both good and bad people. There was no discrimination and no exclusion of anyone.

God’s love and generosity was inclusive, universal, and unconditional. Jesus used a behavior/belief pairing to make this point. “Do this… because God does it”. He based his behavior on a similar validating belief. Do this- treat all others with unconditional love- and you will be just like God (you will be acting like the children of God) who treats all with unconditional love.

The God of Jesus was non-retaliatory, non-vengeful, non-punitive, non-excluding, non-destroying and therefore non-apocalyptic. Non-apocalyptic? Yes, because a non-retaliatory God is not an apocalyptic God. Apocalyptic is the ultimate act of eye for eye retaliation, vengeance, punishment and total destruction. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Religion as condition. And the most fundamental human need- love. That is… no conditions love.

Site project: Conquer/Slay the Monster

Joseph Campbell outlines human story as going out into life, confronting and struggling/fighting with some monster or problem, learning lessons/gaining insights from that struggle, getting wounded in the struggle, receiving a sword from a wise man to slay the monster, becoming a hero of one’s story in the process of conquering the monster or problem, and then returning to bless others with the lessons that we have learned.

I’ve identified my monster and I have spent a lifetime struggling, fighting with that monster, trying to slay it. And yes, I have been wounded by my monster (Zenon Lotufo- Cruel God theory deforms human personality with fear, anxiety, depression, and despair). I have also received sharp weapons from wise men to help me slay my monster.

My monster is one that is common to all humanity- and it is a two-headed beast. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Unconditional versus conditional reality. Rethink the nature of religion and deity (Ultimate Reality). 15 ideas for a new narrative that affirms the better angels of our nature (i.e. hope and love).

Contact: wkrossa@shaw.ca

Site Project: This site counters the endless alarmist exaggeration and hysteria over the state of the world and life (i.e. the ‘end of days’ always just over the horizon). This project involves a thorough re-evaluation of the primitive themes, notably the apocalyptic complex, that still dominate modern thinking and contribute to unnecessary pessimism and anxiety over life. This involves problem solving at the deepest levels of thought/perception, emotion, and motivation/response.

And yes, there are problems all through life that give cause enough to fret about. But, critical to human mental and emotional health- there is no great Force/Principle/Spirit behind the imperfections of life, that threatens to punish or destroy, and bring life to some catastrophic ending.

Most important, this site confronts the bad theology of a monster deity (i.e. angry, punitive, destroying God, or Retributive Universe, angry Nature or vengeful Gaia, and karma). That bad theology is at the root of too much mental/emotional pathology in humanity… A correlation, perhaps, with depression as the number one illness on the planet?… I’m just sayin.

This site goes to this critical taproot idea of Ultimate Threat, cuts that infected root, and offers alternative themes that affirm authentic hope, notably the foundational theme of a core “no conditions Love” that overturns humanity’s primal fears- i.e. the fears of harm from greater Forces/Spirits behind life, and after-life harm.

Elements of bad theology still dominate the world religions and are now embraced in “secular” versions such as 19th Century Declinism, environmental alarmism or Green religion, and street-level theologies of angry Mother Earth or karma. As psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo has concluded, “Cruel God theology deforms human personality” with unnecessary fear, guilt, shame, and anxiety. (see “Cruel God, Kind God”).

The project on this site is oriented to removing the added, unnecessary psychic burden (i.e. divine threat) that has deformed human consciousness for millennia. It is about liberating/healing consciousness with authentic ‘no conditions’ love.

Insert note (quote from below): “Revenge, payback, karma, eye for eye, getting even- retaliation in all its expressions- is us at our worst. Retaliation is more animal-like than human. It renders us potentially magnificent beings, petty and infantile. The base impulse to retaliate, often masquerading as ‘justice’ or a fight against ‘evil’, is behind too much unnecessary harm and suffering in life. We can be so much better. Remember towering human spirits like Mandela. I would shout this message into the midst of today’s public ‘hurt for hurt’ cycles (hurt repaid for original hurt caused)- ‘Let’s all grow up, eh, and start acting like the great human spirits that we are'”.

Opening section topics: Rethinking 15 fundamental ideas (Old story themes, New story alternatives, rethinking the conditional nature of religion). See further below… Two Stories of Life- Decline or Rise?; Problem solving; “And the lights turned on…” (understanding the behavior/belief relationship as central to history’s single greatest insight); “Framework for human story” (the basic features of human life- Joseph Campbell’s outline); “Re-evaluate history’s most dominant myth- Paul’s Christ myth” (Historical Jesus is not Christ, he was anti-Christology); “Hurt for hurt cycles”, or retaliatory/punitive justice (getting even, payback, and the tribal politics of today…”Let’s all grow up, eh”); and “The basic science of CO2” (climate change update). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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An ancient wisdom sage gave us the single most liberating and transforming insight ever- that the core of reality is a stunning “no conditions Love”.

The entirety of material on this site is trying to say just one thing: “In the end it’s going to be all right. For everyone. You are all safe. Safe in Love. Love that does not exclude anyone, despite their failure to live as human. It does not threaten to hurt back for hurt caused. It is not tribal- favoring ‘true believers’ over ‘unbelievers’. It does not demand some payment or sacrifice or the required embrace of some salvation scheme before it forgives or loves. It will not punish or destroy anyone. It knows that the worst forms of punishment are self-punishment, the self-judgment for failure to live as human. The Ultimate Love that many have long called God is all about an infinite, inexpressibly wondrous, and even scandalous generosity toward all (sun and rain given to all alike, both to good and bad). There is simply no more liberating and humanizing ideal anywhere in human thought or literature. The absolutely no conditions Love that is Ultimate Reality will transform consciousness and revolutionize life for the better. And it is an entirely non-religious reality. So yes, in the end it’s going to be all right. For everyone.”

A bit more…

With most of humanity across history I have never questioned the intuitive understanding that there is some greater creating Mind, Consciousness, Self, or Spirit behind all reality and life. Even the Neanderthals got this as expressed in their burial of items for some ongoing existence. The ancients believed that we belonged to some greater Reality that was more than just energy or natural law.

Where things went wrong was when the ancients started to project all sorts of subhuman and inhuman features out to explain the Greater or Ultimate Reality. We then got the history of religion and “bad religious ideas” (see “Top Ten Bad Religious Ideas” in sections below)

But as with most of life, we are learning to humanize all things- to make all things more humane- with our growing understanding of this over history. Our greatest ideal- i.e. love- enables us to do this. And we get it today that the highest form of love is unconditional. Most parents and spouses get this from their daily experience of one another’s imperfections. Forgiving unconditionally. Accepting unconditionally. Loving unconditionally. Surely, any Ultimate Reality would get this even more (“If you being imperfect can understand and do good, then how much more is God good”).

I urge people to do this- to fully humanize all things- especially with God theory and their personal speculations on God. Make it fully humane. This is critically important because of the influence of humanity’s highest ideal and authority on human thought, feeling, motivation/response, behavior and society across history.

But religious traditions balk at this endeavor to make God fully humane, along with the rest of life, and fall back to defending the old inherited systems of ideas. Many of those are subhuman ideas/ideals. Religious defenders, despite many good reformist endeavors, continue to maintain mergers of humane ideals with old inhumane ideas. Example: “God is love but will send unbelievers to Hell”. Hell being the most extreme expression of hatred ever conceived. The result of merging such opposites is cognitive dissonance to extreme. Oxymoronic. See psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s Cruel God, Kind God.

This site probes these issues in detail.

See “Punishing Nature: The most fundamental human myth” further below in this section. Unconditional deity overturns the entire complex of “bad religious ideas” and changes everything for the better.

For fly-by visitors in a hurry….

An unconditional deity at the core of reality overturns humanity’s primal fear of after-life harm- i.e. the judging, punishing, and destroying God of most historical religion. That original pathology of punishing, destroying deity has long incited fear and pushed people to engage wasteful salvation movements.

With an unconditional core Reality there is no need to embrace some salvation plan, to make some sacrifice or payment. Related: no one has ever been separated from God, or “lost”, and no one needs to be “saved”. We have all been safe in Love, from the beginning.

Threat theology in all its diverse expressions- i.e. angry God, “vengeful Gaia”, “angry Planet”, retributive Universe, or karma- has always been a great fraud. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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19th Century Declinism (i.e. life is declining toward collapse and ending) continues to deform Western consciousness. Liberation from primal fears- redefine the core of reality with unconditional.

New material just below: Some stunning insights; “Reflecting” with Noel- how I arrived at unconditional as defining the core of reality (the “stunning new theology” of Historical Jesus, entirely contrary to Paul’s Christ myth); Decline to despair.

Section topics further below: Some opening qualifiers; The transformation and liberation of consciousness: The pathology of punitive, destroying God has long dominated mythology, religion, and is now given expression in “secular ideology” (i.e. vengeful Gaia, angry planet, retributive Universe, karma); The overdue replacement- unconditional deity; Climate insert- natural trumps human; The never-ending ending- Stephen Hawking joins the Chicken Little parade; The human struggle with imperfection; Degenerating public discourse?; The story of improving life- hope overcoming fear; There is no monster; Bad ideas and their outcomes; A qualifier to calm religious nerves- affirming the good from religious traditions; The unconditional treatment of all and justice issues; Environmental alarmism; Bob Brinsmead’s posts and my responses.

Stunning stuff for the New Year

(Apocalyptic alarmism: Engage some ‘reverse engineering’. Trace ideas back to their historical roots. What incites and affirms harmful alarmism in Western consciousness?)

Environmental alarmism continues as a dominant note in contemporary world consciousness. And like all irresponsible alarmism it exaggerates and distorts the true state of things in life. The outcomes of alarmism have been devastatingly harmful to both humanity and life in general.

Alarmism incites people to embrace “salvation” schemes (i.e. save the world, save something) that too often unleash the old totalitarian impulse that is then expressed in “coercive purification” approaches. We saw this outcome with Marxism, Nazism, and we are now seeing it in environmentalism. And yes, also in Islamic extremism and terrorism. These apocalyptic purging movements are driven by the same core themes. (see Campbell below on common themes repeated across history and cultures)

Why does environmental alarmism continue to dominate human consciousness? Because it is based on the ideology of 19th Century Declinism that has become “the most dominant and influential theme in the twentieth century” (see full Herman quote below). Declinism promotes the view that life is degenerating/declining toward some disastrous collapse and ending. (“Each present historical moment is a degradation from previous historical moments”, Mircea Eliade)

And what shaped Declinism? Here we get to some more stunning and disorienting information. Declinism is a “secular” version of primitive apocalyptic themes (see Arthur Herman’s ‘The Idea of Decline in Western History’). How did those apocalyptic features get into the mix? Here is the disorienting stuff. They were borrowed from basic Christian ideas/themes. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The point of reality and life- love. No conditions love.

(See Topic lists just below.)

Site Project: This site probes the core ideas that shape human thought, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior. I present the complex of bad ideas that have dominated human thought across history (see Top Ten Bad Ideas below). This site then explores the alternative of unconditional Ultimate Reality or deity. Unconditional God overturns entirely the foundational bad idea of “divine threat of punishment” and thereby calms primal human fears. This is about winning the “battle of ideas” that drive human behavior- see sections below on religious violence, environmental alarmism.

Recent additions: A sample of the most destructive ideas. The outcomes of bad ideas. Short-circuit the central validation for bad behavior with unconditional. Human identity and tribal mentality. My complaint against religion- it has never communicated unconditional reality to humanity. Stunning research on the apocalyptic millennial ideas behind Twentieth Century mass-death movements.

Topics further below in this section: The hardest saying ever- “Love your enemy” (It’s not about pacifism). De-fang the death monster. Transform and liberate the core of human consciousness with the unconditional ideal. A brief summary of the history of bad religious ideas. Blurb on environmental alarmism (Celebrate CO2- the food of all life). Post on stirring the dreaming impulse in young people (their essential goodness). Apocalyptic incites destructive salvationist responses (the relationship between fear and “defensive” aggression). An Independent taking a poke at Progressive intolerance. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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