The “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex of ideas that still dominates narratives and consciousness today, in both religious and “secular” versions, distorts entirely the true state of life and the world.
This site offers alternatives to these primitive but persistently enduring mythical themes (enduring because deeply embedded as archetypal in human subconscious from millennia of repetition in human narratives). See “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives” below.
Other comment below:
(1) History’s most violent and destructive idea- apocalypse- given new expression in contemporary “secular/ideological” versions like climate alarmism (see Roger Pielke article- “The New Apocalypticism: Climate catastrophe as secular, millenarian prophecy”),
(2) Anthony Watts on mainstream media doubling down on the apocalypse myth- “Major media plan a massive collusion fest to get their stories straight on climate change”,
(Insert note: The totalitarian’s formula has always been a simple one… Fear=control).
(3) Life is getting better all the time: Summary of Julian Simon’s brilliant overview of the true state of life- “Ultimate Resource” (offering the best data for a true narrative of evidence-based hope),
(4) The fraud of “97% scientific consensus”,
(5) A good one on “Concept creep” as over-extending the category of “hate speech” to encompass more and more the formerly legitimate expressions of disagreeing others now as “hate speech”, thereby validating censorship of political/social opponents (criminalizing more things that previously were just differing opinion and speech),
(6) Daniel Hannan on freedom and the liberal abandonment of this critical value (liberals extending elite control of populations into more areas of life that were formerly left to citizen’s free choice),
(Added note on “liberal”- Many of us are still wrapping our minds around the “great shift” that has occurred in our societies, over the past decade, where a good number of those in the sector of the population that formerly self-identified as “liberal” have now become “highly illiberal” as in pro-war, pro-censorship, pro-authoritarian, and more. As some have noted, it is now the conservatives who are mainly defending and promoting Classic Liberalism principles. Who woulda thunk it, eh.
And a new coalition of moderate conservatives, independents, along with moderate liberals, is forming to pushback against the erupting totalitarianism that has been emerging mainly from the left today. Independent journalists- e.g. Glen Greenwald, Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, among others- continue to expose the outlines of this new totalitarianism.)
(7) Sources on wildfires trending down, not becoming worse as media claim,
(8) List of alternatives to the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of myths,
(9) Charles Rotter commenting on Michael Walsh’s “The evil of climate alarmism”, and much more…
Hannan’s comment in the article referenced above, relates to the other article on “Concept creep”, where easily offended people are now trying to criminalize more and more the opinions and speech of others, opinions and speech that were once considered just differing opinions/speech, not “hate speech”. “Easily offended” as in those who now prioritize their feelings as the dominant criterion for deciding what should be permitted speech in public, and because they “feel offended” by other’s differing opinions and speech, they argue that such speech should be censored, banned, even criminalized.
Former ACLU director, Ira Glasser, made the good point in regard to what may be considered the offensive speech of differing others. He said that the real test of your belief and advocacy for freedom of speech comes when you are willing to grant that freedom to other’s whose opinions and speech you may consider repulsive/repugnant in some way.
And that is the safest approach to take with hate speech. Because, if when your ideology is in power, you start to banish what you consider the offensive speech of others, then if those opponents of yours attain power in the future, they will retaliate and do the same to you- censoring, banning, cancelling, criminalizing. We are all safest when we protect one another’s freedom of speech, even to state offensive things.
Additionally, said Glasser, who gets to decide what is hate speech?
A summary to refresh some main site themes: Wendell Krossa
Thinking wrong inevitably results in acting or behaving wrongly. Bad ideas incite, motivate, affirm, and validate bad behavior. As Bob Brinsmead stated, “We become just like the God (or whatever other ideal) that we believe in”. This is about the common human tendency to base human behavior on related beliefs that are the ideals and authorities that people then use to validate human life and society. What some call “archetypes”.
The myths of the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of ideas have dominated human narratives across history and profoundly distort the true state of life and history. These ideas incite the worst of human impulses to tribal exclusion, to domination of others, and to violence toward others.
How so? Take, for example, the “lost paradise” myth that is foundational to all mythology across history. It has long played a fundamental role in the human quest for meaning.
Lost paradise thinking attributes false blame to humanity for something that our original ancestors never did- i.e. the claim that they destroyed an imagined original paradise world. That world never existed. The early earth, and later emerging life, was a brutally primitive reality.
The false blame for ruining paradise then incites unnecessary guilt and shame and hence the consequent demand to rectify the problem that you have been wrongly accused of- i.e. that of destroying an original paradise world and sending life into decline toward something worse, eventually toward the ultimate collapse and ending of life- an apocalyptic end to the world. (Keep in mind: The decline of life, following the loss of paradise, is an essential feature of apocalypse mythology).
The loss of paradise, and decline of life toward eventual apocalypse, preps the mental stage for the related follow-up myths in the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex. The threat of punishment via apocalypse- i.e. the destruction of life and the world- arouses the survival impulse in people and that survival desperation is intensified by stirred emotions of guilt and shame over ruining paradise. These aroused emotions incite the felt need for self-punishment and attune people to hypersensitivity to demands for a salvation scheme- some sacrifice/payment to appease the angry, retaliatory deity that is claimed to posture behind such threat.
(Insert: Angry gods threatening apocalyptic destruction include the “wrathful God” of mainstream religious traditions, along with newer versions of threat theology- i.e. “Vengeful Gaia… angry Planet or Mother Earth… punitive Universe… and payback karma”- all deities in contemporary more “non-religious” theologies.)
The element of survival desperation that is incited by this mythology is further intensified by the feature of “imminence” that is always associated with apocalyptic destruction (the end is “always nigh”). Its just up ahead a few years or decades, soon and very soon.
(Insert note: An example of imminent apocalypse is given in Matthew 25 where the author states that Jesus warned regarding the parable of the 10 virgins, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour”. This statement was never uttered by Historical Jesus because he was not a believer in apocalypse. The inclusion of the 10 Virgins parable was the common editorial manipulation by the gospel writers to support Paul’s theology of an apocalyptic Christ, someone entirely opposite to Historical Jesus. They manufactured a lot of additional material and claimed that it was taught by Jesus when such material contradicted entirely his message of a non-retaliatory, non-apocalyptic God. Such was the “creative lying” so common to that early Christian era.)
Further, the mythology lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption demands that we engage a righteous crusade against the evil that, it is claimed, angers God and consequently incites God to punish humanity with violent destruction. What an example for humans to follow, eh.
The point here is that the element of cosmic dualism (Good God versus satanic Force/Spirit) is replicated in the earthly dualisms that are exhibited through the human tribal impulse- i.e. good guys/true believers set against the bad guys/unbelievers. Hence, we get endless versions of righteous battles against “evil enemies”, battles of truth versus falsehood. (Note: While “just wars” have occurred over the past, the human tendency is to excessively over-use this framing of right versus wrong to demonize and criminalize disagreement with differing others and to consequently demand violent destruction of such “enemies”.)
Add here that the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex affirms the hero’s quest element- to “save the world”, to conquer and purge some monstrous threat to life. Purging the threat to life involves destroying the “enemy” who is blamed for bringing on the judgment that is the apocalypse.
Tribal battles and purging of evil enemies are viewed as necessary in order to eventually achieve salvation as, in part, the restoration of the lost paradise.
So yes, these bad ideas do promote too much bad behavior. Human beings have always based their behavior on their beliefs, often to the extent of harming others (beliefs inciting, inspiring, guiding, validating behavior). Most egregious is that the bad ideas in the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex distort and bury the no conditions love that is the core reality behind all, the defining feature of deity.
Added note from Bob Brinsmead on how primitive “Combat mythology” based on cosmic dualism has incited violence across the history of religions like Christianity:
“Harold Ellens also makes a strong case against “the great controversy” concept, the notion that God has a great adversary to defeat. The notion of the “combat myth” is an old one that goes right back to the Sumerian and Akkadian religions. Combat mythology was rejected by the Persian prophet Zarathustra (Zoroaster) as to the cruder features, but it was re-worked and retained in his visionary accounts of the great battle between God and Satan focused on this earth with the battle between the sons of God and the sons of light.
“This Zoroastrian worldview was absorbed into Judaism during Israel’s subjection to the Persian Empire whose official religion was Zoroastrianism and universal language being Aramaic– and all this was reflected in the book of Daniel which incorporated its ideas and language. Ellens argues it is time for us to abandon this idea of God’s history’s long battle with evil as if God was plagued by any great adversary.
“History is not a result of the Fall of man. God made the world as it is and mankind as it is and pronounced it “good” or fit for purpose. Creation is not yet finished and not intended to be perfect, but it is the arena which we are given to live and develop, confront and improve. How bored we would be if instead we were given a heavenly environment with everything perfect and nothing for us to contend with or improve!
“In this sense we are not offered a remedy of Salvationism which is the error or the sugar put on the table by all religions. But Ellens sees the Zoroastrian model as playing a key role in the long history of religious violence. Our religious history means that we are all born into what Joseph Campbell calls “a brutal war mythology.” Christianity even converted the meekest, gentlest, and non-volent man who ever lived into the most fearsome hero whose “final solution” to evil is the unleashing of a holocaust that puts all the violence of the Old Testament violence on steroids (i.e. New Testament book of Revelation).
“And in that account, Satan gets almost all of mankind on his side to the bitter end, he wins the great contest, eh? That’s not a revelation of the victory of Agape! There are reasons why Christianity has shed more blood than any other religion in the history of mankind. As Ellens argues, it began with its doctrine of the atoning death of Jesus achieved by a blood sacrifice. Or as James Carrol agues in “Constantine’s Sword”, the Christian doctrine of atonement sowed the seeds of religious violence.”
Further summary- Keeping at the forefront… the most important project of this site: Wendell Krossa
The historical descent of the most destructive ideas in history- the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex of themes that forms core of old narratives, and has continued to shape human narratives across history, in all cultures. This pathology still dominates most human consciousness today. The outcomes of embracing this complex of myths are endlessly dehumanizing and destructive.
As psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo stated, the “Cruel God” theology at the core of this complex deforms human personality and hinders the full development of mature humanity. The “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” myths are ideas that incite and validate dehumanizing tribalism. They push people to engage “righteous battles against evil enemies”, to violently purge/destroy others who are viewed as threats to one’s own existence.
The “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of ideas is found in the earliest human mythologies. For example, we see the “lost paradise” myth in the story of the paradise city of Dilmun that is ruined by Enki’s sin of eating the 8 forbidden plants. We see an early version of apocalypse in the Sumerian Flood myth to destroy all humanity, as well as in Egyptian myths of “Return to Chaos” and “Destruction of Mankind”. And we see redemption mythology in Gilgamesh’s search for eternal life.
World religions later embraced the above complex- most notably Christianity that has long dominated Western consciousness and civilization, thereby shaping all other subsequent narrative systems, both religious and “secular”.
Note the basic themes of paradise lost in the Jewish/Christian myth of Eden ruined by human sin, life then worsening toward apocalyptic ending (Revelation), salvation to be found in making some sacrifice/payment, the demand for violent purging of “evil” (again- John’s Revelation), and the promise of renewed paradise.
These mythical themes were then embraced in 19th Century ideology of Declinism- the most dominant and influential ideology today (Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline in Western History”). We see the ongoing and widespread influence of Declinism in the YouGov survey (Bailey and Tupy in “Ten Global Trends”) that shows most people believe “the world is getting worse”, that life is declining toward catastrophic collapse and even ending. A majority of the newer generation believe that “humanity is doomed”.
The modern version of these primitive mythological themes:
The past was better, but humans have ruined the original paradise of a natural wilderness world with industrial civilization. Life is now declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending. Redemption or salvation demands that we must abandon progress for “de-development” (sacrifice the good life in civilization for a return to more primitive lifestyle). We must purge the world of too many consuming people (depopulation) and degrade their industrial civilization- the “evil force” that is destroying nature. Then we will find salvation in the restoration of the lost paradise (i.e. a restored wilderness world, even a “world without humans”, the “cancer/virus/unwanted intruder” on the planet).
Environmental alarmism embraces the basic themes of Declinism, making alarmism a “profoundly religious crusade”, just another apocalyptic movement.
Climate alarmism is the latest version of “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption”. In climate alarmism CO2 has been focused on as the marker of too many people consuming too much of Earth’s resources in civilization and all is consequently declining toward collapse and ending. The consequent salvation scheme is to decarbonize, de-develop, return to the “moral superiority” of a simple, low-consumption lifestyle.
Again, the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of ideas has always incited our worst impulses to tribalism (good guys fighting bad guys that are viewed as posing a threat to life), to domination of enemy others, and to destruction/elimination of differing others as necessary to save the world (i.e. purge those who are threatening our way of life or existence).
This complex incites an excessive, irrational fear of survival, the need to fight some life-ending threat, and to purge the threat in order to “save the world”.
The exaggeration of natural disasters and extreme weather to apocalyptic scale as life-ending threats, notably in climate alarmism, profoundly distorts the true state of things. It incites unnecessary fear that is then focused on differing others who are blamed as responsible for causing the natural disasters that all suffer under. The outcome of such thinking then inevitably becomes destructive because apocalyptic logic states that the threat must be purged in order “to save the world”, or “to save democracy”, or whatever is purported to be under “end-of-days” threat.
Apocalyptic mentality has repeatedly led to irrational salvation schemes that try to save the world by destroying it (e.g. the Xhosa cattle slaughter of 1856-7, and the similar “cattle culling” proposed recently for Ireland. Note also the related attacks on basic human food supplies/agriculture in Holland and Sri Lanka. Justin Trudeau has proposed the same for Canadian agriculture.).
Notably, governments across the world are now pursuing “salvation” (“save the world”) through decarbonization, trying to eliminate the very energy that has saved humanity from poverty over past centuries and relieved the suffering that has been due to previous human inability to counter natural world threats. The damaging outcomes of decarbonization salvation are already being felt in varied countries (see the “Net Zero Watch” newsletters of Global Warming Policy Forum).
Alternative themes for new narrative:
Note, in sections below, the 18 alternative themes for a new narrative of life and history that counter entirely the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” myths- i.e. “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”.
How the ideas/beliefs that we hold exert harmful influence on human consciousness, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior:
When we embrace the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of ideas to frame our worldview, we lock ourselves into something that will inevitably end in the harm and even destruction of differing others, whether via excluding, censoring/silencing, banning, cancelling, or engaging outright violence against those differing others.
This complex of ideas convinces us that there is a threat, an evil threat “to end democracy… to end the world… to end our lives”. Once we have trapped ourselves in the inescapable corner of survival desperation, that “backed into the corner” positioning then demands some response to save life. And when we reenforce that threat with imminent “end-of-days” dates, commonly just 5-10 years up ahead, then we are obligated to go forth immediately to purge and destroy that threat to our life and world. We have no other choice. We have framed our survival as a righteous crusade, a “just war” to save democracy, life, and the world.
And we must not delude ourselves that we have no association with this framework of ideas that are so obviously primitive mythology of the worst kind, religious-type beliefs that we may believe that we have long ago abandoned, because we now identify as “secular… materialist… even atheist” and not religious.
I would suggest that the worldview of most people today undoubtedly embraces some form of “Declinism” ideology that has dominated most people’s thinking across history, including across the past few centuries- i.e. the belief that the past was better, that humanity has ruined the world with our civilization, especially through industrial civilization, and all is now declining toward something worse (see YouGov surveys), toward collapse and ending. Hence, we must “save the world” before its too late. These themes are very common to most people’s worldviews. As Arthur Herman states- The idea of decline is the most dominant and influential theme in the world today.
And here is the awakening that most of us need (i.e. true “wokeness”). 19th Century Declinism is just the “secularized ideological” rehash of primitive “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” mythology (“The Idea of Decline in Western History”, Arthur Herman). There really is “nothing new under the sun”.
When we use this primitive and pathological complex to frame our worldviews, we then lock ourselves into something that inevitably ends in destruction of varied forms, destruction that is justified as the righteous obligation for survival, even as true “justice”.
That is how Hitler framed Germany’s Weimar situation. He believed that the very survival of Germany- German culture, race, society- was threatened by Jewish Bolshevism. So that threat had to be confronted and eliminated if Germany was to survive. Hence, Hitler’s obsession with the Eastern crusade (Russian Communism, Marxism- Marx as Jew). Hitler saw Jewish Bolshevism as the threat that had to be annihilated in a final great Armageddon battle (a la Revelation) to save Germany, and he presented himself as the savior. And this will be hard for Christian true believers to accept, Nazism embraced basic Christian themes that resonated with the Christian traditions of most Germans (see Richard Landes, Arthur Herman, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles’ research on apocalyptic millennialism). This explains why so many good people in Germany allowed themselves to become caught up in Nazi madness.
So also, Marxism embraced a lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption narrative to frame its crusade against capitalism, viewing capitalism as the great threat that had to be purged in order to save the world and restore the lost paradise of former communal existence. Hence, as others have noted, Marxism has always resonated with Christianity (e.g. Latin American “Liberation theology”).
Today environmentalism views itself as facing the threat from industrial society that is destroying the world. And environmentalism, particularly its climate alarmism variant, is most intently focused on CO2 as the marker of human excess in civilization- the current purported threat to life and survival.
Contemporary Woke progressives have framed their basic ideology in terms of these primitive and extremist themes.
“Imminence” is a key feature in the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” worldview and is employed to validate immediate desperate action, even violence, to save something that is under threat of destruction. Imminence re-enforces the collectivist claim that it is necessary to set aside normal democratic processes as too slow to deal with what is presented as the “always imminent” threat. Date setting for the “end of days” backs the demand for urgent, immediate action, even coercive force.
The “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” themes arise repeatedly and endlessly across history from deeply embedded archetypes that have shaped all narratives across history and dominated human minds for millennia. These ideas have been beaten into human subconscious and have to be confronted if we want to get to the root of human problems and solve the issue of the motivating ideas behind many apocalyptic millennial crusades, otherwise these ideas will keep inciting and validating new apocalyptic crusades like climate alarmism. The same old themes keep erupting in new versions across history, both religious and secular.
Again, Campbell nailed the point that the same primitive myths have been embraced all across history and across all the cultures of the world.
Hence, exposing this complex of primitive mythical themes takes me from climate alarmism, the latest version of this complex, directly to Paul’s Christ myth which for the past two millennia has been the dominant myth affirming the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex in Western consciousness (e.g. see James Tabor in “Paul and Jesus”). The Christ myth is at the root of the problem in terms of fundamental themes/archetypes and their inciting and validating influence on the worst of human impulses to tribalism, domination, and destruction of “enemies”, etc.
My summary again of basic lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption themes- (1) the past was better, (2) people have ruined that original paradise, (3) now life is declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending. Hence, (4) we must “save the world” by making some sacrifice/payment and (5) purge the “evil” thing (violent purification of life”) that threatens life and our world. (6) Imminence demands immediate and desperate action, even violence just as the Christ ultimately uses world-ending violence to “save his true believers” (see Revelation for examples). After making atonement (7) we may regain the lost paradise or install some new utopia.
Note to John Kerry: Who is really in a cult? Who is really denying science? Ah, cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, and psychological projection, eh.
Remember also how this complex of myths has exacerbated excessive and unnecessary fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, despair, depression, fatalism/resignation, nihilism, and even violence over history, all based on exaggerated and distorted scenarios of threat. Psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo, and psychologist Harold Ellens, detail these personality-deforming impacts of threat theology in “Cruel God, Kind God”.
Some additional comment on the hesitancy to confront revered religious beliefs like the Christ myth, and potential incitement of angry defensive response in true believers:
Louis Zurcher noted in “The Emerging Mutable Self” that too many people locate their identity in some “object” like national identity, race or ethnicity, religion, ideology, occupation or career, etc. Self as object versus self as process. Once fixed on object, people cease growing, developing, and progressing as ever-changing selves.
Such objects then overly-rigidly define their self, their very personhood. When someone then challenges some idea or belief related to such objects, people locating their identity on object will view any challenge as an assault on their essential self, and that evokes a very survival-like response. Hence, you even get defensive rage, like the cornered hyena that bares its teeth in rage at the lion closing in to kill it. With people it’s a similarly rage-inciting survival thing having to do with locating one’s essential self and self-identity too rigidly on the objects noted above. Challenge to the object becomes a felt threat to one’s very existence because of locating one’s identity too rigidly in some object.
Zurcher argues that we should remain selves in open process, open to change, further development, and progress (mutable selves), not placing our identity dogmatically and immutably in any object. We should hold all such objects more lightly and loosely, not as essential to our real identity as humans. Remaining open to challenge, change, and further development.
Also helpful to maintaining healthier self-identity:
Consider that our core identity lies in being commonly human, in the fact that all of us possess the same human minds, human consciousness, and human personhood or self. That common humanity is the basis of our shared equality.
Further, there is a fundamental oneness at the root of our common identity (i.e. even some form of metaphysical oneness) that supersedes all the other more peripheral dividing features that we embrace as part of our identity.
Note, for example, the physical oneness based on our descent from a common mother- the “Mitochondrial Eve” in Africa. Yes, we are all black in terms of our true ultimate “Roots”. Why then do some of us have inactive melanocytes? (the little organs in our skin that secrete skin-darkening melanin) The “cracker” paleness of some of us is the result of our ancestors living for millennia in low sunlight areas of the world, not needing UV protection and needing more Vit. D input from the sun.
Skin color differences are a minor element on which to base human identity but they dominate so much public discourse today, contrary to the dream of Martin Luther King. As one scientist said, skin color differences amount, on the human genome, to nothing of any more importance than a sunburn. Petty, silly, exceedingly minor and peripheral. A sunburn. Sheesh, eh. Its like stating to one another re our skin-based “racial” differences- “You sunburned people”. Or “You not-sunburned people”. Separating from one another and fighting over that??? C’mon. Seriously?
The above facts may help to counter the excessive tribalism, division, and hatred today over racial issues, too often oriented to, or based on, genome-peripheral skin color differences. Active versus inactive melanocytes. Again, sheesh, eh.
Central to the site project here: Fully humanizing the primal human impulse to meaning/purpose. Taking the animal out of human systems of meaning, Wendell Krossa
My point: Humanizing our worldview/narrative
Go to the core ideas/themes of our narratives/worldviews and replace the long-embedded inherited primitive ideas that incite our worst impulses (our inherited animal passions)- notably, ideas of tribal exclusion of differing others (small band exclusion and opposition), domination/control of others (the alpha male/female thing), retaliation against offense, punitive response, and destruction of differing others (destroying competing others).
Replace these subhuman ideas with more humane themes that counter our worst impulses and inspire our better angels to embrace a fundamental oneness, inclusion of all as full equals, respect for the freedom and self-determination of others, and restorative justice toward human failure. Human ideals that are entirely contrary to animal thinking, responses, and behavior.
Especially extend this humanization project (making fully humane) to the ultimate reality that embodies our highest ideals and guiding authority- i.e. deity or metaphysical theories (Ultimate Consciousness, Mind, Spirit, Intelligence, Self, Person, or however you view and term such transcendent reality).
And crucial to fully and thoroughly humanizing our narratives is to wrestle with the highest version of love that humanity has discovered- no conditions love as our ultimate understanding of goodness. That single feature will do more to transform human consciousness, emotion, motivation, and response than any other defining feature or ideal.
This is about fighting and winning the righteous battle against evil that takes place most critically inside each of us. Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s point that the greatest battle against evil runs down the center of every human heart. Win this battle first before going forth to engage the other varied battles of life.
Embracing no conditions love is how we learn to tower in stature as maturely human, to become the hero of our personal quest to conquer a monster/enemy. Embracing universal or unconditional love is the weapon that slays the monster- the inherited animal inside us.
And this explains why I go after theology- ideas of Ultimate Reality or God. These have always been central to human narratives across history, shaping our thinking, emotions, motivations, and responses more than any other ideas. This is true of even those claiming to identify as secular, materialist, atheist yet still appealing to some version of ultimate metaphysical realities as their highest ideals and authorities.
This humanization project is about what themes we embrace to guide, influence, and validate our behavior and lives.
We all want to find our way to a better future that is more free of hatred, retaliatory vengeance, violence and other dehumanizing ugliness. We do this best when we start with our own personal stories, conquering the evil within our own personal sphere of influence, bringing peace and love into our own lives and families before going forth to bring the same gifts to wider life.
A repost of the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex, Wendell Krossa
First, a brief summary of the main themes of this complex of primitive myths:
(1) There was a better past (i.e. an original wilderness paradise world), but (2) early people “sinned” (“fell” or degenerated into something worse) and ruined paradise. Life, then cursed by God, (3) began to decline toward something worse, toward collapse and ending, even toward the ultimate catastrophe of apocalypse. The threat of collapse and ending (apocalypse) was the ultimate punishment for human sins. (4) A sacrifice then had to be made to pay for sin, and suffering would have to be embraced as part of the “redemptive” process. Self-punitive (self-inflicted) suffering today involves giving up the good life for a return to the “morally superior” simple life, a return to primitivism (“de-development”). This general felt need to embrace self-punishment as payment for personal failure, driven by guilt, is more common than many imagine. It has a long history as “archetypical”.
As part of the salvation/redemption schema there must also be (5) a violent purging of some purported evil threat to life. CO2 has been demonized as a prominent “pollutant/poison” that threatens life today. Further, affirming the myth of cosmic dualism, people must heroically engage a righteous battle against the evil threat or enemy. Industrial civilization overall has been demonized today as the “evil” that destroys the paradise wilderness world (CO2 is the identity marker of this larger “evil” threat). With atonement and purging accomplished, people are then (6) offered the hope of salvation in the restoration of the lost paradise, or the installation of a new utopia/millennium (i.e. a “fossil fuel-free” world).
(Note in sections below that tribal dualism is commonly, and wrongly, applied to differing others in the human family when any imagined dualism should focus on the real battle against enemies/monsters/evil that ought to take place inside each of us- i.e. the dualism battle of our better self against the animal inheritance in us (Jung’s “shadow”) that is our real “evil enemy” in life. This was Solzhenitsyn’s point, and Joseph Campbell’s point on heroically conquering the “animal passions” in us.)
Solzhenitsyn: “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either- but right through every human heart- and through all human hearts.”
The above “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” ideas have shaped ancient and modern worldviews, and this is not my conclusion alone. Good historians have traced these themes in more historically recent apocalyptic movements like Marxism and Nazism. These themes are also evident now in the latest apocalyptic movement of environmental alarmism (see, for example, Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline in Western History”, Richard Landes’ “Heaven On Earth”, Arthur Mendel’s “Vision and Violence”, and David Redles’ “Hitler’s Millennial Reich”, among others historians of religious ideas.).
One book alone overturns entirely the above complex of apocalyptic Declinism themes- i.e. Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”. Varied others have subsequently offered the same evidence. Simon potently discredited apocalyptic environmentalism, just as the one central insight of Historical Jesus on non-retaliatory, unconditional deity (his anti-sacrifice message) overturned the Christian version of the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex as mediated to Western civilization through Paul’s Christ myth.
We know today that there was no original paradise and life is not declining toward something worse. To the contrary, especially over recent history and due to the creative input from human minds and hands, life has been rising toward something ever better than before. So also, no sacrifice is necessary to appease some imagined metaphysical threat. And no violent purging is required to save life, but rather, our “salvation” is to be found in contributing to the long-term “gradualism” of improving life (Arthur Mendel in “Vision and Violence”). That is the only “salvation” scheme that we need to embrace. We will never attain utopia, but we can continue to make life ever better over the long term, just as we have successfully done over past centuries.
The impulses and ideas that dominate human consciousness and life (a revised, updated reposting of the longer version of the “Lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths). Wendell Krossa
Subtitles: How to understand human thinking, feeling, motivation, response, and behavior today. The dominant themes of our narratives/worldviews and how they influence us.
(Definitions of Archetype: model, ideal, original, pilot, prototype, pattern, standard, classic exemplar, classic, representative, forerunner, epitome, prime example, etc. I would suggest that archetype has to do with our inherited animal impulses and the ideas/myths that our ancestors created to explain and validate these primitive impulses, notably the impulses to tribalism, to domination of others, and to predatory destruction of others. The ancients created the lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption complex to explain and validate these impulses. They tried their best to deal with the world that they lived in and the state of their consciousness at that more primitive time.)
A prominent example to illustrate where I am going with this…
Climate alarmism is a “profoundly religious movement” with a consequent salvation crusade that is proving highly destructive of Western societies (i.e. Net Zero decarbonization). The “save the world” crusade of climate alarmism is being dogmatically and zealously pushed by elites (politicians, scientists, celebrities, others)- the people who control public narratives and consequently use state coercion to push policies that impact all of us, policies that consequently harm the most vulnerable people the most.
Decarbonization is becoming very much like all apocalyptic alarmism salvation crusades across history with the same old outcome of “saving the world by destroying the world”. Such is the irrational outcome from inciting the survival impulse in people with alarmist narratives of looming apocalypse.
Some illustration of saving the world by destroying it…
In the Tubi series “Architects of Darkness” Season 1, Episode 2, the narrator tries to explain what drove Hitler’s associates to engage mass-death madness. He notes that they let themselves become possessed by an ideology that placed the state’s vision above the needs of real people. Their loyalty to their state ideology then enabled them to inflict evil on others. Their ideology placed the goals of a regime above the lives of actual human beings.
Bob Brinsmead has often spoken of how dangerous people become when they place their loyalty in something that is set above people- in some law, religion, political ideology, nation state, or whatever. Loyalty to the thing that is placed above or before real people, then results in the neglect or harm of real people.
As the Tubi narrator says, “Government enchanted by its own vision of what the future should look like turned the present into an unimaginable hell for countless victims”. Such has always been the outcome of embracing and promoting apocalyptic millennial movements.
The narrator concludes how loyalty to some ideology incites evil in our hearts by quoting the famous statement of Solzhenitsyn, “The line between good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties, but right through every human heart and through all human hearts”.
“Enlightened elites” have always believed that they have been called to heroically engage righteous battles against evil, and that they know what is best for all others. They come to view themselves as the specially enlightened ones who have seen some great injustice or wrong in life, some great threat to life, and have a vision of how to gain salvationist utopia (“save the world”). And consequent to their unquestioning belief in the urgency of their cause (i.e. saving their world from an imagined “imminent” apocalypse and attaining utopian salvation) they will justify the need for violent crushing of any dissent or opposition to their crusade. Dissent from their vision and orthodoxy is labelled “dangerous and life threatening… criminal”.
The outcomes of such arrogant self-righteousness have cost hundreds of millions of people their lives. Remember the 100 million who died last century due to the forced collectivization of societies under the “enlightened guidance” of Socialist elites in China and Russia, and elsewhere (Cambodia, etc.).
The same outcomes are becoming distressingly evident again today with the resurgence of the coercive collectivism that is being pushed on humanity through the environmental movement and its attacks on industrial civilization. The outcome is the undermining of individual freedoms and rights (i.e. abandoning and overturning the principles and practises of Classic Liberalism). The ideology of climate alarmism and its salvation scheme of decarbonization has been placed above the well-being of real people, and millions of lives are being harmed as a result of this cultic devotion to another “madness of crowds” eruption.
Back to the “impulses and ideas” point of this article…
All mythological and religious movements have embraced a similar complex of ideas or themes and this is evident from the earliest human writing. Very little changes across human history as these themes were long ago hardwired in human subconscious as “archetypes”. And today, the most primitive of past ideas have now been given expression, not just in the world religions, but also in the dominant secular/ideological systems of our world, like Declinism and its offspring- i.e. environmental alarmism/climate alarmism. (Source: Arthur Herman- “The Idea of Decline in Western History”)
The line of historical descent of ideas runs from primitive mythology to world religions to ideological belief systems, and even to the “scientific” belief systems of the modern world. Its always the same old, same old. As Joseph Campbell stated, the same primitive myths have been embraced all across history and across all the cultures of the world.
I repeatedly post lists of these themes on this site because they are foundational to what is wrong in our world today. And we have better alternatives now to take human consciousness and life in a more rational direction, toward a more humane future. We do not have to continue suffering under the impacts of the old mythologies that have contributed to so much misery across history by inciting unnecessary additional fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, resignation, fatalism, despair, depression, nihilism, and even violence.
We can now embrace the ultimate human liberation- freedom from mythical pathologies that have long distorted reality and life and that have long incited our worst impulses. We have alternatives to inspire the better angels of our nature, alternatives that inspire our better impulses to live as authentically human.
The ideas in the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” or “apocalyptic millennialism” complex set us up to believe that something is wrong, that something (commonly exaggerated to apocalyptic-scale) is threatening our very existence. That naturally incites our primal survival impulse. The gatekeepers of these mythical complexes then claim to know who is to blame, what actions must be taken to correct what they purport is wrong, how we should counter their imagined threat to life, how to save ourselves/our world, and how to make things all right again by restoring cosmic justice.
These complexes of bad ideas have long motivated and validated human beings to harm one another, and even destroy entire societies, all the while believing that they were doing good, their consciences approving them and their actions, affirming their belief that they had God and good on their side, that they were fighting righteous battles against intolerable evils/enemies who had to be stopped even if with coercive violence.
Consider these most basic ideas or themes and their destructive outcomes, whether at the individual level or at larger societal scale:
The core themes (mental pathologies) that have dominated human consciousness across history in the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” narrative, include:
(1) The myth that a perfection-obsessed deity created a better past or original paradise (i.e. Sumerian Dilmun or Jewish Eden). This is the baseline bad myth. It is perhaps the single most fundamental pathology in human consciousness and narratives. It sets the stage and orients human minds to embrace all the rest of the primitive mythological themes in the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” narrative.
If the past was better, and the present is so obviously worse (imperfect), then logically- What went wrong? The history-long obsession with blaming humanity (i.e. the myth of “fallen/sinful” humanity) arises out of this original error of a better past.
The initial mistake of early people was to blame themselves for committing an “original sin” and thereby ruining an imagined primeval paradise. But contrary to this long-affirmed “original sin” myth (humanity ruining paradise), the original human mistake was actually their wrong assumptions that the past was a paradise world and that early humans had committed a primordial sin and thereby ruined that original perfection, and consequently they deserved punishment.
That wrong initial assumption of a past paradise world ruined by people became the baseline idea for an entire complex of related pathological ideas, notably myths that have subsequently blamed humanity for all that was wrong in life. That original bad myth then “logically” (logical to myth-oriented minds) led to the demand for punishment and a sacrifice to pay for the initial sin. And further, it led to the requirement that to make things better again you had to violently purge some evil threat to life. And thus, out of the original wrong assumption, emerged all the rest of the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex of bad myths.
(Insert: See below- “False original premises or assumptions, and the wasteful outcomes/responses to false original premises/assumptions”)
How to respond and correct the original pathology? We need a complete re-orientation of consciousness to fundamentally different themes in a new narrative of reality and life.
Start with rational alternatives to the baseline bad myth of some original “golden age”.
First, there was never a better past or original paradise, and the overall trajectory of life has never declined from a previous “golden age” toward a worsening future. Any history of our world shows this- i.e. the horrific conditions of early Earth (see, for example, Robert Hazen’s “The Story Of Earth”). And, since that early uninhabitable world, there has emerged a long-term trajectory of life improving toward a more habitable planet, such as in the emergence and development of an atmosphere suitable for life, along with many other factors.
The history of our world shows long-term improvement in features like the emergence and increasing complexity of multi-cellular life, increasing organization/complexity in ecosystems, and an overall world that has become more conducive to life. There is nothing in the overall story of life on this planet to support the idea of a mythical decline of life from original perfection toward something worse.
Even biologists like E. O. Wilson and Charles Darwin both affirmed the overall, long-term “improving” trajectory of life toward more complexity and more organization. Darwin added that life evolved toward more “perfection”.
But the progress of life and civilization toward a better future is most evident in the long-term trends of the past few centuries as detailed in the research of Julian Simon and the many others who followed and affirmed his breakthrough insights and evidence.
Again, the conclusion from such evidence? There was never an original paradise that humans ruined. Hence, reject that foundational myth that was the basis for blaming and devaluing humanity. There was no “original sin” or fault that resulted in the loss of paradise. We never “fell” or degenerated from something better to become something worse. We never, in the past, became corrupted beings. Imperfection was our original natural state in brutal animal existence.
An alternative narrative (including metaphysical or “spiritual” speculations) would speculate and suggest that deity created the cosmos and world as originally “imperfect” and there is some good reason for that. So, with other philosophers and theologians, explore the “theodicy” possibilities- that, for example, an imperfect world exists as an arena for human experience, struggle, learning, and development. And that we only learn the better things in life when they are experienced in contrast with the worst elements of life.
Also, that problems, and consequent suffering, inspire our struggle to make life better, and bring out the best in people. For example, through suffering we learn compassion with suffering others (i.e. empathy as fundamental to being human). Much human creativity across history has arisen out of compassion for suffering others. Julian Simon noted that our problems bring out the best in us- i.e. creative endeavor to solve problems and find solutions that benefit ourselves and others. Imperfection, then, is essential to human learning, growth, and maturing.
The myth of a better past dominates 19th Century Declinism ideology, as in the environmental Declinism that states the past wilderness world was paradise and humanity in civilization, notably in industrial capitalist society, has ruined that paradise and life is now heading toward collapse and catastrophe. CO2 has been demonized as the latest primary indicator of the evil of too many people consuming too much of Earth’s “limited” resources and thereby destroying the world. This primitive “lost paradise/apocalyptic/millennial” mythology, that distorts entirely the true story of life, still dominates the thinking of many people today.
(Insert note: Evidence of the continuing domination of Declinism today is seen in the surveys that show the level of despair felt by the contemporary generation with 56% of young people believing that the world is becoming worse, that humanity is doomed, and the world will soon end. They consequently conclude that it is best to not have children and to give way to varied forms of fatalism, resignation, discouragement, depression, and withdrawal.)
(2) (A further aspect of number 1) The myth that the earliest humans committed an original fault or error and subsequently “fell” or become “sinful/corrupted” beings who then ruined the original paradise. A prototype version of this myth is the Sumerian myth of Enki eating the 8 forbidden plants, becoming ill, and thereby ruining the original paradise city of Dilmun.
Again, this “original sin” mythology is the primal root of all “blame humanity”, all anti-humanism. The Sumerians gave us the earliest examples of this pathology in the Sumerian Flood myth (Gilgamesh epic) with fuller versions coming later in subsequent Babylonian mythology.
(Insert note: The question needs to be posed- What impact does this primitive mythology of corrupted people ruining early paradise have on human self-image? How does it contribute to subsequent mental/emotion issues of fear, anxiety, depression, despair, nihilism, etc.? Its about long deeply embedded archetypes in human subconscious that impact thinking, emotions, motivations, and then response/behavior.)
In the Sumerian Flood myth, Enlil, the waterworks god, was pissed at too many humans making too much noise- the original human “sin” of that era and place. Imagine: People just being sociable and having fun was considered an original sin by the grumpy gods of that time. That is as petty as Adam bringing the curse of “inherited sinfulness” on all humanity for just enjoying the taste of good fruit and curious to learn something new (i.e. wanting to access the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil’). Sheesh, eh.
To get some sense of the petty and unbalanced nature of those primitive mythologies, with their ideas of pathological deities that are obsessed with human imperfection and mistakes, note the Biblical lists of sins that incite God’s wrath and consequent intention to torture people in an eternal lake of fire. The lists include “sins” like “boasting, gossiping, coveting, sensuality, impurity, fits of anger, rivalry, dissension, drunkenness, greed, gluttony, slander, lying, pride, foolishness, loving money, disobedient to parents, loving oneself, loving pleasure (watch out you wankers), ungrateful, and reckless (i.e. adrenaline junkies in extreme sports), etc., etc.”
Talk about punishment not fitting the crime, eh. It illustrates the obsessive moralizing pettiness of people that they then projected onto deity, reducing the reality of God (ultimate Goodness/Love) to something perversely petty like themselves.
And after considering such lists- No wonder many believe Paul’s statement that “all have sinned” and must embrace his Christ myth or be damned to eternal burning in the lake of fire (as per John’s “Revelation”).
(3) The vengeful deity of primitive imaginations, thoroughly pissed at human imperfection, then supposedly cursed the world and sent life declining toward something worse, eventually toward complete corruption, collapse, and final ending via apocalypse (as a final and ultimate punishment for human sin, followed by the even worse fate of “hell”). This apocalyptic decline myth has long incited survival fear, even terror and desperation to find some salvation.
(4) The great creating Force or Spirit behind life, still obsessed with lost perfection, and obsessed with punishing imperfection, then demanded a sacrifice to pay for the sins of corrupted humanity, to restore his offended honor and rebalance justice in the cosmos. (Note: Offended holiness in Judea-Christian theology is on the same spectrum as Islamic “honor killing” to restore the offended male sense of righteousness/purity. I state this to illustrate the primitive nature of this mythology, that the ancients projected onto deity.).
Few raise the logical question here- Why can’t a God of love (supposedly, as ultimate Goodness and Love, something much better than we are)… why can’t such a God freely forgive people just as we are expected to freely forgive imperfect others, unconditional forgiveness being a response that is fundamental to basic human decency. Are we held to a higher standard of basic human decency or love, than God? As Bob Brinsmead reasons in a related manner- If you demand full payment for wrong before forgiving (like the Christian God), well, then that is not genuine forgiveness. Love and forgiveness must be freely given or they are not authentic.
(5) In “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” mythology, the angered deity also demanded suffering in this life as further punishment- i.e. “suffering as redemptive”. Humanity has long embraced this pathology in self-flagellation, in varied forms of self-punishment to assuage guilt/shame over being identified as essentially bad. Today, one form of self-inflicted punishment involves giving up the good life for a return to the “morally superior” simple, low-consumption lifestyle (i.e. “de-development”, or the “Small is beautiful” of Schumacher).
This myth-based thinking advocates for a retreat to the primitive status of original “noble savages”- i.e. early people who were believed to have been stronger and more pure humans who lived in tune with nature, who lived low-consumption lifestyles (i.e. hunter gatherers) before the “fall of humanity in civilization…the degeneration of humanity in the abundance of industrial civilization”. Such is the “human degeneration” theory of Declinism ideology (humanity degenerating in civilization) as set forth by Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline in Western History”.
The “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” narrative has been beaten into humanity for multiple-millennia now, and the outcome is a deeply-rooted guilt and shame over being imperfectly human. Most people across history have subsequently felt the distressing and nagging obligation to find absolution for their sin. They long to be told how to make atonement, and in response, priesthoods across history have offered people the pathological solution of blood sacrifice, or other forms of sacrifice/payment/punishment to assuage the human guilt that has been exacerbated by the original sin myth.
Declinism mythology (human sinfulness as the cause of life declining toward something worse), and the threat of looming apocalyptic destruction, intensifies the primal felt need to make atonement of some kind, to engage some form of salvationism (some crusade “to save the world, to save humanity”).
Again, it is the bogus problem of “False original premises or assumptions, and the wasteful and harmful outcomes/responses to false original premises or assumptions”.
(6) The punitive Force or deity behind life also demands “the violent purging” of some great threat to life, the purging of some threatening “enemy”. The violent purging of evil was illustrated in Zoroaster’s mythology of a fallen world purged by molten metal. Violent purging is also illustrated in John’s graphic Revelation.
The purging involves the embrace of the hero’s quest, to heroically engage “a righteous battle against evil”, to engage the quest to conquer an enemy, to slay a monster. These ideas are validated by the ancient myth of “cosmic dualism”- i.e. that there exists a great cosmic battle of a good Spirit against some evil Force or Spirit (see Zoroastrian mythology for detail). That “cosmic-level” dualism (as ultimate ideal and authority) has been endlessly replicated in “this-world” dualisms among people. Cosmic dualism myths have long validated various forms of human tribalism- i.e. tribalism based on race/ethnicity, nationality, religion, ideology, etc.
Think of the horrific outcomes of this pathological myth alone- i.e. the cosmic dualism of ultimate Good against ultimate Evil. Note the incalculable damage that has been caused across history by inciting the impulse to view differing others as “enemies”, accompanied by the felt need to engage a righteous battle against such enemies, to conquer and destroy them as threats to one’s own tribe (again, the violent purging of evil). Tribalism, incited by dualism mythology, is among the most damaging of all primitive ideas. And tribalism intensifies its impulse to harm others by granting true believers the sense that God is on their side, that God approves their righteous battles against intolerably evil enemies who must be destroyed.
It is critical to understand these primitive archetypes and how they continue to influence human consciousness, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior. We need to recognize the dangerous outcomes of these ideas over history, harmful outcomes still erupting repetitively today. And we ought to recognize that we have much better alternatives today that work to counter our baser impulses and to inspire our better human responses. Notably, the recognition of the fundamental oneness of humanity that inspires us to view all others as family, to treat all as free and self-determining equals, and to embrace restorative justice toward the failures of others.
Remember again Joseph Campbell’s comments on conquering our “animal passions” by embracing “universal love”, by viewing enemies as family and thereby maintaining our humanity:
“For love is exactly as strong as life. And when life produces what the intellect names evil, we may enter into righteous battle, contending ‘from loyalty of heart’: however, if the principle of love (Christ’s “Love your enemies”) is lost thereby, our humanity too will be lost. ‘Man’, in the words of the American novelist Hawthorne, ‘must not disclaim his brotherhood even with the guiltiest’” (Myths To Live By).
Further, religious mythology teaches us that the ultimate violent purging takes place in the apocalyptic punishment and destruction of the present “corrupted world”, a necessary destruction in order to make way for the new world (see the New Testament book of Revelation for detail on this apocalyptic millennialism mythology). “Violent purging of evil” themes also validated the revolutionary purifying that was central to Marxism (purging the world of capitalism) and Nazism (purging the evil of Jewish Bolshevism). Again, see detail on this is Arthur Herman’s “The Idea of Decline In Western History”. Violent purging (“coercive purification”- Arthur Mendel) is also embraced by environmental alarmism today as in the need to purge purported threats like CO2, and industrial civilization in general.
(7) With atonement and purging accomplished, the threatening deity then promises salvation for true believers, salvation in the restoration of the lost paradise, or salvation in the installation of a new utopia or millennial kingdom.
(Sources for historical detail on the above myths: Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Zoroastrian mythologies. Also, Jewish-Christian history and belief systems. Add further, similar mythical themes in Eastern religious belief systems, such as Hinduism.)
Such is the basic outline of the complex of pathological “lost paradise/redemption” myths. Note the intense anti-human orientation of these primitive myths. They advocate the fallacy that humanity has “fallen” or degenerated from an imagined original perfection. That distortion buries the entirely opposite truth that the real story of humanity is how amazingly we have improved over history, compared to our original subhuman, animal-like existence.
(Other sources: James Payne in “History of Force” and Stephen Pinker in “The Better Angels of Our Nature” both detail the long-term historical trajectory of improving humanity, though I don’t think Pinker’s arguments on “evolutionary biology/psychology” fully explain all the causal factors behind our ongoing improvement. While our animal past goes some way to explaining our present makeup, the human spirit and human consciousness are something uniquely new in the history of life and cannot be fully explained in terms of our animal past. I side more with neuroscientist and Nobel laureate John Eccles on such things- “The Human Mystery”, “The Wonder Of Being Human”.)
These “lost paradise/redemption” myths constitute the mythical or spiritual substrate- i.e. the archetypes- that undergird most human belief systems or narratives, whether religious or “secular or ideological” narratives, and even scientific ones. These themes are deeply embedded in human subconscious- hardwired in human minds from millennia of tight interaction with some of our most basic impulses. This is the outcome of the ancient human project to create ideas/myths to affirm and validate inherited impulses. The complex of primitive “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” themes continue to dominate human narratives today.
Further comment on “Where and how it originally went wrong”… Wendell Krossa
Early people created ideas/myths to validate some of the worst of the animal drives that humanity inherited from previous millions of years in animal existence. They were following their primal impulse for meaning- to understand and explain their conscious existence in this imperfect world. And when they first started doing that- i.e. creating ideas/myths to explain things- they were still living as more animal than human, still very primitive in their thinking and behavior. Consequently, they created very primitive ideas/myths to explain and validate their still very primitive lives and existence.
Those earliest myths, buttressed with the eventual human hesitancy to challenge the sacred (fear of the sacred was a priestly innovation to protect priestly authority), those primitive myths were eventually embraced by the great religious traditions and eventually became religious dogma, and then, latterly in our history, they have even infected modern-era “secular/ideological” systems of belief.
But now, it is entirely inexcusable for us moderns to continue to hold those same themes of our primitive ancestors when we have far better insights available today, far better alternative explanations to satisfy our primal impulse for meaning and purpose. Note, for example, the lists of alternative ideas in the essays below titled “Explaining reality and life: The worst and best ideas that we have come up with”, or “Inherited bad myths and better alternatives”, or “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”.
The more prominent of our darker inherited animal impulses, along with their related validating myths, would include (1) the impulses to small band existence or tribalism (given expression in human societies in such divides as those between true believers versus unbelievers, as in religious and ideological systems), (2) the impulse to alpha domination given expression in myths of dominating gods and the related validation of powerholding kings/lords/priests as representatives of the dominating gods, and (3) the impulse to the destruction of competing others (myths of enemies/unbelievers that should be eliminated in this life, or cast into religious hells).
Advocates of contemporary “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” narratives, such as in the climate alarmism crusade, give voice to the same themes as those listed above and these “secularized” versions of primitive myths still resonate powerfully with many people today. The core “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” themes resonate with deeply embedded archetypes, lodged even at a subconscious level. (Again, “archetype” meaning- prototype, representative, pattern, model, standard, exemplar, ideal, etc.- or early primitive ideas created to explain and validate inherited impulses that became patterns or models for all subsequent human narratives.)
An example of the primitive “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex of myths resonating with modern minds to devastating outcomes:
Remember that Hitler, embittered by his WW1 experience and the Versailles Treaty, was initially considered a fringe lunatic madman and largely ignored by most Germans. But eventually his rantings began to resonate more widely with the Christian worldview of the German population.
With the onset of the Weimar-era collapse of the German economy due to the Great Depression, his formerly ignored message of “decline toward looming apocalypse and promise of salvation (i.e. the creation of the millennial Third Reich)”- that message then began to resonate more widely with the same archetypical themes and impulses that had long dominated the belief systems and consciousness of most Christian Germans. Hitler was then able to persuade many ordinarily good Germans to join, or at least not oppose, his mass-death crusade. Again, note the good historical research of the apocalyptic millennial scholars Arthur Herman, Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles.
The message of “decline toward disaster” incites primal fears of some punitive spirit or force behind the natural world that is justly punishing “bad” people for ruining something originally pure and paradisal, such as nature. People then feel intuitively that they deserve such punishment coming at them through natural disaster, disease, accidents, predatory cruelty from “enemies”, and other misfortunes common to life. This myth of some retaliatory Force or Spirit behind nature has been one of the most dominant and harmful ideas to have ever entered and deformed human consciousness.
Remember the Japanese lady, after the 2011 tsunami, giving voice to this mythical pathology when she asked rhetorically, “Are we being punished for enjoying the good life too much?” She illustrated the very intuitive human sense that natural disasters are expressions of some angry god punishing people for their sins. Similarly, Nancy Pelosi claimed (Sept. 2020) that the forest fires of California were evidence that “Mother Earth was angry” with humans enjoying too much fossil fuel energy and causing the “climate crisis”. Bad people were being punished by an angry deity seeking retribution. Ah, its all just the same old, same old primitive thinking as ever before.
The belief that there exists some great threat to life then incites the human survival impulse. The panic-mongering over such threat (in the climate alarmism crusade it involves exaggerating natural events to apocalyptic scale) then pushes many to abandon rationality, out of their desperation to survive. Hence, many people will then accept the craziest exaggerations of the apocalyptic prophets of any given time. Note the repeated failing prophesies of Paul Ehrlich as a contemporary example, also Al Gore among others (i.e. his recent rant that “the oceans will be boiling”).
Alarmed populations will then support the most irrational salvation schemes, to “save the world”, even when the evidence mounts that those schemes are so obviously destroying societies as in the outcomes of the Net Zero mania that is currently devastating Germany and Britain (see Net Zero Watch newsletters of Global Warming Policy Forum).
The contemporary climate alarmism crusade and its destructive decarbonization salvation scheme is just another repeat of similar apocalyptic millennial eruptions that have repeatedly destroyed societies across history. Remember again the irrational Xhosa cattle slaughter of 1860, and on a larger scale, the horrific destruction of the Marxist and Nazi “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” crusades (i.e. mass starvation from forced collectivism and the horrific environmental damage from centralized planning of resource use).
As Richard Landes warned in “Heaven On Earth”, regarding the Nazi madness- If you don’t understand how apocalyptic millennial themes can lead to mass-death in societies then you have learned nothing from past history. We are watching this same “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” pattern play out again today- the same old themes of “better past, sinful humanity ruining paradise, world declining toward apocalypse, demand for sacrifice and suffering as redemptive, obligation to enact a violent purging of some threat as necessary to ‘save the world’ and restore the lost paradise, obligation to heroically engage a righteous battle against evil enemies, etc.”
These profoundly religious themes undergird the cult of climate alarmism. We see them in the claims that a better past existed in the earlier more pristine wilderness world. We see these primitive themes in the false claim that life is declining/worsening due to the impact of human industrial civilization. We see them in the demonization of the basic food of all life- i.e. CO2- as the great threat to life that must be purged. And we see them in the endless media hysteria and exaggeration that a climate apocalypse is imminent. They are evident in the consequent irrational decarbonization madness that is claimed to be the only way of salvation in order for the lost paradise to be restored. The outcomes will not be good if we continue to let this myth-based madness shape public policy as in the elimination of fossil fuels.
See the reposting below of a revised version of “Inherited bad myths and alternatives for a new narrative of life”
A new one from Michael Shellenberger and colleagues, Aug. 16, 2023 on Public at Substack- “Fear And Hatred Of The Masses Behind Democrats’ War On Liberal Democracy: Why the party supposedly most committed to democracy is pursuing tyranny”
And this from Shellenberger– “Fire, Plastic Waste, And Dead Whales: Why Environmentalists Destroy The Environment”, Three case studies…
The great switch (psychological projection) as leftists smear others with their own pathology:
De-carceration extremism- a form of collectivist extremism, treating all as indistinguishable members of a collective, not as individuals with unique behavioral situations that require unique responses and treatment. This overly-generalized de-carceration policy response is part of resurging Marxism, much like DeAngelo’s denial of individuals to characterize all as members of collectives in her “Critical Race Theory” ideology (i.e. either as “oppressed” or “oppressors” depending on skin color).
This excellent journalism, as usual, from Michael Shellenberger, Aug. 28, 2023, “Pseudoscience, Greed, And Nihilism Behind Disinformation On Climate Change And Fires”
“Why is the US government, the corporate news media, and Hollywood helping climate scientist Michael Mann spread false information about fires and global warming?
“The amount of area burned annually by fire has declined over the last quarter-century. The area burned declined by an astonishing 25% between 2003 and 2019, according to NASA. That trend has continued since, noted Bjorn Lomborg in the Wall Street Journal. Last year, there was a record-low area burned. There is little doubt about the trend because the emissions from wildfires have also declined globally since 2003.
“The best science does not attribute fires to climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), notes climate change and disasters expert Roger Pielke, Jr., “has not detected or attributed fire occurrence or area burned to human-caused climate change.” According to the IPCC, the most important factor in fire is not the weather but rather “human activities,” both land management and the starting of fires by humans.
“Few leaders, experts, and journalists, including us at Public, doubt climate change has some influence. All else being equal, warmer weather will dry out wood fuel more. The problem is that all else is never equal, and other factors matter much more, as fires in Greece, California, and Hawaii all show….
“Scientists “could not attribute a direct causal relationship to climate change, citing various factors such as changes in fire causes due to social, economic and land management changes, as well as fuel accumulation due to the abandonment of the countryside.”…
“Why, then, do governments, scientists, and journalists constantly get forest fires so wrong?
“Pseudoscience, Greed, and Nihilism
“Politicians and government officials blame climate change because it deflects attention away from bad government. They shift blame from something they are responsible for, fire prevention, to something that they’re mostly not responsible for, climate change. Blaming climate change has a secondary benefit for politicians and government officials as it creates a new source of funding for their election campaigns….
“Governments can prevent catastrophic fires through forest management, fire prevention, and fire response.
“Why is Mann so wrong about climate change? It is not because he doesn’t know the facts of the situation. As a scientist forced to undergo peer review and who debates with critics constantly, Mann knows the science showing forest management, fire prevention, and fire response are the most important things. Why, then, does he choose to ignore those things in favor of his false narrative?…
“Behind Mann’s state-sponsored disinformation is the dogmatic Malthusian view that the planet cannot support human civilization….
“As for journalists, they hype climate change for financial, ideological, and egotistical reasons….
“Journalists are ideologically prone to exaggerating climate change as an apocalyptic threat because governments and government-funded scientists have spent decades programming them to do so and because it attracts readers. It’s more exciting to think of the fires as a sign the world is coming to an end than as a government management failure.
“And for secular elites, climate change is the new apocalypse. They believe, consciously or unconsciously, that the sky gods are punishing us for our sins. In the past, Western people felt guilty for their sins against God and sought to get right by God. Today, they feel guilty for their sins against Nature and seek to get right by Nature…. because secular western elites turn to climate change as a substitute religion.
“Pro-Human Environmentalism Is The Antidote
“The deepest of the causes driving pseudoscientific coverage of forest fires is nihilism, which is the desire driving elites to turn climate change into a religion. Rising disbelief in traditional religions left people craving a radical new religion that rejects this world, including human civilization. It stems from the dark and dogmatic utopian view, as expressed by Mann that a better world is possible only if we move away from our modern, high-energy civilization to a low-energy one powered by renewables…
“The obvious alternative to such hatred of humankind and human civilization is to love humankind and human civilization. This starts with a moral affirmation that humans are good and that civilization is good because it’s good for humans. And civilization rests on cheap energy, meritocracy, and law and order. Anyone who is seeking to undermine cheap energy is, at the bottom, undermining civilization…
“The rise of the Internet and the success of Public gives me confidence that we will increasingly be able to counter the anti-human pseudoscience spread by Mann and others who are financed by the US government and renewable energy industry.”
At the root of the human problem (What lies beneath), Wendell Krossa
There is a mind-shaping complex of ideas- the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of myths- that has long been deeply embedded (subconscious stuff) at the core of human narratives and thinking. It has been the singularly most prominent set of ideas to have shaped human thinking across the millennia, and still widely shapes public consciousness today due to the ongoing embrace of this mythical complex in “secular/ideological” systems of belief, and even in “scientific” systems of thought, rendering such systems more “scientism”, not science.
“Lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” is my summary term for a larger more comprehensive set of ideas or themes (see “A repost of the lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex, just below). This complex has long shaped human understanding/perception of life and the world. It shapes human emotions- how people feel about the things that are happening in their world and lives. The complex shapes how people evaluate what happens, and their conclusions about things. It shapes people’s motivations to respond in certain ways. It shapes their eventual actions/behavior, often for the worst outcomes.
The stories that we embrace and tell ourselves, and one another, have profound impact on our selves, on others, on our societies and then on civilization overall.
What’s wrong? (Remember, the lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption complex distorts entirely the true state of life and history)
At the very root of what is wrong in our world today (notably- the destructive “salvation” schemes of alarmism crusades like climate alarmism) is a way of thinking, a way of viewing life and the world. The “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” outlook incites unnecessary fear from natural and social events that are irrationally exaggerated to apocalyptic scale. That panic-mongering then evokes defensive survivalist responses that inevitably result in causing harm to others.
You can take steps to counter the harmful outcomes of the salvationist schemes of such apocalyptic crusades, but they will keep erupting in ever new versions across history because people do not deal thoroughly with the core narrative-defining themes- the “archetypes”.
We have historical records of the religious forms of such movements and now we are observing in real time more recent “secular/ideological” versions (i.e. formerly Marxism, Nazism and now environmental alarmism). These eruptions continue because the root inciting ideas or archetypes are not confronted and abandoned. The old archetypes continue to shape human narratives that provide inspiration, guidance, and validation for human behavior and life.
My point- Widely revered religious beliefs that continue as the main embodiment of more primitive archetypes (notably Paul’s Christ myth). These have been most responsible for keeping alive destructive myths, like apocalypse, in Western history and society. And yes, touch the highly revered Christ myth and watch the defensive hysteria explode.
I understand such rage. It can appear to true believers that long revered religious beliefs are being “attacked”, even though hurtful attack is not the intention. My motivation in going after Paul’s Christ has to do with probing root contributing factors (mental/emotional/philosophical) behind ongoing problems in our societies. Thorough problem-solving requires going to root issues related to any given problem.
And at the core of alarmism narratives…
See the excellent research of Bob Brinsmead on the anti-sacrifice stance of Historical Jesus, a position and protest that cost him his life.
The stunning point in Bob’s, and similar research- The actual historical person who protested against the belief and practise of sacrifice was then later transformed into the ultimate sacrifice. Paul created his Christ as the cosmic godman that came to offer himself as a sacrifice for all sin (see his Romans letter). In doing that, Paul rejected the central message of Historical Jesus (an unconditionally loving God that did not demand sacrifice/payment for forgiveness) to create a gospel that was entirely contrary to the actual teaching and life mission of Jesus.
Note in articles below the varied other contradictions that reveal where Paul buried the “diamonds of Jesus”. Paul’s gospel was highly conditional (conditions of required “true beliefs”, of demanded sacrifice/payment, religious rituals and lifestyle as markers of true believers, etc.) versus the unconditional gospel of Jesus. And Paul’s theology was that of a retaliatory God versus the non-retaliatory God of Jesus (again, detail in varied articles below). These stunning contradictions remain prominently at the core of Christianity today.
The critical importance of this for narratives today-
Paul’s Christ myth has been the singularly dominant influence keeping the destructive fallacy of apocalyptic alive in Western narratives and consciousness. We can trace the line of historical descent of apocalyptic mythology down from the earliest human mythmaking (i.e. Sumerian, Egyptian, Babylonian), then to Zoroaster’s creation of a more formal system of beliefs centered around apocalypse, and then to the great world religions both Western and Eastern. Yes, Buddhism and Hinduism also have apocalyptic themes (Mircea Eliade in “History of Religious Ideas”).
Most notable, apocalyptic was embraced by Paul as a defining feature of his Christ myth to then shape human consciousness in Western civilization.
Apocalyptic then descends eventually into 19th Century “Declinism” ideology that has influenced the apocalyptic millennial movements of Marxism, Nazism, and now environmental alarmism, particularly climate alarmism. Its always the same old, same old complex of themes endlessly repeated. As Joseph Campbell noted- People have believed the same primitive myths all across history and across all the cultures of the world.
Site project: Wendell Krossa
Tackling the climate alarm crusade on this site is just the prelude to going after the archetypes (ideas, themes, impulses) that underly alarmism movements. Climate alarmism is just another “profoundly religious crusade” similar in terms of its core themes to all previous apocalyptic millennial movements across history.
I am more concerned about the deeply embedded themes of the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of myths that have framed human thinking from the earliest mythmaking, through to the era of great world religions, and now continue to shape our narratives in the modern “secular/ideological/scientific” era of human belief systems.
Understanding the basic themes of the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex, and their destructive outcomes on human life and society, is critical to finding our way out of the darkness of such much pathological thinking and toward the better future that we all want.
Q Wisdom Sayings Gospel research
This site embraces the research of “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel (a subcategory of Historical Jesus research) and I suggest that the central theme of Historical Jesus was that God was an unconditionally loving deity. That was Jesus’ greatest contribution to the history of human ideas. Or as James Robinson states it in negative terms- the “stunning new theology of a nonretaliatory God”. That stunning new theology was later rejected by Paul and then buried under his retaliatory, highly conditional Christ myth.
More on Site project: Wendell Krossa
This site argues that central to the most serious problems that humanity faces is an enduring complex of primitive themes that shape human narratives. These themes embrace the worst of human ideas that have continued to incite bad response and validate bad behavior across history. Why have people endlessly embraced such ideas? Because they resonate with our most deeply embedded impulses inherited from our animal past- the impulses to tribalism, domination of others, and destruction of differing others. The ideas of the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex incite survival fears and destructive action against perceived threats to our survival- i.e. differing “enemy” others.
Our ancestors created such ideas to validate their inherited impulses and together- the impulses and associated ideas- became deeply embedded “archetypes” that endlessly re-emerge in religious traditions and secular/ideological belief systems also. My summary term for this complex- the “lost paradise/apocalypse/redemption” complex of themes.
Go to the root of our problems today- the apocalyptic salvationism that is destroying our societies. And be aware of the narrative-shaping influence of the Christ myth that is behind Western apocalyptic movements like climate alarmism and its salvation scheme of decarbonization.
History’s “most violent and destructive idea- apocalypse” (Mendel in “Vision and Violence”) continues to dominate the modern era…
This article by Roger Pielke Jr. illustrates a main argument on this site- that primitive mythological themes have been embraced all across history, from ancient mythologies down to major world religions, and now in the modern era in “secular ideological” versions. The same old themes of “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” still dominate most contemporary worldviews and find expression even in “science” (or better- “scientism”).
Others have noted the ongoing embrace and expression of primitive religious ideas in modern “secular/ideological” versions, as in the environmental alarmism movement. Note the research of the apocalyptic millennial historians Richard Landes (Heaven On Earth), Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History), Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence), and David Redles (Hitler’s Millennial Reich), among others.
Pielke’s article “The New Apocalypticism: Climate catastrophe as secular, millenarian prophecy”, Aug. 25, 2023. Full article available on Substack at…
“In 1983, Michael Barkun, today a professor emeritus at Syracuse University, wrote an incredible essay, presciently identifying the rise of a “New Apocalypticism” in American political discourse. Today I share some excerpts from that 40-year-old essay — Divided Apocalypse: Thinking About The End in Contemporary America — and connect them to today’s public discussions of climate change.
“Barkun defined the “New Apocalypticism,” as follows;
“The so-called “New Apocalypticism” is undeniably religious, rooted in the Protestant millenarian tradition. Religious apocalypticism is, however, not the only apocalypticism current in American society. A newer, more diffuse, but indisputably influential apocalypticism coexists with it. Secular rather than religious, this second variety grows out of a naturalistic world view, indebted to science and to social criticism rather than to theology. Many of its authors are academics, the works themselves directed at a lay audience of influential persons — government officials, business leaders, and journalists — presumed to have the power to intervene in order to avert planetary catastrophe.
“Barkun observed that intellectuals were fulfilling a societal function previously served by religious leaders, even though these intellectuals did not always view science and religion to be compatible:
“. . . however uninformed or unsympathetic these secular prophets may be concerning their religious counterparts, they clearly recognize the presence in their own work of religious motifs. Their predictions of “last things” generate the feelings of awe that have always surrounded eschatology, even if in this case the predictions often grow out of computer modelling rather than Biblical proof-texts.
“For many, science has come to replace religion in its perceived ability to identify the root cause of our existential crisis and scientists have replaced religious leaders as holding the unique ability to offer guidance on how we must transform in order to stave off catastrophe:…
“For the secular millenarian, extreme events — floods, hurricanes, fires — are more than mere portents, they are evidence of our sins of the past and provide opportunities for redemption in the future, if only we listen, accept and change:…
“We’ve all heard the sermon — it is the fossil fuel companies, Republicans, the Koch Brothers, deniers and other shadowy forces who have conspired to thwart the climate movement for many decades. If only they could be defeated, transformation would occur and the apocalypse would be avoided….
“What happens when the world passes the 1.5 Celsius temperature target and the world does not end? Or then 2.0 C? On the other hand, there will always be sufficient numbers of extreme weather events across the planet to long sustain the idea that doom is just around the corner. Barkun explains that apocalyptic beliefs have been present in societies for centuries, and thus probably won’t be going away anytime soon.
“A third possibility is that the number of believers may become so large that their very numbers and influence produce a fundamental change in the social order. The rise of Christianity during the late Roman Empire and the disillusionment of the Russian population immediately before the Russian Revolution are cases in point. Here, dire predictions can become, or can closely resemble, self-fulfilling prophesies.
“This of course is the “all in” strategy of many climate activists — force the desired global transformation to happen and then take credit for the avoided Armageddon. I’ve argued that the global population crisis ended with a declaration of success with claims made that raising alarm saved billions from starvation — even though this view does not actually square with history. If we rapidly decarbonize, then the apocalypse will remain real, just unrealized — we already see this dynamic at play in discussions of the outdated RCP8.5 scenario.
“Barkun’s 1983 essay is remarkable when read in the context of the 2023 climate movement. Climate change is of course real and important, but it is not (according to the IPCC) the apocalypse. The near-term future of climate policy will almost certainly be a struggle between pragmatism and the New Apocalypticism. How that turns out is anybody’s guess.”
This from Wattsupwiththat.com by Anthony Watts, Aug.29, 2023. Mainstream media double down on the apocalypse myth, “Major Media Plans a Massive Collusion-fest to ‘Get their stories Straight’ on Climate Change”.
“The Columbia Journalism School of New York City has announced a media seminar “Climate Changes Everything – Creating a Blueprint for Media Transformation” to be held September 21 and 22, 2023. The tagline for it reads: “Join leading journalists from around the world for an unprecedented conversation about how to cover a world on fire.”
“They start out with a lie, the world isn’t “on fire” at all. To say this sort of media collusion to “get their stories straight” on climate is wrong, would be an understatement….
“Despite decades of coordinated effort by the most-powerful media outlets in Western society, voters still put “climate change” dead last in their priority list in polls. That is something significant that the media is ignoring with this new push. Or, perhaps it worries them.
“It could be the progressive elites that control global information are so worried that voters “simply don’t care” enough about climate that they feel the need to redouble their coordinated efforts to hyperbolize the climate crisis. This arguably good news, suggesting that efforts like those undertaken daily at Climate Realism, WattsUpWithThat, and many other climate realist efforts for the past three decades have not been in vain. This principled and often lonely work of climate realists to speak truth to power has been effective, at least when you compare it to the sort of budgets these media giants have….
“While the Media writes about the supposed “consensus” and “settled science,” climate realists point out that consensus is a political, not scientific term and that science is never “settled.” On the question of catastrophic climate change, following the scientific method, testing theories against data, indicates that no such crisis is in the offing. Most types of extreme weather events are not getting worse.”
Life overall is getting better all the time, Wendell Krossa
Julian Simon in his excellent “Ultimate Resource” offered us the way to understand the true state of life, the true state of our world. We achieve this by looking at the best evidence on all the main indicators of life- i.e. mainly ocean fisheries, land species, forests, agricultural soils, etc. And we should look at the complete big picture in regard to such indicators, including all the evidence, not just looking at evidence that confirms our pre-conceived beliefs or views. That is how we overcome our own confirmation biases.
And we must also look at the longest-term trends associated with the indicators, not cherry-picking short term trends that may just be temporary reversals, downturns, or aberrations in longer trends.
When Simon did this on all the main indicators of life, he discovered that while there are problems everywhere in life, humanity has done well in correcting past mistakes, solving problems, and overall life is improving. This evidence helped Simon overcome his own alarmist pessimism regarding the environment. He found that alarmists were exaggerating problems to affirm a pre-conceived apocalyptic narrative or belief system. They were wrong. The best evidence proved them wrong.
Simon’s research freed him from his own personal “clinical depression” and he said that it never returned.
His “Ultimate Resource” offers sound evidence-based hope that encourages us to engage life and continue working to make life better. Our efforts are succeeding.
Many others followed Simon with their own research on the main indicators of the state of the world and also found much evidence to affirm hope that life is improving overall and not declining toward something worse.
Other similar sources:
Greg Easterbrook in “A Moment On The Earth”, Bjorn Lomborg in “Skeptical Environmentalist”, Matt Ridley in “Rational Optimist”, Indur Goklany in “The Improving State of The World”, Ronald Bailey in “The End of Doom”, Desrochers and Szurmak in “Population Bombed”, Hans Rosling in “Factfulness”, and Bailey and Tupy in “Ten Global Trends”. And on the overall long-term improvement of humanity- see James Payne in “History of Force”, and Stephen Pinker in “The Better Angels of Our Nature”.
The excellent research in these sources exposes the great fraud that is apocalyptic thinking- i.e. that life is declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending in an apocalypse. To the contrary, you will need shades to protect your eyes as the future is so bright. Never perfect, never any promise of utopia, but presenting the hope of ever-improving long-term trends.
See also Humanprogress.org, another excellent source on the true state of life.
This good report on the oft-repeated media claim of a 97% scientific consensus on the climate alarmism narrative of “human-caused global warming that is becoming a ‘climate emergency’” that is caused by human emissions of CO2.
From CO2 Coalition, “97% Consensus- What Consensus?” by Gregory Wrightstone.
And this on “Concept Creep” from…
Concept creep is behind the spread of calls for censorship of “hate speech”. While hate speech is an actual offense, it applies to a minority of extremist statements, such as calls for immediate violence toward varied groups. The growing tendency today has been to extend calls to censor hate speech to include more and more the free speech of differing others, speech that makes people “uncomfortable” in some manner. It may be just some disagreement over political or social policies. Calls for censorship of hate speech has even been extended to comedy that “offends” some.
Another element in concept creep arises from people giving primacy/pre-eminence to personal feelings of discomfort as their determining criterion for what should be publicly permissible or not. Some now claim that if they feel uncomfortable then they are “threatened, endangered even”, and so the speech that makes them uncomfortable must be censored, banned, even criminalized.
The report in the link above is “Concept creep: Psychology’s expanding concepts of harm and pathology” by Nick Haslam in Psychological Inquiry, 27(1), 1-17.
“Many of psychology’s concepts have undergone semantic shifts in recent years. These conceptual changes follow a consistent trend. Concepts that refer to the negative aspects of human experience and behavior have expanded their meanings so that they now encompass a much broader range of phenomena than before. This expansion takes “horizontal” and “vertical” forms: concepts extend outward to capture qualitatively new phenomena and downward to capture quantitatively less extreme phenomena.
“The concepts of abuse, bullying, trauma, mental disorder, addiction, and prejudice are examined to illustrate these historical changes. In each case, the concept’s boundary has stretched and its meaning has dilated. A variety of explanations for this pattern of “concept creep” are considered and its implications are explored. I contend that the expansion primarily reflects an ever-increasing sensitivity to harm, reflecting a liberal moral agenda. Its implications are ambivalent, however. Although conceptual change is inevitable and often well motivated, concept creep runs the risk of pathologizing everyday experience and encouraging a sense of virtuous but impotent victimhood. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)”
Here is a Canadian example of concept creep in the call to criminalize anyone daring to question the prevailing narrative on residential school graves, for simply asking for full investigation and evidence.
Posted on Wattsupwiththat.com, Aug.27, 2023 by Wallace Manheimer, “Some Concerns about the recent Republican Debate”
“The fact that so many believe in the false climate crisis makes Richard Lindzen, perhaps the leading authority on geophysical fluid dynamics, look more and more like a prophet:
Richard Lindzen: “What historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet-destroying toxin. It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world- that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.”
And now, some comment on the all-time favorite of most everyone… freedom
Daniel Hannan in “Inventing Freedom: How the English speaking people made the modern world” makes an interesting point regarding the English attitude to laws/regulations/rules and the tendency to excessively criminalize all areas of life. This relates to the recent attempt by the Ontario College of Psychologists to discipline Jordan Peterson. (Note: English attitudes have changed since Hannan wrote. Many English now affirm Net Zero madness and intervention in their lives. They have surrendered their freedom and self-determination to alarmism-promoting state bureaucrats.)
According to Hannan, historically, the English attitude was that if some area of life was not covered by any law or regulation, then let the citizens freely decide, as individuals, how they would act in regard to that area of life. And to the contrary, the attitude in other more “liberal” European states, was that if some area of life was not covered by any law, then get busy making laws and rules to dictate how people should act in that area of life. And at the worst, to criminalize the things that state elites disagreed with.
My counter- No, respect the self-determination of every individual, and their freedom to choose as they see best. Stop the busybody interference in other’s lives. Let’s revive the Classic Liberal maxim of “Live and let live”.
So also, Vivek Ramaswamy wants to return to such basic principles of liberal democracy- the principle of self-determination by citizens and limiting the ability of state elites to interfere, with their obsession to create endless laws, rules, regulations, and prohibitions to control citizen’s lives. See Glen Greenwald’s Aug. 25, 2023 interview of Vivek on Locals, “Debate Debrief with Vivek Ramaswamy”.
This busybody, petty impulse to interfere in other’s lives used to come from the Evangelical Right, back in the 1980s. Notably, Jerry Falwell and the Right pushed that moralizing busybody intervention. They claimed that they had to interfere in and control the lives of gays (restrain, ban behavior) in order to save America from God’s wrath. They felt obligated to do so for their view of greater good, to save their world.
Now- in another great switcheroo- the liberal Left, appealing to “climate crisis” for validation, is doing that very same thing that the Right did, affirming their interference in citizen’s lives as necessary to save the world from “Mother Earth’s anger” (Nancy Pelosi), due to “human-caused climate change”. Liberals now justify their overbearing and coercive busybody interference in citizen’s lives as necessary to “save democracy… save the world” from the dire threat posed by all who disagree with them. Hence, liberals today have convinced themselves that they have the “world saving” obligation to interfere and control everyone else.
Its all the same basic panic-mongering narrative, whether pushed by Right or Left, absolutely the same fundamental ideas used to justify the same ugly outcomes- all to validate busybody interference and control of other’s lives. I would summarize it with the alarmist formula- “Fear=control”. As always, old Solomon was right that “there is nothing new under the sun”. Joseph Campbell updated Solomon in stating that people have believed the same primitive myths all across history and across all the cultures of the world.
The ideas we embrace do have consequences in how we treat others, often to great harm.
This from Lomborg on wildfires trending down, not becoming worse (NASA satellite evidence)
Carl Jung sayings:
“Man can endure the hardest trials if he sees meaning in them. The whole difficulty lies in creating that meaning.
“Where love rules there is no ‘will to power’. Where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness and the word “happy” would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.
“Man needs difficulties, they are necessary for health.
“Man cannot stand a meaningless life.
“Every human life contains a potential. If that potential is not fulfilled, then that life is wasted.
“Depression is like a woman in black. If she turns up don’t shoo her away. Invite her in, offer her a seat, treat her like a guest and listen to what she wants to say.”
The love/freedom relationship…
Where populations are alarmed by apocalyptic scenarios, people are then susceptible to manipulation and control by alarmist prophets. That becomes a direct assault on freedom.
To the contrary, hope unleashes love, and authentic love then honors and grants freedom to all. The outcome is the promotion of creative progress.
Where there is no authentic freedom, there is no authentic love. Love and freedom are inseparable.
Alternatives to the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” complex of themes:
Mental pathology and corrective alternatives, and the influence of both on human personality, to both good and bad outcomes.
‘Cruel God’ images- “These ideas permeate Western culture and inevitably influence those who live in this culture… (The) consequences are fear, guilt, shame, and impoverished personalities.”, psychotherapist/theologian Zenon Lotufo in “Cruel God, Kind God”.
“We become just like the God that we believe in”, Bob Brinsmead.
“There are no really bad people, just bad ideas that make people do bad things”, Brinsmead.
“I think and therefore I am”, Rene Descartes.
Project: Offer alternative themes to apocalyptic millennial narratives, Wendell Krossa
Much like Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenberg castle church door in 1517, so I am nailing my theses to this door of the Internet. But unlike Luther just protesting the way that the indulgences were sold, but not protesting the very sale of indulgences, I am going more directly to core issues of fundamental belief. Much like my friend Bob Brinsmead’s refreshingly direct presentation of the central anti-sacrifice message of Historical Jesus and exposing how Paul buried that liberating message in his contrary gospel of the Christ that presents Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice. This is mind-blowing. That the “stunning new theology of Jesus” (an unconditional God who does not demand sacrifice for forgiveness)- that central message of Jesus has been buried for two millennia under the entirely contrary message of Christianity- i.e. the claim that the supreme sacrifice of Paul’s Christ was necessary for the forgiveness of sin.
Below are the some of the more prominent myths that have dominated human consciousness across history, beginning with the earliest human belief systems and continuing down into our modern world. These myths still dominate religious traditions today and have also been embraced and expressed in more historically recent “secular/ideological” versions. Note, for example, the “apocalyptic millennialism” or “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” themes regularly expressed by the climate alarmism cult.
Many in “science” also embrace these themes. I recently noted again how Stephen Hawking fell for apocalyptic mythology in the final two years of his life, making his own prophesies of the “end-of-days”, even setting dates (first suggesting an apocalypse in a millennium or so, then reducing that to just 100 years up ahead).
The ideas listed below have profoundly influenced human outlook, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior, often for the worse- i.e. inciting our worst animal impulses to tribalism, domination, and destruction of differing others.
We have more humane alternative ideas now to inspire the “better angels of our nature”, to inspire our authentically human impulses. Embracing these new themes/ideas will involve the revolutionary transformation of human narratives, worldviews… the overturning of foundational core themes in our belief systems.
The list is fundamentally about the contrast between humane and inhumane, between good and evil, between right and wrong- and which ideas express these stark differences. These are some of the worst and best of ideas that we have used to shape our narratives, both public and personal. While reading the list, ask yourself- What ideas shape your personal worldview/narrative at the most fundamental level?
Responsible, mature humanity will be open to rethinking and challenging the primitively inhumane ideas in narratives, open to reject the worst ideas, even those that have long been protected as “sacred” due to their history of having been long embedded in world religions.
Are you ready for a mind revolution? For the most profound form of liberation- liberation at the depths of human consciousness/subconscious, at the core of your human spirit and self.
This project is about the hero’s quest or journey that each of us must venture forth to engage, the heroic engagement of a “righteous battle against evil”, a battle that takes place most critically inside every human heart (Solzhenitsyn). And most importantly, this is about universal or unconditional love as the weapon to slay the most dangerous of all monsters/enemies that we all face- i.e. the animal drives or passions inside each of us that are incited and validated by bad ideas.
Again, the worst of the animal drives that we have all inherited include (1) the impulses to tribal exclusion of differing others (small band mentality), (2) to domination/control of others (the Alpha thing), and (3) to punitive destruction of others. We conquer these base drives by affirming our better impulses (1) to universal inclusion of all others as family (the fundamental oneness thing), (2) by respecting the freedom and self-determination of others (not controlling others), and (3) by embracing a restorative justice approach to human failure.
When we orient our narratives and minds to the ideal of universal/unconditional love, that gives us a cohering center, a new baseline ideal to humanely influence our thinking, emotions, motivations, and responses/behavior. Universal/unconditional love is the potent weapon that enables us to fight and win the greatest battle of all.
When we confront this intensely personal inner monster of inherited animal drives and slay it, then we tower in stature as maturely human, like a Nelson Mandela. Having first conquered the real monster/enemy in life, we can then go out to properly contribute to making our world a better place. Our personal victory over the animal within us is our primary responsibility and the single greatest contribution that we can make to improving life overall.
The list below helps sharpen (focus) the weapon of unconditional that slays the monster. This list necessarily deals with metaphysical speculation because that is essential to many of our inherited ideas from prominent historical narratives.
Added note: Winning the personal battle first, puts us in a better place to “maintain our humanity” as we engage the varied public “righteous battles against evil” in our world. That was the jist of Campbell’s point that when we orient our lives to universal love, and view our “enemies” as family, we thereby maintain our humanity:
“For love is exactly as strong as life. And when life produces what the intellect names evil, we may enter into righteous battle, contending ‘from loyalty of heart’: however, if the principle of love (Christ’s “Love your enemies”) is lost thereby, our humanity too will be lost. ‘Man’, in the words of the American novelist Hawthorne, ‘must not disclaim his brotherhood even with the guiltiest’” (Myths To Live By).
Inherited “bad myths”, and better alternatives (revised short version, longer version in sections below on this site, formerly titled “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives”), Wendell Krossa
1.The inherited myth: The idea of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality. Contemporary “secular” versions of judging, punishing deity include “Vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, punitive Universe, and payback karma”.
An alternative: The new theology of deity as a stunningly “no conditions” reality (no conditions love). There is no threat from an unconditional God, no judgment, no exclusion of anyone, and no ultimate punishment or destruction. All are safe- in the end.
2. The inherited myth: The idea of a perfect beginning (i.e. Dilmun, Eden) and a God obsessed with perfection, enraged at the loss of perfection, demanding punishment of imperfection, and requiring atonement (sacrifice/payment, the purging of evil) to remedy imperfection and restore the lost perfection or paradise.
Alternative: The world was purposefully created as originally imperfect in order to serve as an arena for human struggle, learning, and development. Deity has no problem with imperfection. Others include the argument that there can be no such reality as good without its opposite- i.e. evil/imperfection. Good cannot exist alone, or be known and experienced without a contrasting reality.
Again, this is not to excuse, diminish, or defend evil. We are rightly enraged at imperfection and evil in this world and fight it in all its forms. But we are also responsible to maintain our own humanity as we engage righteous battles against evil. As Joseph Campbell argued, we must not forget that even our “enemies” are still our family (the underlying oneness of all things).
And in this life, as Campbell suggested, we are all just “actors on God’s stage” engaging oppositional roles in a temporary dualistic realm to provide one another with contrasting life experiences. Yes, this is metaphysical speculation. But what might be a better alternative to explain evil? The inherited mythical/religious speculations of the ultimate tribal division of humanity? Eternal cosmic dualism (i.e. the divide between true believers/unbelievers existing forever in eternal heaven and hell?). Or the better alternative- an ultimate return to our original “oneness” in an unconditional reality after experiencing a human story in this realm of material dualism?
3. The inherited myth: Humanity began as a more perfect species (the myth of primitive people as pure, strong, and noble hunter gatherers, e.g. “Adam/Eve”). But those early people then became corrupted/sinful (i.e. the myth of the “Fall of mankind”). This myth has led to persistent anti-humanism- blaming humanity for all the imperfections and suffering in the world.
Alternative: Humanity emerged from the brutality of animal reality to gradually become more humane across history (a long-term trajectory of humanity rising/improving, not falling into a trajectory of degeneration/decline). Rather than focus, as Declinism narratives do, on what is still wrong in life and humanity, we ought to focus more on how far humanity has risen from our primitive past and celebrate how well humanity has done in making things better. (Note, for example, the amazing decline in human violence across history- see James Payne’s “The History of Force”, Stephen Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature”)
4. The inherited myth (the ‘trajectory of life’): The world began as an original paradise (again, “the past was better”) but after the “Fall” the overall trajectory of life has been declining, degenerating toward something worse.
Alternative: The long-term trajectory of life does not decline to worse but overall rises/improves toward something ever better (i.e. more complex, organized, advanced).
5. Inherited myth: The belief that natural disasters, disease, human cruelty, and death are expressions of divine punishment, and that humanity deserves punishment.
Alternative: While there are natural consequences all through life, there is no punitive, destroying deity behind the imperfections of life. The natural consequences throughout life are just that- natural and not expressions of divine intent to harm or punish.
6. Inherited Myth: The belief that humanity has been rejected by the Creator and we must be reconciled via blood sacrifice/suffering. The deity offended by human imperfection demands payment/punishment for all wrong.
Alternative: No one has ever been rejected by the unconditional Love at the core of reality. No one has ever been separated from God. Ultimate Love does not demand appeasement/payment/atonement, or suffering, as punishment for sin. See the “Prodigal Father” story for an illustration of deity not demanding sacrifice/atonement before forgiving, accepting, and loving.
7. Inherited myth: The idea of a cosmic dualism between Good and Evil (i.e. God versus Satan) now expressed in human dualisms (tribes of good people versus their enemies- the “evil” people). Ultimate Good versus Evil is used to validate our inherited animal impulse to tribalism- to view ourselves in opposition to differing or disagreeing others (This is not to deny there is actual evil to be opposed, but to challenge the tendency to view differing others as irredeemable “enemies”, when they are essentially members of the same one human family.).
Alternative: There is a fundamental Oneness at the core of all and we all share that oneness. We all belong equally to the one human family and equally share the ultimate eternal Oneness that is God. Note that quantum mechanics also points to a fundamental oneness (i.e. the “Wuwu” factor that offends quantum purists).
Add: Our real enemy, the real monster in life, and the real evil, is not other people but is something inside each of us- our inheritance of animal drives, the drives to tribal division and exclusion, to domination of others, and to punitively destroy differing others. Solzhenitsyn again- the real battle between good and evil runs down the center of every human heart.
Also related to cosmic dualism- The hero’s quest involves a battle against some differing other viewed as an enemy to be conquered and eliminated from life, a monster to conquer and vanquish.
8. Inherited myth: The belief in a looming apocalypse as the final judgment, the ultimate punishment of wrong, and the final purging of all evil and destruction of all things.
Alternative: There are problems all through the world but there is no looming threat of final divine destruction and ending of the world. Apocalypse has always been a great fraud and lie. There will be no apocalypse as in the religious version of divine intervention to punish humanity and destroy the world (i.e. as illustrated, for example, in the New Testament book of Revelation).
9. Inherited myth: The always “imminent” element in apocalyptic mythology demands urgent action to save something, even the use of coercive violence to effect “instantaneous transformation”. (Arthur Mendel, in “Vision and Violence”, details the difference between the approaches of totalitarian “instantaneous transformation” by “coercive purification”, as opposed to democratic “gradualism”- the gradual improvement of life across history.)
Alternative: While unexpected catastrophes could still happen, there is no “imminent end of days” on the horizon, inciting the urgency to “save the world” now. Rather, life improves through gradual democratic processes as creative humanity cooperatively solves problems.
10. Inherited myth: The demand for a salvation plan, a required sacrifice or atonement (debt payment, punishment). The cosmic principle that all wrongs must be righted/corrected, all debts must be paid somewhere, somehow, sometime. God cannot just forgive freely, as that father in the Prodigal Son parable did without demanding restitution.
Alternative: Unconditional deity does not demand sacrifice, atonement, payment, or punishment as required for appeasement- as prerequisite for divine acceptance, forgiveness, and love. Deity freely forgives, universally includes all, loves unconditionally. Just as we are told to do- to “keep no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13), to not expect repayment of debt (Luke 6), to love even enemies (Matthew 5). To forgive without limit.
Additionally, this important comment from Bob Brinsmead (“Understand the root themes of the environmental religion”):
“The area often touched on superficially and skirted around like a root out of the dry ground is the matter of the anti-sacrificial movement launched by John the Baptist and brought to a head by the very issue that led directly to the death of Jesus. This is the matter of the real nature of Jesus’ temple protest. This was always destined to become the central issue of all Jesus research. No one disputes that Jesus died. If the temple event is seen as Jesus carrying forward the anti-sacrifice mission of his cousin John, then Jesus has to be seen as utterly against the whole religious idea that a sacrifice, an act of violent blood-letting to make an atonement for sin, should ever be required for reconciliation with God or with one another.
“This would mean that the Christian religion was founded on a false interpretation of the meaning of the death of Jesus, and it was out of this grave misunderstanding, that the whole edifice of its Christology arose– the Christology of a divine, virgin born and absolutely sinless man by whom God supposedly defeats evil by an act of apocalyptic violence, first in the Christ event and finally in a holocaust at the end of the world.
“Or to put it more simply, Jesus died protesting at the temple, the place where sacrifices were offered, affirming that God requires no sacrifice (no blood-letting violence) to put us right with God; yet the Christian religion turned the death of Jesus into God’s supreme sacrifice to put us right with God.” Bob Brinsmead
11. Inherited myth: The belief that retribution or payback is true “justice” (i.e. eye for eye, hurt for hurt, humiliation for humiliation, punishment for punishment).
Alternative: Unconditional love keeps no record of wrongs, forgives freely and without limit. And yes, there are natural/social consequences to bad behavior in this world, but all justice should be humanely restorative/rehabilitative in response to human failure.
Note the points, in the above link, on recidivism rates, and also the comment of a US prison official (in another Netflix documentary on criminal justice) that, yes victim’s feelings matter. But they, as prison officials, are primarily responsible to ensure public safety by lowering recidivism rates and preventing future victims. Most criminals will be released at some point. Will they be resentful and vengeful from suffering under a punitive justice system, or rehabilitated? Also, see Karl Menninger’s criminal justice classic “The Crime of Punishment”.
Guard’s comment: “If we treat inmates like animals, they will respond like animals. If we treat them like humans, they will respond like humans”. Not all, but most.
And of course, in these points on criminal justice, we recognize pathologies like psychopathy and the inability to rehabilitate some people, hence the need for permanent incarceration of repeat offenders to protect the public, as the primary responsibility of criminal justice. We never abandon common sense in our struggle to “love the enemy”. Unconditional approach to all does not mean dogmatic pacifism in the face of evil (i.e. “turn the other cheek”).
Further consider again Campbell’s point- i.e. that how we treat others is vital to maintaining our own humanity as we engage “righteous battles against evil”.
12. Inherited myth: The belief in after-life judgment, exclusion, punishment, and destruction (i.e. hell). This pathology of after-life harm adds unnecessary sting to the natural human fear of death.
Alternative: Unconditional love does not threaten ultimate judgment, exclusion, punishment, or destruction.
13. Inherited myth: The idea of a “hero” messiah who will use superior force and violence to overthrow enemies, purge the world of wrong (“coercive purification”), and install a promised utopia. The belief that superior violence (as in the New Testament book of Revelation) is the model for solving problems, for correcting all that is wrong in the world.
Alternative: A God of authentic love does not intervene with overwhelming force that overrides human freedom and choice. It is up to maturing humanity to make the world a better place through long-term gradualism processes that respect the freedom of others who differ.
Again, see Zenon Lotufo and Harold Ellen’s comments above on how images of violent deity incite/validate violence in humanity.
14. Inherited myth: The fallacy of biblicism- the belief that religious holy books are more special and authoritative than ordinary human literature, and the related fallacy that people are obligated to live according to the holy book as the revealed will, law, or specially inspired word of God.
Alternative: We evaluate all human writing according to basic criteria of right and wrong, good and bad, humane or inhumane. Holy books, written by fallible people like ourselves, are not exempted from this basic process of discernment/evaluation.
15. Inherited myth: The idea of God as King, Ruler, Lord, or Judge. This myth promotes the idea that God relates to humanity in domination/submission forms of relating. This is based on the primitive idea that humans were “created to serve the gods”. Such ideas have long been used to validate human forms of domination over others (i.e. the “divine right of kings, priesthoods, public leaders”).
Alternative: There is no domination/subservience relationship of humanity to God. True greatness is to relate horizontally to all as equals. The “greatness” of God is to relate to all as free equals, not to “lord over” others. Similar human greatness is exhibited in not overriding the free self-determination of others, not controlling others. Note the statement of Jesus in Matthew 20:25-28 that true greatness is not expressed in domination of others, but in service to others.
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their ‘great ones’ exercise authority over them. It should not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as I came not to be served but to serve others”.
16. Inherited myth: The idea that humanity is obligated to know, serve, or have a relationship with an invisible reality (deity), that we are to give primary loyalty to something separate from and above people.
Alternative: Our primary responsibility is to love and serve real people around us. Their needs, here and now, take priority in life. Loyalty to realities placed above people (laws, institutions, or higher authorities) has always resulted in the neglect or abuse of people.
17. Inherited myth: The perception that God is silent or absent during the horrors of life (i.e. Where was God during the Holocaust?). This myth of absent deity is based on the primitive belief that God is a sky deity (dwelling in heaven above, separate from humanity), a deity that descends to intervene in life and change circumstances, a God who overrides natural law, in order to save or protect people.
Alternative: There has never been a Sky God up above in some heaven. The reality we call “God” has always been incarnated equally in all humanity. God has always been immediately present in all human suffering and is intimately present in all human raging and struggle against evil. God is inseparable from the human spirit in all of us and is expressed in all human action to prevent evil, to solve problems, and to improve life. We are the embodiments/incarnations of God in this world, and nothing saves us except our choices and actions to oppose wrong and to help one another, to make life better in this world.
18. Inherited myth: The fallacy of “limited good” and the belief that too many people are consuming too much of Earth’s resources, and hence, world resources are being exhausted. This relates to the ancient religious belief in the moral superiority of the simple, low-consumption lifestyle. The belief that denial of comfort- i.e. separation from “worldly things”, and rejection of material possessions, is a more “spiritual” and holy route to take. Add here the belief that suffering is somehow redemptive. Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist believed this while Jesus took an opposite stance of “eating and drinking” and enjoying all that life had to offer.
Alternative: More people on Earth means more creative minds to solve problems. More consumption means more wealth to solve problems and enable us to make life better- i.e. enables us to improve the human condition and protect the natural world at the same time. Evidence affirms that human improvement and environmental improvement has been the outcome of more people on Earth enjoying the good life. See “Population Bombed” by Desrochers and Szurmak, “Ultimate Resource” by Julian Simon, “Humanprogress.org”, and related studies.
Further, we are not exhausting Earth’s resources. With the emergence of some apparent resource scarcity, humanity through improving technology then works to discover more reserves of those scarce resources, or makes the shift to alternative resources. There is a superabundance of resources in our world. Note also the “dematerialization” trend in modern advanced societies (i.e. the ongoing trend of less material inputs per person, economies of scale with increasing urbanization, etc.)
Exchange this idea of stinginess as superior, for a theology of an extravagantly generous God (scandalously generous) who has given us an Earth of ‘superabundance’ to enjoy. And as noted by Historical Jesus, the no conditions God exhibits the same generosity to all alike, to both “good” and “bad” people without discrimination. There are not favored “true believers” with God, no excluded unbelievers. “God is love” means that God is an unconditional universalist.
Add your own themes/ideas and alternatives.
This from Charles Rotter, July 5, 2023 posted at Wattsupwiththat.com, “The Evil of Climate Alarmism: Dissecting Michael Walsh’s ‘Hoax of the Millennium’”.
My intro note to this article (Wendell Krossa):
I would not refer to the climate change alarmism as “hoax” as that automatically permits alarmists to discredit one as a “climate denier”. I would affirm that climate change is real and is happening because climate is a dynamic, complex system that is never in stasis (unchanging). And I would affirm that CO2 has a warming influence on climate.
What people mean when they state that climate change is a “hoax” (as Vivek Ramaswamy stated in the first Republican presidential debate) is that they disagree with the alarmist narrative of “human-caused climate change that is becoming catastrophic, a climate emergency”. And they disagree that CO2 is “the main influence on climate change” and hence to “save the world” from imminent apocalypse we must decarbonize our societies immediately. These basic points of agreement and disagreement need to be made clear.
So again, do not refer to climate change as a “hoax” as that only confuses issues. But then push through the fog of the public discussion to the single most important issue in regard to climate change- the physics of CO2. What exactly is the influence of CO2 on warming? Understand that CO2 absorbs and re-emits the energy of long-wave infrared radiation in a very narrow segment of the long-wave spectrum. And that influence has now reached “saturation”- a physics term. Hence, much more CO2 in the atmosphere will contribute very little to more possible warming (we don’t know if the future will bring any more warming, or will bring a cooling trend). See atmospheric physicists like Richard Lindzen and William Happer for detailed research in this.
See, for example, the following explanations (I do not affirm the conclusions of these sites that rising CO2 is causing some “climate crisis”):
“Carbon dioxide, for example, absorbs energy at a variety of wavelengths between 2,000 and 15,000 nanometers — a range that overlaps with that of infrared energy. As CO2 soaks up this infrared energy, it vibrates and re-emits the infrared energy back in all directions. About half of that energy goes out into space, and about half of it returns to Earth as heat, contributing to the ‘greenhouse effect.’”
Now Rotter’s article continues (Rotter’s name fronts his comments on Walsh, as Walsh’s name front his own comments)…
Rotter- The discourse around climate change has been nothing short of apocalyptic, with proclamations of impending doom dominating our news feeds. However, as Michael Walsh’s excellent column, “Hoax of the Millennium” elucidates, the scenario isn’t quite as dire as climate alarmists would have us believe…
Walsh- Today, and each day for the next two weeks, the-Pipeline.org will address the issue of “climate change,” which like Covid-19 and “Russian collusion,” is one of the great hoaxes of the modern era, maliciously concocted out of whole cloth by people who mean to harm western civilization and using the cudgel of “compassion” and “concern” with which to do it. Of the three, the “climate change” hoax, which threatens the foundations of civilized life, is by far the most inimical. Please follow our series as we debunk the claims made by the apocalypticists and their media allies.
Rotter- Walsh begins his column by labeling climate change, Covid-19, and “Russian collusion” as the greatest hoaxes of the modern era, designed by those who intend to harm western civilization. But it is climate change, according to Walsh, that is the most threatening hoax because of its potential to undermine the foundations of civilized life…
Walsh- To begin, the climate is always changing. Only an illiterate or a fool cannot understand this elementary concept….
The Last Days are not upon us.
Rotter- Walsh suggests that the “climate movement” threatens to undo Western civilization’s accomplishments in science, technology, and religion, replacing them with an inhuman and godless form of primitivism. The movement, according to him, promotes a culture of fear and guilt with the ultimate aim of controlling the human population. He likens the climate change narrative to a global-scale mass-suicide cult, coercing individuals into reducing their standard of living and lowering their expectations for the future.
Walsh- … one thing is clear: you are being lied to on a massive scale by a quasi-Marxist mass-suicide cult — think Jonestown on a global scale — in order that you lower your standard of living, rid yourself of all earthly possessions, abandon your expectations for the future, stop having children, cease all consumption, and disappear from planet Earth.
Rotter- The rise of this climate movement, according to Walsh, can be attributed to the decline of education, the resurgence of superstition, and an attack on the institutions and essence of Western civilization. Such a cult perceives Western civilization as the ultimate expression of “white supremacy,” advocating for its obliteration.
Walsh- It is imperative that we break the stranglehold this new form of demonic possession now has on our society.
Rotter- The column goes on to link the decline of traditional Christianity with the emergence of a twisted form of dictatorial nature worship. Walsh describes this as an ‘unnecessary guilt trip’ over supposed sins against other cultures, which now leverage their lack of scientific and artistic achievements as a critique against the West. He urges society to break the stranglehold this form of nature worship has over our civilization.
Walsh- Yet. But the “climate movement” bids fair to undo everything Western man has accomplished in the fields of science, technology, and religion and replace it with a savage new primitivism that is both inhuman and godless. It relies on the patina of science to promote a culture based on fear and guilt, with the goal of reducing and taming the human population under the aegis of a small group of self-appointed bonzes.
Rotter- Walsh then provides examples of how governments are implementing radical measures to satisfy this new wave of environmental fanaticism, from Holland’s seizure of farmers’ land to Ireland’s plan to cull cattle to meet emissions targets. He points out the absurdity of these measures, noting that cattle have historically been integral to Ireland’s national identity. These actions reflect the disturbing trend towards sacrificing cultural and economic stability in the name of climate action.
But the greatest deception, Walsh argues, lies in the portrayal of carbon emissions as a destructive force. He reminds us that carbon is the basis of life as we know it:
Walsh- The bugbear du jour is “emissions,” a nebulous, one-size-scares-all excuse imposing an otherwise clearly insane policy on a body politic that has never once voted to starve itself to death… Worst of all are “carbon emissions,” which have been dishonestly linked to “climate change” and have created a perfect storm of panic and fear among the gullible.
Walsh- “Carbon is life. It exists in every organic life form. Life is impossible without it… The carbon atom is the essential building block of life. Every part of your body is made up of chains of carbon atoms, which is why we are known as “carbon-based life-forms.”… To attack “carbon” as an evil is to attack yourself; to eliminate carbon is to eliminate humanity.”…
Rotter- Walsh concludes by debunking the urgency around “climate change,” stating that the Earth will continue to warm and cool until the sun dies. He dispels the panic surrounding a global temperature rise of two degrees centigrade, arguing that a slight warming could actually be beneficial for humanity. He warns against the nefarious intentions of the World Economic Forum and its commitment to the reduction of the human population, reminding us that when you have “net-zero” emissions, you are, in effect, dead.
(1) There is nothing urgent about “climate change.” The earth will continue to warm and cool until the day the Sun dies.
(2) Nothing bad will happen in either the short- or long-term if global temperatures rise by two degrees centigrade, the arbitrary figure of alarm for the cultists. Indeed, a slight warming will help all of humanity.
(3) Many of the people promoting the panic emerge from the malign precincts of the World Economic Forum which, under its Bond villain-in-chief, Klaus Schwab, is dedicated to the impoverishment and reduction of the human population. These are the same people who gave you the recent Covid hugger-mugger, which needlessly atomized the world’s economies and illegally locked down whole populations while cowering from a bug of next-to-zero lethality in the general population.
(4) When you have “net-zero” emissions, you are dead.
Rotter- His closing word, a powerful one, describes the current climate alarmist scenario as “Evil.” He calls upon readers to combat this evil not idly or half-heartedly but with the force of one’s strength, mind, and body.
There is a fine line between taking the necessary measures to protect our planet and propagating fear to serve vested interests. Michael Walsh’s column provides a thought-provoking perspective on this critical issue. It is crucial not to let the narrative become a tool of manipulation and control.
Whether you agree with Walsh’s religious perspective or not, his points of the evolution and motivation of the Climate Change Cult are extremely strong.