See just below- Two entirely different gods and gospels- Christology and anti-Christology
Keep an eye on what the “College of Psychologists” are trying to do to Jordan Peterson and his rights to free speech, to his freedom in general. This from National Post, Jan. 4, 2023, “I will risk my license to escape social media re-education: This should concern everyone”
Over past years Peterson has been a singularly clear voice warning us about what is happening in our societies- i.e. the “creeping totalitarianism” that has been emerging from the extremist Woke Progressivism movement, more generally the left/liberal side of society. And it is no longer “creeping”.
The dominant threat to freedom today:
What is this shift of US/Canadian liberals toward extreme Woke Progressive culture? What is this resurgence of collectivism throughout academia, and notably through the climate alarm crusade? It is the continuation of last century’s “anti-industrial civilization” movement- i.e. specifically, the Marxist crusade against “the protection of individual rights and freedoms in Classic Liberalism”, a crusade that has been taken up by the environmental movement and climate alarm movement.
(Note- Both Left and Right sides of our societies give vent to the totalitarian impulse, to “creeping totalitarianism”. The Right tends to do so on social issues, and the Left tends to do so on economic issues. Both sides need to respect what freedom means in all areas of life- as argued, for example, by David Boaz in “Libertarianism”. And no, I am not taking up a banner to promote Libertarianism in particular. My own position is more Classic Liberal/Independent as in protecting individual rights and freedoms.)
Why should we be concerned about all this? Well, what is the real nature of liberal democracy and what are its core values/principles? What is the nature of the freedom that is critical to the well being of all people? What are fairness, equality, inclusion, liberty/independence, self-determination, and the other Classic Liberal values/principles?
The human battle for freedom has never ended and is at another critical juncture today… It ought to concern all of us.
Here’s a good summary of what the Twitter files have uncovered. It relates to issues of basic Political Science definitions of “Fascism”- “government and corporate power are… merged to control the population”. Democratic Senator Frank Church warned us about this many decades ago.
Sixth Mass Extinction?? No, not true. From a serially-wrong, yet repeatedly highly awarded, apocalyptic prophet…
This is what the “madness of crowds” looks like. We are living through another major historical episode of crowd madness today. From Patrick West, Spiked, Dec. 30, 2022, “The rise of the eco-cult: Extreme environmentalists plumbed new depths of madness in 2022”
How apocalyptic panic-mongering incites violence- The Washington Times, Jan. 1, 2023, “When the power fails, lives can be threatened by policy and criminality”
The relationship of fear to violence: You threaten populations with apocalyptic scenarios like “climate change becoming catastrophic and purportedly ending the world”. Then with their survival impulse incited to hysterical levels of panic, people desperate to survive will engage extremist behavior, even violence, to stop the perceived threat to their existence and to save themselves or “save the world”.
H. L. Mencken’s insightful statement still applies today: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary”, (In Defense of Women).
This from statistician Bjorn Lomborg- “Dramatic decline of deaths from climate-related weather extremes: Fewer and fewer people die from climate-related natural disasters”
Two entirely different gods and gospels- Christology and anti-Christology, Wendell Krossa
(Insert note: Christology? Yes, turning a normal historical person into a Christ figure, divinizing an ordinary human being.)
Why potentially agitate and outrage true believers with this Jesus versus Christ comment?
I put this “anti-Christ” commentary up repeatedly (a “cut the taproot” approach) as part of my project to counter more thoroughly the apocalyptic narratives of despair that incite widespread fear, anxiety, unhinged hysteria, fatalism/resignation, depression, embrace of suicidal “salvation” policies, and yes- even violence among populations/societies. Media, politicians, and academics/scientists today all promote the destructive narrative of Declinism that has been embraced by the modern environmental alarmism movement.
“Life declining toward something worse” is a fundamental feature of apocalyptic mythology, and it is also an essential element in Paul’s Christ myth.
Add the fact that alarmist narratives, like climate alarmism, are now tightly related to the Woke Progressivism/extreme leftism that dominates public arenas like Hollywood, academia/higher education, mainstream media, etc.
Anti-Christ? Yes, Historical Jesus- the “real deal Jesus”- presented a message that is quite entirely against the Christology of Paul, a Christology that is affirmed by the rest of the New Testament writers. This was Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy’s point that the “diamonds/pearls” of Historical Jesus were buried in the New Testament mythology of Paul’s Christ- “the work of lesser minds”. (I won’t list the other terms that they used to describe the larger New Testament context of Paul’s writings in which the core teaching of Jesus was “buried”. Why needlessly piss people off?)
There is no more profound element to the anti-Christ stance of Historical Jesus than the fact that he died because of his protest against the sacrifice industry, for protesting the belief/practise that a blood sacrifice was required before God would forgive and love people (John 2:13-16, Matthew 21:12-13, and other gospels). Bob Brinsmead has done some interesting work on this recently, research that challenges the common Christian interpretation that Jesus’ outburst at the temple was nothing more than his disgust with the money-changer’s greed. A common Evangelical interpretation stated that his outburst was simply about greedy money-changers making profit in a holy place. Not much more than- “You turn my father’s house into a den of thieves”.
Bob Brinsmead adds this clarification: “The complaint of Jesus was that the temple traders, trading animals, was robbery. It was impractical for Passover visitors to all bring an animal to be sacrificed, especially ones that had to be without fault, according to priestly requirements. Jesus saw it all as robbing the people because it was the same in principle as buying indulgences (forgiveness) in the time of Luther. People were paying out their precious little resources to purchase favour with God.
“On the other hand, since Jesus’ gospel was about announcing the grand Jubilee of all debts forgiven by divine amnesty, the temple cult was robbing God of the glory of his free banquet. The temple animal trade was all about buying indulgences and it infuriated Jesus to the point that he did what appears to be beyond prudent. His protest, which under the circumstances of Passover, was beyond the risk of life and limb.” Meaning- he was put to death for that protest against the sacrifice industry in Judaism.
Paul then rejected Jesus’ fundamental opposition to sacrifice, and his death for that protest against sacrifice, and then turned Jesus into the ultimate sacrifice, the divine cosmic sacrifice of a godman as the demanded condition before God could forgive and accept imperfect people. The gospel writers all supported Paul’s mythology of the Christ as the ultimate divine sacrifice.
So yes, Jesus is indeed the real anti-Christ, as his message and life are entirely against the sacrifice Christology of Paul.
Add also, other interesting “anti-Christ” tidbits: Such as that Jesus taught that true greatness was to serve others, not to lord over them. He identified himself as “one who serves” and that, he stated, was true greatness (Luke 22:24-34). But Paul turned Jesus’ stance of identity with common humanity, and his refusal to lord over others, into the myth that Jesus was the Lord Christ, the ultimate King who would dominate all forever (Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10-11- both borrowed perhaps from Isaiah 45:23? See also Revelation for graphic detail on the New Testament Christology of domination.).
My other anti-Christ comments further below, point to the fundamental contradiction between the insight of Jesus that God was an unconditional deity (i.e. no conditions required for forgiveness and acceptance by God- see also the Prodigal Father story), as contrasted with the highly conditional God of Paul (i.e. demanding a sacrifice to appease wrath, demanding the condition of faith in Paul’s Christ myth, and requiring the conditions of fulfilling correct rituals and living a religious lifestyle as identity markers of being a true believer). Conditions, conditions, and more damn conditions.
There can be no merging of the unconditional theology of Jesus with the highly conditional theology of Paul. They are two entirely different gods and gospels.
And again- I post this material as part of my project to go to root causal ideas that affirm the pathology of apocalyptic in human narratives and society. This pathology of apocalyptic thinking continues to wreak damage in human consciousness and life today, nowhere more potently harmful than in such movements as the “profoundly religious” climate cult.
Added note on this comment above- “Add the fact that alarmist narratives, like climate alarmism, are now tightly related to the Woke Progressivism/extreme leftism that dominates public arenas like Hollywood, academia/higher education, mainstream media, etc.”.
The Right also has its issues with exaggerated alarmism over differing others and their positions (i.e. the apocalyptic scenarios of the Right), and the Right is also susceptible to authoritarian responses, notably on social issues.
Argument: Protecting the equal freedom and rights of every individual is the safest way to organize human societies and to protect against totalitarianism emerging from either side of political divides (i.e. left or right).
Principles for organizing human societies- what works best? Wendell Krossa
It was the genius of Classic Liberalism to protect the rights and freedoms of individuals as primary in organizing human societies. This was accomplished by creating such institutions as a representative parliament that would no longer serve mainly the interests of elites (kings, lords) but was transformed into an institution that existed to protect all citizens equally. Add the genius of a system of law that made all citizens equal under such law- whether kings or commoners. This began with such innovations as Magna Carta and progressed to Common Law systems, along with human rights codes and similar constitutions. (See, for example, Daniel Hannan’s “Inventing Freedom” for a history of these developing institutions.)
Most fundamental to the protected equality of liberal democracy was the institution of protected “private property”. Private property rights became foundational to distributing power among competing individuals and that decentralization of power was critical to preventing the centralizing of power that has inevitably resulted in unleashing varied forms of totalitarianism.
The institutions and law systems of classic liberalism, or liberal democracy, are oriented to placing individual rights as primary above collectivist elements that inevitably centralize power and unleash the totalitarian impulse that threatens individual rights and freedoms. Distributing power among individuals and among competing institutions best prevents such centralizing of power. Again, individual property rights and protections are critical here.
But what about the collectivist concern that individual private property is all about affirming selfishness and greed that is counter to greater or common good?
Organizing societies around the primary status of individual rights and freedoms does not mean the neglect of greater or common good but simply argues that greater or common good is actually better advanced by organizing societies around the fundamental protection of individual rights and freedoms. Contribution to common or greater good should be more a voluntarily-engaged option of free and self-determining individuals. That uncoerced freedom of choice best protects the individual freedom and self-determination that are critical to human well-being.
And yes, in the liberal democracy mix, citizens of most modern societies agree to some “social contract” redistribution of property/income to assist less fortunate citizens and to cover shared infrastructure, etc. But the tug-of-war should continue over how large a portion of the GDP that redistribution should be (see the comment in William Bernstein’s “The Birth of Plenty” re the size of government and government programs that best provides “the most good for the most people”).
Caution in science vs dogmatic finality, Wendell Krossa
Joseph Campbell once noted a scientist who stated that the greatest scientists have always admitted that “we don’t really know what anything is”. We have discovered more about how the material realm functions, how its laws behave. But we have no idea what material reality is, even after a century of quantum mechanics. (See, for example, Jim Baggott’s “Mass: The quest to understand matter from Greek atoms to quantum fields”.)
Manjit Kumar in “Quantum: Einstein, Bohr, And the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality” traces the emergence and development of quantum mechanics over the last century and notes the varied contributors to that science. Over the century of the development of quantum mechanics, varied contributing scientists would state at different times- “I have just made some discovery, and my discovery is the final piece of the puzzle, so the rest of you can now shut down the shop. Its over”. But then another scientist would come along and poke holes in the “final discovery” of such scientists and show that much more remained to be discovered.
Dogmatism over finality in science is unbecoming because in any area of reality because there is always more to discover, more to add to what is known, and hence, ongoing skepticism/questioning/challenge are healthy and vital to further understanding and progress.
Examples of dogmatism/finality in science:
Years ago, consciousness researcher Stuart Hameroff stated a bit too dogmatically (in my evaluation) in a YouTube video clip that the research on microtubules in relation to consciousness was the right way to go and that the final answers would be found in that area. We are almost there, he said.
Much like hardcore materialist Daniel Dennett claiming that because we understand the brain down to the level of molecules and atoms, so we will eventually explain consciousness solely in material terms. Sitting beside Dennett during the seminar where Dennett made that claim, physicist Freeman Dyson smiled and replied, “I don’t think so”. Ha.
Hameroff’s fellow consciousness researcher, Roger Penrose, in an interview on Joe Rogan, peppered his responses on microtubule research with a bit more caution- “Well, we don’t really know that yet… I am not really sure about that…” etc. And yes, Penrose did acknowledge that Hameroff was open to some alternative input on the subject.
Susan Blackmore, another consciousness researcher, also expressed a dogmatism similar to Hameroff in stating with finality on a YouTube video- “Dualism is dead”. Really, Susan? A great neuroscientist, and Nobel Laureate John Eccles, would disagree that dualism is dead. His evidence and arguments showed the dualism hypothesis to be very much alive still (i.e. the mind interacting tightly with the material brain, not “produced by” the material brain).
More growing uncertainty in another area of science, Wendell Krossa
Dogmatic materialists like to argue that the emergence and development of life can be explained quite entirely in terms of natural law, natural selection, natural forces, etc. But note that when Francis Crick discovered DNA and saw the amazing complexity of the genome, he turned to “panspermia” mythology to explain the emergence and development of DNA. He suggested that some other higher intelligence was the only logical, rational explanation for such organized complexity appearing in the world so early in the history of life. Traditional Darwinism (i.e. mutations gradually and randomly accumulating in an organism) and related materialist/naturalist theories could not account for DNA’s early appearance on Earth, nor account for the subsequent development of life into complex multi-cellular organisms. The “conductor” of such emergence and developing complexity has still not been discovered.
Crick: “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”
My question here: How is panspermia speculation- i.e. that some greater intelligence (i.e. aliens) is involved in starting and developing life- how is such speculation really any different than religious speculations that “God created or started life”? God as the “higher intelligence”.
I fail to see much essential difference between the materialist and religious explanations. On the materialist side there is a fundamental revulsion to irrational “religious” explanations. And yes, I understand and agree with materialists on their overall rejection of irrational religious mythologies and theologies.
But there is some more nuance to all this.
For example, the debates between evolutionary theorists and Intelligent Design (ID) theorists are interesting here, notably works like Stephen Meyer’s “The Return of the God Hypothesis”. And no, I am not taking up a defence of Intelligent Design but just suggesting that such material offers some interesting input to the debates over the emergence and development of life.
I would also offer here the skepticism of contemporary evolutionary theory by noted evolutionists like Franklin Harold- “The Way of the Cell”, Lynn Margulis- “Acquiring Genomes”, Evelyn Kellor- “The Century of the Gene”, and materialist Thomas Nagel’s “Mind and Cosmos: Why the materialist Neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false”, etc. These evolutionary theorists are not abandoning some form of evolution but just arguing that the “Post-WW2 Neo-Darwinian theory” (based in part on the theory of mutations accumulating on the genome) has largely been discredited by more recent discoveries re the human genome.
I would suggest some term other than “evolution” to explain the development of life, as evolution has become inextricably tied to the now discredited theory of “mutations accumulating on the genome that result in new features or new species”. How about something like the more broadly encompassing- “long-term development of life”. This accommodates the input discoveries of all sides.
Note that both evolutionists and IDers agree that life began billions of years ago, and that there is a shared heritage of life via DNA, and this shared heritage affirms that humanity arose from an animal background, etc. But there is ongoing disagreement between these theories over the mechanisms of life’s beginning and development.
Conclusions: There is room still for questioning how life began, its mechanism of development over long-time frames, and what life actually is. These are not settled issues despite the dogmatism of many traditional evolutionists. Franklin Harold and Lynn Margulis both detail the unscientific dogmatism of their evolutionary colleagues.
Note: Considering the ID input does not automatically mean also embracing religious theology or a religious God to explain the emergence and development of life. The more reasonable IDers state this- i.e. that claiming it is rational to see intelligence of some kind involved in the development of life does not mean accepting the Christian God as involved or responsible, though Meyers does lean that way near the end of his book.
Also, see Michael Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution” for an exploration of how far Natural Selection could possibly be involved to explain developing life.
Point in this comment? Science rarely reaches some final consensus on anything but must remain ever open to skepticism, questioning, further challenging input from all sources, and new alternative explanations that move our understanding of reality and life forward in new directions.
Further below in this section I have posted another summary article on “The stunning contradiction at the heart of Christianity… The central message of Historical Jesus contrasted with Paul’s Christ myth”
That article below is my latest summary on the contradiction between the central message of Historical Jesus and Paul’s entirely contrary Christ myth. My point is to focus again on the core myths/themes behind contemporary alarmism movements like the “profoundly religious” climate alarmism crusade. I would emphasize once again that the apocalyptic Christ myth of Paul has been mainly responsible for keeping the pathology of apocalyptic alive in Western and world consciousness.
The outcome of continuing human embrace of apocalyptic mythology? The apocalyptic millennial scholars- Arthur Herman (The Idea of Decline in Western History), Arthur Mendel (Vision and Violence), Richard Landes (Heaven On Earth), David Redles (Hitler’s Millennial Reich)- have all warned us, in their research, of the destructive power of apocalyptic millennial ideas to incite and validate mass-death movements. They detail how apocalyptic millennial ideas/themes inflamed the mass-death movements of Marxism and Nazism, and now energize environmental alarmism crusades, and to my point- notably climate alarmism.
I tackle such ideas repeatedly- in both their religious embodiments and “secular” versions- because I lean toward the conviction that thorough problem-solving should include all the root causal factors in any issue of concern. Much like the military commentators of past years noting that the war on terror should involve more than just the direct military action against extremist groups like ISIS. It should also involve tackling the core ideas (the bad religious or ideological ideas) that drive historically repeating eruptions of such extremism.
Apocalyptic mythology continues to be the great curse/pathology that darkens human narratives and consciousness. It continues to be “the most violent and destructive idea in history” (Arthur Mendel in “Vision and Violence”). The outcomes of apocalyptic belief in human society have been horrific because apocalyptic panic-mongering incites and promotes the following impulses and responses:
(1) It incites exaggerated fear and the survival impulse in populations. It then (2) renders people susceptible to alarmist salvation schemes like decarbonization. It (3) arouses the tribal impulse and the associated felt need to heroically engage a righteous battle of good against evil. Apocalyptic mythology also (4) demands that people violently purge some threat to life, in order to “save the world”, or to restore some lost paradise. Add to these, the felt need to embrace “suffering as redemptive”, to embrace the “sacrifice” of abandoning the good life and returning to the “morally superior simple lifestyle”, which is a return to primitivism. (The re-embrace of primitivism relates to the “noble savage” myth- still dominant in academia- that humans were stronger, more pure in the primitive past before “humanity degenerated in decadent civilization”).
Agreeing with Arthur Mendel, there are few things more destructive to human societies than apocalyptic. And Paul’s apocalyptic Christ myth has been the single most influential belief that has kept apocalyptic alive in Western narratives and consciousness.
Fortunately, we have the “diamond” insight of Historical Jesus that overturns entirely Paul’s apocalyptic Christ myth. Historical Jesus (a person opposite to the Christian “Jesus Christ”) said that we should not engage retaliatory behavior (i.e. no more “eye for eye”) but instead we should “love our enemies” because this is what God does. God does not retaliate but instead God loves God’s enemies and this is evident in that God sends the good gifts of life- sun and rain- to all alike, to both good and bad people (see both the Luke 6:27-36 and Matthew 5:38-48 sections). As James Robinson said, Jesus introduced the “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God”.
My concluding point from the Historical Jesus material above- If God is non-retaliatory, as Jesus claimed, then God will not engage the ultimate act of retaliation that is the apocalyptic destruction of the world (to punish God’s enemies- i.e. sinful humanity). There will be no apocalypse as in Revelation. God is not an apocalyptic deity. And hence, Jesus was not an apocalyptic prophet.
Getting the core message of Historical Jesus right, notably as it contrasts with Paul’s Christ myth- this is critical to overturning the central myth that has kept destructive apocalyptic mythology alive in Western narratives and consciousness- again, Paul’s apocalyptic Christ myth. From the very heart of our meta-narratives, both religious and “secular” (i.e. Declinism), apocalyptic has wreaked immense damage in human lives and societies. Once again, I remind you of the research of the apocalyptic millennial scholars, listed above, on how apocalyptic played a role in the mass-death movements of the past century and is still actively playing a role in environmental alarmism today.
Some good sources for understanding the state of the world, prominent social trends, and other things in our world today. These sources are repeatedly posted on this site. They provide good evidence to inform and shape our worldviews. Wendell Krossa
(1) The dominance of Declinism ideology in today’s main public narratives- both religious and “secular” narratives (i.e. “the world becoming worse”, life declining toward apocalyptic ending). See “The Idea of Decline in Western History” by Arthur Herman.
(2) The critical importance of “the individual rights and freedoms” approach to organizing human societies. See Daniel Hannan’s “Inventing Freedom”, and Arthur Herman’s “The Cave and the Light”. (Affirming the protection of individual rights/freedoms is important to protect against collectivist totalitarianism.)
(3) Insight on Woke Progressive insanity- “War on the West” by Douglas Murray, “Woke Racism” by John McWhorter.
(4) Evidence on the actual trajectory of life, the “true state of the world”. See again the research of people like Julian Simon, Greg Easterbrook, Bjorn Lomborg, Matt Ridley, Indur Goklany, Ronald Bailey, Desrochers and Szurmak, Hans Gosling, Marion Tupy and Ronald Bailey, among others. The data from these sources is among the best for shaping overall worldviews, for liberating consciousness from anxiety and despair over life, and for fortifying our spirits with the motivating potency of evidence-based optimism.
This from Glen Greenwald in his Dec.31, 2022 newsletter titled “Democrats Abandon Free Speech”
“We begin this episode with an examination of how free speech has fallen from the place it had always occupied in U.S. history, a universally held value, to one that half the country now aggressively rejects. We will then speak with the independent journalist at the heart of one of this year’s most important stories, Matt Taibbi, and we will conclude the program with a specific look at a glaring and common conflict of interest and how a major journalistic outlet has been covering what it incessantly claims is Twitter’s imminent downfall….
“During… past episodes, a common theme emerged. We are immersed in one of the most radical changes in American political life in decades, if not longer. Namely, one of the most significant and powerful factions in the United States, the Democratic Party and the left-liberals who support it, the faction that dominates Washington, Hollywood, media, academia and increasingly the largest sectors of corporate power, simply no longer believes in free speech, either as a societal value or even as a constitutional doctrine.
“So many of our most recent intense political controversies are driven by their central degradation. It is the most significant dynamic driving so many of our most vitriolic debates. That is certainly what explains, for instance, the deranged, intense rage among liberal media employees over Elon Musk’s vow to restore just a modicum of greater political free expression to Twitter, and even more so, their unified indignation over the reporting done by the independent journalists Matt Taibbi and Bari Weiss, in which, whatever else you think of them, they did what journalists are supposed to do: they brought transparency to one of the nation’s most powerful corporations by shining light on the internal censorship regime that had governed Twitter until very recently.
“Americans disagreeing with one another is nothing new. This country has always been composed of a politically polarized citizenry. That is likely an inevitable by-product of creating a democratic republic that guarantees core civil liberties by giving millions of people, then tens of millions, then hundreds of millions, the freedom to express themselves, to organize, to petition their government for redress. You’re basically ensuring intense pluralism rather than uniformity of thought. The more authoritarian a society is, the more conformity there will be. Conversely, the freer it is, the more conflict of ideas and beliefs one will encounter. That’s normal and healthy to be expected. Indeed, that is the aspirational design of the United States….”
“Highly illiberal” liberalism
It is more than perplexing that the side of society- i.e. Western liberalism, the “left”- that we once associated with the ideals of inclusion, freedom, equality… has today become increasingly “illiberal” (leftist Jimmy Dore’ conclusion), even authoritarian/totalitarian. But maybe we should not be surprised given the inevitable totalitarian outcomes of when societies embrace collectivist movements.
When societies position some collective in a dominant status over individual freedom and rights, then individuals become subjected to the collective that is of necessity run by “enlightened elites” that claim to know what is best for all others. And the collectivist elites, lacking common sense self-awareness of the danger of what they are doing (centralizing power), and viewing themselves as more enlightened than average folks, have repeatedly chosen to use state force to coerce all others to submit to their policies under threat of censorship, cancelling/banning, criminalizing, and even full-on destroying dissenters to the dominant collective narrative and policies. Collectivist regimes have all descended into such totalitarian excess and subsequently destroyed economies and societies as we saw in Soviet Russia, Maoist China, Zimbabwe, more recently Venezuela, and other socialist countries.
Protecting individual rights and freedoms as the paramount organizing principle of human society, is the best protection against repeatedly resurging collectivist totalitarianism. Dispersing power amongst competing individuals best prevents the centralizing of power in collectivist elites, and best protects against the inevitable totalitarian control that results. Hence, we do well to advocate for and to protect the separation of government power and institutions, to affirm the primary role of government in protecting individual rights and freedoms (political elites truly “serving the people”, not lording over them), and to affirm systems of law that give primacy to individual property rights, individual choices/self-determination, and contracts between free and mutually agreeing individuals.
Affirming the individual as primary does not mean, as socialists claim, affirming selfishness and greed as paramount values in our societies. Embracing the individual approach to organizing societies, does not mean neglecting the “greater or common good”. It means that support of the common good should be more a voluntarily-embraced duty and not state-coerced. And yes, we all agree to some element of the “social contract” in the form of states taking some of our income to support needy people in our societies, to pay for shared infrastructure, and so on. The battles between left and right are usually over how big that state portion of redistribution should be (see William Bernstein’s “Birth of Plenty” for some interesting comment on this tug of war over the size of government as represented in percentage of GDP).
Posts from discussion group… Wendell Krossa
“___, just to continue our discussion on collectivism and the individual model from yesterday… some important distinctions…
“With the individual approach to organizing human society, individual rights and freedoms are protected as primary- things like private property and private contracts between people. Along with the separation of state institutions- independent judiciary, administrative and representative bodies- you get distribution of power among competing bodies and individuals. That is protection against totalitarianism. And individuals are free to contribute voluntarily to collective needs and so on, to contribute to common or greater good issues as they freely choose, or not.
“And yes, we all support the “social contract” part of liberal democracy where the state takes some of our income in taxes to help needy people and to pay for shared infrastructure and what not.
“The difference with Marxist collectivism was that the state was supreme over individuals, and some powerholding elite of enlightened people (enlightened vanguards) ran the collectives. They became what we have often been warned about- “the most dangerous people who believe they know what is right for all others”. And in that collectivism, private property was banned as an evil (it is the product of human greed, selfishness). Much like the WEF (World Economic Forum) trying to push the “great reset”, where “we will own nothing and we will be happy”.
“In such collectivism the individual is subject to the state. This goes back through Marx to Hegel who said the state would substitute for deity as the representative of the good of the society and all citizens would be subject to that state. Marx took that up and ran with it.
“Those approaches centralized power in the state elites, along with centralized control of resources that ignored things like market price signals for resources, and the result was environmental disaster, resource disaster, and the disaster of millions of deaths.
“Add that the controlling elites banned and criminalized all dissent from what they viewed as the “greater good… common good”, something that they would define for all others and that greater/common good turned out to be very much their interests.
“The concern today with Woke Progressivism (notably, the liberal left in US, much of the Democratic side) is that it has very much swung in the direction of resurging Marxism and a form of collectivism that censors all disagreeing opinion, and bans, cancels, criminalizes differing others (Obama’s AG, Loretta Lynch, trying to criminalize skeptical climate science back in 2016).” Wendell Krossa
“As Bernstein noted in The Birth of Plenty- there is an ongoing battle between the left and right over how big the state should be in our democracies. Should it exist at 20% of GDP, or 30%, or 40%? We see the size of the bureaucratic state in its percent of GDP. The state embodies the elements of regulatory burden and tax burden- and these burdens are about state intervention and control that is counter to individual interests and freedoms. State regulation and taxation (while useful in limited amounts) is a direct threat to personal freedom.
“Bernstein’s point was that if state were too big it then crushes the productive, creative sector of free individuals. Worse case scenario- we saw bloated state in Greece in its collapse under the burden of a state that gave everyone everything till the productive sector collapsed.
“But if the state is too small and not delivering enough to citizens then there is the threat of social upheaval. But does such threat exist because of the development of a “nanny state” mentality among the population- i.e. people expecting government to give them everything, to look after them. Hayek warned of the development of such a mentality that weakened the populations of states, making people dependent on their state. Losing their self-determination and hence full freedom. And of course, we get it that there are numbers of people who simply cannot support themselves and need assistance via government agencies.
“Interesting that Milton Freidman estimated that the best size of government (i.e. doing the most good for the most people) would be around 15%- that included local, state, and federal government”. Wendell Krossa
From Bryan Passifiume Dec. 23, 2022, “What the ‘Twitter Files’ reveal about the platform’s relationship with the FBI”
“Documents have also unveiled Twitter’s role in furthering the U.S. Military’s foreign propaganda operations”
Here is the critical stuff from this article on how the FBI censored the Hunter Biden story just before the 2020 election and shifted that election in favor of Biden. Subsequent polls showed that millions would not have voted for Biden if they knew about the laptop story. That would have changed the election outcome. This is corruption of a democracy and no wonder the FBI and mainstream media are trying to smear and discredit Shellenberger, Taibbi, Weiss, all liberal Democrats… with claims that they are “right wing…” The mainstream media helped with the censorship and has now also joined the crusade to smear and discredit these reporters.
Quoting this section from the full article at link above…
“On Monday, writer Michael Shellenberger added to Taibbi’s reporting on Twitter and Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop.
“Earlier Twitter Files releases documented active censorship of even mere mentions of the bombshell Oct. 14 2020 New York Post story.
“This week, Shellenberger detailed efforts by the intelligence community’s efforts to discredit reporting on Hunter’s foreign business affairs, before and after the story broke.
“On Oct 13, FBI Special Agent Elvis Chan sent a number of documents to Yoel Roth, Shellenberger alleges.
““The next day, October 14, 2020, the New York Post runs its explosive story revealing the business dealings of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Every single fact in it was accurate,” he Tweeted.
““Within hours, Twitter and other social media companies censor the NY Post article, preventing it from spreading and, more importantly, undermining its credibility in the minds of many Americans.”
“Text from Roth’s Dec. 2020 sworn declaration reported “regular meetings” with intelligence officials describing a “hack-and-leak operation” by state actors targeting the 2020 presidential election.
““I was told in these meetings that the intelligence community expected that individuals associated with political campaigns would be subject to hacking attacks and that material obtained through those hacking attacks would likely be disseminated over social media platforms, including Twitter,” Roth said.
““I also learned in these meetings that there were rumours that a hack-and-leak operation would involve Hunter Biden.”
“A video clip of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggest that platform was approached as well.
“While popular narrative suggests the Hunter Biden leaks were misinformation perpetrated out of Moscow, screenshots suggest Twitter execs told the FBI that concerning activity from Russian accounts were few and far between.
“Requests by Special Agent Chan to review mainstream news articles alleging foreign election meddling likewise came up empty, with Roth likening it to a “small-scale domestic troll effort,” and “not a significant bot or foreign angle.”
“Twitter pushed back against some of the requests, with the FBI repeatedly requesting information such as IP addresses that company officials had clearly stated wouldn’t be released without a court order.
“In July 2020, Chan proposed granting temporary top-secret clearance to Twitter executives in order to share possible threats to that fall’s election.
“As well, Shellenberger reported there were so many former FBI employees working for Twitter — including former company lawyer Jim Baker — that they “created their own private Slack channel and a crib sheet to onboard new FBI arrivals.”” And more….
Continuing site project: Provide the tools or “swords” to fight/slay the monsters of life, Wendell Krossa
(Yes, I am playing with Joseph Campbell’s framework on the “Hero’s journey or quest”. Meaning- I affirm the argument that we all live fundamentally by story, more than by scientific fact alone. And certainly, make sure that your story is well-informed by good scientific evidence.)
Here are three contemporary monsters to confront, fight, and conquer…
(1) Metaphysical monsters- the gods and bad mythical/religious ideas that incite fear, anxiety, guilt/shame, despair, and violence.
The weapon to slay/conquer these monsters? Offer better, more humane alternative ideas/themes to define ultimate realities, to fully humanize greater realities. Why engage speculation on the metaphysical? Because bad ideas have dominated human speculation on the “spiritual” for millennia, so at a minimum, offer better, more humane alternatives. Speculation on the metaphysical is not going away. See my essay “Old narrative themes, better alternatives” (also listed below as “Liberation into No conditions love”).
(2) Physical monsters (this-world monsters) like climate alarmism and its apocalypse myth (the incessant promotion of climate apocalypse scenarios- i.e. “end of world… final tipping point…”).
Weapon to slay this monster? Offer people the good research of climate physicists on the science of CO2- i.e. its warming effect and its very limited impact on climate change. See, for example, the good reports on the “Sun-climate effect: Winter gatekeeper hypothesis”.
(3) Declinism monster: This 19th Century ideology now dominates world consciousness (e.g. YouGov survey showing that 58% of the world population believe the “world is getting worse”). Declinism dominates the climate alarmism movement/narrative.
Weapon to conquer? Offer people the evidence on the main indicators of the true state of life on Earth and evidence on the long-term trajectory of life. This evidence potently slays the Declinism monster. Life/world is not getting worse but is improving over the long term. Again, good sources on this evidence include Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”, among many others. (Yes, its now dated, but the principles set forth by Simon are timeless.)
Psychologist/psychotherapists like Harold Ellens and Zenon Lotufo show the damaging impacts of monsters on human consciousness, human life, and overall society. The monsters listed above darken consciousness, enslave minds, and deform personality with fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, and despair/depression.
Notably, fear undermines freedom in life.
How so? Fear mentally and emotionally enslaves people and that directly undermines their freedom. Yes. You first terrorize populations with apocalyptic scenarios, and then you tell people that you know how to bring them to salvation (you- the “enlightened elite” who claim to know what is best for all others). Your salvation scheme involves you taking control over other’s lives, in onerous detail, and telling them just what they can or can’t do in order to “save the world” that you have falsely claimed is about to end. Check this link below on what such eco-dictatorship involves…
The monsters listed above are based on mythical ideas that have no basis in reality. The pathological ideas that make up monsters are the creation of religious imaginations and continue to dominate religious traditions. Non-religious folk have embraced the very same monstrous mythical ideas to shape their “secular” belief systems. Such ideas incite fear, anxiety, guilt/shame, and cause fatalism/resignation among people. The life-deforming outcomes of such monstrous ideas include self-destruction as in people frightened by apocalyptic climate scenarios and subsequently refusing to have children, or scared populations embracing policies that lead to a retreat to low-consumption primitivism. Or the embrace of society-destroying salvationism schemes like decarbonization. That’s the biggie that will harm everyone.
Cautionary Principle? Wendell Krossa
Many today (notably, politicians on the Right) take the position of “Slow down… But yes, your overall alarmism narrative is right…”
There is a lot of cautionary public chatter that we should not rush the transition to renewables as battery storage is not yet up to snuff, and electrical grids are subject to destabilization with intermittent solar and wind, etc. But too much of the cautionary pushback against the rushed transition to renewables then usually concedes with a wimpy, kowtowing affirmation (my evaluation) of the basic climate alarmism narrative that yes, there is a “climate crisis” that we must respond to. Yes, we must eventually transition away from fossil fuels. Just slow things down a bit, eh.
Insert note: Certainly, go ahead and develop renewables if you wish but do not do so based on an unscientific narrative that rising CO2 and more warming is a threat to life. And don’t do it based on public dime. Use your own private funds and don’t burden the public with that extra expense. People are struggling to pay for other more important things in their lives.
Heeding the advice of a friend to “not beat around the bush”… No, we don’t need to do a transition to renewables at all, because the basic assumptions of the climate alarmist narrative are wrong. They are not proven “consensus science”.
The dominant assumptions of climate alarmism? That (1) CO2 is “mainly responsible for climate change”, and that (2) as CO2 rises climate change is becoming “catastrophic” with worsening storms, heatwaves, droughts, floods, sea level rise, species holocaust, human suffering, etc. But these media catastrophe memes are not true. Even the IPCC acknowledges the unsettled science (uncertainty) and affirms there is no clear evidence such things as extreme weather events are becoming worse.
And then there is the assumption that, if we pass another 1.5-2.0 degrees C of warming, then we are entering the catastrophe zone, the “tipping point” into the final apocalypse. No. That is simply not true. For most of the history of life, average world temperatures were 3-6 degrees C higher than today’s 14.5 degrees C (“ice-house” conditions) and that past paleoclimate era (i.e. the Phanerozoic era) life emerged, developed, and flourished under those much warmer temperatures. There was no climate crisis.
Most critical to note is that during those much warmer temperatures, tropical average temperatures remained stable, only fluctuating a few degrees on average. That “equable climate” issue undermines the claim of climate alarmists that more warming will result in a “world on fire”. No, the extra warming energy is carried from the tropical regions to the colder polar regions by “meridional transport” (“Sun-climate effect: Winter gatekeeper hypothesis” reports). That heat energy then warms the colder regions more than the already warm areas of Earth. And that “evens out” climate across the world. The warming of cold regions consequently means extended habitats for many more diverse life forms, both plant and animal. That is beneficial to all life.
(Insert note: The fact that for hundreds of millions of years tropical temperatures have remained stable within a range that is beneficial to life- even when CO2 was in the multiple-thousands of ppm and average temperatures were 3-6 degrees C warmer and even up to 10 degrees C higher than today- this points to the fact that negative feedbacks kick in to keep the tropics from overheating.)
Warming the colder regions of Earth also means extended agricultural lands and lengthened crop seasons, all good for humanity.
The crusade to transition away from fossil fuels is based on a wrong narrative regarding CO2 and warming. So yes again, develop alternatives if you wish but not based on wrong assumptions about fossil fuels and emissions- i.e. the false narrative that CO2 is a pollutant and a threat to life (“CO2 is the main cause of warming and warming is becoming catastrophic”). And do not push renewables on the public using public money, which burdens average taxpayers.
My repeated conclusion still stands: There is no fundamentally sound scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies.
And once again, going to the roots of contemporary bad ideas, in both religious and “secular/ideological” systems of belief
A most stunning contradiction at the heart of Christianity… The central message of Historical Jesus contrasted with Paul’s Christ myth (see full presentation in essay “The Christian Contradiction”), Wendell Krossa
The contradiction has to do with the “behavior based on similar belief” relationship that people have embraced across history.
Historical examples: The Greeks tried to create their vision of the perfect society based on their beliefs in the “invisible Ideas/Ideals” (the “Eternal Forms”).
The Hebrews based all the details of their lives on what they believed to be the word, law, or will of their God. See the Old Testament books, notably, the plans for the portable Temple in Exodus, to be built according to the divinely revealed model.
And then, the Balinese shaped their villages and even their houses according to what they believed to be the divine pattern (field research of anthropologist Clifford Geertz).
Now watch how Historical Jesus used this behavior based on similar belief pattern. (Historical Jesus? Yes, the person who is entirely opposite to Paul’s Christian Christ)
The core theme/message of Historical Jesus: Matthew 5:38-48 and Luke 6: 27-36. I argue this is his core message based on “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel research (James Robinson, John Kloppenborg, Stephen Patterson, etc.).
Here is a paraphrased summary of the above New Testament sections: “Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”.
In the above message, Historical Jesus used the “behavior based on similar belief” coupling to reject retaliatory behavior (“eye for eye”), and to reject the retaliatory theology behind retaliatory justice. He offered, instead, a nonretaliatory ethic based on a “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God” (James Robinson). Jesus rejected retaliation toward offenders (i.e. eye for eye justice) and urged instead, “Love your enemies… because God does”. He offered a non-retaliatory ethic based on a similar non-retaliatory theology. A behavior based on a similar belief.
Over two decades later (circa 50s CE), Paul confronted that core theme/message of Jesus and outrightly rejected the stunning new theology of Jesus. Paul then retreated to the primitive pathology of a retaliatory God and created his Christianity based on that pathology of ultimate retaliation. This is the greatest contradiction in religious history, and it is at the heart of Christianity.
Note in Romans 12:17-20 how Paul directly confronted the “behavior based on belief” pattern used by Jesus but then replaced the new theology of Jesus with the old primitive theology of punitive, retaliatory God. There is no “love your enemy” God in Paul’s theology.
Paul initially appears to agree with Jesus in urging people to reject eye for eye response to offenders. He says, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil… Do not take revenge…”. But instead of basing this behavior on a similar belief in a non-retaliatory deity, as Jesus did, Paul confusingly bases his ethic/behavior on the very opposite belief/theology. He says, “Don’t retaliate, but leave room for God’s wrath… (he then quotes an Old Testament verse) ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord’”.
To make clear that Paul believed in a retaliatory God, note that he had earlier in Romans affirmed the retaliatory wrath of God repeatedly. Paul’s God was entirely contrary to the God of Jesus.
Romans Ch 1: 18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven…
Ch.2:5-8 “you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath… God will repay each person according to what they have done… for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger…
Ch.9:22 “What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath-prepared for destruction?”
And then Paul adds in the Romans 12 section above, that by not taking revenge and leaving vengeance to God, “You will heap burning coals on (your offender’s) head”. Which is to say, you will ensure your enemy’s punishment by a wrathful, retaliatory God. So even the ethic of Paul, contrary to Jesus, is retaliatory in its intention. It is entirely opposite to what Jesus advocated.
Paul’s gospel- his Christ myth- embodies the threat of ultimate divine retaliation in apocalypse and hell mythology (e.g. Thessalonians- “Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven in blazing fire… to punish and destroy those who do not obey (my Christ gospel)”.
Paul’s entire salvation gospel- his Christian religion that we inherited in Western civilization- is based on a fundamental rejection of what Jesus taught. Paul’s Christ gospel is based on a retreat to primitive retaliatory, punitive deity, along with the demanded blood sacrifice to appease that threatening deity (note his repeated “wrath of God” theme in Romans, wrath that appeased only by the blood sacrifice of Jesus’ death). Paul’s entire salvation religion is based on the threat of retaliation, and the need to appease a retaliatory God who threatens punishment and destruction. Paul’s Christian gospel is all about the need to make a blood sacrifice to appease the threatening, retaliatory deity.
Paul’s retaliatory Christ, his retaliation theology, has been one of the greatest influences on Western consciousness for the past two millennia, shaping Western ethics and justice systems as retaliatory justice approaches (i.e. eye for eye justice, as in pain for pain, punishment for punishment). His retaliatory Christ has been “the most influential myth in all history” that has kept the threat of retaliatory deity alive in Western consciousness and society. The threat of divine retaliation is most notable today in the never-ending threat of apocalypse (see the New Testament book of Revelation for detail).
How entirely different things could have been if the core teaching of Jesus had been given prominence in Western religion instead of that core message being buried under Paul’s contrary gospel that dominates the New Testament. Both Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy stated this, i.e. the “diamonds/pearls of Jesus’ teaching that are buried in the dung/muck of Paul’s retaliatory gospel”. Instead of Jesus’ central message of non-retaliatory God, we received Paul’s retaliatory Christ myth. We received Christ-ianity, not Jesus-ianity. These two are entirely opposite messages/belief systems with opposite impacts on human behavior.
Jesus’ core theme of non-retaliatory behavior and belief inspires our better impulses to forgiveness, inclusion, unconditional love, while Paul’s opposite message of ultimate divine retaliation incites and validates our worst impulses to punitive retaliation, exclusion, and demand for salvation pre-conditions before love can be bestowed.
The Christ myth of Paul is most responsible for keeping the pathology of apocalyptic alive in Western and world consciousness. The outcome? The apocalyptic millennial scholars Arthur Herman, Arthur Mendel, Richard Landes, and David Redles, all noting the outcome of apocalyptic millennial themes inspiring the mass-death movements of Marxism, Nazism, and now environmental alarmism.
Further, the core message of Jesus had stated that God was unconditional reality. Jesus had stated that no conditions were needed to be fully forgiven, to be accepted fully, and loved fully by God. None. No sacrifice or payment was demanded by an unconditional God. This was the most liberating, humanizing insight ever offered. And it was buried in the context of Paul’s highly conditional Christ myth- i.e. that the cosmic sacrifice of the godman Jesus Christ had to be made to pay for all sin before God would forgive, accept, and love.
No religion has ever communicated the wonder of Jesus’ message that God is an unconditional reality. All religion buries that liberating insight under endless religious conditions.
The full central statement/message of Historical Jesus:
“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you? Everyone finds it easy to love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Everyone can do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Most people will lend to others, expecting to be repaid in full. But do something more heroic, more humane. (Live on a higher plane of human experience). Do not retaliate against your offenders/enemies with ‘eye for eye’ justice. Instead, love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then you will be just like God because God does not retaliate against God’s enemies. God does not mete out eye for eye justice. Instead, God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Be unconditionally loving, just as your God is unconditionally loving”. (My paraphrase of Luke 6:32-36 or Matthew 5:38-48.)
Some New Year’s spirit: Do you want to spark a little burst of light into darkness? And contribute to an upward spiral toward better outcomes? Find someone and tell them what a good person they are and that they are appreciated. It may help to specify some positive trait that they exhibit.
Its not about ignoring the imperfections that we all suffer throughout our lives, but just an affirmation to one another of our fundamental human spirit, our true selves as fundamentally good. That statement to someone will make their day.
I have also witnessed the persistent affirmation of fundamental goodness effecting a striking transformation in a person over the longer term. The affirmation of fundamental goodness was directed to one dark, depressive person and was initially met with “No. I am not good”. But persistence in the affirmation eventually re-oriented that person toward a more positive, sunny disposition. It took a couple of years, but the transformation was notable. Others respond more immediately.
Its not really about trying to change others, but just reinforcing a basic truth about being human, about possessing the common human spirit and consciousness. As Bob Brinsmead says, “There are no really bad people. Just people embracing bad ideas and acting badly”. Affirming their fundamental goodness as human beings can re-energize in others their basic impulse and struggle to become better overall.
Affirming goodness in others also does us a world of good. It enhances our own “hero’s journey”. It can be part of our project to break retaliatory cycles (back and forth retributive responses- hurt for hurt, punishment for pain caused, humiliation for humiliation, etc.), retaliatory cycles that contribute to individuals or groups spiralling downward and degenerating into more darkening of consciousness and negative outcomes in societies. Wendell Krossa
What do you think it does to human minds, especially young minds still lacking critical discernment skills that come with life experience and ongoing education, when you batter them incessantly with apocalyptic scenarios of looming catastrophe and the end of the world? Some have rightly called today’s hysterical eco-alarmism “criminal”. It is traumatizing a generation of children now afraid to grow to adulthood. Climate alarmism has gone beyond “madness of crowds” to sheer mass insanity. And the salvation scheme? The suicide of modern economies via decarbonization. Lunacy.
My response: Offer people the alternatives of good skeptical science as in Julian Simon’s Ultimate Resource, the work of climate skeptics, climate physicists like Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and many others. Teach your children well- let them know there is an entirely different narrative of life as gradually improving over the long term, not declining toward disaster and ending. Help them fight the apocalyptic alarmism monster with the sword of evidence-based hope.
This from Jordan Peterson and Bjorn Lomborg
Dr Judith Curry, December 13, 2002, “Misperception and amplification of climate risk”
““Congratulations to all the proselytizers of climate doom, you have finally demonstrated an actual adverse impact of climate change that is actually caused by humans – psychological distress. This psychological distress is directly caused by you: the mistaken, irrational, politically motivated people that have created effective propaganda that is creating negative stress reactions particularly among children who have yet to develop a clear sense of self and lack a context for being able to filter the BS.”
“Climate activists, the media, and even scientists seized on the “extreme weather event caused by climate change” narrative as being the ideal vehicle for ramping up the alarm about human-caused global warming.
“‘Every extreme weather event is now attributed to global warming, even extreme cold outbreaks and heavy snow. Scientists who should know better just can’t resist the opportunities for media attention and enthusiastically place blame on human-caused global warming. In spite of the fact that IPCC assessment reports find very little in the way of any contribution of human-caused global warming to extreme weather events.
“‘… if you look back into paleoclimate record, you will find much worse weather and climate extremes. (eg how the ice age ended due to natural warming). No matter – never let the historical and paleoclimate data records get in the way of an alarming story that attributes the most recent disaster to fossil fuel emissions, and so amping up the pressure to eliminate fossil fuel emissions.
“‘In terms of risk perception, this amplified narrative of alarm emphasizes that these ‘climate change’ catastrophes are imposed on society by villainous fossil fuel companies.
“‘And now for the final element of manipulating risk perception: asymmetric distribution of risks, whereby children and under-developed countries are at greatest risk. Serious virtue signalling tells us we need to eliminate fossil fuel emissions for the sake of the children and the underdeveloped countries. Well, children in affluent countries are at far less risk than their great-great grandparents (not to mention children in underdeveloped countries) owing to the presence of fossil fuels in their lives that provide secure structures for their homes and schools with central heating and air conditioning, not to mention abundant electricity and also fertilizer to ensure their food supply.
“‘I can only conclude that the climate catastrophists focused on elimination of fossil fuels above all else are exploiting and damaging children and underdeveloped countries as part of their political objectives to prioritizing elimination of fossil fuels above all else. If children and developing countries are collateral damage, then so be it (oops they seem to have forgotten their original virtue signalling of eliminating fossil fuels for the sake of the children and the underdeveloped countries).’”
“The most dangerous people in human society are those people, often well-intentioned, who believe that they know what is best for all others.” (author unknown)
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience”, C. S. Lewis.
“Men never do greater evil than when they do it in the name of God.” (author unknown)
“I pledge undying hostility to everything that enslaves the human mind.” (author unknown)
“Sick Gods make for sick people… sick Gods make people sick… individuals and communities of humans create themselves in the images of their gods. Sick Gods provide sick models which produce sick persons and sick communities”, psychologist Harold Ellens (further detail below).
Note “The Daily Skeptic” article further below on the false claim that weather/climate-related disasters have increased over past decades, with more people dying. To the contrary, weather-related deaths have decreased to one-twentieth of what they were two decades ago, and overall deaths from natural disasters have decreased 96% from a century ago…
Darkness shadowing across the human family, Wendell Krossa
Societies across the world have been endlessly battered with irrational and irresponsible climate alarmism over past decades. Add to that hysterical panic-mongering over every twitch in weather, the media obsession with “Creating fear: News and the construction of crisis” (David Altheide). Then further add to the mix, the intense tribalism between opposing ideological divides- Left and Right- with accompanying hatred, vilification of differing others, and notably today, the creeping totalitarianism from Woke Progressive censorship, banning, and cancelling in public forums. These public maladies contribute to the widespread fear and depression that is “the number one illness” on the planet, with growing despair/fatalism even noted among a rising generation of children that have been traumatized by the endless eco-terrorizing and other pathological hysterias coming from the adult population.
Note, for example, https://judithcurry.com/2022/12/13/misperception-and-amplification-of-climate-risk/
Evidence-based hope for the New Year
Ah, for more people to take up the project to advocate for the evidence-based hope that researchers like Julian Simon offered in his “Ultimate Resource”, my candidate for “the single best book ever written”. Many other researchers followed with similar volumes of amassed data sources on the main indicators of life, evidence on basic indicators (i.e. forests, land species, agricultural land, ocean species, etc.) that show us the “true state of life on Earth”. Their conclusion- While there are still problems everywhere that need attention and solutions, we (humanity) have done very well in solving problems and life over the long-term has been improving. And evidence affirms that this trajectory of improvement will continue into an ever-better future for all.
Other sources of evidence-based hope: Greg Easterbrook’s “A Moment on the Earth”, Bjorn Lomborg’s “Skeptical Environmentalist”, Indur Goklany’s “The Improving State of the World”, Ronald Bailey’s “The End of Doom”, Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”, Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness”, Szurmak and Desrochers’ “Population Bombed” (excellent follow-up volume to Simon’s Ultimate Resource), Tupy and Bailey’s “Ten Global Trends”, James Payne’s “History of Force”, Stephen Pinker’s “The Better Angels of Our Nature”, and more…
Build this amassed data on hope into your personal narrative and watch despair/depression lift just as Simon said his “clinical depression” left and never returned. He said this happened after he researched for himself the evidence on the true state of life. He discovered that life was not declining toward disaster and ending as environmental alarmists claimed, but rather, life overall was improving toward a better future. (Note: This is not to claim that all depression can be alleviated by countering alarmist narratives, but just to suggest that public alarmism- i.e. obessive apocalyptic panic-mongering- may be a contributing factor to much general depression and affected people may benefit from a cognitive therapy response that transforms narratives and orients thinking away from apocalyptic despair and toward hope in the improving trajectory of life. Facts/truth does matter.)
From Bella d’Albrere of the “Specator”, Dec. 21, 2022- “Museums of vandalism, doomsayers, and climate catastrophe” at…
d’Albrere notes the climate apocalypse artwork that is posted in public places and the related fear-mongering about climate change…
She says, “(the artwork was) posted on social media to specifically target younger people, most of whom already believe this nonsense anyway. With propaganda like this, it is no wonder that ‘eco-anxiety’ is a real thing among young people across the West. In a 2021 global study of 10,000 children across ten countries including Australia, researchers found that 59 per cent of respondents were worried about climate change, and that more than 50 per cent that they felt sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty. The report also revealed that this anxiety was negatively impacting their daily lives, with 75 per cent claiming that they are frightened of the future…”
Many others are asking similar questions that this site tries to probe. Questions like: Why have so many embraced the climate alarm crusade and its society-destroying decarbonization policies that are on a trajectory toward the “suicide of civilization” and a return to primitivism?
In response to the irrationality of “madness of crowds” crusades like climate alarmism, this site regularly reposts the core myths that drive such apocalyptic cults (yes, the climate alarmism movement is a “profoundly religious” crusade). The destructive consequences of climate apocalyptic hysteria are mounting daily, notably in Europe and other places that are embracing the insanity of decarbonization.
Some preface comment on “Monster God” myths…
“Blaspheme and be free”. Embracing a healthy dose of blasphemy is part of the point in my article below on “Monster Gods”. Many religious folks will recoil instinctively at the suggestion that their God beliefs may be monstrous deformities. That is just too blasphemous a thought to even consider. But read on to see the point that we should distinguish and contrast inhumane God beliefs with more humane God theories, notably God as “no conditions” reality (i.e. the “unconditional grace” in Harold Ellens’ book).
Sometimes a straightforward engagement of what religious people call “blasphemy” is necessary to break the enslaving chains of fear in one’s mind, fear long ingrained by religious threats that any questioning of religious belief or religious holy books would bring down the wrath of God upon one. An unconditionally loving God poses no threat to anyone.
But first, before tackling Monster God myths…
“Hear, hear” (think, the Royal Announcer who was recently portrayed announcing the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan on their Netflix series).
Let it be proclaimed loudly and clearly that no one denies climate change. Climate is a dynamic, complex system that is always changing and never static in some “optimal state”. We all agree on this, except for some who do believe that climate remains static in some optimal state. And yes, also “Hear, hear”- CO2 has a warming influence. Not in dispute. Never has been.
But after marinating for a few moments on this affirmation that “no one denies climate change”, then, before assuming this is also an affirmation of “human-caused climate change that is becoming a crisis”, note carefully the physics of CO2 as presented by notable climate physicists like Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and many others.
The physics of CO2 is the most fundamental, critical evidence to understand in regard to the climate debate. The above physicists tell us that CO2 has reached “saturation” in terms of its warming influence on climate. CO2’s warming influence arises from its ability to absorb and re-emit the infrared radiation that is leaving the Earth and returning to space (all incoming solar radiation changes wavelength and then radiates back out to space). CO2 absorbs some of that outgoing radiation and instantly re-emits it (Jim Steele), scattering about half back downward to contribute in a small way to warming the climate.
But that warming influence of CO2 is now declining. Physicists estimate that if CO2 rises from the current roughly 420 ppm to 800 ppm, that rise would take about 200 years at the current rate of CO2 rise that is 2 ppm per year. That increase to 800 ppm might contribute somewhere from 0.5 to 1.0 degree C more warming, according to many climate physicists. See, for example, https://notrickszone.com/50-papers-low-sensitivity/
I said, “might” contribute more to warming. Because varied other natural factors continue to show stronger correlations to the climate change that we have been observing over past decades and centuries.
Point? CO2 is not the main influence on climate change. It is not the “control knob” for climate change. CO2 is a very minor greenhouse gas and its warming influence often gets lost among other more dominant natural factors that influence climate change.
Further, the climate alarm narrative does not tell the public the immense benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere in terms of aerial fertilization that has increased green vegetation across the Earth over past decades by some 15%, that is- adding green vegetation to our Earth in the amount of two times all the vegetation of the entire continental US. That benefit in greening our planet will continue if CO2 rises back to its paleoclimate averages of around the 1000-1500 ppm that plant life prefers for healthy growth. (Paleo-climate referring to the past 500 million years of the Phanerozoic era)
And there was no runaway heating or “climate crisis” during those past eras with much higher levels of CO2. To the contrary, all life thrived.
Also, note that when CO2 was high in the paleo-climate past, average temperatures were often low, and vice versa- when CO2 was low, temperatures were high. Consider this major disconnect between CO2 and climate. Similarly, scientists point out the disconnect found in the Vostok ice cores, a disconnect in terms of the claim of the alarmist narrative that rising CO2 then causes warming.
The Vostok ice cores revealed the patterns of the glaciation/interglacial cycles over the past 400,000 years. That evidence showed that climate first warmed, which then warmed the oceans over subsequent centuries. The warming oceans then outgassed CO2 that caused atmospheric levels of CO2 to rise. The lag between warming climate, warming oceans, and rising CO2 was centuries long. Rising CO2 did not cause warming climate, but followed warming climate. This overturns the climate alarm narrative entirely.
Note also the disconnect between CO2 and warming climate during the Covid lockdowns. Fossil fuel emissions dropped some 7% across the world but CO2 continued to rise as before. What the f___, huh.
Remember also that we are in an era of life with the lowest levels of CO2 and we just missed a real world apocalypse (end of life) some 20,000 years ago when CO2 levels declined to 185 ppm, barely above the 150 ppm at which all plants die. We are still in a “CO2 starvation” era.
And on warming climate…
The 1 degree C warming over the past century has also been hugely beneficial to all life as we are still rising out of the coldest time of our Holocence interglacial- the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715. But we need still more degrees of warming to return to a more optimal, healthy climate for all life. Life prefers 3-6 degrees C more warming that would restore climate to the average temperatures of the Phanerozoic era (past 500 million years) when all life emerged, developed, and flourished. There was no “climate crisis” during that much warmer world (averaging 17-20 degrees C). Our current world with its 14.5 degrees C average temperatures is still an “icehouse world”, barely above the ice-age average temperatures of 12.5 degrees C.
Remember, 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth in our ice-house world. All life suffers more in a cold world. To understand the more normal, optimal world for most of the past history of life, consider that for over 80% of the past 500 million years the entire world was ice-free. That was a normal, healthy world.
And with average temperatures some 3-6 degrees C warmer than today, the already warm areas of Earth (tropics) did not become overheated because tropical temperatures have always “remained remarkably stable” (the “equable climate” issue). Average tropical temperatures only fluctuated by a few degrees. That stability of tropical temperatures affirms the operation of negative feedbacks in climate that have always kept world temperatures stable within a range that is optimal for life.
The extra heat from climate warming does not overheat the already warm areas of Earth (tropics) but that increasing warming energy is carried by atmospheric and oceanic convection currents to the polar regions. So as happens today, the colder polar regions warm more than the tropics due to the “meridional transport” that is the main influence on climate change.
See, for example… https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/10/21/new-research-supports-the-winter-gatekeeper-hypothesis/ or https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/08/01/the-sun-climate-effect-the-winter-gatekeeper-hypothesis-i-the-search-for-a-solar-signal/
The warming of Earth’s colder regions results in extended habitats for more diverse life forms. Evidence that tropical climate extended to the polar regions in the past has been noted in the fossils of tropical species of plants and animals that have been found at both poles. More diverse life forms spreading all over Earth would be a benefit, just as the most diversity of life today is found in tropical regions. More warming will also add the benefit of extended agricultural regions for humanity.
A warming Earth is not to be feared as climate would “even out” across the world as cold areas warm more, cold seasons (i.e. winter) warm more, and cold times of day (i.e. night) warm more. With the mild warming of the past century, more lives have been saved (i.e. fewer people are dying from cold) than are lost due to increased warming (i.e. dying from heat). Overall, more warming offers net benefits to all life.
The public has been so traumatized with alarmism over any warming, along with climate alarmism apocalyptic scenarios, that it has become almost impossible to regain some understanding of the immense benefits to life over the past when climate was 3-6 degrees warmer on average than today’s cold world. Its time to end the irrational hysteria over melting ice/glaciers on Earth. Some species will suffer from Arctic/Antarctic warming, others will adapt, and many more will benefit.
Also, more warming means less storminess as we have seen in the decline of tornadoes over past decades. And there has been no notable increase in hurricane numbers or strength. The decline in storminess may in part be attributed to less difference between warm and cold regions (less “steepness” in the temperature gradient between regions).
Add further that with just the mild 1 degree C warming over the past century, there has been a 96% decline in climate- or weather-related deaths.
The above evidence affirms, once again, that there is no rational scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. Such responses are based on the irrational and “profoundly religious” themes of the climate alarmism cult.
Now some comment to counter fear, fear promoted by alarmist ideas and movements. The following material below goes to the very root themes of alarmist narratives across history, to the most foundational of ideas that have caused needless fear in people.
This site repeatedly notes evident cause-effect patterns related to alarmist exaggeration- i.e. that panic-mongering incites the survival impulse in people who then become susceptible to the salvation schemes of alarmists, the irrational salvation schemes that cause immense damage to societies, like the current decarbonization crusade to “save the world” from the falsely imagined threat of CO2/fossil fuels.
A refresher: The core themes of alarmist movements (and related patterns/outcomes) are as follows:
There was a better past, but bad people ruined the original paradise. Consequently, life is now declining toward disaster and ending/apocalypse. Hence, humanity must embrace a salvation plan- i.e. make some sacrifice (give up the good life and embrace suffering). We must also purge the imagined “evil threat to life”. Only then can we restore the lost paradise or install a new utopia.
We have seen these themes and patterns of apocalyptic movements play out repeatedly across past history, and we are watching these primitive themes/patterns playing out once again in climate alarmism and the salvationism of the decarbonization crusade (“save the world”). Wendell Krossa
Sample of “Monster God” quotes from below:
Psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo: “’Cruel God Theology’ is a religiosity built entirely around the assumption or basic belief- and correspondent fear- that God is cruel or even sadistic. This basic belief is not conscious and is also emphatically denied by its bearers… The associated metaphors to this image are ‘monarch’ and ‘judge’. Its distinctive doctrine is the ‘penal satisfaction’ (of Christianity).”
Lotufo adds that Cruel God religion has resulted in “wars, religious oppression, the Crusades, and the Holy Inquisition. In the psychological domain, its consequences are fear, guilt, shame, and impoverished personalities…. (God) as Monarch and unmerciful Judge, (with his) dominant characteristics exhibited in penal satisfaction doctrine… Anxiety, shame, and neurotic guilt are common consequences… the inhibition of the full development of personality…
“There is in Western world a psychological archetype, a metaphor that has to do with the image of a violent and wrathful God. Crystallized in Anselm’s juridical atonement theory, this image represent God as sufficiently disturbed by the sinfulness of humanity that God has only two options: (Use violence to) destroy us or substitute a sacrifice to pay for our sins. He did the latter. He killed Christ…
“Such a metaphor of an angry God, who cannot forgive unless appeased by a bloody sacrifice, has been ‘right at the center of the Master Story of the Western world for the last 2,000 years’. And the unavoidable consequence for the human mind is a strong tendency to use violence…
“Hence, in our culture we have a powerful element that impels us to violence, a Cruel God Image… it also contributes to guilt, shame, and the impoverishment of personality”. Lotufo repeats that he is interested in the effects that certain kinds of beliefs/ideas produce in the human psyche.
Psychologist Harold Ellens: “Sick Gods make for sick people… sick Gods make people sick… individuals and communities of humans create themselves in the images of their gods. Sick Gods provide sick models which produce sick persons and sick communities”…
“If God solves all his ultimate problems by quick resort to ultimate violence, how is it possible that we can expect humans to do significantly differently? Sick Gods make sick people…”
Psychiatrist, clinical psychologist Hector Garcia: “Scripture depicts this god as one who rains fury upon his enemies and slaughters the unfaithful… Extremists, drunk on this vision, steer airplanes into buildings or obliterate themselves in crowded marketplaces. They foment sexual shame and engage in genital mutilation, acid attacks, and so-called honor killings. They start inquisitions and witch hunts, religious wars and religious conquests… They also seek to enforce a prohibition against questioning God…
“This pattern has emerged again and again across religious history as men have summoned divine legitimacy to justify their worst impulses. God himself is frequently portrayed as engaging in violent acts, thus serving to validate the destructive actions of the powerful.”
Note on the triad of features/impulses and related practises that I repeatedly post below: (1) tribal exclusion, (2) alpha domination, and (3) retaliatory punitive destruction. This triad illustrates the worst of the inherited impulses from our animal past. These three are the most primitive impulses that we can embrace, the most inhumane features of life, the most dehumanizing practices that humans engage. Our succumbing to and practise of the above three behaviors, render us petty and subhuman, no matter how we try to validate them- e.g. claiming that punitive eye for eye retaliation is “justice”.
Site project: To go after the greatest monster of all- inhumane deity theories or “Monster Gods”, Wendell Krossa
(Key point: Note below the central discovery/insight that ultimate Reality or deity is “no conditions love” or “unconditional love”. This is the single most profound insight ever made by human minds and it overturns entirely the monster God myths of historical mythologies and religious traditions. Unconditional ultimate reality liberates humanity from primal fears of divine threat that have deformed consciousness, lives, and societies across the millennia.)
Main point in the comment below: There is a monster darkening the background of human consciousness. It has dominated human narratives and threatened humanity for millennia. “Monster God” beliefs exaggerate normal human fears of disaster, suffering, and death from the natural world (i.e. the belief that there is some punitive Force/Spirit behind life- a deity that punishes people for their sins via natural disaster, disease, and predatory cruelty, whether animal or human). Monster God beliefs add needlessly to human suffering with the excessive burden of mythically-based existential fears (i.e. the fear of after-life judgment, condemnation, exclusion, and destruction in hell).
Further, the “monster gods” of mythology and religion have often incited our worst impulses (inherited animal impulses), too often prompting us to engage inhumane or “monstrous” behavior, behavior that is validated by our beliefs in monster gods.
This comment on the early human creation of deities as monsters is not my perspective alone. See, for example, Zenon Lotufo’s “Cruel God, Kind God: How Images of God Shape Belief, Attitude, and Outlook”, Hector Garcia’s “Alpha God: The Psychology of Religious Violence and Oppression”, or Harold Ellens’ (editor) “The Destructive Power of Religion: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam”. Others have also spoken to the issue of “monster gods” that deform human personality and communities with fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, and depression. Monster gods have also incited tribal violence among people and societies.
Below are some context-setting quotes from the above authors regarding the damaging influence of “monster God” beliefs on human personality, behavior, and societies. Note in these quotes the truth of Bob Brinsmead’s statement that “We become just like the God that we believe in”.
One more before going to the quotes:
My point in these presentations is that the belief in some ultimate threat, divine threat, has long been at the root of human belief systems, and continues today in modern “secular/ideological” belief systems. A comparison of ancient narrative themes with modern narrative themes affirms the continuing presence of such primitive beliefs. Primitive “threat theology” beliefs continue to deform human consciousness, personality, and life with unfounded, mythically-rooted fear.
The relationship- behavior based on similar validating beliefs
The pathological mythology of divine threat agitates/incites the survival impulse in populations which then plays on a web of related elements- i.e. the impulse to tribal dualism (to fight a human enemy that threatens), the impulse to heroically engage a “righteous battle against evil” (again, fighting threatening enemies), the felt need to embrace a salvation scheme (to save ourselves, save our world), the impulse to purge evil from the world (again, to purge one’s threatening enemies), and more.
The continuing sense of ultimate threat in modern ideologies like Declinism and climate alarmism, continues to promote fear, depression, and nihilism, as we see in the self-destructive (i.e. society-destructive) decarbonization crusade.
Consider carefully the point of the psychologists below that the belief in monster gods who employ violence to solve problems, this belief is replicated among believers in such gods who similarly then use violence to solve problems as they consciously or unconsciously replicate the nature and behavior of their gods. We see this across the history of religious violence but also in the destructive outcomes of modern crusades to fight enemies, heroically win battles against evil, to purge some evil threat, and save the world, as in the decarbonization crusade.
It is all the same old pathology, given ever new expressions for the modern era in our ideologies and related belief systems.
If we are ever going to solve the problem of the destructive impacts of alarmist movements, then we need to go to the root ideas/beliefs that continue to energize these ancient and modern movements and make the radical changes at the level of foundational ideas/beliefs, changes that are necessary to defuse the power of destructive ideas like monster god beliefs.
First, psychologist, theologian Harold Ellens (from his other book “Honest Faith for Our Time”)- “All people consciously or unconsciously want to know about God… about God’s nature and behavior… all humans… want a concretized metaphor… (hence, believers filled the nature of God with content such as) God of grace and mercy, but also God as Warrior, and threat and terror…”
Ellens continues, noting that the dominant view of God in world religions is the dualistic theology of a God who believes that he is caught in a great cosmic battle with another god/Satan who tries to “thwart, corrupt, and undo his work”. When this mental perspective of fighting invisible enemies is found in humans, it is called “insanity”. Yet the world religions- Judaism, Christianity, and Islam- hold this view of God as a Warrior deity fighting invisible opposing forces, a God that is “diagnosably ill… insane”, a “monster God”.
(Insert note: Myths of cosmic dualism feed the insanity and destructiveness of human dualisms- i.e. people abandoning the fundamental oneness of the human family, dividing themselves into tribes, and then fighting and destroying their fellow humans as “evil enemies”.)
Ellens elaborates further that a monster God demands absolute conformity from people, conformity to a set of strictly limited beliefs and behaviors, and is “so ticked off at human nature and behavior, human exploration and experimentation that he simply cannot get his head screwed back on right until he has literally killed somebody”.
Ellens offers examples of the irrational rage of a Monster deity- i.e. God drowning the entire human race at the time of Noah, drowning the Egyptian army at the Red Sea, ordering the genocide of the Canaanites during the Hebrew occupation, incinerating Sodom and Gomorrah, and many more.
After detailing many of the God-mandated atrocities noted above, Ellens says that such behavior exhibits “a pattern of consummate narcissism, chronic situation-inappropriateness, sadistic vindictiveness, impulsiveness, and obsessive compulsive disorder, depressive and irrational rage, being out of touch with reality and reacting in ways that are out of proportion to actual events… flagrant psychosis…”
He adds, “Sick Gods make for sick people… sick Gods make people sick… individuals and communities of humans create themselves in the images of their gods. Sick Gods provide sick models which produce sick persons and sick communities… If one’s God is sick, one cannot achieve wellbeing…
He continues, “What about the fact that (the “monster God’s) furor was so intense toward you and me… that he either had to exterminate us or slaughter his son…. He solves all his ultimate impasses with ultimate violence. Don’t you think that is sick? Any God is a monster if he cannot behave at least as well as the average human in his or her better moments would like to behave. Monster gods make monster people….
“The worst of all this, is that religious metaphors that we have been given in the dominant report from the Old Testament about God’s nature and behavior, produce unconscious psychological archetypes in human beings. These get acted out unsuspectingly in behavior that is justified by those metaphors. If God solves all his ultimate problems by quick resort to ultimate violence, how is it possible that we can expect humans to do significantly differently? Sick Gods make sick people…
If we believe in such a God, “Of course it is inevitable that we shall wish, unconsciously or consciously to help him out, to be on his side in the war, to undertake God’s cause against the infidel, to fight the bad guys, to exterminate our enemies, as apparently God tries to do with his enemies…
“It is the claim that the dominant report of God as psychotic, which has always been everywhere afloat, has nothing to do with God at all, but is instead the sick projection of a lot of untutored human imaginations… Such views of God are mere projections of human terrors upon the idealized mental image of the imagined mentor those people thought was God…
Ellens then notes an alternative report on God: “It claims that God is a God of unconditional grace to all humankind”.
Then psychiatrist and clinical psychologist Hector Garcia (Alpha God),
In his first chapter “Enter God the Dominant Ape”, Garcia says the following: “There is another vision of God… The majority of the world’s believers worship a god that is fearsome and male, and his portrayal demands reckoning. Scripture depicts this god as one who rains fury upon his enemies and slaughters the unfaithful… Extremists, drunk on this vision, steer airplanes into buildings or obliterate themselves in crowded marketplaces. They foment sexual shame and engage in genital mutilation, acid attacks, and so-called honor killings. They start inquisitions and witch hunts, religious wars and religious conquests… They also seek to enforce a prohibition against questioning God…
“This is a crucial moment… for us to understand the means by which religion may be used to encourage what is worst- rather than what is best- in human nature…
“(Another) key question becomes, is there something common to the vision of God behind them? (the perpetrators of the kinds of violence and oppression listed above)…
He then says, “I argue here that God was created in the image of man… (and to argue for the need) to study the dominance characteristics portrayed in God… because men of power have historically conflated themselves with God in order to secure more power and have used this power to enact further violence and oppression. This pattern has emerged again and again across religious history as men have summoned divine legitimacy to justify their worst impulses. God himself is frequently portrayed as engaging in violent acts, thus serving to validate the destructive actions of the powerful.
“This is most evident among the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), whose scriptures all too frequently depict a despotic male god… (The Abrahamic God) is by far the most globally dominant…
Then touching base again with evolutionary biology in the mix, Garcia re-affirms that “God is an alpha male, a dominant ape. In other words, depictions of the Abrahamic God… reflect the essential concerns of our primate evolutionary past- namely securing and maintaining power, and using that power to exercise control over… resources… We have projected our own psychology onto our vision of the sacred…
“Human potential is so vast, but we may have limited ourselves by the gods we created.”
Further, psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo (Cruel God, Kind God).
Lotufo starts by outlining “Cruel God Christianity… Cruel God Theology” as a “religiosity built entirely around the assumption or basic belief- and correspondent fear- that God is cruel or even sadistic. This basic belief is not conscious and is also emphatically denied by its bearers… The associated metaphors to this image are ‘monarch’ and ‘judge’. Its distinctive doctrine is the ‘penal satisfaction’ (of Christianity).”
He says this Cruel God Theology is opposite to Kind God Theology “with its metaphors of God as good… father/mother… shepherd…and its distinctive doctrine of ‘grace’.”
Lotufo adds that Cruel God religion has resulted in “wars, religious oppression, the Crusades, and the Holy Inquisition. In the psychological domain, its consequences are fear, guilt, shame, and impoverished personalities…. (God) as Monarch and unmerciful Judge, (with his) dominant characteristics exhibited in penal satisfaction doctrine… Anxiety, shame, and neurotic guilt are common consequences… the inhibition of the full development of personality…
Lotufo then probes how beliefs exert more influence over our lives than just ideas. And our beliefs are not always consciously transparent to us. He further elaborates on how Cruel God beliefs produce negative consequences in “fanaticism and violence or anxiety and inhibitions that hinder the full manifestation of the capacities of a person…”
He says that our image of God is a basic belief and it is often never questioned. “Basic cultural beliefs are so important, especially in a dominant widespread culture because they have the same properties as individual basic beliefs, that is, they are not perceived as questionable. The reader may object that God, considered a basic belief in our culture, is rejected or questioned by a large number of people today. Yet the fact is that the idea of God that those people reject is almost never questioned.
“In other words, their critique assumes there is no alternative way of conceiving God except the one that they perceive through the lens of their culture. So, taking into account the kind of image of God that prevails in Western culture- a ‘monster God’ as Harold Ellens calls him- such rejection is easily understandable. After all, as Walter Wink puts it, ‘Against such an image of God the revolt of atheism is an act of pure religion’.
“Ellens proposes a culture reason for the religious motivation to violence. With Freud’s and Jung’s ideas in mind, he suggests that, beyond the individual level, there is in Western world a psychological archetype, a metaphor that has to do with the image of a violent and wrathful God. Crystallized in Anselm’s juridical atonement theory, this image represent God as sufficiently disturbed by the sinfulness of humanity that God has only two options: Destroy us or substitute a sacrifice to pay for our sins. He did the latter. He killed Christ.
“Ellens goes on by stating that the crucifixion, a hugely violent act of infanticide or child sacrifice, has been disguised and presented by Christian conservative theologians as a ‘remarkable act of grace’. Such a metaphor of an angry God, who cannot forgive unless appeased by a bloody sacrifice, has been ‘right at the center of the Master Story of the Western world for the last 2,000 years’. And the unavoidable consequence for the human mind is a strong tendency to use violence.”
Quoting Ellens further, “With that kind of metaphor at our center, and associated with the essential behavior of God, how could we possibly hold, in the deep structure of our unconscious motivations, any other notion of ultimate solutions to ultimate questions or crises than violence- human solutions that are equivalent to God’s kind of behavior”.
Lotufo’s added comment: “Hence, in our culture we have a powerful element that impels us to violence, a Cruel God Image… it also contributes to guilt, shame, and the impoverishment of personality”. Lotufo repeats that he is interested in the effects that certain kinds of beliefs/ideas produce in the human psyche.
Later in his book he says, “The fundamental principle of the God of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam is an obstacle and inhibitor of the autonomy of man”. Those who claim to be the representatives of this God exhibit a “predominant tendency to control and restrain the behavior of men by invoking the name of the Creator… fear, in particular, is too often behind our ideas about God and religion… fear of religion has broad and often harmful consequences for modern intellectual life”. And more…
My points on the Monster God theories of religious and “secular/ideological” traditions-
(Note: I include reference to the “secular/ideological” versions of threat theology to emphasize that the same basic themes are found in all human belief systems/traditions. In secular/ideological versions the threatening gods are- e.g. “vengeful Gaia, angry Mother Earth/Planet, punitive Universe, payback Karma”, etc. To paraphrase Joseph Campbell again- “The same primitive myths have been embraced all across human history and across all the cultures of the world”.)
Our ancestors projected varied human features onto their deities in their earliest endeavors at anthropomorphizing the invisible forces/spirits/gods that they believed were behind the natural world. That was the expression of their primal impulse to meaning- to define and explain ultimate realities. They projected onto their gods varied inhumane features that turned their gods into threatening monsters, the ultimate embodiments of features/ideals that would then serve to incite and validate their worst impulses to harm others.
And yes, a qualifying acknowledgment in the mix: Our ancestors also projected more humane features onto their gods- i.e. kinder and gentler features like love, mercy, and benevolence/beneficence. But these nicer qualities were often distorted, overwhelmed, and buried by the more prominent inhumane features in the complex of ideas that were used to define their deities. The inhumane features in the mix turned their created gods into monstrous deities.
The inhumane themes that defined early gods, creating monster gods, would include:
(1) Tribal deities who divide, separate, and exclude people (true believers separated from “unbelievers” who are to be eternally excluded, rejected).
(2) Domination of the weaker by the stronger- i.e. gods as lords, kings, beings that embody alpha domination and whose domination is affirmed by the myth of human subservience- i.e. the myth that humans were “created to serve the gods”. Divine domination is exercised via the human representatives of the gods- i.e. via earthly kings and societal leaders, and priesthoods/religious leaders.
(3) Demand for retaliatory justice (i.e. divine demand for violent blood sacrifice/payment, justice as the eye for eye punishment of sin).
(4) Themes of judgment, condemnation, and punitive destruction as in apocalypse and hell. These features of retaliatory, punitive deity then validated harshly punitive human justice systems.
These beliefs constitute the fundamental nature of monstrous deity. And from the lofty height of deity, as humanity’s highest ideal, these beliefs have exacerbated and intensified other normal human fears- fears of natural disasters, disease, and predator cruelty. The above mentioned ideas have caused immeasurable misery and harm across history in deforming human consciousness, and consequently human societies, with unnecessary additional psychic burdens of fear, anxiety, guilt/shame, depression, and even the validation of nihilist violence. These religious beliefs add to the misery of life by encouraging and validating the darker human impulses to exclusion, separation, domination, judgment/condemnation, and punishment/destruction of differing others.
Our narratives embody our ideals, our beliefs, and act to guide and inspire our ethics (how we should act and behave). Our narrative themes motivate our responses and behavior, and the god ideas (the ultimate ideals) are the most powerful ideas in our narratives- the ultimate ideals that most potently influence our outlook (how we understand and explain life), our emotions, our motivations, and our behavior. Yes, we become just like the God (ultimate ideal) that we believe in.
We know the influence of beliefs on behavior as the “behavior/belief” relationship or ethics/theology relationship- i.e. that people have always based their behavior on similar beliefs, beliefs that inspire and validate their behavior, beliefs that serve to guide their lives and societies. We see this in people trying to live according to religious holy books, or national constitutions, human rights codes, legal systems, etc.- all things that contribute input (ideas/ideals) to shape personal belief systems.
Historical examples of people basing their behaviors on their systems of belief:
The Hebrews in the Old Testament claimed that all the details of their lives were modelled according to the revealed word, law, or will of their God. The ancient Greeks tried to create societies that were modelled according to their beliefs in the “Invisible Ideals/Ideas” (their “divine” realities). So also anthropologist Clifford Geertz, in the last century, noted that the Balinese shaped their villages, and even the details of their houses, according to what they believed was the divine pattern. Contemporary people, both religious and secular, still create and hold belief systems that inspire and validate their behavior and lives.
Another contemporary example of the “behavior based on similar belief” relationship: Years ago a young rapper responded to someone who claimed that his music advocated violence. He argued, “Yes, I affirm violence, because that is what we are… we are animals”. He validated his advocacy for violent behavior on a crude belief in evolutionary biology- that we descended from an animal background, violence is part of that past existence, hence his validation of such behavior today. Behavior based on and validated by similar beliefs- i.e. we are validated in acting violently because that is what we are as animals, according to his view of evolutionary biology/psychology.
(Insert note: I appreciate the contribution of evolutionary biology to understanding our past and the ongoing presence of a residual core animal brain, and residual animal impulses as a continuing part of contemporary human psychology. But overly reductive versions of evolutionary biology distort the nature of human consciousness by defining and explaining it too entirely in terms of our animal past. Then evolutionary biology/psychology is not recognizing the human as something emerging and developing as uniquely different from the animal, and human consciousness as something that is inspiring and leading us toward an entirely different future from past animal existence, a future shaped by more humane impulses. The uniquely different trajectory of human development is notable in things like the striking decline in violence over the history of human civilization. See, for example, James Payne’s “History of Force”.)
Further context to “greatest monster… ultimate monster” and the real battle of life.
The greatest battles that we face, the greatest monsters/enemies that we fight, are the bad ideas in our narratives and heads. As a friend said in a thought-inducing statement, “There are no really bad people just people influenced and misled by bad ideas who then act badly”.
The monstrous god ideas that we have inherited in religious traditions and other narratives play on and incite the other side of the interior monster that we fight in life- our personal complex of inherited animal impulses. Taken together, our worst impulses and the monster god ideas that incite and validate them, combine to make up the overall personal monster that we must confront and conquer in life. That is the dragon that we confront and conquer in our “hero’s journey” or quest.
Again, to re-enforce my point: This is humanity’s greatest enemy- i.e. the monster gods of religious traditions that incite our worst inherited animal impulses. Monster God beliefs, and the related impulses that are incited by such beliefs, continue to cause immense damage in life. These two elements of pathology in human psyches constitute the personal monstrosities around which the greatest human battles are fought.
Jordan Peterson was right to suggest, in relation to this, that before you go out into life to change others, or to change your overall societies, make sure that you fight and win these personal battles first and foremost. Conquer personal evil before fighting society-level evils. This is what people mean when they argue that the most important change, and most critical contribution to life, is personal change and improvement.
This also relates to Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s comment that the greatest battles in life were personal struggles, taking place inside the heart of every person- i.e. the battle between good and evil as an intensely personal thing. He said, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either- but through every human heart- and through all human hearts”.
So the greatest monsters/enemies are personal and interior monsters/enemies- the one’s that reside in our minds and that promote (1) our greatest fears of behind-life harm (i.e. monster gods punishing us through natural disaster, disease, or predatory cruelty), and that promote (2) our fears of after-life harm/threat, and also (3) incite our worst inherited animal impulses.
Slaying the ultimate monster- purging narratives of the monstrous themes that have long made up the monster gods.
Joseph Campbell on the main features of the Hero’s Journey- “A wise man gives us the weapon to slay our monster”.
We win the inner battle against monsters/enemies- the most critical of all battles to fight and win, the most critical of all monsters/enemies to conquer- by rejecting the monstrously inhumane features of our narratives and replacing them with more humane ideas/beliefs.
The sword or weapon that most potently slays humanity’s greatest monster is that of ultimate Reality or deity as defined by no conditions love of an inexpressibly transcendent nature. Such love counters the worst features of monster gods with a related complex of humane features that are entirely opposite to the “Monster God” complex of bad ideas.
Unconditional love includes, at a minimum, the following basic features: It means no tribal exclusion of anyone (no separation of anyone from deity), the treatment of all others as free and self-determining equals (no domination or control of others), no demand of sacrifice/payment for human imperfection, and no ultimate judgment, condemnation, punishment, or destruction (no punitive justice or destruction in some hell). Success in the greatest battle of all- against monster God mythology- is achieved by embracing the reality of deity as unconditional love. Unconditional is the ideal of ultimate Good or love that shapes an authentically humane narrative with truly humane ideas (truly human gods). An unconditional God gives us a motivating narrative that will inspire our better impulses to inclusion, equality, forgiveness, and generous love toward all. This inspires us forward on the trajectory to a more truly humane existence.
Put unconditional love at the core of your narrative and consciousness as the ultimate good, the ultimate reality and ideal that can liberate from all the old subhuman features and reshape all elements of your narrative into a more fully or authentically humane narrative. The light of unconditional permeates and transforms all else in narratives, chasing out the darkening influence of monster God ideas. Unconditional, as fundamentally defining deity, drives out darkness, fear, and all that enslaves and darkens consciousness and deforms human emotions, motivation, and responses/behavior.
To re-emphasize the basic point again: Fully humanize your belief system. Only a fully humane belief system, especially a fully humane deity, can ensure the outcome of more humane behavior and societies. Once more- We become just like the God that we believe in. We replicate in our lives what we hold as ultimate Reality/Ideal, law, or God.
Added note- Defanging another terrifying monster, countering the millennia of bad mythology that has turned death into a monster, making death an essential part of monster God theology
Death has also been infected by monster God mythologies. Early mythologies and religions claimed that death was a punishment from God that was introduced as the divine response to human sin (i.e. “Fall of man” myths as in the “garden of Eden”). Such myths claimed that early humans were initially perfect and sinless but then committed an original sin and became corrupted, sinful beings that deserved punishment, notably death as punishment for their sin. Add to this, the myths that angry, punishing gods (monster gods) waited beyond death to ultimately punish and destroy humanity for sin. Monster gods were waiting to get us and to ultimately “right the wrongs of this life”. Scary stuff.
This after-life threat from monster gods has added extra fear to the already natural human fear of death. It has added extra psychic fear over death. Death has been turned into a terrifying monster when it is a natural part of life and should be viewed as a transition to something better, as a liberation from the suffering that we experience here into the better future or perfection that we all long for.
Unconditional deity, or ultimate Reality, takes the sting out of the fear of death, re-assuring us that just beyond death we are liberated into an inexpressibly wondrous love, peace, and overall bliss that is beyond comprehension or expression in human language. Death is simply a transition or passage into the wonder that “Near-Death Experiencers” repeatedly tell us about.
Add the point that there is no dualism beyond death- i.e. no good versus evil, no tribal division of humanity, no dominating lords, no threat of punishment or destruction, no eternal religious Heaven or fiery Hell. Alternative? A wondrous realm of love, peace, bliss, and timeless freedom and creative ongoing development. Let your imagination wander and defang the death monster.
This article “Attention Poor People, Step Away from the Fuel. It’s not for you. And stop using it anyway. Thank you” by Terry Etam at…
Etam included this: “The laziest way to create meaning in your life is to find an enemy”, Kyla Scanlon.
This quote from Etam stirred my thinking today… Victor Frankl was right that the most fundamental impulse in humanity is the impulse for meaning in life. In response to this impulse, most people seek to do something heroic in their lives, to engage some meaningful endeavor, to frame their lives as something more than just study, work, play, or socializing.
And many find meaning in terms of the “hero’s journey or quest”. They seek to engage a “righteous battle against evil (a monster or enemy)”. Unfortunately, many of today’s wannabe heroes are finding their meaning in the climate alarm crusade and its struggle to purge the world of the imagined evil threat of fossil fuel civilization that they claim is the monster/enemy that threatens life. Climate alarmism has become history’s latest great apocalyptic millennial movement. Climate crusaders believe that if they can defeat the monster/enemy of fossil fuels/CO2 (i.e. the basis of industrial, liberal democracy society) then they hope to restore the lost paradise of a pre-industrial more wilderness world.
My point: While engaging a hero’s quest is a generally admirable impulse to express, be careful what righteous battle you engage, which entity you believe to be the monster/enemy in life. Many found themselves horribly misled in joining last century’s great crusades against the imagined “evil of capitalist or liberal democracy societies” that left hundreds of millions slaughtered- i.e. the apocalyptic millennial crusades of Marxism and Nazism. Beware of being misled by the intoxicating delirium of embracing a hero’s quest, one that results in horrific outcomes for millions of others.
We are now watching the destructive outcomes of this century’s great crusade against evil in the devastation of societies from irrational decarbonization madness.
Someone asked me what criteria I use to keep myself from engaging harmful policies in life. I responded that one central criteria that I employ to evaluate policies/movements derives from Classic Liberalism- i.e. the protection of individual rights and freedoms as primary above collectivist policies or approaches.
Collectivist approaches (Socialist, Marxist) subject individuals to some collective and that results in the centralizing of power in governing elites (someone has to run the collective) who often err in believing that they know what is best for all others and they will use state power to coerce others to submit to the collectivist program. The individual approach to organizing society, on the contrary, disperses power among competing individuals or entities and that protects all from collectivist centralization that has too often resulted in totalitarianism outcomes. Note the experiments of the last century in this regard- notably the Marxist approaches to organizing societies. See, for example, Daniel Hannan’s “Inventing Freedom” for detail.
This from Chris Morrison at The Daily Skeptic, Dec. 22, 2022- “UN Secretary-General António Guterres falsely claims weather disasters have increased 500% in 50 years”
“Last September, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres claimed climate, weather and water-related disasters had increased by 500% over the last 50 years. According to the political and environmental science writer Professor Roger Pielke this is “pure misinformation“. He goes on to suggest that “you will never find a more obvious and egregious wrong claim in public discussions from a more important institution”…
“Pielke notes there is no evidence that the number of global and climate disasters is increasing. “That means that – undeniably – there is no evidence to support another false claim by the UN…
“Preliminary estimates suggest that around 11,000 people lost their lives this year as a result of weather and climate-related disasters, a figure around the average for the last decade. The overall death rate was about 0.14 people per million, and was one of the five lowest annual death rates since data were compiled. Pielke ventures that the figure is the lowest in all recorded human history. Just two decades ago, the figure was 20 times greater at 2.9 per million. The diminishing human impact of disasters is a science and policy success that is “widely under-appreciated”….
“In fact, as the Daily Sceptic has repeatedly shown, such inconvenient facts are largely ignored in most mainstream media, as individual weather events are relentlessly catastrophised in the interest of upending society, via the Net Zero political project. Weather catastrophisation is now the main climate propaganda tool since global warming went off the boil over two decades ago. Pielke noted that he had spent 30 years working to understand trends in disasters. “Along the way, I’ve observed a concerted and successful effort by climate advocates to create and spread disinformation about disasters, knowing full well that virtually all journalists and scientists will stay silent and allow the false information to spread unchecked – and sometimes they will even help to amplify it,” he wrote…
“On September 14th, the Daily Sceptic reported that four leading Italian scientists had undertaken a major review of historical climate trends, and concluded that declaring a ‘climate emergency’ was not supported by the data…
“Pielke concludes that planet Earth is a place of extremes. Hurricanes, floods, drought, heatwaves and other types of extreme weather are normal and always have been. The ability of societies to prepare and recover from extreme events is a remarkable story of policy success – deaths related to disasters have plummet from millions per year a century ago to thousands per year over the past decade.
““Unfortunately nowadays, every weather and climate disaster becomes enlisted as a sort of ‘poster child’ for climate advocacy. Every extreme event and associated human impact is quickly turned into a symbol of something else – such as failed energy policies, rapacious fossil fuel companies, evil politicians, or callous jet-setting billionaires. It is a simple and powerful narrative, and one that is also incredibly misleading,” he concluded.”
This from journalist Glen Greenwald. What does this mean for the “liberal democracy” that we all value?
“The FBI’s Exposed Propaganda Partnership with Big Tech”
“Note From Glenn Greenwald:
“In this episode, we examine the implications of the Twitter Files reporting from Michael Shellenberger that has shed enormous light on how the FBI pressured, cajoled, and manipulated both Twitter and Facebook to censor The New York Post reporting on Joe Biden’s business activities in Ukraine and China in the two weeks leading up to the 2020 election. And we’ll speak to the journalist himself about these revelations, and what it tells us about how deeply ingrained the U.S. Security State has now become in the censorship regime of Big Tech and how devoted they now are to manipulating our politics and controlling the flow of information we receive.
“We speak often about the U.S. Security State, but before World War II there was no such thing in the United States. Its creation is widely attributed to a 1947 law signed by President Harry Truman, the National Security Act, that radically transformed how the U.S. government functions. In the name of fighting the Soviet Union, with whom the U.S. had just allied to vanquished Nazi Germany, the law created a brand-new framework of highly secretive agencies that would be tasked with overseeing foreign intelligence operations and other covert paramilitary actions outside the purview of normal, transparent democratic channels. One of the agencies created by that law was the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA.
“As many warned would happen during the debate on that law, these agencies, especially the CIA, quickly began operating almost as a parallel government, in total secrecy and beyond the control of elective leaders. The agency’s powers expanded rapidly and aggressively under the leadership of Allen Dulles, who assumed control in 1953 under Dwight Eisenhower and ran it for the next eight years until he was fired by John Kennedy, who blamed Dulles for the 1961 Bay of Pigs fiasco — the failed CIA invasion of Cuba. There is no doubt that Allen Dulles, his brother John Foster Dulles, simultaneously served as secretary of state, and was one of the two or three most powerful people in Washington, a completely unelected official very few Americans knew.
“Eisenhower let him have his way for the most part while knowing that Dulles kept much of what he was doing a secret, even from the president. And the result of that……” and so on.