A site project: Probing why primitive apocalyptic, and “lost paradise/redemption” mythologies, continue to resonate with modern minds, despite the inevitably destructive outcomes, both personal and social. These ancient mythical themes are even embraced by “secular/ideological” movements today, such as climate alarmism.
This is a project to challenge pathology that deforms human consciousness, personality, and societies (Psychologist Harold Ellens and psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo in “Cruel God, Kind God: How Images of God Shape Belief, Attitude, and Outlook”). This is a project to correct this problem of bad ideas deforming life at the most foundational level of meta-narrative themes.
This from National Post: Common sense on the climate alarmism crusade, “Reality checks on the climate change agenda- Logic dictates a balanced approach using both hydrocarbons and renewables prudently and wisely” by Derek Burney, Feb.23, 2023
Section topics: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) Some of the most profound insights ever offered on how to live as authentically human;
(2) Alleviating/conquering our fear of dying;
(3) Site-splainin- The “burying” issue that Jefferson and Tolstoy pointed to regarding the “paradise lost/redemption” complex of ideas (i.e. the Christ myth of Paul that buries the central insight of Historical Jesus)
(4) The impulses and related ideas that still dominate human consciousness and life (the “Lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths);
(5) The baseline myth- “original paradise”, or better past (The reasoning behind this mythology: If the world was originally perfect- i.e. an “original paradise”- and now is obviously not perfect, then logically life has been declining toward something worse);
(6) Unconditional- humanity’s highest and most humane ideal- a centering theme for a new narrative;
(7) My protest against Paul’s Christ myth (It intentionally contradicts and buries the main themes in the message of Historical Jesus- i.e. Paul re-affirms retaliation in contradiction to Jesus’ non-retaliatory stance, Paul re-affirms divine conditions in contradiction to Jesus’ central unconditional theme, and Paul re-affirms divine violence in contradiction to Jesus’ non-violence message.);
(8) “The Two Degree Limit”, Andy May responding to alarmism over temperatures increasing by 2 degrees C. For most of the paleoclimate history of life (the 500 million years of the Phanerozoic era) average world temperatures were 3-6 degrees C warmer than today and all life flourished during that time;
(9) Sabine Hossenfelder on the physics of the greenhouse effect;
(10) “Why the Human Contribution to Climate Change is Minimal and Negligible”, by Rolf Reitz
(11) And well worth reading- “In Search Of A (Near) Perfect CO2 Global Warming Analogy” by Ron Barmby
This just below is very much related to my overall challenge to the “profoundly religious” climate alarmism crusade. Bad mythology is bad mythology wherever you find it, whether in religious belief systems or in so-called “secular/ideological” versions of the same.
Insert: I am old enough now to enjoy the privilege of repeating myself. Much like Pres. Reagan when he realized that he had Alzheimers- “Well then… you get to meet new people every day”. Some of you will get the point.
My ongoing protest against Paul’s Christ myth. “Honing” or refining the protest against the Christ myth (A summary of some of the most important points made on this site) Wendell Krossa
This is a further elaboration the basic points in the overall project to bring down history’s greatest monster- the monster God of “threat theology” (i.e. myths of divine threat as in apocalyptic punishment and destruction of the Earth, and then myths of judgment and hell in the afterlife). This is another endeavor to counter the ongoing influence of this monster theology that has long incited apocalyptic movements, and continues to do so even today. The themes of “lost paradise/redemption” mythology still shape the world religions and also shape many “secular/ideological” belief systems and movements. Note today’s climate alarmism crusade as one example of the ongoing influence of apocalyptic or “lost paradise/redemption” archetypes.
This is a “going to root issues” project that has to do with problem solving at a most fundamental level. It is a project to challenge deeply rooted archetypes and to urge changes at that level, i.e. the level of the subconscious- i.e. deeply embedded ideas/themes- that shape human narratives and incite primal inherited impulses, such as the impulses to small band or tribal exclusion, to alpha domination, and to rejection/destruction of differing others, etc.
Going after Paul’s Christ myth gets us to the heart of the human problem, what it means to be human as defined by ultimate ideals and authorities, and how those ideas influence our attempts to live as truly human. Going after the Christ myth is about how we can solve the human problem with insights from sources like the original Jesus gospel or message.
The Christ myth is recognized as “the most influential myth in history” (not my evaluation alone) and it is primarily responsible for keeping some of the worst features of threat theology alive in Western narratives and consciousness, notably the fallacy of apocalypse (i.e. life declining to something worse, toward collapse and ending). To understand fully the issues involved here, we need to make a clear distinction between the teaching of Historical Jesus and the entirely opposite Christ gospel of Paul. These two messages cannot be merged and mixed without distorting entirely the main themes of Jesus.
Central to my protest against Paul is the “burying” issue. This was Jefferson and Tolstoy’s complaint against Paul’s gospel of the Christ. They stated that the “diamonds/pearls” of Jesus (notably his Matthew 5-7 or Luke 6 sermons) were distorted and buried by the overall dominant New Testament teaching that supported Paul’s Christ myth. All the gospels and letters of the NT affirm Paul’s teaching on the Christ.
This is not a peripheral issue in the history of human thought or belief. I would argue that Paul buries the single most profound insight/discovery ever made in all history, an insight that has to do with the true nature of ultimate reality and therefore has to do with ultimate ideals, ultimate meaning, purpose, and therefore that insight has to do with all life. The Jesus insight offers an entirely new and fully humane theme/ideal to shape human thought, emotion, motivation, response, behavior, life, and societies. We are talking about the features of “non-retaliation” or “unconditional” that Jesus used to define the ultimate reality of deity.
The Jesus message offers entirely different motivating themes and yes, fortunately, the inclusion of those Jesus insights in the NT has moderated the worst features of Christianity over the past two millennia. Many believers in the Christian tradition have learned to focus on those kinder and gentler features in Jesus’ teaching and to ignore or downplay the harsher themes in the rest of the New Testament. But the harsher features distort the better ones, if not bury them entirely. Example: Love in Paul is ultimately limited tribal love as unbelievers are excluded, punished, and destroyed for not believing Paul’s gospel of the Christ (Again, see Romans, Thessalonians, and other passages). There is nothing of a non-retaliatory, universal, unconditional God in Paul.
Here is how Paul buries the core themes, the message of Jesus. Paul intentionally and directly (my view) contradicts the main themes of Jesus message and life. How so?
First, the most egregious contradiction from Paul…
1. Historical Jesus protested the sacrifice industry as an offense to a God who freely included, forgave, and loved all without any demand for blood sacrifice or payment. Jesus’ message was that God was unconditional and did not demand sacrifice/payment (This view of unconditional deity is illustrated by Jesus in the Prodigal Father story- Luke 15:11-32). Jesus died for making a public protest against sacrifice at the annual celebration of Passover in Jerusalem. (Bob Brinsmead’s research on the public anti-sacrifice stance of Jesus is in a section further below).
Paul rejected the anti-sacrifice message and reshaped Jesus into the ultimate sacrifice- a cosmic sacrifice of a godman to pay for all human sin. Paul taught that Jesus, as a blood sacrifice, was necessary to appease the wrath of God against human sin (Romans). This contradiction of Jesus’ core message has to be one of history’s greatest contradictions and it shapes the heart and core of Paul’s Christianity. Sacrifice is the central theme of Paul’s gospel, his Christ myth (again, see his full explanation of his gospel, his Christ myth, in books like Romans).
Myths of ultimate divine sacrifice affirm some of the worst of related human beliefs and impulses- i.e. the belief in essential human badness, the “original sin” myth that confuses our animal inheritance with our true self as human spirits (See for example, Jeffrey Schwartz’ “You Are Not Your Brain”). Our false sense of essential sinfulness then feeds the felt need to embrace punishment and payment, to make atonement for our badness. Hence, the endless human affirmation across history of some form of sacrifice as necessary for “salvation/redemption”, whether religious or other.
Yes, sacrifice to atone for human sinfulness and appease some threatening deity is alive today in the call to abandon the good life in modern civilization for a retreat to primitivism in the “morally superior low-consumption lifestyle”- a form of self-punishment, or penance, for our “sins” in modern society.
2. Jesus had also stated that God was a non-retaliatory deity (Matthew 5:38-48, Luke 6:27-36). He was the first person in history to state that deity was non-retaliatory in nature. He presented what Q scholar James Robinson states was “a stunning new non-retaliatory God”. Jesus was the first in history to declare this insight. All previous god theories across history had embraced the features of divine judgment, tribal exclusion (unbelievers rejected), retributive punishment of wrong, destruction of enemies, etc.
A non-retaliatory deity is very much related to the idea of no sacrifice. A non-retaliatory God would not demand retribution, punishment, or payment which is the heart of sacrifice/atonement mythology.
Further, a non-retaliatory deity will not engage the ultimate act of retaliation that is apocalypse- the punitive destruction of the world.
Paul rejected that central non-retaliatory theme of Jesus and retreated to embrace opposite theology of retaliatory deity. He made a very clear statement of his theology in Romans 12:17-20. And, as James Tabor notes in “Paul and Jesus”, apocalyptic shaped all that Paul said and did. Paul’s apocalyptic Christ has subsequently shaped all that we think and do for two millennia, keeping the destructive myth of retaliatory apocalypse alive in human narratives.
3.Jesus proclaimed non-violence, and service to others as true greatness. Paul rejected that teaching and affirmed ultimate divine violence and domination in his Christ myth.
Bob Brinsmead affirms that Paul contradicted Jesus on these important points- violence and domination (e.g. Matthew 20:24-26). Jesus had rejected violence as a solution. Paul preached a Christ who experienced violence in his death and then, in turn, exercised ultimate violence to overthrow his enemies and dominate all (see Revelation, Thessalonians, among other New Testament passages).
So, to rehearse again the three critical takeaway points where Paul contradicts entirely the message of Historical Jesus;
1. Paul embraces violent bloody sacrifice as necessary to appease an angry God and attain forgiveness. Jesus had rejected that primitive mythology for an unconditionally inclusive, forgiving, and loving God.
2. Paul preached a retaliatory God, where Jesus had rejected the theology of retaliatory deity and offered, again, “the stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God” (James Robinson).
3. Jesus rejected violence and domination while Paul embraced both as central to his Christ myth.
Follow-up notes: Zenon Lotufo comments on Harold Ellens statements re a “Monster God” that demands violent sacrifice as the solution to humanity’s problems…
“There is in the 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 represents God as sufficiently disturbed by the sinfulness of humanity that God had 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 in the center of the Master Story of the Western world for the last 2000 years’. And the unavoidable consequence for the human mind is a strong tendency to use violence.
“’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 violence’”, (“Cruel God, Kind God: How images of God shape belief, attitude, and outlook”).
This site’s protest against Paul’s Christ myth is a project to fully liberate human consciousness from bad ideas that have long tormented and traumatized people with unnecessary fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, despair, depression, fatalism, resignation, nihilism, and violence. Life is hard enough without adding the psychic burden of feeling that you are being punished by retaliatory God through natural disaster, disease, accident, or predatory cruelty (Paul affirms a God who punishes people with illness and death in his first letter to the Corinthians). And we don’t need the added burden of suffering the threat of after-life harm that intensifies the sting of our natural fear of death.
My project here re the Christ myth is to cut the taproot that continues to feed myths of apocalypse and incites the consequent fear that leads people to embrace irrational salvation schemes that repeatedly prove destructive to human societies (Think “decarbonization” as the irrational “salvation” response to the climate alarmism narrative).
Remember also, that in sorting out the stark differences between Historical Jesus and Paul’s Christ, you get to the core of what the historical person actually taught (“Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel) and his greatest contribution to the history of ideas- the single most liberating insight into ultimate reality and meaning.
Sources: Generally, I take the Jesus Seminar research that states there was a Historical Jesus but that much of the material in the New Testament gospels was added by the gospel authors. It was additional material that they claimed Jesus said, material that contradicts Jesus’ main themes. I particularly accept the Q Wisdom Sayings gospel research, notably Q1. There may have also been a Q2 and even Q3. Q2 apparently changes from the positive message of Q1 to become harshly apocalyptic.
And most specifically, and overwhelmingly, I embrace the good research of the best theological mind to have ever graced this planet- Bob Brinsmead. What a privilege to have known this man, a great human spirit who has long exhibited what it means to live as unconditionally human. My ideas and writing are very much a tribute to Bob.
Added note on the non-violence of Historical Jesus:
The non-violence of Jesus is directly consequent from his fundamental stance of non-retaliation. His basic position of “No more eye for eye, but instead love your enemy”. That refers to the free choice of a victim to not respond in kind to an offender with “hurt for hurt, humiliation for humiliation, punitive justice for punitive offense, etc.”
And of course, more generally, we qualify this with the fact “love your enemy” does not mean pacifism in the face of evil. Restraint is often necessary to protect victims from out-of-control offenders as in the case of criminal psychopathy or dictatorial aggression on a larger scale. We are all to be held responsible for our behavior as critical to learning, development, and maturing as human. Criminal justice systems, particularly the restorative ones, do well on this score.
Further, James Robinson (The Lost Gospel of Jesus. p.15) notes that Jesus had clearly advocated non-violence to his Jewish community but that non-violence stance was then reversed in Paul’s emerging gentile mission that replaced the Jewish movement of Jesus.
The article noted above by Barmby on the physics of CO2 (“In Search of a near perfect CO2 global warming analogy’), clearly explains how CO2 absorbs and re-radiates long-wave infrared radiation, thereby contributing to warming. But that contribution has become “saturated” (in physics terms) and adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will not contribute much more to global warming.
Barmby explains how the CO2 molecule physically absorbs and then releases heat energy. He says, “Understanding that mechanism reveals why today’s significant global CO2 emissions are insignificant to future global warming”. He adds, “I will share why the warming effect of CO2 is limited”. He then details the limited long-wave spectrum that CO2 absorbs and re-radiates, re-emitting radiation in all directions.
“Some of that is directed back towards the surface of the Earth where it is again absorbed and again released. This recycling of heat is the greenhouse gas effect…. But more CO2 does not mean proportionately similar increase in recycled heat.”…
“CO2 absorbs infrared radiation of wavelengths between 14 and 16.5 microns…”
“We know from ancient climates that even 12 times today’s CO2 concentrations did not cause runaway global warming”…
This important point:
“Future CO2 emissions will result in little or no global warming because there is a limited supply of the 14- to 16.5-micron infrared radiation to absorb, and the new emissions will be well mixed in the atmosphere, most too far above the Earth to cause surface warming”. And more…
From National Post Feb.21, 2023- “The kowtowing to climate alarmism continues”
Here is the federal Opposition party leader commenting on Justin Trudeau’s “Just Transition”, a program to end fossil fuel use and transition to renewables, better termed “Destroy the energy sector in Canada” plan.
“The answer is to develop our resources here in Canada while incentivizing our companies to do so with the lowest possible emissions,” said Pierre Poilievre.
Alberta premier Danielle Smith added her nod to the climate alarm narrative:
“Alberta Premier Danielle Smith pointed to the lack of information about the role of liquid natural gas as an emissions-reducing product (compared to coal and other, higher-emitting fuels).”
Both are playing into the fallacy assumptions of the climate crusade with affirmations that “we must do something” to reduce CO2 emissions. But why? What about “the lack of information” on the best science that shows an entirely opposite narrative to climate alarmism?
These nods-of-the-head to the basic assumptions of the climate alarmism narrative are denials of the best science showing that CO2 is not the main influence on climate change (other natural factors are). CO2 is only a “bit player” in climate change.
Why continue to affirm the wrong assumptions of climate alarmism, assumptions that bury the fact that climate change has been very mild (1 degree C over the past century as we continue to emerge from the coldest part of our Holocene interglacial- the Little Ice Age of 1645-1715).
And what about the information that our mild Modern Warming Period is not becoming a “climate crisis or emergency”. In fact, 3-6 degrees C more warming would return us to the average world temperatures over 80% of the past 500 million years when life emerged, developed, and flourished in an ice-free world. During that time CO2 was often in the multiple-thousands of ppm and there was no climate catastrophe.
These facts, and many more, affirm that we ought to celebrate rising CO2 in the atmosphere, along with celebrating further warming.
Listen to the real climate experts, atmospheric physicists like Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and others, researchers presenting the best possible information on climate change.
And that evidence points to the conclusion that there is no sound scientific reason to tax carbon or to decarbonize our societies. To the contrary, there is much evidence that we ought to celebrate more CO2 in our still “CO2 starvation era”.
3-6 degrees C more warming a benefit to life? Won’t that “fry the world”, especially the already warm tropical regions? No, because more heat energy in the tropics is transported via ocean and atmosphere convection (“meridional transport”) to the colder regions of Earth and that results in an “evening out” of climate across the world, just as over most of paleoclimate history (the 500 million years of the Phanerozoic era) there was no ice a the poles and that resulted in expanded habitats for more diverse life forms (the fossils of tropical species have been found at both poles). Tropical temperatures have remained “remarkably stable” across the history of life- the “equable climate” fact that climate alarmists cannot explain and choose to ignore. See “Sun-climate effect: Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis” in sections below.
Continuing previous comment...
I note below in “My protest against Paul and his gospel” that Paul’s Christ myth contradicted the message of Historical Jesus on two critical points- sacrifice and retaliation. Jesus opposed sacrifice as necessary to appease an angry God and attain forgiveness (Bob Brinsmead’s research on the anti-sacrifice stance of Jesus is in section further below).
Jesus’ message was that God was unconditional and did not demand sacrifice/payment (see also the Prodigal Father story- Luke 15:11-32). Paul rejected that anti-sacrifice theme of Jesus and contradicted him entirely by turning him into the ultimate cosmic sacrifice.
Jesus also stated that God was a non-retaliatory deity (Matthew 5:38-48, Luke 6:27-36). Paul rejected that and retreated to embrace the theology of a retaliatory God (Romans 121:17-20).
Bob Brinsmead reminded me that Paul had also contradicted Jesus on another important point- violence and domination (e.g. Matthew 20:24-26). Jesus had rejected violence as a solution. Paul preached a Christ who experienced violence in his death and then exercised ultimate violence to overthrow his enemies and dominate all (see Revelation, Thessalonians, among other New Testament passages). Bob’s added comments are just below “My protest against Paul and his gospel”.
These comments have to do with the single most influential myth in history- Paul’s Christ myth. Paul’s apocalyptic Christ is primarily responsible for keeping the pathology of apocalyptic alive in Western narratives and consciousness. The lingering influence of the Christ myth continues to erupt in contemporary apocalyptic movements.
Remember, that in sorting out the stark differences between Historical Jesus and Paul’s Christ, you get to the core of what the historical person actually taught (“Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel). You can then see and appreciate that Jesus offered the single most profound insight ever to lighten human consciousness- that God is an stunningly wondrous non-retaliatory, unconditional reality. There is nothing more liberating to human consciousness than that discovery and it overturns the “threat theology” that has long tormented and deformed people with unnecessary fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, despair, depression, and violence. And yes, his insight overturns all religion that has always been about conditions, conditions, and more freaking conditions.
Paul’s Christ myth has long buried the most important themes in the teaching of Jesus.
A ‘quickie’ summary for visitors on the run. Here are the main ideas in the “lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths. These themes are evident in the earliest human writing (Sumerian) and have subsequently dominated human narratives across history in varied religious traditions and are now found in the modern world in “secular/ideological” versions. The core themes of human narratives vary little across history. We repeatedly get the same old, same old, world without end. Young moderns self-identifying as “materialist”, even atheist, also mouth these very same themes, notably in “profoundly religious” movements like climate alarmism. They are the basic themes of Declinism, the “most influential and dominant theme in the modern world” (i.e. life declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending).
Get the point that primitive myths have been given new expression for the modern era. The terms may change but the core idea/theme remains the same. Campbell nailed it in stating that “the same primitive mythical themes have been believed all across history and across all the culture of the world”. This speaks to the issue of deeply embedded “archetypes”, subconscious things that keep re-emerging in meta-narratives generation after generation.
It is worth checking our personal worldviews to see if they are really as “scientific” as we assume, or perhaps they contain more primitive mythology than we like to admit. Remember, this is how ‘confirmation bias’ works- people select data that affirms their personal beliefs and ignore or discredit contrary data.
Also worthwhile is the project to try to understand why we hold certain themes in our personal narratives. What perhaps “emotional” needs do our beliefs meet? What fears are we responding to and what incites those fears? What sense of guilt are we trying to assuage and what is that guilt really based on?
Here is the brief summary of the “lost paradise/redemption” complex that is more detailed further below:
“There was a better past (original wilderness paradise world), but early people “sinned” (degenerated into something worse) and ruined paradise. Life then began to decline toward something worse, toward collapse and ending. A sacrifice must be made to pay for sin, and suffering must be embraced as “redemptive” (i.e. Give up the good life for a return to the “morally superior” simple life. The general felt need to embrace self-punishment as payment for personal failure). There must also be a violent purging of the threat to life (i.e. CO2 demonized as the threat to life today), and people must engage a righteous battle against evil (industrial civilization demonized as the “evil” that destroys the paradise wilderness world). With atonement and purging accomplished, there is hope in the restoration of the lost paradise or the installation of a new utopia/millennium.”
The above list of ideas is not my thinking and research alone. Good historians have traced these themes in past apocalyptic movements like Marxism and Nazism, and now in environmental alarmism (see Arthur Herman in “The Idea of Decline in Western History”, Richard Landes in “Heaven On Earth”, Arthur Mendel in “Vision and Violence”, and David Redles in “Hitler’s Millennial Reich”, among others).
One book alone overturns entirely the above complex of themes (many others offer the same evidence)- i.e. Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”. Just as the one main insight of Historical Jesus overturns the Christian version of the above complex (i.e. overturns Paul’s Christ myth).
We know today that there was no original paradise and life is not declining toward something worse, but, due to creative human minds, life has been rising toward something ever better than before. So, no sacrifice is necessary. And no violent purging is required, but rather just contribute to the “gradualism” of improving life (Mendel in Vision and Violence). That is the only “salvation” that we need to embrace. We never attain utopia but we can make life ever better.
Sea level rise is not speeding up and is not a threat… “Hey, Axios, Try Looking at Real Data; It Shows Ice Sheet Melting is not Dangerous” by Linnea Lueken
Quotes (links to sources are in original article):
“A recent article in Axios claims that the current rate of global ice sheet melting and sea level rise will rapidly accelerate unless global warming is stopped before it reaches 1.5°C. Axios also claims that even if greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, sea levels will rise for centuries because of the “delayed response” of ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica. Axios’ claims are misleading at best. Warming, sea level rise, and ice melt is likely to continue regardless of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, as it has been going on for far longer than human emissions have been a factor. There is no evidence that any out-of-control “tipping point” exists or is being approached, nor any evidence rates of sea level rise are increasing. Ice mass naturally grows and shrinks in the north and south poles….
“As is typical, these alarming predictions are based not on observable data, but on computer model projections that have a bias towards human-caused warming….
“Because of the immense complexity of the Earth’s climate, it is no wonder that modelers consistently fail to accurately predict future warming and downstream effects like sea level rise.
“Regarding sea level rise, current and past trends are hardly alarming. “Climate at a Glance: Sea Level Rise” shows that global sea level has been rising since the end of the last ices age, far before humans began burning large quantities of fossil fuels, sometimes at rates far above the roughly 1.2 inches per decade measured over the past couple of centuries….
“Sea level has already risen more than 400 feet since the end of the last ice age. As explored in Climate Realism, for example, recent claims that rates of sea level rise have increased in the past few decades are due to an incorrect methodology in accounting for a shift from one set of satellites to a newer set. Tide gauge data does not support the claim that rates of sea level rise are accelerating….
“However, ice melt data demonstrates no evidence such a “tipping point” exists that would lead to runaway melting….
“These cycles of warming and cooling are natural elements of earth history. Although humans are likely contributing to warming, available data does not point towards a looming catastrophe from rising seas. Axios probably would have been better served had they taken a more skeptical approach towards computer modelling, relying on publicly available (and easily accessible) sea level and ice melt data instead.”
“Sea level rise is no threat to anyone, except for people who give up, because they believe the UN’s absurd climate alarmism and sea level rise claims”, Eric Worrall.
Species “holocaust”? Scientists debunk the “species extinction” lie…
Good one from Rex Murphy– Illustrating Greg Gutfeld’s statement that “Common sense can no longer defuse absurd situations” (Regarding the Ontario shop teacher wearing huge fake breasts). Here common sense appears to have re-emerged…
And another good one from Jamil Jivani- “Woke is not a racial slur”…
Quotes from Jivani article:
“Dr. Wilfred Reilly, a political science professor at the historically-black Kentucky State University, offered a helpful definition last year: “Wokism is the belief that (1) all of society is currently and intentionally structured to oppress, (2) all gaps in performance between large groups illustrate this, and (3) the solution is ‘equity’ — proportional representation (without) regard to performance.”
“It may not be an all-encompassing definition, but it’s more than a good start. Dr. Reilly’s definition captures what’s at the heart of wokeness: the argument that systemic oppression exists beyond individual intentions and can be proven by treating statistical disparities as evidence of discrimination, which is then used to dismiss meritocracy and introduce identity-based quotas.
“To accept the argument that woke is a racial slur is to assume that black people are synonymous with certain political ideas. A preposterous assumption, to be sure. The most woke institutions today are not primarily owned, controlled or funded by black people.”
See below a new explanation on the two basic errors of Paul– the two points where he contradicts entirely the teaching of Historical Jesus- and his failure on those two basic issues invalidates entirely his gospel of the Christ.
The comedian’s critical role as society’s protector of freedom
George Carlin, “I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.” That advice is so necessary in our age where easily offended outrage mobs endlessly claim victimhood of the worst kind- i.e. “Your speech is ‘violence’ and I feel threatened”- so I demand that you be shut up, even if with state force.
The outrage mobs of today exhibit a dangerously intolerant spirit that refuses to allow disagreement from others, even if the disagreement comes via jokes that poke fun at the overly-sensitive Woke crusaders. The spirit of today’s outrage zealots is becoming more authoritarian with widespread calls for censorship, silencing, banning, criminalizing, and cancelling of differing others.
What happened to the fundamental principles and practises of Classic Liberalism/liberal democracy?
Comedians especially have the responsibility to push across boundaries set by others, even with intentionally “offensive/repugnant” jokes, all to keep the door of freedom open. Comedians play a critical role in pushing back against the constant pressure from intolerant types to limit speech to only “acceptable speech”, as defined by Whom? Which side of any political/social divide gets to tell all others what is right speech or not? Who gets or takes the authority to tell all others what is acceptable or not?
And what world is this where people now demand the right to not be offended, to not have hurt feelings, and often make such demands over the most petty of things.
Glen Greenwald again: “Your defense of free speech only matters if you’re defending the free speech rights of people who not just disagree with you, but who expressed views you find repugnant”.
Never has it been more critical to push back against the stifling sensitivity and outrage of today’s prickly censorship mobs, the sense of offense that wants to smother the freedom of others.
Also, Ira Glasser, former director of the ACLU, said well that if you censor the speech of others today, then be aware that when the disagreeing other gains power in the future, then that censorship will come back and hit you also. Do we want that kind of world?
And think- Who should define hate speech for all others? Who should define “misinformation/disinformation” for all others? Who is so bias-free and objective to do this? Undoubtedly, the ideological biases of the censors will intrude to shut down the speech of their political/ideological opponents and that is the death of freedom.
Today, few on the left/liberal side of our societies seem fully aware of the dangerous nature of their widespread calls for censorship of disagreeing others. They are pushing forms of censorship that are becoming the cutting edge of another eruption of totalitarianism. Did we learn nothing from the last century?
Potent counters to the “paradise lost/redemption” narrative would include Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource”, among other studies on the true state of life on Earth and the true trajectory of life (i.e. life rising toward something better, not declining toward something worse). Simon presents data for a “complete big picture” and “long-term” view of life on Earth.
This site offers a mix of evidence to counter the madness of climate alarmism- particularly, (1) the irrational demonization of the food of all life- CO2, (2) the blaming human use of fossil fuel energy and human emissions as causing a “climate crisis” and imminent apocalypse, and (3) the ruinous scheme to rapidly decarbonize our societies with intermittent renewables that do not work to supply human energy needs. This site offers evidence from varied scientists to counter this “madness of crowds” eruption that has tsunamied across the world population and now dominates public policy in many developed countries.
Keep an eye on the destructive outcomes from decarbonization (Net Zero) in Germany, Britain, California and other places. See the regular “Net Zero Watch” newsletters of the Global Warming Policy Forum. Also, good reports from “co2coalition.org”, “Wattsupwiththat.com”, and other sources that challenge the climate alarmism crusade.
This site tackles the climate alarm crusade (a “profoundly religious” movement) as history’s latest eruption of apocalyptic madness, a madness that has always been fueled by a complex of primitive myths (“paradise lost/redemption”) that have persisted in human consciousness and narratives from the earliest expression of the primal human impulse for meaning (i.e. how to understand and explain life). This site repeatedly sets forth that complex of primitive myths, and offers alternatives to liberate consciousness from the enslaving and destructive barbarity of “paradise lost/redemption” thinking, a mentality that is still re-enforced widely today in both religious and “secular/ideological” versions of the same mythology.
Future generations will look back on today’s hysteria over natural climate change, and the insanity of embracing irrational and destructive decarbonization policies, and they will shake their heads at this eruption of another “madness of crowds” episode that possessed so many people.
From co2coalition.org- “While the Climate Always Has and Always Will Change, There Is No Climate Crisis”, by Wallace Manheimer
“Perhaps one of the best statements used to cast doubt on an approaching climate crisis is by Richard Lindzen, perhaps the world’s leading authority on geological fluid motions:
“’What historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet-destroying toxin. It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world- that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.’”
The most profound set of insights ever offered on how to live as authentically human, Wendell Krossa
But just before presenting the full statement below that was made around 30 CE, note that two thousand years earlier an Akkadian father had offered similar advice to his son. It is evidence of a highly advanced human consciousness even back then around 2000 BCE.
The Akkadian Father’s advice (keep an eye on the “behavior/belief” relationship in this):
“Do not return evil to your adversary; requite with kindness the one who does evil to you, maintain justice for your enemy, be friendly to your enemy.
“Give food to eat, beer to drink, grant what is requested, provide for and treat with honor. At this one’s god takes pleasure…. Do good things, be kind all your days.”
But then, contrarily, he concludes his statement by urging people to appease their god with sacrifice. This affirms the ancient belief that deities were retaliatory, vengeful, and destroyers if not appeased with atoning sacrifice and obeisance.
“Worship your god every day. Sacrifice and pious utterance are the proper accompaniment of incense. Have a freewill offering for your god, for this is proper toward a god. Prayer, supplication, and prostration offer him daily, then your prayer will be granted, and you will be in harmony with god.”
Now consider the version of this non-retaliatory advice (“love your enemy”) that was given by Historical Jesus and note the clear contrast between this “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel material and the entirely opposite teaching in the Christ myth of Paul.
Paul’s rejection of the core insight of Historical Jesus, and his re-affirmation of retaliatory deity, has resulted in the persistence of immense human misery across the following two millennia. Paul re-enforced some of the worst of primitive narrative themes that have always incited the worst of human impulses to harm others. Fortunately, the Historical Jesus material (it was the undeniable core teaching of Jesus) was also included in the New Testament gospels and that teaching has worked to moderate the more harmful influence of the Christ myth. The influence of the core Jesus message works to moderate as long as people pick and choose the good stuff from among the bad stuff, and focus on the more humane material, just as Leo Tolstoy and Thomas Jefferson focused on the “diamonds/pearls” of Jesus and discarded the “lesser minds” stuff of Paul’s Christ myth.
“Harmful elements of the Christ myth”? Yes, Paul’s Christ has, in particular, kept the destructive myth of apocalyptic alive in Western consciousness for two millennia. We see the outcomes of this harmful mythology today in apocalyptic movements like climate alarmism and its decarbonization salvation scheme (i.e. “save the world” from “apocalyptic climate change”).
The full set of insights from 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 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.)
This full message above can be summarized in the brief sentence: “Love your enemy because God does”.
Note particularly the central new insight that Jesus offered- i.e. that God was a non-retaliatory reality. And unconditional reality. The Akkadian father had not offered this insight but had instead re-affirmed primitive retaliatory deity theory.
Note that Jesus followed an ancient pattern of “basing behavior on similar belief”, basing ethics on similar theology. “Do this because God is like this”. This has long been a primal human impulse to validate our behavior with the ideals/ideas that we hold. We hold certain beliefs that justify our behavior and lives. Consequently, the beliefs that we create and hold in our narratives powerfully influence our thinking, emotions, motivations, and responses/behavior.
Note below in “New narrative series (3): Separating “diamonds from ‘the work of lesser minds’”- Historical Jesus versus the Christ myth”… Note that Paul overturned the core message of Jesus in his Romans 12:17-20 version of a behavior based on a belief. Paul appears to affirm a similar non-retaliatory behavior but then he bases that response on an entirely opposite belief or theology. He states- “Do not retaliate against your enemy… (now watch this) because God will take vengeance on your enemies”. Huh?
And further, Paul’s statement advocating apparently non-retaliatory behavior was actually retaliatory in intent because Paul urged that it should be done in order to “Heap burning coals of fire on your enemy’s head”- that is, to ensure your enemy’s harsh punishment by God.
In this Romans 12:17-20 statement Paul rejected outright the stunning new non-retaliatory God of Jesus and retreated to the primitive mythology of retaliatory deity. His overall Christ myth embraces and epitomizes the core principle of divine retaliation (see the full Roman and Thessalonian letters of Paul).
Q Wisdom Sayings scholar James Robinson notes that a generation after Jesus taught, the early Christian movement, dominated by Paul’s gospel, rejected the “stunning new non-retaliatory God” of Jesus and retreated to conventional retaliatory deity mythology. That became the essence of the Christianity that we inherited in the Western tradition. We received retaliatory “Christ-ianity”, not non-retaliatory “Jesus-ianity”. We received the gospel of Paul not the gospel of Jesus. Two entirely different things in terms of their basic theology.
Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy both rejected the Christ myth of Paul as “the work of lesser minds” They actually used even harsher terms to condemn Paul’s gospel which my Canadian niceness will not permit me to list and thereby offend readers. (If I could, I would post a smile emoji indicating humorous sarcasm here, or as Mark Normand would say- “Comedy”)
The above Luke 6 passage on the central theme of Historical Jesus- i.e. that God was an unconditional reality- is not any sort of prescription for how to run a modern business (“give to whoever asks”). It is not advocacy for any broader business or economic policy (“lend to others expecting nothing in return”). Any business, to survive and prosper, needs payment of debts all throughout the related supply chain. And we have legal systems to protect and ensure such responsible payment of debt.
The Jesus message has more to do with ultimate meaning/ideals and personal ethics- i.e. responses that are freely and voluntarily expressed by the owners of personal/private resources. It has to do with personal choice in responding to offenders. It is not a prescription for how to run a criminal justice system at society-wide scale.
Further, any common sense understanding of love will not opt for dogmatic pacifism (i.e. “Turn the other cheek”) as a realistic response in a world that includes pathologies like psychopathy. Violent offenders must be restrained and incarcerated to protect innocent people. And if violent people cannot or will not control their worsts impulses to harm others then they must remain locked up in order to protect the public, which is the priority of a justice system.
What the non-retaliatory statement of Jesus speaks to is how we are obligated to treat those offenders when they are restrained/imprisoned- that is, humanely, not sub-humanly as is often the case with justice approaches that are oriented to retribution or punishment. The Danish restorative approach is a well known example here where imprisoned offenders are treated humanely. The same humane treatment of offenders is enshrined in our Human Rights codes regarding prisoners of war. Note how such humane response was exhibited toward the surviving Boston bomber who was given full medical treatment when wounded. So also, such response was exhibited toward the Japanese and German populations that were re-integrated into the family of nations after WW2.
Some detail on restorative justice programs:
Unconditional or restorative approaches are about how we treat offenders, no matter how we may feel about their offenses. The natural and healthy human response to the inhumane actions of offenders is outrage. But no matter how we feel, in order to maintain our own humanity, we are obligated to treat offenders humanely.
Restorative justice speaks to love as mental intention and related intentionally humane action toward offenders. It is not about love as feeling fuzzy, warm, or mushy toward offenders and their offenses.
Restorative justice also challenges the incarceration of non-violent offenders that present no physical threat to the public. Why does that continue at record rates in countries like the US?
No matter the approach that is adopted, common sense love is about holding offenders responsible (i.e. the obligation to make restitution). Responsibility for behavior is critical to human learning, rehabilitation, development, and maturing.
Get the main point of the Jesus message- the stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory, unconditionally loving God. That is the main insight to be taken from that statement- the true nature of ultimate reality or deity. That God exists as stunningly inexpressible unconditional love, no matter how we struggle to deal with the mess that is life in this world.
Further, God dwells in a non-dualist reality. We exist in a world of dualism- defined by good and evil and we have to struggle with that. But how we view offenders and struggle against their evil, this determines if we maintain our own humanity.
Once again, Joseph Campbell: “For love is exactly as strong as life. And when life produces what the intellect names evil, we may enter into righteous battle, contending ‘from loyalty of heart’: however, if the principle of love (Christ’s “Love your enemies”) is lost thereby, our humanity too will be lost. ‘Man’, in the words of the American novelist Hawthorne, ‘must not disclaim his brotherhood even with the guiltiest’” (Myths To Live By).
Alleviating/conquering our fear of dying– Help for dealing with the fear of death, Wendell Krossa
First, some good advice from Jordan Peterson- Live your life fully and if death presents to you then you will have less regret as you have lived life fully and fulfilled your purpose for being here.
But then there is still the fear of that final decline- Will it involve pain and suffering? Medical science assures us that they can now alleviate most suffering during the “dying-process” and enable “dying peacefully”.
And what about that last breath as your bodily life expires and ends (“due date” reached). Then what? Non-existence? Or perhaps something dark and threatening, something pathetically shallow and unimaginative about after-life existence, just as we are constantly bombarded with in so much movie storytelling.
How about something surprisingly alternative? We now have a movement of millions of people who claim to have passed through death to experience other surrounding realms- i.e. the “Near-Death Experience” movement. And what they tell us is stunningly mind-blowing in its wondrous nature. They tell us of an existence in a timeless, spaceless realm of hyper-lucid consciousness. They tell us of a sense of oneness with Ultimate Reality/deity (We are That), while still maintaining distinct individual personality. And they tell us of being overwhelmed by inexpressibly wonderous unconditional love, peace, bliss, and beauty. Colors not seen here. Pastoral landscapes where light emits from all things. And the love, the stunningly inexpressible unconditional love that overwhelms all else.
Pressing the limits of language, they try to give us some sense of that inexpressible love- “The very atoms of God, the very substance of God, is love, unconditional love”. Meaning the most fundamental reality of all behind the material cosmos is inexpressible love, something infinitely better than the best that we can imagine.
Also, they tell us of ongoing development and activity in endless life, though a timeless experience.
Notably, one Catholic lady with a degree in Christian theology said after returning from her NDE, “My Christian religion is all wrong. There is no angry God, no judgment, and no hell. Only unconditional love and light”.
That takes the sting out of the death fear that has always been exacerbated by myths of a threatening deity, waiting to judge, exclude the bad people, the unbelievers, and punish them in eternal fire. Threat theology, as in myths of after-life harm, has always added an extra psychic burden to already natural human fear of death.
Let your mind toy with the NDE insights. As someone said, even if most of us never have a NDE, we can benefit from what others have experienced, discovered, and told us. The NDE people consistently state that after their experiences they lose all fear of death. People experiencing such things say that death was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to them, and they did not want to return to this world and life.
Example NDE: Jayne Smith
It’s the ‘burying’ issue that Jefferson and Tolstoy pointed out… (more site-splainin re the “Impulses and ideas that dominate human narratives and consciousness”), Wendell Krossa
Why does this site repeatedly challenge the long revered “lost paradise/redemption” complex of ideas/archetypes? That complex of myths forms the core belief system of Christianity. It is the complex of themes that defines Paul’s Christ myth. And in diverse other versions, many themes in that complex of ideas also shape the belief systems of the other great world religions.
I challenge that complex, because of the harmful influence that those ideas have had over history- i.e. inciting and validating some of humanity’s worst impulses to tribal exclusion (true believers in opposition to unbelievers/infidels), domination as a divine ideal (“humans created to serve deity”, a subservience expressed toward priesthoods, societal leaders), and punishment/destruction of “enemies” (whether in this-life, or via threats of after-life harm).
Add here that the “lost paradise/redemption” themes have been adapted and given expression in “secular/ideological” versions for our contemporary world. The harmful influence of these ideas continues today in varied ‘secular’ movements like climate alarmism (actually a “profoundly religious” movement).
(Qualifying insert: Yes, I acknowledge the many other features of religious systems that have been beneficial to many people across history, the features that advocate forgiveness, inclusion, love, kindness, and more. Many religious believers have learned to pick and choose among the varied elements of their belief systems- focusing on the gentler and kinder elements and ignoring the harsher/darker features.)
But more than the harmful influence, I challenge the “lost paradise/redemption” complex because it has long buried the single most profound insight ever offered to humanity, the single most liberating idea ever discovered in history- i.e. that Ultimate Reality or God is a stunningly inexpressible unconditional reality. “Lost paradise/redemption” mythology has buried that insight under endless religious salvation conditions.
The 2000 year-old insight on unconditional deity should have long ago been widely promoted to fully liberate human consciousness from the “threat theology” that has always burdened people with fear- notably, fear of “this-life” harm (i.e. gods punishing people through natural disasters, disease, accidents, or predatory cruelty). Unconditional deity also liberates from fear of “after-life” harm- i.e. fear of ultimate judgment, exclusion, and punishment/destruction, and unconditional deity liberates from the consequent demand to embrace atonement religion in order to “save one’s soul”.
The unconditional insight tells us that no religious salvation conditions are required to appease what is only bad mythology- i.e. the age-old fallacy of a threatening deity (Paul’s “wrath of God” as in Romans, or the “vengeful fiery, destroying Christ” in Thessalonians and Revelation who threatens to destroy the world in apocalypse and unbelievers in hell).
Unconditional deity means that all are ultimately included, forgiven, and loved… freely and equally. No matter what we suffer in life (in this temporary physical realm of dualism), all are safe in the end. That takes the sting out of our natural fear of death. We return home to the non-dualism reality of no conditions love, having “played our differing roles on God’s stage” in this world (Joseph Campbell).
And just to state the obvious conclusion- Because God is an unconditional reality, who needs conditional religion? All historical religion has been highly conditional (i.e. conditions of correct beliefs, demanded sacrifice/payment for wrongs, right rituals and religious lifestyle as identity markers of being true believers in some religion, etc.). No religion has ever communicated the wonder of deity as a transcendently unconditional reality.
See also the comment below on the necessary distinction between the nature of ultimate reality and the “here and now” need to ensure, whether personally or socially, full responsibility for the natural and social consequences of all behavior in this life. Affirming unconditional ultimate reality is not advocacy for pacifism in dealing with evil in this world. It is not advocacy for lax, irresponsible treatment of human offenses. Holding all responsible for behavior is essential to human learning, development, and growth. What unconditional brings to the mix is advocacy for a restorative orientation to criminal justice systems.
And again- Why speculate on the metaphysical, or “after-life”? Why not take the stance of the pissed atheist who said, “Let’s just get rid of all this metaphysical bullshit”.
Well, because speculation on the metaphysical has been essential to the primal human impulse for meaning from the earliest emergence of human consciousness. Just take a look at mythologies and religions across history. Speculating on a future ongoing existence, in a far better realm, is how people have always dealt with their fear of death. Speculation on a better future life has also enabled people to cope better with the tragedy and suffering of this life.
Hope in a better future life, after suffering here, is how people have always sustained their spirits and enabled them to endure the worst things in this world, to get through this life. Defining deity as unconditional takes this hope-sustaining role of metaphysical speculation to new heights of potency.
Further, the nature of ultimate reality, or deity, has always played a vital role in shaping human ethical ideals and thereby providing ultimate (i.e. divine) validation for behavior/life here and now. This is the ancient “behavior based on similar belief” relationship. Dismissing these things is to leave people rudderless in meaninglessness, fear and anxiety, despair/depression, nihilism, and worse.
The impulses and ideas that dominate human consciousness and life (a revised, updated reposting of the “Lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths). Wendell Krossa
Intro notes: How to understand human thinking, feeling, motivation, response, and behavior today. The dominant themes of our narratives/worldviews and how they impact us.
(Archetype- model, ideal, original, pilot, prototype, pattern, standard, classic exemplar, classic, representative, forerunner, epitome, prime example, etc.)
And a prominent example to illustrate where I am going with this…
Think- Climate alarmism as a “profoundly religious movement” with a consequent salvation crusade that is proving highly destructive of Western societies (i.e. Net Zero decarbonization). The “save the world” program of climate alarmism is being dogmatically and zealously pushed by elites (politicians, scientists, celebrities, others)- the people who control public narratives and consequently use state coercion to push policy applications that impact all of us.
Enlightened elites have always believed that they know what is best for all others and the outcomes of such thinking have cost hundreds of millions of the lives of the “little people who pay taxes”. Remember the hundred million who died last century due to the forced collectivization of societies under the enlightened guidance of Socialist elites in China and Russia, and elsewhere. The same outcomes are becoming evident again today with the resurgence of the collectivism that is being exhibited through the environmental movement and its attacks on industrial civilization.
Back to the “impulses and ideas” theme of this article…
All mythological/religious movements have embraced a similar complex of ideas/themes and this is evident from the earliest human writing. Very little changes as these themes have become hardwired in human subconscious as “archetypes”. And today, the most primitive of past ideas have now been given expression, not just in the world religions, but also in the dominant secular/ideological systems of our world like Declinism and its offspring environmental alarmism/climate alarmism. (Source: Arthur Herman- “The Idea of Decline in Western History”)
The line of historical inheritance runs from primitive mythology to world religions to ideological belief systems, and even to the “scientific” belief systems of the modern world. Always the same old, same old. As Joseph Campbell stated, the same primitive myths have been embraced all across history and across all the cultures of the world.
I repeatedly post these themes on this site because they are most fundamental to what is wrong in our world. And we have good alternatives now to take human consciousness and life in a better direction, toward a more humane future. We do not have to continue suffering under the old that has caused/contributed to so much misery across history in unnecessary additional fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, resignation, fatalism, despair, depression, nihilism, and violence. We can now embrace the ultimate human liberation- freedom from ideas that have long distorted reality and life and that have long incited our worst impulses. We have alternatives that inspire the better angels of our nature, that inspire our better impulses to live as authentically human.
Consider these most basic ideas/themes and their outcomes, whether at the individual level or at larger societal scales..
The core themes that have dominated human consciousness across history… the “lost paradise/redemption” narrative:
(1) The myth that a perfection-obsessed deity created a better past or original paradise (i.e. Sumerian Dilmun or Jewish Eden). This is the baseline bad myth. It sets the stage for all the rest. If the past was better and the present is so obviously worse, then what went wrong. The obsession with blaming humanity (i.e. “fallen… sinful”) arises out of this original error.
The original mistake was not some human sin but rather the original sin was the wrong assumption that the past was paradise and somehow humans ruined that original perfection. This pathological mythology sets up the project to blame humanity, to demand punishment and sacrifice to pay for wrong, and then to make things better again you get the requirement to purge some evil threat to life, and all the rest of the lost paradise/redemption complex of myths.
The alternative narrative is that deity created the cosmos and world as originally imperfect and there is some good reason for that. So, with other philosophers and theologians, explore this possibility- that, for example, an imperfect world exists as in an arena of suffering for human experience, learning, and development. That we only learn the best things in life when they are contrasted with the worst elements. And that problems and consequent suffering bring out the best in people. For example, in suffering we learn compassion with suffering others (i.e. empathy as most fundamental to being human). And as Julian Simon argued, our problems bring out the best in us- i.e. creative endeavor to solve problems and find solutions that benefit others.
The myth of a better past dominates the Declinism ideology of today as in the environmental Declinism that states the past wilderness world was paradise and humans in civilization, notably in industrial capitalist society, have ruined that paradise and life is now heading toward collapse and catastrophe. CO2 has been demonized as the latest primary indicator of the evil of too many people consuming too much of Earth’s “limited” resources and thereby destroying the world. This primitive apocalyptic millennial nonsense still dominates the thinking of most people today.
(2) The myth that the earliest humans committed an original fault/error and subsequently “fell” or become “sinful/corrupted” beings who then ruined the original paradise. Again, this “original sin” myth is the root of all “blame humanity”, all anti-humanism. The Sumerians gave us the first examples of this pathology in the Sumerian Flood myth (Gilgamesh epic) with fuller versions coming later in subsequent Babylonian mythology. In the Sumerian Flood myth, Enlil, the waterworks god, was pissed at too many humans making too much noise, the original human “sin”. People just being sociable and having fun. That is as petty as Adam bringing a curse on all humanity for just enjoying a taste of good fruit and curious to learn something new. Sheesh, eh.
To get some sense of the petty and unbalanced nature of a God that is obsessed with human imperfection and mistakes, note the Biblical lists of sins that get God angry and willing to torture people in an eternal lake of fire. Things like “boasting, gossiping, coveting, sensuality, impurity, fits of anger, rivalry, dissension, drunkenness, greed, gluttony, slander, lying, pride, foolishness, loving money, disobedient to parents, loving oneself, loving pleasure, ungrateful, and reckless (i.e. adrenaline junkies in extreme sports), etc, etc.” Talk about punishment not fitting the crime, eh.
(3) The vengeful deity of primitive imaginations, thoroughly pissed at human imperfection, then cursed the world and life began declining toward something worse, eventually toward complete corruption, collapse, and final ending via apocalypse.
(4) The great creating Force/Spirit behind life, still obsessed with lost perfection, and obsessed with punishing imperfection, then demanded a sacrifice to pay for the sins of corrupted humanity, to restore his offended honor and rebalance justice in the cosmos. (Offended holiness in Judea-Christian theology is on the same spectrum as Islamic “honor killing” to restore an offended sense of righteousness).
(5) The upset deity also demanded suffering as further punishment, “suffering as redemptive”. Humanity has long embraced this pathology in self-flagellation or self-punishment to assuage feelings of being bad. Today, self-inflicted punishment involves giving up the good life for a return to the “morally superior” simple life, for a retreat to the primitive status of original “noble savages”- i.e. early people who were believed to be stronger and purer humans more in tune with nature, before the “fall into civilization…the degeneration of humanity in civilization”.
The “lost paradise/redemption” narrative has been beaten into humanity for multiple-millennia now and the outcome is a deeply-rooted guilt and shame over being imperfectly human. People have always subsequently felt a desperate need for absolution from their sin. They long to be told how to make atonement, and in response priesthoods across history have offered people the solution of blood sacrifice, or other forms of sacrifice/payment/punishment to assuage their guilt.
(6) The punitive Force/Spirit behind life also demands the violent purging of some great threat to life, some threatening “enemy”. This involves embracing the hero’s quest, to heroically engage “a righteous battle against evil”, the quest to conquer an enemy, to slay a monster. This all stems from the myth of cosmic dualism- i.e. that there exists a great cosmic battle of a good Spirit against some evil Force or Spirit. That cosmic level dualism is to be replicated in this-world dualisms among humanity. Cosmic dualism myths have long validated human tribalism.
Think of the historical outcomes of this myth alone- i.e. cosmic dualism (ultimate Good against ultimate Evil). How much horrific damage has been caused across history by inciting the impulse to view the differing other as an “enemy” with the felt need to engage a righteous battle against such enemies, to conquer and destroy them as threats to one’s own tribe. This is perhaps the most damaging of all primitive ideas.
This is why it is critical to understand these primitive archetypes and how they continue to influence human consciousness, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior. We ought to recognize that we have much better alternatives that work to inspire our better human impulses. Notably, the recognition of the fundamental oneness that inspires us to view others as family and to embrace restorative justice toward human failure.
Note again in this regard Campbell’s speech on viewing enemies as family and thereby maintaining our humanity:
“For love is exactly as strong as life. And when life produces what the intellect names evil, we may enter into righteous battle, contending ‘from loyalty of heart’: however, if the principle of love (Christ’s “Love your enemies”) is lost thereby, our humanity too will be lost. ‘Man’, in the words of the American novelist Hawthorne, ‘must not disclaim his brotherhood even with the guiltiest’” (Myths To Live By).
Also, primitive mythologies teach that the ultimate violent purging takes place in the apocalyptic punishment and destruction of the old corrupted world, a necessary destruction in order to make way for the new (see the New Testament book of Revelation for detail). “Violent divine purging of evil” myths have validated the revolutionary purging in movements like Marxism and Nazism (Herman in “The Idea of Decline In Western History”).
(7) With atonement and purging accomplished, the threatening deity then promises salvation for true believers, salvation in the restoration of the lost paradise, or in the installation of a new utopia/millennial kingdom.
(Sources: Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Zoroastrian mythologies. Also, Jewish-Christian history and belief systems. Add further, Eastern religious belief systems, such as Hinduism.)
Such is the complex of pathological “lost paradise/redemption” myths. Note the intense anti-human orientation of these old myths. They emphasize the fallacy that humanity has “fallen” or degenerated from an imagined original perfection. That distortion buries the entirely opposite truth that the real story of humanity is how amazingly we have improved over history, compared to our original barbaric animal existence. (James Payne in “History of Force” and Stephen Pinker in “The Better Angels of Our Nature” both detail the historical trajectory of improving humanity, though I don’t think Pinker’s “evolutionary biology/psychology” fully explains all the factors behind the ongoing improvement.)
These “lost paradise/redemption” myths constitute the “mythical/spiritual” substrate- the archetypes- that undergird most human belief systems or narratives, whether religious or “secular/ideological” narratives, and even scientific ones. These themes are deeply embedded in human consciousness/subconscious- hardwired in human minds from millennia of tight interaction with some of our most basic impulses. This complex of primitive themes continues to dominate human narratives today.
Where it all went wrong…
Early people created ideas/myths to validate some of the worst of the animal drives that humanity inherited from millions of years in animal existence. They were following their primal impulse for meaning- to understand and explain their conscious existence in this world. And when they first started doing that- i.e. creating ideas/myths to explain things- they were still more animal than human, still very primitive in their thinking. Consequently, they created ideas/myths to validate their still very primitive behavior and existence.
Those earliest myths were eventually embraced by the great religious traditions and became religious dogma, and then even infected modern-era ideological systems of belief.
But now, it is entirely inexcusable for us moderns to continue to hold those same themes of our primitive ancestors when we have far better insights today, far better alternative explanations to satisfy our primal impulse for meaning and purpose. Note the “better alternative explanations” in “New narrative series (1): Old story themes, better alternatives”, just below on this site.
The more prominent of the darker inherited animal impulses, along with their related validating myths, would include (1) the impulses to small band existence or tribalism (given expression in human societies in such divides as those between true believers versus unbelievers as in religious and ideological systems), (2) the impulse to alpha domination given expression in myths of dominating gods and the validation of powerholding human kings/lords/priests as representatives of the dominating gods, and (3) the impulse to the destruction of competing others (myths of enemies/unbelievers that should be eliminated in this life, or cast into religious hells).
Advocates of contemporary “lost paradise/redemption” narratives, such as in the climate alarmism crusade, voice the same themes as those listed above and that resonates powerfully with many people. The core “lost paradise/redemption” themes resonate with deeply embedded archetypes, lodged even at a subconscious level. (Again, “archetype” meaning- prototype, representative, pattern, model, standard, exemplar, ideal, etc.)
Example of the primitive “lost paradise/redemption” myths resonating in modern minds with devastating outcomes:
Remember how Hitler, initially a fringe lunatic madman, embittered by his WW1 experience, and largely ignored by most people, eventually began to resonate more widely with the German Christian public. With the Weimar collapse of the German economy due to the Great Depression, his formerly ignored message of “decline toward looming apocalypse and promise of salvation (creating the millennial Third Reich)”- that message then began to resonate more widely with those same archetypical themes that dominated the belief systems and consciousness of most good Christian Germans. Hitler was then able to persuade many ordinarily good Germans to join, or at least not oppose, his mass-death crusade.
The message of decline toward disaster incites primal fears of some punitive spirit or force behind the natural world that is justly punishing us “bad” people for ruining originally pure nature. We feel intuitively that we deserve such punishment coming at us through natural disaster, disease, predatory cruelty from “enemies”, and other misfortunes common to life. Remember that Japanese lady after the 2011 tsunami asking, “Are we being punished for enjoying the good life too much?” She illustrates this very intuitive human sense that natural disasters are expressions of some angry god punishing people for their sins. So also, Nancy Pelosi claimed (Sept. 2020) that the forest fires of California were evidence that “Mother Earth is angry” with humans enjoying too much fossil fuel energy and causing the “climate crisis”. Bad people being punished by an angry deity seeking retribution. Same old, same old as ever before.
The belief in some great threat to life then incites the human survival impulse. The panic-mongering over such threat then pushes many to abandon rationality, out of their desperation to survive. Hence, many people will then heed the craziest exaggerations of the apocalyptic prophets of their time (think of the prophesies of Paul Ehrlich as a contemporary example). Alarmed populations will then support the most irrational salvation schemes, to “save the world”, even when the evidence mounts that those schemes are so obviously destroying societies as in the outcomes of the Net Zero mania that is currently devastating Germany and Britain. The contemporary climate alarmism crusade and its destructive decarbonization salvation scheme is just another repeat of past similar apocalyptic millennial eruptions that have always destroyed societies across history. Remember again the irrational Xhosa cattle slaughter of 1860, and on larger scales, the horrific destruction of the Marxist and Nazi “lost paradise/redemption” crusades.
As Richard Landes warned in “Heaven On Earth”, if you don’t understand how apocalyptic millennial themes can lead to mass-death in societies then you have learned nothing from past history (i.e. the Nazi madness). We are watching this same “lost paradise/redemption” pattern play out again today- the same old themes of “better past, sinful humanity ruining paradise, sacrifice and violent purging necessary to “save the world” and restore the lost paradise, etc.” These profoundly religious themes underly the cult of climate alarmism. We see them in the claims that a better past existed in the earlier more wilderness world. We see these myths in the beliefs that life is declining due to human industrial civilization, and we see them in the demonization of the basic food of all life- i.e. CO2 as the great threat to life that must be purged, and we see them in the endless media hysteria that a climate apocalypse is imminent, and they are evident in the consequent irrational decarbonization madness as the only way of salvation so the lost paradise can be restored. The outcomes will not be good if we continue to let this myth-based madness shape public policy as in the elimination of fossil fuels.
(Insert on irrationality: Marinate a bit on the scale of irrationality in the widespread public acceptance of the demonization of the basic food of all life- CO2- as the great threat to life. And consider- CO2 levels over the past millions of years of our “ice age era” have been at “starvation” levels, just in the hundreds of ppm. Plant life prefers CO2 in the multiple thousands of ppm and thrives when it is that high, as over paleoclimate history when, with CO2 levels 5 to 10 times higher than today, life was a “paradise… a golden age for mammals”. And with CO2 in the multiple-thousands of ppm over past history, there was no “climate crisis”, no “world on fire”. Also, with much higher temperatures over paleoclimate history- 3-10 degrees C higher than today along with much higher CO2 levels- life thrived. Just as plant life is once again beginning to flourish with the restoration of more optimal levels of CO2 today- notable in the addition of 15% more green vegetation to the Earth since 1980. Sources: Wattsupwiththat.com, co2coalition.org, co2science.org, among others.)
Added note on my claim that the myth of a better past or original paradise is the foundational or baseline myth of the “lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths. Wendell Krossa
The belief in an originally more perfect world may have arisen from early humanity’s experience of decline in the natural world. John Pfeiffer (“The Creative Explosion: An Inquiry into the Origins of Art and Religion”) suggests that the belief in an original “golden age” may have emerged over 100,000 years ago. I took a closer look at how that belief may have arisen in early human minds.
The previous interglacial- i.e. the Eemian- occurred between 130-115,000 years ago. That blissfully warm interglacial (some 3-5 degrees C warmer than our current interglacial) may have ended quite suddenly, over just centuries or even decades. Life then descended from previous life-affirming warmth into the devastating cold of the following ice age or glaciation (the “Wisconsin” in North America). Early conscious people would have remembered that better past compared with their more miserable present conditions in a colder world. That would have given rise to their speculation that the past was more perfect and the present was a decline toward something worse.
If you believe that the past was better or perfect, and then compare that better past with the obviously imperfect present world, then you can “logically” conclude that life is declining toward something worse. You have created a reasonable baseline argument for your belief in apocalypse- i.e. life declining toward something worse, even toward life ending.
Add here that traditions of sacrifice have been around for a long time also. People have long offered sacrifices to appease what they believe were angry, punitive spirits or gods. The ancients believed that gods expressed their anger at “sinful” people through the destructiveness of the natural world- i.e. through natural disasters, disease, accidents, and predatory cruelty.
All such primitive beliefs would contribute to the fallacious mythology of “Lost paradise/redemption” that we have inherited from those ancestors. It is inexcusable that many people today continue to hold to contemporary versions of such primitive thinking, contemporary versions as in the major world religious traditions, along with many “secular/ideological” and even scientific versions (notably, in the “profoundly religious… or cultic” climate alarmism crusade).
My protest against Paul and his gospel
I try to not get lost in the details of Paul’s dense theological reasoning (i.e. justification by faith, law and grace, glorification with Christ, etc.). My conclusion is that engaging the details of Paul’s theology is unnecessary because he was so profoundly wrong on two of the most basic features of his gospel and that invalidates his entire gospel of the Christ.
1. Paul claims that Jesus was a cosmic sacrifice to pay for all human sin and appease/atone a wrathful God. But nowhere in his original teaching (Q Wisdom Sayings gospel- notably, Q 1) did Jesus ever claim to be a sacrifice to pay for sin. To the contrary, Jesus died protesting the sacrifice industry (the Temple episode- e.g. Mark 11:15-18). Jesus also stated/illustrated in varied places that no sacrifice was necessary to placate God and attain forgiveness or redemption/salvation (i.e. story of the Prodigal father). Paul blew it entirely on this major point regarding sacrifice.
2. Paul also missed the foundational element of Jesus’ theology- that God was non-retaliatory toward “enemies/unbelievers”. The “stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory God” (James Robinson) was the main breakthrough theme/idea of Jesus’ message or gospel. This is clear in Matthew 5:38-48 and Luke 6:27-36. Paul rejected that theological discovery and retreated to a theology of a retaliatory God as in Romans 12:17-20 and many other passages in his letters (see, for examples, the Romans and Thessalonians letters).
You could add Paul’s error in trashing the Wisdom Sayings tradition that Jesus was part of (e.g. the first letter to the Corinthians).
These two fundamental errors in Paul’s teaching invalidate almost all else that he argued in his letters. These errors also invalidate much of the rest of the New Testament that affirms Paul’s Christ myth. Hence, I take the position of Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy to focus mainly on the “diamonds/pearls” of Jesus Q Wisdom Sayings and ignore the rest of the New Testament that is “the product of lesser minds” (Jefferson).
No sacrifice necessary and non-retaliatory theology…
This added comment from Bob Brinsmead on the violence, and resulting domination, in the Christ myth that is so contrary to the message of Jesus…
“You have summarized the two issues re the death of Jesus as in Paul’s myth. There is a related issue here that we must not miss, and that is the core issue of violence. In the myth of Paul, the retaliatory justice seen in the apocalyptic event of the death of Jesus was violence. All violence! The bottom line is that the myth, which is an apocalyptic secret given to Paul in his visionary trances, like all apocalyptic, is violent. It discloses that the divine solution to the problem of evil is violence- which is unveiled in the two-staged end of the world.
“The first is the violent atonement in the death of Christ and the second is the consummation of the end when the one who aborted all that violence to benefit believers (those who are in Christ so reckoned dead) will then exhaust all the violence that he endured on to the unbelievers (those not in Christ). It has to be seen that the atonement on the cross and hell are the inseparable two-part end of the world (“Once at the end of the world he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself”. The death of Christ is seen in Paul’s apocalyptic myth as being the end of the world.
“Anyway, I just wanted to draw your attention to how the myth (apocalyptic is a word which means to unveil secrets about the end of things) is a violent one. The message in the myth is that God’s final solution for the problem of evil is violence. Evil is violence. The myth tells us that God overcomes violence with superior violence.
“Hey, this is all the same old, same old. As Harold Ellens puts it, you look at the typical stories (novels), movies, video games for the young, and they are stories of how the hero is threatened, suffers, but in the end thrills everyone with how he overcomes the violence with a superior show of violence. This is how it was and has been with all expectations of the Messiah, a warrior messiah like David who subdued the national enemies, or the Judas Maccabees who drove out the Syrians and cleansed the temple. This is how it is with the Christian Messiah who comes “in flaming fire to take vengeance on all them than know not God and do not obey my gospel.” And in this old myth, the result of the superior violence of the Hero Messiah (after enduring suffering himself) is that he gets to have dominion.
“This word “dominion” is a vital part of the apocalyptic myth. It is all about getting dominion. “And the greatness of the kingdom and the dominion over everything will be given to the saints of the Most High…”- Daniel 7; or see Daniel 2 re the great Stone, who is Christ of course, who smashes the great image to pieces and by superior violence gets the dominion. Or you can see it in Old Testament prophecies about when the enemies of Israel are going to come to “the light” and lick the dust at Israel’s feet. Oh oh oh, what a delicious moment of joy to get the dominion at last from all those dreadful beastly hands who never deserved it!!!
“Against all these perverted expectations of a hero messiah, greatness and dominion, Jesus renounces all such as things as the same view of dominion as held by the Gentiles (Matthew 20:24-26). It is all a false notion of greatness and dominion. Jesus renounces all ambitions about ruling over anyone. It is as one great thinker said, “God hates obedience.” Think about that. We have lived too long under the monarchical images of God instead of the God of the truly human Jesus.
“The greatest insight in Nolan’s little book, Jesus Before Christianity, is this: We should allow Jesus to mould our ideas of God; but we have generally done the opposite, namely, we have allowed our false ideas of God to mould our ideas (myths) of Jesus Christ.
“Jesus is through and through anti-violence, anti-hero, anti-christ.”
A lot of my comment on this site probes the themes for a new narrative, Wendell Krossa
In proposing themes for a new narrative, I also draw on what is best in traditions that have been handed down to us, notably the “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel of Historical Jesus (particularly, the Luke 6:27-36 material). That material is among the best of insights ever offered to inspire our better impulses, the “better angels of our nature”.
And though it may upset true believers in the Christian tradition, I contrast the Jesus material with the nastier of the inherited themes that were embraced by Paul in his Christ myth, themes that have incited our worst impulses- i.e. the residual animal drives that emanate from our core brain (i.e. the “monstrous” impulses that need to be tamed in order for us to function humanely in civilization).
I approach the Jesus material with something like Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy’s approach of separating the Jesus “diamonds/pearls” from the Christ teaching of Paul, what Jefferson called “the product of lesser minds”. It’s a simple project of distinguishing and separating good from bad, right from wrong, according to widely accepted standards of what is humane and inhumane today (i.e. what is embodied in our human rights codes, constitutions, etc.).
I would argue that the historical Jesus material on non-retaliation, love of enemies, non-dominating service to others, free inclusion/acceptance of failing others, etc.- all such principles/practises are aspects of the “no conditions love” that was his core message and ethic, an ideal that helps us navigate through life in the most humane way possible.
And, to the contrary, the Christ myth of Paul embraced some of the worst features of past narratives that re-enforced the inhumanity of our baser impulses- i.e. the features of tribal exclusion (true believers versus unbelievers), ultimate retaliation and punishment/destruction (punitive justice in this world along with after-life judgment and destruction), and servitude to a dominating cosmic Lord and his earthly representatives (priesthoods, kings and other leaders as divinely appointed by God).
Admittedly, some better features were also included in Paul’s theology but those kinder and gentler features are too often distorted and buried by the darker features of the Christ myth. For example, love in Paul’s teaching is ultimately not love in its highest form- i.e. unconditional, nontribal. Paul’s God exhibits a highly conditional love that demands full payment for all wrongs, and full punishment of wrong, before forgiveness is offered. The conditional nature of Paul’s divine love is most evident in the demand for the cosmic sacrifice of a godman (the Christ) to effect proper atonement. And the love of Paul’s God is a tribally limited love that separates true believers from unbelievers who are ultimately excluded and damned.
(Insert: Note the New Testament lists of “sins” that render humans deserving of divine wrath and eternal damnation. The lists include such things as “boasting, gossiping, coveting, sensuality, impurity, fits of anger, rivalry, dissension, drunkenness, greed, gluttony, slander, lying, pride, foolishness, loving money, disobedient to parents, loving oneself, loving pleasure, ungrateful, reckless (adrenaline junkies engaging extreme sports)” etc. Such lists enable Paul to conclude- “All have sinned and deserve damnation”, even for the most minor of human imperfections and offenses.)
Add to the above condition of full payment and punishment for all imperfection, the condition of faith in Paul’s Christ gospel in order to be saved from the wrath of Paul’s God. And further promoting the worst of past narratives and inciting the worst of human impulses: Paul’s Christ myth emphasizes violence, as in the bloody death of Jesus, as the only solution to humanity’s greatest problem- human imperfection. That ideal of a God using violence to solve problems sets a dangerous precedent for humanity.
Psychologist Harold Ellens and psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo have both commented on this dangerous ideal of believing in a deity that uses violence to solve problems, what Lotufo calls “cruel God theory”. Lotufo quotes Ellens as follows:
“(The) 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 2000 years. And the unavoidable consequence for the human mind is a strong tendency to use violence. With that kind of metaphor at our center, and associated with the essential behavior of God, how could we 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 violence?” (“Cruel God, Kind God: How Images of God Shape Belief, Attitude, and Outlook”)
Like Jefferson and Tolstoy, I would strip away the Christ material of the New Testament and hold mainly the core message of Jesus as per passages like Luke 6:27-36. That teaching offers some of the best human insight to constitute the core of a new narrative- truly humane ideals that takes us toward the most humane outcomes in life. Historical Jesus reframed the ultimate reality- deity- in terms of the ultimate ideal of “no conditions love”. There is no more humane, no better organizing center for a narrative than this.
(Sources on the original message of Jesus: Historical Jesus research as in the Jesus Seminar books, Q Wisdom Sayings gospel research as in the books of James Robinson, John Kloppenborg, Stephen Patterson, and others.)
Unconditional at the center of a truly human narrative, Wendell Krossa
In varied essays on this site I have urged the reshaping our basic meta-narrative (the overall “big story” that informs and guides our public lives and is also embodied in our personal worldviews or stories). I have repeatedly emphasized that the feature of unconditional is central to overturning the monster at the heart of old narratives (unconditional is the weapon to slay the conditional monster God of “Cruel God theories”). Unconditional, as the core feature of a new narrative, takes us to the most humane conception of ultimate reality, the ultimate human ideal. Unconditional takes us to the height of the great human ideal of love. It takes us to the highest understanding of what goodness means- i.e. what goodness means in terms of becoming most authentically human or humane. There is nothing higher or more profound than unconditional to define true goodness or love. Nothing better. Unconditional defines the ultimate of good.
Unconditional, as the most humane ideal ever conceived, takes human thought, emotion, motivation/intention, and response/behavior to its safest state and to the safest forms of expression in this world.
Unconditional, for example, urges us to rethink and reframe human justice systems in terms of restorative justice as opposed to punitive justice. Unconditional urges us to embrace inclusion of all human diversity, to treat all others as free equals. We know of nothing higher or better to influence human thought, emotion, motivation/intention, and response/behavior.
Added note on “site project”: The “lost paradise/redemption” complex of myths supports the fundamental theology of a monster God. All those myths cohere around the central myth of a retaliatory, vengeful, destroying God. The project of this site is to tackle that monster with the weapon of unconditional and help slay it. That threatening monster has dominated and deformed human consciousness and life for millennia and it is time to fully liberate human consciousness from enslavement to that monster.
Further note on a central new narrative theme: Unconditional is a self-validating truth and reality.
One of the central insights from Historical Jesus was that God was an unconditional deity and that non-retaliatory, unconditional love was the most humane response toward enemies. That message of Historical Jesus stands in stunning contrast with the highly conditional and retaliatory God of Paul’s New Testament gospel.
Unconditional deity is also the central discovery of the Near-Death Experience movement.
While these two validating sources- Historical Jesus and NDEs- may convince some people, unconditional needs no validation by any outside authority. It is a self-validating truth. Unconditional is self-validating as the highest and best form of love that we know. It is the highest form of goodness, the best of being authentically human, and how we become the heroes of our stories.
Unconditional is self-validating as true, right, and good. We know intuitively from our human consciousness and human spirit that unconditional is the best of being human. It defines what it means to be truly human and not animal. Better than anything else, it defines ultimate human meaning and purpose in this world.
“The Two Degree Limit”
This excellent response by Andy May to the alarmism over climate increasing by 2 degrees C more and causing a “climate catastrophe”. Nonsense.
“For decades We have been told that we must not let global warming exceed two degrees Celsius above the “pre-industrial” global average temperature. Recently the IPCC lowered this limit to 1.5 C. In the latest IPCC report, called AR6, pre-industrial is defined as before 1750…
“What is the “pre-industrial?” Did it have an ideal climate that we wish to return to? The year 1750 was in the coldest and most miserable part of the Little Ice Age (LIA). The LIA was the coldest period in the Holocene Epoch, or since the last glacial period ended about 12,000 years ago, at least in much of the Northern Hemisphere…
“Both Figure 1 and Figure 2 show a distinct Little Ice Age low temperature, that occurs between 1600 and 1850. All the reconstructions show the Little Ice Age is about three degrees cooler than the Holocene Climatic Optimum, from 8000BC to around 4000BC… We have likely seen temperatures three degrees warmer than the pre-industrial period (aka the Little Ice Age) during the Holocene Climatic Optimum from 7500BC to 4400BC. This is the time period that saw the birth of human civilization.
“We also saw high temperatures during the so-called Minoan Warm Period about 1600BC, prior to the collapse of the Bronze Age civilization around 1200BC, due to cold and drought. The cooling after the Minoan Warm Period, lasted from around 1200BC until about 700BC. During this miserable period, called the Greek Dark Age, Mycenean civilization collapses, the Hittite Empire falls, and there were severe droughts in the U.S., India, Europe, Africa, and China….
“The Greek Dark Age was cold and miserable, but nothing like the bitterly cold, dry, and stormy Little Ice Age, also known as the “pre-industrial” period that the IPCC measures climate change from.
“The cold spells that frequently occurred during the pre-industrial period caused humanity many problems. Paul Homewood as well as Wolfgang Behringer’s excellent book, A Cultural History of Climate, and an article by Geoffrey Parker offer us a lot of historical examples. All over the world most glaciers reached their maximum Holocene extent during the Little Ice Age. In Chamonix, France advancing glaciers swallowed entire villages.
“There was no summer during 1675, and it was the second coldest summer in the past 600 years in North America according to proxy evidence. The winter of 1657-1658 was particularly brutal. Massachusetts Bay and the Delaware River both froze over, allowing people and deer to cross on the ice. The Baltic Sea froze so hard that horses and loaded wagons could cross from Gdansk, Poland to the Hel Peninsula over 10 miles north of the city. Yet, the following summer was excessively hot in Italy and Greece. In India the monsoon failed that year, resulting in a devastating famine.
“Between 1660 and 1680, more typhoons struck southern China at Guangdong Province, than at any other time in recorded history. In 1666, a hailstorm hit England and some of the hailstones were a foot in circumference, the size of softballs.
“An enormously destructive hurricane hit the Caribbean Islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique in 1666 that resulted in 2,000 deaths and the destruction of a shore battery with walls 6 feet thick, as well as numerous ships.
“Egypt in the 1670s had many very severe winters and people began to wear fur coats, something that had never happened in Egypt before. In the 1680s, the Sahel in Africa suffered a severe drought and Lake Chad reached the lowest level ever recorded.
“The winter of 1691-1692 was very severe, starving wolves entered Vienna, Austria and attacked men and women on the streets. All the canals in Venice froze over and the mouth of the Nile River was choked with ice for a week. The cold of the 1690s caused a major famine in northern Europe and half the population of Finland died, as well as 15% of the population in Scotland. The Scottish famine was an important factor in its forced union with England. Mixed in with the cold years were occasional summers of intense heat and drought, such as the summers of 1693 and 1694 when the heat was unbearable in both England and Italy.
“In 1715 a devastating hurricane struck the Bahamas and Florida killing between 1,000 and 2,000 people. That winter it was -20°C in Paris. There was a frost fair in London on the frozen Thames that year, with bonfires roasting oxen, carriages driven on the ice, and ice skating. The Little Ice Age was one of, if not the stormiest period in the Holocene in Europe, according to a study by Susana Costas and her colleagues. So much for the argument that extreme weather is increasing in modern times, it is not ….
“The world is historically very cold and has been cold for millions of years, as can be seen by the Smithsonian Institute proxy reconstruction of the past 500 million years shown in Figure 4…. It shows the global average surface temperature for the past 500 million years is about 20-21 degrees Celsius, thus, currently, we are over five degrees below average….
“Scotese has shown that the global average temperature is closely related to the equator-to-pole temperature gradient because equatorial temperatures don’t vary much over time, but polar temperatures do. Thus, warming of the entire Earth, is mainly a function of warming at the poles….
“Winters are warming at twice the rate of summers and, as a result, the climate is milder now than in the late 19th century. In the same way, nights are warming faster than days, again making the climate milder. Finally, temperatures in the Arctic are rising much more quickly than in the rest of the world, including the Antarctic. This is arguably a very good thing for Siberia, Canada, Scandinavia, and Alaska. Figure 5 shows Earth’s warming from 1979 to 2019. The equatorial region shows minimal warming, the Southern Hemisphere shows almost no warming, with some areas actually cooling, and the Arctic and Eastern Europe have warmed quite a lot…
“In short, the two-degree limit has no scientific basis, it is an artificial political goal, meant to frighten the public into doing something. In a long and confusing paper, Jeroen van der Sluijs, et al. argue that artificially constructed political goals, like climate sensitivity or the two-degree limit, are political “anchors.” These are oversimplifications of a complex scientific topic that can help politicians energize a confused public into doing something, even if the scientific literature does not support it, or is too difficult to understand.
“David Victor and Charles Kennel (Victor & Kennel, 2014) call the two-degree limit “wrong-headed.” As they point out, and Der Spiegel agrees, whether climate change is dangerous or not, depends upon where the observer resides. Any climate change is bound to be beneficial in some places and a problem in others.
“Reto Knutti and colleagues write that the two-degree limit was a political decision, and that no scientific assessment ever recommended a particular target. Policymakers like to hide behind scientific evidence, demand actionable science, and claim to make science-based decisions, but Knutti, et al. argue that their approach is like a salad bar — they simply pick and choose (and fund) politically convenient studies, rather than a proper, balanced search for the truth….
“We evolved and currently live in an ice age that began millions of years ago. The Holocene Epoch, which began 11,700 years ago, is only the latest of many warm periods (Interglacials) in this ongoing ice age…. Ultimately, the planet will return to a glacial state. At that time, as well as now, humans must adapt to climate changes, and what we must do to adapt depends upon where we live.
“Global mitigation of climate change is not possible, there is no well-defined solution for everyone. Local adaptation is the best solution, and this is regardless of the cause of the changes. As for the hysterical politicians, like AOC, declaring we are all going to die from climate change, forget it. We will not, as long as the oceans exist, the overall average surface temperature of the Earth is capped somewhere below a comfortable 30°C (86°F). Nothing to worry about here folks.”
This from co2coalition.org on the research of physicist Sabine Hossenfelder on the greenhouse effect. Comments by physicists Kees de Lange and Guus Berkhout.
“An important part of climate science certainly has to do with greenhouse gases and their role in the atmosphere. The fundamental understanding of radiation transfer and the role of atmospheric scattering are therefore essential. The physics underlying this understanding lies in the realm of atomic, molecular and optical (AMO) physics, which happens to be exactly that part of physics that historically played a key role in the development of the quantum theory. Without AMO physics, there is no basic understanding of atmospheric physics!
“Sabine Hossenfelder is right that neither nitrogen nor oxygen is a greenhouse gas. But on more than one occasion she suggests that the reason is that nitrogen and oxygen do not ‘’wiggle’’ at infrared frequencies. Both nitrogen and oxygen have vibrational (and rotational) frequencies that are not very different from those of the greenhouse molecules water, carbon dioxide, methane, or nitrous oxide. The key difference is that the highly symmetric homonuclear diatomic molecules nitrogen and oxygen have no electric dipole moments. It is not the wiggles but the wiggling and changing electric dipole moments that allow greenhouse gases to absorb and emit infrared radiation.
“In fact, all gas phase molecules transfer energy via collisions that perturb their rovibrational motion. Greenhouse molecules such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, ozone, methane and nitrous oxide have an electric dipole moment unlike homonuclear molecules. Hence, vibrating and rotating greenhouse gas molecules are adept at absorbing and emitting infrared radiation unlike vibrating oxygen and nitrogen molecules.
“The video recognizes the importance of saturation which has been studied by a number of scientists. The figure below shows that doubling the CO2 concentration from 400 to 800 ppm, makes a small difference in the top of the atmosphere flux of infrared radiation to space. Integrating over all frequencies yields a forcing of 3 W/m2 which is only about 1% of the average infrared radiation to space. The effect due to doubling CO2 is smaller than suggested by the cartoon used in the video.
“Note from the above frequency spectrum that broadening of the CO2-absorption area if the CO2-concentration is increased from 400 ppm to 800 ppm is negligible. Unrealistic CO2-scenarios are needed to realize a broadening as shown in the cartoon in the video.
“Finally, a word of caution. The correlation between the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and the warming of Earth’s surface is scanty at best. Even in the recent past (Roman Warm Period, Middle Age Warm Period, Little Ice Age), when CO2 was never an issue, temperature variations were at least as strong as what is observed today since humans started burning fossil fuels. This is not surprising. The heat capacity of the atmosphere is small compared to that of the oceans that make up 70% of Earth’s surface. The real heat engines that dominate heat transfer on the planet are not radiative transfer, but ocean currents, and the gigantic atmospheric heat engine represented by the well-known Hadley cells. The complexity of the climate system is not to be underestimated.
“In conclusion, we are pleased that Dr. Hossenfelder’s excellent video confirms that the effects of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are very small and highly saturated. This does not support the message that the world is in a climate crisis. We hope that our comment helps improve the public understanding of this important topic.”
“The Human Contribution to Climate Change is Minimal and Negligible” by Rolf Reitz (see quotes from article just below link)
“Several cities are considering banning fossil-fuels and the machines that use them, which are even being blamed for all manner of disasters, including floods, sea level rise, arctic ice melting, droughts, hurricanes, etc. Yet, there has been little-to-no evidence of any out-of-the-ordinary patterns in such disasters over the past century….
“Climate change claims are used to bring about new policies favorable to the green agenda by politicians, funding agents and industry decision makers. However, the extent of global warming and climate change due to humans and their machines is questioned by many reputable scientists…
“Skeptics argue that not only are current CO2 levels in the atmosphere negligible compared to levels seen in the history of the planet, but that the infrared radiation wavelengths that are absorbed by CO2 are already saturated, so the maximum CO2 effect on the earth’s temperature has already been reached, as will be discussed further below. Thus, adding more CO2 beyond current levels is not likely to have much effect on global warming. In fact, warming of the earth is related to many other factors, including the natural variability of the climate. In any case, the role of CO2 itself is insignificant compared to that of water vapor… man’s contribution to global warming gases is tiny compared to that of natural processes…
“The United Nations International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) relies on computerized models built on data and formulas to represent atmospheric conditions that reflect the hypothesis that CO2 is the principal factor driving planetary warming and climate change. In fact, climate models are not accurate enough for their predictions to be used to justify politically motivated decisions…
“Carbon Balance on the Planet
“It is instructive to analyze the planet’s carbon balance when discussing the production of CO2. Most of earth’s carbon, 65.5 trillion tons, has been stored in rocks for millions of years (‘slow’ carbon) . The rest, the ‘fast’ carbon, is in the ocean, atmosphere, plants, soil, and fossil fuels, as shown in Figure 4. As can be seen, 68% of this carbon resides in the deep oceans. 18% is in the fossil pool, which includes the stored oil and coal from ancient plant life that we extract for much of our energy. 4% of the carbon is in the soil and 1.5% is in the atmosphere. 1% resides in the plant mass and 1.8% in the surface ocean….
“… photosynthesis consumes CO2 from the air, whereas plant respiration and decomposition exude CO2 back into the atmosphere. Similarly, a very important contributor is the air-sea interchange since CO2 is soluble in water, and there are significant phytoplankton populations that participate by consuming and exuding CO2 like the plants do on dry land. 210 GtC (giga (=109) tons of carbon) are produced by the plants each year via plant respiration, decaying vegetable matter and by marine life in the oceans. This 210 GtC is added to the 800 GtC in the atmosphere showing that the atmosphere turns over every four years….
(Graphs and photos are included in full article- see link above)
“Figure 4. Fast carbon cycle on the planet. Of the 57,650 GtC that is exchanged between the shown reservoirs, 800 GtC is in the atmosphere, to which man contributes a net 4 GtC per year…
“CO2 from the Earth’s biomass
“The above analysis assumes that all of the CO2 excess in the atmosphere comes only from humans and our fossil fuel use, which is clearly untrue since there are many other sources of CO2 on the planet, as discussed next. Also, it is important to note that the effect of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere on the climate is independent of its source of origin. Thus, it is not reasonable to single out man’s contribution only while ignoring all other sources of CO2…
“Thus, we can conclude that our planet has major sources of CO2 that are totally unrelated to our energy use. Absorption and buffering of CO2 by the oceans and plants takes this up. It is hard to justify how man’s small contribution to the carbon cycle is justified as a reason for urgent action regarding climate change…
“Indoor CO2 levels are typically around 1,000 ppm, and in crowded venues such as classrooms and concerts, levels can reach 3,000 ppm . The IPCC states that doubling of CO2 levels (i.e., reaching 830 ppm, which will occur at present rates in 143 years in the middle of the 22nd century) will increase atmospheric temperatures by 3o C , and that this temperature rise will have major impacts on climate, causing sea level rise, hurricanes, and flooding. However, CO2 levels in the 800-ppm range will have only minor effects, if any, on human health…
“CO2’s 15-micron wavelength band center (indicated by the vertical red line) can be seen to have been almost totally absorbed, indicating that CO2 is already virtually saturated and opaque, and that no radiation leaves in that wavelength range. This shows that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will produce negligible further greenhouse gas effect….
“This bears repeating – a small change in cloud cover, induced by daily temperature changes at the earth’s surface, can compensate for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which would take about 150 years to accomplish at the present rate of about 2.87 ppm increase per year…
“There are other factors to consider when assessing the role of CO2 on the climate. CO2 is used by plants to grow. NASA data has shown that there has been more greening on the planet coincident with the increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, and the world-wide leaf area is increasing at ~2.3% per decade…
“It is also important to note that photosynthesis or greening causes cooling since the CO2 absorbed by plant material produces sugars via pathways that are effectively the reverse of Eq. (1) that describes heat release by combustion. Thus, leaf area increase reduces the effect of global warming correspondingly in another self-regulating effect….
“Figure 8  shows that with increasing temperature, CO2 becomes less soluble in water and thus would enter the atmosphere, which could explain the current observed increase in CO2 levels since global temperatures are increasing slightly. Alternatively, the observed CO2 increases have been attributed to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which is a long-lived El Niño-like pattern of climate variability due to currents, which take hot or warm water from the equator to the northern parts of the world and then change phase every 60 years or so. Similar oscillating flow patterns exist in the Atlantic Ocean….
“This article questions whether CO2 is really a concern worthy of totally disrupting the world’s energy use. It is shown that man’s contribution to atmospheric CO2 levels is miniscule compared to other sources of CO2 on the planet, which are not under human control, and which are totally unrelated to our energy use. For example, we conclude that the animal kingdom alone breathes out almost an order of magnitude more CO2 than that from all of man’s energy consumption. Absorption and buffering of CO2 by the oceans and plants takes CO2 up. Moreover, as discussed above, the earth itself has self-regulating mechanisms, including via cloud cover and the water cycle, which controls the planet’s temperature, and via leaf area increase (greening), which controls CO2 levels and provides the corresponding cooling by creating sugars….
“Finally, it is disproportionate to quote man’s small CO2 contribution to justify urgent action regarding climate change. Whether CO2 turns out to have important effects on man’s future on earth or not, cannot be calculated or controlled. There is currently little-to-no evidence of any changes to the earth’s climate , and as discussed above, at present rates the timescale of GHG and CO2 build-up to levels that are of concern to the IPCC is around a hundred and fifty years….
“Our situation 150 years from now will differ from today’s as much as our present situation differs from that in 1870, and human ingenuity (science) will continue to provide for society’s needs as history evolves. It is foolhardy to deny energy realities based on specious short-term global warming and climate change arguments. Constituencies in those cities that ban the use of IC engines will need to make their politicians realize that a crumbling civilization is not an acceptable exchange for quelling scientifically unfounded fears.” (Much more elaborate detail is included in the original article)
“In Search Of A (Near) Perfect CO2 Global Warming Analogy” by Ron Barmby
This excellent article on the physics of CO2- how it absorbs and re-radiates long-wave infrared radiation, thereby contributing to warming. But that contribution has become “saturated” and adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will not contribute much more to global warming.
Barmby explains how the CO2 molecule physically absorbs and then releases heat energy. He says, “Understanding that mechanism reveals why today’s significant global CO2 emissions are insignificant to future global warming”. He adds, “I will share why the warming effect of CO2 is limited”. He then details the limited long-wave spectrum that CO2 absorbs and re-radiates, re-emitting radiation in all directions.
“Some of that is directed back towards the surface of the Earth where it is again absorbed and again released. This recycling of heat is the greenhouse gas effect…. But more CO2 does not mean proportionately similar increase in recycled heat.”…
“CO2 absorbs infrared radiation of wavelengths between 14 and 16.5 microns…”
“We know from ancient climates that even 12 times today’s CO2 concentrations did not cause runaway global warming”…
“Future CO2 emissions will result in little or no global warming because there is a limited supply of the 14- to 16.5-micron infrared radiation to absorb, and the new emissions will be well mixed in the atmosphere, most too far above the Earth to cause surface warming”.
And on the Woke crusade against freedom…
Woke authoritarians/dictators undermining freedom: This from National Post, “Truth ignored as teacher fired for saying TB caused residential school deaths: One would hope that this truth would be taught in every school. But that’s not the truth the Abbotsford District School Board cares about”, by Michael Higgins, Feb. 21, 2023
Another from National Post: “Emergencies Act will now be an even bigger threat to free speech: Policing dissent could become easier if some of Rouleau’s recommendations are implemented”, by Ryan Alford, Feb.21, 2023