See the good post from Bob Brinsmead, below, on the contradiction in both the Old and New Testaments between the priests (pro-sacrifice) and the prophets (anti-sacrifice). Also new below- links to MMA star Chael Sonnen’s interview re his promotion of “bad guy narratives” in the UFC. Also, a personal update note on my experience with aggressive, metastatic prostate cancer over the past 9 months. And more on the inevitable human speculation on metaphysical realities, something done by both religious/spiritual types and materialist/atheist types. We all share that primal impulse to meaning.
Also below, a reposting of Ira Glasser’s comments on the critical need to protect free speech, even offensive/repugnant speech, as fundamental to all freedom. He points to the key issue in the free speech debate- “Who gets to decide what is ‘hate speech’?” So also, this must be put to the “disinformation” crusaders of today- “Who gets to decide what is ‘disinformation/misinformation’?” In the highly tribalized atmosphere of today these categories are being used to validate censorship of the speech of disagreeing, differing others. The disinformation crusade is becoming just another eruption of the totalitarianism impulse, once again. And the stunner- it is mostly coming from the “liberal” side of society, from those we not long ago considered to be the main defenders of inclusion, diversity, freedom and equality for all. What happened?
And, more revised reposting of comment on the Woke social contagion that has tsunamied across Western societies- i.e. minorities claiming that their hurt/offended feelings must be the determining standard for the permissible views, speech, and actions of all others in our societies. And comment on the abandonment of common love in this extremist Woke Progressive crusade.
Read this for your life, for your future…
From Michael Shellenberger and Alex Gutentag, “World On Cusp Of Woke Totalitarianism As Governments Act To End Freedom Of Speech: Media blackout as politicians in EU, US, UK, Brazil, Ireland, Canada, and Australia seek to jail citizens for wrongthink under cover of a Big Lie about ‘hate speech’”, May 3, 2023
Quotes from link above:
“The Twitter Files gave us a window into how government agencies, civil society, and tech companies work together to censor social media users. Now, key nations are attempting to enshrine this coordination into law explicitly.
“Around the world, politicians have either just passed or are on the cusp of passing sweeping new laws, which would allow governments to censor ordinary citizens on social media and other Internet platforms.
“Under the guise of preventing “harm” and holding large tech companies accountable, several countries are establishing a vast and interlinked censorship apparatus, a new investigation by Public finds.
“Politicians, NGOs, and their enablers in the news media claim that their goal is merely to protect the public from “disinformation.” But vague definitions and loopholes in new laws will create avenues for broad application, overreach, and abuse….
“There has been no moment similar to this one in the roughly 30 years of widespread public Internet usage in Western societies.
“Officials have introduced these policies mostly in the dead of night with little publicity or outcry. There has been a virtual blackout of what’s happening by mainstream news media corporations, with many appearing to support the new laws.
“As shown with the Twitter Files, the Censorship Industrial Complex is as much about discrediting accurate facts, true narratives, and content creators who threaten its power while boosting the ones that do.
(My insert of examples of “discrediting accurate facts, true narratives”: John Ioannidis, Stanford epidemiologist, was smeared and silenced for challenging the early Covid hysteria and lockdown response, others like Joe Rogan were vilified for challenging vaccine data (does not prevent spread), social media censored the Wuhan lab theory before later admitting that it was probably true, and then the censoring of the Hunter Biden laptop before admitting it was true… and so on.)
“We are thus witnessing the emergence of a governmental apparatus with the power to control the information environment in ways that determine what people believe to be true and what is false.
“As such, it is no exaggeration to say that the West is on the cusp of a new and much more powerful form of totalitarianism than either Communism or Fascism, which were limited in their reach by geography.
“If we are to defeat it, we must understand it. Why are governments seeking to crack down on freedom of speech from New Zealand to the Netherlands and Brazil to Canada? Why now? And why are they getting away with it?…
“Politicians are invoking a Woke defense of “preventing harm” that is very different from the older pretext for censorship, national security. The push is race-based, immigration-based (e.g., Ireland), trans-based (e.g., Ireland and Australia), and safety- or health-based (e.g., the EU).
“And yet surveys show that people in Western societies have been becoming more tolerant for decades. For example, the percentage of Americans who approve of marriages between white and black Americans has risen from 4% in 1958 to 87% in 2013 to 94% in 2021.
“Meanwhile, there is no evidence of an increase in the killing of trans people or even that trans people are killed at a rate higher than the average person. In truth, no minority group in history has gone from stigmatized to celebrated faster than trans people….
“None of the politicians advocating censorship appear to be intellectual heavyweights, much less leaders. Rather, they all appear to be tools for powerful government and financial interests, including military and intelligence leaders, hiding in the shadows….
“In Canada, politicians are advocating censorship in the name of promoting Canadian culture and content, but some critics of the bill speculate that it was crafted in response to the trucker “Freedom Convoy” in 2021. The convoy was celebrated on YouTube and social media and inaccurately maligned as “racist” in the mainstream Canadian press….
“But the worst actions are coming from Europe, where the EU is seeking far-reaching powers to censor disfavored views and turn content moderation decisions over to private NGOs, who would be able to regulate social media companies effectively….
“Why are politicians seeking to crack down on freedom of speech? Because they are threatened by the “revolt of the public,” enabled by the Internet, and have worked for years to orchestrate this crackdown….
“The most shocking aspect of this story is that the totalitarians are getting away with it. They already passed their legislation in Europe and are now implementing it. Legislation has passed in Canada, in Ireland’s lower house, and may pass next month in Brazil.
“It is thus entirely possible that, as Enlightenment liberalism is overtaken by Woke totalitarianism, the rising levels of freedom and free speech that people have enjoyed in Western societies, particularly the United States of America, for hundreds of years are coming to an end….
“Resistance is growing from Left and Right. In Ireland, eco-socialist TD Paul Murphy argued that Section 10 of the bill “is the creation of a thought crime.” Murphy proposed amendments that were defeated, while socially conservative TD Peadar Tóibín argued, “This Bill is a threat to the democratic function of our society in the long term. The Bill is out of step, in many ways, with the views of people.” And Free Speech Ireland, a group started by Cork University students, has created a petition in opposition to the bill. The petition has not yet reached its signature goal.
“In Canada, the celebrated novelist Margaret Atwood criticized the censorship crackdown, telling The Globe and Mail, “Bureaucrats should not be telling creators what to write.” And a conservative MP warned, “Bill C-11 is dangerous in its own right, but it is also a precedent for a government that wishes to extend this form of technocratic control to other areas beyond online content. It sets the foundation and the testing ground for artificial intelligence and algorithms to be used to control the masses.”…
“We believe elites have overreached. If they felt secure in their censorship agenda, they wouldn’t be hiding and rushing it through legislatures worldwide or trying to sneak censorship on the U.S. through the European Union.
“Part of the reason for so little censorship in the U.S. is our nation’s unique free-speech culture. But another part of the reason is growing public backlash, including to the Biden-DiResta “disinformation” censorship board, covid censorship, and other scandals revealed in the Twitter and Facebook Files.
“And now new lawsuits are now flying. Just yesterday, a lawsuit was filed against DiResta and Alex Stamos of Stanford Internet Observatory and the US government’s Department of Homeland Security for their censorship activities in 2020 and 2021.
“It appears that citizens around the world must take action to defend freedom of speech from totalitarians attempting to seize power worldwide, just as they did 75 years ago. The global totalitarian demand for censorship is waking us up to the precious nature of our freedom. And now, we are not only finding each other, we are fighting back.”
Learn more, fear less (note the excellent scientific research at the 4 links below, especially the research of atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen and William Happer, among others)
The very best climate science reports and news:
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary”, H. L. Mencken.
Don’t let politicians scare you with imagined hobgoblins and catastrophes in order to then control you, to compel you to embrace a destructive salvation scheme like decarbonization that is ruining societies and taking us backwards to the primitivism of our past. Decarbonization is a central element of the broader “de-development” ideology and project of environmental alarmism. Decarbonization is the destruction of our advanced societies by destroying our energy industry. Decarbonization is the destructive outcome of the cultic, ideologically-driven madness that is climate alarmism.
Good summary of the “Disinformation Industrial Complex” (twin of the “Censorship Industrial Complex” as detailed by the finest independent journalists today- Glen Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, and others)
Matt Taibbi on the circular trick used by media, government, and intelligence agencies to spread disinformation and cover their butts…
This good one from Spiked: “The Inhumanity of the Green agenda: The sustainability regime is impoverishing the world”, by Joel Kotkin- The destructive outcomes of decarbonization, and the possibility of popular revolt in response to this “de-development” or “return to primitivism” madness.
And more on the spread of Woke extremism in higher education (censorship, banning of free speech):
“False original premises or assumptions, and the wasteful outcomes/responses to false original premises/assumptions”. Wendell Krossa
Bob Brinsmead and I make the point further below (in posts from a discussion group) that the entire history of the salvation/sacrifice industry has been millennia of horrifically wrong and wasteful response to the original false premise that there was an angry God that had to be appeased with sacrifice. No such reality has ever existed. The myth of punitive, retaliatory deity was the creation of primitive mythical/religious minds that had long been immersed in primitive animal existence that was shaped by predatory, retaliatory relating among small bands and beasts.
In that ancient environment, the human impulse for meaning emerged and pushed early people to understand and explain their brutal world and consequent suffering. What common perceptions did those people have to work with as they began to formulate myths to explain their lives?
Their consciousness was developing at a time when the world had descended into the intense cold of the previous glaciation, around 115,000 years ago. People at that time would have retained memories of the blissful warmth of the previous interglacial- the Eemian (spanning roughly 130,000 to 115,000 years ago). That paradise-like interglacial was 8 degrees C warmer than today. https://co2coalition.org/facts/the-last-interglacial-was-8c-14f-warmer-than-today/
Following the abrupt end of the Eemian warm period, people would have wondered why things had become worse. Why had the earlier paradise ended? (Prehistorian John Pfeiffer also notes the possibility of early people holding an “original golden age” belief some 100,000 years ago.)
Those primitive people also believed that there were forces/spirits behind all the elements of the natural world. And they believed that the nasty features of nature (i.e. natural disasters, disease, accident, predation) were expressions of the gods. Using the mythical logic of their era, they reasoned that their suffering from the harsher elements of the natural world was punishment from the obviously upset gods.
They had no long-term perspective that the world, life, and people had always been imperfect. They wrongly assumed that all things had been originally perfect. After all, the world had originally been a warmer paradise. So the loss of that original perfection must have been due to their ancestors having committed an error or “sin” that angered the gods. Some early minds put this all together in the earliest mythologies. Blame humanity for screwing up an original perfection/paradise (as in the Dilmun and Enki myth, or the Eden and Adam myth).
When they eventually learned to express their thoughts in writing, we got the “Sumerian Flood” myth as one of the earliest presentations of lost paradise and life declining toward apocalypse (third millennium BCE). The Egyptians around the same time also gave expression to apocalyptic thinking in their “Return to Chaos” and “Destruction of Mankind” myths.
That mythology explained early humanity’s sense of guilt and shame over their imperfection and their explanations of how things became imperfect. The “blame humanity” response has contributed to subsequent endless self-identity pathologies in people in terms of unnecessary fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, despair and depression, and even nihilism and violence. The underlying sense that we are inherently bad and deserve punishment and destruction.
But early people’s survival impulse also kicked in and pushed them to imagine ways to resolve their crisis of living under the threat of punishment and destruction from the gods. They had to find some means of salvation, to avoid punishment and destruction from the angered gods. And so began the sacrifice/salvation industry to appease the wrath of supposedly angry, punitive deities.
And that led to the long history of immense waste of human resources, time, and energy that could have been invested more profitably in other things. Example: I remember a documentary on the Quechua of South America spending days trudging off to present costly offerings to their saints. Time and resources that would have been better spent in productive work as they were very poor people.
In addition to the incalculable waste of human time, resources, and energy on salvationism over past millennia, add the horrific impact on human personality across history from retaliatory, punitive God mythology (“cruel God theory”), notably the impact in generating unnecessary fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, despair, depression, fatalism, resignation, nihilism, and inciting violence. Consider the mental and emotional costs of salvationism across past history, with its personality-deforming threat theology (psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo in “Cruel God, Kind God”).
However, some early minds refused to believe the premises of their contemporaries that there were retaliatory, punitive gods threatening to destroy people and demanding blood sacrifice for appeasement/atonement. The dissenters boldly countered the sacrifice theology and industry of the priests, stating that the salvationist responses to false original premises were all wrong.
Old Testament prophets like Micah, Amos, and Hosea stated bluntly that God did not want sacrifices. The OT prophets stated that God desired love, kindness, humility, and mercy, and not sacrifice- e.g. Hosea 6:6, Micah 6:6-8, Amos 5:21-24, Isaiah 1:11, etc.
Centuries later, Historical Jesus’ embraced that OT prophetic anti-sacrifice message and offered his own unique presentation of an unconditional God that did not demand appeasement/atonement. In stories like the Prodigal Father, Jesus illustrated the stunning new theology of a God who did not demand sacrifice for forgiveness, acceptance, or restoration.
If our ancestors had listened to those courageous dissenters then we would not have wasted so much time, resources, and energy on the salvation industry over the past millennia. A simple recognition of the non-retaliatory, unconditional nature of divine love (no sacrifice/payment necessary for divine forgiveness or acceptance) would have deflated and disarmed the salvation crusade before it gained steam and wasted so much time, resources, and effort over past history.
Unfortunately, the anti-sacrifice message of the prophets (and later Historical Jesus) was buried under the dominating narrative of the priesthoods. The mythology of sacrifice to appease angry deity was also embraced by Paul whose gospel then dominated the early Christian movement. Consequently, “the diamonds of Jesus (his unconditional love, no sacrifice gospel) were buried in the distorting context of Paul’s Christ myth” (Thomas Jefferson, Leo Tolstoy).
We have no excuse today for continuing to affirm fallacies like Paul’s Christ myth. We have the evidence from almost 3 centuries of Historical Jesus research and notably from “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel research which gets us closest to what Jesus actually taught. We have good alternatives to the distorting mythology that we have inherited from the past.
(The posts on false original premises are further below)
Note re Historical Jesus research: In his original message (i.e. the “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel) Jesus said nothing about coming to offer himself as a sacrifice for the sins of people. Further, the Jewish Christianity of Jesus’ brother James did not view Jesus as a Savior who came to offer himself as a sacrifice and payment for sin. Earlier Jews, as well as the First Century Jewish Christian movement, viewed the priestly invention of sacrifice as a false teaching/heresy that had been imposed onto the OT tradition.
This site is devoted to countering fear, unnecessary fear. The project here is to tell people, especially our children, that its going to be alright. There are no monsters threatening to harm and destroy us (“no monsters” in an ultimate sense). Wendell Krossa
A basic project on this site is to present evidence-based hope (e.g. Ultimate Resource by Julian Simon as the iconic example- the “archetype”). My particular approach to this project involves also going to root ideas/beliefs to challenge and correct thinking at that level. I see the worst of primitive mythical ideas being given endless new expression in contemporary “secular/ideological” versions, even “scientific” versions.
(Just an aside on “even scientific versions”: I refer to such “Science” as it is used in a confirmation bias manner- i.e. selecting only the data (and speculation) that affirms a personal belief system and ignoring, dismissing, discrediting alternative data that challenges one’s beliefs. Yes, scientists are all susceptible to confirmation bias just like the rest of us. Note the example of Professor Pimentel in Lomborg’s “Skeptical Environmentalist” (p.22-27). Also, note the all-too common crossing of the science/philosophy boundary in physics (see Sabine Hossenfelder’s “Lost In Math”, Jim Baggott’s “Farewell to Reality”, etc.). None of us should assume that we are immune to this tendency to confirmation bias, and speculative assumptions. We check this bias by embracing the complete big picture of data, especially contrary data. We further check the confirmation bias tendency by including the longest-term trends associated with the thing that we are looking at. Full context matters.)
Countering unnecessary fear involves countering, more than anything else today, the madness that is the myth of apocalypse. Apocalyptic is perhaps the most dominant myth that has deformed human narratives and consciousness from the beginning. Apocalypse has persisted from the earliest mythmaking (Sumerian Flood myth) down through to the great world religions- i.e. Zoroaster shaping apocalyptic in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Even the Eastern traditions embraced versions of apocalypse, as in the great cycles of Hinduism ending with decline to catastrophic ending, and the myth of decreasing life span in Buddhism (Mircea Eliade’s point that even Buddhism embraced a form of apocalyptic Declinism).
And then apocalyptic continued right into our modern-era in so-called “secular/ideological” versions- notably in the ideology of 19th Century Declinism. Materialists, atheists, and “Unaffiliated” spiritual types also bought into apocalypse of the environmental variety, now in its latest incarnation as “climate apocalypse”. Even “brightest, most intelligent person on Earth” Stephen Hawking fell for this irrational mythology of apocalyptic decline over the last few years of his life.
The latest historical expression of apocalyptic in Declinism ideology continues to darken public consciousness worldwide (i.e. the YouGov survey showing that a majority of people across the world believe “the world is getting worse”). The widespread embrace of climate Declinism has resulted in widespread support for the Net Zero decarbonization madness that is ruining societies. Decarbonization is humanity’s latest salvation scheme to “save life and save the world”, in response to the threat of apocalypse in climate alarmism.
I choose to go to the very heart of things, to what some call the “archetypes”- i.e. the models, ideals, originals, pilots, prototypes, patterns, standards, classic exemplars, classics, representatives, forerunners, epitomes, prime examples, etc. My project to challenge apocalyptic mythology and reassure people involves challenging mental/emotional fallacies at that level.
That is part of my larger project to present a new narrative (new narrative themes) as a basis to tell people that “it will be alright”. There will be no apocalypse. Never. There will be no end to life. Some will respond- Look at the horrific natural disasters over past history, and the world wars. But we can trace what started those episodes of violence and how to prevent them in the future, and we have done well in lessening such eruptions of violence over recent history (James Payne in “History of Force” and Stephen Pinker in “Better Angels of Our Nature”). Further, we have learned how to respond better to natural disasters and save life. We are doing well in preparing for and surviving such things as in the evidence that there has been a 95% drop in deaths from natural disasters over the last century.
But returning to apocalypse- It has never happened and never will. I am talking about apocalypse in its original mythical and religious meaning as a divine intervention to punish humanity and destroy the world, to end the world. That has always been bad mythology based on wrong assumptions. Yet many today still won’t let it go. Moderns today keep resurrecting and regurgitating apocalyptic nonsense in ever new versions.
Why? Because the myth of apocalypse is sustained by a complex of related myths that satiate a complex of inherited impulses. The related ideas and impulses have their own internal logic that validates the entire complex known as “lost paradise/redemption” mythology, or “apocalyptic millennialism”.
Apocalypse persists as an archetypal icon because it is intensely intertwined with other inherited impulses, along with a complex of myths that our ancestors created to validate the inherited impulses.
For your entertainment:
I am a sometime observer of MMA and enjoy the trash-talking element in the mix. The best ever at this was Chael Sonnen who competed in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. Here he details his modus operandi for telling stories and selling fights and it is a seminar on how to tell gripping story as “the Bad Guy”. Brilliant stuff offered by Sonnen on Andrew Shulz’s “Flagrant” podcast…
Sonnen on the childhood trauma of growing up on the mean streets of West Lin Oregon. This illustrates Chael’s masterful story-telling… Enjoy. (Someone nominate him for an Emmy, or something.)
Personal note: Wendell Krossa
Last July 2022 I found out that I had prostate cancer when my annual PSA jumped up from around 4 the previous year to 8.9. Given that my Dad had prostate cancer also, and with other factors considered, my cancer was set at 7, later higher, on the Gleason scale (out of 10). And post-op for removal of my prostate, it was discovered that my cancer was also metastatic (One of the lymph nodes was positive for spread… They remove the two lymph nodes beside the prostate with removal of the prostate. They also remove two of the three sphincters that control urine flow. Fortunately, my remaining one still functions well. You hear horror stories about leakage in other’s experience with such operations.).
Well, I have long believed that empathy is key to authentic love- to understand what others experience and suffer in life. And there is no better way to gain empathy than to actually experience what others experience. That gets you closer than just trying to mentally imagine what others suffer.
I now get how cancer patients look forward to each next test (PSA, bone scans, MRI body scans- all to see if and where spread is occurring). Each next test is awaited with anxiety to see if it will be bad news, or maybe provide a bit of relief… some reprieve.
I am 73 this year so I have basically been accepting that this is what happens at this stage of life. I mean, look at the daily news of people, even much younger, dying of all sorts of things. Though I had imagined that with my Dad having lived to 87 and my Mom now 95, that perhaps I would have lived into my mid-80s. Now that seems less possible.
Since finding out, I have not even considered the response of “I will fight this”, as you hear many cancer patients voice. That just seems a bit of setting oneself up for disappointment because you can’t know what the ultimate outcome will be in any given case. I know a man who was around 50 when told that he had pancreatic cancer. He denied his diagnosis from the getgo, determining to fight it. And he died within weeks, quite mentally/emotionally unprepared, and I doubt he even began to go through the stages of acceptance.
“Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance”.
And studies have shown that the acceptance of one’s approaching mortality may be vital to a more peaceful dying process.
My initial concern was with the final stages- Would it involve pain and suffering? What pain-treatment options were available? What about MAID (medical assistance in dying) if things got real nasty? Would family agree with my choice to opt out, if that happened?
(Insert note: A young interviewer once told Leonard Cohen that he was “terrified of death”. He asked Cohen for advice as Cohen often sang about death. Cohen replied that he was not afraid of death, but quoting his friend Irving Layton, “One hopes the preliminaries won’t be too disagreeable”. Cohen smiled as he replied. And doctors today reassure us that with good medical input the dying process can be rendered less threatening.)
I have always felt that choices like MAID are a necessary addition to the human quest for full freedom, a necessary further stage in the quest for personal choice and self-determination. It is our personal life story, and as with all other major life decisions, it ought to be up to each of us when to end our story. That ought to be our rightful choice.
“Oh, but you shouldn’t play God” say the busybody, intervening moralists who seem to not understand that they have no right to force their views and control on others. Yes, we should play God, just as with all the other major decisions in our lives. It is our life, our body, our story, and we should be the one to determine how and when our story ends (and of course, in conjunction with family wishes and related “sober second thought” considerations in varied cases).
Anyway, recent repeated bone and body scans have shown no spread so far of my metastatic cancer. And the next PSA is just up ahead (with aggressive metastatic prostate cancer you do PSAs every three months for a year following the operation to remove the cancerous prostate).
So a bit of reprieve for now.
Overall, I do not fear death. I have read too many Near-Death Experience accounts and agree with the basic discovery in many of those that a stunningly inexpressible unconditional Love awaits us all beyond the death transition. Transition? Yes, there is not a shred of good evidence out there that the meat in our heads produces the wonder of mind or the human self. That affirms the intuition of humans across history that the nonmaterial self survives the death of the material body and brain. This is a form of “negative affirmation” that counters the irrational absurdity of materialism positions that dogmatically state the meat in our heads produces our minds and so it all ends in death. And I used to fastidiously follow the brain/mind and consciousness research debates (i.e. Daniel Dennett, David Chalmers, etc.).
The NDE accounts simply affirm the core message of Historical Jesus (a person entirely contrary to Christian “Jesus Christ” as presented in Paul’s Christ myth). That core message of Jesus was that there was no threatening God behind life. Hence, no threat of judgment (aside from the self-learning, self-evaluation, self-judgment of a “life review”), no exclusion of anyone, and no punishment or destruction. Only love. No conditions love. Such insights take the sting out of our natural death fear.
Add also, that with an unconditional God there is no demand for sacrifice or payment for salvation. That overturns Paul’s Christ myth entirely (i.e. his gospel of the Christ as the ultimate sacrifice/payment for all sin).
Insert: I view the NDE movement as the latest stage in the history of human spirituality. And to those who disparage personal experience (mere subjectivity), remember that all the great religious traditions in history are based on the personal experiences of their founders (i.e. Moses’ mountain top revelations, Buddha’s under the tree revelation, Paul’s Damascus Road and ‘ascents to heaven’ experiences, and Mohammad’s cave revelations, etc.).
Anyway, if I am given more time (extended due date), I will continue the project of this site to fight the greatest monsters that humanity has ever faced- the monster gods of historical mythology and religion, including versions of the same deities in “secular/ideological” belief systems (i.e. “vengeful Gaia, angry Planet/Mother Earth, punitive Universe, payback karma”). All very much the same old threat theology that has darkened and burdened human consciousness from the beginning, deformed human personality (psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s point), and wreaked so much damage on human societies (the argument of apocalyptic millennial historians Landes, Mendel, Redles, and Herman).
I will continue to fight the monstrously destructive myths of “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” or “apocalyptic millennialism” that have been regurgitated in modern Declinism ideology (the belief that life and the world are getting worse, declining toward some catastrophic ending). And I will continue to fight the greatest battle of all, the greatest enemy and monster of all- i.e. the inheritance of animal impulses that are right inside each of us, at the core of our brains. Our ancestors created a complex of ideas/myths that have long validated these impulses- notably, ideas/myths that validated the impulses to tribal exclusion of differing others, the impulse to domination of others, and the impulse to the destruction of differing others.
Site-splainin re inevitable speculation on “spiritual” realities: Wendell Krossa
Across the board we all speculate on the metaphysical. Such speculation is fundamental to the human impulse for meaning. Atheists, materialists, and varied other skeptics, also engage speculation on metaphysical realities in response to their own impulse to meaning. The speculation of materialist-types is evident in their projecting of god-like features and explanations onto their varied “secular, materialist” gods, variously presented as “Natural Law, Self-Organizing Principle, Natural Selection…” etc. Note the example of Richard Dawkins doing this when he stated (all capitals) that “Natural Selection Is The Source Of All Enlightenment” (in “The God Delusion”).
All of us have to assume that something exists somewhere with creative powers in order to make sense of what we see, to make sense of our physical world, the material realm of which we have no clue as to what it actually is. Most rationally and logically it appears to be something that is more mind than material.
“The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter”, Quantum theorist James Jean.
It has always been so obviously fundamental and rational to query- What creates and sustains all this mystery?
Note the materialist’s varied speculations on some creating reality in their theories of “multi-verse, Self-Organizing Principle at cosmic scale”, and related speculation on fundamental realities like string theory, etc.- speculative realities that have been accepted as dogma without any affirming evidence (Lee Smolin in “The Trouble With Physics”, James Baggott in “Farewell to Reality”).
From the beginning, people have pondered greater reality and assumed that it was something more than just force or energy, it was something of the nature of “spiritual”, something of the nature of Mind, Consciousness, Self, Spirit, or God. And logically, if it was some form of mind, consciousness, or intelligence then it had personhood, hence the speculation on anthropomorphized gods. It has seemed intuitive to most people across history that the creating Mind or Consciousness was more than just force or energy. Modern dogmatic atheism goes against a major theme in historical human intuition.
But from the beginning, irrationally bad, subhuman ideas were projected onto spiritual reality. That was the result of the early anthropomorphizing of what were formerly considered to be creating, sustaining Forces. Further, our ancestors then projected their basest features onto their early gods as that was the primitive mentality of their time. And those features were unquestioningly embraced by later world religions and have persisted as “untouchable, unchallengeable sacred” right into the present, even embraced in “secular/ideological” systems of belief (terms changed, but core themes unchanged).
It seems a baseline reality to acknowledge, that you will never disabuse most people of such speculative exploration and explanation re invisible realities. So at the least offer better alternative features to define such reality, more humane alternatives, rather than try to deny the metaphysical entirely. This is partly a “don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater” response. Some speculation on metaphysical realities will always be essential to any full/complete explanation of reality.
Remember, even the most dogmatic materialists among us assume that most of reality is some form of invisible reality, some form of “metaphysical” mystery- i.e. the 96% of the universe that we don’t see and call “dark matter/dark energy” though it is more likely light in essence. Materialists assume other invisible realities make up most of all reality- i.e. multiple surrounding realms (10, 11, 26… ?), multi-verse theory, etc. We all intuitively know that such invisible things are the essential creating, sustaining sources and explanations of all that we see.
And we appear to lock into opposing sides (tribalism?) with opposing theories as to whether such ultimate sources have personhood, or are impersonal forces/laws. What is behind this? The denial of intelligence and purpose, and the preference for random meaninglessness. Nihilism?? I suspect much reaction on the materialist side is reaction to the irrational mythology of religious traditions. I agree with that. But why posit and then battle only with the straw gods of religious traditions? Why not consider other alternatives such as a “no conditions Love” deity?
So agreed that much past speculation on the metaphysical has resulted in irrational mythology and religious beliefs. Materialists are right to dismiss that, to deny much irrational religious mythology entirely.
But don’t dismiss and deny the creative exploration of other alternatives. Even Christopher Hitchens, in a discussion with Jewish theologians and philosophers, once admitted, “Hey, I am open to surprises. Don’t we all love surprises”. Good for you Christopher.
Note re the materialist/atheist rejection of deity (fighting straw gods): Wendell Krossa
Psychologist/theologian Harold Ellens: “Basic cultural beliefs are so important, especially in a dominant widespread culture, because they have the same properties as individual basic beliefs, that is, they are not perceived as questionable. The reader may object that “God”- considered a basic belief in our culture- is rejected or questioned by a large number of people today. Yet the fact is that the idea of God that those people reject is almost never questioned. In other words, their critique assumes there is no alternative way of conceiving God except the one that they perceive through the lens of their culture.”
My response to this: This is the reactive position of atheists like Richard Dawkins and others. They find it relatively easy to shoot down the barbaric images of “Cruel God” theologies that have always dominated religious traditions and they don’t appear to consider there might be some radically different alternative to consider- “their critique assumes there is no alternative way of conceiving God except the one that they perceive through the lens of their culture”. They appear to not be aware of alternatives such as the God that Jesus pointed to… the entirely different way of conceiving ultimate reality/deity as “no conditions love”. That, according to Jesus, was the true nature of the Creator/Sustainer of all things.
No religion has ever presented this alternative portrayal of God to humanity- God as stunningly inexpressible no conditions love. An unconditional God is entirely non-religious. An unconditional God means that no one will be ultimately excluded for not joining to some “right or true religion”. No one will be ultimately punished, and no one will be ultimately destroyed (no hell). And with an unconditional God there is no need to embrace some salvation scheme or believe in some savior. Such things are entirely unnecessary for full divine forgiveness, acceptance, and love.
And as Jesus stated, an unconditional God is non-retaliatory, and therefore non-apocalyptic. Hence, my sound theological conclusion- there will be no decline of life to apocalypse. The only decline in life is that which is created (self-inflicted) by alarmists who incite fear in populations and then propose irrational salvation schemes like decarbonization that “save the world by destroying it”.
Here again is a summary of the complex of ideas/myths that explain and validate the human impulses that have kept apocalyptic alive for millennia. Note the tight cause/effect relationships between these ideas and impulses… Wendell Krossa
Myths of an original paradise that has been lost (the ancient’s explanation for the obvious imperfection of their world);
Myths that original bad people had ruined paradise and deserved punishment (explains the early human sense of imperfection);
Myths that life has been declining toward something worse, toward a final ending as the deserved punishment for ruining the original paradise (this satiates guilt over human imperfection);
The demand that bad people must make a sacrifice/payment for their sin (this resolves the sense of primitive justice as some form of payback, eye for eye);
The demand that bad people must purge some evil from life;
The belief that people should embrace the impulse to be heroic and engage a righteous battle against evil enemies (this satiates the personal impulse to heroic quest and the tribal dualism impulse- to oppose and fight an enemy);
And when the salvation crusade is accomplished then the true believers (in the true religion, true crusade, righteous battle) will restore the lost paradise or install a new utopia (this satiates the longing for survival, salvation).
Its all the same old mythology, endlessly regurgitated in new versions to re-enforce and validate the same old impulses- to explain and pacify a sense of guilt over human imperfection, to exhibit innate tribalism, to engage the domination of enemies, to unleash the impulse to destroy enemies, and to self-righteously engage some true believer salvation plan.
To rethink the core themes of one’s basic narrative and worldview, and to reconsider the influence of these themes on human personality, life, and society, is as fundamental as one can go in terms of revolutionizing human thought, emotion, motivation, and response/behavior.
(Insert) Apocalyptic- “The most violent and destructive idea in history” (Arthur Mendel in Vision and Violence).
Apocalyptic narratives incite alarm in populations (incite the survival impulse), rendering people desperate and susceptible to irrational salvation schemes like decarbonization madness. Save the world by destroying our societies.
There are potent counters that go to the heart of the lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption mess of ideas… One especially helpful alternative to shape an entirely new narrative…
Core themes for a new narrative: Wendell Krossa
The single greatest insight and related ethic ever presented. It comes from the “behavior based on similar belief” coupling thing that Historical Jesus used (Historical Jesus as someone entirely opposite to Christian “Jesus Christ”- i.e. the Christ myth of Paul).
The core, foundational theme for a new narrative was offered by Historical Jesus: “Love your enemy because God does”.
Another version- “Man must not disclaim his brotherhood even with the guiltiest”, a quote in Joseph Campbell’s “Myths To Live By”. Campbell was stating that such “universal love” was how we maintained our humanity. He explained, “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”.
The “love your enemy” principle is fundamental to resolving rage, resentment, and the urge to retaliate that has resulted in endless cycles of personal violence and larger-scale wars. “Love your enemy” is fundamentally critical to attaining and maintaining peaceful coexistence among differing people in human societies.
Love of enemies encompasses the related humane responses of forgiveness toward offenders, full inclusion of all in the human community with equal rights and freedoms for all, generosity in offering second and more chances to offenders to change their behavior (i.e. restorative justice approaches), and providing the help that enables offenders to grow, develop, and mature as human.
These humane responses are all critical to promoting actual peace in human societies.
And as always- universal, unconditional love is not advocating some form of dogmatic pacifism. Violent offenders must be incarcerated if they cannot or will not control their worst impulses to harm others. The protection of innocent people is the first responsibility of governments and criminal justice systems. Offenders are responsible to make restitution, to learn, grow, and to mature as human (to “grow the fuck up” like everyone else). Offenders are responsible to take the initiative, or at least be open, to getting help.
The encouragement to take an unconditional approach toward offenders (i.e. restorative justice approaches) is about maintaining our own humanity in the face of human imperfection. Again, this was Joseph Campbell’s point that when we engage some righteous battle against evil, we must not abandon “love your enemy” or we will lose our humanity. Our “enemy” (or offender) is still our family.
Note- A key takeaway insight from the central message of Historical Jesus is that it presents the “stunning new theology that God is a non-retaliatory deity” (James Robinson). There is a clear logical conclusion here- i.e. If God is non-retaliatory then there will be no apocalypse because a non-retaliatory God will not engage the ultimate act of retaliation that is the apocalyptic destruction of humanity and the world. Apply this logic also to hell myths (threat of after-life harm). A non-retaliatory deity will not engage the ultimate retaliation of after-life punishment. All to say there is no need to embrace some salvation scheme to mollify some threat that has never existed- i.e. the threat of divine harm (Note the discussion posts further below that religious salvationism (the sacrifice industry) is a response to false original premises and hence the salvation schemes are a waste of resources, time, and effort.)
Hey, I am just doing some basic “theodicy” here. (Theodicy? Yes, the affirmation of ultimate reality as good, as love. A stunningly inexpressible no conditions love. This is the true “transcendence” of God, transcending the best that we can imagine about Ultimate Good or Ultimate Love.)
Post from Bob Brinsmead (discussion group):
“G____, Thanks for the book by Timothy Johnson. I had not realized it was you who sent it. Thank you for your kind gesture. I am going to return the compliment by sending you a book by Dr. Lorraine Parkinson called “The World According to Jesus: His blueprint for the best possible world.” She is now a Pastor connected to the Uniting Church in Melbourne. Her book illustrates what amazing changes are taking place in the Christian movement where the focus as never before is on the teaching of the historical Jesus. Her book is basically a commentary on the Sermon on the Mount which Christians generally could never understand because it has no divisive or exclusive Christian dogma in it to start with – no Christology, no apocalyptic, no theology of atonement and even a prayer to the Father not even in Jesus Christ’s name, and with nothing distinctly Christian in it. Its a charter of Jesus’ vision of living in this present world as the kingdom of God, capable of reaching and uniting people of all religious faith or no religious faith.
“The book contains this amazing quote from Einstein in which he says, “If one purges the Judaism of the Prophets and takes Christianity as Jesus taught it, purged of all subsequent additions, especially those of the priests, one is left with a teaching which is capable of curing all the social ills of humanity.” Ha, what a pearl!
“It will take me a bit of time to get you this little Parkinson book – mine is too marked to send! But I will get you a copy and send it on.
“The little book you sent me was like one said about an approaching death– it wonderfully concentrates the mind. Here is how the book you sent me wonderfully concentrated my mind:
“Einstein, like the great Tolstoy, had enough common sense to understand that what we call the Old Testament (which in Jesus day was only a loose collection of sacred scriptures, some good, some bad, with no canon) contained the writings of both the prophets and the writings of the priesthood and sometimes it was more priestly (the institutional religion) than prophetic. The OT is the field sown with good seed (the word of God) and bad seed, as in Jesus’ parable of the Sower.
“I have found that this was the view that the Jewish Christians had of the OT, a view of scripture they claim was taught to them by Jesus. The Jewish Christians rejected the sacrificial cult and the many passages depicting divine violence, claiming that this is what Jesus taught them to do. So the OT era featured a longstanding conflict between priests and prophets- for one thing, the priests proclaiming there was no forgiveness of sin apart from the shedding of blood (the sacrificial system) and the prophets proclaiming that forgiveness was not grounded in any sacrifice- animal or human- but solely on the love and mercy of God.
“I suggest to you that this is also what we find in the age of Jesus and the New Testament. John the Baptist and Jesus were the prophets who sowed the good seed, and the churchmen (the priestly institutionalizers) who put the NT together did what the OT priesthood did when it worked over the Hebrew’s sacred documents. To say it was all pure inspiration is religious twaddle and gross ignorance regarding the meddling role of conniving priests. See Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible. Moses had nothing to do with imposing all that priestly sacrificial detail. See Jeremiah 7. Isaiah 1 is appalled at the mass of sacrificial religion. So are Amos and Micah. Just ask- Why did the priesthood keep killing or silencing the prophets?
“In principle, the age-old conflict between priestly religion and the prophetic word is carried on into the era of the NT. Jesus is the prophet following John the Baptist. Like the prophets before them, they denounce all the religious paraphernalia cluttering the plain truth, especially in regard to the stinking institution of sacrifices which turned religion into something like a vast system of buying and selling Indulgences.
“The Sermon on the Mount preaches no religion, no ceremonies, no repetitious praying, no religious garb and orders, no apocalyptic, no priestly abracadabra, as Leo Tolstoy said, no priestly frauds and myths, simply doing unto others as you would have them do to you as the sum and substance of Moses and the Prophets! But then come the churchmen, mostly second generation after Jesus, adding apocalyptic Christology and doctrines of atonement- as Jefferson said, burying the diamonds of the teaching of Jesus in a pile of dung.
“The problem with Johnson, as I see it, is that he sees none of this, but wants to whitewash the entire Bible as inspired truth. He wants an idealistic mythical Bible to be like a field sown with good seed only, unlike the parable of Jesus of the real Bible in a real world, written by flawed humans. That magical old Bible won’t stand the test of investigation. The Jewish Christians had a better view of scripture and they claimed (with a lot of good evidence) that Jesus had taught them that “the evil priests” had corrupted scripture with a lot of false periscopes. It was in response to Marcion that the Great Church (with its mother church now Rome instead of Jerusalem) manufactured some NT books (around the 130’s) to support the claim that the entire OT was inspired by the Holy Spirit. It seems to me that one would have rocks in his head to believe such a daft proposition in this day and age under the glare of so much literary Enlightenment.
“Who was it that said, “In order for good men to do evil, that takes religion?” The priests lied when they added whole rafts of sacrificial laws and offerings to the law of Moses. Jeremiah flatly says so! Jesus rejected them too, as did the prophets before him. He rejected the violence passages of the OT too. Both his ethic and his theology were non-violent. That was how the first Jewish Christians, starting with the church in Jerusalem led by James, understood Jesus. But the churchmen, from the earliest beginnings of Christianity, lied when they said that the NT gospels were written with apostolic authority. They were not because the supposed authors were all dead before the gospels named after them were written.
“They lied when they manufactured epistles such as the epistle of Peter. The pastoral epistles were written many years after Paul and Peter had died. Yes, the same thing happened when books supposedly written by Moses turned up hundreds of years after Moses. Priestly frauds! The early century churchmen did basically the same thing as the OT priests. But such has always been the fruit of religion- just as religion made Ellen G White lie about her literary borrowings. The priests said again and again, “Moses said….” when it was not Moses speaking but the priests. Churchmen lied when they claimed again and again, “Jesus said…” when it was not Jesus speaking but the churchmen.
“Shakespeare may have said, “Conscience doth make cowards of us all”, but I have to say, Religion doth make liars of us all. I call it, Lying for Jesus. The same thing happens in science as happens in theology. Once findings or information become formulated into a grand narrative, (like Climate Change dogma) then every bit of information is massaged or adjusted or even suppressed so that it is integrated to support the Narrative. The facts are not allowed to change the Narrative! The facts are adjusted to become a pack of lies to support the Narrative. The process in religion that justifies this is called “an Apology.” An apologist does not set out to find the truth and nothing but the truth. He sets out to marshal the evidence to defend what he already knows is the truth.
“Johnson is an apologist.
“But thanks for the read anyway.
“Your incorrigible friend, Bob
“PS: Your mention of James Tabor is interesting. I hope readers evaluating my recent papers on the historical Jesus judge them on their merits rather than by being biased by the fact that I studied theology in an SDA institution and began my journey of faith as an apocalyptic kid. Tabor apparently had to start his own journey of faith somewhere. I wish he would give up his Albert Schweitzer view of an apocalyptic Jesus. I don’t think anyone who believes in that apocalyptic interventionist kind of God re the violent end of the world can ever really understand the teachings of the sapiential Jesus who sees the world as the arena of living in the kingdom of God in the here and now, a teaching shorn of all priestcraft and churchcraft, of all mythical and priestly frauds. But for all that, Tabor is dedicated to find out as much as he can about the circumstances in the world of John the Baptist and Jesus. He now rubs shoulders with scholars such as John Dominic Crossan and shares a lot of interesting information re the world of the first century CE. I don’t see why I should judge anything he says by some ad hominem bias anymore than I would like people to judge me by any ad hominem bias like one might find about the young Robert D Brinsmead in Wikipedia.”
Other thought-provoking, unsettling, or just “shit-stirring” quotes…
“You become just like the God that you believe in”, Bob Brinsmead.
“We are, in net terms, more creators than destroyers”, Julian Simon’s reasoning after discovering the evidence that, overall, life was improving and not declining toward something worse. He concluded that the long-term improving trajectory of life was evidence of basic human goodness.
“There are no really bad people, just bad ideas that lead people to do bad things”, Bob Brinsmead.
Malthusianism, “limited resources” mythology:
There are no limits to resources, only the limits that we wrongly place on ourselves, by creating limits in our minds. Human creativity and ideas are limitless, infinite. We even create new resources when apparent shortages of some resource emerge. In response to such apparent shortage, we discover new sources of the old resources or we create new assemblages of atoms, new molecules to make new alternative resources. See Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”, Desrocher and Szurmak’s “Population Bombed”, and similar research.
A good article on Julian Simon’s insights and principles. The world is not getting worse. Due to human creative input, and basic human goodness/compassion, life has been improving over the long-term.
Lots of interesting talk about AI (Artificial Intelligence) or AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) out there. Warning of dangers as some believe it has become a runaway train. Just a speculation (from a place of personal ignorance)- Why not program the principles of Classic Liberalism into the core of AI- i.e. the protection of individual rights and freedoms under societies that are governed by institutions like “representative parliament” and “common law”. Where all are equally protected from totalitarian collectives and the elites that run the collectives. Just sayin…
When discussing/debating climate change, go to the most critical issue in climate- the physics of CO2
Once you get the physics of CO2 clear, its actual potential influence on climate, as detailed by climate physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer and others, then you will realize that the “human-caused climate change” narrative is not supported by good science. Yes, climate has warmed mildly. Yes, CO2 has a small influence on climate. And yes, we contribute some to the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. However, on this last point- it is still unknown how much the human contribution is to naturally rising CO2 levels as the carbon cycles on Earth are huge and the perturbations in these cycles are in some cases larger than the human contribution. Meaning to say- the science is not settled, final, or consensus.
However, one certainty is strengthening with ongoing climate research- that there is no looming/imminent “climate crisis”. The mild warming that Earth has experienced over the past century has been immensely beneficial to a world where 10 times more people still die from cold every year than die from warming.
And the small rise in CO2 (as compared to paleoclimate levels that were in the multiple-thousands of ppm), the small rise in the basic food of plants has resulted in 15% more green vegetation on Earth since 1980- meaning there is more food for animal life and increased crop production for humanity. All beneficial.
This sound evidence means there is no rational reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. There is no need to panic over the human use of fossil fuels.
What is going on in this anti-agriculture crusade noted below by Morano?
“AFP: “Rice is to blame for around 10 percent of global emissions of methane, a gas that over two decades, traps about 80 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. Scientists say that if the world wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rice cannot be ignored.”
“Climate Depot’s Marc Morano comment: The big picture is this: This isn’t necessarily about shutting down rice production. This is about the climate agenda coming from the United Nations and the World Economic Forum, academia, the corporate world, identifying every facet of modern society as being a climate ‘problem’ that needs managing and thus a takeover. So whether we’re talking about transportation, whether it’s airlines, whether it’s gas-powered cars, whether it’s eating meat, whether it’s high-yield agriculture, it’s all allegedly creating a ‘climate emergency’ and thus global elites want to take over and ‘manage’ them. They are looking for a managerial revolution. They want to put themselves in charge of saving the planet and thus put themselves in charge of all aspects of modern society.
“Self-appointed earth saviors seek to manage every aspect of our lives to save us from the ‘climate catastrophe.’ So it’s not that they want to ban rice eating, but they’re claiming that rice production contributes to the ‘climate crisis’…
“Every aspect of modern society is untenable due to our ‘climate crisis.’ It includes limiting freedom of travel, home thermostat controls, restrictions on your appliances, limiting the ability to eat meat, and bans on gas-powered cars. They’re doing all of this without a vote of democracy. A corporate government collusion that uses the climate agenda to manage every aspect of modern society.
“They’re collapsing our current system, they’re collapsing our energy, our food, our transportation, and they’re collapsing our free speech, and they’re putting themselves in charge because they are claiming we can’t leave rice production as is, or that we need to radically alter livestock practices and agriculture and transportation or we are doomed.
“If we don’t hand over the keys of modern society over to this small group of managers, we are led to believe that people left to their own devices will literally create a climate crisis, create inequity and racism, and in order to save the Earth, climate bureaucrats need to be in charge of everything because they believe we live in a finite world, and everything has to be managed…
“It’s basically what the ruling classes have done for generations: Those in charge always come up with a reason why the rest of us cannot be free, why the rest of us cannot make these choices for ourselves. And the reason du jour is the climate crisis is forcing them to literally transform our modern way of life.”
(End of quotes)
Julian Simon’s “Ultimate Resource” is one of the single best books that you will ever read. He sets forth the principles and practises of good science that help us to understand “the true state of life on Earth”. He argues for (1) science that looks at the complete big picture- i.e. for an approach that includes all the evidence on the thing that you are looking at, not dismissing/discrediting/excluding data that contradicts your personal ideological views or beliefs.
And he argues to (2) include the longest-term trends that are associated with the thing that you are looking at, not referring only to short term trends, not focusing on aberrations/downturns/setbacks in longer-term trends and thereby distorting the larger big picture of the thing you are looking at.
Simon’s data needs updating but his basic presentation of the principles of humanity’s progress (human creativity improving life) is still the best. Updates of data are available in Desrocher and Szurmak’s “Population Bombed”, or at Humanprogress.org. Also see Easterbrook’s “A Moment On The Earth”, Bjorn Lomborg’s “Skeptical Environmentalist” (originally a project to challenge Simon but Lomborg ended affirming his research), Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”, Ronald Bailey’s “End of Doom”, Tupy and Bailey’s “Ten Global Trends”, Hans Rosling’s “Factfulness”, and others.
Simon’s research will help you form a worldview that is based on good evidence from the best sources. His approach will orient your consciousness to rational hope in humanity as fundamentally good. Simon shows, backed with good evidence, that life is progressing toward something better and not declining to something worse. As Simon concluded from his research, we (humanity) are more creators than destroyers. Simon’s research on the basic indicators of life resolved his “clinical depression” and it never returned.
Note: The complete big picture and long-term perspective on climate would be the paleoclimate history that shows, for example, that during the Eocene period the climate was 3-10 degrees C warmer than today and there was no climate crisis/emergency. Contrary to contemporary climate alarmism over 1-2 degrees C more warming, the much warmer Eocene era was the “golden age for mammals”, a tropical paradise for all life, with no ice at the poles and wider habitats for tropical species that extended into the polar regions. The world did not fry, and the oceans did not boil because of the main influences on climate- i.e. “meridional transport” and strong negative feedbacks in tropical regions- such influences kept tropical temperatures at an “equable climate” state, and distributed the extra heat to the colder regions of Earth. That evened out climate across the world. A beneficial outcome for all life.
Learn more about the complete big picture on climate and that evidence will lesson any fear about natural climate change. It will lesson fear as in providing counterbalance to the hysterical exaggerations of alarmist narratives of “human-caused climate change that is becoming catastrophic”.
The more we learn about climate (i.e. natural cycles of constant change, the dominant and complex influence of natural factors, the limited role of CO2, the larger paleoclimate context, etc.), the less susceptible we will be to alarmist hysteria over natural climate change.
Familiarize yourself with the actual physics of CO2, and the fact that natural factors, not CO2, are the main influence on climate change. Build your knowledge of the complexity of climate, and related issues, as per the research of physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer, Javier Vinos, and many others.
Once again: The very best climate science reports and news:
The above data sources will help you understand that the best science affirms that there is no “climate crisis/emergency”. And consequently, there is no need to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies- irrational salvation schemes that are already producing ruinous outcomes in major world economies like Germany, Britain, California, and Canada. Again, note the daily Net Zero Watch newsletters from Global Warming Policy Forum.
But yes, explore and innovate with renewables, preferably doing so more on private, not public dime which then burdens the most vulnerable with excessive energy costs (excessive taxation due to subsidizing renewables with public funds). And get nuclear going again. It is the safest energy source. Understand that blocking fossil fuel development, along with subsidizing unworkable/unreliable renewables like wind and solar, contributes to inflation all over, and that burdens the most vulnerable people the most, and puts Western societies at a dangerous disadvantage to totalitarian regimes.
And understand the fundamental ideas that drive alarmism crusades, in both their religious and “secular” versions. Understand that a good scientific approach should be intuitively skeptical of every alarmist eruption in the public realm. A healthy rational approach to purported problems should be especially skeptical of media that are obsessively oriented to “Creating Fear: News and the Construction of Crisis” (David Altheide).
Further understand why so many people intuitively/naively embrace every new alarmist eruption. The intuitive embrace of alarmist narratives has a lot to do with unchallenged “inherited impulses and beliefs” (those deeply embedded “archetypes”).
Develop an awareness of how apocalyptic alarmists play on deeply embedded archetypes to manipulate and control others. Note how alarmists repeatedly affirm the archetypes in the “lost paradise/redemption” or “apocalyptic millennial” complex of themes. And granted, such affirmation may not be intentional deceptiveness. The alarmists may be ‘true believers’ themselves in that primitive mythology.
A repeat of the complex of themes in apocalyptic millennialism or lost paradise/redemption mythology: Wendell Krossa
Know this complex of ideas/myths as if your life depended on it. These themes, and the impulses they incite and validate, pose the greatest threat to a better future.
The myth of a better past.
The myth that humanity ruined the better past- the mythical fallacy of “the fall of man” that has endlessly incited guilt over our imperfection (i.e. that our ancestors committed an early fault that angered deity and hence deserve punishment, that original “sin” made us all corrupt beings, all essentially sinful).
The myth that life has been declining toward something worse, toward collapse and ending, with apocalypse as the ultimate punishment for human sin.
The myth that we must make some sacrifice/atonement to pay for our sin, sacrifice such as in a return to a “morally superior” simple life/primitivism as a lifestyle that is more “connected to nature”, a lifestyle that makes people “more pure and strong” (as in “de-development”).
The myth that we must purge some evil from life, that we must engage a righteous battle against evil/enemies (a cosmic dualism mimicked in this-world dualisms).
And the myth that if we join the “true cause” (i.e. the true religion, true ideology, the righteous cause) then we may achieve salvation, we may attain redemption in a promised renewed paradise or new utopia.
Outcomes of “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” mythology:
Alarming populations with visions of looming catastrophe then enables totalitarians (“catastrophizing eco-fascists”, Ben Marlow, Daily Telegraph) to push their salvation scheme on the public, always a collectivist salvation scheme (for some “greater good”) that requires the “enlightened elites” to take complete control of all the details of life. Note how today’s neo-totalitarians are validating their totalitarian impulse with the repeated calls to abandon “dangerous freedom”. Example: The Twitter files revelations that intelligence agencies, along with a political party and it’s media propaganda arm, are working together to demand that all of us must join the battle against their imagined evil threats- i.e. the great threat of “disinformation” (meaning the speech and views of their differing opponents). They affirm their crusade for extreme leftist control (individuals subjected to a new collectivism) with the claim that the free speech of disagreeing others is a “threat to democracy” (or variously that it is “hate speech… speech that incites violence…. Racism…” etc.).
The leaders of the climate alarm crusade also argue that freedom must be abandoned immediately because they claim that their imagined apocalyptic threat to all life is “imminent”. Hence, we must abandon the usual democratic processes that are too messy and slow to deal with the imminent threat. Democracy be damned- we must act “now”, in accord with the totalitarian visions and obsessions of the powerholding elites.
It is unsettling how many people unquestioningly affirm the narrative of the alarmists and submissively go along with their totalitarian salvation schemes. We saw this in the hysterical media alarmism and widespread submission to the Covid lockdowns that ignored good contrary science that was available at the beginning (i.e. that lockdowns caused more harm than good, that lockdowns were not necessary for children, that a small percentage of the population were actually under threat, etc.).
We have watched this unquestioning submission to alarmist salvation schemes for decades, now in the climate alarmism crusade and Net Zero decarbonization that is ruining modern economies. The alarmist crusades are pushed on public consciousness without public debate over valid contrary evidence. One side just shuts down the skeptical evidence with screams of “consensus… listen to the finalized science”, and then demonizes, discredits, censors, bans, and cancels any disagreeing dissenters as dangerous “racists… fascists…. Right wingers…” etc.
The lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption mythology behind the above alarmism crusades misleads us, again and again, by distorting the true story of life, by playing on and inciting our worst impulses, and then leading us to save some imagined threatened thing by destroying our societies as with decarbonization. (Save the world by destroying it)
Posts from discussion group: Our discussion was that Salvation religion has been an unnecessary and wasteful response to the false initial premise of “threat theology”- i.e. fallacious myths of angry deity threatening to judge, exclude, punish, and destroy human “sinners”. There has never been any angry, threatening deity behind reality or life. Threat theology has always been just bad mythology. But that false original premise has been affirmed by a complex of supporting myths that have fueled the salvation industry across history.
The true story of reality/life tells us: There was no original paradise that was ruined by early people thereby angering God who then threatened to exclude, punish, or destroy people in apocalypse or hell. Consequent to the insight that there has never been any such reality as an angry, punitive deity- there is therefore no need to make a sacrifice to pay for sin. No need to appease some imagined threat. No need to believe in some imagined savior. The entire complex of ideas in lost paradise/redemption mythology are all wrong. Based on wrong initial premises.
Think of the incalculable waste of human effort, emotion, time, and resources on salvation religions across history.
The true story of life is that the world began as a horrifically violent an inhospitable place. So also humanity emerged from the brutality of animal existence. But then we eventually began our development as conscious persons and began a journey to become more fully human/humane. With our essential goodness and compassion, we then began improving life over time. We never fell into sinfulness and became something evil that ruined original perfection and sent life into decline toward apocalyptic ending.
A better initial premise would affirm with Historical Jesus that there is no divine threat behind life but only a non-retaliatory, unconditionally loving God. Meaning- all people have always been ultimately safe in love.
Be an automatic skeptic to narrative premises (good, healthy skepticism thinks for itself, questions everything, especially the apocalyptic exaggerations in alarmist narratives):
General posts (from discussion group) on initial wrong premises in narratives and wasted time responding to those fallacies:
My original post in a line of discussion on original wrong premises:
“So many questionable assumptions made in this evolutionary biology stuff- i.e. that the brain evolves to do this or that, based on the premise or assumption that the material brain controls most everything we think and do in life. Neuroscientist John Eccles would protest and state that the mind or the human self uses the brain and does stuff that the brain actively correlates with, that the brain responds to. “Dualistic interaction”, if you will. This makes more sense as mind creates matter, not the other way around….
“Sir James Jeans (physicist, astronomer, mathematician): “The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality. The Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter”. Wendell Krossa
Another: “Following the discussions on these things reminds me of so much historical theology and related human concerns. The early mythologies created problems that don’t even exist except in the alarmist minds of early shaman/priests and their followers- i.e. problems such as threat theology (angry gods behind the natural world) and the consequent response of salvation religion- i.e. human guilt over early ancestors ruining an original paradise, guilt over original sinfulness, demand for sacrifices to be made to appease threatening deity, the felt obligation to please a deity with “true believer” faith, and the felt obligation to live the required lifestyle of a given religion, and on and on… all the conditions consequent to the original bad mythology, the original false premises…
“(This salvation thinking derives from our inability to accept our original imperfection and the mythical premise that we were originally perfect but fucked up things and an angry God then threatened to punish us, so we better respond with the whole salvation industry… All human justice is based on this premise of need to make things right again… forgiveness cannot just be “free”. A deity that just freely forgives and includes all is too offensive and scandalous to “eye for eye” justice minds. Too generous, too unconditional, too free.)
“Similarly, there are many assumptions (initial wrong premises) in varied areas of “science”, like the assumptions of evolutionary biology that then result in endless ongoing discussion in response as to which is the right position on this or that. It seems more helpful to first challenge the basic assumptions, discard the questionable ones, and then start with fresh categories, insights, definitions… like John Eccles and similar others.” Wendell Krossa
“Just an added comment- I got the feeling many years back in responding to varied issues, the sense of wasting time when responding to someone in terms of the premises of whatever that author was arguing from. Much like those bobbing heads of Jewish Torah students- spending days going over the same old same, old from past millennia. So much wasted human time, effort, resources… just accepting original premises and wasting lives on that. Think of all the theologizing that has been done since Paul’s material took over public consciousness (became widespread orthodoxy)- the multiple hundreds of thousands/millions(?) of theological studies over two millennia and the wasted man-hours spent arguing this fine point versus that fine point in Christology and salvation religion…. Endless waste of human time and resources on some premise that simply does not exist in any reality anywhere…
“Take it further back since the beginning when all this lost paradise/redemption mythology took over human consciousness- the time spent in listening to shaman/priests waffle on about this and that, and the costly sacrifice industry. Sheesh. Such a waste of human time, resources, effort. Like those Andean people trudging off with their offerings, spending days placating their threatening spirits. And they are already so poor and can least afford such endeavor. Such waste when they could be doing something m ore productive or enjoyable.
“My point- set your own premises, your new narrative themes and just present that and argue from that. Like Jesus- just give a brief nod to what you are countering (It was said of old- eye for eye) but I say- love your enemy. Then illustrate that- sun and rain given to all without discrimination, none excluded, all forgiven, accepted, and loved the same. Illustrated with the prodigal Father.
“End the waste of responding to old premises that have never existed anywhere in any reality except in the minds of shamans and priests- overheated religious minds (hence the myth of hell).” Wendell Krossa
Then this from Bob Brinsmead:
“I understand the logic of Paul. You start your case on a premise your audience will accept… and then build your case on the premise that you think no one can question.
“This made Jonathan Edwards a successful preacher – his premise worked: It was, “Sinners in the hands of an angry God”! Accept the premise makes the audience ready to accept the remedy.
“I know what I am talking about. This is how I always presented the old Awakening message 50 years ago. First present the pioneer Adventist premise of a final generation perfection – ready to be translated without seeing death, living without a Mediator in the TT etc. Accept the premise, and you will buy my remedy. “Perfection…. You don’t have to earn it, it is the gift of the the-Advent judgment.” No, says the typical Evangelical Protestant, it is the gift of the Rapture!! Ha, ha, ha— the problem is with the premise, as the young RDB found.
“Paul’s premise in Romans 1-3, heavily drenched with the wrath of God upon Gentile and Jew alike, gets you ready to hear the remedy which is having the wrath fall on Another for us, etc, etc. Christ’s death instead of us as a propitiatory atonement!
“Then I read Jesus’ charter of the kingdom of God called the Sermon on the Mount (or Plain), and Paul’s premise is conspicuous by its absence, and rejects the idea of any kind of payback/retaliatory justice. “I will have mercy and not sacrifice.” Conclusion: God did not require a sacrifice of anybody! End of story.
“Yes, we all try to be logical…. That is, according to our premise.
“It is the premise, Stupid!”
(End of discussion posts)
General site project, Wendell Krossa– Countering the core themes/myths of alarmism narratives from across history- i.e. the “lost paradise/apocalyptic/redemption” or “apocalyptic millennial” complex of primitive myths. Particularly, countering the latest historical eruption of this “apocalyptic/millennial” complex- i.e. the “profoundly religious” climate alarmism crusade.
(Counter? “Refute… oppose… rebut… repudiate…”, etc.)
The project here is about making a clear distinction between things that differ in critically important ways, making distinctions, for example, between the fundamental differences between good and bad, between humane and inhumane. And applying such distinctions to the basic themes of our meta-narratives and worldviews.
I illustrate this with, for example, the profound differences between the core message of Historical Jesus and the entirely opposite “Jesus Christ” myth of Paul’s Christianity. Jesus presented a stunning new theology of a non-retaliatory, unconditional God. Paul, just a generation later, rejected that new theology of an unconditional, non-retaliatory God and retreated back to the retaliatory, conditional gods of all past mythology and religion. He embraced the same old mythology of angry gods demanding the conditions of sacrifice/payment, and true believer loyalty, conditions essential to forgiveness, acceptance, and salvation.
This stunning difference between Jesus and Paul is evident from “Q Wisdom Sayings” research (what H. Jesus actually taught) as contrasted with the later mythology of the Christ that the gospel authors claimed that Jesus also taught, Christology that contradicts Jesus’ core themes of unconditional, non-retaliatory deity.
The points here are not anti-religion in general, nor anti-mythical speculation entirely. This is not about some new version of atheism. Its very much a project to humanize God theories and general belief systems/narratives. Not throwing out the baby with the bathwater.
Just a note on the fact that some speculation is always involved in creating narratives…
Even materialist/atheist believers engage speculation about imagined metaphysical things in order to fill out and affirm their belief systems (Sabine Hossenfelder’s point that even physicists constantly cross the science/philosophy boundary using their dominant criteria of “beauty” to affirm their speculations/theories- “Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray”). All of us have to speculate about the metaphysical just to make some sense of what we see- the 5% of reality that we see. And we don’t even have a clue what this visible 5% actually is (Jim Baggot on “Mass: The quest to understand matter from Greek atoms to quantum fields”).
Some of the early quantum theorists concluded that our material universe appears to be more something made of mind that matter. Many others now conclude that consciousness is the most fundamental reality that creates all other reality.
Sir James Jeans (physicist, astronomer, mathematician): “The stream of knowledge is heading towards a non-mechanical reality. The Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter… we ought rather to hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter”.
The themes shaping our narratives today…
The past was better (a more wilderness world), but corrupt people ruined that with too many people consuming too much of world resources, and life is now declining toward something worse, toward possible collapse and even ending. We need to make some sacrifice- return to morally superior simple lifestyle, purge some great threat from life- i.e. fossil fuels/CO2, and thereby save our world.
We need to engage a heroic quest, a righteous battle against evil/enemies.
Do these themes sound familiar? They are late version of the oldest, most primitive myths from past history. They are profoundly religious ideas.
Core Jesus message
Summary- Love your enemies because God does.
“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 can be summarized in this single statement: “Love your enemy because God does”.
Example: The Prodigal Father story in Luke 15:11-31. He did not demand a sacrifice, restitution, payment, apology, or anything else before forgiving, fully accepting, and loving the wasteful son.
The above statement and illustration by Jesus overturns the Christian religion and Paul’s Christ mythology. Paul, along with the rest of the New Testament, preached a retaliatory God who demanded full payment and punishment of all sin in a blood sacrifice of atonement before he would forgive, accept, and ultimately love anyone.
Embrace the stun, Wendell Krossa
Stunning things to reconsider: The project of rejecting old premises, embracing entirely new alternatives- see in sections below: “Explaining reality and life: The worst and best ideas that we have come up with”, “Inherited bad myths and better alternatives”, or “Old Story Themes, New Alternatives”.
Try to sit back once in a while (engage some “mind-marinating”) and let yourself feel the stunning impact of the radical change to worldview that comes from the alternatives to what we have inherited in religions and the copy-cat ideologies based on those old mythical themes. Again, this is not suggesting some form of “atheism” as a rational alternative.
Is there anything more stunning and liberating than to realize there was no original paradise world? Meaning- there was also no “paradise lost”. That never happened. Consequent to rejecting that fallacy- Our ancestors did not fall into sin, did not become corrupted beings and ruin an imagined original paradise. You see where this goes? We humans are not essentially bad. That old mythology was entirely wrong, based on wrong assumptions or premises.
Continue marinating on these things- There was no better past that we need to bemoan the loss of. To the contrary, the true story of life is that we were far worse in the past but have become far better in the present. We ought to celebrate how far we have risen from our brutal past. Good research on the decline in human violence across history affirms this (Payne and Pinker). Add the amazing evidence on how humanity has been improving overall life, especially over the past few centuries- again, Julian Simon in Ultimate Resource and the many follow up studies that continued his good pioneering research.
Our true story is that we are creating a better life and future.
Life is not declining toward something worse.
Ah, the conclusions to be made from the overturning of old myths. Much of the re-evaluation and revamping of narrative evidence and themes is critical to human self-identity issues. We are not essentially bad but essentially good. And the long-term improvement of life, especially over the past few centuries, is the evidence of our essential goodness, compassion, and creative ability.
Further note the liberation that the recognition of fundamental human goodness brings to human consciousness. Consider the damaging impact that fallen humanity myths have caused to people across history in terms of unnecessary fear, anxiety, guilt, shame, resignation, despair, depression, and violence. The true story of humanity liberates us from that horrific burden.
Add other stunners… We have no real enemies in this world. All humans today are family. We are all descendants of an East African Eve of roughly 150,000 years ago (the genome convergence thing). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_Eve
These are all stunningly consciousness-transforming ideas. Our old narratives were all wrong on many key features. We know better today.
And then counter some of the most powerful of all ideas- i.e. the old speculations on metaphysical or spiritual reality. Re-evaluate the foundational ideas that have long embodied the highest ideals and authority of all- deity ideas or theories. Rethink especially and liberate yourself from the worst of the old bad ideas from threat theology.
There has never been any angry deity punishing us through the natural world. No wrathful God, no vengeful Gaia, punitive Universe, angry Planet or Mother Earth, no payback karma.
There is no threat of ultimate punishment, exclusion, or destruction. No apocalypse and no hell. There is only love and a stunningly inexpressible no conditions love at the core of reality (“in which we live and move and have our existence”) and that love awaits us just beyond death. All are safe in the end. None will be rejected. There is no after-life threat of harm.
Ah, there is a lot of stunning insight around today. Profoundly liberating stuff. It goes to the deepest roots of consciousness/subconscious to transform us for the better.
What lurks behind? Wendell Krossa
This site goes behind the scenes of public narratives, notably probing what is behind alarmism narratives like climate alarmism. This site evaluates the core themes of such narratives, notes the origins of those themes in primitive mythology, and traces their persistence across history in the major world religions, and their regurgitation in the modern era in “secular/ideological” versions like Declinism and its offspring- the profoundly religious climate apocalypse narrative.
This site also notes the impulses that created the mythical themes behind alarmism narratives, impulses that, in turn, are validated by the themes.
Notable examples of primitive inherited impulses:
The impulse to tribalism (small band thinking/feelings);
The guilt/shame over imperfection;
The fear of punishment/destruction for imperfection;
The impulse to engage a heroic quest, to engage a righteous battle against evil enemies (and the demonization/dehumanization required to hate and destroy enemies);
The impulse to purge some evil, to conquer/slay a monster;
The survival impulse that longs for salvation, for restoration of a lost paradise.
A complex of primitive myths was created to explain and validate these impulses.
We have alternatives to this pathology today. We know better today the difference between right and wrong. We know the difference today between authentically human impulses and base animal impulses. We know better how to explain our impulses, and not continue validating the worst ones.
We have alternatives to past pathologies. We know what is authentically human, and therefore what ideas should explain and validate our human spirit and nature. We have new ideas to inspire our better nature/impulses.
The problem with the old narratives- Once the basic themes were set, the original premises/assumptions established, then a further complex of related mythical ideas were formulated to support the core premises. Consequently, an internal logic was locked in that has been hard to break until you challenge the original core premises. To do this properly and thoroughly, you have to go to the original premises, no matter how sacred or holy they are claimed to be, and challenge all of them. And to do this re-evaluation properly we need a set of criteria to evaluate and expose where things are wrong. Again, see “Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives” below for a suggested list of better alternatives to old story themes.
My argument is that most of the foundational original themes are all wrong. They are irredeemable for our modern world. Our great meta-narratives need a profoundly foundational revamping. We need to go to the roots to overturn and remake foundational core ideas entirely. You cannot continue to merge and mix the old with the new, as the old only distorts, deforms, and buries the authentic nature of the new.
This project notes especially how mythical/religious themes are reproduced in secular/ideological, even “scientific” narratives in the modern era. To see this clearly, get the nature of the core themes clear. And especially do not fear even tackling the God of the old narratives. Deity has long been the embodiment of humanity’s highest ideals, authority, and a reality that has long been considered unchallengeable, untouchable, unquestionable. Off limits to revamping. Sacred, holy, immutable (yes, this is a fundamental characteristic of God in systematic theologies).
Hence, too many old story themes are held dogmatically as fundamental “truth”.
In my project, the revamping of old narratives at the fundamental level of core themes necessitates in particular, going after Paul’s Christ myth as a supreme embodiment of apocalyptic pathology. Paul’s Christ myth has been the most influential myth in the Western world, and whole world (in James Tabor’s estimation- “Paul and Jesus”). I take a Jeffersonian approach (Tolstoyian) in noting that diamonds are mixed with dung in the Christ myth. In that mixing, the teaching of Jesus/message has been buried in the Christology of Paul and the larger New Testament. The Christ myth is a myth about the man that contradicts the actual message of the man.
(Collectivism comments are just below this reposted essay on Old Story Themes…)
Collectivism (as embodied in varied versions of Socialism, Communism, Communalism, Social Democracy or Democratic Socialism, etc.) Wendell Krossa
Collectivism is an ideological approach to organizing society that prioritizes the group/state over the individual. Marx, embracing Hegel’s ideas, promoted the state as the highest good that should represent the wishes and will of the people. Collectivism, in practise, authorizes the state, controlled by enlightened elites that run the collective on behalf of all, to control the means of production, lands, and all physical resources. Hence, in collectivist societies, generally, private property is prohibited (nationalized on behalf of the “people”).
(Example of nationalizing resources “for the people”: Former socialist Muravchik in “Heaven On Earth” noted how Mitterrand’s leftist coalition tried to nationalize varied sectors of the French economy in the early 80s. The economy tanked within a year, harming “the people” that the elites claimed to serve.)
According to socialists: “You will own nothing, and you will be happy” (World Economic Forum slogan- now removed from website).
Notable examples of historically recent collectivist regimes are Russia and China. Also, the varied socialist experiments in Zimbabwe, Venezuela, etc.
Its not the utopian ideals or visions (of elites) but the actual outcomes of an approach that validate or discredit the approach. And as Kristian Niemietz states in his history of socialism, every socialist society has failed (“Socialism: The failed idea that never dies”). Niemietz details the excuses that Western Socialist intellectuals repeatedly make to discredit past socialist experiments as “not true Socialism”. The same defenders of Socialism are never able to offer a better alternative- i.e. an actual working model (the actual principles/institutions) that could achieve their utopian visions.
We all intuitively desire personal freedom, rights, and self-determination (meaning- we all really want some version of Classic Liberalism or liberal democracy).
I generally shy away from ideological categories, definitions, and titles as too limiting for defining the complexity of worldviews held by diverse people. I find many ideological categories too distorting of individual uniqueness and freedom. Many of us employ a sort of butterfly approach- floating about, alighting where there is something good, but wanting to remain free to move on to other things as we choose.
My point? Most of us are “Libertarianish” (focus on “ish”) in our basic orientation, in the sense that we don’t want to be told what to do. We don’t want to be controlled by others. We value personal freedoms and rights. We prize individual self-determination and the freedom to create and live a unique personal story, diverse from all others. (“I gotta be me”, sang some crooner long ago. “I gotta find myself”, said another. You get the point.)
Insert: As Louis Zurcher (Mutable Self) stated long ago- authentic humanity is to live as a self in process, open to change. Not a self that is immutable (unchanging), rigidly fixed on objects that are limiting (i.e. fixing one’s identity overly-rigidly in institutions/categories like nationality, race/ethnicity, religion, ideology, etc.).
Ideological “collectivists” also share this basic impulse for personal freedom even though they will deny such individual freedoms and rights for others, subjecting all others to some “greater/common good” as defined by the dominating collectivist elites (yes, someone has to run the collective on behalf of “the people”). It’s the old arrogance of some believing that they know what is best for all others and will force their views and policies on all others- “for their good, for the common or greater good”. The meddling busybody thing that just cannot comprehend the wisdom of “live and let live” because it believes that it alone knows what is truly right, what is the righteous cause that all others should embrace, even if by force.
But collectivist elites, in an unintended manner, expose their own desire for individual freedoms when they fight to the death to gain control of the higher levels of their collective to ensure that their particular ideological understanding and policies dominate the collective. Consequent to their impulse for personal control, collectivist elites will ban any dissent from their views with coercive force. They know that the very nature of the system that they have created only grants personal freedom and rights to the very few at the top. Hence, collectivist elites are terrified of losing top-dog status and control. Watch the Russians and Chinese elites coercively keeping their lessers, and other dissenters, at bay with coercive threat and force.
As one person said about her experience with collectivism- “Every egalitarian commune I drifted through turned out to be full of interpersonal power games”.
Collectivist elites are exhibiting the natural/innate urge to not be told what to do, to not be controlled by differing others. Collectivist elites want the same self-determination, the same freedom of choice and unique diversity as all others. A related point: Researchers on personal control tell us that those higher up in hierarchical organizations have more personal choice and consequently higher levels of wellbeing than those in the lower strata. These are intuitive things.
But oh, the personal mental/emotional shift, and the societal leap, to be able to grant those same freedoms and rights to all others, not fearing the messy, noisy system of democratic freedom that results. It takes a largeness of heart, a generosity of spirit and trust in ordinary people, a sense of the true universal nature of inclusion, an affirmation of the critical role of human diversity for human progress, and a respect for the rights of differing others, to grant all others, including differing others, the same privileges that one takes for oneself.
It may help ideological collectivists to make the shift to protecting individual rights and freedoms if, knowing that, despite its imperfection, liberal democracy or Classic Liberalism offers the best way forward to a more peaceful future, by ensuring individual freedoms and rights for all. It’s the safety valve thing that free speech, the right to vote for fair representation (as per authentically democratic parliaments/congresses/senates), and the right to private property (protected rewards of individual effort), etc., the overall safer outcomes that such rights provide to societies. Add here- equal treatment of all under common law systems. These features of liberal democracy have a historical track record of getting us more effectively to the greater or common good, and in a more peaceful manner.
I define Classic Liberalism in terms of the Common Law and Representative Parliament that came out of the English tradition (e.g. see Daniel Hannan’s good history of the development of Classic Liberalism in “The Invention of Freedom”).
Collectivist approaches to organizing societies have repeatedly and inevitably resorted to coercive force to squelch the natural impulse in others to self-determination, to diversity of lifestyle. Unable to restrain the totalitarian impulse, as Classic Liberal societies and institutions have more successfully done, collectivist elites inevitably insist that all people must be subjected to the collective, to their version of the state that they imagine embodies the collective good, the greater or common good. Collectivist elites believe that the highest principle of true collectivism is to subject individuals to the collective and overall freedom has subsequently been abandoned as individual freedom has been undermined.
History has taught us repeatedly that placing loyalty in something above people has led to neglect and abuse of real people. Collectivist projects inevitably deny and undermine the individual diversity and creativity that are critical to human advance.
Note on “Socialism: The failed idea that never dies”, Kristian Niemietz.
Why do socialists continue to resurrect their collectivist approach to organizing societies after endless failures, after repeated descents into the disastrous collapse of economies, societies, and environments in socialist experiments?
My response: Socialists believe that collectivism is “morally superior” because it is about a vision of “greater good, common good”. Socialists posit this utopian conception in contrast to their distorted presentation of individual rights and freedoms as being about “selfishness and greed” that ruin greater or common good.
I would argue that several centuries of good evidence prove that the greater or common good has emerged more successfully as the consequence of protecting individual freedoms and rights. The individual approach to organizing human societies has done far more to produce greater or common good as evident in the fact that the free-market liberal democracy system has lifted billions out of poverty over the past few centuries. It has enabled the creation of growing wealth in all sectors of society. It has led to a stunning reduction in poverty, and enabled the creation of wealth that has further enabled humanity to protect the environment as never before. In contrast, collectivist approaches have immiserated billions, destroyed wealth creation potential in populations, and devastated environments.
See also the research on the “Ecological Kuznets Curve” or the “Environmental Transition”, notably by Indur Goklany. https://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa715.pdf
More on the “creeping totalitarianism” spreading across our societies today (notably, the “Censorship Industrial Complex”, and related Woke Progressivism ideology, that Glen Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and Michael Shellenberger speak to on their platforms) Wendell Krossa
Understand the personal totalitarian impulse that we all struggle with, this basic animal impulse to dominate others that we struggle to restrain in our relationships with family, friends, and others in wider society. This totalitarian impulse descends as part of our animal inheritance, with its impulses developed over a long history in tribal existence (i.e. small bands in constant war against other small bands). Today’s totalitarian impulse is part of the primal urge to dominate others/enemies. These base impulses have been re-enforced by ideas of the hero’s quest taken to distorting extremes- i.e. to engage a righteous battle against evil enemies, to conquer and destroy differing others/monsters. And thereby save someone or something.
Bad ideas/narratives have always incited bad impulses to produce bad outcomes. Leading too often to violence and war.
The real enemy/monster that we face in this world is not other people. Our real enemy is inside each of us- the “animal passions”, the animal inheritance of impulses that each of us has inherited and the complex of ideas that people have created to incite and validate the impulses. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn spoke about this in saying, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either- but right through every human heart- and through all human hearts.”
We counter/conquer our personal internal enemy/monster with human alternatives that affirm our better nature/impulses.
For example, we recognize that “enemies” are really family. “Not disclaiming our brotherhood with even the guiltiest”, as Campbell said.
And we counter the impulse to dominate/control others by embracing Classic Liberal principles- such as respecting and protecting the freedom and rights of all equally- i.e. the right to self-determination and self-control. Yes, we exist within hierarchical structures that are everywhere in society, but we choose to act humanely, to treat others humanely within such structures. We choose not to lord over others, not to act like bosses from hell. Treating “subordinates” humanely, as equals, would mean including their input to decisions that affect them.
Key points, arguments, facts, insights you will find repeatedly presented on this site include:
(1) There is no “climate crisis”. The mild 1 degree C warming over the past century has been beneficial in a world where 10 times more people die every year from cold than die from warmth. 3-6 degrees C more warming (the average for most of the history of life over the past 500 million years when life flourished) would be net beneficial for all life;
(2) Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms, floods, ocean rise, tornadoes, etc. are not getting worse but in some cases are decreasing in intensity and frequency. Even the IPCC admits this;
(3) With more global warming, the already warm areas of the world- i.e. the tropics- do not “fry” because the extra heat is redistributed by convection currents to the colder areas of the world and climate evens out across the world (tropical conditions spread to colder areas and that means extended habitats for more diverse life forms). The tropics have remained “remarkably stable” during times when average world temperatures were from 3-10 degrees C warmer than today. This is known as the “equable climate” issue that confounds climate alarmists;
(4) CO2 is not the main influence on climate change, other natural factors are the main influences on climate change (i.e. “meridional transport”). See the good research on “the physics of CO2” by atmospheric physicists Richard Lindzen, William Happer, and others. Learn more and thereby fear less;
(5) Fossil fuels used by humanity are not threatening our world. CO2 is not a pollutant that needs to be decreased or banned;
(6) Much more warming and much more CO2 will be net beneficial to all life just as the small rise in CO2 over the past few centuries has resulted in a massive addition of green vegetation to the Earth (more food for animals, increased crop production for humanity);
(7) The Net Zero “decarbonization” salvation scheme of climate alarmists is destroying the energy sectors of Western nations in an irrational crusade to “save the world by destroying it”;
(8) Overall, life is not declining toward something worse but is rising toward improvement on all the main indicators (forests, land species, agricultural soils, ocean species);
(10) The climate alarmism movement is another profoundly religious “lost paradise/redemption” crusade (also known as “apocalyptic millennialism” mythology);
(11) And on the metaphysical or “spiritual”: There is no great threat behind life as per the threat theologies of past mythology, all the major religions, and contemporary “secular/ideological” belief systems;
(12) Historical Jesus was entirely opposite to the distortion and burying of his message in the Christian Christ that has dominated Christianity from its beginnings some two millennia ago;
(13) Historical Jesus, like the Old Testament prophets before him, protested against sacrifice as necessary to appease God and attain forgiveness. H. Jesus taught that God was unconditional love and did not demand sacrifice/payment, or other conditions for forgiveness, acceptance, salvation. Note the unconditional theology illustrated by Jesus in his story of the Father in the Prodigal parable.
(14) Conclusion from the original core message of Historical Jesus- i.e. the “Q Wisdom Sayings” gospel?- There has never been any judging, punitive, destroying deity behind life. There is only a stunningly inexpressible “no conditions Love” at the core of reality;
(15) Paul rejected the central message of Jesus to present an entirely opposite theology of conditions- i.e. demanded sacrifice/payment, faith in his Christ myth, etc. Paul, contrary to Jesus, embraced the priestly tradition of the sacrifice industry;
(16) The same old complex of myths- i.e. “lost paradise/decline to apocalypse/redemption”, or “apocalyptic millennialism”- the same core myths have dominated human narratives and consciousness from the very beginning of early mythmaking. These mythical themes were then embedded in the belief systems of the great world religions (notably in Christianity), and they have now, in the modern world, been embraced in “secular/ideological” systems of belief, even in “scientific” systems of belief. Note, for example, the dominance today of Declinism ideology in climate alarmism (i.e. decline of life toward something worse, toward collapse and ending- a central theme in Christian apocalyptic.).
(17) The greatest threat to freedom today is coming from extremist “Woke Progressivism”, from the liberal or left side of society;
Detail on above topics, and much more, in sections below…
Tropical temperatures remained “remarkably stable” over the paleoclimate past (the 500 million years of the Phanerozoic era of life) even when average temperatures worldwide were 3-10 degrees C warmer than today, as during “the golden age of mammals” (the “Eocene” era of some 55-33 million years ago). All life flourished in that much warmer paradise world. There was no “climate emergency”.
The “equable climate” evidence regarding stable tropical temperatures confounds today’s climate alarmists who persistently try to terrorize the public over a possible mild 1.5-2 degrees C more warming in a world where 10 times more people still die from cold every year, than die from warming. Cold is still the greater threat to all life, not more warming.
Sources: Javier Vinos’ series on “Sun-Climate Effect: Winter Gatekeeper hypothesis” available at Wattsupwiththat.com. Also, Donald Prothero’s “The Eocene-Oligocene Transition: Paradise Lost”.
Point- Even with 3-6 degrees C more warming (nowhere on the horizon), that was the average temperature over most of the history of life, the warmer areas of the world will not “ignite on fire… fry”. There is no evidence from the much warmer paleoclimate past that the oceans will “boil” if climate warms by several more degrees, as per Al Gore’s hysterical exaggeration. A return to the optimal temperatures of most of the past history of life would result in all life flourishing again. Much more warming would be, in net terms, more beneficial to all life. It would be truly “paradise restored”.
All to say- There is no good scientific reason to tax carbon or decarbonize our societies. There is no rational reason to fear our use of fossil fuels.
A notable shift has taken place today among those identifying as “liberals” or Progressives- Wendell Krossa
Just over roughly a decade ago, we considered those who identify as “liberals” as the front-line protectors of freedom- the heroic advocates for universal inclusion of all, for diversity among populations, for generous forgiveness of imperfect others, and for non-intervention in the lives of others (respect for self-determination and individual free choice, advocacy for “live and let live”)… all these and more, among other Classic Liberal or liberal democracy values and principles.
But these very people, once considered liberal, are now the new front-line troops that are pushing for censorship, demonizing differing others as dangerous threats, intolerance of diverse opinion and speech, and promoting full-scale on banning/cancelling of differing others… overall exhibiting a dangerous totalitarian impulse to control of all aspects of life according to the new collectivism of “extremist Woke Progressivism”. Very much a form of “neo-Fascism”. Interesting that they constantly project this horrific deformity onto all disagreeing others, even on to fellow liberals of a more moderate variety.
What has happened? Many liberals today have convinced themselves that the differing others who disagree with extremist Woke Progressivism are not just legitimate democratic opponents but are an existential “threat to democracy, racists, fascists, Nazis, domestic terrorists…,” and more. The demonizing and smearing of disagreeing others as existential threats to one’s own existence then incites the survival impulse, consequent irrationality, and the felt desperation to resort to coercion, and even violence, in order to save oneself, to save one’s world.
This dangerous extremism has erupted and spread across the liberal sector of various societies, notably in the US. Here in Canada, our Woke extremist prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has zealously embraced the same approach and unleashed his own anti-democratic authoritarianism. This was evident in his response to the peaceful trucker’s protest (the anti-vaccine mandates protest that was supported by 70% of Canadians). Trudeau has become the iconic virtue-signaller, endlessly mimicking his Woke Progressive idols in the US.
The apparent lack of awareness among many liberals of how far they have shifted toward extremist and totalitarian Woke Progressivism is stunning. We all ought to be concerned about the abandonment of Classic Liberal values and liberal democracy principles.
Reposting of critically important comments on the most basic freedom of all- freedom of speech, the foundation of all other freedom in liberal democracy.
Ira Glasser on Joe Rogan’s podcast- the important issue re free speech, Wendell Krossa
The above link contains a brief explanation from Ira Glasser, former ACLU director, on the critical need to protect free speech, even hate speech, repugnant speech. The main issue, he says, is- “Who gets to decide what hate speech is?”. If your side bans the other side’s speech today as hate speech, then when the other side gains power in the future they will in turn ban your speech as hate speech. Everyone then suffers loss of freedom.
The only safe solution is to “duke things out in the public free speech arena”, countering other’s speech with your arguments and ideas. Protecting all speech, even repugnant speech, is the safest way to protect our own freedom of speech.
“Power is the antagonist”, says Glasser, and the great threat to civil liberties, and power must be restrained. No matter who has power. Both sides are equally dangerous with unrestrained power.
Glasser offers one of the best explanations and defenses of free speech anywhere. As Glasser says, freedom of speech is not intuitive but is a learned taste. He presents helpful illustrations of the issues involved.
And 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”.
Similarly, physicist Lawrence Krause warns regarding the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the concern to teach AI “universal human values” so it will not pose a danger to humanity. Krause says, “This sounds good, in principle, until one tries to define universal human values, because it is difficult “to find consistent examples of logical, ethical, or moral behavior running across time and geography”. The problem, he says, “is the question of who gets to provide the guidance, and what their values are”. It is very much, says Krause, the coding problem of “junk in, junk out”.
Added note: Who said that the most dangerous people in society are those who assume that they know what is best for all others and will coerce others to embrace their view of things, “for their own good” of course, or “for the greater or common good” as they see it.
(Reposting… revised) Woke discomfort with disagreement and with differing others…
“I feel uncomfortable”, Wendell Krossa (Attacks on fundamental freedom of speech)
“I feel hurt, upset… so you should be silent and not offend me. I demand it. My sensitivities, scruples, prickly feelings, and woke progressive views are all that matter and must determine what is right for all others. My personal views must control what all others can say and do”.
Is this the demand of the immature two-year old, the spoiled brat? No. People in grown-up bodies- apparently adults- exhibit this hyper-sensitivity to purported offenses and “micro-aggressions” endlessly today. The hyper-touchiness has been fueling an out-of-control hissy fit of busybody intrusion into the lives of others, with the offended “neo-puritans” on a cultic crusade to deny differing others their fundamental freedom to disagreeing opinion, to dissent, and to free speech. This insanity has spread across Western societies, notably across countries like the US and Canada.
Today claims of “feeling offended, feeling outraged, feeling victimized” have become prevalent as determining values and standards that are being used to authoritatively control other’s opinions, speech, and actions. The claims of feeling offended are being used to coercively censor, silence, ban, exclude, dominate, cancel, and even criminalize disagreeing others.
This exhibits the ugly inhumanity of the totalitarian impulse or spirit. That some believe that they alone know what is best and right for all others and demand that their hurt/upset feelings, in response to the views and speech of diverse others, should determine the speech and behavior of all others. And so they throw childish tantrums, with browbeating threats, to coerce others into backing off. Bullying gone mad, anyone?
And watch how media mindlessly quote these outraged minority mobs as authoritative sources, not to be doubted or challenged. Media will claim, for example, that “Twitter has erupted”, or something “sparked a backlash online”, and that is presented as unquestionable, unchallengeable authority. Really? But who “erupted” and how many? Was it just the usual “trolls” who spend their days searching for something to be offended by, something to explode with outrage over? (Add here the “troll farms” of foreign meddlers trying to influence Western societies, and even AI now apparently using outrage culture techniques to stir things up. See the Lex Fridman interview of Max Tegmark on YouTube regarding this- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcVfceTsD0A).
Such is often the level of “news” reporting today. Some news report or media article will refer to a few Twitter comments from outraged people, most commonly today from extremist Woke Progressives, and end of story. The gods, or “authoritative sources”, have spoken.
But we ask- Are the Twitter eruptions statistically representative of any universe or population? Well, in our anti-science world of today, statistical data on representative averages doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Just quote the outrage mobs, the bullies of today, and use their hissy fit outrage as authoritative “sources say”, even if they only represent minority extremes.
(To balance the minority mobs- Note the years ago comment of Bill Maher, on a Chris Cuomo interview, that surveys have shown that even a majority of Democrats wanted an end to political correctness, just as Republicans wanted when voting for Trump.)
While both sides are guilty of these same pathological reactions and exhibitions of touchy outrage, comedian Bill Burr on a Rogan podcast years ago stated that, even though he was a “lefty”, he had to admit that the worst bullies were from his side- the liberal side of society (also my home side for decades). Others note the Woke Progressive domination in education, in Hollywood, in mainstream media, and varied areas of science (climate science). Many other liberals/Democrats also affirm that the greater threat is more from the liberal or left side today.
The bullying from Woke mobs is very much a pathology gone insane in a sort of “social contagion” manner, and it feeds the overall “madness of crowds” episode that we are living through today in the liberal obsession with extremist Wokeness, climate alarmism, and other hysterias.
And to add to the confusion- There are legitimate elements of threat in the mix, in the scattered incitements to actual violence. But we must not extrapolate those fringe elements out to generalize and demonize all on the other side that we find disagreeable. That extrapolating generalization just distorts fundamental issues and actual situations, and it becomes a form of lying that is used to beat down disagreeing others, to gain advantage over such “enemies” in order to shut them down completely, to cancel all opposition. This has nothing to do with democracy. It is totalitarianism dangerously unleashed.
How to move away from this “offense, victim, outrage culture” and back to sanity?
Aside from the personal development of “thicker skin”… try a return to common love. Re-establish love as the supreme human ideal, your personal ideal. Embrace love as the thing that most defines us as truly human. Love in all its facets- i.e. as unlimited and endless forgiveness of the imperfections and failings of others, as the universal inclusion of all, as the affirmation of human diversity and the right to differ, as respect for the freedom and self-determination of others, as the refusal to become a moral busybody interfering in the choices of others, and especially love as the refusal to use state coercion to dominate and control differing others.
And more… Love as empathy- as the determination to feel what the other is feeling, to suffer with the other. To understand why the other thinks and feels as they do. To give the benefit of the doubt to the other- i.e. acknowledge that some apparent careless and offensive comment may have come from an innocent place- misunderstanding, good intention, etc. Perhaps just joking. To give, not just second chances, but third, fourth, and more chances. To learn what restorative justice really means in practise.
“Love is a many-splendored thing”. Compassion, mercy, kindness, generosity or largeness of spirit (like a Mandela), and more… the better impulses of our human spirit.
“Your speech is hate and dangerous… your speech is harmful… it is incitement to violence, and I feel threatened…”. This claim is made regarding even the jokes of comedians (i.e. see Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special “The Closer”- a “love-letter” to Chappelle’s trans friend). Commonly, the claims of dangerous speech today are made to smear of any person expressing opinions that differ from the dominating Woke Progressivism of controlling elites.
(Reposting) Further note on non-statistical “online” surveys:
The above noted appeal by news outlets to Twitter mob eruptions as final authority sources reminds me of something CNN used to do. They would quote one of their “Online surveys” as an authoritative representation of the American population. Wolf Blitzer did that once on a “news” report that he was making. He referred to an online CNN poll to support some Woke Progressive political opinion that he was affirming. He ended his report with a mild disclaimer that “This is not a scientific survey”.
But that closing qualifier did little to counter or give proper context to the overall tone of the previous comments that he had just made on that issue. He should have clarified further that their online surveys only represent their audience- the people who watch CNN. The CNN audience over the years has, arguably, become less and less representative of the US population in general (the “universe” that a good statistical survey will try to represent). Even many Democrats have left CNN for more balanced reporting on other media. Their audience may now represent more the extremist Woke Progressives that are a small part of the US population.
(Reposting) More on Woke sensitivities…
“The drive to change language in an effort to ensure that no snowflakes, anywhere in the world, could possibly be offended by anything they see or hear ranges from the mundane to the malign…
“In 2020, Dahl’s publisher, Puffin, hired an organization that works with children’s authors and publishers to ensure literature is “inclusive” (read: sanitized) and undertook a review of the author’s collected works…
“The censors looked for any term or phrase that even had the remotest possibility of offending the most fragile of sensibilities….
“The push to alter language is metastasizing like a cancer throughout all facets of society…
“In science, precision matters, and abandoning terms that everyone understands for the sake of “inclusivity” will only serve to cause confusion. Yet it’s clear that when the woke talk about being “inclusive,” they no longer mean “accommodating people who have historically been excluded”; they mean ‘not subjecting people to any references to families or lifestyles that differ from their own’…
“The woke push to scrub common terms from the dictionary is generally carried out by people who feel they should be outraged on behalf of others….
“Perhaps it’s time for those who still have a modicum of common sense to push back by not adhering to the dictates of those who want to infuse science with ideology, and refusing to buy the censored works put out by today’s publishers.”
Interesting that notable public “liberals” today (the side I have long identified with) appear to not understand (or have abandoned) the basics of true liberalism (Classic Liberalism)- i.e. the inclusion of all as equals, protection of the freedom of all as equals, tolerance of diversity of views and speech, etc. Instead, liberals today are largely responsible for censoring, demonizing, dehumanizing, silencing, and banning differing others.
When you regularly smear and demonize the differing other as “racist, fascist, Nazi, threat to democracy, threat to life as in the climate alarm”, etc., then you have created validation to unleash the totalitarian impulse to coercively shut down such threats. Those dehumanized people are not worth protecting because, as you claim, they threaten all existence. You have exaggerated them even to the scale of “existential threats”. You have criminalized their dissent as “dangerous disinformation”, their speech as “violence”.
Where does this insanity end?
More on death concerns:
While I believe that the conscious self survives the death of the meat in our heads- i.e. our brains- and while I don’t believe there is a Christian or religious heaven beyond death (God as no conditions means no religion too, and an eternal religious service- singing religious hymns forever- would be my definition of hell), and while I believe the after-life will be more something like what the NDE accounts try to describe, I am somewhat uncomfortable with leaving this home on Earth. I like it here. I feel comfortable here.
This unexpected concern emerged in my mind after being pushed to face my soon transition to somewhere else (i.e. death from cancer)- the concern of “What will it really be like?” Will transitioning to exist somewhere else be as good as the NDE accounts tell us? I feel comfortable in this world that has been my home for over 7 decades. I do not fear death, but the sights, sounds, smells, and overall sense of familiarity from many years living in this world give me a sense of uneasiness about leaving this home. What will leaving, to go somewhere entirely new, feel like? Yes, there will be family and friends there but a lot of strangers also and so much unknown stuff.
If its not as good as the better NDE accounts say- meaning an inexpressibly wondrous unconditional Love that overwhelms with transcendent bliss, then please blink me out of existence altogether. I don’t want to exist anywhere that is not a blazingly wondrous love.
(Reposting) From Spectator Australia, “Climate change: short on proof, drowning in nonsense” by Alan Moran, Feb. 28, 2023
Note the graph that shows climate related deaths have fallen by 96% over the past century…
“Environmentalism, more particularly its prevalent global warming strain, dominates politics…
“Modern-day environmentalism has embraced forms of socialism – newly re-credited following its demise after the fall of the Soviet bloc – as well as having been reinforced by huckster self-interest in subsidies for politically correct energy supplies…
“Climate change is the harbinger for revolutionary change in economic management and political order. It is proving to be the justification for far-reaching intrusions in commerce and even in muting the freedom to express views.
“Climate alarmism, married with a resurrection of the legitimacy of socialist interventions, an acceptance of higher government spending and a toleration of increased debt has legitimised harmful energy and land-use policies. In Australia (and elsewhere) it has provided the rationale for policies that discriminate against fossil fuels and subsidise wind and solar-based electricity, raising energy costs 2-3 fold above those previously prevailing. Further such policies are planned and will drive additional cost increases and reductions in reliability.”
(Reposting) From Wattsupwiththat.com
“UN Plan to kill free speech headlined by a president who was convicted of corruption”, Eric Worrall, Feb. 23, 2023
“UN bureaucrats and mostly left-wing politicians are pushing to rebuild a societal sense of “shared reality”, by shutting down climate skeptics and other online voices they deem to be “misinformation”.
“The article above does not explicitly mention climate change, though they mentioned “highly organised denial of scientific facts”. The UN has made it pretty clear they consider climate skepticism to be disinformation, so I think we’re pretty safe assuming climate skepticism is part of the set of free speech the UN wants shut down.
“The USA and Canada have also run their own attempts to shut down “disinformation”, like Biden’s short lived “Disinformation Governance Board”, and Canada’s Bill C-11, an ongoing legislative attempt to restrict online free speech.
“I’m actually encouraged by these frantic efforts by mostly left-wing politicians and UN bureaucrats to use coercion to regain control of the narrative, because I see it as evidence they are losing. Across the world people are increasingly doing their own research. Those who crave power over our lives don’t seem to like the conclusions empowered free people are drawing from the evidence.”