Same old patterns: Exaggerated fear… manipulation by apocalyptic prophets… incited survival response… widespread embrace of harmful “salvation” policies.

Same old patterns: There is a direct line from correlated causal factors to related responses. Apocalyptic-scale alarms incite survival fear in populations. Exaggerated fear leads to irrational acceptance of mythical apocalyptic scenarios and embrace of related harmful salvation schemes. The feature of “imminence” in apocalyptic scenarios, with dates repeatedly set just years or decades ahead, heightens fear and pushes populations to abandon democratic processes and embrace totalitarian solutions. Nothing is too crazy when you are told that you must help “save the world”… or else “we are all going to die” because the end is nigh.

Note on the true state of life: End-time dates are repeatedly set, and then reset again and again (goal posts repeatedly moved back), because the end never arrives. The rising and improving trajectory of life and human civilization refuse to cooperate with apocalyptic madness. Life is never perfect, and many problems remain to be solved, but over-all there is improvement across history, progress toward something better and not decline toward something worse. Human goodness and creativity continues to make life on this planet ever better. See ‘Humanprogress.org’ among other sources.

Good news update: https://notrickszone.com/2021/02/24/nasa-vegetation-index-globe-continues-rapid-greening-trend-sahara-alone-shrinks-700000-sq-km/?mc_cid=f8831d8b9b&mc_eid=bbd9cad85f.

Question: Why are the Greens not celebrating the massive greening of our planet? During this “CO2 starvation era”, with a small rise in basic plant food over the past century (increased atmospheric CO2), plant life is once again flourishing. And so animal and human life also benefits and flourishes. However, as was more common over most of past history, plants prefer CO2 levels in the 1000-1500 ppm. Those are more optimal and healthy levels.

Section topics:
– Super-predator gods
– Human story in Campbell’s “Hero’s journey” framework
– Illustrating madness movements in Manoboland
– Indur Goklany- there is no climate emergency.
– Rethinking drugs and addiction.
– Madness movements.
– The paleo-climate big picture for understanding climate issues.
– A list of Alarmist claims versus facts.
– There is a logarithmic decline in the warming influence of CO2 with increasing atmospheric levels (overturns the alarm over rising CO2 levels).
– 18 prominent myths and alternatives in theology/spirituality (the larger mythical background of contemporary alarmism movements like environmental alarmism).
– “Both-sideism” or Independent status.
– Bill Maher and self-awareness

More re site Project: Countering fear, exaggerated and unnecessary fear, notably, the fear some great metaphysical threat behind life, most commonly expressed through myths like apocalypse.

There is an ultimate meaning issue behind much human fear over history. It has to do with how early people, moved by their primary impulse for meaning, understood reality and life and explained that via their myths (systems of belief/meaning). The ancients struggled to understand and explain the obvious imperfections of the world (natural disasters, disease, animal predation and human cruelty) and the consequent suffering from that imperfection. Their solution was the creation of a complex of ideas that have continued to shape human understanding into the present in both religious and “secular” versions. And many of these primitive themes continue to incite unnecessary alarm in populations.

The central theme of early human narratives, the single most prominent pathology that has dominated human consciousness across history, has been the myth of some greater punitive, destroying Force or Spirit that punishes humanity through the natural world. This anti-human myth has deformed human consciousness with fear, anxiety, shame/guilt, and despair.

Bette Midler (Feb. 2021) offered a recent example of this still common belief in divine retaliation through nature- https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/bette-midler-texas-outages-god-punishing-ted-cruz-john-cornyn. She may have been joking somewhat, with only a smidgeon of truthiness, but her comment voiced, once again, the oldest and most destructive religious belief in our history- that of angry, vengeful gods punishing imperfect humanity. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Understanding apocalyptic alarmism and its anti-science mythology.

My own definition: Alarmism exaggerates legitimate problems out to apocalyptic scale with ‘end-of-days’ scenarios (i.e. apocalypse), speculating far beyond credible evidence, thereby distorting the true state of things.

From Wikipedia: “Alarmism is excessive or exaggerated alarm about a real or imagined threat. In the news media, alarmism can be a form of yellow journalism where reports sensationalise a story to exaggerate small risks.”

Another definition… “What is a alarmist person? Noun- a person who tends to raise alarms, especially without sufficient reason, as by exaggerating dangers or prophesying calamities.”

“Alarmist/alarmism” are not used as pejoratives but to distinguish an extremist fringe movement from the general environmental concern that all of us share.

Joe Biden, 2020, “The world is on fire!”

What is the true state of life on Earth? (a brief summary view)

While problems exist everywhere, they are solvable and humanity has done well in caring for and preserving world resources. See, for example, Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’ or ‘Population Bombed’ by Szurmak and Desrochers. Below are the main resources of our world. They are the main indicators of the true state of life on our planet. They all show that life is not declining toward something worse. There is no looming environmental apocalypse.

(1) World forest cover in the 1950s was 3.8 billion hectares (FAO stats). World forest cover today is 4.1-plus billion hectares, despite the world population tripling from 2.4 billion people in the early 1950s to almost 8 billion today. Deforestation rates continue to decline and reforestation/afforestation projects continue to succeed. We are not destroying the world’s forests. http://www.fao.org/forestry/fra/52045/en/

(2) Proven species extinctions. While any species extinction is unacceptable we have dramatically improved our care of nature. Species extinctions are on a notably declining trend line and have decreased from about 5 per year in 1870 to about 0.5 per year today (see the IUCN Red List All Extinct Species by Decade on p.101 of Patrick Moore’s new book ‘Fake Invisible Catastrophes And Threats of Doom’). While nature has destroyed over 95% of all species over the span of life on this planet, compassionate humanity is now protecting species as never before. See Julian Simon’s chapter on the IUCN report on species loss (in Ultimate Resource and other books) and the discredited assumption/correlation between habitat loss and species extinctions. The wrong assumption was that with habitat loss of 90% some 50% of species would go extinct. The assumption did not understand the resiliency, adaptability, and toughness of life. There is no species holocaust occurring.

(3) Climate change (the atmosphere as a main resource): There has been a mild one degree Centigrade of warming over the past century and a half. That slightly warmed our still abnormally cold world. We are in an “ice-age era”. Average surface temperatures today are around 14.5 degrees Centigrade. That is 5 degrees Centigrade below the more optimal average surface temperatures of the past 500 million years (19.5 degrees Centigrade). For over 90% of the past 500 million years there was no ice at the poles. That is a more normal and optimal world. And contrary to the falsified climate models, there is no settled evidence of much more warming occurring in the future. There is no “climate crisis” looming.

Also, most of our Holocene inter-glacial, that began around 11,000 years ago, has been warmer than today. The Holocene Climatic Optimum (roughly 10-5,000 years ago) was about 1 degree C. warmer. From about 5,000 years ago our interglacial began a long-term cooling trend (the “Neoglacial” period). However, two warm periods- The Roman Warm Period (250 BCE to 400 CE) and The Medieval Warm Period (950- 1,250 CE)- were warmer than today. Life overall and human civilization has flourished during such warming periods. (Correction: Previous comments re earlier Holocene temperatures 2-4 degrees C higher were references to localized situations and not global averages.)

(4) Ocean fisheries are not collapsing and aquaculture is meeting the growing human demand for fish. See Ray Hilborn reports and FAO summaries on fisheries. The world fisheries are not being decimated. https://www.washington.edu/news/2020/01/13/fisheries-management-is-actually-working-global-analysis-shows/

(5) The overall agricultural land-base is not severely degrading. Also, any soil erosion must be understood in net terms, as related to new soil regeneration rates. Further, over the past century and more, we have returned hundreds of millions of hectares of agricultural land back to nature as hi-yield GM crops enable farmers to produce more crop on the same or less land. We have probably already passed “peak-agricultural land” use. Humanity now produces 25% more food than we need. Hydroponics will also meet much of future food demands.

These, and other indicators, show that the overall long-term trajectory of life is improving, not worsening.

And a note to all of our children: Do not fear the future on our planet. With continued wealth creation we will continue to solve the remaining world resource problems and life will continue to get ever better than before. Your personal contribution to making life better will add to humanity’s overall success.

Section topics: Two best things happening today- the increase in basic plant food (rising CO2 levels) and the slight warming of an abnormally cold world; Dangerous patterns and outcomes in alarmism movements; Always the same old, same old (the same complex of primitive themes/myths have repeated across all history and across all the cultures of the world and still dominate world religions and contemporary ideologies like environmental alarmism; Two stories of life- decline and progress. Both cannot be true; Climate denialism/skepticism, alarmism, and good science; The death issue- arguments for why the conscious self does not die but transitions to an infinitely better existence; Resurging tribalism and the pettiness of retaliation cycles (eye for eye ethics); Fundamental shared values. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The four main essays

The 4 most important essays on this site: (1) Old Story Themes, New Story Alternatives (18 alternatives to the primitive mythical ideas that continue to dominate most human narratives today, whether religious or “secular”); (2) Buried under the Christ myth- History’s single most profound insight, the discovery that deity is a non-retaliatory, no conditions reality (no judgment, no exclusion of anyone, no punishment or destruction). This insight has been buried under the retaliatory, highly conditional Christ myth of Paul; (3) Living a human story- some interaction with Joseph Campbell’s points on the ‘Hero’s Journey’; (4) The Two Main Approaches to Organizing Human Societies- Collectivism versus the free individual (Left/Right, with mixed versions, and the immense benefits of Classic Liberalism).

Preface to Old Story/New Story themes Wendell Krossa

The belief/behavior relationship, or theology/ethics relationship, is as old as conscious humanity. People, driven/inspired by their primary impulse for meaning, have always tried to model their lives and societies according to some greater ideal or authority, mainly deity. Plato did this with his argument that the ideal life and society should be shaped according to the invisible Forms or perfect Ideals. The Hebrews followed this pattern in the Old Testament, shaping all aspects of their lives and society according to what they believed was the law, word, and will of their God. Anthropologist Clifford Geertz noted this practice among the Balinese of Indonesia who built their villages and homes according to what they believed was the divine model.

The critical role of belief in shaping human behavior and society (inspiring, validating human behavior) makes it vitally important that our guiding ideals/authorities are fully humane, in line with common humanity’s ever-advancing understanding of the authentically humane in all areas of life.

The 18 “Old story themes” below are some of the most dominant and influential ideas in history. They have shaped human consciousness across history via mythical and religious traditions. They continue to shape the worldviews of most moderns in “secular” or ideological versions.

The consequences from these subhuman ideas have been, and still are, significantly damaging, both personally and across wider societies. Evidence? On the personal level see psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s Cruel God, Kind God. See also the Millennial Studies historians noted in sections below- Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles. They have detailed how the ‘apocalyptic millennial’ complex of ideas contributed to the mass-death movements of the past century (Marxism, Nazism, environmental alarmism). Mendel (Vision and Violence) was right to conclude that “apocalyptic has been the most violent and destructive idea in history”. Also, Bob Brinsmead has often reminded us that “Men never do greater evil than when they do it in the name of God”.

The project to embrace better alternatives is about the full transformation and liberation of consciousness, and more humane outcomes in human life. The old ideas are no longer credible for defining or explaining reality and life.

(Revised) Old story themes, new story alternatives (rethinking 18 of the most fundamental ideas from across human history)

1. Old story theme: The myth of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality that metes out final justice- rewarding the good, punishing the bad (i.e. threat theology). This myth continues as the cohering center of the world religions and is now also given expression in ‘secular’ versions such as vengeful Gaia, angry planet, pissed Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma- all the new retaliatory, destroying gods of environmental alarmism, history’s latest apocalyptic movement.

The myth of God as a retaliating, punishing reality has long under-girded human justice as similarly retaliatory and punitive. From early human beginnings, belief in a punitive deity has incited and affirmed the demand for punitive response to human imperfection and failure.

This primitive view of deity as punitive, of God as the Ultimate Destroyer (via apocalypse, hell), is the single most important “bad idea” to engage and correct. All other bad religious ideas are anchored to this foundational pathology in human thought.

New story alternative: The “stunning new theology” that God (Ultimate Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence, Source) is an inexpressible “no conditions love”, a non-retaliatory Reality. The adjective “unconditional” points to our highest understanding of love and is therefore most critical for defining deity as transcendent “Goodness”. Takeaway? There is no ultimate judgment, no ultimate exclusion of anyone, no demand for payment or sacrifice to appease angry deity, no need for redemption or salvation, and no ultimate punishment or destruction of anyone (no such mind-perverting horror as “hell”).

Why bother with these speculative metaphysical corrections? Because we need to counter humanity’s “primal fear of after-life harm” that is the outcome of millennia of shaman/priests/pastors beating bad religious ideas into human consciousness and subconscious. Also, we need to sever the age-old relationship of validating bad behavior with bad beliefs. However you may try to affirm justice as punitive treatment of the failures of others, know that deity as unconditional reality does not validate such efforts. See “The Christian Contradiction (Historical Jesus versus Paul’s Christ myth)”, below. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The ultimate liberation- freedom from primal fears

Section topics: Going Green is going to hurt… a lot; Justin messing up grade school science; Alarmist exaggeration and hysteria; David Altheide on Creating Fear: News and the construction of crisis; Richard Lindzen on the “saturation” of the CO2 warming effect; The insane demonization and fear of CO2; The most basic of common shared values; Ideas and their impacts; End the curse of threat theology, both religious and environmental versions; Forget and repeat (apocalyptic millennial ideas in the mass-death movements of Marxism, Nazism, and now environmental alarmism; Blocking totalitarianism; Climate change agreement (basic assumptions in the climate debate).

Alarmist exaggeration and hysteria

Environmental alarmism exaggerates problems in life with speculation that is wildly beyond observed evidence. Alarmists focus on imperfections and natural changes in our world and exaggerate potential problems out to apocalyptic-scale and then prophesy that the end of the world is coming. That is stunningly irresponsible and dangerous fear-mongering with elements of pathological nihilism and anti-humanism (i.e. blame humanity for all problems).

Alarmism incites the worst of human emotions and responses. Alarmism burdens people with unnecessary fear, anxiety, and depression (i.e. majorities of the world population now believe that the world is getting worse). Alarmism irresponsibly arouses the survival impulse in populations and that overrides the rationality of many people. Alarmists then manipulate populations to embrace salvation schemes (i.e. “save the world”) that have far worse outcomes than the purported original problem.

The salvation schemes of alarmists advocate the need for “coercive purging” of some imagined threat. Alarmist salvationism argues for subverting normal democratic processes, banning dissent, silencing skeptics, and even criminalizing opponents to their apocalyptic movement. They advocate for the “instantaneous transformation” of society and life because the threat is always imminent and dire. There is no time for discussion debate, or disagreement. Dates must be legislated and enforced with state coercion because the alarmist’s apocalyptic vision is unquestionable dogma/truth.

The outcomes of alarmist terrorism have been horrifically destructive as evident in these examples: Rachel Carson’s apocalyptic narrative in Silent Spring influenced the ban on DDT that resulted in the unnecessary deaths of millions of people in following decades, many of them children (see The Excellent Powder by Tren and Roberts). The bio-fuels fiasco resulted in rising food prices for the poorest people and further deforestation for palm oil plantations. The anti-GM crops/foods activism resulted in the unnecessary deaths of millions of children denied Vitamin A in Golden Rice. The push for decarbonization has already harmed the poorest people with rising energy prices and will further devastate the populations of developing countries that are trying to escape poverty with the help of inexpensive fossil fuels.

Understand the background narratives- i.e. notably apocalyptic mythology- that fuel alarmist movements. This site probes the history and main themes of the apocalyptic complex of themes and their descent down through history- from primitive mythologies, to world religions, to the “secular” ideologies of our contemporary world (i.e. Declinism- the myth that life declines toward some great catastrophic collapse and ending). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Love at the core of reality- the rejection of divine threat

Section topics: Musing on theology- greater reality as Mind, Consciousness, and Self; Projecting subhuman features onto Ultimate Reality (monster gods); The features of humanity’s highest ideal and authority- deity- and the powerful influence on human life; Punitive, destroying deity and mass-death outcomes (a critical correlation- ‘apocalyptic millennial’ themes in Marxism, Nazism, and environmental alarmism); The alternative to punitive/destroying deity- God as no conditions Love; The true state of life on earth- evidence on the status of basic resources; Fear as manipulation (social control); Resurging tribalism; The logarithmically declining influence of CO2 on climate; Offensive justice (restorative); Today’s petty ‘eye for eye’ cycles.

End the insanity of apocalyptic hysteria, now oriented to the end-of-days coming via imminent “climate catastrophe”. A critical requirement: Bring down the punitive, destroying God at the core of apocalyptic mythology. Apocalyptic- “the most violent and destructive myth in history”- is still one of the most prominent myths of humanity, in both religious and secular versions. This site is a project to go to the root of the problem and counter the primitive “threat theology” of apocalyptic. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Don’t fear the basic food of life- CO2. It is not dangerously warming the planet. It is greening our planet.

Quotes from link below: “Hayden’s paper reinforces the findings of W. A. van Wijngaarden and W. Happer (W & H): adding CO2 to today’s atmosphere will not cause significant (or dangerous) warming… As the concentration increases, the strength wanes. Somewhat like the acceleration of a car, without gears. Initially, it will accelerate quickly but as it reaches maximum speed, acceleration slows, no matter how hard the driver presses the gas petal to the floor. As the concentration of CO2 increases the influence of each molecule declines.

“The lesson here is that at low concentrations, CO2 is a very effective Infrared Radiation (IR) absorber, hence a very effective greenhouse gas. By this, we mean that if a bit more CO2 is added, the greenhouse effect increases substantially.

“At higher CO2 concentrations, adding more CO2 does little to increase the greenhouse effect, for the simple reason that most (not all) of the IR that CO2 can absorb is already absorbed.” When CO2 ceases to be an effective IR absorber, the wavelengths are said to be saturated. Additional absorption requires absorption by other IR wavelengths, which are not absorbed as readily.

“In other words, at very low concentrations, CO2 is a strong Greenhouse Gas (GHG); at the present concentration, CO2 is a weak GHG. This information has been around since long before Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, and long before the First Assessment Report FAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…

“The paper reinforces the research showing the relationship between CO2 and temperatures are logarithmic. Adding CO2 to the current atmosphere will cause little warming, and carbon dioxide capture and sequestering is an exercise of little value.”

Source:

Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #432

Section topics: The liberating role of blasphemy; The contradiction between the theology of Historical Jesus (non-retaliatory deity) and Paul’s theology of ultimate divine retaliation; The transformation of an ultimate ideal/authority- deity; Common shared values; Ongoing hysteria (panic-porn) over the natural world and natural change in climate; Basic climate facts; Two best things happening today (more plant food in a CO2 starvation era and more warmth in a suboptimal ice-age era); Deliver a death blow to humanity’s greatest monster and enemy- threat theology; More on climate change; Don’t scare the kids with apocalyptic nonsense. Help them know the true state of life as improving (Julian Simon); Rejecting the oppositional dualism of either religion or materialism/atheism as the two alternatives available to humanity; and more…

Blasphemy as defense of freedom

Most definitions state that blasphemy is “not respecting, insulting, or showing contempt for God, religion, or sacred things”. And it offends religious people.

These definitions miss a larger point. Blasphemy when done well is not primarily about offending, hurting, or humiliating religious devotees but about serving the larger purpose of protecting human freedom. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The complex of “bad ideas”, and alternatives

Preface to Old Story/New Story themes

The belief/behavior relationship, or theology/ethics relationship, is as old as conscious humanity. People, driven/inspired by their primary impulse for meaning, have always tried to model their lives and societies according to some greater ideal or authority, mainly deity. Plato did this with his argument that the ideal life and society should be shaped according to the invisible Forms or perfect Ideals. The Hebrews followed this pattern in the Old Testament, shaping all aspects of their lives and society according to what they believed was the law, word, and will of their God. Anthropologist Clifford Geertz noted this practice among the Balinese of Indonesia who built their villages and homes according to what they believed was the divine model.

The critical role of belief in shaping human behavior and society (inspiring, validating human behavior) makes it vitally important that our guiding ideals/authorities are fully humane, in line with common humanity’s ever-advancing understanding of the authentically humane in all areas of life.

The 18 “Old story themes” below are some of the most dominant and influential ideas in history. They have shaped human consciousness across history via mythical and religious traditions. They continue to shape the worldviews of most moderns in “secular” or ideological versions.

The consequences from these subhuman ideas have been, and still are, significantly damaging, both personally and across wider societies. Evidence? On the personal level see psychotherapist Zenon Lotufo’s Cruel God, Kind God. See also the Millennial Studies historians noted in sections below- Richard Landes, Arthur Mendel, and David Redles. They have detailed how the ‘apocalyptic millennial’ complex of ideas contributed to the mass-death movements of the past century (Marxism, Nazism, environmental alarmism). Mendel (Vision and Violence) was right to conclude that “apocalyptic has been the most violent and destructive idea in history”. Also, Bob Brinsmead has often reminded us that “Men never do greater evil than when they do it in the name of God”.

The project to embrace better alternatives is about the full transformation and liberation of consciousness, and more humane outcomes in human life. The old ideas are no longer credible for defining or explaining reality and life.

(Revised) Old story themes, new story alternatives (rethinking 18 of the most fundamental ideas from across human history)

1. Old story theme: The myth of deity as a judging, punishing, and destroying reality that metes out final justice- rewarding the good, punishing the bad (i.e. threat theology). This myth continues as the cohering center of the world religions and is now also given expression in ‘secular’ versions such as vengeful Gaia, angry planet, pissed Mother Earth, retributive Universe, and payback karma- all the new retaliatory, destroying gods of environmental alarmism, history’s latest apocalyptic movement.

The myth of God as a retaliating, punishing reality has long under-girded human justice as similarly retaliatory and punitive. From early human beginnings, belief in a punitive deity has incited and affirmed the demand for punitive response to human imperfection and failure.

This primitive view of deity as punitive, of God as the Ultimate Destroyer (via apocalypse, hell), is the single most important “bad idea” to engage and correct. All other bad religious ideas are anchored to this foundational pathology in human thought. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The Christ myth- separating diamonds from dung.

The fundamental problem with Paul’s Christ myth was outlined by Thomas Jefferson and Leo Tolstoy. They stated that the Christ of Paul “buries the diamonds” of Historical Jesus. The message of Jesus emphasized the themes of unlimited forgiveness and inclusion of all (sun and rain given to both good and bad), unconditional love (no payment or sacrifice demanded before forgiving- e.g. the Prodigal Father), and non-retaliatory justice (no eye for eye retaliation).

Paul’s Christ buries these themes in the “dung” of highly conditional salvationism- i.e. the appeasement of angry deity with the condition of a blood sacrifice as required payment (see Romans, Hebrews), the exclusion of unbelievers (Romans and elsewhere- note the condition of faith in Paul’s Christ for inclusion in salvation), and ultimate retaliation/punishment through apocalypse or hell (see the Thessalonian letters). The conditional religious mythology of Paul buries the unconditional reality that Jesus taught.

Preface to “Christian Contradiction”

Across history people have appealed to deity, as humanity’s highest ideal and authority, to validate their behavior and their treatment of others, notably, to validate justice as the punishment of others for wrongs done. That is the ‘behavior based on similar belief’ relationship. People have long used the features of retaliation and punishment in divinity as the ultimate validation for punitive, payback justice toward offending others. But Historical Jesus swept away that basis of divine validation by stating that God did not retaliate (“no more eye for eye”) but, to the contrary, generously forgave, included, and loved all people whether good or bad (“love your enemies… sun and rain given to both righteous and unrighteous”). Conclusion? You violate the central message of Historical Jesus if you try to use him or his theology to validate retaliatory, punitive justice. Christian Jesus (Paul’s “Jesus Christ”) of course, is another matter altogether. But that mythical Christ is something entirely opposite to Historical Jesus.

“The great Christian Contradiction” (Historical Jesus versus Paul’s Christ myth):

The feature of ‘unconditional’ should be central to an authentically humane theology (God theory or Ultimate Reality theory). Below, I appeal to the Jesus tradition to establish this point. But my argument is not dependent on first establishing the actual message of the original Jesus. I do not view Jesus as an authority figure and I do not need his actual words (the “original message”) as critical to affirm my point regarding an unconditional theology. I simply refer to the useful comments in the Jesus material (e.g. “love your enemy”) to illustrate something (i.e. unconditional) that stands on its own as authoritative.

Unconditional is the best of being human and holds authority in itself as ultimate goodness without the need for validation by some religious authority. It is “self-validating” as good or true. Unconditional does not need validation from Jesus but I do not mind touching base with such widely respected icons/symbols for illustrative purposes.

Unconditional love is not a religious insight or discovery. To the contrary, religious traditions across history have been essentially conditional traditions- promoting religious demands for right beliefs, correct rituals, required religious lifestyles to please religious deities, and the necessary conditions for religious salvation (i.e. sacrifices, payments). Religion as a conditional institution has never communicated the stunning unconditional nature of deity to humanity. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Living a human story

A framework for understanding human story (some essential features of human life and experience, or “the meaning of life”)

Scattered throughout his books, Joseph Campbell presents an outline for understanding human life/human story- i.e. the point or meaning of it all. I have added to his basic framework, revising, paraphrasing, and changing some things.

Jumping right in… The point of human life? We are here to love, to learn what love is and how to love. This is the fundamental reason for the cosmos, our world, and conscious human life.

Where Campbell used the term “universal love” to define the transition to human maturity and “heroic” human story, I would use the broader term “unconditional” or “no conditions” love. It includes universal and more. My point: Unconditional, as our highest human ideal (the most humane expression of love), gives meaning to everything. It answers all the great questions: “Why existence?”; “Why this cosmos and this world?”; and “Why conscious human life?” Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Patterns and outcomes of alarmism eruptions

Patterns and outcomes to watch in alarmist movements

First, alarmism exaggerates real problems in our world that must be confronted and solved. Alarmism exaggerates such problems to apocalyptic-scale with “end-of-days” scenarios and prophesies, speculating far beyond evidence. This is being done today with climate alarmism and the claims that we face a “climate crisis or catastrophe”. That exaggeration distorts the true state of things. With only one degree Centigrade of warming over the past century, our still abnormally cold world is not in danger of over-heating (see Two Best Things Happening Today for paleo-climate context).

Examples: Senator AOC prophesied in 2018 that we only have 12 years to the end of the world. Or the father of global warming alarmism, James Hansen, who prophesied in 2008 that “Its all over in five years”. President Obama’s science advisor, John Holdren, prophesied that one billion people would die by 2020. Even Stephen Hawking joined the apocalyptic brigade in the last two years of his life, prophesying the end in 100 years. The element of apocalyptic is endlessly projected onto real problems to profoundly distort the true state of things.

Julian Simon in Ultimate Resource showed us how to find our way to a better understanding of the true state of something. He argued that we should include the complete big picture evidence on the thing under consideration, and note the longest-term trends associated with that thing (e.g. paleo-climate history as vital to understanding climate changes across history, see for example Ian Plimer’s detail on paleo-climate history in Heaven and Earth). Read the rest of the opening comment here

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Conquering fear with rational hope. An anti-alarmism site.

Section comments below: ‘Three nasty inherited animal impulses’- i.e. tribal exclusion, alpha domination, and retaliatory destruction. Counter these with ‘Three markers of authentic humanity’- i.e. the humane impulses to embrace the fundamental oneness of our human family, to respect the freedom and self-determination of others, and restorative justice toward all human imperfection. Also, ‘Patterns in alarmism movements, and outcomes’. Then- ‘Two best things happening today’- more plant food during an era of plant starvation, and more beneficial warmth during a sub-optimal ice-age era; ‘Theological musing’- purging pathology in deity theories; ‘Reflexive skepticism, not denial’; ‘Fear and social control’; ‘The never-ending end times prophesies’ of alarmism movements; ‘Deeper roots of alarmism in apocalyptic mythology’; and ‘Overturning threat theology’.

Many have commented on the “creeping totalitarianism” notable in things like ‘cancel culture’ and its intolerance of human diversity, freedom of speech, and alternative views. See also material below on ‘fear and social control’ (News media and the promotion of crisis/catastrophe).

US liberals warn of the intolerance of cancel culture- https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/maher-panel-blasts-cancel-culture. Conrad Black on Collectivists finding new life for their anti-industrial society crusade- eco-alarmism- https://nationalpost.com/opinion/black080120

From original apocalyptic to contemporary alarmism: The never-ending embrace of despair and nihilism. The worst ideas that we have inherited from primitive minds continue to shape our modern narratives and consciousness.

Orienting comments: An important question- Why do so many of us continue to believe the alarmist scenarios of environmental collapse and destruction? Why the stubborn persistence of many to focus on the darker side of life, to believe the worst scenarios will happen, and then to promote fear, despite the fact that apocalyptic has never come to pass (The 100% failure rate across history)? And to the contrary, amassed evidence shows that life continues to improve on all fronts (see sources below).

I would argue that many embrace apocalyptic catastrophism because of the residual influence of the apocalyptic complex of ideas that has been beaten into human consciousness since the beginning, starting back in prehistory. That complex is now embedded in the human subconscious. Those myths distort life entirely but they continue to shape our outlook today, and orient many of us to reflexively believe that the worst will happen. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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The two basic approaches to organizing human societies

Section topics: The two main approaches to organizing human societies (the orientation to the individual or the orientation to the collective, the benefits of Classic Liberalism).

Scattered comment: Jim Baggott on “Mass” (quantum research and conclusions); Materialism/atheism or religion (and other alternatives for the human meaning impulse); Gradualism in human progress versus the violence of “instantaneous transformation” movements; Eruptions of public hatred (tribalism, outrage and cancel culture); Defending an unconditional approach to imperfect humanity (not pacifism but restorative justice); A framework for understanding human story.

The Two Main Approaches to Organizing Human Societies

Daniel Hannan in “Inventing Freedom”

Hannan on the Western contribution to the world: Personal property rights, personal liberty, and representative government. “There are three irreducible elements… The rule of law… the government of the day doesn’t get to set the rules… they are interpreted by independent magistrates… the law is not an instrument of state control but a mechanism open to any individual seeking redress…

“Personal liberty… freedom to say what you like, to assemble in any configuration you choose with your fellow citizens, to buy and sell without hindrance, to dispose as you wish of your assets, to work for whom you please, and to hire and fire as you will…”

“Representative government… Laws should not be passed, nor taxes levied, except by elected legislators who are answerable to the rest of us…”

“… the individual should be as free as possible from state coercion… (wars for freedom in the last century were between countries that elevated the state over individuals and countries that elevated the individual over the state) …”

Left/Right (and the immense benefits of Classic Liberalism)

The comment below comes from a “fiercely Independent” viewpoint. Kinda like Goldilocks- not too far Left, not too far Right. Sort of Libertarianish or Classic Liberalism. Just floating like a butterfly, free to alight wherever, enjoy the nectar, and then move on. A self that is free in an open process and not fixed rigidly on any object (i.e. not finding identity in some fixed ideology, religion, nationality, race/ethnicity, or other objects of human identity) as per The Mutable Self of Louis Zurcher. Read the rest of the opening comment here

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