Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
It is 100 seconds to midnight…
In 2020, online lying literally killed…deliberate attempts (sometimes by national leaders) to disseminate misinformation and disinformation…
a “massive ‘infodemic’—an over-abundance of information …makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it…”
Is The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy your response to this very near and present existential threat?
“Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen.”
I know a woman who, every time she crosses a bridge on her way to work, worries that her car will plunge through the side barriers into the river. That thought doesn’t even cross my mind. I’m certain my driving skills and the bridge will hold up to the challenge.
Like me driving over a yawning chasm, most people trust in their ability to figure out the truth intuitively, without need to gather and study any data about the subject at hand.
But the truth is, we can’t always trust people, places and things.
And we can’t always trust ourselves, really.
So most of the time most of us use emotional defense mechanisms to overcome the natural fear of failure of safety systems.
I propose that knowledge is the better guide to safety, and the only means of making wise decisions.
Choosing who to trust is an inescapable fact of life in a world roiled by uncontrollable natural, political, social and personal forces. By deliberate choice or default by inaction, we are forced to trust a claimed authority.
We can group authorities by philosophy, science and religion. The key difference between these three authorities is
- how they arrive at their conclusions, i.e. beliefs,
- which is driven by what they are studying.
- Philosophy, which includes psychology, is most applicable for understanding the behaviors directed by the personality, i.e. soul.
- Science is most applicable for understanding material substance, e.g. the body.
- Religion is most applicable for understanding life energy, i.e. the spirit, and any possible continuation of life energizing the soul / personhood after the body stops being energized.
In-duction is a process where in-stances of in-dividuals’ behavior are used to form arguments and premises to develop a generalization or a conclusion that can be attributed to much more than the in-itial subjects.
Psychology is a subsection of philosophy, and uses induction to draw conclusions about individualized human nature in the entire population.
Due to the limited data used by philosophers for their theses, there is a high probability of a faulty extrapolation to the larger population of other genders, cultures, age groups, etc.
Since philosophical reflections begin with the philosopher’s personal observations, philosophical conclusions are inevitably colored by the philosopher’s prejudice. Most of all, while typically expressed as facts, philosophical conclusions are in reality only opinions which may be overthrown by a paradigm shift.
Since philosophical conclusions often start with the premise that there is no God, they aren’t trustworthy for considering any spiritual empowerment in solving problems.
And that’s not a rabid Christian speaking. That’s Norman Mailer.
It is, after all, near to impossible for a philosopher to explore how we are here without entertaining some notion of what the prior force might have been. Cosmic speculation is asphyxiated if existence came into being ex nihilo [out of nothing].
That’s Francis Bacon…the father of empiricism and the scientific method, which remained influential throughout the scientific revolution…
As a philosopher, Francis Bacon was aware of the fundamental flaw of philosophy – the philosopher’s personal opinions coloring his/her opinions about everyone else. So Francis Bacon devised a system to overcome, or cancel out, the thinker’s personal opinion…use of a skeptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves…This method was a new rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, the practical details of which are still central in debates about science and methodology.
In the reverse process of in-ductive reasoning, de-duction starts with general information to arrive at specific conclusions. Science primarily uses de-duction in research. The greater amount of data gives science greater credibility than philosophy.
As with philosophy, scientific conclusions are often presented or accepted as facts, but in fact science only derives generally accepted explanations about material reality. Even the cardinal fact-finder, the scientific method, is only applicable when direct observation is possible, and must be validated by repeated experiments.
When experimentation is not possible, science
- formulates a hypothesis based on observation, then
- develops a theory via imagination,
- bolstered by assuming regularity and similarity to known conditions.
If just one assumption is wrong, then the conclusion is wrong.
Because life after death isn’t accessible for observation or experimentation, the scientific method can’t give answers to the questions about its reality or condition, and can only speculate.
Many scientific theories, such as evolution and the Big Bang, begin with the philosophy that God does not exist, then invent a more-or-less plausible alternate explanation for currently observed reality.
True science does not reject all potential explanations until they are eliminated by evidence. Because these proposed events are inaccessible to our time and the scientific requirement of observation, evidence cannot be obtained and these ideas therefore remain in the domain of philosophy. They are, quite obviously, flawed by the philosopher’s personal rejection of a creator God.
Anyone justifying their own rejection of a higher authority by trusting in this science falsely so-called has an eminently hazardous escape hatch from facing what may turn out to be their timeless / eternal creator God at death.
Religion contrasts with both science and philosophy in that rather than observation by in-duction or de-duction, it depends on revelation for truth.
Some form of religion is found in every known culture, and it is usually practiced in a public way...
functional definitions define religion by what it does…“Religion is a system of beliefs and practices by means of which a group struggles with the ultimate problems of human life…”
With that definition, it can be seen that any purportedly scientific or philosophical teachings involving aspects of human experience that are unknowable by direct observation are, in fact, religious teachings on which people base their faith on someone’s revelation.
Like philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche pronouncement that “God is dead”, or Richard Dawkins pronouncement that “God never existed.”
“Books about evolution present overwhelming… evidence…When a science book is wrong, somebody eventually discovers the mistake and it is corrected.”
Whaaat? In the same breath you preach a dogmatic trust in science books while admitting continuous errors in scientific claims? Can you recognize the cult leader in this man?
Most of all, his claim that there is overwhelming quantities of mutually buttressed evidence for evolution is a flat out lie.
Belief in evolution is…passionately defended by the scientific establishment, despite the lack of any observable scientific evidence…This odd situation is briefly documented here by citing recent statements from leading evolutionists admitting their lack of proof…
Even doctrinaire-atheistic evolutionist Richard Dawkins admits that atheism cannot be proved to be true.
Of course we can’t prove that there isn’t a God.
Therefore, they must believe it, and that makes it a religion…
Eminent scientific philosopher and ardent Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse…
Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as…a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality . . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today…
They must believe in evolution, therefore, in spite of all the evidence, not because of it….
We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, . . . in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated commitment to materialism. . . . we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive…for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
The author of this frank statement is Richard Lewontin of Harvard….An evolutionist reviewing a recent book by another (but more critical) evolutionist, says:
We cannot identify ancestors or “missing links,” and we cannot devise testable theories to explain how particular episodes of evolution came about. Gee is adamant that all the popular stories about how the first amphibians conquered the dry land, how the birds developed wings and feathers for flying, how the dinosaurs went extinct, and how humans evolved from apes are just products of our imagination, driven by prejudices and preconceptions.
A fascinatingly honest admission by a physicist indicates the passionate commitment of establishment scientists to naturalism. Speaking of the trust students naturally place in their highly educated college professors, he says:
And I use that trust to effectively brainwash them. . . . our teaching methods are primarily those of propaganda...We only introduce arguments and evidence that supports the currently accepted theories and omit or gloss over any evidence to the contrary…
the reader is reminded again that all quotations in the article are from doctrinaire evolutionists…The evolutionists themselves, to all intents and purposes, have shown that evolutionism is not science, but religious faith in atheism.
The leading evolutionist is generally considered to be Sir Julian Huxley, primary architect of modern neo-Darwinism. Huxley called evolution a “religion without revelation” and wrote a book with that title (2nd edition, 1957). In a later book…he argued passionately that we must change “our pattern of religious thought from a God-centered to an evolution-centered pattern…” “The God hypothesis . . . is becoming an intellectual and moral burden on our thought…we must construct something to take its place…”
Humanism is: A joyous alternative to religions that believe in a supernatural god and life in a hereafter. Humanists believe that this is the only life of which we have certain knowledge and that we owe it to ourselves and others to make it the best life possible for ourselves and all with whom we share this fragile planet. A belief that when people are free to think for themselves, using reason and knowledge as their tools, they are best able to solve this world’s problems…Humanism is, in sum, a philosophy of those in love with life. Humanists take responsibility for their own lives and relish the adventure of being part of new discoveries, seeking new knowledge, exploring new options. Instead of finding solace in prefabricated answers to the great questions of life, humanists enjoy the open-endedness of a quest and the freedom of discovery that this entails.
– The Humanist Society of Western New York
Let’s objectively examine some of these statements.
- Humanists believe that this is the only life of which we have certain knowledge.
- That’s a direct contradiction. You either believe or you know. Isn’t that why religion is accused of being a coping mechanisms against the unknown? Belief vs scientific proof?
- Humanists free to think for themselves, using reason and knowledge, are best able to solve world problems.
- Frankly, most people don’t have the freedom to do much thinking about world problems or even to gain much education. Most people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table and their family members alive and intact. Humanism is quite frankly an elitist pastime, not a democratic experience.
- Humanists don’t accept “prefabricated” answers to the problem of life.
- It should be self-evident that “prefabricated” responses to crises are based on laws of human nature demonstrated over thousands of years at every social level from a couple with a safe word to a medical team working in close harmony to resuscitate an accident victim to a city with law enforcement teams responding to a riot to health agents responding to a natural disaster to nations engaging in international relations with treaties backed up by military force. Surely that data is valuable evidence? If you collapse one day do you want your bystanders to use a prefabricated response with CPR or a humanist to relish the adventure of exploring new options to resuscitate you?
- Humanists relish the adventure of being part of new discoveries.
- Seriously? Like all the new emerging diseases from humanity’s reckless disregard of ecological balance? The problem is that discovery more often than not entails an inability to manage the unknown.
The coronavirus pandemic, suspected of originating in bats and pangolins, has brought the risk of viruses that jump from wildlife to humans into stark focus.
These leaps often happen at the edges of the world’s tropical forests, where deforestation is increasingly bringing people into contact with animals’ natural habitats. Yellow fever, malaria, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ebola – all of these pathogens have spilled over from one species to another at the margins of forests.
It is time to replace rosy colored lenses with clear vision, to see the whole reality of the world we live in, not limited to the gracious homes, exotic getaways, classy restaurants, elegant fine arts venues and mirrored halls of the elite we watch on television and somehow justify identifying ourselves with because its our value system, even when its not our reality.
Any humanistic value system is absolutely based on identifying with the powerful who exploit the weak.
And why is that? “[I]n sum, a philosophy of those in love with life. Humanists take responsibility for their own lives.”
What about all the others in the world? A small minority of the world’s population hogs the majority of the resources, heartless to the suffering they cause.
The human race does not end in a win for mankind. Even the scattered survivors of an apocalypse will wipe each other out if left to their standard modus operandi.
That is what makes The Walking Dead so horrifyingly true to life. The zombies aren’t the greatest threat. It’s the other survivors.
The reality is utterly contradictory to human nature. “It’s either us or nobody.”
During the past twenty-five years, scientists have challenged conventional views of evolution and the organization of living systems and have developed new theories with revolutionary philosophical and social implications…In The Web of Life, Capra offers a brilliant synthesis of such recent scientific breakthroughs as the theory of complexity, Gaia theory, chaos theory, and other explanations of the properties of organisms, social systems, and ecosystems. Capra’s surprising findings stand in stark contrast to accepted paradigms of mechanism and Darwinism and provide an extraordinary new foundation for ecological policies that will allow us to build and sustain communities without diminishing the opportunities for future generations.
The truth is that only by changing the way we as individuals treat each other from exploiting to sharing resources will we be able to reconcile broken families, resolve race relations, and bring about the peaceful and just international relations we need to ensure the survival of the species.
And that is the original program, and the offer of salvation by redemption back to, in the guidebook written by the Creator God and Sustainer of all existence.
Don’t panic. This blog book is not an evangelical attempt to convert you to Christianity. Absolutely not.
I grew up attending a Baptist church every Sunday for Sunday School where I memorized the books of the Bible and all the key verses, morning and evening church services where I was indoctrinated into the key beliefs, every Wednesday night for prayer meeting where I took part in the key practice of begging God for what we wanted, Thursday afternoon neighborhood Joy Club where we offered our salvation and way of life to kids who didn’t want it, Friday night Awana Club where I memorized an entire chapter per week, Vacation Bible School every summer for grateful moms taking advantage of free babysitting, private Bible time in the mornings before school, an hour of Bible study led by our preacher Dad after supper every evening.
And none of it made sense. We were just supposed to believe, like Wendy in Peter Pan.
Worse yet, the longer I was in church the more I experienced the hypocrisy, outright lies and gross exploitation by narcissistic antisocial leaders of gullible believers. After tossing out the whole package then realizing I really needed a higher power beyond my limitations in my life I started to study just what God said. Not the religious leaders. Just God.
And I learned that the Bible conveys the most fascinating account of human history, full of the drama of the human condition – war and peace, despair and hope, agony and ecstasy, love and hate, life and death.
This blog investigates, by comparing and contrasting with other sources, the revelation of Creator-Sustainer God as given from the beginning of time “to infinity and beyond!”
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