At some point ignorance must betray the lie which exploits it. Mass delusions are a natural outcome of a specific recipe of commonplace cultural norms. All that is required to deploy a large scale deception, is a critical mass of ignorance and chronic angst, ignited by small repetitive prodding sourced from a position of authority. One does not have to conspire – rather only understand the malleable nature of duress inside complex social systems.
As it turns out, there is no need for a micro cause of this macro phenomena of complexity.
In order to create an exothermic nuclear decay acceleration from gamma rays, fission materials, and fast and thermal neutrons, one requires several physical components to effect such a reaction. Nuclear fuel along with a reactor core, neutron moderator, neutron poison (absorber), steady source of ignition neutrons, coolant, control rods and a reactor pressure vessel.1 Save for the mitigating features of a coolant, neutron poison, control rods and a neutron moderator – the process which foments the real social vulnerability which social skeptics falsely spin as ‘conspiracy theory’, is a natural outcome stemming from exploitation of several commonplace and naturally occurring social norms. It does not take a conspiracy after all, rather merely a pinch of chronically induced social anxiety, along with some gentle prodding in the right places, and in the right direction.
In 1990 a company called LA Gear introduced a footwear line into the high school aged buyer demographic, featuring a light emitting diode which flashed each time that the footwear user stepped on the ground. Called ‘LA Gear Lights’, these sneakers propelled this little known company to over $1 billion in sales revenue in just two short years of product maturation. Every high school socialite in California, and then the broader US demographic, desired these symbols of approved conformity.2 In similar fashion (pardon the pun), Kevin Planck at Under Armour was able to build a powerhouse brand through exploiting the tribal psychology example of college and professional athletes, upon a population thirsting for social acceptance. A momentum of such magnitude that it challenged and surmounted the pinnacle of brand strength (apologies to Coca-Cola) in the consumer goods industry, Nike. Kevin had listened to a small consumer goods advisory firm who taught that value in product strengthened brand and pricing better than did a roll of the dice on style, and creation of a margin-resilient value chain was paramount over mere purchase and operating cost minimization. Under Armour’s apparel cost them more to produce, message and deliver than did Nike’s, but they were also able to value their items at a higher price point than did Nike. They had solved a problem of tribal duress.3
Fashion science as it turns out is a very informative field of study, eliciting principles which are very useful to those seeking to exploit its elements to direct and control thought.
The essence of human interaction called a fad – elicits a principal with regard to social vulnerability, which bears dynamics similar to that of an unconstrained atomic pile (reactor core). In both of the case studies cited above, the momentum of personal statement and tribal example, was a neutron ignition source into a pile of compressed and anxious young adults (the fuel), exploiting the kinetic energy of their desire to be accepted. Starlings in group flight do not have to exhibit a specific pattern desired, all they have to do is not exhibit the pattern which is forbidden. And in order to reduce their likelihood of exhibiting the embargoed hypothesis – all we have to do is keep them under constant angst. Even an image bearing truth can be quickly dissipated through chaos and duress.
This social vulnerability does not simply end at age 25 of course. It continues to ferment and mature into less obvious forms of control-ability and fanaticism, in the average adult member of society. Nazi Germany did not proliferate its message simply through means of the concerted effort of broadscale conspiracy, rather an exploiting of the common social norms fermenting in the aftermath of World War I. Germans struggled to understand their country’s uncertain future. Citizens faced poor economic conditions, skyrocketing unemployment, political instability, and profound social change. While downplaying more extreme goals, Adolf Hitler and just a few individuals inside the Nazi Party offered simple solutions to Germany’s problems, exploiting people’s fears and frustrations.4 There existed a common nutrient solution of duress upon the general population (see The Ten Pillars of Social Skepticism). A study published in June of 2017, elicits and supports this notion that populations under duress are vulnerable to being exploited by control-minded influences. Highlighting that even our official authorized stories themselves, may yet be the result of this vulnerability, moreso than either an enormous effort of influencing or a prevailing realization of the truth inside a matter.
Evidence suggests that the aversive feelings that people experience when in crisis—fear, uncertainty, and the feeling of being out of control—stimulate a motivation to make sense of the situation, increasing the likelihood of perceiving conspiracies in social situations. We then explain that after being formed, conspiracy theories can become historical narratives that may spread through cultural transmission. We conclude that conspiracy theories originate particularly in crisis situations and may form the basis for how people subsequently remember and mentally represent a historical event.
~ Van Prooijen, Douglas; Sage – Memory Studies : “Conspiracy theories as part of history”5
Establishing Isolation and Chronic Duress is All that is Required
There is no micro cause of conspiracy. There is safety in the herd however. One does not have to conspire – rather only understand the malleable nature of social duress and establish separations between groups of people. The public does not only invent creative alternatives under chronic applications of such duress, but they are vulnerable to adopting an official version more easily as well, and spreading it predictably and habitually. This as much as anything, may be the reason behind why all our news is negatively charged. It allows for control and exploits human regularity and tribal habits. Consider for instance, the work of Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT and the director of the Collective Learning group at The MIT Media Lab, Cesar Hidalgo, and his associates.6
We find that in contrast with the random trajectories predicted by the prevailing Levy flight and random walk models, human trajectories show a high degree of temporal and spatial regularity, each individual being characterized by a time independent characteristic length scale and a significant probability to return to a few highly frequented locations. After correcting for differences in travel distances and the inherent anisotropy of each trajectory, the individual travel patterns collapse into a single spatial probability distribution, indicating that despite the diversity of their travel history, humans follow simple reproducible patterns.
~ Understanding individual human mobility patterns, Marta C. Gonzalez, Cesar A. Hidalgo, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi
Conspiracy theory accusation therefore, goes both ways. Both the dissenting minority and the conforming majority are vulnerable, and a conspiracy is not required at all in either case. Humans are creatures of habit, whether to their advantage or detriment – producing fixed patterns which become exothermic when placed under a negative vibrating energy.
fear of outsiders,
desire to regain power,
habit/history of religious-styled fervor,
emotional damage from traumatic past events,
overcompensation for secret doubts,
fear of the new and unknown,
cultural addiction to confrontation & denial,
emotional rush derived from control and deception,
cathartic joy of belittling those who are different
the need to belong, and
the need to communicate and story-tell.
In this combination of factors, an interesting troop dynamic occurs in which humans naturally seek to reinforce, protect and promote a dogmatic message; and they will do so without much prodding. When taken inside a complex social system, this set of micro traits can serve to create disconnected, but reliable, social phenomena. It is not that we can ascribe a single mirco event or influence to be the cause of conspiracy or conspiracy thinking itself. We have to understand the nature of complex social systems and how they can be manipulated towards specific ends – and it does not take a conspiracy itself, in order to make this happen. It is a naturally exothermic process.
Conspiracy is hidden. Agency is manifest. In the case of agency however, it is the individual’s commitment to it, which is the hidden element. Our problem is the latter, not the former; along with the pundits who conflate the two.
Agency is a conspiracy of one.
This combination of social factors causes a proliferation of dogmatic ignorance and compliance, which is similar in nature to an exothermic nuclear reaction. A principle called exoagnoia:
/philosophy : rhetoric : exploitation : fad : ignorance/ : conspiracy which is generated naturally through the accelerative interaction of several commonplace social factors. A critical mass of uninformed, misinformed, disinformed and/or compartmentalized population under chronic duress (the ignorance fuel), ignited by an input of repetitive authoritative propaganda (the ignition source). Such a phenomenon enacts falsehood through its own inertia/dynamic and does not necessarily require a continuous intervention on the part of an influencing group.
Critical Elements of a ‘Conspiracy’ (Fad)
a compressed and interactive population
a conformance compelling and persistent angst (the duress)
identification of the unacceptable (bad)
compartmentalized organizations whose apparatchiks do not fully understand the big picture
introduction of an easily observable ‘acceptability’ influence from a tribe or very small sliver of the population
social celebrity backing and praise for the influence
“Correlation does not prove causality.” You have heard the one-liner uttered by clueless social skeptics probably one thousand times or more. But real science rarely if ever starts with ‘proof.’ More often than not, neither does a process of science end in proof. Correlation was never crafted as an analytical means to proof. However this one-liner statement is most often employed as a means of implying proof of an antithetical idea. To refuse to conduct the scientific research behind such fingerprint signal conditions, especially when involving a risk exposure linkage, can demonstrate just plain ole malicious ignorance. It is not even stupid.
When a social skeptic makes the statement “Correlation does not prove causality,” they are making a correct statement. It is much akin to pointing out that a pretty girl smiling at you does not mean she wants to spend the week in Paris with you. It is a truism, most often employed to squelch an idea which is threatening to the statement maker. As if the statement maker were the boyfriend of the girl who smiled at you. Of course a person smiling at you does not mean they want to spend a week in Paris with you. Of course correlation does not prove causality. Nearly every single person bearing any semblance of rational mind understands this. But what the one who has uttered this statement does not grasp, while feeling all smart and skeptickey in its mention, is that they have in essence revealed a key insight into their own lack of scientific literacy. Specifically, when a person makes this statement, three particular forms of error most often arise. In particular, they do not comprehend, across an entire life of employing such a statement, that
1. Proof Gaming/Non Rectum Agitur Fallacy: Correlation is used as one element in a petition for ‘plurality’ and research inside the scientific method, and is NOT tantamount to a claim to proof by anyone – contrary to the false version of method foisted by scientific pretenders.
To attempt to shoot down an observation, by citing that it by itself does not rise tantamount to proof, is a form of Proof Gaming. It is a trick of trying to force the possible last step of the scientific method, and through strawman fallacy regarding a disliked observer, pretend that it is the first step in the scientific method. It is a logical fallacy, and a method of pseudoscience. Science establishes plurality first, seeks to develop a testable hypothesis, and then hopes, …only hopes, to get close to proof at a later time.
Your citing examples of correlation which fail the Risk Exposure Test, does not mean that my contention is proved weak.
… and yes, science does use correlation comparatives in order to establish plurality of argument, and consilience which can lead to consensus (in absence of abject proof). The correlation-causality statement, while mathematically true, is philosophically and scientifically illiterate.¹²³
2. Ignoratio Elenchi Fallacy (ingens vanitatum): What is being strawman framed as simply a claim to ‘correlation’ by scientific pretenders, is often a whole consilience (or fingerprint) of mutually reinforcing statistical inference well beyond the defined context of simple correlation.
Often when data shows a correlation, it also demonstrates other factors which may be elicited to demonstrate a relationship between two previously unrelated contributing variables or data measures. There are a number of other factors which science employs through the disciplines of modeling theory, probability and statistics which can be drawn from a data relationship. In addition these inferences can be used to mutually support one another, and exponentially increase the confidence of contentions around the data set in question.²³
3. Methodical Cynicism: Correlation is used as a tool to examine an allowance for and magnitude of variable dependency. In many cases where a fingerprint signal is being examined, the dependency risk has ALREADY BEEN ESTABLISHED or is ALLOWED-FOR by diligent reductive science. To step in the way of method and game protocols and persuasion in order to block study, is malevolent pseudoscience.
If the two variables pass the risk-exposure test, then we are already past correlation and into measuring that level of dependency, not evaluating its existence. If scientific studies have already shown that a chemical has impacts on the human or animal kidney/livers/pancreas, to call an examination of maladies relating to those organs as they relate to trends in use of that chemical a ‘correlation’ is an indication of scientific illiteracy on the part of the accuser. Once a risk relationship is established, as in the case of colon disorders as a risk of glyphosate intake, accusations of ‘correlation does not prove causality’ constitute a non-sequitur Wittgenstein Error inside the scientific method. Plurality has been established and a solid case for research has been laid down. To block such research is obdurate scientific fraud.²³
4. Correlation does not prove causality… however, even weaker in strength of inference is an implicit refutation by claim of coincidence.
Most often, when one poses the ‘correlation does not prove causality’ apothegm, they are attempting to enforce an implicit counter-claim to coincidence in the observed data. While this is the null, it is also most often not an actual hypothesis – nor can such a claim be made without evidence. Most often the evidence in support of a correlation being merely coincidence, is in fact weaker than the evidence in support of causality. A position of epoche is warranted – not denial, in such circumstances.
Calling or downgrading the sum total of these inferences through the equivocal use of the term ‘correlation,’ not only is demonstrative of one’s mathematical and scientific illiteracy, but also demonstrates a penchant for the squelching of data through definition in a fraudulent manner. It is an effort on the part of a dishonest agent to prevent the plurality step of the scientific method.
None of this has anything whatsoever to do with ‘proof.’
A Fingerprint Signal is Not a ‘Correlation’
An example of this type of scientific illiteracy can be found here (Note: a former article entitled Correlation Is Not Causation in Earth’s Dipole Contribution to Climate by Steven Novella, which was dropped by Discover Magazine). There is a well established covariance, coincidence, periodicity and tail sympathy; a long tight history of dynamic with respect to how climate relates to the strength of Earth’s magnetic dipole moment. This is a fingerprint signal. Steven Novella incorrectly calls this ‘correlation.’ A whole host of Earth’s climate phenomena move in concert with the strength of our magnetic field. This does not disprove anthropogenic contribution to current global warming. But to whip out a one liner and shoot at a well established facet of geoscience, all so as to protect standing ideas from facing the peer review of further research is not skepticism, it is pseudoscience. The matter merits investigation. This hyperepistemology one-liner does not even rise to the level of being stupid.
Measuring of An Established Risk Relationship is Not a ‘Correlation’
An example of this type of scientific illiteracy can be found inside pharmaceutical company pitches about how the increase in opioid addiction and abuse was not connected with their promotional and lobbying efforts. Correlation did not prove causality. Much of today’s opiate epidemic stems from two decades of promotional activity undertaken by pharmaceutical companies. According to New Yorker Magazine, companies such as Endo Pharmaceuticals, Purdue Pharma and Johnson & Johnson centered their marketing campaigns on opioids as general use pain treatment medications. Highly regarded medical journals featured promotions directed towards physicians involved in pain management. Educational courses on the benefits of opioid-based treatments were offered. Pharmaceutical companies made widespread use of lobbyist groups in their efforts to disassociate opiate industry practices from recent alarming statistics (sound familiar? See an example where Scientific American is used for such propaganda here). One such group received $2.5 million from pharmaceutical companies to promote opioid justification and discourage legislators from passing regulations against unconstrained opioid employment in medical practices. (See New Yorker Magazine: Who is Responsible for the Pain Pill Epidemic?) The key here is, that once a risk relationship is established, such as between glyphosate and cancer, one cannot make the claim that correlation does not prove causality in the face of two validated sympathetic risk-dependency signals. It is too late, plurality has been established and the science needs to be done. To block such science is criminal fraud.
Perhaps We Need a New Name Besides Correlation for Such Robust Data Fit
Both of these examples above elicit instances where fake skeptic scientific illiteracy served to mis-inform, mis-lead or cause harm to the American Public. Correlation, in contrast, is simply a measure of the ‘fit’ of a linear trend inside the relationship between a two factor data set. It asks two questions (the third is simply a mathematical variation of the second):
Can a linear inference be derived from cross indexing both data sets?, and
How ‘close to linearity’ do these cross references of data come?
How ‘close to curvinlinearity’ do these cross references of data come?
The answer to question number 2 is called an r-factor or correlation coefficient. Commonly, question number 3 is answered by means of a coefficient of determination and is expressed as an r² factor (r squared).³ Both are a measure of a paired-data set fit to linearity. That is all. In many instances pundits will use correlation to exhibit a preestablished relationship, such as the well known relationship between hours spent studying and academic grades. They are not establishing proof with a graph, rather simply showing a relationship which has already been well documented through several other previous means. However, in no way shape or form does that mean that persons who apply correlation as a basis of a theoretical construct are therefore then contending a case for proof. This is a relational form of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. This is a logical flaw, served up by the dilettante mind which confuses the former case, an exhibit, and conflates it with the later use, the instance of a petition for research.
/philosophy : logic : evidence : fallacy/ : when employing the ‘correlation does not prove causality’ quip to terminally dismiss an observed correlation, when the observation is being used to underpin a construct or argument possessing consilience, is seeking plurality, constitutes direct fingerprint evidence and/or is not being touted as final conclusive proof in and of itself.
THIS is Correlation (Pearson’s PPMCC) It does not prove causality (duh…)¹²
This is a Fingerprint Signal and is Not Simply a Correlation³∋
There are a number of other methods of determining the potential relationship between two sets of data, many of which appear to the trained eye in the above graph. Each of the below relational features individually, and increasingly as they confirm one another, establish a case for plurality of explanation. The above graph is not “proving” that glyphosate aggravates diabetes rates. However, when this graph is taken against the exact same shape and relationship graphs for multiple myloma, non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, bladder cancer, thyroid disease, pancreatic cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel syndrome, lupus, fibromyalgia, renal function diminishment, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s Disease, wheat/corn/canola/soy sensitivity, SIBO, dysbyosis, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, rosacea, gall bladder cancer, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, liver impairment and stress/fatty liver disease, … and for the first time in our history a RISE in the death rates of of middle aged Americans…
… and the fact that in the last 20 years our top ten disease prescription bases have changed 100%… ALL relating to the above conditions and ALL auto-immune and gut microbiome in origin. All this despite a decline in lethargy, smoking and alcohol consumption on average. All of this in populations younger than an aging trend can account for.
Then plurality has been argued. Fingerprint signal data has been well established. This is an example of consilience inside an established risk exposure relationship. To argue against plurality through the clueless statement “Correlation does not prove causality” is borderline criminal. It is scientifically illiterate, a shallow pretense which is substantiated by false rationality (social conformance) and a key shortfall in real intelligence.
Contextual Wittgenstein Error Example – Incorrect Rhetoric Depiction of Correlation
The cartoon to the left is a hypoepistemology which misses the entire substance of what constitutes fingerprint correlation. A fingerprint signal is derived when the bullet-pointed conditions exist – None of which exist in the cartoon invalid comparison to the left – this is a tampering with definition, enacted by a person who has no idea what correlation in this context, even means. A Wittgenstein Error. In other words: scientifically illiterate propaganda. Conditions which exist in a proper correlation, or more, condition:
A constrained pre-domain and relevant range which differ in stark significance
An ability to fit both data sets to curvinlinear or linear fit, with projection through golden section, regression or a series of other models
A preexisting contributor risk exposure between one set of unconstrained variables and a dependent variable
A consistent time displacement between independent and dependent variables
A covariance in the dynamic nature of data set fluctuations
A coincident period of commencement and timeframe of covariance
A jointly shared arrival distribution profile
Sympathetic long term convex or concave trends
A risk exposure (see below) – the cartoon to the left fails the risk exposure test.
Rhetoric: An answer, looking for a question, targeting a victim
Fingerprint Elements: When One or More of These Risk Factor Conditions is Observed, A Compelling Case Should be Researched¹²³
Corresponding Data – not only can one series be fitted with a high linear coefficient, another independent series can also be fitted with a similar and higher coefficient which increases in coherence throughout a time series both before and during its domain of measure, and bears similar slope, period and magnitude. In this instance as well, a preexisting risk exposure has been established. This does not prove causality, however is a strong case for plurality especially if a question of risk is raised. To ignore this condition, is a circumstance where ignorance ranges into fraud.
Covariant Data – not only can one series be fitted with a high coefficient, another independent series can also be observed with a similar fit which increases in coherence as a time series both before and during its domain of measure, and bears similar period and magnitude. Adding additional confidence to this measure is the dx/dy covariance, Browning Covariance, or distance covariance, etc. measure which can be established between the two data series; that is, the change in x(1)…x(n) versus y(1)…y(n). In this instance as well, a preexisting risk exposure has been established. This does not prove causality, however is a very strong case for plurality especially if a question of risk is raised. To ignore this condition, is a circumstance where socially pushed skepticism ranges into fraud.
Co-incidence Data – two discrete measures coincide as a time series both before and during its domain of measure, and bear similar period and magnitude. Adding additional confidence to this measure magnitude consistency which can be established between the two data series; that is, the discrete change in x(1)…x(n) versus y(1)…y(n). In this instance as well, a preexisting risk exposure has been established. This does not prove causality, however is a moderately strong case for plurality especially if a question of risk is raised. To ignore this condition, is a circumstance where arrogant skepticism ranges into fraud.
Jointly Distributed Data – two independent data sets exhibit the same or common arrival distribution functions. Adding additional confidence to this measure magnitude consistency which can be established between the two data series; that is, the discrete change in x(1)…x(n) versus y(1)…y(n). In this instance as well, a preexisting risk exposure has been established. This does not prove causality, however is a moderately strong case for plurality especially if a question of risk is raised. To ignore this condition, is a circumstance where arrogant skepticism ranges into fraud.
Probability Function Match – two independent data sets exhibit a resulting probability density function of similar name/type/shape. Adding additional confidence to this measure magnitude consistency which can be established between the two data series; that is, the discrete change in x(1)…x(n) versus y(1)…y(n). In this instance as well, a preexisting risk exposure has been established. This does not prove causality, however is a moderately strong case for plurality especially if a question of risk is raised. To ignore this condition is not wise.
Marginal or Tail Condition Match – the tail or extreme regions of the data exhibit coincidence and covariance. Adding additional confidence to this measure magnitude consistency which can be established between the two data series when applied in the extreme or outlier condition; that is, the discrete change of these remote data in x(1)…x(n) versus y(1)…y(n). In this instance as well, a preexisting risk exposure has been established. This does not prove causality, however is a moderately strong case for plurality especially if a question of risk is raised. To ignore this condition, is a circumstance where even moderate skepticism ranges into fraud activity.
Sympathetic Long Term Shared Concave or Convex – long term trends match each other, but more importantly each is a departure from the previous history and occurred simultaneously, offset by a time displacement, are both convex or concave and co-vary across the risk period. Adding additional confidence to this measure magnitude consistency which can be established between the two data series; that is, the discrete change in x(1)…x(n) versus y(1)…y(n). In this instance as well, a preexisting risk exposure has been established. This does not prove causality, however is a compellingly strong case for plurality especially if a question of risk is raised. To ignore this condition, is a circumstance where even moderate skepticism ranges into fraud activity.
Discrete Measures Covariance – the mode, median or mean of discrete measures is shared in common and/or in coincidence, and also vary sympathetically over time. Adding additional confidence to this measure magnitude consistency which can be established between the two data series; that is, the discrete change in mode and mean over time. In this instance as well, a preexisting risk exposure has been established. This does not prove causality, however is a moderate case for plurality especially if a question of risk is raised. To ignore this condition is not wise.
Risk Exposure Chain/Test – two variables, if technical case were established that one indeed influenced the other, would indeed be able to influence one another. (In other words, if your kid WAS eating rat poison every Tuesday, he WOULD be sick on every Wednesday – but your kid eating rat poison would not make the city mayor sick on Wednesday). If this condition exists, along with one or more of the above conditions, a case for plurality has been achieved. To ignore this condition, is a circumstance where even moderate skepticism ranges into fraud activity.
These elements, when taken in concert by honest researchers, are called fingerprint data. When fake skeptics see an accelerating curve which matches another accelerating curve – completely (and purposely) missing the circumstance wherein any or ALL of these factors are more likely in play – to say “correlation” is what is being seen, demonstrates their scientific illiteracy. It is up to the ethical skeptic to raise their hand and say “Hold on, I am not ready to dismiss that data relationship so easily. Perhaps we should conduct studies which investigate this risk linkage and its surrounding statistics.”
To refuse to conduct the scientific research behind such conditions, especially if it involves something we are exposed to three times a day for life, constitutes just plain active ignorance and maliciousness. It is not even stupid.
epoché vanguards gnosis
¹ Madsen, Richard W., ” Statistical Concepts with Applications to Business and Economics,” Prentice-Hall, 1980; pp 604 – 610.
² Gorini, Catherine A., “Master Math Probability,” Course Technology, 2012; pp. 175-196, 252-274.
³ Levine, David M.; Stephan, David F., “Statistics and Analytics,” Pearson Education, 2015; pp. 137-275.
∋ Graphic employed for example purposes only. Courtesy of work of Dr. Stephanie Seneff, sulfates, glyphosates and gmo food; MIT, september 19, 2013.
Within this document, I am not going to reduce my wording or tender the pretense of speaking like a young person. That is disrespect. If you are thinking of adopting a religion, then you need to think like an adult as part of that process, before you undertake such an action. It is an adult decision after all. You don’t need to be talked down to, because that is what is happening with the religious presentation in the first place. A sincere mind will understand what I have to say here. This is what I wish I could have read before continuing inside the religion which I was handed as a young child.
You hold the key to recognizing oppression in any form, and keeping your mind free.
How I wish it were the reality that you had been asked if you would like to join the faith upon which you are so earnestly contemplating embarking. But sadly this is not the reality we as humans endure. The more likely scenario is that your parents, in an understandable desire to protect you and hope that you developed into a semblance of reasonable character, inserted you into church, Catechism, Sunday School or some other form of religious classes. In addition, you might have been told that attending church, temple, synagogue, or other formal weekly program would somehow endear god on your behalf, earning dividends to cash in later in an appeal for financial protection or exemption from some even worse insane malady. For a preponderance of us in the 70’s and 80’s, this was the reality. We really were offered no choice on our beliefs.
Sadly, I practiced just such a tactic on my own kids, indoctrinating them into the church of the San Diego Chargers. My beloved team from the 80’s. Dutifully I would sit as a kid and watch the brilliant play from Kellen Winslow, Dan Fouts, Wes Chandler, Charlie Joiner and the rest. As my youngsters grew through their impressionable years, they came to know and love, both the history of the team, as well as the games of football they played. Sadly, my kids and I all lament our never winning a Super Bowl, and save for the 1994 Season, not even an appearance – despite all the years of such fantastic legendary games, players and coaches.
But in our later years, the kids have begun to drift towards appreciation of the San Francisco 49’ers/Oakland Raiders. Our lives since have altered their perspective on football in general, softening both their and my time investment into the sport. In addition, I regularly field questions along the lines of, accompanied with a wry smile, “Dad, you made us San Diego fans, and we really sorta had no choice, did we?” I smile and chuckle in reply, “But we had a lot of fun watching and attending games in those days too.”
The reality was of course, yes I had cheated. I had biased the environment of cultivation such that it would produce Sand Diego Charger fans.
The results were good, the kids were not mad and indeed appreciated our period of fan-dom – understanding exactly why I did this to them. Yet, the method I employed to manufacture fans from my own kids, was wrong. It was wrong. I am glad that they are a mild breed of classy Bay Area fan now. I appreciate that they have both tempered their vehemence inside of, and indeed made, their own choices as to team fealty. Or, as in the case of my daughter, the choice to not watch or follow football at all.
Now of course, our choices on matters of moral character, ‘do unto others,’ and the matter of one’s soul burning for eternity in hellish torment, being stabbed by pitchfork wielding devils; these are matters of much greater magnitude than a simple game of football. Our choices with regard to religion pale such an insignificant thing as a sport, in comparison. The awesome implications, the inerrant foundation and apocalyptic urgency justify such actions with regard to enforcing religion upon our children. Right?
My asking out loud, “Right?” echoes in an endless chamber of emptiness, reverberating the same query in return back to me.
The simple truth is, that if you are like me, you have been indoctrinated into the football team of your parents’ choosing. You will observe more than likely that everyone who attends your house of religious worship, tends to be of the same ethnic group, socioeconomic means, and even cultural history. No one in most religious organizations is going to cite this aloud, but did you feel that there was a certain ‘special grace’ which God had afforded the group in which you grew up? A certain ‘blessing among blessings’ which God had bestowed upon you all, because of your particular group’s history of obedience and faithfulness in the centuries of suffering? Is this a truth you have carried in your heart since as long as you can remember contemplating such things? Did this certainty of God’s blessing your group, then make you suspicious of outsiders? Pitying them on their current temporary state as rascals, obtaining unjustified rewards, and due for a recompense of spending eternity in darkness and torment? Unfortunately, this formula plays out all too commonly inside, in particular, Abrahamic religions (the three most preeminent of which are Christianity, Islam and Judaism).
Before you embark on a life spent mentally inside this line of thinking, before you accept your parent’s choice of football team or even love for football, I wanted to point out some of the things I would encourage you to consider. Some of the pitfalls and inconsistencies which will earmark your life – a life spent dwelling inside this form of prison. And trust me, as one who has set himself free from this form of thinking and suffered the pain of removing that rusted old barb of religious indoctrination – it is a painful exodus from a prison, indeed. Be so forewarned.
The four primary bars of this prison, you will find through life, include the following malicious ideas:
1. The teaching that you personally bear some form of original sin or natural shortfall that has angered God or separated you from Him.
In the Bible, the converted apostle Paul states in the Book of Romans that “through one man did sin enter into the world.” To the contrary, not only science – but our entire existence as a legal, social, political, economic, family, cultural and living organism has born out proof (yes proof) that, man did not create wrongdoing, nor did man introduce lying, killing or theft into the world. As you begin to study this natural realm, you will begin to see – if you look honestly –
that man did not cause the world to ‘fall’- and more importantly, you do not bear fault for this either.
The whole of the Universe does not “groan and suffer” under the burden of the original sin of Adam, Heng’e or any other hapless creature blamed for all of the maladies we face in life.
Man is a relative and sudden latecomer on this planet and the evidence for this grows with each passing year of scientific discovery. Cro-Magnon man has tilled the soil with the sweat of his brow, killed his enemies and slaughtered animals for food, stolen, lied, imperfectly managed governments and imbibed in libations and the fruit of his work for at least 30,000 years. Most of this, just as Neanderthal and possibly Denisova and other versions of man did before him for over 300,000 years. This planet on which we reside was an “evil,” deadly and self-oriented “survival of the most well adapted” realm long before Adam and Eve, Heng’e, Prometheus or whomever else you choose to blame, were even possible as a thought. Sin, if you choose to call our proclivities that, is interwoven into the very fabric of our reality, apart from our even being here. And no, the variety of anti-gods did not cause this state before us either. These are old mnemonics, employed to teach social and condemnation principles which at one time loomed larger than the cosmos. Now we know, that it is the other way around.
The Two Most Evil Things a Person Can Do (Short of Murder)
I. Employ a man’s fear of the unknown to issue threats of hell at him.
II. Take possession of all the joys of life a man can have, pretend like you own or administer them as an agent of god, and sell those joys back to him at a price.
The same DNA which expresses a snail as a snail, and has done so for eons before our arrival on this very minor rock, is the same DNA from which we evolved. The same DNA which make us, us. The same DNA which makes you, you. If man had a creator, then his creator both made him this way, and knew fully about what he was crafting – otherwise he or she could not have been a real creator. This reality of who we are is woven into the very fabric of our ‘created’ original self. In order for a god who created you to then ‘hold you accountable’ for eternal judgement – he would have had to have created you perfect, and thoroughly employ an exacting level playing field (as might a scientist), before he could then in good conscience hold you or anyone accountable for the perfection of their choices. Even we, when executing games of judgement like football, ensure that the teams have an equal opportunity set, and that the gridiron is level. Otherwise we would be operating in sin, gaming the game, picking and choosing the winners and losers – every bit as evil as the poor losers we chose to exclude or condemn. Is your religious proselytizer contending that god cannot even live up to the standard set of practice to which scientists adhere? That is pretty abysmal. Piss poor practice.
Even if man was created, he was not ‘created’ perfect, and never has been a perfect creation. Man’s eons of evolving DNA did not culminate in its perfection. It contains junk code, old code (genetic code for a tail, occasional inherited Neanderthal eye bridges, etc.), and (God forbid) code with sloppy, lazy, over-replicated and highly mistaken regular ‘errors’ (if indeed it were fabricated) inside it.
Why did the God of the inerrant Bible make a man with sloppy, haphazardly constructed, evil, selfish, error filled genes? Knowing in advance this was going to cause large complications and an unconscionable lack of fairness. This is not the action of a perfect being, nor one bent on discriminating the truly faithful.
The skill level employed in the fabrication of DNA technology, is nowhere near the magnitude of skill required to fabricate the universe. The two feats are not even approachable by mutual entity – were that to have indeed occurred. One would be talented, the other not so talented.
Let’s don’t even broach the issue of why you would punish something sentient you created (and created without its approval), regardless of the issue of free will.
Do not fall prey to such shallow thinking.
This is not addressable by the trick question “Why does god allow evil in the world?” In the offing of such a question, you have already conceded the ideas that there is a god of the nature being discussed, and that your conversant knows what that god defines to be evil. You have already lost 80% of the argument. Don’t fall for that mind trick. The cult concept that our bodies would have no ills if it were not for our sins is patently false. Our bodies are very well and ‘expertly’ evolved, but they are far far from perfect, nor has any man’s body ever been so. DNA does not lie – but people do. A god who would punish this type of creation, would be the most evil of invented characters the mind of man could ever fabricate.
It is not simply science which tells us this. Everything around us tells us this same consistent story.
It is our assessment of our realm as being “evil” or flawed, not bending to our will, that causes us to determine that creation cannot possibly have been made that way by a perfect God. If God had control of this universe then things would be progressing to my liking! This reasoning causes us to assign the blame to the only other candidate available, us ourselves (with assistance from a variety of anti-gods in some cults).
Ultimately, our judgment of those things around us as “evil” has lead to our perpetrating all manner of destruction on mankind, nature, our resources, and those creatures that inhabit the planet with us. All this in a futile attempt to correct this evil realm or carry out the will of God on it all. Take a step back and survey this set of actions. Who indeed is the god in this play? Who is the one possessing the supreme will of rejecting all it surveys as being separate and residing in a shortfall? The religious mind of man. That is it, and that is all.
Our subliminal assumption that, “what the heck, we are just gonna get a new Heaven and a new Earth when Christ comes back anyway” has freed our collective minds to excuse all levels of deleterious actions with regard to our stewardship on this planet. Be careful in how you regard this realm. Your thoughts are important, and as you grow – learn to guard them with the wisdom of circumspection. Don’t become a cynic, because that is the same as being blind. Rather, understand the heart and nature of man, his proclivity to deceive in order to advance, profit or survive – yes even those whom you have trusted to tell you about the realm we live in, even if they are ‘respected or good people.’
You have not angered god. You need not bear the guilt of a separation, free will or redemptive burden. You are free to love, live and make mistakes. Be you. Conduct your steps accordingly.
2. There is a pathway to becoming acceptable to God again, and it involves you doing something which I want you to do, in order to confirm your acceptability through specific action.
To the mind of the ethical skeptic, this is a large set of stark claims. As much as I admonish fake skeptics in overusing such an accusation towards persons making claims – in this instance even they – are correct. Before we begin to mull over the application of such a contention on another person’s part, let’s take a step back and assess the assumptions we must grant before we can even consider this statement for correctness or incorrectness. Richard Feynman is credited with an oft touted idea, that something can be ‘not even wrong.’ The contention cited in this principle #2 stands as ‘not even wrong.’ It is Wittgenstein unsinnig, in the philosopher’s lingo.
The person who is asking this question or posing its solution is playing a mental trick upon you.
These are the assumptions he or she is asking you to skip right over and cede to them as given. The action of ceding this to them, in effect renders you a slave to their pathway of reason. A pathway of reason which leverages you into doing something they want. The mere fact that you both might debate the correctness of such a contention, means they have already won 80% of the argument. They are in effect asking you to recognize them as god, in authority on the 80% you have ceded to them (See the Ethical Skeptic definition of God). Below is how they are choosing to pull off this deception, if you allow them. They are contending
The ABCD’s of the Religious Claim to Authority
a. That you grant right now, that there is this unfathomable god out there in the ethos, with an exact definition.
b. That this ethereal perfect force made everything, but somehow regretted ever making us, but then changed his mind again, but then will destroy us again.
c. That an unknowable god exists in actionable-knowable ways.
d. That the person speaking with you understands this knowledge perfectly enough to advise you upon its critical essence.
e. That this knowledge has shown them that you are currently unacceptable to this god, and allowed them to identify some kind of shortfall on your part.
f. That they know that god is highly insistent that you make a change in this regard, and right now.
g. That somehow god was unable or unwilling to convey this knowledge of urgently needed action to you personally.
h. That god found favor in the person speaking to you, and only communicates with them, and not you.
i. That minor words and actions on the part of men, is what influences and pleases this god the most.
j. That the ethereal universal god is enormously interested in your every private moment, thought and minor deed.
k. That god allows this circumstance to repeat over and over again over billions of years, without resolution, just to chap your ass when it was your turn to be under his thumb.
l. That there are good actions and there are evil actions; moreover, that this person has an outline of them, as authority, which you must undertake in order to to prove yourself approved by this ethereal being.
m. That the person speaking to you knows the difference between good and evil enough to advise you upon it.
n. That what you speak in a short sentence can somehow countermand your entire state/status of being, or send you back into a state of condemnation.
o. That the person speaking to you knows god so well that he can account for and vouch for this shallow and immature attitude as being exactly correct.
p. That god has a wild and fantastic punishment in his plan for you, were you to not follow the path of this logic even this far, and to its completion.
q. That the punishment he has planned for you (and because it exists, he created it, and you are created to be headed there now – it is indeed a plan) is certain, wild, eternal, fantastical, and is the most painful thing I can think of at this moment.
r. That an error on the presenters part, bears no weight whatsoever in his status inside this plan – he is free to make errors both in his life and in this very presentation – and is unaccountable for it, yet you – by doing nothing – will get the iron boot of punishment.
s. That the person presenting to you is altruistically giving you this information and stands to gain absolutely nothing as his immediate reward.
t. That the person presenting this to you is obeying god in this action and will receive fantastic realms of eternal blessing and pleasure for communicating this to you (they will object to this line of reasoning, but trust me, they do believe this).
u. That the person presenting this to you knows what eternity is and that god only recently, after 13.5 billion years of goofing off, just now when you got here, grew an interest in fixing this universe.
v. That the person is presenting what is considered an acceptable lot inside such an eternity. There is no difference between an eternity in flames and one spent having sex with virgins.
w. That the person presenting this to you can vouch for the credibility of the chain of claimants which brought the message to them in the first place, and/or
x. That man can pen or create or link to or possess a document which outlines a. – w. above.
y. That somehow possession of this document has not been able to resolve, over all this time, the problem outlined in a. – w. above, despite the presenter’s claims to the contrary.
z. That the document will be exonerated and its claims to a. – w. proved out in some kind of imminently impending universe altering/ending apocalypse. All focused on him and his group. One for which you must be prepared. An end to a universe which has gone on for 13.5 billion years before this claimant ever set his or her manipulative foot upon Earth.
Wow, I am almost exhausted simply by the outlining of such a string of claims. And of course, society, man, you, universities, corporations (not to mention science), no one – is equipped to disprove the religious person’s contentions. A convenient truth. In good conscience, a person of ethical nature could never make or accept even a single one of these claims. But we have to remember, how is religion defined?
Religion: The compulsory adherence to an idea around which testing for falsification is prohibited.
Or as we have heard it put as well:
With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
~ Steven Weinberg, quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999
So, religion as we see is a lever. A lever employed by a claimant, seeking to get you to do something. Something in which you have no choice, input or feedback in adopting – yet is declared true by some external standard or reference. Of course this all involves free will. Free will being ‘do what I say or suffer ultimate punishment.’ That is the definition of free will on the part of the religious claimant. Which relates to our definition of god.
God: Ω • ⊕ Any entity which has been ceded ongoing power, yet at the same time retains an ongoing lack of accountability. A standard employed by a proxy agent, as a virtual mass in the social leveraging of a victim.
And as we can see here, you are being manipulated into doing something. They will use the lever of your guilt over small things you remember doing wrong, your fear of death and the unknown, your trained fear of something bad happening after death, and your sincere desire to be a good and useful person. They will target these opportunities in your mental state if you let them. The target after all, was you.
3. The teaching that a written book or other inerrant standard can effectively and correctly contain and convey all the principles outlined in the ABCD’s of a Religious Claim to Authority.
Whether it is the Torah, Pentateuch, Bible, Koran, Tao, Vedas, or some other treatise of authority, there is one missing piece of the puzzle which a document fulfills. An external standard to erect as representative of the God principle. An external standard to which the God Proxy can refer, in order to manipulate the target, you. Let’s introduce the agent who makes this happen first.
God Proxy: Any stakeholder which seeks to exploit the privileged existence as a god (power, money, notoriety, comfort), without appearing to pretend to the role. Also a stakeholder which serves to promote a set of mandatory beliefs and maintain the unaccountable nature of the entity they serve, justified by the entity’s un-assailability as either a personified or non-personified external standard.
In order to pull this off, this elevation of self to the equivalent of god; in order to enjoy the benefits of heaven on Earth in the here and now, one needs to enlist the aid of document. The sad reality is that people die. And with their death, ideas change and the opportunity to usurp this process of religion becomes very real. Right now, on the side of the religious Nihilist, Wikipedia is vying to become just such a reference standard and document. A standard which bridges the gap afforded in the weakness we bear in our passing.
God Proxy Standard: An immortal, fixed and ongoing material reference to which a God Proxy may refer, in order to tender the appearance of substantiating their claims.
Not that the Bible is by any means the only version of such a reference, but it is perhaps the most well known, and most exaggerated in terms of its claim to authority, of such God Proxy Standards. So, as the case may be, substitute any God Proxy Standard you choose into this assessment in place of the Bible. The following constitutes the weaknesses associated with the fabrication of a God Proxy Standard based claim to authority.
The Worship of Biblical Singularity and Inerrancy. The Bible is possibly true in many regards and has been relayed by some faithful re-tellers. But this does not exonerate the Bible. The Bible writers were at times inspired by goodness, however, just like King David who was inspired by God supposedly, they did not execute everything exactly like a God might have asked. Rather, they took actions, made judgments and became a slave to their own hatreds, lusts and prejudices and desires for absolute control. The many writers of the Bible were all men, who, to varying degrees, simply laid out their own prejudices. There were four writers of the Torah, known to scholars as E (the plural Us-Gods Elohim writer), Y (the Lord God Yahweh writer), P (the Priest obsessed with establishing the lineage of the Priests), and Baruch (the One God Jehovah Scribe of Jeremiah who accidentally used the same exact verbiage in patching up the Torah as he did in writing Jeremiah). Each writer was heavily vested in swaying the opinion of those assigned under his charge, and in manipulating those charges to be loyal to and commit their tribute to the Church/Temple. Most of the time this resulted in prophesies lain in the form of threats from God, in order to motivate the people. These were regularly prophecies of doom that resulted from a kingdom, king or people not honoring the Temple with which the writer was associated.
Doom is an easy prophecy that stems from a cowardly heart, for some form of doom always eventually comes to pass, no matter what. It takes no risk, no investment, holds no accountability and is cathartic in rewarding its issuer. It takes courage to prophesy good fortune, because you have to actually be a really accurate prophet, and indeed understand what actions result in valuable outcomes. This prophecy of good fortune takes expertise and character not possessed by the doomsayer.
This is why prophets only forecast doom. Each priest imprinted his own bitter, anti-current-culture slant and prejudice on the Septuagint and it went on from there. It is not simply the translation issue – the core material itself is also flawed.
In addition, it is just ridiculous to assume that any document is the sole repository of truth. Simply a ridiculous claim. Malicious in its offing.
Pulpit Authority and InerrantSpeak. No man should be given the license to think that his every utterance is inerrant or even mostly correct, either permanently or temporarily. The magnitude of human disasters can be gauged directly by the unthinking and programmed certitude of correctness on the part of its perpetrators. Today’s religious pulpit is touted as a license to comment and address any subject as if one spoke for God himself. Like a license to kill, no good ultimately comes from such presumption. Today’s pulpit in a variety of religion is fraught with InerrantSpeak. InerrantSpeak is characterized by a generalized set of condemning principles designed to incite guilt on the part of the hearer (victim). The guilt principles are spoon-full-of-sugar fed, many times by the flair of consistent and hypnotic voice and volume inflections made to soothe the listener during its surgical insertion. Turn to the AM radio on the high end of the dial, or listen to Charles Stanley or Jimmy Swaggart if you need to find an example of InerrantSpeak. No man should be ceded the license to think that his every utterance is based upon an inerrant source. Such is the nature of mind of a God Proxy.
Red Brick Empires. The purpose of our ontological wonder is not to construct Red Brick Empires. Red Brick Empires are ever-expanding, phase driven, projects of spiritual and epistemological ego, that preponder our cities and lie dormant as wrecks and dead relics in old world Europe. We build them to intimidate other Red Brick Empires, to gloat over, to worship (the building and empire itself), to hold as investments that are unoccupied for 95% of the week. We mortgage our individual homes to the hilt, so the “house of God” can be paid off in three years or less and sit there, as a testament to what we think God thinks of us. We build them as a testament of how God has approved of our handiwork, our ethnicity, our pastor, or our culture/denomination. If Christ were here today I truly believe he would kneel in the middle of main street USA and barf, over the Empire which has been created in his name.
One-Size-Fits-All Doctrines. The church, like fake skepticism, is too full of “solutions looking for a problem.” Solution doctrines are not well thought out and rely on pat answers, with the deliverer of the advice believing that God will take it from there. Not always, but many times the solutions only end up being a cruel insult to the hearer. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Refusal to Address or Consider Modern Science. In many current religions, science is considered a club for people who oppose God. This is a losing sentiment from the very start. Science advances in its knowledge the depth of the evidence behind its claims, and the discipline of method through which that evidence is reduced and constructed. Many religions’ refusal to give ground on, and total ignorance of science causes an equal an opposite reaction on the part of the scorned scientific community.
That reaction on the part of the broader scientific community consists of an unfortunate total contempt for any non-material principal or thought, or for that matter, any thinking that does not originate from the approved broader scientific-allegiance community.This is the bifurcated overreaction.
The cooked-up pseudo-science pushed by religious Creationists on schools and institutions heightens this disdain in the scientific community. We in the middle all suffer from this tragic polarization. Finally, the schism between religious Fundamentalist Creationists and Nihilist Classical Darwinists has perpetrated a complete lock on free thought and research. The rancor is so acerbic and shallow as to at times, squelch many reasoned attempts at investigation of more, well researched, enlightened or deeper scientific developments.
Utilization of Scriptures as Magic and Incantation. A repercussion of the phylactery practice in old religion, is the habit by those who use a scripture as an incantation against evil or against sinful thoughts. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee” prays the Psalmist. But evil is predicated in our minds, our desires, and knows us well enough to manipulate our incantations against us. It mocks us daily, and laughs hardest when we perceive that our phylactical rituals are effective. Eventually, like the Pharisees who were proud of the length of their box of memorized scriptures, we begin to focus only on how much we know from the Bible, Koran, Tao and how often we attend Services, and completely forget about our own depravity. Some religions even take their scriptures to the point of casting spells. A spell is when you do evil with your prayer recitation, a prayer is when you do good with it – and of course YOU know the difference between the two, right now. Of course.
These are the standards to which you will be indoctrinated, to which you must show fealty as evidence that you are truly in the club. Ultimately, and fortunately for the mind of the skeptic, they must be outlined and affixed into a document, in order to outlive men. And if it comes from God, of course there is no way that such a document can be altered.
True salvation comes in recognizing this principle and the enabling heart of man.
4. The teaching that this onus upon you, is about to erupt into a violent, but silver-lined eschatology. An Apocalypse of awesome repercussion and ultimate redemption of those like you. That you must take action now – ban the torpedoes, pass the nukes and damn the planet – cuz God’s gonna fix it all soon.
The urgency of apocalypse is an awesome and irresistible force. Ask any suicide bomber and they will confirm this as fact.
The malicious and evil nature of this belief, that God is about to rescue only those like us, is manifest. It arrests our ability to take responsibility for deed, thought, impact and ethic. It is the ultimate excuse to do evil.
Remember that forecasts of doom and bad concurrence are easy. So their prophets are never held to account. You must hold those who profess such authority – to account. Remember that an appeal to Apocalypse is the ultimate claim to authority. It is made by those who have cast off all ideas of being accountable, and boldly seek to control the will and direction of mankind. It is not only a claim to authority of the future (a psychic claim), but moreover rests upon every other single claim to authority cited in the above 3 prison bars. This chain of claim risk, just as in any other discipline known to man, not just in science, has a high degree – a surety – of being found wrong.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter in 1825 to General Alexander Smyth:
“It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the biblical, The Revelation to John], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherencies of our own nightly dreams … I cannot so far respect them as to consider them as an allegorical narrative of events, past or subsequent. There is not enough coherence in them to countenance any suite of rational ideas…. What has no meaning admits no explanation. And pardon me if I say, with the candor of friendship, that I think your time too valuable, and your understanding of too high an order, to be wasted on these paralogisms. You will perceive, I hope, also that I do not consider them as revelations of the supreme being, whom I would not so far blaspheme as to impute to him a pretension of revelation, couched at the same time in terms which, he would know, were never to be understood by those to whom they were addressed.”
— Thomas Jefferson, letter to General Alexander Smyth, January 17, 1825
note: a ‘paralogism’ is a form of linear reasoning, which might appear to be coherent inside a stand alone or twisted context, however is based upon false underpinnings in the first place, which may or may not be fully recognized.¹
The keen mind of the ethical skeptic must understand the depravity of the mind of man – not just those in the fake skepticism movement – but as well the nature of the religious mind. The ethical skeptic is wise to know when he or she is expending ‘time too valuable, and understanding of too high an order to be wasted’ on a life or even portion thereof mired in the deep deep mud of religious thinking. Religious thinking of any kind: Abrahamism, Nihilism, Eastern or Ethereal Doctrines, UFO or Horoscope Cults. They are all religions.
Our world is not lacking for suitable evidence from which to ascertain what we need to know. It is lacking for suitable minds, suitable methods and suitable ethics. Under the oppressive thumb of religious thinking, it will be lacking you. Take it from one who has run the gauntlet and emerged as a free man. Don’t allow that loss of your mind, to occur.
You, and indeed our World, can no longer afford to think like this.