The Problem

We are in the situation where we are not in social reality – and by that I mean that our explanation of what is happening in social reality does not match the anthropological facts about what is happening in social reality.  However, that’s not what bothers me right now.  It has bothered me a great deal in the past but what bothers me now is that no one seems to know that.

You would think that out of all of the billions of people on earth there could at least have been enough to recognise that we’re not in social reality and then some, or one of those could have put pen to paper or keyboard to document to mention the simple and yet revolutionary fact that we’re not in social reality.  Oh, and for such a memoir to find it’s way to my eyes.

The fact that it hasn’t is not due to lack of trying on my behalf.  I have looked up many books on what might be the subject as well as tried numerous Google searches on keywords that might be relevant to such an enquiry. That’s all pretty much come to nothing.
Google is usually pretty good. Normally if you put something in you’re going to get what you’re looking for. Even if you don’t know what that thing is called. For instance if I put into Google “That pole that sticks out of a water tank” I can be at “Water tank level indicator” on the second result. That didn’t take long! It didn’t take a lifetime.

A good example of what it would be like is if we were in a completely theist society, and there was a person who one day wondered “What if god doesn’t exist?” So they looked for books, news articles, blogs and web sites that might say something about that question and drew a blank. Well you can try it. It certainly doesn’t draw a blank. It actually auto-fills it in for you before you can even finish typing.

And a whole lot of stuff comes up. Actually one of them is quite good:

“I have often wondered how a materialist philosopher sees his wife and family. Does he see his children as little opportunistic Darwinian parasites?
Does he see himself and his wife not as a loving human couple but as two organisms somehow enslaved to the biological program hard-wired into his brain, mediated by various hormones and reinforced by cultural norms?
Anyway, for all of its transparent absurdity, it appears that we live in a society that is in danger of succumbing to this view of life.”
http://www.madonnahouse.org/what-if-god-doesnt-exist-by-tom-white/

Well don’t worry about it Tom, although you have correctly described reality, people, even “materialist philosophers” in fact don’t see things like that. I wish they would! That would be getting somewhere near the truth.

Now if I am to change my search to “What if social reality doesn’t exist?” Google just gives me some stuff about quantum physics. Worthy but irrelevant. It ignores the social as if to say ‘Of course social reality exists. It’s physical reality that doesn’t exist!’

(Actually I’m not trying to say that social reality doesn’t exist but rather that it’s typically rather different from what we consciously perceive.)

Those sorts of searches however have an downside as a comparison, in that to say something doesn’t exist you’ve got to have a concept of that thing. Yet even if people both have the same concept, if they don’t have a shared language they may not hit on the right words to try and describe the concept, which are then findable by someone else.

For instance, if someone didn’t have a concept of God and they independently thought of it, they might try and search under the words they would ascribe to their concept to see if someone else had the same concept.

So let’s think about that. If I didn’t know the word for ‘God’ and I had that concept, what words would I use to try and describe that concept? Let’s say I call it ‘big invisible being’ how does that go in Google? Actually I don’t get God with “big invisible being” in Google. That’s actually quite encouraging! I might try something else. How about: “a being that is everywhere at once”?
That gets me God on the first page:

https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_364.cfm

See? So even if you don’t have the words, by describing the concept you can generally easily get to the concept as thought about by other people. So why no joy with social reality? That question will have to be continued on another day.

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The Gay Myth II

The Gay myth – Part II, Witches and Stockholm

The latest in my series of myths that practically everyone believes. Last time was part one of the gay myth

We’ve got this big fat question for which there are scientific studies done. The question is: “Why do certain people of the same gender make love, not war – what is wrong with them?”

So you’ve got this supposed group of people unique in their sexual fixations, Oh and there is the additional factors that there is no historical record of such a defined group ever existing before (although it has been said that they were constantly repressed before).
“Oh, but what about the Ancient Greeks?” you might say. Only problem there, is that it was more of a man-boy love thing, so since everyone really hates that, you’re going to have to forget about your Greeks!

Secondly there is no scientific reason why such a group should exist.

“OK” you may say “I know what I am, and I know that some other people are a different way, so all your talk of lack of historical precedent and scientific reason is going to have to fall into line with that.”

This is a version of the old believed ‘infallibility of personal experience’ that I’ve discussed before.

Basically if you see one piece of evidence that seems to be presented to your psychology directly, you will be willing to dismiss the whole rest of your logical understanding of the world to accommodate it no matter how incongruous that may be.

For instance, if you had a minor stroke in the part of your brain that deals with emotional connection to people, when you saw those people you would automatically presume that they had been replaced by identical clones. Yeah, that seems likely!

Now, witches; That seems like the kind of thing that couldn’t exist right? (And I don’t mean members of the modern Wicken movement), I mean the old lady down the street who you presume is putting a curse on you because your dog just died and she looked at you funny in the street one day.

Yet once people did believe just that – they believed that there was this special group of devil worshiping people with special and destructive supernatural powers.

So where are all the witches now?

Hey, here’s a suggestion: Maybe they got all the witches when they had witch hunters and witchcraft trials!
They must have cleaned them all up so that all the genes of people with supernatural powers were made extinct.

The only other explanation would be that the whole witchcraft thing was a cultural myth at that time, which was used to get rid of certain individuals that weren’t liked.
But that can’t be true. Many of those individuals themselves confessed!

At the time of the witchcraft trials did people say “Hey, you know the historical precedent for there being witches is kind of weak?” So far as I know they did not. Did they say “science doesn’t have a clue why such people should exist”? No. (well fair enough because science barely existed then).

Let’s get it right here: What I’m claiming is that we have a concept which doesn’t make sense. It may have started out making some kind of sense, but which got twisted and formalised and now makes no sense whatsoever.

Part of this, is the rigidity with which a variety of sexual strategies that humans have developed over millions of years have then been described and then placed in the formal cultural environment. Now I won’t describe the reasons for people pursuing these various sexual strategies in the environment, because that is massively destructive to the formal environment. Suffice to say; that people’s sexual strategies are many, varied and entirely tending towards their survival and reproduction. To make this understood let’s give the example of one such strategy:

In some long hostage situations it has been noted that women will become romantically attracted to the men that are responsible for taking them hostage, and this attraction will continue past the point where the hostage situation is resolved and the men in jail for instance. This is called Stockholm Syndrome, and it can be clearly seen that there is a good survival reason for it, in that people are probably historically more likely to survive in such a situation if they form such attachments.

Anyway, we have that little bit of formal description of that situation. Now what if we were to formalise it some more, and add a vast amount more judgments to the analysis?

We could say that some women are Stockholm women and some are not. That is their sexuality. If they are ‘Stockholm’ women what they ‘want’ is to be abducted and then be in close confines with their abductors so that they may then form a romantic pair bond.
So once a woman decides that she is a ‘Stockholm’ she can register online and browse various men than might then kidnap her in the middle of the night and then hold her for a certain amount of time in his house and then release her and which point she would make a choice as to whether he was the specifically right Stockholm man for her. Because a man that had the fantasy to do that would be a ‘Stockholm man’.

At that point of understanding in the culture there could be kids playing and some boys lock a girl in a cupboard, so the parents decide that the girl is obviously going to grow up to be a Stockholm women and noone should tease her about that because that is her sexuality that she can’t change even if she wants to.

After all we can all agree that Stockholm syndrome is real and has been known about for X amount of time, so any kind of madness which we might create around it in the culture must be ok!

That’s how bad things are.

If a male is seen to be acting or looking in too feminine a way people say “hey he’s gay” But when some one asks who you define gay you say “Someone who is attracted to men” So the apparently ‘normal’ man who is merely being attracted to some female behaviour is then ensnared in this concept even though both parties actually doing two different things.

But then what if we find out that the guy who is producing the ‘female’ behaviour isn’t even aware of what he is doing, and the whole time his conscious thought is along the lines of “How can I score with a hot chick tonight”?
So then it’s just the other guy who is then ‘gay’ – and what if that other guy has a ‘mate’ or ‘buddy’ who doesn’t notice the first male’s female like behaviour, but instead is scoping out the room for women based on how superficially cute they appear?

By this stage what we’re forced to do is call one guy ‘gay’ for basically noticing female behaviour, whereas another one is ‘heterosexual’ for not noticing, and instead being involved in some sort of object fetishism based on clothes, hair and jewelry.

And as for the guy who was producing the original female behaviour – he’s already half way down the street with a nice young bird, thank you very much.

That is literally how demented our cultural ideas about the social landscape are.

On the other hand what if it’s the guy who notices to the female behaviour that isn’t fully aware of his own attraction? In that case he’s going to have certain feelings which will cause him problems. He’s going to have to run after the person, tell him, try to make him confess and then castrate him with the culture he’s going to make him wear. He can go: “Hey, you’re gay, and for some reason that forces me to attack you.”

…just like they attacked the witches.

How many real witches were there again?

In the year 1548 at Arnhem in Holland one of the city’s most respected citizens was brought before the Chancellor accused of sortilege, or enchantment. This man was reputed to be the regions most learned and excelent physician, and knew ‘the cure and remedie for all manner of griefs and diseases’, according to the churchman-scholar Hegwoad. But his wisdom was not restriced to medicine. He was always ‘acquainted with all newes, as well forrein as domesticke.’
Accusers stated that the physician obtained his powers from a ring that he wore on his hand. Witnesses claimed that the doctor – who later became known as the Sorcerer of Courtray – constantly consulted the ring. It was stated that ‘the ring had a demon enclosed in it, to whom it beloved him to speak every five days.’
Despite the marked reluctance of the Chancellor to pass judgement on such a valued citizen, he found the evidence was so overwhelming that he had no choice but to find the man guilty. The physician was immediately proscribed for sorcery and put to death.

David Day, Tolkien’s Ring, p20

Punishing-witches-Laienspiegel

Myths part two – Genocide and Holocaust

This is part two of my series examining myth. There are sensitivities involved in this particular myth. But don’t worry, I’ll be back with part three soon!

The Holocaust myth

Before I get started on this one I just wanted to say that I’m not some kind of Neo-Nazi or anything it’s just that the holocaust is a very good example of sacred myth in our society. Some people try to deny it based on the numbers of people that died or what they died of. I do not deny it on that basis but merely because it is myth. Don’t worry about it, nearly everything is!

I remember reading in the Guinness book or records that the greatest holocaust is the “Mongol extermination of Chinese peasantry” . But guess what? That’s not the one we think about!

The Dominant myth goes something like: For no reason a group of people called the Nazis under the leadership of Hitler decided to massacre all the Jews in Europe in specially built camps. This being because Hitler was a uniquely evil kind of person and the Nazis a uniquely evil kind of organisation.

This myth is so powerful that to even call it a myth can get you put in jail in some countries. And yet the counter myth denial of it focuses on the parts that actually are true like the fact of the numbers killed and the method of killing.
i.e the Holocaust denial myth says that they were ‘just work camps’ and that ‘they only died of disease’ etc

The dominant myth in this case starts with its conception as The Holocaust i.e its supposed uniqueness when the Soviets killed more in their camps – just not as efficiently.

Secondly there was obviously no conception of it being The Holocaust while it was happening – It was just some bad shit that was going down. What this means is that people didn’t wake up each day and go “I’m in the holocaust – my victimhood is total and the criminality of anyone guarding the camps is total”.

Thirdly the focus is always on the Jewish people that died they don’t talk about the millions of Russian prisoners of war that were killed – who cares about them?
The obvious reason for this is of course is the political power of the Jewish lobby in America.

Within this is a core problem with the holocaust as a unique event, that being the genocide part of it. genocide is an interesting concept. It means the killing of an entire race of people but the issue here is that if there’s something wrong with a race of people as opposed to large numbers of other people (like POWs being killed what is it? Surely it’s not that races are valuable things. If there was something more valuable about races as opposed to other groups of people then that would be playing into the whole cause of the genocide to begin with. If race has no biological meaning how can there be genocide?

Fourthly as opposed to it being all a Nazi idea it was the outcome of a combination of German and Jewish values. The Jewish value of the mass killing of populations as revealed to Moses, done by Joshua and recorded in the old testament, and the German value of efficiency and hard work.

That’s one of the reasons why Jewish people are so obsessed by ‘the’ Holocaust because they are excited by the idea of killing populations, except in this case since it was them so they can’t support it, but still want to think about it.

It would be one thing if that had happened as a part of Jewish history but now rejected as a bad thing but I’ve never heard any Jewish apology for the holocaust they inflicted upon the original inhabitants of Palestine. This is a part of Christianity too, but no one ever says “Oh God, got that mass killing wrong” So why should we expect a Christian country not to follow the instructions of their faith?

Today, missionaries continue to bring books containing instructions for genocide to all the least sophisticated corners of the earth. Guess what happens!

Fifthly, The conception of a bunch of helpless prisoners surrounded by guards who were controlling everything is infact false.

The book The Devils and the Damned by former prisoner Benedict Kautsky paints a different picture.

See:
http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_document.cfm?document_id=1512

The first wave of prisoners and those in favored groups were able to form an aristocracy and live at the expense of the less fortunate. This included political prisoners (communists and social democrats), those from ‘anti social’ groups and Jews, Gipsies and criminals.

It’s interesting to note that these groups themselves accepted the labels that they and others had been given by the Nazis as meaning something in terms of how other prisoners should be treated. For instance the group of political prisoners who might previously have been battling amongst themselves were in one group whereas ‘criminals’ were in another. But what could ‘criminal’ mean in that context? i.e to be in prison for assault, murder or robbery by people who were doing the same thing but on a much grander scale.

If we look at why the holocaust myth was developed it’s easy just to say “It was the Jews” etc but actually it serves a function for German society because if it was just the fault of the evil Nazis then everyone else could be exonerated. If it turned out that the camps could not function without the support of society at large and the Jews, Communists and Social Democrats in it then that would be a terrible disaster. Luckily for Germany it’s illegal to say that there.

This is all linked in with another myth: That of the lack of responsibility of Germans for the holocaust. The French have a related saying about the occupation that nobody was a collaborator and everyone was in the resistance.
In the German context it is that everyone was silently disapproving and nobody was a Nazi. If it turns out that one of your ancestors was a Nazi, then you say that they had to be in the Nazi party to get along. If they were in the SS you say that they were in a part that didn’t have anything to do with the concentration camps. If they were in the camps you say that they were only following orders.

But in the end, because of the numbers of people that died, everyone is willing to say ‘oh to hell with it let that be a defining myth of evil in our time’.

And by the way even if you don’t think that that Holocaust is myth you likely think that ‘that’ Holocaust is not but other people’s “holocausts” are.  If you don’t believe me try googling “Abortion Holocaust”.

Anyway I’m sick of writing about this one – let’s move onto the next myth.

Clickable extra resources below:

Devilsback

devils_index

devils_and_the_damned_10-11 devils_and_the_damned_12-13 devils_and_the_damned_13-14 devils_and_the_damned_16-17 devils_and_the_damned_18-19 devils_and_the_damned_22-23 devils_and_the_damned_24-25 devils_and_the_damned_26-27 devils_and_the_damned_28-29 devils_and_the_damned_30-31 devils_and_the_damned_32-33 devils_and_the_damned_34-35 devils_and_the_damned_36-37 devils_and_the_damned_38-39 devils_and_the_damned_40-41 devils_and_the_damned_42-43 devils_and_the_damned_44-45 devils_and_the_damned_46-47

Myths and the Mythspace

Myths and the Mythspace

There are objects and there are facts in the world. Everything else is myth. So practically everything we talk about is myth.

Infact, there is so much myth that we really have to divide up the mythspace into first tier myths which are global, unquestioned, unquestionable, invisible and essential. ie myths that it is in everyone’s interest to believe.
I can’t really talk about the global myth although one might be summed up as:
“We aren’t animals”. (and all that is thought to mean)

There is second tier myths which are myths built on other myths and which serve some interest groups. Some of these may be recognised as myths by some people. e.g race.

Then there are third tier myths which are so implausible that they are actually called myths such as ‘urban myths’ as well as myths that children are told such as of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

From the perspective of first tier myth I am going to examine some second tier myths.

Where there is a case of disputation of myth there are two possibilities: The first is a rationalisation – what I call myth purification where the most outlandish aspects of the myth are washed away to leave a more plausible myth.

An example of this is the reformation, when the Catholic church stopped selling passes for people to get into heaven.

The other possibility is to fall into a counter myth where an idea is opposed from the point of view of another myth. An example of this would be during the Cold War with the ideas of communists verses the ideas of McCarthy. (both being mythical)

What myths?

A myth might be defined as a culturally relevant falsehood, which serves some purpose. They function by having some kind of emotionally motivating semantic content, which people believe and act on the basis of.

The reason why we have these myths, is that we need them in order to have the kind of advanced society that we do. But we don’t need all of them. I believe that we actually only need the first level global myth. It might also be an advantage if the global myth was known to be mythical – but (none the less) necessary.

Imagine for instance if you were watching a play or movie, but you believed it was all true. In that case you would be in the same situation as practically everyone is in regard to society.

You don’t run out of the movie theatre if a train comes towards you (as early filmgoers did) and yet you don’t find it all completely dull as you might if you thought it was just a pure lie.

This example will also show you that there can be a level of disbelief about such things but yet we can still get some social use out of them.

Often it is thought that if any believe is a myth we should instantly do away with it. And I know examples of ‘atheists’ for instance who laugh at the foolishness of religious believers, when any atheist I’ve ever spoken to believes in a whole range of moral myths themselves.

Actually, If any individual was to wholly disregards myth they would ironically be regarded as crazy. This is not generally a cause of insanity however, but rather people developing their own unique and thus unacceptable myths.
Infact what we call ‘madness’ may often be the use of a particular myth to indicate some kind of social distress. It was once a kind of madness to believe that your body was made of glass and would break if you moved it. We don’t have that kind of madness any more.

Social dialogue belongs to the myth builders. The person or group that can build the most convincing myth will be able to gain the most power.

Why Myths?

Why believe a myth instead of the truth? And why do people often choose another myth competing myth, when they don’t want to believe a particular myth?

The root of all mythical belief is an emotional appeal. Myths are emotionally appealing and action inducing. Merely exposing the myth as false is emotionally empty, so you have competing myths around emotional topics in order to determine the ‘meaning’ of these topics.

e.g we have natural emotions around death therefore we have many myths around death. The same is true of birth and sex. What is called ‘romance’ for instance is just a set of myths around sex and coupling.

Since there is no absolute reason to do anything; we only ever have emotional motivation to do things. Myth connects the semantic to the emotional by providing larger than life appeals to our basic instincts and motivates our actions.

The 911 myth

The official Bush administration myth was that there was a global network of terrorist sleeper cells headed by Osama bin Laden and connected to Saddam Hussein. On Sept 11 2001 one of these cells attacked America most notably the World Trade Center in New York.
An invasion of Iraq was then necessary to stop any of his massive stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists.

Now we know that that is all pretty much false, except for the fact that some people did actually attack the towers and the Pentagon.

That falsehood should be enough, but for the counter culture that is not enough because it merely waters down the Bush administration’s case. After all some bunch of Arabs with something to do with Osama Bin Laden did attack America. Which Arabs? Ah, who cares about that?

No, they have to turn it around and say that the US government is so evil and insane that they actually staged an attack on their own military and economic headquarters. Now that’s a reason to be against the US government!

So myth and counter myth, each basically false but each emotionally resonant to some people.

Uniqueness

A feature of many myths is uniqueness – That some people or event has a unique feature that makes it worthy of worship. After all if something is not unique why think about it as opposed to the something of the same kind?
For instance in Christianity the suffering of Jesus is thought of as a unique event in torture and cruelty as opposed to a routine feature of Roman execution.

‘The’ Holocaust is thought of in this light. I remember reading in the Guinness book of records that the greatest holocaust is the Mongol extermination of Chinese peasantry . But guess what? That’s not the one we think about!

In the case of 911 the unique feature was flying a planes into buildings.

In the Lord of the Rings it was the one ring.

End of part one

Even when Richard Dawkins is getting it right, he’s getting it wrong

Another day, another ‘shocking’ twitter statement from Richard Dawkins – and ideal blogging fodder for me.  There’s a nice tabloid report here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2730028/Atheist-author-Richard-Dawkins-says-foetuses-Downs-syndrome-aborted.html

I love where it says:

Richard Dawkins risked provoking fury today by claiming foetuses with Down’s syndrome should be aborted – and parents should ‘try again’.

You see, the problem here is not that he’s pro eugenics or whatever, the problem is his justification for that position .  That being morality (which is false) and suffering – which is just bizzare.

He claimed that the important question in the abortion debate is not “is it ‘human’?” but “can it suffer?” and insisted that people have no right to object to abortion if they eat meat.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11047072/Richard-Dawkins-immoral-to-allow-Downs-syndrome-babies-to-be-born.html

He insisted he was not questioning the right of people with Down’s syndrome who have already been born to live – just those who have not yet been born.

Well suffering has nothing to do with it, and not questioning the right of people with Down’s syndrome to live is another religious worship that he has.  He should be questioning all rights as all ‘rights talk’ is fundamentally flawed.

People have got to take a step back to basic self interest and work out the question of why you would put more resources into a fundamentally flawed human being than one who has much more potential? That’s what you’re doing with a Downs syndrome child.

People have all these religious and liberal ideas that prevent them seeing the reality of the situation.  All of this got a boost from the outcome of WWII whereby anything associated with fascist regimes was automatically discounted, but while this liberalism was supposedly in the interest of the Jewish people it was really just as damaging to them as well.

Let me ask you, if you seriously think there is nothing practically wrong with giving resources to keep Downs syndrome beings alive and that they should be loved and cherished like any other person: What if there was a disease whose sole symptom was that it caused you to give birth to Downs syndrome babies and it was highly contagious like the common cold.

Should there be any effort to control such a disease?  Or would there be no apparent problem with that since Downs syndrome is not a negative in its self?

What if every child was going to be Downs syndrome?  Would that be a problem for society?  Maybe we could convert the entire human race to Downs Syndrome and see how that works out.

The fantasy aspect

There’s an interesting thing on Wikipedia that point to a liberal moral fantasy among women about the issue:

Abortion rates

When nonpregnant people are asked if they would have a termination if their fetus tested positive, 23–33% said yes, when high-risk pregnant women were asked, 46–86% said yes, and when women who screened positive are asked, 89–97% say yes.[70]

Of course it’s no problem or cost for a woman to claim moral and religious purity and say she wouldn’t abort in the case of Down’s Syndrome if she’s not even pregnant but if she’s actually carrying a child with the condition then that purity carries a huge cost.  Only a rich bitch – some Angelena Jolie moral angel could carry that one off.  Gee in her case I’m sure, even if she was going to give birth to a clump of hair, some skin cells and a few teeth sticking out of it she would make Brad Pitt suck up to that.  It’s amazing what you can do when you’re a hard core Alpha female.

Whatever you do, don’t click here

Finally an apology.  We live in a culture.  That culture is liberal, religious, whatever.
I have a blog and I can say what I can’t normally say in the moral society.

http://www.bim-bad.ru/docs/hinckfuss_ian_moral_society.pdf

I don’t want anything

When it comes to funeral arrangements I don’t want anything, however I don’t want to tell people around me this as it’s only going to upset them.

I don’t want anything because it’s another example of the lack of beliefs that I hold.

Richard Dawkins for instance, when he dies, is likely to have a huge funeral.  He is after all a cultural Christian.  Part of this is the implicit belief that there is something mystical and special about a dead body.  Atheists believe this because they’re not really atheists.  Atheists don’t see a dead body as an inconveniently rotting piece of meat to be disposed of as such, but rather as a special and sacred thing.

If an atheist sees a religious person kissing a statue they will think “That poor deluded idolator” and yet they will go along to a funeral and effectively do the same thing.  The reason for this of course is that an atheist is infact religious – they just can’t get to grips with their own religiosity.

In terms of what I want, I don’t want anything, but in a society following the religion of liberal humanism, fake Christianity and fake Atheism this becomes a problem.  Not wanting anything becomes something  quite major in itself.

Normally if you* want to dispose of something for instance, you just put it in the bin but you can’t just put a body in a bin because someone will likely find it and then it will be all on.  So it would have to be disposed of in such a way as not to cause undue alarm among the citizenry.

One option is to donate your body to science but even if you do that, it seems that nothing is going to stop people from erecting a religious monument to that.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2005907/So-thats-happens-donate-body-science–600-peoples-remains-buried-single-grave.html

I suppose it would be possible for a person to donate their remains to science with the proviso that when it is ‘used’ it is disposed of like any other medical waste in the hospital system.

Even this has problems however as it suggests that a dead person still has agency after their death, when in reality there is no reason that should be.  So the more correct response would be to say “Do whatever you want” and hope that they understand what you wanted when you were alive.

One thing I should mention however is that I’m not against people celebrating my death – ‘party it up’!  Any excuse for a party is a good one, so I wouldn’t want to deprive people of that.

 

* I often say 'you' when I mean 'one' because I think that 'one' sounds too formal and English upper class.  Sorry if there is any inaccuracy in interpretation because of this.

Not believing in things

I have this problem.  I don’t believe in a whole bunch of things that other people believe in.

Other people also think they have this problem but they usually seem to believe in something else to compensate.

Basically, whatever it is that you believe in I probably don’t believe in it.

Religion is an obvious example.  I don’t believe in it.

But I don’t believe in Atheism either.  I cannot support atheists because of this.

All the top ‘hot button’ issues I don’t believe in.  I don’t believe in abortion for instance but that’s not to say that I’m for or against it – I just don’t have beliefs about it.  I don’t believe in choice and I don’t believe in a right to life either.

In terms of gay marriage – I don’t believe in it, but I’m not against it because I don’t believe in gays and I’m not against people claiming to be gay because I don’t believe in the existence of heterosexuals either.

• I don’t believe in Morality

• I don’t believe in God

• I don’t believe in Liberalism

• I don’t believe in Conservatism

I just have this huge hole where my beliefs about these things should be.  I don’t even believe that I should believe in those things!

Fundamentally I don’t even believe I’m in social reality and on the face of it having a lack of belief that you’re in reality is a completely crazy thing to have.

Pretty much all I believe in is the physical world and general empirical beliefs.  That’s is.

I’ll try and think of some other things that I’m lacking belief in and update this extremely bloglike post.

Oh yeah, anything other than a biological definition of gender – I don’t believe in that.

I feel like I have to balance out any lack of belief that is seen as conservative with one that is seen as liberal.  So I’ll have to come back with a more liberal seeming lack of belief.

Oh, money!  I don’t believe in money!

(Obviously)

Revolutions

Revolutions as changes of world view

Examining the record of past research from the vantage point of contemporary historiography, the historian of science may be tempted to exclaim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them. Led my a new paradigm, scientists adopt new instruments and look in new places. Even more important, during revolutions scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if the professional community had been suddenly transported to another planet where familiar objects are viewed in a different light and joined by unfamiliar ones as well… …we may want to say that after a revolution scientists are responding to a different world.

Thomas S Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions p111.

A Warning

Over the past few years I developed a different understanding of human behaviour. In the beginning this was very exciting for me, and I looked to informing others about my ideas. However I soon found out that it wasn’t as simple as that. That if what I now understood was true it would mean a major effect on society and possibly a negative one. This was coupled with an intense personal crisis about the contents of my new understanding. After a large amount of thought and personal writing I have decided to take a similar approach to the unveiling of this theory that Darwin took to his theory of Natural selection. i.e. not to unveil at this time. However, there will be the added factor that I’m going to try to make it public that I am taking such an approach, so that if anyone else comes up with the same idea, I can at least be credited with it. This is in some sense then an ego prop, but I hope to at least give enough information that if and when someone else comes up with the same idea you will be able to recognise it as the same from the information contained within.

About Darwin

I’m sure you know that Darwin developed the theory of evolution by natural selection long before he published origin of the species, but then it wasn’t until he received a paper by Alfred Wallace that he decided to publish. Infact we know this about Darwin’s life:

1837 May 3
Darwin was influenced by the recent discovery of “fossilised monkeys” in Africa. He conjectured that such fossils were evidence that mankind was descended from some kind of ape ancestor. However, he dared not mention this to anyone, as such talk was tantamount to heresy.

1838
During this time Darwin was struggling between the desire to go public with his transmutation theories, and being ostracized by his fellow naturalists (Henslow, Sedgwick, Lyell and others). He solved this dilemma by keeping quiet for the time being.

1838 Spring
Due to concern for his reputation, Darwin decided to not publish any of his transmutation theories for many years to come.

1842 late June
While at Shrewsbury Darwin wrote up a thirty-five page sketch of his ideas about transmutation. This was the very first rough draft of his theory. In it he had natural selection figured out, and had a basic description of descent, both of which he said obeyed strict laws of nature. It is interesting to note that at this time Darwin thought these “laws of nature” were set forth by god during creation, after which time god stepped back and no longer intervened with the universe.

1842
Darwin made an outline of reasons not to published his transmutation ideas –
[1] Fellow naturalists would never accept his ideas.
[2] animal breeders would find a huge treatise too boring to read.
[3] the trouble making atheists would use it for their evil agendas.
[4] the church would scorn him.
[5] he did not want to be labeled an atheist.
[6] he would betray his friends and family to whom he owed so much.

1858 June 18
Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace, who was still at the Malay Archipelago. The paper was titled: “On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely from the Original Type.” Darwin was shocked! Wallace had come up with a theory of natural selection that was very similar to his own. The paper contained concepts like “the struggle for existence,” and “the transmutation of species.”

1858 June 28
Darwin’s son, Charles Waring Darwin, died.

1858 July 1
On this date Charles Darwin first went public about his views on the evolution of species. The papers of Darwin and Wallace were read at a meeting of the Linnean Society in London.

1859 November 22
“Origin of Species” went on sale to the public at a price of 15 shillings. 1,250 copies were printed, most of which sold the first day. It was an immediate success and Darwin started the same day editing the work for a second edition.

http://www.aboutdarwin.com

You will note that Darwin had natural selection worked out by 1842, but it was not till 1858 that he actually went public with it. So he sat on the information for 16 years!
The difference between Darwin and I however is that he was already a respected biologist, whereas I’m effectively nobody.
At one point Darwin doesn’t want to say anything, because he believes it would be regarded as heresy. It might be said that today that isn’t an issue. However, I think that heresy today could be summed up as scepticism about humane values, as well as opinions that disagree with the majority cultural consensus about contentious issues.

Managing the mind bomb

There is a theory that I can say little about, because of what I believe the consequences would be. The situation is analogous to the person who first works out how to build a new weapon of mass destruction. What should they do? They may not want that information to be released, but they won’t want someone else to later discover the same thing, and get the credit for the technical accomplishment either.
So, what I’m going to do is state as much as I can, so that in the event full revelation by someone else, I will still be recognised as the person who first understood and theorised on this phenomena. This way I will at least be credited with the intellectual ability, come that eventuality.

Recognition – What such a revelation would look like

The theory, if and when it comes, will consist of one, or both, of the following parts:

1: An intellectual theory of human behaviour

The least dangerous part is a theory of human behaviour, related to evolutionary psychology, but with massively more explanatory power, and taking into account a much larger range of actual behaviours.
It will be especially explanatory of human social behaviour.
There will be some of this theory in what follows.
In effect though, this intellectual theory is not too likely to be presented, unless someone has worked out how to access the information psychologically. That is the really dangerous part.

2: A psychological technique.

This part is a kind of psychological technique for accessing information beyond the cultural and intellectual. Once a person becomes so ‘enabled’, it is not a matter of choice whether they believe the intellectual theory. So long as it has been explained to them beforehand, it is all intuitive to them. However, if it hasn’t been explained they may adopt other interpretations.
Infact, some people are often in this state, but they don’t have the theory, and so interpret using their own personal, cultural and intellectual means. The thing is, anyone who is in this state will probably not intellectualise it, but if they do, they will probably use their existing cultural symbols, rather than explanations from evolutionary psychology and the like. In fact they may even think they are experiencing something beyond psychological explanations, and that it thus disproves such explanations.

The reality is far more terrible.

A person in this state is able to ‘see through’ existing cultural conceptions to a more primitive and basic level of human operation.
Furthermore, a person in this state will provoke much of what they will then be able to see in persons around them, when it might otherwise be absent.
A good example of a ‘psychological technique’ is simply the ability to read, and thereby pick up huge amounts of extra information from the world that you wouldn’t have otherwise. If we didn’t know about such a thing as written language, we might regard all the text around us as a kind pervasive, stylistic, cultural decoration.
Another example would be ‘magic eye’ pictures. If you didn’t know what they were and someone put one on your wall, you might go your whole life just thinking it was a decorative pattern until you were given an incredibly simple psychological technique to see what was there.

What people are doing

When people act normally, it is as one or the other, or (more probably) a mix of various classes of behavioural possibilities, which are well known and described within culture, although less so specifically within academia.
Some of these classes of behaviour, are among the things I can’t spell out, because of the cultural values respectively attached to them, which would tend to suggest that people would try and change them if they became more consciously aware of them. However, the reasons for people acting that way are usually well founded within the environment, and so it may well be unwise to change. (one of the things I would like to advise, is for the values attached to certain behaviours to be modified)
Behaviours ranging from; the exalted, to the maligned, to the criminalised, turn out to be part of our built in biological possibilities, and we are performing them from one class or another all the time, regardless of our accepted status (or behaviour class) within society.
What effect revelation of this is likely to have is anyone’s guess. Personally, I would expect widespread depression, suicide, and possibly even revolution, as the justifications upholding the basis of existing power structures collapses and and a new psychological elite takes control.
In general, I feel that the effects of general knowledge of this information would probably create social changes equivalent or greater than the sixties in the west. In some ways, we might be more human as a result, but an essential issue is that our existing values, when applied to the new understanding are likely to cause major problems, so it would be wise to modify them, in order that any revelation has less disastrous consequences.

Advised value changes include: (but are not limited to)

  • Reduction of belief in supernatural entities, especially gods.
  • A freer and less concept and value bound approach to sex and sexuality.
  • More tolerance of psychopathic behaviour.
  • A more communitarian approach, and the dissolution of the individual as an indivisible single entity.

Within existing concepts it is hard to provide pointers however.

Levels of behavioural causation

What I am going to describe here, is three levels of behavioural causation which make up part of a grid of behavioural possibilities (behaviour including thought). We can imagine it to be like a spectrum, with the biological at the bottom, then the cultural band then the intellectual.

1. The biological level This is the basic instinct for living. When I’m hungry in the morning and want something to eat, that’s the biological level.

2. The cultural level This is heuristics for living. When I have toast for breakfast that’s cultural. The hunger is biological but I could have rice or a chocolate cake. Why do I have toast? Because that’s become an automatic cultural response for me.

3. The intellectual level This encompasses the specifics; the problem solving for living. If there is a problem with the cultural or biological level or some kind of challenge to that, you can use your intellect to work it out. If I have to read and interpret the nutritional information on the side of the peanut butter packet I’m going to need the intellectual level for that. There’s also some stuff that could be said about the discord between the three levels, and how the biological level is built for a hunter gatherer, while the cultural reforms itself every generation, taking some elements of the past along with some innovations. The intellectual structures do this too, but they should be more flexible if based on true reason and logic.

Everyone already knows this in some sense. However, stating it clearly can provide a powerful tool for analysing and understanding human behaviour.
But that’s only part of the story. There’s another, equally important spectrum of behaviour, and that’s the one I’m not going to talk about. Together these two spectrums make a complete three dimensional map of human behaviour. Knowing one, you’re kind of like a ‘flatlander’, only seeing part of the picture.
So what is this other spectrum? It’s actually a major aspect of biological reality that has been culturally and thereby intellectually interpreted, but very badly so. Furthermore, there is also the direct seeing this biological reality when unfiltered by cultural perception.
– “Well of course it’s filtered by cultural perception” you’re going to say; “Your perception”. Well no it’s not, it’s being seen ‘technically’ and then interpreted culturally, rather than the other way round. This does create problems like the emotion of ‘the horror’, but I’ll get onto that later.

Reality for us

Reality as we experience it is cultural reality. We are not seeing biological reality, so most of the things that are happening in biological terms we are either blind to, or we explain in cultural terms.
Reality as we experience it, is infact a subset of the wider reality, that is actually more basic, but exacting in its operation. Because it is so explicit, most people would be likely to regard it with horror in cultural terms.
There are fictional examples that would throw some light on this, but to specifically mention them would be misleading.
One of the problems with revelation is; that once seen and interpreted with our current cultural understanding, events occurring in the wider reality (that people don’t currently have conscious access to) then create a too extreme response. You might call it a ‘meta response’ to subtle behaviour, when a subconscious adjustment would be the only natural expedient response.
Another reason is the actual things we are doing… (which is another area I can’t go into)
This is a reason that our values need to be readjusted along the lines of greater tolerance and understanding, a greater relaxation of the ego, and a blurring of social identity. Some kinds of meditation and Buddhist practices might also be a wise precaution.
What we a talking about here, is a full paradigm shift of all cultural understanding, and all intellectual understanding that is linked to that. It would be like something along the lines of what happens when an isolated tribe comes into contact with western civilisation. But even more than that in some ways, as it can cause a short circuiting of different parts of people’s mental lives, resulting in a crippling paralysis.

Everything is Something Else

What I am suggesting here, is not that people are wrong about their interpretation of the events which take place round them. We might call this the cultural level interpretation, augmented by some intellectual interpretation, and this is very often self referentially correct – correct on it’s own terms. There are many compelling cultural interpretations in the world, though most rely on a different conception of what human beings actually are than can be scientifically supported. For example the declarations in the American independence document.
What I am suggesting infact is; that while cultural interpretations have somewhat respectable justifications, their entire explanatory system runs in parallel to a much more accurate, complete and systematic possible explanation referring to the wider reality. This is the ‘something else’.
A good analogy might be; if you were in a ‘show’ and being televised to an audience, except that you as one of the ‘performers’ did not know you were in a show, or the wider dynamics of how your relationships worked.
In this case you might say that everything you did was something else. That there were some people who you thought were genuinely interested in you, where as infact they were operating from different motives.

Everything is infact something else…

The Horror

Seeing everything as being also something else, may create an emotion that I call ‘the horror’. Kind of an intense experience of cognitive disidence, this emotion is generated when the cultural and intellectual interpretations of the social environment are in conflict. For instance, if you see something happening in one sphere, that your values oppose in another.
People may look back on their experiences in another paradigm, and know of the things they thought and did, but generally not why they thought and did them. Imagine being in both paradigms at the same time.
It is one thing for example; if you could return the Pope to the German army at the end of World War II, and he had to somehow deal with that, but it would be yet another if he had to carry out his elderly duties as Pope, and his teenage duties as soldier at the same time.
You can divide up the horror into two kinds – the horror at behaviour, and the horror at language. In each case it is because two parallel interpretations might be given for the same behavioural acts, speech or written text.
Any person who is able to decode consciously both streams of information, is faced with the problem of how to deal with the separate, and often conflicting messages. This may either be through the disparate subject matter of the respective messages, or because of their conflicting, and often socially unacceptable nature.
An aware observer is likely to be confused about how to respond – even, what to respond to.
The effect may be similar to the experience of someone who hears voices as they go about their business, except that the ‘voices’ here are powerful interpretations, and identified with individuals or groups of people.
Another issue is; that it is not just the interpreted outputs of others, but the actions of the individual themselves causing a possible personal crisis of self identity. Something like alien hand syndrome or the like, where the individual feels themselves no longer in control of their own body and even mind, as if their own self becomes alien to them.
A person who is interpreting the world thus will take an action in the social environment, and then will half a second later realise that the action they have just taken, has an entirely different causal mechanism or reason for being done than the normal cultural explanation. For a further example of a similar experience of horror, imagine that a woman had to have dinner with a charismatic and powerful man, that she knew was planning to kill her. In this case his charm and interest in her life would be wasted, as it would all be interpreted as a tactic for him collecting information about her habits, in order that he could better carry out his deadly task. But still she would have to remain calm and happy looking despite her inner turmoil. Everything would be something else, so it’s nearly an exact analogy.
So, some very serious and damaging psychological effects can occur as a result of seeing the wider reality of human existence.

Why people don’t see the truth

In terms of the psycho-sexual environment, why don’t people see that, instead of the cultural mythspace that they actually operate in? The reason (so far as I can discern) is that they’re generally not using the part of their brain that is able to automatically decode such stimuli, and so it is simply edited out of the viewing process as irrelevancies.
When they are using that part of their brain, they continue to use the same intellectualisations, and so while they detect that something is going on, since there’s no words for it in the mythspace, it remains simply ‘feelings’.

Infact a more interesting question for me is; why some people do seem to know the truth and they really don’t want you talking about it. But I’ll have to go into that at a later date.

Why it doesn’t help to know the truth

In general, people ought to evolve towards a greater realisation of reality, as that should be advantageous to them in the environment. If they do not then there ought to be a pretty good explanation for that.
For something like gods it’s not too hard. All it is, is the extension of our natural bias towards seeing things in personal and social terms into the physical environment. If you don’t see things in social terms then you’re autistic and will have limited hope of reproducing, whereas if you see more than there is in social terms, then you will have just as much, or more chance passing on your genes.
For the psycho-sexual environment, because our brains have this natural level of flexibility in operation, in terms of which behaviour set is used, we can operate in vastly different kinds of social ways at different times, however only one behaviour set is truly capable of creating the mythspace, and so that is the one we operate in.
Because the mythspace allows the development of civilisation, and the others aren’t really needed once civilisation is achieved, they are simply sidelined and our effort goes into the mythspace.
It’s like how blindness increases perception in the remaining senses. But in this case it’s more of a narrowing of focus, and operating within a narrow band of human possibilities.
We could imagine a child who is locked in a room without any kind of stimulation for years on end, and its brain would atrophy. But if you gave it a Computer and hooked it up to the internet with the online game ‘Second Life’ it would become an ‘internet child’. It would be the best at Second Life because that’s all that it would have to do. It would probably become the worlds fastest typist, even if it could speak in grunts. It might end up earning a fortune in real money playing Second Life, and so at that point you might say that within that mythical cyberspace it was doing pretty well. There would be no point taking it out of its room because it would only be a maladjusted retard like creature who could only communicate by typing.
That’s like us within our cultural mythspace v’s the ‘real’ human world.
One other point is that seeing the wider picture of what’s going on can be highly distracting. If you watch a film that’s one kind of experience, where you can be transported into another kind of cultural mythspace, for a hopefully pleasant and/or exciting transcending experience. But imagine that you went along with a video camera and filmed the filming of an entire movie, including the cameras filming the actors and the studio in the background. Then you cut it to the same length as the original, with the same scenes. Watching that footage would be quite a different experience to the actual movie, and one in which transcendence would be unlikely to be achieved.

The Possessed Ape

“Man is more of an ape than any of the apes” – Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

We’ve had the Naked Ape, The Moral Animal and The Third Chimpanzee, among others. My vote would be for The Possessed Ape. Here’s why; Once upon a time a chimpanzee was tried as a French spy1 by suspicious English villagers. Later on in history only dark skinned humans were considered to be a type of ape. Now we’ve got to to the point where if you ask the average person in the world if any human is a type of ape they’ll probably say “no”.

1 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Monkey_hanger&oldid=90705106

Not so long ago primatologists in Africa came into contact with a band of chimpanzees in the forest that had never come into contact with humans before. Instead of running away like chimpanzees accustomed to humans hunting them usually do, they simply saw the humans as another band of chimpanzees and acted as such. It’s got to the point where chimps in the forest have more of an idea about what we are than the average person on the street. Why?
At first glance of course chimpanzees would see humans simply as strange looking chimps. However, after more observation they would report something strange (if they could intellectualise it). They would see us responding to a mysterious force as we we in communion with some other invisible being, and as if something else was controlling our bodies. We would seem possessed, with jerky movements and strange actions.
This force is our power of language and abstract reasoning.

So I can even be a theist in the literal sense of John 1.1

John 1:1 (New International Version)

The Word Became Flesh 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Responses

Of course, I can’t just say all these things, as they don’t make sense within the current context. It might be hypothesised that I am undergoing an unfortunate kind of imaginative delusion or mental illness. I think this is the most convenient explanation, and I wouldn’t expect anyone to rule it out without some serious thought. It would be important to note however that this message is sane and rational and brought forward with the greatest care and sensitivity.

And to anyone else with their finger on the psych bomb – remember, I won’t press the trigger if you don’t.

What I want to happen about this post

I have no expectations. I understand what most people’s response would be. The most that I can hope for is that it is date stamped and held in some kind of filing system. Alerting me to anyone who has similar ideas would also be appreciated. Of course, if anyone wants further clarification or information about the things I can talk about, I would be happy to supply it.

Thank you for your time,
Ford Andrews

Appendix

Notes to others

I may as well include this advice to anyone who discovers what I am talking about here, in case I am not available in the event of them coming into contact with it. “Once upon a time you dressed so fine, threw the bums a dime, in your prime then you…”*

Welcome to the Zoo!

First of all tread very carefully. You may become depressed or elevated. Only use anti depressants in case depression becomes severe. It is important to try to use NEW concepts to explain what you are seeing. New concepts will be needed. My worst fear is not that this is discovered, but that existing concepts will be used to explain it, and the chaos that would cause.
In particular remember that these things apply to everyone – it is just that you can see it.
Don’t bother trying to discuss this with anyone – they won’t understand. Worse, they will try to interpret what you’re saying using their existing cultural symbols. At first the things you’re seeing may delight or horrify you, but just remember it’s a one way interpretation, and for you to respond to it directly will only cause confusion.
If you really find it difficult to cope, I can suggest going to a place where people are less responsive. I know from personal experience that Korea is one such place. There people are often in a different mode from westerners.
Most importantly, you will have to get used to the fact that you’re not in control of yourself as you once thought and move to a more management role of yourself, with certain ‘policies’ towards certain things, rather than specific actions that you take. This is probably one of the more horrifying things, remember though that other people are in the same position, except they don’t know it.
I may as well tell you before you do anything too drastic; what you’re seeing can be unseen. Infact that’s probably the first thing you will want to learn to do. That’s right, you’ve learned to see, and now you have to learn to unsee.
It is important that you can change your mode back again, you may not see why, but don’t worry you soon will, and that’s when you can start to have serious problems.
On the other hand if you try to adjust modes just to please people it may precipitate a wholesale disintegration of self, and peoples reaction might be more negative than ever.
It is better to choose one mode and operate using that with ‘policies’. Also don’t try and use it to ‘get one over’ on people. It might seem easy, but people can act very cunningly in the environment and get you back without even knowing it themselves.
You can’t believe that people you know are now doing those things? Well just remember, you’re probably actually provoking them in the environment. From their perspective they’re not doing anything different from what they’ve always done and you’re the one who’s acting strange.

  • Bob Dylan – Highway 61 revisited is the best album to listen to when this has happened to you.

A Theory of Information

Long before I discovered the things that provoked this letter, I developed a theory of how we might act which I called Informationism. Basically what the theory is, is a claim about the kinds of forces responsible for our functioning and then an optional prescription based on that fact. My intention here is to give a quick overview of this theory, rather than an in-depth justification. Also understand that this is not a moral theory. I don’t think this is what we ‘should’ do, but rather it’s something I advocate based on what seems logically correct.

The claim is; Evolutionary forces mean, that what we will tend to do is do what is beneficial for spreading our cultural and genetic information in an ancestral environment.

The prescription is; what we could decide to do, is what actually will benefit our information in this environment.

The justification for this is purely negative. You are going to do something. Now whatever you do do is going to be your brain’s cultural interpretation of some biological urgings that you have. You surely know what those biological urgings are trying to get you to do, so why not actually do that, rather than the million other variations on the theme?
Whatever the justification or explaination can be given for existing actions, it will boil down to some attempt to benefit information, so why not just benefit it? There is no ‘reason’ to, any more than there is an ultimate reason to do anything.
There’s little more that I can say about that in terms of justification, as we’re really talking about a blind biological and cultural process, out of which we get arising a toolmaking ‘rational space’ in our brains. We can actually make decisions based on logic within that, we just don’t have any motivation to make the decisions based on the original ‘orders’ to the biological forces.
All we can do is invent myths to wrap around things so people have social motivation to do them. People are eager to follow the will of their creator. As it turns out the ‘creator’ is a blind replicating process, but people say that to follow that would be a ‘naturalistic fallacy’ or idolatry in religious terms. Do we owe these ape bodies anything because rationality has arisen in them? Well at the moment the options are to go along with a mass of myths, fantasies and wishful thinking about what humans should do, or actually align with what’s happening in nature. The alternative isn’t to be more noble, it’s just to fail as an organism and believe a lie. Imagine a fly on a buzzing against a window. If you could give that fly intelligence but it still didn’t have the motivation to use it then it would still keep on buzzing against the window. If you asked it why it would say “Because I feel like it”.
So it needs more than the urge or the intelligence – it requires the urge to use the intelligence. If you decide to chop down a tree using your arm, you will quickly get the urge to use intelligence to find a better way to chop it down.

This is a major excerpt from the later half of:

A journey to the end of philosophy

If you would like more you can get it here:

http://www.amazon.com/journey-end-philosophy-selected-explanations-ebook/dp/B00IPDO4X8

Genocide

Past representations of Genocide

Right, this is another ‘back of the mind’ project that peoples thoughts just finally forced out.
This idea had its roots years ago when I was in a church youth group, and unlike other people I used to occasionally read the Bible. One of the things I noticed was that Moses ordered a genocide against the people living in Palestine at that time. It was not just a war of conquest but a war of extermination.
It was worse than the Nazi attack on Russia because the SS only wanted to kill communists, Jews and anyone who resisted. Whereas Moses wanted everyone dead. I found this quite disturbing, but I don’t think I ever asked anyone about it, and so was never able to get the standard reply. Cos there must be a standard reply for anyone who asks about the killing and the raping and the stoning and whatever else right? Without knowing what the standard reply is I can make up some replies and see how they fare.

First of all you could say that those people deserved to die, that they must have been doing wicked things etc, but if this was so then aside from the question of why these things would deserve the death of the entire population including the children, why did God not merely tell the Israelites to capture the cities, and then instruct the people in the right way?

You could say that God has changed his mind on the question of mass killing of entire populations, and ethnic groups, but that back then he was OK with it. This raises the problem of God changing over time when he is supposed to be unchanging.

You could say that Moses was doing his own thing, and that it was not infact divinely inspired which raises the problem of why it is in the Bible, presented as though he’s doing the right thing.

Related to the previous point if you were a Christian you could more or less reject all that Old Testament stuff as basically the wrong way of doing things and say that only the New Testament teachings have to be regarded. But I can see no Biblical authority for disregarding the Old Testament laws, and using it for instance as only a source of prophesy to the birth of Christ.
Infact according to the the New testament itself, Jesus says in Matthew 17:
“Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teaching of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them but to make their teachings come true.”
I suppose you could try to wriggle out of the Old Testament laws for almost all Christians by saying that they were only for God’s chosen people (the Jews) but not for us. However this isn’t that kind of theological discussion. The essential point is that Jesus endorsed every aspect of Moses’s teaching as divinely instructed, so anyone who follows Jesus must think that those teachings are good teachings.

The genocide

The genocide is hidden in plain view, in the Bible:

The roots of the Israeli genocide starts numbers 13 when they scout ot the land that they’ve ‘been given by god’

13:30 Then Caleb made signs to the people to keep quiet, and said to Moses, Let us go up straight away and take this land; for we are well able to overcome it. http://www.o-bible.com/cgibin/ob.cgi?version=bbe&book=num&chapter=13
Then there is a fraterisation incident in numbers 25.

25:1 Now when Israel was living in Shittim the people became false to the Lord, doing evil with the daughters of Moab:

25:5 So Moses said to the judges of Israel, Let everyone put to death those of his men who have had relations with the women of Moab in honour of the Baal of Peor.

http://www.o-bible.com/cgibin/ob.cgi?version=bbe&book=num&chapter=25

Numbers 31 is where it starts to turn rather nasty.

31:7 And they made war on Midian, as the Lord gave orders to Moses; and they put to death every male.
31:8 They put the kings of Midian to death with the rest, Evi and Reken and Zur and Hur and Reba, the five kings of Midian: and Balaam, the son of Beor, they put to death with the sword.
31:9 The women of Midian with their little ones the children of Israel took prisoner; and all their cattle and flocks and all their goods they took for themselves;
31:10 And after burning all their towns and all their tent-circles,
31:11 They went away with the goods they had taken, man and beast.
31:12 And the prisoners and the goods and everything they had taken, they took to Moses and Eleazar the priest and the people of Israel, to the tent-circle in the lowlands of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.
31:13 Then Moses and Eleazar the priest and the chiefs of the people went out to them before they had come into the tent-circle.
31:14 And Moses was angry with the chiefs of the army, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds who had come back from the war.
31:15 And Moses said to them, Why have you kept all the women safe?
31:16 It was these who, moved by Balaam, were the cause of Israel’s sin against the Lord in the question of Peor, because of which disease came on the people of the Lord.
31:17 So now put every male child to death, and every woman who has had sex relations with a man.
31:18 But all the female children who have had no sex relations with men, you may keep for yourselves. http://www.o-bible.com/cgibin/ob.cgi?version=bbe&book=num&chapter=31

So at this point, killing most of the people is only a totally fair retibution for the fact that those people had friendly relations with the Isralites but still the young women are kept for sex.

2:25 From now on I will put the fear of you in all peoples under heaven, who, hearing of you, will be shaking with fear and grief of heart because of you.

[I would be afraid.]

2:31 And the Lord said to me, See, from now on I have given Sihon and his land into your hands: go forward now to take his land and make it yours.
2:32 Then Sihon came out against us with all his people, to make an attack on us at Jahaz.
2:33 And the Lord our God gave him into our hands; and we overcame him and his sons and all his people.
2:34 At that time we took all his towns, and gave them over to complete destruction, together with men, women, and children; we had no mercy on any:
2:35 Only the cattle we took for ourselves, with the goods from the towns we had taken.

So things have developed now. Everyone is being killed, but happily for them the cattle are still being left alive.

http://www.o-bible.com/cgibin/ob.cgi?version=bbe&book=deu&chapter=2

Then in Deuteronomy 7 and 9 is like that conference that the Nazis had to decide on how the holocaust was to proceed. It is here that they go totally beyond the ordinary tribal conquest rules of kill all the men, and take the women. The rule now is kill everyone and destroy everything. The peoples to be exterminated are listed, and the justification for extermination given.

7:1 When the Lord your God takes you into the land where you are going, which is to be your heritage, and has sent out the nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you;
7:2 And when the Lord has given them up into your hands and you have overcome them, give them up to complete destruction: make no agreement with them, and have no mercy on them:
7:3 Do not take wives or husbands from among them; do not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons.
7:4 For through them your sons will be turned from me to the worship of other gods: and the Lord will be moved to wrath against you and send destruction on you quickly.
7:5 But this is what you are to do to them: their altars are to be pulled down and their pillars broken, and their holy trees cut down and their images burned with fire.
7:6 For you are a holy people to the Lord your God: marked out by the Lord your God to be his special people out of all the nations on the face of the earth.

http://www.o-bible.com/cgibin/ob.cgi?version=bbe&book=deu&chapter=7
Deut 20:10 says that if you decide to attack a city that’s outside the area of territorial conquest (ie a raiding party) then you should give then a chance to surrender first and if they do then you enslave the people. if they do not then you must kill the men but you can do whatever you like with the women and children.

20:10 When you come to a town, before attacking it, make an offer of peace.
20:11 And if it gives you back an answer of peace, opening its doors to you, then all the people in it may be put to forced work as your servants.
20:12 If however it will not make peace with you, but war, then let it be shut in on all sides:
20:13 And when the Lord your God has given it into your hands, let every male in it be put to death without mercy.
20:14 But the women and the children and the cattle and everything in the town and all its wealth, you may take for yourselves: the wealth of your haters, which the Lord your God has given you, will be your food.
20:15 So you are to do to all the towns far away, which are not the towns of these nations.

Then in Deut 20:16 it goes on to say that for cities which are in the areas that are going to be settled everyone must be killed because otherwise there is a risk that some of their cultural practices might be adopted.
In 20:17 Five different peoples are listed for extermination. This is genocide. There’s just no other way to put it. They’ve been given orders for a campaign of extermination

20:16 But in the towns of these peoples whose land the Lord your God is giving you for your heritage, let no living thing be kept from death:

20:17 Give them up to the curse; the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, as the Lord your God has given you orders:

20:18 So that you may not take them as your example and do all the disgusting things which they do in the worship of their gods, so sinning against the Lord your God.
If you’re going to pick up a bible and look at this stuff there is a difference in the translations that you might need to be aware of e.g:

Deut 21:10 says in the King James version:

When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, and seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; The thou shall bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shall go unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.
And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shall let her go whither she will; but thou shall not sell her at all for money, thou shall not make merchandise of her, because thou has humbled her.

Well that was very nice.

But the Today’s English Version translation is somewhat more blunt:

When the lord gives you victory in battle and you take prisoners, you may see among them a beautiful woman that you like and want to marry. Take her to your home, where she will shave her head, cut her fingernails, and change her clothes. She is to stay in you home and mourn for her parents for a month; After that, you may marry her. later if you no longer want her, you are to let her go free. Since you forced her to have intercourse with you, you cannot treat her as a slave and sell her.

But it doesn’t stop with Moses – it only starts there. Moses merely makes the template for others like Joshua to follow.

Joshua was a ruthless madman. After the destrucion of Jericho, where “With their swords they killed everyone in the city men women, children, young and old.” It wasn’t enough so “They also killed the cattle sheep and donkeys” Joshua 6:21.

This was the the start of a systematic extermination of the people of the area.

8:24 Then, after the destruction of all the people of Ai in the field and in the waste land where they went after them, and when all the people had been put to death without mercy, all Israel went back to Ai, and put to death all who were in it without mercy.
8:25 On that day twelve thousand were put to death, men and women, all the people of Ai.
8:26 For Joshua did not take back his hand with the outstretched spear till the destruction of the people of Ai was complete.

http://www.o-bible.com/cgibin/ob.cgi?version=bbe&book=jos&chapter=8

This is interesting because it actually gives numbers of people killed. After that it’s like no one bothered keeping score, but if every town they attacked had roughly the same population then you would come out with a figure of around 100,000 dead in the campaign which proceeded as follows:

10:28 That day Joshua took Makkedah, and put it and its king to the sword; every soul in it he gave up to the curse without mercy: and he did to the king of Makkedah as he had done to the king of Jericho.
10:29 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went on from Makkedah and came to Libnah, and made an attack on it;
10:30 And again the Lord gave it and its king into the hands of Israel; and he put it and every person in it to the sword, till their destruction was complete; and he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho.
10:31 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went on from Libnah to Lachish, and took up their position against it and made an attack on it,
10:32 And the Lord gave Lachish into the hands of Israel, and on the second day he took it, putting it and every person in it to the sword without mercy, as he had done to Libnah.
10:33 Then Horam, king of Gezer, came up to the help of Lachish; and Joshua overcame him and his people, putting all of them to death.
10:34 And Joshua and all Israel with him went on from Lachish to Eglon: and they took up their position against it and made an attack on it; 10:35 And that day they took it, putting it and every person in it to the sword, as he had done to Lachish.
10:36 And Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron, and made an attack on it;
10:37 And took it, overcoming it and putting it and its king and its towns and every person in it to the sword: as he had done to Eglon, he put them all to death, and gave it up to the curse with every person in it.
10:38 And Joshua and all Israel with him went on to make an attack on Debir; 10:39 And he took it, with its king and all its towns: and he put them to the sword, giving every person in it to the curse; all were put to death: as he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir and its king.
10:40 So Joshua overcame all the land, the hill-country and the South and the lowland and the mountain slopes, and all their kings; all were put to death: and every living thing he gave up to the curse, as the Lord, the God of Israel, had given him orders.
10:41 Joshua overcame them from Kadesh-barnea to Gaza, and all the land of Goshen as far as Gibeon.
10:42 And all these kings and their land Joshua took at the same time, because the Lord, the God of Israel, was fighting for Israel.
10:43 Then Joshua and all Israel with him went back to their tents at Gilgal.

http://www.o-bible.com/cgibin/ob.cgi?version=bbe&book=jos&chapter=10

11:10 At that time, Joshua went on to take Hazor and put its king to the sword: for in earlier times Hazor was the chief of all those kingdoms.
11:11 And they put every person in it to death without mercy, giving every living thing up to the curse, and burning Hazor.
11:12 And all the towns of these kings, and all the kings, Joshua took, and put them to the sword: he gave them up to the curse, as Moses, the servant of the Lord, had said.
11:13 As for the towns made on hills of earth, not one was burned by Israel but Hazor, which was burned by Joshua.
11:14 And all the goods taken from these towns, and their cattle, the children of Israel kept for themselves; but every man they put to death without mercy, till their destruction was complete, and there was no one living.
11:15 As the Lord had given orders to Moses his servant, so Moses gave orders to Joshua, and so Joshua did; every order which the Lord had given to Moses was done.

http://www.o-bible.com/cgibin/ob.cgi?version=bbe&book=jos&chapter=11

“Their destruction was complete, and there was no one living.” How did he do it? Well basically the Israelites were one big tribal grouping and they just picked each independent city off one by one. If they had all come to each other’s aid in the beginning it would have been impossible. Cities would have had other cities attack them but the Israelites were swarming like bees – there’s no way anyone could stop them.
The first place to start for genocide is the Old Testament. I don’t know of an older account of genocidal practice. Does this make genocide a Jewish idea? Try saying that and see where it gets you. Well they probably weren’t the first to do this kind of thing, but their writings promoting it are in the most influential book of all time.

Responses

I went in search of some kind of response to this and found this on the website where the bibles are hosted:

As to the extermination of foes, Israel had to remember that punitive war was in the interests of religion and morality and therefore her soldiers were to act, not as murderers, but as God-appointed executioners of divine judgment upon gross idolatry and iniquity (Deuteronomy 7). War was to be viewed as divine surgery for the cutting off of evil wickedness that would defile the rest of the world. God still uses nations today to execute wrath on evil according to Romans 13.

http://www.bible.com/answers/awar.html

So here far from apologising for the genocide it is being promoted, it is justified on the basis of divine retribution for sin among these peoples. But all that “gross idolatry and iniquity” means is that they had a different religion. So they were being punished for not following the commands of a God that they’d never even heard of.

And how does this square with the Israelites being God’s chosen people? Those other people never even had a chance. They were just sitting on this piece of land that the Israelites wanted, and therefore they were somehow worse than other people because of that. It’s not even an argument. It’s just so obvious that it’s something we should find unacceptable.

It is interesting that Moses does have to provide some sort of explanation as to why they’re killing everyone rather than taking them as slaves and ‘wives’ as was the usual practice.

What would you do about Moses today? What if the UN heard that a tribal leader had urged his tribe to wipe out all the members of some other tribes, saying that it was the will of God? I think there would be a call for intervention. Peacekeepers would be called in. So basically we have one rule for the past and another for the present. You can go into court and swear to tell the truth by placing your hand on a tale of mass murder, but if those same events happen today then it’s an outrage.

The only conclusion I can reach out of all this is that if most people in the West worship a Judeo-Christian god then they worship a god of genocide. Either that or they don’t believe their holy books!
God has sinned, and his sin is most grievous. The question is whether God can ever be forgiven for these acts of genocide?