Mod+ 249. TIM FREKE ON SOUL CRUSHING SCIENCE

#61
This is a good question!

At least part of the answer is that we should doubt accounts that seem to be simplistic, or where it is obvious that one side has relied on presenting its version from on high as if it were the only version.

So in the Ukraine, it is a fact that the former president was elected, and was destabilised with the help of outside (Western) agencies. It is also clearly a fact that part of the population fears the new regime - with good reason - they are willing to use weapons against them. It is also clearly a fact that this part of the world has old scores to settle, and should not have been disturbed.

If Western politicians were to face a skeptical press to explain their actions regarding Ukraine in hindsight, I think they would have a very tough time - they get away by talking from on high.

The parallels with Global Warming are extraordinarily clear. If the proponents of this theory were to debate with their scientific opponents in public, I think support for this nonsense would vanish overnight.

Of course, in both cases there could be some secret reason why particular policies were followed - but I doubt it - was the secret reason that made attacking Iraq sensible?

David
That is a point of view. But it isn't a complete one. There has been a prolonged media campaign, from many directions, both inside and outside Ukraine, which affects both the situation itself, as well as the many ways in which it can be assessed. It isn't realistic to think there is a single "correct" interpretation.
As for Ukraine, here I what I want to say as an actual Russian: the situation is indeed obscure, and getting more and more obscure every day, because of dirty and revulsive disinformation and mutual defamation campaign by ALL sides of the conflict.

However, while situation is indeed complex and cannot be painted in black-and-white terms, Russia defininitely deserve no less blame for this ugly massacre than the West. There are simply no "good guys" here; ALL sides are equally happy to demonize each other; to spread slander, lies and hateful propaganda; and - what is really horrible - to move from dirty words to atrocious deeds.

This is no surprise. As I told in many of my previous posts, Russia is getting more authoritarian, reactionary, militaristic, imperialistic and clerical day by day - just like the USA under the infamous rule of George Bush Jr. The USA had its Patriot Act, which gave a powerful stroke the freedom and dignity of Americans; Russia today faces a flood of bizzare "banning laws" which try to supress any individual and cultural freedom of Russians, including the freedom of the Internet. Believe me, this is a hard time for Russian free-thinkers now.

So, while alternative media of the West did a very good job of exposing the corporatist authoritarianism of the Western countries, it paradoxially turns its eyes for the equally ugly and opressive neo-tsarist authoritarianism of Russia. Sometimes I got angry while reading it; despite my respect of Western alt-media work for reporting violations of the freedom in the West, I also feel disdain for its refusal to report similar events in the non-Western countries like Russia. Reminds me of mid-20th century, when some American opposition speakers deservedly criticised their own government's opressive tendensies - and simultaneously praised the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin.

In my strongly held opinion, it is time to move beyond primitive "Good Guys vs. Bad Guys" model of describing armed conflicts. After long readings of history, I came to the conclusion that it is war itself that is evil, not this or that side of the war; there is simply no good sides in an prolonged mass murder. And civil war is the very worst type of war - all military horrors are multiplied if the sides of the armed conflict came from the same cultural evironment.

And, what is the most insane fact about wars, the sides of it always blame each other for the blood spilled. They think of themselves as the Good Guys, and of their opponents as of the Bad Guys - while the "enemy" side thinks the same way, but in the opposite direction.

We - all the people of East and West, North and South - need to stop looking of who is to blame, and start looking for a non-violent means of resolving conflicts, whether on personal or global scale.
 
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#62
We - all the people of East and West, North and South - need to stop looking of who is to blame, and start looking for a non-violent means of resolving conflicts, whether on personal or global scale.
You have said a lot which is worthwhile and important, I just wanted to add my agreement here.
 
#64
>@Vortex. Thanks for sharing those thoughts. It's a tough nut as we watch the wheel of the 21rst century turning back into the waters of the 20th. It rends the heart.

amen to that.
 
#65
If you're going to engage the issue, I think you need to clarify your position. There has to be an understood level playing ground to move a conversation forward or what's the point?
The issue at hand: Tim said certain texts did not speak about Jesus. I simply corrected that, since it was plain wrong.

I didn't intend to hijack the thread and start a Jesus discussion. But since you ask: being very familiar with early Christian litterature, I have no doubt Jeus was a real historical figure, in the objective sense. Here in Europe at least, you will find that 99% of the historians say the same; not very controversial.

How to approach the NT sources and their redactional stages is another question, but I lean to the traditional scholarly majority views, and haven't found the more sensationalistic books and theories very convincing. I just started reading a book Alex linked to above (James the brother of Jesus..), and even this author (though merited in other related fields) lacks the intimate textual knowledge you find in biblical scholars.
 
#66
I, too, resonated with what Tim had to say on this.

On a related note, I think all the science/religion/consciousness debates would be a lot friendlier and more interesting if we got better at living with cognitive dissonance. We want so badly to make sense of the world in some ultimate, final way that we tend to think we've arrived at a theory of everything when we really haven't. We're able to sustain this illusion by sweeping under the carpet any evidence or experience that doesn't concur with our theory, and that alienates us from people who are still taking that evidence seriously. What if we could hold our theories more loosely and be willing to accept that, good as they seem at explaining a lot of the world, there are still phenomena out there that remain puzzling or downright contradictory to it? Maybe we're not built to hold those kinds of contradictions in our minds, but I feel like it's something I'm trying to learn how to do.
I think you raise good and fundamental questions and offer thoughts that are honest and genuine. It's IMO this quality of introspection and sincerity that may have the potential to move the conversation and civilization truly forward.

But, I would take your line of reasoning a little further and ask; Is the pervasive cognitive dissonance and contradictions in our minds the natural result of conscious and sentient beings attempting to resolve the seemingly impossible and unknown?

Or is it the side effect of an long standing, elaborately planned, and manufactured control system?

From the what I know of the past, it appears to me that people as far back as Sumeria were far more attuned to what modernity considers esoteric matters, while being relatively technologically advanced as well.

So, what happen?

Why didn't civilization advance the ideas in a parallel and harmonious way?

My point of course is, maybe it did take place and continued, but only a select few were, privy. Which may explain the mystery schools proceeding those periods.

Matt
 
#67
The issue at hand: Tim said certain texts did not speak about Jesus. I simply corrected that, since it was plain wrong.

I didn't intend to hijack the thread and start a Jesus discussion. But since you ask: being very familiar with early Christian litterature, I have no doubt Jeus was a real historical figure, in the objective sense. Here in Europe at least, you will find that 99% of the historians say the same; not very controversial.

How to approach the NT sources and their redactional stages is another question, but I lean to the traditional scholarly majority views, and haven't found the more sensationalistic books and theories very convincing. I just started reading a book Alex linked to above (James the brother of Jesus..), and even this author (though merited in other related fields) lacks the intimate textual knowledge you find in biblical scholars.
You're not hijacking the thread if you are discussing matters pertaining to the content of the interview.

I'm always fascinated by history regardless of the subject. The fact that Jesus of Nazareth became the central figure in a globally organized religion, I would think it's a subject that should always be a topic available to consider, as long as it's contextually within the main discussion.

So, you lean toward the idea Jesus was a profit and not a supernatural being? I would agree with that and I have wondered why he would not have been depicted as such. IMO it would have brought him closer to people and planted the idea that, while Jesus was a great man speaking out against the establishment and by example encourage the masses, he was just a man, which meant anyone could achieve this personal stature. He truly was one of them and one of us.

Thanks for the response.
 
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#69
I wonder too... and also wonder if our facilitation with and mastery of technology adds to this... then again, it hard to think of a time in history when it wasn't so.
It really isn't conjecture IMO.

Hypothetically for example , if Egyptian priests 4 to 5 thousand years BCE knew how to generate electricity sufficiently with the Baghdad battery technology in order to give their deity statues a low voltage tingling sensation, then this could have had a profound result. One that falsely validated their claims to the believers and possibly nonbelievers that touched them. Then maybe we start to get an idea just how far back this began. It's common knowledge even to children now, but then it was likes harnessing the atom now.

It's already known that several ancient ruling classes used astrological charts to plot such things as solar and lunar eclipse.

If that practice continued till today, then it makes me wonder just how wide the known and unknown knowledge gap really is?
 
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#70
So, you lean toward the idea Jesus was a profit and not a supernatural being? I would agree with that and I have wondered why he would not have been depicted as such.
I certainly view him a a prophet, but not only that. And in fact, you will find that surprisingly few people viewed him as (just) that. The reason, is because he communicated much more radical ideas about his relationship to the Father. Those who disagreed, found it har to accept a prophet like that.

A widespread belief today, is that the early church started to worship him as God The Father incarnated. That is plain wrong. It was concidered a great heresy to say that the Father came down to earth as Christ. To the early fathers, that was pure craziness.

Even in Nicea 325, you won't find a single bishop (that said something at least), who would utter those words. You will however find sentences that make you think in that direction, aimed at deafening Arius (Arius = the sole reason there was a council in 325).

Arius preached Jesus was created. To some leaders, that was a big deal. But most didn't care much about such speculations. For Eusebius (and therefore also Constantin), it was more important to state that Jesus was NOT God the Father, than to underline that he perhaps was not created.

Note however that no one in Nicea 325 believed Jesus was only a prophet. Not even Arius, the great heretic, would ever say that.

On the other hand, it sounds so orthodox and conservative to state that "God the Father became one of us and lived here on earth ..." Yet, it would make the early church shake their heads :)
 
#71
I certainly view him a a prophet, but not only that. And in fact, you will find that surprisingly few people viewed him as (just) that. The reason, is because he communicated much more radical ideas about his relationship to the Father. Those who disagreed, found it har to accept a prophet like that.

A widespread belief today, is that the early church started to worship him as God The Father incarnated. That is plain wrong. It was concidered a great heresy to say that the Father came down to earth as Christ. To the early fathers, that was pure craziness.

Even in Nicea 325, you won't find a single bishop (that said something at least), who would utter those words. You will however find sentences that make you think in that direction, aimed at deafening Arius (Arius = the sole reason there was a council in 325).

Arius preached Jesus was created. To some leaders, that was a big deal. But most didn't care much about such speculations. For Eusebius (and therefore also Constantin), it was more important to state that Jesus was NOT God the Father, than to underline that he perhaps was not created.

Note however that no one in Nicea 325 believed Jesus was only a prophet. Not even Arius, the great heretic, would ever say that.

On the other hand, it sounds so orthodox and conservative to state that "God the Father became one of us and lived here on earth ..." Yet, it would make the early church shake their heads
IMO the obfuscation is overlaying the Hero myth onto Jesus. That would have been done for one or both reasons. It was a continuation of a religious view from when and wherever the Hero myth began. I don't think the ruling class has ever practiced the commonly promoted or forced religion. I think that continues.

Or...it was done to separate Jesus and place him far above mortal people, but not so far that Jesus would not still attract throngs of willing devotees and be blindly worshiped for the benefit of a few. Elevated to godhood puts the brakes on any whom might try emulating Jesus by setting the bar beyond an unimaginable reach.

The Romans were completely crushing the people and then here comes this individual giving Rome and the Pharisees the finger while giving hope and courage to all around him.

Some have the opinion Jesus was created as some Roman Osama Bin Laden asset equivalent. I guess anything is possible, but I'm not seeing the success angle on that one yet.

So, then it's possible Jesus was real and his ideas spread like roots of an oak, slow but with a relentless and unstoppable growth.

Constantine made a tactical decision at the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in order to rally his troops, that just happen to be a or ½ Christians secretly.

Then later, the Holy Roman Empire, formally the Roman Empire, threw some spin on Christianity and gimmicked Jesus with their own ideas or control mechanism.

Regardless, there are good and basic life philosophies that can be taken from the NT, so there is no loss in my opinion.
 

Alex

Administrator
#72
A widespread belief today, is that the early church started to worship him as God The Father incarnated. That is plain wrong. It was concidered a great heresy to say that the Father came down to earth as Christ. To the early fathers, that was pure craziness.
but wasn't the whole thing craziness? I'm mean were talking about a group of people who took this Jehovah (YHWH) character, who started out as some thunder god, and then they gave him full control because he did all these horrible things to their enemies and to them (he had to, he was a jealous god)... and it is from this cloth that we weave the "prince of peace" story.

again, I'm totally down with Jesus/Christ-consciousness, I just don't think the experiences us modern folks are having with Jesus reconcile with the history. I can't bridge that gap.
 
#73
But, I would take your line of reasoning a little further and ask; Is the pervasive cognitive dissonance and contradictions in our minds the natural result of conscious and sentient beings attempting to resolve the seemingly impossible and unknown?

Or is it the side effect of an long standing, elaborately planned, and manufactured control system?
I'm not sure what you mean by a "long standing, elaborately planned, and manufactured control system," but it seems to me like any intentional disguising of the truth has been the exception rather than the rule. I think false (or incomplete) views of reality are much more effectively and commonly spread by people who are themselves convinced of their truth, and believed by people who are so eager to make sense of the world that they are willing to block out any contradictory information. I think the human tendency to reach for premature cognitive closure is a dominant force in the history of human thought. I don't think it's necessary to postulate anyone deliberately obscuring the truth.
 
#74
I just watched a video which made me realize the problem is not science, the problem is scientists. This video was about the scientific evidence for intelligent design. All this evidence comes from science, but, unfortunately, most scientists can't interpret it correctly because of their materialist bias. Science (astronomy, biology, and physics) has already solved the "problem", but scientists refuse to accept that solution. It says something really important about Science that even though the people carrying it out are totally confused and in denial, science still produces the truth.
I am just beginning to appreciate how ironic it is that scientists have deluded so many people about beliefs that pre-scientific cultures got right because they are self-evident. Beliefs such as the creation of the universe, the existence of a creator, the creation of life and species, ESP and the afterlife.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-contents-evidence-for-afterlife.html
 
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#75
Hi Michael... I just meant that I generally like to stay focused on the consciousness/psi/spiritual. My foray into AGW was aimed at hashing things out with my pal Rick Archer. I actually booked Curry for the show but she backed out at the last minute... probably saw too many shows on UFOs :)
I agree with you. Even though, like Michael, I am convinced that AGW/'Climate change' research is a crock of s**t, which does illustrate a lot of what has gone wrong with science, it probably doesn't advance either cause to mix them.

1) The climatology crowd will claim their opponents are allied with woo!

2) The ψ skeptics, will claim that we are 'anti-science' because we are also opposed to AGW, which (they will claim) is overwhelmingly supported by science!

Possibly Prof Henry Bauer (who thinks the idea that the HIV virus causes AIDS, is the result of confusion) and is also suspicious of a broader range of modern scientific ideas, would be interesting.

Alternatively James Carpenter, with his "First Sight" model of ψ would be interesting.

David
 
#76
Then later, the Holy Roman Empire, formally the Roman Empire, threw some spin on Christianity and gimmicked Jesus with their own ideas or control mechanism.

Regardless, there are good and basic life philosophies that can be taken from the NT, so there is no loss in my opinion.
A twist, yes. But the idea that Romans dictated Christian theology has to stop. On the one hand: of course Roman culture influenced the way they did church (ultimately making it an economic and military power in the hands of the empire). But: This didn't happen all over the place, and not at all at once! And in any way, the scriptures and the theology was not a concern for the emperors really, just that they stayed unified. But the thing is, that they didn't. Speaking of Christianity as one centralized force at that time, is just not correct. There were lots of different opinions, debates and cultures.

Also note how the east early drifted away from the western church; they had their own traditions, their own bishops, libraries, etc.

At the same time, you had all the different minority views. Luckily, people loved to quote their opponents at length in those days, so we are very aware of how some fringe preachers viewed, say, the divinity of Jesus, what books were authentic, etc.

A nice example, is how Marcellus is portrayed by Eusebius in Contra Marcellus; his key works are preserved only for Eusebius to refute him and say that, NO, Jesus is not the Father :)

All this to say: There is a continuity even from Jewish litterature and traditions, continuing through the early church, also outside the influence of Rome (or any religious authority, for that matter). Lots of voices and beliefs, of which most are available for us to read for free for the interested. Sadly, most people only read secondary litterature about these things,
skipping the sources. Too of the day: www.ccel.org => Ante Nicene Fathers.
 
#77
In my strongly held opinion, it is time to move beyond primitive "Good Guys vs. Bad Guys" model of describing armed conflicts. After long readings of history, I came to the conclusion that it is war itself that is evil, not this or that side of the war; there is simply no good sides in an prolonged mass murder. And civil war is the very worst type of war - all military horrors are multiplied if the sides of the armed conflict came from the same cultural evironment.
Agreed!

However, I think that when people from either 'side' find fault with their own side, that is an effort away from war - just as finding fault with your potential opponent tends to promote war.

I think the war-weary West is sick of a process in which countries are destabilised in the name of democracy, and then require some sort of intervention.

Vietnam
Afghanistan
Iraq
Georgia
Lybia
Egypt
Syria
(The list isn't complete)

This process has created immense suffering, and very little democracy.

David
 
#79
I'm not sure what you mean by a "long standing, elaborately planned, and manufactured control system," but it seems to me like any intentional disguising of the truth has been the exception rather than the rule.
All I can recommend is to begin to dig deeper into topics that suggest such practices. Because, it's not something I could fully explain without you first having spent some time searching through research that covers this area. I hope this does not come across cryptic or dismissive, but there are some topics that require some backdrop before it can be discussed with mutual familiarity. Jim Mars has spent decades on these matters and someone I would recommend, but there are many others.

I think false (or incomplete) views of reality are much more effectively and commonly spread by people who are themselves convinced of their truth, and believed by people who are so eager to make sense of the world that they are willing to block out any contradictory information.
I would agree, but the only thing I have come to realize is there is no truth and what little facts there are, seem to be obfuscated or half-truths and how little I actually know.

I don't think it's necessary to postulate anyone deliberately obscuring the truth.
Are you sure about that? Look into it. If nothing else it's fascinating research.
 
#80
A twist, yes. But the idea that Romans dictated Christian theology has to stop. On the one hand: of course Roman culture influenced the way they did church (ultimately making it an economic and military power in the hands of the empire). But: This didn't happen all over the place, and not at all at once! And in any way, the scriptures and the theology was not a concern for the emperors really, just that they stayed unified. But the thing is, that they didn't. Speaking of Christianity as one centralized force at that time, is just not correct. There were lots of different opinions, debates and cultures.

Also note how the east early drifted away from the western church; they had their own traditions, their own bishops, libraries, etc.

At the same time, you had all the different minority views. Luckily, people loved to quote their opponents at length in those days, so we are very aware of how some fringe preachers viewed, say, the divinity of Jesus, what books were authentic, etc.

A nice example, is how Marcellus is portrayed by Eusebius in Contra Marcellus; his key works are preserved only for Eusebius to refute him and say that, NO, Jesus is not the Father :)

All this to say: There is a continuity even from Jewish litterature and traditions, continuing through the early church, also outside the influence of Rome (or any religious authority, for that matter). Lots of voices and beliefs, of which most are available for us to read for free for the interested. Sadly, most people only read secondary litterature about these things,
skipping the sources. Too of the day: www.ccel.org => Ante Nicene Fathers.
I wish I could discuss the topic with a more informed opinion, but your knowledge and focus clearly surpasses mine. I'm more of a big picture thinker. I'm fascinated by origins and interconnected mythologies and ideologies.

Jesus always came across as common sense goodness. I was always wary of those who attempted to claim and proselytize their own brand of Jesus or religion. My opinion was my reading skills were just fine, so why did I need an interpreter? It all left a bad taste in my mouth util I was older and more understanding.

Now Christianity is just one aspect of a much older religion, that the NT sits on top of and an amalgamation of many other myths and religions that sprang into existence and were either absorbed or faded away.

But, if I had to take away what I could relate to Jesus with, is the idea faith is personal. The connection is directly with GOD or the Creator and that's all we really need to know.
 
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