Friday, 16 April 2021

Mary as the Mother of God

Catholics believe that Jesus has two natures, human and divine, but is one person, The Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity, of God.

The Son is God. God knew every human being before time began, as he planned us in his mind. Mary was always Jesus' mother in God's plans, as Jesus is God, she is the mother of God and that is their relationship in God's mind from the moment he conceived of Mary before time began. 

If Mary were God's creator she and not he would be god, but we call her Mother of God, which means we admit God not Mary is God.

The title admits information primarily about God, that Jesus is God and that he is fully human, fully God, but inseparably one person.

Either Jesus is God or not. If he is, Mary is the mother of God. But note, we do not say Mary is God, because she is not the origin of God, only the origin of everything can be God, the mere mention of God in that title means Mary is separate from God and is a created being, one who gave birth to God as a human being when he came down to Earth to save us.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Jesus said he'd spend 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth. But he only spent 2 in the grave. Why? (Answered.)

Someone asked:

'Can anyone help by answering the following question, I'd really appreciate it...

'How can we justify the verse below Matt 12:40 "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

'Can someone please guide also to explain how it makes 3 days when Jesus rose on Easter Sunday?'

My answer to this question is as follows:

Obviously, with days, we can easily calculate based on each day starting at Sunset in the Jewish reckoning, Friday is day 1, Saturday is day 2, and Sunday, starting at about 6pm on Saturday is day 3. 

In the early morning as it had begun to get light the ladies approached Jesus's tomb to be informed that he was risen from the dead by an angel, while the tomb was unoccupied.

Now, usually you will hear that 3 days and 3 nights is a shorthand for saying that part of 3 days would be spent in some way or other, but even taking it as literal, as in part of 3 days and part of 3 nights, what Jesus said in the Greek still makes sense and his prophesy is still confirmed. I will add that the bible makes it clear that Jesus was buried on the Friday before the weekly Sabbath and arose on Sunday, after it. Arguments otherwise are ahistorical and not in the text.

But Jesus only spent two nights in the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled in front of it.

3 days, 2 nights. Not 3 days, 3 nights as in the prophesy Jesus made in relation to himself and Jonah. That creates another problem, should one not accept it as mere shorthand, which going to the Greek original actually answers nicely.

The Greek states that after the Sabbath on the first day of the week, as it had begun to become light, the ladies approached the tomb. That can only be Sunday. But Jesus only spent 2 nights in the tomb. 

He says that the sign of Jonah will be given to a wicked generation. He then says as Jonah was 3 days and 3 nights in the fish's belly, so shall he be in the heart of the earth. The implication of course, if read in English rather than in the Greek of the New Testament, is that Jonah died while in the fish, and was raised to life again. Jesus seems to be referencing that. But he did not arise on Monday, but the day after the Sabbath, the first day of the week, which can only be Sunday.

In Hebrew, the word used in the story of Jonah refers not just to night but to adversity, an idea Jesus carries forward into the New Testament. He seems to prophesy that he is safe during the day, as he will be attacked by evil men at night, which he is, in being arrested on the night of Holy Thursday (or Friday in the Jewish reckoning where night comes first).

In the especially literal Lexham English Bible translation the verse is rendered as:

'Matthew 12:40 (LEB): For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.'

The word translated as heart literally means the organ, but figuratively means the volition/will/intellect or emotional state. Many translations interpret the phrase as grave. 

But let us assume for a moment Jesus is talking about being 3 days in the power of death, in that case the night before, when Jesus had the last supper, what we would call Thursday night and what the Jews would call Friday night, would be the first day Jesus spent in the heart of the earth. i.e. in the power of death/the devil. Here is where he is arrested and tried by evil men. That makes it 3 nights Jesus was in the power of the Devil and of Death.

'καρδία (Lat. cor, Hebr. lēb, lēbab), (A) lit. the heart, as an organ of the body; (B) mind covers the non-physical sense best: (a) personality, character, inner life (illa uis qua cogitationes fiunt, Augustine, De nat. et orig. animae iv 6 § 7), e.g. 1 Cor. 14:25, 1 Pet. 1:22; (b) emotional state, e.g. Rom. 9:2; (c) mind, intellect, e.g. Rom. 1:21; (d) will, volition, intention, e.g. Rom. 2:5.' (A Pocket Lexicon to the Greek New Testament.)

The ancient Greek word translated as the word earth means soil, but can extend to a territory or to the whole physical mass of the Earth. It also appears elsewhere in the New Testament as a reference to the things of the earth, or in the LEB, what is earthly in you, which it makes clear is not the literal translation, via the use of square brackets; the literal translation of the phrase is, 'the members of the earth', in the said verse which I will now quote along with what follows it:

'Colossians 3:5–7 (LEB): 5 Therefore put to death ⌊what is earthly in you⌋: sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustful passion, evil desire, and greediness, which is idolatry, 6 because of which the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which also you once lived, when you used to live in them.'

The heart of the earth likely in being heard by the audience of Jesus might have been heard as a reference to being put into the power of evil men and of the Devil, especially given the reference to the adversity Jonah experienced in the tomb of the large sea creature's belly. That Saint Paul later refers to the members of the earth, of which if the earth were a body, the figurative heart would perhaps be included as a member, seems to lend towards this.

Jesus spent part of 3 days in the tomb. He also spent part of 3 days and 3 nights in the power of the devil. Just as Job in being placed in the power of the devil immediately experienced tragedy, Jesus, in being in the heart of the earth, was arrested, falsely tried, defamed, tortured and killed and spent time in the grave (part of 3 days). 3 days in the stomach of a fish, or 3 in the power of evil, seem to correlate. 

That does not mean the classical answer many give, that days are calculated differently, wrong, they are calculated differently. It just perhaps adds another shade of meaning.

Sunday, 28 March 2021

The Bible: Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I think you will find there is disagreement about whether any part of the bible actually is ahistorical, compared with any other historical text of each scroll's original epoch. Attacks on various parts vary as scholars are disproven and fashions for how to disbelieve the various parts of the bible change among theologians, priests, bishops, trendy cardinals, and scholars. Religious texts do not fit the definition of non-fiction whether you personally believe them or not. The qur'an is non-fiction. The bible is too. 

Fiction is 'literature in the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people' (Oxford). 

Is the bible in the form of prose? The events of early Genesis certainly aren't, they are a poem (the creation story, in particular, as scholars would tell you, seemingly compares God creating the world with a mason building and furnishing a temple, while the story of Adam and Eve has a different chronology of events a chapter later; Both, it seems from observations of scholars, follow the form of poetry with concepts rather than time determining order of events). 

Is it a novel or a book of novels? No. 

If it were myth, or a book of myths, though the historical evidence does not lean that way, myths are nonetheless non-fiction, even if they are not true. 

Are the events and people imaginary? Some may be, but on the whole they are historical, and those which are doubted are doubted by scholars, theologians, priests and bishops who would not approach any other historical source with the same degree of scepticism. 

Modern scholars believe the events of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey really happened, despite some parts being clearly fantastical. 

In contrast, biblical scholars will insist silly things, like that the bible did not mean Moses actually parted the Red Sea but that he lead the Israelites through some marshes instead, despite the book of Joshua describing the river before Jericho being stopped up and the water gathered like a wall, and the bible referencing what Moses had done so soon before by parting the Red Sea as being the same thing. 

Really, the great virtue signal among all the most gleefully secular and liberal Catholics is how greatly they can signal their unbelief and that despite it, they remain Catholic. Personally, I would not see such a contradiction as virtuous, but I am a G.K. Chesterton/C.S. Lewis kind of Catholic Christian. I believe based on the rational arguments which have convinced me of and into my own positions.

If you want a secular source on the matter, this is how a librarian would list books of religion and mythology:

'“Are myths fiction or nonfiction?”

'The answer probably depends on who you ask and why. I imagine that if you ask an atheist, you’ll get the answer “fiction”. But in the wonderful world of the Dewey Decimal System, books (and other media) on mythology are in the 200s, the category for philosophy and religion. So for straight mythology or books about mythology, it’s considered nonfiction. Poetry (like Homer’s Odyssey will generally end up in the 800s, with other books of poetry. Yes, poetry is considered nonfiction.' Monster Librarian, 'Are Myths Fiction or Nonfiction?', 19 October 2017.

To conclude: the bible, whether by Oxford's definition or by the standards governing libraries in the Western World, is a non-fiction book. As for whether it portrays true events or not, that is more complicated, and debates over that among serious people, will remain as long as the bible remains in the realm of discussed matters in the world we occupy.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

God, in relation to creation, is male.

God and the early Christians all call God male. God is male in relation to us, as his church. And God is male in relation to us as his creation. 

God is neither male nor female in the sense we are, except Jesus in his physical form. The Greek Orthodox tend to give our spirits a female gender whether male or female, but I do not believe we as Catholics do. 

To a Catholic the soul of each human is either male or female as the soul is not separate from the body but is someone's whole person and the Church teaches our souls and bodies are either male or female at their cores. 

The sense in which God is male is not in the sense of human gender, where God does not have a gender, but in a far deeper sense. Baptise someone in the name of the Parent, Child and Holy Spirit instead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the Catholic church will not deem them as validly baptised. This is because the gender of God in fact reveals something important in its use in the bible and as an essential reference to the nature of God. God is spirit, and does not have human gender, but does have a deeper sort of gender which is essential to his very nature and to monotheism being the form of Christian religion as opposed to pantheism.

God is always referred to as what one might term a he, a masculine figure, in the bible, indicative that he is overall a he in relation to us. To borrow from the same sort of left wing movement which wants God or the Holy Spirit to be female, it would be rather unbefitting to call God female when he self identifies as male. 

'Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit
15“If you love me, keep my commands. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be c in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”' John 14 NIV.

(παράκλητος, advocate/comforter, is an accusative masculine singular noun. Male intercessor summoned to help or comfort. The pronouns in proper translation thus inherit from that noun as masculine. I will give an example from French. Whether il is to be translated as it or he in that gendered language which I am most familiar, depends on the noun. It inherits masculinity or neutrality. Il est blanc, where il is Jacques can only be translated as he is white, but where il is bread (pain), can only be translated as it is white. Translating it as: Jacques? It is white or bread? he is white, is to translate in a manner which is not conistent with a knowlede of French and gendered languages in general. Bible translators have been inserting he as the pronoun for hundreds of years for the simple reason that the Greek indicates it is appropriate. The masculinity is inherited into the pronoun from the main noun of Advocate, just as il can only be he where il is my friend Jacques.)

Jesus obviously was a man, and Jesus calls God the Father Dad essentially, in parts of scripture, and tells us to call God the Father Our Father. Scripture has Jesus referring to both the Father and Spirit as male, and to himself as the Son of Man, a male.

Overall, it goes back to the root meaning of words. That which is female is that which contains, such as the universe or the Church, or a ship for that matter. That which is male is that which seeds life into that which contains, such as The Holy Trinity. God is male and we as church are female in relation to God, but our souls are either male or female depending on our bodies and our DNA and receptivity to testosterone and oestrogen in the womb.

Were God or any part of God female, we would be pantheists, like the pagans, not monotheists. As it is, God is Being in the true sense of being, He is that which gives being and life to all other things that can be or have life. God, in relation to creation, is male. He can have female associated traits, and does, but in his core relation with us He is male in the most meaningful core sense, that of he who sows the seeds of life.

Marx, not Christ? Poverty, not Utopia.

The Catholic church hierarchy in South Africa: 

supported fees protests with visible aid, forcing an unaffordable raising of VAT, which has caused a spiral effect which will bankrupt the local economy; 

Pushed minimum wages which have pushed millions out of work while describing much sought after low skill seasonal work which is not slavery as slavery; 

And has made moral justification for expropriating white owned land without compensation from Catholic Social Teaching, despite the global church condemning Marxism and its removal of ordinary property rights and the right to just compensation. 

For years, critical race theory and Marxist liberation theology is what Catholics have heard in the pews in South Africa. Soon, like Venezuela and so many other places, parishioners will find that the gospel of Marx impoverishes, unlike the gospel of Christ.

The Chinese communist party had to set their army on them to end the senseless killing.

 What happens when you get rid of the four olds: Ideas, Culture, Habits, and Customs (旧思想, 旧文化, 旧风俗, and 旧习惯)? You are left with nothing but ideology to bind yourself to your fellow man. 

You submit your mind, body and soul. Neither shared heritage, nor shared blood, nor shared culture nor familial bonds hold you to any. Only the power of ideology. And with nothing but ideology, you become a fanatic. 

Perhaps you end up like those who last got rid of the four, who turned to cannibalism, murder, torture, maimings, blindings, and public humiliation. The Chinese communist party had to set their army on them to end the senseless killing.

Monday, 8 March 2021

The terrifying but just God Jesus died and rose for

People reading the Old Testament for the first time are often shocked by how merciless God is. This is more because they reject the God Jesus professed than anything else. In most cases this is because they were denied the gospel in context, and given a wishy washy fairy tale about a God so weak and ineffectual that it is a surprising miracle he created the world or anything at all, the fool he must be.

They never believed in Christianity or its gospel, and thus instead of gratitude, sit in judgement on God. God is deeply merciful, because God is just. But those who preach the gospel of mercy without the gospel of justice will likely spend eternity in the torture of hell, all the more if they are a priest or bishop. To preach one without the other, a New Testament God who would thrust the Old Testament God into hellfire for his crimes, is to preach not just a false God, an idol, but one so pathetic that Jesus' death on the cross is more like a creepy stalker thing done by a spurned lover, than an act of mercy from God.

The mass killing, jealously guarding God of Moses, who swallowed evil men, their wives and little children alive into the Earth, is the God Jesus died on the Cross and rose again for.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Satan, the snake in the garden from before time began, did not lie to Eve, when he caused her to die.

 Satan, the snake in the garden from before time began, did not lie to Eve, when he caused her to die. God told Adam he would die when he ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil (not if, when) and commanded him not to. Eve was told by Adam not to even touch it lest she die.

Satan correctly tells Eve that eating the fruit will not kill her, for God knew eating it would make her like God, in knowing the difference between good and evil. God himself admits in the same story of the Bible that in stealing the fruit from him, Adam and Eve had become like God in knowing the difference between good and evil. She and Adam, based on what, on the face of it, are truthful statements from the snake, eat the fruit. God then prevents them from also eating the fruit of the tree of life, which was in the garden next to the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so that they may not live forever. They, like us, were clearly mortal, because the tree of life, not forbidden them, would have allowed them to live forever, but they chose the tree of knowledge instead; the fall is not a loss of assured immortal life, but a loss of the immortal soul to sin.

What Satan says is mechanically true. Mankind gained knowledge of good and evil, and if not for God, could have also eaten the fruit of the tree of life and lived forever, as beings disobedient to God. God of course knew the Serpent's nature, Adam's nature and Eve's nature, and banished them into time, into the universe we know (as we know that the events in the garden occur before time, before any shrub had grown per the bible), but the world they are thrust into is very much the world of time.

To God, what was certain was based on the acts of God. To Satan, what was true was based on the world without taking into account the nature of God. The property of God, which man was told to look after, belonged to God. And like Prometheus, stealing fire from the Greek gods, Adam and Eve steal the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil from God and eat of it. They were in the garden to serve God, by tending it, but disobeyed God and stole from him, believing they could one up God by doing so. And it is worth emphasising, the garden was the property of God. Adam was put there to till the land, and Eve to be his helper. They were told they could eat any fruit, but were not permitted to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. They thus took from what was entrusted to them to care for, and stole the fruit they ate from God. Having stolen from God, thinking their scheme was fool proof, Adam and Eve then hide from God, but aren't able to hide from God, nor to deceive him.

Man was not made mortal by his eating of the tree of knowledge, but by his disobedience to God. Satan, in his schemes will be wiley, the wisest of the wild creatures God created, wiser than mankind as well, but his schemes and promises will always be mechanical in nature, and will always exclude the nature of God and the pattern he has set upon the universe. But for God, Satan would succeed in all his schemes, and mankind, rather than being a hybrid of timeous and aeviternal creatures, able to choose between good and evil while we still live, still capable of change, instead, would have become immortal, and remained evil for all time, having eaten of the tree of knowledge, and then the tree of life, but God stopped man eating of the tree of life. Mankind's betrayal of God, and theft from God, was not rewarded.

The anti-Christ is often portrayed by his number, which tends to be linked to the 6th day of creation, and to humankind, to the mechanical universe without God. And pride at its core is the sin of believing in a universe that is purely mechanical, one without the nature of God guiding it. One in which stealing from God is a good idea. The sin of believing we are sufficient, and that our own knowledge and wisdom will bear us out into eternal life, without God.

Any moment you are tempted to do evil, due to the mechanical nature of the universe, due to your knowledge of its ordinary patterns, ignoring the pattern of God, including that of God's wrath, realise that you would have fallen for the same trick Eve did, that the devil isn't lying to you, but if you don't account for God's nature and actions in what you do, you will surely die of your hubris, whereas, in trusting in God and accounting for him, you are capable of gaining life eternal. Man had not been forbidden the tree of life, not until he chose his own schemes over God's plans for him, was this denied him.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

An argument for Moses' authorship of the Pentateuch / Torah

The oldest extract from the Old Testament we have is in the form of two very ancient silver scrolls dating from before the Jewish exile. The scrolls accurately quote parts of the bible and were included in a burial. The second oldest evidence is the Dead Sea Scrolls from a few centuries before Christ. These show that the Old Testament in Hebrew and Greek has not changed in 2000 years.

The events in Genesis predate the existence of a written form of Hebrew, but much of it does not predate the earliest written forms of Egyptian. Moses was raised in Egypt and the Israelites spent 400 years there. It would be centuries after they settled in Israel that the Hebrews would develop their own written language.

I think the various explanations for why Moses is not the author of the first five books of the bible, despite ancient tradition saying he was, are relatively weak. If he were the author, he almost certainly wrote the books in Egyptian script, because it existed at the time, just as the New Testament was written in Greek, despite Jesus likely speaking Aramaic, due to it being a common language in the Roman Empire at the time. Should Moses have written the original five books of the bible down, then they very likely would have had to be rewritten into Hebrew hundreds of years later when Hebrew came into being as a written language.

We know that there was some form of written language among the Israelites hundreds of years before they developed Hebrew written forms, because God gave them the Ten Commandments in a written form. I would assume these commandments were written in an Egyptian written script, given the time period and the lack of a Hebrew alphabet at the time.

Another major thing often used against Moses' authorship is that the bible says that at a certain time the Canaanites occupied Canaan. This is used to say that the author knew this was no longer the case, but Moses never entered the promised land, he could only have relayed what was passed down to him. For all he knew, Canaan was differently occupied, which could explain the verse. Another good explanation would be that it was added as a later gloss, perhaps when translating his words into written Hebrew.

Regardless, if Moses did codify the first five books of the bible into a written form, or had it codified, it is almost certain he would have done so based on longstanding oral traditions for the book of Genesis. As modern research finds, oral histories can be passed down from generation to generation intact, especially among preliterate peoples. The Iliad and Odyssey codified by Homer are thought to be accounts with historic basis of the Trojan war thanks to modern archaeology, albeit fantastical stories are included. Moses or whomever compiled the accounts from Jewish prehistory, passed down over hundreds of years, would have had a relatively accurate means of gaining history via oral tradition.

The manner in which the dialects in the early Old Testament seem to show parts from as old as 950 BC and others, small segments, as new as about 500, can as is often suggested be due to oral histories being recorded in writing, or written accounts being compiled. But this should not in fact rule out Moses authoring these books, given that if he did author them it would not have been in written Hebrew but in Egyptian script which existed at the time of Moses. Given the timing of events, the Ten Commandments written by God on stone tablets very likely would have also been written in an Egyptian script. After all, the Israelites were living in Egypt for hundreds of years at this point.

We know that the Septuagint and the Hebrew Bible that we have today, both also recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls, likely originated from some common earlier script, given that the Septuagint was translated, seemingly with the same translation by between 70 and 72 Jewish translators, into Greek for the library of Alexandria, with the translation of the various scribes being likewise, suggestive that the Septuagint was translating a Hebrew version of the bible mostly the same as the Hebrew one we have now, but with the differences between it and the Septuagint we know are there.

If Moses did, as tradition tells us, write those first five books of the bible, that would have had to have been translated into written Hebrew at a later stage, and perhaps would have been updated at each point to be understood by the people of that time, when a part of the language became too obscure. What we see in the texts we now have is exactly what one would expect to see if the original five books of the Hebrew bible were written by Moses, because written Hebrew didn't exist yet, but written Egyptian did, and Moses was literate, he understood the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, having been raised by a member of Egypt's upper class and thus likely having had his training in written language being in Egyptian.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

How did South Africa get its name and should it change it?

There were 4 colonies, each with real names, 2 of which the British conquered via the Boer/South African Wars. The British then created the Union of South Africa from those nations, combining what were then British colonies to do so (Cape Colony, Natal Colony, Orange River Colony, Transvaal). For a lot of past century, Namibia (German South-West Africa) was included within that union as well, after it was taken from the Germans. 

What we call South Africa was never one nation before the British conquest, but several nations, and before that, land which was mostly empty due to lack of water supply without well digging technology, but which where habitable was controlled by warring tribes. Perhaps in future it will be given a new name, or will split again into new nations. 

The word Azania mentioned by some in the false belief that it was a prior name for the country, is not a past name for South Africa, but one used popularly by black nationalist groups during apartheid. 

There historically was a region called Azania in East Africa, which historically had been inhabited by Mediterranean peoples, and likely came from an Arab geographical term for East Africa. Although that term could also have its origins in the Arabic word for a black person, it seems to predate the migration period in which that part of Africa was discovered by the Niger-Congo tribes, and thus the geographic term is more likely, as it was not yet inhabited by people to fit that description.

South Africa is located in a subcontinent called Sub Saharan Africa and within that in Southern Africa. Most English speaking people know where and what South Africa is. They often also have a good if imperfect understanding of it.

Should South Africa do what eSwatini did and change their name? Probably not. People know it by the current name. It no longer plays such a prominent role in global politics that a new name is likely to become globally recognised. Perhaps in the 1990s, but in the world of today, the costs likely outweigh the benefits.

Abraham differed from the other men of his day by one attribute

I am part of an online group of people following the Ascention Chronological Bible in a Year (Fr Mike Schmitz's) podcast together. 

On that group, I was seeing quite a few posts by people shocked at the immoral actions of the early bible figures, as though we were reading about Christ instead. 

Abraham differed from the other men of his day by one attribute, he had faith. He and the others involved are known for this. They sin, they go astray, they make mistakes and engage in acts which by the Law of Moses or later law of Christianity, which is a higher bar even than that, would be sinful.

We are reading about flawed human beings, not Butler's Lives of Saints. God had to create the state of Israel and interact with it for thousands of years to even prepare the soil of the Earth for Christ to appear. It was long and hard work for God to even get humanity to that stage. 

I think it important that we take the position that we are listening to the bible to learn from it, not to judge its characters through a modern lens.

For instance, when Abraham was about to kill his adult son as a sacrifice to God, seemingly with the son not resisting, despite being able to, was he attempting murder? God punishes various Old Testament figures for not killing God's enemies when ordered to, for instance King Saul, and feels those who kill on his orders to be righteous. What is right or wrong is dependant on what God deems to be right or wrong. God showed not only that he would send his own son to die for us via the incident with Abraham and his son, but also that he was not a God of human sacrifice. A scapegoat was provided, to take the place of the human being, just as God becomes a scapegoat for our sins.

I have always seen the early parts of the Old Testament as God showing why his rules are what they are. As moral lessons as seen in the behaviour people adopt and the consequences for them and others. I have also always seen it as God showing the importance of faith before he teaches us his rules for living. Those rules are for and from faith.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Google Plus, censorship, and the future of Twitter et al

The current President of the United States, as of writing this sentence, Donald J. Trump, has just experienced what being unpersoned entails, something some of his supporters had long experienced. 

His Twitter account has been permanently banned, for saying he would not attend the Biden inauguration, seemingly. Facebook and Instagram have him suspended. Shopify has banned his store. His email provider has allegedly banned him and kept his email list from him. Whether the servers of his website do the same, or Visa and MasterCard ban him (the Andrew Torba treatment) is uncertain.

The creation of a left wing social media network by suppressing conservatives has been done before, in the form of Google Plus. I used to love using Google Plus, but it soon became very manipulated by Google. Trending and popular posts were almost never conservative, even when they got more pluses than liberal ones. Lynch mobs soon formed to go after and destroy conservatives on the platform. They were nasty and without mercy. Google Plus soon confirmed its status as a ghost town. Eventually, it was taken down by Google. 

There is also talk of charging Donald Trump and his son with inciting violence, due to the strong condemnation of the rushing of the Capitol on all sides of the establishment. 

Very little of my Twitter following is American, but even so, even I have seen the dip in my following as large conservative accounts say they are losing thousands of followers. Those lost followers are almost certainly people being banned now the Trump era is over and big tech need not fear Biden and the Democrats.

Assuming a repeat of Google Plus

Big conservative accounts will increasingly see their Tweets replied to by masses on the left, campaigns to deplatform even the mainstream among them, and rushes to attack their followers. The balance on Twitter will sway hard left, and the moderate will have much to fear even if they are on the left, as the hard left are emboldened. Eventually, the risk of losing your job in the real world won't be worth the vanity of having thousands follow you, for the average person. Getting a Blue Checkmark verifying your identity is already associated with being more or hard left. People also often associate blue checkmarks with cruelty and bad takes. Many no longer aspire to achieve that status, and mass following on Twitter may soon be a signal the average person doesn't want to give. Would you boast about having a massive MySpace or Tumblr following?

Without conservatives on platform, the left will turn on moderates and on their own. It will be cruel and will drive engagement away from the platform. Eventually, a platform kept alive by famous figures on both sides will go from being deemed a deeply toxic site to being deemed too toxic. Twitter, like Google Plus, will become a small website serving to organise the hard left.

But what is the larger impact?

The something like seventy million people who voted for Donald Trump are not dead. They have seen some people enter the American parliament, mess up a few papers, wonder around with a speaking platform, and shout slogans. They are likely to see those people jailed with hard time. 

They see Donald Trump deplatformed and denied service by various essential tech services. They may soon seen Trump and others charged and convicted for the people who entered the sacred space of the Capitol. 

The shooting of the unarmed air force veteran has met no outrage, nor the unexplained deaths of 3 other protesters (everyone in the end dies of a heart attack, that can't be cause of death, did they die from overuse of tear gas?). Instead we are told authorities went too easy on the larping Trump supporters by the same people who called the burning down of a police precinct, mass rioting, harassment, theft, vandalism and the murder of dozens: mostly peaceful protests, and who made heroes of those who did so, even those who set up their own independent states inside US cities. 

If the storming of the Capitol is only bad because of who did it, and would have seen those behind it gain billions of dollars in corporate funding and police kneeling before them if they were the right cause, what message does that send to John who lost his job due to lockdown?

What would you do if you were a Trump supporter in America in these circumstances? Likely deplatformed, demonized, and facing those who you believe stole an election from you, and who refuse to satisfy you with an audit or something else, because they really don't have to, having absolute power? Millions of people don't just go away. There was a chance to create healing and for the left to be magnanimous. That has been done away with.

Yesterday, I referred to China as the most powerful nation on Earth. An American friend corrected me, saying that that was America. That friend was wrong. As things stand, America likely faces years of unrest. 

People don't stop being people when you unperson them on social media. Treat a largely peaceful and rather dumb protest as insurrection and terrorism, and you may feel you are strongly condemning the bad guys ... but you are also signalling to them that running about largely peacefully protesting with your face showing and your identity made clear will see you incur the same punishment as terrorists ... That ups an ante. 

A country at real risk of widespread civil unrest and internal collapse cannot be called the most powerful nation on Earth. It just isn't, anymore. The freedom which put the States ahead of China is now largely a thin veneer, when oligarchs can unperson a sitting President on behalf of the present opposition party, a party which won an election where stories adverse to them were openly suppressed, such as the New York Post article, and where Big Tech clearly backed one side and likely swayed the election via its backing. That is a country likely facing years of internal strife.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Idle hands, a dangerous 'summer of love', and the storming of the Capitol by Q-Anon believers, Groypers, and MAGA supporters.

Idle hands do the devil's work. In the USA and across the globe, people have lost their livelihoods, and faced nothingness and despair, but face a lack of bread and circuses to distract them, as governments have closed entertainment venues, and mobs have roamed the streets, attacking diners who could get out, often based on their racial ethnicity.

Asymmetrical enforcement of law and order has alienated those who once supported police, whom they saw kneeling down to the left, and bashing in those who protested lockdowns or held religious ceremonies. Religion has often been one of those pressure valves which keep people calm, as has free speech. Both have been suppressed in much of the world.

Say the wrong thing in many countries, and you are jailed or fined. Say the wrong thing on social media and you are quickly punished or even banned. But banned people don't stop existing. They simply become more desperate and feel less heard.

Election transparency, poll watchers, voter ID, clean election rolls, lack of censorship of people who question the narratives. These things are essential in any democracy, not just so justice can not only be done but be seen to be done, but especially so those who feel affected negatively by election outcomes buy into them, and feel they have been heard.

Notice that those who stormed the Capitol did not listen to Donald Trump when he told them to go home. Some have been identified as either groypers (a white nationalist movement) or Q supporters (a conspiracy theory chucked off mainstream social media), although many likely had other agendas.

If you think Trump is over, you haven't been paying attention. Biden got elected despite refusing to condemn Antifa riots which burnt down cities. Many ordinary Americans are shocked and dismayed by their Capitol being stormed. Others, though, if you look at social media honestly, had a different reaction. Given that BLM has legitimized the riot as the voice of the unheard, among some, and gained massive publicity and policy changes through rioting and iconoclast actions in the USA and elsewhere, the far right has now learnt from them.

The establishment of course will condemn the actions of tonight. But Biden is set to have complete control of the USA federal government and has a further-left-than-Obama agenda to push through successfully.

With Antifa's 'summer of love' and the plentiful worldwide lockdowns, many conservatives have lost their respect for police and law and order. Many did cheer on the storming of the Capitol. Some as a joke, of course, - the scenes were absurd and laughable - but others quite genuinely. And with a left wing which has shut businesses, openly engaged in racially divisive narratives and projects, and supported or bailed out rioters who burnt at least one major police station to the ground, set up autonomous zones, and hounded citizens into suicide; a left which is gaining handsomely from not condemning these actions, those with sympathies for the stormers of the Capitol are likely only to feel even more desperate than before.

I stopped believing in censorship many years ago when I discovered research which found that allowing extremists to speak and debate prevented violence. Hostage negotiators keep terrorists talking until they can either defuse a situation or go in. People often, as Jordan Peterson points out, only think by speaking to others. Allow them only to speak to the likeminded or not at all, via censorship, and you might find you have further radicalized people who could have been deradicalized by exposure to other views and debate.

It seems those who planned to take over the Trump rally today planted bombs in both Democrat and Republican headquarters. This is not a movement of the establishment on either side. Also, it is not Antifa. Antifa expert Andy Ngo confirms it isn't them, and that gent dressed as a shaman is a believer in the Q conspiracy theory, and held a sign saying Q sent him, at an Antifa rally a while back. He is also known to local journalists.

The groypers went mad on social media before the storming of the Capitol, and pictures of the event show Groyper brand merchandise among the rioters. The man dressed as a shaman or Viking, is a well known supporter of the Q conspiracy theory.

It looks like police shot and killed several of the people who overran the Capitol. Media are blaming protesters for bringing those who died out to storm the Capitol. The movement which emerged however is likely to see the deaths as murder (supporters of it on Twitter are already saying as much).

Antifa, meanwhile, is once again rioting in Portland, as Andy Ngo reports.

Social media have briefly suspended Donald Trump's accounts and that of his lawyer. This despite him telling the rioters to go home.

I hope this is just a flash in the pan, and that normalcy can return to the USA. But given the very different responses of the establishment to the left and the right when they are violent, the agenda of the soon to be USA government, and the very badly managed response to legitimate concerns about election transparency: that justice not only be done but be seen to be done ... I fear that Tim Pool's predictions may well be true, and America may begin to see the far left Antifa and far right become more active in years to come, and low scale civil conflict blight American cities.

There is a reason hostage negotiators talk to hostage takers. Keeping someone talking saves lives. Censorship not only hurts the censored but society at large. In 2016, I explained the victory of Donald Trump as the will of the id of the American people coming out. In 2020 he received more votes than Barack Obama or any prior USA President, only defeated by Joe Biden in that regard.

With lockdowns creating idle hands and an unemployed underclass, the rise of China and mega corporations, and a landscape of increased censorship, all while the USA has had years of low marriage rates, something known to correlate with bare branches uprisings in the East ... caution should accompany any optimism about the new year.

2021 may be a bumpy ride.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Sin of the victim virtue

There are two sins our society treats as virtues, which will undo us.

1) Not taking care of our own affairs (and forcing strangers to).

2) Separating sex from its permanent unitive or reproductive elements.

A group of people entirely dependent on politicians forcing others to care for their basic needs, who are then given the vote, will elect politicians to take for them, not governors to govern for them. Some safety net is fine, and can do good, but that is not what we often see.

Separating sex from its unitive element, has seen some communities have generations where children grow up with no father, known to increase poverty, crime, and violence.

Separating sex from its reproductive element and boasting at how much wiser we are than the ancients, has lead to a plummet in birthrates, a collapse in the transfer of heritage from mother to child, and a society where the old sacrifice the young, instead of for the young.

Monday, 4 January 2021

We are all descendants of Seth, not Cain.

 The details are important. 

I had wrongly believed we were all descendants of Cain, just as I once wrongly believed Noah brought two of each kind of animal on the ark, not the 7 of some he did, and just as I once wrongly believed Moses was asking Pharoah to free his people from slavery, when he was asking the King of Egypt to let them have a festival to worship God in the desert. The Bible also records all the Egyptians, except the Israelites, selling themselves into slavery to Pharoah, for food during the seven years of famine, according with the historic fact that the Egyptians were forced to work by Pharoah between planting and harvesting their crops. 

I think someone wrongly told me that, via Noah, we were all descended of Cain. But the bible actually details all of Cain's descendants being wiped out in the flood, along with all of Seth's descendants who intermingled with Cain's descendants and were corrupted by their seemingly sinful ways. 

Noah is a descendant of Seth, the child Adam and Eve had to replace Able, whom Cain murdered. We are all descendants of Seth, whom the bible deemed to have been holy and whose descendants were deemed Sons of God, versus Cain's who were deemed Daughters of Man. While fallen, and born with original sin, that of Adam and Eve's pride, we are truly descendants of a noble line, Seth's, not that of a murderer, Cain, whose entire line was wiped out in the flood.

Popular Posts - This Week

Popular Posts This Month

Popular Posts | All TIme