Thursday, August 17, 2017

Forgiving Lack of Debate

The first post I made on this "Forgiving the News" site was about "Forgiving Debate." I did that for a reason. Forgiving debate is of prime practical importance because the alternative to debate is using force to stop debate, which is violence. In the "Forgiving Debate" post, I talked about the importance of keeping debate honest by not resorting to logical fallacies. At the top of the list of dangerous logical fallacies was ad hominem: attacking people rather than their arguments. In the realm of debate, attacking the person rather than the person's argument (ad hominem) is one notch below actually attacking the person physically.

So, it should come as no surprise that when the level of debate devolves to ad hominem, physical violence often erupts. In the United States today, the level of debate is quite bad when it comes to just about anything political. On the left there is a lot of: "Anyone right of me is a racist Nazi and Trump is Hitler. And on the right there is a lot of: "Anyone left of me is a globalist new-world-order shill, godless commie who wants to put me in a gulag."

Since the establishment media (as well as academia) in the U.S. is left wing in bias, it consistently shuts down debate that challenges left wing ideology and so replaces debate with straw men. Even the establishment right wing media (Fox News) is careful not to stray too far right. Therefore, in a Dostoevsky-esque fashion, the right in its many forms is driven underground to mostly the internet.

I personally consume news every day spanning almost the full political spectrum all the way from alt left to alt right. So, I generally know the narratives (hallucinations) each side are pushing at any given time. And so, since there is nearly no legitimate public debate between the two sides, I'm able to run the debates in my own head and see who has the better argument. That's how I forgive lack of debate. If I only listened to one side all the time I'd be living in a bubble not knowing what I didn't know. Bubbles tend to facilitate guilt projection not forgiveness. If you only listen to one side, that's a sure sign your interest is born of guilt projection not forgiveness, because each side peddles guilt projection.

Balancing the narratives between the left and right to carry out a debate in my own mind follows a very simple formula: the Golden Rule. I ask myself: does what these people are advocating allow for and support the initiation of force (aggression against non-aggressors)? If so, these people advocate force and so ultimately advocate their own demise. Debate over, they lose. Because if aggression against non-aggressors is okay, then it's also okay when you are on the wrong end of the very aggression you support.

When I run these left vs. right debates in my mind I consistently concluded that the left and the right are both inherently violent creeps that support the initiation of force lol. That doesn't necessarily make them bad people but it does make them very bad philosophers and so dangerous. Bad philosophers tend not to appreciate the value of legitimate debate and logical consistency.

The 8/12/17 Charlottesville, Virginia incident was a prime example of lack of debate. The event arose over an old inanimate statue in a public space and escalated into violent conflict leading to death (one of many reasons I'm against public property). It was a little civil war that never would have happened if nobody came to make it two sided. In the lefty guilt projection fantasy of the Charlottesville incident, everyone there from the left was an angel, everyone there from the right was a violent Nazi, including regular people who just like old statues, and Trump is Hitler. In the right wing guilt projection fantasy of the Charlottesville incident, everyone there from the right, except for a handful of Nazi/KKK types, was peaceful and lawful and it was the left (paticularly Antifa) that provoked the violence. Obviously, the truth is somewhere in between those two guilt-projection fantasies to anyone not blinded by their own guilt projection. That's even what Trump said, but any excuse to feed the Trump is Hitler confirmation bias is grasped by the guilt projectors to create hysteria and manipulate the guilty lol. Nonetheless, just as the loser in any debate is he who resorts to ad hominem first, once debate is abandoned and violence breaks out he who kills someone first is the loser. In this instance, the Nazis lost against Antifa because the one killer was on the Nazi side.

It's pretty easy to win a debate against a Nazi in the eyes of rational people (emotional people too but only through persuasion not logic). Nazis believe in initiating force and therefore their arguments support force. But as long as Nazis don't actually initiate force, their beliefs are hypothetical. Thought can't be made a crime and in the U.S. it is part of first amendment freedom of speech to express thoughts. Nazism is just one of many ideologies born out of the human drive to project guilt; it's a fantasy that says if I could just get rid of these certain people from having control over me I'd be happy, free, and prosperous. On the flip side, multiculturalism is another ideology that appeals to the human drive to project guilt; it's a fantasy that says if I could just get rid of racists and bigots from having control over me I'd be happy, free, and prosperous. In both instances, people want freedom from a perceived force that has detrimental control of them. One group wants to control race the other thought. Instead, they should concentrate on simply eliminating force, which is the common foe of both projected on the other. Guilt projection appeals to emotion not reason and so those driven by emotion tend to do what they would defend against.

If you initiate force against a Nazi to silence a Nazi you are being a Nazi. Which is why the Antifa left is so often a walking contradiction and those supporting them are deluded. Antifa is supposed to stand for Anti-fascism, but too often Antifa takes on the role of anti-first-amendment by being violent fascists themselves to shut down free speech they don't like. And although the left wing media doesn't like to criticize Antifa (yet), in the age of the internet anyone can look up videos of Antifa being violent creeps pepper spraying people (including journalists), hurling feces and bricks, vandalizing, etc. Nazis don't have a monopoly on being violent creeps lol. But when did hypocrisy ever matter in the realm of politics?

Charlottesville showed that almost all people agree (yes, including Trump) that Nazism and similar ideologies are dumb and bad, which goes to show there is no rise of Nazism coming to take over the U.S. But people have to be consistent. What makes Nazism so bad is force. Force is dumb because it is logically inconsistent.

Unfortunately, most people are bad philosophers and believe in force (aggression against non-aggressors). For instance, if you believe in taxation, you believe in aggression against non-aggressors. But at least most people do not believe in force when it comes to race. Yes, when force meets race, such as in instances like white nationalism, that is dumb. But black nationalism, Chicano nationalism, etc. are also just as dumb. Government and the force that comes with it is alone dangerous enough; add race to government and it can get nuclear.

Even though I personally believe we are all one mind/spirit and bodies are ultimately meaningless, I know most people have other ideas and put a lot of importance on special bodies. Identifying with race is one of many ways humans indulge in ego specialness. And that's fine as long as there is no force involved. I've never known a person who I'd describe as a true racist but I've also never known anyone who didn't have some in-group preferences that sometimes overlapped with race. That's just how it is. Realistically, language alone often makes for in-group preferences that often overlap with race. Overall, similarities facilitate social cohesion, differences social conflict. You can't force people to get along.

Anyone with even just a minor understanding of human psychology knows there is a whole lot of truth to the Shakespeare line: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." That's the nature of guilt projection. Just as the latent homosexual is often the biggest homophobe, the latent racist is often the biggest racistphobe, and the latent fascist is often the biggest anti-fascist. That's the nature of guilt projection. You don't project guilt unless you've got it to project. In that sense, stifling debate is often just a form of repression to stop from facing the guilt. Stifling debate pushes out reason so ego emotion can run wild.

Freedom of speech is key to a healthy society. It takes force to stop free speech. So societies with less free speech have more force. Those without arguments use force to stop speech. And when free speech is forced to a stop, force is what comes right back. So, forgive debate, because it is lack of debate that leads to where people start killing each other. Lack of debate is force. Force and bad ideas go hand in hand because without force bad ideas go away. Force is the ultimate bad idea. After all, this whole universe is an attempt at forcing something that isn't oneness.

Remember, force is just a way the insane call for love. Rise above the battlefield!

In closing, I'm amending the original commandments of debate list I included with the first "Forgiving Debate" post by adding another two commandments.

The 14 Commandments of Rational Debate and (Logical Fallacies) 
  1. Thou shall not kill your opponent. ("Lack of Opposition Fallacy")
  2. Thou shall not initiate force to silence or manipulate your opponent. ("Might Makes Right Fallacy")
  3. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, only the argument itself. (“Ad Hominem”)
  4. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s arguments in order to make he or she easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy”)
  5. Thou shall not use small samples to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization”)
  6. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”)
  7. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (“Post Hoc/False Cause”)
  8. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. (“False Dichotomy”)
  9. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”)
  10. Thou shall not lay burden of proof onto he or she that is questioning the claim. (“Burden of Proof Reversal”)
  11. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that,” when “it” has no logical connection. (“Non sequitur”)
  12. Thou shall not claim that because a premises is popular, therefore, it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”)
  13. Thou shall not appeal to an outside party to claim support. (“Appeal to Authority”)
  14. Thou shall not claim moral authority. (“Moral High Ground Fallacy”)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Forgiving Suicide by Hate

According to ACIM, anger is never justified, period. A Course in Miracles is uncompromising in its consistency. And so, to remain consistent, ACIM makes many things clear that go completely against the ego logic of the world.

In the ego logic of the world, anger is justified given the right conditions. But that's just an ego deception. Anger is an expression of hate. And according to ACIM, hate is ultimately self-hate. Projecting hate onto what is seemingly "other" makes hate seem external rather than internal. But that is just yet another ego trick. Hate is in the eye of the beholder and nowhere else. And since hate is in the eye of the beholder, hate seems like a virtue to the beholder because the hate is deemed just.

For instance, Hitler felt his hate for the Jews was virtuous. Amongst other things, Hitler attributed the loss of WWI and the hell Germany went through afterwards to Jewish forces, such as Jewish bankers. Therefore, what Hitler attempted to do was justified in his own twisted mind. Hitler wrote a story of guilt projection in his mind just like everyone does. The main difference is that Hitler took guilt projection to an extreme on the level of form that few people ever have the opportunity to take.

Since Hitler was such an extreme case of guilt projection, to this day it is deemed virtuous in societies all over the world to hate Hitler. Hating hate is just more hate though. Even loving hate is just more hate. Loving hate is forgiveness to destroy: making guilt real and pretending to overlook it. So, regardless of the twisted rationale for justifying hate and making it real, hate is a slippery slope to ruin. Hate left unchecked, is inevitably suicidal.

As a very blatant example, if you go around trying to kill people, you'll eventually get killed yourself by someone exercising self defense. In the heat of the moment, physical self preservation instincts kick in even for dedicated A Course in Miracles students.

Even though A Course in Miracles focuses on the mind, ACIM nonetheless states that there is indeed a rule for appropriate behavior in the world: the Golden Rule of "Do unto others as you'd have others do unto you." ACIM simply adds a caveat to the Golden Rule by making it clear that to properly appreciate and practice the Golden Rule requires the sanity to perceive correctly. You must be able to see the innocence in everyone and everything. And you can only do that if you accept that the world is not reality and so accept that what goes on in the world has no real consequence.

Don't kill people if you don't want to be killed by people. Don't steal from people if you don't want people to steal from you. And so it also follows, don't let thieves and murders free to thieve and murder unless you want to thieve and murder yourself. See how that works? To violate the Golden Rule is ultimately suicidal. The Golden Rule is very practical unless the goal is suicide.

Although hate doesn't usually end up in literal death, hate is always inevitably suicidal. And since hate is suicidal, hate doesn't mix with the Golden Rule. Only hate others if you would hate yourself.

Ego glorifies suicide in the form of martyrdom. Martyrdom is not heroic. Because true heroism requires success. Anyone can try to be heroic and fail. Just trying to be a hero does not make someone a hero. Anyone can attempt suicide through martyrdom.

True heroism means complete success in the sense that everyone wins. So, you cannot be a true hero unless you can save yourself first. In that sense, the most heroic act anyone can accomplish is undoing the ego. Ego is suicide. Ego preservation is suicide. Lack of ego is unending life.

If you can't save yourself, you can't save anyone else. That's why hate never puts an end to hate but instead perpetuates it. If you yourself can't stop hating, how can you condemn anyone else for hating? You can't expect anything from anyone that you can't even expect from yourself.

Hate is never justified! And hate is never a virtue. Even though the world is ultimately illusory, we still have to deal with it for as long as we perpetuate it. Dealing with the world is how we forgive and undo the ego. But if we deal with the world without forgiveness, we just perpetuate the world.

Unless suicide is the goal, hate is not an effective way to deal with the world. Hate is inherently about ego preservation. A person hell bent on ego preservation would rather be miserable, right and even dead than happy, wrong and alive.

Dealing with the world means accepting it as it is, which means accepting that it is not heaven. The world wasn't made to work. Oneness is what works, not the world. So, you have to accept that, on the level of form, even successful forgiveness can look messy.

As an example, I don't enjoy getting bit by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can be potentially deadly. That doesn't mean I hate mosquitoes, but it also doesn't mean I'm going to sit back and let mosquitoes eat me alive. Mosquitoes would happily eat me alive if I let them. If I could talk to mosquitoes I'd say leave me alone or risk being smashed to death. But I can't talk to mosquitoes. Therefore, I instead take precautions to keep mosquitoes away. Seeing as the mosquitoes don't care if they kill or hurt me I don't care if I kill or hurt mosquitoes. But I ideally try to avoid them all together.

Now say I was of the delusion that hating killing is virtuous. And so, say I hated killing so much that I refused to even kill mosquitoes. Well, that hate for killing would set up a potentially suicidal situation. At best I'd be itching mosquito bites all the time and at worst I'd eventually receive a deadly bite. I'd rather just forgive killing and forgive myself killing mosquitoes; it's a lot easier than trying to pretend that the world is something it isn't. The world is a kill or be killed kind of place where one's own entropy is kept low and at disequilibrium from the environment by raising the entropy of the system as a whole.

I will add that it is true that with the power of your mind you could nudge the probabilities of the universe so you are mostly immune to mosquitoes. But you could also in theory use the power of your mind to do things like teleport and raise the dead. Can you do that right now? If not, it's perfectly fine to make yourself immune to mosquitoes by staying indoors, living in places without mosquito problems, wearing long sleeves, using a few sprays of "Off," smashing mosquitoes, or any of many forms of simple "magic." Don't be afraid to use "magic" when it is easy. Rejecting simple "magic" to play pretend enlightenment can be just another recipe for suicide. Don't commit suicide by way of hate of "magic."

My general sentiment on the subject of mind versus "magic" is reflected in this simple story:
A man moved near a river and, wanting to find a way to travel across the water, he spent ten years developing the ability to levitate using his mind so he could float across the river. Buddha, who was preaching in town, was confronted by this man, who said, "Look master, look what I have achieved. I can levitate across the water." And Buddha said, "Yeah, but the ferry only costs a nickel..." 
Unlike with mosquitoes, I can talk to human beings using the simple "magic" of words. And my deal with other human beings is don't try to harm me and you won't have to worry about me harming you; violate that agreement though and I'm not going to feel guilty about you choosing some variation of suicide lol. If all people were sane enough to follow the Golden Rule, humans would get along no problem because we'd just interact voluntarily. But basically no one here is completely sane. And as a group, humans aren't even sane enough to put major emphasis on the simple logic of adhering to the Golden Rule. We send kids to school to learn things like math and reading, but there's no Golden Rule classes for most kids. Nor is there a Golden Rule section on the SATs.

That's understandable though. Society as we know it would crumble if everyone understood and lived by the Golden Rule. If everyone understood and lived by the Golden Rule, everything in society that currently violates self-ownership and the non-aggression principle would naturally disappear.

Insane people can't teach sanity, nor would they want to. Insanity grows in darkness. The insane teach that problems are external not internal. And so very few people in this world, even ones that are devoted to spiritual practices, get past hate. If the hate is seen as external, then hate is safe and is even deemed virtuous.

Whether the suicidal hate comes in the form of a beheading Trump photo shoot, a racist tirade, a racist tirade in response to a racist tirade, smashing a monument, a murder, a tweet fight, shallow virtue signaling, harping over ancient history such as slavery that took place over a hundred and fifty years ago, harping over ancient history like the crusades, or a blatant suicide bombing, it is all the same. It is all an attempt to make oneself innocent by deeming someone or something else as guilty. Hate, no matter how subtle or how decorated it is in veneers of virtue, inevitably boomerangs back as self-destruction. Hate and thus guilt is nowhere but in the eye of the beholder.

To act out of hate, guilt and anger is a recipe for failure. Don't let your ego desires trick you into suicide by hate! Don't be a hate martyr loser!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Forgiving Global Warming (Climate Change)

Regardless of where you live on earth or in what country, global warming is a pertinent issue because it is global.

The establishment narrative about global warming is that carbon dioxide (CO2, the gas you are exhaling right now) released mostly through the burning of fossil fuels is warming the climate and it will have disastrous effects if not stopped and reversed very soon. Conversely, the rebuttal to that narrative is that yes CO2 levels are rising, yes human activity produces CO2 and yes there is some sort of rising temperature trend, but to conclude that all are directly correlated and that the correlation will result in global doom is premature science at best. The rebuttal to the establishment narrative about global warming comes from the skeptic scientists and the skeptics don't trust things such as current assumptions about feedback and amplification in regards to CO2.

I am not a climate scientist or any other kind of formal scientist. That makes me just like global warming evangelists such as Bill Nye, Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Gore lol. However, unlike those people, I'm not going to take sides and make a case for either side in the global warming debate. Instead, since the objective is to forgive global warming, I'm going to just focus on the psychological aspects of global warming and the tactics of the warring factions.

Realistically, if it wasn't for the impending global doom aspect to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming, science would not feign such certainty about the topic. But there is an impending global doom aspect to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming. And the fear that comes with impending global doom has made CO2 fueled global warming into a kind of political religion rather than a calm, honest scientific inquiry into the effects of CO2 on climate.


Deep down, the psychological appeal of the theory of catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming is no different than that of conventional religions. As the global warming mythos goes:
Long ago the climate was perfect and humans were in harmony with nature. But then humans gave into temptation and sinned. Humans ate from the tree of knowledge to usher in the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution brought great advances as humans continued to eat from the tree of knowledge. But it all came at a cost: humans unleashed the devil in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2). Now, the devil of CO2 has taken over the world and is thus contributing to every bad and anomalous thing on earth. The earth is doomed to flood and become literal hell unless humans repent. Fortunately, there is a plan for salvation. In order to be saved from the hell of a heating earth, humans must first accept the blood of the warming earth and repent for the sin of CO2 emissions. Humans must then submit to and support the higher authority of a Global Governing Body who will tax and regulate CO2. By sacrificing money through taxation and sacrificing freedom through regulation, the sins of CO2 will be forgiven. 

As ridiculous as it is in its similarity to common religious beliefs, that is the current global warming mythos believed and promoted by devotees. And skeptics are the heretics that dare question any parts of that mythos.

Like a religion, the heretic scientists that vocally question CO2 fueled global warming alarmism become ostracized. For that reason, the scientists who most vocally question CO2 fueled global warming tend to be older tenured or retired scientists. My personal favorites from the skeptic crowd are former warmist Dr. Judith Curry, the now late hurricane forecasting pioneer Dr. William Gray, and climate scientist Dr. John Christy. You have to search out the skeptics to hear their side of the story because the establishment media (other than maybe Fox News Channel in the U.S.) only pushes the warmist side of the argument. Consequently, just about everyone gets exposed to the CO2 warming side but only those who look for it ever find the skeptic side.

As I mentioned in the post I wrote titled Forgiving Debate, the basic logic fallacies of ad hominem and straw man are ample in the back and forth between the warming promoters and skeptics. One would think that with such certainty the warming promoters could directly address the skeptics on every point without resorting to ad hominem and straw man attacks, but that is not the case at all. Dilbert comic creator Scott Adams has been on a mission of late to improve climate debate. Scott Adams has been using his powers of persuasion to nudge climate scientists into doing a better job of communicating their side of things. So far he's managed to get warming promoting climate scientists to debunk their own models lol.

Overall, whether by logic or logic fallacy, for just about every piece of evidence that the CO2 fueled global warming promoters have, the skeptics have a rebuttal to cast doubt. In turn, for just about every rebuttal the skeptics have to cast doubt, the CO2 fueled global warming promoters have a rebuttal to cast doubt on the rebuttal. And it just goes back and forth. Just research the often touted 97 percent scientific consensus on global warming sometime and you'll see the warmists defending the stat to the death while you'll see the skeptics poking an endless number of holes in the stat thus reducing it to having about as much meaning as saying 97 percent of Catholics have some beliefs that support Catholicism. Consequently, who you end up believing will just depend on who you want to believe. And that same back and forth plays out on every level of global warming science.

As an example, the climate models attempting to model what effects CO2 should have on warming have consistently given forecasts predicting much higher warming than what has been observed. And that is despite constant tweaking to hindsight model the past. That gives fuel to the skeptics. But there are enough models that some get it right from time to time and so those models are put forth by warming evangelists to tout the accuracy of the science behind the models.


As another example, there are a lot of different historical temperature and atmospheric CO2 data sets. A particularly popular data set is one that shows the correlation between higher atmospheric CO2 and higher temperatures from Antarctica over the course of 400,000 years. Warmists point to that data set as undeniable evidence for CO2 causing warming.


The skeptics argue though that higher temperatures cause trapped CO2 to be released, like a glass of 7-UP losing carbonation as it warms. Consequently, rising CO2 levels are an effect and not a cause of warming. Instead, the skeptics like to refer to a 600 million year data set that shows no reliable correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2.


Furthermore, some temperature and atmospheric CO2 data sets present a vastly different picture of the past than others. Consequently, each side latches onto data sets supporting their own stances while dismissing data sets that don't.


That's part of the problem with inferring from data sets. All the historical global data sets are at best made of dispersed samples processed by humans. Even most data sets of current global temperatures rely on dispersed samples processed by humans. Like it or not, there is a margin of error to all data sets and the degree of that margin is open to debate. That margin of error leaves room for doubt for people looking for it. And when headlines read things like "2016 Hottest Year on Record" based on dispersed temperature data that beat by 0.01 degree with a margin of error of at least 0.1, skepticism is a logical response. (Here is a good but somewhat old presentation looking at the margin of error in collecting temperature data.)

The favored global temperature measurement system of the global warming skeptics comes from satellites measuring temperatures of the lower troposphere, which is where the global warming should be most evident. Although satellites have only been collecting global data since 1979 and the methodology has had some issues that have been tweaked over the years, the broadness of the measurements made possible by the satellites has resulted in some arguably superior data. According to the satellite data, the 13 month running average difference between the coldest years globally of 85 and 92 versus the hottest years of 98 and 16 (both El Nino induced) is a mere 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 Fahrenheit). If the satellite data temperatures are ever to drop down to 85 or 92 levels again, that will be at least a big temporary blow to the CO2 warming case. So far that hasn't happened yet though.


But anyway, regardless of the science, it's really just psychology that separates the believers from the skeptics. And the psychology for most people is shaped by politics. Once someone takes a stance one way or the other on the issue of global warming, confirmation bias sets in. Confirmation bias helps a person feel vindicated. A sense of vindication is important because being right allows a person to project guilt on those who are seemingly wrong. Once confirmation bias sets in, people see what they want to believe. So a drought, a hurricane, tidal flooding, or a chunk of melting ice becomes construed in the mind of a warmist as evidence for global warming. Conversely, a cold snap, newly frozen ice, or a quiet hurricane season becomes construed in the mind of a skeptic as evidence for lack of global warming. And someone looking for climate change instead of just global warming can see evidence for changing climate whenever anything is above or below average, which is most of the time since averages are generally the average of extremes one way or the other.

Most people, regardless of politics, are anti-pollution. Pollution is a simple property rights issue that arises from socializing pollution rather than requiring containing pollution to one's own property. Seeing as CO2 is what we exhale when we breathe, it's a stretch for many people to see it as a legitimate pollutant. But even if CO2 were a legitimate pollutant, almost all people would be happy to do away with it if there was a convenient alternative. But there currently isn't a convenient alternative (?). And that is the main source of contention in the global warming issue.

What drives resistance to the theory of CO2 fueled global warming more than anything is the currently proposed solution, which is political. The currently proposed solution is a global government gun in everyone's face that says stop producing CO2 or pay. That's not a solution, that's a recipe for a scam. And it's doubly a recipe for a scam since not every country or group would concede to that gun in the face without putting up a fight and thus a war. And if you've read my previous piece on the free-range debt-slave plantation you should be able to see how convenient such a solution would be to making the debt-slave scam more globally centralized.

A real solution would be something like a new clean energy source that is as good or better at producing energy relative to cost as fossil fuels. Such a solution would be naturally and voluntarily accepted. Another solution would be some sort of cheap, efficient air scrubber that removes CO2 from the atmosphere.

Forecasts about what could happen to human society due to global warming and how humans should react require economic models. Economic models have notoriously horrible predictive power. Economic models are so bad they are often worse than no model lol. So, even if the theory of CO2 fueled global warming is correct, without a real global solution there are a lot of cases to be made for inaction. One such case is the fact that more CO2 and warmer temperatures has benefits and not just negatives. For instance, it's much easier to grow plants in a warm CO2 rich world than a cold CO2 starved world. Plus, who is to say what the ideal climate is? The current default assumption is that the climate of the 20th century was the ideal climate.

And who's to say humanity doesn't face bigger more pressing problems than theoretical effects of CO2? Is bringing the third world out of poverty through cheap fossil fuel energy of more value than reducing CO2? Depends on who you ask. Last time I checked, most beachfront property still costs at least a small fortune, so the market obviously isn't too concerned about CO2 induced sea level rise anytime soon... nor is it worried about increased or stronger hurricanes.


My personal prediction and hope is that real solutions, such as in the form of new, better, cheaper energy sources will come to market steadily enough to stop and even reverse human produced CO2 regardless of how potentially dangerous it is to climate. Conversely, my fear is that people will become so hysterical about CO2 that a solution will be implemented that will impoverish people, enslave people, facilitate centralized global tyranny, or will simply over-adjust climate in the opposite direction and usher in destructive cooling.

If you really believe in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming, forgive it by looking for a real solution, not by projecting guilt on those who don't share in your fears or forceful solutions. You're kind of being a cold tyrant if you can't empathize with people who don't trust solutions that just involve a gun in people's faces. A real solution won't require force and therefore won't require political action. Therefore, you won't have to worry about those who don't share your fears if you have a legit solution. A problem without a legit solution is just a recipe for guilt projection. And if you don't want to look for a real solution, just forgive yourself by admitting that you really don't care about global warming, you just like guilt projection lol.

Conversely, if you don't believe in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming, forgive it by not projecting guilt on those who believe it, who are fearful, who think force is a solution, who hate fossil fuels despite using them, or who think they are saving humanity by simply holding onto a belief. And just in case your disbelief is incorrect, embrace any legitimate solutions proposed; you can still resist false solutions just not legitimate solutions. And if your disbelief in catastrophic CO2 fueled global warming is because you own an oil well or something, forgive by not resisting a legitimate replacement for the CO2 producing energy from which you profit.

It's all about being honest and getting out of the guilt projection trap. You can sit there and pretend to forgive all you want, but often you won't forgive until you're willing to sit down and rewrite the story in your mind that you wrote to justify your guilt projection.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Forgiving The Free-Range Debt-Slave Plantation Scam (The Tax/Debt/Money/Inflation Scam)

Although the news pretty much never covers this subject at all, it covers its symptoms constantly. Much of the whole world is set up as a free-range debt-slave plantation; it's basically the biggest scam going. Since this is a big, complex subject, you'll have to watch the hour and forty five minute video presentation at the end of this post (made in 2010) to get up-to-speed on the debt-slave plantation scam. The guy who made the video, Damon Vrabel, was vocal about exposing this whole scam several years ago. But after spending a few years at it, he gave up due to seeing no hope for snapping the populace out of its left vs. right stupor. So he disappeared from the web to forgive it all on his own. I came to the same conclusion as Damon Vrabel after being interested in this subject for a number of years. I wrote a book about the subject in 2008, Dissolving Dollars.

The basic formula of the free-range debt-slave system is that all money in the system is issued as debt plus interest. To pay the interest on the debt requires evermore debt. If all debt in the system were paid off one day, all money would cease to exist since it was borrowed into existence. Since governments are the only entities that never pay off debt and instead only grow it, national debts represent the base money supply of the system. This all sets up a pyramid scheme where real wealth created by the many on the bottom is siphoned off by those higher in the pyramid who are able to issue debt and collect interest on it. Money doesn't have to exist as debt but it makes for a great scam when it is.

In the U.S., the establishment Democrat and Republican parties both exist to keep the debt-slave plantation running. And each party has its own sleight of hand to keep the slaves focused on symptoms of the scam rather than the scam itself. The left portrays things like corporations, big business, and profit as the problem while the right portrays things like socialism and big government as the problem. That sleight of hand keeps the left and right fighting each other in a zombie stupor over symptoms of the scam instead of joining teams to tackle the scam itself. And so it is all a back and forth treating symptoms to keep the cause safely hidden. In the end, the battle between left and right is simply a battle between who pays more and who pays less to keep the scam going and sustainable; socialism (big government) works just as well as capitalism (big business) to keep the scam going. As long as at least half the slaves are sufficiently content at any given time, the system is safe.

Take a look at this pyramid. This summarizes the whole system. See how the incessant fighting between the left and the right just serves variations of the same one scam?


Although true forgiveness isn't an intellectual thing, it is often helpful to be knowledgeable about what you are forgiving. Without knowledge, you're likely to project guilt onto symptoms rather than causes. And so you'll try to fix the symptoms instead of the causes. No amount of forgiving solves anything if the solution requires letting go of the guilt that keeps you ignorant of the cause. The ultimate cause is mind of course. And since the world is a derivative of mind the problems of the world born of being unaware of worldly causes just represent the denial of accepting mind as the ultimate cause. When you know the cause of a problem you know the solution and so it is no longer a problem to be solved just resolved.

So, the whole point of urging everyone to sit down and really soak in the content of the video at the end of this post is so you can stop projecting guilt on symptoms and instead get to causes. Because it is easier to forgive a cause than chasing countless symptoms as separate things to forgive. Once you are cognizant enough to see the worldly cause, you can more easily bring it back to the ultimate cause: mind.

You should find it interesting how often Trump is mentioned in this 2010 video presentation. Even though Trump as a personality is the perfect face upon which to project the guilt of the system, his rhetoric is often a challenge to key aspects of the debt-slave plantation. The Democrats, Republican establishment (Neocons), and establishment media loath Trump. For as long as Trump lasts as president, how critically he is portrayed will be a barometer measuring how much he is caving in to the elite power structure (deep state) or instead threatening to disrupt it. The highest point in the media for Trump so far was when he bombed Syria, which pleased the power elite. And interestingly, the whole attempt to vilify Trump due to his friendliness with Russia is perfectly transparent when you understand the system. At the 1:03:00 mark of this presentation, it talks about how the different countries fit into the whole debt scam and how Russia is the big outlier that has tried to remain separate from the global scam. Also worth noting is that at the 1:21:00 mark, Bitcoin would be mentioned if the presentation were made today. Bitcoin and crypto-currencies are a non-political attempt at a solution for destroying the debt-slave plantation. And when the video mentions Hamilton versus Jefferson, especially at around the 1:30:00 mark, think about the recent weird popularity of the musical Hamilton contrasted with the recent constant vilification of Jefferson. It's embarrassing to see how manipulated people are by their left/right identifications into being puppets of the system. Left vs. right is a trick, the real option is between bigger more centralized control or smaller more decentralized freedom. The more centralized the control, the more force and the easier it is to maintain the debt-slave plantation scam.

Lots of news becomes a lot easier to forgive if you have the background explained in this video under your belt. So, stuff I cover in the future will refer back to this. To me, I forgive all this fairly easily by realizing that the system as a whole exploits people's egos. Even most people high in the pyramid don't really understand the structure. The structure is relatively automatic due to how well it caters to and exploits people's egos. So I see no difference between the lowly dupes that blindly sustain the system and those who run the system. Because the same ego dynamic is working on all levels. Yes, the system could change if people woke up but I'm personally not going to bang my head against the wall trying to wake people up. As long as force is acceptable to people in society, especially in the form of government, some people are going to exploit that force to set up scams.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Forgiving U.S. Healthcare

I live in the United States, so this will be America-centric and based on forgiving the current U.S. healthcare system. But there are people everywhere with healthcare related forgiveness lessons who will be able to find value in this post.

There are two primary camps when it comes to healthcare; there is a camp that thinks everyone should have access to healthcare and an imaginary camp that doesn't. The camp that doesn't is perceived as whoever opposes one's own pet vision of healthcare for all. That's a fact I've come to realize after studying healthcare ideas all throughout the political and economic spectrum.

Within the non-imaginary camp (the everyone should have access to healthcare camp), there are two main sub-camps; one camp focuses on mixing government with healthcare and the other eliminating government from healthcare. In other words, one camp wants force involved with healthcare, the other no force at all. The majority of people envision healthcare as requiring force and basically all proposed healthcare solutions and systems around the world currently involve government force.

No force healthcare would be totally devoid of government; there wouldn't even be such a thing as a medical license. Doctors would have to come up with ways to prove their competence on their own or through private third parties. And patients would have to come up with ways to assess doctor competence on their own or through private third parties. No force means no theft or fraud. So doctors couldn't lie about their competence anymore than patients could steal a doctor's labor. This would be a hypothetical true free-market healthcare system. Advocates of such a system would consider it healthcare for all because the competition would be so great that it would facilitate realistic price discovery and thus be so cheap as to be affordable to all, especially with private charity inevitably involved. This system would be the default system if everyone in the world was sane lol. Sanity would mean no force, no one with the forceful notion of something for nothing, and so no problems other than the fact that healthcare isn't foolproof and sometimes healthcare can't starve off death. And, of course, sane people would accept that. (Now, since I'm speaking to an A Course in Miracles audience I will of course point out that true sanity would preclude the need for healthcare at all, but that'd also preclude the entire universe.)

Force in healthcare comes in countless forms. Look around and you can see all kinds of examples of force in healthcare. Overall, force in healthcare just about always comes with an added price; either the patient pays the price, the provider pays the price, a third party pays the price, or a combination. The price can come in the form of money, reduced freedom, reduced quality, et cetera. But regardless of form there is essentially always a price.

The most expensive system is a system where a patient is forced to pay an exorbitant price. But such a system would come with such revolt that it wouldn't really be possible. Instead, the current U.S.A. system is an example of just about the most expensive system realistically possible. If the Obamacare mandate were fully enforceable, it would be even closer to the most expensive system realistically possible. But since some people can still jump through a few hoops to opt out and not participate in the system, it's slightly less expensive as a whole than it could be.

There are so many forms of force that make the current U.S.A. system so expensive it is mindboggling. For example, the profit margins of health insurers are capped to a certain percentage. Sounds good to the average person bad at math and logic, like the average voter and politician. But it is very problematic. That's because by limiting the profit margin, insurer profits instead increase as the price of healthcare increases. The healthcare providers like that and, to work around the profit cap, so do the insurers. And the average dupe customer is none the wiser and pleased that insurer profit margins are limited.

As another example of force, think about drug costs and availability. It takes force to make a drug expensive. Because without force, there is price competition and usually abundance. Even the cost to develop a drug is a cost that mostly comes from force (such as FDA approval requirements). Also, trade restrictions that make it illegal to go to another country to buy and bring home a drug is a form of force. Most drugs can be found much cheaper elsewhere in the world.

And think about this, only a grade A sucker buys insurance to pay for an event that has one hundred percent certainty. So, when insurance covers things like drugs people take all the time and yearly checkups, the dupe consumers think that is a perk. But really, within their premiums they are paying the price of the drug or doctor visit plus the insurer profit and a whole lot more. In other words, it'd have been cheaper to pay out of pocket to see the doctor or buy the drug. But since the doctor or drug seller often gives a much cheaper price to the insurer than to patients directly, that's a form of racketeering that gives insurance an unfair advantage. It is a form of racketeering allowed to occur in the current U.S. system, even though it is supposed to be illegal.

Pre-existing conditions are another form of one hundred percent certain events. Unless the condition can be cured without medical care (such as in most common cases of type II diabetes with proper dietary changes), the condition is a certainty. Forcing for-profit insurers to insure one hundred percent certain events adds the cost of the insurer's profit on top of the cost of the event, which is then socialized to all the healthy dupes paying for insurance. Insurance doesn't work unless it is purchased before the event. Insurance is socialistic by its nature but it is supposed to socialize possible risks not certainties. Insuring pre-existing conditions is just for-profit socialism, which is just a more expensive form of socialism.

So the next less expensive thing than the current U.S. system would be some variation of Medicare for all. That would basically be non-profit insurance funded by taxes that covers everyone regardless. But it would only be non-profit in theory since the bureaucrats running the system would have lots of room to profit through lucrative employment. Because really, a non-profit is just a for-profit that pays all its profits out as salary. A true non-profit has no costs because resources and labor are donated for free. Also, if insurance were merely socialized, there would still be constant pressure from the medical industry lobbying to bilk the taxpayers out of as much money as possible. And we can know that would be the case unless something else happened first. That something is the enforcement of century old law: 15 U.S. Code Chapter 1 - MONOPOLIES AND COMBINATIONS IN RESTRAINT OF TRADE, A.K.A.  The Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts.

As a warning to all American citizens reading this, by telling you about 15 U.S. Code Chapter 1, I'm going to be red-pilling you. If you still identify with the Democrat gang or Republican gang after I tell you this I'm afraid you might be hopeless...a whipped dog lol.  15 U.S. Code Chapter 1 is law that already exists and has for a long time, but for some strange, unspoken reason it is not enforced in regards to the healthcare industry. The reason it isn't enforced is because neither the Democrat gang nor Republican gang wants to enforce it. Enforcing the law would see healthcare prices collapse 80-90% or more and lead to a quick but deep recession as the healthcare industry was forced to shrink, decriminalize itself, and become a legitimate competitive business with transparent competitive prices and no artificial trade restraints.

All it would take to implement this health care fix is an executive order announcing a sixty day notice saying that after sixty days the U.S. government is going to start enforcing 15 U.S. Code Chapter 1 on the healthcare industry and that anyone in violation of the law after that time will be prosecuted.

Obama could have made such an executive order and didn't; Trump could too but hasn't. Not only that, the left and right echo chambers try hard NOT to let the American public know that such a simple thing is even an option. It's mostly only discussed in libertarian circles. Yet, even the formal Libertarian party ignores it.

Other than political puppets and people who work in the healthcare industry and capitalize off the fraud, all people with at least half a brain "left" or "right" would rally behind the enforcement of 15 U.S. Code Chapter 1 if people knew about it, understood it, and realized it already exists. But they don't. And that tells you something: that the media and the politicians left and right are likely either incompetent or in on the fraud.

The two party snow job keeps the people ignorant, stuck and preoccupied in the brain-dead, hate-filled, emotion-driven, status-quo-maintaining battle of team Dem vs. team Rep. Just think of the pressure the Dems could put on Trump by promoting the enforcement of U.S. Code 15 Chapter 1. But Dems don't because they are frauds and don't want it and don't want to reveal that Obama could have done so himself. Instead, the Dems and Reps just fight over who should pay to keep the scam going and who shouldn't, all the while blaming the other side for inaction on changing the scam itself.

If healthcare got cheap, people would stop caring so much about socialized medicine. Thus, the Dems would lose the socialized healthcare carrot they like to dangle. And the Reps would lose the we want a freer-market but not really free-market in healthcare carrot they like to dangle.

The healthcare racket is an example of why The Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts should even be law to begin with. Government can and does allow criminal practices that a free-market couldn't. A free-market monopoly is a business so good that everyone loves it or so good that it leaves no other better choice. Otherwise, a monopoly is a result of force and the thing about force is that it's illegal unless the government allows it.

There are some things that are monopolistic by nature. For instance, the shortest distance on land between point A and point B is a natural monopoly. Therefore, if you own that land you have a monopoly. But, if you take advantage of that monopoly people will look for alternatives. The fact is that monopolies are mostly a phantom, but they do become real when the government facilitates them. In that sense, monopolies tend to be franchise monopolies which are government granted.

Living in a town with one doctor or even one hospital wouldn't really be a monopoly, just a geographic convenience. But living in a country dominated by a single medical racket is monopolistic.

U.S. healthcare is monopolistic due to government facilitated force. And while there are people and groups that try to provide healthcare outside the monopoly as best they can, like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, for most people it is easier and more lucrative to be part of the monopolistic system. In a system where, for example, patients can sue doctors and hospitals for ungodly sums of money and juries actually reward such ungodly sums, that's a kind of cost that must be paid for by someone and monopolistic practices make it easier to recoup those costs. In a system where developing a drug or treatment requires a long, expensive FDA approval process, monopolistic practices make it easier to recoup those costs. In a system where no one who shows up in an emergency room can be denied medical treatment, monopolistic practices make it easier to recoup those costs.

Get the point? Force comes with costs!


Now, considering all I just explained, we can get to the main question at hand: how to forgive healthcare? Forgiving healthcare, like forgiving anything else, requires getting out of the guilt projection trap. Because when you are in the guilt projection trap, you aren't really looking for a solution, just a scapegoat. That's how the Democrats and Republicans survive. The Dems say that they could usher in a utopia if it wasn't for those evil Reps. And the Reps say that they could usher in a utopia if it wasn't for those evil Dems. And anything either side implements that turns out to be subpar, that side just blames on the other side for it not being a success. It's a veritable status-quo machine.

Although there are some people content with the current system for various reasons, most have issues with it. But even though most people have issues with it, most people have different ideas about how it could be fixed based on where they project the most guilt and not necessarily based on any reality about how it could actually be fixed.

The basic options available beyond the current system are a socialized system or a free-market system born of things like enforcing The Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts to remove government facilitated force from the system. A socialized healthcare for all system would likely at best be about half the cost of the current system based on what other first world countries that have socialized healthcare pay. And a more free-market system, if taken all the way, would be about 90%+ less than the cost of the current system. Realistically, I don't see anything close to either scenario happening. Not until healthcare bankrupts the country is anything major likely to happen. And you don't want to be sick and dependent on the system when that happens.

In the meantime, instead of just bitching and projecting guilt, you can forgive by taking matters into your own hands based on your own subjective preferences. If you want socialized medicine, you'll have to become poor, old, work for the government, make your own private socialized system, or move to another country. If you want true free-market priced healthcare, you'll have to travel to or move to a place with private healthcare and with a lower cost of living, like India. And if just freer-market priced healthcare is good enough, you'll have to travel to or move near a place like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, or make your own local place like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma. Also, you could just be healthy, not have insurance (if you can avoid the Obamacare penalty), and not participate in the medical scam at all. Or you could do the same and not be healthy and look for alternative medicine and or roll the dice and just accept the fact that everyone dies eventually.

What you shouldn't do is be an average tool who does nothing proactive and just perpetuates the status-quo by being a sucker that projects guilt based on political preferences. Instead of being a partisan tool, you could at the very least spread the word and expose the fact that neither the establishment left nor right is willing to enforce the Sherman, Clayton and Robinson-Patman acts on healthcare; it might not work to change the political inaction but at least you'd be waking up your partisan political projection zombie friends and relatives lol.

Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to stand by passively and let yourself be scammed. If you are cognizant enough to know you are being scammed, projecting guilt won't solve anything. Instead, you have to take responsibility for letting yourself get scammed. If government is involved and you are basically being scammed at gunpoint, you still have to take responsibility; after all, most people don't hesitate to advocate forms of government force that benefit themselves. You can't complain when you're a non-aggressors on the wrong side of a gun that you yourself like to use on non-aggressors.

If you can afford being scammed and the scam is more convenient to you than alternatives, then accept that you accept it. And if you are fine with the scam because you benefit from it, you have to accept that too. Because otherwise you'll project guilt on those who want to quell the scam.

An important part of forgiveness is being honest with yourself and conceding to the fact that you might be an idiot lol who doesn't know everything and who sees things subjectively, skewed by self-interest and fear. True forgiveness is easy because you don't have to figure out every little detail to identify guilt versus innocence. Instead, you just always see innocence by realizing that you made up the guilt that appears to you in the world. You accept the fact that you chose subconsciously and often even consciously to play the victims victimizers game.

My own approach to healthcare is the same as I approach everything: forgive it and learn to do what I can to be free of it so I don't have to concern myself with it. I'd rather be a healthy person that doesn't use the healthcare system and so doesn't have to pay a cent for it than have a socialized system without price discovery and competition that I'm forced to pay for regardless of health. In that sense, I'd rather the system be cheap enough that if I did have to use it, it'd be affordable, making insurance and government socialism undesirable and unnecessary. But that's just me and I believe in live and let live. Let people be free to have the choice of whatever healthcare they do or don't want as long as they afford me the same freedom. In other words, I'm against all one-size-fits-all forced systems. And if you happen to be someone who believes in one-size-fits-all forced systems, forgive me for being against them lol.

The beauty of true forgiveness is that you can solve the problem of healthcare right now in your mind even if nothing changes externally. And with the problem solved in your mind you can take a sane, guilt-projection-free approach to solving it in your own life and even the broader world.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Forgiving Debate: Ad Hominem = You Lose!

As the first post on Forgiving the News, I want to talk about the subject of debate. Because news often leads to debate and the debate is often where the forgiveness opportunity shows itself.

As I say on page 164 of The Universe Is a Dream, debating on the internet is usually a waste of time. I usually only engage in it when I'm trying to formulate a position and thus refine an argument. Being good at forgiveness beats being good at debate. But debate is nonetheless a very useful thing. And in fact, proper debate and forgiveness actually go hand in hand. The only problem is that few people have the discipline for proper debate. 

Debate is a kind of logic competition through which one can strengthen an argument or at least discover its indefensible weaknesses. But for debate to be useful you have to be debating with people who are knowledgeable and don't slip into logical fallacies. Although there are about a dozen major logical fallacies that corrupt debate (which I list at the end of this post), ad hominem is the most problematic and pertinent to forgiveness. Therefore, ad hominem is the focus of this post. Ad hominem is when a debate turns into an attack directed against a person rather than the position the person is maintaining. Rule number one in a debate, especially an internet debate, is to end it when ad hominem starts. When ad hominem starts, it is no longer about logic and finding truth but about projecting guilt. He who resorts to ad hominem first loses the argument by default.

Ad hominem is like the equivalent of trying to build a building and basing the structural integrity of the building on painting its component parts red because red seems like a strong color lol. Ad hominem works to make it seem like an argument is taking place but it's actually an emotional appeal and not logic. I have no qualms challenging positions and beliefs when I'm willing to logically debate my position. But I know not to attack people personally, only their arguments. Because even if a person's position has some sort of flaw due to a personality trait or mental defect, the position can nonetheless be ripped apart without resorting to ad hominem. That's rule one in proper debate and also how you can debate while simultaneously practicing forgiveness (not project).

Political debate is usually almost totally ad hominem. Ad hominem manipulates people's emotions and it works because most people are way more emotional than logical. It's almost impossible for political debate to not be mostly about emotion, because politics is about who gets to control the guns (force) of government and where to aim those guns (force). If logic were running the show, everyone would point out how stupid it is that anyone at all should control the guns and be aiming those guns at anyone... other than at the kinds of jerks that aim guns and coerce people. That's how I think and that's why I'm a political atheist. So, to me most political debates are the same regardless of the political affiliation of those attempting to debate. The debate is basically: my team should control the guns and where they are aimed because my team is good and the other teams is bad. It is just mindless emotional projection and all about persuasion rather than logic.

I expect ad hominem in politics, but even science resorts to ad hominem. If you know something to be true scientifically, you are guaranteed to win any debate that doesn't resort to logical fallacy. But when the science isn't as sound as it pretends to be, ad hominem often results. For instance, science has a long history of using ad hominem on people who point to quantum mechanics to argue against physical realism.

Another example of an area where science often resorts to ad hominem is anthropogenic global warming. In case you haven't heard, the science on anthropogenic global warming is settled, it's real, it's a big problem, and those who think differently should be at the "Hague with all the other war criminals." With such a strong position, you'd think science could mop the floor in a debate with any dissenting scientist or anyone else. Well, the reality is that science currently can't, but it can politicize the science and resort to ad hominem (and other logic fallacies) to shut up dissent. The most common ad hominem is that warming dissenters are just in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry. And the most common ad hominem rebuttal is that most regular scientists are in the pockets of governments and institutions that would benefit in both money and power from offering solutions to a climate scare. Yet, regardless of ulterior motives, if science knew the truth it would be able to crush any dissent in legitimate debate. But science only pretends to have that ability by discouraging and eliminating dissent through various forms of ostracization. As a result, the most vocal climate skeptic scientists are usually older and or retired scientists with less to lose: dissenters like Dr. Judith Curry and the now late Dr. William M. Gray. Such people are very smart, informed people, yet they find ample room for doubt in the supposedly settled science of anthropogenic global warming.

As a non-climate scientist, most cases put forth by scientists for and against anthropogenic global warming seem legit to me when presented on their own in isolation. In isolation, I'm blind to what each side of the argument is omitting to build the illusion of certainty. And in isolation, each side often builds straw men to dismiss their opponents. Straw man arguments are another way to cheat at debate whereby you illustrate your opponent's position in a way that makes it easily defeated. 

After spending time with the arguments from both sides of the climate change issue, I know neither side has anything near a rock solid position. That means I can't honestly take sides. All I know is CO2 has risen, there has been some warming, human activity could in theory be driving it, and it could in theory end up catastrophic. Therefore, my position on global warming is that, in case humans raising CO2 is a major climate driver, we should replace fossil fuels as an energy source. But that means having a real replacement for fossil fuels. A government gun aimed at people to stop CO2 is not a replacement for fossil fuels, yet that's all the scientists tend to have to offer as a solution. If the government gun solution is all there is, then that's as good as no solution, because government gun solutions are by their nature scam solutions, otherwise they wouldn't require government force. But enough about that subject. I'll eventually write a post on forgiving climate change since that's a recurring news item.

The point is that legitimate debate is a useful thing, like exercise or healthy food. But since people's egos and therefore emotions are often so tied to their beliefs, their beliefs are too often more emotion than logic. Consequently, debate usually ends quickly in one side or the other slipping into ad hominem as legitimate, logical argument is exhausted.

If you have a friend or relative that often calls your beliefs out to start debates, whether in person or somewhere like Facebook posts, and that friend is cognizant enough not to slip into ad hominem or other logic fallacies, that's a good friend. You should be able to mop the floor with your dissenting friend if your beliefs are more legit than your friend's. If you can't defend your beliefs, you should keep your beliefs to yourself until you formulate your beliefs in a way that you can communicate and defend them. If your friend can't debate without resorting to ad hominem, teach your friend about debate. And let your friend know that the debate is over and a winner is crowned as soon as either person resorts to ad hominem. And if you yourself are usually the ad hominem debater, then you know better now by reading this and so it's time to stop cheating!

Another thing to keep in mind is don't be a parrot; know the reason and evidence for why you believe what you do. Parrots can't debate because their knowledge and certainty is phony and just based on confidence in an outside source. Don't get mad at someone else for exposing you as a mere parrot. I don't care if you're expounding a political belief or a belief in A Course in Miracles, know what you are talking about before you start mouthing off. Otherwise, some smart ass like me might just be in a mood for some debate exercise lol.

I'll admit that I'm a Socratic gadfly that likes to test people's beliefs. In doing so I'm able to challenge my own beliefs and make my positions stronger. The only thing smart about me is that I know I'm an idiot, but I live on planet of the idiots and so I don't feel bad about it when it becomes obvious lol. And since I know I'm an idiot I know to always be open to good counter arguments to my beliefs in case I need to modify them.

What you discover by debating is that truth brings people together and delusion separates people. The tighter you hold onto a delusion or the more you leave yourself vulnerable to the delusions of others the more you are only going to be safe in a bubble. Truth is uniting because it is consistent and it is consistent because the ultimate truth is necessarily oneness. For that reason, another important aspect of debate is common language; that often means explicitly establishing common definitions for terms used in a debate.


Debate to learn, not to win. Because if you debate to learn you always win, even if you lose, or even if the debate gets you de-friended by a deluded bubble friend lol. Incidentally, de-friending is like the ultimate Facebook ad hominem, a close second is deleting someone else's comments. Even if you have a friend that always resorts to ad hominem, all you have to do is respond: ad hominem, I win. And if the friend keeps going with the ad hominem, then censorship is excusable.

But anyway, appreciating debate is important to forgiving the news. Because much of what needs forgiven in the news is the result of opposing views about what the news reports. Those opposing views facilitate projection and therefore forgiveness lessons. And those views are usually wrapped in many levels of logical fallacy, including ad hominem. By understanding the mechanics of rational debate, you can become more immune to projection. Therefore, you'll more easily remember to forgive instead of project guilt.

In closing, I leave you with the twelve commandments of rational debate. Always follow the first commandment and enforce it. But you can cheat with the rest to test out your opponent. However, once you are called out you have to stop using that tactic. And you must accept that there is a limit to certain arguments. For example, arguing that the universe is a dream or virtual or that the world is going to be destroyed by CO2 has limits. Once you reach those limits you have to concede that you've gone as far as you can without cheating.

 

The 12 Commandments of Rational Debate and (Logical Fallacies) 
  1. Thou shall not attack the person’s character, only the argument itself. (“Ad hominem”)
  2. Thou shall not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s arguments in order to make them easier to attack. (“Straw Man Fallacy”)
  3. Thou shall not use small samples to represent the whole. (“Hasty Generalization”)
  4. Thou shall not argue thy position by assuming one of its premises is true. (“Begging the Question”)
  5. Thou shall not claim that because something occurred before, it must be the cause. (“Post Hoc/False Cause”)
  6. Thou shall not reduce the argument down to two possibilities. (“False Dichotomy”)
  7. Thou shall not argue that because of our ignorance, claim must be true or false. (“Ad Ignorantiam”)
  8. Thou shall not lay burden of proof onto him that is questioning the claim. (“Burden of Proof Reversal”)
  9. Thou shall not assume “this” follows “that,” when “it” has no logical connection. (“Non sequitur”)
  10. Thou shall not claim that because a premises is popular, therefore, it must be true. (“Bandwagon Fallacy”)
  11. Thou shall not appeal to an outside party to claim support. (“Appeal to Authority”)
  12. Thou shall not claim moral authority. (“Moral high ground fallacy”)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Forgiving the News

I've had an idea for a blog or even a youtube channel floating in my mind for awhile called "Forgiving the News." The basic idea is to write articles or make videos applying the true forgiveness taught by A Course in Miracles to current events. A few things have been stopping me from pursuing the idea though. The main thing is that I question if it'd get much of a faithful audience. Realistically, to regularly update the blog I'd need enough of an audience for it to generate some revenue, because without pay I'd lack the motivation to produce steady content. After all, I can forgive the news on my own without going through the effort of writing articles or making videos lol.

Another thing stopping me has been that by forgiving the news I wouldn't be engaging in guilt projection. That's obviously a positive. But realistically, much of the psychological appeal of news for people is guilt projection. Most people pick their preferred news sources based on guilt projection. And most of that guilt projection falls into the right versus left binary (in the U.S. anyway).

At its core, the left versus right binary revolves around arguing about how to use government force. For that reason, I personally don't believe in the left or the right. Politically, I'm a voluntaryist, which means my whole political philosophy is basically the Golden Rule: do unto others as you'd have others do to you. Which means human interaction should be voluntary and so without force. Voluntary interaction equals win-win because voluntary means any interaction must satisfy the subjective definitions of win-win for the individuals involved or the interaction ceases. The Golden Rule precludes force and therefore, when taken to its logical conclusion, it necessarily precludes government.

"The Golden Rule is the rule for appropriate behavior. You cannot behave appropriately unless you perceive correctly. Since you and your neighbor are equal members of one family, as you perceive both so you will do to both. You should look out from the perception of your own holiness to the holiness of others." (T.1.III.6.4,5,6,7)

Due to my adherence to the Golden Rule, I don't believe in the left or right or government in general. Consequently, I usually fail to provide the guilt projection sought by those who take sides in the standard left right binary; those stuck in the left binary usually accuse me of being a right-winger and those stuck in the right binary usually accuse me of being a left-winger lol. So, while being a nonbeliever in the left or the right or the government in general makes me uniquely qualified to pursue "Forgiving the New," it also makes me unable to satisfy those stuck in the left right binary. Forgiving the news means finding innocence in everyone, not just one side.

So anyway, this is the "Forgiving the News" site if I ever decide to seriously pursue it. Nonetheless, I intend to at least make occasional posts here.