Sunday, August 18, 2019

Are the New York Times spreading a conspiracy theory?

The New York Times claim that Russian reporters working in Sweden have paid local youth in immigrant areas to attack the police, burn cars, etc. Then they report about "problems in Sweden". Alt-news site Nyheter Idag (also attacked by NYT) has sensationally gotten an interview with Thomas Mattsson, former editor in chief of Expressen (a major newspaper). Mattsson suspects that NYT may be spreading an urban legend. 

Both Expressen and Aftonbladet (another major newspaper) have been accused of exactly the same thing - paying local youth to start riots for publicity reasons. Now, the Swedish reporters who pay local hooligans have morphed into Russian ones! However, Mattsson also says that NYT are "in general" a very good source, etc, presumably to cover all his bases...

Unfortunately, the article is only available in Swedish.

Criticism of the New York Times

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Rudy on the Epstein case

Everyone is literally laughing at the claim that Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide. I was going to link to some of those clips, but they have become so many that it feels pointless! Besides, you probably seen them already. Here´s a four day old clip featuring Rudy Giuliani questioning the semi-official version. And oh, isn´t it funny that the same news media which claims that everyone from Trump to obscure alt-right Twitter accounts are part of a Russian conspiracy, so vehemently denies conspiracy in *this* case? It´s almost as if some kind of conspiracy is being hatched here... 

The Donald´s dangerous idea

Donald Trump wants to buy Greenland. Or so fake news media tells us. 

Well, why not? Sheriff, er, president Truman tried the same thing, in 1917 the Danes *did* sell the Virgin Islands to the US, and in 18-hundred-something the Russians (!) sold Alaska.

Besides, this shows that Il Donaldo *does* believe in climate change, after all. Maybe he has secretly been listening to Greta and the Grimaldis lately?

The only possible reason why Amerika would want Greenland is all the coal, oil and gold which simply *must* be down there, once the ice starts melting...

Let´s just hope Orange Man also has an evacuation plan ready for New York City, DC and virtually the entire East Coast once that ice starts melting and sea levels will rise! 

A cup of mead

”Sveriges kyrkohistoria” is a multi-volume work in Swedish. The topic dealt with is Swedish Church history, but “normal” history interferes essentially all the time. This volume is subtitled “Reformationstid”. It deals with the most interesting period in Swedish Church history, the 16th century, when the Church of Sweden was transformed from a Roman Catholic Church province to an independent confessional Lutheran Church.

The Protestant Reformation in our northern lands wasn´t a straightforward affair and took about 80 years to complete! One reason is that the Reformation took place simultaneously with the transition from a relatively decentralized medieval polity to a strongly centralized monarchy with absolutist tendencies. Add to this the ambition of the Swedish ruling class to turn the small country into a European great power. This meant heavier tax burdens and a military draft for the peasants. The Church of Sweden supported the centralizing tendencies of the monarchy, which in turn used Lutheranism as a political tool. The peasants often identified the Reformation with the state, and hence wanted to remain Catholic (or at least keep all the old traditions associated with medieval Catholicism intact). The first Lutheran king of Sweden, Gustav Vasa, systematically confiscated Church property, including valuables made of gold, silver or expensive textiles. These had often been paid for by the tithes of the local peasantry, which therefore saw the confiscations as an attack against the common people. The largest peasant uprising against Gustav Vasa, the so-called Dackefejden led by Nils Dacke from Småland, had strong Catholic overtones and was even promised military aid by Catholic princes in Germany (in the end, none materialized). On the other hand, Catholicism also had a certain degree of support among the high nobility. This became especially obvious during the reign of Sigismund, who as simultaneous king of Poland actually was a Catholic. The book says that it probably wasn´t until around 1600 that the Swedish peasants had become used to the new Lutheran order (and I suspect “superstitious” medieval traditions survived even then).

The example of Sigismund also shows another factor complicating the course of the Reformation: Swedish foreign policy. Both Gustav Vasa and his successors had to navigate an increasingly perilous international situation in which religious affiliation was one – but only one – factor deciding who was allied to whom. Vasa was mostly cautious and pragmatic in his dealings with foreign powers, and often impeded Lutheran Church reforms in Sweden if he felt that a too militant posture would threaten whatever diplomatic maneuvers he was involved with at the time. It´s interesting to note that one of Vasa´s perennial enemies, Danish king (later ex-king) Christian II, switched religious affiliation several times. Two Catholic powers, Poland and the state of the Teutonic Knights, were “natural” allies of Sweden (both were anti-Russian), while at least one Lutheran power, Denmark, was a natural enemy. I get the impression that Gustav Vasa supported the Reformation mostly because it gave him an opportunity to expand royal power and strengthen the state. Economic issues also played a role, since king Gustav believed that the Catholic prohibition to work on Sundays and various holy days inhibited the productivity of the peasantry (and, I suppose, everyone else). His sons Erik XIV, Johan III and Karl IX, by contrast, seem to have been more genuinely interested in theological issues. Erik XIV and Karl IX were often accused of Calvinistic tendencies by the orthodox Lutheran clergy, while Johan III veered towards Catholicism. All insisted that the king should have the last say in Church matters, both in terms of creedal statements and clerical appointments.

Some situations described in the book are absurd, as when Erik XIV, his advisors and the bishops discussed an acute crisis during the “Seven Year War” against Denmark: the Danish blockade had made wine scarce, a problem since the Church of Sweden celebrated the Eucharist with wine given to the laymen and insisted that all masses must be Eucharistic. The lack of wine gave the Philippists (moderate Lutherans) and Calvinists a welcome opportunity to argue their view of Holy Communion, according to which the wine might just as well be replaced by water, mead or cherry juice. (Celebrating communion with mead does have a certain intrinsic appeal.) The orthodox Lutherans refused, and argued that wine simply must be used cuz Bible, period. Erik XIV veered towards the Philippists and Calvinists, but in the end a compromise solution was reached: it was allowed to mix water with wine, as long as it still tasted like wine! King Erik subsequently managed to procure a large quantity of real wine from Germany, thereby mooting the whole issue…at least for the time being.

For making my head spin, I give “Sveriges Kyrkohistoria. Band 3: Reformationstid” five stars out of five!

Here be Bigfeet

[Originally posted Nov 24, 2018. Reposted here due to technical problems with the YouTube clip at the old location.] 

I just found this interesting YouTube clip, featuring Mattsquatch (real name unknown) lecturing about various types of Bigfoot-like creatures seen across the United States. 

Mattsquatch has tried to bring some sense and order into this bewildering topic, and draws the conclusion that there are at least 10 different types of Bigfeet out there. The “classical” type is known from the US states on the West Coast. This is the type seen in the Patterson-Gimlin film, and could be likened to a gorilla (or even to a huge upright-walking bear). In the South, a more aggressive and chimpanzee-like type is more common. The Florida Skunk Ape resembles an orangutan. Yet another form is the “human giant” or “relict hominid”, similar to the gorilla-like type from the West Coast but with a more human face. 

Finally, there are a number of more unusual creatures, including the Grass Man (which looks like a normal human in feral condition and only exists in Ohio), the Mountain Giant (with Alaska as a hotspot), the Devil Monkey and the extremely rare Little People. Mattsquatch also mentions a number of virtual monsters, who are said to attack and eat people. 

In the last part of his lecture, he talks about the Dogman, which is not a Bigfoot sensu stricto, but rather resembles an East European werewolf. He claims that these creatures, known as “Lobos” (Spanish for wolves), are often seen by US border patrols and Mexican migrants! 

Some of Matt´s private speculations are truly “out there” (ahem, the Nephilim? Aliens? Reptoids?), but I found the more ethnographic part of his lecture intriguing. Why would people in one part of the States be seeing a rough replica of the gorilla, while those in another part see a rough replica of the chimp or orang? If these observations go back to pre-colonial times, TV documentaries or sensational tabloid articles about African or Asian great apes can´t explain the similarities… 

All observations of hairy hominids are usually lumped together under the “Bigfoot” designation (“Finding Bigfoot” even considers the Jersey Devil or the Beast of Bray Road to be sasquatches), but just like with UFOs, we could really be dealing with many different types of creatures or phenomena.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

A new mission for Greta?

When Greta Thunberg is done crossing the Atlantic on a small sail boat in the middle of hurricane season, I think she should go to Canada and try to catch one of these... 


People believe the strangest things...

Yes, some people believe even in this...

Planet of the Apes the road movie

Most people have seen the classic science fiction flick “Planet of the Apes” from 1968, featuring Charlton Heston. The entire franchise includes additional films, but also two TV series (one of them animated). This is the second episode of the “Planet of the Apes” series from 1974. The series was apparently cancelled after just 14 episodes due to low ratings – the irony!

Unfortunately, only the second episode (“The Gladiators”) is ripped on YouTube, and I haven´t seen the others. The series seems to be made in the typical “road movie” style, with the main characters crisscrossing America, experiencing various disconnected situations, and being constantly chased (but never quite apprehended) by the bad guys. 

The plot is set about 30 years after the events in the first film, when another group of astronauts cross the time barrier and find themselves on a future Earth ruled by smart apes, with humans in subordinate roles. (In the second film, Charlton Heston destroys Earth by a nuclear explosion, but I doubt anyone cares about this continuity error.) 

As usual, the chimpanzees are clever scientists and philosophers, while the gorillas are soldiers and generals. No orangs are featured in “The Gladiators”. A difference with the 1968 film is that the humans can speak and live in villages rather than in the wilderness. The villages are controlled by chimp prefects and gorilla guards, while the humans are relatively primitive farmers. No high technology seems to exist. One of the chimpanzees is baffled by a human-made golf club found during excavations!

The two surviving astronauts are aided by a renegade chimp scientist, and experience various adventures in a village somewhere in California, where the prefect organizes annual gladiator games to keep the humans happy. When one of the astronauts is forced to fight in the games but (surprise) refuses to kill his beaten opponent, pandemonium breaks loose! 

The message of the episode is strongly pacifist, and although the criticism is directed at “war” in general and implicitly at nuclear war, I´m sure the viewers had a very concrete war in mind at the time of airing. Yes, the Vietnam War obviously, and it´s interesting to note that the son of the main gladiator is a pacifist and by implication therefore a draft dodger…

Not the most interesting production around, but if you like 1970´s TV series, this might be worth a sneak peak or two.

PS. On YouTube, “The Gladiators” have been divided into two clips. You can easily find the second one if you start watching the first. 

Time of the chimps

Some interesting information on the Japanese version of "Planet of the Apes". Originally a TV series, called "Saru no Gundan", it was cut down and remade into a single (and very confusing) American film titled "Time of the Apes", apparently considered a vintage turkey. The year was 1987.

In the TV series, the apes have a high technological civilization (including robots), but since the production is Japanese, ape ninjas (!) have been included as a plot element. Interestingly, the chimpanzees are (correctly) depicted as more aggressive than the gorillas, while the roles were reversed in the American version. The chimps even stage a bloody military coup!

Not sure where to actually procure this hilarious piece of Nipponiana, but the clip is alright as a preview... 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

A bear named Kodiak

I´m sure this is perfectly normal... 

Bonobo: The Amazon Ape?

An anti-feminist site links to this old article from 2007, published in The New Yorker magazine. The article, however, does not state that bonobos (pygmy chimpanzees) are patriarchal. It says they are violent. ***The female bonobos gang up on and attack the males, perhaps even killing them.*** Sure, this may shock those who believe that bonobos are perfectly peaceful. I admit I once believed that myself (see my reviews of bonobo-related books on this blog). However, I fail to see how Amazon Apes disprove the women´s liberation movement... 

Well, at least he solved the theodicy problem

A somewhat peculiar YouTube clip from somebody calling himself "Logical Hindu". But here, he sounds almost like an atheist...unless he is trolling his followers, who don´t know what to think (see discussion thread below the clip).

Of course, what he is describing isn´t "God". It´s some kind of fallen world spirit personified as an alien from a sci fi tale... 

Jeffrey Epstein is dead

Move along, nothing to see... 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

A left-liberal facing the apocalypse

”Scener ur hjärtat” is a book by Malena Ernman and Svante Thunberg, published in 2018. The authors happen to be Greta Thunberg´s parents. Both Greta and her sister Beata are prominently featured in the book, a book the anti-Greta crowd loves to hate, since it gives ample opportunity to freak-shame the entire family. I happen to be critical of many aspects of the Greta Thunberg phenomenon myself, but it *is* richly ironic that the same people who accuse Swedish schools of being left-liberal indoctrination camps are telling Greta to stop her climate strike and…go back to school! Even apart from that little detail that anthropogenic global warming is, well, real or something…

The book, which I assume is largely written by Ernman (she is the “I” of the narrative), feels somewhat “stream of consciousness” and is therefore difficult to review. It deals primarily with two issues: autism and other forms of neuro-developmental diagnoses, and the global climate crisis. Ernman has a diagnosis herself: ADHD, which in her case took the form of being a specially gifted child (music and opera), but also dysfunctionally shy and uninterested in social intercourse. Beata also has ADHD, or perhaps misophonia, while Greta is diagnosed with Asperger´s syndrome. She used to have OCD, selective mutism and eating disorders. At the same time, it´s obvious that both daughters are smarter than average, Greta in particular coming across as “the little professor”. A large portion of the narrative deals with the family´s attempts to cope with their disorders, and a large part of *that* seems to be handling bullying and the incomprehension of other people, which includes teachers and bureaucrats. These parts of the book make for painful reading. Since Greta is only 16 years old, the situations described presumably took place around 2012 or so. It was shocking to learn that many Swedish schools were (are?) still stuck in the past, with freak-shaming considered perfectly normal. (I heard from another person that perhaps this is changing now, at least in some school districts.)

Malena Ernman is a high-profile climate activist, and has used her celebrity status as a pop and opera singer to promote the cause against global warming. She is very radical on the issue, quoting climate scientists who believe that *all* carbon emissions must be stopped for 10 or 15 years for the Earth to have a chance. She seems to believe in the Venus scenario, according to which Earth will turn into a new version of Venus unless something is done now. An interesting detail is that Ernman doesn´t trust the politicians or the media to do much, or anything at all, while the campaign of her daughter Greta aims to shame the politicians into taking action and has had great traction with the media. Most of this happened after the book was published. Personally, I think the establishment will disavow Greta the moment she turns 18 and isn´t a child prodigy anymore (and therefore not photogenic enough to sell subscriptions). That, and the electric car lobby! Ernman seems to understand that modern industrial civilization is essentially screwed without fossil fuels – she doesn´t buy into the current fad about electric cars either – and calls for sharply reduced levels of growth and consumption, both individual and collective. She doesn´t think people want to hear this message, and the perspective is therefore near-apocalyptic and depressive.

Metaphorically, Ernman sees a similarity between her own family crisis and the global climate crisis. They are both part of an underlying crisis connected to capitalism, attempts to dominate nature, patriarchy and crazy competitiveness. Interestingly, her feminism is “essentialist”, Ernman arguing that men and women really are different (her husband Svante often comes across as the “rational guy” on the block), and that part of the problem with modern society is that women are forced to act like men, since the male is the norm in a patriarchal society. This, in turn, is connected to society´s inability to cope with, let alone cure, neuro-developmental disorders. Worst off of all are girls with such diagnoses, since they are usually introverted. The ADHD norm is an outgoing and aggressive boy! After attending meetings about such topics, Ernman believes that nobody really gives a damn…

It´s obvious from “Scener ur hjärtat” that Ernman is extremely privileged, and comes from a left-liberal and Christian philanthropic background. Her parents use to hide illegal aliens in the family villa, and they seem to be on a first-name basis with Sister Marianne, the controversial Swedish nun who was also aiding illegals during the 1980´s. For some reason, Ernman never mentions Marianne by name, perhaps because the nun was disavowed by the liberals after accusations of anti-Semitism? Ernman was aiding refugees during the recent migrant crisis, and explicitly denies that it even *was* a crisis, since “Sweden” is so rich and prosperous, etc. There are two obvious problems with this scenario: not everyone in “Sweden” is as rich as Ernman, and nobody in Sweden would be rich if the entire country reverts to non-fossil fuels. Indeed, this is the most glaring contradiction in the book: Ernman´s open border policy (and other left-liberal ideas) would be the first to go in a post-carbon world, dog-eat-dog nationalism being the most logical option, and while she somehow senses the problem, she simply continues as before. Her (and Greta´s) polemic against those who see overpopulation as a problem isn´t convincing either, since the environment would collapse even faster if everyone in the Third World would get the same high living standard as Malena Ernman herself – something she actually acknowledges! I also wonder if Ernman really believes that Swedish schools will have enough resources for children with special needs, if the public sector simply collapses due to the migrant crisis and/or global warming?

Had I been an old fashioned leftist (which I was once), the line of attack against “Scener ur hjärtat” would be obvious: the liberal bourgeoisie offers no solutions to the systemic crisis, except a combination of individual purism (Greta´s refusal to eat meat or fly), classless appeals to “everyone of good will”, and utter despair…and perhaps some solar and wind. Today, I no longer believe in the Messianic role of the working class in taking up the Cause of Progress and World Revolution, so I can´t say I have any particular solutions either. However, I can say that they (whatever they are) won´t be pretty – unless some kind of truly grand project of geoengineering, bioengineering or nuclear-electrical conversion can be made to work. If not, we better chose the right tribal confederation before the next great battle of the Catalaunian Fields…

DN förnekar sig inte

DN har gjort det igen. Denna gång med råge. Dagen efter Pride tar de offentligt ställning för sado-masochism på ledarplats! OK, då vet vi vad "agendan" går ut på. Deras agenda, vill säga. Jag tänker inte länka till eländet...

Kommer att bli intressant att se hur DN lyckas förena detta med sitt försvar av burka och chador, vänta, det finns faktiskt en gemensam nämnare.

DN stödjer kvinnofientlighet oavsett väderstreck. Pedofili med effektivt samtycke nästa?

May the Sith be with you

Peace is a lie. There is only Passion.
Through Passion I gain Strength.
Through Strength I gain Power.
Through Power I gain Victory.
Through Victory my chains are Broken.
The Force shall free me.

This is the Code of the Sith from "Star Wars", also known as Qotsisajak. That word sounds Inuit to me. 

So the Sith are an Eskimo Luciferian Order? Wtf, I love the Sith now!

Ett litet tankeexperiment

Tanken att Jesus aldrig har funnits (på engelska ”mythicism” eller ”the Jesus Myth theory”) betraktas tydligen som helknäpp av de flesta etablerade akademiker inom nytestamentliga studier och liknande ämnen. Bart Ehrman är ett exempel. Observera att detta alltså är tanken att Jesus  inte var en historisk person av kött och blod (med ett romerskt folkräkningsnummer och en fast adress för skattskrivning, får man förmoda). I denna mening var Jesus en myt. Man skulle ju kunna tänka sig att Jesus på något sätt har ”existerat” ändå, kanske i någon slags andlig mening, eller i en annan dimension. Den mest akademiskt kompetente myticisten, Richard Carrier, menar att de tidigaste kristna betraktade Jesus som verklig i *denna* mening, lika verklig som t.ex. Satan (som ju inte heller är en ”historisk person” i världslig bemärkelse). 

I detta blogginlägg tänker jag så att säga agera Djävulens advokat och försvara ståndpunkten att Jesus faktiskt inte har existerat, givetvis utan att ta något som helst ansvar för det jag skriver. Jag tror nämligen att man rationellt kan försvara denna åsikt, vilket är det enda detta tankeexperiment ämnar demonstrera.

Evangelierna skrevs mellan år 70 och år 100. Om evangelierna innehåller verkliga historiska traditioner om en verklig man, Jesus av Nazareth, måste dessa traditioner givetvis ha varit kända även för Paulus. Hans epistlar anses i allmänhet ha skrivits mellan år 50 och år 60 (d.v.s. de autentiska epistlarna – bibelkritiska forskare menar att många av dem är senare förfalskningar). Så hur kommer det sig att Paulus aldrig någonsin citerar en evengelietradition om Jesus? Han citerar varken källa Q, källa M, källa L, proto-Markus, eller allt vad de där hypotetiska källorna kallas. Tvärtom: när han nämner Jesus gör han ofta uttalanden som motsäger evangeliernas, antingen implicit eller explicit. Han nämner aldrig jungfrufödseln, exempelvis. Explicit säger han att Kefas (Petrus) var den förste som såg Jesus efter uppståndelsen – enligt evangelierna var det Maria Magdalena. (Förutom korsfästelsen och uppståndelsen verkar sista måltiden vara de enda evanglieberättelser som nämns i Pauli brev.) Vad som är ännu märkligare är att Paulus aldrig citerar evangelietraditionens Jesus ens när detta skulle stärka hans position. Hans konflikt med Petrus och Jakob handlar bl.a. om ren och oren föda. Varför citerar han aldrig Jesus-orden ”det är inte det som kommer in i munnen som är orent, det är det som kommer ut ur munnen som är orent”, och så att säga få det hela överstökat? Detta är kompatibelt med tanken att dessa ”traditioner” hittades på av evanglieförfattarna flera årtionden senare och således inte existerade när Paulus skrev – det var den paulinska kyrkan som lade orden i Jesu mun retrospektivt.

Det är ju också märkligt att Paulus så hårt betonar att han inte fått evangeliet från någon människa, utan endast genom en uppenbarelse från Jesus Kristus. Det tyder på att kriteriet på en verklig apostel inte var att denne träffat en jordisk man vid namn Yehoshua, utan att han (eller hon) mottagit en viss sorts översinnliga budskap. Varför skulle Paulus annars framhålla att han knappt träffat de andra apostlarna? Om Jesus var en verklig historisk person med den dignitet han tillskrivs i evangelierna borde Paulus ha gjort tvärtom – betonat att han ständigt umgåtts med ögonvittnen till Jesu förkunnelse och verksamhet innan korsfästelsen, för att sedan ”spinna” budskapet i lämplig paulinsk riktning (vilket mycket riktigt är vad vi finner i de senare traditionerna).

Om man är bibelkritiker men ändå anser att människan Jesus har existerat, så finns det egentligen bara en trovärdig förklaring till Paulus´ märkliga tystnad. Det är att han var heretiker! Han citerade inte Jesus eftersom han inte kunde göra det. Det var de judekristna med Jakob i spetsen som hade rätt. Jakob var ju dessutom Jesu köttslige broder. Paulus´ budskap var en serie nymodigheter som inte gick att motivera annat än genom nya uppenbarelser av rent övernaturlig karaktär. (Jag antar att församlingen i Galatien också måste vara heretiker enligt detta scenario, eftersom de avkräver Paulus bevis på att han aldrig fått sitt evangelium från människor.) Det finns dock ett ganska starkt argument mot denna idé: Paulus´ motståndare citerar aldrig Jesus heller. NT innehåller som bekant en epistel som tillskrivs Jakob. Vi kan givetvis inte veta om den verkligen skrevs av honom, men den innehåller vad som med stor sannolikhet är en polemik mot Paulus (det var därför Luther långt senare ville avlägsna Jakobsbrevet från Bibeln). Det märkliga med detta brev är att det aldrig citerar Jesus, utan ständigt hänvisar till Gamla Testamentet! Men om den judekristna traditionen är den sanna och kommer från Jesus av Nazareth, borde författaren givetvis citera just Jesus av Nazareth, denne store rabbi som dessutom var Herre och Guds Son. Varför citerar inte ”Jakob” Jesus när denne säger ”jag har inte kommit för att upphäva lagen, utan för att uppfylla den”? Varför hänvisar han inte till traditionen enligt vilken Jesus frälser utifrån gärningar, inte utifrån tro? (Matt 25:31-46)

Det förefaller som om evangelietraditionen inte existerade före det att evanglierna faktiskt nedtecknades, 40 till 70 år efter Jesu passion. Detta är kompatibelt med tanken att Jesus aldrig har existerat – det enda som fanns var mer eller mindre kreativa skrifttolkningar (av GT) kombinerade med övernaturliga uppenbarelser.

Ett annat tecken som tyder på detta är att det finns en märklig tradition enligt vilken Jesus levde 100 år före Kristus! Den nämns av Epifanius (som givetvis tar kraftigt avstånd) och verkar även ha påverkat Talmud, där ”Yeshu” (som antagligen är Jesus) blir avrättad under hasmonéerna, inte av romarna. Hur kunde en tradition av detta slag ens uppstå, om ”alla” visste att Jesus blev avrättad på order av Pontius Pilatus? Kanske för att Jesu avrättning *måste* ha ägt rum antingen omkring år 30 eller omkring ett århundrade tidigare, eftersom Danielsbokens profetior om en Messias som blir dödad kan översättas på två olika sätt, så att man hamnar i just dessa tidsperioder. Det är förenligt med tanken att Jesus var en myt konstruerad på basis av GT:s profetior. Det är svårare att se hur en sådan tradition kan uppstå om Jesus var en verklig historisk person...såvida man inte antar att det fanns två Jesus eller Jesii, den ene identisk med Rättfärdighetens Lärare (Alvar Ellegårds teori!) medan den andre är ”vår” Jesus, och att båda trodde sig vara den Messias som omnämns i Danielsboken. Förvisso inte omöjligt, men antagligen omöjligt att bevisa.

Man undrar också exakt vad i evangelierna som ”måste” vara historiskt källmaterial? Ger evanglierna verkligen det intrycket? Det verkar snarare vara en salig röra av GT-anspelningar, uppenbara myter eller allegorier, karaktärer med omöjliga namn, uppenbart omöjliga situationer, historiska felaktigheter, och ständiga motsägelser evangelierna emellan. Lägg därtill mirakelberättelserna, som sekulära akademiker rimligtvis inte kan acceptera. Eftersom sekularisterna rimligtvis erkänner att det trosbaserade inslaget i evangelierna är väldigt starkt, uppstår frågan vad som är verklig historia? Ett ”kriterium” på detta som brukar användas kallas på engelska ”the Criterion of Embarassement”. Det går ut på att vissa uppgifter i evangelierna var så pinsamma för den tidiga kyrkan att de helt enkelt måste ha varit sanna, och dessutom allmänt kända, annars hade de inte nedtecknats. Ett klassiskt exempel är hur Jesus döps av Johannes Döparen. Dopet var ju till syndernas förlåtelse, men enligt kristen teologi var Jesus syndfri. Dessutom stod han högre än Johannes, så varför låta sig döpas av honom? Slutsats: att detta måste ha hänt, och att den historiske Jesus alltså var en anhängare till Johannes. Mot detta kan dock invändas följande. Evangelierna nedtecknades minst 40 år efter denna händelse och dessutom efter det judiska kriget (som ödelade stora delar av Palestina). De lästes framförallt av grekisktalande kristna utanför Palestina. Det totala antalet personer som ”kände till sanningen” måste ha varit ytterst begränsat, och dessutom kunde vanliga kristna i t.ex. Rom knappast ta sig till Jordandalen och intervjua eventuella överlevande ögonvittnen till det kontroversiella dopet... Omvänt så var det väldigt lätt att hitta på, dra ifrån och lägga till – något ju sekulära akademiker erkänner att evangelisterna faktiskt gjorde! Det är alltså betydligt troligare att den som nedtecknade historien om dopet inte tyckte att det var pinsamt – det var något senare generationer fick för sig.

Det finns tre problem till med detta kriterium.

För det första är det väldigt vanligt att människor (inte bara religiösa!) tror på ”fem omöjliga saker innan frukost”, inklusive sådant som är självmotsägande eller pinsamt för utomstående. Dynamiken inom en liten religiös grupp är sällan eller aldrig ”vad skall majoriteten säga” (eller vad ska forskare säga om 2,000 år). För det andra kan vi studera hur nya religioner som uppstått under de senaste 200 åren hanterat pinsamheter. De har praktiskt taget aldrig ”erkänt” genom att notera allmänt kända pinsamheter i sina heliga skrifter eller hagiografier. Tvärtom! Trots att vi idag kan dokumentera sanningen om nyreligiösa rörelser och deras anspråk, så är den vanligaste strategin att helt enkelt ljuga, förneka och förfalska (eller inte bry sig om vad kritikerna säger). Det går att bevisa att L Ron Hubbard ljuger om sin bakgrund inom amerikanska flottan, ja, det är ”allmänt känt” bland dem som bryr sig, men scientologerna fortsätter att förneka fakta ändå. Om de kristna hade känt sig besvärade av Johannes, hade de helt enkelt kunnat blanka historien, oavsett hur många utomstående som ansåg sig ”känna till sanningen”. För det tredje finns det inget som tyder på att judar eller hedningar blev omvända till kristendomen genom att rationellt sitta och väga olika påståendens sanningshalt eller ”pinsamhet”. Får man tro NT skedde omvändelser i allmänhet genom mirakler, retoriska predikningar eller GT-studier. Det kristna verkligen upplevde som pinsamt var att Jesus inte kom tillbaka under deras livstid, något som dock inte bevisar att Jesus verkligen sade dessa saker. Det visar bara att de urkristna hade denna föreställning om honom.

Klart slut.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Most original heresy so far

An entertaining article from the (obviously heretical) THAVMA website. 

Demonology of the Week (3): Monsters, monsters everywhere

Mattsquatch discusses three monstrous cryptids (or "cryptids") supposedly seen in American forests: the dog-men, true giants, and rakes. Let´s hope Matt is just trolling us here... 

Demonology of the Week (2): Beware of the Black Eye Kids

Mattsquatch seems like a relatively rational guy, but he does believe in some "fringe" stuff, including the so-called Black Eye Kids. Note the similarities to vampires and Men in Black. 

Demonology of the Week (1): Meat servitors, golems and stuff

Our favorite dark side occultist Thomas Sheridan (or, as we call him, ´Oumuamua Guy) talks about some really scary shit concerning dead people walking again. We take no overt responsibility for any of the contents of this clip! 

From YouTube´s commentary section, Marcus Reeves writes:

"Servitors and Thoughforms creation was my practice for months and I will confirm exactly what Thomas is saying. There is a natural electrical link between thought projection and objects of focus. But I will warn you that this form of sorcery has a VERY big price to pay. This is not something to mess around with. You can suffer physical disease from improper control of your energetic body. I believe my diabetic diagnosis may have been jump started by my misuse of my astral body.

As well on thoughtforms, there is a reason why the mental and physical are separate. I had my own experiences where I lost control of thoughtforms and they were showing signs of manifesting in this reality. Oddly enough at the same time I was going through an episode of absolute madness. Words can not explain what I seen and felt. If anyone is interested I suggest doing research on Tulpas and energy systems used in Indian and Chinese wellness to get a CLEAR understanding of how energy works and is represented.

The Western traditions are lacking in the energy control department because majority of what is taught is mental manifestating spiritual. Something I learned the hard way. Lastly, this plays on what I heard in another video about watching where your attention, your charge goes. There are those in the world who can drain the very essence of your being by manipulating where your attention goes."

Did "real Protestants" love Mary?

Why haven´t we been told this before? I always assumed that the official Protestant position was that Mary wasn´t a perpetual virgin. However, according to this article, virtually all reformers (even Calvin and Zwingli) had the same position as the Catholic Church on *this* question. 


Why Real Protestants Loved Mary 

"Ulrich Zwingli also loves you, ma´m" 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

En ny teori om wärlden

Jag tror stenhårt att den här killen kan ha rätt. 

Three Realities

Never mind the fulness

An interesting criticism of mindfulness meditation. In Sweden, mindfulness is even promoted at government-sponsored classes for the unemployed! 

A critical look at mindfulness meditation 

Schlagerbögfaktor 10,000

Jag visste inte att *den här* låten fanns på svenska, och dessutom med de tyska originalbandet! Wow. Ska jag skicka den här till STIM och Jonas Nordin för bedömning, eller?

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Don´t try this at home, kiddos

Yes, this is bizarre. So stuff the New Age fluff, guys. 

Stefan Löfvéns triumf

Triumfens ögonblick 

Stefan Löfvén snoppar av Donald Trump, kejsare av Amerika, och visar därmed vilken fett jävla hård snubbe han är. 

Först kör han över Miljöpartiet, sedan Vänsterpartiet, sedan splittrar han Alliansen, och nu säger han frejdigt till den där skitfarlige maffiabossen från New York att Svärje minsann har ett OBEROENDE RÄTTSVÄSENDE, eat that, Orange Man Bad! 

Jag måste absolut rösta på denna moderna version av Herkules och Stålmannen i nästa nyval... 

Save the polar bear

This is *not* a trained bear. Wtf, I love global warming now! 

"Arbetarrörelsens" svar på krisen?

Sossarnas och "vänsterns" lösning på systemkollapsen är alltså att även borgerligt styrda kommuner måste systemkollapsa. Något annat vore ju orättvist! Sossarna kommer säkert att få fler röster i Hagfors efter detta, håhå jaja. 

Stockholm dumpar hemlösa på landet

Det är nog nu

Upprörande vilka friheter konservativa sverigedemokrater tar sig, och i Malmö av alla ställen. Nu är det väl ändå dax att sätta stopp för den här skiten, eller vad tycker ni? 

Ja, eller kanske inte... 

Surströmming, kanske?

OK, den här var rolig... 

Head phone, head phone

För den som inte hängt med, en sammanfattning av vad som (kanske) hände när ASAP Rocky och hans entourage hamnade i bråk med två individer i Stockholm (alltså länken här nedan). Videon här ovan är en av flera på YouTube som visar en del av händelseförloppet. 

Helvete också, den missade

Medans du sov... 

Helvete att den missade, jag hade kunnat återfödas i Sukhavati redan nu på måndag!

Blaming the victim

Man skall helst lämna ifrån sig sina hörlurar också. Eller något. 

"Blaming the victim" är tillbaka

A teddy bear and his cage

A lot of stuff like this on YouTube...

This is obviously not a real bear attack, since "Brodie" (the beast even has a name!) doesn´t attack the other people standing nearby. 

It´s a trained brown bear (not a real grizzly) showing us some of its tricks, that is all. But sure, I suppose even mock attacks can be lethal, LOL. 

Pilgrimage to pantheism

“Pilgrimage to Koyasan” is a slow-paced (some would say boring) documentary about Koyasan in Japan, a temple complex recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Koyasan was originally founded by the Buddhist monk Kukai (Kobo-Daishi) during the 9th century. Kobo-Daishin was the creator of Shingon, the most esoteric of the Japanese Buddhist sects (also known as Orthodox Esoteric Buddhism and originally a Vajrayana lineage introduced to China by Indian monks). 

The documentary shows most of the important sites at Koyasan, with the exception of Kobo-Daishi´s mausoleum, where taking photos is prohibited. Pilgrims, monks and causal visitors fill the area. Inside the temples, there are statues of Vairocana (the “god” of Shingon) and other cosmic buddhas, and also of Hindu-looking wrathful deities. 

It´s obvious from the description that Shingon has strong similarities to Advaita Vedanta, since the goal is to realize that “the Buddha” is really in your mind (i.e. it´s the Atman), and that the mind of the Buddha, you and all sentient beings is the same. This is connected to the belief in the Dharmakaya, the cosmic body of the Buddha, similar to the Brahman in Hinduism. Vairocana is purely symbolic in nature, since in this system, everything is divine, and the divine is ultimately impersonal. 

Thus, we are dealing with another form of Eastern pantheism. Some people find it profound. I just find it depressing, a kind of worship of the fallen world as “God”. Why the instinctive religion of mankind has to be “esoteric” is beyond me. Perhaps the meditation techniques are too dangerous to ordinary monads?

Saturday, July 20, 2019

I solved Fermi´s paradox, guys

There are two obvious solutions to Fermi´s paradox, and the reason why the matter hasn´t been put to rest is simply that both answers are intolerable to Modern Man and his belief in Eternal Progress, or rather a very specific view of Eternal Progress.

The first obvious answer is the Rare Earth hypothesis. We really are alone, and we are alone *not* because all civilizations go through a human-like history and eventually destroy themselves in a human-like nuclear war (a typical 1970´s anthropocentric conceit), but because multi-cellular life, or perhaps life as such, only emerged once in the entire universe – here on the third rock from the Sun. I´m not sure why this scenario is so intolerable to so many. Asimov has it, and in his novels, humans eventually conquer the entire galaxy because of it. I mean, there is no one to stop us! It´s almost as if the believers in eternal progress wants there to be advanced alien civilizations as a kind of guarantee that we will once reach that stage, too. And a secret wish to fall down and worship the aliens…?

The second obvious answer is that the universe is *teeming* with life, including advanced life, yes, including advanced intelligent life…but most of it is unable to or even uninterested in developing our kind of advanced technology, let alone fly around in space. (If you believe in the supernatural, you could even argue that most life is clever enough to avoid this shitty universe, much preferring the astral delights of some spirit-dimension.) Humans aren´t the only intelligent species on Earth. What about chimpanzees, whales, ravens, or even octopi? Let´s assume whales or octopi evolve for another 100 million years or so. What makes us think they can´t become smarter? And why must this necessarily entail leaving the sea, becoming bipedal and have opposable thumbs? “Because that is the only way we can create a civilization”. No, it isn´t. What makes us think the only way to create a civilization is the human way? What makes us think a species with whale-derived intelligence would want to make the things humans are making? Come to think of it, even creatures driven by pure instinct can create something eerily resembling a civilization. Yes, I´m thinking of ants, which did it millions of years before humans even existed.

And that´s just one planet…

Imagine what weird and wonderful creatures could evolve at other planets. Once again: what makes us think they would be interested in communicating with other star systems (or conquering them), rather than studying the notochord, the immortality of the common cockchafer, or what have you. If they evolved differently from us, they might not even *need* to create a high technology civilization that emits radio waves. That´s something we have to do because we (or many of us, at any rate) wouldn´t survive without one. Other species might not need this kind of jerry-rigged contraption.

Believers in the very specific kind of progress which entails going to the stars can come up with some pretty bizarre scenarios “solving” Fermi´s paradox. Thus, one prominent atheist (who is otherwise a very smart guy) claims that the aliens must be hiding in the empty space in between star systems (that´s why we can´t see them) constantly hooked up to a virtual reality more interesting than our galaxy (that´s why they don´t bother with humans). Analyzing the Bayesian probability for this might be interesting, even apart from the fact that it sounds almost religious…

Next week, your favorite blogger will solve Euthyphro´s dilemma and the theodicy problem. End of transmission.

PS. Now, read this:

Seven solutions to Fermi´s paradox

The curse of Ham

Not sure why this is my most popular blog post ever? I have virtually no readers in Ethiopia or Sudan... 

The curse of the Hamites 

Nuke the pessimists

I can´t say I agree with Carrier´s strong belief in the Western Idea of Progress, but this article is nevertheless interesting. I would like to see some figures about how realistic it *really* is to replace 90% of our energy needs with nuclear power... 

Noooooooo, it can´t be true, it just can´t!!!

I used to have a "Platonic" view of mathematics (and abstraction in general), but here is a good polemic against such a view, written by atheist-plus gadfly Richard Carrier. I think it speaks for itself. Enjoy! Obviously, I take no responsibility for neither his atheism nor the "plus", and I can only hope that a nominalist rainbow-colored Bigfoot with telekinetic abilities and Trumpocrat politix will one day set him straight and make him return to the path of the Based Tao, but that´s me...

Wtf, I love Saudi Arabia now

Intressant artikel om Saudi-Arabiens geopolitik i Afrika. (På bilden ovan syns Sudans nyligen avsatte president Omar Bashir.) 

Afghanska män

Dax för svenska kultur- och demokrati-ministrarna att göra en insats? Eller?

Afghanistans ledning skakas av sexanklagelser

Sunday, July 14, 2019

How capitalist is Singapore *really*?

Singapore leader Lee together with Ronnie the Ray Gun himself

A tie-in to the discussion on Singapore on a previous thread:

How capitalist is Singapore really?

Making me wonder what exactly United States capitalistas see in this Chinese paradise? LOL.

The little left-liberal catechism

“Lilla boken om kristen tro” is a book published by the Church of Sweden (Svenska Kyrkan) in 1992. It was distributed free of charge to most Swedish households. My copy of the book also contains information from “Nynäs kontrakt”, the Church sub-division in the Nynäshamn area of Stockholm County, suggesting that it´s a local edition of some sort. Incidentally, I don´t recall getting the national edition in 1992! (Swedish Wiki claims that the author´s name is Christer Hugo. Well, no, Hugo is the author of an archived article on the web *criticizing* the book, which is anonymous.)

The book is a very left-liberal work, both theologically and politically. The fact that Jesus was a refugee in Egypt is used to promote solidarity with modern refugees. Peace and environmentalism are important goals, as is women´s liberation and economic development in the Third World. Direct aid in the event of natural disasters and famine is another activity strongly promoted by the Church. “The Little Book on Christian Faith” gives a very “soft” impression, with lots of photos of girls, infants and nice old ladies. No crusaders or fire-and-brimstone preachers in this one! It´s constantly emphasized that the Christian faith must be reinterpreted anew in each generation. (The anonymous writer doesn´t seem to understand that this makes it possible for illiberal groups to reinterpret the Bible afresh.) Issues not mentioned (this was 1992) include gay rights, trans rights and the glories of Islam. Today, “Lilla boken” wouldn´t be considered “inclusive” enough.

Interestingly, the book takes an “orthodox” (or seemingly orthodox) view of Jesus. He really was the Son of God, died and was resurrected. He was also an actual historical figure, the book claiming that “several ancient writings” mention him (they don´t) and that we can be almost sure that he lived from around 7 BC to 33 AD (we can´t). The resurrection gives fighters for social justice hope that there really is a God and immortality, and that their strivings won´t be in vain. Since the goal is justice here on Earth, Jesus becomes a kind of left-liberal overcomer of a social gospel postmillennial vision. (His Second Advent is never discussed, as far as I can see.) Naturally, his loving forgiveness is emphasized, rather than his curses or apocalypticism.

I can´t say I like this little volume. During my hard left phase, I would have regarded it as too soft and frankly hypocritical. (The bourgeoisie doesn´t mind charity. What it fears is revolution.) Today, I also have a couple of objections, too dangerous to mention here. Still, I admit that “Lilla boken om kristen tro” does give a fairly good introduction to the left-liberal illusions of the Church of Sweden.