Tuesday 13th of April 2021

How to create god and not get away with it...

Rod Dreher gives us a dazzling account of How God Becomes Real: Kindling The Presence Of Invisible Others, the new book by Stanford anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann. Dreher and Luhrmann do not make bed-fellows, but Dreher is in love. Dreher is a fanatic believer. Luhrmann explains the trick of belief.

All Dreher can see is that the trick of GOD IS REAL… He does not understand the illusion, because like a magic turn of hand, things happen by enchantment. He falls for Hitler’s master of propaganda, “if you repeat something often enough…” etc… If you build a cathedral high enough, you will see god… Dreher believes that the idea (of god) having been said so many times with so many dedicated concrete monuments to bullshit, means that the bullshit has to be the truth. Poor Rod… 

Unless Luhrmann has become a believer herself, but that would be surprising. Who knows…. Her work is about understanding how beliefs have shaped societies. In our secular democratic system, the invention of god is unwelcome. We have to be grown-ups, though we still marvel at a woman who changes attire behind an umbrella in one second flick. Amazing! But guess what? There is a trick — a well rehearsed trick. There’s no magic. No god. Please applaud…

Rod wants you to believe in magic…:

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‘How God Becomes Real’

I’ve been dazzled these last few days by How God Becomes Real: Kindling The Presence Of Invisible Others, the new book by Stanford anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann. You should know up front that Luhrmann doesn’t approach her work as a religious believer — she does not take a position on whether or not there are gods — but rather seeks to discern how those who believe in God, or gods, or spirits, come to do so. I was drawn to this book in part because I’m a reader and fan of her earlier work, but also because I’m thinking of doing my next book on how to re-enchant the world, living as we do in a WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic) culture.

I learned a lot from this book, and having just finished it ten minutes ago, I want to share its arguments with you, because I hope you’ll buy it and read it too.

TML writes:

"This is not a claim that gods are not real or that people who are religious feel doubt. Many people of faith never express doubt; they talk as if it were obvious that their gods are real. Yet they go to great lengths in their worship. They build grand cathedrals at vast cost in labor, time, and money. They spend days, even weeks, preparing for rituals, assembling food, building ritual sites, and gathering participants. They create theatrical effects in sacred spaces—the dim lighting in temples, the elaborate staging in evangelical megachurches—that enhance a sense of otherness but are not commanded in the sacred texts. They fast. They wear special clothes. They chant for hours. They set out to pray without ceasing.

Of course, one might say: they believe, and so they build the cathedrals. I am asking what we might learn if we shift our focus: if, rather than presuming that people worship because they believe, we ask instead whether people believe because they worship.

I suggest that prayer and ritual and worship help people to shift from knowing in the abstract that the invisible other is real to feeling that gods and spirits are present in the moment, aware and willing to respond. I will call this “real-making,” and I think that the satisfactions of its process explain—in part—why faiths endure.

By “real-making,” I mean that the task for a person of faith is to believe not just that gods and spirits are there in some abstract way, like dark energy, but that these gods and spirits matter in the here and now. I mean not just that you know that they are real, the way you know that the floor is real (or would, if you paused to think about it), but that they feel real the way your mother’s love feels real. I mean that people of faith come to feel inwardly and intimately that gods or spirits are involved with them. For humans to sustain their involvement with entities who are invisible and matter in a good way to their lives, I suggest that a god must be made real again and again against the evident features of an obdurate world. Humans must somehow be brought to a point from which the altar becomes more than gilded wood, so that the icon’s eyes look back at them, ablaze."


From then on, Rod Dreher loose track of the illusion of unrealness. “Realmaking”? Yep, this is inventing the spiritual steam engine… and patent it so you can on-sell it for profit, with rituals and theatre added, to control your life and that of others. You can believe that chocolate is the spiritual incarnation of god... 


Rod Dreher continues:

TML says that people have to “kindle” the awareness of their god, through what she calls “realmaking”:

"The basic claim is this: that god or spirit—the invisible other—must be made real for people, and that this real-making changes those who do it. When I look at the social practices that surround what we call religion, I see a set of behaviors that change a practitioner’s felt sense of what is real. These behaviors both enable what is unseen to feel more present and alter the person who performs them."

Through her research, she found a few ways that are key to kindling awareness of God’s presence.

First, you have to have a “faith frame” — that is, a framework that allows you to integrate your religious beliefs into your daily life, and to allow you to navigate the cognitive dissonances. For example, the wafer and the wine at a Catholic communion service look like … a wafer and wine. But the Catholic faith frame tells the Catholic that after consecration, they are the Body and Blood of the slain and risen Lord Jesus Christ — not symbolically, but really and truly, in some mystical way.

Second, “Detailed stories help to make gods and spirits feel real.” They allow believers to bring the invisible world and the god(s) and spirit beings living within it vividly to life in their imaginations. Stories take the abstract and make it concrete.

Third, “Talent and training matter.”  TML writes:

 "What people do and what they bring to what they do affect the way they experience gods and spirits. People who are able to become absorbed in what they imagine are more likely to have powerful experiences of an invisible other. Practice also helps. People who practice being absorbed in what they imagine during prayer or ritual are also more likely to have such experiences. This absorption blurs the boundary between the inner world and the outer world, which makes it easier for people to turn to a faith frame to make  sense of the world and to experience invisible others as present in a way they feel with their senses."

Fourth: “The way people think about their minds also matters.” TML:

"The intimate evidence for gods and spirits often comes from a domain felt to be in between the mind and the world, from the space betwixt a person’s inner awareness and the sensible world—the thought that does not feel like yours, the voice that feels whispered on the wind, the person who feels there and yet beyond the reach of sight. How people in a particular social world represent the mind itself—how they map the human terrain of thinking, feeling, intending, and desiring into a cultural model— shapes the way they attend to these odd moments so that the moments  feel more or less sensory, more or less external, more or less real, more or less like evidence of gods and spirits."

Some combination of these foundational beliefs and practices of attention “kindle” a sense of the divine presence, no matter what your religion. Remember, Luhrmann is an anthropologist describing a phenomenon. We who hold particular religious commitments, or hold a prior commitment to atheistic materialism, may therefore believe that the god or gods that people Luhrmann studied do not exist, or are evil entities. In the book, Luhrmann writes about a Santeria community, which in my Christian view, worships gods who are really demons. Nevertheless, I found in reading TML that there is a real commonality between the way Christians practice the presence of the true God, and the way Santeria worshipers make their demonic gods real.

TML says that we in the West often misunderstand the experiences of non-Western people because of our post-Enlightenment “faith frame”:


No. We do not misunderstand much. Understanding something does not mean we have to accept the illusion. In fact, the rejection of a "faith-frame” is our best pathway to understand, otherwise we just get bamboozled once-more.

We can still admire the devotion, the dedication to a faith, but we can only reject the faith-frame. And this is the big difference between beliefs and reality…

Do we need to believe in an “original sin”, a god, a Christ, an allah, a zoe-godot, in order to be happy and block our seeking the relativity of our life? Do we need to feel unworthy of redemption while hypocritically seeking it?

Is science a different belief system or a better understanding of reality?

Mortality is our Bête-Noire… We do not want to die. Even the best of atheists who die too soon because of disease or whatever accident resist death. Should we live forever we would not have the “belief” problem. We would barely study why we are alive. We’d be fluttering like butterflies forever… The “original sin” is a dreadful invention to make us swallow death as a gateway to eternity. Death is part of life… Death is final.

As an aside, say, in regard to the manufacture of mRNA vaccines:


ANGEL2 is a member of the CCR4 family of deadenylases with 2′,3′-cyclic phosphatase activity

RNA molecules are frequently modified with a terminal 2′,3′-cyclic phosphate group as a result of endonuclease cleavage, exonuclease trimming, or de novo synthesis. During pre-transfer RNA (tRNA) and unconventional messenger RNA (mRNA) splicing, 2′,3′-cyclic phosphates are substrates of the tRNA ligase complex, and their removal is critical for recycling of tRNAs upon ribosome stalling. We identified the predicted deadenylase angel homolog 2 (ANGEL2) as a human phosphatase that converts 2′,3′-cyclic phosphates into 2′,3′-OH nucleotides. We analyzed ANGEL2’s substrate preference, structure, and reaction mechanism. Perturbing ANGEL2 expression affected the efficiency of pre-tRNA processing, X-box–binding protein 1 (XBP1) mRNA splicing during the unfolded protein response, and tRNA nucleotidyltransferase 1 (TRNT1)–mediated CCA addition onto tRNAs. Our results indicate that ANGEL2 is involved in RNA pathways that rely on the ligation or hydrolysis of 2′,3′-cyclic phosphates.

Cellular RNAs are heavily modified during synthesis and posttranscriptionally in response to internal and external stimuli. Enzymes that sculpt the sequence and chemistry of RNA termini include 5′ capping and decapping enzymes, 5′ kinases, endonucleases, exonucleases, poly(A) and poly(U) polymerases, and deadenylases. Independent of its identity, a nucleotide at the 3′ end of an RNA molecule displays chemical groups including: 2′,3′-OH (hydroxyl), 2′-P (phosphate)/3′-OH, 2′-OH/3′-P, or 2′,3′>P (2′,3′-cyclic phosphate). In particular, 2′,3′>Ps are generated through endonucleolytic cleavage (1, 2), exonucleolytic trimming (3, 4) or de novo by the RNA 3′-terminal phosphate cyclase (RTCA) (5).

In mammalian cells, RNA molecules ending with 2′,3′>P are substrates for the tRNA ligase complex during pre-tRNA processing (6) and X-box–binding protein 1 (XBP1) mRNA splicing in the unfolded protein response (UPR) (7–9). Additionally, 2′,3′>P termini are generated during the ribosome-associated quality control (RQC) pathway upon ribosome stalling (10) and during stress-induced tRNA cleavage by angiogenin (11). Hydrolysis of 2′,3′>P yields 2′-P/3′-OH (12) or 2′-OH/3′-P (13). Enzymes known to convert 2′,3′>P into 2′,3′-OH include bacteriophage T4 polynucleotide kinase (PNK) (14) and other RNA repair enzymes from the DxDxT acyl phosphatase superfamily, such as baculoviral RNA ligase 1 (Rnl1) (15). Examples from bacteria include the histidine-aspartate (HD)–Pnk RNA healing enzymes (16) and Pnkp from the binuclear metallophosphoesterase superfamily (17). However, such activity has not been detected in eukaryotic cells

This scientific understanding is far more important, though difficult to grasp, than reading the false simplistic premises that abound in the bible… or participating in funny rituals of beliefs with special hats. These rituals are entertaining and distracting, but totally false. Beliefs ARE A DISTRACTION AWAY FROM REALITY.

I’m going to a funeral again today… An atheist. A great man. A scholar of Greek myths. Myths and beliefs are transient and can vanish when the theatre is corrupted, invaded by other myths and beliefs — and myths and beliefs can only vanish as we understand more. Understanding can only grow. That is life, whether you believe or not. 

Gus Leonisky
Rabid Atheist...

Picture at top by Gus Leonisky, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation à Nancy, France : Nancy Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in the town of Nancy, Lorraine, France. It was erected in the 18th century. The cathedral is in the Baroque architectural style. It is a national monument and the seat of the Bishop of Nancy and Toul. 

47 instead of 46...

Jérôme Jean Louis Marie Lejeune (13 June 1926 – 3 April 1994) was a French pediatrician and geneticist, best known for discovering the link of diseases to chromosome abnormalities and for his subsequent opposition to prenatal diagnosis and abortion.[4] He is venerated in the Catholic Church, having been declared Venerable by Pope Francis on 21 January 2021.[5]


Although Lejeune’s discoveries paved the way for new therapeutic research into how changes in gene copy number could cause disease, they also led to the development of prenatal diagnosis of chromosome abnormalities [47 instead of 46] and thence to abortions of affected pregnancies. This was very distressing to Lejeune, a devout Catholic, and led him to begin his fight for the anti-abortion cause.

Lejeune opposed the authorization in 1967 for women to use contraception as well as the Peyret laws in 1970 to render legal the interruption of pregnancy in case of fetal abnormalities. He also opposed the Veil Law ("Loi Veil" 1975) authorizing voluntary interruption of pregnancy.[17][18]

After receiving the Allan prize, Lejeune gave a talk to his colleagues which concluded by explicitly questioning the morality of abortion, an unpopular viewpoint in the profession. In a letter to his wife, Lejeune wrote "today, I lost my Nobel prize in Medicine."[19][20]

In 1975, after one of his public appearances in Paris on the beginning of life, Lejeune met Wanda Półtawska, director of the Catholic Institute for the Family in Kraków. Later that year, Półtawska contacted Lejeune twice, asking him to speak at conferences on the beginning of life that she was organizing with one of her close friends, Monsignor Karol Wojtyla, then Cardinal-Archbishop of Krakow. On 16 October 1978 Wojtyla was elected Pope John Paul II.

Afterward, Lejeune regularly traveled to Rome to meet with the Pope, to attend meetings of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and to participate in other church events, such as the 1987 Synod of Bishops. The Pope wanted to name Lejeune as the president of a new pontifical academy that was dear to his heart: the Pontifical Academy for Life.[21] Lejeune painstakingly drafted its bylaws and the oath of the Servants of Life that each member of the Academy must take.

Lejeune was diagnosed with lung cancer in November 1993. He served as president of the Academy for only a few weeks before his death in April 1994.

A few years later, during his visit to Paris for World Youth Day 1997, John Paul II visited Lejeune’s grave in Châlo-Saint-Mars. Lejeune has been named "Servant of God" by the Catholic Church, and his cause for sainthood is being postulated by the Abbey of Saint Wandrille in France.

On 21 January 2021, Pope Francis declared Lejeune's heroic virtues, and Lejeune was named "Venerable".


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You work out the morality of abortion versus the insanity of letting defectuous human survive when you know an alternative is on offer... it's a difficult choice if you believe in god. Even if you believe in humanity... I know a few people who chose abortion to maintain the best human evolution possible. Birds will be ruthless and throw out of the nest the chick that is not going to survive... I know excellent down-syndrome affected people, who are the salt of the earth, but I have seen (and already mentioned on this site) children with so many defects that one had to cry... I have also met people who were prepared to dedicate their life to caring after a defectuous progeny, often taking the burden as a punishment from god for their sins...


Why did I mention this? Well Jérôme Jean Louis Marie Lejeune is the subject of an article in the (atheist) journal Charlie Hebdo... As well on the front cover there is a dig at the French "Islamo-left"...




While trying to find the Islamo-left connection, she discovered the vaccine against Covid...

My husband will be very happy...



Gus Leonisky is a fierce atheist with the best for humanism at heart.



See also: 

democracy is getting weirder...


of the bitter-sweetness of life...


abortion and homosexuality revisited by religioso expert rod dreher...


heavenly sex before and after noah's ark....



squirelling around...

If one were to read through the prefaces and first paragraphs of the canonical works of Western philosophy, one might assume the discipline’s primary question to be this: What makes us humans so much better than all the other animals? Really, it’s astonishing how relentless this theme is in the whole history of philosophy. The separation of people from, and the superiority of people to, members of other species is a good candidate for the originating idea of Western thought. And a good candidate for the worst.

The Great Philosopher will, before addressing himself to the deep ethical and metaphysical questions, pause for the conventional, ground-clearing declaration: “I am definitely not a squirrel.” This is evidently something that needs continual emphasizing.

Rationality and self-control, as philosophers underline again and again, give humans a value that squirrels lack (let’s just stick with this species for the time being), a moral status unique to us. We are conscious, and squirrels, allegedly, are not; we are rational, and squirrels are not; we are free, and squirrels are not.

We can congratulate ourselves on the threat averted. But if we truly believed we were so much better than squirrels, why have we spent thousands of years driving home the point?

It’s almost as though the existence of animals, and their various similarities to humans, constituted insults. Like a squirrel, I have eyes and ears, scurry about on the ground and occasionally climb a tree. (One of us does this better than the other does.) Our shared qualities — the fact that we are both hairy or that we have eyes or we poop, for example — are disconcerting if I am an immortal being created in the image of God and the squirrel just a physical organism, a bundle of instincts.

One difficult thing to face about our animality is that it entails our deaths; being an animal is associated throughout philosophy with dying purposelessly, and so with living meaninglessly. It is rationality that gives us dignity, that makes a claim to moral respect that no mere animal can deserve. “The moral law reveals to me a life independent of animality,” writes Immanuel Kant in “Critique of Practical Reason.” In this assertion, at least, the Western intellectual tradition has been remarkably consistent.

The connection of such ideas to the way we treat animals — for example, in our food chain — is too obvious to need repeating. And the devaluation of animals and disconnection of us from them reflect a deeper devaluation of the material universe in general. In this scheme of things, we owe nature nothing; it is to yield us everything. This is the ideology of species annihilation and environmental destruction, and also of technological development.

Further trouble is caused when the distinctions between humans and animals are then used to draw distinctions among human beings. Some humans, according to this line of thinking, are self-conscious, rational and free, and some are driven by beastly desires. Some of us transcend our environment: Reason alone moves us to action. But some of us are pushed around by physical circumstances, by our bodies. Some of us, in short, are animals — and some of us are better than that. This, it turns out, is a useful justification for colonialism, slavery and racism.

The classical source for this distinction is certainly Aristotle. In the “Politics,” he writes, “Where then there is such a difference as that between soul and body, or between men and animals (as in the case of those whose business is to use their body, and who can do nothing better), the lower sort are by nature slaves.” The conclusion is final. “It is better for them as for all inferiors to be under the rule.”

Every human hierarchy, insofar as it can be justified philosophically, is treated by Aristotle by analogy to the relation of people to animals. One might be forgiven for thinking that Aristotle’s real goal is not to establish the superiority of humans to animals, but the superiority of some people to others.

“The savage people in many places of America,” writes Thomas Hobbes in “Leviathan,” responding to the charge that human beings have never lived in a state of nature, “have no government at all, and live in this brutish manner.” Like Plato, Hobbes associates anarchy with animality and civilization with the state, which gives to our merely animal motion moral content for the first time and orders us into a definite hierarchy. But this line of thought also happens to justify colonizing or even extirpating the “savage,” the beast in human form.

Our supposed fundamental distinction from “beasts, “brutes” and “savages” is used to divide us from nature, from one another and, finally, from ourselves. In Plato’s “Republic,” Socrates divides the human soul into two parts. The soul of the thirsty person, he says, “wishes for nothing else than to drink.” But we can restrain ourselves. “That which inhibits such actions,” he concludes, “arises from the calculations of reason.” When we restrain or control ourselves, Plato argues, a rational being restrains an animal.

In this view, each of us is both a beast and a person — and the point of human life is to constrain our desires with rationality and purify ourselves of animality. These sorts of systematic self-divisions come to be refigured in Cartesian dualism, which separates the mind from the body, or in Sigmund Freud’s distinction between id and ego, or in the neurological contrast between the functions of the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex.

I’d like to publicly identify this dualistic view as a disaster, but I don’t know how to refute it, exactly, except to say that I don’t feel myself to be a logic program running on an animal body; I’d like to consider myself a lot more integrated than that. And I’d like to repudiate every political and environmental conclusion ever drawn by our supposed transcendence of the order of nature. I don’t see how we could cease to be mammals and remain ourselves.

There is no doubt that human beings are distinct from other animals, though not necessarily more distinct than other animals are from one another. But maybe we’ve been too focused on the differences for too long. Maybe we should emphasize what all us animals have in common.

Our resemblance to squirrels doesn’t have to be interpreted as a threat to our self-image. Instead, it could be seen as a hopeful sign that we will someday be better at tree leaping.



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A recent series of surveys found numerous areas of overlap in the morality of believers and the non-religious, but also distinguished key differences in terms of group identity versus individuality in guiding people’s morality.

Psychologist Tomas Stahl found that both the religious and atheists share a great deal of common morality, but added that while non-believers do indeed have a moral compass, “...it is calibrated somewhat differently than that of religious believers in some respects, but not in others.”

Stahl’s research involved four online surveys conducted across the US, seen as a somewhat more religious country, and Sweden, perceived as a largely secular nation.

Among the surveys, two studies examined the relationship between the beliefs, values, life stories and political orientations of some 429 American citizens, while the final two studies compared responses to a similar set of questions from 4,139 respondents in both the US and Sweden. 

Participants were asked to agree or disagree with statements such as “I am willing to be unethical if I believe it will help me succeed.” Both groups scored low on amorality, meaning that, according to the survey at least, society isn’t doomed yet. In all four studies, both groups, atheists and religious believers, rated morals which focused on the individual, the right to self-determination, liberty and protection from outside interference or oppression in a similar way. In other words, both believers and non-believers felt society works best when individuals are free to take responsibility for their own lives and actions. 

Both groups also valued rationality, but atheists were found to be more skeptical in nature. 

The stark contrast arose when issues of group morality came to the fore, with the religious respondents valuing group loyalty, deference to authority and sanctity of action far more than their nonreligious counterparts. “[R]eligious disbelievers were less inclined to view values that promote group cohesion – such as ingroup loyalty, respect for authority, and sanctity – to be relevant for morality,” Stahl says. 

Explaining his takeaways from the findings, Stahl argues that there is a certain fear factor that drives people to faith, with religious people overall viewing the world as a more dangerous place, hence the need for more group cohesion and a morality which enshrines this desire in order to improve odds of survival. 

Atheists, by contrast, appeared to prize individualism more highly, assessing actions on a case by case basis rather than ascribing inherent morality to a given action.

Read more: https://www.rt.com/news/516771-atheists-believers-similar-moral-compasses/

Read from top.... Meanwhile a lot of people are prepared to lie in surveys like this, in order to protect their moral turf...

Note: there is sweepstake on who the culprit is in the Scomo government... (the most amoral government since federation... in don't expect the miracle of truth from the sick scomo government — the kanbra brothel...).. the odds are as follow....