Truth, Denial & Phobia

This is the second part of Being Wrong & Feeling Right: Two Parts.

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Deborah Lipstadt is an American historian and author specializing in the Holocaust. In 1993 she published her book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory where she responds in extensive detail to rising, growing movements in Europe and parts of N. America challenging the veracity of the Holocaust during World War II and claiming it did not take place and was overly exaggerated by the European Jews. David Irving, a Nazi Germany advocate and controversial scholar, sued Lipstadt and her publisher Penguin Books Ltd in the U.K. for her characterizations of his writings and public speeches writing in her book he was anti-Semitic, preposterous, and barely a pseudo-historian.

Lipstadt and Penguin Books won their case by proving in the British court that her characterizations of Irving’s work and speeches were significantly true and not libelous to Irving. The judge’s decision was a paramount victory not only against Holocaust denial, but also a major victory against shotty, ill-founded denialism while further reinforcing credible, consensual, established academia and scholarship by some of the world’s most elite institutions of higher (highest) education and their renown experts and staffs.

In 2016 the film Denial dramatized these proceedings in British court, the case and the real-life characters, and was deservedly nominated for Best British Film in 2017. For these above reasons I highly recommend watching the movie. The official trailer:

When upsetting, distressing, or traumatic events and/or information arises that shake-up or shatter a person’s belief-system and/or our perception of life, our human brain and nervous system—and if we’re more fully comprehensive, our ego as well—can create a psychological coping routine, a mechanism that neglects and negates what is or has actually happened. Fear and anxiety over being wrong and confused or the potential of it, causes a large portion of the human population to simply deny those events/information exist(ed). For them it is easier to deny than walk the harder, troubling, longer road of learning to solve, adapt and cope. They will often seek out echo-chambers (organizations or groups) to further cement the psychological denial. Over time the repeated immersing into the neuro-cognitive pathologies and regular participation with echoing support-groups can and often do create long-term phobias.

Another powerful motive for denialism is self-interest, that prideful ego which convinces us we deserve favorable praise and inflated importance at the expense of reality and others. Self-preservation at any cost.

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. — Upton Sinclair

Or when his image of power is threatened! Sinclair could not be more correct when considering a long, long history of prime examples. I will name only a handful of examples, but the list of overly inflated egos (some tyrannical), self-preservation, severe denial, and paranoia through atrocious brutality is long and always growing:

  • Henry Ford and the too little too late Model A — Henry Ford, Sr. was in Model T La-La land (denial) virtually until his death. He blamed worker unions for the plummeting sales of the 20-year antiquated Model T automobile. When he finally relented to production of the Model A, Chrysler-Plymouth and General Motors had seized the industry’s top market positions, leaving Ford to wither and struggle until World War II arrived.
  • Coca-Cola — a small number of taste-test participants influenced or contaminated Coca-Cola Company’s (un)controlled market testing (Project Kansas) of a sweeter formula being considered as the New Coke to boost sales and market share. The change was an utter failure/denial by Coke executives because the facts of market data showed for decades it was Coke’s brand-name that made and kept loyal consumers, not a newer formula and change.
  • DuPont — and their disposal (or failure to properly dispose) of chemicals used to make Teflon that leak or eventually leak into human or animal drinking water-basins. Well over 3,500 lawsuits against DuPont and/or Chemours still await trial. Both mega-billion dollar corporations deny their chemical or waste management directly cause major health-injury problems in at least 27 U.S. states. However, since 1961 DuPont’s own scientists knew their chemical wastes caused severe and lethal problems in lab animals, but intentionally concealed (denied) these studies from the public and EPA.
  • Lehman Brothers — and their asset overvaluation (denialism & greed) then subsequent bankruptcy in 2008, a major player/cause of the 2008 Wall Street crash then bailout by U.S. taxpayers via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
  • Joseph Stalin — the “Great Purge” between 1936 – 1938 when Stalin murdered around 750,000 political rivals and dissenters and over 1-million others he perceived as threats. These are conservative estimates.
  • Saddam Hussein — aside from the gassing of some 5,000 Kurdish Iraqis and wounding over 10,000 more in 1988, Hussein convened a public meeting of Ba’ath Party officials in July 1979. He ordered the gathering to be videotaped. Hussein read a list of 69 names of perceived “traitors” who were then escorted out in custody then executed by firing squad or given weapons inside a courtyard and ordered to execute each other or themselves.
  • Intel — for nearly 3 decades (60’s – 80’s) Intel reigned supreme in semiconductors, with their memory-chip and microprocessors both. By 1983 Japanese semiconductors had stolen a big chunk of that market. Intel was in a nose dive. Like Henry Ford, old vanguard CEO’s at Intel thought their long dominance in memory-chips were the future (denialism, skewed rationalism) whereas Gordon Moore and Andy Grove realized the ominous hard data, facts and stats overwhelmingly pointed to the microprocessor and PC’s as the future. Their decision to change the business model—amp up and expand production of microprocessors while cutting way back on memory-chips—saved Intel from looming bankruptcy. “Pentium” is now a household name.
  • ExxonMobil — one of the most blatant hypocritical cases of denialism for self-preservation has been ExxonMobil. Within almost 200 in-house publications between 1977 – 2014, the oil giant’s own scientists admitted (click here) that climate change was unequivocally occurring and caused by human discharge and/or waste.
  • Richard M. Nixon — though a number of U.S. Presidents clearly fall into this denial, truth, phobic examination, President Nixon is the poster-boy of denialism for self-preservation during and after the Watergate scandal in the early 1970’s. A new poster-boy President of blatant denialism and inflated ego may(?) be just around the corner.
  • Adolf Hitler — Duh, of course. No explanation necessary.
  • Should I name all the evangelical pastors or Catholic clergy?
  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. — in tandem with The Tobacco Institute and PR firm Hill & Knowlton, Inc., the tobacco industry launched a massive counter-attack against scientific and medical-health researchers determining and publicly publishing the negative impacts of smoking. Their counter-attack? “Doubt is our product.
  • Merck and their VIOXX — Before the FDA could approve Merck’s blockbuster pain-relief rofecoxib hit drugstore shelves, health professionals were finding and reporting in 1999, 2000, and 2004 the drug increased the risks of heart disease. With 88,000 – 139,000 heart attacks (30% – 40% fatal) attributed to rofecoxib, over four years later the drug was finally banned in November 2004. Merck executives knew of these reports, but misled physicians, the public, and the FDA.
  • USS Indianapolis Capt. McVay Tragedy — in the dying months of the Pacific War 1945 the naval heavy battlecruiser, while carrying the atomic bomb to eventually be dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, was headed for her next assignment. At 12:15AM 30 July 1945, the USS Indianapolis was fatally struck by two Japanese torpedoes and sunk in 12-minutes. Due to her top secret cargo and mission she was never reported missing even after 24-36 hours after her scheduled arrival in Leyte. In the end and after an official investigation into the tragedy, the U.S. Navy solely blamed Capt. Charles B. McVay III and court-martialed him, putting the 1,139 lost sailors on his head and in self-preservation of and abdication by the U.S. Navy rather than take the public shame and embarrassment for numerous mistakes in combat intel. For many years after McVay received hate-mail from families of lost Indianapolis sailors. Declassified naval documents now reveal (though too late) that Capt. McVay was in truth not to blame for any causes leading to the ship’s sinking. But in 1968 McVay committed suicide.

These 14 prime examples are a proverbial drop in the bucket compared to the modern refined art of denial, distorting the truth and reality. I am quite sure you could name off several more I did not mention, right?

Public Outcomes of Denialism, Phobia, and Untruths/Lies

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Immunization Non-Compliance
— Despite the remarkable declines or near eradication of measles, mumps, rubella, and pertussis across the U.S. and most of the world over the previous century and modern, universal availability of vaccines, resurgence of these diseases persist. CDC data for the measles:

immunization-us

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Paranoia Over Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) — Despite the significant consensus by scientists, healthcare physicians, and bio-genetic engineers from many acclaimed prestigious institutions and universities across the world, who stake their lifetime careers and reputations on making these studies and publications, a large percentage of Americans are afraid and skeptical of foods that have been genetically modified. From the National Academies for Sciences, Engineering & Medicine:

gmos

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One such university, Purdue University’s College of Agriculture addresses the misinformation and conflicting media stories; click here for more details.

The Impact of Ignorance or Restricted Knowledge — Truth or fiction. Fiction or truth. Many selectively choose what they want to accept as factual if it aligns with their own political, social, or religious beliefs. They also choose what is fallacy or untrue, or will ignore the evidence/data when it doesn’t align, whether it is verified, confirmed, factual and true, or not.

9-11 and obama

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Ideological Divide On Climate Change — Despite the abundant evidence and facts over the last century measuring global climate change, there remains a deep ideological divide in the U.S. about whether it is very serious and harming people now.

climate change divide

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Holocaust Doubting and Denial — Despite the eye-witness accounts by thousands upon thousands of Allied liberating soldiers and their commanders at Nazi death or concentration camps across Europe in the last months of World War II, as well as the abhorrent physical and forensic evidence at the time, a noticeable population today believe the Holocaust did not occur or was greatly exaggerated by Jews and Jewish sympathizers.

holocaust denial

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Don Quixote: My lady

I am not your lady!…
I am not any kind of a lady! 

So of course I became,
As befitted my delicate birth,
The most casual bride
Of the murdering scum of the earth!
Aldonza

Don Quixote: And still thou art my lady.

And still he torments me!
How should I be a lady?

If you feel that you see me
Not quite at my virginal best,
Cross my palm with a coin,
And I’ll willingly show you the rest!
Aldonza

Don Quixote: Never deny thou art Dulcinea.

Take the clouds from your eyes
and see me as I really am!
Aldonza

Those are a portion of the musical lyrics from the song and scene “Aldonza” in the 1972 film Man of La Mancha. Though the beautiful, alluring, prostitute Aldonza is trying to convince Don Quixote that she is not the woman he imagines, it is clear for several reasons that he is not seeing it nor will he accept it. Such is the force of denialism lost in euphoric romance. Emotions have over-powered critical reasoning.

Recognizing Methods of Truthiness, Denialism, or Phobias

This will not be an exhaustive list, but I will spot-light more popular, modern methods of reframing, misdirection, or flagrant deceit by employing pseudo-science or pseudo-historicity (vs. accredited historicity & historiography) that an audience or people are so dazed by the audacity, they may doubt or question their own perceptions of reality. Here are five traits of denialism from the European Journal of Public Health by Paschal Diethelm and Martin McKee:

  1. Pinpointing emotionally based or controversial conspiracies and publicizing those opinions. This would include tainted or polluted peer review or checks-n-balances by other expert colleagues in the subject field. Inversionism is a variant of conspiracy theories which can be utilized.
  2. Employing fake experts or paper-vapor institutions to refute (and slander?) legitimate experts. The internet or world-wide-web is ideal for this tactic.
  3. Specifically isolating or cherry-picking support and sources while ignoring or overlooking exhaustive databases, research studies, and counter-reviews.
  4. Imploring near-impossible or ridiculous standards of confirmation, e.g. the Lenski Affair.
  5. Employing logical fallacies which might include red herrings, straw-men arguments, or false analogies.

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Attacking Intellectualism on the Rise

Why is the majority of the general public gullible and/or naïve to hyped or erroneous influences? Why do celebrity, charismatic personalities attract droves of people to ill-founded causes and misguided, immoral, unethical ideologies? When we are trapped by self-imposed fears and external turmoil caused and funded by targeted propaganda, it becomes easier to simply deny our imperfections and mistakes, as tragic as they might be, in order to feel right instead of the alternative:  shame or embarrassment.

Thomas Jefferson, one of our nation’s Founding Fathers and the 3rd President, opportunistically attacked intellectualism. John Adams, as well as Alexander Hamilton, got into heated debates with Jefferson about democracy and how it should be governed. Jefferson and his political party supported the wisdom of the commoners, a peer review, if you will, to hedge against tyranny and oligarchies or dictators. Adams Sr. and Hamilton, however, knew too well how poorly educated most commoners of that day were to con-men tyrants and charismatic persuasion by corrupt causes and ideologies. Yet, in today’s more advanced, more widely educated populations—primarily in first-world or advancing second-world nations—as opposed to 18th-century America, the mob revolutions in which Jefferson witnessed in his day occur less frequently due to informed early detection by the citizens.

In other words, today there exists exponentially more credentialed “experts” to police Cults of Personality and protect the less fortunate and more gullible against precisely the cunning tyrants Jefferson detested. One difference in today’s pool of experts is that they are all highly specialized in very specific fields of study, possibly two or three, maybe four on a basic level. But not ten or fifteen or more. Being a Nobel Prize winning expert or scholar in ten or more subjects is humanly impossible. Therefore, like it or not, we must… no, we have no choice but to rely on highly trained, vastly experienced professionals, the “intellectuals” in their fields of expertise. In this regard, even Thomas Jefferson fell short. Now, with all due respect to our 3rd President, if we commission a large pool of experts, ala a democracy of intelligent commoners(?), then we could hope Tommy would have approved.

Pessimistic or Vigilant?

Truth does matter. Truth backed up by incontrovertible, scientific or historical facts, repeatable ad infinitum, do indeed exist. In an interview about the movie Denial and her legal run-in with David Irving, Deborah Lipstadt said:

I try to be optimistic about things, but history teaches me that that is not always the case. There are people out there who are very much beguiled by these stories. When I see it seep into the general conversation of people not on extreme ends, that’s when I get worried. This is why it is so important to challenge liars about their lies. Challenge them with the facts.

deborah lipstadtI do have a lot of admiration and respect for what Ms. Lipstadt and her legal team showed and protected regarding accredited scholarship, freedom of speech, and the accountability one must always own in speaking or printing ideas or opinions as facts of science and/or history. She certainly deserves applause and recognition for protecting the atrocious reality of the Nazi Holocaust against saber-rattling, self-proclaimed, self-absorbed, charismatic trouble-makers calling them self a great leader, or reformer, or intellectual. Her victorious feat cannot be denied.

Ms. Lipstadt is Jewish by birth and by all available accounts and information it is reasonable to assume she is still active in practicing her Jewish faith. There is no easily accessible information to the contrary. This leads me to my own question for Ms. Lipstadt in regard to her quote just above.

There are increasing amounts of scholarly and scientific evidence and facts suggesting, even convincingly demonstrating that all three Abrahamic religions are based on beguiling stories which are indeed within general conversations of people not on extreme ends over 2-3 millenia that in the end are hoaxes, gross distortions of historicity, and the three religions worry and cause great concern for a large number of sane, reasonably intelligent secularists and humanists around the world. My question:

Have you or would you, Ms. Lipstadt, put your religious faith to the exact same rigorous scrutiny you afforded the defense of the Holocaust and put bogus Holocaust deniers through?

To my readers, followers, and visitors. Please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or challenges. They could stimulate an invigorating discussion or debate!

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51 thoughts on “Truth, Denial & Phobia

  1. Brilliant final question.
    However, link not withstanding, maybe she, like so many Jews, is more secular rather than religious?

    As for the Holocaust. The movie in the post is on my movie feed but I simply cannot watch such stuff. There was a time when I could be disconnect quite easily. But these days not so much.
    After I saw Schindler’s list I had terrible problems with my sleep for weeks afterwards.

    Anyone who denies such things is seriously short of a few sandwiches from their picnic.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yes Ark, that is a good question. I too find most modern Jews, at least those in the U.S. (and not that there is a large number here in Texas. LOL) are very moderate if not secular and open-minded to science and authentic history. I rather like this posture because after all, Judaism is the father/grandfather of Xianity and Islam respectively. Furthermore, it is because of broad, high-level Jewish scholarship and academia that I was able to learn the authentic Second Temple Judaism/Messianism from numerous sources from the Bronze, Iron, and Classical Ages that paints an ENTIRELY different narrative than 2nd – 5th century CE Hellenic (Roman) Christianity! Namely from the Dead Sea Scrolls. No surprise whatsoever that modern Christians, of any capacity, do not care in the least what their own actual ancestry/DNA and true origins consists of.

      The film Denial has no graphic violence in it so you’re safe there. It only alludes to it of course. Goodness, Schindler’s List is like all the Saw movies compared to Denial — not even in the same genre really. I think you should try it, but I completely understand about basic, natural, humane empathy for such horrendous history and suffering — I teared up once or twice during the movie. It is moving, but the reward that authentic history and the utter defeat of denialism and winning out I think out weighs the emotional parts. 😉

      Like

        • Ark, your recent blog-post about When Does Genuine Ignorance Become Willful Ignorance reignited another aspect of Denialism, Truth/Truthiness, and Phobias that I couldn’t squeeze into my post here without adding another 2 or 3,000 words.

          It has to do with Mrs. Lesperance’s approach to critical-analysis and opposition to her belief-system and how she portrays it on her own blog and in her comments. She and thousands upon millions of Xian apologists often have no desire whatsoever to engage on common ground the presentation of broad and diverse support, i.e. independent support both for or against, for a hypothesied truth. They almost always start with a presumed entitlement of a priori fact/truth: orthodoxy. Orthodoxy with smatterings of biblical, or the Special Divine Revelation of Scripture… depending on the Presenter’s background of Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, and Latin/Roman manuscripts or records and familiarity of those 1st-century CE Syro-Palestinian cultures. And you might imagine just how many “Christians” know the latter in extensive detail. 😏

          Thus, your mention of “Willful Ignorance” is poignantly and, for those millions of Xians who choose to be so, shamefully spot on and quite true. Like the proverbial ostrich head in the sand, they do not want to listen, read, or watch the overwhelming consensus of verifiable evidence, data, and factual historicity of the HOAX and HIJACKING by a Hellenic Romanization of a fragmentary Second Temple Sectarian Judaic/Messianic fervor of the time that Rome perceived as a real threat. There is only one traditional narrative (orthodoxy) they want to hold to and embrace. It brings them psychological and neurological comfort via a generally accepted social norm. Sadly, that’s all they need, not hardcore truth or facts which take far too long (for them) to sort out.

          In a few different ways, this post also applies with your post and the characters you point out as good modern-day examples. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • As Deborah Lipstadt so eloquently stated:

          I’m not against Freedom of Speech! I am, however, against someone abusing it and not being held accountable when they distort it.

          Your answer? Anytime!!! Just be able to back it up with facts and truth when Dickheads say “I’m not a Dickhead“! LOL 😛

          Liked by 1 person

        • Oh! One other thing if I may Ark. It is because of these sorts of “blind faith-followers” (Deniers) you manage to find and rightly confront and debate, that sometimes we must also go into the dark abyss and vilest types of history and behavior, such as the Holocaust or historically authentic military documentaries or films, to truly understand the horrendous criminal, bloodiest mind… which may contain reports/portrayals of graphic violence and insane amounts of incomprehensible inhumane conflict. It must be done in order to render it non-existent, hopefully.

          I’ve been there several times in my days and years in the Psych/A&D rehab field and there’s no way I could have POSSIBLY understood their experience and actions, unless I had gone down that deep, dark, silent tunnel. And I do say this with respect Sir. 🙂 On a lighter note, I was NEVER meant to be a surgeon. I have a long history of feinting at the first sight of blood, opened flesh, muscle, bone, etc, etc. No WAY could I be conscious or vertical near a hospital ER, much less inside one! LOL 🤣

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Often times, denial is just cognitive dissonance. I find it interesting that with Holocaust denial, I think it’s less about finding out the actual facts, but to try to dissociate from your hate group’s true ugliness in what you’re condoning… If there were scant evidence of a holocaust, then yes, I’d hate to have one narrative pushed over another just to benefit some group politically, but since there is ample evidence of such an atrocity, then I think them main reason lies with cognitive dissonance. Ironic though, that in denying it happened, they implicitly admit that it was wrong, as why not just accept it and be proud of it if you literally hate Jews that much? Telling, huh?
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think you have an excellent point about condoning LoR, at least through and at minimum via complacency, huh? Yes, telling. You remind me of one of Mahatma Gandhi’s least popular quotes…

      It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence.

      There are very few who would be that deeply honest with their self, much less openly with the public, huh? And those who would be or behave in such a “pure” unabashed manner should probably be inside an asylum wearing a straight-jacket. 😬

      Liked by 1 person

  3. To apply the same reasoning to faith takes a special circumstance (miracle)? I can only speak for myself, but I’ve always lived a very independent life, calling my own shots, adventuring/moving around the world, fearing nothing, picking my own path, careers, etc….except religion. Only when I consciously realized that could I be honest with myself. That will be the last thing on the list of personal scrutinies. If she is devout, it is nearly impossible (nearly) to do a fair assessment on faith.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Agreed Jim. Hardcore introspection is sometimes very difficult, perhaps near impossible for some. But the alternative is equally as horrible and unrealistic, isn’t it? Decide that you are beyond reproach and cross-examination, 100% of the time, all the time!? Really? 😮 Right. That’s the definition of an egotistical megalomaniac… word for word! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Two things: first, to successfully attack what is true, all one has to do is create doubt. Doubt is the goal, which can then be used to protect whatever from all other legitimate criticism. And it works wonderfully well. This tactic is observable when the approach to any issue under consideration is framed to highlight doubt or foster distrust rather than recognize, account for, and then award to the preponderance of evidence to be the primary indicator along a spectrum between non belief and belief to then place one’s confidence already past the mid mark for any related belief. The examples of just how effective this tactic is are many, and we see this same tactic used to effect repeatedly. It’s an easy tactic. The tactic is to sew doubt by any means possible (seeking what’s true is long forgotten) and those not armed by disciplined thinking – meaning those whose considerations have forgotten to account for the preponderance of evidence first – are easy prey to grant doubt too much influence assigning where on the spectrum of belief to place ones higher confidence. For example, quibbles about how much or little importance, say gene transference plays in natural selection regarding evolution should hold zero influence on assigning confidence to the belief that life evolves mostly by means of natural selection, yet how often do we see denialists claim that any uncertainty should be interpreted to remove the general confidence in the preponderance of evidence for this naturalistic process we call ‘evolution’? It’s a common tactic.

    The tactic has been used forever to sway mobs, to get mobs to then empower whatever the Merchants of Doubt really want to sell. And this raises the second point: mistaking the mob for ‘democracy’. What differentiates the mob from a democratic expression is the informed aspect of support by the individuals who constitute the polis. A mob has no such informed consideration by and for the individuals who constitute it and a mob’s membership is usually very hostile to any calls by individuals for informed consideration! In political terms, each individual’s importance determines whether or not some call to action is democratic or mob rule. When denialist tactics are acceptable by the majority, then what follows is almost always mob rule. And the defining feature is how much or little respect is paid to the individuals – their rights and freedoms in law – who offer criticism of the majority. Each of us can figure out, using this metric, whether or not we are exercising our democratic freedoms responsibly or empowering mob rule.

    Falling for the doubt/distrust framing is a sure sign we are aligning with and empowering the denialism even if we then frame our response as if ‘skeptical’.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Indeed. In fact this “merchant of doubt” concept should have the status of being named a fallacy or at the very least given a title. Once we name things and describe how they work, we at least begin to diffuse the efficacy of mechanism which are designed to do no more than deceive.
      Maybe something like “The Appeal to Doubt”? Argumentum ad dubium.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tildeb,

      Thank you for your patience in my reply. You bring up several great points and tips to further understand the overt and covert dynamics and purpose for distorting truth, sewing doubt/fear, etc. They are tactics that for the average citizen — detached from their civil duties/responsibilities in self-consumed, preoccupied daily tasks — are too often negligent and oblivious to becoming and staying informed of these tactics and how to recognize them. You stated:

      …yet how often do we see denialists claim that any uncertainty should be interpreted to remove the general confidence in the preponderance of evidence for this naturalistic process we call ‘evolution’? It’s a common tactic.

      Exactly. It’s the common idiom of “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” A severe and unnecessary knee-jerk, emotional reaction. On a few occasions with my own (grown) children while discussing general societal-political topics, I often remind them about two of consumerism’s most potent public weaknesses: fear and ignorance. I’ve explained the analogy/purpose of an insurance underwriter versus an aggressive insurance salesperson. I emphasize STRONGLY to them to be the Underwriter, not the gullible, ill- or uninformed customer. I believe they get it, but sometimes learning the hard, painful way is the best teacher. Obviously, this is what has happened to suffering American voters (and non-voters) after Nov. 2017 and the following chaotic, tumulteous last 13-months. And now our government is partially shutdown with U.S. citizens being the ones implicitly held hostage for ransom by our own President. 😦

      And my goodness and all the brilliant stars & galaxies in this Cosmos! Tildeb, you truly hit the nail on the head, BULLS-EYE(!), with this precise distinction/differentiation:

      And this raises the second point: mistaking the mob for ‘democracy’. What differentiates the mob from a democratic expression is the informed aspect of support by the individuals who constitute the polis. A mob has no such informed consideration by and for the individuals who constitute it and a mob’s membership is usually very hostile to any calls by individuals for informed consideration! In political terms, each individual’s importance determines whether or not some call to action is democratic or mob rule.

      Bravo! I’ll let your excellent debunking and clarification stand all on its own. BOOM! (mic drop) Thank you very much! 🤩 So…

      What would you recommend to other readers here to NOT be caught up in “Mob rule” and sufficiently UNinformed about important and/or critical social, political, economic, or relational issues or events? Any bullet-points?

      Like

      • Well, many of the readers may not like me saying so, but the emphasis on the individual to differentiate mob rule from democracy is the key. So policies that de-emphasize the individual, reduce the status of the individual, really, really, really matter… and should be a wake-up call that something is afoot that needs care and attention.

        As I’ve said before, the reason why the American experiment was a revolutionary idea is because of a bottom up rather than top down authority to govern. A bottom up authority means power is coming from somewhere… be it the mob or a democracy. So this element of the individual is important because in a democracy the authority to govern comes from… are you ready? – the informed CONSENT of the individual. That’s the enlightenment idea that is so dangerous to authoritarian rulers! Not consent of the mob, which can be forced and completely ignorant, but convincing a majority of individuals for their consent. And in the Western tradition of democracy, that means the individual is paramount in political authority and so paramount in law. Any policy or political ideology that tries to usurp the importance of the individual – especially in law, in legal status – is a threat to democracy because it is threat against informed consent by the governed. If you take that away – for whatever good reasons one thinks is valid – then you’ve gutted liberal democracy and are acting contrary to the enlightenment value of informed consent. That’s why any ideology that advocates for this usurpation is, by Western liberal democratic values, radical.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That’s the enlightenment idea that is so dangerous to authoritarian rulers! Not consent of the mob, which can be forced and completely ignorant…

          I completely agree. While reading this reply — many thanks btw — I had another scenario/simili(?) I wanted to throw into this mix, if I may. Can you differentiate the pros and cons of Mob-rule/Mob-consent versus Labor Unions? Can similarities and/or contrasts be made?

          That’s why any ideology that advocates for this usurpation is, by Western liberal democratic values, radical.

          …Or MUCH worse, similiar or identical to Neo-Nazism, to pick one resurgent, horrifying historical, potential example.

          Many thanks Tildeb! 🙂

          Like

        • Well, the Coles Notes version here will hardly meet a detailed criticism but it presents the gist of the issue.

          This may surprise some readers, but the genius of individual informed consent in law is what allows ‘free’ association… again, only by the consent of the individual! Legitimacy is important. Associations thus formed have legitimate authority from its membership (made up of individuals who then grant their personal authority in this area or that to this regulatory body), which must then be recognized as a legal entity. (This is why we get various Declarations for revolutions like the US war for Independence or, in older times, the Pentateuch that pretends disparate tribes are really just parts of a whole – to make a membership, a people, an entity, when one might be missing: this is done to further the notion of legitimacy.) To regulate these entities within a nation state, we now have laws to define what constitute these lesser associations, which is why have stuff like Robert’s Rules of Order that help differentiate associated societies from legislative assembles and how they are to function to maintain or lose legitimate authority. As long as the individual continues to have preeminence in law even within the membership of the associations, then all is fine.

          An important exception can occur when the individual no longer has preeminence in law because of membership in an association: the association must be by some kind of temporary term-of-service legislation. This is why things like the draft into military service or legal incarceration is so contentious and seen by many as illegitimate (because informed consent is absent.) The typical way around this thorny issue is to legislate the idea of tacit consent, as in a person has broken their social contract tacitly (and thus willingly given up their individual rights even if ignorant of the law) by harming the legitimate authority of another by some criminal behaviour. Tacit consent is also used for secondary bodies of authority… like a College for physicians, for example, where the certification goes through some body legislated to have legitimate authority regarding a specific area of expertise and under which the individual then ‘freely’ joins in exchange for certification – and ensuing rules of conduct – in order to have that expertise publicly recognized. This is where unions fall: legislated to have legitimate authority from its voting membership, along with rules for ethics and bylaws and grievances and so on.

          All of these are secondary to our fundamental rights and freedoms as individuals deemed ‘citizens’ who then grant our individual authority, intentionally or tacitly, by means of free and open elections to a member who will represent the collective majority of ‘the people’ in a primary or secondary legislative body. This is why rules of conduct and rules of procedure are so important to be followed by the membership of these legislative bodies. If one does not follow these, then they have lost the connection to the legitimate political authority of those who granted it to them in the first place.

          Arguments about legitimate political authority in Western liberal secular democracies – or legal contracts and permissions of any kind – always come back to determining whether or not this or that has the informed consent of the individual. So consent is the essential component to legitimacy. Surprising no one, this is why you have to sign consent forms for just about everything! Consent by the individual (and not the ‘group’ into which others have placed you) is fundamental to recognizing that this is where legitimate authority comes from (even though it has only recently made an appearance in law regarding sexual relations beyond the ‘age of consent’!)

          When we see privileges occurring in law for this group or that organization or some class of membership, we know something is fundamentally wrong because the identical informed consent of the individual is being affected – where privilege here only comes by ‘borrowing’ the identical legitimate authority of others there to make room for the privilege. This is what makes some laws ‘illegal’, some social practices discriminatory even if legal and even if done in the name of promoting equality! If consent cannot be traced to the individual affected, then authority is absent. That’s one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is that if consent is absent, then the authority is illegitimate. If there is any kind of imbalance of equal consent by all individuals in either practice or law (there are some exceptions like reaching the age of majority for all and able to exercise responsible consent) then this imbalance adversely affects the principle of equality in law… meaning the same law for all, and so we know at a glance if this or that has or does not have legitimate authority. And we do this because the continuation of our citizenship in a state that exercise legitimacy depends on it. Responsible citizenship is what is at the heart of our nation states in Western liberal secular democracies, and this is where the Merchants of Doubt have had so much success debilitating and impairing our personal sense of ownership of our laws and our governments. The room has been made for the privileging of the wealthy by effectively disenfranchizing so much of the populace by convincing them that their consent no longer matters. The natural response is for the disenfrachized to put forth a strongman to represent them. And that’s how our democracies are evolving these days and why a Trump rally looks and acts so much like a mob.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Again, I do appreciate your provocative insights Tildeb. I realize this might appear to be flattery or brown-nosing, but that’s not my intention. I simply wish to give credit where credit is due. For me, at least, I find your insights to be a wealth of intelligence, wisdom, and just enough acute sharpness to cause one some necessary… umm, discomfort and/or reexamination. I welcome it and do enjoy it! Pardon me while I run with this…

          These comments you’ve made should make us think deeper, more broadly, dissecting and tinkering, testing these crucial dynamics and tricks of denialism, truth or truthiness, and paranoia/fear. NOT JUST for ourselves, but for loved ones, dear ones, and in general the well-being of all human beings — and let me just go all the way with this 😉 — and certainly for the animal kingdom too, the Earth’s fragile ecosystems that is presently our one and ONLY livable planet, and our habitual learning of where we’ve come from (our true expansive exhaustive origins!), where we are as living organisms/species today (health), and where we all should be heading BASED STRICTLY ON what that history, the present condition, and the short-, mid-, and long-term demands are dictating… according to your ‘Legitimate consensus of a very large pool (democracy) of Individual Independent/Collaborative Experts.’ And btw, anyone can be (should be availed) to become/be an “Expert” in their field(s) by a legitimate licensing agency & panel. Am I close to the mark here Tildeb?

          And I gratefully promise these will be my last (time-consuming) questions for you. 😉

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        • I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of teaching every citizen a basic grounding of critical thinking and how to apply it.

          What does that have to do with your comment and question(s)? Bear with me.

          I’ve said many times – and I’m sure to little if any effect – that how we think determines what we think. How we think matters. Dead serious. That ‘how’ is synonymous with a method, with a particular kind of framing. I cannot recall the last time a person could coherently answer the question, “So… how do you think about….(whatever).” We’re so wrapped up in the ‘what’-we-think that the means to be critical of ourselves and our own opinions – critical in this sense meaning we can recognize and explain the strengths and weaknesses of our own opinions/beliefs, be aware of our bias inherent in our opinions/beliefs, understand rationalizing when we do it to support our opinions/beliefs, able to compare and contrast our opinions/beliefs with different ones and really comprehend what we’re encountering well enough to explain the other person’s opinion/belief to someone else accurately… without adding our own positive or negative interpretive spin – is fast becoming almost beyond endangered. It’s on the brink of extinction. Yet learning how to think is exactly what education is all about.

          *Sigh*

          Not a lot of educating going on these days because fewer and fewer people know how to educate… myself included (much better in person, let me assure you).

          How we think determines what we think. (I can prove this a variety of ways.) For example, I can identify relevant unspoken conclusions (opinions/beliefs) easily when (and if) I know how someone thinks. It’s been my job for a long time and so I can use this ‘little trick’ to very great effect in real life… especially amongst those who assume that they’ve got me all figured out and have nothing applicable to teach them. Well, as a longtime fan of both Bridge and Chess (I’m a much better Bridge player), I can patiently explain that what other players don’t do (what people don’t say is just as revealing as what they actually end up doing, end up saying, which is how one becomes a very good player. In other words, people have a huge amount of expertise applying what they know, but few pay much attention to the framework they’re using, the methodology, the assumptions taken for granted, they are relying on to reach the conclusion/opinion/belief they think they’ve independently reached. Nope. Deterministic.

          And, in most day to day cases, the results are fine. Knowledge/expertise is applied, the payment received for applying it successfully (hopefully to receive great big gobs of it), and then one rinses and repeats daily. But – remember – how we know determines what we know. This fact is what is used by effective advertising and marketing (how do you think you are targeted as a consumer?)… but also and especially when it comes to attacking what’s true for partisan reasons: attack the ‘what’ and create even a sliver of doubt to exploit those of us honest enough to admit we don’t know everything. And yes, as hard as it may be for me to admit, that includes me… honest to the core! It’s a winning strategy for the MoD because… most of us use only deterministic thinking. Our education is almost entirely based on producing the ‘correct’ answers. Again, it’s a deterministic framework we insert our children into and call it an education. We don’t change our framing… unless something in life whacks us repeatedly around the ears and reality insists that to function we HAVE TO change our framework. Death is a pretty good teacher, but we don;t need to go to such extreme measures. All we have to do is learn to think critically and only then do we become independent agents able and capable of thinking for ourselves. Truly not deterministic but able to see different framing, able to then select which method to use and understand why that selection is ‘better’ than others. The danger, of course, is that the conclusions may be quite contrary to what is expected within the framework others use.

          So what?

          Value. And from value, meaning.

          Was it Socrates who told us about the value of the unexamined life? Big brained guy… for a dead white guy. I’m going to listen. And I’ll explain it with an analogy: teaching math to people convinced they can’t do it, that it’s too hard, that they’re not smart enough…. and, besides, beyond some basics who really needs it?

          Experiment: if how we think determines what we think, can we test this mathematically?

          Lowest ranked school out of hundreds in standardized testing. Collect five of the worst students from each of Intermediate classrooms (mostly ages 9-12, bottom 5th percentile). Reteach how to think mathematically (that’s the trick, figuring out the algorithms, the ideas behind such things as numbers and how to choose from a variety of algorithms {foreign and domestic!} to use the easiest one to describe reality accurately) for 70 minutes a day for 8 weeks. Retest on next batch of standardized tests. Worst mark and best mark all in the 95th percentile. Watch ‘loser’ students become the ‘smartest’ kid in the class.

          Hey, let’s try it on adults. Watch adults go from thinking one way about themselves to dragging their kids to their adult class to watch how Mom and/or Dad put the boots to any math questions put to them. Introduce university level mathematical ideas and enjoy a group of adults who have little in common entertain their kids with a wild group discussion on how to approach the problem and ‘rediscover’ calculus (they just need to be taught how to show their understanding.) It’s like the fricking sun comes out so brightly do people’s natural brilliance shine forth. Love math, they not only say but show, and they love it. They are excited, enthusiastic.They love how they feel about themselves and now they have the ‘official’ marks to prove it. How we think determines what we think. And that includes what we think about ourselves and the lives we live.

          All the problems you raise that humanity faces – from the interpersonal to the theoretical, from the local to the global, from the finite to the infinite (and Beyond, adds Buzz), can all be addressed to positive, life-affirming effect… if we have the wisdom and willingness to think critically, to change how we think, to stop being so easily manipulated, to be brave enough to select the best ideas that fits with what we value most, and then choose the most promising avenues to explore. This is how we work towards them in a zillion different ways. I’ve heard this expressed as ‘Principle over Practice’, meaning evaluate personal decisions based first on one’s set of important values (Principle) to then align one’s actions to become personally meaningful and rewarding (Practice)

          In either case, my point is that we can be passengers on board our deterministic lives by sticking with what we know, or we can become the captains of our adventure on the Good Ship called life, collect cargoes of value and meaning using the hoist of critical thinking at every port of call, and be a willing and responsible participant in reaching whatever destination awaits us in our lives. Everything, every experience, then becomes valuable. How we think determines what we think. We need to get to work on the ‘how’.

          Liked by 1 person

        • It’s all about the importance of the individual and helps explain why I am so critical of how today’s social justice movement is being implemented; it’s illegitimate because it is contrary to and in direct conflict with informed consent. In fact, it is tearing down exactly this… one plank, one right, one freedom, one law, at a time. The center cannot hold, which is why this center – this balancing point between Left and Right – is the target and being labeled radical, fascist, alt-Right, bigoted, discriminatory, anti-gay, intolerant, well… you get the idea.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I get it. Meanwhile the overwhelming hard data, tangible verifiable evidence or base results, the unexplored, the equitably unexamined, and the mechanisms/established-protocols sit there largely stagnate… overlooked, brushed aside because of our “Make it happen NOW” expectations and mindset which is horribly inefficient and its errors (some or many gross errors!) typically thrown out as completely useless when in fact offers further refinement, but from the negative, the abstract or even from the concave or convex!

          …which is why this center – this balancing point between Left and Right – is the target and being labeled radical, fascist, alt-Right, bigoted, discriminatory, anti-gay, intolerant…

          Yes, I was one of those targets myself as a Texas licensed middle school science and social-studies teacher within a Charter school and district. Why exactly was I targeted by 3-4 student’s parents? Because of my more expansive teaching method:

          Teach them how to think, not what to think.

          Of course, a major component of that Pedagogy are building critical-analysis and critical-thinking skills which by default include lots and lots of probing questions! As you’ve already stated Tildeb, that is a big threat to establishment and sociopolitical, religious, or “beguiling storied” traditions. :/

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        • And therein lies the battle lines.

          I intentionally compare the issue to that of mass religious indoctrination. Yes, it’s overwhelming and seems impossible to change, but there is a tipping point that can reached once 10-15% of the population stands against the indoctrination. That’s what the New Atheist movement helped bring about regarding religious encroachment into the public domain, which is why each person willing to be critical, each person willing to say they are atheists, is what is most needed in this new battle.

          And make no mistake about it: the population is being indoctrinated into this so-called social justice movement that masks the central Marxist ideology that drives it, contrary to and in conflict with the fundamental liberal democratic value of the importance of the individual in law. That’s the principle that must be held. What’s so powerful about this social movement is that almost all the proponents don’t even know this Marxist ideology is what they are fronting… in the same way the non religious who neither stand for nor against religious encroachment into the public and secular domain but are willing to include and accommodate religious concerns (where it has no business being) – people Dawkins refers to as ‘Butters’ (“I’m not a believer but…) – seem blissfully unaware that this ‘noncommittal’ position but one that favours inclusion and accommodation – places their support only with the religious, in the same way the ‘noncommittal’ position about human caused climate change places their support with the climate deniers. Keeping the majority of people in doubt – enough to thwart necessary and <i.active support for intentional corrective responses – is the same thing and it works to great effect only on behalf of those who wish no interference with their intention of expansion into public policy.

          This is obvious when the battles today involve direct confrontation and denialism to the legitimacy of the rest of our liberal democratic values. This is not a coincidence when Marxism is the antithesis of liberal values. And marvel at the growth of similarly equipped ‘accommodationists’ throughout the public domain in support of making room at the liberal/Left table and calling it ‘diversity’. The list is long and even goes after science in the same way people assume they support science… but we are supposedly obligated in the name of ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance’ to make a special exception for special creationism and demonstrate our moral superiority by accommodating the religiously befuddled. We see the same moral framework that is partisan to the core applied to the ‘social justice movement’.

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  5. Pingback: Being Wrong & Feeling Right: Two Parts | The Professor's Convatorium

  6. Incredibly depressing that self-delusion can sink to such depths, but illuminating regarding some of the wheres and hows of it happening. I see you exclude from your lists of those skilled in mass bump-offery some of our our African specials, like Idi Amin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh, thanks for stopping by Colonialist and commenting. Yes, Idi Amin was indeed on my original draft — of a minimum 150 prime examples — which had I listed all of them would have turned this blog-post into a 5-6 page read and approaching 10,000 words or more! LOL

      Nevertheless, your mention of him, his minions, and their methoods certainly deserve placement on The Worst of Inhumane Atrocities. He is right up there with the worst of the worst. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think the problem initially stems from the point you raised that we can’t be an expert in everything. It’s simply NOT possible. The most we can do is either become an expert in a field or two or we can possibly also reach a reasonable level of knowledge in a host of different areas (talented in many areas, but a master in none). This last part requires one to acknowledge that there are different levels of expertise.

    The problem is that our brains often fail to realize this. A lot of research from the Dunning-Kruger Effect to the Illusion of Explanatory Depth shows we have a tendency to overestimate our knowledge and abilities. We also like to not see ourselves as BIASED, but certainly that guy over there is! This particular bias is known as the Bias Blindspot; the research shows that people think of themselves as less biased than other people. (link)

    So you end with a lot of people who think they are less bias than everyone else, more knowledgeable on a particular topic under discussion than everyone else, who will deny factual information as tainted by “bias” from reputable sources because it conflicts with their worldview or their conception of the world, and even at times think they know more than people with actual expertise. This describes a vast majority of the internet to a “T.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very good to see you again CR! Welcome back.

      I couldn’t agree with you more and must toss myself in with the self-perceived unbiased group despite my missing attempts or average attempts at being modest, humble and in actuality an “amateur” in most all things, while being only well-versed, well-experienced in one or two areas: 1) soccer/futebol and 2) the Alternative Lifestyles. Then only somewhat professional in psych/A&D rehab & treatment. That’s it in all honesty. :/

      But this to me is great motivation to at least try learning more from a variety of excelled experts and/or scholars in those specific disciplines, yes? A sort of hedge against risk and error. Not to say, however, that soliciting or referencing a panel, tank, or committee is fool-proof. Would you agree/disagree?

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    • Regarding a very different topic than here CR, I have a question or questions about Jewish biblical history I’d really like to ask you. If it’s not too much bother, where on your blog should I ask my question(s) please?

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        • Ok, thanks.

          I have gotten into a long, in-depth discussion with a (Fundamental-Evangelical?) Christian about their canonical Old Testament’s little understood origins, development, and missing/omitted parts. It has been difficult for him to grasp and I certainly may not be explaining it too well.

          Questions:
          What are the historical chronologies, contextual, and textual differences between the Septuagint, Tanakh, Masoretic texts, Babylonian Talmud, and Palestinian/Jerusalem Talmud? How are they connected or not connected? And how do all five impact the Christian Old Testament canon?

          Thank you CR and no urgency — he seems to be upset, annoyed and done with me. Hahaha. 😄 But I still want to know more and understand much better.

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        • I have some basic knowledge, but I’m definitely not an expert in any of this as I’m not very religious. So you might want to double-check if anything I say doesn’t sound correct to you.

          The Tanakh = the Hebrew Bible = the Old Testament. It is simply the term Judaism uses to designate the Bible. Basically it has the same meaning as when someone says they’re going to go read the Bible and they go off to read an online electronic copy or a modern copy that they purchased in a bookstore. It doesn’t refer to any particular earlier translation or version of the Bible like the Septuagint.

          Masoretic Texts is a little more complicated. I believe it refers to the authoritative Hebrew and Aramaic books/words as designated by the 8 – 10th century(?) Rabbis, which can be found in early medieval codexes that contain the texts of what is considered the authoritative and official version that Jews use when they put together modern Hebrew Bibles (Tanakhs) and ones in translation (like in English or German).

          The Septuagint refers to a Greek translation made possibly for the Jewish communities living in Egypt during the Hellenistic era during the 3rd/2nd century BC (?). Theoretically it’s older than any of the extant texts that make up the Masoretic sources as far as I am aware. I believe Christians tend to use this source more for their Old Testament translations.

          Judaism as it exists today as a religion (and perhaps as a culture) is a product of the Tanakh and the Talmud. You can’t really understand Judaism and its ideas by simply reading the Tanakh/Old Testament. The Babylonian and the Palestinian Talmud were written around the same time as each other likely during the 3rd century, but might be based in ideas and rules from previous generations. The Babylonian Talmud is considered the more important of the two books. The Talmud consists of two parts (in general): The Mishnah and the Gemara.

          The Mishnah is an early official law code of Judaism, while the Gemara is the Rabbinic commentary and debate about the contents of the Mishnah (so they’re commenting on the meaning of the law code). Tradition holds that in addition to the the contents of the Pentetuech (the first five books of the Tanakh or Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy), Moses also received the Oral Torah/Mishnah. In general, Judaism believes you can’t understand the Written Torah without the Oral Torah. So it’s relationship is Written Law is interpreted through the Oral Torah, which is then interpreted, expanded, and elaborated by the Rabbinic commentaries found in the Gemara. So X comment and interprets Y, which comments and interprets Z.

          However, even that relationship is not so simple! The Talmud is NOT a direct systematic commentary on the Bible/Tanakh going from book A to B. It is structured around themes (like prayer, shabbat, planting seasons, criminal codes). So it quotes the Tanakh/Bible/Old Testament frequently, but it’s not going line by line and commenting. Instead it’s structure around its larger themes and quotes Tanakh passages as needed. It was likely created as a way to systematize the laws and rules of Judaism and bring together ideas dispersed throughout the Tanakh as singular themes as well as deal with some of its contradictions. It also includes many colorful stories of its own.

          I’m not sure if I fully answered all your questions or this was what you had in mind . . .

          What are the historical chronologies, contextual, and textual differences between the Septuagint, Tanakh, Masoretic texts, Babylonian Talmud, and Palestinian/Jerusalem Talmud? How are they connected or not connected? And how do all five impact the Christian Old Testament canon?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Maybe you answered this in your answer 😉 — but what is the version called that includes rabbi interpretations? I remember seeing something about it when I was doing my book research. It reminded me of how Christian apologists “interpret” scripture.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Nan, if you’ve followed the “discussion” I’m referring to, do you see how there’s just no avoiding the question:

          When you say Old Testament or Hebrew Bible, what exactly are you including, referencing, as far as time-frame and translations?

          http://jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3269-bible-translations

          It just isn’t cut-n-dry with no variances, no contamination, so to speak. Which for me THEN begs the next question, How can it be God’s infallible, immutable Word when he never made clear (and still hasn’t) which “Word”? IMHO, postures/positions of Absolutism and Monism are not only near impossible to live by, logically explain exhaustively, or present overwhelming evidence that life, Earth, and the Universe/Cosmos operates in such a suffocating manner. 🙂

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        • Yes, I understand where you’re coming from. But PT, hasn’t it been demonstrated to you on numerous occasions that not everyone goes as deeply into the topic as you? Even pastors. 😉 It’s quite apparent that you enjoy the research and the discoveries. But much of it goes over the head of the “average” believer … and even some of the non-believers. 😛

          Liked by 1 person

        • But much of it goes over the head of the “average” believer … and even some of the non-believers.

          And in context of the discussion elsewhere, it most certainly seems to go over the head of David Robertson; for if it doesn’t, and he grasps the implications then he is guilty of fraudulently presenting this book as the Inspired Word of God(sic) and the (his) religion it spawned.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Which is why organisations such as the clergy project exist.
          The ones who are honest deconvert.
          The doubters, who inevitably become liars, hang on and fake it.
          Given a chance, a drowning man will often drag someone down with him.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Geeeezzz, I really need to KEEP working on my crappy ability to be concise and a lot less… mouthy? LOL Pedantic? 😛

          Couldn’t have said it any better Ark in just 4 lines. BWAH!!! 😜

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        • Yes, it has been frustratingly demonstrated — abundantly really. 😆 It all reminds me of an unforgettable time in my life and my family’s lives when in 2004 my always vibrant, youthful paternal grandmother was living out the last months of her life. She and I were close all of her life. That summer she had been diagnosed with not only Alzheimer’s, but an aggressive stage of Parkinson’s disease too. And here’s my analogy.

          In 2004 I didn’t know much about Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. I knew they were not good prognoses and only that Michael J. Fox had Parkinson’s and it interrupted and changed his and his family’s entire life. My grandmother’s dual diagnoses were impacting our lives, but REALLY impacting two of my uncles both of whom my father was close to but the other extremely close to. Naturally, these two diseases were not only affecting the patient’s life, but was having a ripple-effect upon at least 2 generations of descendants, more so on those very dear and close to my grandmother.

          What does a family do when they are confronted by two of humanity’s most challenging, degenerative brain and nervous-system diseases that in some/many ways torture caring family members daily/nightly, aside from what they slowly do to the patient!? And when you and family RISE UP and want to fight these invisible monsters nibbling away at your beloved mother/grandmother you ask the medical doctors and specialists “Is there a cure?

          After the reality sets in of what cannot be done and why, you ask “What can we expect and what can we do to ease the conditions!?” There’s the analogy.

          If there is someone or something you are deeply invested, is (supposedly) so dear to you that you are willingly to go any distance, into any environment or circumstance, and do whatever is humanly possible AND REQUIRED, then to me WHY is there any discussion of not doing all of it for someone you love and is critical to your life/happiness and IS BLOOD!!!????

          If the 4th-century CE Hellenic canonical New Testament says to Believers/Followers and non-believers:

          • Matthew 8:18-22; Luke 9:57-62; 14:26-33; and John 6:60-65

          This is the cost of “discipleship,” following God/Yeshua through thick-n-thin and even forsaking everyone in your family and making ME (Yeshua & God, etc) your highest #1 priority for the rest of your life! One of those paramount tasks then, in your ‘new marriage to Christ and God’ and remainder of it til death is to know intimately your new spouse/love!

          Where in all the holy scriptures of most all religions, but especially the Abrahamic faiths, does it say… “Eh, you only have to do a half-ass job on our relationship or intimately knowing each other“??? HAH!!!

          So yeah Nan, it is almost like a pet-peeve (of mine) when evangelical Christians do not go the full distance, much less with a blasé faire attitude about the infinite power, multiple facets, “love and care” their God/Savior WANTS to bestow on them! That cannot be done well if one partner/spouse spends way too much time and energy on other things and other people.

          Even though my deconversion was due to and started by the 17-missing years, after 11+ LONG HARD years for me in that facade life, WOW was I so done. 😄🤩

          Liked by 2 people

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