Culture

Dystopian Threats And The Globalisation Of Faiths– Guest Post by Jaap Hanekamp

Sanna (24) wants to be sterilised for the climate – Scary to have children. This is the translated title of a Norwegian article posted on the website of the NRK, the Norwegian broadcasting corporation.

My love, who is rather fluent in the Norse language (and otherwise incredibly smart), showed me this piece, with her translation of course. The main gist is as follows:

“I choose to be sterilised because I think climate change is scary. There is little hope, and it does not seem that Norway takes it seriously, says Sanna Kristine Laksholm.”

Apart from the climate change topic, the article also discusses whether women, such as Sanna, should be allowed to undergo sterilisation at such a young age.

To be absolutely clear: human procreation is a supremely private matter with, paradoxically, non-private consequences.

That is, every child born into our world carries the potential for change!

Be that as it may, coercion regarding human procreation is deeply troubling and fundamentally detrimental to individuals, couples and societies. In that respect, I could never judge her decision regarding her own future.

Now, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope Francis and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby together have produced a joint message for the protection of creation.

One would expect that these three church-leaders perhaps would be able to allay the fears Sanne has, at least to some extent. We read that (emphasis added):

“… We are in a unique position either to address them with shortsightedness and profiteering or seize this as an opportunity for conversion and transformation. If we think of humanity as a family and work together towards a future based on the common good, we could find ourselves living in a very different world. Together we can share a vision for life where everyone flourishes. Together we can choose to act with love, justice and mercy. Together we can walk towards a fairer and fulfilling society with those who are most vulnerable at the centre.

But this involves making changes. Each of us, individually, must take responsibility for the ways we use our resources. This path requires an ever-closer collaboration among all churches in their commitment to care for creation. Together, as communities, churches, cities and nations, we must change route and discover new ways of working together to break down the traditional barriers between peoples, to stop competing for resources and start collaborating.”

However, we are told in no uncertain terms that we stand before a human-induced collapse of the world, which demands this envisioned urgent change of direction (emphasis added):

“The current climate crisis speaks volumes about who we are and how we view and treat God’s creation. We stand before a harsh justice: biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and climate change are the inevitable consequences of our actions, since we have greedily consumed more of the earth’s resources than the planet can endure. ….”

The extreme weather and natural disasters of recent months reveal afresh to us with great force and at great human cost that climate change is not only a future challenge, but an immediate and urgent matter of survival. Widespread floods, fires and droughts threaten entire continents. Sea levels rise, forcing whole communities to relocate; cyclones devastate entire regions, ruining lives and livelihoods. Water has become scarce and food supplies insecure, causing conflict and displacement for millions of people.”

On many levels, this church-leaders message is deeply troubling. Reflecting on this document seems imperative, and I will do so from the notion and importance of truth ánd our submission to that truth, both scientifically and theologically.

Let me try to explain.

In the text, it is said that “biodiversity loss, environmental degradation and climate change” are “inevitable consequences of our actions”.

But, how do our three church-leaders knów this? And what does “inevitable” actually mean in this particular context?

The answer to both questions seems clear enough: science, or purportedly so.

But that promptly leads to a fundamental impasse. Scientific research can never (as in never) give us “inevitable” results. No matter how ‘firm’ empirical results may seem, they are always probabilistic in nature.

In other words, scientific knowledge can invariably be improved upon or even be replaced by new insights coming to the fore ‘tomorrow’.

So, what the church-leaders here implicitly pander is not science but scientism, the modern adultery that is empirical absolutism/authoritarianism. Karl Pearson, in his 1982-book The Grammar of Science, gives a concise definition of scientism:

“… the scientific method is the sole path by which we can attain to knowledge. The very word knowledge, indeed, only applies to the product of the scientific method in this field. Other methods, here or elsewhere, may lead to fantasy, as that of the poet or of the metaphysician, to belief or to superstition, but never to knowledge.”

Despite these grandiose words, scientism must fail as there never will be any scientific research results forthcoming that could show scientism to be true. It is merely an ideological position, and a poor one at that, standing outside any field of science.

Furthermore, scientism claims infallibility where there is none to have, subsequently censoring views that conflict with prevailing scientific – correction: scientistic – opinion. Paul Feyerabend, already in 1975, made some pretty penetrating remarks on this shambles (emphasis added):

“‘Truth’ is such a nicely neutral word. Nobody would deny that it is commendable to speak the truth and wicked to tell lies. … it is easy to twist matters and to change allegiance to truth in one’s everyday affairs into allegiance to the Truth of an ideology which is nothing but the dogmatic defence of that ideology. …”

But perhaps Blaise Pascal is closer to the theological homes of the authors of the joint message. In his Pensees, he makes a poignant observation, which the church-leaders should have heeded before publishing their statement (emphasis added):

“Knowledge has two extremes which meet; one is the pure natural ignorance of every man at birth, the other is the extreme reached by great minds who run through the whole range of human knowledge, only to find that they know nothing and come back to the same ignorance from which they set out, but it is a wise ignorance which knows itself. Those who stand half-way have put their natural ignorance behind them without yet attaining the other; they have some smattering of adequate knowledge and pretend to understand everything. They upset the world and get everything wrong. Ordinary people and clever people make up the run of the world; the former despise it and are despised in their turn. All their judgements are wrong and the world judges them rightly.”

Regrettably, the joint message is littered with ‘cleverness’, fracturing the quintessence that is scientific and theological truth in the process.

That is not hard to see. Considering the former, two weather extremes as to climate change, reported by the IPCC, are illustrative.

There is no evidence found that flooding is increasing in the world and no evidence that the changes that have been observed are attributable to climate change.

Tropical cyclones, as the most devastating weather events in the world, do not show any trend, intensity, and damage increase. The two graphs below show exactly that (see also Historical Global Tropical Cyclone Landfalls):

If the authors, seemingly, play fast and loose with factual knowledge, how could we appraise the truthfulness of their theological panorama?

Sadly, I believe Sanne is right in seeing straight through official bodies such as governments pretending to counter climate change whereas, at heart, they do not really take it seriously.

The same goes, I fear, for our three church-leaders.

The rosy picture they paint of everyone flourishing if humanity, as a family, “work together towards a future based on the common good” is exactly just that: a rosy picture. It is a figment of their imagination.

But make no mistake, this utopian picture of ‘rosiness’ put forward by the authors is preceded by the ominous dystopian threats some of which I have quoted above, and two of which I have discussed with respect to their factual content.

Again sadly and ironically, Sanne does take the dystopian threats to heart, thus leaving her without any substantial hope for the future, notwithstanding the ostensible confident words of the church-leaders.

I think Sanne’s fear of the future is found in many young people who, unthinkingly and wrongly, embrace the scientism of ecological threats. At the same time they rightly dismiss the oversimplified utopian build-back-better rhetoric such as found in the joint message.

In order to understand the latter, let us turn to the theological in the joint message.

Unsurprisingly, it does not fare much better than the scientific. New Testament texts are dismally misconstrued in their exegetical characterisations (interpreting the meanings of texts). For example:

“We are cautioned against adopting short term and seemingly inexpensive options of building on sand, instead of building on rock for our common home to withstand storms (Mt 7.24–27).”

The truth of the matter is that this parable of the two builders has nothing to do with cheap and fleeting (socio-economic) options that cannot stand the storms of time.

The parable, with reference to Isaiah 28:14-18 (for those who enjoy a theological challenge), revolves around Jesus Himself as the rock to build ones life on (see e.g Kenneth E. Bailey’s masterly Jesus through Middel Eastern Eyes for a precise analysis).

This also implies that if our world is to be improved upon, our turning towards our Creator as embodied by Jesus is the only way forward. This is far less obscure than one might think, as I explain in my Utopia and Gospel.

Yet, this is not touched upon in the joint message.

Whether or not this is something you, dear reader, believe in, as in trust your life with, is besides the point. I only try to show that the authors of the joint message play fast and loose with theological truth as well.

On the whole, the church-leaders dabble in the modern and decidedly anti-christian utopian dialectic, as defined in my Utopia and Gospel (emphasis added):

“The hazards and risks of modernity, the plights of the present world and its precarious future, need to be portrayed and experienced on an all-encompassing dystopic level so as to capture the hearts and minds of contemporary world citizens to let the societal systems managers strive for this better world ….”

Sanne’s observations on the climate change threat and the, in her mind, paltry attempts of people and governments to effectively deal with this threat, shows that many people, including the church-leaders, deeply misconstrue our place within reality.

Crucial here is the historical fact that any utopian attempt to fully reconstruct society always spawns the very dystopia one tries so hard to avoid. Utopias with a green/sustainable blueprint will fare no better. (See my Utopia and Gospel.)

Although the climate-carbon dioxide narrative is as susceptible to revision or even abandonment as the next scientific theory, its deep political utopian entanglement has for the most part ossified this scientific discourse.

The joint message proves that point convincingly.

Solving this puzzle is far from easy, as we are all deeply immersed in the utopian dialectic. As said, the church-leaders do nothing other than playing out this dialectic through ecological threats and unctuous words of the desirableness of global utopia.

A first step towards freeing ourselves from the shackles of Utopia/dystopia of any colour is found in this observation made by Feyerabend (emphasis added):

“If Truth, as conceived by some ideologists, conflicts with freedom, then we have a choice. We may abandon freedom. But we may also abandon Truth.

Careful here! Feyerabend talks about us leaving behind expedient truth that functions purely as a tool of oppression in the hands of ideologues.

Very much in line with Feyerabend’s observation, above all else we must abandon fear, which stands at the heart of the utopian dialectic. This fear is time and again cultivated; the joint message is no different, and tragically so.

Fear is the dominant human factor at any time in history and in any culture. Abandoning fear seems impossible to do.

Against all our instincts and our logic, time and again the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament encourages us, commands us ‘to not fear’. Why? Perhaps C.S. Lewis said it best in his A Grief Observed:

“…To make an organism which is also a spirit; to make that terrible oxymoron, a ‘spiritual animal.’ To take a poor primate, a beast with nerve-endings all over it, a creature with a stomach that wants to be filled, a breeding animal that wants its mate, and say, ‘Now get on with it. Become a god.’”

Once fear is abandoned, new ways of life lived, as an individual and within our respective communities, truly can emerge.

And these new ways will include children born to us; if you can imagine that. “Let the children come to me! Don’t try to stop them. People who are like these children belong to God’s kingdom.”

If I could say anything to Sanne in person, it would be this: “Don’t be afraid.”

This article first appeared at Hanekamp’s own site.

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Categories: Culture

11 replies »

  1. Truth of an ideology—the new definition of truth throughout the world.

    Churches are about greed just like everything else. Can’t build that giant shiny church without cash. And that giant shiny church is more important than God. We all understand that. They sell their souls to Satan to increase the take. It’s virtually universal now. When someone says “church”, they mean Church of Statan and when they say “God” they mean “Satan”. It goes along with all the other reversals of the meaning of words. Black is white, up is down.

    One CANNOT compare whether or not severe events are increasing unless 1. They use EXACTLY the same instruments with which to measure the phenomena over time, 2. They forbid any increase in population or changes in building materials in the area studied and 3. They are never allowed to “adjust” data without a ten page explanation of what they have changed and why. All other data must be rejected as it is not science.

    Building on sand is one hundred percent accepted. Look at all the Arab countries. Besides, humans should be able to build wherever they want and God should make it sunny and wonderful everywhere so we don’t need bird choppers and other evil sources of power.

    Notice the church leaders are true communists, living a life of extreme richness while the flock starves out in the mud. There is no charity, there is no caring. Saving the planet means ninety nine percent of it lives in abject horrible poverty. This is what the church is saying. The leaders are God, the congregation is nothing.

    Every generation had women who wanted sterilized at a young age because “who would bring a child into this world?”. Excuses run from climate change, politics in the sixties, wars before that. It is a rationalization used by women who are too frightened and cannot deal with parenting. Some grow out of it, some do not. If someone is not cut out to be a parent, let’s NOT encourage them to screw up more kids.

  2. Going off on a tangent here, but it is rather silly to sterilize yourself because you don’t want to have children. It’s not like pregnancies happen out of thin air (except that one time). Just don’t get married or go around fornicating. Simple, effective, and doesn’t require a hospital visit at all. Wouldn’t that be better for the environment as well? Are you really unwilling to do something so simple for the environment you claim to care about?

  3. ”…above all else we must abandon fear, which stands at the heart of the utopian dialectic.”

    Hear, hear! This is a GREAT MESSAGE. Thank you, Mr. Hanekamp.

    “TERROR! FEAR! FRIGHT! — is the bloody cudgel the Terrorlords are using to beat people into submission. If we are not afraid their power evaporates. The Underdevils will still have the honeyed poison of their lies, but, absent reason-wrecking fear, their lies are obvious.

    This nonsense is happening because we foolish men left the solid rock of Christ to concoct a crooked and cockeyed madhouse on the sands of pride, folly and sin. Back to the Rock, men, and fear not.

  4. “The very word knowledge, indeed, only applies to the product of the scientific method in this field. Other methods, here or elsewhere, may lead to fantasy, as that of the poet or of the metaphysician, to belief or to superstition, but never to knowledge.”

    Science is one of two methods available to us for understanding the world. Specifically, science is a technique for producing models, usually mathematical, which enable us to predict future behavior of some aspect of the universe. A model, “theory”, is considered valid when it incorporates all available data, successfully makes predictions given new data, and does not make incorrect predictions. For example, Einsteinian relativity was considered “proven” when it successfully predicted certain aspects of Mercury’s orbit and time dilation of objects in gravity wells, subsequent measurements corresponding to the predictions.

    Science by its very nature must deal with repetitive measurements and relies heavily on statistical analysis. It cannot handle and is not designed to deal with singular, one-time events and individuals, particularly historical ones. You cannot interview Abraham Lincoln or Julius Caesar today, nor can you repeat a murder in a courtroom to “scientifically” examine it from all sides and points of view.

    Instead, scholars and lawyers have developed what may be called the “historical/legal” method for evaluating documents and eyewitness testimony, taking into account points of view, culture, other accounts, and other ongoing events. The knowledge produced by this method is just as valid as scientific knowledge, and indeed is the only method for developing models (“theories”) of singular events.

    This technique, BTW, is also used to evaluate and demonstrate the validity of the Biblical accounts, since they may be treated as any other historical documents. In
    https://issuesetc.org/2013/07/01/2-a-forensic-examination-of-the-gospel-accounts-j-warner-wallace-7113/
    and
    http://www.amazon.com/Cold-Case-Christianity-Homicide-Detective-Investigates/dp/1434704696
    Wallace, a homicide detective, treats the Gospel accounts exactly as he would eyewitness accounts in a courtroom – and explains his methodology in doing so – and comes to the conclusion that they are admissible as legal evidence and otherwise perfectly valid.

  5. The fear is necessary.

    It keeps the plebs from lashing out when you round then up.

    The only “hope” you are allowed to entertain is that the black masked troops rounding you up for the camp are doing it because they care about you, and the conditions in the camp won’t be so bad. It’s being run by the brotherhood of humanity after all! There might even be a picture of ?Pope? Francis on the wall in the Catholic quarter! What more could you ask for? A crucifix? No, no, those will be banned because someone might get offended. This is a compassion camp.

  6. As I said earlier, World War 3 won’t be about nuclear weapons or conventional armies, but biology and computers. The cyber war aspect will be huge because the entire world now runs on computers. In fact, the world is starting to run on artificial intelligence. I don’t doubt that robotics will come into its own soon.

    As far as a cyber pandemic and closing down the Internet is concerned, I’d say that’s a near certainty. They definitely want to do that, because the fact of the matter is that you’re only as alive as you can communicate with others.

    If you can’t get your thoughts or news of what’s going on out to other people, you might as well be sealed in a tomb. It makes sense that people who want to control other people want to cut down on popular means of communication. They’ll find excuses to keep what they consider to be unsound views off the internet. It’s already happened in regard to the so-called pandemic. Contrary views, no matter how well-reasoned and factual, even from renowned sources, are quashed. Dissent, or even discussion, isn’t tolerated. You’ll find that spread to all other areas of intellectual and political discourse.

    We already can’t travel easily; domestic flights are inconvenient, and international flights are down about 85%. Vaccine passports are on the way. In many places, we can’t gather, even in small groups. And of course, the next big thing—the big thing—is a heavily controlled internet.

    At that point, all you’ll have is what you’re told officially and what you can see in your own little local area. These people are all about quashing communication. It’s a great formula, critical, really, for control. They don’t want people organizing to challenge them.

    In Biden’s recent speech, he several times made out the unvaxxed as a potential enemy—a domestic danger.

    It’s no coincidence that the people who don’t want to take the jab correlate strongly with people with conventional right-wing views, Trump voters, and cultural conservatives. The battle lines are drawn. It’s really turned into a class and ideological war.

    They’re playing the health card with this COVID nonsense. They’re playing the race card and domestic terror card. They’re succeeding in delegitimizing American values and history, as well as masculinity in general and white males in particular. Next will be a reemphasis on the Global Warming scam. You plebs won’t be allowed to do anything, and most will go along with it because they’ve been indoctrinated over several generations to believe it’s right. The elite are doing everything in their power to ramp up fear. Fear for your health, fear of domestic terror, fear of the non-compliant, and fear of the climate destroying the planet.

    As I discussed previously, fear is the most powerful tool that governments

    In Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, he talks about how, when they’re all together in the Gulag under the worst possible conditions, they said, “If we had only known, when they came to round us up as individuals… if we’d only grabbed a frying pan, or a pipe, or a rock and attacked these criminals…” But they were afraid. And they didn’t think that things could possibly be as bad as they turned out to be.

    It’s understandable that they were hesitant to attack the state apparatchiks when going off to the Gulag, just as the Jews rarely attacked the Gestapo when they were rounding them up to take them off to camps.

    You naturally might think, “These people can’t be that serious. These people can’t be that bad….” And you’d be wrong.

    It takes a lot of physical courage to even think about these things.

    Why didn’t any of the nomenklatura around Stalin simply kill him? They all knew the odds were good he was going to kill them eventually. You’d think that any of the rats around him would have cut his throat.

    But everybody’s afraid to take physical action because we tend to be optimists. We tend to hope for the best, as we do right now. We hope that this will blow over, and maybe it will. But it boils down to what will you do, maybe five minutes from now, when you’re confronted one-on-one with an apparatchik from the State who gives you an order.

    What will you do?

    It’s too dangerous to take physical action against the guy because it may bring down the whole weight of the State organization on you.

    So how do you resist? Well, unless you want to be a hero, the only thing I can think of is to have enough assets to insulate yourself from the bad guys or to move yourself physically to a different location.

    We’re headed into a very rough patch in US history, especially for the next three or four years.

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/09/doug-casey/the-next-crisis-the-global-elite-have-planned/

  7. Johnno-

    Great points about hope and WW3.

    In 1999 a couple PLA colonels wrote a book about how WW3 might look if it were waged with forms of warfare that didn’t involve bombs and bullets.

  8. Best is to seek Jesus with all of your heart, follow the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, and receive God our Father’ lovong you and fathering you. God may well want you to be right where you are so as to give your witness as needed.
    God bless, C-Marie

  9. The WW3 text is actually all quoted from the author at the link. I screwed up the quote html when posting it. So credit where it is due.

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