Actually, I'm Not An Atheist

(important piece) (on the existence of gods)

—“You’re one of my favorite Catholic Atheists”—

Well, thank you.

Although, while a scientist, I am not an atheist. I am just what is called a Naturalist, and not a Supernaturalist. I understand that Gods exist. They exist as numbers exist. If I was an atheist you wouldn’t catch me praying (talking to god) regularly. Which I do. Often. I just have a very esoteric concept of the nature of a god’s existence. And I separate the existence of gods from primitive notions of religion.

I am not sure what the difference is between a supernaturally existential deity, and a worldwide knowledge of socrates, or a regional knowledge of a saint, or a local knowledge of ancestors, and praying to the knowledge of that personality, and those memories, for love, support, advice, and counsel.

For various reasons I am fairly certain prayer ‘works’. I am fairly certain gods ‘work’. I am fairly certain that gods, ritual, and prayer are a competitive advantage. And whether one chooses to explain away all of this scientifically as psychology, or accept it metaphysically, or embody it supernaturally, is merely a function of one’s abilities, biases, and preferences.

As far as I know gods exist as numbers exist, and gods ‘work’ for the same reason numbers work. There are consequences to the existence and use of numbers that transcend human abilities to perceive and conceptualize. If you construct various axioms, the resulting patterns can be rich sources of information – especially when combined with new experiences. If you construct stories of gods, heroes and saints there is no difference. So as far as I know, the study of gods, heroes and saints literally reconstructs them in your mind, and you can ask them questions if you learn how. It is even more useful to do the same with one’s ancestors since you carry not only those ideas but their genes, and the biases and benefits that they passed down to you.

Our ancestors thought in physicality or spirituality because they did not have the concept of INFORMATION that is the model we use today to understand the physical world. And it is INFORMATION that economists, philosophers and behaviorists such as myself use as the model for describing the human world, and not spirituality or physicality.

I have no idea if information in my head, yours, and others, interacts in some quantum fashion. I can’t state it one way or the other. I suspect that if it does it is so subtle that it is only accessible to us in periods of self honesty. But if in fact the information in our heads creates synchronicity when we are subject to similar stimuli then that would produce an equal effect. So either way it is irrelevant. It just works. And group prayer or ritual would construct new axioms and biases and produce similarly synchronous knowledge in all of us.

Now religion – as in a ritualistic group gathering – is something else altogether because the repetition of ritual, the submission to the throng, and the gregariousness we fell to the pack, all of which are present in the church or temple, produces a profound feeling of safety similar to that felt by our animal cousins when running with the herd or pack. It is this feeling we call ‘spiritual’ or ‘submission’: it’s a mild euphoria that spiritualists seek to amplify through practice. And it is one of the most universal and desired feelings of mankind.

Combining this experience of mild euphoria with knowledge of gods, heroes and saints produces a form of honesty within the self that we cannot produce by other means. It is this clarity or honesty that gives religions their power. We can, if we pray, or contemplate, use the mythological structure of information, along without our existing knowledge, to find solutions – too seek and obtain answers as ‘insights’. And at worst we can find comfort in the throng. (Which we now overload with consumption until we realize it is meaningless, and that we have been deceived – if not drugged – by commercial information.)

As yet we do not know how to produce the same effect as religion and prayer by any other means. I suspect I know how to do it. The question is whether it is possible to provide sufficient incentive to train enough people to do it to cause a reformation of the methods by which we teach every generation the Christian Discipline of Love into something more modern. I struggle with this problem and it’s probably the hardest problem I’ve tried to solve.

And that’s saying something…..


Paternalism and Classism, But Not Racism

If you adopt paternalism: that your kin are an extended family, and that you will work with other extended families to cooperate non-parasitically with all other extended families, and that we produce nations not states, then you get this wonderful ability for us to religion, culture, race, class and caste.

We struggle with a certain problem: that while small nations are better for the development of community and mutual insurance, large states are materially valuable for the conduct of war and less so for trade bargaining. But once we have nuclear weapons it is very hard to violate borders without committing suicide. So there appears to be no reason for large states other than aggressive warfare.

And yes, some territory is objectively better than other territory. And some genes are objectively better than other genes. And we start from different levels of development.

But states are as much a barrier to development as they are to improvement precisely because of scale. Scale increases the ability to engage in corruption. With scale we find anonymity. With anonymity we have informational asymmetry. With informational asymmetry we have opportunity for corruption (privatization of commons).

So you know, I’m a CLASSIST, in that i recognize the problem of carrying a large and counterproductive underclass, but I am not a RACIST in that I want all groups to transcend the animal, become fully human, and evolve into what we imagine as gods.
And its possible. We had it right. Unfortunately we blew it. And now we have to fix it.


Propertarian Class Structures


(draft)(note that education is a commercial class)

Martial Class (suppression of parasitism)
—Kings and Generals
—Knights(professionals), Soldiers
—Judges, and Sherriffs

Commons Class (Construction of Commons)
—Infrastructure Institutions
—Civic Organizations
—Beauty and Maintenance
—Disaster Services

Insurer Class (Insurance)
—Priesthood and Intellectuals
—Insurers, and Insurers of last resort
—Medicine and Nursing
—Mothering and Child Care
—Elder Care
—Poor Care

Commercial Class (organization and execution of production)
—Major Corporate Alliances
—Finance, Banking
—Business and Entrepreneurship
—Distribution and Trade

Producer Classes
——Scientists (discover)
——Engineers (build)
——Programmers (instruct)
——Accountants (measure)
——Project Managers (time)
—Artist Class

—Labor Class

—Dependent Class (incapable of engaging in goods and service production)

—Out of Sight Class (incapable of engaging in commons production)

Criminal Class (forcing costs on commons and production)


Eli Harman

One of Robert Axelrod’s findings from studying iterated prisoner’s dilemma competitions (“The Evolution of Cooperation”) is that the standard “tit for tat” strategy can be improved upon by adding an element of forgiveness, to break otherwise insoluable and never-ending patterns of recrimination. Clinging steadfastly to vengeance as an aim, when peace and cooperation are within reach, is an example of the sunk cost fallacy.

Quite simply, our parents and grandparents could afford a lot of folly that we cannot, now that they have squandered our inheritance on empty signaling.


The Source of Difference Between Center and West

Muslims everywhere (or rather i should say most Muslims i have encountered) do not accept the logical and normative distinction that western philosophy effectuates between the truth-value of statements and the origin of those statements. This is the true nexus of the conflict between Islam and the West. It is a real conflict with stunning consequences.—-Ayelam Valentine Agaliba


The Principle of Exchange Makes Philosophy Much Easier

Political Philosophy is a lot easier when you just start from the premise that all goods are hypothetical, all bads are not, and that the only means of accumulating the knowledge to determine good from bad is exchange. This eliminates the fallacy that any of us know what is in fact good for all, other than institutions that allow us to choose any possible good but prohibit us from pursuing any known bad are a de facto good by prohibiting bads.

This is contrary to human cognition because we evolved for negotiating cooperation not truth telling. It is contrary to human desire, because we desire consensus. It is contrary to political incentive because it limits political power.

We all think we are ‘right’. But the only ‘right’ we can know is trade. Just as the only way we know whether we engaged in production or engaged in waste, consumption, or entertainment, is if others trade for what we create.

Information and volition tell us what ‘right and wrong’ do not.


The Pentatuch, Bible, and Constitution?

There is very little difference between the negotiated construction of the Pentateuch, or the Bible, and the American Constitution: they were the product of committees constructing the criteria for civil law. This is quite contradictory to the Indo European Tradition in which law EVOLVES.

But these things are constructs of man for the purpose of governing man.


Who Invented The Big Lie?

We start with Zoroaster who is the first philosopher.

—“Zoroaster sees the human condition as the mental struggle between aša (truth) and druj (lie). The cardinal concept of aša—which is highly nuanced and only vaguely translatable—is at the foundation of all Zoroastrian doctrine, including that of Ahura Mazda (who is aša), creation (that is aša), existence (that is aša) and as the condition for free will.
The purpose of humankind, like that of all other creation, is to sustain aša. For humankind, this occurs through active participation in life and the exercise of constructive thoughts, words and deeds.
Elements of Zoroastrian philosophy entered the West through their influence on Judaism and Middle Platonism and have been identified as one of the key early events in the development of philosophy.[32] Among the classic Greek philosophers, Heraclitus is often referred to as inspired by Zoroaster’s thinking.[33]
In 2005, the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy ranked Zarathustra as first in the chronology of philosophers. Zarathustra’s impact lingers today due in part to the system of rational ethics he founded called Mazda-Yasna. The word Mazda-Yasna is avestan and is translated as “Worship of Wisdom” in English. Zoroastrians later educated the Greeks, who used a similar term, philosophy, or “love of wisdom,” to describe the search for ultimate truth.
Zoroaster emphasized the freedom of the individual to choose right or wrong and individual responsibility for one’s deeds. This personal choice to accept aša or arta (the divine order), and shun druj (ignorance and chaos) is one’s own decision and not a dictate of Ahura Mazda. For Zarathustra, by thinking good thoughts, saying good words, and doing good deeds (e.g. assisting the needy or doing good works) we increase this divine force aša or arta in the world and in ourselves, celebrate the divine order, and we come a step closer on the everlasting road to being one with the Creator. Thus, we are not the slaves or servants of Ahura Mazda, but we can make a personal choice to be his co-workers, thereby refreshing the world and ourselves.”—-

You will note that this is a pretty indo-european, indo-iranian, indo-hindu line of thinking. Yes it is magian. But he has no other method of expressing the ideas as ultimate goods.


There is a very big difference between “You Shall Worship One God”, “There is One Supreme God”, and “Only One God Exists”.

There is a big difference between ‘the creator’s truth’, as the only available means of expression of truthful correspondence (and living a good life by personal action), and the assertion that god exists and we must obey him (authoritarianism).

There is a big difference between the variable oral tradition of mythical gods and the invariable written tradition of supernaturally existential gods.

So how did we get from the search for truth to The Big Lie?

Who invented the Big Lie?

—” Pentateuch was composed in the Persian period (roughly 520–320 BCE), as a result of tensions between the Jewish landowners who had stayed in Judah during the Babylonian captivity and claimed Abraham as the “father” through whom they traced their right to the land, and the returning “Priestly” exiles who based their claim to dominance on Moses and the Exodus tradition.”—

The Big Lie was invented to lay a claim to land.

Moses and Abraham appear to be entirely fictional characters, used to justify the retention of property in Judea.

A big lie repeated often and proudly eventually appears as truth. The cost of chanting pays for the investment in belief.
The big lies worked (voice of god) in the ancient world (babylon and Judah), they worked in the roman empire (christianity), they worked in the modern world (Marx, Boaz, Freud, and to a lesser degree Cantor, Mises, Rothbard).

And reached culmination with Humanism(universalism), Postmodernism(social and verbal construction of reality), Feminism (that man is evil), Democracy(that majority possesses wisdom).

We cure the big lies with truth.

Over and over again.


Evolution of Various Technologies of Cooperation

The Technologies of Cooperation

1) Tribal Hunter Gatherer -> Steppe/Desert -> Agrarian -> Urban -> (Slum?)
2) Headman -> Chieftain -> King -> President/Prime Minister -> (Judge?)
3) Memory -> Oral Tradition -> Written -> Printing -> Media -> (Digital Records?)
4) Norm -> Religion -> Law -> Credit -> (Digital Reputation?)
5) Spiritualism-> Mythos-> Religion-> Reason -> Pseudoscience -> Science -> Truth
6) Animism-> Polytheism-> Monotheism-> Reason-> PseudoScientism-> Trade.
7) Property -> Barter -> Money -> Interest and Credit -> Fiat Money -> (Baskets?)
8) Property -> Wealth -> Partnerships -> Banks -> Central Banks -> ( stocks?)
9) Pairing-Off -> Counting -> Recording -> Balanced Accounting -> Financialization -> (?)
10) Tribal -> Serial -> Poly -> Paternal -> Traditional -> Nuclear -> (Individual?)


Q&A: The Bicameral Mind?

—“Q: I came to be aware [of] Julian Jaynes’ thesis materials. Seems to jive with your theme, Curt. You alluding to a similar theme when referencing the Pentateuch, or the Bible?”—Mark Palmer

Great question Mark. Great Question.

Well, I don’t really agree with how Jaynes is stating it, but I agree that the ‘separateness’ of the mind, and it’s self criticism, is a fairly recent invention in human history. You can see it if you talk to native americans and unexposed south american indians. Their distinction between the dream world and the rational (self critical) world is not bifurcated. It took me a while to understand this. They’re also far less verbally capable. So I suspect that the evolution of language and the evolution of the mind from from intuition are produced by the same evolutionary consequences.

I mean women are definitely unable to control the noise in their heads as well as men are – this is the difference in our operating methods. I’d have a nervous breakdown if I had to be a woman for a day.

Well, I’m trying to make the statement that the both the hebrew and the christian-greek-roman bible were constructed by means very similar to the construction of the constitution.

But why is there such a difference between the content of archaic religion and the content modern of law? Or between the regulation of the roman empire, and the regulation of women, slaves, and the masses of mediterranean poor?

The difference is PROPERTY. The asset of poor people is charity and cooperation. The asset of propertied people is property.
Religion for regulation of norms (opportunity and insurance) and law for regulation of property (physical things).

So what does that mean for our future? I think I have that figured out. But I want to eliminate the artificial distinction between Law(aristocracy), Philosophy(middle class) and Religion(poor).

These technologies all serve the same purpose: regulation of classes.