Life in a small town

Scientific Truth … and Assumptions

I am still thinking about how to write a couple of posts on the Reincarnation of our Lord and the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Obviously I would have to confine myself to what I believe and why I have come to believe it or the post would never end. There has been a lot of writing and debate on these items of faith over the centuries.

Pope Leo XIII

I may not actually get to writing anything if I keep on finding more and more interest in the extent Magisterium and various theological opinions from many faith streams. There are whole libraries worth of content out there worthy of consideration.

For example, I never thought of Pope Leo XIII as a Liberal but it seems, from reading old articles and opinion pieces that he might actually be said to be the “father or sponsor” of the heterodox Modernist heresy in the current  Catholic hierarchy. Who Knew … Leo XIII as a Liberal … hmmm.

On other fronts I subscribe to a Blog site written by a very interesting Doctor, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, who writes mostly on Cardiac topics but sometimes wanders off into other very interesting areas and I am inspired to link to his latest blog post and also to quote largely from his latest and from a couple of others.

I share his concern for the radical attempts on the part of many established authorities to vilify, demean and silence anyone, literally by any means possible, who dares to disagree with them.

Dr Malcolm Kendrick

I have mentioned Kim Jong-un in a few posts but it is apparent that there are literally thousands of little “Kim Jong-un” fan boys and fan girls out there on the loose and many of them are in control of many of our various “Authorities”, Societies, Governing Bodies, Associations, and so on. These are the Illuminati who control or try to control what is allowed to transpire in our polite society, and woe to all those who fail to toe the line and make the appropriate obeisances to those authorities.

These days we find ourselves living in a culture and society where keeping control is more important than truth, than reality. Over decades I have come to believe that a truth can always be proven, a truth can be defended, even against a vigorous attack. But a lie will not hold up to scrutiny.

And anyone who refuses to allow vigorous debate is not on the side of truth. It is better to fight and re-fight the battle over truth, rather than let a single lie – or mis-truth – go unchallenged. Reality is somewhat different from social media memes despite the aims and desires of authority figures everywhere.

Everything we “know” to be true may be untrue tomorrow, our “assumptions” may be proven wrong at any moment. And when that happens we need to maintain the flexibility to adapt to a whole new world. If our culture fails to adapt, it will fail fatally and join the legions of failed nations, states, and cultures that fill the mass graves of history.

Unfortunately, even when the data support a hypothesis which goes against the currently accepted “truth” all right thinking people “know” that the accepted truth is the real truth and any different opinion or hypothesis is obviously wrong and the people who espouse that train of conjecture are obviously idiots who need their breathing problem fixed.

‘A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.’ Max Plank.

We assume that whatever we hear around the water cooler of at the coffee shop or amongst our “Friends” on Facebook is absolute truth, especially if it is a juicy tidbit about our neighbour or a competitor, unless it goes against what we already “Know”.

“Assume, as the saying goes, makes an ass out of you and me”. The assumptions you make, the assumptions you don’t think to question, will eventually get you into trouble. I think that just might be what is at the root of people expressing anger towards us because we are not angry about the same things they are angry about.

Here is a link to an interesting theory about oil as a “fossil” fuel, a non-renewable resource which we are using up too fast (“Peak Oil”?) and which is killing the planet (Global Warming?). Most of the proponents of the “anti-oil energy” religion don’t live anywhere with “winter” and also have disingenuously advocated “alternative” energy sources which invariably involve vast wealth transfers from taxpayers to their own interest groups.

However the unexamined premise has resulted in the proliferation of believers in regions where they would be dead in a week if their beliefs were ever put into practice. Such is the nature of humanity, we have a burning need to “belong” more than any need for our beliefs to show congruence with reality.

From the blog of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick:For many years it was taught that bacteria could not live in the human stomach. It was too hostile, too acidic. So, when it was proposed that a bacterium (H. Pylori), living in the stomach, could be an important cause of stomach ulcers, the idea was pretty much dismissed out of hand.

Warren and Marshall eventually proved that the scientific consensus on this matter was utter nonsense. This despite being attacked viciously from all sides. They eventually won the Nobel prize for their work where they were specifically praised for battling on in the face of implacable hostility. It is clear that had Warren not been a cussed swine, they could easily have given up, worn down by the opposition.

Had Max Plank not decided to publish some wild and whacky papers in his journal ‘Physics’, from a patent clerk, it is perfectly possible we may never have heard of a certain Albert Einstein.”

Why does “authority” have such a resistance to truth?

For years now, in the course of business, I have remarked many times that many people, perhaps even most people, would rather die than change their lifestyle, their diet, even their mind. I don’t think this is overstating the case.  And while it is a new understanding to me, this thought is not new:

 ‘No man can be forced to be healthful, whether he will or not. In a free society, individuals must judge for themselves what information they choose to heed and what they ignore.’ (John Locke. (1632 – 1704) ‘A letter concerning Toleration’)

So onward … I have found the next 2 links uplifting and vindicating in the same sense as the old joke about peeing in a dark suit. I have been personally vilified and ridiculed for my questioning the current use of vaccines even by a family member in my extended family, dismissed as a “crazy vaxer”, but here are the links.

You can decide for yourselves whether we suffer from “worship of authority” or have a genuine belief in the “scientific method”.

  1. https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2019/07/09/my-feelings-about-the-vaccine-debate/
  2. https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2019/07/29/a-second-look-at-vaccination-answers-that-cannot-be-questioned/

So, imagine a universe where authority can be wrong. Sometimes, a person in authority can be mistaken. A person who believes a lie, and who repeats the lie, does not do so out of malicious intent! And yet, he is repeating a lie! Sometimes people and authorities believe things that are later proven to be untrue and they act on those things with a clear conscience because it’s “for our own good”. If you forced these folks to take a lie detector test they would pass because they actually do not know it is a lie.

There are books, books written as recently as a few years years ago, books you can still find in the library, which include untruths. Did those writers lie to you? No, they’d told the truth, as they’d known it. But future generations discovered that their concept of the truth had been very limited, and knowledge is still advancing. And that is just the mild form of misinformation.

Jerry Pournelle,

Authority is also often more interested in maintaining itself than determining the truth. A person(s) who clings to his/her authority – which may or may not be based on a known lie – is unlikely to want to do anything to weaken it. This reminds me of Pournelle’s iron law of bureaucracy:

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

He eventually restated it as:

…in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representatives who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

George Santayana

Also reminded of Santayana’s  “those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.” in the sense that the vaults of history are crammed full of “authorities” who viciously resisted any form of change when their beliefs were questioned, and in the end they turned out to be wrong, even dead wrong, but that didn’t stop them from making millions of people miserable, or even dead.

I think we are up against the same sort of situation now when dealing with our health care system, our government, our social programs, the “religion” of climate change and so on and so forth.

Cheers

(Crazy) Joe

 

 

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The Inner Struggle

Some Troubling Thoughts …

Eternity’s Sunrize, Bill Douglas, 2000

Do you ever do or say things that, on later thought, you are not real proud of? I can think of lots of things over the last 65 years or so. Saying I was sorry or made up for it or didn’t know any better or … whatever still doesn’t make them OK in my own estimation and I am very much self loving and self centered. How does it look to a loving Father to see His child behaving so badly?

Not real comfortable with yesterday’s post. Can’t take it back, but there it is, not comfortable with the actions and opinions of my yesterday self. Blogging has this good/bad side, in that you can reconsider what you have opined at a later date and no matter how hard you thought about it at the time, it comes about that later you may not feel that way or may see problems with your thinking, see the smart remark or acid image for what it really is, none other than a reflection on your own lack of charity and poor judgment.  At the same time, having posted it one cannot deny that you thought and said it, can’t pretend to a personal superiority you don’t have.

Yesterday I posted a caustic image reflecting judgement upon some prominent people who I don’t really know at all, simply finding myself offended by their stated views I judge, and judge harshly. No only that but I share that judgement by way of this venue with other like minded viewers thereby compounding the harm that I do by my harsh judgements.

So is it serendipity or is it the whisper of an angel? Today, while surfing around, I came across “Pope Leo’s Vision of Satan’s 100 years of Increased Power, and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary”

and another interesting, even frightening site “A Sermon by Saint Leonard of Port Maurice“which concludes with the following:

“Brothers, I want to send all of you away comforted today. So if you ask me my sentiment on the number of those who are saved, here it is: Whether there are many or few that are saved, I say that whoever wants to be saved, will be saved; and that no one can be damned if he does not want to be. And if it is true that few are saved, it is because there are few who live well.

As for the rest, compare these two opinions: the first one states that the greater number of Catholics are condemned; the second one, on the contrary, pretends that the greater number of Catholics are saved. Imagine an Angel sent by God to confirm the first opinion, coming to tell you that not only are most Catholics damned, but that of all this assembly present here, one alone will be saved. If you obey the Commandments of God, if you detest the corruption of this world, if you embrace the Cross of Jesus Christ in a spirit of penance, you will be that one alone who is saved.

Now imagine the same Angel returning to you and confirming the second opinion. He tells you that not only are the greater portion of Catholics saved, but that out of all this gathering, one alone will be damned and all the others saved. If after that, you continue your usuries, your vengeances, your criminal deeds, your impurities, then you will be that one alone who is damned.

What is the use of knowing whether few or many are saved? Saint Peter says to us, “Strive by good works to make your election sure.” When Saint Thomas Aquinas’s sister asked him what she must do to go to heaven, he said, “You will be saved if you want to be.” I say the same thing to you, and here is proof of my declaration. No one is damned unless he commits mortal sin: that is of faith. And no one commits mortal sin unless he wants to: that is an undeniable theological proposition.

Therefore, no one goes to hell unless he wants to; the consequence is obvious. Does that not suffice to comfort you? Weep over past sins, make a good confession, sin no more in the future, and you will all be saved. Why torment yourself so? For it is certain that you have to commit mortal sin to go to hell, and that to commit mortal sin you must want to, and that consequently no one goes to hell unless he wants to. That is not just an opinion, it is an undeniable and very comforting truth; may God give you to understand it, and may He bless you. Amen.”

Rather Sobering … not many “cheers” here.

Joe

Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free. In the end we are all free to choose whether to reject this world and all it’s temptations or acquiesce to the easy path. We choose to be free or to be slaves.

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