Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Question Everything, Especially Unorthodox Conclusions from Questioning Everything

Generally, it is "good" to be skeptical, to question authority. Nudging against the status quo, risking missteps along the way, has always been a driving force in the progression of human society. Not being satisfied with current technology often leads to advances in technology. Lesser lords (and serfs, but no one asked them) being unsatisfied outright feudalism has given way, through the course of history, to a more subtle feudal way of life. Yes, most of us are still serfs, peasants, and smallfolk. In any case ...

Too much of a "good" thing is likely a "bad" thing. What happens when questioning everything goes too far? Well, it doesn't go far enough because questioning further tends to curb some of the craziness related to questioning society, science, and religious matters.

Oligarchy.
THE CONSPIRACY THEORIST: QUESTIONING SOCIETY

I might be creating a strawman here, but it seems that the archetypal conspiracy theorist (for this post: "ACT") believes that everything is a conspiracy. An ACT seems to believe that every newsworthy violent crime, usually a mass shooting or act of terrorism, is a false flag -- a staged event that becomes propaganda for the New World Order or the Illuminati or the devil himself, in order to further some diabolical plot to take over the world. Of course, I'm arguing with a strawman ACT here, but the entire premise of everything being a conspiracy is flawed: Why would an entity that already allegedly controls the world need some convoluted supervillain scheme to ... control the world?

If everything is a conspiracy by the New World Order, then, unfortunately, it is already too late because the New World Order (or the Illuminati or the Reptilians or the Daleks) are already in charge. Any rantings and ravings by an ACT amounts to slacktivism. Are any of these ACTs willing to actually act on this information, to become martyrs against the evil that's already in charge? No takers? Well, how would we know if there are any ACT martyrs, since all media usually is part of the everything-conspiracy?

Of course, this is not to say that nothing is a conspiracy. I'm fairly certain that as long as there are human beings who consider themselves to be kings and nobles, usually sans title, and these people wheel and deal in yachts and high rises and statehouses, then diabolical schemes of all kinds can happen, have happened, will happen, and currently are happening ... just not all the time.

The Earth is round.
THE FLAT-EARTHER: QUESTIONING SCIENCE

I don't believe I'm creating a strawman when I describe what flat-earthers tend to believe: They believe the Earth is flat. It is generally accepted that our home planet is a wobbly sphere with some gravitational love handles around the equator, which orbits a star we call the Sun, which orbits the center of our galaxy, and so on and so forth.

Flat-earthers tend to believe that the Earth is flat, similar to how it is depicted on the United Nations flag. In this version of geography/astronomy/cosmology, the continent of Antarctica is actually an ice wall around the border of the flat Earth. Flat Earth ideology tends to hand in hand with geocentric cosmology, of course, in which the flat Earth is the center of the Universe.

Flat Earth cosmology has at least one flaw: The north star Polaris. In the Northern Hemisphere, if you point a camera at the north star Polaris, and let it expose for several minutes, the resulting photo will show star trails. Polaris is a bit off from true north, but the stars (see photo, above) will seemingly trail around Polaris, due to the round Earth's rotation.

Of course, flat Earth cosmology will say that star trails are the result of the sky's orbit around the flat Earth. Even that has a flaw: The Southern Hemisphere. South of the Equator contains much of Africa, most of South America, and all of Australia, Oceania, and the "ice wall" itself, Antarctica. You can't see Polaris south of the Equator. Northern Hemisphere star trail photographs revolve around Polaris, but Southern Hemisphere star trail photographs revolve around a void because there is no southern pole star at the moment. Clear north and south views at the Equator will have two sets of star trail arcs -- north and south.

Basically, the Earth is a round, rotating planet. Now if you were to say that the mortal realm inhabits the sphere of the Earth in its own mortal dimension, sharing the sphere of the Earth with other dimensions -- like Heaven, Hell, parallel Earths, Plato's Realm of Forms, etc. -- that would make for a fun conversation ... of little to no consequence.

Sky gods, storm gods, and thunder gods, oh my!
THE RELIGIOUS SUPREMACIST: QUESTIONING ETYMOLOGY

This subset of "questioning everything" has way too many all-too real examples to fit into this already-lengthy blog post. Zealous followers of a religion -- or a denomination of a religion -- tend to be theological elitists. That is to say, the specifics of a particular denominational theology is, in fact, the capital-T Truth ... and everyone else is a heretic. Even equivalent versions of the monotheistic God are different beings altogether. I'll provide a few examples, and I'll try to refute these examples.

Followers of Messianic Judaism believe in a messiah named Yahshua. They do not believe in the Christian Christ named Jesus, or at least that's what Messianic blogs tend to say. Some evangelical and fundamentalist Christians reciprocate the belief: Jesus is not Yahshua, and Yahshua is not Jesus.

I understand that there are myriad differences in theology between Messianic Jews and Christians in general, and theological differences among the various denominations within Christianity. Here's the flaw: Etymologically, the religious figure with the name "Yah is salvation" is basically the same figure in both Messianic Judaism and Christianity. The messiah named Yahshua is the same as the Christ named Jesus, as well as the messiah prophet Isa in Islam ... and I'm sure a future comic book cult will have an epic hero named Josh, if there isn't already. The question, of course, is whether a specific religion or denomination recognizes "Yah is salvation" as a Person/Aspect/Mode of a Triune God, a singular Son of God, a singular Man-God, a singular God-Man, or just a man, with a man's courage.

Then there's the Abrahamic God himself, often identified as Yahweh or El. I remember reading a few Jack Chick tracts that accuse the Islam's Allah as being a moon god, unrelated to the Judeo-Christian tradition of God. Here's the flaw: Christian scriptures in Arabic use the name Allah to refer to God, which was derived from the name El -- the Abrahamic God (et cetera). Theological differences aside, Abraham's El is the same as the Muslim Allah, the Christian God the Father (and perhaps the entire Trinity), and the Jewish G-d.

Something interesting happens when you throw in the Canaanite equivalent to Abraham's God, El. This is probably the inaccurate Wikipedia version of ancient Canaanite theology and mythology, but the head god of the Canaanite pantheon was also named El. The sky god El had hundreds of god children, one of whom was a storm god named Yahweh. Other gods, like Baal and Dagon and Moloch and whoever else, were Yahweh's siblings and rivals. This eerily sounds similar to Latter Day Saint theology/cosmology, in which the main god, God the Father, had several god children, including Jesus, Lucifer (Satan), and all of pre-born humanity, I think.

Anyway, if we line up general Christian theology with this speculative ancient Canaanite theology, we might wonder where "Yah is salvation" (Jesus) fits in here -- Is Jesus the son of Yahweh, Yahweh himself, or both (due to the Trinity doctrine)? If Jesus is merely Yahweh's son, then in the Canaanite pantheon, that means that El is Jesus' grandfather.

We'll find this multi-generational, familial equivalent across the Mediterranean, in Greco-Roman mythology. The sky god, the personification of the heavens, Uranus had many children, one of whom was the harvest god Cronus/Saturn. Cronus had many children, one of whom was the storm god Zeus/Jupiter. Farther north, in Norse mythology, the mysterious god Bor had many children, one of whom was the god of wisdom and a lot of other things, Odin. Odin had many children, one of whom was the thunder god Thor.

Every day is a dog's day of rest.
Equivalent gods may or may not have equivalent special days. In Judaism, El and Yahweh are the same God, and his special rest day of the week is the seventh-day Sabbath (also Shabbat or Shabbos), from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. For most of Christianity, Jesus' special day is the Lord's Day, Sunday. The Islamic day of prayer is Friday. Greco-Roman Uranus has no special day of the week, but Cronus/Saturn's day is obviously Saturday. Zeus/Jupiter's day is Jove's Day or Jueves, which is Thursday. Norse Bor has no special weekly day, but Odin has Wotan's Day, or Wednesday. Thor has Thor's Day -- Thursday.

CONCLUSION: INCONCLUSIVE

I've written such a convoluted rant about equivalent gods and their special days to highlight why we shouldn't be satisfied with unorthodox conclusions and unlikely connections. If you're going to question events and suspect conspiracies, then push further, and hopefully realize when far-fetched schemes prove to be fictional. If you're going to question modern science, then push further, and hopefully realize when archaic cosmologies do not hold true, even with simple observations.

If conspiracies and/or "different" scientific hypotheses prove to be fact, or working theories, then do something about it.  Don't be a slacktivist.

If you're going to question which god is which, and whose god is whose, then push further, and hopefully realize that the holy rest days for supreme gods cover Wednesday (Odin), Thursday (Thor and Zeus/Jupiter), Friday (El/Allah/Yahweh), Saturday (El/Yahweh and Cronus/Saturn), and Sunday (Jesus). Push further, and try to find supreme gods to cover Monday (the Moon's day) and Tuesday (Mardi, the war god Mars' day).

At the very least, five-day weekends are sacred, indeed.

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