The only known photograph of Chief Seattle

Thus spoke Chief Seattle

The Great Chief in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. The Great Chief also sends us words of friendship and goodwill. This is kind of him since we know he has little need for our friendship in return.

We will consider your offer. For we know that if we do not sell, the white man may come with guns and take our land.

But how can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you buy them from us?

Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing, and humming insect is holy in the memory and experience of my people.

Our dead never forget this beautiful earth, for it is the mother of the red man. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers.

This shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors. If we sell you land, you must remember that it is sacred and that each ghostly reflection in the clear water of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people.

The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers, and yours, and you must henceforth give rivers the kindness you would give any brother.

The red man has always retreated before the advancing white man, as the mist of the mountain runs before the morning sun. But the ashes of our fathers are sacred. The graves are holy ground, and so these hills, these trees, this portion of the earth is consecrated to us.

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs.

The earth is not his brother but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father’s graves behind, and he does not care. He kidnaps the earth from his children. He does not care.

He treats his mother, the earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, or sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the earth and leave behind only a desert.

I do not know. Our ways are different from your ways. The sight of your cities pains the eyes of the red man. But perhaps it is because the red man is a savage and does not understand.

There is no quiet place in the white man’s cities. What is there to life if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? I am a red man and do not understand.

The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath―the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a many dying for many days, he is numb to the stench.

I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and I do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo that we kill only to stay alive.

What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever, happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls the children of the earth.

This we know. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know.
All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

We may be brothers after all; we shall see. One thing we know, which the white man may one day discover―our God is the same God. You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land, but you cannot.

This earth is precious to Him, and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. The whites too shall pass; perhaps sooner than all other tribes. Continue to contaminate your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.

God gave you dominion over the beasts, the woods, and the red man, and for some special purpose, but that destiny is a mystery to the red man. We might understand if we knew what it was that the white man dreams―what hopes he describes to his children on long winter nights―what visions he burns onto their minds so that they will wish for tomorrow.

God loves us all. One thing we know. Our God is the same God. This earth is precious to Him. Even the white man cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We shall see.

Sepphoris Mosaic

Sarah, mother of the Jews

Weaving one tale into another

The Hebrew Bible features tales about the Jewish patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This book tells us that Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt to the Promised Land. But archaeological evidence does not support these stories. The historical Hebrew Bible begins with the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. That does not mean that the Bible accurately describes what happened from then on, but many of the names and events mentioned are historical. It also does not mean that the account in the Bible from before that time is entirely fictional. There only is little evidence to substantiate it.

The kingdom of David is in the twilight zone between myth and history. David probably was king, perhaps of Judah alone, and there may be some truth to the account of his reign. Before the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, there probably was tribal leadership. The Book of Judges is about the tribal era preceding the kingdom. So can avatars of God appear in stories that never happened? We may already live inside a fiction, so why not? The story of Hans and Gretl never happened, but we can read it while we may be real ourselves. If you are God and command the scene, you can also write the tales inside it. And indeed, possible avatars of God do appear in the Hebrew Bible.

Hiding it behind human motivations

There is a mundane historical explanation for the existence of the possible avatars of God in the Hebrew Bible that does not require divine interference. Jacob Wright argues that the Jews were too weak to hold on to territory. They had to survive as a minority in the lands of others. Military adventurism could have been fatal. The biblical authors, therefore, may have reinvented the hero. Rather than warriors, biblical heroes were often virtuous people1 and people who had weaknesses.

The biblical authors also refashioned the role of men and women. Men played a significant role in family life. By depicting contributions women made to military victory, the biblical authors undermined the authority of men in war. Women achieved triumph on the battlefield and decided the fate of men.1

For instance, Jacob defrauded Esau of his birthright by deceiving his father, Isaac. Only, it was his mother, Rebecca, who planned it. Rahab was a prostitute in Jericho. When the Jews started to conquer Canaan, Rahab harboured their spies in her house (Joshua 2). And Esther saved the Jewish people from a plot in the Persian court. The Hebrew Bible does not depict events indicating that Rebecca, Rahab or Esther could be God. The biblical account of Jewish history begins with Sarah and Abraham. And there was something special about Sarah.

Sarah and Abraham

Judaism started with Sarah and Abraham, the Hebrew Bible says. Sarah became pregnant at the age of ninety. God wanted Her to become the mother of the Jews. Jewishness comes with matrilineal family lines, so you are born a Jew when your mother is one. And for that reason, the Jews are not primarily children of Abraham but children of Sarah in the way Christians are children of God.

The will of God coincided with the wishes of Sarah in important family matters. God summoned Hagar to return to her mistress Sarah (Genesis 16:9). And God told Abraham to send Hagar away when Sarah wanted this (Genesis 21:12). The Egyptians were subject to plagues when the Pharaoh tried to make Sarah his wife (Genesis 12:17). King Abimelech received threats from God when he tried to do the same (Genesis 20:3).

Asenath and Joseph

Joseph was a handsome man. When he was Viceroy of Egypt, he married Asenath, the daughter of an Egyptian high priest. The Hebrew Bible tells us little about Her. There is a story about their marriage dating from the first century BC. Perhaps it is written to explain how Joseph came to marry a pagan priestess. According to this tale, Asenath was proud and despised men, but She became impressed by Joseph’s looks.

Joseph first did not want to marry Her because She bowed before idols and did not worship the God of the Jews. Asenath showed repentance, and an angel from heaven came to Her chamber to bless the marriage. When She told Joseph of the angel, he changed his mind and decided to marry Her. Asenath’s repentance and change of faith appear insincere and the result of Her desire to marry Joseph. Nevertheless, God approved the marriage.

The Quran dedicates an entire chapter of 111 verses to Joseph. It expands on his good looks as well as the desire women had for him. Hence, Joseph may have been important to God, and his appearance was worth mentioning. The highly desired prize ended up in the arms of Asenath so She could have been God.

Zipporah and Moses

Moses’s wife Zipporah saved his life by circumcising him. As the story goes, She knew that God planned to kill Moses because he was not circumcised. She then circumcised him on the spot (Exodus 4:24-26). That must have been a graphic scene. Moses may have been a great prophet because he had a strong woman behind him. Only God knows what God is planning. Zipporah knew what God was about to do, while the tale does not say that She received advance notification of God’s plans.

Bathsheba and David

Bathsheba broke David and his kingdom. She was bathing on a rooftop where he could see Her naked. David ordered Her to come to his palace. She became pregnant after sleeping with him. David then commanded Her husband Uriah to go home, hoping that he would sleep with Her so that the scandal would go unnoticed. Uriah did not comply. David then asked his general to place Uriah on the frontline of the battle so that he would die. After Uriah died, David married Bathsheba. The marriage was a grave sin but God nevertheless loved Bathsheba’s son Solomon who was to become King.

Bathsheba turned out to be a fate changer. The prophet Natan foretold David that his house would be cursed because of his act. David’s eldest son Amnon was murdered by his half brother Absalom after he had raped Absalom’s sister Tamar. Later Absalom was killed after he had declared himself king and raised a revolt against David. That eliminated two potential heirs to the throne. In David’s old age, Bathsheba secured the succession to the throne of Her son Solomon. And so, Bathsheba could have been God.

The name Bathsheba consists of two parts, Bath and Sheba. Bathsheba seduced David by bathing naked where he could see Her while the Queen of Sheba later visited Solomon. Hence, the Queen of Sheba may also have been God. And so, the pun may be intended, even though English is not the original language of the Hebrew Bible.

Deborah, the founder of the Jewish nation

Early Jewish history in the Hebrew Bible probably is mythical, but God may have founded the Jewish nation in person. Deborah was a leader of Israel in the era of the judges. She took part in a battle (Judges 4:8-9), even though it was Jael, the wife of a clan leader, who killed the commander of the opposing army (Judges 4:17-22). According to the Hebrew Bible, She was the fourth judge, but that may not be correct. The oldest part of the Hebrew Bible probably is the Song of Deborah (Judges 5). It may date to as early as the twelfth century BC. It is here where Jewish history probably begins.

The Book of Judges is from a later date and appears wrapped around this song. And so, Deborah may have been a historical figure and the founder of the Jewish nation. She sent for Barak, the commander of the troops, and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’” (Judges 4:6-7) Deborah commanded Barak so She could have been the God of Israel.

Featured image: Sepphoris Mosaic. Pbs.org. [copyright info]

1. Wright, Jacob L. (2014). The Bible’s Prehistory, Purpose, and Political Future. Coursera.

Khadijah, mother of the believers

Mother of the Believers is the title given to the wives of Muhammad, but it best suits his first wife, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid. According to Islamic sources, Khadijah was a wealthy widow and Muhammad’s employer. Muhammad was twenty-five, and Khadijah was forty when She proposed to him. The marriage between Khadijah and Muhammad was both happy and monogamous. When he was on his journeys without Her, Muhammad never felt any desire for other women. They had six children, of which four daughters survived. Only after Khadijah had died did Muhammad marry other women.

According to Islamic accounts, Muhammad returned home to Khadijah in a state of terror after receiving his first revelation from the Archangel Gabriel. He told Her what had happened. She comforted him and supported him from then on. Khadijah’s moral support made Muhammad believe in his mission, and Her financial support was indispensable. Apart from a wife, Khadijah was like a mother to Muhammad, in the likeness of Eve and Adam. She was Muhammad’s boss in more than one way.

Unlike the Bride of Christ, the Bride of Muhammad is still in the records and hard to ignore. One can imagine no plausible political or religious agenda for misrepresenting the facts in this way. Women were hardly ever boss over their husbands in seventh-century Arabia, so the odds of the founder of Islam finding himself in this position by accident appears low because it fits the pattern of God being the wife of the prophets.

Muslims claim that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad by God, with the Archangel Gabriel being the intermediary. Historical analysis suggests that much of the Quran comes from Zoroastrian, Jewish and Christian sources. Nevertheless, some parts may be Muhammad’s revelations. The Quran itself provides no evidence for God being a woman but claims that God is the greatest schemer (Quran 3:54, 7:99, 8:30, 10:21, 13:42) and capable of deception (Quran 4:88, 5:41, 11:34, 14:4). The existence of different religions and theological disputes are part of the plan, the Quran claims.

The Quran corroborates the virgin birth of Jesus. The virgin birth is the miracle of the mother goddess. Jesus is consistently called Son of Mary (Quran 2:87, 4:171, 61:6) while Christians call him Son of God. The repeating of the phrase Son of Mary suggests importance. It stresses that God is not Jesus’ father but it may also indicate that God’s name was Mary. Chapter 74 of the Quran is named The Hidden Secret or The Cloaked One. The Arabic name for this chapter can both be translated to a hidden secret as well as a man wearing a cloak. The man wearing a cloak is Muhammad. This chapter further mentions that 19 angels are guarding hell (Quran 74:31).

In 1974, Rashad Khalifa claimed to have discovered a mathematical code hidden in the Quran based on the number 19. He used Chapter 74 to demonstrate the significance of the number as it says: “We have made their [the angels’] number only as a test for the disbelievers so that the People of the Book [Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians] will be certain, and the believers [Muslims] will increase in faith, and neither the People of the Book nor the believers will have any doubts, and so that those hypocrites with sickness in their hearts and the disbelievers will argue, ‘What does God mean by such a number?’ In this way, God leaves whoever He wills to stray and guides whoever He wills. And none knows the forces of your Lord except He. And this description of Hell is only a reminder to humanity.’ (Quran 74:31)

The verse implies that the number 19 has significance beyond the number of angels guarding hell. It gave rise to a numerological cult within Islam, based on Khalifa’s claim that the number 19 comes with mathematical properties with regard to various counts of verses, words, letters, and names of God in the Quran, such as:

  • The Quranic opening formula, Basmala, consists of 19 letters.
  • The first word of the Basmala, Ism (name) without contraction, occurs 19 times in the Quran.
  • The second word of the Basmala, Allah (God), occurs 2698 times (19×142).
  • The third word of the Basmala, Rahman (Gracious), occurs 57 times (19×3).
  • The fourth word of the Basmala, Rahim (Merciful), occurs 114 times (19×6).
  • The multiplication factors of the words of the Basmala (1+142+3+6) give 152 (19×8).
  • The Quran consists of 114 chapters (19×6).
  • The total number of verses in the Quran, including all unnumbered Basmalas, is 6346 (19×334). The cross sum of 6346 is 19.
  • The Basmala appears 114 times (19×6). It is absent in chapter 9 but appears twice in chapter 27.
  • From the missing Basmala in chapter 9 to the additional Basmala in chapter 27, there are 19 chapters.
  • The occurrence of the additional Basmala is in chapter 27, verse 30. Adding this chapter number and the verse number gives 57 (19×3).

Khalifa did some manipulations on the data to make them fit his theory. For instance, he claimed that two verses in the Quran (chapter 9, verses 128 and 129) were added later and are not part of the original message from God to Muhammad. When the Quran was written down after decades of oral reciting, only one witness could corroborate the validity of these verses. Thus, Khalifa claimed that the Quran has only 6346 verses instead of the traditional count of 6348. Including those two verses, the Quran has 2699 occurrences of the word ’Allah’ and 115 occurrences of the word ‘Rahim’, neither of which are multiples of 19. Because decades of oral reciting preceded the codification of the Quran, more verses are doubtful. And the codifiers of the Quran apparently believed that these verses were genuine as they included them. Hence, claiming that verses 128 and 129 from chapter 9 are not genuine, seems arbitrary.

Numbers usually are meaningless, but the number 19 appears in a chapter named Hidden Secret. Hence, the number 19 may have significance and refer to a hidden secret that proves that the Quran comes from God. And so, the rise of the cult may not be an accident. But what could the hidden secret be? Chapter 19 is named Mary, and it is about the Virgin Mary. The hidden secret may be that God’s name was Mary, something only God could know. The cloak may refer to God appearing to be a man while being a woman or the Virgin Mary being the cloak hiding the identity of God.

Featured image: top small written Arab phrase “Umm ul Muminin”(Mother of the believers) then in centre Big written “Khadijah” and bottom small written Arab honour phrase ‘Radhi allahu anha.’

Portrait of Socrates in marble, 1st century Roman artwork

Rational debates and historical processes

The discovery of ignorance

Is there progress in ideas? And can we achieve progress in thought by rational debates and persuasion? These questions are not easy to answer, most notably because people disagree. Still, some ideas may be better than others. So, how can we achieve progress or can we not? Socrates was a Greek philosopher who pondered this question. He lived around 400 BC and was the founder of the practice of rational debate. Socratic debates are discussions between two or more people with different viewpoints who wish to establish the truth using reasoned arguments. Asking and answering questions is a critical component of this process. It stimulates critical thinking and draws out ideas and underlying presuppositions.

In his dialogues, Socrates acted as if he was ignorant. According to Socrates, admitting one’s ignorance is the first step in acquiring knowledge, and awareness of ignorance is the beginning of wisdom. The discovery of ignorance can wake you up and push you into pursuing knowledge. For instance, the discovery of America, a previously unknown continent, was a shock to the European worldview. There was an entire continent that nobody in Europe had known. It set in motion the Scientific Revolution. European scientists started to ask themselves what more they did not know. They began to investigate anything they could think of.1 After 500 years, science has completely altered the way we live.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Hegel’s dialectic

By the year 1800, the idea of progress was firmly established. The impact of scientific discoveries began to increase and the Industrial Revolution took off. Societies began to change and enlightenment ideas were spreading. The American Revolution followed the Glorious Revolution in England. During the French Revolution, the masses mobilised for the first time, and they ended the corrupt old regime. The armies of Napoleon then spread enlightenment ideas over Europe. It was the time when Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel came up with a scheme for rational arguments. It consists of three stages:

  1. A theory is invented. Hegel calls it the abstract.
  2. The theory is criticised or tested. Hegel calls it the negative.
  3. The criticism and testing lead to a better theory. Hegel calls it the concrete.

Alternatively, the three stages of Hegelian dialectic are presented like so: a thesis, giving rise to its reaction; an antithesis, which contradicts or negates the thesis; and the tension between the two being resolved in the synthesis. You can apply it to rational debates. It works like so. First, someone comes up with a proposition. Then someone else brings in an opposing idea. If both parties have valid concerns and are willing to listen to each other, a rational debate between them can lead to a better understanding of the issue. The new understanding can be a thesis in a new argument. And so, the process can repeat, resulting in the progress of ideas.

An example can illustrate this. Suppose that Adam Smith and Karl Marx meet in a conference hall. Suppose further that a discussion between the two could settle the debate between capitalism and socialism. Smith sets out the thesis. He says that capitalism and free markets are great because they create wealth and distribute goods efficiently. Marx then comes up with the antithesis. He argues that the living conditions for workers are miserable and that capitalism distributes its benefits unfairly. He then says that workers should take control of the factories. Smith then objects by saying that workers are poor entrepreneurs so if workers take over businesses, that will cause a drop in living standards.

If both are willing to consider each other’s ideas and understand the issues at stake, they might concur that capitalism creates wealth but that the plight of workers needs improvement. They could agree on minimum wages, unemployment benefits, workplace safety laws, and state pensions. That is the synthesis. It may work for a while. Then a third individual might enter the debate and say that some people abuse welfare schemes. Another person might argue that economic activity will destroy the planet. That could be the beginning of new discussions that lead to measures to reduce fraud with unemployment benefits and investments in making the economy sustainable.

Hegelian dialectic applied to history

For Hegel, historical development proceeds not in a straight line but in a spiral leading upwards to growth and progress. From the opposition of action and reaction, harmony or synthesis emerges.1 In history, progress often involves conflict, and in many cases, there is not a synthesis but an end to the old ideas. For example, in the second half of the eighteenth century, more and more people felt that slavery was morally wrong. It took nearly a century and civil war in the United States to end slavery. And so, activists, planners, and politicians use Hegelian dialectic to enforce change. The Marxists are a prime example. They believed that capitalism would vanish and that socialism would replace it. The Marxists thought they were helping history by trying to end the capitalist world order.

The conflict between capitalism and socialism turned into a power struggle during the Cold War. The United States and its allies advocated capitalism, while the Soviet Union and its satellites promoted socialism. The capitalist block featured freedom of expression, so there was a public debate and ideas could be tested and improved in a Hegelian fashion. Consequently, governments interfered with markets and created welfare states. Their economies became mixtures of capitalist and socialist elements. In the socialist block, there was no freedom of expression or public debate, so the socialist countries did not enhance their economies with capitalist elements. In the end, the leadership of the Soviet Union realised that its mission of uplifting the working class had failed.

In the nineteenth century, workers did not appear to benefit from capitalism. It was hard to envision how socialism works in practice, so it may have been necessary to try it. The Soviet Union did so for seven decades. With the benefit of hindsight, the flaws of socialism appear evident, but if no one had tried it in practice, they probably were not so obvious. The main issue with socialism is that it can make people passive so that they will not take matters into their own hands and wait for the state to solve their problems. Socialism can work well in specific situations. For instance, healthcare in socialist Cuba is cheap and effective compared to the United States. The life expectancy in the United States and Cuba is nearly the same despite the United States spending more on healthcare per person than any country, while Cuba only spends a fraction of that amount. Once upon a time, market-driven healthcare may also have seemed a great idea. By trying, you can find out.

Some Scandinavian countries are more socialist than the United States, and citizens in those countries appear happier with their lives than Americans. The degree to which socialism can work depends on the social trust and work ethic within a group. Scandinavian countries have a Protestant work ethic and are culturally homogeneous. Cultural homogeneity can promote social trust like in Scandinavia, but not necessarily so. Greece is also culturally homogeneous, but the level of social trust is much lower than in Denmark or Sweden. Hence, culturally diverse countries can develop a high level of social trust, even though that is more difficult because of cultural differences. To make socialism work, people should contribute what they can and take what they need, and the needs should not exceed the contributions. Imposed socialism, like in the Soviet Union, will not work. Scandinavian countries are not as socialist as the Soviet Union once was. Their economies are a mixture of capitalist and socialist elements.

Hegel and dialectic conflict

Ideologies like socialism and capitalism are models that describe how society works or is supposed to work. Models are simplifications or abstractions. Models can help us organise our thoughts and establish which ideas have merit and under what circumstances. But for many people, ideologies are like religions. People who use one model all the time tend to be poor problem solvers. If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

Political debates are often about scoring points rather than reasoning and listening to each other in a Socratic fashion. Parties use the Hegelian dialectic as a tool in political conflict. They frame the discussion by using their models and language. In your model, you are right, and your opponent looks stupid. Consequently, there can be no rational discussion between opponents who live in different realities like liberals and conservatives in the United States.

Scientific progress

In science, ideas advance. Thomas Kuhn came up with a scheme to describe scientific progress. He believed that science moves forward by theories replacing each other. Scientists in a specific field often work with a set of hypotheses. You may not be surprised to learn about that. So let’s call one of those theories the Old Theory. The Old Theory works fine in most situations, but sometimes it does not. Scientists at first ignore these exceptions, for instance, unexpected readings on their instruments. At first, they may think that faults cause these readings. As more and more experiments indicate that something is not right with the Old Theory, some scientists start to question it.

Then one of them then comes up with a revolutionary New Theory that explains a lot more than the previous Old Theory, including the unexplained readings on the instruments. At first, most scientists have their doubts because the New Theory is revolutionary. When experiments confirm the New Theory, scientists gradually embrace the New Theory and the Old Theory gets abandoned. In this case, there is also an argument going on between two sides, but the New Theory is superior to the Old Theory. That is most clear in the exact sciences like physics. In social sciences and economics, there is progress in theories but there are also debates between different approaches that appear unresolved.

An example might clarify how it works. Around 1680, Isaac Newton worked out the laws that explain the motion of objects. Newton’s laws tell us how fast objects fall to the ground and how planets orbit around the Sun. Newton presented his laws in a few mathematical formulas so it became possible to calculate how long it would take before a stone hits the ground if you drop it from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

In the centuries that followed, scientists developed more precise instruments and did measurements they could not explain. These were only small deviations from the values calculated with Newton’s formulas so they did not worry much about them at first. They could be errors. But the more precise the instruments grew, the more sure physicists became that something was not right. Albert Einstein then developed a theory that explained these curious readings, but also the motion of objects.

Assessing what to do

A reasoned debate combined with experimenting may be the best way of assessing what to do. Social sciences, including economics, involve human interactions. The number of variables is high and not all are known. That makes it difficult to ascertain causes and effects or to make accurate predictions. And so, experts in these fields make wrong judgements from time to time. It can be dangerous to blindly trust experts, but ignoring them can be even more hazardous. An ignorant person can be right by accident, while an expert can miss out on something. Sometimes, the difference between expert opinion and mere guessing is obscure. That emboldens the ignorant, and it makes the experts cautious.

Experiments can help to ascertain whether or not an assumption or a theory is correct. In social sciences, that may involve experimenting with humans. And that is not always ethical. And so, we should be careful as to the social experiments we engage in.

Reasoned debates are more common in science than in politics but scientists need research budgets provided by businesses and governments. The issues scientists investigate and the outcomes of scientific research can be influenced by the interests of those who fund the research. And so, the results of their research are not always what you might expect from an unbiased investigation.

Even when actions are based on the outcome of rational debates and experimenting, the actions lead to new issues that may need to be resolved in subsequent discussions and trials. The questions that will arise are often difficult to foresee, and it is even harder to think of how they will be resolved. Marx thought he could predict the future. Using Hegel’s dialectic, he thought he could predict how history would play out. Thinking that you know what will happen is a mistake many people make.

Marx believed in progress as Hegel did. Many people think there is progress. Yet, that is not so obvious. That is why conservatives want to keep things the way they are or go back in time to revert things to as they once were. To put it into perspective, if you live in a developed country, you may ask yourself, ‘Are you happier now than your parents were fifty years ago?’

Featured image: Portrait of Socrates in marble, 1st-century Roman artwork. Eric Gaba (2005). Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

1. Hegel’s Understanding of History. Jack Fox-Williams (2020). Philosophy Now. [link]

Book: God is a Woman

Who is God? Until now, this question has remained unresolved. The simulation hypothesis allows for the possibility that God is a post-human individual who uses us for personal entertainment. God might use an avatar to appear as an ordinary human in this world. And so, answering the question may come down to disclosing which people were God in disguise?

All gods are imagined, including the Jewish deity Yahweh. But the worship of Yahweh spread via Christianity and Islam. Half the people in the world now believe that Yahweh, also known as the Father or Allah, is the all-powerful owner of this universe. In a simulation, this is not a mere accident, and this deity may be the veil behind which God is hiding.

This book’s core idea is that Mary Magdalene was an avatar of God. She made Jesus believe that She was Eve reincarnated while Jesus was Adam reincarnated, and that Eve did not come from Adam’s rib but that Adam was Eve’s son, so Adam, and therefore, Jesus were the Son of God. God also married Muhammad, but he did not know that.

Much of the Hebrew Bible is mythical, so the stories about Abraham, Moses, and David could be fictional, but the accounts in the Hebrew Bible are consistent with them being married to God. The history of the Jewish nation may start with Deborah in the era of the Judges. She and other female historical figures may have been God in disguise.

This book addresses the following topics:

  • Why are humans religious, and how did religions evolve?
  • Why this universe could be virtual.
  • Why existing faiths are incorrect, but God can exist.
  • How did the Jewish religion emerge and develop?
  • Who was the historical Jesus?
  • What was the relationship between Mary Magdalene and Jesus?
  • Was Eve the mother of Adam?
  • What is the role of the Virgin Mary in the greater scheme?
  • Why is Jesus called the Last Adam?
  • Did Jewish patriarchs, prophets, and kings marry God?
  • Did Muhammad marry God?
  • What could be the hidden message in the Quran regarding the number 19?
  • Why are Christians born of God?
  • What is the meaning of God’s love?
  • What was the role of Paul in defining Christianity?
  • How did Christians turn Jesus into God?
  • Why is the Gospel of John so different from the other Gospels?
  • Which historical persons were God in disguise?
  • Has Jesus already returned, and what lessons can we learn from it?
  • Do we live in the end times?

By reading this book, you will discover that it is plausible that God is a post-human woman who uses this world to entertain Herself and that She can appear as an ordinary woman.

You can find it here: