ESSAYS AND BOOK SUMMARIES ON EMPIRICAL REALITY


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V. AMERICAN MATERIALISM

21. Intellectual Atheism and The God Problem Among Scientists
In Section 1 of this essay, materialism was defined, its origin was placed in the 18th Century, and it was said to inspire two kinds of atheism, "intellectual atheism" and "business atheism."

Intellectual atheism is the common stance of leaders in the natural sciences. When lesser scientists are asked about scientific evidence for God, they often refer the question to physicists. As a physicist who has studied scientists' beliefs, I have found that most physicists at the top of their profession prefer to believe in materialism, even though (because one cannot logically prove its negative assumption) there is no evidence to support it. One possible reason for this mass negative belief is that it absolves physicists, as well as all other humans, of any moral responsibility for the well-being of fellow humans.

If physicists are asked why they believe that there is nothing outside of physics, they will tell you that, beginning several generations ago, the most competent physicists have examined and rejected the possibility that there might be more. When asked why they disregard the contrary opinion of many people, they point to the irrational behavior of exuberant Christian evangelists and say that such foolishness proves that there is no truth in religion. When asked to explain the numerous seriously intended accounts of psychic premonitions and distant visions, by eminent people of the past and ordinary people of today, physicists say that any experience not repeatable upon demand is only hearsay evidence. When asked to explain why they will not look at the laboratory evidence for ESP, physicists say that they have a friend who looked into ESP and found the experiments riddled with uncertainties.

As summarized in the above paragraph, as illustrated in the essay "An Atheist Tells Why He Rejects ESP", and as documented at length in my book, God.org Are You There?, the position taken explicitly by some eminent scientists today against the possible existence of a nonphysical realm is indefensible. Indeed, the only eminent opposition to the reality of psychic phenomena, for example, comes from a few aging biologists and physicists who are bent upon verifying Max Planck's biographical complaint concerning his discovery of the quantum nature of light. ("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").

Opposition to ESP also comes from psychologists who know, at least subconsciously, that, as explained elsewhere, (God.org Are You There?, p. 22), "Experimental psychology as now practiced will be destroyed as a scientific enterprise" by the acceptance of psychic phenomena.

The "God Problem Among Scientists" cannot be solved until there are competent scientists willing to discuss it publicly before a scientific audience under impeccably neutral auspices. There are competent scientists who admit privately that they accept ESP or consider its occurrence to be likely but who cannot take the time to become sufficiently familiar with the field to discuss it with a hostile audience. Those other few who have conscientiously informed themselves and then declared publicly their conviction of the reality of psychic phenomena are belittled or ignored, but their reasoning is not discussed. This is a strange situation.

22. Business Atheism and the Globalization of the Economy
On the one hand, atheism is taboo as a subject for discussion in American society. On the other, atheism is an unspoken conceit among scientists, a truism among intellectuals, and an absurdity among those who believe in God. Its corollary, namely, that one has no obligation for the well being of fellow humans except as assumed for one's own satisfaction, is overlooked by most people, but is axiomatic for those at the top.

How, despite its taboo status, atheism became the policy of business, acting through the fašade of the corporation, is an interesting story.

History of the Public Corporation
To obtain capital to start a business, one might form a corporation to sell stock certificates that promise a share of future profits, if any. The stockholder is called an "owner" but, as a rule, has little to say about the operation of the corporation. The chief executive officer and his board of directors operate the business, setting their own salaries and special incentives (e.g., stock shares, stock options, performance bonuses, and severance pay) with little or no interference from the owners. This is the situation as it has existed until today. It is legally right by the doctrine of materialism, but, as we shall see, it is morally wrong because of its consequences for civilization.

A century ago, except for a few natural monopolies that were geographically spread out or that needed large minimum capitalization (e.g., oil, railroads, steel), most corporations were small and were restricted in their behavior by competitive pricing from other, local or distant firms. Indeed, until World War II, the industrial development of the nation had proceeded rapidly and efficiently, while retail prices, generally, remained under the control of competition.

The gravest end result of that past era is that it legitimized the principle of unlimited corporate greed, subject only to some minimal governmental restrictions that were adequate at the time. Under today's different conditions, the principle of unlimited corporate greed is destroying Western Civilization.

The Effects of Science and Technology
The main areas of technical and scientific advance since World War II were the following:

 Chemical and biological knowledge.
 Medical knowledge and technology.
 Information theory.
 Microwave technology, including radar.
 Solid-state technology, starting with the transistor.
 Satellite technology.
 Robotics and production-line technology.
 Just-in-time inventory.
 The analog-to-digital transition.
 The personal computer.
 The Internet.
 Efficient air travel and shipment.
 Television.

The dominant feature of the sci-tech advances since World War II is that, taken together, they have collapsed the world to the size of a city. The movement of information, people, and freight has become faster and cheaper, causing an order-of-magnitude increase in the speed and efficiency with which things can happen.

Because of the new communication advances, it has become technically feasible for profit-hungry corporations to buy and manage from afar other corporations, either to create a monopoly position or simply to control the assets of a corporation that is undervalued in terms of the market's current price/earnings ratio.

The Public Corporation Principle
As conceived today, the public corporation has only one purpose, namely, to grow. This might be called its "growth principle" or "greed principle."

The CEO and his directors are considered successful and are rewarded only if the stock price this year, as supported by profits or the prospect of profits, is greater than last year.

Nothing can grow forever. That is true of any single corporation and of the sum of all corporations. An innocent layman might suppose that it would be wise to ask when a growing economy will reach its maximum, but that is exactly what every corporation and all of our economic planners refuse to do. Their inaction sounds contrary to common sense, and so it is. What happens instead, is the following.

In the media, in good times and bad, a stock market rise is always "good" and a price fall is "bad." While a stock bubble is growing, the media report, with approval, high employment, luxurious living, and business expansions, as one might expect. When the bubble bursts, the news media focus on bankruptcies, layoffs, and personal misfortune, again as one might expect. But they focus also upon the maneuvers, both legal and illegal, by which financiers personally profit from, or in spite of, the economic downturn. The financiers are, in effect, blamed for the bubble burst. Meanwhile, the public is assured that the bubble will reform and continue to grow if they, the public, will have faith and will begin spending their remaining savings, or go more deeply into debt, as the case may be.

The foolish activities described in the preceding paragraph are what the news media feed to the public, but it is all a combination of what is either totally untrue or irrelevant. For example, the fact that billions were stolen by criminals or financiers either directly from, or through the auspices of, specific corporations, and that much suffering has been imposed upon innocent people, is irrelevant to understanding the economic process.

What is not explained to the public by the news media is that bankruptcies are made by financiers who have more money than they need and who will profit from transactions by squeezing a purchased operation in situ, or by moving it to a place where the workers are paid less for doing the same job. What we are not told is: "Who made money by this transaction and what did he, or they, do with the money?"

The point is soon reached in this Ponzi-scheme process where, to make a profit, the financiers become globalists in their ambitions and operations. For this to happen, Congress must be willing to yield U.S. sovereignty to the financiers. This is done by passing free-trade laws that allow Third World countries to compete with the USA and by passing immigration laws to allow Third World immigrants to underbid the workers in the rest of the USA.

Congress accommodates the Globalists because elections in the USA require enormous sums of money, which are available only from "business interests."

From the popular press one might infer that "globalization" means only the illicit accumulation of billions of dollars by a few people. Its other damning features are its impoverishment of the middle and lower classes, its requirement of unlimited population growth and free migration, its waste of irreplaceable natural resources, its destruction of stable native cultures and the creation of associated social unrest, its pollution of the environment, and its refusal, generally, to look to the future and ultimately to the collapse of the world economy implied by its trade policies. 1

23. Crash of the World Economy
It appears probable that the world economy will crash within three years under the economic stress of Islamic terrorism and corporate capitalism's unlimited greed. The latter is rationalized by denying two realities: (1) Civilization is a cooperative enterprise requiring a balanced population ranging upward from some minimum level of ability, i.e., we are logically obligated to care for the well being of all needed members of society. (2) Earth has already exceeded its sustainable human carrying capacity.

It is difficult to imagine an orderly economic recovery unless materialism's intellectual elitism is formally abandoned in favor of some kind of philosophic dualism for three purposes: (1) to end the economic and moral monstrosity of unfettered capitalism, (2) to accommodate the spiritual needs of both Muslims and Christians, and (3) to conform to the empirical realities of parapsychology.

VI. ISLAM IN PERSPECTIVE

24. Who Will Feed the Muslims?
According to The World of Islam (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic, Copyright 2001, ISBN 0-7922-6894-6), there are now 1.3 billion Muslims (North Africa: 299 million. Near East: 213 million. Indonesia: 181 million. Pakistan: 141 million. India: 124 million. USA: 6 million). The Muslim religion has always encouraged large families. These numbers are growing.
Environmentalists have generally agreed that the world's most urgent long-range problem is overpopulation. Environmentalists have hoped that, except in sub-Saharan Africa, by education and appeals to an area's self-interest, population growth might be halted. That hope is unjustified among Muslims.

25. The Promotion of Islam Today
There are many persons and organizations promoting Islam today in the USA. Some are interacting with Muslim believers on a commercial basis by selling prayers and personal services. Others, such as the Institute of Islamic Information and Education (www.islam.org), provide information about Islamic belief in the hope of making converts.

On that web site we are led to think that Islam is simply more sincere and more intense than other religions, and that it will therefore bring peace and happiness. The mentally capturing character of Islam is not hinted at, nor is the distasteful personal behavior of Mohammed. Popular promoters of Islam have nothing to say about the important ways in which modern Christianity excels over modern Islam, and they mention the fact that Christians believe in the Trinity, while Muslims do not, as though that difference were favorable to Islam. Islamic promoters make it sound unpatriotic and bigoted to be opposed to Islam. They ignore the events of September 11 as though they never happened.

Persons who are enthusiastic about Islam cannot be expected, for example, to reveal the curious fact that owning pictures of people or animals is forbidden in Islam, or that today there are three powerful Islamic sects, each jealously guarding its own territory.

26. Summary of Key Points About Islam
Doctrinal Elements

  1. The Koran represents complete, permanent and absolute truth. (Different Islamic sects accept the Koran but adopt minor differences in interpretation, which explain their separation as centers of political power.)

  2. All mankind divides into two classes, Muslims and infidels. (An infidel is anyone who is not a Muslim. Children under puberty are exempt from classification.)

  3. On the day of final judgment by Allah each person who ever lived will go either to heaven or to hell for all eternity. (There is no limbo or purgatory.)

  4. All infidels go to hell. Muslims may go to heaven or to hell (All sins by Muslims are forgiven if they have been confessed and abjured.)

Islamic Behavioral Duties

  1. Make a statement of belief, accepting Allah as God and Mohammed as his prophet and specifically rejecting Christianity and all other religions. (This statement is binding even when said only once and alone, but normally it is repeated daily and in the presence of other Muslims.)

  2. Say prayers at five fixed times each day while facing toward Mecca. (Praying is obligatory even if it must be done alone, but normally it is done in the presence of other Muslims who are recognized by their wearing of a turban or a veil.)

  3. Give as charity for the poor through your local mosque 2.5% annually of your net worth.

  4. Fast from sunup to sundown, from food, drink, and sexual intercourse for one designated month each year, called Ramadan. (This is part of a major social celebration by Muslims, which is centered in their mosques.)

  5. Make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime, if able.

  6. It is customary, i.e., socially required, to pray each Friday at the mosque.

  7. Obey many special rules as specified in the Koran. (Examples: Eat no pork (because it could not be safely cooked 15 centuries ago). Make or keep no pictures of people or animals (lest you be tempted to worship them as false gods).)

  8. The sexes are segregated, before and after marriage. Marriages are arranged by fathers, following rituals that favor carnal love and aggression.

  9. Publicly identify one's self as a Muslim at all times by wearing a turban or a veil. (This will allow your fellow Muslims to encourage you to remain faithful to Allah.)

Implications of Islam

  1. Even in the USA where Muslims are only two percent of the population, it is impossible to cease being a Muslim, i.e., a Muslim cannot be converted from Islam. Any attempt to leave Islam, e.g. by ceasing to follow the behavioral requirements of Islam, will be opposed by ostracism by all of one's friends and by the certified threat of eternal damnation. (A change of religious conviction normally requires extended contemplation, for which no time is available to a practicing Muslim.)

  2. Because all unconverted Christians are damned to eternal hell, although there may be temporary truces between Muslim and Christian, there can never be peace. Islam began as, and remains, a religion of conquest.

  3. It is unfortunate that the religion of Mohammed has emerged as a challenge to the survival of Western Civilization at a time when the true nonphysical nature of man is just becoming visible on the horizon and while some of our leading scientists are still foolishly saying that man has no spiritual nature.

1 The globalist's past impregnable political position derived from the fact that globalization and related population issues have been concealed from public discussion by the press and the politicians. It is not widely known that information on these taboo subjects is readily available. Dr. John H. Tanton publishes The Social Contract, a journal devoted primarily to most aspects of Globalization while scarcely mentioning that word. [445 East Mitchell Street, Petoskey, Michigan 49770-2623 and "www.thesocialcontract.com".] Dr. J. Philippe Rushton, the world's foremost authority on racial differences of all kinds, has escaped censorship by republishing in a six-dollar abridged edition his momentous Race, Evolution, and Behavior [ISBN: 0-9656836-2-1. Charles Darwin Research Institute, P.O. Box 611305, Port Huron, Michigan 48061-1305]. My book, Joyride to Infinity: A Scientific Study of the Doomsday Literature  [ISBN: 1-878465-35-X], reviews, pro and con, about 140 recent doomsday books. [back to text]

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