What Good Are Old People?

 

“Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone.”
– Dan Brown, American author (b. 1964), Angels & Demons

Old age is not for everyone. Especially not for those who die young. Or for those who intentionally risk losing theirs.

What do most of us know about elderly people, other than what we read? They get weak, become uncoordinated, feeble of mind and forgetful. They must be put into a home for the elderly because they can’t look after themselves and younger people don’t have time to tend to them full time.

And they are notoriously afraid of electronic devices. That is what the media teach us. Endlessly. But is it true?

Of course it is true for the ones we see and for many more who have not looked after their bodies and brains the way those things needed. (I can hear cries now of ageism, thoughtlessly blaming old people for being old. Sorry, no one wants to admit too late that they should have lived their lives differently, better, in a more healthy manner. No one wants to admit they should have worked harder to tend to the needs of their own bodies when they had the chance.)

But it is not true for the majority. The elderly of today are, in general, not like the elderly of their parents’ and grandparents’ generations.

There are those who are sick. Modern medicine pats itself on the back at how efficient it is at providing medication for whatever problems old people may have. Trouble is, one of the biggest problems that elderly people have is taking too many medications, so many that they lose the active parts of their lives.

Let me give you one example. A neighbour and friend is 87 years of age. His wife died less than a year ago. He remained living in the home they had lived in together for decades. Two weeks ago he had a problem. A visitor arrived and found him in bed having difficulty breathing.

After two days recovering in hospital and eating foods geared to his body’s needs rather than his own meat-only preferences, he felt much better. When asked by his doctor to assess how he felt, he said 8 out of 10. The doctor told him pills would fix up what was wrong with him that causes his “episode.”

One week after he began the pills (about 16 per day) I visited and asked him how he felt. He said 2 out of 10. That fit with the impression I had of his abilities when I arrived. Each of the pills might have been for good purpose, but together they were destroying his life. (He was much improved by the time I left. The hospital had taken him off many of the pills he had been prescribed.)

His risk of death, I believe, would be much less if he ditched the pills completely and ate a better diet. Which, knowing him, he might not do, but that is another story.

Modern medicine is slowly destroying the lives of any elderly person who gets sick. Before this I have seen others of my friends who got drugged up when they got sick and died a few weeks or months later.

What do the non-sick elderlies do? Another friend in his mid 70s skis two or three times each week. He went sky diving to celebrate his 70th birthday. Still another volunteers to help elderlies who can’t get around to get to appointments and shopping. He and his wife also travel around the country attending music and play performances in various cities.

Look at those participating in any common activity these days and you will find retired people. In fact, they are often so busy that they don’t have time to do many activities they want to do. So many ask me why I think they are busier now–well into their senior years and well past retirement–than they were when they were still working.

I tell them I don’t know. But I do know. Upon retirement these active people freed up both their time and their mental abilities to consider all kinds of possibilities they didn’t have time for earlier in their lives. They now have time to think of possibilities. They eagerly get out and do as many as they can.

Look at organizations of volunteers. Their membership is filled with seniors. Go to a hospital and you will find virtually every volunteer position filled by a senior. Service clubs provide great benefits for their respective communities each year, mostly through the help of volunteer seniors.

Volunteering is a great form of socializing as well as of helping others.

These are happy people feeling fulfilled in their lives, often as never before.

What good are they to others? Their volunteering saves fortunes in taxes for municipalities that would otherwise have to pay for services. What the seniors spend–they often spend freely–gives huge boosts to the economy.

Do they share with younger people the wisdom they have gained with the experience of many years of living?

Only with those who will listen. Willingly and freely to them.

Bill Allin is the author of hundreds of articles about life guidance, all available on the internet. Learn more about him at http://billallin.com

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So, This Is What We Have Come To

So, This Is What We Have Come To

I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.
– Jack Kerouac, American novelist and poet (1922-1969)

 

If you are confused about your world, don’t be alarmed. You have every right to be confused. Indeed, you are obliged to be confused. Many official agencies and industries around you work constantly to keep you confused, thus helpless.

Our world no longer makes any sense. Bear with me as this is not a rant.

The confusion is worldwide. It is in effect in almost every culture, especially those that depend largely on modern developments and values.

We have legal systems whose purpose is ostensibly to determine the guilt or innocence of accused individuals, but whose primary function in fact is to decide which attorney or barrister is the more effective debater.

The best debaters are invariably the most expensive and never public defenders for those who can’t afford their own defence, so the poorer you are the less likely you will be able to be found not guilty, no matter what the facts may be.

Among large legal offices, the lawyers most likely to be made partner are those who are best able to accumulate “billable hours.” In other words, the most notable attorneys are those who are able to drag cases out so their firm can charge the most money.

We have medical systems where doctors receive almost no training in how to make patients well and healthy but mostly on how to make them dependent on medications that will keep them coming back and keep their pharmaceutical company sponsors happy and rolling in profits. Yes, sponsors as many doctors profit greatly from payments made to them by pharmaceutical companies that make the most popular medications.

In some jurisdictions doctors are forbidden from advising patients about treatments that do not directly profit other members of the medical community. In California, for example, a family doctor may not advise a cancer treatment other than chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. The doctor may be charged and have his or her licence revoked for advising any treatment other than those three, each of which is invasive and harmful.

We have pharmaceutical companies who not only bribe doctors (their “pushers”) they bribe politicians to pass laws and regulations that benefit the bottom lines of the pharmaceutical companies, irrespective of the effects it has on the health of patients. An excellent example is vaccines for children. In many jurisdictions children are required to have dozens of vaccines before they are allowed into school. The interactions of these vaccine combinations and their effectiveness are never tested. Yes, never. Sometimes the effectiveness of vaccines themselves are not tested.

Many governments now pay pharmaceutical companies to provide free flu vaccines to people of all ages each year. This year in the USA the common flu vaccine has been proven to be only 10% effective. Almost all of the people who have died from the flu this year were vaccinated against the flu. Because of lack of testing and recording among doctors, no one knows the other negative effects the flu vaccines have on patients. We have only anecdotal records and the medical community and politicians pay little attention to them.

Parents whose children have had the MMR vaccine rage against other parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. No one can explain why a parent believes their vaccinated child should be at risk for measles, mumps and rubella from another children who has not been vaccinated. Do the parents not trust the vaccines they have subjected their children to? In fact, it happens all too frequently that a vaccinated child gets the disease against which the child has been vaccinated. Again, testing of the vaccines does not include other health effects.

Children do get measles. Studies have shown sometimes that the children most likely to get measles are those who have been vaccinated against measles. Their parents inevitably blame the parents of the unvaccinated kids. As a child I had measles twice and my mother didn’t blame anyone. She just put it down to another childhood disease.

We have supermarkets whose shelves and aisles are filled with edible products that could eventually cause degradation of the health of those who eat them. Preservatives alone in canned foods act in our bodies the opposite way to what we want. Preservatives are designed to kill pathogens, microbes that cause disease. Inside our bodies they also kill the bacteria that comprise 85% of our immune system. Yes, you read that right.

The most harmful foods to eat are the cheapest, making them the most attractive to the poor who can’t afford to eat better. In turn, when the poor (with weak and compromised immune systems) inevitably get sick, they become a burden on public healthcare systems. That causes taxes to be higher. Politicians who want to keep taxes low will allow poisoned food (most “fresh” produce is sprayed with insecticides or fungicides–all poisons–while growing and before being presented for sale in markets) to be sold by their food industry financial supporters, then want to cut support for public healthcare (in some cases). That puts the poor at greatest risk of dying too young.

We have giant religious institutions that make stuff up regularly. Example: though no one from any religion can explain the nature of God, people of many religions regularly post statements about God wanting this, God disliking that, God will help you if you just believe and ask, and so on. These people boldly and carelessly speak for God. No holy book supports any of it.

The Catholic Church invented Limbo, Purgatory and Hell to keep its followers in line. It has recently backed away from Limbo and Purgatory and is in the process of eliminating Hell from its public statements. Some of its priests still condemn church enemies to hell. (The enemies do not worry, they understand irony.)

The Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) have for centuries preached creation, Adam and Eve as unimpeachable truths. Now most are saying creation is symbolic and fits in with evolution, that Adam and Eve were just metaphoric symbols to help primitive people to believe in something they could understand. That was not likely the way you were taught.

The three basic flavours of Judaism–reform, conservative and orthodox–differ in their rituals and practices. As do the Shi’ite, Sunni and other smaller belief sets of Islam. They all preach peace, but they are all almost constantly at war or dispute.

Have you ever wondered why governments allow poisons to be put into drinking water (fluoride) and sprayed on food crops right from the time they are planted until they are sold? Or why they allow herbicides (such as glyphosate) to be sprayed on food crops when those poisons kill every living thing they touch (including microbes in the ground that make land fertile–they sterilize the ground) and they kill any animals that eat the primary victims of those poisons?

There is great debate surrounding the administration of vaccines, especially to children who are not old enough to make their own choices. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in the US, a strong proponent of vaccines, is the authority many supporters of vaccines quote when they put forward their arguments. The CDC actually owns 57 patents on vaccines. This should be a red light for conflict of interest by any measure.

This is the kind and level of confusing situations that cause people to despair that there is any hope for the future of our world. In the United States the two most commonly prescribed medications are those that dull the senses and impair brain function. Yet cases of suicide and mental illness are soaring.

Should we just give up? No. One huge part of the problem is that the mass media love to report what is bad, negative and harmful, but seldom report the good. There is more good work happening in the world today than ever before in history. Good work in the world is at an all time high and it is expanding rapidly.

People care. People all over the world want things to change for the better. Many are prepared to take action.

The reason why most of the situations above are familiar to you is because they have become world causes. Just as sexual harassment and abuse of women has become a world issue recently.

These are all positives, not negatives. The world is in the process of changing like never before. Social values are changing faster than ever. The human species is evolving into something greater than it has been.

Don’t look at the upset caused by change and assume that it is the new normal. Keep your eyes on the goal, not on the disarray around you. The world, as always, is changing for the better.

Bill Allin is the author of hundreds of articles (all available free on the internet) about social change, how it can happen and what its effects are on all of us. Learn more at http://billallin.com

Who or What Is God and Why the Mystery?

Who or What Is God and Why the Mystery?

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation and is but a reflection of human frailty.
– Albert Einstein, German-born theoretical physicist, sometime philosopher (1879-1955)

Einstein’s “reflection of human frailty” is the biggest part of the answer to the title question. Humans created their God or gods based on their own needs. Each god reflects the needs of its human creator at the time of its creation. Einstein was not afraid to imagine something different.

Does this mean I am about to prove that God does not exist or that he does? In a very real sense I can answer that: neither.

The gods we have been taught about are human creations based on the limited knowledge (and needs) of their time. In that sense God is fiction. That is the God that atheists deny and that confuses agnostics. That does not mean that God does not exist. It means that humans have not listened to their predecessors who taught what was real. Not many predecessors, to be sure. The world’s most popular book was written about one of them.

In general, religions have taught about gods that were created millennia ago. They were days when people belonged to tribes and had distinct tribal values. Tribal values seem brutal and inhumane in today’s megasocieties. Yet those ancient religions today stick to their creations which can never be proven and don’t even make sense to most people in the 21st century. Moreover, some of the concepts are conflicted or inconsistent. God in the Christian Old Testament, for example, has distinctly male characteristics as the stern master and vengeful warrior. In the New Testament God takes on clearly feminine characteristics, as a mother who would care for, help, protect and coddle followers.

It is so easy for science to debunk the gods created by religion because, generally speaking, the claims made about each are not just outrageous, but actually absurd. This claim may seem offensive to those who have not actually studied the books about the god they believe in. Religious leaders, for exactly this reason, have felt no shame in giving the god they want followers to adore (and to give money to his place of worship) characteristics that the followers want to believe their god has.

Christianity made Mary, the mother of Jesus, into a virgin. The Bible makes no such claim, anywhere–some of the most modern Bibles may be exceptions as they have written what they want their followers to believe. But it makes followers more strongly believe that God must have been the father of Jesus of Nazareth. Most of the miracles in the Bible can be explained by a thorough knowledge of nature and a good knowledge of therapies that ancient peoples used to cure diseases. Cures that, I must add, today’s pharmaceutical companies do not want us to know because they want to sell us their expensive medicines. “Us” being the same gullible followers of religions that preach of fictitious gods.

In order for us to understand what God is we must discard what we have been taught by both science and religion. About God or gods, not about other things they have taught us. Neither religion nor science has allowed for a concept of God that is beyond the understanding of those who went before us thousands of years ago. I especially remember one man with rebellious ideas who was crucified. He taught what we should understand today, but his contemporaries did not understand. Those who followed him named a religion after him but did not accept his word about God. Yes, I am saying that Christianity is not about Jesus of Nazareth, but instead about a real person who was fictionalized to make him more attractive to followers. Jesus was a simple teacher and healer. His follower Paul was the real founder of the religion.

Wait, am I saying that Jesus is not the Son of God? What Jesus actually said was that we are each children of God and we can find God within ourselves if we know how to look. The Bible says that but Christianity doesn’t teach that, does it?

We can use what we have learned in all aspects of the sciences and humanities–in the past century more than in all of history before that–to look at a bigger picture. We can’t satisfy science, religion or our own curiosity unless we are prepared to at least consider possibilities that are different from the conventional thinking we have been taught from the past. In the case of religion, from thousands of years in the past. In the case of science, from an establishment with rules tougher than most religions, one which is prepared to alienate, even to remove certification from, those with different ideas.

Let’s begin with what we know. We know about matter because we see and feel it every day. It constitutes the body that most believe is who we are. We can see, hear, taste, touch and smell matter. We know about energy because it warms us when we stand in the noonday sun, when we drive our cars or when we heat our homes. Yet science has calculated, through observation and learned mathematics, that the matter and energy we know constitutes only five percent of what exists in the universe. That’s right, 5%.

So what is in the other 95%? People who read will quickly answer dark matter and dark energy. OK, and what are they? They can’t be seen because they do not reflect light or absorb it. Apparently we walk through them and breathe them and shoot spacecraft through them every day. We know when we bump into regular matter because it hurts. But when we bump into dark matter? Nothing. According to what we have been taught, that should be impossible.

Let’s review: science has proven that we can only detect about five percent of what science knows exist in the universe. That means that science admits that neither it nor anyone it supports has any real idea of what constitutes 95% of the universe. Science says that the 95% inhabits every part of the universe. We send spacecraft through it, we walk through it, we even breathe it without knowing it. Science says that.

Science does not say whether we walk through dark matter or dark energy. Hmmm. Since science does say that dark energy is responsible for our universe expanding uncontrollably, actually increasing its rate of expansion over time, I will say that what we walk through is dark matter. In that case we would be known matter walking through unknown matter. And we don’t know it. Well, you do know it now that I have told you. But it doesn’t push you around the way dark energy pushes the universe with unimaginable force.

We know that people around the world, in every culture on the planet and every one that has existed through recorded history has believed there is something bigger than what they are and what they know, something most of us would call supernatural. They have all prayed, in some form or another, to this supernatural force. With little effect, though many claim that when things work out the way they wanted them to work out their prayers have been answered.

When a supernatural force is deemed to have human characteristics, it doesn’t work out. If God gives us good things, why does he allow things such as the Holocaust and genocide, murder, drug addiction and mean mothers to happen? The answer, of course, is that only the fictitious gods are deemed to have human characteristics. Deemed? Isn’t it Genesis (a part of the holy books of Judaism, Islam and Christianity) that says God created man in his own image? That statement is so old that billions of people believe it is true. Because it’s old. And it appears in a holy book. What does that even mean, really? Is it not more true that people created their god in their own image?

Science believes it may have captured evidence that dark matter exists. Maybe. It still doesn’t know what dark matter is or does. As for dark energy it says we must just have faith that dark energy is real. Faith? Well, science doesn’t use that word, but what words it does use mean the same thing as faith. The mathematics of physics insists that dark energy must exist. Call it what you like if you don’t like the term dark energy. It exists.

I ask myself who would object if I claimed that dark energy is really God. That science has found evidence that God exists.

Why would science not come out and say that is a possibility? Because billions of people have beliefs that God (or gods) are something different. Any scientist who came out and stated that dark energy is God would find himself unemployed, with his name scrubbed from the annals of history.

I do not live under such threats so I will say it. The dark energy that science claims exists and pervades every part of the universe is what people for millennia have been calling God. Anyone who would claim that I am wrong will have no more evidence–in fact, even less–that his or her own god exists.

So what about this God? Did God create everything? Not quite. God IS everything. That includes you. You might call God a scientist. The universe is his playpen (sorry, science lab). The matter and energy we know, which Einstein said are the same thing, are his toys. I don’t say that sarcastically or cynically. I believe we should not put so much emphasis on the meanings and values of words. “Playpen” and “toys” are words familiar to all of us. If you attach values to them that are not intended or are not inherent in their denotative meanings, that is your problem.

Can we say, then, that science has proven the existence of God? No, not even close. Science would not even try. While people around the world have various concepts of God, there is no general agreement, no consensus that reaches even a bare majority. People disagree on the nature of God so science could never have a hope of proving anything that could never be recognized as a proof.

Science and religion can never agree about God because people can’t agree on what or who God is. Or what powers God has or lacks. That profound lack of agreement might be the greatest mystery of all. And the greatest obstacle.

This concept of God is not new. I have found it in elements of most of the world’s major religions. It may be found within the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth for those who willing to cast aside what they have been taught and look at the words of Jesus in the Bible. Let’s remember that Christianity is not the sole possessor of Jesus. Both Judaism and Islam consider Jesus one of their great prophets. That covers nearly half the current human population today. Of course the idea of dark energy is not mentioned by any of the God concepts because it is a name given by science in recent years and never considered by those who devised their own concepts of God millennia ago. God was assumed to be a mysterious supernatural force. Ummm, like dark energy.

Multiple times each week I read on social media where people make claims about God and even have the audacity to speak on his behalf with no authority whatsoever. This alone would make agreement between science and religion impossible as religionists mold their concept of God like wet clay.

The implications of this concept of God are either very simple or very complex. Simple if you reject it outright. Complicated if you want to consider what God could do, not do, want to do, want to avoid or take a serious interest in. These will be discussed in followup articles to this one. You may consider this as Part I, essential reading for anyone who will dare to venture into reading succeeding parts.

Finally, it will be important for us for future parts of this discussion to remember the law of conservation of matter and energy. Einstein said they are essentially the same thing in his well known equation e=mc2. Same with dark matter and dark energy. No matter whether something is energy or matter, it could become the other or even reverse its form. Nothing disappears. This will be important for us to keep in mind before reading followup articles. If something exists, it will not disappear.

[HINT: Does your personality exist?]

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book of simple and inexpensive solutions to big problems of societies, and hundreds of articles which are available on the internet.

Are We Maturing or Evolving As A Species?

Are We Maturing or Evolving As A Species?

You can graph human evolution, which is mostly a straight line, but we do get better and change over time, and you can graph technological evolution, which is a line that’s going straight up. They are going to intersect each other at some point, and that’s happening now.
– Daniel H. Wilson, American author, TV host, robotics engineer (b. 1978)

Evolution is constant. It’s happening all the time, every day, not just occasionally over eons. It is now known that our own genetic composition can change even daily based on life conditions, diet, stressors, environmental factors, medications, even to the extent of finding new love.

Is it possible that our species has evolved slightly over the past century so that we are close to becoming two separate species? What might members of an evolving group of humans look like so that we could distinguish them from those who were not evolving? Would the unevolved ones fear the evolved ones and kill them as enemies the way science fiction has postulated? If so, would the evolved ones want to look like the unevolved ones long enough that their numbers were strong enough that they could repel attacks from the unevolved ones?

That suggestion may sound absurd because you have not heard it before. But look around the world at human populations. You can see major differences in approaches to life in every country.

In North American countries they are referred to as political differences, liberals and conservatives. In many countries the two are represented by two or more different political parties. In other places they may be represented by different religions. In still others the differences may be between those in power and those struggling to escape from the group in power, one that is particularly oppressive. Often the differences will be that one group prefers peace while the other advocates war or control by power. Or those who work for the best interests of others as well as of themselves and those whose only interest is themselves and their own welfare.

Sympathy is a common characteristic among all human cultures. Empathy, the ability to actually feel what someone else is experiencing, is a relatively rare characteristic. Empathy would seem to be a characteristic of an advanced form of human. Characteristics have ways of forming themselves to become part of the genetic makeup of a species.

Could these possibly represent differences in the DNA of our species, differences that are not yet striking enough that we are still able to reproduce with each other. (Species are usually distinguished from each other by their inability to mate successfully, though there are exceptions such as donkeys mating with horses to produce mules.)

Sociologists would say these two groups represent the social evolution of humankind from tribal culture to megasociety culture. This would be what I am calling the maturing of our species.

Tribal culture can best be seen in parts of the world that are still mostly tribal in nature. In these places fighting is ongoing, peace is rare and brief. The Middle East, parts of Africa and parts of the subcontinent are easily recognized as mainly tribal. In tribal culture there is always fear of the other “tribes” because of their differences, fear that the other may conquer or assimilate them.

With 7.5 billion people on our planet we can’t afford to maintain a constant tribal state or we would be constantly at war. We must accommodate ourselves to what is called the megasociety. The megasociety recognizes differences and accepts them without fear and without wanting to resort to genocide to protect themselves. Death by violence is frequent in tribal societies, much less in megasocieties.

In the largest countries by population in the world, China, India and the USA, we can see signs of old tribal characteristics showing up, especially at election time. But, generally speaking, these countries remain relatively peaceful within their own borders and with other countries, considering what they were like in the past.

Are we maturing, as we must with an uncontrollably large population, from tribal society to megasociety? Or are we splitting into two separate and distinct species of necessity, by evolution?

It would certainly be more comfortable for us to say the differences are just differences in principles, in political preferences.

But, no matter what your political preferences, are you not tempted to ask yourself “What is wrong with those people that they can think that way?” Are the differences deeper than political preference?

I can’t offer evidence of genetic change among our species. Neither can anyone else because this has not been studied. I do wonder why the US State of California has forbidden its citizens from having a complete DNA analysis done by their own request and at their own expense. What might that reveal in a state that large?

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book that offers inexpensive solutions to social problems through changes in education. He has also authored hundreds of articles which are available free on the internet.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

Myths, Misconceptions And Misinformation About Christmas

Myths, Misconceptions And Misinformation About Christmas

Let’s begin with an explanation about cultures in the Middle East that most in the West seem to be unaware of. Two thousand years ago–and even today–what we call the Middle East was populated largely by people who identified themselves as being part of a tribe, not of a mega-society of the type many of us are familiar with today.

Tribal values are much different from those of mega-societies. The most obvious is that tribes battle each other frequently, violently and often to the death, even to extermination. Violence is a way of life as tribes vie for dominance in a region. Within each tribe families contend for status as leading families. Leading families gain the most favours. And wealth.

When the great Prophet of Islam–himself a tribal leader who led his followers into many battles–died, two parts of his family formed their own separate religious groups, each with its own leader. These two Muslim groups today are known as Sunnis and Shi’ites. Even today the two battle each other–often to the death as we see from Sunni-dominated Islamic State–rather than coming together as one religion.

Middle Eastern language groups tend to speak in what we might think of as metaphors. Speech was and is peppered with comparisons, what we in the West would consider to be flowery language. Read a translation of the speeches of Osama bin Laden and you might think he spoke in poetry all the time.

Information was, two millennia ago and is often today, conveyed in these languages by metaphor, even to the extent of including little stories. Today we might call some of that kind of story a parable. Jesus of Nazareth was known for his parables, but they would have been very common in his day.

Keep this in mind when thinking about Christmas, Jesus and the whole concept of the celebration. Some parts of the story were intended to be understood as metaphor, not as fact.

Jesus was a Jew for his entire life. He was not the founder of Christianity. That would be better attributed to (St.) Paul. He disputed corrupt Jewish leaders, not the principles of his religion.

Nowhere in the Bible does it say that his mother Mary was a virgin. Nowhere. That was an invention of the later Christian church. What the Bible does say is that Mary’s mother, (St.) Anne, was born of Immaculate Conception. That means that Anne was not born with the burden of Original Sin (Adam, Eve and the apple story that supposedly has followed all of Adam’s descendents until today, if you believe the Old Testament). Immaculate Conception has to do with freedom from sin from birth, nothing to do with virginity.

The Bible does not say that Mary and Joseph were not married. In those days a young unmarried woman who got pregnant would have been stoned to death–tribal law. Even today it is common for a young woman (Mary would have been about 13 or 14) in the Middle East to be married to an older man who can support her. Young women who were old enough to procreate were often married as soon as possible. At the time of our story Joseph may well have been in his early 30s.

By the way, Joseph (the carpenter) would have been a stone mason, not a worker with wood. In Aramaic and ancient Hebrew the word for the two trades was the same. There was lots of work for stone masons building Roman cities (in this case Sepphoris), not much work for a wood worker in a desert environment.

Jesus would have been Mary’s first born, but not her only child. It is highly likely that some of his male siblings were among his Disciples, though some question this. Joseph may not have had enough stone work for so many sons, but there was always work for fishermen. In an arid environment it was easier to catch fish from a lake than to grow veggies in your garden.

Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the Roman census. Really? It is convenient for Christianity to claim that Jesus came from the family of David (conqueror of Goliath) which was the most prominent family in his tribe.

But which Bethlehem? Though it no longer exists today, there was a village called Bethlehem in Galilee 2000 years ago. Galilee was the area of northern Israel (of today) where Jesus grew up and where he did most of his preaching. How convenient to link the former village of Bethlehem with the modern day city of Bethlehem (David’s home town) which is close to Jerusalem.

When was Jesus of Nazareth born? Likely during the night of September 26-27, in the year 4 BCE. That was the year of the Roman census. December 25 was a convenient time for early Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus during the time when they would have been persecuted by the Romans because the Romans were already celebrating their own Saturnalia on that date.

But the Bible does not state specifically the date of the birth of Jesus. No, but the date may be calculated by clear statements about his birth from other sources in the New Testament. Read about that here: https://www.scribd.com/document/45877440/When-Was-Jesus-Really-Born

Why would Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus on December 25 when they should be made aware that he was born on September 26-27? Hmmm. Maybe Christians should ask themselves why they spend so much money buying presents for themselves when their supposed role model, Jesus, was a poor man who disavowed wealth during his whole teaching career. In fact, he clearly stated that a rich man could never make it into heaven (an odd statement given the Judaism does not have a clear concept of heaven even today).

The birthplace of Jesus–a cave stable, not a wooden stable structure–would not have been visited by three kings. The Magi, if they came at all, would have been sages and astronomers and it would have taken months (maybe a year) before they arrived to see Jesus as a toddler.

The cave birthplace would have been warm from the body heat from the animals and, if necessary, they would have provided milk for the family.

Did King Herod really want to learn the location of the baby so that he could send troops to kill the child? This part of the story is so absurd that I do not feel the need to address it. Herod died shortly thereafter so it is highly unlikely he would fear a Jewish baby.

What about those shepherds? Sure enough. Farmers commonly kept sheep in an arid area so shepherds simply returning home on their nights off could have accounted for that gathering. How many shepherds would it take to make a cave crowded?

And the shining star in the east? Nope. If it existed at all it would have been in the west because the Magi supposedly came from the east (west was the Mediterranean Sea). People in that area in those days referred to directions differently than we do today. Even today a wind that blows to the east is called a west wind.

Why would the family of Jesus (necessarily that of the father, Joseph) have been forced to have birth in a cave? Inns and hotels would have been rare and overloaded with people needing to have their census records updated, so Joseph and Mary would have been forced to stay with relatives. The home would have been so crowded that Mary would have had more space to give birth (and more privacy) in the stable than in a crowded bedroom in the house above.

If the above is true, why would Christianity not have made these facts known? Religions are notorious for sticking with their interpretation of stories no matter what. Like political parties, they will twist facts out of shape just to maintain that what they said in the past is still correct.

Jesus of Nazareth is considered an important prophet in Judaism and a saint in Islam–he is mentioned by name in the Qur’an, his mother is mentioned twice. Jesus is a person of great importance to all Abrahamic religions.

Finally, did the birth of Jesus really mark the birth of the Son of God? In the Bible Jesus never says he is the Son of God. What he does say to Pilate (Easter story) who asks that question is, so to speak, that is just a story that is going around.

Jesus said that each of us can find God within ourselves. That is the only place we should look for God. God is within each of us, we only need to look for him. That makes each of us children of God. Yup, that includes you.

Christian churches may disagree with some or all of the above. But even they can’t agree on what is true and real. When they feel the need, they make stuff up.

Jesus said not to do that. He positioned himself as a role model, not as a leader or as a deity to be worshipped. If you doubt, read the Bible. Don’t listen to religious leaders who make stuff up.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning it Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems and hundreds of articles that are available free on the internet. Yes, misunderstanding of the Jesus story and abuses that result from it is a social problem.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

The War Against Your Health

The War Against Your Health

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
– Charles Darwin, English naturalist and geologist (1809 – 1882)

I hate conspiracy theories. The odd one has sufficient evidence that needs to be addressed (what and who really caused 9/11?) but most are created by people who know far too little and have too great a desire to stand in the public spotlight. And who can make money or gain recognition by spreading their theories widely. Money’s the big reason behind most.

The war against your health is not a conspiracy theory. Nor is it unwinnable as is the case with the War on Terror or the War on Drugs, where the warriors stand to gain by continuing the war rather than solving and ending it.

Be assured that the war against your health is generating obscene fortunes for those responsible for it, just as is the case for the wars on drugs and terror.

The war against your health is based on your ignorance of the basic truths about the health of your body, your gullibility in believing lies about what is good for you, or your reluctance to change your habits to healthy ones even if you know the truths.

Let’s begin with the basic assumption that your immune system is the foundation on which your health is based. Your well-being depends on your not being ill or getting a debilitating disease. For that you need a healthy immune system.

But what is your immune system? Has anyone ever explained to you what it is or where it’s located in your body? For most the answer would be NO. Why? Because your ignorance about your own immune system makes you vulnerable to forces that stand to make huge profits by feeding you stuff that will harm your health and impair your well-being.

First–here is what may be the most shocking part for you–your immune system is only comprised about two percent of your own body’s cells. The rest of your immune system is made up of bacteria. These are good bacteria that work with your body to make your body healthy as they survive and thrive themselves in and on you.

These good bacteria are everywhere. On your skin, around your organs, in your mouth, in your bloodstream. The biggest majority of them are in your gut, your intestines, the small intestine and the colon. They live in symbiosis with you. You are, as the Star Trek series used to call them, a symbiont.

The bacteria in your immune system can’t live without you and you can’t possibly survive for long without them. Yet all kinds of products on the market want to kill them. Even your own family doctor may prescribe medicines that will kill your immune system.

Cancer, the most common disease in the western world, is treated–sometimes by law only using these treatments–by chemo drugs and radiation. Chemo drugs are all poisons. No doctor will deny this. They won’t tell you that unless you ask. Radiation is another form of poison. Aren’t you told to fear radiation from broken nuclear generating stations such as Fukushima and Chernobyl? Same stuff as doctors use on many cancer patients. Chemo and radiation make money for the medical community and for the industries that support it.

There are proven cures for cancer. Most are illegal. Ask yourself why. Marijuana is but one example. The United States government has a patent on the only cure for cancer accepted by that government. The patent is for marijuana. And it’s illegal in most of the United States. Other cures receive zero publicity from major media that survive on advertising from the companies that make the stuff that could kill you. Yes, it’s that bad.

Antibiotics are prescribed for people who get sick. Antibiotics kill bacteria and your immune system is their major victim. Mouthwashes claim to kill all the microbes in your mouth. Your immune system again. Your first line of defence against pathogens you put into your mouth. It’s that bad.

Many people in North America consider a daily shower (or two) to be normal. They wash off the good bacteria of their immune system that live on their skin.

Many of the foods you eat contain preservatives. Preservatives are designed to kill bacteria that can make food spoil. They also kill the bacteria that comprise the major part of your immune system once they reach your gut. Check ingredient lists on packaged and canned foods. Those words you can’t pronounce are preservatives, the enemies of your immune system. Preservatives are immune system killers.

Fresh produce, that’s good, right? Actually, most of it has been sprayed with poisons before it reaches your market. Apples, for example, are sprayed with poisons (pesticides and herbicides) from the time the apple blossom first comes out until just before it gets trucked to your market. Every two weeks they get sprayed. Apples. They won’t keep the doctor away if they are infused with poisons right from the seeds on out.

Potatoes are almost as bad. Other fruits and vegetables are not sprayed quite so often. All herbicides and pesticides–anything that ends in “…ide”–are poisons. Poisons kill the good bacteria that are your immune system.

Glyphosate, the major component in Roundup by Monsanto, and its kin by other chemical manufacturers, kills every living thing in the soil it touches. The microbes in soil that make it healthy–the very reason people have grown food in dirt for thousands of years–are killed by these chemicals. Chemical companies sell industrial farms more chemicals, such as fertilizers, to grow the crops you buy as food. That kind of food could be grown in crushed rock or sand.

Fluoride is put into municipal water in many communities. While there is no truth to the rumour that Hitler put fluoride in drinking water he gave to his Jewish prisoners to keep them from rioting, it is still true that fluoride is a poison and it does affect the brain. It is claimed that fluoridation of water prevents major tooth decay in children. So poison them rather than teaching kids how to brush their teeth properly twice a day. In business, anything can be justified if the objective is profit.

Municipal water treatment systems already put chlorine in water to kill off microbes in the raw water they take in. How much poison is acceptable in drinking water?

Does water really need poison? Your mouth’s saliva is already an acid that contains microbe killers secretory IgA and lysozyme.

Where do kids learn how to brush their teeth? Or adults for that matter. Mostly from TV commercials. Every TV commercial I have seen for decades teaches the wrong way to brush teeth. They teach people to brush the parts of their teeth that do not need to be brushed because food doesn’t stick there, such as on the bare open area of teeth. That just makes those teeth extra sensitive as the enamel is worn off. So the manufacturers get to sell you toothpaste for sensitive teeth. And dentists do more work on the teeth you damaged yourself by brushing wrong.

As a general piece of advice, you should be cautious about putting anything in your mouth or on your body that is advertised on TV. Dig deep enough and you will find scientific evidence to show that every one of those products are bad for your health.

There is more, too much more to report here. But you get the idea.

Why is this all allowed? Too many people are employed (and pay taxes) for governments to risk putting controls on these products. So it’s up to you how much risk you are prepared to take with your health. Will you be a victim of the war on your health or will you step aside from it and treat your body with the care it needs.

A major study just came out that shows that the life span of Americans is now lower than it was in the recent past. This is the first time ever that life span has been reduced in America. Now you know why.

If you want to pursue this subject you may want to research the evidence around the deaths of over five dozen naturopath and holistic doctors and nutrition specialists in the USA over the past year and a bit. Most–all healthy and none beyond middle age–were ruled as suicides by the police, thus excusing themselves from further investigation and problems with big pharmaceutical companies that wanted these natural cure people “disappeared.”

No matter what you think of any of the above, of this you may be certain. You are the only person who cares deeply about your health and has the ability to do something about it. Neglecting your health or planning to “eat healthy” in your future plays right into the hands of the medical community and the drug makers.

Act now. Your future depends on it.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems and hundreds of articles available on the internet. Attacks on your health is a major social issue of today.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

What If God Is A Scientist?

What If God Is A Scientist?

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”
– Albert Einstein, The World As I See It

“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.”
– C.S. Lewis, British novelist, poet, academic (1898-1963)

One of the most asked questions among people around the world is “Is God real?” Or some variation of it, such as “What is God?”, “Why does God allow evil?” or even “Why am I here?” They are all essentially the same question. Feed me because I want answers.

Answers to the unknown. Or the unknowable. Yet we still ask. Not surprisingly, many have devised answers over the years, answers that insult the intelligence of some, but that others cling to so dearly they are prepared to make regular donations to support, even to give their lives for. Or take the lives of others.

First of all, note that in the questions above, the background motivation for them is to learn “How does or can God serve me and my purpose and needs?” One famous quote from US President John F. Kennedy goes “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Yet we still want to know what our country and what God can do for us.

“Where does God fit into my life?” not “What can I do to justify my being here in the first place?” Our questions are self-centred. The answers provided by others all tend to sell a product that satisfies that need, then collect proceeds for the answers.

Note that every answer is designed to satisfy personal needs. The answers are custom designed to serve that customer need, not to provide a universal truth. Religions gain followers by offering up a god that will supposedly satisfy those needs.

Inevitably others, often scientists, claim there is no God. Or at least there is no God like that. Atheists and skeptics are so busy debunking false gods they don’t have time to address the question of what a real God might be. How, given what we know and what science knows today, can there be any kind of God?

Every concept of God is based on assumptions or premises. Should we be surprised if an invented God meets the needs of someone who is prepared to pay for the services of that God? Should we be surprised if those invented gods fail to meet minimum standards of logic or questions based on common sense?

Everything you believe about God, or everything you disbelieve, is likely based on a concept of God somebody taught you. It is based on assumptions that satisfy personal needs. Do you need a manly God? God is all-powerful and vengeful. Christianity’s Old Testament has that kind of God. Do you need a God with maternal qualities? God loves you, will always look out for you, will hold you in the palm of his hand, will look after you when you die. God has those qualities in the Bible’s New Testament.

God can be whatever you need. Whatever you are prepared to pay for.

Does that mean there is no God? No. It means that any concept of God based on satisfying the needs of people for a deity that will serve them so long as they keep paying will ultimately fail. They are all based on faulty assumptions. Like effective advertising. It doesn’t have to be true, it only has to sell.

And it does. Every concept of God, no matter how absurd to the rest of us, will find some followers, who will pay. The best way to be remembered through history is to tell others that God has spoken to you. There are shrines around the world where people claim that God has spoken to them. The shrines are named after the individuals who received the messages. Or believed and publicly claimed they did.

Science, in general, insists there is no God because God can neither be proven by argument or sensed in any way through sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell. At its base, science uses these as basic premises for existence.

Some use the argument that because there are and have been thousands of different gods over past millennia, it is obvious that they have all been invented by their users/followers. That does not meet the criteria of logic because it denies that one could be real and valid. It also does not recognize that all have one characteristic in common, a strong belief in a supernatural being. Why is this belief so universal no matter what the culture, history or geographical location?

It’s worth remembering that “supernatural” does not mean “extra” as in “super fries”. It means more like “outside of nature”, a force or kind of energy unlike anything we have previously contemplated. Just because something has not previously been contemplated by a human does not mean it does not exist or that it is impossible. Air flight was long believed to be impossible. Then someone contemplated it and made it possible.

Rarely in these debates does anyone raise the fact that there are phenomena that exist for which no one has an adequate explanation, or even a reasonable guess. Ghosts and UFOs that the US military, science or governments have no explanation for would be some examples. There are better examples that would require more space than we have here to explain. TV shows often put these down to examples of early visits to earth by extraterrestrials. Are these any better than religions based on emotions and faulty guesses? I would say no. Their hypotheses are as full of holes as the religions they propose to replace.

One fundamental part of the God debate involves how earth and the universe began. The Bible says that God created everything in six days, then rested on the seventh. No one ever attempts to explain whether the days are earth days, Jupiter days or some kind of God-days. Nor does anyone ever explain why a supernatural being would require rest. We humans require rest to refresh our bodies and set memories and clear trash from our brains. As God has neither physical body nor brain, why would he require rest?

Religions claim that God or gods are supernatural, not subject to natural laws or explanations. Then they set about making up claims for God, what God does, who God cares for, as if their God were a physical being. No matter how much their followers are devoted to these beliefs, their arguments inevitably fail.

Science claims that evolution and fossils destroy the Bible’s explanation that God created everything 6,200 or so years ago. Would those be earth years or God-years? Don’t laugh about the concept of God-years as it is not even one you can contemplate.

More importantly (to me, perhaps soon to you) should be the question of why a creator, essentially a scientist of unusual skill, would work for a week then stop. Forever. No human creator, artist or scientist would ever stop work after one success. I find it hard to imagine a creator who would work for a bit, then stop forever.

Progress or development, the top argument for evolution, is undisputable. It happens and it can be proven. But the whole concept of evolution itself is full of holes. Unexplainable gaps, for one thing.

Zoologists claim that for a species to be viable, to survive, it must have a minimum base of 30 members. With fewer than that there could be mating, but inbreeding would force the species out of existence within a few generations.

Evolution claims that a new species begins with a single genetic mutation. Even assuming that the newly evolved creature could mate with some other genetically close species, science today has shown that the possibility of the offspring of such inter-species mating being fertile is extremely low. With species survival possibilities near zero, how could so many have survived and thrived to this day?

Imagine yourself as a creator. You try many possibilities, they fail. Then you get one that works. You make more. Then you move on to another creation project. Same routine. Many failures, then eventually a success. If your creations are natural they need instincts for survival and reproduction. And they need to eat. So you have more creating to do. You develop a food chain.

Eventually and inevitably your food chain life web becomes extremely complex. Then what? More work. More planning. More creating. Gaps in your development could be explained by the fact that you created different species at different times. These species, with reproductive instincts, evolve their DNA and in the process create other close species. So new species originate from two very different sources.

Would it not work that way if God were a scientist?

Neither science nor religion would need to modify their beliefs much to accommodate such a radical concept.

I did not set out in this article to prove anything. I hope I have planted a seed of thought in some people. The “God argument” to date has been more like a war with neither side wanting to give a point to the other than a discussion. The argument has been as productive as one that might be fought over the existence of purple elephants. (You can paint an elephant purple, but does that make it real?)

Science denies that anything exists that its members are unable to contemplate, let alone explain. Religion has invented deities and whole spiritual environments around a few experiences that defy explanation. Both have limited their own credibility. A real God would have to be an unlimited concept. Those who debate the topic build walls of limitation around themselves. Then they battle it out with anyone whose opinion differs from theirs.

Let’s get serious about coming together. We will never reach any reasonable understanding until we accept that there could be other explanations for the unknown and the unexplainable that we have not considered.

In the final analysis does it matter? Why would God care about atheists or those who have different beliefs from each other? God would stand apart from such trivial debate. No God worth respect would do trivia.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems and hundreds of articles that are available free on the internet. Search for them using the author’s name.
Learn more at http://billallin.com