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Anarchy Begins at Home: The Blog Series Part 2 – The Quality of Neolithic Knowledge

This is a blog post rendition of my 1-hr presentation at The 21 Convention in Austin, TX in August, right after I gave a 20-minute abbreviated version of same at the Ancestral Health Symposium, 2012, in Boston, at Harvard University School of Law.

Are not laws dangerous which inhibit the passions? Compare the centuries of anarchy with those of the strongest legalism in any country you like and you will see that it is only when the laws are silent that the greatest actions appear. - Marquis de Sade

Part 1 of the series: Anarchy Begins at Home: The Blog Series Part 1 – The Quality of Paleo Knowledge.

In part 1, I covered the introductory topics of epistemology, sociology and social epistemology, focussing first on the quality of knowledge in a Palolithic context. Inasmuch as knowledge is knowledge of reality, it stands up to reason that the more one is integrated with their sense perceptions of what's really real, the higher quality will be their knowledge. To demonstrate that, I showed images of various things Paleoman would have likely encountered in his environment, and my argument is that this is why he ultimately survived to flourish and migrate to all corners of the globe. While simple and basic—"primitive," even—the raw quality of his knowledge was unassailable. Were it was not—probably through no real fault of his own—he perished. We survived to be here because of actions based generally upon quality knowledge of reality.

Now let's contrast that with what passes for "knowledge" for most people in the Neolithic. This is not an all inclusive list, but it does cover the biggies.

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Church & State Institutions

Church & State or, fantastical delusions and agent of force bedfellows. At root, there's really little to no difference between them and even though direct main force via the Church is an aspect of life only in many Muslim countries today, it was certainly like that in the West centuries ago. Now, the Church works through the State, and vice versa. They need each other to promote various delusions, fantasies, baseless fears, foist unearned guilt, etc., all for the purpose of propping up their "authority."

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Mass Delusion

I can accept that prayer holds some value for some people in the realm of their own personal issues. But so does plain old meditation. So does plain old thinking. The point is, paying conscious attention to your own problems or challenges in any way whatsoever is very likely better than doing nothing—though prayer often comes with that stupid "Jesus Take the Wheel" balderdash, a vicious circle. But who meditates or thinks over the problems of others or society, unless it is for the purpose of working out how to actually do something real to help or cause some effect?

So beyond the personal meditative aspect of it, payer is really just a cheap con, a cop out too. Oh, you're praying for the poor and starving? How about write a check, or go out and feed them? Praying your team wins the football game? Get over yourself. Praying that God will cure a loved one of an awful disease? If he existed and could, what kind of evil monster wouldn't do it anyway, without your prayers?

In essence, prayer is a lazy ass way to pretend you're doing something by doing absolutely nothing. ...I heard they had a "Prayer Room" at the recent Republican National Convention. I think people ought to have been up in arms that there wasn't also a "Rain Dance Room."

To the extent that prayer is the equivalent of well wishes, I can Grok, but it's simply nothing more than that.

Screen Shot 2012 10 24 at 10 08 00 AM
Primitive Screeds

I looked for an image that included the Quran, Holy Bible and The Collected Works of Mother Goose, but couldn't find any. There is this, though.

Screen Shot 2012 10 24 at 10 08 12 AM
 

Other than the outright evil the Bible is chock full of (and I'm sure the Quran as well), I don't care much that people hold and cherish their fairy tale books. But for the purpose of this exercise, go back and review the sorts of things Paleoman relied upon for knowledge of reality. Next, realize that not a single one of our way-back ancestors would have had the slightest use for a holy book in any respect whatsoever, except to perhaps help start a fire. They would have scoffed at the idea that it contained any knowledge whatsoever. This is because they knew they had quality knowledge and it was tested in survival under the brutish elements every day of their lives. Finally, realize that today, this very day, there are hundreds of millions, probably billions, in the world who actually regard their holy books as the epitome of quality of knowledge!

That's how fucking bad it is, folks. That is the state of mass delusion. ...And it's not just that their holy-book-based "knowledge" is of poor or poorer quality than that of our Paleo ancestors: it's that it's not knowledge of reality at all!

Screen Shot 2012 10 24 at 10 08 23 AM

The Nomenclatura

How much of your "knowledge" is based upon the preachings, admonishments, warnings, promises, lies and plain old stinking dogshit spewed by all of the above?

Screen Shot 2012 10 24 at 10 08 45 AM
 

And these are the folks who carry their water day in, day out. Liberal media? Of course. It's what works best to keep the general antagonism propped up. They are the best at creating the general smoke screen where one never looks to the element I've been talking about—quality of knowledge—but only to fighting over out-of-context points about this or that minutiae. In other words: which is the better lie, the better delusion?

....Which false narrative best reflects all the regurgitate I've subsisted upon all of my life?

Screen Shot 2012 10 24 at 10 08 57 AM
These Too

It never ceases to amaze me that people generally think these media institutions are mostly about a free press, and not about profits for shareholders trading their public stock. It's the latter—free press being a ruse mostly, of marginal value generally, given the Internet. And the way they keep you tuning in so they can sell 30-second spots to the food and drug conglomerates for millions of dollars is by means of keeping you constantly worked up, in fear, in doubt, angry, stressed out over things you can't control...and the list goes on.

They are not your friends. They aren't looking out for you. They're not here to help.

Screen Shot 2012 10 24 at 10 09 09 AM
The Ivory Tower Menace

How could this be complete without including the most sacred of institutions, those that "educate" the parasites who seek to suck the life from you day in, day out, masked by an aura of authority?

Did I just write "authority?" Yep, I did, and as it turns out, that's the focus of Part 3, tomorrow. (Those wondering about the Neolithic outliers, the ones with valid knowledge of reality, that's Part 4, so be patient.)

~~~

Comments

  1. Gordon Shannon says:

    “All the same, in this let God’s will be done; I must obey the law, and make my defense.”

    Socrates said this before making his defense at his trial (according to Plato). How interesting that he appeals to church and state in a futile attempt to encourage the Athenians to “consider only one thing and attend carefully to that – justice.” The sad fact – which I suspect Plato knew – is that Socrates disarmed himself in making this appeal.

  2. blahblah says:

    Religious people don’t bother me. We all need our comforts. What scares the shit out of me is how many now seem to be accepting nothing less than a theocratic state aka reconstructionism or dominionism. Jeff Sharlett has done some amazing investigative work on this. His old website , killing the buddha used to be an old haunt of mine.

  3. ladysadie1 says:

    “paying conscious attention to your own problems or challenges in any way whatsoever is very likely better than doing nothing”

    What?? Introspection and self-reliance beat waiting for Superman to show up??? Basic problem solving and application of logic are better than blind faith in invisible beings? Do you mean to say that all the time I prayed for someone else to pay the light bill was wasted?

  4. labbygail says:

    “It never ceases to amaze me that people generally think these media institutions are mostly about a free press, and not about profits for shareholders trading their public stock.”

    Wait…isn’t that the point of anarcho-capitalism, that the freedom to pursue a profit creates benefit for the individual, family, and tribe? People wouldn’t provide something of value to others unless there was a profit in it.

    • Labbygail.

      Not the point I was making. My point is dealing with reality, not fantasy. They are out for a buck. They lie and manipulate to get it. That’s fine with me, but Im not fooled about platitudes about a free press.

      Incidentally, inasmuch as capitalism involves corporate entities protected by the state from personal liability for actions, I’m not much of a capitalist. My capitalism extends to private property, including capital, but not statutory corporatism.

  5. Richard this part of your post has me confused:

    “While simple and basic—”primitive,” even—the raw quality of his knowledge was unassailable. Were it was not—probably through no real fault of his own—he perished. We survived to be here because of actions based generally upon quality knowledge of reality.”

    I agree with your point, but would like to know your view on what came next in primitive man’s mind. He would have gathered in groups so that he could propagate himself – he would have protected child bearing women, and children, to some extent as he would “sense” that would mean his genes would outlast him – so man evolved in this way.

    So what I wonder is what it was in his reality experience that let him to develop a religious sense – and I mean in a broad way – not specifically one “religion” over another. Anthropology tells us that way back before Neolithic time man buried his dead, and sometimes placed objects in the grave with the dead person – this may show that man believed in “something” other than himself and his direct every day knowledge of reality you so aptly describe.

    I think you have posited the idea that it is fear that drives people to what we would call “religion” in general.

    We know that the Jews developed their faith approximately 4,000+ years ago. We know that Christianity followed, and got started around 2,000 years ago.

    But do we not know that there were “religions” many centuries before that? They were a wild variety of nature worship, “gods” worship, they sometimes included human sacrifice, but certainly they all held some sort of belief – belief in “other.”

    So forget God as he’s posited to us today. What is your view of primitive man’s “religious” development over centuries (BEFORE the Hebrews). From what we can find now there were extremely complicated religious beliefs and practices way back to the beginning of the Neolithic era….and they did not just pop up in the populace like mushrooms after a rain.

    • “What is your view of primitive man’s “religious” development over centuries (BEFORE the Hebrews).”

      Primitive or proto-philosophy. You have to start somewhere, but so far as I can tell, it was far less mystical than religion today. Look at what passed for their gods: sun, moon, seasons, etc. All real things they just anthropomorphized to help primitively explain things.

      • Richard, I’ve been reading lately about the evolutionary benefits of religious belief. I mean from the beginning we’re looking at what would cause nature to select for this kind of belief. Some posit that the extra energy to begin to develop these beliefs was not worth it – and that belief is simply adaptive.

        What I wonder is this: if indeed nature has hard-wired humans for religious belief, how have you escaped this natural process? If as some say, this is adaptive behaviour, it still has to have begun very soon after “man” swung down from the trees.

        The question still is why did man evolve to this state, either through selection for this in man, or as a very early adaption – and how did you escape? Surely you don’t suggest that you are on the cutting edge of the evolution to select for non-believers? It doesn’t happen that fast as you know.

      • “I mean from the beginning we’re looking at what would cause nature to select for this kind of belief.”

        I don’t buy that for a second. Nature selected for survival and there’s absolutely nothing in the wild about ignoring reality in lieu of fantasies or praying your troubles away that could have possibly been selected for. Religion such as it is, is wholly Neolithic and pretty recent.

        Everyone is born an atheist. Religious beliefs are learned/indoctrinated, much like legends, the difference being that legends may or may not be true, or highly embellished, and everyone understands them as such.

        In short, there is no _category_ of knowledge called “religion.” There is only reality and in terms of knowledge, only real knowledge of reality, or bullshit that has no basis. Fantasy—al-la Santa and Peter Pan—is fine, so ling as it’s understood as fantasy, for fun.

      • Sorry Richard you’re mistaken. “Religion” vastly predates the neolithic. Don’t be confused with organized religion – which I know you rail against regularly. What’s meant that as far back as can be tracked man has had a “religious” bent. No getting away from it. It’s either hard-wired and therefore selected for – or it’s adaptive.

        From another perspective you might say it’s really hard to get religion OUT of man’s being. Try as you might you will never eradicate that reality. And it’s been tried, is being tried, and I guess people like you will always try.

        I know you rely on science and if I’m correct you are of the opinion that advances in science shows that belief in a Creator is foolish – but science and religion are not in conflict at all. It’s fact that 45% and perhaps more of the worlds scientists are people of faith, and probably another 10% believe in some sort of force outside man….they can’t all be delusional and indoctrinated can they? How about the fellow who headed up the 2,000 strong team of researchers on the genome project – Francis Collins? He surely would rate pretty high as a “thinker” and someone who knows how to use the scientific method – yet he is a Christian. And he sees no conflict in believing that science shows man in “reality.” But he also knows that science can say nothing about philosophy or theology.

        Knowledge is not emotion. Please think through what you say. I know you hate religion and have no time for people who believe in God but nothing you have said on your blog remotely shows anything but emotion. You have no facts to back up your assertions. All we get from you are statements. Where’s your hard fact? All the swearing and cussing and bluster counts for nothing if you don’t have anything to back up your assertions.

      • “Don’t be confused with organized religion”

        How about you not be confused. Look at the title of the post.

      • “It’s fact that 45% and perhaps more of the worlds scientists are people of faith, and probably another 10% believe in some sort of force outside man….”

        OK, now I grok your bent. Appeal to authority (that’s the next subject, btw).

        Google geocentrism and tell me how many “scientists” believed the universe revolved around the Earth.

        Barbara, please understand. I have no interest in debating religion with you, anymore than…well, geocentrism.

        (btw, I don’t believe your “fact” for a second. neither any I interested in doing anything about that. believe what you like)

      • It’s hard to get religion out of man’s being apparently just like it is hard to get stupidity out of man’s being. If you never introduced a child to the concept of a god they would never even consider the concept of a god. That’s a load of crap that people stray from a natural tendency to believe. That’s a pretty typical arguement for a believer to engage in…one that boils down to an answer that doesnt exist. In the past it makes sense to believe in a god to explain the unexplainable. Why is the water falling from the sky? It must be a rain god.

        I don’t understand how you can say religion and science aren’t at a conflict. A religious person telling someone they have no facts to back up their assertions. Now that’s irony at its finest!

      • “Religion such as it is, is wholly Neolithic and pretty recent”
        My pet theory (probably far-fetched) is that religious beliefs are a form of mental illness/schizophrenia induced by grain-consumption which started with the beginning of agriculture=Neolithic. It’s probably completely wrong but I like the idea, it appeals to me that maybe something went wrong in man’s brain, mental state because of a change in his diet.

      • A truly amazing and fascinating theory! I’m still digesting it and its implications…
        An idle question: what was there before the advent of the bi-cameral mind?

      • By that question I mean, was the mind of the “human” of that era much like the minds of non-human animals of today?

      • The idea is that left and right brain functioned independently; essentially, in a schizophrenic state where the left brain takes instructions from the right brain, interpreted to be the voices of the gods. This worked in simple groups and societies but once things got complex, it broke down, so in a sense, human consciousness is a man-made invention, a new way of thinking.

  6. Rick Lucas says:

    Richard, I think this series of posts and other posts you’ve made of a similar type are some of your most important work. I’m always surprised at how few comments they generate. I’d at least expect the commies to crawl out from under their rocks and accuse you of wanting to kill grandma, or something.

    • Rick:

      I was discussing that with Beatrice just last night. If my visit logs showed a big drop then the most logical conclusion might be that people just aren’t interested. But they haven’t dropped. Staying pretty steady. So, it’s possible that I’ve framed this in a broad enough way that there’s just not much to object to.

      Almost all objections to my anarchism I get are straw men, basically the same objections all anarchists get, and that’s because they almost never frame the thing correctly and it “sounds” to people as though it’s one imposition of just another “system.”

      My take is rather unique, so far as I have ever seen. I don’t seek to sell any utopia, don’t seek to should anyone or impose anyone. My message is simple: base your knowledge on real reality (dump the fear-based delusions), care about yourself and being a contributor to loved ones and society, shed all forms of supporting false authority you possible can, set an example.

      Or, in other words: Anarchy begins at home.

      So basically, I lean towards having framed this whole thing in a way that’s pretty tough to argue with, without looking like a dumbfuck. :)

      • Thank you for this series of posts and similar ones: they remind me, if needs be, why I think what I think and why I’m an atheist.

  7. I’ll take a chance on looking like a “dumbfuck” and ask you, if you will, to describe what your world would look like if everyone felt, and acted, as you do.

    I am not trying to provoke – I really would like to know. I’ve read many many of your posts in which you decry what we’ve become – all toadies to government, societies who are fear-filled of “god” and authority, etc.

    But what I would really like you to describe is how our world, right now, might function if we all “cared about ourselves, and being a contributor to loved ones and society, shed all forms of supporting false authority we possibly can, set an example.” For example if you advocate anarchy “at home” how would that look at the level of towns and cities and nations?

    For you does anarchy mean no government at any level? Does anarchy mean no rules? If so how do we manage social groups? If not what are the rules and who makes them?

    • …and I know that you don’t advocate anything – you are not positing that your beliefs if adopted by everyone would being utopia….but if we all did agree with you right now, and start thinking and acting as you do – what would happen?

      • “but if we all did agree with you right now, and start thinking and acting as you do – what would happen?”

        Everyone would throw a big fucking party.

        Just assuming. Beyond that, I don’t presume to judge how others will behave. If they believe as I do, however, they certainly would not be voting in a pathetic effort to live at the expense of other people.

    • “I’ll take a chance on looking like a “dumbfuck” and ask you, if you will, to describe what your world would look like if everyone felt, and acted, as you do.”

      Ever been to the street market in Kowloon? Overshadowed by all the skyscrapers there and particularly, right across the small waterway and Hong Kong? It’s one of my favorite places on all of Earth. And it’s the one place on all of Earth that got that way with perhaps the least State interference, relative freedom of trade and regulation that ever existed. At least, that’s the way it was in about 7 trips there in the mid to late 80s.

      I continue to try to make the point. In anarchy, EVERYTHING happens. There is no utopia, no central system. There are a million, or a billion or billions of “systems,” from lone individuals to families to small groups to enterprises and partnerships. People trade values they’ve produced or offer in service, and defending themselves against whatever sort of aggression is just another value to be produced, too. So is healthcare.

      Could they be brutalized, dominated? Of course. I’ll take my chances.

      “If not what are the rules and who makes them?”

      YOU do. But then you have to own them, and see how they work out for you in a social context. Thing is, you don’t have to go to a legislature or voting booth. You can change your rules at will, even on a whim.

      • Well, Richard from reading your posts for the past year or so, and trying to engage in some meaningful discussion I can only conclude it’s not possible.

        You don’t appear to be able to get past simply making bombastic statements without any sense to them. I think you are a muddle-headed fool. You are not coherent in your arguments. I’m not even sure you know what you mean by freedom, anarchy, or any other concepts you seem so keen on talking about.

        Your worldview is shallow and empty and cannot possibly bring you happiness – it seems to have brought you to a place of bitterness and anger. Those who follow you, almost like acolytes, parrot your ideas and use insult as argument when anyone tries to disagree with any of your impossible statements.

        No body cares, I know, especially you, that I won’t comment again. But has it ever occurred to you, Richard, that almost no one does comment to challenge you in anyway? Almost all the comments you have been getting for ages now are from the usual suspects – rob, marie, cow and others like them who worship you like a shaman.

        It’s a shame that your blog has degenerated this way. Nothing to see here – move along.

      • Barbara:

        So are you really leaving, or do you need a kick in the ass out?

  8. You’re killing me dude! Use Occam’s razor a little more liberally with that over-active mind of yours.

  9. The question is, do you have proof that God doesn’t exist ?

    As long as you don’t have the answer to this, you can’t tell religious people they are wrong.

    They don’t have proof for his existence, and you don’t have proof for his non-existence

    I think there is nothing wrong about religion as it helps humans to stay sane within the boundaries of our reality, and stick to some basic rules and gain comfort from the fact that they will be sent to heaven if they behave themselves

    Yes there are some radical religious people that should be taken care of, but other than that, they do no harm. In fact most religious people I know are more positive and mature than atheist guys I know, maybe because the atheist feels lost and has no real purpose to his existence.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Part 2: Anarchy Begins at Home: The Blog Series Part2 – The Quality of Neolithic Knowledge. Retweet 1 Like 5 StumbleUpon 1 Google +1 [...]

  2. [...] Part 2: Anarchy Begins at Home: The Blog Series Part2 – The Quality of Neolithic Knowledge [...]

  3. [...] previous three parts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part [...]

  4. [...] previous three parts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part [...]

  5. [...] In the last installment, Part 7, I did essentially what I did in Part 1, where I outlined the quality of Paleolithic knowledge; only in that case, it was the Quality of Paleolithic social power. So here, I'll juxtapose that to the quality of Neolithic social power just as I juxtaposed quality knowledge in Part 2. [...]