Beyond the Cusp

November 12, 2017

Of Science, Christianity, Jews, War, Demography and Islam

 

We can cover the initial item, the war against the Jewish People, with a simple recognition of historical fact which has become so well known and uncontestable, as stated in the Passover Haggadah, “In every generation one rises up against us.” That simple sentence states the minimal condition where there is one person who will rise up and call for our murders. The unstated and unfortunate reality is that one is often a political leader, a leader of a nation, or the dictator of an empire who is the one rising to destroy us. The list is filled with illustrious names of their eras with names such as Pharos Ramses I and Pharos Ramses II, Haman, Nebuchadnezzar, King Ahasuerus, Tsar Nicholas II, Ottoman rulers Sultan Mehmed I, Mehmed II, Suleiman I, Mustafa I, Murad IV, Suleiman II, Mahmud I, Abdülhamid I, Mehmed V, Musa Çelebi and the remainder of the Ottoman leadership throughout the ranks all used the Jews to fund their positions. This continued from invader to invader and foreign rulers and dispersion sent Jews throughout the Roman and later the Ottoman Empires and beyond to every corner of the globe driven most often through the necessity to flee pogroms, rioting or genocidal efforts to destroy the small minority of Jews within almost every border.

 

Probably the least obvious but greatest surprise was the reaction by the Japanese High Command when visiting Nazi SS officers demanded that the Japanese release their Jews and send them to the German death camps. The Japanese flatly refused the German demands threatening to turn against Germany should these demands persist. The Nazi officers left empty handed and with much challenged authority after having their wings clipped. The Palestinians and their Arab and Iranian backers are the most evident threat to Jews with many others in the background ready to launch into the picture. Anti-Semitism has returned across much of the globe including Europe, Russia, the Arab World and even to include the United States and the rest of the Developed World. The new anti-Semitism includes two new forms, anti-Israelism and anti-Zionism. The sad part is that many far left Jews are what are referred to as Post-Zionists who no longer believe in a Jewish nation and instead call for a joint nation allowing all the Arabs claiming to have been dispossessed to return with full rights. The small problem is that under their solutions, hundreds of thousands of Arabs claiming refugee status would take advantage of the opportunity to move to the area and live in an area where the economy functions. These Arabs would far outnumber the Jews who would soon find Arab rule destroying their efforts and stealing all that has been built leading to their eventual destruction. Israel would be dissolved and the Jews fleeing or dead should such a plan ever be enacted. The problem is the leftist parties already within the Israeli governance who are willing to do whatever it takes to get into power and enact just such a dream under the idea of solving the problems. There are two ways of solving problems, allow the problem to win or to continue the limited immigration rather than opening the floodgates and surrendering to the coming destruction of all which has been built.

 

All right, so the Jews have been persecuted in both the Muslim and Christian worlds nearly constantly and before by the major idolatrous powers for close to four thousand years should one include the exile in Egypt which was where distrust of the Jews, known then as the Hebrews, first began and has continued unabated ever since. But the Christians have controlled almost half of the world for the past eighteen centuries, how are they now included as persecuted? That is an easy one to answer, there was the remainder of the world which they did not control and sometimes they suffered from Christian upon Christian violence such as the War of the Roses. the Hundred Years’ War, Second Hundred Years’ War (the first lasted 116 years and the second lasted 126 years), the Eighty Years’ War and the entirety of the Catholic-Protestant wars including the Thirty Years’ War and more all of which were ended by the treaties named the Peace of Münster and the Peace of Westphalia. Another war which has taken many forms and been fought on many fronts have been the wars between the ever expanding Islamic forces against Christendom which started as early as 622 AD or 625 AD (see map below) depending on the source, but all sources would agree that Christianity was being conquered by Islam and was well underway by 650 AD (see map below). This war is still being fought today, at least by Islam even if not by Christendom.

 

Christian World 500AD

Christian World 500AD

 

 

Islamic Conquests Under the Caliphs

Islamic Conquests Under the Caliphs

 

Christianity has been facing an even more insidious encroachment which has been eating at it from within. This has been the modernization and the growing Secular Humanism belief where there is no longer any reason to believe in a Supreme Being as technology and science have described most of what was originally attributed to the gods or to a Supreme Being. The rest of the reasoning for Secular Humanism claims that humans can act honestly and ethically without any expectations of rewards or punishments from any higher source. The only need is to rely on ourselves, our better inclinations, the laws we write, and the communal expectations and limits which are mutually agreed upon to prevent actions which would be deemed undesirable. Should we have any problems, those can be resolved through government actions and laws which will become the new guides as to how we live our lives. The new guardians of our humanity will be the new anointed ones in long robes, the judiciary, which will act by the cold application of the laws. This revolution has all but stripped the heart out of Christian Europe leaving it without the steadying guidance of a traditional set of moral truths which have been replaced by what one would expect of any faith where mankind is the highest moral judge, hedonism. This hedonistic value system which places the personal freedom and pleasures above any other expectation has led to a precipitous drop in the reproductive rate leaving Europe, including Russia, with a steadily declining population which has an ever increasing average age as in many instances the reproductive rate has fallen to 1.5 births per woman or even lower. Some examples include Moldova and Portugal with 1.2 births per woman; Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Poland and Spain at 1.3 births per woman; Cyprus, Hungary, Italy, Malta and Slovakia at 1.4 births per woman; Austria, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland and the Ukraine at 1.5 births per woman. The replacement rate in the developed world is 2.1 births per woman with it reaching as high as 3.4 births per woman in some developing countries with higher infant mortality rates and with the global average being 2.33 births per woman. Modernity and the related influences have also had an effect upon the Islamic world or, as some have theorized, the conditions have grown unbearable to the point that people no longer desire to bring children into this world in these countries which does not explain why their birth rates were so much higher ten, twenty, thirty and fifty years ago. The evidence is the introduction of electricity, television, modern comforts and conveniences have brought the same problems to the Islamic world as it develops as it has the Christian world though in the Islamic world none dare claim they are Secular Humanists for fear of being executed. The other variable is education and literacy. These are related issues and for the majority of MENA nations, they have just started to witness changes in these areas. Below we have a graph of the literacy rates for women aged fifteen to twenty-four years of age in Oman, Iran, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco as these are the prime start of childbearing ages and increased literacy usually leads to higher grade education and even increased college admissions which raise the age of initial childbearing thus lowering the average number of births per woman in a nation.

 

Literacy in Oman, Iran, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco

Literacy in Oman, Iran, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco

 

Where this will make a difference in the future is with lower births, Islam will soon approach or possibly equal Christians in reproductive rates and thus an equilibrium will have been met. The main factor which has spurred the recent upsurge in Islamic expansion was a combination of retaining high reproductive rates while experiencing lower infant mortality rates thus leading to a rapid increase in populations which strained the economic growth, or lack thereof, across the MENA states. This was brought on with the introduction of modern medical facilities in many if not most of the major cities thus providing better prenatal and post-birth care resulting in lower infant mortality and better reproductive health for the women as well. But modernity has started to catch up in the form of education and literacy which has provided women with more information and a greater opportunity to work and find economic improvement. These are items which most often have produced dropping reproductive rates in nations worldwide. The MENA nations of the Muslim world are no different. With a more steady population returning, these nations are not going to be likely to feel any need for expansionist policies nor will they be demanding greater ability for their excess population to migrate into Europe and the rest of the developed world. Further, as their world develops they will find the need to retain their populations, especially their now educated population, and this will lessen their pressures on the rest of the world. This will lessen the pressures Islam has been pressing on the Christian world and the lines will remain drawn as they currently are with hopefully a lessening in the levels of violence experienced in these regions, particularly the African Transition Zone (see map below) where some of the greatest Islamic-Christian conflicts have occurred.

 

African Transition Zone

African Transition Zone

 

This will still leave the threats posed by the increasing Secular Humanism but there may even be a light in the darkness here as well. The last centuries have seen science remove much of the mysteries in our lives and explain away things we thought mystical removing their magic and cementing explanations. Now the scientists are really getting into the very fabric which our universe consists of and they are finding some things which are changing opinions and the argument. The first item was the realization that had any of numerous constants been different by even less than one single percentage point in relationship with all of the others, then our universe would have been very different or not have existed at all. Even had it simply been different, that would still have made lifeforms, such as ourselves, impossible, and that does put a different look to things. We are now realizing how extremely special and precious our universe actually is and that it appears in many ways to have been designed especially for life to exist. Still, even with such a design we are realizing that intelligent life, if that is what we qualify as being, may not be anywhere near as abundant and actually so special that there may only be a small number of other intelligent species in our galaxy if even one other and even so, they may not exist in our time frame. We are starting to see that we may be the only intelligent life in the Milky Way at this time and as such, we may not find other intelligent life with whom we would have anything in common. It may be that if there is another intelligent lifeform, they have colonized other star systems and are so far advanced from us that we would have nothing in common, and we would be fortunate if they even considered us intelligent. On the other hand, we may be the first and foremost intelligent lifeform and should we reach the point of colonizing other star systems, then when the next intelligent lifeform evolves, we might be so far in advance of them that we would not realize their being intelligent, though we would probably think so much of ourselves that we would posit we would be capable of realizing their intelligence. Our lack of ability to see the abilities of animals on our own planet does place this in danger.

 

What does any of this have to do with the threats to Christianity and Judaism or belief in a Supreme Being at all? What would be the result of science proving that there was an actual intelligent design to the universe? What happens when science postulates the existence of a Supreme Being which came before and may very well exist currently and will continue existing even after our universe dies? Does that definition sound familiar to anybody? Should science, or a fair number of scientists which has already begun, start to make an argument, then religion, Judaism and Christianity would find their beliefs becoming more aligned with science, actually, it would be science becoming aligned with them, and this could benefit both sides of that equation. There will always be those areas of doubt where science has yet to assign numbers and equations and is still somewhat fuzzy on what is occurring, but we are not referring to using lack of knowledge as the reasoning for Supreme Being. What we are referencing is that science will have found formulations and such proofs and items which point to there being a necessity for an ordering intelligence to the universe and that this creates the need in science for a Supreme Being. Professor Einstein believed in the existence of an ordering logic behind the universe and was a believer in Hashem. His belief may not have fit with your average Rabbi, Priest, Minister or Cleric, but at least he saw a necessary place for such belief. We know that Physicist Stephen Hawking is a doubter who does not believe or find any need for a Supreme Being. But what can you expect for a person who also lends his name to the BDS Israel campaign, which is an attempt to economically cripple the Jewish State. Guess one could say that Stephen Hawking and the Supreme Being are not in agreement, and we know on which side with which we prefer to reside. But, science is growing closer to religion and religion has learned from their mistakes and has left room for science, being assured in their belief that the proof is out there. Christianity can take faith from the fact that the Jews remain a force in the world that there is hope for them to have similar lasting power providing they remain open to ideas and willing to meet facts with reasonable skepticism and sufficient confidence to admit when perhaps they had made an error in their previous position. We can only hope that the world of science can be equally acceptive and honest.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

August 13, 2016

Ecology the Economy and Global Pollution

 

There are so many arguments where it is apparent that much of the ecology demands are in direct conflict of interest with the state of the economy. Of course it does not need to be this way or even an actual issue for the Western and post-industrial world. Technological advancements have even led to coal powered plants in the advanced world putting out next to nothing in emissions into the atmosphere compared to those same plants forty or fifty years ago. We can excuse many of the youthful ecology warriors as they did not live when smog was an actual problem and those days where one really needed that gas mask they are so anxious to claim will be necessary at today’s standards. There were days where visibility in Los Angeles was limited to half a block and days when a temperature inversion turned Denver, Colorado into a city under an orange bowl of trapped air. There were any numbers of times when the Cuyahoga River actually caught fire and Lake Erie could not support fish. All of these were the real ecological tragedies of the past and where we are today carries no measure of comparison. The air and water quality today is a taste of what we considered would be heaven on earth back in the fifties, sixties, seventies and early eighties though much had been gained by the mid-eighties. One cannot imagine what it was like in those rough and tumble days when the ecology movement started and great and close to unbelievable gains have been accomplished.

 

What was it like back in those dirty and horrific days, you ask. Well, allow us to try and explain. Air quality was very much like Beijing, Karachi or New Delhi and rivers were close to the conditions of the Ganges, Yellow and Buriganga Rivers (see images below). The greatest ecological problems facing humankind today are not the cities and rivers in much of the United States or Europe as much as they are in the developing world, particularly China, India and other nations almost always exempted from United Nations and other ecological requirements. Giving the worst polluting nations a pass on meeting standards and instead demonizing and requiring ever more difficult and approaching impossible standards of the advanced nations is ignoring the real problems that are damaging health and the state of the world. The United States and Europe could cut their air and water pollution by fifty percent or even seventy-five percent and it would not come close to improving world air and water quality as it would require the developing world to improve their air and water quality by a mere five to ten percent. Cleaning up the air and water in the developing world, especially the rising industrial nations like China and India could make huge strides. It is not as if what is being asked is all that impossible or even difficult to achieve as the science and industrial know-how already exist and much of it is off the shelf and install and you are good to go. If the financial burden was demanded almost exclusively from the developed world it would be an investment which would indirectly and directly affect the quality of life in the post-industrial world as the air and water of these developing nations does have an influence on the air and water quality worldwide. If the cost of installing and manufacturing the necessary pollution control systems for many of the industries which have been shifted from the developed world to the developing world, in some cases simply to avoid the ever more stringent pollution demands and requirements which the post-industrial world had challenged their industries to meet, there could readily be made improvements leading to decreasing pollution in these parts of the world easily attaining halving their pollution which would be a giant stride and would exceed any possible reductions quantitatively than anything possible in the rest of the advanced world. As stated, the required technology already exists and would simply require production and installation which in many cases would simply be an add-on system to already existing power plants and industrial facilities. One example would be the carbon scrubbers for coal fired electrical generation facilities which could cut CO2 easily by fifty percent and the costs would not be exorbitant making such one easy place to begin. Water filtration systems placed between factories and rivers could make a huge difference and finally using more advanced systems and procedures for handling recycling and sorting of trash could not only benefit air and water quality but also lead to reduced costs on the society into the future with the gains in health being just one benefit which should be an aim for all humankind.

 

Examples of Worst Air and Water Pollution Today

Examples of Worst Air and Water Pollution Today

 

The problem is one of numbers which is easily explained. Any pollution standards have thus far been coming from the United Nations and related NGOs and other agencies. Many of these have their leadership and decision making committees predominantly made up from the member nations. The United Nations lists the developed (post-industrial) nations as being North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. They list the developing nations as Africa, Central and South Americas plus Mexico, Caribbean, Asia (excluding Japan), Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand. Of the nearly two-hundred nations in the United Nations there are approximately one-hundred-forty developing nations with only fifty-five post-industrial nations. It does not require a degree in higher mathematics to understand why almost all pollution requirements are placed on the fifty-five post-industrial nations while the one-hundred-forty developing nations are excluded from any and all pollution reduction or restrictive requirements. Until the developing world takes responsibility for the health and safety of their own citizens, this lopsided insanity of improving air quality and reducing water pollution in the post-industrial world manages to improve the measureable levels of pollution in the world by, at an estimated best case scenario, a mere five percent at the most generous of measurements, the most rudimentary and basic pollution controls put into use by the developing world would drop world pollution levels at near the exact same percentage as these nations would improve their air and water quality.

 

Let us assume the developing world installed the most rudimentary pollution controls equivalent to those installed by 1980 in the post-industrial world, with financial and production assistance from the post-industrial nations where the only investment these developing nations would provide was the manpower to install these devices and assure their working order, the world pollution levels would be reduced by approaching, if not exceeding, fifty percent. That is correct what you read, cut pollution worldwide in half or better. Imagine what a relief on the planet and that ever over-blown strawman of climate change. If the propaganda which claims that cutting pollution by fifty percent could save the planet, and then demand that the post-industrial world meet that challenge when their total pollution consists of less than ten percent of world pollution makes it impossible to clean the planet while granting the nations with the highest pollution contributions a complete pass, it makes no sense. If the United Nations Climate Control Agencies really want to protect the planet and truly reduce pollution levels, they will need to swallow hard and demand some accountability by those very same nations who exempt themselves despite contributing over ninety percent of the problem. It is not that they do not realize their double standard cheating makes cutting pollution impossible as they are adding to world pollution at many times the entire production of pollution in the post-industrial world’s yearly output monthly. Let us repeat that for clarity. The developing world’s monthly increase of pollution outweighs the entire pollution of the post-industrial world for the whole year. That is comparing increases against total output, a concept which is hard to get one’s arms around. Should the developing world simply hold the line on their levels of pollution, it would do over ten times the saving than if the post-industrial world somehow curtailed their entire pollution yearly output. That puts the entire problem into an easy context. Does the world think it could demand that the developing world at least improve the systems they are installing daily and have their pollution output reduced by a marginal amount which could do so much without even touching their precious systems already in place? Do you think you could be capable of doing that, please?

 

There has been a series of Olympics in recent years held in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012, and the current Olympics in Rio de Janeiro; all summer games where air and water quality and safety of athletes and tourists is more challenging as people will be outside in and around the Olympic Park making security a definite challenge. Air quality and especially water quality were particularly poor in both Rio de Janeiro and Beijing. In the Beijing Olympics China found it necessary to actually suspend all manufacturing and limited electricity usage for two weeks before the games and still the air quality, though better than normal for the city, left something to be desired. London, was a city with a history in the early days of the industrial revolution for having no direct sunlight hitting the streets and windows tinted with coal dust and smoke permeating into homes and stores interfering with every activity and worsening the health of all within its metropolitan area. The modern day London is literally a walk in the park with clear skies, clean water and no foul aromas as in London’s past. London could be used as a model for places such as Beijing and Rio de Janeiro as well as the rest of the emerging world. The modern nations could encourage such a cleaning up of the air and water of these emerging cities by providing even previously used and now retired scrubbers, reverse osmosis units and other technologies demanding only that the receiving country provide workers to install and trained in managing and upkeep and the entire world would benefit. Unfortunately there are too many who make their living complaining and this would place many of the ecology fanatics out of work and having to find something constructive to make their living; though we are sure they could find a new cause to make their living complaining and never lifting a finger to remedy the situation.

 

Beyond the Cusp 

 

Blog at WordPress.com.