WHAT IS GASLIGHTING?

WHAT IS GASLIGHTING?

(Author unknown)

The term originates in the systematic psychological manipulation of a victim by her husband in Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 stage play Gas Light, and the film adaptations released in 1940 and 1944. In the story, the husband attempts to convince his wife and others that she is insane by manipulating small elements of their environment and insisting that she is mistaken, remembering things incorrectly, or delusional when she points out these changes. The play’s title alludes to how the abusive husband slowly dims the gas lights in their home, while pretending nothing has changed, in an effort to make his wife doubt her own perceptions. The wife repeatedly asks her husband to confirm her perceptions about the dimming lights, but in defiance of reality, he keeps insisting that the lights are the same and instead it is she who is going insane.

We are living in a perpetual state of gaslighting. The reality that we are being told by the media is at complete odds with what we are seeing with our own two eyes. And when we question the false reality that we are being presented, or we claim that what we see is that actual reality, we are vilified as racist or bigots or just plain crazy. You’re not racist. You’re not crazy. You’re being gaslighted.

New York State has twice as many deaths from Covid-19 than any other state, and New York has accounted for one fifth of all Covid-19 deaths, but we are told that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has handled the pandemic better than any other governor. But if we support policies of Governors whose states had only a fraction of the infections and deaths as New York, we’re called anti-science and want people to die. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

We see mobs of people looting stores, smashing windows, setting cars on fire and burning down buildings, but we are told that these demonstrations are peaceful protests. And when we call this destruction of our cities, riots, we are called racists. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

We see the major problem destroying many inner-cities is crime; murder, gang violence, drug dealing, drive-by shootings, armed robbery, but we are told that it is not crime, but the police that are the problem in the inner-cities. We are told we must defund the police and remove law enforcement from crime-riddled cities to make them safer. But if we advocate for more policing in cities overrun by crime, we are accused of being white supremacists and racists. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

The United States of America accepts more immigrants than any other country in the world. The vast majority of the immigrants are “people of color”, and these immigrants are enjoying freedom and economic opportunity not available to them in their country of origin, but we are told that the United

States is the most racist and oppressive country on the planet, and if we disagree, we are called racist and xenophobic. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

Capitalist countries are the most prosperous countries in the world The standard of living is the highest in capitalist countries. We see more poor people move up the economic ladder to the middle and even the wealthy class through their effort and ability in capitalist countries than any other economic system in the world, but we are told capitalism is an oppressive system designed to keep people down. So, we

ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

Communist countries killed over 100 million people in the 20th century. Communist countries strip their citizens of basic human rights, dictate every aspect of their lives, treat their citizens like slaves, and drive their economies into the ground, but we are told that Communism is the fairest, most equitable, freest and most prosperous economic system in the world. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

The most egregious example of gaslighting is the concept of “white fragility”. You spend your life trying to be a good person, trying to treat people fairly and with respect. You disavow racism and bigotry in all its forms. You judge people solely on the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

You don’t discriminate based on race or ethnicity. But you are told you are a racist, not because of something you did or said, but solely because of the color of your skin. You know instinctively that charging someone with racism because of their skin color is itself racist. You know that you are not racist, so you defend yourself and your character, but you are told that your defense of yourself is proof of your racism. So, we ask ourselves, am I crazy? No, you’re being gaslighted.

Gaslighting has become one of the most pervasive and destructive tactics in American politics. It is the exact opposite of what our political system was meant to be. It deals in lies and psychological coercion, and not the truth and intellectual discourse. If you ever ask yourself if you’re crazy, you are not. Crazy people aren’t sane enough to ask themselves if they’re crazy. So, trust yourself, believe what’s in your heart. Trust your eyes over what you are told. Never listen to the people who tell you that you are crazy, because you are not, you’re being gaslighted.

Sophocles said: “What people believe prevails over the truth.”

And that’s what the media are trying to exploit.

I would add to this…gaslighting by foreign actors (China, Russia, Iran…) who’s military could not unseat our global leadership position so our free press and freedom of expression are being weaponized…and we as Americans have NOT developed effective barriers, countermeasures, filters or policy to manage this form of warfare

Good Intentions the Source of Morality?

 

Good Intentions the Source of Morality?

I had a young friend tell me that humanity is mature enough that they no longer need religion for they have good intentions.  My reply was, where do you think good intentions and a sense of morality comes from?  Don’t they come at one level from our beliefs?  Do not beliefs need to be passed down from one generation to another and is not the mechanism that does that best is what we call religion?  Who do you think will have the best intentions towards their fellow human beings?  Those that believe that humans are just animals and no different from a bug, or those who believe that we were created in the image of God and therefore have ultimate worth?  I will take my chances with the latter.  I believe that the younger generation is living from borrowed values of a Christian culture which is quickly evaporating.  If I am correct there will be fewer and fewer good intentions coming from a good morality.

From a philosophical point of view, you cannot get an ‘ought or value’, from an ‘is or a fact’.  For example, explaining a high idea such as altruism does not make it a morality it simply explains the behavior.  There is a big difference between saying that giving food to the poor is kindness and that you ought to (morality) give food to the poor.  The latter carries a moral imperative and judgment.  The question is by what authority can you say ‘you ought to give to the poor’?  When you say ‘you ought to give food to the poor’ you are making ‘giving to the poor’ a moral or ethical imperative which is what morality and ethics is made up of.  However, you cannot get an ‘ought’ from a good fact.  You can only get a preference.  I may like giving to the poor but my liking of giving to the poor does not make it into a morality, only a preference.  You can say I prefer to give to the poor, rather than ignore them.  You are attempting to turn your preference into morality or an ethic when you say that you ought to give to the poor.  However, by what authority do you do this?  The only way to have morality, which is truly a morality, is a religion with a God, that has ultimate authority that can pronounce the thing as an “ought to”.

The above demonstrates why trying to make a morality will always end in authoritarianism with one man or one group imposing their so-called morality on others.  The reason is that they have no authority other than the state which itself is made up of mere men.  Only a morality formed by religion and the authority of an absolute deity has any ground in reason.  A personal morality grounded in preference is fictional and delusional.  It is the individual claiming to be deity.  More often than not it is for the purpose of covering up their own wickedness or lack of morality.

 

 

Liberalism And Christianity

Liberalism And Christianity

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jer 6:16

Before talking about some of the contrast between liberalism and Christianity we need to note some of the basic characteristics of liberalism. The first carnal doctrine of liberalism is the autonomy of the individual. It’s therefore, humanistic and not theistic because it begins with man and not God.  Its roots go deep in the soil of the atheistic enlightenment and surprisingly the Christian religion.  It makes the individual and Reason the ultimate authority and not God. It is a convoluted belief system that contains many religious and secular ideas that cannot possibly be reconciled In the real world if taken to their logical conclusions.[1] In the end liberalism because of its lack of authority always leads to making the state God. One of the fathers of the enlightenment Charles Hobbs said, “the state is God walking on the earth”. Ultimately, his remarks reflect the liberal view in general. If there is no God, raw power becomes the only authority.

Of course, like all ideologies and religions, there are various degrees in which people embrace this belief system of liberalism. First, there is the advanced liberals which are the furthest left and often embrace socialism or communism and are often hostile towards religion and traditional culture. They represent the liberalism of the French revolution. Whose mantra was “No king, no God”. In other words no authority. The other most common form or degree of liberalism is the classic view which is less hostile towards religion and may embraces capitalism to varying degrees. I think it would be fair to say that liberalism is the secular religion of western culture. A religion that has influenced all of us to some degree. However, like all false religions, its problems begin to surface at the extremes.  Two of these extremes are radical individualism and radical egalitarianism. Both of which will lead to the total collapse of all authority except for an authority forced on the populace by the state[2].

What about the failures of Christianity? The failures of Christianity were and are that it was not truly practiced. The failure of liberalism is and was that it is practiced too much. The madness going on in our culture is the result of the fruit of advanced liberalism and the chaos will only worsen until the state comes in and takes control. Liberalism dogma of unlimited human freedom and its propensity to want to fix the world at any cost will always lead to an authoritative and ill-liberal State.

Three other myths that have been created by liberalism is its faith in the goodness of humanity and its unfounded belief in continuous progress and the ultimate perfecting of the world in some future utopia, a belief it has inherited from a misunderstanding of Christian eschatology. The Christia message nowhere teaches that the world can or should be fixed by humanity. The best we can do is attempt to fix ourselves. And even that is near impossible. We need the help of God. If we have not learned that, it’s probably because we have not attempted to fix much of yourself.

I’m old and I have seen a lot of world fixers in my lifetime. Most of them have screwed up the world more than fixing it. It seems that all the world fixers that have ever existed all imagine themselves to be more intelligent and reasonable than everybody else. If true, you would think the world would be paradise. Unfortunately, there are large numbers of Christians that believe that the purpose of Jesus coming into the world was somehow to fix and perfect the world. when this happens  Jesus is usually reduced to nothing more than a moral teacher.

However, the world does have a system baked into it that is self-correcting to some degree. It is called death. Moreover, sometimes God intervenes and fixes things. Sometimes, He uses men to fixes a few things. Sometimes; he leaves things broken to remind us to look up.

[1] The greatest problem with liberalism is it’s a failure to deal with the rights of the individual and the rights of sociality to protect itself against the individual. Mills’s book on liberty fails to resolve the question and actually adds to the problem.[2] Like all atheistic systems, Mills’s had a hard time answering the question “By who’s authority”. Ultimately, he has nothing but the state and the deification of human reason.

Christian Division

Christian Division

I have run across a number of people that feel that the division in Christianity weakens its argument for the existence of its God.  However, the opposite might be true.  To begin with, division over many subjects should be expected, considering that we are talking about an infinite God that is beyond human understanding.  In view of this, the difference of opinion in many areas would be normal and should even be expected.

Yes, Christians are divided on a number of issues however most agree on the faith set forth in the Apostles Creed.  Even the majority of the so-called cults could confess their faith in the doctrines proclaimed in the ancient Creed, for the Creed simply set forth the basic facts[i] of what the Bible teaches. Christians for the most part (except for some far-left liberals) agree on the basic points of the creed. However, they are not in agreement as to their interpretation of some of those points.  This is where the division begins to creep in as it does in any discipline which is based on facts.  Facts must be interpreted, and it is in the interpretation where the division comes in, not in the facts.

Facts are claims or ideals corresponding objectively with something that has existence in reality, independent from one’s interpretation or a point of view.  For example, I point to a stone on the ground and say that is a stone.  Of course, if it were a banana it would not be a stone.  Facts also must be identifiable by the right word or label to be understood.  However, a fact can be qualified and interpreted by one’s world view or ideology, e.g. the resurrection is a fact of history for the Christian, but not for the atheist.  Now, the atheist might believe that Jesus lived and died, but deny that he was resurrected because he does not believe in the supernatural.  This would lead us to say that some aspects of a fact can be questioned while accepting others.  This rejection or acceptance can be based on one’s point of view.  For example, the presuppositions of the atheist will not allow him to accept the resurrection because they do not believe in the supernatural.

A good example of the power of point of view is the illustration of a person walking into an empty room without any furniture and saying that the room is empty.  Yes, from a pragmatic point of view it is empty however from a scientific point of view it is filled with air and atoms.  The reason that the person said it was empty was because he is totally dependent on his sense of sight.  If he were asked the question, if there was air in the room, he would take a deep breath and reply yes.  If the individual was blind, he would have to depend on his sense of touch to determine whether there was anything in the room and it would take an extreme amount of time to make a judgment.  However even after the judgment was made, he would have to admit that he did not know for sure because, during the time it took him to touch and feel everything in the room, someone or something could’ve entered the room e.g. an insect.

The question arises then, which point of view could be called the truth?  The one based on sight, the one based on science or mathematical probability, the one based on personal experience (inhaling the air in the room) or touch?  It would be an interesting exercise to figure out which of the forms of knowledge would best reflect the human condition and best serve that condition.

[i] The Apostles Creed is based on twelve statements that Christians believe are facts. “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting”.

Abortion, Evil and Dehumanization

Abortion, Evil and Dehumanization

I have been reading “Lucifer Effect:  Understanding How Good People Turn Evil” by Philip Zimbardo and thought that you might be interested in this quote.

“Dehumanization is one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of evil. Dehumanization is like a cortical cataract that clouds one’s thinking and fosters the perception that other people are less than human. It makes some people come to see those others as enemies deserving of torment, torture, and annihilation. Dehumanization is one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of evil.[1].”

Dehumanization is one of the favorite tools of political propagandists who have embraced identity politics. They identify groups or sometimes create groups to divide; then they demonize and dehumanize the groups that stand against their ideology. All this is for the purpose of gaining power. This process always begins with name-calling and the branding of groups of people with derogatory labels.

This dehumanization is fostered by propaganda that portrays the others as an enemy of humanity, for example in the area of abortion, they often do this by comparing the unborn to something less than human. Their use of the word ‘fetus’ echoes this. Why not just call it a child? This method that makes the victims, the enemy, was used by the early abortionist to convince the masses that they had to destroy human life because the planet was being overrun by humans and that the masses would ultimately starve to death from a lack of resources.[2] On a smaller scale, the propagandists attempt to convince women that somehow their unborn child was going to steal their life and thus is an enemy of their freedom. In addition, they dehumanize infants in the womb by referring to them as just a bundle of cells comparing the unborn fetus to a ball of’ snot or a tadpole.

[1] “The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil” by Philip Zimbardo.

[2] The very opposite has turned out to be the truth. Fewer people are starving now than ever in the history of the world.

Is There a God

Is There a God

People that I have talked to or those that have read my blog, know that I believe that faith in the existence of supreme intelligence or consciousness is a self-evident truth.  A self-evident truth is a truth that a majority of men recognize through natural instincts.  That is, by men who have not had their reasoning corrupted by false beliefs and ideologies.

Some might raise the objection, ‘if the existence of God is self-evident, why are there so many that do not see it?’  Jesus said, “some people have eyes but do not see”.  Sometimes overexposure deadens our sensitivity to a thing.  We are often actually insensitive to our senses until they are impaired in some way.  We seldom think about seeing out of our eyes until something threatens our sight.  When we look out a window, we will not often see the glass unless we focus on it.  The reason being, we have given our full attention to the things we are watching outside the window.  However, if the window is dirty or has a crack in it, we see it immediately.  The problem with modern man is that he is too focused on things to see God.  This lack of sight is encouraged by our capitalistic and materialist culture that focuses people more on the physical than the existential and metaphysical realities.

The source of much unbelief could be contributed to the culture and environment that one grows up in.  Some men grow up in families and cultures that are anti-metaphysical and are dominated by the materialistic mindset.  If one grows up in such a culture, they absorbed a state of rebellion against God as normal or they are simply indifferent towards spirituality, without even knowing or understanding why they do not believe in God.  They literally have had their minds washed of the idea of God; literally they have been brainwashed and immersed in doubt to the point that unbelief seems normal for them.

They are ignorant of God because they have neglected the knowledge of God, (secular culture) and have failed to follow the natural revelation of God in nature that leads people to faith in God.  They trust in exalting reason about what is reasonable.  Reason is a wonderful thing, but it has its limits and it has the propensity to become the handmaid of our passions and our will and for some men, reason has become a sick lady infected with finiteness and sin which has led to total madness.

It was for this reason that the scientific method was created to help keep science honest.  However, we are beginning to see that the problem is too hard to deal with through laws and methods because mankind uses reason to get around the law.  Mankind needs grace to deal with sin and to keep reason honest.

When I give a reason for something, I must subsequently give a reason for the reason and then a reason for that reason.  This regression would be infinite until I came to the end of reason itself.  We have one or two choices; to follow the regression of reason to the end of reason or follow it to a first cause.  If you are an atheist and deny that the first cause is ‘Intelligent’, your problem becomes insurmountable.  You will inevitably end up denying reason or make it the first cause and in that, you have made reason god and might I add, an exceedingly small god.  Moreover, reason will find its end when it comes up against itself, for how can reason explain itself without arguing in circles or chasing its own tail.  “I believe in reason because that is what reason says to believe.” or “I believe in reason because my philosophy professor said I should believe in it and he learned it from Plato, who learned it from reason”.

Am I saying that I do not believe in reason?  No, I am simply saying that reason has its limits and be careful not to ask too much of her.  She is not infallible and without a proper foundation to reason from, she is like a man trying to ride a wild horse, she can kill you.  Reason is a gift from God and was given as a tool to help us find our way on our journey.  If we corrupt her, we do so at our own peril.  If we make her into God, we bring the wrath of God upon ourselves.  “You shall not have any other gods before you.”  We make reason into god when we turn reason into rationalism.  The difference between reason and rationalism is that reason knows her limits, rationalism does not and in this, rationalism is unreasonable and even stupid.

 

Christian Division and Atheism

Christian Division and Atheism

I have run across many unbelievers that feel that the division in Christianity weakens its argument for the existence of its God.  However, the opposite might be true. Division over many subjects about God should be expected, seeing that we are talking about an infinite God that is beyond human understanding, because of this, a difference of opinion in many areas would be normal and expected.[1]

Yes, Christianity is divided on a number of issues however most agree on the essence of the faith outlined in the Apostles Creed. Even the majority of the so called cults could confess their faith in the doctrines proclaimed in the ancient Creed, for the Creed simply set forth the basic facts[2] of what the Bible teaches. Christians for the most part (except for some far-left liberals) agree on the basic points of the Creed. However, some are not in agreement as to their interpretation of some of those points. This is where the division begins to creep in as it does in any discipline which is based on facts. Facts must be interpreted and it is in the interpretation where the division comes in[3]. For the most part, Christians agree on their facts.

Facts are claims or ideals corresponding objectively with something that has existed in reality, independent from one’s interpretation or a point of view. For example, I point to a stone on the ground and say that is a stone. Of course, if it was a banana it would not be a stone. Facts also must be identifiable by the right word or label to be understood. However, a fact can be qualified and interpreted by one’s world view or ideology, e.g. the resurrection is a fact of history for the Christian, but not for the atheist. Now, the atheist might believe that Jesus lived and died, but deny that he was resurrected because he does not believe in the supernatural. This would lead us to say that some aspects of a fact can be questioned while accepting others. This rejection or acceptance can be based on one’s point of view.

A good example of the power of viewpoint is a person walking into an empty room without any furniture and saying the room is empty. Yes, from a pragmatic point of view it is empty however, from a scientific point of view it is filled with air and atoms. The reason that the person said it was empty was that he was dependent on his sense of sight. If he was asked the question if there was air in the room he would take a deep breath and reply yes. If the individual was blind, he would have to depend on his sense of touch to determine whether there was anything in the room and it would take an extreme amount of time to make a judgment. However even after the judgment was made, he would have to admit that he did not know for sure because during the time it took him to touch and feel everything in the room someone or something could’ve entered the room, e.g. an insect.

The question arises then what point of view could be called the truth? The one based on sight, the one based on science or mathematical probability, the one based on personal experience (inhaling the air in the room) or touch? It would be an interesting exercise to figure out which of the forms of knowledge would best reflect the human condition and best serve that condition.

Another question that might be asked is, what would the effects of a presupposition about existence have on the person walking into the room?  How would a presupposition affect their vision of what’s in the room? Is seeing believing or do you have to believe to see? Would you ever find something microscopic without being told that something was present? Because of this, what worldview or viewpoint would be more open to that infinitely small and infinitely big, materialism or theism?

[1] Atheist are as divided in their opinions about many things as the religious note John Gray’s book “Seven Types of Atheist”.

[2] The Apostles Creed is based on twelve statements that Christians believe are facts.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

[3] Two examples of this is science and philosophy.