Doubt the Devil. Doubt Everything

By Jonathan Roseland

I did a "No-Black Pill April" a while back; black pill is internet parlance for depressing news content; the news is more often than not depressing and cortisol stimulating. Of course, I don't watch the nightly news on television - Fox News or CNN - but over the past few years, I've become a bit of a political news junkie following a bunch of alternative news personalities. I unfollowed everyone on Twitter and unsubscribed from everyone I watched on Youtube that discussed the news for a month. I'd encourage you to try doing a "No-Black Pill April" but honestly, it didn't make much of a difference in my subjective mood and mental health in April, but I've got an interesting philosophical takeaway from it...

History is a hoax?

I've started exploring some new podcasts and stumbled upon this unnerving The Higherside Chats podcast interview with this kind of smart-seeming guy who had a conspiracy theory about how history was a hoax, he didn't really believe in any history beyond his own lifetime. We all know that history is mostly speculation layered upon speculation based upon a few hard facts with a lot of propaganda baked-in because we don't have time machines and for much of history we don't have photographic or video evidence. Graham Hancock wrote two alternative history books that I enjoyed, the books contained hundreds and hundreds of footnotes referencing books written years, decades, or centuries earlier. Graham Hancock has also conducted some original research visiting ancient archaeological sites and analyzing iconography but mostly his book and theories are built upon the work of others.

The conspiracy theorist (I'm not using this term facetiously - I know that it's human nature to conspire) who didn't believe in history contended that he looked for source; foundational documents or evidence proving the commonly accepted narrative of history - ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, etc - and found nothing!

Serdika Ruins in Sofia

Well, where I live in Europe, I walk by Roman ruins almost every day so it's really hard for me to believe that "the elites" invented history to make us all more acquiescent taxpayers or get us to take their developed-at-warp-speed COVID vaccines.

The ignobility of our institutions

I can kind of understand where this guy is coming from though, on the internet you'll encounter an increasing number of extreme skeptics, who see everything as a hoax or conspiracy that they can't verify from personal experience. Never been to Australia? Australia is a hoax! Never been to space? The world must be flat! It's all too easy to become so disillusioned with our society's authoritative institutions - media, universities, scientists, government, etc - that everything we've been told must be a lie. The other night I was talking to my wife about how there used to be a world where reputation mattered; now nearly every monolithic institution is regarded by the public as problematic at best and hopelessly corrupt at worse...

  • Universities are hopelessly corrupted by cultural Marxism and the statism paradigm.
  • Every US president that I can remember in my lifetime was mired in scandal and controversy. The first US president I remember was Bill Clinton and I remember sitting in grade school watching endless news coverage of his sordid affairs.
  • Speaking of public school; public education is a sad joke. Young people spend 12 years sitting at desks in rows and they are barely qualified to make $8 an hour.
  • Bad science is an insidious problem. Bad incentives increasingly drive researchers to falsify data and hysterical moralism demands strict dogmatic adherence to ideology in the institutions of science. The design of human clinical trials must be closely scrutinized because so many studies cut corners to produce the desired result.
  • Politicians and government seem hopelessly corrupt. Politicians are generally regarded as virtue-signaling traitors in slick suits; criminals above the law.
  • The Catholic church used to be a respected moral compass of society but now it's just the butt of endless bad jokes.
  • The police are often regarded as corrupt (and perhaps racist) thugs who abuse their power.
  • People used to respect the armed forces but now it's becoming clearer and clearer that war is a racket and that the armed forces are just the thugs of the military-industrial complex.
  • The mainstream media and the nightly news are seemingly just a Pravda-esque ministry of disinformation. Now everybody knows that the news is fake more often than not.
  • The business world used to be respected as a bastion of meritocracy - if you work hard you'll make something of yourself. But now in this globalized world of commerce, it seems like everything is just a race to the bottom.
  • Silicon Valley used to be this amazing geyser of technological innovation inventing amazing things that made our lives better. But, now Big Tech is recognized as one of the most subversive forces undermining civilization with their addictive distraction technology, disregard for free speech, surveillance capitalism, and monopolistic practices. Remember when Google's slogan used to be Don't Be Evil?

Imagine a world decades ago when all of these institutions were respected and trusted. That world is gone!

The downstream effect of all these societal pillars losing credibility in the eyes of the public is that now one-third of millennials don't believe that the world is round and many people think that they have magically traveled to a different dimension because of popular movie line misquotations, check out the documentary I did about "the Mandela effect"...

A disturbingly large portion of society now just doesn't believe anything that they don't see with their own eyes.

Consensus reality has been broken - is there a fix?

I think that society needs to have some faith in a character that we used to both respect and fear. The Devil. Yes, that old, wily, hooved bastard, I'll explain...

All these institutions that we used to trust have been cutting a lot of corners. And we've lost faith in them.

I'm clearly writing from an American perspective here and in the past 50 years or so we've seen a great secularization of the intelligentsia of society. Increasingly those heading the most prestigious of institutions are non-practicing or non-religious. I've been very religious and very secular in my life and it does change your mindset. I'll contend that secular institutions are much more susceptible to corruption because as a secular person, there's no real downside to corruption and cheating as long as you get away with it. Secular institutions will inevitably devolve into a Darwinian - ends justifies the means - struggle for resources, power, and prestige. Genuinely religious people have a very different kind of motivation, they seriously believe that they will face judgment in the afterlife for their misdeeds in this life.

Sure, there are plenty of religious people that have done bad things. But if you've known as many religious people as I have and an equal amount of secular people you know there is a big difference in trustworthiness. Religious people believe, either metaphorically or literally, that the devil is at their door knocking. They are fearful and avoidant of temptation that might lead them to greater sin.

In America people are mad

The (not so) United States of America

I know people are very mad in a lot of places but I'm American, so that's what I'll use as an example. It's easy to assume that it's this very controversial president we currently have that has ignited people's passions and animosity but I'll make the case it's more complicated than that. Philosophers and scientists recognizememes as embedded lifeforms, memes are ideas that take on a life of their own; socialism, atheism, capitalism, liberalism, Islam, Christianity, nationalism, globalism - you get the idea. These memes adapt, grow, and compete for resources in a very Darwinian way. Often violence ensues when they bump up against each other. I contend that is what we're seeing in America, is a heightened level of friction between competing memes. In this Darwinian environment of competition it becomes so easy to hate the other; to hate the white man for predatory capitalism, to hate the Jew for the degenerate Hollywood culture they project across the whole world, to hate the black people for making cities unsafe, to hate liberals for their political correctness, or to hate women for the short-sighted, hedonistic decisions they make that have resulted in an asymmetrical sexual marketplace.

Here's where the devil is needed.

Those who believe in the devil have an unseen character to blame everything that they see as wrong with society. It's the devil that is causing all the evil and strife that we see in the world, not your fellow man. My mother was quite red-pilled, from a young age I remember her she was against feminism, political correctness, and liberalism; these forces that we now see ravaging our culture. But at the same time, she never hated anyone. Our best family friends were a black family, our neighbors were a Mexican family and I never recall my mother disparaging them for who they were. Unsurprisingly, she voted Republican consistently but she didn't hate democrats. The other was never her enemy, the devil was.

Should we all be religious?

Well, you have to decide for yourself. But I know that I'd rather live in a society where people believe in and fear the devil. When we stop believing in the devil we succumb to our carnal and primal lusts that corrupt everything and our in-group/out-group instincts become so easily inflamed.

You might be thinking...

OK Jonathan, interesting argument. People can believe whatever they want but I'm a rational secular person. I don't believe in invisible gods or demons that I don't see evidence for.

Well, I'm a mindset guy and I'm a pragmatist before being a rationalist. The guy who doesn't believe in history is taking rationalism to its furthest extreme, he refuses to even have a quantum of faith in the historians of a different time who have delivered to us the story of our past. There are certain beliefs and mindsets that may not be true but are very helpful and result in human thriving - the devil is one of them.

He Came to Set the Captives FreeEven the most rational and materialist among us choose beliefs based on preference. If you haven't read a few books on a subject you don't really have a rational basis for your position or belief. I'd encourage you to get a little outside of your intellectual comfort zone and read some books about the devil. When I was younger I read some books making the case for the devil with some very harrowing accounts of people's interactions and experiences with a dark and malevolent spiritual force.

If you don't believe in the devil, read these books with a skeptical eye and then ask yourself if us doubting the devil is worth doubting everything.


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