This is a wide topic, I admit, but I try to be as brief as I can.

The medieval era from the fall of western Rome to the rise of renneissance was the era of the heavy cavalry in Europe. The Roman legion was made obsolete by more mobile and better equipped heavy catapracht cavalry, that the Romans adopted from their eastern neighbours in Armenia, Syria, Persia and the Scythians, Sarmatians and the Huns of the wide steppe. The medieval epitome of warfare was the concept of the Knight. Armoured, highly skilled and armed like his predecessor the cataphract with a lance and sword.  A knightly culture and social class ruled over rest of the society for some thousand years and went into decline as the infantryman once again surplanted the heavy cavalry as the foremost element to win any battle.

So highly was the heavy cavalryman regarded in medieval times, that often even though armies consisted from far more greater numbers of infantry (of varying quality) their numbers were not even mentioned or really counted when the strength of an army was evaluated. Examples of this can be found from the opposite ends of the European continent. Even in the long tradition of military training and analysis of the Byzantine empire they would often only count the number of cavalrymen, when they made estimations of their campaign forces. When the English met the French in the battle of Azincourt in 1415, the contemporary sources say that the French outnumbered the English three to one, but in reality this only meant that there were three times the amount of French chevalliers and gendarmes in comparrison to some 1000 English knights and men-at-arms. We know, that there were several thousand English archers and siege specialists on the field as well, but we simply do not have any contemporary estimate as to how many infantrymen (crosbowmen and such) did the French bring. Neither the archers or the crossbowmen, nor any of the possible billmen, spearmen, halbardier, or what ever were expected to have any impact on the result of the battle.

One might think that such disregard of the infantry was the result of mere arrogance coming from a sort of espirit de corps -sort of elitist social culture. In part it was that, and as in Azincourt, sometimes this sort of arrogance was proven to be fatal, but there were reasonable reasons for this attitude. The archers and crossbowmen and what have you other sorts of infantrymen were brought to field battles only to give a supporting role to the “real” soldiers of the heavy cavalry. Their main function was to serve as siege troops. To provide the necessary arrow fodder and shoot their arrows to make both assaults on ramparts and their defence difficult, but not to solve any field battles or even sieges. Thre were battles fought where a score of few hundred heavy cavalry destroyed several times stronger armies of infantry, suffering hardly any losses in turn. In comparrison the individual infantryman, hired or levied, had rudimentary education to the arts of close combat, was poorly equipped and motivated. The armoured man-at-arms in effect ruled the battlefield wether if he was mounted, dismounted or stood on the parapet of a castle.

The military ability of the man-at-arms did not only provide possibility for him to set himself to lead the society, it was also seen as a justification for him to stand in that position. The relevance of the knightly class in the medieval society has often been misunderstood and not seen as significant as it was, because such institutions as the church painted a bit different picture and gave other excuses for those who held power than their ability for violence and quite a bit of the contemporary sources from said era were written and preserved to posterity by the priesthood. But the medieval era was far from being extremely religious. It was superstitious and religion gave plenty of moralist excuses for the violence, but this was because the priests almost invariably came from the same social class as the men-at-arms. The priests were born as sons of knights, lords and well, other priests. Medieval bishops often had themselves depicted in armour, rather than in religious vestments. In general it seems religions do not set the moral standards for any society, rather the society sets the moral standards for the religion they have adopted. For the medieval European Christians church was not much else but a method to justify the feodalist social system, just like for the modern US Christian fundamentalists their churches are mere methods to justify their Capitalist values.

https://i2.wp.com/www.themcs.org/armour/knights/Germany%20Mainz%20Landesmuseum%20Erzbischof%20von%20Koln%201340%20499.JPG

This dude in the picture is the archibishop of Cologne from around mid 14th century. His shield has the cross emblem, not uncommon heraldic device for less religious troop types either, and his helmet bears the bishops mitre as a heraldic device from wich his status can be easily recognized on the field of battle.

It has been often presented, that the introduction of gunpowder made the heavy cavalry obsolete, and thus ended the era of the knights. But this is a silly notion, as we know that the heavy cavalry retained it’s elite status on the battlefield even long after Napoleon. There are several reasons why heavy cavalry went into decline and foremost of them is that they themselves started to dismount for combat more and more often during the late medieval centuries.

The warhorse was an expensive asset to loose in combat, so it stood to reason not to waste it in so many frontal charges. While the benefit of the cavalry is the hard hitting mobility, this mobility makes it also an unreliable battlefield asset. If the heavy cavalry decides to retreat, they do it faster than any infantry, and that is one of the main reasons why medieval infantry was considered weak and unreliable, as they had to run away from the field long before their mounted masters decided to, if they did not want to be the ones easily cut down in the chase by enemy heavy cavalry. In the late medieval times some military minds gathered, that infantry could be a lot stronger, if it was armed so that it could withstand enemy cavalry charges on it’s own, without the support of the men-at-arms wether mounted or dismounted. Great national armies began to appear as kings and cantons were no longer dependable on the feodalistic protection racket. With the appearance of the national armies and autocracy slowly the national states appeared as well. And thus the medieval social structure based on the monopoly of violence by the heavy cavalryman crumbled. This in turn released all sorts of new ideas, that led to religious reformation, but more importantly to ideals of human value and enlightenment.

Sadly the history of warfare is not just a straight line of violence and of technological innovation separate from the rest of human achievement, but rather the history of human sociological evolution.

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Now, that a lot of right wing extremists have won ground in actual governments, they have also vocalized this demand, that the media should cow down to their version of facts and reality. It appears, that they have lived in this fantasy world, where the press has no integrity at all, but it only spouts lies made up by who ever is holding the political power. But as the media who do hold integrity and/or opposing political views to theirs continues to resist their preconceptions and biases, they are annoyed at the media. They would have the media lie for them, as they percieve the media has lied for others. What nincompoops? But they rely on there being enough of other nincompoops and ignorant people in such a measure, that these supporters are unable to recognize when their leaders that the media should lie to benefit them. The supporters of such politicians only exist for their own leaders to exploit them.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle alt facts

To make matters worse, there indeed exists false media, the sort of publications – in the internet even more, than in radio, TV, or in the printed form – that makes up wild claims and downright lies to feed the preconceptions of, surprize surprize, racists, fascists, and other sort of right wing survivalist looneys, not to mention alternative medicine, regressive religious movements and what have you nonsense. People who are ill equipped to recognize scientific facts fall prey to them, and rely on such media to uphold their own bubble of imaginary safety, where they typically are victims to degenerate naïve fantasies of past glory and lost golden age rethorics. Where their fear of the change and the different are confirmed by non-scientific and made up claims. Where they get false sense of security wether it comes from angels and gods supposedly healing their ailnesses, from climate change denialism, or from them thinking they can recognize dangerous individuals on the street by mere colour of the skin. These false media publications are echoed in their limited social circkless, that remain limited, because they spout out the most abnoxious hatred and slander at anyone who might point out the weaknesses in their conspiracy theories. They provide the most black and white world views, that seem to appeal to the most ignorant individuals, and on top of that, they also provide these individual with similarly simplistic solution models, to these percieved threats.

Building walls, stopping immigration, protectionist economics, do not in in the real world even remotely address the problems to wich they are suggested as solutions by populist demagogues, who infact are not out there to solve these problems, rather just to ride the tide of discontent and fear to their own personal glory. Building wals and restricting immigration only creates more segragation, dehumanization and tension between groups of humans and as such result in more terrorism. Protectionism does not provide jobs, it cuts them down as it downgrades all economy. These are well known facts of history, but the ignoramuses who rely on such methods do not know their history. Do they?

There are and have been a lot of conspiracies in the real world. Because the conspiracy is something secret it is often hard to prove, or disprove.

Kuvahaun tulos haulle new york skyline 2000

Some of the most extreme conspiracy theories have captivated the minds of millions. Some are so ingraned to society, that they are not even discussed when examples of conspiracy theories are presented.

Examples of typical conspiracy theories are the ideas, that the US officials knew before hand about the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbour, or the terror attacks in New York and Washington in 2001. Both of these conspiracy assumptions represent deep distrust a large part of the US citizens have for their government. They also represent the fact the US citizens who pay dearly as taxpayers for an ultra expensive military and extremely secretive agencies – both of wich have been found red handed in ethically questionable actions – do not feel safe. The blatant disregard for legality, or ethics these powerfull institutions have shown, does not make people feel any safer, nor the fact that these very expensive institutions are caught with their pants down. The average person likes to think they are safe and that is the main reason why they agree to big spending keeping such institutions costs. However, when something surprizing happens, that shows how woulnerable people are, they find their previous misplaced trust hard to accept, and try to look reasons for having been wrong from elswhere. Like that they had every reason to believe they were safe, exept for this conspiracy theory.

One major conspiracy theory in this same category is the Nazi hatred of the Jews. As the Germans could not accept their loss in world war I, they had to find a scape goat. Someone to blame that the promised victory never came. Racism is a similarly unfounded prejudice as the idea that a big military will keep your country safe and you personally out of reach of violence. Usually the effect is contrary, since a big military is often used for unsavioury actions to “protect the intrests” of the country, or more likely the corporate capitalism, or some obscure political ideology. This is prone to create enemies, who in face of overwhelming military power need to form conspiracies of their own to fight their oppressors.

However, if you thought any of the abowe were wild and implausible conspiracy theories, there are some that are by far even more ludicurous. For example a couple of surprizingly popular and mad conspiracy theories, that have the same roots and often the same believers are the climate change denialism and evolution denialism. Both are based on a claim that the scientific community has a major conspiracy going on.

Climate change denialists state, that the entire climate change is a hoax and even if it is not a hoax, but true, the change is not a bad thing, nor is it a human caused phenomenon. One of the climate change denialists is the new president of the USA a nation that is responsible for a very large portion of pollution. He has stated in his campaign, that it is a conspiracy by the Chinese to undermine US economy. His main advisor in environmental issues has claimed (while on the payroll of Exxon), that it is a conspiracy by the EU. I am curious as to wich one they are going to settle between them as the purpetrator of this conspiracy. This is a demonstration why conspiracy theories are not just us laughing at the stupid mentally disturbed individuals who think the world is secretly led by lizard people. Ignorance that leads to such nonsensical conspiracy theories is dangerous for the entire world. They make people distrust science and turns them to hand power over to self interrested authoritarianistic demagogues.

Just as with the climate change denialism, the evolution denialism starts with the assumption that the entire scientific community is in conspiracy, a secret pact, to lie to people contrary to their better information. The problem is how to prove such a conspiracy. The scientific method after all is the best method we have to evaluate reality as objectively as we possibly can and the scientists supposedly involved in this conspiracy are the ones who are best equipped to research both evolution and the climate. It would be ridiculous, if it was not so serious, that for these conspiracy theories to propagate themselves, they do not need to be investigated. People take them as true without the least bit of effort to investigate them, or precisely because they are ill equipped to investigate reality. They are most often believed by people who have been from childhood taught and indoctrinated to belive, that faith is a virtue. That their gut feeling is the best judge and somehow in more or less direct connection to some ultimate moral arbitrator creator entity – That in turn has never been falsified to exist on any level of reality. That means these people are effectively adults, who are totally subjected to their prejudices.

If the believer in any wild conspiracy theory is prejudging the reality around them according to some arbitrary tribally moralist ideal, be it something like a religion, or nationalism, they are helplesly biased. For example, to think they have every right to own a big polluting car, as the car is part of their identity, way of life and a continuation of their sexuality and self image. Or for a nother example to think, evolution must be untrue, as it challenges the fairytale they think is the ultimate truth from some god they worship, and feel as a base for their morality and sometimes even the justification of their very existance and possibly a redeemer of their guilt from the evil they have done because of their arbitrary understanding of morality.

As with everything else, the time to believe in an extreme conspiracy is when the evidence is presented, and the evidence is achieved by using the scientific method, as it is the only even remotely objective way to achieve reliable information. In addition, the more extraordinary the claim for a conspiracy is, the more extraordinary should the evidence be.

It seems to me, people believe the most extreme things when they are ill-educated, ill-informed and when the theory supports their preconceptions. Did I get this right?

Crucifixion

“Hey guys, I think we have a live one here!”

Many Christians profess to have a personal relationship with Jesus. What do they mean? A personal experience impossible to replicate, if one has not experienced it. It is sometimes even presented as the best and foremost evidence they have to believe in the existance of their god.

What do Christians mean when they say they have a personal relationship with their god entity? It is often described some form of conversing between them and their god. They ask their god for advice in choises they have to make and supposedly this god of theirs answers. How? How do they know, that who ever answers is actually their god?

How does one make the distinction between a particular god talking to oneself within the limits of the inner mind of the person experiencing this, from the normal inner dialogue we have? How does one make the distinction between different alledged supernatural entities talking within our minds?

Or are they referring to hearing voices? Hearing voices is not necessarily a sign of schizophrenia and it is far more common than commonly assumed. Be it caused by such serious condition or not, it is a trick of the mind. The physical brain within our cranium. It is perfectly natural, that when a person starts to hear voices, those voices that are echoes of the brainfunctions reflect the cultural heritage of the individual. Sometimes including their religious beliefs and cultural ideas about the supernatural. The Jesus character in the Bible seemed to think, that sort of experience is a form of coexistance with some sort of demons. This makes the Bible appear very much as a book and the Jesus character in it as a typically superstitious human being of the time when the book was written. Does it not?

If the relationship with a particular god entity is not described as much as hearing actual voices inside your head, merely the natural inner dialogue, perhaps even a muted version of it, it still is necessarily connected to the cultural heritage and culturally induced ideas such as particular concepts of gods. Even if a person later in life becomes convinced, that the connection they had to a particular god was not those of a particular god concept of their own cultural heritage, in order to recognize wich god concept fits the experience they remember having had, they first need to become aware of the cultural notion of a particular god that would fit the bill. God concepts are necessarily cultural constructs. Similar god beliefs have appeared ignorant of each other around the globe, but the very same concept has never appeared simultaneously in different cultures indipendend of each other. Instead the succesfull religious movements all require a form of proselytising.

How could a personal experience, limited between our own ears be evidence of a particular god to exist? Even to us ourselves? Most of these experiences are direct reflections of the cultural heritages and subsequent beliefs people already had even before they had the experience. Putting aside the fact, that the personal experience of an individual is presents very poor evidence for a nother person. The obvious cultural connection of recognition of a particular god depending on the culture and experiences of the particular individual, at very least, puts the evidence value of any such experience to question. In any case it reminds us, that either, if there is a god behind such phenomenons this god is “challenged” in trying to convey who this god is to human individuals, or then there are multiple different gods providing evidence of their existance.

Now, if the god of the Christians manifests somehow differently from other gods, and the “personal relationship” is a concept to describe this, it still means, that it is a cultural concept. As this personal relationship seems more common among particular mutually competing Christian sects, it means, that most Christians are not included in this personal relationship. Most Christians in the world are just normal people who have no personal relationships with anything supernatural. Why?

What if there is something supernatural causing these experiences, and the cultural interpretation was just a side-effect of the phenomenon being transmitted to the rest of us, by superstitious and culturally indoctrinated individuals? Well, perhaps, but how likely is that? According to the Occam’s Razor, the more simplistic model of explanation is the more likely truth. If applied to voices in the head, the inner monologue feeling or seeming like it was between the individual and a god, or just a chance occurance seeming like it was an answer to a question presented by the person inside their head, it is still more simple to explain any of those as tricks of the mind, rather than by anything supernatural, that would still require an external verification to even exist as much as to be a possible explanation to the experience.

I have to admit it, if I ever had any such an experience, I would rather have my head examined, than jumped to the conclusion, that a particular deity was trying to make a contanct with me. But is that just my own cultural heritage and bias? I am not immune to my own culture, or the assumptions it provides me. Yet, my ally is the scientific method. As long as it does not provide any direct information about divinities, I am quite happy to neglect any suggestions of gods as fable. Much the same way I neglect any ideas of demons, angels, pixies, unicorns, dragons and such. Besides, being a researcher of history, I have quite scientific evidence of how the beliefs in the supernatural appear. We have no reliable knowledge about anything supernatural, but we do have reliable knowledge about otherwise perfectly rational people being able to make up fantastic stories, believing them against all evidence and even sacrificing themselves for their faith in the most ludicurous and harmfull beliefs. Like for an extreme example the Nazies.

How wonky is this? The US is now considering legal action against Saudi-Arabia for the 9/11 terror attacks. Now some 15 years after the event, the US has suddenly come to the conclusion, that it might have been the Saudis all along who were behind the attacks. I sure hope they have made a better research on this issue than when they attacked Iraq on the pretense, that Saddam was somehow behind the terror attack, or that the Iraqi government had some weapons of mass destruction concealed on trucks driving around the country. That went well. Did it not?

First of all, if it ever was a justified reason to attack a country because it has weapons of mass destruction, would that actually not make the 9/11 attacks then justified? The US arguably has more such weapons than any other nation on the planet and has used them against other sovereign nations, sometimes even without provocation.

The entire idea, that the Iraqis were stupid enough to ride chemical weapons around their country in trucks, when their roads never were exactly in condition to make it even remotely safe, was as ridiculous when it was first suggested as it is now, that we know the Iraqi government was not concealing any secret weapons of mass destruction. Sure they had had them, we know this because the US and former West-Germany sold them to Saddam, in the 1980’s. Why? That is when he used these weapons of mass destruction against the Kurdish minority in northern Iraq, but nobody was even interrested about them then. Why? These weapons only became an issue, when the Bush administration saw them as an excuse to attack Iraq, to profit by war, to controll the oil rich country (remind me, in wich sort of business was Bush himself involved with) and to deliver a revenge to the scared and angry US citizens.

Ahead they went and brought the might of not only the US but the British military as well on the worst enemy of Saudi-Arabia. Yes, they dislodged a terrible tyrant in the process, who had reigned for decades as their very own puppet. Starved the oil rich nation and drove it into chaos for years and possibly for generations to come. In the end they managed to remove the Sunni-led government, and replace it with a Shia-led government. As a result Iran has become the closest friend the Iraqi government. Good work with that Bush! The Sunnis, who previously were considered to be the more moderate of the two major sects of Islam have moved towards the radicalized fanatics all over the world. It is the former officials and officers of the Iraqi government, whom the US provisional goverment in their absolute and divinely guided wisdom decided to depose and shut outside of the future Iraq, who have now formed the ISIL. Thank you very much. Exdellent job! Is this movement towards Islamist radicalization exactly what Osama Bin Laden would have wanted for?

Osama, the main architecht of the 9/11 attacks was executed, along with some of his unarmed relatives, by the US military on foreign soil, without even the permission of the Pakistani government. He was from a leading Saudi family, but apparently only just now 15 years later have the US officials managed to make the connection. I wonder how long is it going to take them to make the next obvious connection, that he was also a product of the CIA operation of using Islamists against the Soviet occupation of Afghanishtan?

No, I am no conspiracy theorist. I do not think it has all been deliberate. Instead, I think it is a very good example of what sort of crap historically challenged people achieve in positions of power to wich they are elected by uneducated and ignorant populations, as they singlemindedly move towards a short term goal, the ethics of wich they have based on some imaginary nonsense. Sadly often motivated by the opportunity get even richer as if being rich was some sort of measure of a human being.

In an undirect result, as some of the Muslim people have moved towards cultural, religious and political radicalization, so have all the idiots and fanatics pushing out of the woodwork in the western world. Ignorant western people are scared about their mirror images of conservative right wing religious types in Islamic culture and even acting out their hatred. Typically they are still in denial of the actual threat we are facing from pollution and the human induced climate change. Their fear of the other, who is just like them, is taking much of our focus and resources from an actual threat we need to face together as humanity. Can one still hope for the best?

 

 

Most people do not think about death too much, because it is an unpleasant thought. Many people have been led by superstitious cultural heritage to tell themselves they or their loved ones are not going to die at all, but continue in some sort of pelasant paradise after their bodies die out. Some people have managed to provide themselves an income by providing a service of rituals that perpetuate this baseless, but pleasant notion. There are even a few, that get some form of sick satisfaction from the idea that bad people will suffer for an eternity in this assumed afterlife. No surprice the definition for the bad people is typically tribally moralistic, that is, people who are not part of the “tribe”, or “club” that has certain tenets and rituals.

Death is inevitable, but many a cultural movement, that are built around the blatantly obvious form of wishfull thinking, that it is not and there is some form of afterlife, have managed to make themselves exempted from being taxed. Some of them even get support from other taxpayers and indeed they all collect a form of taxes themselves to provide the income to their ritual experts. This is a widely accepted situation in almost any given society. Why?

A couple of years back here in Finland the government decided to stop collecting fees for owning a TV-set and provide funding for the national radio and TV broadcasting network YLE (much like the BBC in Britain) by taxes instead of the previous obsolete method of collecting money. The new tax was named the YLE-tax according to the name of the national and government owned broadcasting company. Now the vice president of the youth section of the (True) Finns party Aleksi Hernesniemi, has launched a citizen campaign to stop the YLE-tax. This is possible through a nother new law we have, wich is that if you can collect 50 000 names to support an initiative, the parliament has to have a discussion about the matter. This is how our new marriage equality laws for example were finally led to the parliament vote.

The main complaint against the YLE-tax is about it being unfair, as it is a network under political guidance. Hernesniemi complains also about the bad quality of the programmes as provided by YLE channels. It is sometimes very difficult to fathom how stupid people are. The president of the political guidance for YLE has been for almost a year a member of the same party as Mr. Hernesniemi. Is he now complaining against his fellow party member, or what? To what is he comparing the quality of the programmes as sent by YLE? One can argue, that the newest series by HBO, that the YLE keeps sending are not quality programme, but that is a rather subjective view at best and they do get high ratings. YLE sends out a wide range of movies, other entertainment and documentaries from around the globe and it provides those online to be watched at the convinience of the audience. I have watched a variety of commercial channels, and none can compare with quality, or wider selecltion to that as sent by YLE. Yes, it is true, that YLE does not produce Big-Brother type of social porn, send out ridiculous “documentaries” such as produced by for example the History channel and that their news are “biased”, to research the facts behind the news stories before airing them out, instead of spouting out racist hatred. Like some small time private tabloids, that are not even members of the journalistic unions have done. That can hardly be called partisan bias, even though the party of Mr. Hernesniemi has based much of it’s xenophobic populism on such.

I for one would much rather see news from a company led by constitutional and journalistic principles and a democratically chosen political guidance to regulate that those principles are held, than by newscompanies led by the popular vote of the viewer masses, advertising sponsors and the preferances of billionare owners. In any case , it can not be argued, that one or the other was any cheaper to me. If anything the commercial channel is prone to be more expensive, because not only does it need the money to run it, but it must also provide for winnigs of the owners. I either pay for the service through some form of taxes, or by the extra cost in products for advertising them.

So, indeed there are ways to awoid taxes, even if there are no ways to awoid death. However, it should be observed how much it is going to cost us, to awoid the taxes.

For decades the Finnish people have been moving out of the church. It was already decades and generations ago, when the process in wich not only some people became openly atheistic, but the common folk stopped going to church. Exept for some transitional rituals such as name giving, becoming adult, marriage and finally death. The Christian churches have had a monopoly over these transtional rituals for centuries, and that is why some people have the sad misconception, that such things like the marriage are somehow trademarked by Christianity. One of the reasons for this misconception is the language used, because instead of calling name giving ritual simply for what it is, it has been called Christening, and instead of calling becoming adult what it is, it has been called Confirmation of faith. But despite wether the dead person is being ashed or buried, or wether if the person was a Christian or not, the death is something every individual is going to go through.

The monopoly position has also caused the church not only to neglect the fact that it may not appeal much to modern sensitivities, but also that the church was supposed to be some sort of moral leader. If it is not, then what is the purpose of it within a society? To serve the fancy of superstitious grannies who would prefer to think they shall remain alive even after death? But for a church to be a moral leader it needs to be moral. Morality is not just what we agree upon, to be moral, though that is what moral codes are built on. Morality is mostly about what is right and wrong. As it seems the holy books may sincerely be interpreted to mean many a mutually contradicting views the actual morality has to be drawn from someplace else, than mere authorative commands from an old book.

I salute at least the archbishop of the Finnish state official Lutheran Church, Kari Mäkinen. Thank you for being a moral man and indeed practicing your position to appeal to the better nature of people. I would hope, that more Christians would be more like him.

Archbishop Kari Mäkinen has taken a stand to defend the rights of homosexuals and Muslim refugees despite his holy book could have (and repeatedly has) been used as a base to defile the natural rights of these people as humans. A fine man who deserves my support in these issues. No doubt, that his actions and views will be serving for sensible and moral people to remain as a part of his particular church, while it will drive out the ignorant homophobic tribal moralists out and join in rowes to what ever fundamentalistic groups. What a pity, I can not sincerely join his club, because I simply do not believe in any of the gods, including his god. Even if that god of his was less spitefull, vengefull and mad, than those the fundamentalists propose and sincerely believe in.