Communication History, Introduction, Overview, Pre ancient civilizations 5,000 years ago

Moral Innovators’ introduction to the “oldest” Religion

Xingraomiwo (幸饶弥沃, or Shenrab Miwo) was the founder of Tibet’s Bonismo (雍仲本教) Religion. The root of this religion, Bon (本, or Tibetan བོན་), is translated as core or moral character. Using similar methods as Irish Archbishop Ussher’s calculations to show Adam and Eve were born in the year 4004bce, Shenrab Miwo is believed to be born ~ 3,800 years ago, around the time Abraham was born in Ur. We know that followers of Abrahamic religions include Judaism, Christianity and Islam, representing 60% of 7+ billion people today.

While Bonismo was formalized 3,800 years ago, the oral tradition went back over 13,000 years when humans settled from their nomadic lifestyle. This means Bonismo pre-dates all major religions. Note that Bonismo is not the religion of Dali Lama who preaches a form of Buddhism preached by Buddha who lived about 2,500 years ago. Bonismo is also related to Dongba, among the world’s last active pictograph languages and religion popular in places like Yunnan Province, China. I have seen, first hand, the Dongba pictograph written in front of me by a teenager who interpreted what he wrote to me.

The equivalent of the book of genesis in this religion describes developing harmony with nature. The scripture has thousands of volumes and the earliest documents came from the Ali region of Tibet called “Tripitaka (象雄大藏经).” One of the books Kanjur (甘珠尔 or Tibetan བཀའ་འགྱུར ) has 187 sections that include religion, philosophy, logic, literature, arts, astrology, medicine, science and engineering. There is a recorded 4th meeting of this religion in the current day Sri Lanka back in the year 29 bce, over 2000 years ago. There is a Chinese book published in 2006 and reprinted in 2012 translated by ChaCang GaCangCaiDan (察仓尕藏才旦). The book describes the nomadic settlements that were isolated by both the high mountains and the influx of Zoroastrian, Buddhism, Chinese Dao, and other religions that have taken over Bonismo as a religion. Today, over 10% of Tibetans are still Bonismo followers, and Bonismo was recognized in 2014 as a protected cultural heritage by the Chinese government.

Geographically, the Ali region of Tibet is near the 6,721 meter high Mount Kailash (冈仁波齐峰) where the rainfall and melted ice flow into the Indus River and is sacred for Bonismo, Hindu, Buddhism and Jainism religions. As part of the Himalayas, this is where India tectonic plate collided with the Eurasian tectonic plate 50 million years ago. Today, Eurasian plate is still being deformed, and compressed at a rate of 4mm/year, meaning the Himalayas will continue to increase in height over time. The other way to look at this region is the fact that this was the coastal region for the island of Asia when the dinosaurs roamed until 65 million years ago, where the world’s largest volcanic eruption ever occurred over 30,000 years near today’s Mumbai, India that created the Deccan traps, before the island of India collided to become part of South Asia, creating the Himalayan mountain range that includes Mount Kailash. This is also near the region where 38 million year old primates were found in Asia, contemporary to African primates.

So what? So this region has a long history of changes, and their cultural heritage can tell us our long tradition of harmony with nature, living with moral integrity, free from the pressure to maximize wealth and try to join the top 1% of wealthy humans that control a disproportionately large share of wealth created by all humans. Everyone should have a chance to work hard and command their own lifestyles without exploitation of other humans. This, by definition, is zen. Among the visitors to this region to learn the art of zen? Steve Jobs.

Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovators’ knowledge and Christianity

Moral Innovators seek knowledge of our place in the world, so that we can do the right things and make the world a better place. One guide for doing the right things is The Golden Rule: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. Make the world a better place requires innovations or continuous improvements, depending on our heart, skills and capabilities.

Seeking knowledge starts with our beliefs that we should try to confirm with facts or truths. There must be many more beliefs than knowledge because facts, or truths, remove only false beliefs, and cannot remove all beliefs. Truths or facts confirm beliefs, almost never create beliefs. We can deduce the earth rotates around the sun, contrary to the previous belief that the sun rotated around the earth, but that is a correction of belief, not a creation of belief.

Professor Bart Ehrman has many beliefs and lots of facts or truths. We can try to convert his facts on Christianity into knowledge by focusing on which beliefs can be confirmed and become knowledge. He started as a devoted Christian who spent most of his young life reading the Bible in multiple languages, seeking to find and understand the “original” version. The more he read, the less he himself became convinced of the Christianity faith, and became an agnostic in the 21st century. This is a breakdown of his claims to facts or truths that can be broken down into truths that can increase our knowledge of Christianity.

  1. Christianity claims that Jesus was, and is, God. However, this is not what the original disciples believed during Jesus’s lifetime, and it is not what Jesus claimed about himself.
  2. None of the original Bible documents of (either Old or New Testament) exist. The earliest text of the Bible had been copied many times, not a credible representation of the “original” version.
  3. His books highlight inconsistencies among existing Bible versions, specifically on the resurrection of Jesus, the timing of the death of Jesus, and when Jesus was declared “God” cannot be reconciled, unless the inconsistencies are ignored and remain “beliefs,” not knowledge.
  4. For 3.5 years Jesus preached an apocalyptic message of “love thy neighbor.” There are others like Jesus around his time, specifically Apollonius who was also resurrected and performed miracles as a contemporary of Jesus 2000 years ago.

Others, like FE Peters and Hans Kung, have also added inconsistencies:

  1. Who created God? Can God come out of nothing?
  2. Hans Kung, a Catholic clergy, claims that Frankish (i.e. French) clergy changed documents ~1,000 years ago within the Church to strengthen Pope’s power who ultimately became “Infallible.”
  3. FE Peters presented that The Jewish “midrash,” Christian “allegory,” and Muslim “kalam” all reflect attempts to interpret scripture into moral principles for believers. Specifically, Hellenistic philosophies were adsorbed onto all Abrahamic religions.
  4. The Black Sea deluge hypothesis between 2,600-2,800 years ago may explain the references to “the big flood” among Epic of Gilgamesh which predates the Bible, which predates the Quran.
  5. There is no archaeological evidence to support the Bible’s Exodus.

Faith, by definition, means we choose our personal relationship with God based on beliefs, not knowledge. Instead of battling at the belief level, we should respect the beliefs of others, while focus on productive dialogue for harmony within the realm of knowledge, not beliefs, by following The Golden Rule.

Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Moral Rule to Live on Earth

Thousands of years after we settled down into farming communities, we had to learn how to live together which drove us to develop moral rules within our communities. Three important teachers emerged about 2,500 years ago: Socrates in Greece, Ashoka in India, and Confucius in China. Indians and Chinese had dominated humanity both from population and economic perspectives for over 2,000 years. It was only within the last 500 years when we globalized that our community-specific moral rules clashed. The only rule that still applies across all of humanity, across thousands of languages, is The Golden Rule: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

Socrates and his followers were in Greece with polytheistic mythology. After Macedonian Alexander the Great died 2,300 years ago and his entire family was annihilated within 15 years of his death, followers of Socrates had to find new homes in Roman and Persian Empires that were transforming from polytheism to monotheism.

Aristobulus of Paneas (~160bce) and Philo (25bce-50ce) were Hellenistic Jewish philosophers who most likely influenced Rabbi Tarphon (~70ce-135ce) in the Mishna and the Greek Septuagint scripture which was not universally accepted. Among the dissenters was Tertullian (160-225ce) whose influence was still visible in the 16th century when 7 books of Old Testament were removed for Protestant Christians from the 46 books of Catholic Old Testament. It was Hellenistic Christian philosophers Clement of Alexandria (150-215ce) and his student Origen (185-254ce) who characterized the extrabiblical Trinity as homoousious or consusbstantial.

Hellenistic philosophies were translated into the Muslim Arabic language by caliph al-Mamun (786-833ce), philosophers al-Ashari (died ~936ce) and al-Farabi (872-951ce) who helped Ibn Sina or Avicenna (980-1037ce) and the Mutazilites introduce “partisans of kalam” that allowed powers of research (nazar) and applied judgment (ijtibad) on the revealed Quran during the egalitarian Islam. This was rejected after Muslims lost battles in 1258-1260 at Aleppo and Damascus to Chinese Mongolians, giving way to the posthumous adoption of al-Ghazali (1058-1111)’s more fundamentalist Islam today.

Moral rules clashed when Christians unilaterally took the Americas beginning in 1492, supported by weapons from 19th century industrialization. India was colonized and produced opium to forcibly import into China to extract an average $2 trillion (2014 retail value) per year from China until the early 20th century. Muslims strengthened OPEC in 1973 and has extracted an average of $1 trilion (2014 crude oil) profit per year for 40 years. In 2014, China became the largest economy on earth again (PPP basis) with 16.5% of global GDP, while India is trying to govern as a henotheistic democracy.

We must apply the Moral Innovation Framework to globally harmonize our community-specific moral rules and mitigate future clashes.

Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovator Perspectives on Race Relations

Focusing on skin color within the USA is insufficient to improve race relations. By looking globally we can gain knowledge from our past to make future improvements with integrity, and re-discover we must follow a universally accepted Golden Rule: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

The worst human atrocity committed against fellow humans took place 300-500 years ago after European Christians committed genocide in the Americas in the name of Christianity (worse than World War II, World War I, Holocaust, Chinese Cultural Revolution, etc.).  Up to 100 million humans perished which represent 80% of Native Americans and Africans transported to the Americas as slaves. There is scant record of many rich pre-Columbian cultures in the Americas (e.g. 5,000 year old Sacred City of Caral in Supe Valley, Peru), and Africa’s population was flat between the years 1600-1850 while the rest of the world’s population more than doubled. Why is Columbus, who never set foot on USA soil, celebrated in the USA? Why is Andrew Jackson, who spent his life killing Native Americans, celebrated on $20 dollar bills? Why is Lord Jeff Amherst (1717-1797) a namesake for a city in Massachusetts? Amherst approved the intentional distribution of blankets used by smallpox victims to Native Americans and proclaimed his willingness to adopt “any other method that can serve to extirpate this execrable race.” His grandnephew Bill (1773-1857) inherited Jeff’s title of Lord in 1797, and went to China in 1816 where he failed to negotiate trade with China which ignited The Opium Wars, then he went on to India and commanded the first Burmese War of 1824 that killed 15,000 British soldiers at a cost of £13 million.

60% of all humans born in the last 200 years have followed Christianity or Islam, much more than the rest of the world largely represented by Indians and Chinese. The key innovation that drove human progress was industrialization which was led by USA/European Christians. The largest transfer of wealth through this industrialization was the forced import of opium into China (against Chinese laws), backed by gunboats, to take an estimated (2014) retail value of $2 trillion per year from China, mostly during the reign of Empress Dowager Cixi who ruled China for 50 years. China fell from the largest economy on earth in the year 1820 with 35% of global GDP to almost declaring bankruptcy in 1902 if not for a 39 year financing to pay Christian countries like Russia and Germany for the suppression of the patriotic Chinese Boxers’ Rebellion. USA also received payment, but returned some to help establish Qinghua University, a top school in China. USA became the global leader with 27-35% of global GDP between the years 1950-2001 on the shoulders of the largest middle class on earth after Henry Ford started to pay premium wages to his workers, but had to share its wealth mostly with Muslims beginning in 1973 when the OPEC cartel steeply increased prices. An estimated (2014) $1 trillion per year cash profit has been paid to OPEC to quench the thirst for energy to sustain industrialization. Both Christians and Muslims have concentrated their wealth in the last 40 years to widen the wealth gap, as the USA/worldwide Christians squeeze the middle class and a super majority of Muslims remain in poverty. Meanwhile, China has lifted more humans out of poverty than the rest of the world by sacrificing their environment.

We do not differentiate Arabs from Jews in the Middle East by skin color. The Chinese, Koreans and other Asians hate the Japanese not because of the color of their skin, but because the Japanese captured and forced over 400,000 women into 400 locations where they were raped by Japanese soldiers multiple times every day until they died. (In Yunnan, China, each Japanese soldier was given two tickets every week to rape innocent females in one of these 400 locations, and these tickets have been shown on documentaries and can still be inspected.)  The Japanese also massacred ~300,000 civilians and raped over 20,000 females in Nanjing, China over a 40 day period where soldiers competed for how many civilians they killed. While forgiveness is a virtue, the Japanese have not atoned for their atrocities. In fact, convicted war criminals in the International Court of Justice are memorialized in a Japanese shrine where top government officials visit every year. This is akin to the USA making August 6th and 9th as Little Boy and Fat Man (codenames for the atomic bombs dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) Holidays with celebratory parades that killed 129,000 Japanese.  To get a glimpse of The Golden Rule, just look at the Japanese reaction to the gang rape of local girls near the Okinawa US Military Base by US Military Servicemen.  A reason the largest US Military Base in Asia is moving is due to the strong opposition of the local residents against these isolated incidents of raping local girls.  Of course, going back one more step, US Military should never have been stationed in Okinawa in the first place because Japan was supposed to be “expelled from all … territories taken by violence and greed…” based on the November 27th 1943 Cairo Declaration which the Allies dictated in accordance with the Potsdam Declaration which was the term of the Japanese unconditional surrender announced in Japanese radio on August 15th, 1945 and signed on the deck of USS Missouri on September 2nd, 1943.  Okinawa, as we know it today, was unilaterally taken by Japan in 1879 and renamed Okinawa Prefecture from the former Kingdom of Ryukyu.  Japan forced the King of Ryukyu Sho Tai (1843-1901) to move to Tokyo in 1897, even as Ryukyu paid tributes to China for over 450 years, with the last tribute left Ryukyu in the year 1874.  This is the subject of another blog…

How do we not focus on skin color or geography? We still have the American Dream where anyone can maximize their potential within their own lifetime. We think of people like Bill Gates, but he left a legacy of monopolistic practices at Microsoft. We can improve race relations by creating a network that focuses on opportunities with positive legacies while following the Golden Rule.  Use the Golden Rule as the foundation of our great society.  We clearly forgot the Golden Rule when policemen used excessive force to kill innocent citizens in Missouri, New York, Ohio and other places.