By Robert A. Vella

Last week, the hosts of a local sports talk radio show (which is quite entertaining, provocative, and covers current issues far beyond the realm of sports) discussed a very compelling topic – what historical mysteries would be the most significant if they could be solved.  Their discussion inspired this post.

Here’s my top three questions:

Does God, or do gods, exist?

Believers say YES, and non-believers say NO, both emphatically I might add.  But, the question remains unanswered from an empirical standpoint.  There is insufficient evidence to objectively prove either assertion, although the burden of proof must fall more heavily upon the believer’s position.  Still, if we did know the answer, it would have the most profound consequences imaginable.

The demonstrable existence of an omnipotent god(s) overseeing human activities would immediately nullify all secular institutions and practices, completely change the nature and functions of government, and – even more importantly – fundamentally alter how we human beings go about living our daily lives.  Personal responsibility, for example, would shift from conforming to societal norms towards strict obedience to the almighty god(s).

Conversely, if our cosmological origins were discovered exclusive of creator-gods, theological religions would collapse in a heap confusion.  Christianity, Judaism, and Islam would be great institutional houses resting on no foundations whatsoever.  They would react by attempting to redefine themselves, although their efforts would likely be futile.  In place of religion, billions of people would look to other forms of guidance.  Science, for instance, might become the preeminent point of reference.  Spirituality would probably cease being externalized and become more internalized, more personal.  The world would be very, very different.

Are advanced extraterrestrials involved in human affairs?

If the day ever comes when E.T.s announce themselves publicly on Earth, the shock would be incalculable and be dependent upon the nature of their involvement.  If they proclaimed their superiority and demanded our subservience, the impact to human civilization would be similar to the demonstrable existence of god(s) except that the E.T.s would assume the omnipotent position.  If their involvement was something less than that, the impact would still surely be a game-changer.  Such an occurrence could radically alter human evolution for the better… or, for the worse.

Was a conspiracy behind the JFK assassination?

I’ll not rehash the details of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 because it has been covered ad nauseam over the years and readers here should be well-versed in the subject.  Government officials and conspiracy debunkers have supported the Warren Commission‘s lone gunman theory for half a century now, with the exception of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, despite unresolved questions about Lee Harvey Oswald‘s activities leading up to the shootings in Dallas.  Had it been perpetrated by a conspiracy however, and not by a rogue assassin, the consequences resulting from a successful criminal prosecution of the case could be profound to say the least.  The geopolitical world could be tilted one way or the other, or the U.S. government could be destabilized depending on the nature of the conviction.  Let’s look at the possibilities involving one or more of the following suspects:

Anti-communist forces inside the U.S. intelligence community – Warmongering neocons have held sway over U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II.  They prompted the 2003 Iraq War on false pretenses (i.e. WMDs) and spurred the Reagan Administration’s aggressive policies in Central America during the 1980s.  However, there was never a time when these rabidly anti-communist antagonists wielded so much power, and met so much resistance from the executive branch, than during the height of the Cold War under President Kennedy.  The CIA never forgave JFK for his lukewarm support of its failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in early 1961 as well as his subsequent firing of the agency’s director Allen Dulles.  Kennedy had also dragged his heels as the military geared-up for Vietnam, a war realized less than a year following his assassination with another false pretense – the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident.  Coincidence or not, and I think not, previous president Dwight D. Eisenhower warned against the growing influence of America’s “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address which he described as a “potential enemy of the national interest.”

The Italian-American mafia – Powerful mob bosses such as Carlos Marcello in New Orleans, Santo Trafficante Jr. in Florida, and Chicago’s Sam Giancana all had personal grudges against President Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy who was the U.S. Attorney General in his administration.  The mafia was furious at Fidel Castro for kicking their lucrative hotel/gaming businesses out of Cuba after he took over that country’s leadership in 1959, and it worked very closely with the CIA to assassinate him even though each of the attempts failed.  When President Kennedy refused to commit the U.S. military in support of the previously mentioned Bay of Pigs operation, the mafia turned their anger towards him.  The mob was also enraged by the Kennedy administration’s crackdown on their criminal activities, in that same year, as well as their infiltration of organized labor which centered on Teamsters’ president Jimmy Hoffa.

Fidel Castro – The communist dictator of Cuba was the target of numerous CIA/mafia assassination plots, and would’ve had plenty of motive for retaliation against a high profile symbol of the U.S. government like President Kennedy.

The Soviet Union – Embarrassed by the outcome of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, frustrated by its inability to outflank the U.S. in the western hemisphere, and still roiling over being outmaneuvered by the Americans in Germany following World War II, the Soviet government would appear – at least superficially – to be the prime suspect in the assassination of President Kennedy.

The extreme right-wing of American politics – Ultra conservative factions entrenched themselves in America’s political institutions early after the nation’s founding.  Prior to World War I, it was the Democratic Party which housed racist, pro-slavery extremists.  With the advent of fascism in Europe during the 1920s, this movement began expanding its ideology to include laissez faire libertarianism (e.g. the economic philosophy of Ayn Rand), neoconservative foreign policy (e.g. anti-communist aggression advocated by the John Birch Society), and religious sectarianism (e.g. the political activism demanded by Christian dominionists).  From the end of World War II to the presidential election of Richard Nixon in 1968, this ideological expansion coalesced and found a new home in the Republican Party.  That conservative Republicans despised JFK was certainly no secret.  They continue to this day the assertion that he stole the 1960 election from Nixon with the aid of the Chicago mob.  Furthermore, they resented Kennedy’s sympathy towards blacks and other minority groups, his popular appeal to hopeful idealism through activist government, his pragmatic caution in world affairs, and the fact that he was Catholic.

If it could be proved in a court of law that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was perpetrated by a conspiracy involving the CIA and/or other forces inside the U.S. government, and that the crime has been officially covered up since then, the resulting impacts would be vast domestically and internationally.  The entire U.S. intelligence community and its apparatuses would be called into question.  Counter-terrorism and surveillance operations would undoubtedly be intensely scrutinized and likely impaired.  U.S. diplomatic relations could immediately deteriorate as America’s standing in the world suffers a crippling blow.  The geopolitical balance of power could shift markedly towards China, Russia, and perhaps Europe.  At home, the states’ rights movement could gather steam as the federal government weakens from the scandal.  If not quickly reformed, this could lead to infighting among the states over contentious issues and possibly to calls for secession.  America would be in turmoil.

Any other criminally exposed conspiracy not involving the U.S. government would surely be fascinating and even scandalous, but the resulting impacts would be limited in scope.  The Italian-American mafia is only a diffuse shadow of its former self, and all its powerful mob bosses are long gone.  Castro is dead, and the Soviet Union lays in the dustbin of history.  However, had right-wing extremists in the Republican Party conspired to perpetrate the crime, the American political landscape could change rather abruptly;  but, the damage to the GOP would likely be temporary as those directly involved are all probably deceased by now.

Suggested reading:  Inside the plot to kill JFK: The secret story of the CIA and what really happened in Dallas

16 thoughts on “The Significance of the 3 Greatest Questions of Our Times

  1. Hey Bob,
    I think your three questions are very interesting.
    In my view, even if a god were to be demonstrated to exist, it doesn’t necessarily follow it would demand worship. Maybe it will just be an observer, who knows?
    Extra-terrestrials don’t bother me much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True. I was envisioning the omnipotent, omnipresent, omnimalevolent god as depicted by fundamentalists and as characterized by John Zande in his latest book.

      From a rational and statistical probability viewpoint, we insignificant humans would have much more to fear from E.T.s than any god. Intelligent species many times more advanced than us surely exist somewhere in the universe. The only question is whether they could or would travel to Earth. Conversely, the probability of god(s) existing must be incredibly small.


  2. Great post. 🙂

    The first two could be the same thing. 🙂

    As far as the truth of the JFK assassination coming out, I’m not sure it would have as much of an impact on government as it would on the interactions between people of varying opinions. I think a lot of people would scream and yell that they were right while some would probably find some reason not to believe the truth even with incontrovertible evidence. We have an extremely ignorant population these days. And a lot of people believe what they want to believe.

    I’m pretty sure clear evidence of it having been perpetrated by a faction within the Department of Defense and the conservative movement (mostly Republicans, but not exclusively) wouldn’t affect the standing of the GOP among their congregation. Those people are blind to reason and seem to embrace ignorance as a respectable alternative to reality. 🙂

    Thanks for an enjoyable post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Re God/gods, first of all what do you mean by God?gods? That is the major problem – we don’t know what we are talking about. If by gods we mean higher beings, the chances are given the size of the universe, that human beings are not the crown of creation. To speculate about the existence of life and the universe itself seems pointless, as we are nowhere near having the information to even assess the problem – it is just too big.
    To assert that God exists or that God doesn’t exist requires the same knowledge set which we do not have. The only logical position is agnosticism, rather than atheism. What we should do with this profound ignorance gap is suggested by T Pratchett in one of his books (sorry, don’t remember which one) in which he says someone logically arrived at the conclusion that given the choice between belief in gods or absence of belief in gods, it was logical to believe, because if the gods didn’t exist no harm was done, but if they did, there could be huge disadvantages in not believing and advantages in belief. TP then said when that person died he found himself surrounded by gods who gave him a good kicking because they don’t like smart-a**es. This could be called the Gambler’s hypothesis – when you don’t have the information to make a decision based on facts you go with the option most likely to provide benefits. However, religious people and religions would be very offended by this type of reasoning.
    Religious people seem to claim some kind of experience, which would go some way to filling the ignorance gap, but so far studies on religious experience have only been able to demonstrate that something is happening in the persons brain, but how they interpret it is not evidence of the existence of any spiritual reality.
    But what if God/gods existence should be proved? You could predict cataclysmic consequences, not least in religions themselves. Consider the impact Jesus had on the orthodox religious beliefs of his age. My Dad always said “Religion is a shelter for charlatans and conartists” and there is no doubt that over the centuries and in the present day religion is used to con the people taking advantage of the inability to provide objective proof. The results could be catastrophic – widespread cross cultural shock, and – what if some of our beliefs about God/gods are false? What if god should turn out to be evil? Some religions have accommodated this idea – Loki, the trickster god, Kali, but it would be a profound shock for the Abrahamic faiths.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like this section from Scott Adam’s God’s Debris:

    “Four billion people say they believe in God, but few
    genuinely believe. If people believed in God, they would
    live every minute of their lives in support of that belief. Rich
    people would give their wealth to the needy. Everyone
    would be frantic to determine which religion was the true
    one. No one could be comfortable in the thought that they
    might have picked the wrong religion and blundered into eternal damnation, or bad reincarnation, or some other
    unthinkable consequence. People would dedicate their lives
    to converting others to their religions.

    A belief in God would demand one hundred percent
    obsessive devotion, influencing every waking moment of
    this brief life on earth. But your four billion so-called believers
    do not live their lives in that fashion, except for a few.
    The majority believe in the usefulness of their beliefs—an
    earthly and practical utility—but they do not believe in the
    underlying reality.”

    Liked by 1 person

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