Cognitive Dissonance: Don't confuse your beliefs with Knowledge, unless you have knowledge of your beliefs

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance: a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs and actions. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming and denying.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Don't confuse your beliefs with Knowledge, unless you have knowledge of your beliefs

"The study of theology as it stands in Christian churches,is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on nothing; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing."  Thomas Paine

Creation vs. Evolution/Intelligent Design is one of the most hotly debated topics of our time.  Fundamentalist Christians believe that the genesis account of creation is literally true, and that god created the earth in 7 days.  We now know that this is absolutely ridiculous, and it's painfully obvious that whoever wrote the book of Genesis (or rewrote it) had no scientific knowledge and was simply trying to fill in the gaps of their understanding with something to explain the appearance of life on earth. Which is what mankind has been doing since the beginning of recorded human history, using god(s) to fill in the blanks.

Evolution, in spite of what your pastor says on Sunday is not a fabrication by a group of men and women under the control of a the devil.  Evolution is a scientifically proven theory (if you're unfamiliar with the word 'theory' when used in a scientific context, you should look it up before you say something that will expose your ignorance) with consistent and predictable results in regards to the outcome of empirical experiments conducted across a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines.  Biology and genetics both confirm the hypothesis of evolution, as do geology and paleontology through the geological column and fossil record as do plate tectonics and radiometry.  If you're not familiar with the fossil record, you might be interested to know that fossils do not just appear in groups of the lifeforms we're familiar with today (which they would if they appeared on earth over the course of a week).  They appear in order, over billions of years starting with simple, single celled organisms and progressively get more and more complex, with apes and humanoids appearing 1.8 and 1.3 million years ago.  You might also have heard your pastor say that "humans did not descend from apes" and that's absolutely true.  It's just another poorly understood argument that creationists use to attempt to debunk evolution.  Humans (homo erectus) evolved along side of apes from another type of humanoid, however you might be interested to know that our DNA only differs by about 1% from apes, we just took another branch on the way up the evolutionary tree.  If you find these subjects confusing, or if they're just out of your personal scope of knowledge, then consider this simple fact about astronomy.  We know for a fact at what speed light travels (186,282 miles per second) and we also know how far away the furthest galaxies are in our universe are.  It's simple math then to deduct how long it would take light from the stars in those galaxies to reach us here on earth.  I bet you can't guess how long it's taken the light from the furthest stars to reach earth?  4.5 billion years, the same approximate age of the earth, and another incontrovertible scientifically proven fact.  This is just the tip of iceberg in a long list of hard evidence demonstrating the facts of evolution.  The answer from "creationists" is the equivalent of a 2 year old child plugging his/her ears and stomping his/her feet on the ground while yelling "no, no, no it's not true".  When asked why it's not true, the only answer they can give is, "because the bible says it's not".  The bible was written by men and most of the genesis stories were borrowed from Mesopotamian folklore and other cultures that predate Christianity.  If you don't believe me, then just do the research for yourself, the flood story and the creation story are simply borrowed modifications of earlier attempts to explain phenomenon that ancient humans simply couldn't understand because they didn't have the scientific knowledge we have today.  

The reason the bible claims the earth is only 6000 years old is because 2000 years ago when it was written, the authors only had 4000 years of written history to base their writings on.  Why only 4000 years?  Because that was when the first written records of human history began.  Cuneiform, the earliest written language appears about 6000 years ago, explaining the reason for their assumptions about the planet's age. If you find yourself among the extremely unfortunate group of fundamentalists that believe that the Genesis account of creation is true and the earth is only about 6000 years old.  Then please explain why god would conspire with nature to perpetrate a vast and elaborate fraud?  Why would an all powerful creator cause light from distant stars to appear to have taken billions of years to reach earth?  Why would god give us no explanation as to why the geological column shows fossils appearing in order of complexity in accordance with a 4.5 billion year timeline that appears constant throughout the entire universe?  Why did he create river beds and ocean floors with hundreds of thousands of annual sedimentary layers?  Why would he create continents that obviously once fit together, and continental drift explained by plate tectonics that appears to have taken billions of years to move into their current positions on the globe?  The evidence for evolution and an old earth is incontrovertible, to deny it in spite of the facts is idiocy. 

There is no god, the story of Jesus isn't confirmed in any written accounts from the time when Jesus was said to have been alive.  What about the gospels you might ask?  I doubt your pastor has explained to you that the first "gospel of Jesus" wasn't written until about 70 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus was supposed to have occurred.  This means that the story of Jesus was passed down for 70 or more years by word of mouth.  Have you ever played the game where a group of people sit in a circle and a secret is whispered to the person to next to you, then passed around the circle until the final person says the secret out loud?  Every time I have played this game the secret that reached the final person never even remotely resembled what the original person had said.  Yet millions of people hold these ridiculous, contradictory stories of Jesus as absolute, universal truth in spite of the fact they're obviously fabricated.  If you have the capacity to be objective, simply open your eyes to the facts and use common sense and you too can be free from the evil tenets of religion.

Good luck.

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