Cognitive Dissonance: In response to yet another fundamentalist on Facebook...

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.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

In response to yet another fundamentalist on Facebook...

Comment made by a friend of a friend on Facebook: I respect that everyone has the right to their own beliefs, that is one of the things that make this country so great. Jay, the only advice I would give to you is to search deeper. If you are looking for proof or facts in trying to find God, you will never find your answer, and I hope you do spend more time searching. The fact that tragedy and dispicable acts occur everyday just as there is unmeasurable love shared everyday is itself a testimony that there is good and evil forces at work. Those that choose to spend their lives uplifting, loving, and serving others will earn their eternal reward, just as those that spend their lives doing the opposite will earn their consequences. In the end the answers we find in this lifetime depend on the determination we have in searching for them. Good luck in your journey brother :)

My response Jay Voigt: I have to (respectfully) catagorically disagree with everything you said. Evidence/proof of god is exactly what we should be looking for/at. I spent 20+ years "searching", I attended a bible college, I smuggled bibles into Cuba, I provided physical security for missionaries in Sudan and at one point I held the tite of "Youth Pastor". I did everything I was supposed to do according to the bible, the interpretation of the bible and instructions I got from my pastors over the years. In the end there was absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support the existence the Christian god or of any god(s) at all, I have done my due diligence.

In response to your assertion that the existence of "good" and "evil" in the world points to or is evidence of the existence of god. That statement is a logical fallacy, in no way does the existence of good and evil prove there is a god. First of all the terms good and evil are relative, and subject to qualification by the person using them. I will admit that our society and much of humanity in general would agree on some fairly universal tenets by which to determine what qualifies as good and what qualifies as evil. However, there exists no universal standard by which to measure the terms, and therefore they are arbitrary. Secondly, assuming we could establish a universal definition of good and evil, their existence would not necessarily mean that the only conclusion that could be drawn is that the Abrahamic god of the bible must therefore exist. Any number of inferences could be drawn in this situation, any number of gods could be inferred and implicated as the source of good and evil at this point. As well as any number of other possible reasons or causes.

I personally refuse to believe anything on blind faith, to do so is plain and simply put, ignorant. To accept something as truth that cannot be proven, or disproven (like religion) in spite of a total and utter lack of evidence/proof/facts is just foolish! Christians use the bible as evidence, but they rarely if ever consider the facts about the bible. I can't fathom how I ever justified defending something so devoid of a foundation and steeped in ignorance, manipulation and outright lies. To accept a book written in 4 different languages by over 40 authors (some of which are unknown) over the course of about 1600 years, that borrowed stories and legends from dozens of earlier cultures as absolute and universal truth is absolutely ludicrous. As if all that isn't enough to reject the bible as a work of fiction, it was further altered, manipulated and changed at least a dozen times since the Council of Carthage (a group of men) decided which books of the bible had been inspired directly by god. Furthermore, it has been established through comparison to the few original texts available that each time the bible has been translated, there has been is obvious bias to fit the doctrine and ideals of the group responsible for each translation. For example, the King James Version has blatant Anglican leaning "interpretations". Furthermore, countless examples of contradictions and instances of obvious ignorance infest the bible from cover to cover. Do you really believe the earth is really at most 10,000 years old? Do you believe that god put fossils in the ground to test our faith? Or that somehow starlight that is millions of light years away has somehow reached us here on earth in a fraction of the time it should take if we used the constant and unchanging speed of light as a measurement? And finally, many people use personal experience as evidence for god, such as answers to prayer or miraculous healing of an illness, none of which can be substantiated and must be dismissed. The bible is a poorly written, irrelevant and mostly incoherent collection of contradictory stories about an tyrannical god that supports slavery, murder, child rape etc... with a son that says we can now ignore all that stuff because he died for our sins. Somehow his supposed death and resurrection is a greater sacrifice than the 1 million men and women who have given their lives for us since the inception of our country and weren't magically brought back to life. I should add here that there isn't ANY contemporary corroborative evidence from the time Jesus supposedly lived that documents his existence, let alone all the miracles and other disruptive activities he supposedly engaged in. The romans were meticulous record keepers, if there had been a man running around doing magic and causing a stir the way Jesus was purported to have would have been documented somewhere. Also, did you know the first "gospels" weren't written down until at least 60 years after Jesus was supposed to have died? Do you really think any oral record of Jesus life was kept unchanged by people as superstitious and susceptible to manipulation as the common citizenry from that period in history?

There is no god. Religion is poison to progress and reason, it stirs up dissension at best and inspires torture, murder and other such "evil" acts in it's worst forms. You see religion isn't the answer to the problem of "evil" in the world today, it's the cause of it. I hope everyone will be willing to open their mind, think objectively and free themselves from the crippling, ignorant constraints of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

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