Cognitive Dissonance: From Xmas, to beyond!

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.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

From Xmas, to beyond!

It seems that the truth does not matter to fundamentalist evangelical Christians.  There is something that seems to block the ability of this group of people to be able to accommodate simple facts that are contrary to their beliefs.  I have repeatedly presented what most rational people would consider obvious proof that many of the fundamental assumptions made by Christians are false, however they continue to refuse to acknowledge even the possibility that they might be wrong.

Throughout the Xmas season I went on a special offensive, and offered up a variety of simple scientific, historical and archaeological facts via videos, articles and various online sources.  One of my favorite videos was done by a gentlemen by the name of Seth, he goes by the handle "The Thinking Atheist" on the interwebs.  ( - a link to his video titled, "To Xmas and Beyond").  He consistently does a good job of presenting the facts in a fun, snarky manner, which I always appreciate.  Anyway, the point is that he plainly presented the facts about the pagan origins of Xmas as a response to the fundamentalist claim that there is a "war on Christmas".  The fact is that Xmas has literally nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ as most Christians claim.  It is a mish-mash of Pagan traditions/holidays that was modified by the Romans to fit their new worldview after it became the state religion.  In fact, upon examination of the evidence the Christian account of Jesus birth appears to be a total fabrication.  Nazareth didn't exist at the time Jesus was supposedly born, there was no census, even if there had been the head of the household (men) would have been the only ones counted, and Mary almost certainly would not have traveled from Bethlehem to Nazareth on a donkey 9 months pregnant and King Herod has been dead for years.  These are just a few of the most glaring inconsistencies in the Christian version of the "Christmas" story.  There are disagreements even between the gospels of the events surrounding the birth of Christ.  If I were a Christian (and I was for many years) these facts (had I been made aware of them) would have presented a real problem for me.  The birth, life, death and Resurrection of Christ are at the core of the Christian gospel message, and if the historical facts surrounding the event(s) are almost certainly not factual, that makes the rest of the story even more unbelievable than it already is.  I am of course referring to the claim of the virgin birth, and the claim that Jesus was the human manifestation of the almighty god of the universe.

There are literally zero independent, objective accounts of Jesus birth, life, miracles, ministry, death or resurrection.  That means that literally the only source one has to draw their conclusions about Jesus is the bible.  Anyone who knows the facts surrounding the origins of the bible, the manner in which the current version we have now was written and then assembled, or "canonized" they know that it is unreliable at best.  This is a whole other blog topic, to really describe the events that have led up to the bible as we know it would be quite an undertaking, thankfully several very intelligent scholars have done that work for us.  Bart Ehrman in one of my personal favorites, another former evangelical wrote a book called "Forged" which comprehensively explains the who, what, when, where, why and how the bible came into being.  I suggest anyone who wishes to gain a comprehensive understanding of the origins of the bible should read this book.

So after a few weeks of informing my Christian family and friends, albeit somewhat antagonistically of the facts about the origins of Xmas I find myself dumbfounded by their utter inability to accept the truth.  What is it that keeps this branch of fundamentalist Christians from being able to accept the truth about their faith?  Why don't obvious contradictions about what they believe instill a desire to at least investigate the claims made by their religion?  How can I, or anyone else reach them?  Is it possible to break through the walls they've created to shed light on the fact that everything they believe is "Truth" with a capitol T, is absolute hogwash?  There has to be a key, a golden arrow, something that will speak to their dormant ability to reason that will wake them from their ignorance induced mental slumber.  I have made it my goal to find that chink in their armor, the loss of Christopher Hitchens has redoubled my resolve, I genuinely believe that humanity needs more men and women like Mr. Hitchens that are willing to stand up to the religious and challenge the erroneous, despicable tenets of their faith that are so obviously poisonous to everyone and everything they touch.  The quest begins anew in 2012, the quest to systematically dismantle the ignorant tenets of the religious!  Not just Christians, but all religions, beginning with the most toxic and working the way down the list until people can learn to live in reality.  I firmly believe that the biggest threat to humanity is religion, and for some unexplained reason in this age of scientific enlightenment and discovery the hold of superstition seems to be gaining strength.  We must not allow this to continue, the implications are dire.  

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