Wednesday, September 26, 2012
“We need only in cold blood ACT as if the thing in question were real, and keep acting as if it were real, and it will infallibly end by growing into such a connection with our life that it will become real.” - William James
Cognitive dissonance is a weird human phenomena, something that I have been experiencing for a while. I would guess that all humans have some form of paradoxical ideals, but I would bet that all religious people tend to harbor some form of cognitive dissonance in their belief system. Religion is so much about faith, about believing in things inexplainable in human, observable terms. This leads to a unavoidable conflict.
Let's take the belief in god as the prime example. Every religion has long and poetic verses of the greatness, infallibility, omnipotence... about their deity. We wax on about how glorious his name is, and how blessed we are to be created in his image. Then every person experiences and observes the opposite. We see sickness, evil, horror, in everything around us. Now instead of saying that god is cruel, you hear statements like: " we can not understand his ways", or " god works in mysterious ways". You hear that after tsunamis wipe out hundreds of thousands of people and after innocent children die in horrendous ways. In order for someone to actually continue believing that their god is great there has to be some sort of cognitive disconnect.
When I started doubting the authenticity of my belief system, the biggest question to me was such a paradox. I realized that humans are the only species that have consciously accepted the idea of a creator, of a god. Yet along with that must come the accompanying belief that we do not understand his ways. Without the second nobody would believe in the idea of a god. That combination sounds very cruel and malicious. Firstly if god is good as religion wants us to believe, he would have a big problem seeing his creations in pain and suffering to such an extreme extent. But on top of that, to create people that have the ability to recognize a higher power orchestrating all it but unable to understand why, is sadistic.To continue to believe that a god exists and fits this paradoxical paradigm, is cognitive dissonance at its finest.
Never be told!!