[sigh] Yup ... that's it in a nutshell, sadly.
So that's what cognitive dissonance means. I've been an atheist on the internet for about 2 years now and this is the first time someone has given me a definition I can understand.
It does appear that most religious adults can't be converted, but some of us love the truth more than anything else, and can be. I had that uncomfortable feeling and rationalized, ignored and denied the truth for a long time, but eventually I converted myself. I saw that religion did not deliver on it's promises and went looking for the truth, which wasn't hard to find.
This topic brings a new thought: I wonder how many convert themselves vs how many are converted by others.
I have only been public with my atheism for about a month now---although, I have not really believed in a god for about three years now. As far as, suffering from "cognitive dissonance" goes! I never suffered from it for one moment. I don't know if it is because I was never really convinced of this fairy tale or was I just going through the motions of going to church and doing what the xian society said; "to be a good family man!" I now know that it was the latter.
Now, don't get me wrong! There were moments that I felt great for what I was doing and buying in to. I have always believed there was something in the kool-aid! I was relieved to finally be free of the chains of slavery and servitude of religion and the scare tactics. When I finally did realize the truth---I ran as fast as I could run away from religion! The religious prohibition hold on life had been broken!
There was something in the Wine, not the Cool Aid. You got a species that is hard wired to believe and a cunning Zealot ready to take advantage of it, for that was Saul's realization on the road to Damascus: that with the religion grift one could become rich. That is why, in the novel and film of The Last Temptation of Christ, Paul encounters a very live Jesus and shuns him: "You're no good to us live." Sad that the believers in this age of science and reason cannot see that the same con was handed down since time's birth, in Attis, Osiris, and a plethora of other death and resurrection deities, each with its own cult, each subject to the vagaries of history for survival. Christianity is in the last gasp stage, but in consideration of our species' existence on earth its history is destined to be of relatively short duration. We can only hope that its demise is not hastened by such self-fulfilling profit-sees as Dominion and the Rapture. Halleluia!
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers, as useful."
-- Seneca --
Maybe stronger people can talk themselves out of this, but weaker ones cannot stand the uncomfortable feeling? I don't bother trying to reason with people anymore about religion. They WILL NOT hear it.~ Melinda
I think it has a lot to do with personality types. About 12% of folks are empathetic types and 11% are rational thinker types. The rest are concrete and really don't have the inclination to challenge existing beliefs or social norms.
That is an over simplification from data I got from True Colors personality assessment. It takes the 16 Jungian personality types from the Meyers Briggs and simplifies to four basic types. I give the test to every class I teach and it is amazingly accurate.
Are you saying that a person can be either empathetic or rational thinker but not both?
I should HOPE those two are not mutually exclusive! Empathy is largely subjective and slipperier than an eel soaked in K-Y, but it's still a valuable and worthy commodity. Rational thought can act as a filter to minimize the BS coming through as well and bring some objective focus and discipline to the subjective impressions.
I don't know about this test, but I would not draw any arbitrary boundaries around types of thought or types of people who employ one or more of those schools of thought.
Nah, there is mad overlap. The most well adjusted folks would have a balance of healthy attributes from each of the four types. Its far from hard science, but I have found the tests an excellent tool.
I don't waste my time trying to convert believers.
However, there are many people who are not real believers, they simply follow family traditions, or maybe never heard any different ideas, maybe they never thought about it.
Also as more people see atheists as regular people the person next door, the more it will accepted as alternative idea. Even if they never compete accept it themselves.
I agree. The family belief thing is quite strong. I'm sure many would not like to believe their parents might be mis-informed. Too many time I've heard, " well my daddy said.......". My reply: "Well, maybe he was a moron too Jethro".
Sorry for the regional slur, but I went to school in Memphis. As a New England free thinker it was unbearable.