In the last two posts on this series (here and here), we have developed an understanding of several fundamental human cognitive characteristics: archetypes, the Master-Slave-Hero dialectic, and cognitive dissonance. Here we explore the role of cognitive dissonance in religion.
To repeat from earlier, Wikipedia states that:
“Cognitive dissonance is a term used in modern psychology to describe the feeling of discomfort when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions: ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In a state of dissonance, people may sometimes feel “disequilibrium”: frustration, hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc.”
Basically, cognitive dissonance is when you believe in two opposite things to be true, that can not actually be true at the same time. You believe in two things, but those two things can not both be true. Usually, these beliefs are kept compartmentalized or are otherwise justified in some manner, or simply ignored. It is when someone is forced to reconcile or confront these mutually-contradictory beliefs that dissonance can create violent reactions, as people attempt to run from, hide from, or destroy the source of the confrontation with the dissonance.
The examples of mutually-contradictory concepts in religion are very simple to identify…they in fact form the basis of the three main religions of the West and Middle-East, as we’ll see.
Before we continue, given what I’m going to say below, I’d like to say to my “mainstream” religious acquaintances that I typically prefer your company over that of mainstream atheists and liberals. I myself am actually a liberal, but I typically feel revulsion towards other liberals in watching them get on with themselves. The people who I see “being liberals” today aren’t “rationalist cooperators” interested in mutual growth and personal independence, but are rather people who are interested in conformity, uniformity, and who lack and even ridicule independent knowledge; i.e., the government takes care of things for you, meaning it “takes care” of knowledge for you, rather than you actually having knowledge and wisdom yourself that you beneficially share with others. The ideal of a “positive liberty” government I agree with on the liberal side; the problem is that we don’t currently have governments capable of providing positive liberty. And even if you had the intentions of a positive liberty government, it would still be the most evil thing in the world if everyone was merely dependent upon it for survival and the people had no individual knowledge, capability, or wisdom, which is the typical way liberals use government today…as an excuse to be non-self-responsible. Given the essential Plutocracy we have today in the World, it is not surprising that the reaction is towards a “negative liberty” government, where the government just “leaves you the heck alone” – your liberty is to be free from government, which is entirely justified today. Positive liberty government would be where the government actually did beneficial things, sovereignly, without plutocratic pay-off, that helped the people, where you actually wanted involvement of the government in your life because it actually made sense and did sensical things, and helped you and everyone else out in meaningfully productive (physically and mentally) ways. The US Constitution for their Republic had this mind, but it didn’t last against the plutocratic oligarchs.
For example, liberals are all about universal health care. I’m not. I’m about a raw food diet (raw fruits and veggies and some nuts making up at least 50% of caloric intake, cooked veggies the rest, and a small amount of cooked meat eaten not everyday), alkaline water to drink with the correct balance of trace minerals, occasional fasting sometimes seven days long on water only, and I value the knowledge of why I need those things. To most liberals on the other hand, health is about the government paying for drugs for you, while you continue to have zero knowledge of what actually makes a human being physically and mentally healthy, and zero ability to apply such knowledge even if you had it. Because for most liberals, being healthy means taking pharmaceuticals when you get sick from years of eating garbage (i.e. the standard diet), and everyone else should pay for that for you. Duhhhhhh!
I also acknowledge the existence of God, Satan, Lucifer, and most of all, the soul. Hence, unlike liberals, I value life, really idealistically value it, which makes me much closer to practicing conservatives today. But where I part from religious conservatives is that I don’t have a god that I worship, but one that I wish to emulate and eventually join in a community of gods, as a god; the God I emulate is named Abraxas and it is the dialectal end-point of the struggle between good vs. evil, which is pure rationalism, ultimately based on ontological mathematics, which is the arche (the arche of number). Abraxas is the true God because it doesn’t require worship (which would be an imperfection), and because it is 100% rational, 100% moral, and 100% good. It has no contradictions, no cognitive dissonance. One might ask of this God, such as it is, why does it “let bad things happen if it has the power to stop them”, much like people ask of the Abrahamist god. In the Abrahamist case, the answer is that that god (Jehovah) is actually Satan, condemning most humans to hell and therefore being responsible for the infinite torture for infinite time of those souls. Of course, nothing about Abrahamism is true in any case. The truth is that all of our souls are on a dialectical, evolutionary, reincarnational journey that ends in our souls achieving gnosis and becoming gods ourselves. Comprehending ontological mathematics and the dialectic are key to that journey. Good as well as bad “things” happen in that journey and are required in that journey for your soul to grow. Abraxas was the first soul to go through it all, and experience it all, and was the first soul in this iteration of the universe to achieve gnosis. (Apparently it is a lot like being Neo in the Matrix…but better!) Your soul also desires to become God (the Nietzschean “Will to Power”), but it has to do it itself; it can’t be dependent upon Abraxas or else it wouldn’t be an equal and ultimate God.
The problem is that the dialectic also applies to “ascended” “god-like” souls before they fully become mathematically ontologically rational, and this is where Satan comes in. Satan (a “male”) is the negative (evil) side of the dialectical “god progression” who is 100% narcissistic, 100% insecure, 100% jealous, 100% self-obsessed, 100% in need of worship; Lucifer (a “female”) is the positive (good) side of the dialectic who is 100% selfless, 100% confident, 100% loving, 100% empathetic and concerned for others. This antithesis/thesis pair is resolved in Abraxas, 100% judicious mathematically ontological reason, beyond good and evil.
Finally, I know I have free will. This is something most liberal atheist scientists can not acknowledge. I do wonder if this is why the “zombie meme” is so popular among young atheist liberal scientists today. These people either deny free will, or they deny the ontological existence of the mind, labeling it an epiphenomenon of matter. Hence they are zombies. But if you truly acknowledge free will, then you rationally have to accept the ontological existence of the mind and soul, and then you rationally have to accept the non-extended domain, and then you rationally have to accept reincarnation, and then you have to accept evolution to god-consciousness. (This can all actually be defined mathematically, which is a much more convincing and rational way to do it instead of arguing about these word statements indefinitely, but this is a close word description for it. The mathematical definition also explains what souls are and why they exist, in case you were wondering if souls needed to be created by a “creator god” – they don’t, they’re actually the mathematically fundamental unit of existence, eternal and uncreated…all of them). Religious conservatives can understand most of what I wrote above and therefore they can understand me, and I can understand them, and I appreciate that they are capable of discussing it with me. Most of all, above all else really, I appreciate that they value life – currently living, unborn, and future life. Atheist liberal scientists can’t. (Although, I wouldn’t appreciate if religious conservatives started a modern inquisition to murder “heretics”; they don’t really behave like this anymore and if they start then I’ll insist that I’m a Christian. At least we still have freedom of religion.)
This being said, in regard to my atheist and liberal acquaintances, I appreciate your company as long as you actually live up to and rationally defend what you claim to, and not be narcissistic, defeatist, nihilist, anti-life, anti-mind, or denialist about it. Pessimism is actually allowed given that it is typically the last refuge of the idealist! And that is the way in which I’ll accept it!
The story of Eve in the Garden of Eden. In this story it is told that Eve made an “evil decision” to “eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil”, disobeying God’s command not to do so. The moral of this story is that humanity “fell” from a state of grace, and became evil, when it became self-aware and attained the knowledge of good and evil. In other words, the knowledge of good and evil is itself evil. But here’s the question: can you actually even be a human if you don’t have the knowledge of good and evil? If you’re not self-aware and not capable of deciding between good and evil, then what are you? You’re certainly not a human. In fact, you’re an animal. So, this makes the entire premise of humanity an evil thing in and of itself, but specifically due to the existence of mans’ mind. It is a deranged story that establishes a cognitive boundary condition of guilt (original sin), and thus of slavery to that guilt, and thus of slavery to the “being” who claims you should feel guilty for simply being human and from whom you require forgiveness and approval. So there are two dissonances here: a) every religious person actually does value their free-will and their knowledge of good and evil, and you couldn’t possibly even be a human if you weren’t able to identify and feel the effects of the difference between good and evil; however, you are brain-washed to feel guilty for this gift; b) if knowledge of good and evil is itself evil, then does that mean God is evil? How come it is only evil knowledge if humans have it, but not if God has it? Basically, the human mind is said to be evil because of its knowledge of good and evil, whereas the human mind only exists because of its knowledge of good and evil.
Or take the commandment “to not covet thy neighbor’s wife” (or husband, presumably, from the woman’s perspective). This is usually explained to mean that you should not have any thoughts of attraction to women/men other than your wife/husband. This is like asking a human not to breathe. I’m sorry, but the female form is a work of art, that defines the concept of beauty itself. Women are beautiful, mentally and physically, and this is something that men appreciate and it is something which defines being a man. On the other hand, confident, strong, tall, capable, daring, and kind men are irresistible to most women. And so again, the “command” here is based around the simple presence of a thought itself, even if the thought is only ever expressed internally in the privacy of your own mind, and a thought which defines being a human. You have to feel guilty for a thought.
And do you know what the punishment is for having a basic human thought? Infinite torture, for infinite time! Do you really think that infinite torture in Hell, for infinite time, is a punishment equal to the thought of thinking that not just one woman/man, but many women/men, are beautiful? Now of course, Christians say that you can avoid such infinite treatment in Hell simply by believing in Jesus, but is that to then mean that those of us who don’t believe in Jesus do still deserve infinite torture in Hell for infinity, for that same thought!? Do the Jews think that all Christians and Muslims are going to hell, the Christians think all Jews and Muslims are going to hell, and the Muslims think all Jews and Christians are going to hell? Well yes, they quite do! Infinite torture for infinite time, from a God that is supposed to be loving, forgiving, and who is your father. This isn’t rational, it is an insane degree of cognitive dissonance that makes you insane.
However, Christians apparently get to see their cakes (other attractive women/men) and, eat them too (be forgiven for any deeds, even if acted out!, let alone simply thought about). But everyone else gets infinite torture for infinity simply for thinking things. Now, some might say that the idea of this commandment is a warning to not act out on your lusts…but this is exactly what Christians get to do, and be forgiven for! No wonder Christianity became so popular. And in any case, it was the presence of mere internal thoughts that the Inquisition murdered tens of thousands of people for. Do you know that it was impossible to not be a heretic if the Inquisition asked you any questions, and you had any rational ability to answer them whatsoever? There were so many forms of heresy that if you answered one question successfully in the eyes of the Inquisitors, it would automatically condemn you in another. The only solution was to be completely illiterate, completely unable to even understand questions. Actually that didn’t even help. This is of course what the Catholic Church desired, and what all the religions of anti-mind desire most of all, and it wasn’t until Protestantism arose that the power of independent thought in great numbers of people became too much for the Church to handle. Protestantism was good in that literate people began to believe in their own ability to understand things, but it was bad in that stupid people who could nonetheless read began to believe themselves as authorities. Take Martin Luther who declared: “Reason is the Devil’s whore!”. Only stupid people believe that reason is from the Devil. Likewise, only stupid people believe that human reason is infallible. Hence, Martin Luther was a complete idiot.
Speaking of fathers who are supposed to be loving…the Story of Abraham and his son Isaac. Jehovah asked Abraham to murder his son and slaughter him as a burnt sacrifice, and Abraham was about to actually do it. Religious people justify this as a test of Abraham’s obedience. I entirely agree! Obedience to what? A psychopath? Obedience to the degree of psychopathy? Abrahamists think this is supposed to be a “good story” to tell your children! A story of the founding father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Oh, how nice and quaint…is it something you tell your children before bedtime? So let’s get this straight: being so obedient that you would kill your children if Jehovah requested it is a moral good, a morally good demonstration of obedience? Why in the Hell would anyone ever need to be THAT obedient to anything!? Remember, this story defines Abraham, the patriarch of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (These three religions can be called “Abrahamism” as they are all based on the belief in the same “god”.) Would such religious people today actually go through with murdering their children if they heard the voice of Jehovah asking them to do it? If they wouldn’t, then they’re not Abrahamists! That’s a fact: if a Jew, Christian, or Muslim wouldn’t murder their children if Jehovah/Allah asked them to, then they’re not a Jew, Christian, or Muslim! If they would, then they should have their children removed from their care immediately by non-Abrahamist family members, friends, or the State! For Christians, they either may or may not murder their children when Jehovah asks them to, because Jesus will a) forgive them for murdering their children, or b) forgive them for not obeying Jehovah. Christianity isn’t a religion, it is just a way to do whatever the hell you want.
If such people are willing to murder their own children for the sake of religious obedience, then do you think that they would even hesitate at the thought of murdering other people for their “god”? Isn’t that exactly what they’ve done throughout the ages and still today? The story of Abraham should send chills down the spine of any rational moral person. Can you not imagine the psychopathic desire for worship and obedience that this admittedly “jealous god” must crave to even demand such a thing of a person? Imagine yourself asking that of an employee, or a friend, or a stranger, because you need it from them to feel complete and to assuage your jealousy! This god is insane. (In fact, this “god” is actually Satan.) And is the person who agrees to murder their children to appease the jealous desires of this “god” not proving themselves just as psychopathic and insecure? Instead of denouncing this story as despicable, for religious people it provides some form of actual meaning to their lives in setting a standard for how abjectly enslaved you should to be to “god”! As if the real “god” wants you to be obedient to it! How is the jealous desire for worship or obedience a property of the perfect God? Or the property of a god rational people should choose to follow? If God is perfect, then isn’t the psychopathic desire for worship – actually, ANY degree of desire if even the meekest request – from infinitely lesser beings, an imperfection? Hence, the Abrahamic god is refuted, full stop. There is nothing moral or good about a god, or about a person, or about a religion, who demands or values this degree of obedient slavery from humanity.
This can all be expanded upon in great detail and has formed the basis of many, many treatises on rational philosophy, and there were even ancient Gnostic societies who concluded (rightly) that Jehovah was really actually Satan, who had tricked everyone while pretending to be the true God, a conclusion they based on the horrors and lack of any rational or moral logic of the “entity” presented in the Old & New Testaments. One such group were the Cathars, who are remembered in history for the very creation of the Inquisition, and who were all subsequently tortured, burned, and otherwise murdered by the Catholic Church. If this “god” is perfect, then why is he so insecure and violent!?
But what’s the point? The point is that these mainstream religions are based on attacking the mind, based on destroying the capability to even form thoughts. They exploit cognitive dissonance which seems to be an archetypal feature of the human mind (if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t last for thousands of years in the manner of singular expressions). Cognitive dissonance easily encompasses self-hating belief patterns which can become so psychopathic and neurotic that not only will people commit murder (even of their own children) to defend it, they will even risk their very own life to commit the necessary murder to defend and protect against their comprehension of their cognitive dissonance.
The basic dissonance is found in that a person implicitly has a mind and uses their mind and wants a mind, but then they paradoxically believe in ideas which are based on negation of the mind. That needs to be repeated: belief in ideas which are based on negation of the mind. It is a total mind job! The most fundamental cognitive dissonance: using the mind to hold ideas to negate the mind. (Note that this is where modern science is going, in denying that the mind or soul are actually ontologically real phenomena.) This can make people insane to the point of psychopathy, and the founding of Abrahamism is the story that proves it (too bad so few people can understand the truth of what’s being shown in that story).
With this all now in place, in the next post I will finally explain how climate alarm based on the greenhouse effect plugs almost perfectly in to the system of cognitive dissonance of using the mind to negate the mind, which has been established as above and emplaced in the mass human psyche for thousands of years. A possible interesting corollary is that climate alarm was actually meant to be the religion that replaced Abrahamism. Hence why we see such fanatical defense of the GHE, the basis of the religion of climate alarm and the subsequent war on climate change which can never end, even though it makes no sense whatsoever. Note that this would still all be true even if the GHE turned out, somehow, to be real – it would then just supply the required legitimacy to the war on climate change religion. But it is my scientific opinion that the GHE is a simulacrum, given everything covered on this blog, with more yet to come.