“It is startling to realize how much unbelief is necessary to make belief possible. What we know as blind faith is sustained by innumerable unbeliefs.”
Unbelief is Necessary
Unbelief applies to those with a worldview which conflicts with generally accepted facts and logic. A worldview is a filter through which one views and values life. Keep up unbelief requires a lot of effort. Believers in these systems often weekly meetings to reinforce the boundaries of their beliefs. Still, the modern world in which we actually live is built on scientific ideas which are in conflict with many of their core ideas. That’s why defending unbelief with denial is stressful.
The mental stress from keeping up unbelief causes a psychological condition known as cognitive dissonance. This condition triggers the “fight, flight or freeze” reaction of danger to any idea that contradicts the belief system. This is a tactic which many organized religions employ in order to retain its members. This is an effective tool for mind control. It is amazing to consider the number of facts, and aspects of logical thinking one must give up in order to confine their mind from considering the facts. This is why it takes so much effort to handle the stress.
How to Spot Unbelief
Here are some things to help you determine if you are under the spell of unbelief. Sadly, unbelief is not hard to find. That’s because unbelief is at the foundation of the worlds dominant religious paradigms. However, not all religions are harmful. For example, Taoism and many forms of Paganism have the least barriers to freethinking. In fact, many encourage the development of your own path. So, unbelief is not central to their existence. If the denial of facts or ideas that conflict with the paradigm you know you are dealing with unbelief. This is especially true if the tactic of unbelief is central to the paradigms legitimacy. If a belief system needs to defend against facts and logic, that is a system of unbelief.
Bate and Switch
Firstly there is the classic “bate and switch” tactic. The bate is the promise to meet your internal need for spiritual exploration. But they divert our attention to Afterlife promises. The dead never complain. Some also make promises of prosperity. But, when you don’t get rich. They tell you haven’t donated enough. They use these tactics to keep you a paying customer. And these are just part of the common brainwashing techniques. They also use groupthink manipulation tactics to shape your values and behaviors.
Does this above situation sound familiar? This is what Western Organized religion or the Abrahamic religions use as its primary strategy for attaining and retaining customers. And, that’s why these religions are known as the fast food of spirituality. They need you to believe the analogies of their mythology are fact instead of metaphor. If they can do this, they have a paying customer.
None of this has anything to do with meeting your need for an inner quest. Religious stories, doctrines or beliefs are a poor substitute for a true spiritual quest. These are nothing more than distractions. You can spot those who use these ploys because they all use the same sales tactics. Here are the three main tools they use:
1. Above all membership and allegiance to a Supreme Being, (God or Gods)
2. The justification for what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior and values
3. Required belief in the afterlife, or life after death with either rewards or punishment
Fear and Anger
As mentioned above cognitive dissonance is the result of programming. Triggering the “fight, flight or freeze” reaction is an important element. The use of fear to trigger this reaction is a primary tool to keep people under control. Fear uses the tactic of demonizing people or ideas which are in conflict with the paradigms.
Fear brings the problem of evil to the forefront of the conversation. The problem of evil is a sensitive subject for those with a dualistic mindset. And, so it is a particularly sensitive issue to those in the Abrahamic Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). A dualistic mindset is one that is black and white, good versus evil.
Here’s how it works. First, you create a problem. Then you provide the solution to the problem. For example, the problem is eternal damnation in hell for those not worthy. Then the solution is to join the paradigm which provides eternal paradise. All it costs is your time and a sizeable portion of your income plus your support. This support includes acting to protect the belief system with violence if necessary. So, the Afterlife becomes both the goal and the excuse. It’s the goal of membership and the excuse to hate who don’t believe as you do. Now you can also become angry at those who hold a different worldview. And, your religion gives you the excuse to commit gender discrimination or violence. In this way, believers can have a clear conscience.
Above all, don’t let any organized religion pressure you into membership and unbelief. Regrettably, there are cultures which religious ideologies are firmly in the control of the community. If you live in such a community, one must learn to project an outward effect of assimilation, while at the same time remaining open-minded. Learn how to “see” through the programming. Learn how to find resources and partners who can support freethinkers.
If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. Also, you may be interested in learning about our blended learning process. This is our curriculum which we use to teach several mind-expanding tools. It also aligns the Hero’s Journey. This is the term Joseph Campbell gave the pattern of consciousness development. Our learning process is available in two forms. You can take part in the virtual learning module or in our workshops.
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