Find out if you are supporting paradoxical thinking to maintain the boundaries of your beliefs.
If you are a believer in one of the dominant religions, you are finding it more difficult to deny the overwhelming amount of scientific information. Denying facts in the modern age takes a lot of work. It creates several interesting paradoxes for the culture.
A paradox involves contradictory-yet-interrelated elements. A paradoxical conclusion will arise from inconsistent or contradictory premises and arguments. However, this is exactly what we find in most popular religions of the world.
What are the most popular religions? These are the Abrahamic religions, (1) the Semitic origin including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They contain multiple contradictions, and deny the source of their origins, yet they hold control over the cultural narrative.
Learning To Deny Scientific Principles
Many people deal with paradoxes in their everyday lives. This result of paradigm conflict. It’s a clash between science and religious mythology, and this battle has been going on for centuries. It proves that mythology and superstition are powerful, mind-numbing elements of the pre-scientific world.
Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de’ Galilei (2) was a freethinker. He was way ahead of time as an astronomer, physicist and engineer. Some call him the father of observational astronomy and modern physics. They also credit him with the creation of the scientific method and modern science. Before the field of psychology was born, Galileo recognized the effects of cognitive dissonance. He saw it as maintaining a paradox.
By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox. — Galileo Galilei
Maintaining a paradox requires unbelief. You must learn to deny facts and ideas which threaten your worldview. Does this sound familiar? Are you denying scientific, historical, and logical facts to maintain your belief in religion?
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.
— Eric Hoffer
Does your belief system teach you to deny any scientific or logical reasoning that threatens your sacred ground? Doing this is stressful. A paradox creates doubt. Doubt is uncomfortable, even scary.
When we encounter something that threatens our worldview we have an internal conflict. Which position is correct? So, to reduce discomfort, religion teaches us to deny any threat. Maintaining a paradox is hard, but possible. Denial is a powerful tool.
By Denying Scientific Principles One May Maintain Any Paradox
As we mentioned earlier, Galileo was very perceptive. He identified the cause and effect of cognitive dissonance long before the creation of modern psychology.
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term. This is the mental distress of reconciling things that conflict with your current worldview. When someone experiences cognitive dissonance, it can be very scary. It shakes the foundation of your reality.
When something doesn’t fit into the existing worldview or paradigm and this causes mental and physical pain. So, we must make some choices. One must either reject the new data or change their existing paradigm to align with the new information.
When an open-minded person encounters this situation, they can move through it quickly. They use common sense and logical reasoning to sift through the new information. And so through the use of critical thinking to either reject the new information or and change their paradigm if the new information is valid. This means an open-minded person will change their opinions about reality when they encounter new valid data. This helps to maintain emotional equilibrium, which is vital to your health and wellness.
For those entrenched in belief systems based on mythology, cognitive dissonance is not just painful, it is scary. This is because they tie their identity to the belief system. They confine friendships with those who share the same narrow cultural narrative. But it is hard to break free when you live in a culture where the dominant cultural narrative is controlling and unhealthy. Outward expressions of descent may not be possible. In some cultures, leaving the recognized religion is punishable by death.
Where Cognitive Dissonance Starts
Cognitive dissonance often begins in childhood. Parents pass down lifestyle, religious, political, and personal opinions. Children trust their parents. Beliefs and prejudices become ingrained. Religious institutions further this brainwashing with groupthink manipulation. They reward the repetition of dogma when followers parrot religious prejudice. They punish independent thinking, thus maintaining a paradox between belief and reality. It’s all about protecting their customer base.
As you might imagine continued brainwashing accomplishes this task. To maintain a paradox, one must immerse themselves in groupthink manipulation tactics. That is why some religions semi-weekly meetings. Otherwise, the conflict between fact and fiction causes mental and physical discomfort.
It can become a catalyst for deeper psychological harm, leading youth to the onset of schizophrenia. It leads to doubt and depression, which can also spiral downward. As a result, it is imperative to keep up the group hypnosis which can deny the facts that conflict with their beliefs. Deny at all costs any fact or idea that contradicts the mythology of the religion.
This is what Galileo was talking about. Therefore, many people learn to deny the facts that conflict with their beliefs. Don’t let this be you.
How the Paradox Conflict Manifests
When an open-minded person encounters a paradox they reason out the conflict. They will alter their beliefs to incorporate this additional evidence. However, a religious person fights to maintain the paradox. Again, by denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.
The deeply religious will reject anything that threatens the mythology or doctrine of their paradigm. It doesn’t matter if the thoughts and behaviors are irrational or illogical. They become agitated and angry because their beliefs are their very identity.
For instance, when someone believes that everyone outside of their belief system is evil, they view outsiders as enemies. However, if they encounter an outsider, it makes them uncomfortable. They don’t know why they feel this way. They run into a paradox. Someone reasonable doesn’t believe the same things they do. This causes physical or mental distress. That’s because outsiders are supposed to be unreasonable and evil.
Because of cognitive dissonance, they can’t reconcile the outsider being anything but evil. The outsider isn’t acting the way they expected, so they are facing a personal paradox. How can someone evil be so nice? They must either accept the flaws in their belief system and change them, or reinforce their belief system in some manner that will make that belief more extreme, such as avoiding the outsider.
Sadly, what often happens is they go to their trusted spiritual leader? They explain how they met a friendly person outside the flock. The pastor will tell them this is an attempted deception of the Devil, and so they must reject the outsider.
Protecting the partitions and boundaries of the belief system is the most important goal. They must isolate you from anyone that might expose you to view facts. This would undermine their control. This is the tactic of brainwashing and a major component of groupthink manipulation.
The Way Out of Maintaining a Paradox
The conflict between science and the mythology of religion causes cognitive dissonance. Maintaining your sanity requires one of two options. Immerse further in groupthink manipulation to block out the facts from the fiction. This is how one maintains paradox by submission to propaganda, or move beyond the confines of organized religion. Not all religions are harmful. Only those that create boundaries and restrictions dictating values and thought.
Some religions have more boundaries than others. For example, Taoism and many forms of Paganism have the fewest constraints over freethinking. These systems encourage the exploration and development of your own path. This contrasts with the boundaries of Western organized religion. These are the Abrahamic religions, (1) the Semitic origin including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They are a rebranding of earlier Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions.
You don’t have to join a religion to engage in spiritual exploration. All you need to do is to learn and practice the processes. There’s a vast difference between religion and spiritual exploration.
By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox. When belief is more important than the truth anyone can maintain a paradox. All it takes is constant exposure to groupthink manipulation.
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(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Galileo Galilei, Wikipedia
(3) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia