We are all fighting the war for the mind of humanity. Analogy, metaphor, simile, and word-picture are the weapons. Find out what you can do to support the use of reason and science and overcome mythology presented as facts.
Myths Vs Facts
Many people see religion as mythology presented as fact. Joseph Campbell said, “one man’s religion is another man’s mythology.” What you think is mythology or religion depends on your worldview. Many people believe their religion is factual, and their collective voice is still a force in our modern society. They push back against anything that threatens their beliefs. The elevation of superstition to facts is the basis of the ongoing war between science and religion.
Which religions exercise the most influence? The three largest religions by population (1) are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These three religions boast a membership of over 4 billion followers. Today there are over 10,000 versions of these Abrahamic religions (2).
The primary goal of these systems is to generate income. The wealthiest religion has more material wealth than most countries. The Vatican of the Catholic Church is a country. It holds an estimated net worth of over 400 billion dollars, including cash, real estate, precious metals, and art.
Above all, Christianity and Islam are the leaders in marketing and rebranding. They took the dying-god sects and made them accessible to more people via belief. In comparison, Judaism bases its membership on ethnic lines. This theme came with a well-established customer base in the region. Next, they perfected the process of indoctrination and groupthink manipulation. Most cleverly, they added sacred texts building on the work of their closest competitor, Judaism. Thus, they legitimized their mythology while showing Judaism in a negative light.
Mythology Presented as Fact
How is it possible for these mythologies to control the cultural narrative? Their strength lies in their ability to capitalize on humanity’s basic fears and insecurities. For instance, one of their top-selling schemes is the afterlife. It also gives them power. This power enables them to influence the culture. Science and logic are their adversaries. So, in the battle of myths vs facts, mythology needed to win at all costs.
Belief in mythology became the norm, creating a monopoly on the cultural narrative. It’s a mass hallucination through indoctrination. However, the programming of mythology into the culture is so successful that many people don’t see it. They believe their myths are fact. Those who are a part of this indoctrination are themselves victims of groupthink manipulation. So, they pass along the mythology, assuming it is factual. The best liars believe what they are saying is the truth.
Religion maintains a wall between the origins of their mythology and their customers.
Colorful Tools of Communication
There are four core communication tools. These include analogy, metaphor, simile, and word-picture. These tools are the gears of an excellent communication machine. They are perfect mnemonic memory devices. They help us learn and remember. You’ll find these at the core of many of your most memorable stories. When we use them correctly, they make learning easier.
However, these communication tools can also disguise the intent underlying the message. So, this makes it ripe for misuse. Religion uses an effective programming technique known today as groupthink manipulation. To better understand how this works, we need to look at this programming’s tools.
Analogies infer that if something is similar in some respects, it probably agrees in others. It’s a way to compare things to show a similarity. This is why it’s an effective selling tool.
Analogies play a significant role in communication. We use them in problem-solving and decision making. These tools are important for perception, memory, creativity, and emotion. They are the “go-to” tool for explaining concepts and ideas. Analogies help us with basic tasks such as identifying places, objects, and people. It is used in face perception and facial recognition systems. Some argue that analogies are at “the core of cognition.”
A computer is often used as an analogy for the human brain. It goes something like this. Computers work just like our brain does. This becomes an image or word-picture, making the concept easier to remember.
Analogies are not factual. They are tools to convey a concept or idea through a metaphorical word in place of something else. For example: “Her eyes were like glistening jewels.” This makes it ripe for confusing myths with facts.
Metaphors are figures of speech that construct a relationship between two or more things or ideas. When we understand the story is a metaphor, it is a valid tool for comparison. Almost all spiritual stories are metaphorical representations. They describe ideas in a way that makes them easy to remember. It’s a way of describing things that do not have a physical frame of reference.
For example, God is a reference for the transcendent. It enables us to understand the transcendent through various examples that we can relate to. The problem arises when people believe myths are factual instead of understood metaphorically. The most popular religions of the Abrahamic traditions are mistaking metaphors for facts.
Similes are a figure of speech that compares things to infer something. It uses connecting words to infer similarities between things. This an indirect way of projecting an idea. You can tell when this comparison is being used when you see the use of the words “as” and “like.” However, these aren’t the only words used to use this tool.
For instance, “he’s acting like Mr. know it all.” Here we have an ad hominem attack as disguised within a simile.
A word-picture is the landscape that houses analogies, metaphors, and similes. The word-picture becomes a powerful theme that links unique aspects of a story. The word-picture is the major theme of many ancient traditions. The life stories of Buddha, Mohamed, and Jesus are major word-picture themes. So, it’s the perfect vehicle for programming the cultural narrative.
The Argument as a Tool of Persuasion
First, an argument is a statement made with “premises” (data) persuading you to accept a conclusion. It’s a selling tool. Sometimes it’s hard to spot false premises and claims. That’s because people learn to hide false claims within metaphor, analogy, simile, and word-picture.
In a logically sound argument, the premises are factual or true. So, if we learn how to construct an argument properly, we can spot its misuse. This is exactly why we need to learn about the common errors of arguments and the misuse of logic.
Let’s start by looking at the two types of logical reasoning that you’ll likely encounter in the realm of spirituality. These are deductive and inductive reasoning. Both inductive and deductive reasoning can construct a valid argument.
There are two major differences in the way they form conclusions. Inductive reasoning uses data to reach probable conclusions. In contrast, deductive reasoning presupposes the conclusion by showing data to support a position. And two other major distinctions, deductive reasoning, give conclusions as proofs certain. Whereas, Inductive reasoning presents its conclusions as probabilities.
Let’s take a deeper dive into both forms.
Deductive reasoning (3) is based on the Closed World Assumption theory.
“It is the assumption that the premises of the argument are known or true, and conversely, what is not within the argument is presumed to be false.”
In other words, what is not known to be true is automatically assumed to be false. The absence of information is interpreted as irrelevant. It assumes that the premises provide complete and accurate information is about the claim.
The proper form of argument for deductive reasoning always includes the answer within the premise arguments. For the conclusion to be valid, all the premises must be true and valid. With this approach, you start with the conclusion you want, then find data to support your claim.
The Misuse of Deductive Reasoning
Our example goes like this. The argument is the God Odin Exists. Here’s the logic. First, Odin promised to kill all the ice giants. And there aren’t any ice giants. Second, there many ancient texts which tell the story of Odin. You’ll find him in German folklore and paganism from all parts of Eastern Europe.
We find the legends of Odin across many cultures. For instance, he is Wōden in Old English, as Wōdan in Old Saxon, and in Old High German as Wuotan. So, based on his popularity, these sacred stories, and texts, along with the absence of ice giants, we must conclude the God Odin exists.
Odin’s story is an example of a vivid word-picture. I’ll be you can see him killing ice giants right now. This story is a simile inferring Odin exists because his legend is recorded in several historical writings. This same principle applies to all imaginary friends and enemies.
This is a perfectly constructed argument using deductive reasoning. However, we think most people would disagree with the conclusions. This isn’t evidence for the existence of Odin.
The absence of imaginary beings or creatures does not represent evidence they ever existed. Nor is it evidence Odin got rid of them. And the recounting of stories, no matter the age or supposed authority of origin, does not suffice as proof for the existence of Odin. These points apply to all gods, not just Odin. This is an example of mythology presented as fact. It underscores the ongoing battle of myths vs facts.
Inductive reasoning (4) uses premises to provide a reasonable degree of certainty. That is the likelihood of something happening. They base conclusions on the degrees of probability. So, we get answers from a low, almost negligible probability to a high probability approaching near certainty.
Inductive reasoning may appear less accurate because the answers it provides are a range of probabilities. Yet, inductive reasoning is the basis for science and most of what we know. Science seeks the best explanation for the data and then makes predictions based upon the facts. You start with the data and find out what conclusion it provides.
For example, we have a high degree of confidence that the sun will rise tomorrow. We base this degree of confidence on the historical evidence of previous sunrises. Inductive reasoning is often necessary because the answer you seek goes beyond the premise statements’ scope. We don’t know for sure that the sun will rise, but evidence supports a high probability of it happening.
Mythology Presented as Fact
Religion and politics the most notorious for stating conclusions with absolute certainty. However, the reality is none of the assertions of religion can or should be stated with absolute certainty. Instead of remaining silent in the absence of fact, it makes claims when there is no proof. They use mythology cloaked by metaphor, analogy, simile, and word-picture.
Unfortunately, no theologian would state any of their doctrines in this way. Otherwise, most of their myths and superstitions would be less than believable if they were honest. However, we know this will not happen. It would expose most religions as baseless assertions, but theologians learn to advertise their mythologies using sleight of hand and circular logic.
“There is a logical form between the statement and the proposition. The proposition exists only where there are facts. Where there are no facts (i.e. the mystical, the metaphysical, the ethical), there is no corresponding proposition. If there is no proposition, no statement can be made in regard to these topics (mystical, metaphysical, ethical). So, what should we do where we cannot make any statement? Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” ― Ludwig Wittgenstein, Proposition 7, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (5)
Mr. Wittgenstein explains what we should do when having no facts to support our proposition. Sadly, many religions present twisted doctrines when one cannot speak of things for which there is no credible proof. So, mythology presented as facts is a ploy to deceive.
The conclusions of religion go beyond the facts. So, it would appropriate to state their claims in terms of probabilities. They do not, and we doubt this will happen. Rather than remaining silent on things beyond proof, they will continue presenting mythology as fact. That is how they stay in business.
Sorting Out the Facts
The battle of myths vs. facts is an ongoing conflict in the cultural narrative. It is the battle of science, logic, and facts against the strength of groupthink manipulation of religion. You win the war one person at a time.
The awakening of the individual is key to bringing them into the light of the fictions which bind them. Many of the archaeologists and scientists of the 19th century were sure that the facts would end the reign of organized religion. However, they underestimated the power of self-hypnosis and group hypnosis programming. Here are the steps for winning the war between “myths vs facts.”
Identify The Vehicles of The Programming
The first thing you need to do is learn to see the metaphors, analogies, or word pictures within your worldview. We’ll describe these in a moment. You can find these vehicles in two ways. If you have religious beliefs, write the core tenets. Describe the word-pictures that come to mind and then identify the stories you associate with them. Ask yourself, why do I believe the story to be true? Is there empirical evidence? Does the evidence for this claim come from sources within the paradigm?
Identify Your Programming
When you identify your programming, you will have two lists. One is the programming with a general or popular meaning, and the other is your personal meaning. For example, your programming may include the symbol of the cross. In popular culture, this is a holy symbol for the device on which a dying-god is sacrificed. However, the meaning of this symbol could differ significantly for you.
Myths Vs Facts Decision Time
Now you have the facts. You can see the premises of the arguments that are the source of your beliefs. You can see how metaphor, analogy, simile, and word-picture are the communication tools of these ideas. So you need to decide, are you going to believe in mythology presented as fact? Or are you going to give precedence to the facts of science and logic?
Remember, continue to question the cultural narrative. Always question the opinions of religious or political leaders and sources. Become a warrior of light, using compassion to spread seeds that bring people out of the dark age mentality.
Thanks for reading this article. We welcome your opinion, so don’t hesitate to comment or email us. We hope it provides some food for thought. You can find more mind-opening topics on our blog.
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(1) List of World’s Religions by Population, Wikipedia
(2) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(3) Deductive Reasoning, Wikipedia
(4) Inductive Reasoning, Wikipedia
(5) Ludwig Wittgenstein, Proposition 7, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
(6) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia