using good judgment your value filter system and cognitive bias cheat sheet

Using Good Judgment — The Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet

Most people believe they use sound judgment in their decision-making.  What are sound judgments?  How do you know if your value filter system is healthy or unhealthy?  Can you tell if cognitive bias and prejudice corrupt your thinking and values?  We have a simple process to find out the answers to these questions.

We all have certain things that we like or dislike.  These are biases.  But not all choices or preferences are harmful.  You may prefer the color blue or hate orange.  The real issue is when you accept dangerous thought scripts and values which interfere with using good judgment.  If these scripts contain harmful and prejudicial programming, it diminishes our ability to make rational decisions.  It often sidetracks the use of common sense and logic.

We use cognitive bias to some extent.  It is simply decision-making based on simplified values.  This set of values in your worldview tells you what is acceptable and what is not.  A problem arises when harmful thought scripts corrupt this system.

What are Sound Judgments?

Sound judgment is decision-making based on objective facts and evidence.  It is assessing data using our experience and critical thinking skills.  (1) This kind of thinking is not accidental.  It requires your value filter system to be free of harmful beliefs.  Sound judgment is based on sound knowledge of the subject.  It is why physicians and attorneys spend years studying their respective disciplines.

A cheat sheet is a memory aid with the main points about a particular subject to help you make an informed decision.  It can be electronic notes, spreadsheets, sticky notes, or a piece of paper.  This article will walk you through creating your cheat sheet about your value filter system.

We have a process to help you create a cheat sheet, which helps you spot negative bias.  If you can identify negative beliefs, you can correct them.  We may not realize we have a corrupted worldview because many beliefs are part of our culture.  Many sources contribute to this negative programming.  Religious beliefs are the most common source of this kind of thinking.

Your Value Filter System

what are sound judgments

We are all prone to the mind trap of confirmation bias, which distorts our thinking and values.  It is the tendency to interpret fresh evidence within the limitations of our existing beliefs.  It makes perception easier but not more accurate.  Using good judgment is not an accident.  It is the product of rational thinking and common sense.

Common sense is the ability to make rational decisions.  Logic is the heart of this kind of thinking.  It uses a systematic approach using facts and evidence to arrive at conclusions.  When something is sound, it is safe and reliable.  So, sound judgment is nothing more than logic with an unbiased worldview.

When you ask, what are sound judgments based on, the answer is facts and common sense.  Don’t you wish everyone sought to make decisions using this method?  When you use sound judgment, you are going to make better decisions.  You’d be surprised to find some people don’t want to decide things this way.

The Process for Using Good Judgment

Here’s an outline of the tools to help you create your cognitive bias cheat sheet:

1) Identify your core beliefs
2) Analyze the rules of your sacred ground
3) Remove the harmful scripts and prejudice
4) Reprogram with positive scripts

This process is straightforward.  The more detrimental programming you have, the longer it will take to move through these four steps.  Let’s discuss the source of the programming.

Most of the programming we get comes from those who control the cultural narrative where we live.  Believe it or not, religion is the source of most negative bias and prejudice.

Not all religions are harmful.  For example, many Eastern systems like Paganism and Taoism do not have boundaries on freethinking.  With these systems, you can develop a unique path.  These systems encourage the use of logic and reason.  The religions of India and Asia encourage the development of your path.  They understand the myths of their texts are metaphors and analogies.

In contrast, Western religions have the most boundaries on freethinking and contain several kinds of negative bias.  The religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (2) are the basis of the “chosen one” mindset.  People believe they are entitled to preferential treatment because of their religious affiliation.  And their beliefs justify any harmful actions they may take.

These systems accomplish a high level of control with methods of continuous indoctrination.  They use group and self-hypnosis techniques to establish deep emotional ties to fear.  This programming triggers your fight and flight response.  You learn to reject facts and ideas that conflict with their boundaries.  The more exposure to these brainwashing techniques, the harder it is to correct.

Thankfully, there are ways to correct this brainwashing.  You can unravel this kind of magical thinking if you can get them to “see” the flaws of the paradigm and its effects on their lives.  It starts with identifying the harmful components of religious belief.

Create Your Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet

1) Identify Confirmation Bias

Identifying your sacred ground is the first step of this process.  We’ll say it right from the start, don’t skip steps.  Follow the process, and it will work.  Using good judgment starts with following the process.

Religions affect our ability to use reason to differing degrees.  It all depends upon the size, number, and content of the boundaries of the faith.  The more harmful the rules and limitations, the more it affects our ability to reason facts from fiction.    Even if you don’t follow a religion, it still affects you.  Religious beliefs infect a society through its customs.  These superstitions make their way into the laws.

“The Gospels, written many decades after the fact, are a blend of fact and fantasy—historical fiction.  And, although the proportions of the blend may differ from scholar to scholar, no credible historians take them at 100 percent face value.” ― Dan Barker, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists

“Academics concede that the Bible’s text is full of pious fraud.  They admit that there are two gods spoken of in the opening books.   And, then as time went by, the two (Elohim and Jehovah) were fused into one, henceforth referred to as Lord God. And, they concede the errors, fiction, skewed facts, and accounts of characters who never existed.  They admit the plagiarism, and that the Four Gospels were not written by the so-called Saints after whom they are named.” ― Michael Tsarion, The Irish Origins of Civilization, Volume Two

Start your cheat sheet by listing your core beliefs.  The most common core beliefs concern afterlife beliefs and moral standards.  Many people are part of the Abrahamic tree.  These Semitic faiths are not new; they are copies of earlier religions.  Some names changed, but the doctrines remained the same.   The origins of their religions harken back to mystery religions of the Mediterranean region circa 1 BCE.   These are the religions of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, and Persia.

“The book of Acts has been all but discredited as a work of apologetic historical fiction.1 Nevertheless, its author (traditionally Luke, the author of the Gospel) may have derived some of its material or ideas from earlier traditions, written or oral.  But the latter would still be extremely unreliable (note, for example, the condition of oral tradition under Papias) and wholly unverifiable (and not only because teasing out what Luke inherited from what Luke chose to compose therefrom is all but impossible for us now).  Thus, our best hope is to posit some written sources, even though their reliability would be almost as hard to verify, especially, again, as we don’t have them. So, we cannot distinguish what they actually said from what Luke added, left out, or changed.” ― Richard Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt

2) Analyzing the Rules of Religious Belief

This cognitive bias cheat sheet can be scary if you are a member of one of the Abrahamic religions.  We’ll ask you to examine the doctrines you feel you must defend.  Many people get so entangled in their religion that it becomes their identity.

When you don’t own your identity, it makes using good judgment impossible.  So, let’s take apart your beliefs to see if they are sound or tainted by myth and superstition.

An excellent place to start is with your Afterlife beliefs.  What are the benefits?  How much do they cost?  What negative views does it inspire towards people who don’t believe as you do?

Salvation is also a central topology for the Abrahamic traditions.  How do these beliefs want you to treat others who don’t believe as you do?

“So this is the state of the Gospels: four contradictory, convoluted and reworked writings set down decades after the supposed events by unknown author or authors falsely being passed off as eyewitnesses. All primarily derived from a single source, which, as we’ll see, appears to be entirely literary fiction.” ― David Fitzgerald, Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All

“I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God.  I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction.  The Christian God may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or ancient Egypt, or of Babylon.  But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them.” ― Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian and Other Essays on Religion and Related Subjects

There is little doubt Western religion is a danger to society.  People say it is only the extremists of these religions who are behind the violence.  But, a belief system is seriously flawed if its fundamental values inspire violence.  It is nothing more than a cash-flow scheme based on myths and superstition.

With this kind of group and self-hypnosis, you can install thinking and behaviors without limitation.  It establishes what is right and wrong.  It reaches all facets of life, dictating personal and social values.   These systems thrive on conflict selling genocide and war.  They justify the discrimination of races, ethnicity, and gender while proclaiming they are agents of love.  Teachers cherry-pick their holy texts to fit their needs.  It’s the main reason we know them as false light.

Children can be the most effective agents of truth because they ask hard questions.  Children point out illogical inconsistencies and errors.  The questions posed by innocent children can help adults.  Many Sunday school teachers leave the Church because of the questions posed by a child.

3) Remove the Harmful Scripts and Prejudice

You must identify and determine whether they are harmful to remove them.  You’ll need to decide to change your thinking.  If you understand how even seemingly harmless beliefs affect your thought processes, it will help you choose.

Right now, you might be saying to yourself, what if I believe in an imaginary friend in the sky?  What does that hurt?  We’ll spend some time explaining why removing ideas like this is essential.

How Belief Affects Common Sense and Logic

Here’s how it works: Western Religion programs the mind to set up your value filter system, which triggers our “freeze, fight, or flight” reaction.  We react to the threat as if it were a real physical danger.  So, the more extreme your beliefs, the more violently you respond to the stimulus.  The release of adrenaline in your system means you stop using your critical thinking skills.  You automatically reject any idea outside the boundaries of your paradigm, and your ability to use common sense and logic is diminished.  Confirmation bias takes precedence, and using good judgment is undermined.  One sign of this is your need to defend superstition and mythology.

The first step in our blended learning process is a readiness assessment.  This tool helps us identify any roadblocks to learning.  This assessment helped us to spot an inverse relationship between belief and cognitive ability.  The stronger their beliefs, the less likely they were to use logic or critical thinking skills in making decisions.  The more ridged their beliefs, the less intolerant they were of new ideas.

In short, the more extreme your religious beliefs are, the less likely you perceive ideas outside your paradigm, which means you aren’t ready to learn.  Not only will you disregard facts that conflict with your paradigm, but you’ll also likely disrupt the learning of others.  You are a puppet of those who are behind the programming.

You can test your level of religious indoctrination by assessing your emotions.  Do you have a negative emotional reaction when something challenges your beliefs?  Are you having an adverse emotional response to this article?  If so, this is a sign you are reading things that challenge your worldview.  This is to be expected if you are a follower of one of the Abrahamic religious sects.  We can help you unmask the programming that triggers this unreasonable response.  We can help to make you less vulnerable and threatened by new ideas.  How can we do this?  Let’s look at how the correct use of logic can help you see the facts from fiction.  Many people find this the most challenging step in the cognitive bias cheat sheet.

A Little Logic Goes a Long Way

Here’s an example of how to spot the improper use of deductive reasoning and the “false premise.”  We’ll use the Supreme Being, Odin, as our subject.

One of the most common ploys is for someone to ask you to prove their God does not exist.   Turn the argument around.  The burden of proof is on the person claiming the existence of something.  It is especially true for entities without physical form.

The absence of physicality is not proof of absence.  People will use the analogy of the milk bowl as false proof.  They will say the lack of milk in a bowl is like their God.  The problem is this isn’t a valid analogy to prove Odin exists.   Milk exists apart from the bowl; Odin does not.  So, the absence of evidence is not proof of absence.

You cannot prove the non-existence of something that does not exist.  For example, you cannot disprove the existence of Odin, but this does not prove he exists.

It’s impossible to prove or disprove things that don’t have a physical form.  It’s impossible to prove gods don’t exist.  However, that doesn’t mean they do.  You cannot prove or disprove the existence of an imaginary entity, including Apolo, Zeus, Mithra, Dyonisys, or any other god.   Similarly, anecdotal evidence is not proof of the existence of gods.  What you think is a picture of Jesus appearing in your toast is not proof he exists.

Let’s continue our discussion of God with one of our favorites, Odin.

Proving Odin Exists or What are Sound Judgments?

Let’s assume we meet someone who claims Odin exists.  When we challenge them to provide evidence for the existence of Odin, we get the following response:

First, they point out that no ice giants exist because Odin promised to kill them.  Since there aren’t any ice giants, Odin is obviously responsible for this problem.  But we aren’t done yet.

Second, there are many stories of Odin dating back through oral traditions in Germanic mythology over 3,000 years.  There are stories about Odin (from Old Norse Óðinn) in ancient forms of Paganism that reach from outer Russia and Scandinavia to the British Isles, where he is known in Old English as Wóden, Old Saxon as Wōden, and Old High German as Wuotan or Wodan.  That’s a much broader range of people than Jesus of the New Testament.

Their third argument is that with such a large amount of evidence from a variety of authoritative sources over thousands of years, it is proof Odin exists.  Right?  The answer to these arguments is no.  Sorry, you’re mistaken.  None of these arguments proves the existence of Odin.

First, the absence of imaginary creatures like ice giants doesn’t mean they ever existed.  Nor does the lack of ice giants mean Odin had anything to do with their absence today.  Second, just because someone writes something down doesn’t mean it happened.

Third, repeating stories does not make them real.  Stories about Odin do not prove his existence.  And all these points apply to all imaginary friends and enemies, not just Odin.  This example shows us how myths, circular logic, and the misuse of an argument are used in an attempt to make stories and legends true.    Using common sense and logic reveals the problems with false propositions.

Okay, I’m Done with Mythology and Superstition!

Removing religious scripts isn’t easy.  The longer you believe something, the more it gets ingrained in your psychic structure.  The more you expose yourself to religious programming, the more it reinforces these scripts.   We have several tools to get you started if you are ready for this step.  Here are some you can start with:

4) Reprogram with Positive Scripts

So, did you make it this far in the process, or are you skimming ahead to see the last step?  If you followed the process, you’ve identified and started removing the prejudice and bigotry in your value filter system.  Great for you.  Feeling “raw” and worn-out is common.  You’ve completed some serious inner work and can begin to rebuild healthy psychic structures.  Mantras and affirmations are the two best tools for programming positive thought scripts.  These are effective tools for reprogramming self-talk.

In Conclusion

Common sense and logic are the natural analytical tools that help us discern facts from fiction.  Western organized religion dominates most of the cultural narrative.  So minimizing your exposure to religious beliefs and harmful programming will help you think more clearly.  Follow the steps provided in the cognitive bias cheat sheet, and you will change yourself and the world.

What are sound judgments based on?   It is based on your value filter system, which is free of sectarian bias and prejudice.

References

(1) A Neural Network Framework for Cognitive Bias.

(2) Abrahamic Religions.

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