Faith is a set of beliefs that creates boundaries, establishes values, and restricts thought. See how and why people learn to protect these boundaries regardless of their validity. Is it possible to overcome this kind of thinking?
“You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep-seated need to believe.” ― Carl Sagan (1)
Why Faith is Important
Faith is a powerful tool. It can help us overcome obstacles in our life. Or it can become a tool used by others to control us.
At best, faith is a short-term strategy for dealing with stressful situations, tragedy, and suffering. It’s a way of temporarily ignoring reality to keep functioning. For example, if a loved dies, faith in the future keeps us from spiraling downward into depression. However, it is only healthy in the short term. One must find other more healthy long-term strategies to deal with the loss. Living in a continual state of faith or denial is unhealthy.
The Abrahamic religions (2) use faith as the anchor on which it builds elaborate ways to create unprecedented cash flow. However, credit must be given where credit is due. These religions did not develop these groupthink manipulation tools. They acquired the methods of self-hypnosis and group hypnosis. They borrowed them and everything else from the earlier mystery religions of the Medditraian region. Western organized religion is a copy of Assyrian, Babylonian, Egyptian and Persian mythology.
These powerful brainwashing tools can install beliefs to override our common sense and logic. It’s why faith is important; it’s the engine of groupthink manipulation brainwashing tools. Get people to believe in things that have no proof, and it keeps people entranced, always hoping for the elusive prize. You keep them living in a state of denial, which keeps them coming back for more and paying more for it.
The Difference Between Belief and Confidence
If you want to understand how belief overcomes reason, you must first understand the power of faith and belief.
Faith trust in something; it is an expectation that something, or trusting in someone to do something.
If you believe something, you accept that it is true. When you believe in something and have faith that it will happen, your expectations have no foundation. Your faith and belief are not grounded in evidence. Maintaining belief in unprovable things takes constant repetition, a form of self-hypnosis. It is why faith is important and necessary for organized religion.
Many religious people are proud to proclaim that they “live by faith and not by sight.” In other words, they give precedence to what they are told to believe rather than weighing the evidence against their beliefs.
The difference between belief and confidence is like night and day. We are confident the sun will rise tomorrow in the East. We base our confidence on the evidence of previous sunrises. We don’t need faith or belief; we have evidence.
How Belief Overcomes Reason
Faith in unsustained and illogical ideas is a popular tool to keep science and reason from exposing the truth. It doesn’t matter how intelligent you are. If you expose yourself to these brainwashing techniques, they will overcome your rational thinking capabilities.
In our modern world, you’d think people would have sufficient exposure to the origins of religion. There is a lot of historical and archeological information available today. Strangely, this information is rejected, especially by those who need it most.
The Suite of Groupthink Manipulation Tactics
The power of groupthink manipulation trains people to reject anything that threatens their worldview. The need to believe is an insurmountable obstacle for “reason and common sense.” Some people will defend their beliefs with violent behavior.
Freethinkers from the 19th century thought the age of reason would overcome mythology belief. But, they underestimated the power of brainwashing. They confuse the difference between belief and confidence to keep people coming back for more indoctrination.
There isn’t any fact that would change someone’s mind entrenched and integrated deeply into a religious paradigm. Trying to argue with common sense from logic, science, or other archeological evidence is futile.
“You can’t use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn’t use reason to get into.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
Once you buy into this idea, you trap yourself into a dualistic mindset. This framework limits your ability to entertain the full spectrum of perception, and this is how belief overcomes reason. Even brilliant people are susceptible to this brainwashing process.
Is faith an important aspect of my worldview? What would I gain if I rejected faith in unproven things? What am I afraid I would lose if I rejected belief in an imaginary friend?
We need to find ways to break through the programming and overcome the fears that keep people locked into mythology. Above all, it’s about questioning the cultural narrative, which requires belief in an imaginary friend. And, it’s about learning that belief is the wall separating you from actual spiritual development.
Indoctrinating The Vulnerable
The two groups most vulnerable to indoctrination are the young and those in distress.
Children are easy to brainwash by those they trust. So, their parents and adults who have control can teach them almost anything. This tradition is the typical way negative bias and prejudice are passed from generation to generation.
The caregivers are often the products of generational indoctrination. So, they think nothing of exposing themselves their children to group hypnosis manipulation techniques of religious indoctrination. Many psychologists and social scientists believe this system of continuous indoctrination is a form of child abuse (3).
People in a crisis are the second group that is easy to brainwash. It doesn’t matter what kind of problem. You come for support, and they give you belief as a substitute. You accept this counterfeit because that is the only solution available. Religion provides you with answers in exchange for you to become a paying customer. You pay your dues with financial support and with conformity. In exchange, you get a false sense of security.
The Need to Believe in a Higher Power
The first and most critical tactic is to install the belief in an imaginary friend. Religious devotees learn there are three main concerns:
- Mandatory dedication and allegiance to a Supreme Being
- Accepting justification for behavior and values to include genocide, religious, ethnic, and gender discrimination
- Required belief in an afterlife or life after death with either rewards or punishment
If you get people to treat mythology as a fact, you can install anything. You can train them to attack anyone or anything that threatens this worldview. Belonging to the group is a driving force behind the need to believe. It’s why belief overcomes reason.
Let’s understand how the need to believe begins. Belief is an artificial construct. To believe is to accept something that exists without objective proof. So, this is the tool religion uses to tie mythology to values.
Belief starts with animism. It’s the theory everything has consciousness which is not such a farfetched concept. We categorization of things and then try to find associations between them. We are searching for cause-and-effect relationships. When we can’t find a physical connection, we fabricate associations.
These fabrications are the problem; they are the basis for superstition. In this way, belief gives us answers to complicated things. The answers may not be correct, but they are still answers. For example, a black cat crosses your path. Some traditions tell us this is a bad omen, a warning that something terrible will happen. So we end up with superstition and mythology as explanations for things we don’t yet understand. It’s how belief overcomes reason.
The belief in a higher power works the same way as the black cat crossing the road. It’s a way of explaining away hard questions. The need to believe in a higher power is a substitute answer. It is an answer to the question of the unknown. They merely insert the term God for the things they don’t understand, and it’s why faith is important to religion. Once you get people to accept the existence of talking snakes and animals traveling thousands of miles across the globe to get on a boat, you can get them to believe anything.
“You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?” ― Mark Twain
The higher power becomes the answer to all the hard questions. It eliminates the need to seek real solutions. Maintaining this level of denial requires considerable effort. Religion targets two main groups to build a group of believers.
Personal and Business Relationships
Many religions use tactics to integrate personal and business relationships. They seek to tie these relationships to their paradigm. If you believe something outside the boundaries, they ostracise and isolate people as a means of punishment and keep subversive ideas from spreading. And then restrict or deny people from conducting business. So, the fear of losing personal and financial security is a great tactic to keep people integrated.
Demonizing other Belief Systems
Another great tactic is the demonization of all other competing religious systems. A religion applies this to all other sects of the same faith. For example, the Christian paradigm is spawning an increasing number of denominations. Each one believes they are the correct and only interpretation of this mythology. The war between Catholic and Protestants sects is a historical example of this mindset. However, the concept of demonizing other belief systems stretches back much further in history.
Demonizing Science and Reason
The other significant adversaries of religious indoctrination are science and reason. So, Western Organized Religion has gone to great lengths to undermine these resources. It uses pseudoscience in place of verifiable science. Creationism is only the latest installment. For eons, the Chuch insisted the Earth was flat, then that the Earth was the center of our universe.
We Only Perceive What We Expect
Intelligence is not a safeguard against religious programming. Everyone is susceptible to brainwashing tactics. The more exposure one has, the more likely it will affect your thinking. It’s the premise on which they build all advertising. These tactics come from research done in the 1920s when researchers could measure the effects of propaganda. The analytics behind modern advertising prove it can change behaviors.
The tactics of social indoctrination are so effective that they overcome common sense and logic. Since we can only perceive what we expect, religious indoctrination creates boundaries of perception and values on what we can see. It results in an inverse relationship between reason and religion.
Overcoming the Need to Believe
You must do three things to regain control of thinking free from the negative programming of religious indoctrination.
1) Recognizing the Effects of Cognitive Dissonance
Despite the massive effort to recruit and retain their membership, people find a way out. Most times, the attempt to maintain the inconsistencies becomes too much. Doing this results in a psychological condition known as cognitive dissonance. Your mind tries to hold multiple conflicting ideas simultaneously.
It’s possible to free the mind from this dilemma. But, this takes courage. It can be very stressful, especially when it involves anything that contradicts beliefs. If there’s a break in the systematic indoctrination and the mind has time to be reconciling the differences, there can be a “Eureka” experience of awareness.
Know the difference between belief and confidence. Don’t let people try to confuse you with doctrines and dogma.
2) Questioning the Eureka Experience
Challenging core beliefs can cause breakthrough awakening experiences. Many Sunday school teachers leave the church. They awaken after being confronted by probative questions of children.
3) The Desire to Know the Facts
Conducting independent research is the best way to awaken people to the facts behind their mythology. Our innate desire to explore the unknown prompts journey of discovery. Western Organized Religion doesn’t want you to start questioning things.
They don’t want you researching things with outside sources. They want you to come to meetings, so they use groupthink manipulation to reinforce their worldview. They want to keep you busy and integrate their beliefs into your life. In this way, you are less likely to find challenging information or get curious about other points of view.
Do not discount the power of groupthink manipulation tactics. They can persuade otherwise intelligent people to accept mythology over evidence. It’s how belief overcomes reason. This type of brainwashing starts with believing in a higher power. It’s the foundation of magical thinking, and it’s why faith is important as a building block for religions.
Chances are you know someone affected by the system of continual religious indoctrination. If you have questions, comments, or another point of view, please contact us.
(1) Carl Sagan, Wikipedia
(2) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(3) Richard Dawkins Forcing religion children child abuse, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2312813