Religion often focuses faith in a religious experience as a measure of truth. But we know experience isn’t a measure of truth because experience is subjective. Effectiveness is a better measure of truth because we can measure it. Come and see how to use effectiveness as a guide rather than mythology.
Truth is a slippery subject. It depends on how you define or measure it. People find security in believing what they know is true. Once they believe something, they protect it. Religion shuns any method that doesn’t require faith in their religious experience.
However, most believers fail to investigate the facts that support their beliefs. One must be shrewd and have sharp critical thinking skills to tell the difference between fact and fiction. Our experience of reality plays a huge part in the decision process of determining truth.
Experience isn’t a Measure of Truth
Our experience is not reality. Scientists, freethinkers, and philosophers agree that perception combines expectations, values, memory, and even a dash of reality. The point is we only perceive what we expect based on the filter of our worldview.
Our mind’s eye is like a camera. This camera has a lens and several filters through which we perceive reality. The clarity of the lens affects what we expect to see and “what we believe.”
The more defects in the camera and its lens, the more distorted the picture it produces. So our experience represents the health and clarity of the mind. The camera of the mind is a delicate instrument called our worldview. This camera is programmed to judge and create a picture that aligns with our expectations. So, the perception of our experience is not a measure of truth. It is an elaborate fabrication.
What we experience isn’t a measure of truth; it is the product of individually crafted fiction. Our senses are only one part of the equation. We perceive everything within the mind using the filter of our worldview, so the accuracy of experience depends on the mind’s programming. Effectiveness is the measure of truth because repeatable processes don’t depend upon subjective experience. We can measure the effectiveness of things.
If the camera lens is damaged or dirty, we will get a distorted picture of reality. The data we gather will be skewed. Our worldview will be tainted.
It means that what we experience isn’t a measure of truth. What we “think and what we value” are tainted by the above filters. As we mentioned before, the filter that corrupts the picture the most is cultural programming. Without a doubt, organized religion creates most of the negative cultural programming.
Religion as a Filter of Reality
The most influential programming comes from our culture and can override our moral compass and inherent social values. The problem is learning how to function within a culture with negative religious values because one must at least appear to conform to these beliefs. Otherwise, you will suffer negative consequences.
The negative cultural programming of religion is harmful to the health of our awareness and consciousness. The more negative distortions in the cultural narrative, the more this detrimental affects our values and perception. These distortions have a negative influence on our overall health and wellness. Mental and Stress disorders are rampant in a society where the cultural narrative promotes inequity and injustices.
Why do so many people follow one of the leading organized religions? The answer is the implementation of continuous systems of indoctrination starting in early childhood and targeting vulnerable people. Religion is skillful at programming, which overrides our natural state of innocence.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti
Experience isn’t a measure of truth. Experience and belief are camouflage for mythology and superstition.
If effectiveness is the measure of truth, these religions will fail in several ways. They are not effective in promoting positive, inclusive values. They do not have a positive effect on humankind. They are silent on protecting the fundamental rights of people or the environment.
The Abrahamic ideologies (1) are examples of religions that program negative bias and prejudice. These are Semitic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These systems promote moral superiority to dictate thoughts, values, and justification for violence.
History shows us that religion fails in its mission to bring about positive change in society. It does not present any practical tools to change consciousness. Its practices are predatory. Its underlying aim is to create and sustain cash flow.
Unfortunately, they also have the most significant social mass. These systems are well entrenched in society. So, even if you are not a follower, you are more than likely still affected by the colossal social reach of these paradigms. The level of influence in your life depends on your exposure. They are effective when they can dominate the cultural narrative.
Religion is addictive, and it promotes several social and psychological aberrations. They use self-hypnosis, group hypnosis, or groupthink Manipulation to encourage prejudice and bias. It manifests in the following types of distortions:
- Chosen one Mentality
- Illusions of Invulnerability
- Unquestionable Beliefs
- Rationalizing Violence and Discrimination
- Perpetuates Ethnic, Racial, and Gender Discrimination
- Demonizing Any Source Exposing its Inconsistencies
- Afterlife Rewards for Believers Only
The bottom line is that Western Organized Religion is the most prolific filter of perception. Religion is the dirt that distorts thoughts and values, and this is why it is so important to learn how to question the cultural narrative.
Intelligence alone is not a deterrent against the onslaught of cultural programming. The more you expose yourself, the more susceptible you become. Harmful cultural programming targets two groups in the population, children and those in crisis.
Some believe that subjecting children to religious programming is “child abuse” (2). Richard Dawkins noted scientist is of this opinion. Others believe that as long as there is no apparent harm to the child, it is not child abuse. It is merely the structured indoctrination of established tradition.
“I am persuaded that child abuse is no exaggeration when used to describe what teachers and priests are doing to children whom they encourage to believe in something like…eternal hell.” — Richard Dawkins
The other large population susceptible to religious programming is those in crisis. People find religion when they are vulnerable because you are easier to brainwash when in emotional turmoil. It does not matter what the problem is.
The crisis could be financial, emotional, or health. The reason for the dilemma doesn’t matter. Religion is there to lend a helping hand. It’s waiting to make converts because believers eventually make them paying customers. You pay with money and with conformity to the religious stereotypes they provide. Once they get a critical mass of the population, they can program almost any beliefs and practices.
Effectiveness is the Measure of Truth
Effectiveness is a better measure of reality because we can measure it. Still, the individual must determine the standards of what is true and false. Almost everything we know we gained through an informational channel or third party, not direct experience. We should therefore become shrewd at evaluating data. We use criteria or tests to weigh whether something is true or false. (3)
Here are some criteria we should not use to determine truth. Consensus is another trap. Following the herd is rarely a good idea unless it is part of a fire escape. Customs and traditions are also not accurate sources. They are someone’s opinion. Feelings and emotions are part of our decision-making process, but we must be wary of using them to determine the truth. Emotions often lead the opposite way from facts.
Now for some criteria that help us better decide what is true and false. Decisions based on facts are more accurate. Consistency in data is also an important consideration. Our intuition is a factor to consider. A gut-level feeling is different from one based on an emotional response. A logical and pragmatic approach will yield the best results.
Processes Versus Mythology
“Experience isn’t a measure of truth. Your experience is the sum of your expectations, less the health of your awareness and level of consciousness. Effectiveness is the measure of truth that provides measurable criteria.” ― Guru Tua
Processes are things that produce results that can be replicated and repeated. Truth is something we can measure as well. Facts represent the most tangible way to measure if something is true. Now we have a workable formula. Repeatable methods which produce consistent, measurable results are valid.
Spiritual technologies used to explore consciousness are effective. They differ significantly from how organized religion uses mythology and superstition to mimic spiritual truth.
What we need are tools that help us make positive changes. And we have several ancient technologies that positively affect our instrument of perception. If something produces the desired result, it is valid.
Effectiveness is the measure of truth only if we remove the bias of the cultural narrative. The processes of spiritual exploration can accomplish this goal. When we use comparative analysis techniques, we identify our beliefs’ fundamental concepts. These are repeatable and measurable. They do not require belief in religious doctrine. So, everyone who can follow a process can use them.
Mythology is what religions are made of; they are stories collected from older myths and superstitions. They are often inconsistent in their messages, portraying themselves as love while violently attacking those who disagree.
Don’t fall for the trap of religion. Belief in imaginary friends and the fervor of religious experience isn’t a measure of truth. Choose a path that uses processes that yield results that are it is tangible and measurable. Don’t get sidelined with feelings from experience.
(1) Abrahamic Religions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abrahamic_religions
(2) Forcing a religion on your children is as bad as child abuse, claims atheist professor Richard Dawkins: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2312813/Richard-Dawkins-Forcing-religion-children-child-abuse-claims-atheist-professor.html
(3) Criteria of truth: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criteria_of_truth