Ruminating on Belief—

How long until humanity can transcend beyond belief mode?

Belief holds only a temporary benefit until a premise has been proven, not a goal in itself—when do we move on?

Understanding your human nature is an important key to resisting the patterns that sustain anchoring bias—that deep tendency to adhere to the first information acquired on any given subject. Ruminating that first morsel—a lifetime of informational cud chewing. How hard is it to change what you’ve been taught in ignorance of the subject, then believed? It takes a miracle, but let’s face it, in those first moments of exposure we’re all ignorant—and gullible to the authority, whether it be parents, professors, or pastors.

Then comes the backfire effect, a near universal, automatic reaction to repudiating evidence of your mere faith, which strengthens your beliefs in spite of better solutions—digging in, protecting those little nuggets wrapped up in your skull when new ideas or evidence is counter to what you believe. Norepinephrine is released in the brain when facts are presented counter to what we believe, creating a fight or flight (or stubbornness) to adopt new information. Religions grow from this stubbornness of human hormones and hardwiring.

Take Darwin for example; He himself was attuned to this phenomenon and lamented his discovery, struggling to procede openly with the Origin of Species because of the effect it would have on everything and everyone he knew—very aware that the reception his evidence would bring a fight.

No matter the spiritual belief, people take great comfort in what they already understand—even if it is a garbled mess to everyone else. Replaying their same old themes—reruns that are familiar and predictable. In today’s world we have to adapt quickly to keep up with technology, processes, and the devices. But belief is a special carrot, hampering progress with archaic, inerrant faith—the comfort zone, the one tool of the devil that keeps you enslaved to your biggest weakness—that overburdened ability to believe what you are initially told, even when it’s obvious it isn’t true.

Just believe. Convincing your mental self by answering your own prayers (you know that talking to yourself thing where you reason away your own mind) and making excuses for the writers inadequacies and failed promises.

Give up and let god? That is the literal example of human damnation—Abrahamic religions ability to stop the flow of actual growth and progress through mandated belief (then we defend it out of hormonal response).

Our perceptions are much more faulty than accurate. It’s no wonder the majority of the world believes something that can’t be seen, measured, or heard—craving that super hero to comfort their struggles—simply because they were told one exists and we are obligated to say yes to a fault.

Faith is pretending not to trust your poor judgement—which is using your own poor judgement to allow someone else to chose your path for you. Understanding your physiology is the key to moving on.

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

55 thoughts on “Ruminating on Belief—”

  1. “Religions grow from this stubbornness of human hormones and hardwiring.” YES and YES! It’s insane the amount of work one must do backtrack through years and years of hardwiring. It’s not impossible though. It was definitely eye-opening when I stopped allowing my “faith” to be the answer to why I didn’t have answers. Great words here!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are a thousand points of awareness that should be developed in every person before they are asked to believe something. Understanding our neurology, physiology, endocrinology and biases would certainly help us make more careful and productive decisions. Thanks for the nice comment too

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the Alan Watts quote: it is dead on balls accurate. Somewhere in the dog’s breakfast that is the Bible there is a comment saying something like, “I the Lord do not change.” And I learned in Catechism to parrot the line that “god is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow through eternity.” It may have been part of the so-called “Apostles’ Creed” but can’t be sure. I have a good friend who is Mennonite and very much of the born again variety Christian. I have challenged him on his beliefs over the years. This morning as he paid me a short visit I didn’t let him wander off into history as he likes to do. I used the quote, “Is God willing but unable to prevent evil? Then he isn’t omnipotent. Is he able but unwilling to prevent evil? Then he is malevolent. Is he neither able, nor willing, to prevent evil? In which case why call him God?” These are great theological questions IMO and he had no answer to them. At least he did not insult me with the usual response: it is not for us mere humans to question God’s ways.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been in a good conversation with Chicagoja today and yesterday. There have been some interesting ideas shared, but he keeps deferring to his old life saying there are things we just can’t know. Bullshit! There are things we don’t know—yet. There have been many things we didn’t know…until we did know. The problem with anchoring bias is that first reaction is to always dig in the heels to what we already have attached to us. The Bible has created this crutch of ignorance telling us we couldn’t possibly understand the ways of god—Bullshit #2. When we see him he will be like us. 1john 3:2… Because he is us.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. “Give up and let God”

    That’s the go-to for so many people not willing to accept that letting God handle your problems is to ignore them. A church sign I drove by the other day read “Why worry when you can pray?” Prayer might make you feel good momentarily, in that you are appealing to a higher power who knows more than we do and has the ability to solve any problem. But the reality is that all you are doing is ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away on its own. I can remember years ago having money problems. I prayed to God about it and then spent hour after hour doing math until I figured out how to fix the problem. Then I thanked God for leading me to the solution.

    It’s funny how we, as people, are quick to dismiss an atheistic worldview and instead gravitate towards a world governed by an unknowable, invisible and never-present being. The evidence points towards a world in which a God is not present, but we are programmed to think the opposite is true. It’s an endless cycle where we just keep passing the same misinformation on from generation to generation. It just makes breaking away from that way of thinking that much harder.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So you can relate to answering your own prayers (under your breath) Maybe it’s a good exercise to talk yourself though it. But it isn’t god—it’s us.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Skip the prayer and waiting—Your miles ahead. If you need to work out something in your head that’s fine. Go for it. The real key to happiness is accomplishment. Giving away the credit to an imagination really isn’t empowering you the way religion should.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. However, Jim, we are supposed to be humble. But we are also supposed to be god-like. God would be very proud of actually solving a problem for someone. Can you say a-r-r-o-g-a-n-c-e?

            Liked by 2 people

  4. Your topic strikes at the very heart of the Christian faith-based belief system: change (mortality) vs. non-change (immortality). The Alan Watts quote is perfect.

    On that note, I am constantly amazed by the Christian argument for eternal truth. For instance, Christians constantly use the phrase “unchanging and inerrant word of god” when defining the Bible, and every passing year a NEW version of the Bible pops up to better “relate” to current modes of thought. It’s hilarious. Christians hate relativism, at least that’s what they say. And yet they will in the same breath say, “God loves you,” which is relative. The “clinging” on to a worn-out creed is disturbing. Christians not only eschew knowledge they also shy away from studying their own history book, a.k.a.. the Bible.

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    1. You make some good points that I have overlooked. Relativism being one of them. I had some long discussions with Mel the apologist about this. He was adamant. Absolutely against relativism but he is the master at it. It is hardest to see our selves clearly, that is why understanding our physiology is a window to the real world.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. So true. It makes me grin to think how certain I was that Hillary would win. But nope, I just couldn’t see it coming and it wasn’t as if the signs weren’t there all along. For me being wrong is a growth experience, with religion being wrong is not and cannot be allowed. House of cards and all that.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Isn’t it amazing that even though such incredible information is available that people continue to cling to really not “knowing” anything of substance? Baffling if I hadn’t been there myself.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. When everyone is doing it, it is must be right. It is only “natural” to follow the crowd. Growing up in a small Mormon town you would think everyone would be in church every Sunday, but no! There were the jack-Mormons, the sinners like my war veteran uncle, who was the one I think I got my skepticism from. Lucky me. GROG

            Liked by 2 people

            1. The majority is usually wrong. Following is usually the easy. Things aren’t always what they seem, even after they seem like it.
              Some of those jack mormons eventually succumb. I remember a guy that held out for years and years. He finally gave in to his families plea and believed. Became a bishop. Shortly after that the transparency issues were released with Joseph smiths seer-stone and the true stories about “translation” and his womanizing. If he’d only held out a little longer he’d have never done it. The unfortunate cause of Joseph Smith has records. And many of those had been suppressed for years. Turns out the tanners and deckers were right all along.
              And William law is a frickin hero!

              Liked by 1 person

            2. They’re down. The church is big enough to grow through fertility for now. The chapel near my Panama house closed down. The few members left have to travel 25 miles to Chitre. I know that’s a small sampling but missionary efforts are lagging as well. and I think the internet is saving people a lot of trouble.
              On another note. 11 year olds can now attend the temple and missionaries go right out of high school. No need to give them time to think or anything. Both moves are grasping at straws using the most vulnerable to do it.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. I have now. My favorite version is when they ignore content and criticize your writing style so therefore you’re wrong. Never even considering the ideas associated with the words.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. When I read the post I thought it often described the atheists who refuse to see the problems with their views. They have been told this or that is true by some professor or some other figure they think is smart and then they refuse to examine the view further. I do not think saying the above will add very much to the conversation.

        I do think talking and learning about biases is important and helpful. But simply accusing those who disagree with us of being biased is not helpful. Saying something is “obvious[ly]” not true when the evidence against it is far from obvious is not helpful. But it does allow us to pretend we can move on from the actual debate and start talking about how it is possible those who disagree with us could be so irrational in the first place. Sure this may give those who already agree with us some sort of comfort because it reaffirms their conclusions, but it is not a reasoned way to address a question.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. True (this is an equal opportunity post, and could easily apply to políticas as well) but the first step is awareness to how easily we are fooled by our own physiology. Then perhaps we can do a little better, question a little more, and progress a little bit. It’s dichometric as it stands, and with contradictions being so blatantly acceptable it is problematic. Both things cannot be true, and maybe neither of them.
          We need to use our foibles to our benefit. Like quantum entanglement. We don’t know how it works, but we can manipulate it’s properties to our benefit and make a computer. Understanding who we are as an organism is a step toward reality.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Ah, if you do not believe in capital T truth, and think that truth is relative, both propositions can be true, and false, at the same time. The only truth I depend on is my own, abnd how often have I had to change that!

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Yes I agree that such posts can be equal opportunity. Generally speaking when you are thinking about questions that have been discussed and debated for as long as humans have been around by all sorts of people the answer is probably not obvious. If you think it is then perhaps there is a bias that is shutting out some decent reasoning from the opposing side.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Like when ColorStorm accuses me of writing in run-on sentences. He says if my mind cannot think in short terse phrases he has no need to look at my erroneous conclusions, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. At one point in my life (mid-life crisis?) I decided to examine all of the life precepts instilled by my parents. Possibly I was biased due to long adherence, but I found almost all of the recommendations to be sound. It was, though, hard to do. I did not, however, yield to my mother’s wish and become a “believer.” How one would do that escapes me completely, in any case.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard to do. Even the purveyors of faith don’t understand or seem to care we are easily duped by our physiology. I was reading Bill this morning about the Cardiff giant. Even though it is a hoax, people still believe it out of this phenomenon of complex hormones and need. I think we can do better, but most don’t seem to be ready.

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    2. Hey, Steve, in my late 20s, early 30s, I wrote down every belief I could remember having believed. Then I wrote down where I thought that belief came from. Not surprisingly, more than 90% came from outside authorities of some kind. Then I took a different step than you, I threw out every belief that I could not prove came from inside of me. Gone!
      Then, one by one, I re-examined each such belief to see whether it resonated with me. Some did, many did not. Those that resonated I accepted back into my cosmology, while the rest I crossed out and burned. Some I had to reconfigure, like my belief in reincarnation. I know for me reincarnation works, but not in Buddhist terms. It works in rawgod terms, and that is how I like it. Just to mention a few that I threw out: conscience, guilt, morality, right and wrong, Karma, fate, and other such things. I replaced them all with chaos. Nothing happens for a reason! Things just happen, and we have to deal with them as best we can.
      The problem for me is learning how to not talk as if I still believe certain things. Many things I say still sound like I believe there is a reason for them happening, even though I know there is not. A lifetime of speaking is not easy to change. Hopefully, in my next incarnation, wherever I return to life, I can start over tabla blanca.

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