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Cognitive dissonance


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The argument against religions often failed due to rampaging cases of cognitive dissonance.

How then do you have constructive debates with the religious? 

There is always a fear that if you highlight the inconsistencies in their religion it will a. Lead to you being someone trying to pull them from their religion  and b. Maybe you are the demon incarnate as well.

Debates are suppose to foster a different way a looking at one problem but, we have seen enough of religious arguments to know they go nowhere.

Why bang your head against the wall?

 

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2 hours ago, Janielle said:

Why bang your head against the wall?

I've always suspected that those who try to make their religion reasonable respect reason more than religious stances. I feel it's worth some lumps since they're at least thinking, and they come to science discussion forums to defend their faith. The toughest part about folks like this is they want to call everything we believe "faith". 

Most of the people I know who would NEVER change their attitudes about religion (the ones it's truly futile to talk to) don't want to talk about it much anyway. They don't question things like that, because their religion gives them exactly what they need from it. Jesus would do exactly as they would do. 

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27 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Jesus would do exactly as they would do. 

You mean they try to justify that whatever they think is what Jesus would have. For claiming humility, the arrogance of knowing what is so puts one in a difficult place.

Things that cannot be questioned will pose a problem. Thanks for contributing.

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All I can say is that phi has more patience with these folks than you or I do.

Pretty well all the people I know who have turned away from their religion did so as a result of some traumatic event in their life, such as a stillborn baby or worse.

I have never known one turn away by reason from other folks, though some have realised the hollowness of it all for themselves.

 

But having said all that I am unsure of your point or question, was it how to persuade these people?

 

Edited by studiot
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The limbic part of the brain which processes emotions lacks language. People can have very strong feelings about things without any way to rationally explain why. Religion seems to tap into that. As a result constructive debate always fails. 

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10 minutes ago, studiot said:

 

But having said all that I am unsure of your point or question, was it how to persuade these people?

 

The forums are suppose to be a place of discussion but from all that I have been reading in the religion part, there is no sense of a discussion to improve upon what we think but rather a push that I am right; as it pertains to religious individuals.

Hence, I am saying that they suffer from cognitive dissonance. They have a belief in something that differs greatly from  their actions.

Hence, it makes little sense in debating them. The moderator does a good job of keeping discussions in line.

11 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

The limbic part of the brain which processes emotions lacks language. People can have very strong feelings about things without any way to rationally explain why. Religion seems to tap into that. As a result constructive debate always fails. 

Interesting, I never looked at it that way especially with what is known about the limbic system.

Thanks as well.

Strong emotions without any use of objectivity limits you from growing. Can't use how you feel to argue things that affect a large percentage of us.

Results in dire consequences for you or in most cases others.

Edited by Janielle
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41 minutes ago, Janielle said:

Strong emotions without any use of objectivity limits you from growing. Can't use how you feel to argue things that affect a large percentage of us.

Results in dire consequences for you or in most cases others.

No doubt. I think to varying degrees we all struggle with it. Emotionally I am very risk adverse and have squandered a few excellent opportunities in my life even though the risk vs reward heavily favored reward. I just couldn't shake the trepidation. Everyone doesn't error on the side of logic which means logic can't always be trusted to predict the future when human decision making is involved. 

Religion provides people a sense of identity. By creating their own sense of history and heritage it taps into raw emotional parts of the brain. Just like most people continuing loving family members even if they terrible people so to do the faithful continue loving their religion even when it is fraudulent. 

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I saw this recently with a women I was friends with on facebook. She posted something about left and right brain stuff, which I thought had been debunked by recent medical publications that scanned brains doing different things. I thought they found that the left right brain thing is mainly nonsense. She had a brain tumour the other year and the doctor told her that her temporary loss of control on one side was due to the tumour being on the other side of her brain.  That may be so - but is isn't proof of the wider left/right brain argument.  I pointed it out and linked her to a couple of articles that debunked it and she went off on a tirade at me saying I didn't know what I was talking about and that I shouldn't believe everything I read in papers and that she knew it as a FACT because her surgeon told her. I am an arsehole apparently.

I was about to reply to say that I could be wrong about it if her surgeon had told her, although I suspected that the surgeon was talking about the injuries to the left causing motor problems to the right side of the body... which, if true, doesn't change the emotional left/logical right stuff that was recently disproved.  I was going to suggest that I was open to change my mind if presented with evidence against what I was saying...  alas she blocked me before I could reply. As it goes it was a blessing - I no longer have to put up with her daily relationship updates and her moaning about her ex and her BS daily pages of inspiration quotes...  that said - I thought that I had failed as a person here - I failed to communicate with another human being in a manner such that she now hates me and has unfriended me...  what can you do?

I wanted to be sarky back saying that by typing the word fact in capitol letters doesn't actually make it a fact...  but I chose to be as polite as possible...  but never got the chance to reply. Cognitive dissonance I suppose....  or IQ with only double figures.

I wonder if there is a inverse correlation between the level of outrage expressed towards an opposing opinion and someone's IQ. Difficult to prove.

   

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14 hours ago, Janielle said:

Hence, I am saying that they suffer from cognitive dissonance. They have a belief in something that differs greatly from  their actions.

The dissonance, imo, comes from adopting a belief emotionally (faith), then later trying to rationalize it into something more reasoned (trust). Emotions can bridge the gaps in knowledge easily (though poorly), but critical thinking requires a chain of evidence that religion always fails to provide. It must tear some followers in two, emotional belief telling you it MUST be true, and rational belief telling you it just doesn't tick all the right boxes to be trustworthy.

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I think it is the sheer two-facedness (Sorry Janus I like your posts really) of the heirarchy, in not practicising what they preace to the lower ranks about how people 'should' behave that turns many off religion.

They suffer no 'dissonance' at all , they just don't like being lied to.

 

Edited by studiot
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4 minutes ago, studiot said:

They suffer no 'dissonance' at all , they just don't like being lied to.

 

As in they rather continue believing in the religious text rather than confront the reality that the doctrine have been built on lies....

That's another way of viewing it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/17/2018 at 3:05 PM, Janielle said:

The argument against religions often failed due to rampaging cases of cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive dissonance isn't limited to just the "religious."  

I'd suspect many women that have had abortions struggled with this.

Probably not as much as atheists tho.  It must be very difficult to explain away those spontaneous thoughts of the supernatural - Thoughts that many scientists today consider to be an evolutionary benefit.

Let's face it, if various religions weren't so saturated with complete assholes, there wouldn't be this stigma within the the scientific community against exploring "religion."  We'd all be doing it in one form or another. . .to deny it is to deny what it means to be human.

On 7/17/2018 at 3:05 PM, Janielle said:

How then do you have constructive debates with the religious?

You actually have a constructive debate, rather than whatever it is you're doing. . .

 

On 7/17/2018 at 3:05 PM, Janielle said:

There is always a fear that if you highlight the inconsistencies in their religion it will a. Lead to you being someone trying to pull them from their religion 

Well, aren't you?

On 7/17/2018 at 3:05 PM, Janielle said:

and b. Maybe you are the demon incarnate as well.

Well, that's a given. . .

On 7/17/2018 at 3:05 PM, Janielle said:

Debates are suppose to foster a different way a looking at one problem but, we have seen enough of religious arguments to know they go nowhere.

You're obviously new to this, aren't you?

On 7/17/2018 at 3:05 PM, Janielle said:

Why bang your head against the wall?

Because it's fucking fun, and this country is so great that we have nothing better to do. . .

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On 7/17/2018 at 6:06 PM, Phi for All said:

Most of the people I know who would NEVER change their attitudes about religion (the ones it's truly futile to talk to) don't want to talk about it much anyway.

What's truly futile is "thinking" that humans will ever be without religion. "It's evolution baby!"

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On 7/17/2018 at 7:13 PM, studiot said:

Pretty well all the people I know who have turned away from their religion did so as a result of some traumatic event in their life

How many more turned to it because of a traumatic event in their life?  I hear there is a big turnover. . .

Edited by DirtyChai
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On 7/18/2018 at 6:39 AM, DrP said:

She had a brain tumour the other year and the doctor told her that her temporary loss of control on one side was due to the tumour being on the other side of her brain.  That may be so - but is isn't proof of the wider left/right brain argument.  I pointed it out and linked her to a couple of articles that debunked it

Well, you already said that "that may be so."

On 7/18/2018 at 6:39 AM, DrP said:

I thought that I had failed as a person here - I failed to communicate with another human being in a manner such that she now hates me and has unfriended me...  what can you do?

You did fail.  I'm sure she was more concerned about her health and having a friend rather than how right (or wrong) you were, especially since you didn't even convince yourself.

Was it really worth it?

Edited by DirtyChai
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1 hour ago, DirtyChai said:
On 18/07/2018 at 12:13 AM, studiot said:

Pretty well all the people I know who have turned away from their religion did so as a result of some traumatic event in their life

How many more turned to it because of a traumatic event in their life?  I hear there is a big turnover. . .

 

Not being a religous person, I know of no comparative figures do you?

If you can source any such figures, what conclusions do you draw from them?

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1 hour ago, DirtyChai said:

You did fail.  I'm sure she was more concerned about her health and having a friend rather than how right (or wrong) you were, especially since you didn't even convince yourself.

Was it really worth it?

Her post wasn't about her health - it was about left and right brain connections to emotions and logic.  All this has been debunked over the last decade or 2. Do you think |I should sit back and let people spout anti vaccine and flat earth crap without challenging it? That's not me. Maybe that makes me an arsehole, but I don't think so. I would prefer and expect people to do the same for me if I posted something that was proven wrong  -  just point it out with evidence to support the claim that I am wrong and I'll accept it. As a human I might feel some irritation...  but that is natural in humans - it is called cognitive dissonance, which we are discussing.

I fail all of the time  - I even shy away from discussions about immigration and brexit. There are many people that post spurious crap that is obviously propaganda and unsupported rubbish all the time  -  if you question it at all they just get angry and call you a remoaner and don't seem interested in (or do not believe) the 'facts' that you present them. They start spouting shit about civil war and then go quite on you. I think the brexiteers have their mindset and they are sticking to it  - no amount of actual facts are going to change their mind, they are not interested in anything but their own view - even if it is based on lies and misinformation they have been told. Any attempt to point out flaws in their logic or errors in what they are saying is just met with angry reaction rather t6han logical and critical thought. :-( 

 

 

 

36 minutes ago, studiot said:

 

Not being a religous person, I know of no comparative figures do you?

If you can source any such figures, what conclusions do you draw from them?

It is quite common for some people to turn to religion after trauma. Although I have no figures, as a church goer for many years in the past it is something people would talk about. I do not know if it has any statistical weight, but it is a reason that 'some' people give as a reason for turning to god. I guess they find love and comfort and a little peace from it.

My mother in law (ex) was distraught at the loss of her husband and found love and support among friends at the Jehova's Witnesses. She is now a practicing Jehova's Witness and is very fervent about it.  You can tell she is fragile about her loss still after many years. She is a very intelligent person - I do not know if she will flake in her faith and convert back if pressed - I doubt she will allow a conversation to go that far before ducking out of it.

I used to enjoy debate with JWs when I was a Christian   -  I was looking forward to debating them as an atheist...  hmm, one came to my door (2 - they go in pairs).  I was hoping for some passionate intelligent debate from him. He started with nature and the beauty of the world being evidence for god and the 'fact' that the very presence of the diverse animals in the world proves a creator. I told him of the numinous I feel for nature too and that we now well understand how life has evolved into this diversity. I expected some intelligent counter or some discussion.....  I was instantly met with cognitive dissonance from him as he just started shaking his head and shouting..  "NO NO NO - NO NO NO" ...  I was waiting for him to tell me why he disagreed and was going to talk about his 'evidence' for god but they just left. His pal was smiling and wished me good day, while the other guy continued to shout NO!  No argument, no discussion...  just instant dissonance and anger and frustration from him because he had NO answer to my destruction of his argument. I wasn't rude - just factual and ready to provide back up and evidence for my own claims..  It was most disappointing.

 

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38 minutes ago, DrP said:

It is quite common for some people to turn to religion after trauma. Although I have no figures, as a church goer for many years in the past it is something people would talk about. I do not know if it has any statistical weight, but it is a reason that 'some' people give as a reason for turning to god. I guess they find love and comfort and a little peace from it.

My mother in law (ex) was distraught at the loss of her husband and found love and support among friends at the Jehova's Witnesses. She is now a practicing Jehova's Witness and is very fervent about it.  You can tell she is fragile about her loss still after many years. She is a very intelligent person - I do not know if she will flake in her faith and convert back if pressed - I doubt she will allow a conversation to go that far before ducking out of it.

I used to enjoy debate with JWs when I was a Christian   -  I was looking forward to debating them as an atheist...  hmm, one came to my door (2 - they go in pairs).  I was hoping for some passionate intelligent debate from him. He started with nature and the beauty of the world being evidence for god and the 'fact' that the very presence of the diverse animals in the world proves a creator. I told him of the numinous I feel for nature too and that we now well understand how life has evolved into this diversity. I expected some intelligent counter or some discussion.....  I was instantly met with cognitive dissonance from him as he just started shaking his head and shouting..  "NO NO NO - NO NO NO" ...  I was waiting for him to tell me why he disagreed and was going to talk about his 'evidence' for god but they just left. His pal was smiling and wished me good day, while the other guy continued to shout NO!  No argument, no discussion...  just instant dissonance and anger and frustration from him because he had NO answer to my destruction of his argument. I wasn't rude - just factual and ready to provide back up and evidence for my own claims..  It was most disappointing.

 

Not sure how any of this is a response to my post?

 

I have not disputed that some turn to religion in straightened times, but I did mention comparative figures since I have personal experience of some who turned away for the same/similar reasons.

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12 minutes ago, studiot said:

 

Not sure how any of this is a response to my post?

 

I have not disputed that some turn to religion in straightened times, but I did mention comparative figures since I have personal experience of some who turned away for the same/similar reasons.

Sorry - it was just a personal comment that I have seen people turn to it through trauma and it is commonly spoken about in churches (that I have been to in the past) that it is a common driver for people turning to god.  Your question was good though - "What are the comparative figures?"   I doubt anyone knows as it it is probably un recorded and I am not sure how you would record such a thing - I think people coming into and going away from faith in a god is usually more complex than a single traumatic event happening. Things build over years.

The last comment of mine was about the cognitive dissonance I saw in the JW fellow when he knocked on my door and had no reply to my rebuff of his 'evidence' for god. It just seemed relevant to the discussion as a whole.  

 

 

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On 7/17/2018 at 8:05 PM, Janielle said:

The argument against religions often failed due to rampaging cases of cognitive dissonance.

How then do you have constructive debates with the religious? 

Do you want to convert them?

On 7/17/2018 at 8:05 PM, Janielle said:

Debates are suppose to foster a different way a looking at one problem but, we have seen enough of religious arguments to know they go nowhere.

The majority of religious people just want to do what their religions tell them to such as tolerate, forgive, help etc. That's a different way of looking at a non-problem (in the majority of cases).

And the problem ones aren't going to change their minds through rational debate since they're extremists.

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On 7/31/2018 at 4:25 AM, DirtyChai said:
On 7/17/2018 at 7:13 PM, studiot said:

Pretty well all the people I know who have turned away from their religion did so as a result of some traumatic event in their life

How many more turned to it because of a traumatic event in their life?  I hear there is a big turnover. . .

On 7/31/2018 at 6:02 AM, studiot said:

 

Not being a religous person, I know of no comparative figures do you?

If you can source any such figures, what conclusions do you draw from them?

No, my response was completely anecdotal, just like the post I was replying to.

If I had to guess, I'd say that most religious people are born into it.

I was involved in a conversation awhile back about how many times 2nd and 3rd generation christians may not  be as appreciative of their faith, or as dedicated as their parents or grandparents.  They may tend to just go through the motions since they haven't gone through an intense, meaningful experience of having their own personal conversion.

On 7/31/2018 at 6:28 AM, DrP said:

Her post wasn't about her health - it was about left and right brain connections to emotions and logic.

Oh, according to your OP I was under the impression that you were the one arguing about emotions and logic while she was talking about motor skills.

 

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7 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

No, my response was completely anecdotal, just like the post I was replying to.

If I had to guess, I'd say that most religious people are born into it.

I was involved in a conversation awhile back about how many times 2nd and 3rd generation christians may not  be as appreciative of their faith, or as dedicated as their parents or grandparents.  They may tend to just go through the motions since they haven't gone through an intense, meaningful experience of having their own personal conversion.

Yes I made it plain that I referring to people I know who had turned away from religion.

And are therefore now non religous.

You however, did not make it plain that your comment was also anecdotal.

You also asked in a presumptive way, "how many more..."

On 31/07/2018 at 11:02 AM, studiot said:

How many more turned to it because of a traumatic event in their life?  I hear there is a big turnover. . .

 

Your latest response is admitted guesswork.

Yes those who turned away may well have grown up in a religous education.

But you claim there are more who were clearly non religous and "turned to it" and are therefore now religous.

This is at direct variance with your next observation about 2nd and 3rd generation christians (are we now limiting our discussion to christians as opposed to religous people?).

However I would note that (again my anecdotal observations)

Those churches in decline conform to your description of "going through the motions"
They also tend to have mostly older members, who have 'grown up and old with it'.

Whilst those churches enjoying growth have many younger members, often having arrived from backgrounds of religous disinterest by their elders.

 

31 minutes ago, DirtyChai said:

Oh, according to your OP I was under the impression that you were the one arguing about emotions and logic while she was talking about motor skills.

 

You might be right, I and one other member have asked the OP what she meant, without receiving a clear reply.

Interestingly we independantly asked much the same question, in our different ways.

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15 hours ago, DirtyChai said:

Oh, according to your OP I was under the impression that you were the one arguing about emotions and logic while she was talking about motor skills.

 

Her initial post was a poster about left brain/right brain differences which claimed a lot about the physical 'injuries to the left cause problems on the right' stuff that her surgeon had told her was true - so probably is. It also had nonsense about emotions, creativity and logic being left or right - which was debunked I thought. I pointed this out and got cognitive dissonance from her - nothing but anger and emotion. She responded as if I'd raped her puppy or something.

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