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Thread: Random Thoughts on Faith

  1. #1
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    The heart of the UC

    Default Random Thoughts on Faith

    Seems like we could use a thread for random musings on faith. Here goes.

    "Cognitive dissonance" is a term thrown around frequently in discussions related to the church. The other day on FB I saw an ex-mo gloating over what he perceived as cognitive dissonance in a faithful member. He encouraged the member to not be afraid to let it work and said it was a great thing because it led him out of the church. That kind of thinking has always seemed grossly oversimplistic to me.

    I am currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari - a book I am picked up on SU's recommendation. I ran across this passage a few days ago:

    Contradictions are an inseparable part of every human culture. In fact they are culture’s engines, responsible for the creativity and dynamism of our species. Just as when two crashing musical notes played together force a piece of music forward, so discord in our thoughts, ideas, and values compel us to think, reevaluate, and criticize. Consistency is the playground of dull minds. If tensions, conflicts, and irresolvable dilemmas are the spice of every culture, a human being who belongs to any particular culture must hold contradictory beliefs and be riven by incompatible values. It's such an essential feature of any culture that it even has a name: “cognitive dissonance”. Cognitive dissonance is often considered a failure of the human psyche. In fact it is a vital asset. Had people been unable to hold contradictory beliefs and values it would probably have been impossible to establish and maintain any human culture. If say, a Christian really wants to understand the Muslims who attend that mosque down the street, he shouldn't look for a pristine set of values that every Muslim holds dear. Rather, he should inquire into the catch-22’s of Muslim culture; those places where rules are at war and standards scuffle. It's at the very spot where the Muslims teeter between two imperatives that you'll understand them best.
    Could not agree more.

    (Harari is an atheist, btw)
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
    "It's no secret that the great American pastime is no longer baseball. Now it's sanctimony." -- Guy Periwinkle, The Nix.
    "Juilliardk N I ibuprofen Hyu I U unhurt u" - creekster

  2. #2
    Major disappointment The_Tick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    I struggle with it, but I'm working on it.

    I quit watering the seed a long time ago, and really need to get back to it.

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