Atheists Are Not Immune to Cognitive Dissonance
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13-01-2012, 12:16 PM
Atheists Are Not Immune to Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance, the feeling of discomfort held by holding opposing/hypocritical beliefs, is something that a lot of atheists put down theists for. When we see a scientist like Francis Collins tell us that he believes in both the scientific method and in Christianity, we wonder how he can be skeptical except in the case of his belief system. I don't think we're atheists because we don't hold conflicting beliefs... I think we're just as capable, but we choose not to do it to religion.

For instance, thanks to a TV show called Wonder Showzen, I've seen how hot dogs are made. It's disgusting and unappetizing. Since learning that, have I stopped eating hot dogs? Not a chance. I simply compartmentalize that information so I don't think about it while eating hot dogs. Even when I realize that I'm doing something disgusting, I simply deny my knowledge until I've finished my meal.

I think all of us atheists do this. Are you both an advocate of human health and a smoker (or user of other unhealthy substances)? Do you laugh at how smokers risk their lives while you drive to the gas station in inclement weather to get a soda and candy bar? Do you get upset at people who have opinions different from your own, but believe that others should accept your opinions? Do you mock the religious despite your anger at being mocked for being an atheist?

I think we're all capable of hypocrisy and double-standards. I don't believe being atheists keeps us from these normal human behaviors. Do you recognize areas in your life in which you know you do wrong but do it anyway? Do you think it's possible to live without a bit of denial?

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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13-01-2012, 02:09 PM
RE: Atheists Are Not Immune to Cognitive Dissonance
No.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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13-01-2012, 02:25 PM
RE: Atheists Are Not Immune to Cognitive Dissonance
I know all of these things but I simply don't care. There's a difference. Hot dogs are made from WHAT!?.................fuck it. Whatever. There's nothing wrong with them.

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13-01-2012, 02:37 PM
RE: Atheists Are Not Immune to Cognitive Dissonance
Heck no! Life is full of this.

Our brains are mapped to pick up and 'believe' patterns for survival. We will create patterns telling ourselves that a truth is real, whether it is or not. It is really hard to be 100% objective all the time, in fact I'd say impossible. We have to create a balance in life for ourselves, and by create that means exactly what you say, compartmentalize certain facts and truths. It is a coping mechanism. For example, when one has a tragic event they sometimes can not remember a single thing, sometimes for years, sometimes never. But when they are ready and the mind can handle it, the truth shows and we have to deal with it. It's quite amazing!
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13-01-2012, 03:14 PM
RE: Atheists Are Not Immune to Cognitive Dissonance
I do this all the time. I justify things like health and smoking with thoughts like 'I work out so smoking isn't really that big a deal'. I did quit smoking last week though.

I never really thought much about the subject but I wouldn't have assumed it was limited to theists. We are all hypocrites and if you aren't stupid can usually recognize when you are being one. Problem is that we justify why we are still right most of the time.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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13-01-2012, 08:19 PM
RE: Atheists Are Not Immune to Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive dissonance can be a useful tool as long as you realize you are using it.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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14-01-2012, 05:58 PM
 
RE: Atheists Are Not Immune to Cognitive Dissonance
(13-01-2012 12:16 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  Cognitive Dissonance, the feeling of discomfort held by holding opposing/hypocritical beliefs, is something that a lot of atheists put down theists for. When we see a scientist like Francis Collins tell us that he believes in both the scientific method and in Christianity, we wonder how he can be skeptical except in the case of his belief system. I don't think we're atheists because we don't hold conflicting beliefs... I think we're just as capable, but we choose not to do it to religion.

For instance, thanks to a TV show called Wonder Showzen, I've seen how hot dogs are made. It's disgusting and unappetizing. Since learning that, have I stopped eating hot dogs? Not a chance. I simply compartmentalize that information so I don't think about it while eating hot dogs. Even when I realize that I'm doing something disgusting, I simply deny my knowledge until I've finished my meal.

I think all of us atheists do this. Are you both an advocate of human health and a smoker (or user of other unhealthy substances)? Do you laugh at how smokers risk their lives while you drive to the gas station in inclement weather to get a soda and candy bar? Do you get upset at people who have opinions different from your own, but believe that others should accept your opinions? Do you mock the religious despite your anger at being mocked for being an atheist?

I think we're all capable of hypocrisy and double-standards. I don't believe being atheists keeps us from these normal human behaviors. Do you recognize areas in your life in which you know you do wrong but do it anyway? Do you think it's possible to live without a bit of denial?

Dont get your facts from Wonder Showzen..just saying........

D
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15-01-2012, 10:38 PM
RE: Atheists Are Not Immune to Cognitive Dissonance
(14-01-2012 05:58 PM)Denicio Wrote:  Dont get your facts from Wonder Showzen..just saying........

D

It's not from Wonder Showzen, it was merely an educational video put out by the government (?) that was parodied on that show.

Don't watch this if you want to enjoy hot dogs in the future.

I own a funny little book called "The Paranoid's Pocket Guide" which is full of things to worry about. It's hard to live with lots of knowledge.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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