Cognitive Dissonance--What Would You Do?
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29-08-2013, 05:57 AM
Cognitive Dissonance--What Would You Do?
Hello folks,

I have a bit of a problem. In case you don't know, cognitive dissonance is when your beliefs and your actions are inconsistent and you feel uncomfortable about it, tense, anxious etc. For example, if you believe that you should (an ambiguous word but I'll use it anyway) strive to be rational and accept the truth whatever it is, no matter how unpleasant it may be (like God doesn't exist), but then you think the truth must be pointing in some particular direction YET you refuse to follow the truth in that direction, which contradicts your belief that you should follow the truth... then cognitive dissonance arises.

That example is also an explicit description of my problem. I have told myself that I will search for the truth and accept it no matter what, but I have found that I choose to blindly carry on my current beliefs (Christianity) for the sake of cognitive biases... Not sure which specific ones, but mostly to avoid the pain that could result from apostasy--social pariah in my family, unfulfilled need for this being called "God," fear of further cognitive dissonance (e.g. following the Bible's morality without actually having any reason to do so besides it makes me feel sane), fear of suicide, complete lack of motivation to do anything besides that it amuses me momentarily...

I have tried to search for truth AND be Christian at the same time, but praying/reading the Bible begin to feel like wasted efforts... What if there is no God, what am I even doing?

Anyway, my question is if you were having such a problem, what would YOU do? Not necessarily what should I do, but what would you do?
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29-08-2013, 06:48 AM
RE: Cognitive Dissonance--What Would You Do?
This has happened to me a lot the last few years, but I never caught myself staying in the original "wrong" position. You can't force yourself "believe" something if you can't. You don't choose to believe, like you don't choose to like something.

It might be scary to think beyond your comfort zone, but I personally find it impossible to succumb to delusion. You may gradually start getting used to it and the pain will become less and less until you will feel comfortable to get rid of those beliefs.

As for your family, half of mine have no idea about my beliefs and they don't need to know. In case I have to participate in a relevant conversation, I stay silent as much as I can and just nod all the time like "yes, yes, whatever you say is right". And all is good.

Many verses are like silver threads
tied on the chimes of the stars-
if you pull them,
a silver peal makes the horizon vibrate.
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29-08-2013, 08:15 AM
RE: Cognitive Dissonance--What Would You Do?
I suggest you stop reading the Bible and stop praying, then see how you feel.
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29-08-2013, 08:30 AM
RE: Cognitive Dissonance--What Would You Do?
I can't help much because this doesn't apply to me but I would like to think that I would follow the path of most resistance and do what I instinctively think/ feel / sense is 'right' (like 'should' another subjective word).

All I can do is wish you luck on your chosen path.

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30-08-2013, 11:48 PM
RE: Cognitive Dissonance--What Would You Do?
You have to choose between your 'feeling' and what you know. Is the 'truth' a feeling you get or something you know for sure? Do you really want the truth or do you want to create an illusion of truth through good feelings? How do you know that actual realistic truth can't lead to a good feelings?

Is the bible *really* something to follow for
Quote:e.g. following the Bible's morality without actually having any reason to do so besides it makes me feel sane)
?

The bible has tremendous amounts of completely insane and immoral points. Contrary to other's suggestions and beliefs on what you should do, I would recommend reading it thoroughly and even many times. I did and I saw the lack of truth in it. It far from comforts me.

No one can do the work for you. You have to choose to and you have to really dig. Why are you avoid this? Sounds like fear. Your fear is controlling you and you are letting it.
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31-08-2013, 12:28 AM
RE: Cognitive Dissonance--What Would You Do?
What would I do?

Pursue both sides, with all the strength and sincerity I could muster. Increase the dissonance, until one of the motivators breaks.

In my case, I have a modest but secure position in a redundant but durable bureaucracy, with nice benefits and opportunity for advancement. I also have political principles and economic ideals that place me on the anarcho-socialist spectrum, and strong, growing evidence that different parts of the broader organization I work for are variously thieves, assassins, liars, bigots, and conscienceless manipulators of any human in their power. I smile and behave professionally at work, and organize with radicals in my free time. I don't sabotage either in favor of the other. Cognitive dissonance is a part of my complete breakfast.

So, I do what I can. I pursue advancement and efficiency at work with radical podcasts in my ears, and subversion at home unless it interferes with going to work.

Speaking of CD, here's a fun fact. In fiscal year 2010, in the middle of the global "recession," corporate profits in America increased 50% over the previous year. Wages fell by 2 or 3%, while inflation was at it's highest in years. The "stimulus" was working according to plan, doing exactly what it was supposed to do.

WWMWAZSKDTVQHTMJD?
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31-08-2013, 02:18 AM
RE: Cognitive Dissonance--What Would You Do?
(29-08-2013 05:57 AM)edarlitrix Wrote:  I have tried to search for truth AND be Christian at the same time, but praying/reading the Bible begin to feel like wasted efforts... What if there is no God, what am I even doing?

Anyway, my question is if you were having such a problem, what would YOU do? Not necessarily what should I do, but what would you do?
I would work out how I define "truth" and set criteria on how I can know I have found "truth".

For me the Christian word "Truth" with a capital is very different from the dictionary word "truth"
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