Resources/Thoughts on Cognitive Dissonance
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28-08-2015, 08:08 AM
RE: Resources/Thoughts on Cognitive Dissonance
(28-08-2015 06:24 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(27-08-2015 10:22 PM)Cozzymodo Wrote:  I've recently started classes back up again for the Fall semester at a large evangelical college (didn't know when I enrolled four years ago that I'd be an atheist now Gasp ). Anyways, I happen to be talking a general Chemistry course as well as a Physics course, in which I'm sure I'll be hearing about some... interesting science, since my college strongly adheres to young-earth creationism. In fact, one of the interests that my physics professors said in regards to himself is that his is a YEC apologist. Facepalm

This, also with the fact that literally all (to my knowledge anyways) of the teachers that I have had over the last for years all believe in YEC (among other ridiculous things) has made me curious about how they deal with the cognitive dissonance that I'd guess is/was in their lives at some point. Personally, I don't think I heard the term "cognitive dissonance" before joining this forum, but did experience it during my own deconversion.

My question to you all is if you had any thoughts or knew of any more in-depth resources (papers, books, etc) regarding how seemingly intelligent people deal with cognitive dissonance (if that's the correct phrase to use here) in their life whenever confronted by science, or if they just reject it since into not between the covers of their bible. One example of this comes from a friend of mine who is studying psychology, including how changes of states in our brains causes emotional and behavioral changes, but do not seem to consider that this conflicts with their idea of the God given soul being the cause of those things.

I'm also taking chemistry and physics, but at a secular university. We can compare notes if you think something sounds fishy. =)

But about your cognitive dissonance, I am a theist, and my personal mentor is a religious man (Jewish) who has a PhD in Physics from a highly esteemed university and was on the faculty at another ivy league school for many years. He says that if he's tinkering in religion and science together, he requires the religion to match up to the science.

One simply must treat science as a pure subject that is untouched by any religious bias. Then, AFTER the experiments are done, and AFTER the papers are written and peer reviewed, one can see if the science can also make sense in the context of religion.

Challenge your professors to provide peer reviewed material. Challenge them to provide material from other scientists that may explain a concept better, even if it takes them away from their religious agenda. Challenge them to provide all of the positive and negative writings about this subject so you can personally review the data and draw your own conclusions. If they're not able to do that, then I'd start writing a letter to the editor of a large science magazine. =)

Kudos to you for being a believer and writing this in your post: "One simply must treat science as a pure subject that is untouched by any religious bias. Then, AFTER the experiments are done, and AFTER the papers are written and peer reviewed, one can see if the science can also make sense in the context of religion."

But you also wrote this: "But about your cognitive dissonance, I am a theist, and my personal mentor is a religious man (Jewish) who has a PhD in Physics from a highly esteemed university and was on the faculty at another ivy league school for many years. He says that if he's tinkering in religion and science together, he requires the religion to match up to the science." Isn't that kind of at conflict with your other statement Consider
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28-08-2015, 08:20 AM
RE: Resources/Thoughts on Cognitive Dissonance
(28-08-2015 07:19 AM)TheInquisition Wrote:  
(28-08-2015 06:24 AM)Aliza Wrote:  One simply must treat science as a pure subject that is untouched by any religious bias. Then, AFTER the experiments are done, and AFTER the papers are written and peer reviewed, one can see if the science can also make sense in the context of religion.

That's kind of backwards though, you see if religion makes sense in the context of science- hint, it doesn't.

The defensive action from a religious point of view is to:

1.Dismiss all science as an atheist conspiracy

2.Reinterpret religious texts to fit into a scientific world view.

3.Don't think about it too much.

100% agree--Just had a flashback to my religious days and how they would use exactly what you wrote in your post as "explanations" to the scientific world.

I do have to give Aliza credit, though. She is trying to balance the two in a liberal way...and instead of not thinking about it and wearing blinders--she is in an atheist forum Thumbsup
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28-08-2015, 08:46 AM
RE: Resources/Thoughts on Cognitive Dissonance
(28-08-2015 07:58 AM)julep Wrote:  Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind, is a book that talks a lot about cognitive dissonance, among other things. It's written for laymen, but it also has extensive bibliography/notes sections to guide readers to more specialized sources.

I read that. I found, however, that he talked a lot more about the conservative mind versus the liberal mind, in terms of what values each type of person placed on certain things (if I recall correctly, it was a six-axis set of ideals?) and why these ideals were valuated at the rate for each group, how the greater-valued category could override the ability to consider the lesser. When two come into conflict, the brain won't allow the lesser category's evidence to destroy the greater, essentially.

It's definitely worth reading, but it still never quite explained to my satisfaction how it doesn't drive a person crazy, knowing (in the example of my father) that:

1) Atomic Theory means radioisotopes break down at a mathematically predictable rate.

2) This shows the earth's age to a high degree of certainty.

3) Age of the Earth > 6000 years. A lot >.

I guess that's where the "just don't think about it too much" part comes in, followed by the "fuse-blowing" mental defense systems in place, if the two sections of your brain almost communicate with one another when someone forces you to confront the dissonance. Rolleyes

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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28-08-2015, 10:55 AM
RE: Resources/Thoughts on Cognitive Dissonance
(28-08-2015 08:46 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(28-08-2015 07:58 AM)julep Wrote:  Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind, is a book that talks a lot about cognitive dissonance, among other things. It's written for laymen, but it also has extensive bibliography/notes sections to guide readers to more specialized sources.

I read that. I found, however, that he talked a lot more about the conservative mind versus the liberal mind, in terms of what values each type of person placed on certain things (if I recall correctly, it was a six-axis set of ideals?) and why these ideals were valuated at the rate for each group, how the greater-valued category could override the ability to consider the lesser. When two come into conflict, the brain won't allow the lesser category's evidence to destroy the greater, essentially.

It's definitely worth reading, but it still never quite explained to my satisfaction how it doesn't drive a person crazy, knowing (in the example of my father) that:

1) Atomic Theory means radioisotopes break down at a mathematically predictable rate.

2) This shows the earth's age to a high degree of certainty.

3) Age of the Earth > 6000 years. A lot >.

I guess that's where the "just don't think about it too much" part comes in, followed by the "fuse-blowing" mental defense systems in place, if the two sections of your brain almost communicate with one another when someone forces you to confront the dissonance. Rolleyes

I'm with you. I don't know why my father isn't driven crazy by the same set of data, since he's a physicist, but somehow he reconciles all of that with being a biblical literalist. Undecided

I think there's research that suggests that the smarter you are, the harder you hold onto your ideas when they're challenged, even when the challenge involves solid data. One of those things that kind of scares me, understanding that I have cognitive dissonances aplenty. I can just hope that none of them are damaging to me or others, and that I can learn to recognize them more quickly.
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28-08-2015, 11:16 AM
RE: Resources/Thoughts on Cognitive Dissonance
It's about compartmentalization.

While it may be not exactly on topic I think Michael Shermer Believing Brain is something worth reading.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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28-08-2015, 04:17 PM
RE: Resources/Thoughts on Cognitive Dissonance
(27-08-2015 10:22 PM)Cozzymodo Wrote:  I've recently started classes back up again for the Fall semester at a large evangelical college (didn't know when I enrolled four years ago that I'd be an atheist now Gasp ). Anyways, I happen to be talking a general Chemistry course as well as a Physics course, in which I'm sure I'll be hearing about some... interesting science, since my college strongly adheres to young-earth creationism. In fact, one of the interests that my physics professors said in regards to himself is that his is a YEC apologist. Facepalm

This, also with the fact that literally all (to my knowledge anyways) of the teachers that I have had over the last for years all believe in YEC (among other ridiculous things) has made me curious about how they deal with the cognitive dissonance that I'd guess is/was in their lives at some point. Personally, I don't think I heard the term "cognitive dissonance" before joining this forum, but did experience it during my own deconversion.

My question to you all is if you had any thoughts or knew of any more in-depth resources (papers, books, etc) regarding how seemingly intelligent people deal with cognitive dissonance (if that's the correct phrase to use here) in their life whenever confronted by science, or if they just reject it since into not between the covers of their bible. One example of this comes from a friend of mine who is studying psychology, including how changes of states in our brains causes emotional and behavioral changes, but do not seem to consider that this conflicts with their idea of the God given soul being the cause of those things.
Everybody experiences cognitive dissonance on some scale in their lives. Imo, it is one of the most significant stressing factors in human life. Now, the grater the dissonance between two cognitive elements the grater is the stress that it produces.
You can only fully resolve CD by removing the D from the equation by rejecting one of the opposing ideas , but if one is unable to do this, usually they go for rationalizations and/or denial to reduce the stress from CD.

. . . ................................ ......................................... . [Image: 2dsmnow.gif] Eat at Joe's
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08-09-2015, 07:11 AM
RE: Resources/Thoughts on Cognitive Dissonance
I think the cognitive dissonance barrier comes down when people are confronted by truths which are outside their established belief system/world-view. It's akin to the fight-or-flight reaction when confronted by a physical danger but here we're talking about a philosophical/metaphysical threat.

I think the tactic adopted by the OP's fiancee is a clever one. Taking baby-steps in sowing the seeds of doubt in the mind of the unthinking theist by pointing out small but obvious inconsistencies in their views and getting them to agree that there is some merit in whatever they're (on the face of it) dead against.

I too have to ask the OP why on earth he's doing science at an educational establishment where evidence-based science appears to play second fiddle to pre-determined beliefs?
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