Saturday, 9 February 2008

The third dimension of my blog

Today I have discovered a new dimension of how to apply freethought. It's not new to me, not at all. I even have applied this kind of view, for instance in my post about gap filling. But I was not aware of the importance, of how fundamental this view is.

Up to now, I have been aware of two dimensions: truth and utility. But now I come to the conclusion that these two may be quite pointless without the third dimension, psychology. More precisely: cognitive dissonance.

Let's start with the first dimension. It deals with questions of true or false, non-existence or existence of God, evolution or creation, death or afterlife. Very interesting questions but only one dimension of the matter.

From a practical point of view, looking for a kind of thought that is best for living a good life, I have given more emphasis on the second dimension, pragmatism. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Regardless of what is true or not: What is better for my life, freethought or religion? And what kind of freethought or what kind of religion? It is very unlikely to be any religion, but I must be ready to stay open for any kind of thought that may be helpful.

I think that these two dimensions must be linked. That is, a thought based on false assumptions cannot be helpful for my life.

Cognitive dissonance

The longer I think about this psychological concept, the more I am electrified. Maybe Greta has infected my with this virus. I feel like Archimedes when he had his eureka experience.

Cognitive dissonance is a conflict of thoughts that do not fit together. And the most important coping mechanism is rationalizing, that is, explaining the conflict in a way that it no longer hurts.

All of a sudden, when I look at religious concepts or religious stories, I see reasons behind things I always thought unreasonable. One such example is sin. I not only can explain it now, I even can show why in every conceivable religion with an almighty good god there must be sin in the believers. Plus I see now why satanism can make the satan adepts feel better.

This is far too much for a weekend post. I guess it is enough stuff for my next blogging week. Stay tuned!

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