Judaism, foundational claims, and cognitive dissonance.

Total Posts:  25
Joined  05-10-2007
05 November 2008 06:54

I found this piece that was written about another religion (Mormonism) that also has serious problems with its foundational claims. The similarities with Judaism, and many Christian beliefs, are very striking. In fact the response to challenges to foundational claims of many Mormons, Jews, Christians, and for that matter Muslims, are virtually identical. It is very difficult to deal with the problem of defending the indefensible and ad hominem attacks are very common. It is also very common to receive an avalanche of red herrings. However one should expect nothing other when there is no evidence to bolster the believers’ claims.

“To trust your mind and to know that one is worthy of happiness is the essence of self-esteem.”—Dr. Nathaniel Branden, American psychotherapist who pioneered the study of self-esteem.

“People with healthy/high self-esteem respect the truth more than need to reinforce their beliefs, even their cherished beliefs.”

Self-esteem is the reputation that we acquire with ourselves over time, particularly with our mind.

“Many [Jews] do not trust their mind, at least not fully. Why? Because of how they’ve been psychologically conditioned by [Judaism].

[Judaism] ‘programs’ [Jews] to mentally flee from, trivialize, and condemn facts/truths/realities that do not support [Judaism’s] doctrines, teachings, and foundational claims. When confronted by faith-disrupting facts, [Jews] have a choice: Either they acknowledge the facts and question and doubt what they’ve been taught, or they ignore or trivialize the facts that conflict with their religious faith.

The psychological result of doing the latter is developing a reputation with one’s mind that the individual (you?) cannot fully trust it. If a person won’t allow their mind to acknowledge and accept facts/realities that conflict with church teachings and widely-held [Jewish] beliefs, the individual ends up experiencing/feeling a lack of confidence in their mind, its cognitive processes (e.g., their critical and rational thinking), and the judgments and conclusions that their mind produces. Religious people who do not fully trust their mind typically become psychologically dependent on authority figures (parents, church leaders, etc.) to tell them what is true, right, the will of God, how they should behave, etc.

[The following paragraph addresses problems that are very specific to Mormonism. However very similar problems of even greater magnitude exist in the Torah i.e. creationism, 6000-year-old earth, the universal deluge, Egyptian captivity, the Exodus, the conquest of Canaan.]

Another common symptom of the psychological dysfunction caused by Mormonism is confusion. Many Latter-day Saints feel confused when they’re confronted by facts/realities that conflict with their beliefs about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, early church history, and other aspects of Mormonism. For example, during the past 10+ years, DNA research has repeatedly shown that the principal ancestors of the American Indians came from northeast Asia, not Israel as the Book of Mormon states and the Mormon Church has taught since Joseph Smith’s day. Furthermore, the genetic and archeological evidence shows that Native Americans lived in the Western Hemisphere millennia before the Lamanite civilization began (according to the Book of Mormon, sometime between 588 and 559 B.C. - see 2 Nephi). Also, not a single bone, weapon, article of clothing or other object from the 230,000+ Nephites who were killed in the vicinity of the Hill Cumorah (according to Mormon 6) near Palmyra, New York has been found in two centuries of people in that area moving the earth (to farm, build homes and roads, construct the LDS Visitor’s Center, etc.).”

(ref. http://members.shaw.ca/blair_watson/)

[ Edited: 05 November 2008 06:58 by Cooper]