Friday, November 2, 2007


Where there is found to be a conflict between experience and doctrine, it is always experience that takes precedence. Doctrine is either modified so as to create a satisfactory agreement with experience, or in those cases where no satisfactory resolution of a conflict between actual lived experience and a doctrine religious people adapt to this situation by becoming bigoted and dogmatic about the erroneous doctrine.

One example of this sort of thing is that bit about how the religious God is just like a kindly parent, and what kindly parent would ever give someone a stone or a serpent when they asked for a loaf of bread. Of course all parents nurture and feed and care for their children, but God cares for no one, and we have even see weirdoes slaughtering ‘God’s specially chosen children’ and suffering no consequences for doing so. Certainly experience teaches religious people that if they need a loaf they are much better off to look to the protection of Caesar and not rely upon a cracked and broken stick such as a God.

Given this deep conflict that exists between supposed doctrine and actual experience in the real world religious people respond by simply being mindlessly dogmatic about the doctrine of God as a caring and concerned parent. The explanation for this behavior pattern is found in the explanation that modern psychology gives for the phenomenon of bigotry, since dogmatism in religion is just a variant expression of bigotry. Cognitive dissonance occurs when the truth is kept repressed in the unconscious mind. What is on the surface is the bigoted view point, and whenever reality threatens to intrude and cause the repressed truth to surface this is prevented by an outburst of bigotry, or in the case of religious people, an outburst of stubborn dogmatism. Often such expressions of a bigoted point of view are accompanied by hypocritical pseudo-indignation and the source of the fury of bigotry is the rage felt by the individual as the threatened rupture of a type of intellectual dam that keeps the truth safely barricaded in the unconscious mind.

A bigot or a dogmatic needs to believe that certain things are true in order to preserve a certain world view and it would appear that while people can be very dishonest with themselves the human unconscious mind is unable to tell a lie, and this is the root cause of the problem of religious violence and the desire to kill the heretical unbeliever so as to keep them quiet and thus unable to disturb the delicate equilibrium that exists within the mind of religious dogmatic. Religious violence occurs because religious people are dogmatic bigots and people become bigots when they believe a falsehood, or, in the case of religious people, when they are worshipping idols.