Overcoming Childhood Indoctrination

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Let’s see: people who are centuries old; immaculate conception; resurrection after 3 days; transubstantiation; efficacy of prayer; miracles . . . need one be stupid to believe these impossible things? Hmmmm. It sure as hell can’t hurt! Statistically, it’s more likely to believe these things because you were ignorant — just a child — when you were spoon-fed these lies. Either way, you weren’t born believing impossible things. You had to have been taught, indoctrinated, brainwashed. Children readily believe these kinds of things. Especially when people they trust tell them it’s the truth. They then believe it, without ever evaluating it. It gets internalized as a normal, accepted, part of their identity. Later, as we reach intellectual maturity, the dissonance between fact and fiction prompts many of us to finally examine those unexamined ‘truths’. Many of us manage to sort out the lies. But, apparently, many more of us don’t.

Since we’re basically talking about THINKING here, what could account for the relatively low percentage of us who figure out what the lies were?

Is a lot of intelligence required to sift out the lies? I don’t think so. I think confidence in one’s own relative intelligence is more important. If you think yourself intellectually weak or stupid, how can you dare have the hubris to say all your friends and family and 2 billion other people are wrong?

And that’s exactly what the anti-intellectual scriptures of the Abrahamic religions want you to think. In the Garden of Eden, curiosity cost us our immortality. God comes down hard and decisively against using the brains he ‘blessed’ us with. God is threatened by human understanding, so it won’t do to have us thinking for ourselves and taking credit for our own accomplishments. All praise goes to God. None goes to man. It’s self-reinforced brainwashing. These religions would never have survived if people had confidence in themselves. They want you on your knees and supplicant — not standing upright and proud, thinking for yourself. Excessive pride is vanity but contrary to what the Bible would have you believe, pride is not a sin. Pride is a natural, human, emotion that recognizes achievement in ourselves and those we love.

We’re only human; we have limits. But that doesn’t mean you should accept that ‘born into sin’ crap. If you believe you’re an unworthy wretch, you probably will be. The fact is, people make mistakes. But they’re just mistakes — not ‘sins’. We can learn from our mistakes and correct them. That’s how we improve and grow as human beings. You can’t improve by offloading accountability onto anyone or anything else. You’re responsible for, and accountable to, yourself.

René Descartes is famous for his quote: “Cogito ergo sum” — I think, therefore I am. The most real thing you can possibly believe in is yourself. The most unreal thing you can possibly believe in is the impossible. Believe in yourself . . . not in impossible things! Don’t let religion twist things around. You can do it.

There is no God higher than truth.

 


© Copyright 2012 AtheistExile.com
eMail: AtheistExile@AtheistExile.com


 

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