“Believe What You Want”? Part 5
Welcome back! Thank you for exploring with me.
I have suggested that seemingly innocuous delusions–and one which is not only popular, but the basis for many peoples’ lives — are the seedbed for accepting as fact more immediately dangerous delusions. However, I have not explained how this is possible and likely; nor have I named the dangerous delusions they support. Herein I shall do both of these things — and I will reverse the order of the original big three delusions to make a point. (If you were here at the time of this writing, I would have asked you to wish me luck.) Here goes what went:
What Some “Believe”
So — many people “believe” that “Jesus” — or “Yeshua”, a very common Hebrew name at the time this man lived — is the personal son of the creator of the known universe,also known as “God” — and that he (Jesus) is a part of that god all the same. They also “believe” that there is a spirit, in addition to God and Jesus called the “Holy Spirit” or “Holy Ghost” — making Jesus, his father, “God” and the Holy Spirit a trinity — whom believers entrust everything to — and that all three can collectively be referred to as “God” — also known as “Yahweh” (from “Yahweh Sabaoath”, or “God of Armies”. This amalgamation controls the universe.
Because there are three deities in one, here, Christianity is considered by anthropologists to be a polytheistic religion. However, Christians think there isn’t more than 1 god in their faith. And — if we look at Roman Catholicism, their pantheon also includes tens (hundreds?) of saints, who also supposedly have supernatural powers and answer prayers — intervening in the affairs of humanity — and possessing will over the physical universe (which, of course, violates the laws of physics).
What ‘Believe’ Also Applies To
As stated earlier (also against the laws of physics and observation)—other people (probably Christians) think it’s true that the Earth is flat.
Finally, still others think it’s true that we (humanity) have not landed on the moon.
I mentioned the Jesus delusion first, because it is arguably the most wide-spread, pervasive, socially acceptable and powerfully supported of the delusions known to humanity, so—let’s talk about that one for a while.
First, the Jesus belief is a most powerful supporter of delusion–as all theist religions tend to be powerful–because when people think it is true that the whole of human knowledge and the laws of physics themselves are subject to the will and whim of one conscious entity–there is perhaps nothing that can be asserted to convince these people that human beings have any complete, final, discernible authority over any bit of information or action under the sun–or, under any sun in any galaxy in any part of the entire universe — without the final will being that of their god(s) (and Saints?); “If it’s in God’s will….”
Now–the reason I broke with my general practice of avoiding the use of the word ‘belief’ — abov — is to make a point:
Usually I use phrases like ‘think it is true that’ or ‘think it is not true that’ — because in our culture ‘belief’ and ‘believe’ carry with their accepted meaning the corrupt ability to relieve a person of moral, intellectual and rational responsibility in an argument or discussion, and these words and their connotations allow for some incredible claims (implied or stated) without the speaker having to pay a “social price” — as Sam Harris would call the ostensible penalty — for those statements.
And what that has to do with my argument is, I feel that the more we use a phrase, the more we normalize its use, and the less we use it the more we may be prone to use better terms and phrases — which affects everything.
The Power of ‘Believe’
The very use of ‘believe’ changes the nature of the words that come after it in a way no other word has the power to. ‘Believe’ insulates words that follow it as the most powerful antecedent in our language. It protects words and ideas from criticism after a certain point and blocks analysis of their claims. This is because we continually agree to decide that belief is the a gate-keeper, of sorts, of things sacred–which are not argued about or challenged in polite company. And it is used this way–sometimes intentionally, sometimes not–to shut down conversation–and this, in my view (and in the view of some philosophers) is immoral, because it furthers, engenders, promotes and fortifies dishonesty–which keeps us from the truth. And the truth is the basis for all things good.
To demonstrate the power of the word believe, against the words ‘think is true’, let’s put some phrases side by side and see how they affect our thinking:
- Using ‘believe’:
I believe that Jesus is the personal son of the creator of the universe and a part of that god all the same–and I believe He/they control(s) the universe.
2. Using I think its true’:
I think it’s true that Jesus is the personal son of the creator of the universe and a part of that god all the same–and I think it’s true that He/they control(s) the universe.
How do these phrases ring in your mind?
Do they sound the same or different in meaning–from one another?
Think about that for a while and I will see you in a day or so.
Thank you for reading.
I wish you Love, peace, joy, imagination and enlightenment (not necessarily in that order)!
©︎ Copyright 2021 Carl Atteniese / All rights reserved