Belief is easy, doubt is hard.

Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
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deacon blues
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Belief is easy, doubt is hard.

Post by deacon blues » Tue Nov 14, 2023 5:56 pm

From a Psychology Today article: ... falsehoods
"One reason ______ supporters believe him comes from a basic fact about the brain: it takes more mental effort to reject an idea as false than to accept it as true. In other words, it’s easier to believe than to not."

"While these imaging results are complicated to interpret, the electrical patterns also showed something that was fairly straightforward. Overall, there was greater brain activation that persisted for longer during states of disbelief. Greater brain activation requires more cognitive resources, of which there is a limited supply. What these findings show is that the mental process of believing is simply less work for the brain, and therefore often favored. The default state of the human brain is to accept what we are told, because doubt takes effort. Belief, on the other hand, comes easily."

"For Christian fundamentalists, being taught to suppress critical thinking begins at a very early age. It is the combination of the brain’s vulnerability to believing unsupported facts and aggressive indoctrination that create the perfect storm for gullibility. Due to the brain’s neuroplasticity, or ability to be sculpted by lived experiences, evangelicals literally become hardwired to believe far-fetched statements."

"This wiring begins when they are first taught to accept Biblical stories not as metaphors for living life practically and purposefully, but as objective truth. Mystical explanations for natural events train young minds to not demand evidence for beliefs. As a result, the neural pathways that promote healthy skepticism and rational thought are not properly developed. This inevitably leads to a greater susceptibility to lying and gaslighting by manipulative politicians, and greater suggestibility in general."
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

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Re: Belief is easy, doubt is hard.

Post by alas » Wed Nov 15, 2023 4:20 am

This is interesting. When you think about it, you know it is true. Just how hard was it for us to start questioning the church? How old were we before we dared buy a car that our father didn’t approve of that brand? Or as my sister said, “I knew I had finally grown up when I could buy the brand of toilet paper that I liked, instead of the one that was cheapest.”

And I think it starts before lessons in Sunday school. When we are two and Mom says don’t touch that! Hot!” And we touch it anyway and we get hurt. Then mom says, “ummm, good.” And we taste it and it is good. As children we have to trust and believe our parents, or instinct tells us we could die. Our experience tells us we could get hurt. So we believe what our parents say.

Or, if our parents are lying abusive jerks, we grow up distrusting the world and looking over our shoulder and assuming people lie. Then we are cynical and second guessing and over thinking everything. I know from my own life and working with abused as children clients that living like that takes one heck of a lot of energy. This is why children of alcoholics feel crazy, is that they don’t believe anyone about anything, and life is just too hard.

Even in grade school, same thing. Believe the teacher and you do well. Think you are smarter than the teacher, even if you are, you are headed for trouble. Life is just easier and safer when you believe what others tell you. That is how we learn about reality. Someone tells us this object is a shoe. So we use that word and get along in our world where people agree that thing is a shoe. So, *everything* about life teaches us to believe what people tell us.

As we grow, we often run into people and things we get hurt for believing, so we learn not to trust everyone. But how do we know who to believe and who not to? Man, if I could have answered that for my clients, I could have gotten rich easy instead of struggling through trying to teach then who they could and could not trust.

So, we grow up really wanting to believe and trust people. So, why wouldn’t we apply that to religion. Here is the preacher or teacher giving the lesson, and we are programmed to believe. It is going to take a lot to dump the programming and apply critical thinking. We are going against an authority figure. We are gonna get burned. We literally have to fight our instincts to doubt what someone tells us.

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Re: Belief is easy, doubt is hard.

Post by Gatorbait » Thu Nov 16, 2023 3:03 pm

Interesting DB, and good post, and I concur.

Can't speak for the rest of you, but one of my favorite sayings that came from Henry Eyring's grandpa, passed on to his dad Henry, and to him.

"In our church we are not required to believe anything that is not true."

To me, that's why there is NOM and Dialogue, and all the rest of outliers. People chose to think, and doing so found out that many of the things that they were taught on their mother's lap, so to speak, were not true at all, starting with the Mormon church being the only true church. There is no such thing.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

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Re: Belief is easy, doubt is hard.

Post by moksha » Fri Nov 17, 2023 12:52 am

If you had family and a church reinforcing a strong testimony of Santa, you would be able to spend two years proclaiming to the good people of Des Moines Iowa the saving power of Ho Ho Ho.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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