what was your first experience with cognitive dissonance, or one of the first times that you realized something didn’t add up in your religious world-view? for me i have a couple of really early ones (see post here, paragraphs 3 and 4- starting with the words “i think we all of us”- i know great grammar, right). today i was thinking about the song i mentioned in my previous post by George Hrab called “Heaven Must Be Really Boring” (copy and save link to listen). this was actually my first cog dis as a little kid. i thought how boring it was when i absolutely obeyed all of the rules and was super perfect to my friends and family. i thought how fun it was to be a trouble maker every now and then, doing pranks on people or just joking around and messing with people. as a kid i didn’t think i could take it being in heaven where jokes must be strictly prohibited (unless you’re telling the latest jokes you heard from your second grader or something off of a laffy taffy wrapper). “how boring”, i would think to myself. so that was my first cog dis. didn’t think the world would be interesting without good and bad, extacy and suffering. even in the book of mormon it says that those things are necessary to exist together so how could there be a place where everything was sweet, never sour- you never broke a leg or got sick. how could you savor food after going without for a day? how could you appreciate the
blessing goodness of health and normalcy without going through a few days of having the flu or food poisoning? after i threw out my back last year for a day i couldn’t wait to just run around- i couldn’t believe the simple things i was taking for granted like being able to sit up and walk! imagine if that was nothing to me anymore because i could fly anywhere i wanted or even travel by merely thinking of a location (LDS semi-doctrine). and today i had a brother-in-law call my wife saying he would be so sad if he were a god enjoying his exaltation one day without his sister! what? how could you be enjoying your exaltation knowing you had family that was suffering in another place? that wouldn’t be heaven! …and all because your sister was a good person, good mother, good wife, good life- but she’s damned b/c she got it wrong when it came to earth’s theology exam? i don’t believe in that god. couldn’t imagine him separating people from their loved ones just b/c they couldn’t figure out “the most important message in the world”- that happened to be written in impossible-to-understand parables, and context of the times. from the reason driven podcast, ep.1 Robert M. Price says:
and so this theoretically inspired book just doesn’t matter as long as it remains ambiguous. take the part in Corinthians- if the trumpet call is not clear who’s going to come to battle, or who’s going to know what to do?
we’re right to be showing some skepticism towards this gospel that shows a cruel god in the old testament and immoral behavior in the NT. and what if god, being a scientist himself (he created the elements and the universe, right? that makes him a scientist in my book), would he possibly applaud skeptical thought from an individual over blind faith from the same person? would he not respect you more if you were honest to yourself and “doubted” than if you just said “shut up, brain” and insisted on believing?
my other cog dis as a kid was when i was 7 (under the age of accountability), not yet baptized and i saw a picture of a woman in a swimsuit. i realized to myself that i could have sex with a girl if i wanted to (now that i think of it though i probably wouldn’t have been very successful picking up a girl) and it wouldn’t be a sin yet since i wasn’t baptized and didn’t have “the age of accountability” yet. i realized i could do anything in the world and it would be okay. i ended up deciding to just be a kid, play some pranks on people, joke around with my friends, maybe even tell some dirty jokes- in the end, i just wanted to have fun.
what was your first cog dis? comment below.
for more stories of first cog dis’s, see here.