How can I assert my lack of belief when the person with whom I'm talking cannot comprehend what I'm saying? His lack of understanding or misunderstanding creates a wall I can't break. How can I possibly defend my beliefs (or lack thereof) when my methodology of cogitation isn't understood by the other party? It leaves me with my hands tied and leaves him feeling self-righteous; because he can't understand what I'm saying, he feels he must be right. Since when does one lose credibility for possessing superior knowledge?

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Comment by Morgan Matthew on July 29, 2010 at 11:17pm


"Since when does one lose credibility for possessing superior knowledge?"

They already have beliefs, and a set of facts lodged in their minds. The problem is that sometimes the things they think they know are objectively, provably false. And in the presence of the correct information, such people react very, very differently than the merely uninformed. Instead of changing their minds to reflect the correct information, they can entrench themselves even deeper.

“The general idea is that it’s absolutely threatening to admit you’re wrong,” says political scientist Brendan Nyhan, the lead researcher on the Michigan study. The phenomenon — known as “backfire” — is “a natural defense mechanism to avoid that cognitive dissonance.” Via How facts backfire.

I know that article talks about politics but sheds a lot of light that I feel also applied to religion. Featured because so many people like you are in the same boat.
Comment by Fancy Nancy on July 30, 2010 at 9:08am
I subscribe the to Dorothy Rowe's idea (not sure if she originated it) of a 'meaning structure' which we often cling onto despite 'evidence' that it's not based on reality ... some ppl will commit suicide rather than have to rebuild their 'meaning structure' .... also there's the Winston Churchill quote about 2 women arguing over a garden fence ... they could never agree because 'they are arguing from different premises' hoho
Comment by Serotonin Wraith on July 30, 2010 at 4:54pm
He already knows what it's like to not believe in other gods or other things. Yeah he may never give up his belief in his god, but he could come to see how you view it when he thinks of it that way.
Comment by Fancy Nancy on July 31, 2010 at 7:51am
Good point!

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