Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Religion, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance.

It hurts. Its uncomfortable. Disquieting, even.

That nagging feeling that things just aren't as they should be.

Perhaps I've too quick in discounting the contributions religion (and Neo-Republicanism) can make to calming a fretful mind.

Many people are uncomfortable with the use of torture in Guantanomo Bay. To accept out torture of other humans leaves us with no justification to protest the torture of our own by others.

Not so for Acquaintance X. Acquaintance X (X to his friends) believes that what the Japanese did to enemy and prisoner alike during WWII was horrid and continues to haunt that country to this day. The torture carried out by the W administration is different, however.

How can a normal, thinking person handle this dichotomy? Easy: religion.

Religion gives one the practice to promote beliefs that that one not only doesn't understand, but make no sense.

X didn't just happen to rebuild his religious zeal in the last few decades. He did it for a reason. Something just didn't feel right.

Advocating that today's young men and women should be subject to a draft into Iraq while studding such opinions with anecdotes of how he just barely missed the draft himself creates mental conflict no longer. The practiced soma of religion allows these and thousands of other contridictions to cause no disquiet at all.

sleep....sleep restless mind!


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