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← How to overcome indoctrination

Al Denelsbeck's Avatar Jump to comment 13 by Al Denelsbeck

It helps that you already know it's indoctrination. One of the smartest things that religions ever adopted was exploiting our tendencies towards "social thinking."

We have very distinctive feelings to go with the flow, to adapt our thinking and our preferences towards what our community seems to follow. What you're feeling are internal punishments about rejecting your 'tribe,' instincts that serve a useful purpose to a certain degree, because we're social animals. What hasn't yet taken effect is your confidence in being correct about the worldview you now hold, which can overcome your anxiety over abandoning your previous beliefs.

With that in mind, I can suggest three courses of action:

1) Take the time to completely, carefully, and diligently examine why you left religious belief in the first place, and feel free to compare this against any argument provided in counterpoint (I'm not worried that you'll hold fast);

2) Recognize that every time you feel this way, you're letting emotional reactions trump cognitive thought, and we have brains with much more functionality than simply reacting;

3) Hang out with others that think like you do. I'm reluctant to even suggest it, because it smacks of exactly the same kind of behavior that produced your issues in the first place (community reaction and 'peer pressure',) but it can help to alleviate frustration and the feelings of isolation. Just one person openly saying, "Of course religion is childish!" can hold you off all day ;-)

Good luck!

Sun, 08 Jul 2012 17:58:23 UTC | #948771