freedom in a vacuum chamber

February 18, 2009 at 2:04 pm 4 comments

The fundamentalist is passionately excited to exhort people to explore their faith, test it, see if it is true, search the scriptures, and experience it. These things are explored on the emotional level, the subjective level. And books are written which are filled with chapter after chapter of that which cannot be tested beyond one’s emotional experience or submission to blind belief in the ideas themselves.

But when I ask if the texts themselves can be critically examined I am met with blank stares at best, but typically blank responses. The wall comes up, the wall that says, “I will not allow myself to contemplate your question.” I think that is what it means to, “hold every thought captive to Christ,” for them. And responses attacking means by which evidence can be weighed are spoken, without my even bringing up any information which could contradict their sense of biblical inerrency. It is very frustrating, I feel like I am in a vacuum chamber, deprived of oxygen.


Entry filed under: fundamentalism. Tags: .

Mad, Bad, or Bible… knowledge unleashed

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Rambling Taoist  |  February 23, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Good point! What it proves is that the exhortations to explore and test are mere fallacies.

  • 2. atimetorend  |  February 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Yes, I didn’t realize the exhortations were false until I started pushing up against them. Do be fair, I don’t think those pushing back can realize that either.

  • 3. Ben Sanders  |  September 7, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I wholeheartedly agree. I pushed poeple with the same exortations for years without ever seeing my own inconsistency. The Mormon faith is one which preaches that you can read their scripture, then pray to God, and recieve a feeling as an answer. It wasn’t until it was pointed out to me that the test is not allowed to fail that I realized the fallacy. Ask any Mormon what they say about people who have done the test and found the church to be false, and most will tell you they have never heard of that happening. See, if you pray about it and don’t feel anything, you are told to study and pray more; you must be really committed to finding the truth to get this spiritual feeling of rightness. If you still don’t get ‘an answer’ you are told to deprive yourself of food and focus on church scripture until it eclipses all else. Apparently you have to really want it to be true before you get the emotional reassurance which is proof of your correctness. All the while everyone ignores the fact that the first time the person prayed and didn’t recieve an answer it was a failed test. The lack of response is redirected at the investigator by saying that you have to sincerely search for truth to find it, effectively shaming the person into trying over and over. Food depravation and other techniques add to the cognative dissonance created, and if the person ever feels good about Mormon doctrine, even once, it is considered that God Himself has shown them the truth, and to turn their back on it is the only unforgivable sin.

    The same patterns are repeated in many hundreds of faiths, but rarely, I daresay, with this level of refinement and efficiency. It is called ‘The Double-Bind’. More information about it can be found in the book which introduced me to it, and is online free here:

    or in a book devoted to the subject:

    The Pattern of the Double-Bind by Marion Stricken

  • 4. atimetorend  |  September 9, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    The same patterns are repeated in many hundreds of faiths, but rarely, I daresay, with this level of refinement and efficiency. It is called ‘The Double-Bind’.

    That certainly is part of Christianity, waiting for a feeling to confirm what you are praying for. Though I don’t think it would be spoken of that way, of course it is a belief that the holy spirit guides people that way. But wow, that is amazing the way it is systematized in the Mormon religion.

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