Barack Obama is trying to buy the election in America outspending the Romney campaign 2 to 1… interesting. Maybe he’s hoping he can just turn up at Hollywood and say please sir, can I have some more when he’s emptied the war chest? Janet Daley, perhaps my second favourite blogger on the Telegraph website, has pointed out that Obamacare is equivalent to a poll tax, the one thing Margaret Thatcher did that even she realises was a mistake… Why isn’t there rioting in the streets? because it hasn’t been made clear, and Romney is the only republican in the country who can’t trounce Obama on Obamacare because its basically modeled on Romneycare…
Why am I still going on about the US election? because politics is dead in this country, we have a choice between tax and spend big government, and even more tax and spend big government. If Ed Milliband wins the next election it is time to emigrate but he will only bankrupt the country slightly faster since the ‘Coalition’ has done absolutely nothing to get the budget deficit under control never mind tackle the national debt. Anyway Boris Johnson 2020? to save this country from the mire of socialism I’m betting the blonde buffoon will find some Churchillian resolve and answer the nations desperate call…
Why am I talking politics, because I’ve also been reading about the psychological phenomena of confirmation bias. I come from quite a left wing protestant family, I’m yet to be sold on the scientific basis of evolutionary theory, I don’t agree with global warming alarmists and with my recent debate on abortion I realise that I have strong minority opinions, opinions that have arisen after changing my mind. I don’t think I hold these opinions due to confirmation bias of course (who does?), I’m pretty sure I’m right to hold these opinions, especially on the last of the issues which seems so totally cut and dried to me, I can’t imagine what would possibly convince someone that abortion was right.
I think people believe abortion is a right, because they can’t face the possibility that they are wrong. A change of heart will mean realising the extent of murderous behaviour our society engages in, and for some people realising that they have been a party to it. The mind actively shies away from condemning itself in all areas of sin. We justify ourselves, or diminish the seriousness of our sins in our minds, because we don’t want to admit that we need forgiveness. We need redemption and we come to God, pleading for mercy at the altar of His grace, with very little to offer which is worthy of praise, if anything at all.
Religion calls us to repentance, this is perhaps one of the biggest parts of its role in spirituality. Religion isn’t like a choice of newspaper based upon wanting to read views that you agree with. Whilst there are a great many things that are comforting about Catholicism, the faith also questions us in ways which are far from comfortable.
My greatest triumph over confirmation bias was converting to Catholicism. I believed it was right to be protestant, I believed most of the anti-Catholic positions (though I’m still not sure where I got them because it wasn’t from my parents). It was only when I stumbled into devout and rational Catholics that I questioned my assumptions and discovered that most of my objections to Catholicism came straight out of radical protestant propaganda from the English revolution! literally word for word. I had to battle my way through these reprehensible views I found I had. It was such a striking experience that I think there is such a thing as a cultural subconscious.
After striking down the old erroneous data, it still wasn’t certain that I should embrace the new, I came to university and went to an evangelical church with all the other relatively trendy young things. It was a rather vapid experience, filled with heresy, some of which was really insidious. Thank God I had been raised as an orthodox Christian, because I encountered prosperity Gospel and body soul dualism in really subtle forms that caused members of this evangelical church a great deal of harm. So finally, after living a rather dualistic existence of going to Catholic events and an evangelical church on Sunday I came to realise that you really do judge a tree by its fruits.
So this brings me to the title of this post, it is a tagline from the X-Files. Humanity puts so much effort into maintaining its comfortable lies, that it does believe them even when consciously doing everything to find corroborating evidence for things proclaimed to be self evident. There are plenty of psychological reasons people want to believe evolutionary theory, its a creation myth for atheists, that is what concerns me about it, there are plenty of reasons why people espouse pro-global warming alarmism and most of them come back to money.
It is very important to understand the mythic elements of things. Something can also be both true and a myth at the same time, but the mythic elements are interesting because they are usually what hooks the brain’s interest. This search for the truth, this battle with confirmation bias, this battle with ourselves in the realm of the spiritual is what life is all about. So don’t believe the lie, the truth is out there.
Oh and as an aside, I have seen a UFO and witnessed poltergeist activity first hand… and I promise I’m not a nutter.