2. Contradictions and Double Standards
As I have worked through many realizations while writing on my blog, “The Mystical Voice,” there have been several personal “breakthroughs” in awareness I have made, in much the same way this happened for me back in the fall of 1998 when I began recording a series of audio tapes of myself simply speaking my thoughts into a tape recorder. It was a profoundly enlightening experience for me, which lasted about six months. I ended up recording some thirty plus ninety-minute audio tapes of material for what I had come to eventually perceive as one very large work entitled “What Will Truth Tell Me Today?” I had contemplated turning these audio tapes into a book, but the plan never materialized. The tapes no longer exist, but the spirit of discovery lives on in “The Mystical Voice.” Indeed, this site is all about discovery, and always seeing things for the very first time.
Like many people, I used to believe in many “spiritual” or “religious” concepts such as “spiritual realms,” the “afterlife,” spirits, souls, “special powers of perception,” the traditional concept of God, the exclusive divinity of Jesus, the Immaculate Conception, the Resurrection, etc. I used to believe our rational, logical mind could not in and of itself answer the deepest questions of life, and so I used that belief as a rationalization for why I continued to believe in these “spiritual” concepts. I reasoned that since nobody is omniscient and we cannot prove universal negatives – that is, we cannot technically “prove” the non-existence of something, I felt safe hanging on to my spiritual beliefs because I knew nobody could “disprove” them. This is a very convenient excuse many believers hide away in to rationalize their beliefs and avoid facing the truth. What I didn’t admit to myself back then was the fact that I like everyone else, believed in these things because I wanted to believe in them, not because I had any actual good evidence these things were true. Just because we cannot disprove something, such as leprechauns, the Tooth Fairy, or Santa Claus, does not make them automatically true by default. While we clearly understand this rationale in these examples, we tend to be somehow immune to this same logic in our beliefs about God, maintaining a hypocritical double standard and engaging in the logical fallacy of special pleading. The truth is, I believed in God and the supernatural because the thought of permanent death was terrifying to me, because I wanted to believe “someone” was “watching over me,” and that life had some objective “meaning” beyond what we assign it.
In my last year of college, I took a class called “Belief and Unbelief,” which rocked my world forever. The questions we asked and various points of view we looked into from different religions and worldviews was even more shocking to me than when I was a freshman in college listening to the avant-garde music of George Crumb for the first time after a steady diet of Mozart and Chopin in my high school years. While taking this class I engaged in several intense discussions with my best friend from college, who never really bought in to religious ideas, and did not come from a particularly religious family. One of the things I have always admired about him is his ultra-rational critical-thinking abstract mind which cuts through non-essential distracting information like a hot knife through butter. My discussions with him helped put a much-needed edge on my as of then very gullible mind, and his influence cannot be overstated in helping me become the man I have become and the insights I have gained.
We once sat in on a class on Existentialism in which the professor was discussing the book “Nausea,” by Jean-Paul Sartre, which described the protagonist Antoine Roquentin’s anxious search for meaning in all the things which had fulfilled him at one point in his life, and had come to realize the limited nature of existence itself. It is about Roquentin’s ultimate realization of the indifference of the physical world to man’s aspirations, and that meaning is self-defined since people have the freedom to make their own meaning, since without the commitment to accept the responsibility to create meaning, there will be no meaning. All of this exposure to what was for me at the time very different and intriguing points of view, led me to a profoundly painful and horrific “spiritual crisis” in which I seriously considered the possibility all of my notions of God, the “spiritual realms,” and the afterlife were all incorrect. The arguments posited by Sartre, Bertrand Russell, and Sigmund Freud, to name just a few of the great thinkers/philosophers we studied, were far too convincing and compelling for me to ignore. I found it impossible to stop thinking about and questioning my preconceived beliefs.
For all the strength of their arguments, and while I appreciate and can understand many atheists’ points of view, almost none of those atheists I have studied perceive the most obvious reason of all why God cannot exist – the fact and truth of Oneness make it impossible. Since All is One, then there is truly nothing “separate” from, “outside,” or “beyond” the cosmos, or All, because All is ALL. What is One can only ever be One. What is All can only ever be All. Therefore, there is no such thing as “separate, independent beings” or “separate, independent entities.” The very notion of “separation” is an illusion of appearance, since all things are a combination of various pre-existing elements of the same One, as stated previously in the last chapter. Only if things existed independently from everything else could Oneness not be true. Since all things exist in dependence on everything else, all is truly One. While some atheists can offer many convincing and compelling arguments against the existence of God, they still tend to miss this fundamental reason for God’s impossibility. They also tend to miss the distinction between fact and truth. My experience and observations have shown me that theists and atheists are essentially the same, because both almost always do not perceive the truth of the Oneness of All. Both tend to buy in to the illusion that duality – the concepts of time and space, are fundamental realities, when they are not fundamental realities, and therefore never get past the dualistic game.
One of the breakthroughs in awareness I have made while writing on “The Mystical Voice” is in finally coming to the realization that sound reasoning can always tell us if something is true or false. There was a time I did not feel this way, reasoning “we cannot explain everything with logic,” as stated previously. I have since changed my feelings on this after much seeking, questioning, thinking, observation, and awareness as I have come to realize the fact that contradictions are always false, just like the notion of “round squares,” as stated previously in the last chapter. That is to say – things which logically cannot exist, do not exist. A square can never be a circle and a circle can never be a square, because they each possess qualities unique unto themselves the other does not possess. A square cannot hold the qualities of both itself and a circle at the same time, because the qualities of each are mutually exclusive. That is why “round squares” cannot exist, and therefore do not exist.
The mental stress which arises from the psychological discomfort we experience when we hold two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or are confronted by new information or evidence that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values, is known in psychology as “cognitive dissonance.” This discomfort we experience is an indicator we are not being honest with ourselves, and the fact that contradictions are always false. We know this instinctively from our experience of cognitive dissonance, and we also know this logically since contradictions are always self-negating and are therefore self-invalidating. We often attempt to relieve our cognitive dissonance by engaging in doublethink – which is the holding of two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time while experiencing a profound lack of cognitive dissonance by being either completely unaware of or in denial of any conflict or contradiction. An excellent example of the application of doublethink, is a response many have to the reality of death. Most of us would like to believe we will live forever, yet the undeniable fact is that we all die. In order to relieve the cognitive dissonance between our beliefs and reality, we invent concepts like God, the afterlife, “other realms of existence,” etc. – which serve as our “answer” to facts we cannot accept. But these “answers” we create to help relieve the stress from our inability or unwillingness to accept reality are nothing more than other contradictory ideas, which must therefore be false. We can relieve our cognitive dissonance by either accepting reality, or deny it with things like doublethink, and inventions of our own making to pacify our hopes and fears. Regardless of what we think and how we try to cleverly work around it, truth is an objective reality, as stated previously in the introduction of this book, and is not “relative,” nor merely an opinion or a belief, but is instead what is actually true, regardless of what we believe. If truth was “subjective” and “relative,” then we would never experience cognitive dissonance in the first place, because there would then be no corrective – no way in which to perceive any conflict between what we believe or want to be true, and what is actually true. If nothing was actually true, then there would be nothing against which we could experience cognitive dissonance to begin with.
As also stated in the introduction, much of religious belief requires we engage in special pleading, or accepting a “special exception” for one thing and not another without adequate justification. Religious belief also almost always requires we accept as true that which contradicts itself. It requires we accept “round squares” – that we betray the truth our logical, rational mind knows for a fact cannot be true, and that we ignore or deny our cognitive dissonance by engaging in doublethink rather than question it. This is the essence of the problem with religious belief since it is the blatant abandonment of reason and rationality in order to soothe our discomfort of not knowing. There even seems to be a kind of pride from the religious in believing what is logically impossible, despite the utter absurdity in doing so, combined with the lack of evidence to support their beliefs. This is echoed in Jesus’ words from John 20:29.
“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
While some think this is admirable, I find it gullible and dishonest, just as it would not be fair, just, or truthful to convict someone of a crime without evidence, or honest to believe in the Loch Ness Monster without evidence. It is also fundamentally dishonest to believe in logical contradictions because it is the exact same thing as believing “round squares” exist, which everyone knows cannot exist. This tends to be of little or no concern to many, because the acceptance of doublethink from our religious beliefs and other self-validating beliefs, as stated previously, greatly reduces the cognitive dissonance we experience between what is actually true, and what we believe to be true. The bottom line is, we believe in things, even if they are contradictory because we want to believe in them in order to relieve our cognitive dissonance between what we want to believe, and what is actually true. There are many other ways several religions and belief systems are able to accomplish this acceptance of the self-contradictions of their beliefs from their followers. Three of them are as follows:
- They threaten us with punishment if we dare to question, and offer rewards if we “just believe” without questioning. That is – we are rewarded for being ignorant, following sheep, and punished for being intelligent, critical-thinking human beings.
- They play into our strongest, most primal ego needs and desires, such as the desire for “justice,” the desire to “live forever,” the desire to avoid punishment and receive reward, the desire for “meaning,” and our desire for all things to “make sense” for why our egos suffer.
- They require we accept the premise of dualism as ultimate reality, which overwhelmingly appears to be true from our ego’s perspective.
Dualism is never truth, regardless of what outward appearances seem to suggest. This can be proven with logical thought, because it clearly demonstrates the very notion of dualism as ultimate reality contradicts itself. Why is this? Dualism is the principle of opposites – and not only opposites, but the principle these opposites are essentially separate and “independent” realities from each other, which is impossible. For purposes of convenience, when I refer to dualism, I am referring to the belief in opposites being separate and independent realities. When we think of opposites as essentially “separate” realities – as if they exist independently of each other, one must therefore cancel out the other. If the number one is an essential and independent reality, and it’s opposite, negative one is also an independent reality, then 1 – 1 = 0. In other words, -1 is the contradiction of 1. That means if the number one is “real,” it is negated and invalidated by the “also real” negative one. This means there is no reality in essential dualism because logical thought clearly demonstrates one “reality” is cancelled out by the other. Under such a belief, the only reality is nothingness, which is obviously false. But if these two opposites are really different aspects of the same One, and not independent realities, then Oneness is the only Reality. It is the only non-contradictory way to account for the fact we have existence, rather than not having existence, even if the forms of that existence are temporary. This clearly demonstrates why all notions of dualities existing as independent realities are false. It also clearly demonstrates why all contradictions and double standards are false. If any idea contradicts itself, or requires a double standard, it cannot be true. It’s that simple. When we understand that opposites are not independent realities, but are actually different aspects of the same One, then all of the apparent contradictions of duality are resolved. Reality is a Whole, with opposite aspects never independent from the other, like two sides of the same one coin. That is why the notions of God and Satan, Heaven and Hell, as independent and separate realities also cannot be true. To believe God, Heaven, or anything else exists as a separate and independent reality from anything else, is exactly the same contradiction as accepting “round squares” exist. Absolutely nothing is separate from the whole. All is One. I don’t know of any Christians who would accept the phrase, “God and Satan are one and the same;” however, truthful, logical thought proves the fact that any and all opposites are not separate, but merely different aspects of the same One.
That is why the notion of God as the “creator” of all things is also impossible. For there to be a “first mover” or a “necessary beginner” of all things demands we accept that everything requires a creator except for the “First Creator.” To believe in this requires special pleading, as stated in the previous chapter – that we accept a self-contradictory double standard, which therefore cannot be true since contradictions and double standards are always false, because they negate a given premise, as also stated previously. One minus one always equals zero. Therefore, a premise combined with an exactly opposite premise, negates the first premise. If we say “all things require a creator,” then God too must require a creator for the logic to be valid. The problem is, when this truthful, non-contradictory logic is applied to the question of God, the very logic which supposedly “proves” God, is the very same logic which also disproves God. That is why apologists always have to resort to special pleading – to double standard “logic” to “prove” their arguments for the existence of God. The fact they have to resort to special pleading, double standard logic to “prove” their God makes this God a fiction. It’s as simple as that. The bottom line is, if logic applies to one side of an argument, it must also apply to the other side of an argument to be valid. To hold a double standard is to always invalidate the entire argument. The only way double standards can be true is if dualism is true. Since dualism is provably false since all dualistic notions are ultimately self-contradictory, and all things depend on other pre-existing elements for their existence, then all ideas which originate from this notion of duality are false – including the notion of a separate “just” and “holy” God.
Once it is proven through logical thought that all ideas of essential dualism are false because they are self-contradictory, and requires double standards to “prove” themselves “true,” then the house of cards which is dualistic religious beliefs come tumbling down in one fell swoop. The fact and Truth of Oneness is the single trump card which invalidates all dualistic religious beliefs. It cuts right to the chase and makes all other arguments against the existence of God superfluous. All religious apologists understand the fact their entire belief structure depends on the idea of dualism being ultimate reality. They depend on the illusion of separation being real. They know deep down inside, even if only subconsciously that any careful analysis of their beliefs through critical thinking will expose them for the self-contradictory, dualistic illusions they are. That is precisely why they fear questioning and are so threatened by it. It amazes me I have heard almost nobody plainly state this clear-as-crystal fact for why all dualistic notions cannot ultimately be true – because they are all logical contradictions and therefore impossibilities. They are all “round squares.” These notions include the traditional concept of God, souls, the self, spirits, and “spiritual realms.” All of these ideas are self-contradictions which require special pleading – double standard logic to “prove” their so-called “truth.”
I heard a pastor once try to tell a clever story about a man who challenged God on who could make a better man. When the man reached down to the dirt to begin making a man, as God supposedly did, God responded, “Make your own dirt.” I know this pastor thought he was being really clever with this story, and he even got a few chuckles from the congregation. The problem is, his logic is incorrect, because the first law of thermodynamics states that the total amount of energy in a closed system cannot be created not destroyed. All things are therefore ultimately nothing more than different manifestations of the same One – ALL. That is the only true “eternal” if you will – ALL, or the cosmos, which has always been and will forever be. ALL was never created. ALL never began, and will never end, and only manifests itself in countless forms. This is the only view of reality which does not contradict itself – the fact and truth of Oneness, and with it, timelessness. What we call “creation” is not the manifestation of something out of “nothing,” but the re-arrangement of that which is pre-existing always. As we can see, the very idea of traditional “creation” as something coming from nothing as found in Judeo-Christian belief is also a contradiction, and is therefore not true.
Everything but Oneness is a contradiction because it is only in Oneness where there are no “two independent sides” to contradict each other. Oneness is therefore the only True Reality, since it is without contradiction. Only that which is without contradiction is true, which is why the only truth is Oneness. As long as there is a perception of essential dualism, there will always be contradiction and conflict because dualism is contradiction and conflict itself. As we discovered earlier, there are contrasts – light and dark, hot and cold, and an overwhelming perception of “separate entities,” separation, “independence,” etc. Of course there are. We experience these things every day. The problem is we do not see the underlying unity behind these dualistic appearances. Since the illusion is so compelling, we buy in to the idea these apparent “separate” entities and phenomena truly are separate, when they never are, any more than an ocean wave is ever separate from the ocean. The wave is never separate from the ocean, as they are one and the same.
It is amazing when we stop and think about it, how many religious ideas require us to accept contradictions and double standards for us to believe in them. In fact, all religions that maintain belief in the supernatural would not exist were it not for the acceptance of special pleading, along with the contradictions and double standards their belief systems contain. Any careful analysis of all such religions will reveal this fact. As we discovered earlier, the very presence of these contradictions and double standards within the belief systems of these religions and the need for special pleading in order to accept them prove their non-truthfulness since contradictions and double standards are always false, like round-squares. Contradictions and double standards lack integrity, since they are always created for the purposes of separating ourselves from others, and mistakenly assigning the sole advantage of a position to one “side” over another “side,” with no credible, logical, or factually honest reason for doing so, and is therefore the maker of all hypocrisy. That is the problem with holding contradictions and double standards, and why if we want to be people of integrity – people who are committed to the truth before anything else, we need to question our motivations, the contradictions and double standards we hold on to, and be honest with the truth of who we really are – flaws and all. Contrary to being committed to the truth before anything else by maintaining intellectual integrity and self-honesty, Christianity is instead committed if even subconsciously to self-deception, which is apparent from its blatant and consistent application of special pleading, contradictions and double standards within its belief system. Here is just the tip of the iceberg of the many “round-squares” and double standards Christians are required to accept:
- The exclusive divinity and “sinless” status of Jesus, along with the idea of a separate, perfect “just” and “holy” God.
- God as “creator” of all things, while himself being “uncreated.”
- The concepts of God and Satan as opposite, separate, independent beings, with Heaven and Hell being opposite, separate, independent “places.”
- Jesus possessing “special powers” such as raising the dead, and performing other “miracles” nobody else can do.
- Mary’s Immaculate Conception (as if normal conception of everyone else through sexual union is “unclean”).
- Jesus’ exclusive Resurrection.
- Salvation for those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, and damnation for those who do not.
- The notion only human beings have souls and get an afterlife, while other life forms do not.
- The belief we have “souls” or “spirits” which are “beyond” the natural world of cause and effect, yet can somehow still interact with the natural world of cause and effect at the same time.
- The notion God leaves “proof” of his effects on the world while being himself not subject to proof.
- Being told by “God’s word” to “judge not,” while being subjected to God’s judgment. We are therefore asked to do as God says, not as God does. This is the ultimate hallmark of hypocrisy.
The reason I reject every single one of these ideas, is because they are all contradictions and/or double standards, and I know all contradictions and double standards are false, like “round squares.” I know round squares cannot exist, and therefore do not exist, and anyone who would have me accept any idea like round squares, would be asking me to accept something which cannot be true and therefore is not true. As we have discovered together, none of these realizations require omniscience, state-of-the-art scientific data, or the ability to prove a universal negative. All it requires is the knowledge that which cannot be true, by virtue of its self-contradictions and/or double standards is not true. It’s as simple as that. Ultimately, awareness of the fact and the truth of the Oneness of All is the only which is needed to see Reality for what it is… One.