Worldviews: Why do we believe something, which cannot be proved ?

Worldviews like religions and ideologies, but also atheism and superstition cannot be proved in a scientific manner, but at least superstition and and ideologies can get disproved.

It is quite easy for instance to prove, that Astrology tells nonsense. We only have to give the same data about a person or an event to several Astrologists and we will see, that we will get quite diffuse and wrong answers. But believers in astrology are not interested, to find out the truth about astrology.

The same attitude we find at  believers in ideologies. They are not prepared, to take into account the facts, which disprove their ideologies.

Even worse it gets with pure superstitions.

Apparently many people are prepared to believe in something, which cannot be proved to be true or they even go on to believe in it, if it can get disproved.

Question therefore is, why many people prefer to believe and are not willing to be sceptical and investigate, if a worldview tells them pure nonsensce  like the Scientology Church for instance, which has nothig to do with a religion and even less with science. It is just an invention of the Science Fiction Author  Ron Hubbard, who wanted to avoid  to pay taxes.

Ideologies have quite a simple worldview and they always find a minority, which they can accuse, to cause all problems in a society:

  • communist ideologies claim, that the capitalists cause all problems. But we have seen, that these ideologies only  establish  a  class of communist functionaries, which suppress  the majority, exploits them, tortures and murders them. And in general, many functionaries also get murdered.
  • the opposite ideolgies, like the fascistics, do the same. The only difference to the communists is, that the fascists focus onto their own nation. But they murder many of it.

Religions are much more difficulty to judge:

  • religions try to explain, what the sense of human life is and how the universe was created.

And because science cannot give an answer to these questions or disprove, what religions teach us, we must find out ourselves, how much we can trust religions.

  • It is a shame, that many religions fight against the others and are also responsible for many wars and that destroys the credibility of their organizations.

But I will not investigate these criminal actions of the organizations, but focus on the basic teachings of the founders of  the main religions:

  • what did the founders teach ( not what the later theologians taught, who always created very complicated teachings, because they wanted to solve contradictions between their religion and the world around them. )
  • did they prove by their own life, that they believed in their teachings
  • what is similar and what is different in the teachings of the main religions
  • what can science tell us nowadays about those religious questions

Before we start, to investigate those questions, we   try to find out, why we are prepared to believe in teachings, which cannot be proved scientifically, but also cannot  be disproved by science.

The depth psychologist  Carl Jung investigated myths, religions and fairy tales of many civilizations and came to following conclusions:

( citation from wikipdia )

Jungian views

  • The unconscious contains:
    • repressed experiences and other personal-level issues in its „upper“ layers
    • and „transpersonal“ (e.g. collective, non-I, archetypal) forces in its depths.
    • The semi-conscious contains or is, an aware pattern of personality, including everything in a spectrum from individual vanity to the personality of the workplace.
  • Archetypes are primordial elements of the Collective Unconscious in the psychology of Carl Gustav Jung.
    • Archetypes form the unchanging context from which the contents of cyclic and sequent changes derive their meanings.
    • Duration is the secret of action.
  • The psyche spontaneously generates mythico-religious symbolism or themes
    • and is therefore spiritual or metaphysical, as well as instinctive, in nature.
    • An implication of this is that the choice of whether to be a spiritual person may be beyond the individual
    • whether and how we apply it, including to nonspiritual aspirations.
  • All minds, all lives, are ultimately embedded in some sort of myth-making in the form of themes or patterns.
    • Mythology is therefore not a series of old explanations for natural events, but rather the richness and wonder of humanity played out in a symbolical, thematic, and patterned storytelling.

The Neurologist Mac Lean has tried, to identify brain structures, which can be related to different kinds of thinking.

He thinks, that during the evolution of mammals and human beings,  new brain structures were added to the existing ones, so that a hierarchical structure of brain structures can be related to a hierarchy  of behaviour and  thinking patterns:

  • reptilian complex –>  responsible for species-typical instinctual behaviour like:
    • aggression
    • dominance
    • territorialitiy
    • ritual displays
  • paleomammalian complex  arose early in the mammalian evolution –> responsible for:
    • motivation and emotion in feeding
    • reproductive behaviour
    • parental behaviour
  • neomammalian complex, in higher mammals and in humans  –> responsible for:
    • conferring the ability of language
    • abstraction
    • planning
    • perception

We will see, when we investigate information networks in more detail, that hierarchical structures in them are needed, if these networks get too complex or if they evolve.

  • It is just not possible, to exchange the informations in a too complex network.

If we look at the Model of Mac Lean and the findings  of Carl Jung, then we can derive the assumption, that the brain structure, which was needed, to develop the concept of superior beings, like many gods or only one god, must have developed during the paleomammalian and the neomammalian period,  because parential behaviour must have been developed, before the concept of a superior    father like-being  could be understood.

  • Jesus teaches us, that there exists  only one God, who is Jahwe, who is his and our father in heaven.
  • And in the Quran, Allah confirms, that he is Jahwe and that Jesus is one of his prophets.
    • And Allah takes care of humans, like a good father ( or mother ) take care of their children. This can be seen in the  Suras, in which guide lines are given, how married couples shall solve their conflicts and how a happy family life can be achieved.

These obervations do not support the atheists, who  would like to think, that there does not exist a God, because the concept of God probably needed the evolution of a brain structure. If there exists an omnipotent God, then it could be just his method, how to enable  humans, to understand, that God exists.

Of course, we could ask, why God in the holy scriptures did not already teach mankind all, what natural sciences has found out.

  • people at the time, when these holy books were written down, would not have understood it.
  • if God has so many enthusiastic servants, whom we call  natural scientists, why should he teach all to us ?  It could be much more enjoying to him, to observe, how humans do their best, to understand his mavellous universe.

Having taken a short look at depth psychology and the evolution of the mammal brain, we will start in the next posts  to have a look at the basic teachings of the founders of religions.

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