“In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time. — From Wikipedia
Let me summarize. As images of the perfectly rational Creator, humans strive for internal consistency. When we simultaneously hold contradictory beliefs or our actions deny our beliefs, there is a stress reaction measured by psychologists.
It happens in families, in churches, at school, work, everywhere. Here’s how it plays out: An honest discussion begins, it doesn’t have to begin with a confrontation (although it sometimes does). At some point, one of the participants knowingly or unknowingly says something or asks a question which exposes a logical inconsistency in another. Usually, it is in the form of the person has said two things, both of which the person still says they believe even though they are contradictory.
Usually, the inconsistent one reacts with some form of sin (maybe anger or malice) expressed in different ways. This is the manifestation of the cognitive dissonance which beings made in the image of God experience.
In more personal relations, it manifests sometimes through actions which don’t comport with a person’s stated beliefs. Sometimes, there’s more to the story, so be careful if you think you’re going to go point it out in others (especially your spouse).
But for the sake of the discussion, I offer “Bob” and a brief excerpt from what became an insanely long twitter conversation. Can you see Bob’s failure to be able to defend his own arguments? When confronted, he quickly makes up a new argument.
This can be frustrating. Not everyone “argues” fairly. Spotting this early is important to getting yourself into fruitful/useful conversations. Bob is unteachable. He simply hates God so much that he will say anything, even if he cannot support it to contradict God’s Word. Ultimately,
men people like Bob resort to hurtful tactics like ad hominem arguments.
Of course, that is what was done to our Lord. Should we expect any better? (Mark 3:21-22)
Possibly as the result of this dissonance, “Bob” has the following message on his twitter if I try to go there:
The profile you are trying to view has been suspended. To return to your home timeline, click here.
For that reason, the exchange below will seem really inane. I’ll be sure to take screenshots next time instead of linking to twitter.