The Pain of Deconversion, Part V – Backlash of Previous Bias

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I’m just going to talk about where I am and hope someone can identify with it.

I see confirmation bias in myself. What initiated my deconversion from Christianity was thinking critically and it keeps me from being able to believe in anything else. I look at things from every possible angle. This is supposed to be a good thing, keeping one open-minded. In its extreme, it keeps one from coming to any conclusion due to seeing the logic in each perspective. I feel the need for some kind of foundation for my life, some kind of belief regarding spirituality whether it involves believing in something supernatural or not. However, every time I’m drawn to any perspective, I notice my own confirmation bias, the inclination to believe what I want. I’m dissatisfied. I’m rambling. And aching for resolve…

I want to believe there is something more than the natural can explain. Part of the reason is because of all the senseless, intense suffering in the world. Some are able to find meaning from their suffering – I’m not speaking of that. I’m referring to all the terrible and meaningless suffering. Refugees being displaced, children being raped, physical maladies suffered for lifetimes. Masses of lives cut short through murder and genocide. How long the list goes. I want to believe there will be some cosmic remedy or even just balance for all of it. There’s too much. Another part is my own selfish desire…

I miss the coping skill of being able to turn to a personal God in prayer whom I believed was attentive, had my best interests at heart and accepted me unconditionally (yes, despite contrary illustrations of God in the Bible, I believed that). It was a blissful ignorance of my bias. I’m now suspect of anything that satisfies my desires for spirituality because of my history of confirmation bias. And yet…

I’m still inclined to suspect there is something more. This is because I’m unable to attribute all the sychronicities, answered prayer and the impression of things always working for my good for so many years to mere confirmation bias and coincidence. Still, there is enough doubt in me to disallow me an acceptance of any alternate spiritual explanation for such occurrences because…

I see confirmation bias everywhere. I’ve explored other spiritual explanations for my impressions of something supernatural operating in my life. There may be aspects that would satisfy my intellect, but most of what I see in those who believe such things is a tendency to believe in other absurd and fantastical supernatural phenomenon. It seems some are willing to check their brain to believe what they want. In trying to be objective, I’ve even I turned to atheist views…

Atheists assert the universe has just always been. Christians say God has always been. Christianity has already been debunked for me in a myriad of ways and it’s no more preposterous to believe the universe has always been than God has. I get that. What I don’t get is that fundamental question – how? If the universe has always been (an idea inconceivable to my finite mind), why is it so farfetched to suspect there’s something more to account for existence than mere science can explain? From what I understand, strict atheists (as opposed to agnostic atheists) reject this possibility. Perhaps they entertain bias like me. Maybe there are things about the atheist perspective that suit what they want to believe.

Learning to depend on myself for explanations of life and solutions to life’s problems has been a tough road. I know it’s a necessity of emotional maturity (about time at my age), but I also know of healthy-minded, intelligent people who have some sort of spirituality. Why is it so complicated for me?

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