I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

450. Self-Labeling And Self-Deception

Self-Labeling And Self-Deception

Correct self-labeling is important for people, who are selective in the choice of with whom to interact.   Self-labeling helps to make a fast preselection for the decision, with whom to spend time, what to share, whom to trust, what to expect, whom to avoid.   

Therefore self-labeling has to be specific enough to draw a line between like minded people and mental aliens, but it has not to be too specific.   A label, that is too specific to be generally known does not serve the purpose.  A suitable label is a kind of an umbrella to include people with a fuzzy understanding of the label.  

Also the meaning of the label has to be roughly agreed upon by those using it for self-labeling, it is much less important, how much it is sometimes used incorrectly by others.   Someone using a certain self-label upon himself needs to be able to recognize with a low probability of error any other person as like minded due to using the same self-label.   But It is rarely possible to recognize someone as like minded, if the label is merely attached by others.     

Atheism is such a label.   Mistaken christians interpret is as the belief in the non-existence of their god.   Those using it upon themselves are usually better informed even though it is also a fuzzy label.   Not believing in the existence of a god does not automatically imply the absence of other weird beliefs.    
The absence of all beliefs is called apistia.   But would I call myself only apistic, some people would not understand this not widely used word.    But it is at least probably that a self-defined atheist really is one.  When the adherents of one religious creed use this label for anybody, who is not, they only define the absence of their specific belief, but not of any.

The correct use of a label is based upon the full understanding of the core of its definition.  Many ex-christians have partially adopted other religions as a substitute.  A good example are those, who call themselves both atheists and buddhists, based upon the claim, that buddhism were not a religion.   
The core of buddhism is the belief in reincarnation. That implies the unscientific religious belief in an immortal soul.   The buddhistic religious practice aims at influencing the sequence of the reincarnations.   This practice has some side effects, that are also beneficial before death and therefore without the belief in an immortal soul.   Meditation is an example of a method with such side effects.  
Buddhism stripped of the non-scientific beliefs is a conglomeration of exercises, some physically beneficial, some psychologically beneficial, some merely ludicrous.   But without the belief in the rebirthing of a soul it is not buddhism by its core definition. 

Somebody calling himself a buddhist without believing in the reincarnation of his soul, is using a label, of which he has not really understood the meaning or is in denial of it.   In this case, using the self-label buddhism is misleading.   The majority of buddhists in the Asian countries with traditional buddhism do believe in reincarnation without one moment of hesitation.   This justifies to assume that anybody using buddhism as a self-label is a religious person with an irrational belief, who does not really fit under the umbrella of atheism.  

People simultaneously defining themselves as atheists and as buddhists show a similar psychological mechanism as I already described in entry 441 about the unitarian universalists.   
They succeed in feeling good about themselves as having overcome the stupidity of the belief in a god.   But they also succeed to continue to feel good due to the security and protection of a religion promising them benefits when following in submission to rituals and exercises prescribed by others.    If they would make the mental step to mentally separate beneficial exercises from the label buddhism, they would lose the subjective feeling of security.