These are thoughts underlining possible basic components, not a thesis.
The point behind this exercise is not to psychologically explain why people react this way, but to find the similarities and trends in logically false and vague/impossible to prove generalist statements (meaning irrefutable statements) people use at such times.
I started off with the following list, and emailed it to the skeptics mailing list for input:
- X is just testing our faith
- It is us who misunderstood the meaning
- We did get Y as X saw fit, it's just that X doesn't cater to our wants
- We have done something to anger X
- We have not been worthy enough
- Z has not been worthy and ruined it for the rest of us
- Humans are fallible/one can't always be right/X is off his/her game
I'm not sure if this is the sort of thing you're looking for, but one that I've heard a lot:Larry Huntley responded:
"Science doesn't know everything."
"Science has been wrong before."
[I cut her explanation of why this is a logical fallacy from this post, but it is available online]
While I don't disagree with what you say here, it looks like the OP was looking more for rationalizations/reasons that people of faith would use when asked questions like "Why didMoving away from religion, which is not different than any other aspect of human life in having some less than intelligent followers in the mix of its members (and, yes, sometimes uses such tricks to convince the masses to convert), Wally Anglesea brought us back on track:
allow your partner to die of Alzheimer's? You were both very religious; surely you prayed to him to make her well, didn't you?" and "Why was almost the entire congregation of the church wiped out by lightning strikes during the ice cream social Sunday night?" or "Why were all our mud-brick pyramids destroyed by flooding?"
Well, speaking from contact from ex-cult members of my local doomsday cult,At this point I was able to see some underline concepts behind the different rationalizations. While imperfect, the following cover most of these:
Many have expressed the belief that "he was genuine when we were in (including receiving messages from heaven), but at sometime during the period, he went wrong, and the messages were coming from the other place.
Weird, I know, but it's how they rationalise their original positions.
- Blaming self (wasn't worthy, angered X, blind to it, etc.)
- Blaming others (weren't worthy, angered X, bling to it, etc.)
- Claims of misunderstanding (did in fact happen, works in mysterious ways, power temporarily off, date/meaning was mis-interpreted, etc.)
Can you think of any other rationalization I skipped or basic components I missed?
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