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Cognitive dissonance and belief

I recently received an email from someone who tracked me down via Mi Yodeya. I thought I would share it with you, along with my response, since it touches on some issues that many people find relevant. Dear Rabbi, I am a new user at Mi Yodeya and saw your "cognitive dissonance" remark. I hope you don't mind my asking you a question directly, out of public scrutiny. I am Jewish and an atheist. Isn't all religious belief cognitive dissonance? "If God is good, he isn't God; If God is God , he isn't good." Hope this is not inappropriate. I look forward to hearing from you should you choose to do so. With kind regards, [Name withheld] My response: Dear [Name withheld], Firstly, I'm very touched a

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