Is their sadness edivence of uncomplete faith?

I have a short bit of my history to inform why I’m asking this question. My parents were Jehova’s Witnesses. My Mother and I are no longer, but my Dad and brother are still indoctrinated. When my mom was around 18, her Dad died. She was devastated, as most anyone would be. My Dad scoffed at her agony and mourning because they were supposed to see him again in the ‘New System of Things’ and to mourn seemed unreasonable to him. Well fast-forward a couple decades to a few years ago. My Dad’s Dad died. I’d never seen my Dad cry like he did then and I’d never seen him that way before, it was really surreal. My Mom was so angry that he mourned his Dad that way; not because she’s sadistic, but because of the hypocrisy.
This kind of got me thinking; if they really believed whole-heartedly, 100% that this person was in a better place, why would the bereaved mourn and cry? If you truly, truly believed that your friend or family member are now in some kind of Biblical Disney Land, what do you have to cry about? Sure, you wont see them for a while, but I feel like this display of hurt and loss reveals an uncommitted faith. Am I wrong to find this as evidence that they have not 100% embraced the idea of Heaven or ‘TNS’?

I’ve often wondered that as well - we’ll get together again someday, so until then… that sort of thing.
I suspect more then a few believers are not necessarily strong believers, so in that sense it’s evidence of incomplete faith, maybe. OTOH, sudden emotional shocks will cause people to react in irrational ways, because we aren’t totally rational.

I've often wondered that as well - we'll get together again someday, so until then... that sort of thing. I suspect more then a few believers are not necessarily strong believers, so in that sense it's evidence of incomplete faith, maybe. OTOH, sudden emotional shocks will cause people to react in irrational ways, because we aren't totally rational.
That's true. But I wonder if even during sudden misfortune, people who still despair haven't let their faith fully penetrate who they are at the core of themselves. Or are people lying to themselves? Or am I mistaken from the start in thinking mourning means derelict devotion?

I don’t think you’re wrong, Callisto. I believe their problem is that they haven’t learned to think rationally and meld the various ideas in their minds into an internally consistent philosophy. The term is probably cognitive dissonance.
While I loved both my parents, I didn’t cry when each of them died. Rather, I recognized that they no longer existed except as my and my daughter’s enjoyable memories. As human animals they both had better than expected lifespans: my father at 75 after a lifetime of heavy smoking, and my mother at 92 who used butter and half and half whenever possible and believed fried food was the basis for good living. :lol:
Occam

I don't think you're wrong, Callisto. I believe their problem is that they haven't learned to think rationally and meld the various ideas in their minds into an internally consistent philosophy. The term is probably cognitive dissonance. While I loved both my parents, I didn't cry when each of them died. Rather, I recognized that they no longer existed except as my and my daughter's enjoyable memories. As human animals they both had better than expected lifespans: my father at 75 after a lifetime of heavy smoking, and my mother at 92 who used butter and half and half whenever possible and believed fried food was the basis for good living. :lol: Occam
Hm, maybe you're right. But my Dad's crazy Jehova's Witness religion seems fairly complete; so I'm unsure of what caused his upheaval. I wonder if it is just because he can believe what they tell him to believe, but he couldn't overpower his emotions with his scripture? My Mom is more into woowoo and kind of all over the place. She will accept that bacteria and finches evolve, but not humans. And she will be on board with cosmology, but also with astrology. Not to mention homeopathy; so I can understand if she didn't have an 'internally consistent philosophy.' But to not cry when my parents die seems impossible. I figure i'll be inconsolably distraught. But I'm pretty sensitive. Additionally, I'm from the south; so regarding the fried food, your Mom was right.

Maybe someone with more background in biblical history can chime in, but I think actually people DID commit suicide way back because they were told Heaven was such a great place. Life was pretty miserable back then so the number of suicides was enormous. Someone had to put a stop to it (probably because the tithe/alms basket went empty) so this idea that God doesn’t like suicide was invented and worked into doctrine. And it lives on in our laws against committing suicide, assisted suicide being bad, etc.

I think that grief is caused by the prospect of not being able to see someone again for a long, long time, for the rest of our lives; at least, not in the way that we want. Grief, psychologically, applies to deaths of loved ones, and it also applies to romantic breakups. Same emotion, though usually of different intensities.

I have a short bit of my history to inform why I'm asking this question. My parents were Jehova's Witnesses. My Mother and I are no longer, but my Dad and brother are still indoctrinated. When my mom was around 18, her Dad died. She was devastated, as most anyone would be. My Dad scoffed at her agony and mourning because they were supposed to see him again in the 'New System of Things' and to mourn seemed unreasonable to him. Well fast-forward a couple decades to a few years ago. My Dad's Dad died. I'd never seen my Dad cry like he did then and I'd never seen him that way before, it was really surreal. My Mom was so angry that he mourned his Dad that way; not because she's sadistic, but because of the hypocrisy. This kind of got me thinking; if they really believed whole-heartedly, 100% that this person was in a better place, why would the bereaved mourn and cry? If you truly, truly believed that your friend or family member are now in some kind of Biblical Disney Land, what do you have to cry about? Sure, you wont see them for a while, but I feel like this display of hurt and loss reveals an uncommitted faith. Am I wrong to find this as evidence that they have not 100% embraced the idea of Heaven or 'TNS'?
Of course, there is more to it than believing they'll see them again. People cry when loved ones are going away for a long time, too even if they know they'll see them again in their lifetime. Don't be too hard on believers who cry as your father did. They still miss their loved ones and many probably lack common sense as your father did. I think your father was very unfeeling to say what he said to your mother but maybe he'd never lost anyone close to him before and didn't have much insight about human emotions (religion does that). I can understand your mother's anger, but I suspect he was as surprised (and bewildered) by his reaction as anyone. Lois

In my experience, very few people in their heart of hearts buy their churches entire package and what that really entails. Faith is not logical, nor was it intended to be. If it were, they really would not cry at funerals. Faith is an emotional short cut to have absolute answers to fearful questions. The problem is, it requires so many disconnects with reason. Most faiths actually tell their members to discard intellect and listen to your heart. Unfortunately, even our hearts have some inkling their departed loved one is lost irrevocably on some level. The people who do actually believe, make the less sure among them try to pretend harder. It is very hard to admit, even to themselves that the belief they subscribe to has many aspects that don’t make sense. But I think that the majority of church goers are actually picking the parts they like about their faith and ignoring the parts that they question, but denieing that they do this, even to themselves. No one wants to explain their religious choices because that may indicate they have accepted some really untenable precepts on which to base their lives. If that is exposed, the bottom falls out of their worldview. Our brains naturally take short cuts to quiet disturbances. We naturally seek evidence that our choices are correct. We actively discard evidence that goes against our assumptions and only focus on what we are able to interpret as supporting our view.
I have been in situations were I suddenly suspect I’ve taken a wrong turn, but it am too afraid of the implications of being wrong, and I redoubled my efforts in the pursuit of poor choices out of fear of what would happen if I did an about face. Eventually, all was exposed and I survived the circus I had created, but it was a horribly painful process. I now prefer the bad news “before” the good news approach to life. Pain faced is much more manageable than the pain of facing something you’ve invested a great deal into blowing up.

Handyman, great job of explaining the internal struggle people have of reconciling reason with faith. Philosophers and theologians have tried to do it, and it seems pretty much impossible. It is part of the human condition that we have the ability to reason and when it doesn’t work, we have mechanisms that suspend it. I guess those mechanisms help us get through the day, as long as we don’t start worshipping them.

My Mom was so angry that he mourned his Dad that way; not because she's sadistic, but because of the hypocrisy. ...... Am I wrong to find this as evidence that they have not 100% embraced the idea of Heaven or 'TNS'?
What really struck me about this is how long your mom held on to that anger. It must have really hurt. I can relate. I catch myself bringing up old issues with my spouse when she acts differently than she claims I should have acted in the past. Fortunately we've both grown and I know what she said years ago is not how she feels now. I recognize those feelings as part of me and that it's my job to let them go. I'm not saying that's what your mom needs to do, I don't know her well enough to give her advice. From what you've said, it seems it is your Dad who needs to grow a little here. I know my perspective on death changed when my Dad died, luckily I had kept mouth shut prior to that and did not tell anyone that their grief was unreasonable. And that's the best answer I have to your question; religion does not supply a sufficient answer to the problem of losing our loved ones and when it hits you hard personally, that's when you find that out. It's easy to tell someone else their Dad is in a better place now, but ultimately, the narrative falls apart in the face of reality.

Grief is an emotion, whereas belief in heaven is a thought process. Very often thought processes have no bearing on emotion. This is why we can make a prediction about what we would do under a particular set of circumstances and, at the last minute, do a 180 degree turn. Strong emotions trump intellect and it is why many people believe in irrational ideas in the first place.
Lois

Good point Lois.
Also, isn’t much of the mourning over the loss of a loved one about ourselves…
missing the person’s presence…
facing our own mortality…
and such.

Grief is an emotion, whereas belief in heaven is a thought process. Very often thought processes have no bearing on emotion. This is why we can make a prediction about what we would do under a particular set of circumstances and, at the last minute, do a 180 degree turn. Strong emotions trump intellect and it is why many people believe in irrational ideas in the first place. Lois
I agree, but I would not draw such strong boarders between thought processes and emotion. The way I am seeing it is, our thought processes are influenced by both emotion and reason or intellect. The thought process that chooses faith is one were emotions influence runs ruffshod over reason and intellect. It's the shorter route to having your fears about "existence" pacified. The mind is more drawn to equalibrium from disturbance than it is to laborious thinking, reasoning, and logic. The true "road less traveled". Danny
I agree, but I would not draw such strong boarders between thought processes and emotion. The way I am seeing it is, our thought processes are influenced by both emotion and reason or intellect. The thought process that chooses faith is one were emotions influence runs ruffshod over reason and intellect. It's the shorter route to having your fears about "existence" pacified. The mind is more draw to equalibrium from disturbance than it is to laborious thinking, reasoning, and logic. The true "road less traveled". Danny
Julia Galef has a talk titled "The Straw Vulcan". It's the idea that Spock, from the original Star Trek is a terrible representation of logical thinking. He makes so many mistakes because he dismisses and suppresses emotion, leaving the humans (including us in the audience) feeling that their way is better. If you rationalize based purely on the data, you're doing it wrong.

I’m humbled and inspired by the collective insight here, and I thank you for providing many perspectives for me to contemplate. As a 25 year old, it’s not uncommon to find myself kind of acting like I ‘know it all’, but it is intellectually exhilarating to listen to people smarter than myself (not that I’m a genius or something), but after dealing with so many dull people in my every day life, this thread (and forum, really) is so rejuvenating to the intellect. You guys truly see things how they are and don’t let mysticisms or even confirmation biases skew your thoughts. I thank you for your input and I feel privileged to have received it.