Thursday, January 8, 2015
It's when the things you see and hear and experience don't match what you believe is possible or real.
For example, if more than 20 women were to publicly claim the same man had drugged and raped them, it wouldn't be possible for that man to receive a standing ovation at a public performance.
If someone put their name on a social media post outlining the illegal and brutal things they'd like to do to their fellow dentistry students, it's not possible the university would protect their name.
But there is nothing to be confused about in yesterday's terrorist attack in France. It was entirely expected that Muslim fundamentalists would attack the writers and artists who have been saying out loud and for a long time that religion does not trump freedom in France.
There were police guarding the doors of the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, because there had already been an attack over the magazine's publications. Those officers didn't prevent the deadly shootings, but everyone knew this could happen.
And yet, the cartoonists kept drawing, right up until they were murdered by the people who couldn't agree with them. The cartoonists were not confused about what they were doing, and the shooters weren't either. Each was completely convinced they are correct, and were in the business of righting a wrong.
There is no cognitive dissonance in this case.
The question is, are you still confused?