Cynical Resistors 2a - Introduction and forming good judgements
As noted in the original cynical-resistors post, a person by the pseudonym of Gerard is finding fault with the Fatima apparitions. He has a tendency to take the shotgun approach to theology in that he takes aim at a general topic and peppers it with bb's.
Gerard's attacks on the Fatima apparition are an interesting example of what happens when one simply rejects in an off-hand manner authority. In short, Gerard has set himself up as an authority by simply rejecting elements that don't pass his smell test.
In dealing with cultural issues, the smell test can be useful as well as dangerous. The smell test is based more on the sub-conscious than the conscious mind. The sub-conscious, because of its neural access points, communicates with the conscious mind via emotions. So when something doesn't feel right and you can't pinpoint a specific rational reason, it is the sub-conscious mind that has recognized a pattern and is providing feedback to the stimuli. These 'feelings' are sometimes referred to as 'gut feel' and 'intuition'.
In emergent issues, the sub-conscious is critical to forming good judgements and to react quickly in an appropriate manner. However, in order to form these good judgements, the sub-conscious mind needs to be trained. That is the reason for intense training in boot-camps and martial arts programs. The constant repetition is training the sub-conscious mind, not to mention that some functions of your brain actually extends into your spinal column.
Case in point, in 2012 or there about, I read a statement by Pope Benedict XVI and immediately thought that it sounded modernist. I left it at that until a few weeks later, I heard Bishop Fellay make the same statement.
If I was a resistor I would have thrown Bishop Fellay under the bus, stopped attending the SSPX Mass etc.
Fortunately, I am not a resistor, and recognizing that there was an inconsistency, I proceeded to lookup the statement in various reference texts. I was surprised to find that Pope Benedict XVI was quoting the Council of Trent. Therefore, in submission to authority I changed my incorrect belief and 'dissonance' was reduced.
This is a key difference between myself and 'resistors', I will actually look at the facts and if my belief is incorrect, I will align it with reality.
Lesson: The smell test is good for a first check and in emergent situations, but unless one has trained their sub-conscious in a particular area, their first emotional responses run the risk of being very very wrong. So when the 'gut-feel' is telling you something in non-emergent cases, it is always best to stop, think and research. It is telling your something, but you have to use your reason to validate the emotion.