The Dangers Of Believing In Mystical Nonsense
What I Mean By Mystical Nonsense
When it comes to mystical nonsense, there is no shortage of it to talk about. Every corner of the globe has it in different forms and variations, and we as humans have had myths since the dawn of our species. Though I won't be able to cover it all, here are some of the myths and nonsense I'm talking about.
- The "Law" of Attraction
- Faith "Healers"
Sticking to archaic thinking patterns is bad for our species as it always has been. At its best, it lends people a false sense of comfort. This I can somewhat understand. At its worst, it turns people into murderous psychopaths, people who are content to be ignorant, or people who are downright lazy.
Believing in myths centuries ago made sense as there were no other explanations for natural phenomenon. That was true ignorance. Now, in 2014, believing in this nonsense is willful ignorance.
Some of you may be offended by what I've already said and what is about to come. That's fine, you are allowed to be offended. And I'm allowed to not care about the offense you take.
I won't engage in semantic arguments with anyone and pedantry will be ignored completely.
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It's Dangerous To Believe In Mystical Nonsense
Believing in myths and magic and fables and religions is dangerous, because it slows the progress of society and people as a whole. I'll give some examples as to why.
- It hinders the progress of science and research. For example, George W. Bush, a religious lunatic, defunded the research and development of stem cell therapy for "ethical" reasons.
- There's no evidence for any of it. Until you see evidence of something, there's no reason to believe. Choosing to believe something in spite of the lack of evidence is what I described earlier as willful ignorance.
- People who spout spiritual mumbo jumbo and pseudoscience--people like Deepak Chopra, for example--make a ton of money ripping people off. Many of these people are in dire straits, and looking for help.
- Ditto psychics. There is absolutely no evidence that psychic abilities are real. In fact, a man named James Randi has been offering large sums of money to anyone who can prove their abilities in a controlled environment. No one has been able to. Aside from this, many psychics have come out and openly admitted they were hoaxes their entire career. Psychics should be ashamed of themselves for taking money from grieving mothers who think they're actually talking to their son or daughter who died at war, for example.
- Astrology is idiotic. I've no idea how it sticks around, especially since Copernicus and the birth of astronomy. It's out-dated and archaic and leads to an illogical way of thinking. There are people out there who actually believe that the stars have a bigger effect on a person than their genetics or environment. Absurd.
- Karma, the same as astrology, is idiotic beyond comprehension. If good and bad karma actually existed, Donald Trump wouldn't be a billionaire and there wouldn't be hundreds of millions of innocent children without access to fresh drinking water.
The list is much more extensive and exhaustive than this. What it boils down to is that mystical nonsense stops people from thinking and being curious. And that, more than anything, puts the brakes on progress.
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Thinking Rationally Works Better
There isn't any situation in one's life where sitting back, taking a deep breath, and thinking rationally doesn't help them. Well, unless you are faced with imminent danger, and you have to react quickly--but you get what I mean.
It's not okay to say "everything happens for a reason" or "It's all part of God's plan" or any of that other intellectually-lazy drivel that gives you false hope and false comfort.
Everything happens for a reason. Really? Let's put this into perspective. We've a universe that's roughly 14 billion years old. There are billions of galaxies with billions of stars in each one swirling around the central black hole.
Every single day, each one of these black holes swallows stars and the planets that were orbiting them, possibly chewing up and killing millions of life bearing planets. For what reason does this happen?
A child is born with bone cancer--why does this happen? Was this all part of god's plan?
And, on a smaller scale, you have things like, say, a person farting. If everything happens for a reason, why does every sentient being emit toxious odors from their asses several times each day? Is this a part of some larger plan?
Drilling down even further, why do random trivialities happen? Why did the leaf blow across the street? Why did the dust bunny hop across your living room? Could these pointless happenings possibly have any larger meaning? No, of course not.
If people took a few seconds to sit back and consider the stuff they are saying or thinking, we'd live in a much better world. It's not particularly difficult.
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Belief And Thought Do Not Change Physical Reality
You can hope against hope, sit in prayer for a month, wish upon a star, and want something to be real--but the fact of the matter is something is either real or it isn't. You can't change physical reality with a mere thought.
(If mere thought could change physical reality, I'd have Khaleesi from Game of Thrones waiting for me in bed)
You can put some cheesy pseudo-philosophic spin on this and ask pointless questions like, "Isn't perception reality?" No, it isn't. No matter what you perceive, things still exist. The tree in your backyard is still a tree. The moon is still the moon. The sun is still the sun. Things exist, or they don't.
And if you really think perception is reality, try throwing yourself out of a moving automobile--only don't let yourself splatter on the highway. Just simply live through it because you believe you won't hit the pavement at 80MPH.
Try flying while you're at it, too. Belief-and-thought-powered flight.
A Last Word
We are all free to believe whatever we want.
Although I have spent this entire article bashing mystical nonsense, I'd never tell you to stop believing what you believe in. In fact, I begrudgingly defend your freedom to do so. I just ask you to think critically as often as possible.
Try to refrain from spreading your personal beliefs in the public domain. And when it comes to ripping people off or childhood indoctrination? There is no excuse for that garbage.
(Note to the faithful: I will not publish anymore comments with meaningless scriptural verses. Nor will I post any unscientific sources e.g. "Pro-life" activist sites. You're free to post that twaddle elsewhere, but I won't promote it indirectly.)