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The Dangers Of Believing In Mystical Nonsense

Updated on November 14, 2014
The Christian cross. To me, just a symbol of mystical nonsense.
The Christian cross. To me, just a symbol of mystical nonsense. | Source

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.

  • Religion
  • Spirituality
  • The "Law" of Attraction
  • Karma
  • Astrology
  • Psychics
  • Magic
  • 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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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A Thinking Philosopher.
A Thinking Philosopher. | Source

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.)


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    • Blake83 profile image

      Blake 3 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY

      Thank you fpher. I appreciate you commenting and value your perspective.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Blake.....Extremely interesting Hub....well-written. You are quite a talented writer.

      I have one issue with your list. "Karma" is as real as rain, Blake. Perhaps giving it the name, "Karma," and proceeding to explain one's understanding of it, causes some people a little pause. However, at it's core, it's really a matter of cause and effect. Surely this is clear reality.

      I realize that for hard core believers, Karma can go fairly deep and mystical, but that's not how I view it at all.

      It's more or less a viable reminder to human beings that "you get what you give"..........and there's nothing wrong with that line of thinking.

      Good hub, Blake.....with much thought behind it....Up+++

    • Blake83 profile image

      Blake 3 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY

      John, it wasn't quite hate, because I don't take your faith seriously enough to have hatred toward it. But yes, I was definitely making fun of your faith and dressing it down with sarcasm for the mystical nonsense that it is. Nothing was sugar coated here at all, and to drive the point home, I find your name to be particularly idiotic.

      If you want to find hate, read your own scriptures. I can give you a bunch of verses if you'd like, and then you can play mental gymnastics to explain them away. Or cherry-pick.

      And it wasn't a premise, it's just a fact. Spirituality and the mystic have no evidence to support them. Believing in them is therefore illogical as you're believing them in spite of a lack of evidence. That's actually where the fundamental error is.

      If in the event there's any evidence to support your insidious faith or any other form of mystical nonsense, I'll change my opinion immediately. But I already said that in the article.

    • John of the Cross profile image

      John Cross 3 years ago from In the Vineyard

      Not a 'direct' attack on Christianity, but an attack, nonetheless. The cross you use as an image for the article strikes as inflammatory set beside the name of the piece. Your premise that spirituality and the mystic are not compatible with rationality is a fundamental error. Sugar coat hate any way you'd like, under the cross of Christianity or the rationality of the atheist, and it's still hate.

    • Blake83 profile image

      Blake 3 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY


      Yeah, I figured there'd be at least one Christian who would chime in with something. It's annoying, because this isn't a direct attack on Christianity and I don't want the discussion to center on that specific faith. They've had plenty of attention, ruling the world with an iron fist for thousands of years.

      I'm also an agnostic atheist, meaning I don't believe in god(s) due to the lack of evidence, but I'll never dismiss anything off hand. Good to keep an open mind.

      You make good points re: the 4th dimension. I remember the Cosmos episode well :). That very well could be an explanation for many of the supernatural things that happen. And yeah, there are some physicists, like Michio Kaku, who think there may be up to 11 dimensions. That leaves all sorts of possibilities open.

      As far as human energy is concerned, there might be something there. I'm not sure. I hope there is, because that would be fantastic. I'd actually love a world like that. Would have to see it proved tough.

    • CarolynEmerick profile image

      Carolyn Emerick 3 years ago

      I came out of that Christian brainwashing and deal with comments like the ones you're getting and undoubtedly will continue to get if you keep writing articles like this. They repeat the same phrases over and over like parrots. Everything every single thing a Christian says in a debate is a phrase I've heard 100 times over. It's never anything new or profound that actually came out of their own head.

      Anyway, when it comes to spiritualism or another realm, I'm really more agnostic. Myths serve as metaphors and guideposts for life. (And, yes, Christianity is a myth just like any other. I do believe in an historical Jesus, but that he was very different to the mythical Jesus his followers believe in, but that is a other conversation!). There are actually atheist pagans out there who use the gods as archetypal symbols and the myths as metaphor.

      in the original Cosmos, I don't remember which episode, Carl Sagan explained the theory of the fourth dimension and explained how our senses live in three dimensions so we aren't aware of the fourth... Except for the odd time when it slips into the third. Other dimensions are theorized by prominent physisists today (don't ask me to name them! Lol). I believe there is truly a scientific explanation for "supernatural" phenomena, we're on the cusp of discovering it.

      Also a lot has been written in the science sphere about being able to read and measure energy waves emitted by the human body, so being able to develop and control energy is not as far "out there" as you might think. The hippies and new Agers have been talking about energy for decades, and now science agrees that all matter is literally energy. Crystals have a measurable vibration. I mean, watchmakers have known THAT for centuries! Quartz watches? The quartz is in there to keep the time steadied by the vibration of the crystal. So energy emitted by people (auras), crystals, "vibes," and so forth, is really not all that goofy. Science and spiritualism often discuss the exact same thing. They just look at it through different lenses and speak a different language so they can't see or understand each other.

    • Blake83 profile image

      Blake 3 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY

      Which he shouldn't have done. And embryonic stem cell therapy is discussed in several of the medical and scientific journals within the link I posted. You can't say embryonic stem cell therapy doesn't work when it's been proved to work.

      Besides, that was one example. Another example of religious nuts impeding scientific progress is them trying to block evolution from being taught in schools, or peddling the nonsensical and pseudoscientific intelligent design.

      At which point is an embryo life? At two cells? 4? 8? Are you one of those "life begins at conception" people?

      The verse is meaningless. Might as well have posted a quote from Gandalf. Your faith and scriptures mean nothing to me. I don't indulge in Bronze Age mythology, nor do I let it guide my life in the year 2014.

    • GreyFoXX4 profile image

      GreyFoXX4 3 years ago from Richlands, North Carolina

      President Bush only stopped research on embryonic stem cell. Not stem cell research as a whole. An Embryo is life a life. Sorry for passing on a truth in the face of the article that's posted.

      Verse stands true.

    • Blake83 profile image

      Blake 3 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY

      GreyFox, firstly Biblical verses mean nothing to me.

      Anyway, my intent wasn't a takedown of Christianity. Christianity has been beaten to death ad nauseum, and I've no interest in flogging a dead horse any longer. Christianity is just one of the myths I referenced.

      Not sure how or why my stem cell reference digressed into a prolife/prochoice thing--a discussion that has nothing to do with my piece--but here's an extensive compilation of links to medical journals detailing the how effective stem cell therapy (of every type) is (Science Daily):

      I will concede that there have been some dangers associated with embryonic stem cell research. I'll refrain from commenting about your source.

      As for "observable research" about Christianity, I just ask that you don't presuppose anything about me or anyone else. I could have a degree in Biblical theology for all you know. Maybe studying it is what made it disagreeable to me.

    • Blake83 profile image

      Blake 3 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY

      Carolyn, thanks for the comment.

      I agree with everything you said re: monotheism, of course.

      As for people reconnecting with their indigenous pasts, I think that is good. I'm fascinated by mine as well, especially being (partially) of Native American Indian blood.

      However, as far as shamanism and polytheism, I'd have to really be moved by a personal experience to consider them as viable--this has yet to happen for me. I'll never say flat-out that something doesn't exist and I'm open to all experiences.

      I'll read some of your hubs the first chance I get and learn more of our perspective.

    • GreyFoXX4 profile image

      GreyFoXX4 3 years ago from Richlands, North Carolina

      PRO 12:1 KJV

      Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

      So Bush not oking embryonic stem cell research for his Christian faith slows down progression? The society for the protection of the unborn says this

      "To date, embryonic stem cells have not been used successfully to treat any illness. Yet the use of adult stem cells and stem cells from umbilical cords and placentas continues to prove effective in treating disease.

      Uncontrolled growth of embryonic stem cells can produce tumours. The use of stem cells from adults, placentas or umbilical cords may therefore not only be an ethical alternative, but also a safer and more successful one."

      So they state its not needed to kill embryo's. Maybe the laziness here was on the scientist not wanting to look for other ways of saving lives without having to take life.

      Its amazing that my nonsense belief is having to defend lives of those that can't protect themselves. From those that seem to think their beliefs arent nonsense while taking babies lives.

      Could things get any more upside down?

      I would say what's holding back advancement is those doing research with only half a toolbox all the while refuting or throwing away any finding that has a biblical basis. Science by itself refutes supernatural happenings and doesn't account for it. Hence things that show up in math that is also observable in the physical world like fractoids.

      Good article though i think you need to do more observable research on Christianity instead just deeming it nonsense along with the rest lol.

    • CarolynEmerick profile image

      Carolyn Emerick 3 years ago

      Well, I DO believe in the mystical and spirituality that is not explicable by science. HOWEVER, monotheism essentially means mono-thinking, i.e. narrow thinking. If you grew up in a monotheistic society, as many of us did, I can see how "religion" would turn you off to spiritualism in general. I agree with you 100% that monotheism has been the major destruction of free thought and rational thinking, and that the WORST perpetrator of that today is the Middle East and Islamic societies. However, many of us in the West are re-opening our minds to our indigenous past, which includes shamanic/polytheistic thought processes which are not opposed at all to science. These ancient ways of thinking are actually quite complementary with science, so long as scientists remember that there are a great many phenomena that are not yet explicable by science today. The things that science can explain today have happened since the world began, long before science could explain them...

    • Blake83 profile image

      Blake 3 years ago from Poughkeepsie, NY

      If and when I ever come across such a person, I'll immediately start believing in mystical stuff.

      Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      Menjia_Rose 3 years ago

      Interesting thought, not really based on facts; however there are individuals with true actual powers beyond your reason of what's logical vs illogical explanations. Whether you ever come across that individual is surely just a matter of time