Are humans predisposed to believe in magic?

Discussion in 'Science and the Universe' started by wil, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Tarot, astrology, crystals, religions...

    I believe they all started with some sort of correlation, coincidence, causation... Somebody made a connection, someone else agreed, more conjecture and connections were made...

    So many folks look to the stars or charts (one way or another) to prepare themselves for the day...

    I'm guessing every other intelligent animal on earth does not (I believe there are higher intelligences in the animal kingdom than us, we have benefitted by having a brain AND opposable thumbs, vocal chords, etc)
     
  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Lotteries, you forgot lotteries.

    Long-term risk-taking behaviors ("it could never happen to me").

    We human beings are notoriously bad at judging probabilities. We are very good at short-term predictions, such as tracking the trajectory of a football, etc.

    But I think you also leave out another human impulse in your initial post: We humans like to have meaningful lives. Magical thinking is just one of many ways of creating a meaningful narrative for us to live out.

    This is a topic very dear to my heart, thanks for bringing it up! Looking forward to the others member's thoughts.
     
  3. RJM Corbet

    RJM Corbet God Feeds the Ravens

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    Or maybe prophetic dreams do really happen, and maybe there really are psychic people out there? Just because a person has never met 'spirit' doesn't mean it does not exist.

    As I said before, there are far more subtle forces moving than blind materialists want there to be, that can't be explained simply in words. There will be shouts from the scientific materialists to "prove it then". But no-one is asking them to believe in 'magic' if they don't want to, they can just walk on by.

    Spirit has no obligation to prove itself to people who have closed and locked the door of their own consciousness to any subtlety that cannot be touched and tested. They are so superior to the superstitious daily rabble. They genuinely have managed to convince themselves that their own consciousness is just a product of their own brain chemistry. They cannot bring themselves to accept even the possibility of higher 'spiritual intelligence'.

    But no-one is asking them to. They are welcome to believe and think whatever they want. Unfortunately they also want to shut down other peoples' right to their own thinking and believing. Because in reality, that is what they would really like to see happen:

     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
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  4. CobblersApprentice

    CobblersApprentice Active Member

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    The human animal just seems predisposed to "think"! Our distinction - of degree or kind? - from the other animals is to ask questions rather than simply "accept". Was/is this the "fall"? Knowledge. (Someone - I think Sartre - said that while the choices of other animals are determined by their natures, our nature is determined by our choices)

    Magic just seems one of many derivations of thinking, maybe about the awareness of death, of then wishing to "know", to have control.

    Oh necessary sin that warranted so great a redeemer!

    Related to this, at least as I see it, are the words of Marco Pallis concerning the Touching the Earth mudra of the Buddha, where Pallis asserts that the open hand holding the begging bowl symbolises "acceptance of the gift" - grace. The Buddha's other hand reaches down to touch the earth.

    Pallis continues:- "In the two gestures displayed.......the whole programme of man's spiritual exigencies is summed up. An active attitude toward the world and a passive attitude toward heaven. The ignorant man does the opposite: he passively accepts the world and resists grace, gift, and heaven."
     
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  5. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Yes, I agree.

    How we talk about them, what language we use, how we sort them into our world-views, is very diverse across people, and very much dependent on context and audience.

    I have learned to use the terminologies and contexts of occultism, psychology, and some religions, to talk about "spirit". Each one has its strong and weak points, I'm not aware of any single paradigm that would cover all.
     
  6. Arif Ghamiq

    Arif Ghamiq Active Member

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    I think we probably are predisposed to believe in magic - spiritual or supernatural things - if so, then why ? What is the purpose this predisposition? Is it a flaw of Nature ? Or do our predispositions exists for a reason ? - I think they do exist for a reason and some of these reasons may not be so mundane.

    Some people seem to be predisposed to reject any kind of non-material reality. Does such a disposition have a purpose as well ? Or are they simply the "un-flawed" ? Maybe it's some kind of check and balance system ?

    I think it is likely that our predispositions exist for the purpose of survival (as animals & spiritual creatures) and to assist us in both our physical and spiritual evolution.

    And....well you know
     
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  7. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I think it all starts with the evolution of reflective consciousness and the consequent search for meaning ...

    So short answer: yes
     
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  8. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    For me, it started with "all things bright and beautiful" in primary school :)

    I was just watching the birds fly from tree to tree, and sing sweetly.
    Are they just robots, or do they have characters like us?
    For me, they most certainly do have souls. They are a bit like angels .. in that they have wings and glorify G-d.

    Some birds don't last very long at all. They are fragile and return to G-d in the time that is appointed for them..
    ..as do we
     
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  9. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    Yes .. they seem to be satisfied with the life they are already living.

    I find it understandable why people should be skeptical about "magic".
    Much of it is illusion and deception. Clearly though, many people find the Abrahamic scriptures credible as do I :)
     

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