Are humans predisposed to believe in magic?

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

  1. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Most of the magical orders still in existence today go back only as far as the 1800s, max.

    Also, homeopathic remedies are routinely recalled for containing actual ingredients. Arsenic, in particular, is nasty stuff even if highly diluted. Here's an example involving belladonna:

    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/pre...ladonna-certain-homeopathic-teething-products
     
  2. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    I don't "deny the existence of anythying other than the material". I happen to be atheist, not materialist-reductionist.

    The double standard, however, is evident to me: One human being (Jesus) walking on water is reasonable to you, another human being claiming the same, is not.

    To the contrary. The non-material mind is evidently influenced by its material substrate and the conditions it is in.

    Try meditating before and after having a cup of coffee.
     
  3. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    Fair enough, but most atheists do..

    I wouldn't call that a "double-standard".
    It is very obvious that people can't walk on water. Anybody who does must either be using magic (i.e illusion or science) or have or been given the ability to defy natural laws.

    That doesn't prove that the brain is responsible for consciousness. That only proves that it is influenced by physical/chemical phenomena.
    You might conclude that it is .. but you have absolutely no idea whether you will still be aware after your death
     
  4. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    or it is a parable or metaphor, or fable, or euphemism or myth...lots of options
     
  5. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Well, in this forum I hold back on my stereotypes of what most religious people do...

    Suit yourself. Like I wrote earlier in this thread, rationalization is part of the fun.

    Actually, I do have a pretty good hunch based on a lot of empirical data, that the brain is indeed the substrate on which consciousness operates. And like I said, you can do the experiment on yourself, in a fairly harmless way, by mildly changing your brain chemistry and then observing your consciousness. You can study the findings on certain types of brain injuries. For a period of time, radically altering a person's consciousness by doing brain surgery ("lobotomy") in order to change their behavior was very fashionable.

    You are right of course that nobody ever came back from the dead, I mean, really dead, body completely destroyed, to tell the tale. But this brings us, as much as I hate to say this, squarely into Russell's Teapot Territory. And I really don't want to go there. It's such a dull place. Let's not make interfaith.org that dull.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019 at 5:00 PM
  6. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    Err .. no .. I don't think that that is possible :)
    The accounts are eyewitness events by the disciples.

    ..and then we have the transfiguration.
    In these accounts, Jesus and three of his apostles, Peter, James and John, go to a mountain to pray. On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light. Then the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them.
     
  7. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    I think you'll find that lobotomies cause a change of behaviour.
    In any case, you are missing the point. Any study of brains whilst alive cannot prove anything at all about what happens after death.
    Are you suggesting that the billions of people, including top academics, that firmly believe in life after are death are somehow ignoring relevant evidence?
     
  8. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Yes, and in subjective experience as well, a.k.a "consciousness".

    Not so much missing the point as avoiding the tautology.

    No, but you seem to want to fit me into your image of what a proper atheist ought to behave like, it seems to me.

    Bored now.
     
  9. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Are you suggesting the billions that DON'T including top academics...
     
  10. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    I'm not ;)
    I can only find out what you think by discussion.
     
  11. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    Not exactly. If, for example, you think that the Gospel is based on lies or hearsay, then that is your opinion.
     
  12. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Sure thing. I'll get used to your rhetorical innuendos, at some point. And since you've been around for a while, you may have seen a few of my posts where I go into detail about my views, so we don't have to start from square one in our future discussions.
     
  13. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Appears jumping to conclusions not found in evidence is a thing.
     
  14. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    Like I said to @CobblersApprentice when he was around,
    our intentions are important when it comes to our beliefs.

    Why should we believe that there is life after death, or not? There could be a number of reasons.
     
  15. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    But is belief in an afterlife / denial of one's own mortality a form of magical thinking? I think it touches deeper things than human pattern matching gone creative.
     
  16. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    No, I wouldn't say so.
    "Magical thinking" is belief in the irrational, imo. It is not irrational to think that we would find ourselves in existence some time after our death. It is not irrational to believe in G-d / love.
    It has happened once, and there is nothing to suggest that it won't happen again.

    Flesh, brains and blood is purely material. Our mind/soul is something else.
    It could manifest in any form .. it doesn't have to be floating in nothingness :eek:
     
  17. wil

    wil UNeyeR1

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    Yup, it could...(or.not). It doesn't have to (but might)

    That is why it is belief...that is why we have so many religions, because none is proven as fact...

    Ya gotta have faith
     
  18. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic)

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    Me, too, I differentiate between magical thinking and religious beliefs.

    So how did we drift from the topic of magical thinking to the topic of religious beliefs? These internets, how do they work...
     
  19. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea An ordinary cup of tea

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    wil is sort of irreverent about these sorts of things...
     
  20. muhammad_isa

    muhammad_isa Active Member

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    No .. the reason why we have "so many religions" has little to do with their creeds, imo
    It is more to do with tribes and how they socially evolve over time.

    Yes .. "you gotta have faith" .. but faith in what? Faith in a creed?
    No .. creeds are mostly made by mankind .. it's faith in the unseen i.e. faith in G-d and righteousness
     

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