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) Admin

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    The early Buddhist texts are full of four-way analyses along the lines of "Either-or, Neither-nor, Both-and, Not both-and or Neither-nor"

    It's more of a technique of exhausting all possibilities and painting oneself into a corner, than a system of logic, intended to demonstrate that there is much more going on in our minds than just rational thought.
     
  2. HeartNSoul19

    HeartNSoul19 Active Member

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    Well humans are capable of believing... and we can choose what to believe entirely. Our beliefs can evolve or even change entirely throughout life.

    Since believing is one of our attributes as human beings, sure one might choose to believe in magic just as well as they might choose to believe whatever else.
     
  3. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    I'm not sure we're as free in our choice of beliefs as you make it to be.

    A snake-handling preacher for example might find his belief in scripture extremely hard to sustain when the asp sinks its fangs into his arm.

    Or take my example earlier in the thread, playing lotto. The belief against all odds that one is special, deserving to be favored by fortune, seems to be hard to let go of.
     
  4. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    That is certainly one interpretation, but not the only. It was as much about trying to understand Universal Truths...As Above, So Below.
     
  5. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Seems I got sidetracked from when I first saw this and took a moment to look into it.

    It would appear Mr Jaynes had a lot of speculation; and precious little bordering on no evidence to support that speculation.
     
  6. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Only to expand, I think it would be difficult to grasp or fathom some philosophy that is completely alien to your native culture. It is easy to point to the internet *now* and kid ourselves into thinking we can become familiar with any other culture we take a fancy to, but the factual truth is that until you are immersed, body and soul, into the entire culture it remains outside of your experience. What does Datura (Jimson Weed) taste like? What does the Kalahari bush of the San people smell like? What do the death throes of a sacrificed whale sound like? What does the Lakota Vow to the Sun feel like? What does the inside of the Necromanteion look like? Without actually doing any of these things, one cannot truthfully to themselves, let alone Spirit, say they are familiar with any of them. Because we tend to relate "foreign" matters back to our native cultural understanding, a lot of important nuance gets lost in the shuffle.

    Back to belief in magic, I keep trying to place myself as well as I can into the minds of the cave dwellers that painted so many caves across Europe and elsewhere. The scientists, anthropologists, archeologists and others that study the cave paintings generally conclude they are an appeal to sympathetic magic. Game animals dominate. Humans are seldom depicted and when they are tend to be childish stick figures, insignificant. They could paint a reasonably passable human, but universally they chose not to, their artistic effort went into animals that were meaningful to the survival of their tribe.

    Meyers-Briggs calls them INFP, or more loosely / vaguely by other personality studies as "creative" types

    Myers–Briggs Type Indicator - Wikipedia

    I have long found it somewhat amusing (pardon the coming pun) that Genius and Genie share the same root, and that some inspired thinkers of old credited their Spiritual "muses" for their thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
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  7. HeartNSoul19

    HeartNSoul19 Active Member

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    All valid points. You are right, it's not so simple as I made it out to be---a person who grows up in a fanatic group might come to believe that the only way to salvation or heaven is to blow himself up with a suicide bombing and take out as many 'enemy' bodies as he can... this belief may be a result of where and with whom they have been raised rather than by choice.
     
  8. Cino

    Cino Big Love! (Atheist mystic) Admin

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    Sure, although I meant the case of intentionally taking up a new belief, and the challenges in sustaining it. If it is a purely cognitive exercise, I suspect it will have less sticking power than a belief backed up by affect or "eureka" type epiphanies.
     
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  9. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Are humans predisposed to believe in magic?: Yeah, right from birth, they see things that they do not understand. Some remain children even after they grow up, believing in the various kinds of magics that Wil has mentioned.
    Believing is OK, but it should not entirely be bereft of evidence.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
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  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Search, be your own guru.

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    Mahavira of Jains proposed seven kinds:

    Affirmation: syād-asti—in some ways, it is,
    Denial: syān-nāsti—in some ways, it is not,
    Joint but successive affirmation and denial: syād-asti-nāsti—in some ways, it is, and it is not,
    Joint and simultaneous affirmation and denial: syād-asti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, and it is indescribable,
    Joint and simultaneous affirmation and denial: syān-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is not, and it is indescribable,
    Joint and simultaneous affirmation and denial: syād-asti-nāsti-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is, it is not, and it is indescribable,
    Joint and simultaneous affirmation and denial: syād-avaktavyaḥ—in some ways, it is indescribable.

    Hinduism too used these techniques and developed a separate philosophy for it - Nyāya. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyaya

    "Nyāya, literally meaning "justice", "rules", "method" or "judgment", is one of the six orthodox (astika) schools of Hinduism. This school's most significant contributions to Indian philosophy was systematic development of the theory of logic, methodology, and its treatises on epistemology."
     
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