Supertition in Media

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Building the Dames of Reason

   People will like water most often choose for themselves and their charges the path of least resistance. Superstition provides for them in all it's forms easy and direct answers to the difficult frustrations of day to day life. As an answer for the need of consolation and understanding in human beings superstition has grown in our society rapidly and thoroughly with no contest. People trust without question or any understanding the teaching of superstitions like the following.
  • Astrology in Newspapers
  • “Bless you” from a kind stranger after a sneeze
  • Knocking on wood to ward off fate
  • Being weary of a black cat crossing your path
  • Standing under a ladder
  • People wearing crosses around their necks
  • Avoiding opening an umbrella in a house for fear of bad luck

Superstition is easy but not a simple answer. It provides no logical explanation of why something is true. It merely asserts itself as benevolently correct. This is it's great power and I hope with some work be it's undoing. I believe that one of the most powerful tools we can use to immunize society against superstition is to hold people asserting these beliefs to an explanation. We should never attempt to explain why we don't believe something because non belief is not a field of proof. In this challenge we should hold firm and polite. I suggest a simple line of questioning, that any practitioner of science would follow when they themselves make any bend toward true or false.
  • How does it work?
  • Why does it work?
  • Have we tested it?
If someone believes something to be true. They must be able to reason through their belief. If they can't their belief is in question and more difficult to hold. In all honesty I don't expect a single person subjugated to these simple questions to capitulate their beliefs, they may even hold on more tightly for a time. The idea is to change the environment. If all “truths” are put to a challenge of reason, then reason will become the path of least resistance. Hard nosed believers will perhaps never change but those people who follow the path of least resistance will surely and steadily move toward higher ground. 

Please Review: The Psychology of Superstition