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Old Wives’ Tales

This morning, I was at the hospital with my wife who was getting an ultrasound to make sure the fetus is developing normally. While there, there was a woman in the waiting room also getting ready for an ultrasound. She was telling me that she believes that she is having a boy do to some old wives’ tale. Her husband thinks that the old wives’ tales are bullshit.

This is the awkward position superstitious people put rational people in. I wanted to tell her that I think her husband is correct and that her beliefs in these superstitions are plain old nuts. But in polite society, that would be very rude. So I just smiled and nodded and wished her luck.

The problem was that she wouldn’t shut up about it. Instead of just realizing my polite indication that I didn’t agree, they kept talking and then tried to rationalize her superstitious beliefs by telling me that these ancient superstitions have been around for a long time so there must be something to them. I really had to restrain myself for openly arguing with her.

That is the problem with superstitions and other ridiculous beliefs. Those who believe in them profess them loudly. Christians are often fond of telling me that, “a fool says in his heart that there is no god.” Well, the way I see it, the real fool professes his or her ridiculous beliefs from the rooftops.

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  • http://andythenerd.tumblr.com The Nerd

    Is there a study which shows that people who hold wrong beliefs are more likely to loudly proclaim them than people who hold correct beliefs? Until I see evidence for such a distinction, I have to hold the position that people proclaim those beliefs which they hold to be true, and that we simply happen to be more annoyed by the wrong ones which leads us to notice them more.

  • http://www.dangeroustalk.net Staks

    That’s a good point, if there isn’t a study on this, I think there should be. That would be interesting.