If you intresting in sport Buy trenbolone and Buy testosterone enanthate you find place where you can find information about steroids
  • Resources

  • Book of the Month

  • Shopping on Amazon? Use this search box and support Dangerous Talk at the same time.
  • Blog Directories

    blog search directory Religion Top Blogs
  • AdSense

Claims About Reality

Recently, someone made a comment about the book, “The Secret” on my friend’s facebook page. The claim was that “The Secret” really works, and that everyone should try it. When people make claims about reality, they really need to be able to back up those claims with some sort of evidence. As a point of fact, there is no evidence supporting the claim that “The Secret” works except for Oprah’s word. For the record, Oprah also claims that vaccines cause autism despite study after study disproving that myth.

Of course when I posted a comment stating that “The Secret” as a point of fact does not work, I got criticized for “putting down” other people’s religious beliefs. I’m sorry that people believe in things which have no basis in reality and even contradict reality. I am also sorry that these people consider it some sort of personal attack when someone of reason points that out how ridiculous those beliefs are.

I will admit that I was a little more satirical in my comment than perhaps I should have been. I think I talked about my prayers to milk jugs and how they are always answered either with a yes, no, or wait answer. I hate to be the one who always says this, but yes there is a reality out there and we can’t just claim to know what it is without any evidence to support those claims. Most religions claim to have “The Truth” without feeling the need justify that “Truth” with evidence.

The fact is that no one has the “all seeing eye” of Absolute Truth. We have the light of science to help us see in the dark of the unknown. What is in the dark we cannot know with certainty, but we can use the light of science and reason to give us a better idea. Over time, humanity has made brighter lights which have enabled us to see more of the world and to allow us to take some pretty well informed guesses on what we cannot see. Humans have observed certain things in the world which seem to always hold true to our knowledge and so we use that to help us understand the known and the unknown.

So while I cannot say with absolute certainty that “The Secret” is bullshit, I can say with reasonable certainty that “The Secret” is bullshit.

If someone were to make the claim that people can fly and then encouraged others to jump out a window and try it, I would call bullshit on that “deeply held” spiritual belief too.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • http://www.myspace.com/atheistteam The A-Team

    To the crank, merely disagreeing with them is seen as a personal attack because they’ve invested so much of their emotions and identity into their particular conclusions. Once your entire worldview depends on something being true, confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance sets, and it becomes impossible to politely disagree with them. That’s when they have to pull out the old, “everyone’s entitled to their beliefs (except for the critic apparently), “it just works for me,” or my favorite, the “my truth” vs. “your truth” gambit.

    • Mr. X

      Yeah…I’m having an e-mail discussion with a Christian I met on another atheist blog…who knows, maybe he’ll read this comment; I never made any promises about confidentiality, but I won’t name him, anyway…

      He does deserve points for breaking the mold you’ve outlined here. His line is, “you’re so afraid of Hell, you refuse to recognize God’s glorious obviousness, all around you!”

      So to be fair, I don’t think he’ll be spouting any lines about “everyone being entitled to their belief,” “it just works for me,” or “my truth/your truth.” Such weak platitudes will not win me over, or save my poor atheist soul from Hell…

      I do have to give him points for consistency, and for being oblivious to social pressure.

      Now that he’s pushing the issue, I’ve asked him to explain why there are multiple religions in the world, and what happens to the souls of Jews, Muslims, etc. when they die. I really, really hope that he writes back soon…

  • Mr. X

    Sigh…when I was younger, I had a phase where I believed in “The Law of Attraction” or whatever you want to call it. “The Secret” hadn’t been published yet, but there were other books like it, kicking around.

    A while ago it dawned on me – “The best bullshit (professional-grade BS!) always contains at least a grain of truth.” Indeed, the best BS-ers believe their own BS.

    The book I was hung-up on at the time, actually did do a lot of things to help me: It taught me to manage stress and anxiety better, to be less afraid of failure, to procrastinate less, to worry less and enjoy life more. These were not small contributions.

    But what I eventually realized, was that “The Law of Attraction” DOES work, to an EXTENT – on a purely psychological level. Even Robert Greene, the hard-headed reincarnation of Machiavelli, commented that people have a way of bringing about things that they visualize (this is a rough paraphrase, and I can’t remember which of his books I saw it in. Sorry!)

    Ultimately, it’s still better to understand these things. Because “magical thinking” leads you to wish for the impossible, and there are many things that not even the delusional can accomplish.

    • http://www.myspace.com/DD_NU4EVER Diana

      I have a similar perspective. Book’s like The Secret teach people about a very common phenomena and make it sound mystical and empowering. Self-fulfilling prophecy, goal orientated mind set, whatever you call it. If someone is totally focused on what they want they usually find some way to bring it about as long as the goal is a reasonable one. Somehow I doubt that if an amputee thought really hard about wanting their body to be whole again that they would grow limbs back…though they may be more perceptive of a pamphlet in their doctor’s office that advertised prosthetic limbs… thereby fulfilling their desire and assuming “the secret” is true.
      Likewise, if a man who is scared of being fired acts funny at work or makes silly mistakes because he’s too anxious to work well gets fired, he just fulfilled his fears.
      So, in effect (depending on the goal) the teaching of “The Secret” isn’t bad but that doesn’t make it right. Call it like it is, self-fulfilling prophecies. If you think about it, look for ways for it to happen, tell others about it and work toward that goal you are increasing the likelihood of it happening. No need to make a religion or belief system over it.
      I could preach about self-fulfilling prophesy and write a book called “The Way,” or something mystical sounding, but add on top of thinking and acting toward your goal you must also eat shit…if people did it they would see that I’m right and I would have made people eat poo… :)

  • Ryan

    I’m not sorry people are morons, nor am I sorry that people are evil, nor am I sorry that I judge them for what they are, they made the choice not me all I do is recognize it as such, oh ya, and prove it.