Lets say this for the sake of making a discussion: You somehow find a genie that is willing to grant you one wish, but that wish must be related to making a superstitious belief true.
For example, I would choose reincarnation so long as it was only Human reincarnation. A person wouldn't be able to become an animal in a next life. Humanity would just continue recycling its own collective consciousness.
This is all for fun. Use your imagination. This is a "what-if" scenario. I don't expect that you actually endorse such silly ideas.
I would imagine some people wouldn't choose anything. I guess that is fine, but its not any fun. :p
Disciplined imagination gives rise to discovery, Joshua. The problem is that too many people can't be bothered with the discipline. All they know is that THEY WANT. Whether they deserve or are willing to put in the hours and the sweat don't matter, and if praying to some hotshot deity will get them what they want, the essential order which defines reality can go hang for all of them.
If you can come up with miracles which are subject to investigation, whose mechanisms can be divined, analyzed, and understood, which, in short, just turn out to be based on laws of nature we simply hadn't discovered yet, that would be one thing. For myself, I do not anticipate any such discovery.
As things are, imagination WITHOUT discipline can give rise to delusion ... and this world has had far more than enough delusion.
I don't expect such a discovery either.
But I believe that hypothetical situations cause no little to no harm when applied in the way it was.
I play Dungeons and Dragons a lot. I am use to using my imagination as a form of entertainment in a group. It has always been a benign way to pass the time. I am use to these sorts of Hypothetical situations. I in fact have escaped from religious indoctrination myself. I understand how unchecked superstitious beliefs can get people to do that which they would not normally do. But this is a different case entirely.
I understand and respect your position. I also agree with you. The point of the discussion in the first place was just for fun.
Ditto Loren, well said.
Grazie, bro, appreciated.
fairies and gnomes. in some Nordic countries, people still believe in them to such and extent, that highway projects have been changed out of fear of disturbing areas deemed to be their homes. it would be more interesting if something like that was real. i rather enjoy old stories of people going through the woods, and happening across unusual creatures.
If I had to choose a superstition I think it's kind of funny that I would choose the same one as many of the Xtian cults subscribe to and that would be the Rapture. The event in which all the true believers would be taken up to heaven and all the rest of us would be left to fend for ourselves for the next 1000 years or so. I think that a 1000 years here in the only heaven that I will ever know without the blithering nonsense of "the faithful" sounds okie-doke to me. Heck, I pray for it every frickin day!
But you'll still have Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, and Scientologists all around you.
My superstitious beliefs are usually sports related (e.g., if you start talking about a no-hitter, then there goes the no-hitter).
I'd say Muslim paradise, all the gardens, palaces and rivers, food that taste a thousand times better than earth's and the halal river wine, not to mention all the women there are extremely hot. Of course, without having to pray five times a day or observe anything else.
OK, I'll play. It would be interesting if the animist worldview that my grandfather tried to teach me was true -- the idea that things like rocks, rivers, clouds, stars, etc. are imbued with a conscious essence similar to what we confer ourselves. Think of it -- if I tear this mountain down to get at the coal, and then use it for selfish reasons I risk offending the rights of the stone and the air. We could do worse with our superstitions.
I realize that Grandfather's views, though expressed in primitive irrational ways, were founded on reality. We are made of the same stuff as the stars and clouds, and imagining ourselves seperate from anything is an error of perspective. But what we think of as our style of consciousness is probably only available to animate things that have acheived a certain level of complexity. Skipping the "hard work" part to which Loren refers would mean that consciousness exists a-priori as a field in which all things exist. This begs the question of origin of that consciousness, and things go downhill from there. I guess I'll have to give up that pleasant fantasy and stick to how things seem to really work.
Ted, your last sentence, "I guess I'll have to give up that pleasant fantasy and stick to how things seem to really work.", isn't thinking like that what got us all here?