Is it ok to patronize fortune tellers for entertainment?

So I'm one of those people who loves Halloween, to the extent that I sold the costume I made last year for 2 grand when the weekend was over. I go a bit overboard.

This year, some have suggested we hire a group fortune teller for a little pre-dinner entertainment. It's kind of left up to me.

It seems to me that people in that industry have done a lot of damage, but my friends kind of see it as a "dinner for smucks" opportunity.

What do you all think? Should I refrain from giving people cash for telling me bull shit, or just take it in for the entertainment?

Tags: Fortune, Tellers

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I would say it totally depends on circumstances. A simple answer would be "no" since it encourages bullshit and I don't find the concept of paying someone to lie to you as being entertaining at all especiallly when there are far better uses for money.


However, this is a group thing and it might not be the best time to make a stand for rationality. I have encountered one tarot reader who made it very clear before she "read" the cards that there was no mysticism involved and she was using the cards merely as prompts to get me to think about aspects of my life I hadn't considered. If time permits you could find someone like that or even better, find a Darren Brown type person who has the skills but could trick them and then later explain how it was done.

Your call, tricky situation. Good luck!

Thanks. It is refreshing to hear the voice of experience. Especially when it means I am not required to use the voice of moral outrage... 'cause I stopped writing my post to read yours - and the world is a better place for it. ;)

Fortune telling is always promoted as entertainment although people who believe in it aren't swayed by that. I don't think one session is going to make believers out of people who were previously skeptical. If people did go for it I'd probably just be annoyed at hanging around people like that (the way I am annoyed when my pagan acquaintances assume everyone is pagan and talk about superstition and nonsense). If it's up to you, you can always say no. Fortune tellers are an even bigger waste of money than lapdances or gambling.

Of those three wastes, I think I would prefer the lapdance.  ;)

How to spend ones money is obviously a subjective thing.

If people go into it with their 'eyes wide open', then on one level so be it......and chalk it up to harmless fun. However, if impressionable people and in particular adolescents are going to be involved then may be reconsider.

Or as mistercliff commented, get a magician and have some fun in the knowledge that it’s just conjuring & tricks!!.

Not wanting to sound like a killjoy......but I personally wouldn’t want to give my money to a charlatan....would feel like I was condoning the practice!!:)

Oh I love Halloween too! It's my favorite holiday! I think it sounds like fun - good entertainment!

Oh my Gwynnies! Atheists debating sin... :)

What is the service you anticipate paying for? Bullshit? Entertainment? Then such fulfills the contract. If a future occurs congruent to prediction, that's grounds for suit.


It sounds like fun.  People pay magicians knowing it's all a trick, too.  However, if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth to pay this sort of entertainer, then don't.  I definitely wouldn't waste my money on a seance.
It appears as though we went ahead and booked it, I was not going to throw a tantrum over something so small. None of the people going are hard core into fortune tellers, most of my friends live in that grey zone where they put little thought into religion.

I won't be the only atheist there, this will make it more difficult to identify which one of us is emitting the high pitch noise every time she tells a fortune. I might consider recording it, I think it could make for a funny video here on atheist nexus.

That aside, I would still love to hear your opinions.
I recently attended a birthday party for a friend. Another friend had hired a “psychic” as entertainment for the party. One by one each party guest was escorted into the back bedroom for their personal reading. When I was told it was my turn, I politely opted out. Everyone else thought it was absurd that I didn’t want to have my fortune told, like I just wasn’t interested in having fun. With very confused expressions on their faces, they asked me WHY? I told them, the thought of spending the next 15 minutes alone with a stranger, who was going to slyly probe me for information and then regurgitate it back to me, like they had some amazing talent, was a waste of time, and that wasn’t what I necessarily considered fun. My time was better spent having another cocktail and chatting with the birthday friend. As the evening wore on and many guest were excitedly sharing the information told to them by the “psychic”, the attention turned to me. I suppose I was being a little too silent, but my eyerolls spoke loudly. Soon, I was being verbally attacked from all angles by drunken, gullible party guests. Many people became surprisingly angry because I was so resistant to all the “fun”. I felt much like Tim Minchin surrounded by a dozen Storms.  Anyway, I hope the party is fun, but be aware that you don’t become the hated party pooper.
Well, there are only five of us, we are all good friends and they are very aware I think it's hocum. I think on some level they are enjoying the fact that I find this obserd. I look forward seeing how well the fortune teller will read me when I'm in a full, head to toe, panda suit. It's hard to judge reaction when your reading something with giant googly cartoon eyes.
psychics and furries at the same party?  i think you really need to share some pictures.


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