Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
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04-09-2016, 06:43 AM
RE: Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
(04-09-2016 06:24 AM)Sturm Wrote:  
(04-09-2016 05:56 AM)Banjo Wrote:  I never read or heard of that book.

Sorry, misspelled it, I meant "L'Iliad" by Homer (I used the french title, sorry for the confusion !)

Did it make more sense and have a better structure than the bible?

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04-09-2016, 10:19 AM
RE: Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
(03-09-2016 04:46 PM)Born Again Pagan Wrote:  
(03-09-2016 01:31 PM)Sturm Wrote:  Hi all,

I'm stuck in a situation where I don't know exactly what to do, so I'm looking for advices from like minded people.

Here is my situation. I'm an atheist, I have always been, and I have always enjoyed my life this way. For me, not believing into any kind of god or afterlife has always made life so beautiful. My problem is that I have been living for 10 years with a woman who believes in this kind of things. At first, it was no problem, she believed in an afterlife, I didn't, we didn't discussed the matter, and when she mentioned stuff about premonitory dreams or divination or things like that, I just told her that, when those things work out, for me, it's just coincidence, and I believed that. A couple of years ago, she turned towards new age, and now everything she does is related to that, her main interest is that. It's very hard for me to ignore it. After a while of constantly hearing new age stuff, I started to think "what if I'm wrong", and I started to adopt an agnostic position. It led me to 1 year of deep depression, being in my head all the time, questioning everything. After one year of turning things over in my head, I got back to my atheist position, because that's the only position that makes sense to me. Being back to my original conviction got me out of depression, but I fear my convictions are now weak. A couple of days ago, she told me that she was speaking with a deceased friend of her, normally we had an agreement not to talk about this kind of things since I don't share her belief, but she can't help it. I questioned her about the way she was speaking with her friend and even though the explanation she gave me could be just a succession of coincidences, she seems so convinced about it that it somehow makes me question myself. Are those coincidences or is it me who want to see coincidences because I don't want to believe ? In a way, maybe I am also victim of confirmation bias because I don't want to believe, life seems so much more valuable with my atheist conviction that I don't want to change it.

Now, I'm lost, I really wish my conviction were stronger and less easily challengeable. I'm terrified about going back to doubt, because I would really like to avoid another year of depression, or more. I also fear that now I have opened the door to doubts, and that I might never be able to close it. Or maybe I could, if I wasn't constantly in contact with all those beliefs that make me rethink mine again and again, but living with a new ager, it seems I will ever be in contact with ideas that challenge mine. I am thinking about talking to this to a psychologist, but I live in country where new age ideas are very well accepted, if not integrated to the culture for some people, so it is very likely that I find a psychologist who also has new age ideas and thus doesn't help me the way I wish.
Do some of you have some similar experience ? Do you have any advice for me ?

Sometimes I think about reading more science books to consolidate my conviction, or if I had friends in the real life that are atheists, but I have none.

Thank you very much for reading me, it is the first time I"m talking about this problem, it already feels good to be able to speak it out.
I went thru a New Age phase in my life. I had answered prayers and started to see auras etc... I was an independent contractor and I was told I should pay 10% of my income to the church. but couldn't afford it, buy the time Sunday came around I didn't have that much left, or not enuff that I figured I could give it away. SO one Friday night I stopped by the church after having earned only $220 for the week and slid $22.00 thru the slot in the door. Getting back in the car my cellular rang. It was a man I had done work for in the past and he wanted to know if I could do a job for him the next day Saturday, he'd pay me when I finished. So by Sunday I had earned another $300.00 to pay tithe on. And Saturday driving away from that job another contractor I had not heard from for quite a while called me and put me and my 3 guys to work starting Monday for a job that lasted several weeks. Remembering these stories brings the doubt back to my mind fore sure. I had my proof and yet later walked away from it!

I had something odd happen to me a long time ago, as well. We were hurting for money (weren't we always - my marriage was a financial disaster among other things) and my ex was really stressed but I was a little less so. I told him that God would see us through and I think I prayed a lot about it. Anyway, the main thing we needed at the time was some gas money or else money for food, and lo and behold we checked the mail that day and I had a letter addressed to me (still have no idea who it was from - it didn't say) and there was a Wal-Mart gift card in there with, hell I can't even remember how much money was on it. Not a ton, but it was enough to provide for our need at the time. That felt like a definite sign to me at the time. I'd not had anything quite like that happen before.

Anyway, was just weird. I have no idea, looking back, who that could have came from. At the time I wondered if maybe it was a really late wedding gift, maybe?

There are days now, especially since I lost my dad, where I'll find myself "talking" to him but not even really that. I'd like very much to see him again or believe that I'll see him again but it's just all so bogus now that I can't even bring myself to even casually "chat" with him. It more takes the form of "Well if dad were here, this is what he'd say to me right now" or I'll remember old conversations with him.

I'm getting off track here. Point is, I too had a pretty weird thing happen that really confirmed my belief in god at the time but hey I'm here now and firmly atheist. Smile Wherever that letter came from, it still came from a human being through the U.S. postal service and not from a god.

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04-09-2016, 12:52 PM
RE: Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
(04-09-2016 05:49 AM)Sturm Wrote:  Thank you for your reply, I totally understand. I know I'm approaching the problem backward, now I have my belief back and I don't want to doubt it, that's why I fear being victim of confirmation bias, because I think that maybe my belief comforts me and thus I'm denying "evidences", seeing in them only coincidences. Thinking about the doubts, that's what I tried to do, I spent about a year considering everything my brain could gather to make my mind about it. Of course, not all the new age beliefs brought me doubts, only a few of them, the vaguest they are, the more difficult they are to argue against. The problem was that I never managed to disprove those beliefs, but I reached the conclusion that they were very unlikely, because we didn't need them to explain the world and also because I could not integrate them with current knowledge in biology. But, I didn't manage to disprove them, and here is my weakness, because I think it lets open the door to doubt again if more elements are added to challenge me. In the present case, I had concluded that I didn't believe in afterlife, because it didn't make sense, but the person whom I spend 20h a day with brings again the subject forth, with conviction, and coincidence that makes me wonder "are those indeed coincidence like I think or is it me wanting to see coincidences because I don't want to believe". I really wish I had a stable mind like all of you, I thought I did, I would give anything to have that feeling back again.

LOL. "Stable mind like all of you" - you're clearly new Tongue Why are you afraid of being a believer? If that is what you think is true, then that's fine. What's scary about new agey belief? (Apart from the obvious lightening of your wallet). To honestly inquire is to accept that maybe your cherished belief may be wrong. And if it is - so what? You chuck it. And worship Cthulu forever more.

I think you put your finger on a key thing there when you said "you couldn't disprove them" - no one can. Religion is *designed* nowadays to be non-falsifiable.

Religion is nowadays non-falsifiable meaning they make grandiose claims but any attempt to dig deeper into those claims results in moving goal posts. The classic example of non-falsifiability is the dragon in the basement, first proposed I believe by Carl Sagan. The story goes like this:
I say: "I have a dragon who lives in my basement" // Claim
You say: "Cool, can I see it" // Proposed test
I say: "Sure, come see it." So we go down to the basement. // Carry out test
"I don't see any dragon" // Test fails
"Well, that's because it's invisible" // Goalposts moved
"How do you know it's there then?" // No use having a hypothesis if it's not based on something
"Because it breathes fire" // Claim
"Can I see it breathe fire?" // Proposed test
"No, it only breathes super special invisible fire that doesn't burn anything" // Goalposts moved

The thing is, at a certain point it becomes reasonable, even though you can't *prove* that this mythical dragon does not exist, to suspect your friend (me) of telling porky pies. It's more or less exactly the same with religion.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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04-09-2016, 04:04 PM
RE: Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
(04-09-2016 06:43 AM)Banjo Wrote:  Did it make more sense and have a better structure than the bible?

Well, it's a very good story, I liked it. But I read it without any thought about it being linked to religious beliefs, I read it as mythology. I can't compare to the bible since I have never read it, though I believe the mythology can be also very entertaining.

(04-09-2016 10:19 AM)Escape Artist Wrote:  I had something odd happen to me a long time ago, as well. We were hurting for money (weren't we always - my marriage was a financial disaster among other things) and my ex was really stressed but I was a little less so. I told him that God would see us through and I think I prayed a lot about it. Anyway, the main thing we needed at the time was some gas money or else money for food, and lo and behold we checked the mail that day and I had a letter addressed to me (still have no idea who it was from - it didn't say) and there was a Wal-Mart gift card in there with, hell I can't even remember how much money was on it. Not a ton, but it was enough to provide for our need at the time. That felt like a definite sign to me at the time. I'd not had anything quite like that happen before.

Anyway, was just weird. I have no idea, looking back, who that could have came from. At the time I wondered if maybe it was a really late wedding gift, maybe?

There are days now, especially since I lost my dad, where I'll find myself "talking" to him but not even really that. I'd like very much to see him again or believe that I'll see him again but it's just all so bogus now that I can't even bring myself to even casually "chat" with him. It more takes the form of "Well if dad were here, this is what he'd say to me right now" or I'll remember old conversations with him.

I'm getting off track here. Point is, I too had a pretty weird thing happen that really confirmed my belief in god at the time but hey I'm here now and firmly atheist. Smile Wherever that letter came from, it still came from a human being through the U.S. postal service and not from a god.

Thank you very much for sharing your story. I can see why this big coincidence comforted your belief in god. In my case, this is not a big coincidence, but a lot of little coincidences, I don't know if that makes any difference. I like how you describe you conversation with your dad, the way you keep "talking" to him, I find it both natural and beautiful, thank you also for sharing it.

(04-09-2016 12:52 PM)morondog Wrote:  LOL. "Stable mind like all of you" - you're clearly new Tongue Why are you afraid of being a believer? If that is what you think is true, then that's fine. What's scary about new agey belief? (Apart from the obvious lightening of your wallet). To honestly inquire is to accept that maybe your cherished belief may be wrong. And if it is - so what? You chuck it. And worship Cthulu forever more.

I think you put your finger on a key thing there when you said "you couldn't disprove them" - no one can. Religion is *designed* nowadays to be non-falsifiable.

Religion is nowadays non-falsifiable meaning they make grandiose claims but any attempt to dig deeper into those claims results in moving goal posts. The classic example of non-falsifiability is the dragon in the basement, first proposed I believe by Carl Sagan. The story goes like this:
I say: "I have a dragon who lives in my basement" // Claim
You say: "Cool, can I see it" // Proposed test
I say: "Sure, come see it." So we go down to the basement. // Carry out test
"I don't see any dragon" // Test fails
"Well, that's because it's invisible" // Goalposts moved
"How do you know it's there then?" // No use having a hypothesis if it's not based on something
"Because it breathes fire" // Claim
"Can I see it breathe fire?" // Proposed test
"No, it only breathes super special invisible fire that doesn't burn anything" // Goalposts moved

The thing is, at a certain point it becomes reasonable, even though you can't *prove* that this mythical dragon does not exist, to suspect your friend (me) of telling porky pies. It's more or less exactly the same with religion.

I'm afraid of being a believer because the belief makes me very uncomfortable. And I actually don't really believe, I have never believed in the supernatural. But, when I open myself to thinking those things might be probable, it makes me feel very bad. First because, when I consider all the "supernatural beliefs" and try to conciliate them into something that "would work" for me, I remove all the positive from all the supernatural belief, I turned the afterlife into something absolutely horrible for me, and so, I would rather not believe that ! Also, the way I have ever seen life, as finite, because I didn't believe in the afterlife, made it very valuable, I loved life this way. If I have to accept the idea of an afterlife, it changes the way I see it, and it makes life much less valuable, almost useless, and I really don't want to live this way. That's why I would rather not believe and stick to my conviction !

I love your example with the dragon. I see why religions are non-falsifiable, though I wish my mind could accept it, and stop trying to consider any plausibility in them (not really in religion since the new age only takes part of some religions, but in some supernatural claims).
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04-09-2016, 04:24 PM
RE: Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
(04-09-2016 04:04 PM)Sturm Wrote:  
(04-09-2016 06:43 AM)Banjo Wrote:  Did it make more sense and have a better structure than the bible?

Well, it's a very good story, I liked it. But I read it without any thought about it being linked to religious beliefs, I read it as mythology. I can't compare to the bible since I have never read it, though I believe the mythology can be also very entertaining.

Dude, the Iliad is an Hellene example of their bible.

The bible is also mythology. As is gilgamesh.

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05-09-2016, 12:37 AM
RE: Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
(04-09-2016 04:04 PM)Sturm Wrote:  I'm afraid of being a believer because the belief makes me very uncomfortable. And I actually don't really believe, I have never believed in the supernatural. But, when I open myself to thinking those things might be probable, it makes me feel very bad. First because, when I consider all the "supernatural beliefs" and try to conciliate them into something that "would work" for me, I remove all the positive from all the supernatural belief, I turned the afterlife into something absolutely horrible for me, and so, I would rather not believe that ! Also, the way I have ever seen life, as finite, because I didn't believe in the afterlife, made it very valuable, I loved life this way. If I have to accept the idea of an afterlife, it changes the way I see it, and it makes life much less valuable, almost useless, and I really don't want to live this way. That's why I would rather not believe and stick to my conviction !

I love your example with the dragon. I see why religions are non-falsifiable, though I wish my mind could accept it, and stop trying to consider any plausibility in them (not really in religion since the new age only takes part of some religions, but in some supernatural claims).

Conviction is not something to be proud of. Even if you don't want any of that, actual objective truth doesn't give a flying fuck about what you want Smile If new age religion is true then you gotta live with it.

Perhaps you could post some examples of the kind of things that make you think New Age beliefs might actually have some core of truth?

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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05-09-2016, 04:56 AM
RE: Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
I think the woman you're living with needs to see a psychologist. Imagining that you're speaking to dead people isn't healthy.
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05-09-2016, 10:35 AM
RE: Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
(04-09-2016 04:24 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Dude, the Iliad is an Hellene example of their bible.

The bible is also mythology. As is gilgamesh.

Thank you, I didn't know that the bible took a lot from it Smile Then, the bible must be a good story, because the Iliad is a great story !

(05-09-2016 12:37 AM)morondog Wrote:  Conviction is not something to be proud of. Even if you don't want any of that, actual objective truth doesn't give a flying fuck about what you want Smile If new age religion is true then you gotta live with it.

Perhaps you could post some examples of the kind of things that make you think New Age beliefs might actually have some core of truth?

Thanks again for your answer and the time you spend to help me digging my problem.

I'm not proud of my conviction, I used to keep it personal, I like it because it is what gave value to my life. Exactly as I understand the motivation behind believing in a religion, I mean, people are scared of death ever since we evolved to realize our own mortality, so religion gave people comfort by telling them they will never die (in short), so those people subconsciously want to believe, because it removes their fear. Reciprocally, I have the same kind of motivation to not believe in supernatural, because the way I see the world would be totally different, and from a life that I value, I would consider it useless. Of course, if new age beliefs were indeed to be proven correct, it would be absurd to stick to my belief, I would have to accept those even though it would mean living depressed for the rest of my life. But as it is, those beliefs have never been proven, and I don't think they ever will. But even though unproven, they bring me doubts, and when you have 2 hypothesis that can be valid, one that depresses you, the other that comforts you, it seems just natural to try to consolidate the one that makes you feel better. I don't mean that I consider the new age beliefs correct, if I were to evaluate the 2 hypothesis, I would say 95% of me believe in the physicalist conception of the world, and 5% are open to other beliefs. So when I'm not confronted to other beliefs, I'm ok, I try to not give them much thinking since they make me uncomfortable, but as I live with a new ager, I constantly have them under my nose, forcing me to re-think over and over again, and that's exhausting.

First about the new age, I think they believe in about 1000 things. 99% of those are totally unrealistic and I never considered them. Normally, I should think "if people believe in 1000 things and 990 are incorrect, why should I assume the other 10 could be correct". So I'll try to explain the kinds of belief that can bring doubt to me, at least the way I understand them, and then I'll tell you what I find disturbing in those theories.

From what I gathered, new agers believe consciousness is external to the body, we have some kind of "soul" but being part of an universal consciousness, the brain being some kind of node receiving this consciousness in order to allow it to interact with the material world. So the brain is by default tuned to see and interact with the material reality, but there are other realities that you can perceive if you put yourself in an altered state of consciousness.

What made this belief able to bring doubts in me is the way they justify it. Other religions base their belief on ancient texts, they believe because other people before them believed and the base of that is just some scriptures made thousands of years ago by a few people. New agers, they seem to be making research to prove their belief. Some scientists believe in that, from the little I have seen when my girlfriend watches videos, physicists, mathematicians are interviewed and support those belief. They also use psychedelic drugs, to reach this state of altered consciousness which apparently supports their belief. They claim that for instance Francis Crick discovered DNA while under the effect of LSD, which for them is a proof of an access to a universal consciousness which can give insights to how the world works. I'm keeping it short, you probably already know all that. I think for them there are 2 communities in science :

- official science, which don't ever consider their beliefs, being too focused on the material world

- unofficial science, that studies the consciousness and gets ignored by official science.

At least, that's also what they claim. So it brings me doubts...

So I wonder : were there real studies which genuinely studied after life, consciousness, and other supernatural claims, conducted by scientists who were neutral to these considerations ? I have the feeling that the publications that don't support the existence of an afterlife are made by people who didn't believe in it at first, and that publication that supports it are made by people who believed it before starting the research.

That's only doubts, when facing those beliefs I tried to rationalize and found some arguments, for instance :

- if they are right, consciousness being external to the body, how do they explain the fact that we all come from a unicellular organism. Which kind of consciousness could the first prokaryotic cells have ? it doesn't match

- considering that earth is just a tiny tiny rock inside an infinite universe, there are probably millions of other living organisms, so why humans would concentrate the consciousness to live as human, and reincarnate as humans (since new agers also believe in reincarnation) while this consciousness should normally go inside millions of living organisms (some being probably more intelligent than us).

- their belief is similar to eastern religions beliefs. They probably studied eastern religions (since the new age borrows a lot from it, hippies were a lot into eastern religions) before writing all those theories. So instead of starting from a blank page, they started with a belief and made studies to comfort it. When they use psychedelic drugs, it comforts them in those belief, because psychedelics probably unlock the subconscious, that's why those who believe in eastern religions feel some kind of connection with the universe while under those drugs, while christians taking the same drugs are comforted because they see God/Jesus or anything that they believed first. That's also why DNA was discovered under the influence of LSD, Francis Crick was already a scientist, he already had ideas, even subconscious about it. What would have been very surprising is that somebody who never ever studied biology discovered DNA thanks to a drug. And some people under psychedlic drugs also see all kind of elfs, imps, aliens, so if the drug allows a connection with the universe that is valid for some people, so are all the elfs, imps and aliens that other people see. They are probably just hallucinations, the brain being deprived of external stimuli is free to create anything it wants.

In a way, I see those new age beliefs as an attempt to conciliate religions with the current scientific knowledge, making theories in which both could work. But I think it fails to explain everything, ignoring some informations, and it leads to more questions than explanations...Still I can't help thinking "but maybe they are right".

I think those theories would never have crossed my mind if they weren't exposed to me, and I would be living happily, not questioning the 95% of realistic conception of the world in which I still believe, but less strongly.
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05-09-2016, 11:21 AM
RE: Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
G'day Sturm, and welcome from Downunder. Smile

(03-09-2016 03:54 PM)Sturm Wrote:  [...] Thank you very much, I'm adding those to my list! I hope reading them will make me stronger in resisting ideas that are irrational but that I can't disprove.

Most of the others here have covered a tonne of good options, so I'd just like to add one small point.

It's very difficult—if not impossible—to account for or disprove "irrational" claims. Then again it's really the task of the proponent of those ideas to provide viable supporting evidence. It's not your job to disprove them, as—broadly speaking—one cannot prove a negative.

As an exercise in logic, ask your partner to prove that leprechauns do not exist. She won't be able to—despite hundreds of c8th-century Irish church journals describing eye-witness accounts.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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05-09-2016, 11:26 AM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2016 11:32 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Need advices, I'm starting to have doubts in my atheist convinction
I don't mean to get too aggressive in a support thread, but as a former scientist I have a few points I think will really help you.

(05-09-2016 10:35 AM)Sturm Wrote:  I think for them there are 2 communities in science :

- official science, which don't ever consider their beliefs, being too focused on the material world

- unofficial science, that studies the consciousness and gets ignored by official science.

At least, that's also what they claim. So it brings me doubts...

Sorry, pal, but that's a pile of bullshit. That's why I recommended The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, as he goes into how we do study such claims, and why we know they're bunkum.

If you're interested in seeing scientists looking into the claims that the woo-woo promoters say are "just being ignored", check out CSICOP, the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, which is composed of scientists interested in donating their time to proving or disproving claims based on actual experimentation. They are quite open about their methods and results.

http://www.csicop.org/

In other words, your woo-woo friends are lying. Either to themselves, or to others, in order to justify their mysticism. It's not based on science but on pseudoscience, and it's easy to demonstrate that such is the case. As I once heard someone quip, "You know what we call alternative medicine that works? Medicine."

(05-09-2016 10:35 AM)Sturm Wrote:  So I wonder : were there real studies which genuinely studied after life, consciousness, and other supernatural claims, conducted by scientists who were neutral to these considerations ? I have the feeling that the publications that don't support the existence of an afterlife are made by people who didn't believe in it at first, and that publication that supports it are made by people who believed it before starting the research.





This is "The God Helmet", which demonstrates why/how people feel a sense of presence, or oneness with the universe, during prayer or intense meditation.

CSICOP did an excellent job covering the (neutral) experiments which demonstrate that there is no afterlife, as described in so many varied claims. They not only look at the results, but they openly question the ethics of doing such experiments, on several grounds of respect for the subjects involved. I don't think you could ask for a more neutral approach.

(05-09-2016 10:35 AM)Sturm Wrote:  When they use psychedelic drugs, it comforts them in those belief, because psychedelics probably unlock the subconscious, that's why those who believe in eastern religions feel some kind of connection with the universe while under those drugs, while christians taking the same drugs are comforted because they see God/Jesus or anything that they believed first. That's also why DNA was discovered under the influence of LSD, Francis Crick was already a scientist, he already had ideas, even subconscious about it. What would have been very surprising is that somebody who never ever studied biology discovered DNA thanks to a drug. And some people under psychedlic drugs also see all kind of elfs, imps, aliens, so if the drug allows a connection with the universe that is valid for some people, so are all the elfs, imps and aliens that other people see. They are probably just hallucinations, the brain being deprived of external stimuli is free to create anything it wants.

Your other points aside, it is an outright lie (which for obvious reasons gained rapid popularity among psychedelic drug-using circles) that Dr. Crick was using LSD, circulated by none other than the British conservative tabloid The Daily Mail, which invented the story about a week after his death in 2004. Scumbaggery. And it's worse to promote this lie. Crick was a brilliant and honorable man.

http://realitysandwich.com/314873/franci...k-dna-lsd/

(05-09-2016 10:35 AM)Sturm Wrote:  In a way, I see those new age beliefs as an attempt to conciliate religions with the current scientific knowledge, making theories in which both could work. But I think it fails to explain everything, ignoring some informations, and it leads to more questions than explanations...Still I can't help thinking "but maybe they are right".

The word you're looking for is pseudoscience. It's designed to sound reasonable, even when using methods (which you have already identified) which are completely biased, disingenuous, and unscientific.


(05-09-2016 10:35 AM)Sturm Wrote:  I think those theories would never have crossed my mind if they weren't exposed to me, and I would be living happily, not questioning the 95% of realistic conception of the world in which I still believe, but less strongly.

You should question. You should ask if science is really doing an objective job of describing our universe/world/lives. You should never stop questioning.

But that's not what these people are doing. At. All.

Edit to Add: One final thought. Real scientific truths don't need to be spread by peer pressure. They stand on their own. Humans are social animals, and thus subject to peer pressure and the biases that result from a desire to group-think, a survival instinct left over from our tribal ancestry. I leave you with the thoughts of a minor hero of mine:

[Image: 11038247_866429496764870_808720130970545...amp;crop=1]

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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