Stephen Cave Video

I just thought I’d share this.

About lettersquash

White, male, heterosexual, left-leaning, almost-vegetarian blogger, musician, ex-psychotherapist and ex-mystic, now philosophical naturalist (atheist) ... somewhere near his sixtieth year on the freaking planet, trying to counter some tiiny fraction of the magical thinking and lies of his culture.
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2 Responses to Stephen Cave Video

  1. Woody says:

    Thanks for the clip lettersquash it was interesting.
    Legacy is a fact of life, it’s realization is partly mystery because, without living reviewers, we can’t be sure how closely the results reflect the intention.
    Reincarnation, souls and potions are in my consideration, magic.
    This seems a main point or threshold in my frame of mind.
    There’s a lot to say on this matter but I feel this comment is better served if I sum it up in a little rant :
    Magic, a medium stretching across countless beliefs, views, attitudes and such. Let’s list a few.

    Supernatural Immortal Beings.
    Looking one’s child in the eye.
    Ancient ‘knowledge’ that is the only reason to believe in many ancient remedies.
    Breeding populations of species that (through their own mystical powers) are still resilient to discovery.
    The satisfying feeling of connection with the landscape when camping with trusted friends, having thrown yabbee-nets in the dam.
    The powerful, sentient ‘spirit’ of the natural world that thinks a lot like each particular thinker thinks.
    ESP (and I know that intuition and related powers can copy it well)
    Angels, Demons, Goblins, trolls, gnomes and stuff.

    Don’t get me wrong … I’ve believed without evidence or anything else except the want to believe, myself.
    Many who don’t speak well of sceptical people don’t seem to realize that we’ve been through it all ourselves. At times UFOs, lake monsters and the arcane powers of ancient druids. But I had a different way of reaching conclusions then. Not the ancient writings and deep reflection that make up the investigation technique of many religions and spirituality forms. Instead I’ve turned to examining the evidence, what is known, what can be fairly and confidently deduced (Never loosing my power to imagine)
    Magic can’t play a part in this process of reaching conclusions in my mind. As much as I wish it could, it can’t. And the magic of the natural world, I haven’t missed it, in fact my true appreciation of it makes the magical things obsolete (as fun as they can be).
    Looking in my child’s eyes, for example, I feel the magic, it’s natural.

    Magic, I can mention a possibility of it, with or without good natural evidence, but how much stock can I put in such an outside chance?
    Besides, if one will allow any amount or shape or style of magic into their decision making process, it seems to me they must allow ALL amount or shape or style of magic as well. Why would the magic that supports a persons particular belief be the only form of magic that should be used to reach decisions, it would seem illogical. It’s an endless and formless medium, isn’t it?

    OK, it wasn’t such a ‘little’ rant, so I appreciate your indulgence.

  2. lettersquash says:

    Woody, thanks very much for your comment. “Analysis”, I’d say, rather than “rant”, and it’s a good length for the number of useful observations in it! I agree entirely, and I have also done a great deal of “magical thinking” in my earlier years. You are right to indicate how widely it applies. It is our natural mental process, strong in childhood, but persistent even in adulthood. We all tend to assess probabilities badly (for instance, it’s common to think if you’ve got 10 heads in a row when tossing a coin, a tail is somehow more likely than it was when you started. Pareidolia – seeing patterns (especially faces) where there is only random “noise” – accounts for a lot of our superstitions and is almost certainly a major factor in the invention of religion. It applies to our different senses – we automatically interpret the sound of the wind (or tape hiss and hum) as someone moaning or whispering. We can train ourselves to some extent to avoid this habit, but not completely. I think the sceptical people are the ones who have seen these tricks their brains play on them, and learned to doubt their own senses. Then science comes into play to judge what’s true, with its more objective measurements and peer review – and with its other deliberate method of catching cognitive errors.

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