Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Magical thinking? I’d say “delusional”

This New York Times article builds in large part on the work of people like Pascal Boyer and Scott Atran.

But, as Hume pointed out, “is” (in the naturalistic sense) does NOT imply “ought” in morals and ethics. It sure as hell doesn’t, and shouldn’t, in metaphysics.

It’s a control issue, and escapism. The article points out, rightly, that magical thinking is strongest when people feel most helpless. But, especially in today’s world, that’s exactly when people should instead engage in something like rational-emotive or cognitive-behavioral therapy on themselves.

Magical thinking is ultimately the ultimate surrender of control.

That said, I can certainly appreciate, understand and even empathize with the emotions often behind magical thinking, especially when it’s magical thinking related to something serious, like trauma, and not something trivial, like allegedly influencing a sports contest.

That doesn’t mean it’s any more true… just that it’s a lot more potent.


Thorp said...

RE- Magical Thinking....It seems to me like Magical Thinking is more like faking it in life, not really being integrated and authentic and yet not even knowing it. I think it must be like this when you are pretending to be a grown up and a man then you get shot with a real bullet in Iraq and suddenly you have a very serious case of PTSD. I think a lot more of us than we realize are pretending our way through life and when 'reality' hits, we are absolutely overwhelmed by trama. When I think of Magical Thinking it seems to me it's like that. Like we are believing in what we want to be true. Reality is hard to stomach but sometimes when we've been living escapist lives, we get nailed and can't but face it. That's what breaks us. When we can not escape like usual and we can't cope so it crushes us. we break. Magical thinking is a big part of our entertainment driven culture. Pain is real, but late night TV and ice cream are more fun, so...as long as I can keep my job and fool us both into thinking I've got your back when you need me, then life is real enough for now. That's my version of what Magical Thinking really means.

Thorp said...

Thorp you are a genious. Does your mother know you are pathologically self-confident? Yes, I see. She was a narcisist too? Well,... Thorpe, you are... oh never mind...I take it back. Fine then. Be that way! Go blog yourself if you're going to be rude about it! FINE! You started it though!