Re: New Age Angst

Anders Sandberg (
Wed, 4 Jun 1997 16:22:29 +0200 (MET DST)

On Sun, 11 May 1997 wrote:

> The woman I conversed with exhibited a pattern of thought that I've noticed in
> numerous conversations with New Agers: They can rebuke any attempt at
> rational thought b/c their belief system allows them to say anything,
> making up mind-fodder as they go along.

Yes, it is tiring. The problem is that they usually can't construct
rational arguments and don't care to because they never have to. In
the same way they don't understand why a rational argument is better
than an irrational argument (OK, honest introspection time: can you
explain why?). I pity them.

Usually I try to ask them if their mumbo-jumbo have any bearing on
reality. If they say it has, I then point out that in that case they
can be proved or disproved through rational methods; if they
sincerely believe in their views they should be ready to analyze them
critically, since a true view would be able to withstand critique. I
also point out to relativists that their relativistic views are
contradict themselves: if everyone is right, then I as a
non-relativist is right and there are absolutes.

But of course, few understand this kind of attack. So often when I
feel irritated I play along and see how bizarre their ideas can get
with some help from me. Since many new age people are utterly
uncritical it is not hard to lead their ideas into the strangest
directions (this works fine on fundamentalists too, as long as you
play along).

> Also, these people think they are quantum mechanics, rigging their
> silliness with quatum "stuff." These people don't even have a clue about the
> concept of a quantized energy packet, yet they think that watching _Quantum
> Leap_ or reading books by quacks who give no references gives them
> understanding enough to invoke quantum physics as "proof" of their
> madness.

Vic Stenger named it "cosmythology", using scientific terms to
"prove" that magick, psi or God exists without understanding

We need to teach ourselves and others rational thinking, and we
better start now.

Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y