How To Overcome Superstition (in Debates)

AdminQBVerifex [Serenity In Chaos] June 6 2009 3:39 PM EDT

Alright, so you are talking to your friend who has recently had an experience that brought up some of his superstitious beliefs. The next part of your discussion involves him telling you that he is incredibly disturbed by these beliefs and that they are keeping him up at night. Your friend is a young adult, 21, and holds a firm belief in religion (which one is not important).

His religion re-enforces certain superstitious beliefs, but making the differentiation between one set of irrational beliefs and another is almost destined to fail, as attempting to criticize one set, almost certainly involves criticizing the second set. Which way do you approach this, and why?

I'll start this off: I ask the friend what the most disturbing part of their superstition is, then attempt to deconstruct it into smaller pieces, then logically walk through each piece until it doesn't seem so bad. If they attempt to reaffirm their superstitious belief through some personal anecdote, I'll try and compare their experience to another equally mystical anecdote that doesn't have a superstitious belief attached to it. Why:I think this might work as it soothes the part of your brain that is always attempting to find patterns in the world around you without having to directly dismiss their own beliefs.

Brakke Bres [Ow man] June 6 2009 7:02 PM EDT

kinda like karma?

Cube June 6 2009 10:09 PM EDT

'Your friend is a young adult, 21'

I've had plenty of friends with superstitious beliefs, some very hardcore about them, but usually, they aren't too much of a hindrance. If superstitions were that much of a problem in everyday life, people probably wouldn't have them. Granted this belief was keeping your friend up at night, but if it's that inconvenient, many can get over it eventually one way or another. It's all part of being human.

One friend who's particularly hardcore about her irrational beliefs, I argue with all the time. But the arguments are more surface than deep seated beliefs. If I argue with her, she'll accept all my points, but refuse to concede the larger debate. It can be somewhat irritating, but I've never had a problem being friends with her for this irrationality because she's still a good person, and I don't think it causes her problems with everyday life - for the most part.
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