Tag Archives: humanism

magical thinking

The Downside of Magical Thinking

Contributed by Ed Tilley

I have read in the media, including our local paper, lots of talk about prayer.

Prayer, in my view, is magical thinking.

I suppose people who practice it do so with good intentions. I am not sure how they explain why some people who pray suffer dire consequences. I suppose they attribute it to a higher plan.

I am not a fan of magical thinking for two reasons.

One is that it avoids the hard work. Science is hard work. It is going to be the hard work and difficult decisions that will address climate change.

Two is that it absolves humans of responsibility. I am reminded of the student who prays before a test as they have not studied. For some reason the student feels she/he can avoid responsibility for poor study habits. We humans use it to avoid responsibility for the work needed for peace and justice.

I remain hopeful about the future. I do so not because of some grand plan. I do so because humans adapt. We need science and reason to address the issues confronting us. If we do use them, we will succeed.