Lao Tzu

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

Thursday, March 26, 2015

“Hogwash!" and Other Down-to-Earth Observations

Do you believe in ghosts, channeling the dead,
zombies, possession by Satan, the Law of Attraction
and other mythologies of the magical-thinking kind?


But don’t get too upset with me. I know how humorless you true believers can be. For the evidence, consider the following:
From Psychics is Deadly Serious BusinessUK-based Sally Morgan, known by her moniker “Psychic Sally,” has become embroiled this week in another dispute with skeptics. Earlier today an undercover video was released showing rather disturbing threats being made against a skeptic from people who apparently work for the psychic performer.
The video is below, but first some background is in order. A skeptic named Mark Tilbrook has been handing out leaflets outside Ms. Morgan’s appearances as a form of skeptical activism since earlier this year. These leaflets offer some questions for attendees to consider to make “sure you are not tricked or misled into something that may not be real” along with some hyperlinks to skeptical resources online.
Ms. Morgan’s team took a dim view of this campaigning…
…As you can see, two representatives of Morgan’s come out and threaten Tilbrook not only with legal action, but also with physical violence. They also make a number of anti-gay slurs against him and several other people who have campaigned against Morgan. Quite disgraceful on every level.
The thing is, the world needs more skeptics. Where, for example, were the skeptics when victims of misogyny, rape and oppression could have benefited from their ability to reason effectively? As an example, consider how one insular religious community killed even the possibility of critical thinking from the get go and reaped the consequences of hogwash gone wild:
For a while, the residents of Manitoba Colony thought demons were raping the town’s women. There was no other explanation. No way of explaining how a woman could wake up with blood and semen stains smeared across her sheets and no memory of the previous night. No way of explaining how another went to sleep clothed, only to wake up naked and covered by dirty fingerprints all over her body. No way to understand how another could dream of a man forcing himself onto her in a field—and then wake up the next morning with grass in her hair.
For Sara Guenter, the mystery was the rope. She would sometimes wake up in her bed with small pieces of it tied tightly to her wrists or ankles, the skin beneath an aching blue...
And then we have all the other examples of such hogwash gone wild... ad infinitum.
(Originally posted at See the on-going conversation here:“hogwash-and-other-down-earth-observations )