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New Agers and Creationists should not be President - Comments

A's Avatar Comment 1 by A

"I move in circles where most people would find it absurd to believe that humans didn't evolve from prehistoric ancestors, yet many of these same people quite happily believe in astrology, psychics, reincarnation, the Tarot deck, the i Ching, and sooth-saying."

Typical Sagittarian.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 17:54:00 UTC | #424605

The Truth, the light's Avatar Comment 2 by The Truth, the light

Interesting article and it makes a very good point that even though New Ageism is as nutty as Creationism, it has an air of credibility and even respectability with so called thinking people.

While New Age beliefs are probably less harmful than most religions, it certainly shouldn't be let off lightly. Anyone with such beliefs should be roundly ridiculed.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 18:40:00 UTC | #424617

Chrysippus_Maximus's Avatar Comment 3 by Chrysippus_Maximus


Sat, 19 Dec 2009 18:44:00 UTC | #424619

NormanDoering's Avatar Comment 4 by NormanDoering

"I rarely hear anyone share that they were a toilet cleaner in a previous lifetime and have a year to live at the most."

Well, duh! If your psychic told you stuff like that they'd go out of business.

And now for something completely different, an Islamic penguin:

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 18:47:00 UTC | #424620

Kubrick's Avatar Comment 5 by Kubrick

Well said, Ebert. In America, the political right is sometimes unfairly stereotyped as "anti-science." While that label broadly applies when it comes to their opposition to evolution and global warming, many forget that the new age/psychic/anti-vaccine/alternative medicine/"natural is better" nonsense often comes from the left.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 19:24:00 UTC | #424633

Ygern's Avatar Comment 6 by Ygern

The thing is, you may not be indoctrinated by fundamentalist system; but it is so rare to be taught critical thinking rather than fuzzy or wishful thinking when growing up.

So when you reach adulthood, it is very hard to know how to separate the bogus from the genuine - you just don't have the tools no matter how intelligent or otherwise well-schooled.

However much I genuinely would want people with baseless and potentially damaging beliefs to be barred from holding office, that's not really going to happen so long as they can convince enough supporters that there is some merit to what they say. A far better, but frustratingly more long-term tactic would be to introduce critical thinking and evaluation skills to school-goers so that they grow up with the tools to eliminate the nonsense as and when they come across it.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 19:27:00 UTC | #424635

jamiso's Avatar Comment 7 by jamiso

"New Age beliefs are the Creationism of the Progressives." - That was pretty funny.

Kind of went on a little long, and at the end were some videos, the bottom one said: "A SUPERSTITIOUS RELIGION IN MODERN TIMES: THE NEW AGE". I thought that might be funny.
It linked me to a HarunYahya video! Ahh, the universe is out to get me. But seriously, its really bad and will make you punch your computer.
Basically I think 'new age' stuff is silly because its a bunch of made up superstitions.
He thinks its evil, because it makes allah angry and creates amoral degenerates....oh, and its all The Beatles fault.

Roger, could you not have found a better video there.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 19:45:00 UTC | #424637

flying goose's Avatar Comment 8 by flying goose



Not quite so New Age as you might think.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 20:32:00 UTC | #424647

prolibertas's Avatar Comment 9 by prolibertas

I wouldn't want the 'me' of a few years ago to be President either.

However, as a former insider, I actually think that new-agers are the most likely of all groups to be convinced to come over to 'our side'. Whatever the nonsense they believe, they tend to be pretty individualistic in their outlook, meaning they will be less likely to take what they believe from authority, or to have social factors tying them to their beliefs. The emphasis the new-agers put on open-mindedness is also far greater than that of the religious right. It may be the extreme form of open-mindedness that is so open that their brains fall out, but it is there, and so they are reachable.

The new-agers will still have their powerful emotional reasons to believe, but for the above reasons I think they constitute a far happier hunting ground for potential rationalists than the creationist crowd.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 21:06:00 UTC | #424654

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 10 by SaintStephen

9. Comment #443228 by prolibertas on December 19, 2009 at 9:06 pm

I actually think that new-agers are the most likely of all groups to be convinced to come over to 'our side'. Whatever the nonsense they believe, they tend to be pretty individualistic in their outlook, meaning they will be less likely to take what they believe from authority, or to have social factors tying them to their beliefs.
WINNAH!!! Comment ranked as Excellent.

In fact, since you've so conveniently given me yet ANOTHER opportunity to dweebishly harp on "colour racism" on, these "New Agers" you're referring to are PRECISELY the kind of people I was trying to attract to Richard's website.

"Colours, crazy talk, Grateful Dead references, etc... now you truly understand the method of my former madness.

That's right, "former" madness. I wouldn't go back to my earlier "un-reined" habits if you waterboarded me with liquid hydrogen fluoride.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 21:27:00 UTC | #424663

TIKI AL's Avatar Comment 11 by TIKI AL

Openly religious people "should not be president".

After voting for him, I am upset with our president for telling the baby Jeebus story as if it were a fact at the tree lighting ceremony last night on national television. He didn't have to go all religious on us, just light the dam pagan origin tree.

Isn't brainwashing children child abuse?
And what about separation of church and state issues?

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 22:20:00 UTC | #424668

black wolf's Avatar Comment 12 by black wolf

let me add that I've read numerous testimonies of now convinced naturalists (or whatever the opposite of supernaturalist is; rationalist?) who started from a fundie religious position and found it easier to get to grips with reality by taking a detour from ancient myth through modern myth.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 22:20:00 UTC | #424669

R. A. B.'s Avatar Comment 13 by R. A. B.

I remember reading this a while back via Pharyngula. It shows very well that even among those outside of the three monotheisms, there are many people with other unrealistic beliefs.

-R. A. B.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 22:26:00 UTC | #424670

Doonhamer's Avatar Comment 14 by Doonhamer

Reminds me of Storm by Tim Minchin...

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 22:59:00 UTC | #424674

Demotruk's Avatar Comment 15 by Demotruk

Do people who believe in things like organic food being healthier, or have Maher like views on vaccines, count as New Agers?

Personally I think these sorts of beliefs are likely the result of being raised in a relatively liberal family, but not learning or being taught much about science (which is a good way for kids to learn critical thinking). We all have a tendency to accept what our peers say as true when we're young, we can learn to lose that but it's not all of us do, even among the irreligious or moderately/nominally religious.

Sat, 19 Dec 2009 23:19:00 UTC | #424677

Dave Porter's Avatar Comment 16 by Dave Porter

How come when you call up a psychic on those hot-lines they ask you what you name is? Shouldn't they already know it? And shouldn't they call you first since they knew you were going to call them? And why do they need to have a job? Shouldn't they have already picked the winning numbers for last week's lottery?

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 01:42:00 UTC | #424692

Sheol99's Avatar Comment 17 by Sheol99

Openly religious people "should not be president".

This is the key. I believe individuals have the right to believe whatever they want or whatever they were being indoctrinated into previously - anything for any reasons - the fact that some of those reasons may be unreasonable or even illegal is another issue.

But, it applies only on individual belief.
When a person becomes a public leader, someone we entrusted with power to influence other people AT OUR COST - then his/her belief becomes important, if it affects his/her public action (which it definitely does / will do if it is fanatical).

These are subtle differences, and we need to have positive laws / regulations to differentiate them.

But the implications are clear, as mentioned by Ebert - and since some of the distinctions are not very well defined (e.g. how different are the christianity levels between Dubya and Obama? there definitely some difference, how much? how to quantify them?) -- then the "should not".

Definitions ..

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 01:45:00 UTC | #424693

MuayThaiGuy's Avatar Comment 18 by MuayThaiGuy

I am glad to see that some one has pointed out the hypocrisy of the left. As crazy as the right is in their classical religious nonsense those on the left are just as ridiculous with their New Age nonsense.

I mean is a Mormon's magic underwear anymore insane than some New Age hippies spirit guide?

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 03:01:00 UTC | #424697

JackR's Avatar Comment 19 by JackR

Ebert's been writing some good stuff lately. This too.

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 03:18:00 UTC | #424700

Alovrin's Avatar Comment 20 by Alovrin

Oh if only Timothy Leary had been elected president and Dee Brown's book had shamed the US as a whole into a reality check.
Instead they ran to Osho and the flood gates opened.
Every man and his motor was an oracle.
The only sensible one was Hunter and he was crazy.

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 03:20:00 UTC | #424701

yanquetino's Avatar Comment 21 by yanquetino

I see all too often another variation on this phenomenon among those on the "left." None of them would openly deny evolution, yet they constantly convey a belief that any and all problems in our schools are a product of "nurture" --never nature. It seems like there is always something wrong with the teacher, the textbooks, the classrooms, the curriculum, the district, the metholodogy, the budget, the policies: just change those things, and "no child will be left behind." Never are they willing to concede that perhaps, maybe, possibly... said child was simply born with the genetic mentality of Homo neanderthalensis.

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 03:25:00 UTC | #424702

FuerstOpus's Avatar Comment 22 by FuerstOpus

This article reminds me that, like Roger, I see these two groups as being two sides of the same coin. But it's a counterfeit coin.

I started watching the Occult video on the suntimes page, and the guy reminded me of my mother, telling me, not that the "occult" was BS, but that it was the work of Satan. By saying that, they're giving power to the belief in the occult.

I dismiss it all as childish wishthinking, but in hindsight, I see that they set up generations of kids with the idea that if you lose faith in Jebus, there are some mighty powerful alternatives out there.

Not a new thought I'm sure, but I'm seeing that the whole new age thing is an obvious outgrowth of Christian inculcation.

I'd much rather have them teach children that the occult is BS, and then if they lose faith, they're just atheists.

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 04:02:00 UTC | #424705

Janus's Avatar Comment 23 by Janus

I'd go one step further and say that only rationalists should occupy positions of power.

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 05:03:00 UTC | #424714

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 24 by Jos Gibbons

Comment #443266 by Dave Porter

Good points. I am reminded of a scene in Phoenix Nights in which Brian Potter is informed that tonight's act, who is a psychic, has telephoned asking what time he's on. Potter replies, "If he's any good, he'll know already". He was, of course, not very good at all.

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 08:28:00 UTC | #424748

VickiGirl's Avatar Comment 25 by VickiGirl

Ugg. Why does the belief of a President matter£ I'm personally more concerned with how they'll run things than with the amusing things they happen to believe.

New Agey people tend to respect other people's beliefs. I may be a little biased, but out of any religious group New Age people are the most likely ones to keep religion OUT of politics.. which is exactly what we both want.

Some of us may believe strange, bizarre, funny stuff, but as long as we keep it to ourselves and leave it out of politics, who cares£

Sorry if I sound a little defensive, I’m just a little miffed about being compared to a creationist.

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 12:48:00 UTC | #424780

Colwyn Abernathy's Avatar Comment 26 by Colwyn Abernathy


"I move in circles where most people would find it absurd to believe that humans didn't evolve from prehistoric ancestors, yet many of these same people quite happily believe in astrology, psychics, reincarnation, the Tarot deck, the i Ching, and sooth-saying."

Typical Sagittarian.

First post WIN. First I serious'd...then I LOL'd. Spot on!

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 13:10:00 UTC | #424783

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 27 by Diacanu

SaintStephen @ comment 10-

Dude, if you want to put on a "morning zoo", radio show, do what I did, and get a fuggin' blog.


Sun, 20 Dec 2009 13:30:00 UTC | #424786

Caudimordax's Avatar Comment 28 by Caudimordax

The only quibble I had with this article was this:

And if a candidate counts among close friends and advisors anyone in communication with the spirit world, that candidate should not be elected President.
I don't think the beliefs of "close friends" should be held against a candidate as long as it's clear that he thinks his close friends are whackaloons. Why, I myself have told my close friends that their beliefs in homeopathy, healing crystals and spirit guides are completely ditzy.

Of course, I'm not hearing much from those particular close friends anymore...

Quibble withdrawn.

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 14:30:00 UTC | #424791

Humanist Wikitopian's Avatar Comment 29 by Humanist Wikitopian

14. Comment #443248 by Doonhamer on December 19, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Reminds me of Storm by Tim Minchin...

That was truly excellent and laugh out loud funny!

Thanks for the link. :)

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 15:27:00 UTC | #424796

mookiemu's Avatar Comment 30 by mookiemu

I'm always amazes me how my otherwise intelligent free thinking friends can laugh at religious ideas, and then turn around and tell me that my second marriage didn't work out because I'm a Virgo and she was an Aquarius!

Sun, 20 Dec 2009 15:49:00 UTC | #424798