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← Children need to be sprinkled with fairy dust

Thor'Ungal's Avatar Jump to comment 8 by Thor'Ungal

Comment #272067 by Lumifish

I agree. I think the main thrust of the concern Dawkins might have is that magical thinking in escapism might leak into general society. Skepticism is probably key here but society in general doesn't seem to respond positively to this idea.

I personally find fantasy (and to some extent science fiction) to be of enormous value. Part of the reason for this is that it provides a toy universe with different rules to stew over. It allows ones lateral thinking to play with problems outside normal intuition. I have not heard personally of anyone that has taken these toy universes as real. If anything the fictional existence of such alien universes reminds us of how little of it is true.

The problem seems to stem more over with how we form real beliefs. Too often we take it on face value. We trust our gut feelings or circum to wishful thinking. If we like it and it sounds kind of plausible we accept it (and fail to critically investigate).

To make things worse none of us is immune to this kind of fuzzy thinking. Just think how many times you hear otherwise rational people railing against GM foods (regardless of the research). Or even us (myself included) reading an article critical of Dawkins or the new atheist movement and respond viscerally rather than absorbing criticisms and sorting the wheat from the chaff to improve our strategies.

I don't like the tone of this article but I must admit it make some valid points (many of which I'm sure Dawkins must already realise).

Edit: Bleeding typical, I finish typing and my post appears right after Richard's. I appear to have oversimplified the issue enormously; the above response seems fairly apt.

Mon, 27 Oct 2008 01:20:00 UTC | #258445