Greetings and salutations from the Empire!
In a docu I watched a while ago they read random horoscopes to random people and 90% of them thought it applied to their life.
I know the vast majority of you folks will share my views on horoscopes and other kinds of superstitious voodoo nonsense, but what I am curious about is what do you think about other skeptics and non believers who believe (and some quite strongly) in horoscopes, or ghosts or whatever.
Is it just another form of religious belief? After all, they believe in something supernatural that has no evidence supporting it.
Sound off in the comments.
Sorry for the hastily written post, I am interested in your opinions but too busy to phrase this better.
It is exactly the same phenomenon that gets Xians to laugh at other religions, and vice versa. One man's religion is another man's bellylaugh.
It's just that in this particular case the person in question thinks they have no religion but is unaware that what they are following is nevertheless still a religion.
It's more a form of stage magic than it is religion. They're intentionally written so vaguely that they apply to every one. For a good Idea of what I mean, see the Southpark episode where Stan learns how to be a psychic.
I love that episode! One of my favorites. Apparently Matt and Trey spent a lot of time with James Randi while making that episode.
I'm a non-believer however I sometimes go through horoscopes and like to watch paranormal shows, I do it out of curiosity and for entertainment. Ergo, I don't strictly believe in it.
Everyone might have different reasons, there are people who'd like to believe that there's always something more powerful than them or there's life after death, so as to bring 'meaning' to their life. As for superstitions, I believe it was implanted in our minds by religion, events and maybe even, gossip.
Why skeptics believe in superstitions and ghosts etc. might have the same reasons, it can be due to an event in their life or someone else's life, it might be because it was implanted in their brains and has always been there, thus making their reaction towards it completely reflex. Or maybe it's because they'd like to believe that there is indeed something greater than them, however it's not necessarily a god.
Most humans are constantly finding a reason in life, they cannot accept the fact that everything that occurs has no meaning or is not related. Maybe it's the thought that everything-does-not-happen-for-a-reason or life-has-no-meaning which triggers them to believe in unsupported information.
Animals are wired to recognize connections between events, in order to adapt to the future. Humans are further wired to creatively imagine or speculate about connections, because sometimes it leads to important discovery. Encultured (e.g. modern) humans have gained vast language and have expanded their communication of ideas and fantasies, such that an unnaturally high level of skepticism is now required to maintain reasonable levels of beliefs and accurate knowledge.
So, short story, beliefs these days are largely a result of peer pressure, and the preservation of folklore.