For example, I have an atheist friend who is sadly an anti-vaccer, another half believes is water divining. The point being atheism is no guarantee of a woo-free wordview.

Have any of you here had similar experiences with friends etc?

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I love that laundry list of woo. I think we need to make some distinctions.

I believe it's been established that acupuncture can, at least sometimes, be an effective therapy for some problems. However, the fact that it might work doesn't mean that the theory it's based on isn't horseshit. That it works can simply be accidental.

So, maybe things like acupressure and aroma therapy may be beneficial, but not for the metaphysical reasons used to justify them.

If something works, mentally lazy people are likely to attribute that success to the explanation offered by its proponents, which not a scientific approach to knowledge.

U:

If something works, mentally lazy people are likely to attribute that success to the explanation offered by its proponents, which [is] not a scientific approach to knowledge.

An apropos statement of purpose for the new BB True Confessions magazine.

Ha ha Reg! So true. Reminds me of back when I was dabbling in new age woo. I thought to myself "Man this shit is too complicated."

Oh man, I've got an agnostic friend who sincerely believes in astrology and the power of positive thinking to change reality. She believes that there's some sort of spiritual energy that can be effected by the rotation of the planets like some sort of cosmic, supernatural ocean. The fact that she's super smart and a very practical person made the revelation very disappointing to me.

SH, tell your friend it's easier to change dogmas than to give up the need for a dogma.

I agree Unseen that some people may gain benefits from certain types of woo even if it is from the ritual of the tradition or the placebo effect of the sugar pill. I will grant a pass to well meaning “hippies” selling scented candles but I will be as militant towards homeopathic remedy peddlers as I am towards organised religion. There are similarities to be found between the “positive” effects of religion and certain types of woo. They may all lead to a certain serenity (opium of the people) and even the strongest of us sometimes needs something to make it through the darkest nights (Sagan)( an aside for your guitar).

There are people who claim not to believe in gods but have not yet realized that they are Atheists. So I think they are probably the ones who tend to look for a replacement to their faith or the community spirit they had when they were part of a congregation. They have a sense of “there must be something or someone out there”. Since they have not yet understood how to think critically and to reason things out for themselves they are still susceptible to “Woo-Woo”. However those of us who know WHY we are Atheists tend to have learnt some critical thinking skills.

I wonder how many times I have written the words “Evidence” on this site. That is what most of us here look for and that is why we don’t fall into any of those mind traps that fill this demon haunted world. Watch out for those “deepities” too Lol. I too know some very well educated people that fall for it over an over..

No – Yoga is good. I would bend over backwards to practise it but I would probably need a massage afterwards if I did, which is good too.

I hope you're talking about the kind of bath salts one puts in their bath tub. Not the other kind one snorts, eats, or shoots.

With chiropractic, it really depends on what they are doing. The form of chiropractic that focuses on misaligned bones, ligaments, etc can be a sort of specialized physical therapist and can be beneficial. The kind of chiropractic that claims that adjusting the spine can cure deafness, cure cancer, etc? Woo.

Yoga's a good, practical method of stretching, exercise, etc. Just don't expect to learn to levitate or gain spiritual superpowers.

If somehow all of civilization simultaneously dropped religion and it's trappings I could easily deal with any woo that might remain. 

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