Why non-believers don’t exist

August 10, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

Matthew Hut’s “The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking” is one of the most challenging and well-written books I’ve read in the past decade. His premise is that ALL of us believe in “magical thinking,” which he defines as the “mingling of psychological concepts with physical ones” (as opposed to another approach, which would have been “holding beliefs that contradict scientific consensus–he defends his approach on p. 7 of his book).

In this article at Huffpo, Hutson elaborates:

Thanks to evolved habits of mind, we suspect the reality of essences, voodoo, luck, mind over matter, ESP, the soul, karma, and destiny. We attribute mental properties to nonmental phenomena (treating natural events as purposeful, say) and attribute nonmental properties to mental phenomena (treating thoughts as having force in the world). We mix up the realms of mind and matter.

What’s more, such illusions are not all bad–they can provide a sense of control over the events around us and a sense of meaning in life.

So before you call someone with far-fetched beliefs stupid or crazy, read on and check out 13 of the many reasons the supposed “non-believer” is just one more figment of the imagination.

What follows, I guarantee, is that everyone of you will realize that you are believe in magical thinking.


Category: Psychology Cognition

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    The article, to me at least, reads like a muddled pile of apologist bullshit.

    The current opinion in neurobiology is that memory recall and recognition function through a a pattern matching mechanism, but the interpretation of those patterns is learned from peers, society and experience.
    So a Catholic might see the virgin Mary in scorch marks on a piece of toast, a protestant might see Jesus, an NRA member might see Ted Nugent and a lotof other people may only see burn marks. Sometimes this recognition can result in strange conclusions.

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