Wednesday Woo

Wednesday Woo: What If?

Good morning Heathens and Hell-Bound friends and foes alike! Today marks another edition of Wednesday Woo! For the last Wednesday Woo, click here: Wednesday Woo Podcast #1: Life Coaches. Today we delve into the world of “What ifs?”


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A wonderful game New Agers adore playing is the “what if” one. Common “what ifs” in New Age circles:

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What if God is just a state of mind?
Reality is just a dream?
Aliens are responsible for life?
We can create things with our mind?
The government is controlling our minds with chemtrails (TM)?
Pigs fly out of my butt?

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Ok, so that last one was a joke, but it highlights the absurdity of such claims in a way I consider much-needed. The claim that “anything is possible” then it follows that pigs could fly out of my butt. There’s just no way around that.

Sure, imagination is a wonderful aspect of human cognition – a gift of higher order thinking that can dive into the abstract and pluck a creative idea, and sometimes turn it into a reality, but some things are beyond the scope of what is real.

Are any of these “what ifs” useful? It truly depends on the topic, but I have found very few of those asked by New Agers have any profound impact on my life, other than having wasted a good chunk of it. Since I have now abandoned such far-fetched stretches of imagination, I can conclude I no longer waste time on such things. I don’t consider doing so to be very enlightening at all, but only a way to temporarily distract from whatever it in reality isn’t tolerable.

They say that to define things limits them, and that somehow an antithesis determines what is, vise versa in an olympian logical leap. When I posted the above video in an enlightenment group, these are the responses I received:

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I’m not sure if the purple person was joking or not, since people will go to great absurdities in order to rationalize holding their belief that anything is possible. There’s no way to tell, since the assertion they are making is that not one thing is impossible, then it follows that not only can pigs fly, but they could fly straight out of my asshole. So either they actually believe this, or do they see the flaw in their logic, and making light of it.

As for orange, that’s just plain absurd as well. If things are defined by what they are not, then we live in bizzaro-world where nothing can be defined at all. If all things have a boundary or limit, then they would be by definition, finite. The container of all things would naturally be a part of all things itself, and subject to this empirical examination. Seems like this comment is contrary, circular reasoning to me. It also has a case of special pleading, since if all things are finite, but there are infinite things such as energy and “all possible worlds”, then that would make energy and “all possible worlds” exceptions to the rule. If all things are possible, then impossibility is also possible. Making general statements like this, especially lists of ideas that are obviously contrary to one another, is not a rational way to form a conclusion, and offers no possible aid in dealing with reality. In fact, the cognitive dissonance holding these positions creates more stress on the psyche, and recovery from this is quite arduous. I should know, for I have had to reevaluate this worldview myself.

Thinking well is of vital importance to both one’s personal well-being, and their relationships. Make sure you do not fall into these styles of thought:

Stay logical, my friends!

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