What silly thing do you sorta believe in, despite knowing better?

My friends and I basically consider ourselves rationalists or skeptics for the most part. I’m not a believer in alternative health/homeopathy, vaccines=autism, gods, magick, souls, “the cosmos”, psychics, crystal healing or whatever juujuu people have introduced me to. For the most part I accept what I can see or measure, scoff at the mystical, and think there is a rational scientific explanation for everything that appears mystical. Whenever I hear of some great phenomena, I start scouring the internet for a scientific reason Thing A might appear the way it does, or to discredit people pushing Thing A. I’ve just developed a healthy skepticism that way.

Except for astrology. Despite my better intentions, whenever anyone sends me a astrology site or book, I devour it. I love it, know all about it, and am amongst the great unwashed claiming that whatever vague description in the book sounds “JUST like me!!!”. It’s one of my favorite subjects, and although I claim to anyone who asks that my interest is mostly intellectual, there is that tiny bit of me that wants it to be true and sorta thinks it is. I know it’s ridiculous and there are 100,000 logical reasons to reject it, but I just haven’t entirely.

So what does your subconscious insist on believing in despite your better intentions?

There are two conspiracy theories that I haven’t outright rejected.

One is the TWA 800 flight that exploded in mid-air after taking off from New York over Long Island Sound. Jet fuel is basically the same thing as kerosene, diesel fuel, and home heating oil. It almost always just burns and does not explode. The experts came up with explanations about how such a thing could ever occur but I am not sure I buy it completely. I am not an aerospace engineer but I am an aviation buff and have read a lot about it and I am not completely sure that the facts weren’t different than presented. I am not committed to any particular view like a military missile brought it down but the scientific analysis of the situation always seemed odd to me otherwise you would be taking your life into your own hands every time you stepped on board a 747 and no huge redesigns were ever made. It could have been a bomb, sabotage, something else, or a freak of circumstances but I have never been happy with the official explanations.

The other is the JFK assassination. I don’t believe that there were multiple gunman but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any sort of conspiracy either. The fact that Oswald himself got assassinated by a Mobster on national TV is pretty strange. He may have been just a deluded person but the fact that other people wanted to silence him forever sets off my alarm bells.

I am not committed to any particular point with either of those incidences. They just seem odd given the circumstances.

More in-line with your OP, when I read about chaos theory, it really screwed me up (A butterfly flapping its wings in Tokyo can cause a hurricane in Florida the next week). The theory is basically correct but now I try to think about things that I will do and how it will affect other people. I could literally kill someone just by saying Hi on the way out of work and causing them to get into a fatal traffic accident an hour later because of a 5 second delay. I try to predict what harm that may be all the time which is, of course, completely irrational and unpredictable.

Fairness in human social relations.

Deja Vu. I know about the theory of selective retention and smell triggers and such but damn, it happens often enough to me (1-2 times a year) that I sometimes question if there isn’t another sense that just hasn’t been discovered yet or maybe not fully developed in humans.
It’s fun and freaky when it happens to me so I don’t feel too silly about it.

This is going to sound strange…

I’m very obsessed with cats. I’m good at communicating with cats. I have a number of strange felinique personal habits. Ask anyone I know- they’ll tell you that if I was an animal, I’d be a cat. It’s hard to explain fully, but if you knew me in person you’d know what I mean.

So I have this silly fantasy where I pretend that I’m a cat, or a cat/person creature, or spiritually connected to cats or something. Yes, I could smack myself in the face tell myself to stop acting silly, but it’s all a bit of harmless fun.

All kinds of things. For an intelligent logical person, I can contain an awful lot of silly beliefs. OK, for me, I walk the line between *wanting *to believe and being too big of a skeptic to *fully *believe. But I cross over that line on either side regularly.

I should much rather be spiritually connected to cats than many people I know. :slight_smile:

I can’t get with astrology because when I read all the characteristics of my sign, they are all wrong wrong wrong as relates to me! I don’t know WHAT astrology sign I relate to.

But take the subject of ‘past lives’. I have a deep, lifelong fascination with certain time periods and historical events, and certain kinds of humans and animals. I would like to think, despite all my rational mind tells me, that I am so attracted to these things because I actually did live previous lives, and had experiences with those humans and animals!

I’m going to go with reincarnation too. I read somewhere that some Hindus think to be a master musician you need to be on your seventh incarnation as a musician. I’m convinced that I’m on my first.

I don’t believe in it, but I read my tarot pretty regularly (usually just on the computer.) I don’t think I’m getting anything more than random cards, but I think I get something out of my interpretation and reactions to the card.

I think it helps me clarify things about myself I already know- kind of like when you flip a coin to make a decision, and you suddenly find yourself really hoping for one side or the other. I’m generally pretty out of touch with my emotions. so I think it helps me gain some insight about what I’m really feeling.

I’m getting better about this, but I usually get pissed off if an announcer says the word “shutout” while a goaltender has one going.

Oh, and my neighbours are probably praying for the day that I realize that the refs really can’t hear me screaming at my TV.

I hate the crowd noise at sporting events on TV. I have read that a survivor of the Titanic thought the noise of the screaming people in the water sounded like that, and wondered…:slight_smile:

I’m very skeptical, and I don’t have any superstitions but…I throw salt over my shoulder when I spill it. Do I think there are demons lurking behind me? No. But hey, better safe than sorry, right?

I touch the outside of an airplane when I board. I know it is just superstitious nonsense, but I fly a lot and it makes me feel better. I justify it by the fact that it makes me feel better. Oddly enough, I don’t do this when I board a helicopter. That fact just occurred to me and now I’m probably going to have to do it when I get on a chopper.

An anthropomorphic Lady Luck. Whenever something incredibly lucky for fortunate happens to me I end up trying to placate her by entering some small bet or roll of the dice or chance or lottery purchase as a means of thanking her.

Irrational, I know, but it gets me every time.

I like watching those documentary ghost shows like “A Haunting” on the Discovery or History channel.

I don’t believe in any of that crap but I find it just as entertaining as watching “Saw” or “Friday the 13th.”

Also, I think something wierd is going to happen on Dec 21, 2012. I don’t think the world is going to end or anything close to it but I do think something is going to happen like maybe a solar flare causing the state of NY to go with out electricity for a few hour or some crazy shit like that. Kind of an Ah-Ha!! moment.

Something I’ll be able to laugh at; as in: “Oh well, so much for the end of the world…”

Me too. There is no bullshit about cats, whereas humanity could not survive without it.

I find it possible that a sort of reincarnation exists. More of a “we are all god, but just different reincarnations of him/her/it.” This reincarnation requires that each life may or may not occur in a linear fashion. I’m not super attached to it, but I believe it is possible, even if not probable.

I sort of believe in ghosts. Although I have not experienced anything in this regard, I’ve known enough people and read enough things that I think it’s possible there is something there that science does not currently understand. I used to have the same “well, maybe” opinion about UFOs for some of the same reasons, but eventually reality won out in that case.