Have you lost or gained belief this year? Is feeling believing?
Here, is the awkward part where I bare my soul to strangers. Close your eyes if you want to. Below is my poem about belief 👇🏼.
Do you ever go to sleep waiting for a sign? Superstition. Magic. Divine intervention. Just waiting for direction. Anything to make a decision. I am afraid to say fairies don’t exist, just in case a fairy dies. There is an innocence in believing in a greater purpose. I pray not knowing if anyone is listening. I talk to an invisible wall- sometimes I swear I hear something back. When I think of fairy dust I swear I see something fly. When I see a cracked mirror my day turns unlucky. Is it dreams? Intuition? I don’t Know. I just believe. I believe in too many things. That is my problem.
Religion and science: Two ends of the same coin
I know it sounds counterintuitive but the way people believe in science and religion are very similar.
Sometimes, we think of people standing at opposite ends of a rope, pushing and tugging until one falls.
Sweat, blood, and maybe tears are involved in debates. Hair pulling arguments that make people slam doors in each other’s faces.
Scientists believe they are winning on earth. Religious folks believe they will win in the afterlife. The truth is we cannot know 100 percent either way. Hence, why do we try to pretend we know?
In effect, confirmation bias can make us believe in anything from magic to mind reading to hypnosis.
When we believe in something or someone we try our best to prove that what we believe is right, especially when making big decisions.
Like marrying someone. Picking a way to cope with death, even sicknesses like COVID.
Bias is not always vomit-inducing. Ok, I know I sound crazy. Hear me out.
Today, our modern world is curated for metropolitan travelers. The wanderers and free-thinkers.
Even, free thinkers subscribe to confirmation bias. This usually happens subconsciously without us realizing it.
For example, when we pick a political group to stand by, where we choose to do our business and even work. We are the product of our beliefs.
What do a magician, religious person, and neuroscience fan have in common?
No, this is not the start of a horrible racist joke or religious debate. Actually, it is not a joke at all.
All these people believe in their magic, religion, and science.
Today, some people believe in neuroscience like it is a religion or cult.
So, here are 3 times where people were tricked or followed a confirmation bias and it helped.
1. That time people who believe in neuroscience got tricked
People who believe in science tend to adhere to thoughts, logic, and proof.
However, a fancy new tool like a brain graph, an Ivy league university, and fake technology can deceive a logic-prone person.
Some people believe in the magic of neuroscience. Literally.
An experiment at UCLA used a neuroimaging machine to trick people into thinking they were guessing their thoughts or mind-reading.
- The trick started by giving undergraduate students a number from 1 to 100 to pick before going into a neuroimaging machine.
- Participants were told that the new neuroimaging technology can read and influence thoughts.
- People believed in this trick. Even though the researchers were following an old magic trick.
The researchers suggested that if belief is so strong that people let go of critical thinking and believe machines can do the impossible- professionals should use it to their advantage.
Like making people believe it takes away headaches or anxiety.
In short, they can use neuroscience and machines as a placebo effect to make people think they are getting better.
2. Belief in science made people wear masks more
Belief plays a bigger role than we give it credit in our everyday life. Greater belief in science predicted mask-wearing.
Whereas, belief in conspiracy theories led to less compliance with COVID measures 😷 . AKA. The rule followers vs. rule breakers.
Notably, the belief in collectivism can be a way to increase efforts to reduce the spread of COVID.
3. That time religion stopped people from thinking about suicide
Religion can get a lot of flack these days when it comes to controversial topics. Still, religion is prevalent in many countries.
A strong sense of confirmation bias is at play here. In times of crisis, this helps.
Concerning religious people with depression, religion works as a buffer to mediate suicidal thoughts.
If religion can lessen the risk of people jumping off a bridge – then let’s just let them be. They have hope, find your own.
Religion can even stop people from experiencing burnout.
Maybe it is just the act of believing whether it is religion, magic, or science that helps.
Can magic help?
Belief systems offer a strong end-game. This is appealing to people. It gives them security. Meet people at their wavelength.
Use belief to let people feel like they are secure and wrapped up in a warm blanket.
Why not use the same beliefs to make people feel better? Just as long as we are not using belief to make people feel worse or judge others.
People already beat me to the punch and are using magic to make young impressionable minds flexible thinkers.
With the world and technology changing, a little flexibility can’t hurt. Getting lost in creativity is a timeless experience.
For instance, neuroscience is sometimes tricky. Some people believe in it too much and fall privy to graphs and neural talk.
Let’s get personal: I believe in too many things
Growing up, I was the kind of kid who fell for every word of anybody’s story.
I couldn’t understand how there were so many different religions, each one saying the other is wrong.
When I listened to atheists speak I also believed in a lot of what they said.
Mainly, I kept thinking, if so many people believe in something, there has to be some truth to it.
They can’t all be idiots. Then again, I could never fully invest in one idea either.
Since there were so many other things I believed in.
Indeed, I often find myself with no direction. Springing like a string from side to side lallygagging between different ideas.
To me, religion, magic, neuroscience, and meditation are deeply personal. Belief is an individual journey.
I don’t get why people try to convince people who are deeply rooted in science that God exists and vs. versa.
Let people believe
In conclusion, we should just let people believe what is the harm in that?
With the advent of COVID and unprecedented tragedies, people are suddenly finding themselves losing or gaining religion.
Some people who never prayed found a higher power. Alternatively, people lost their faith after losing a loved one.
Others lost faith in science after seeing medicine after medicine fail.
Then again, people who never took hygiene seriously suddenly wash their hands every hour while singing happy birthday.
Things are changing around us all. If a person can find a calm center in all this madness, let them.
Belief can be in anything. Religion. Science. Magic. Psychology. Believing in anything helps people deal with burnout and medical crises.
Stay believing in what makes you feel like you are flying and floating 😊.