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On Magic

On Magic

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As for people that believed in bacteria and viruses before we had microscopes, they were just weird people with a crazy faith in hand washing. You can't prove there are bacteria and viruses, therefore they didn't exist. You can't prove they stayed healthier. You can try and explain why their religious ritual of hand washing is irrational and crazy, but these superstitious fools are stubborn and irrational.
  • Alas, people all to often mistake the arational with the irrational.
  • There were cultures (Islam, Nordic) where cleanliness was encouraged because it was observable that cleaner people stayed healthier....
    Proving the connection between cleanliness and health though depended on a rational understanding of the world, rather than - say - a mythic or spiritual (word doesn't fit quite).

    definition: rational - means that observations hold sway and that repeated observations and actions will produce the same effects. Both cultures above (Islam, Norse) believed in magic rationally and in multiple supernatural effects on the world.... because, given the world view, these effects ARE rational ;)

    hmm. Rereading doesn't help. I'm not sure I'm explaining myself well. Nonetheless, I am of the faith that the world is far more interesting than in rigorously tested repeatable observations and that over the next hill is possibility. I hold that in superstition there are potential realities not yet observed...
    • yeah, for me magic is rational from that definition. same actions repeatedly reproduce same effects.
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