Sunday, December 2, 2012

MORE DANGER of Positive Thinking / Attraction Marketing / Whatever

The Secret: cover
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ever read the book "The Secret"? I will tell you now I have not, nor would I ever want to.

Why? Because I already know all its supposed secrets, and while it has some use, the rest of the book can be described in two words: wishful thinking.

The book essentially says: if you do a lot of wishful thinking, what you wish for will come true.

Yeah, right. (I'm being sarcastic, if you haven't figured that out yet)

This, surprisingly has a lot with philosophical discussions of... God.

To many, belief in God started as "better safe than sorry". Or put it more plainly, if God does exist, and I believed in him, then I would have benefited. If God does not exist, then I really haven't lost much if anything. So it's better to believe in God.

Indeed, this became formalized as "Pascal's Wager", and all the argument's strengths and weaknesses answered in that article I linked.

"The Secret" is much the same way: it's better to believe that we have full control of our destiny. If we do, great! If not, we wasted money on one lousy book. Thus it's better to believe in believing!

Not really, because this is circular argument. I believe because I believe.

At best, you become more attuned to the possibilities, and more ready to exploit them if you spot them *and* have the resources available to do so.

At worst, all this positive thinking makes you positively reckless and do a lot of stupid things.

There's nothing wrong to realize the futility of negative thinking when there's nothing that can be done about it. If you're stuck in traffic, it does no good in getting stressed out. However, positive thinking about your goals and your expectations doesn't make them come true, nor will they actually make you feel happy and content. That requires a change, either accomplishing your goals (and set new ones), or redefining your goals.

But all this "positive thinking" (wishful thinking) is also dangerous in a way that is less obvious: that it tells people to IGNORE warning signs as mere "negativity" spread by "dream stealers".

In other words, scammers can disguise their scam by claiming all their critics are "negative people" who don't understand values of positive thinking, just ignore those who were shouting warnings.

Don't let too much positive thinking make you reckless.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment