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Old 9th November 2009, 02:03 AM   #1
Marshmallow
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Law of Attraction - So are they all just deluded or making this stuff up?

For example, people on websites like powerfulintentions.org often post stories about how they made miraculous changes in their lives, like changing their appearance just by concentrating and believing they already looked the way they wanted to. The people who claim they have changed their appearance talk about how people will go up to them and say how they look really different, etc. They'll post how they did it just believing they already look the way they want. Often, these are people who don't seem like they would have any motive for lying about this stuff...they aren't selling anything and they're anonymous. What would they have to gain by making this stuff up? I understand that someof these people probably have delusional disorders or they may be experiencing confirmation bias - but allof them?

I've read a lot of really convincing and extraordinary stories from people who don't seem to have anything to gain by lying about these things to total strangers on the Internet. I know that anecdotes are not the most reliable things in the world, but there are just...so many of them. What would people have to gain by making these things up?

By the way, I don't want to limit this question to just things like the Law of Attraction. What would motivate someone to anonymously lie about anything paranormal to complete strangers?

I know that confirmation bias is often responsible for thse things, but I've also read quite a few accounts where confirmation bias was obviously not the case...so if they're not lying or delusional, what are some other alternatives?

What do you skeptics think?
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Old 9th November 2009, 02:13 AM   #2
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Re the LOA, confirmation bias is a large part of it, but another large does is simply self confidence. If you believe more in whatever it is you're trying to achieve, then you are going to look different. You might stand up straighter, shower more often, dress with more care, smile more - not to mention actually be more likely to take action to achieve whatever it is you are wanting.

No mysticism needed.
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Old 9th November 2009, 06:42 AM   #3
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Well, actually, yes, they can all be liars or self-deluded.

The world is a very, very big place, Marshmallow. Six billion people live there, and many of them have internet access. If these people with internet access are liars or self-deluded, then they are likely to use the internet to seek out others who believe (or profess to) the same things as they do. You just stumbled upon a woo nest.
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Old 9th November 2009, 06:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Marshmallow View Post
For example, people on websites like powerfulintentions.org often post stories about how they made miraculous changes in their lives, like changing their appearance just by concentrating and believing they already looked the way they wanted to.

...snip...
Any cases of anyone regrowing a limb that was amputated for some reason?
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Old 9th November 2009, 06:50 AM   #5
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Can anyone give me a quick resume of what this is about, please: I did look at the site but I could not make much sense of it
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Old 9th November 2009, 06:54 AM   #6
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In summary it is the belief that if you really want something you'll get it.

In practice it explains how Noel Edmonds got back on TV.... (actually I think he claims "cosmic ordering but it seems to be the same thing as far as I can distinguish).
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Old 9th November 2009, 06:57 AM   #7
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er.....what about all those people who really did not want noel edmonds to be back on tv?
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Old 9th November 2009, 07:00 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
er.....what about all those people who really did not want noel edmonds to be back on tv?
He's richer?
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Old 9th November 2009, 07:01 AM   #9
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Ah! So if you really want something you can buy it, if you have enough money?

Och I knew that
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Old 9th November 2009, 07:05 AM   #10
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Scott Adams attributes his success as a cartoonist to something very similar. He outlined it in one of his books, but I can't recall which one offhand, it may have been The Dilbert Future. He also wrote that he believes gravity is a result of the universe expanding, so we are pressed against stuff as it expands.
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Old 9th November 2009, 09:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Starthinker View Post
Scott Adams attributes his success as a cartoonist to something very similar. He outlined it in one of his books, but I can't recall which one offhand, it may have been The Dilbert Future. He also wrote that he believes gravity is a result of the universe expanding, so we are pressed against stuff as it expands.
<derail> He also doubts evolution. I wrote off Scott Adams years ago. </derail>
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Old 9th November 2009, 11:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
In summary it is the belief that if you really want something you'll get it.

In practice it explains how Noel Edmonds got back on TV.... (actually I think he claims "cosmic ordering but it seems to be the same thing as far as I can distinguish).
So it's The Secret?
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Old 9th November 2009, 12:10 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Starthinker View Post
Scott Adams attributes his success as a cartoonist to something very similar. He outlined it in one of his books, but I can't recall which one offhand, it may have been The Dilbert Future. He also wrote that he believes gravity is a result of the universe expanding, so we are pressed against stuff as it expands.
Wow, he was serious about that? How the hell did he get through computer engineer school?


Originally Posted by Nursefoxfire View Post
So it's The Secret?
Pretty much, yeah.
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Old 9th November 2009, 07:55 PM   #14
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I don't know, but I particularly liked (from powerfulintentions.org)

Quote:
Don't try to convince others about Law of Attraction because they will just visualizing duct tape over your mouth!.
Truer words have rarely been spoken.

I really do try to find something positive about ideas like this, but truthfully, words cannot describe the sheer feeling of revulsion I have towards them.
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Old 9th November 2009, 07:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Marshmallow View Post
For example, people on websites like powerfulintentions.org often post stories about how they made miraculous changes in their lives, like changing their appearance just by concentrating and believing they already looked the way they wanted to. The people who claim they have changed their appearance talk about how people will go up to them and say how they look really different, etc. They'll post how they did it just believing they already look the way they want. Often, these are people who don't seem like they would have any motive for lying about this stuff...they aren't selling anything and they're anonymous. What would they have to gain by making this stuff up? I understand that someof these people probably have delusional disorders or they may be experiencing confirmation bias - but allof them?

I've read a lot of really convincing and extraordinary stories from people who don't seem to have anything to gain by lying about these things to total strangers on the Internet. I know that anecdotes are not the most reliable things in the world, but there are just...so many of them. What would people have to gain by making these things up?

By the way, I don't want to limit this question to just things like the Law of Attraction. What would motivate someone to anonymously lie about anything paranormal to complete strangers?

I know that confirmation bias is often responsible for thse things, but I've also read quite a few accounts where confirmation bias was obviously not the case...so if they're not lying or delusional, what are some other alternatives?

What do you skeptics think?
I think they're pretty much making this stuff up. I mean come on ... just look at The X Files. How in the world does that stay on TV so long? Aliens, creatures every week? Kolchak the Nightstalker didn't have it so good! (At least not in syndication)
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Old 9th November 2009, 08:20 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Fiona View Post
Ah! So if you really want something you can buy it, if you have enough money?

Och I knew that
It's actually even worse than that because it also says that one attracts what one fears too much as well.

Rape victim? Their fault. Murder victim? Their fault. Blame all those idiots in the World Trade Center for fearing planes flew by Jihadist from Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
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Old 9th November 2009, 08:49 PM   #17
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Whoops! Hold it right there!

Originally Posted by Marshmallow View Post
...I've read a lot of really convincing and extraordinary stories from people....
And what is particularly CONVINCING about these, um, stories? What CONVINCED you?
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Old 9th November 2009, 09:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by icerat View Post
Re the LOA, confirmation bias is a large part of it, but another large does is simply self confidence. If you believe more in whatever it is you're trying to achieve, then you are going to look different. You might stand up straighter, shower more often, dress with more care, smile more - not to mention actually be more likely to take action to achieve whatever it is you are wanting.

No mysticism needed.
I think that this covers the whole idea quite nicely.

Norm
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Old 9th November 2009, 09:46 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Maia View Post
I don't know, but I particularly liked (from powerfulintentions.org)

"
Quote:
Don't try to convince others about Law of Attraction because they will just visualizing duct tape over your mouth!."




Truer words have rarely been spoken.

I really do try to find something positive about ideas like this, but truthfully, words cannot describe the sheer feeling of revulsion I have towards them.
If their law worked wouldn't they wind up with duct tape on their mouth?
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Old 9th November 2009, 09:47 PM   #20
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Don't forget attention-seeking as a motive to lie. And some people just lie habitually, with no real motive.
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Old 10th November 2009, 04:44 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Elizabeth I View Post
Wow, he was serious about that? How the hell did he get through computer engineer school?




Pretty much, yeah.
Adams didn't go to engineering school. He worked in the banking industry on the financial side and moved over to computers.
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Old 10th November 2009, 05:10 AM   #22
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There are laws of attraction, just not ones that work the way they say it does:

These laws are:
Birds of a feather flock together
Like attracts like.

Positive people attract positive people and negative people attract negative people. Hard working, goal oriented, disciplined, motivated, people attract to themselves the same. They do not attract lazy, non-focused, undisciplined, and unmotivated people.

Critical thinking people do not attract people who think irrationally and emotionally unless the irrational and emotional person has something in them that draws them to the rational side eoyj s deep sense of unbending intent and unflinching purpose. They may falter at times, buy there is some sort of internal gyroscope that pulls them back straight.

The difference between that and the current LOA is that the first examples are something that is deeply ingrained usually from birth on and it’s simply the way you are. The LOA is saying you can go from a negative person to a positive person simply by thinking only happy thoughts and suppressing all negative thoughts. Ain’t going to happen.

You can change the person you are but it
It takes work, time, perseverance and patients. And like all learned behaviors, you have to first unlearn it and then relearn a new way.

What the LOA is, is like the old adage that says, “Wish in one hand and then **** in the other and look to see which one got full first.”

It requires deep fundamental change starting at a very deep level and working your way up through it.


As I learned early on in my professional career:

Opportunity favors the prepared mind

L.U.C.K. – Laboring Under Correct Knowledge

It ain't easy and it don't come cheap.
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Old 10th November 2009, 07:49 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Marshmallow View Post
They'll post how they did it by just believing they already look the way they want.

New Testament = New Age:

Originally Posted by Mark 11:22-24
"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. "I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."


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Old 10th November 2009, 08:06 AM   #24
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OK within the mindset of the adherents of this philosophy, for this to work you have to really believe.

Lets say that you want to be more attractive. So you have to really believe that you are becoming more attractive. That means that when you look in the mirror either...

1) You will really believe you see yourself as more attractive.
or
2) You're doing it wrong.

What you're seeing in the testimonies on this website are not objective reports or this system working, it's people doing everything they can to really believe.
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Old 10th November 2009, 08:54 AM   #25
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It's not just about visualization, it's about raising your vibration. Positive thoughts and feelings will raise your spiritual vibratory rate, causing you to attract good things to yourself, and vice versa.

My mom once lent me a set of CDs from an Abraham-Hicks lecture (IMO the second most influential people behind this whole intention fad, after The Secret). I may not have the wording exactly right here (it's been awhile) but Abraham-Hicks was droning on as channelers do about positive feelings and how you can create your own reality just by changing your vibration and visualization, and then someone in the audience asked, as I recall, why their visualizations were not working, and... horror of horrors, someone, I think it was Abraham-Hicks, mentioned the "W" word.

That would be "work."

The person then said, "What do you mean 'work'?? I don't want to work! I just want to visualize things from my couch! Hey, no one said anything about work!"

It was even funnier to listen to Hicks try to come up with an answer. Essentially, that IS exactly what the Law of Attraction teaches. You should be able to manifest anything you like without ever leaving your sofa.

So, my take on the web site is that these are mostly people who are taking this concept quite seriously and trying to visualize and "happy think" their way to prosperity and health. If they fail, if bad things happen, as Ocelot just mentioned above, well, they did it wrong. Which, by the way, for the perpetrators of this woo, is a wonderful out.

For the people who buy into it, it's a huge potential source of guilt and frustration down the road when something bad happens to them.

I don't think the sellers of this philosophy are all that sincere, but for the average person who saw it on Oprah and really believes it can work, it's a big deal. I don't watch daytime TV but I did watch a few of The Secret episodes a few years ago, where she had on the testimonials of people who had created "Vision Boards" and visualized and succeeded in finding a relationship or whatever. You could see that they were completely sincere and convinced this had turned their lives around. It seemed like they were saying this way of thinking had changed them from feeling like helpless victims into empowered creators of their own reality. I remember Oprah saying something like, "This is what I was doing all along, and I didn't even know it!"

Sadly, it's based on a bit of truth that requires no magical thinking: People who move from a negative, discouraged, helpless victim stance to an empowered, take charge, positive goal-oriented stance will change their lives for the better.

No doubt there are people who are experiencing coincidence, and some who are delusional or just exagerrating to make themselves seem important. But for a lot of them, it's not just confirmation bias that keeps this going, it's the fact that they are going to see results, if nothing else because they're changing their behavior and approach to life.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 10th November 2009, 09:42 AM   #26
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No discussion about The Secret is complete with out this video:
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I AGREE
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Old 28th April 2011, 11:10 PM   #27
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The Law of Attraction is real in a more mundane sense, such as my intentions make me motivated to move in a certain direction which in itself will increase the possibility of meeting situations that match the intentions.

Let's say that I want to become a biologist. Then by taking an education in biology I will 'attract' the chance of getting a job as a biologist.

Then what about the Law of Attraction working by only getting the 'right mindset' or entering an emotional state of 'already having that which you want to attract'?

There could be some truth to that kind of attraction, but if so, what is the science behind it? If I for example want to attract money, would that be possible by only having the correct intent?
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Old 29th April 2011, 02:40 AM   #28
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In order for the Law of Attraction (LOA) to work by setting merely an intent, then the mind and the nervous system must be connected to the outside world. Are they? Yes! Quantum mechanics says that particles are entangled. The entire universe can be thought of as a single quantum state, which means that all particles are entangled with all other particles in that universal quantum state.

So in theory, the LOA could possibly work by merely setting a mental/emotional intent.
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Old 29th April 2011, 03:01 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by ExMinister View Post
It's not just about visualization, it's about raising your vibration. Positive thoughts and feelings will raise your spiritual vibratory rate, causing you to attract good things to yourself, and vice versa.

My mom once lent me a set of CDs from an Abraham-Hicks lecture (IMO the second most influential people behind this whole intention fad, after The Secret). I may not have the wording exactly right here (it's been awhile) but Abraham-Hicks was droning on as channelers do about positive feelings and how you can create your own reality just by changing your vibration and visualization, and then someone in the audience asked, as I recall, why their visualizations were not working, and... horror of horrors, someone, I think it was Abraham-Hicks, mentioned the "W" word.

That would be "work."

The person then said, "What do you mean 'work'?? I don't want to work! I just want to visualize things from my couch! Hey, no one said anything about work!"

It was even funnier to listen to Hicks try to come up with an answer. Essentially, that IS exactly what the Law of Attraction teaches. You should be able to manifest anything you like without ever leaving your sofa.
I forget whether it's actually in The Secret or one of the similar books, but one of them actually explicitly says that if you work towards your goal then you're doing it wrong, and are actually less likely to achieve it. You should just wish really hard.

Quote:
Sadly, it's based on a bit of truth that requires no magical thinking: People who move from a negative, discouraged, helpless victim stance to an empowered, take charge, positive goal-oriented stance will change their lives for the better.
I would say that people who have a positive, goal-orientated attitude are more likely to change their lives for the better, but there's certainly no guarantee that they will.
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Old 29th April 2011, 04:03 AM   #30
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Newsflash! Law of Attraction Creates Zombies! Thread Lives Again! Huzzah!
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Old 29th April 2011, 05:41 AM   #31
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Creates or attracts zombies?
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Old 29th April 2011, 07:58 AM   #32
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I raised my vibrational attraction rate to the extent that I now have Tricia Helfer stuck to me. Whatever can I do?
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Old 29th April 2011, 08:29 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
I raised my vibrational attraction rate to the extent that I now have Tricia Helfer stuck to me. Whatever can I do?
I will take that problem off your hands for no charge.
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Old 29th April 2011, 08:50 AM   #34
JJM 777
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Originally Posted by Marshmallow View Post
stories about how they made miraculous changes in their lives, like changing their appearance just by concentrating and believing they already looked the way they wanted to.
Hmmm. The first thing we need is photo before and after, from a few directions, so we see if any change in facial structure (if the claim is about faces not the whole body) has happened at all.

Then we would need evidence of the absence of any surgical operations, but more probably the photos would show no remarkable changes in appearance.

Originally Posted by Marshmallow View Post
What would motivate someone to anonymously lie about anything paranormal to complete strangers?
Anonymity also means that the stories could easily be all just fiction written by _one and the same person_. Nobody can check an anoymous story, but mention a name so immediately the claim can be checked and refuted. A reason for them to post anonymously, and for us not to trust much anything anonymous.

If a website publishes such stories, the website owner might benefit financially from traffic on the website (ads or some other earning scheme), so the website owner has a motive for writing such fiction claimed to be real life stories of handily anonymous people.

Supernatural claims are also beautiful fairy tales, it can feel beautiful to imagine them and believe in them, without any other profit motive than the beauty of the idea that this would be possible and reality.
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Old 29th April 2011, 08:54 AM   #35
Irish Murdoch
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Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
OK within the mindset of the adherents of this philosophy, for this to work you have to really believe.

Lets say that you want to be more attractive. So you have to really believe that you are becoming more attractive. That means that when you look in the mirror either...

1) You will really believe you see yourself as more attractive.
or
2) You're doing it wrong.

What you're seeing in the testimonies on this website are not objective reports or this system working, it's people doing everything they can to really believe.
That's a fantastically good point, very well made!
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Old 29th April 2011, 09:02 AM   #36
Irish Murdoch
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
No discussion about The Secret is complete with out this video:
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
Wonderful!

But why are all these selfish people wishing for bikes and jewellery? Can't they wish for world peace?
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Old 29th April 2011, 10:07 AM   #37
sadhatter
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Originally Posted by Marshmallow View Post
For example, people on websites like powerfulintentions.org often post stories about how they made miraculous changes in their lives, like changing their appearance just by concentrating and believing they already looked the way they wanted to. The people who claim they have changed their appearance talk about how people will go up to them and say how they look really different, etc. They'll post how they did it just believing they already look the way they want. Often, these are people who don't seem like they would have any motive for lying about this stuff...they aren't selling anything and they're anonymous. What would they have to gain by making this stuff up? I understand that someof these people probably have delusional disorders or they may be experiencing confirmation bias - but allof them?

I've read a lot of really convincing and extraordinary stories from people who don't seem to have anything to gain by lying about these things to total strangers on the Internet. I know that anecdotes are not the most reliable things in the world, but there are just...so many of them. What would people have to gain by making these things up?

By the way, I don't want to limit this question to just things like the Law of Attraction. What would motivate someone to anonymously lie about anything paranormal to complete strangers?

I know that confirmation bias is often responsible for thse things, but I've also read quite a few accounts where confirmation bias was obviously not the case...so if they're not lying or delusional, what are some other alternatives?

What do you skeptics think?
People lie for no reason all the time, once you add in a reason to lie, like in this case, the chances go up drastically.

Your laymen promoting it have a reason to lie, it proves the paranormal, and in general if you like the paranormal , you want to prove it.

And as well, this " The secret " **** lets a lot of people get away with a lot of things. For example...

When i was working in a call center, one of our managers was really into the secret, and why? Because it let him ignore any reasonable objection to any policy. For example, at one point he decided anything under a 100% score on a call would get someone fired, ( to put this in perspective if a customer called in angry it is an automatic 5% deduction. Not if you made them angry, but if they were ****** off by the time they got there.).

Being a fairly senior member i decided to have a talk with him about it. In which i got the " The secret" talk about how it isn't unreasonable because if you want to get 100% badly enough you will get it. Anyone who doesn't is just not trying ( again, to put it in perspective as a top 5% agent, i got , on average 80-100% on my calls. Great, and you would have loved to have me, but easily could have gotten me fired had i not burned through my sick days to avoid this policy. ). Coincidentally this meant that all of us getting paid above the minimum were getting tossed out left right and center, and 17 year old kids who they could treat like **** and not pay as well, were the majority.

If your in a management position the secret is going to appeal to you, but to get any use out of it you have to convince others that it works. And this is only one example of a rather esoteric reason someone would lie about something like this.
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:23 PM   #38
315540
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Originally Posted by jakesteele View Post
There are laws of attraction, just not ones that work the way they say it does:

These laws are:
Birds of a feather flock together
Like attracts like.

Positive people attract positive people and negative people attract negative people. Hard working, goal oriented, disciplined, motivated, people attract to themselves the same. They do not attract lazy, non-focused, undisciplined, and unmotivated people.

Critical thinking people do not attract people who think irrationally and emotionally unless the irrational and emotional person has something in them that draws them to the rational side eoyj s deep sense of unbending intent and unflinching purpose. They may falter at times, buy there is some sort of internal gyroscope that pulls them back straight.

The difference between that and the current LOA is that the first examples are something that is deeply ingrained usually from birth on and it’s simply the way you are. The LOA is saying you can go from a negative person to a positive person simply by thinking only happy thoughts and suppressing all negative thoughts. Ain’t going to happen.

You can change the person you are but it
It takes work, time, perseverance and patients. And like all learned behaviors, you have to first unlearn it and then relearn a new way.

What the LOA is, is like the old adage that says, “Wish in one hand and then **** in the other and look to see which one got full first.”

It requires deep fundamental change starting at a very deep level and working your way up through it.


As I learned early on in my professional career:

Opportunity favors the prepared mind

L.U.C.K. – Laboring Under Correct Knowledge

It ain't easy and it don't come cheap.
Then how come law enforcement attracts the opposite, criminals?
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:42 PM   #39
sadhatter
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Originally Posted by 315540 View Post
Then how come law enforcement attracts the opposite, criminals?
Or physicians attracting sick people.

Pharmacists attracting those without medication.

Lawyers attracting people who don't know about law.

Hell, as a personal example, a good portion of my friends are devoutly religious.

What utter bollocks the law of attraction is. By its own logic each copy of the book should be adorned with no less than a half dozen scrota (? proper plural or no?) magically transported to the book due to the sheer volume of bollocks already in it.
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Old 29th April 2011, 12:43 PM   #40
Bad vibe
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I always found a few beers makes everyone seem more attractive
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