Why atheists and scientists turn to psychics
Dr Micah Goldwater, senior lecturer at the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology, describes this as “explanatory coexistence”: the integration of scientific and supernatural beliefs.
“It’s rare to have one or the other,” he says. “It’s piecemeal – we don’t necessarily have overall consistency in how all of our different beliefs work. “
With psychic mediums like the end Sylvie Browne Telling the mother of missing American teenager Amanda Berry that she was dead while she was alive the entire time, there is an obvious potential danger in taking them seriously. Berry’s mother died soon after of a broken heart.
“If someone engages with mediums for fun, that’s okay. But, if people are making decisions with real consequences, then taking advice is as dangerous as those consequences, ”says Goldwater.
Is it fair to decrease that like cod?
“Even though technically this is bullshit, that doesn’t mean it’s useful to dismiss it,” Goldwater says. “It is a natural function of the human mind to think superstitiously. The vast majority of people have some sort of unscientific belief. It helps people make sense of the world and their place in it.
“It is a natural function of the human mind to think superstitiously. The vast majority of people have some sort of unscientific belief. It helps people make sense of the world and their place in it.
Blackie is currently seeing Rebecca, a psychic in Manly with an 18-month waitlist.
“Friends are desperate to see her after what she told me,” he said.
Blackie says that in addition to putting him in touch with his late grandmother, she has boosted his confidence in his new job: he’s a sales manager and manages a team of 10.
“Rebecca gave me the reassurance that I was in the right job in the right place,” he says. “So I hit the ground running. This has contributed immensely to my successful first year in this position.
This is partly a claim, he concedes. But he draws a line when given the example of Glenn Rosewall, chairman of Australian brokerage firm BBY.
After Rosewall hired a psychic for four years to advise him where to invest, who to hire and even who to fire, the company went bankrupt.
“Foolish!” Blackie said. “You can’t run a business based on psychic predictions, just like I don’t live my life by that. I just use them as signposts.
Timothy Ward is a tutor at Newcastle University studying Spiritualism. Those who reject pseudoscience and conspiracy in other parts of their lives, while indulging in mediums, are, he says, rooted in spiritualism that echoes scientific language and takes on an air of plausibility.
“At the end of the 19th century, people became disenchanted with religion because of Darwin’s discoveries and lost faith in rigid doctrines and seemingly irrational demons and angels,” he says. “It has become an alternate path to a spiritual solution. Visiting a medium requires much less of an individual than converting to Catholicism.
With psychics offering Zoom readings throughout the lockdown, Goldwater believes that in times of great uncertainty, many people are looking to regain control to overcome impotence. “The creation of meaning is shifting into high gear,” he says. “They reaffirm the order.
Caroline Power, 40, is a dietitian at Sutherland Shire in Sydney. She is also doubly vaccinated. She describes herself as “pro-science and pro-choice”.
She has seen the same psychic medium, Melanie Obeid, for 10 years.
“She validates the things I’m already feeling,” Power says. She claims that Obeid accurately predicted that she would get pregnant even while wearing the contraceptive implant, and advised her on buying a property.
It is channeled through Obeid’s father, Don who, Obeid says, agreed to “work with” his daughter from the afterlife, four weeks before her death in 2010.
“Don was a real estate genius, so through Melanie he picked the house we bought,” says Power.
Sometimes Obeid connects Power to his best friend, who committed suicide: “It helped me find out his reasons.”
In a new book Psychic testsFormer astrologer Felicity Carter says this is a spiritual area in which LGBTQI people like Blackie and women like Power – often excluded from the hierarchies of major religions – can feel empowered.
Power’s atheist husband challenges her on her psychic beliefs, but she compares them to religious faith.
“I ask why they pray to God in church, hoping for ideas and answers. It’s exactly the same, ”says Power, who is Jewish.
Psychic tests: an adventure in the world of skeptics and believers by Gary Nunn (Pantera Press, $ 32.99) is out now.
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