Delusions: an unaffordable luxury

A definition of delusion is "A false belief held despite strong evidence against it"; another is "An unshakable belief in something untrue"; another "A belief that is not true : a false idea". Note the similarity between delusion and faith – the latter is the belief in something in spite of a lack of convincing evidence.

Some common delusions that I deal with on these pages concern:

  • Religion: beliefs in spirits or gods;
  • The belief, against all the evidence, that we have an immortal part, a soul that will go on when our bodies die;
  • The belief, against all the evidence, that diviniation can be used to find things, water in particular;
  • The belief, against all the evidence, that wind turbines cause illness;
  • The belief, against all the evidence, that climate change is not happening or is not largely caused by the actions of Mankind (anthropogenic climate change, ACC).
Written 2015/11/09, modified 2017/05/19 – ©
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com

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Climate change is impacting Australia now
Dam fix
Kangaroo Creek dam, South Australia
The wall was raised by four metres and the spillway was being widened by 40 metres due to increasingly heavy flood flows in the Torrens River.
Photo 2017/02/25
In the early twenty-first century our planet is suffering from many serious threats, a number of which could end the current global civilisation or greatly damage the diversity of life on the planet. We need to aproach these problems rationally. Delusions such as those listed above, that distract people from rational thought, are luxuries that human society cannot afford.

Related pages on this site:

Belief without evidence and belief against the evidence

The belief in a God or gods is unsupported by any evidence. I cannont point to any evidence that there are no gods. Bertrand Russell compared the belief in god to a hypothetical belief that there is a teapot in orbit around the Sun out beyond Jupiter. We have no evidence for or against either.

The belief that climate change is not happening or that it may be happening but not largely caused by Mankind is a belief opposed to the evidence. There is a huge amount of evidence that anthropogenic climate change is a fact.

A few people believe that wind turbines cause illness. There is a great deal of evidence indicating that they do not and can not. I have argued that it makes just as much sense to believe that street trees cause illness.

However, it is not possible to absolutely prove anything in science, 'science proves nothing', but it can show very good reason for accepting or rejecting many beliefs.

Delusion and faith

Faith has been defined as "strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof" and "firm belief in something for which there is no proof". Religious faith is only a specific form of delusion.