View Full Version : Superstition vs. Cynicism "Polly in the Middle" Debate

May 4, 2005, 07:48 AM

May 4, 2005, 11:50 AM
Well you have covered a few point i would have metioned, but bascially im not into superstition at all. I belive however that an object can give confort/encouragement and therfore you perform better at whatever. Its a purely phycologyical state but i have nothing againt it - its it help people thats cool.

May 4, 2005, 02:02 PM
yeah, i totally agree with tjpeople, as long as you believe in it, you'll be more motivated

May 4, 2005, 02:35 PM
I don't believe in supersition at all, but I still have "lucky" stuff. As tj says it just gives you some confidence and encouragement. Its rather like a placebo drug, it doesn't phyiscally do anything, but mentally a lot can be done.

May 4, 2005, 04:18 PM
Well, I don't believe in much superstition. But I don't say that it doesn't work at all. There is something like the placebo effect (David already mentioned it :)), which, not only from a medical point of view, works.

So i do think that talismans or mascots or lucky things work. They make you mentally stronger. They make you appreciate and draw attention to the good luck you have. - so whenever you have good luck, you will remember your talisman and you are happy about it.

Of course, you have to forget about such science behind it. You just have to believe in it. ;)

So, to answer your question, I'm a more sceptic person, and I'm also very critical about such things. But I'm still an optimist (most of the time), so I do believe that there is something not rational, which we don't understand, that could probably explain such things. And if you believe in something, and it really works for you, why not? So whenever somebody says it's his lucky shirt, I wouldn't laugh about him.

In my optinion, both are right. Malcolm is right when he observes it from a rational point of view: Statistically, the probability of having good luck doesn't change at all, whether you have a lucky shirt or not. And Dewey is right too, because he believes in it. And it worked.

An by the way, I think that's also what Malcolm can't acknowledge as true, because he is too rational.

It was funny but also kind of tragic, seeing those two extremes - sarcasm and optimism - in direct combat against each other. Funny because Dewey won the bet (symbolically, he didn't really win the bet of course, because Jamie fell on his shirt the moment the winners were named...) without any logical backup, and tragical because it showed us again the pessimist Malcolm, who'll never be able to be truly happy.

Now I have totally lost the line of thought, and you already know my opinion about it. My post is long enough anyway. ;)
Nice topic, appanah. :)

May 4, 2005, 04:22 PM
I use to be superstitious a lot when it comes to POSITIVE influence. I do have stuff like "the lucky shirt" or something and I can't tell whether I truely believe in it or I just feel better to carry some things with me to motivate me. Basically I don't believe in that but sometimes belief and motivation are melting together and yeah, it works like a placebo but I can't complain, so in this case I'm totally on Dewey's side :D although I identify myself a lot with Malcolm and his view on different kind of things. On the other side, I don't believe in superstition when it comes to the NEGATIVE influence..I don't believe in stuff like black cats, Friday the 13th etc...


May 4, 2005, 04:45 PM
I'm not superstitious, but i agree that it those "lucky shirts" and such are comforting... when it comes to bad luck and good luck i think you make it urself... if u think ur going to have a bad day overall ur most likely gonna have a bad day... the same with good luck... it's all just in ppl's heads... But sometimes it's good to fall back on (good luck i mean or lucky items)...

May 4, 2005, 07:30 PM
You pose a very interesting question, and my answer has been flawed reading htose of the people before me. (which made me wonder, doesn't ANYONE know it's "skeptic" and not "sceptic!?")

May 4, 2005, 07:33 PM
You pose a very interesting question, and my answer has been flawed reading those of the people before me. (which made me wonder, doesn't ANYONE know it's "skeptic" and not "sceptic!?")

Anyway, I am a skeptic when it comes to that sort of thing. For some people, having something to grasp, like a lucky pair of socks, or even God, can make a major difference. I don't want to offend anyone religiously here, but to me it's ridiculous. I mean, it doesn't change anything, and maybe it does help some people, but the question I would ask is why. If you're going to depend on luck and/or placebos your whole life, you aren't going to get anywhere. Skill is definitely necessary. We need to take control of our own lives instead of letting an old pair of socks do it.

May 4, 2005, 08:01 PM
that's true..so the socks would be a waste on Reese. :D
Of course you can't depend on your lucky charms but that's another story. Maybe there are people out there who REALLY do. I don't burst out in tears if I forgot one of my "lucky stuff" but I've to confess, I wouldn't feel good if I did. :D But it's true, success doesn't arise from lucky charms, you DO have to work on it by yourself 'though they can contribute to your mood. Like having a picture of your girl/boyfriend with you, just try it...it might work for you! ;)


May 4, 2005, 08:47 PM
I don't need any help. I do perfectly well wtih logic. And I always make great points appanh.

May 4, 2005, 10:47 PM
We don't really seem to be having 'much' of a debate here. Everone's a sckeptic (haha...compromise:)!!!). Both MITM-Fan and Yardgames think the same thing, only to different degrees. So I don't really have to state my position again.

But I have a few stories to add:

This is really stupid. It's one of those fake luck things. Yesterday, b4 my Calc BC AP (for you non-US residents: AP is Advance Placement ie college credit) exam, our teacher gave us "lucky" (actually, I think it's "answer") stickers. You're supposed to rub them when you get stuck and need an answer. Didn't work:Angry:. In fact, the exam was terrible. It's not just that we (the entire class) didn't have luck, we had bad luck. I'm a very good math student, and our school is supposed to do well on the Calc BC AP (Our teacher has only had 2 scores below a 4 in his 8 years teaching). But this year...:confused::Angry:
In about 1/2 an hour, I had my World AP, which I had expected to do badly (ok, not as well) on. So, before that, I tore the sticker off and threw it far away. And then, the World exam was soooo easy. I don't believe it was luck, just chance. It was just funny.


I mean, it doesn't change anything, and maybe it does help some people, but the question I would ask is why.
Well I have a "lucky shirt" that I wear to biology exams. I don't think it brings me good luck. But, the room is usually freezing and this particular shirt is somehow just warm enough. Also, there's some shirts I avoid b/c they're itchy or distracting in some other way.

May 5, 2005, 10:12 AM
If you're going to depend on luck and/or placebos your whole life, you aren't going to get anywhere.
Nobody does that. You don't build your life around lucky things. It won't work. They just make you feel more comfortable and let you appreciate the good luck you have.
It's more an enrichment of your life.

Aren't there any things for you that make you feel more comfortable, yardgames, like a ring or a necklace someone you really like gave to you? It's not the same as being superstitious, but both things support you mentally, and that's almost the same thing that a lucky shirt does.
If you would forget your necklace or ring or whatever at home, you would feel unprotected too and you would automatically attract bad luck. Don't you believe that too?

I kept thinking that everybody believes in such things, only if it's just a tiny little bit.

May 5, 2005, 02:06 PM
Things that make me feel more comfortable? I usually just watch an episode of MITM before or after a situation like that and I feel much better than.

The only object I can really think of is my watch. I don't feel "unprotected" or like bad luck is going to be around every bend, I just feel frustrated because I never know what time it is.

Lucky Maroon
Feb 5, 2008, 08:33 PM
It's fun to think that your life can be better just by incorporating choice, no matter how small. I had a lucky shark tooth necklace that I would wear all the time. Nothing happened, but... The placebo effect can work wonders...

My mom thinks she's lucky. She can't just walk away from herself and be unlucky. Lol.

Isn't that just the best way to implement luck into your life if you need it?