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Intangible Cause and Effect Relationships (luck)

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posted on Dec, 5 2004 @ 10:16 PM
Recently I began to consider the role that superstition plays in the lives of intelligent people in rational societies. It really is amazing that people could believe some of the insane things they do, but they do. The real trick to it though is that these superstitions are born of observation (granted probably imperfect observation). People can be very matter-of-fact about luck, as if it were a scientific principle. So why don't we formulate an explanation of that principle?

I do not truly believe in superstitions, however because they play such a large role in some peoples lives I think it would be interesting to discuss not only who does and does not believe in it here at ATS, but how it would work -if- it were real.

So in short- if there were such things as luck and omens and charms etc, how would it likely function? Does God weigh out everbodies luck for them? Is there a butterfly effect on an ethereal level which causes patterns and coincidences? Are certain things governed by as yet unknown laws of the universe?
I'm not really asking you what you believe- I'm asking what you would give as an explanation if there had to be one. I think it would be interesting to have a "theory of intangible cause and effect" which describes how luck works, especially if we could develop one which so accurately reflected probability that it appeared to be true.

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 01:30 AM
One line : The case of misinterpreted association.

Meaning you walk under a ladder, which is considered to be bad luck, then suddenly you trip and you associate that with walking under the ladder and not see it as everyday occurances.

On a side note, there was a study one to verify what can prayer do in the lives of men and women. So they set up two groups ones that had prayers done on their behalf and other which had no prayer done. The conducters didn't reveal both the groups that they were being prayed for therefore eliminating the placebo effect.

And the result, you will be surprised: Prayer do indeed work, I think pregnancy was the main factor there. Those who being prayed for had become pregranant more soon than those who didn't.

I can see you are confused now, first I said superstition is misinterpreted and now I post a research saying it is not.

When I read that I too was confused when I saw the results, but guess what the research was flawed.

I read a follow up on this on the last edition of Scientic American, the one with blackhole computers on the cover. I can't find it to post it.

The author who posted the article said the research didn't define the control variables such as how much were they prayed for and what religions were.

I am sure religious people and superstition believers jumped up when reading the first article. But they probalbly didn't read the follow up, so here you go.

The above is one case where you misassociate things and what you end up with is a group of superstituion believing freaks.


posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 03:48 AM
Boy, this is really interesting. I do not believe in superstitions. The so called superstitions I think are just by observations and carried on by word of mouth - old wives tales. I do belive that situations have the same formula as many natural laws. A /B=C, which is A=force, B=quantity, and C=resistance. This is basically the same format as the Ohms law. I think it applies to situations also, although I cannot prove it. I think everyone will think this is nonsense, and I cannot show it on paper. But, since when something happens, it is because an imbalance occured, then the equation would look something like this:

A/B(1)>A/B(2), where A and B on each side are measuring the same type of quantities, but on different entities. If one side is greater, then something happens. I hope someone on this thread understands where I am coming from, because this theory is confusing.

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 04:16 AM
I personally think "luck" as such is simply varience in folks ability to subconciously use the power of the mind. As in for instance, the placebo effect. Or the "pwer" of suggestion. I think perhaps many unexplained phenomenon are the result the power of our own subconcious mind, like poultergeist, heightened perception, dejavu, etc etc.
Weather or not this relates to a physical element such as the alledged 90% of the brain unused i dont know.
Warren is an extravert, generally happy and positive, we might notice that he's the bloke who wins alot more than seems random at the racetrack, he gets the best deals at the dealership, he seems to to be immune to "murphys law", we call him lucky.
Kevin, is also an extravert, but far more, skeptical, cynical, and "yeah sure"
type personality, who cops murphys law in seemingly unrealistic doses,
he does not expect to win at the racetrack or lottery, because he reasons the odds are against it, and surprise surprise, he dosent win either.
kevin is unlucky.
Whats the difference? Is it down to attitude? Are we able ,on a subconcious level to control our reality? Have you ever heard the expression
"some people have all the fun". I think its because they want to.
The placebo affect works the same way, as does the power of suggestion.
I think our minds are far more powerful than we can imagine and likethe brain we barely use it at all.
I really really want to win the lottery, but on a deeper level I dont beleive for a second that I ever will, hence, I dont!

You hear Folk like Tony Robins,(self improvement guy on tv) talking about positive reinforcement, And self re-programming of our expectations etc. This is the same thing again. Much of our "luck" i think, depends on our "programming, that is, our subconciopus beleives about ourselves and the world we live in, have been builtup over our lifetime. Our concious experience and society have "programmed"/conditioned us to beleive, on a subconcious level, what is or is not realist/possible/acheivable.
Hence, depending on those deeply held beleifs and preconceptions, our "luck" varies.
What are your thoughts?

[edit on 6-12-2004 by instar]

posted on Dec, 6 2004 @ 04:17 AM
Even in apparent rational analysis of correlations cause and effect are often immediately assigned without much examination. There is no careful examination if a correlation is instead associative and not cause and effect. People seem to assume which is the cause and which is the effect, they don't even experimentally flip the two.

Very often I see this in social condition observations. People seem to immediately start using rash conclusions as some kind of rationale for one point of view or the other.

This might even have some application to superstitious beliefs. Perhaps in a world in which we often feel rather powerless, the mind can manufacture empowerment sensations by making non-rational nor well though out connections between actions we take or circumstances and some kind of outcome.

This isn't to say I don't think there may be in some lives currents of events/history that are being fulfilled. On cause and effect, We often attribute leaders with creating movements. I do wonder that perhaps the movement was ready to happen and a large number of people within a certain range of character could/would have stepped in to be the individual lightening rod/leader.

(this will sound odd but wtf) With history it is like some kind of larger consciousness is having a conversation with itself. That mind may be sort of our collective minds together, but I think it may be more also.

I also wonder if arching structures might exist outside as well as in our time-space universe, which have the effect preceding the cause.

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