Your "Sacred Cow"

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Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  MisterChristopher on Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:05 pm

I think everyone has one. Just some woo-woo or some unjustified, irrational thing they hold on to.

Here's a few of mine: 13 is my favorite number. My next favorite? 31. Why? I have no clue, I've just always loved those two numbers, especially 13.
I always wave at people when I'm driving, because somewhere in my twisted method of thinking, I think about how I may be the last person that ever waves at them, or perhaps I'm a closet nice guy.
I do still avoid cracks though. Some how that avoidance of bad luck stuck even after becoming a skeptic.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  pinnball on Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:48 pm

lol, i still hold my breath when i pass a cemetery.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  Nicholas on Wed Sep 23, 2009 2:10 am

The only "sacred cow" I have is the once-a-year charcoal-grilled burger I enjoy.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  Stegocephalian on Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:10 am

I have a bad habbit of mercilessly hunting down and killing my sacred cows, to the point that they are on the brink of extinction... very hard to spot them anymore. Twisted Evil

If anything could be called a sacred cow with me it is good single malt scotch, and ice. Namely the fact that mixing the two is a mortal sin which, should there be a god of Jahveh-level cruelty, would doubtlessly warrant some form of extra-fiendish torment in the lowest levels of hell. Suspect

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  blacklens on Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:05 am

Horoscopes... Embarassed
I don't believe in them and I find them completely irrational and wacky, but I still can't help but glance at the daily horoscope in the paper. I'm currently forcing myself NOT to read it though, in an effort to starve that particular cow.

And for some reason I always put the right shoe on first.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  politas on Wed Sep 23, 2009 12:49 pm

I often catch myself avoiding stepping on cracks when walking along.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  Stanley on Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:06 pm

I have one as far as I know.

When the teams come out before a football (soccer) match, I remain seated until I see the first member of the team I support coming out of the tunnel. This has no bearing whatsoever on the result, unless it means that if I do it we are guaranteed to win, lose or draw the game. I know it does nothing but I can't stop it and I don't want to.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  MisterChristopher on Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:28 pm

Stanley wrote:I have one as far as I know.

When the teams come out before a football (soccer) match, I remain seated until I see the first member of the team I support coming out of the tunnel. This has no bearing whatsoever on the result, unless it means that if I do it we are guaranteed to win, lose or draw the game. I know it does nothing but I can't stop it and I don't want to.

Oh man. I don't want to know how many game rituals I have that are sacred cows. My favourite: I still contest that the team with funnier player names will win

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  NH Baritone on Wed Sep 23, 2009 4:39 pm

Beliefs sans Evidence

  1. I believe that my dog & cat love me. It's not necessarily the same as human love, but to them I am a special critter and not simply a meal-&-play-distribution bot.
  2. I believe that love is powerful and meaningful, even though I have no clue about how to operationally define it, and even if I doubt we all use the term "love" to refer to the same thing.
  3. I believe I will lose weight, even though I have failed to do so in the last 3 years.
  4. I believe absolutely everything can be described as a process.
  5. And I believe that I'll get married again ... and this time with a legal document.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  Neon Genesis on Wed Sep 23, 2009 6:30 pm

I'm superstitious about the number 13. I know rationally that there's nothing unlucky about the number and if something bad happens that's related to it that it's just pure coincidence, but I'm still superstitious about it. Randomly, I don't find anything superstitious about the number 7.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  politas on Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:23 am

NH Baritone wrote:I believe that my dog & cat love me. It's not necessarily the same as human love, but to them I am a special critter and not simply a meal-&-play-distribution bot.
I have two cats. One of them treats me as a meal-provider-patting-machine-and-door-opener, while the other worships me as a god.

Really. I'm sure of it.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  Jim on Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:46 am

mine is morality. i'm still holding out for moral imperatives even though i have no reason to believe there is anything beyond prudential imperatives.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  Aught3 on Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:23 am

Similar to Jim, mine might be objective morality. I can think of many more reasons why it would be nice if it were true, rather than reasons it actually is true.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  jgrow2 on Sun Sep 27, 2009 4:07 pm

I agree with Jim as well as far as morality. In my case, I blame it on my so-called "lapsed-Catholic" status.

Also, I anthropomorphize inanimate objects like crazy. For example, yesterday I checked the oil in my car and found it was quite low. Oops. I topped it off, and as I was driving out of the gas station, I felt the need to apologize to the car. Now mind you, it's a ten-year-old car, and I've got a long history with it, and I believe the reaction was a response to my oversight with the oil, but I told my inanimate object I was sorry.

I do it to my computer too. Anthropomorphize, not apologize.

Hmph.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  exxian on Mon Oct 05, 2009 7:58 pm

I still imagine demons in the dark late at night sometimes.
It pisses me off that I can't seem to get over that one.

Even though logically I know they aren't there... I can't seem to shake it. To the point that I actually can't fall asleep if my feet aren't covered up because I imagine them nibbling at my toes.
It doesn't happen every night, but when it does it's... very frustrating.

I also see connections in everything. For example, there was about three weeks where I kept seeing the American flag everywhere (I mean everywhere) and my mind was like "What does this mean? Is the universe trying to tell me something?"
Those things are so hard to eradicate from your mind. That connection-finding mechanism was encouraged my whole life... in the form of trying to determine what God was saying to you, what he wanted you to know/do.
afro

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  jgrow2 on Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:02 am

exxian wrote:I also see connections in everything. For example, there was about three weeks where I kept seeing the American flag everywhere (I mean everywhere) and my mind was like "What does this mean? Is the universe trying to tell me something?"
Those things are so hard to eradicate from your mind. That connection-finding mechanism was encouraged my whole life... in the form of trying to determine what God was saying to you, what he wanted you to know/do.

That's the bitch of religion. It has hijacked a lot of basic human attributes, the products of evolution, and used it to keep itself going. Pattern matching is what we do as a species. We do it quite well. You could say it was what put us where we are today. It made for an eight-year career where I was valued for that ability. Religion has hijacked that very human talent and told us to use it to "find meaning."

I did it too for a long time, until I realized that I wasn't finding any meaning I wasn't putting there myself.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  Nicholas on Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:25 am

Exxian - I think the fear of the dark is such an ingrained trait that it can be hard for even skeptical, rational people to shake it. I'd always notice this fear exaggerated after watching a horror movie, where that fear might be amplified irrationally. Like, suddenly tonight I have to be afraid of aliens abducting me as opposed to any other night where I didn't watch such a move. Religion only preys on that, and exacerbates those fears with one hand while it offers up a protection or whatever from those imaginary demons with the other. Shameless.

I actually found that stargazing has been a huge deterrent to the fear of the dark. Spending many, many nights with my telescope trained at Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and the moon, and being out in the middle of nowhere at times, I find it difficult to find anything to be afraid of when there's so much awesomeness around to be experienced.

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  exxian on Mon Oct 12, 2009 1:13 pm

Nicolas:

I feel so disconnected to the stars where I live. You can barely see them in my backyard.

Maybe I'll take a trip out to nowhere and get a look.

jgrow2:
I realize that there's no meaning there... but I can't seem to turn it off.
Any suggestions?

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  jgrow2 on Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:31 am

exxian wrote:Nicolas:

I feel so disconnected to the stars where I live. You can barely see them in my backyard.

Maybe I'll take a trip out to nowhere and get a look.

jgrow2:
I realize that there's no meaning there... but I can't seem to turn it off.
Any suggestions?

Buddhism speaks of six senses: The five we know, and the sixth being the "discerning mind." This is basically what you can't seem to turn off, this discerning mind. I can't either, by the way.

Meditation helps, and the best instruction I've received, which I try to do whether meditating or not, is to let the mind do what it does, and try not to get attached to the thoughts. Basically to realize that your mind is wandering and to gently return yourself to the task at hand, or to counting the breaths, or just being.

I come at the issue from the angle of Buddhism (zen specifically but also vipassana or insight meditation) because my time studying it gave me clarity into why my mind does what it does, and took the supernatural out of the equation. Well not at first of course, there's a lot of supernatural language and metaphor to work through. But it helped me immensely.

Oh--and as for the stars, Please please please get yourself away from the streetlights on a clear night and look at the stars. I live outside a mid-sized city, and in the right spots on a clear night, it looks like you're suspended over a lake of luminescence. Wonderful.


Last edited by jgrow2 on Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:34 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Had to add the bit about the stars. Watched them tonight in fact....)

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  Closet Agnostic on Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:44 pm

Knowing that many on this forum are sticklers for strict definition of terms, I had to look up what 'sacred cow' actually means. It means something that is exempt from criticism or questioning. Rationalism is the ultimate sacred cow. Everything can be questioned, debated, reasoned, and criticized. Except rationalism itself, I suppose. Unless you want to explore the deadend world of paradoxes. But in the spirit of the question, I would have to say "karma" is my personal sacrosanct bovine. I believe that "people get what's coming to them" eventually. I like to believe there is a balance to all things (even peoples actions and emotions) that the "hydrodynamic theory" says is true for physical things like water, heat, etc. I like to believe that the laws of the universe affect the morals, ethics, and minds of humankind. (Even though some seemingly "get away with murder".)

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  Nicholas on Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:18 am

exxian wrote:Nicolas:

I feel so disconnected to the stars where I live. You can barely see them in my backyard.

Maybe I'll take a trip out to nowhere and get a look.

Do what jgrow suggested, and get out of the city. Go somewhere remote, and bring a friend along (preferable one with a telescope!). Enjoy, and let us know how it goes. Smile

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Re: Your "Sacred Cow"

Post  jgrow2 on Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:31 am

Nicholas wrote:
exxian wrote:Nicolas:

I feel so disconnected to the stars where I live. You can barely see them in my backyard.

Maybe I'll take a trip out to nowhere and get a look.

Do what jgrow suggested, and get out of the city. Go somewhere remote, and bring a friend along (preferable one with a telescope!). Enjoy, and let us know how it goes. Smile

Yes!

Tonight when I got home, I looked to the sky, as I do, and saw what looked like (perhaps) the milky way slashing across the starscape.

It seemed to run roughly north-northeast to south-southwest. It was dim so it may not be the milky way, but if it was, it seems as though we are turned on our side in relation to the galactic plane.

A nice mind-expanding moment after a long day at work.

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