great stuff guys. That's a great idea to list former kooky things one used to believe.
I used to believe in a "sophisticated" form of New Thought, [skepdic.com
] which leads you down some strange paths.
You try to believe that Thought has some kind of direct impact on the "external" world, in some spooky way. This is at the root of almost all new agey philosphies.
And as mentioned, you get into things like the Confirmation Bias [skepdic.com
] and other related thinking errors.
What got me out of it, is that I REALLY tried to make it work, in a serious way, and tried some actual TESTS. As well as doing reading, like the book Demon Haunted World. [en.wikipedia.org
In a way, CBT is a form of the same thing, as you TEST your own thinking.
So its the opposite to culty thinking, where you just try to believe.
With CBT, you take a belief, and then try to see how accurate it is. If you think about it, it really makes sense.
Just that one thing, to look for real evidence for a belief, seems to help alot.
But again, this is real evidence, not Post-Hoc fallacies, or the Confirmation Bias.
It also takes courage to be ready to give up a sacred cow belief, if it is false.
For example, if they say Chanting cures OTHERS diabetes, then they have to PROVE that, using some scientific controlled studies. But of course, it doesn't work.
but there are many in the cultic movements who don't even know what a controlled study is, or don't want to know. They just want to tell stories.
but now it great, anyone makes some Big Claim...great, then they have to prove it. Hard evidence, not stories. That works really well.
For example, they tell you that Cryonics [forum.culteducation.com
] will work, so turn your assets and your dead body over to them. Give them $150K-> millions of $$ to care for your frozen dead corpse. Give them all your money to "take care" of too.
Make them show real proof that it MIGHT work. They can't, just salespitches to get your insurance policy in their company account.
They don't have the tiniest shred of real evidence that it MIGHT work, and the real evidence shows it won't work.
But they don't care, they want your money, and they will lie and print a million webpages to get it.
Some lie to themselves too.
Its the same with these other groups.
Make them PROVE it, like in science, not anecdotes and stories.
They can't do it.
Its really very powerful, just to make them prove their claims, in a real way.