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the one
14-11-2011, 07:21 AM
Post: #1
the one
does this have anything to do with psychic tv australia ?

Beggaring belief
November 14, 2011 - 7:09AM

The End-Time is
2008 was God's last warning. 2011 is global economic collapse.
Belief can be a problem for the world. The propensity of the hopeful human animal to grasp at non-rational belief never fails to surprise and sometimes to appal. Often, belief is held up as laudable for its own sake. ''At least you believe in something'' is a phrase that exemplifies the seeming grandeur of faith per se. This week some of the more ridiculous beliefs receive an airing.

The One

Let us start with The One — The Search for Australia’s Most Gifted Psychic hosted by Andrew Daddo.

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This drivel is a competition between 10 of Australia's ''top'' psychics in a quest to determine which is ''The One''. As the advertising blurb has it: ''The One suspends disbelief and sends chills down the spine.'' If there is a chill down the spine it is the chill of knowing the world if full of so many ridiculous beliefs and practitioners.

Why hasn't the world reacted as one to repudiate this dross?

Don't get me wrong – I adore popular culture. There are no depths to which I will not sink. I'm still in mourning at the cessation of Gilligan's Island; but The One is beyond awful. In 2008 the first series ended mired in tactlessness for using Peter Falconio's undiscovered remains as the final test. None of those people were able to divine the location of the poor man's cadaver.

After an insufficient delay of three years, we now have season two. Viewing this tells us one thing: the hunger of humanity to know the future is such that some of us happily embrace any oracle.

A phenomenon like The One has dangers. It risks legitimising the sort of practitioners who trade in hope. For the vulnerable, false hope can be the key to exploitation and protracted misery. So while it may appear like just another funny game show, The One makes this stuff mainstream. By stuff I include dog readings, psychic triathlons and contestants such as Maria who is a crystal healer and spiritual dominatrix and was 2007 Queensland Psychic of the Year!

Of course one part of me thinks that this stuff is hilarious. It is excruciating to watch the psychics guess away.

Yet one can't ban The One. And an article like this is a PR coup for the show. This blog demonstrates that the show has enough credibility to rouse the boring killjoy atheist to condemn it. Nonetheless, one cannot avoid raising the show as an issue of concern about the credulousness of our species.

Sparing the Rod

In an appalling story from the US, the traditional Old Testament injunction in Proverbs 13:24 that loving parents beat their children has been perverted by a surfeit of faith.

Tennessee preacher Michael Pearl, with a Methuselah-like beard, has written a tome called To Train Up a Child, which extols the benefits of corporal punishment. He has sold some 670,000 books! This popularity is unthinkable in Australia. Take two zeroes off that number to get a successful Australian publication.

The book and the preacher's teachings have hit the headlines because three children have died allegedly at the hands of parents who had the book in their homes. This is, admittedly, a perversion of Pearl’s teachings and I do not hold him directly responsible.

In Australia, in the vortex of The Slap, we are forced to consider anew the issue of corporal punishment. My concerns about biblical beliefs are that believers can argue that they are so sacrosanct that they are immune to change. Rules etched in stone are rules that cannot easily adapt.

One might argue that this situation is a straw man. However, much a straw man this could be portrayed as, Pearl's book sales alone give atheists the reason to consider him sufficiently mainstream to feel thanks in their lack of belief. From this side of the Pacific, this story of faith gone wrong is a shocker.

What is your view?

Do you see as I do an equivalence between the hilarious One and the tragic story of the rod not spared?

When is faith fair or foul?

Do you share my concerns about The One?

What do you think of Pearl’s book? Is faith a sufficient reason to use corporal punishment?

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