Here is one I have not seen discussed on this site.
My boss and I were discussing my vacation time off and she wanted to know when I would be back. I told her next Thursday, if my plane does not crash. I said it in all levity intended. She got so angry with me and told me not to say things like that. I was a bit surprised and asked her what I said to twist her sideways. She told me that words have power and my statements might bring my plane down. She asked whether or not I felt my words had power. I told her my words have power only when I want them to have power. Saying it is not going to make it happen. She acted as though I had dissed jebus.
Over the years this kind of irrational thinking has perplexed me. Some of my atheist(?) friends have had irrational thoughts such as these. Even my wife, an utterly non-xtian, logically thinking person thinks like this at times. I have often felt that if you are going to place that kind of power in words you may as well recommit your life to the pie-god in the sky.
Words are the single most destructive and uplifting tools we have. Why give them even more power, if that is indeed, possible. Imagine the utter chaos in this world (on top of the chaos we already have) we would have to deal with if our words had this kind of power. We would not exist as a species for very long. In fact, we probably would have ceased to exist shortly after we had any kind of independent though at all.
Have any of you come across this type of thinking in your daily lives? If so, how did you deal with it?
I'm reminded of a Bill Cosby routine from ages ago when he would allegedly step onto a plane and say, "Hope the plane don't crash!" Once he got a "hear-hear" ... and it was the pilot!
But you're absolutely right. Words have power or not to the degree we allow them to. One MIGHT say that words may reflect your personal focus, and what you put your attention on grows in your life, but no one is going to bring down a 737 with mere words. To think otherwise is to indulge in magical thinking ... which I have exactly ZERO use for.
Let's see if this one works: The US will be in trouble if John Boehner doesn't resign soon. Cross your fingers.
How about just plain: John Boehner is going to RESIGN!!!
As a ccounterpoint I will say that there are quite a few examples where ones beliefs do effect t outcome. Confidence breeds succes and fear failure. Our entire monetary policy is based on our faith in it. Without that faith our money is just worthless paper.
These are special cases tho where faith or belief itself does have a bearing on t outcome. However unless ones god survives on belief belief has no effect on his existence or a plane's crashing or not.
Your boss' thinking is commonplace. That is because in the Buybull it says "god spoke" everything into existence. This is the mindset of the theist, and it doesn't stop there. We can get into magick, voodoo, words for spells, etc. People should not say bad things for fear that your words might make them come true. If you have any doubt on that just throw some salt over your shoulder. LOL