Having a “holier-than-thou” attitude about people who believe ghosts are real (or vaccinations spread autism, or a caravan of refugees is a cover for ISIS terrorists, etc.) undermines trust and gives rise to the very culture wars we are experiencing now.
I was recently trying to buy a house and the seller made a counteroffer that would’ve required me to spend my time hiring a contractor to make repairs. I wanted the seller to take care of it but I didn’t want to lose the house. So I talked to our expert and he made a counteroffer along with arguments to the seller’s agent that got me what I wanted. It would be incredibly self-injurious to think I knew real estate negotiations better than an expert. If you need to make a decision that can cause harm to yourself or people you love, you have a responsibility to rely on experts if you haven’t done the research or lack the skills to make an informed decision.
I’ve spent most of my career working with senior executives. When I’m providing information to them, my goal is to help them make an informed decision. I may not agree with the decision they make, but if I’ve given them the information they need to make an informed decision then I know I’ve done my job.
My intent in sharing the ghost stories was not to look down on someone’s beliefs. I was raised to believe in the sanctity of drinking the blood and eating the flesh of a zombie descended from an all powerful being.
Beliefs can be extraordinarily positive even when completely untrue. The placebo effect has alleviated pain and suffering without the use of actual medication. But not every belief is positive or innocuous. In fact, some innocuous beliefs, such as believing in ghosts, can make one more susceptible to believing in harmful beliefs, such as vaccines cause autism.
My apologies if I came across as having a superior attitude because I don’t believe in ghosts. There’s a shorthand that naturally occurs during meaningful conversation and I may have been guilty of not adequately communicating the true intent behind my words.