The Power of Belief

1998 ,    »  -   30 Comments
Ratings: 8.29/10 from 7 users.

The Power of BeliefJohn Stossel investigates the supernatural, ESP, psychic powers, astrology, voodoo and other ideas that many people believe simply because they want to believe.

They care less about the proof because believing makes them happy. Those who believe were often unphased by what science has to say.

Usually, before we’ll believe something, we want proof. Or as much proof as we can get. Before you buy a car, you try to check it out.

Before I’ll try to skate across that frozen lake, I’m going to make sure the ice is solid. But when it comes to the supernatural, ESP, psychic powers, astrology and so forth, lots of people have a different standard.

They believe because they want to believe. They care less about proof because believing makes them happy.

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30 Comments / User Reviews

  1. John

    this is how Obama got elected haha the placebo effect.

  2. Tyler
  3. Tyler

    I always enjoy John Stossel's skepticism. It's refreshingly realistic, makes me think more critically about my own beliefs and why I believe them.

  4. Lee
  5. Lee

    Thats good Tyler.

    This doc reminds me of a quote I like.

    "People can be made to believe any lie,as long as they want it to be true or if they fear it to be true".

    Pretty simple really,but its one to keep in mind at all times :)

  6. cheryl
  7. cheryl

    I couldn't even watch this the video quality was so bad..

  8. Skye-hook
  9. Skye-hook

    Makes me wonder why it seemed so important to dis something that they thought it was worth all that time, effort, and money. Hmm..was someone jealous, or envious? Seems like it to me. Or do they just know some stupid person who spent $350 for a fake psychic reading? Who knows. But anymore I really question the motives of the so-called "debunkers". Why do they care that much? Or do they just want to make a video people will watch & that's all they can think of? I've watched so many "debunkers" videos that I'm just heartily sick of them. Unless they have a VERY good reason for the dumb videos they make, and tell us what that motive is, then I truly think they need to find another hobby. To me, it seems more like they are just "bitching" about stuff. Tired of them. And this one fits that category. Like they don't have anything productive to do, so they bitch & make a video of it. Boring & irritating.

  10. Skye-hook
  11. Skye-hook

    PS- @ John- this had nothing to do with Obama.

  12. Skye-hook
  13. Skye-hook

    Sorry for 3 comments. I just realized I forgot to say yes, the people and stupid things this video showed are mostly fakes & weirdos. I think most intelligent people know the difference anymore. Never blindly believe anything. Anybody who believes it has a problem. But except for "magic" tricks and shows that people know is fake, I just don't believe most people believe it. However, there are people with ESP. I know because I have it, and so do many other people I know. We don't flaunt it, keep it very personal, keep it to ourelves, & don't even ask that you believe it. If I/we even mentioned it. I wouldn't want you to blindly believe me. I say that a lot. I don't care if you believe I have it or not. It's not for you. I very seldom even mention it to anyone. Most people with real ESP don't mention it to others much. They just don't need to. And/or fear of ridicule because of the weirdos who fake it & give people a bad attitude about it. I guess that explains why I had a negative reaction to this video so much.
    But I don't care enough to make a video about it. It isn't that important. But yes, do be careful what you believe.

  14. James
  15. James

    “People can be made to believe any lie,as long as they want it to be true or if they fear it to be true”.
    Lol, Wizard's First Rule. Consider the source: an objectivist fantasy novel. Objectivism and magic =P

  16. Saburius
  17. Saburius

    This documentary was complete nonsense. It presented no real scientific arguments - and that is because there is none. On the other hand it mentioned none of the positive effects of belief and faith. Not surprised about the few comments here either. Considering that over 80% of the people in the U.S. are religious numnuts, negative comments from them would counter their own beliefs.

  18. swan
  19. swan

    James Randi is a magician ........ that is his proffesion , so thats why they get him in, to bust trickery

    James Randi destroyed a Nobel Prize winners career (Jaques Benvensite), because Jaques stumbled across a characteristic of water, that it has memory, whi9ch is responsible for homeopathic effects

    James Randi came in and CHANGED the scientific protcol of a NOBEL PRIZE WINNING SCIENTIST's experiment (which btw was a success at first) .... a magcian .... changed the experiment designed by a nobel prize winning scientist .... and guess what .... the experiment didnt work , oh look the scientist must be wrong .... i mean hes only been awarded a nobel prize for his imppecable work and full proof experiments ......

    James Randi ..... is a nob .... how dare he interfere with science and hinder the discovery of something amazing, based on the fact it fall under homeopathy...... what a nob. he is a magician ... i.e. an expert at showmanship and trickery ... not an expert on designing experiments

  20. Epicurus
  21. Epicurus

    MANY MANY MANY different groups of people have tried to replicate Benvensite's experiments and have never been able to do so.

    the man was proven to be a fraud by science and you still refuse to accept it. i think you are more concerned with what makes you feel good than actual science @swan.

  22. wigiman
  23. wigiman

    do you all beleive this documentary?

  24. just brousing
  25. just brousing

    These people have no interest in discovering the truth.
    They have a limited knowledge of what is known about conscousness, or of modern day astrophysics. It is not my idea of a good, balanced documentary. I do believe there are fakes out there, making money off peoples misery. What I do see about those who have difficulty healing is that there are multiple factors..healing itself is a mystery, so is pain, so is suffering and so is gravity, light etc. It is something you have to investigate yourself.

  26. KEVIN
  27. KEVIN

    The quality of this show was terrible. I watched it on youtube, and the quality was 100% better.

  28. mike
  29. mike

    Amazing how after watching this I see comments, that but I have esp. Or don't get that yes your silly god is fake too. Just shows how little people connect the dots. All gods people ,all magic people, not except yours!!!!! This was a great doc that stabs at the heart of these magical thinkers...more! more! more! James Randy still has his mil. I'm sure. For all you i!@#$% that think your magic is real... go collect it . Or shut up. Welcome to reality.

  30. Aloa
  31. Aloa

    "James Randi...his bust trickery"
    That's right, James Randi is an expert when it comes to how people fool each other and how they fool themselves.

    "Jaques stumbled across a characteristic of water, that it has memory, which is responsible for homeopathic effects"
    This characteristic was not repeatable or observable by anyone else, therefore it was discarded.

    "James Randi came in and CHANGED the scientific protcol of a NOBEL PRIZE WINNING SCIENTIST’s experiment (which btw was a success at first)"
    In a way yes, the "scientific protocol" used at the time seemed flawed, the characteristic of water having memory should have still shown even with the change.

    "oh look the scientist must be wrong...i mean hes only been awarded a nobel prize for his imppecable work and full proof experiments"
    Too bad so sad. The experiment was not repeatable, and being a Nobel prize winning scientist doesn't make you immune from making a simple mistake.

    If water had memory as you claim, it would have been evident under repeated observations, but nay. Stop crying.

  32. TJ
  33. TJ

    This was never meant to be a scientific documentary, or an editorial. It's journalism, plain and simple: he presents the topic objectively, as is, and doesn't offer any opinions, so it's up to the viewer to make up his/her own mind. Ideally this is how all reporters should present their information. If you didn't find it comprehensive or "convincing" enough that's your loss.

    What's there not to believe? It's a news bit, not a sermon.

  34. Tipsy
  35. Tipsy

    @swan: If water has memory, then how can it remember a single molecule of magnesia, but has somehow forgotten all the poop that's been in it? :(
    I prefer to believe that the water I drink has a shorter memory than a goldfish.

  36. mike
  37. mike

    wow, was this video recorded with a calculator?

  38. Goodie9000
  39. Goodie9000

    @ john,

    pls put your crack pipe down and go back to watching your "FOX and FRIENDS". this is a forum for people who like to think (not for right-wing talking memo amplifiers)

  40. Sieben Stern
  41. Sieben Stern


  42. Gary V
  43. Gary V

    It just proves how many gullible people there are in the world, you only have to look at all the people who irrationally believe in God. Some people will believe whatever nonsense they are told just because they want to believe it is true, regardless of any evidence to support it. If people are stupid enough to pay these charlatans, then they deserve to get ripped off. My mother always used to say " A fool & his money are soon parted ".

  44. 0zyxcba1
  45. 0zyxcba1

    ESP, psychic powers, astrology, voodoo, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Santa Clause, The Flying Spaghettis Monster,...
    What am I saying! I believe in the FSM! Makes me feel good :-)

    Wonder what the body count is between:

    ESP + psychic powers + astrology + voodoo + Santa Clause + FSM
    Judaism + Christianity + Islam

  46. Kumamori
  47. Kumamori

    Considering how we live in societies full of fools from my viewpoint: going to work when you could start a farm of your own with little maintenance work and eat pure food and work for your own hours... considering that, how most white people are either fools or not rich enough for it yet, I see you have a moot point. Fools who let themselves be fooled, or even choose to live in an illusion, claiming they don't because they're ateists or something. Hah!

  48. Kumamori
  49. Kumamori

    What you prefer to believe doesn't have to correlate with reality, unless you have a psychic power allowing you to alter reality according to your mind's whims.

  50. georgiypotulov
  51. georgiypotulov

    Hijackers were also unphased by what science has to say, does that make their believes to be any more 'right'? Hardly.. 2 stars ( for the effort)

  52. corynski
  53. corynski

    If you were an all powerful, all knowing God, would you create a world such as this? Could an all knowing God create anything so stupid as this world? How, or why, would Perfection create Imperfection? The Christians say man is made in God's 'Image'...... How so? A God is exactly the opposite of a human in nearly all aspects. Does God cry when He makes a mistake? Can a God even make a mistake? Can a human being be all-knowing? I don't think so......

  54. SFG
  55. SFG

    See, this is a strange subject for me. I usually make fun of things like this cause the people they put on TV are loons, but I've actually had personal experiences with it. Now, this doesn't happen often, but my dreams have come true. More so when I was younger. Not like I'll hear a song in my dream and hear it on the way to work (that does happen a lot), but I've seen the death of a friend's parent (he wasn't ill, not even a thought really), certain conversations repeated pretty much exactly the same and a few other useless things. No lotto numbers, though! Haha. I just think it's interesting, brains are so weird.

  56. john
  57. john

    I have faith that most people are like the little kids in the first part of this video. Faith is often very dangerous to others. Remember the witch burnings and the crusades? Yeah all from a little bit of faith. No thank you.

  58. john
  59. john

    @ corynski

    It's nice to come across a rational human. It's usually so lonely up here. As we say at Burning Man. "I'm glad you're here".

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