The basic principle of sympathetic magic is that "like affects like." The paradigmatic example of sympathetic magic can be found in voodoo dolls - provided that a doll is made well enough to resemble the target and provided that it contains something important from the target, it should be possible for a skilled practitioner to affect the target in some way - usually negatively, by stickign needles in the doll and thus causing harm.
The same principles of sympathetic magic can be found regularly in any number of supernatural and paranormal beliefs, betraying some common facet of human psychology which seems to be that people believe two similar objects either do or can have some greater, mysterious connection between them.
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What is Alternative Medicine?
There's an awful lot in the news and in society about "alternative medicines" these days. By some estimates, it's an industry doing between $15 and $20 billion annually - and growing! But what is alternative medicine - how does it differ from scientific medicine and why do people use it?
Skepticism & Critical Thinking
This is the main index for issues dealing with skepticism, critical thinking, logic and arguments. The first section is Critical Thinking itself - how to think about claims and arguments you hear, how to critique arguments, and how to formulate your own arguments such that they are more likely to be sound and valid. The second section is about Skeptical Investigations - the practical application of the critical thinking skills covered in the first section. Here you will find critiques of things like astrology, alternative medicine, parapsychology, the New Age and more.