Law of Attraction Arguments, Part 11: “Blame The Victim”

Titlepic: Law of Attraction Arguments, Part 11: 'Blame the Victim'

What does Farber’s ‘Blame the Victim’ argument against the Law of Attraction show? Should students of the Law of Attraction be concerned?

KEYWORDS: actions, arguments, bad-things-happening, blame-the-victim, law of attraction, goals, philosophy, positivity, psychology, responsibility, thinking, thought.

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Note: This article is part of a series on arguments against the Law of Attraction. All articles in this series are available from the overview page called “Law of Attraction: Is It Real?

This eleventh article on Neil Farber’s arguments against the Law of Attraction (as seen in “The Truth About the Law of Attraction“) is dealing with the “Blame the Victim” argument.

Today’s exercise is to find out exactly what this “Blame the Victim” argument amounts to. And for that purpose I am going to proceed in two steps.

My first step is to try to make sense of the argument, in terms of its logic. In stark contrast to his previous argument (the “Blame Yourself” argument), the “Blame the Victim” argument is better formulated by Farber, and it is quite easy to understand and to reconstruct.

And once the reconstruction is done, I will inspect each of the propositions to see if they are true, as well as relevant to the whole argument. Do we have a valid and sound argument as a whole here? Let’s see!

PART 1: THE ARGUMENT

Here is the “essence” of Farber’s “Blame the Victim” argument:

“Children getting killed by terrorists, sick babies in the intensive care unit, victims of floods, hurricanes, natural disasters, the Holocaust — yes, their fault. We all know deep inside that this is ridiculous to even suggest. However, it is a basic, fundamental premise of the LOA. You never attract something you are not thinking about.”

So Farber’s idea here is that there, indeed, are bad things happening to people everywhere we look, but that these things absolutely cannot be accepted as being caused by people’s own thoughts. That idea is “ridiculous” according to Farber.

And then Farber goes on in his article to talk about similar things (examples of diseases, poverty, etc.), and thereafter gives the reader many quotes from various authors of the Law of Attraction that are relevant to this issue.

So now we will reconstruct the argument, to see if there is some merit to it.

Argument 11: “Blame the Victim”

Here is how I have reconstructed Farber’s “Blame the Victim” argument (Argument 11):

P1.The only way anything bad can ever happen to you is when you think bad thoughts.

P2.You never attract anything that you are not thinking about.

P3.So if a child is killed by terrorists, then it’s the child’s fault.

P4.And if a person is obese, then it’s that person’s fault.

P5.And if a person is a victim of a hurricane, then it’s that person’s fault.

P6.So if something bad happens to anyone, it is only a result of their own bad thoughts, and they themselves are to blame.

P7.But we all know that these ideas are ridiculous to suggest.

P8.Hence, we must naturally conclude that Law of Attraction is a nonsense idea.

PART 2: MY RESPONSE

Here in Part 2 doing my usual evaluation of the argument, to see if it can hold up under scrutiny. So for each of the eight propositions, I will check whether they are true or not. And then, I will evaluate the argument as a whole, to see if it is valid and sound. So let’s do it!.

Proposition P1: Bad Thoughts, Bad Things

So let’s first start with proposition P1:

P1.The only way anything bad can ever happen to you is when you think bad thoughts.

In my opinion, this is a good proposition. For it sounds a bit like the authorized accounts of the Law of Attraction. But there are still things to note.

First of all, it’s not just about thoughts. It’s about vibration. So you may be thinking a thought that you do not believe. Thus, if you are thinking a positive thought (“It’s wonderful today”) but you think it ironically or sarcastically, then you are not offering a truly positive vibration.

Therefore, achieving a positive vibration is not merely about words; it’s about a true belief in the thought. It’s about having a positive attitude towards the statement that you are thinking about. So the rule is that you must feel good about the thought. Only then is it a positive vibration. Otherwise, it may very well be a negative vibration that is sent out to the Universe.

Another point is this. Because no student of the Law of Attraction is ever 100% positive, there is always some resistance within him or her. So even “advanced” students of the Law of Attraction will surely experience things that are not exactly as they want them to be. All people, including such students, always have some “issue” which they do not have acquired full positivity about (maybe it’s their health, maybe it’s their house, maybe it’s their partner, maybe it’s their job, maybe it’s their stamp collection, etc.).

However, because such students have such a positive vibration overall, their manifested “obstacles” are typically not as severe or as chronic as those which are experienced by ordinary people, who typically are at N2 (“medium negativity”) or at N1 (“weak negativity”).

All in all, we must consider proposition P1 to be true.

Proposition P2: No Attraction If Not Thinking

Here is how proposition P2 is formulated:

P2.You never attract anything that you are not thinking about.

This is basically true. This is why it is extra important for people who are in difficult situations to be extra careful about what they think about.

So if you are living in an area where there is a raging war going on: how can you not think about war, and death? It is very difficult. In my estimation, no-one who is not trained in controlling one’s mind can do it. Everyone is just thinking about war and death, since they are so close to it. So how can war and death not re-manifest in their lives all the time?

Similarly with people who have chronic diseases: How can such people not be thinking about their disease? It is virtually impossible. And it is even difficult for students of the Law of Attraction. But that is the job. For if you don’t stop thinking about it (and stop talking about it, and stop blogging about it, etc.), it will not become better (or it may morph into some other disease, etc.). You must somehow acquire hope instead of fear for the situation to resolve.

Therefore, we must accept proposition P2 as true.

Proposition P3: Children and Terrorists

Here is proposition P3 in Argument 11:

P3.So if a child is killed by terrorists, then it’s the child’s fault.

Farber is doing a great job in terms of his stylistics. He has really succeeded in using the right words to portray the Law of Attraction in as bad light as possible. For instance, in the argument we are convering today, he has managed to use two negative words in a phrase the is only three words long. So he expertly named his argument in such a way that both “blame” and “victim” ended up at each side of the conjunction.

And he also continues throughout his presentation in the same style. So he is repeatedly using the phrase “100% your fault” to discredit the Law of Attraction as much as possible. Thus, my rendition of the word “fault” in this proposition P3 is very much representative of Farber’s way of expressing himself.

From an authorized Law of Attraction perspective, though, there is, of course, no such talk about “faults”. No-one is to be blamed for anything. Law of Attraction is about soothing ourselves into a more positive vibration, not about blame or guilt or fault.

But we must admit that the Law of Attraction does say that we all create our own reality. That is the philosophy in a nutshell. So if a child is killed by terrorists, then the ultimate explanation of that killing is that it is the result of that child’s thinking.

But it is, of course, also a result of that the terrorists did something. But their actions are not the “real” cause of the killing. They have been attracted by the child’s vibration, and are then executing their deeds in the near environment of the child.

The Objection

So then the objection can be made:

“How can that be true? It might, perhaps, be conceivable if the child is, say, five or six years old or something like that. For at that time, the child can think more clear thoughts. But what about a child that is just a week old? Such a child cannot even think! So how can there be thoughts in the first place?”

My reply is this. All children, no matter how small they are, are thinking. They cannot, however, if they are very small, communicate their thoughts to you through verbal communication yet. So most parents do not know that their babies are thinkers from day one.

This is discussed in The Law of Attraction, where Abraham-Hicks say the following (2006, p. 149):

“The child is thinking, and receiving vibrational thought from you on the day that he enters your environment. That is the reason why beliefs are transmitted so easily from parent to child, from parent to child, from parent to child. The child is vibrationally receiving your fears and your beliefs, even without your spoken word. If you want to do that which is of greatest value for your child, give thought only to that which you want, and your child will receive only those wanted thoughts.”

So if we are talking about very small children, or more grown-up children, the scenario is the same: because of their thoughts (which they may have picked up from the environment, or from their parents, or both) they have been killed by terrorists.

Therefore, it is simply a “cause-and-effect” thing. There is no mundane morality judgment involved (i.e., “fault”). You create your own reality. And if you think about positive things or negative things, those things will always manifest sooner or later, either as positive manifestations or as negative ones.

In short: proposition P3 is true.

Proposition P4: Obese Persons

Proposition P4 in Argument 11 goes like this:

P4.And if a person is obese, then it’s that person’s fault.

Once again, it is Farber’s choice to use moral language (“i.e. “fault”). However, the idea is otherwise correct. You create your own reality. And those who are obese have created it by thinking thoughts that promote such obesity.

Therefore, proposition P4 is true.

Proposition P5: Hurricane Victims

Here is proposition P5 in Argument 11:

P5.And if a person is a victim of a hurricane, then it’s that person’s fault.

Proposition P5 is also correct. Because of their negative thoughts, they are experiencing conditions that match their vibration. So P5 is true.

Proposition P6: Blame the Victims

Here I am discussing proposition P6 in Argument 11, which goes like this:

P6.So if something bad happens to anyone, it is only a result of their own bad thoughts, and they themselves are to blame.

The general idea is absolutely correct, except for Farber’s morality-ladened language (“blame”). So restated in a more neutral language: “So if something bad happens to anyone, it is only a result of their own bad thoughts. It’s cause and effect. Period.”

So proposition P6 is true (apart from the morality thing).

Proposition P7: Ridiculous Ideas

Proposition P7 in Argument 11 is formulated like this:

P7.But we all know that these ideas are ridiculous to suggest.

Proposition P7 is problematic. This statement commits the philosophical fallacy called “appeal to majority”. Here is what Kelley says about it (1994, p. 131): [note 1]

“The fallacy of appealing to majority is committed whenever someone takes a proposition to be true merely because large numbers of people believe it (regardless of whether those people actually constitute a majority).”

In other words, this proposition is irrelevant. This is not to say that it is false. It might very well be the case that most people think that “these ideas” (i.e. propositions P1-P6 above) are ridiculous.

However, since this proposition commits the fallacy of “appeal to majority” it cannot be counted as a thing to consider when trying to draw the final conclusion.

In short: proposition P7 is inadmissible as a reason for why Law of Attraction is false.

Proposition P8: So Law of Attraction is False

Here is proposition P8 in Argument 11:

P8.Hence, we must naturally conclude that Law of Attraction is a nonsense idea.

Well, we understand Farber’s eagerness to conclude that Law of Attraction is false. But it is impossible for him to conclude anything at all in this argument. Why? Because proposition P7 is inadmissible.

It is not permitted in standard argumentation practices to use a proposition that commits the fallacy of appealing to majority (or any other such fallacy).

In other words, Farber cannot conclude anything about the Law of Attraction in this Argument 11. For since P7 is ruled out, proposition P8 is not true.

CONCLUSION

Farber’s “Blame the Victim” argument (Argument 11) is not a sound one. Although we may consider many of the propositions true, it still does not help. For since P7 commits the fallacy of “appealing to majority”, P8 cannot be concluded.

So we find once again that Farber’s argument is a no-go. And thus Law of Attraction still can be perfectly real. And it is.

If you are interested in understanding the true power of the Law of Attraction, you are most welcome to my “overview” page called “Master the Law of Attraction”. Perhaps that page might inspire you to a happier and more successful life?

Chris Bocay

NOTES

  1. Note that some authors also are talking about “the argument from popularity” (Moore and Parker 2004, p. 162; van den Brink-Budgen 1996, p. 64) and “the fallacy of appealing to the authority of large numbers” (Michalos 1970, p. 41). These all seem to be talking about the same thing, namely the fallacy of “appeal to majority”.

REFERENCES

  • Hicks, Esther and Jerry Hicks (2006), The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham. Foreword by Neale Donald Walsch. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc. [Link to book]
  • Kelley, David (1994), The Art of Reasoning. Second Expanded Edition. New York and London: W W Norton & Company. [Link to book]
  • Michalos, Alex C. (1970), Improving Your Reasoning. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. [Link to book]
  • Moore, Brooke Noel, and Richard Parker (2004), Critical Thinking. Seventh Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill. [Link to book]
  • van den Brink-Budgen, Roy (1996), Critical Thinking for Students: How to Use Your Recommended Texts on a College or University Course. Plymouth: How To Books, Ltd. [Link to book]

Copyright © 2022 by Chris Bocay. All rights reserved.

First published: Thu 15 Sep 2022
Last revised: Thu 15 Sep 2022

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