Law of Attraction Arguments, Part 5: “No Date”

Titlepic: Law of Attraction Arguments, Part 5: 'No Date'

Does the “No Date” argument against the Law of Attraction prove that Law of Attraction is not true?

KEYWORDS: action, arguments, deadlines, goals, goal setting, law of attraction, no-date, philosophy, psychology, timelines.

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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?

Neil Farber has presented many different arguments against the existence of the Law of Attraction in an article named “The Truth About the Law of Attraction“.

Previously I have discussed four of those: the “Metaphysical Psedoscience” argument, the “No Purpose” argument, the “No Action” argument, and the “No Plan” argument. In this article, however, I am going to investigate his fifth one, the “No Date” argument.

So what are some questions for this article? Well, first of all we can ask this: How does Farber put together his argument, so that it becomes valid? And what does “date” or “no date” mean or imply? And, most important: Does he succeed in proving that the Law of Attraction is not true?

PART 1: THE ARGUMENT

Here is what Farber concludes at the end of his presentation of the “No Date” argument:

“While goal-setting research supports the importance of establishing timelines to achieve success, LOA experts assert that it would be inappropriate to set a deadline for the universe to achieve your goal.”

Thus, in this argument the focus is on “timelines” and “deadlines”. So it has much in common with the “No Plan” argument that I have previously discussed. But there are also some new things that are introduced.

One of those things is the quotation from Rhonda Byrne, where she says “It takes no time for the Universe to manifest what you want.” And another one is that Farber also adds the idea that some scientific research on setting goals indicate that using timelines is necessary, or at least conducive, to success.

So how does all of this work together, to form the complete argument? Well, since Farber’s argument is presented in such an informal fashion, we need to reconstruct it, in order to understand what he is trying to conclude. So we’ll take a look at that next.

Argument 5: “No Date”

So here is my reconstruction of his “No Date” argument, which I am calling Argument 5:

P1.A practitioner of the Law of Attraction must live as if they already have accomplished their goals.

P2.When you live as if you have already accomplished your goals, there is no reason to have timelines or deadlines.

P3.And according to some Law of Attraction experts, the Universe manifests things instantly anyway, so there is no need for any timelines or deadlines.

P4.But goal-setting research shows that establishing timelines is important for success.

P5.Therefore, Law of Attraction is false.

PART 2: MY RESPONSE

The focus in Part 2 is that I am here analyzing all the propositions that are part of Argument 5, in order to find out whether they have something to offer, or not.

The key question is whether these premises are true and relevant to the argument as a whole. For if they are not, then Argument 5 will be considered unsound and, for all practical purposes, unusable.

Proposition P1: Live As If Having Reached the Goal

In this section I am looking at proposition P1 in Argument 5, which goes like this:

P1.A practitioner of the Law of Attraction must live as if they already have accomplished their goals.

First of all, a similar version of this premise has already been discussed in my article on Argument 3 (“No Action”) and in my post on Argument 4 (“No Plan”).

The difference between the premise in this argument (“No Date”) and the one in the “No Action” argument is that Farber here accentuates that his argument is not about “thinking”, but only about “living”. This is why we here do not see the phrase “believe and live” (from Farber’s own exposition of the “No Action” argument).

Now, what do we say about P1 here in argument 4? Well, one problem with it is that Farber has not supplied any evidence to support the idea that any author of Law of Attraction has ever said anything like that. So in his article there are no quotes from, or references to, any author or book who has stated that, or anything similar. This means that P1 does not work to support his overall argument.

Note, however, that I am not saying that it could not work (to some degree) if he would give us some details about where he got that idea from. But as it stands, without any quote or any citation details, his whole argument (P1-P5) is useless as a tool to discredit the Law of Attraction.

And even if it were to be discovered (whether Farber provides this information, or someone else does) that some representative of some version of the Law of Attraction has said something like that, it would not matter very much. For by saying such things, such an author would immediately disqualify himself or herself as a bona fide representative of the authentic version of the Law of Attraction.

Summing up: Proposition P1 has no power to do that which Farber wants it to do. It does not help the overall argument (P1-P5) to conclude that the authorized version of the Law of Attraction is not true. Why? Because P1 is not proven true.

Proposition P2: No Reason to Establish Timelines

Here is what proposition P2 in Argument 5 says:

P2.When you live as if you have already accomplished your goals, there is no reason to have timelines or deadlines.

This proposition is problematic. Why? because it assumes that proposition P1 is true. So when, or if, you live as if you have already accomplished your goals, then, according to the idea expressed in P2, timelines are no longer needed.

But, as we have seen in my discussion on proposition P1, no representative of the authorized accounts of the Law of Attraction is claiming that one must live as if one has accomplished one’s goals. So P1 is not true. And that means that P2 automatically must also not be true.

And the upshot of that is simply that Farber’s whole argument (P1-P5) is disabled. Since both P1 and P2 have not been found true, there is no possibility to conclude that Law of Attraction is false.

Proposition P3: The Universe Manifests Instantly

Here is proposition P3 in Argument 5:

P3.And according to some Law of Attraction experts, the Universe manifests things instantly anyway, so there is no need for any timelines or deadlines.

Premise P3 is interesting. For Farber is (presumably) quoting Rhonda Byrne here, to introduce the idea of “instantaneous manifestations”. But as usual, he does not give us any references other than that (no book, no year, no publisher, no page number). So technically speaking, we may still say that he has not proven his claim, and therefore we may dismiss both P3 and the whole argument.

However, just for fun, I did manage to locate that quote. It is in her book The Secret, and Rhonda Byrne is saying exactly that. But she says it not only in one place, but in two places. And the text that follows it is different, so it matters where one reads this.

The first place where she says it is in the main text for the “How to Use the Secret” chapter (Byrne 2006, p. 63):

“It takes no time for the Universe to manifest what you want. Any time delay you experience is due to your delay in getting to the place of believing, knowing, and feeling that you already have it”

The second place where she says it is in the summary text for the “How to Use the Secret” chapter (Byrne 2006, p. 68):

“It takes no time for the Universe to manifest what you want. It is as easy to manifest one dollar as it is to manifest one million dollars.”

When looking at these two quotations, it is easy to see that the second one might seem more “unreasonable” than the first one, for a non-follower of the Law of Attraction. Sure, the whole thing with “it takes no time” is rather unpalatable in itself for many people; but then when the idea that “it is as easy to manifest…” also is added, it might be just too much.

However, in the first quote, the second sentence doesn’t add that effect. On the contrary, the addition of the sentence “Any time delay…” simply tones down the claim to make it less strong and more palatable. So the idea then is that manifestations are not really instantaneous, after all.

So my guess would be that Farber perhaps did not see the first quote, but just the second one. For if he had seen the first one, then it would not be “fair play” to isolate the first sentence from the second sentence. For on page 63 it is obvious that Rhonda Byrne does not suggest that all manifestations are delivered to the practitioner instantaneously. And if all of them are not delivered instantaneously, then there still might be a need for a timeline or a deadline, etc.

But we do not have to continue discussing this. For Rhonda Byrne does not represent the authorized versions of the Law of Attraction anyway. The authors of the authorized versions do not claim that practitioners of the Law of Attraction typically, or ever, will be able to manifest gross physical manifestations instantaneously. So it is a non-issue.

Thus, even if this premise might be applicable to some non-authorized accounts of the Law of Attraction, it does not represent the philosophy of the authorized versions.

Summing up: P3 is not true in the case of the authorized version of the Law of Attraction. So Farber has achieved nothing with this proposition. For since P3 is not true, his whole argument (P1-P5) is unsound.

Proposition P4: Research Shows Timelines Are Important

Here I am discussing proposition P4 in Argument 5, which goes like this:

P4.But goal-setting research shows that establishing timelines is important for success.

Proposition P4 does not work very well. Why? Because once again, Farber is not telling us any details about the research that he is referring to. There are no paper titles given, or any authors, or year, or name of academic journal, etc. So his proposition P4 is unproven, and his whole argument is rendered useless.

For there are many questions about the research: How was it conducted? Was it an international infrastructure project with thousands of workers involved? Or was it just a study about one individual who tried to build a tree house in his garden? [note 1]

Another important question is this: Why does Farber think that there are only two options: using a timeline and not using a timeline? In other words, is “not using a timeline” only one type of choice? For is it not possible to not be using a timeline, and still approach life in different ways? So for example, one might have two options while not using a timeline: either drink lots of coffee, or not drink lots of coffee? Or one could run 5 miles a day, or not run at all. Etc.

Therefore, it might very well be the case that one could skip using a timeline and find other ways to get more efficient, especially when not being involved in international infrastructure projects. So, for example, when one builds one’s tree house in the garden, it might be much more efficient to skip one’s usual GANTT project managing routines applied at work, and instead start meditating, thus raising one’s positive energy and inspiration, while also improving one’s intuition, so that one more clearly can see what is to be done, and when to do it.

Thus, once again, Farber’s premise is not working. Consequently, his argument as a whole (P1-P5) is also not working. In other words, this proposition has no power to invalidate the authorized version of the Law of Attraction.

Proposition P5: Law of Attraction Is False

In this section I am discussing proposition P5 in Argument 5, which is formulated like this:

P5.Therefore, Law of Attraction is false.

Farber wants to draw the conclusion that Law of Attraction is false. But his premises are so ineffective, so he is not able to. So let’s recap.

Proposition P1 does not work. Why? First because no references are given to any text that is claiming what P1 is claiming. But finding such a reference might difficult, since no authorized version of the Law of Attraction would state anything like that. So P1 is easily dismissed.

Proposition P2 is built on the assumption that P1 is true. But P1 has already been dismissed, and thus P2 can be dismissed as well.

Proposition P3 is another misrepresentation of the authorized accounts of the Law of Attraction. No such author states that the practitioner can manifest gross physical things instantaneously. So P4 has no power in relation to the authorized accounts of the Law of Attraction.

All in all, since there are so many problems with P1, P2, P3, and P4, Farber’s conclusion (P5) cannot be reached.

CONCLUSION

Farber’s “No Date” argument (Argument 5) is not good enough to do what he wants it to do. For none of the four premises (P1-P4) are unproblematic. There is no evidence (i.e., references) provided for P1 or P3. And because P2 is built on P1, then it is plain that P2 is also invalidated. And P4, of course, is easily refuted.

This means that the conclusion (P5) is not reachable with the current design of this argument. Hence, Farber’s “No Date” argument fails in its attempt to discredit the authorized version of the Law of Attraction. There is no evidence anywhere in Argument 5 that proves that the Law of Attraction is not true.

In other words, Farber’s argument provides no reason whatsoever for abandoning the idea of mastering the Law of Attraction.

Chris Bocay

NOTES

  1. Another highly relevant point is this: What means “success” for Farber? Is success simply the “arrival” of a desired result? If so, it is not real success. Real success, according to the authorized accounts of the Law of Attraction, is the achievement of continuous happiness. So achieving happiness is success, and that, in turn, then generates more success: “the secret to all success is keeping yourself happy” (Money, and the Law of Attraction, p. 190).

REFERENCES

  • Byrne, Rhonda (2006), The Secret. London: Simon & Schuster UK. [Link to book]
  • Hicks, Esther and Jerry Hicks (2008), Money, and the Law of Attraction: Learning to Attract Wealth, Health, and Happiness. Carlsbad, CA: Hay House, Inc. [Link to book]

Copyright © 2022 by Chris Bocay. All rights reserved.

First published: Fri 9 Sep 2022
Last revised: Fri 9 Sep 2022

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