Infographic: A Venn Diagram Designed To Anger The Irrational

If you’re angered when someone questions your core beliefs, well, it’s time to look away.

Oh boy. As a writer on the Internet, I know how literally any piece of information, no matter how insignificant, probably has the ability to offend at least one person. Say you like dogs? The cat people show up. Drool over a plate of ribs? Someone from PETA is watching. Make fun of chartreuse? You’ll hear from the guy who invented it.

But this post … it’s a career-crusher. No matter what your beliefs, so long as you have them, the Venn Diagram Of Irrational Nonsense is sure to do one of the following:

a.) Upset you, and spur you to call your congressman
b.) Not bother you at all because you don’t care about random Venn Diagrams on the Internet—PS, you are a good person
c.) Upon seeing that truth which you hold sacred placed next to an obvious fiction that someone else holds sacred, question your own beliefs and eventually realize that nothing is sacred—PPS, I’m pretty sure you don’t exist, but you’re tops, too.

Personally, I can’t swallow that the dead possess living bodies or speak to us through a Hasbro board game. But what I do believe is that everyone needs an outlet for their personal crazy. For some, that crazy is believing that wine can transform into the blood of a 2,000-year-old cult leader, for others that crazy is holding a cancerous arm up to "non-magnetic devices filled with kelp, other plant life and minerals specifically chosen for their ability to attract cosmic light energy …"

Luckily, there’s one thing that all rational thinkers can agree on: The placebo effect is very real, so no matter your beliefs, faith in them alone really can save (or at least, you know, sorta help).

Just still go see a real doctor afterwards, please. Because placebos really can’t replace vaccinations.

See more here.

Kelly Rakowski/Co.Design (illustration)

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  • Walter Aprile

    Really excellent, you could sell posters of that. I could use one to enrage guests... minor nitpicking: Out of Body Experiences. The experience is "real" as far as experiences go, people come out of anesthesia or whatever and claim that they have been out of their body. The experience qua experience is at least as real as a dream is. 
    The explanations, what with your spirit leaving your body etc. etc. are the irrational belief part. 
    There should also probably be a niche in there for: Religious offerings and Prayer.
    And relics fit really nice in the intersection between religion and quackery.

  • Guest

    These comments are (mostly) really disappointingly moderate:  Have you thought about cross posting at HuffPo?

  • David Tuner


    think this
    can be included in the category of "Neo-Quasi-intellectual bullshit void
    of any SERIOUS rational, abstract or logical thinking". Basically surface
    thinking that lets uni drop outs, middle class kids and graduates in art or
    other academically void subjects feel intelligent in front of their similarly mediocre
    peers.  Pretty much the scientific equivalent to the abuse of philosophy by beatniks and hippies in the 60's and 70's.

    It is however
    very pleasing to look at from a design perspective.

  • Matti

    This is a beautiful Venn Diagram, which are, as always, extremely rational. It's a diagram to show that people who, for example, believe that God may choose to hear our prayers and do things with those requests because he loves us. Whereas people who are rational, and use things like Venn Diagrams, can't accept that. And that's where the delicious irony comes in. The Venn Diagram was invented by an Evangelical Anglican clergyman, called John Venn. His family had been in the hardcore of a prayer group, called the Clapham sect. They were the singlemost influential group in the eventual demise of the Slavery Industry. John was also a mathematical genius. Thus proving (in a short-cut fashion) that plenty of smart, rational people believe that God may be across all this stuff. And that, sometimes, a Venn diagram may be used to tear itself apart. 

  • george clooney

    Left out of this diagram:

    Emotions. What quackery. No way can those phantoms affect your physiological health. Scientifically speaking, it's impossible.

    Consciousness. I mean, what the fuck is that anyways? We are all just bags of meat, floating on a rock coated by an electromagnetic blanket that protects us from the dark matter of empty space. Sheesh.

    Love. What a crock of shit am I right? There's no such thing. As naturally selected animals, testosterone-fuelled males search for and compete to impregnate the most females possible. Simple.

    Technology. I mean, our modern science proves that all matter is an illusion, and so is time. So how the fuck can this not be a total crock of shit? 

  • Cameron

    Like others, I couldn't resist responding to this barely design-related post. I fall into the B category. I'm a believing Mormon, and I consider -almost- everything here Bullocks. For the rest, I have empirical, rational proof. 

  • Breean E. Miller

    I actually like this post, except for the fact that you haven't included the letter D: those people who aren't offended, not because they don't care about Venn diagrams, but because they don't care about any of the beliefs inside THIS particular Venn diagram


  • James Ferrell

    Well, it looks like the people in the comments are about as offended as they usually are so far. :)

  • emerazea

    Huh, well, so I do have a couple of things I like on this chart.

    1. Scientific studies haven't proved that chiropractics actually cures back problems, but nothing we've tried so far does—not even answers brought to us by science*, so demeriting it on that basis seems foolish. The prospect that having a person pop vertebre into better positioning to alleviate back pain seems pretty straightforward to me, and hardly illogical.

    *"brought to us by science" is a ridiculous thing to say, due to science's iterative nature. Of course, tons of ideas are put forth in the name of science, and tons of them will be proven incorrect and ineffective, but that's how it goes. Similarly, just because scientific studies fail to prove something is true or positive doesn't mean it isn't true or positive. There are a vast number of ways to misinterpret data or fail to acquire the correct data due to overlooked or misunderstood controls, or even worse, faulty premises. Science is wonderful, and in the name of science, you should definitely argue with it.

    2. Feng Shui totally deserves to be labelled as quackery-pseudoscientific bollocks... not sure what the paranormal element is, though. Chi/Qi?

    Still, that doesn't mean that you won't glean some insight if you interpret it as a bunch of take-it-or-leave-it metaphorical rules on decorating. I can give better reasons for some of the concepts it has than it does. They don't require a belief in chi to still have some truth in what people find pleasurable.As a whole, though, totally deserving of this chart.

    And assuming there's something quacked about chiropractics that I'm overlooking in favor of what it has right, the chart seems pretty solid.

  • Guest

    You forgot Public Policy and Economic Bollocks, e.g. Ayn Rand, Supply-side economics, Communism, etc

  • Julie H. Case

    After careful scrutiny and intense analysis, and after having my faith slain and my core beliefs questioned, I, in turn, I am left with one very important question of my own: 
    What the hell is angel therapy? 

  • Daughtertalk

    I'm sorry, but calling Jesus a "cult-leader" seems a bit of an uneducated use of wordage.