I do not scoff because these beliefs are real yet used in a way that is not benificial. If ancient beliefs still stood true then we would see people being killed on every street corner as a court of law would be meaningless to a mob of believers no matter the flavor. We often see this in very poor nations with little to no education.
You don't have to beleive in anything spiritual, but you cannot possible look at our current body of emphirical knowledge analytically and continue follow the wishful thinking hypothesis. There are much better empirical theories.