I have been wondering if christianity and religion in general are just various forms of superstition, superstition can be defined as “excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings”, another definition is “a belief or practice considered by non-practitioners to be irrational or supernatural, attributed to fate or magic, perceived supernatural influence, or fear of that which is unknown”. Does that mean anything be it angels, demons or even god, is irrational considering that it violates laws of the natural world? Am I missing something as to how religious belief and God whether literal or as a concept pertain to the natural world?
Considered by whom? You already told us:
It’s almost a tautology. They don’t believe it because they don’t believe it.
Interesting question! I think that the use of the word “superstition” applies more to the extreme forms of belief. Scruton said that all religion is a way to deal with the unknown, but I’m not so sure. I was talking with my 13 and 11 year old boys today about the reasons we believe, and it seems that every time anyone tries to nail one down (miracles, abstract reasoning, origins, hope for justice, reinforcement of a social order), there are a thousand more reasons we leave out. (I am a Christian, by the way, but think a leap of faith is necessary).
Superstition, to my mind, is the excess of fear and attempt to appease or control that fear. Faith doesn’t seem to me to fit that alone, though that can be a caricature of one aspect.
Atheism can be a caricature of itself, I think, too–but most atheists are not dogmatic, just as most religious people are not superstitious. Maybe it’s a matter of degrees.
I should have proof read my question, thanks for pointing that out.
If you will recall the empirical evidence of God’s providence in the series of events in both Maggie’s life and Rich Stearns’, as well as the series surrounding both my nephrectomy and my abbreviated med school experience (at a relatively advanced age and which has not been detailed here), no natural laws were violated. They were not just one-off coincidences, but a pattern, an M.O., if you will, that demonstrate God’s sovereignty over time and place, timing and placing. There is nothing superstitious about it – it is cause and effect (but definitely something to marvel at and delight in, if you belong to him!).
A leap of faith is not necessary if you can ingenuously look at the evidence, like a little child.
My Kindle app has been locking up consistently for the last few days, otherwise I would have seen and posted earlier:
Credulous is negative to begin with ‘having or showing too great a readiness to believe things.’ and superstition is that even more excessively; extremely. And yes, humans are fundamentally excessively credulous. We easily acquire false beliefs, stories in trying to explain any and all phenomena. It obviously doesn’t matter from an evolutionary, survival perspective, in fact it’s the only natural possibility as we are not primarily rational creatures at all. We are incredibly good at it and make the very best of it in all areas, starting with social psychology; we make up relationships, people, others, causality, just like all other higher animals. As a side bet we have an amazing analytical capability that emerges from our toolmaking. Putting it all together under the umbrella of intentionality; thinking about it all, conflict between the common sense of our hands and the stories in our hearts arises and we manage the tension overwhelmingly with our hearts.
What it says about the actual nature of reality requires putting our hands higher - and not in prayer - than our hearts. Giving them absolute priority. Most of us won’t do that.
If there is only the laws of the natural world, then there is no moral law. Is that what you are saying?
No, I am saying that because of angels, demons or God often being lumped into the category of the supernatural and anything being supernatural is often said to be apart of mere superstition, does that mean anything related to the above mentioned (god,angels,demons) is false and/or made up?
Though I do not think god is necessary for morality to exist.
Is morality based on natural law then?
If by natural law you mean as in how our brains work and consciousness itself is objective (or at least I assume it is) then…yes?
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