Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Do Ghosts Compete with God?

Interesting ... superstitions make you less likely to believe in God? It hardly seems possible, yet apparently it's true, according to several semi-scientific studies.

Apparently, there's only room for one set of superstitions in the average person's mind. If a person believes in the paranormal, or in ghosts, they are considerably less likely to believe in Yahweh, the traditional Judeao-Christian god.

This could be because the three traditional Abrahamic religions strongly discourage all superstition except their own brands; Yahweh is jealous and demands that His followers stick to just His version of the supernatural.

But whatever the cause, I find it fascinating that belief in ghosts and the paranormal is inversely related to belief in Yahweh. I would have guessed the opposite: That if you can find it in yourself to accept one faith-based system of beliefs, other supernatural beliefs would make sense too.


  1. You should also take a look at this article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122178219865054585.html

    Essentially, this study concludes that the more conservative and evangelical a person is in regards to Christianity, the less likely the person will believe in pseudoscience and superstitions.

    Note the brilliance of Bill Maher mentioned in the article towards the end.

    So, will you now shift your attacks on Christianity to attack the foolish superstitious beliefs of non-Christians? How does this article and the one you linked to affect your "religion virus" theory? These studies are about as empirical as you can get.

    Are you going to trust the data available or will you continue in your own presuppositional speculations that have no data?

    "It's the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense, and can't see things as they are" (G.K. Chesterton).

  2. Actually, this makes perfect sense. If you believe that the spirits of the departed go either to heaven or hell, then you can't also believe that those spirits are wandering about on the earth. Christianity and superstition are mutually exclusive, as much as Christianity and atheism are mutually exclusive.

  3. Peggy, from a non-Christian's point of view, there is no difference between Christianity and other belief systems. The word "superstition" is nothing more than a way for the Abrahamic religions, especially Christianity, to group all non-Christian religions into a single derogatory category. So what you're really saying is that people will tend to select one particular religion and then reject all others. It just happens that Christianity is the predominant choice of English-speaking people, so the English language has a special word, "superstition," for non-Christian faiths.


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