God and Superstitions

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Man is hardwired to worship.  If the does not worship the God who created all that is, he will revel in superstitions and worship degrading substitutes for God.  Walter Russell Mead at The American Interest nails it:

Human beings feel instinctively that the visible reality that we live in day to day is connected to something larger and more mysterious. When belief in God goes away, the hunger for meaning and connection with a truth beyond the business of daily life remains. The New York Times:

Like many Europeans, Marianne Haaland Bogdanoff, a travel agency manager in this southern Norwegian town, does not go to church, except maybe at Christmas, and is doubtful about the existence of God.

But when “weird things” — inexplicable computer breakdowns, strange smells and noises and complaints from staff members of constant headaches — started happening at the ground-floor travel office, she slowly began to put aside her deep skepticism about life beyond the here and now. After computer experts, electricians and a plumber all failed to find the cause of her office’s troubles, she finally got help from a clairvoyant who claimed powers to communicate with the dead. The headaches and other problems all vanished.

People who think themselves too rational for religious belief end up believing in “astral forces”, ghosts and other phenomena. Sometimes these superstitions take the deadly form of political ideologies that fanatical believers take up with religious fervor—communist atheists murdered tens of millions of people in the 20th century in the irrational grip of an ugly ideology. They scoffed at the credulity of religious believers even as they worshipped the infallible insights of Stalin. Similarly, the Nazis presented their faith as an alternative to the “outgrown superstitions” of historic Christianity.

It’s something very much worth remembering: a world without faith in God wouldn’t be a more rational or more humane place.

 

 

 

 

 

Worship belongs to God alone.  Any other form of worship degrades Man, the child of a loving God.

 

A Man

 

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3 Comments

  1. Interesting,isn’t it, that she and others begin to look for explanations when things are awry. No felt need to explain beauty, truth, goodness, etc.

  2. I suspect that most often, it isn’t making bad choices that creates things like atheist Nazis and communists, as much is a simple refusal to serve–which requires individuals to relinquish serving themselves (as gods).
    Elevating the created above the creator is what we also find in todays variations of radical environmentalism. Like all sin, it becomes the abuse of a good that God created.

  3. Hume famously tried to explain our unshakable, but quite improvable, conviction that we live in an orderly universe and that every event can be traced back to some cause.
    “The only connexion or relation of objects, which can lead us beyond the immediate impressions of our memory and senses, is that of cause and effect; and that because it is the only one, on which we can found a just inference from one object to another. The idea of cause and effect is derived from experience, which informs us, that such particular objects, in all past instances, have been constantly conjoined with each other… We suppose, but are never able to prove, that there must be a resemblance betwixt those objects, of which we have had experience, and those which lie beyond the reach of our discovery.”
    Of course, to say that it is “derived from experience” is problematic. As Hume says, “probability is founded on the presumption of a resemblance betwixt those objects, of which we have had experience, and those, of which we have had none; and therefore it is impossible this presumption can arise from probability. The same principle cannot be both the, cause and effect of another…” To say that all past experience confirms our conviction of the uniformity of nature gets us nowhere, unless we suppose that our future experience will do so, too. But why should it? That the past will resemble the future is just a special instance of the uniformity of nature, so we are arguing in a circle.

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