Can a belief in the supernatural be sustained in our modern world?

12 11 2011

In today’s world, science has broken down the universe, putting many superstitious beliefs to rest. Now, only a small number of supernatural beliefs still make their appearance within society, which includes the existence of ghost, aliens and good luck charms. Scientific discoveries over the years are responsible for questioning the supernatural. Today, people are also more focused on their survival rather than putting their fate in a supernatural being. To add, people do not pursue supernatural beliefs to the extreme as to prevent themselves from being socially ridiculed. While many are entertained by superstition and others use it as a form of escape, a belief in the supernatural when pursued to extreme ends, cannot be sustained in our modern world.

Everyday, scientific discoveries are made and they expose the loopholes of beliefs in the supernatural and question their reliability.  In today’s world, majority would rather be certain in their beliefs before pursuing them. With science tearing apart what is perceived as the supernatural, people’s faith in the supernatural decreases, therefore increasing the difficulty for their beliefs to be sustained. A simple yet effective example would be when once farmers believed that the ‘gods’ sent rain on their harvest because they were pleased. This belief stood until the discovery of Earth’s weather patterns came and now many are reliant on weather forecast to predict when their crops can be harvested. Science has provided evidence, visual and qualitative, to support observations. This increases the reliability of science and technology and people become more secure when putting their faith in scientific research, as it can predict accurate results. The accuracy the supernatural offers is not high and with little evidence to support claims, its reliability decreases and with science constantly probing away, the number of people who sustain a belief in the supernatural dwindles.

Rather than placing effort in sustaining a belief in the supernatural, people are more focused in surviving in today’s competitive world. With the increase in competition in jobs and skills, many are more involved in improving themselves, resulting in little attention given to supernatural beliefs.In fact, many are so focused on climbing cooperate ladders or chasing paper qualifications that they have little time to spend with family and friends, let alone the supernatural. In the limited time people have away from the competitive world, many would rather strengthen their relationships with the living and not necessarily the dead or living-dead. This would explain why many youth turn away from religion; they would rather interact with their friends then an invisible man in the sky. In today’s world ensuring one’s survival and strengthening one’s relationships are more of top priorities when compared to believing in the supernatural and the chances of taking the supernatural seriously plummet.

The social norm of today’s modern world is to be logical and rational thinker; implying that an extremely strong belief in the supernatural results in social suicide. If the supernatural forces one believes in are out of the ordinary or out-dated, one would receive uncomfortable stares and be perceived as unusual and one is often mocked. These social stereotypes are often mocked in mocked in movies as they are seen as unorthodox. If one is a religious fanatic, one is then seen as unrealistic and overbearing, deterring a large community away from one’s presence. In both cases, one is marginalised and at times, exiled. One is then forced to choose between one’s beliefs or social standing and many have been seen to drop their spell books and conform to societal expectations.

However, there is a general well-known, unwritten, socially accepted consensus that a belief in the supernatural is taken up for purely entertainment purposes, making our mundane lives more colourful. There are several series on television that attempt to record evidence of unknown supernatural beings. A more worldwide phenomenon would be the rekindling belief in magic thanks to the adapted movies of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It does not matter if audiences are terrified by ghost or revitalised by the wonders of magic, the supernatural does play a significant role in entertaining the global community.

While majority of the globe sees the supernatural as a form of entertainment, it cannot be denied that some use the supernatural as a form of escape. To respective people, believing in the supernatural provides them with an alternate reality in which they are absorbed into. Often these people rather face the unreal than their fellow man, for they may face a more terrifying reality and turn to supernatural beliefs for comfort. No one can really blame them. Today the world is plagued with conflict and aggression and believing in the supernatural acts as their coping mechanisms, emphasising the importance for such people to sustain a belief in the supernatural.

Nevertheless, the belief in the supernatural still exists, but when taking to the extremes becomes unrealistic. Much like anything else, there needs to be a balance when integrating supernatural beliefs with daily routines. To rule one believing in supernatural forces as one being daft is unreasonable, simply because everyone needs something to believe in. As much as it may not be sustainable, supernatural belief thrives because of its entertaining and hopeful quality.

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I’m back for a while

12 11 2011

Hello everyone.

It is the first weekend of the A levels and I would like to tell all my fellow comrades, not to give up the fight. It will be worth fighting and we will end up victorious. Just do your best and no matter what happens. You did your best and you did not give up and that is what is important. I came into JC because I knew A levels would be the biggest challenge of my life. I will fight until I have not more strength and even then I will still push on. Giving up is not in my nature and I hope it is not in yours.

However, I do strongly believe in breaks. And I also believe in being proud of your hard work. Over the last couple of weeks I managed to produce wonderful essays I am extremely proud of and hope to share them with you. The first one is below and the second is in the next post. Hope you enjoy and share your views 🙂

Take Care,
Cheyenne

‘Scientists have taken the world apart but have no idea what to do with the pieces’. Discuss

 From the Ancient Greeks to the scientists of the 21st century, the discoveries made about the universe span across countries of history and miles of land. The final result, as of now, is what we see in our daily lives; improved healthcare, a large amount of food available and even advancements beyond our basic needs such as air travel. It does seem as if we owe scientists a great deal for breaking down our universe and rearranging the pieces for the betterment of our lives. Some remain skeptical, suggesting that scientists are merely satisfying their curiosity. Nevertheless, the men and women in lab coats have shown that they can use what they have learnt to solve man’s growing concerns.

One of the earliest and most crucial discoveries was the impact of the type of soil used has on crop growth. Before the development of modern science, farmers would grow their crops along banks of rivers or near volcanic ash as they would obtain a better yield. The fertility of soil was explored and it was discovered that soil rich with specific ions and molecules allowed crops to improve their growth, resulting in the larger quantity of yield farmers would receive. Using this research, the development of fertilizers came about allowing farmers all over the world to produce sufficient crops, regardless of geographic location and the natural conditions of soil in that area. While it may appear basic, this is one method currently being practiced in order to meet the world’s food demands and scientists will continue to strive in providing enough food for the world’s population.

In today’s health conscious society, scientists have been researching into the genetic make up of animals and have tried to develop healthier livestock for consumption. Biologists have been involved in understanding the genetic material of animals such as pigs and cows in attempts on finding ways to alter their genes to produce leaner meat. The have been successful after producing the first batch of pigs that contained non-saturated fat (which generally, makes them healthier to consume than regular pigs). This was after the addition of genes into the pig’s genome to produce leaner meat for consumption. The study of genomes of animals took slight over the past 5 years and have been used to meet the demands of our very health conscious society today.

Apart from the quality and quantity of food, scientists have been constantly involved in research orientated around the human body as t do improve the medical advancements already present today. A controversial area of research would be stem cell research. Many involved in such projects believe that by studying human stem cells, the cure for life threatening diseases may be found. Others who believe that is too high an ambition, are more convinced they can replace human body parts that have been lost in accidents. Nevertheless, they are goals for stem cell research. Even if these goals and objectives seem far fetched, scientists are aware of the practical uses of their research.

Moving away from our basic needs, scientists have developed our transportation devices by observing animals in nature. The Wright brothers drew up the plans for the plane by observing and studying the physics of birds in flight. The closer studying of the flight dynamics of birds have improved the Wrights’ design, providing us with the latest aircrafts that transport masses over cast distances. With the extremely successful air transport system the international community shares, it would be a fair statement to say that scientists have put on and two together.

However, the label that scientist do not know how to use their research in our lived may come from the idea that some scientific discoveries had no benefits to mankind. Some may even say that these discoveries were made purely to satisfy their curiosity. An often used example would be Astrology, the study of the stars. Apart from the how lunar orbital patterns have an effect on the tides, the stars have proven of little significance in today’s world.

Nevertheless we cannot deny how much scientists have helped in the advancement of society and will continue to make improvements to our current state of life. We can also remain optimistic that all areas of science will eventually encourage technological advancements in their respective fields.

 

(Check out the next post too!)