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.

(864 words)




One response

25 09 2013

nice writing..

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