Fundamental Beliefs: Superstition and Supernatural Beliefs are Wasteful and Harmful

Here at Atheist Believers we are equal opportunity critics of superstitious and supernatural religious beliefs.  We believe it is wasteful of time and energy for adults to believe in non-existent entities which cause fear, and to participate in ritual behaviors to influence those non-existent forces.  More than being wasteful, it is downright cruel to teach children to be afraid of these mythical beings and forces.  It is a recipe for mental illness, and often goes together with other forms of abuse (physical violence, emotional manipulation, or sexual abuse).

But what do we mean by superstitious and supernatural?

Here is a key tenet:  Consciousness requires matter.  Disincarnate entities do not exist.

This means that ghosts, spirits, angels, gods, and demons are mythical creatures which aren’t real.  Any conversations you have in your head with what seems to be an entity without a body are just that:  conversations in your head.  Thus when Abraham heard a voice telling him to sacrifice his son Isaac, he was exhibiting signs of severe mental illness.  Occasionally we see in the news that some crazy person has killed their children (or attempted to) because some God told them to do it.  It doesn’t make it any better the Abraham’s story is centuries old and in the Bible.

We also believe that there is no acceptable proof of human consciousness surviving death or traveling outside the body.  Thus reincarnation, remote viewing, heaven and hell, etc. are also fantasies.

This leads us to the “equal opportunity” criticisms of religions which teach supernatural and superstitious beliefs.  This includes Buddhist ideas of reincarnation, Joseph Smith’s lies about being visited by angels, Bible stories about demons, occult ideas about communicating with spirits or leaving the body, Islamic ideas about virgins in the afterlife, etc.

We could go on for gigabytes about the false beliefs which make up the bulk of religious history.  But it is better to focus on the positive alternative.  To us, this is science.  The scientific method, the scientific process.  The study of nature.  This means chemistry, physics, botany, and biology.  Many religious myths were attempts to explain the creation and cycles of nature.  Some study of these myths as part of the history of science is important.  However, there are still religious groups who want to portray these outdated and erroneous beliefs as being correct, or at least just as correct as leading scientific theories.

The scientific method is open to anyone to use.  In theory, it would be possible for someone to design careful research to show the existence of ghosts or out-of-body travel. In that case, such things would no longer be supernatural, they would be part of nature.  But so far, the research and books which argue for the existence of the supernatural are, from what we have seen, based on fraud, falsities, and fallacies.

There are many seemingly miraculous things in our current world.  Wireless transmission of pictures and sounds, light bulbs, heart transplants, automobiles, and airplanes are all examples of technologies which would have seemed utterly miraculous to anyone even 200 years ago.  Many of them owe something to ancient mystics and alchemists who messed with metals in medieval labs, thinking they were manipulating supernatural forces. Even then, religious orthodoxies fought scientific revelations (i.e. Galileo).  What’s stunning is that it is still happening today, and that children around the world are still being indoctrinated into superstitious beliefs from infancy.

That is worth fighting against, in the name of ethics and love.

–Abel

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