Subbotskiy E.V. —
Religion and belief in the supernatural
// SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. – 2016. – № 4.
– P. 24 - 43.
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Review: This article examines the following questions: why do people believe in God if there is no proof; is it possible to live without faith; where is the correlation between religious faith, belief in science, and belief in magic in the consciousness of modern people. The conclusion is made that the belief in the supernatural world occurs as a result of emergence of the cognitive abilities in primeval human (such as powerful imagination) and deep grieving over the death of a congener. The souls of the ancestors, who populated the mystical world, became the first gods. Religion has gradually separated from magic, but retained its connection to magic trough belief in the supernatural. The psychological experiments of the recent decades demonstrated that despite the joint efforts of the official religion and science to uproot the belief in magic from modern Western society, the belief in the supernatural remained on the subconscious level. Presence of phenomena that cannot be explained by science confirms that belief in the supernatural is not strictly atavistic remnants of the human psychology of past historical eras, but has certain empirical foundation. The scientific novelty of this research consists in the following: religious belief is examined in the context of modern experimental research of magic though for the first time; a new claim is made on the agreement between science and official religion in the fight against magic. Among the main conclusions are the following: religion historically and psychologically emanates from earlier human belief in magic; having separated from magic, religion begins to view magic as an adversary in the struggle from human conscience; religion becomes antagonistic towards magic and views it as manifestation of dark forces.
Keywords: spirits of the dead, participation, illusion of control, mysticism, miracles, paranormal phenomena, magic thought, religious beliefs, changed states of consciousness, parapsychology
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