Faith And Magical Thinking

Faith And Magical Thinking September 8, 2018

I don’t need my faith to be magical, to be otherworldly, to break the rules of physics. It seems like some people use that as a measure of the strength or validity of their religion.

To me an important part of a religious system is that it supports and explains what we see in the world around us. The very definition of miracles is that they are events that are impossible according to the laws the universe functions in. These alleged events break the rules, are outside of how things all work.

I find that pretty much useless.

Floating Whale Kite Free Photo —By Ryan McGuire

I don’t want miracles from my Gods and my religion. I think religions are stronger when they don’t sell magical thinking, when they operate within the bounds of nature. I’m not looking for a powerful being to change the course of nature for me. But it seems like that’s what a lot of religious figures are selling (within my own religion as well).

What do you think? Is part of the purpose of religion to claim that some beings can break the rules of physics, death, and the normal course of our lives?


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Faith And Magical Thinking

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  • Miriam Grimm

    Interesting to find this post today of all days.
    Last night I had a… “discussion” online with someone who said religion is for the weak (thereby claiming that I am weak…) who “cannot cope with reality” and thus need to “resort to fantasy”. Now I don’t even know what reality is and whether it looks the same to all of us, but I think that person was basing their view on a very… a) Western and b) extreme form of religion they might be familiar with, probably a fundamentalist branch of Christianity.

    For me the Gods are very much part of the natural world and while they play a crucial part in keeping it on its normal path, I don’t expect them to make the world change to please me or anyone else. If anything their job is to make sure the world keeps functioning as it does, not change it.
    I don’t expect any deity to fix problems for me, cure illnesses for me or whatever. I don’t even know if they’re capable of such things so I sure as hell wouldn’t bet on it. And even if they are capable, why would they do it for me out of all the billions of people?
    If one bases their faith on such hopes, one is bound to get disappointed eventually.

  • S.V.Rao52

    Hear! Hear! Well said.
    Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa while not denying the existence of spiritual powers said that “these things have no connection with religion.” And described any Sadhaka who prays to god to grant these powers is a foolish man. Sri Ramakrishna said ask God for the priceless gifts of Jnana and Bhakti.