Triskaidekaphobia: Noun. Fear or avoidance of the number 13
Superstitious beliefs are common in the human species. The reasons are not clear. It can, in extreme cases, be a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but many otherwise rational people allow superstitions to affect their actions. Some psychologists say that our mind likes a sense of control, given the unpredictability of much that happens in our lives. Here is an article from a medical website that discusses this:
Black cats, walking under ladders, itchy palms, broken mirrors…the list of silly things that people believe goes on and on. Here’s another fun article that discusses ten common superstitions:
But wait! Don’t forget religious beliefs, which have the same absence of any factual basis as all the other superstitions discussed above. Here’s a skeptic’s definition of religion:
Organized superstition with the goal of controlling human behavior.
That definition is neutral and non-judgmental…and also incomplete. Here’s a more complete one:
Organized superstition with the goal of accumulating wealth and political power through the control of human behavior.
All superstitions share a common trait; belief in some supernatural power that monitors our actions and controls events accordingly. Most superstitions are concerned with events that occur during our lives, but in the case of Christianity, the events that are (allegedly) controlled occur after death…Heaven or Hell. But it’s still just…superstition.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…