Religion vs the Paranormal
By Michelle Mc Sweeney (BumpzInTheNite)©
Paranormal beliefs are often portrayed as less rational and credible than religious beliefs. Even worse are conservative and fundamentalist believers who often regard paranormal claims as having to do with the forces of evil.
Religious and paranormal beliefs do share a number of important things in common, both have the view that the world is not just matter and energy, but presume the added presence of immaterial forces that influence or control the course of our lives. There seems to be a desire to provide meaning and coherence to otherwise random and chaotic events. If we suddenly are aware of a distant event that we should not know about we might attribute that to clairvoyance or psychic powers. How is this so different to believing it could be angels or God?
Paranormal belief systems are very similar to religion; they can provide meaning to our lives as well as the events in our lives. They can provide a social structure and comfort at different times. Paranormal belief systems do however lack some of the critical characteristics of religions. We do not necessarily base moral codes upon paranormal beliefs.
Religious beliefs are often based on cultural conditioning; most beliefs are inherited from the family unit and taught in institutional settings or absorbed through contact with society at large. Spiritual and paranormal beliefs on the other hand are most often based on personal experience; they can go hand in hand as they sometimes serve the same purpose. They both provide a moral foundation upon which to base behavior.
The paranormal community has exploded maybe due to the lack of faith in religion. And with all the controversy with abuse allegations that has come to light it is no wonder people are looking for alternative means of belief and faith.