Have you ever experienced something you couldn’t explain?
For many, the supernatural is very much part of real life. Thousand of people get their fortunes read, visit spiritualist and psychic conventions, go on ghost tours and devour Hollywood movies based on so-called ‘true stories’ of the supernatural. Millions more tune in to watch famous TV psychics such as John Edward and Alison Dubois, as well as series such as Britain’s Most Haunted or the US Ghost Hunters.
Staunch realists, however, scoff at believers, pointing out that there’s no hard evidence of life after death, just dubious first-person accounts of having visited the ‘other side’ and come back, and that many of the supernatural phenomena on previous centuries, such as vampirism, have since been found to have been caused by entirely normal medical conditions.
So where do you stand, or run, on superstition and the supernatural?
I’m a believer:
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People who’ve claimed to experience a supernatural sighting or phenomenon are often the strongest advocates for belief in supernatural elements. They often argue that although science has proved to be useful in enlightening the world, there are still unexplained aspects of the universe, and that there’s no reason the supernatural can’t be one of those things. They often to refer to famous scientific minds like Albert Einstein who were once criticised for having ‘crazy ideas’ merely because science wasn’t at the time sufficiently advanced to prove that he was correct.
Steadfast believers also often list stories of cold cases solved by psychics, uncanny predictions made by psychics of major global events and the physical evidence (sounds recorded, photographs taken) collected by ghost hunters as a reason to believe.
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I’m a sceptic:
People who don’t believe in the supernatural often love to point out that, given the amount of time and effort spent on seeking evidence of the supernatural, the fact that none has been uncovered is a sure sign that it doesn’t exist. Even the US$1 million that was offered as a reward by the James Randi Educational Foundation for irrefutable evidence of ownership of a supernatural or paranormal ability wasn’t able to produce a single eligible recipient. (The reward, first offered in 1964, was finally withdrawn in 2015, after more than 1,000 people were tested and none passed.)
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Others note the long history of phoney psychics and supernatural scams that are easily explained and replicated once uncovered, and the fact that entirely logical phenomena could explain away many hauntings and other supposedly supernatural events.
So, where do you stand? Do you believe in the supernatural? Or are you a sceptic? Tell us why!
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