Do Invisible Agents Control the World?

Micheal Shermer has an article in Scientific American titled Why People Believe Invisible Agents Control the World.

I think that a major reason people believe in religion is because they never view their own religion with the same skepticism that they view others. Take the Jehovah’s Witness proclamation of Jesus’s second coming in 1975 (or any of the other ones). This failure made them the subject of much ridicule. However, their prediction in no way stands out from other biblical prophecy. Jesus himself predicts the end times in the foreseeable future:

“Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”
(Matthew 16:28)

“But I say to you truthfully, there are some of those standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
(Luke 9:27)

Excuses are often made for this passage. The most common one I’ve heard was that the Kingdom of God DID come in the 1st century AD. But, it was a spiritual kingdom, therefore there is no record of it, no manner of verifying it, no perceivable change to the Earth, whatsoever. And, apologists honestly do not see this as being a silly response in the least.

There is an even better parallel in the Old Testament. The Flood. God sees man is corrupt, so he sends a flood to kill all the corrupt people on the Earth. Yet, look around you. Is there not still corruption? The flood appears to be a pretty ridiculous extreme measure for such a temporarily solution.

So, why do people believe in superstitions? They want to.

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3 Comments on “Do Invisible Agents Control the World?”

  1. uzza Says:

    I’m absolutely convinced that invisible agents control the world. Some of them are gravity, magnetism, and the invisible critters in my compost pile. Calling them gods does not seem problematic to me. Saying they wrote books, and died on a cross, OTOH…..

  2. Andy Says:

    Sure, just like people believe that there are invisible rules and laws in this universe that are the same everywhere and form this religion surrounding them stating that they’re eternal and will never change and yet have never been able to design a scientific experiment to show that this is really the case. Design an experiment showing me that the law of gravity will be there tomorrow and I will be convinced science (or shall we say naturalism) is more than a religion.

    • Victor Says:

      One of the yard sticks of scientific theories is their power of prediction, including gravitational ones. And much more complicated than just stating that gravity will exist tomorrow (which it essentially does). Gravitational theory was and is used to calculate the necessarily criteria for everything NASA does in space.

      Not sure what you mean by “religion” or what it has to do with predictive power.


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