Religion, religious ideas, belief in the Supernatural, superstition, Faith all seem perfectly acceptable to "spiritual" people.
It seems not only reasonable, effective, logical and practical but also preferable to skepticism, rationalism and plain old doubt.
Did you ever wonder why?
In a Post Enlightement world we have plenty of education available along the lines of Scientific methodology. Which is to say we investigate, sift through the available ideas and distill things down to a manageable TESTABLE hypthesis. We try to form general conclusions and continue testing for FALSIFIABILITY (stating the principle in terms that CAN be disproved.)
But, are you aware religious ideas are as contagiously upheld today as they ever were in Medieval times?
Did you ever wonder why?
Let's review something we are all familiar with. The two common forms of reasoning.
The first (Inductive) goes from general principles to a specific conclusion
The process of making inferences based upon observed patterns, or simple repetition. Often used in reference to predictions about what will happen or does happen, based upon what has happened.
The second is Deductive.
The process of reasoning that starts from statements accepted as true and applied to a new situation to reach a conclusion (eg, if 5+4 = 9, and 6+3 = 9, then 5+4 = 6+3).
But, what about Spiritual, supernatural conclusions?
The third is Abstract.
An abstract object is an object which does not exist at any particular time or place, but rather exists as a type of thing (as an idea, or abstraction). In philosophy, an important distinction is whether an object is considered abstract or concrete. ...
We are all taught in school that a NOUN is a Person....Place...or THING.
But, what about, say, the word: CULTURE?
We all know what CULTURE is, but, does it actually exist in the same was as objects do? No. CULTURE "exists" in a fantastic way not in a real way.
By saying "fantastic" I mean we can bring it to mind as an understandable concept without being able to hold it in our hand.
We all participate in constructing entire worlds of thought WHICH DO NOT actually EXIST in the same way as the real world.
When we read Lord of the Rings, watch an exciting movie about space aliens, or listen to a ghost story we ABSTRACTIVELY REASON.
It is this facet of the human mind which entertains us, fascinates our creative imagination and also frightens us, gives us hope and leads us to lose the thread of reality altogether sometimes!!
Moby Dick, Alice in Wonderland, John Carter of Mars, James Bond, Bambi, the Seven Dwarfs, Zeus, Jehovah and Allah are all understood and accurately shared as "real" (make-believe real, that is) by millions of people.
How do we KNOW and PROVE which are which? What is real and what is only "real."?
A Calvinist who narrowly escapes death in burning building firmly believes God has planned everything. The others who died tragically were part of that plan. His own escape was Divine intervention as part of that plan!!
This is abstractive reasoning.
It is "cheaper" for a Calvinist to understand this way than to start from scratch with another hypothesis. (Bad luck, demonic malevolence, fate, etc.)
How do you PROVE which beliefs that you hold dear are Inductive, Deductive and Abstractive?