Superstition

The Free essays given on our site were donated by anonymous users and should not be viewed as samples of our custom writing service. You are welcome to use them to inspire yourself for writing your own term paper. If you need a custom term paper related to the subject of Sociology or Superstition , you can hire a professional writer here in just a few clicks.
Md. Mosharaf Bhuiayan ENG 1003 11/9/00 8:30 PM Prof. Dunning Emerged in Superstition In the middle of the night often my mother cries out, "Oh God! The dog is whining in the middle of the night; this is inauspicious. Something terrible is coming! Riaz, go feed the dog." She is surrounded by all those superstitious beliefs. She even has book named Fazilatnama or Virtuous Obligation about all those superstitions, like what brings luck and what brings adversity. I am however a very rational person. I tend to believe in reason more than feeling, but I also happen to be superstitious- in my fashion and my culture. My superstitions are those that my mother conveyed to me, which are probably passed into her by her mother. Also the country Bangladesh, in which, I have grown most of my youth is full of superstitious beliefs. So superstitions are passed in the same way as my native language and my culture passed to me. Some examples of common everyday superstitions of my culture are the belief that if your palm itches, you will obtain money; that if your sole itches, you may travel; that if your right eyelash throbbed, you will face happiness. And the most common in all over the world as well as in my country is the belief that the number 13 is unlucky, and that a black cat crossing your path can affect your luck. According to The Little Oxford Dictionary, superstition is "belief in the existence or power of the supernatural; irrational fear of the unknown; a religion or practice based on such tendencies; widely hold out but wrong idea." Now why do believe in something that has no logical explanation and according to science, which is completely wrong? We can find the answer in the definition of superstition. Though there is no rational explanation, we believe or obey those superstitions because we are afraid of the consequence of not obeying those rules. For example, my mother used to make me feed the dog in the middle of the night to save me from that "unknown but something evil," because my mother believes that a dog can sense this evil and feeding the dog is also one way of offering food to that evil. The evil will release me because I offered him food. Also this is a belief that everyone else believes. Now it may be wrong, preposterous, but all the other people think its right and you believe it too. For example, in my country everybody believes that it is inauspicious to travel on an amaavasyaa or New Moon day. On a New Moon day, it is believed that all the demons of the universe walk on the earth and collision with one of them could bring something ominous or harmful. So, that is why my mother would not let me go out at that night because she wants to save me from that "unknown but harmful demon." On the other hand, Science is the knowledge of the physical world and its phenomenon, which depends on testing facts and systematic experimentations. My country may be full of superstitions, but many of them can be debunked through logical and scientific experimentation. For example, my mother believes that a dog whines in the middle of the night because it can see all the harmful demons around him. She also believes that on the amaavasyaa or new Moon day all the demons walk around the earth. So during amaavasyaa our dog should whine all night long because he can see those demons (if there any) around him. However during some of the amaavasya I did not even see him whining at all. So the dog only whines when he is hungry and only food can make him stop whining in the middle of the night. Now the widespread belief that it is inauspicious to travel on an amaavasyaa can be proved wrong through logical explanation. This superstition must have evolved before the advent of electricity. It would have been problematic to be stuck at night on a lonely road and plundered by lurking thieves with no moonlight to light up the way. So at that time when there was no electricity, people made superstitions in order to save their friends and relatives from actual thieves. Now people could have spread lurking thieve (which is true) instead of demon, but we are more scared of the unknown and invisible things rather than the visible lurking thief. Now everyday scientific and logical experiment can disprove the most common belief all over the world that the black cat is unlucky. For example, I have a friend who has a black cat. His black cat probably crossed his path hundreds of times, but I did not see any misfortune in his schoolwork or social life. If someone has crossed by a black cat and faced a terrible accident that would be a mere coincidence or the guy was simply not paying attention to what he was doing. So there are hundreds of beliefs like these in our everyday life, which can be debunked with scientific and logical explanation. From the above discussion we can say that some superstitions are cultural beliefs and faith which some how conveyed to save our friends and relatives from the evil eye. People who hold non-empirical beliefs may simply be expressing a cultural, personal or spiritual view, and nothing more. This does not mean they are less intelligent, more primeval, childish or irrational. Believers in superstitions just do not want to give up their comfortable belief system. They are afraid to think independently and need the security blanket that all such belief systems provide. Michel Shermer in his book Why People Believe Weird Things, states "They sometimes want something comfortable rather than something true." On the other hand, science only beliefs those, which can be provided by theories and data. If the data do not match the prediction, then the theory is wrong. People who believe in science, they only believe if something can only be seen or consented with theories. According to science if a claim cannot be tested it is not scientific. A superstition cannot be tes

Our inspirational collection of essays and research papers is available for free to our registered users

Related Essays on Sociology

History Of Consumerism in The United States of America

History Of Consumerism In The United States Executive Summary. In spite of being founded under precepts of simple life and frugality, like those held by the Pilgrims, consumerism in the United Stat...

The Use of Census Bureau Data in Marketing Research

Although some data and information are constructed into the data compilation instrument, others are executed after the data has been transported from the data collection center to the fundamental comp...

Sociology Term Papers

Introduction For about twenty years beginning in the mid 1940’s, couples who were reunited after a long separation during the war began a demographic phenomenon known as the “baby boom.” Throug...

A Modular Solution to the UK Housing Shortage

Abstract The housing policy report of UK reveals that the nation is confronted with problems associated with insufficient housing facilities. Housing shortage is becoming a major problem not only i...

Observing a meeting of the Alameda Youth Advisory Commission

The Alameda Youth Advisory Commission was created by the city of Alameda, California in school year 2007-2008 in an effort to ensure better representation of the youth in the city’s affairs. The bod...

Compare and contrast the general struggle of the following three groups, the Jews, Mexicans, and Catholics, from past until present.

Their social cliques (societies) established in the U.S. Jews The influx of Jewish immigrants started in the nineteenth century and by 1880 there was a significa...