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Post-modern naturalism: Paranormal goes mainstream

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Image result for witchcraft symbols public domain From Paul Kingsbury at LiveScience:

Recent literature in the social sciences on paranormal cultures argues that despite the rise of a secular, post-religious society, paranormal discourses are becoming increasingly significant in people’s lives in the West.

Because the paranormal refers to “events or phenomena… that are beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding,” researchers have long acknowledged that the paranormal intersects with “normal” everyday life.

Recently, however, as a result of a paranormal influence in popular culture, the rise of new spiritualities and commodities associated with them — such as cauldrons, healing crystals and online psychic services — researchers have begun to question describing interest in the paranormal as subcultural or countercultural, rather than mainstream. More.

Well, if it is mainstream to believe, without evidence, in a multiverse and to divorce science from evidence (part of the shift to post-modernism), it’s hard to see why cauldrons and crystals should be discriminated against.

See also: Occult gaining ground among “sciencey liberals”

Does post-modern naturalism lead to a rise in superstition? Millennials are ditching monotheism for witchcraft. But then post-modern naturalism holds that whatever you evolved to believe in is the ultimate Cool for you.

and

Can science survive long in a post-modern world? It’s not clear.

11 Replies to “Post-modern naturalism: Paranormal goes mainstream

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    We are told that the multiverse model, unproven and unprovable though it may be, arises logically from the mathematics used to describe cosmological phenomena. Healing crystals, witchcraft, psychic services and the ever-popular vibrations don’t arise logically from anything in particular – except perhaps from a preference for explanations that are easier on the mind then abstruse mathematics.

    As for what may be beyond the scope of scientific understanding, we don’t know that anything is ultimately, although there is plenty beyond the scope of current scientific understanding.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Seversky at 1, if we believe that our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth. it really does not matter how the ideas arise. The illusion of consciousness sees through itself and sees nothing further that can possibly have priority over anything else.

  3. 3
    goodusername says:

    Is the paranormal actually increasing in popularity?

    It doesn’t seem like it. I remember, many years ago, there were quite a few well known psychics, and they got a lot of attention on day time and night tv shows, and many endlessly ran ads on tv and the early days of the web.

    Probably the last psychic I can name is Miss Cleo (anyone remember her?)
    I don’t think I can name anyone living who claims to be a psychic.

    I work at a university and if I ever heard a couple of students talking about their astrological sign I’d be very surprised.

    The article talks a lot about crop circles. Is that still really a thing? This is the first time in years I’ve seen anyone bring them up.

    And the link they give for the claim that crop circles are helping to “make the paranormal mainstream” is a link to a Halloween story about episodes of the x-files which ended 15 years ago (recently they tried to reboot X-files and it bombed badly).

    If I didn’t see a date on the article I would have guessed it was from more than twenty years ago.

  4. 4
    daveS says:

    goodusername,

    It’s also my impression that astrology, crop circles, and psychics are old news.

    I think there are a few practices fairly labeled “paranormal” which are quite robust these days. For example, neoshamanism and the use of psychedelics such as DMT and psilocybin.

  5. 5
    Axel says:

    Try not to confuse Seversky with logic, News.

  6. 6
    anthropic says:

    Well, I do recall a survey that showed atheists and people of “no religion” being much more likely to believe in witchcraft, alien abductions, horoscopes, ghosts and suchlike than people of faith.

    Not surprising at all. As Chesterton put it, when people cease believing in God, it is not that they believe in nothing, but rather they believe in anything.

  7. 7
    EricMH says:

    Just look at the rise of Wicca and satanism in our popular culture. They are certainly not naturalistic ideologies.

    And in the broader scope of the multiverse, since anything can happen and anything can be true, at least in some universe, why can’t the water gods provide us health and healing in this one? There is a non-zero probability of the water gods existing, so they must exist in some universe.

    Incidentally, the multiverse also means that God necessarily exists in every universe.

    1. God is a necessary being, so if He exists somewhere, He necessarily exists everywhere.
    2. God is possible (non-zero probability), and thus exists in some universe.
    3. Therefore, God necessarily exists in every universe.

  8. 8
    Seversky says:

    News @ 2

    Seversky at 1, if we believe that our brains are shaped for fitness, not for truth. it really does not matter how the ideas arise.

    It doesn’t matter how ideas arise but it does matter how true they are in the sense of how closely they correspond to what is actually out there. We have the “idea” of superheroes with super-powers like Superman’s ability to fly unaided but hardly anyone jumps off tall buildings because they believe it can actually happen.

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    EricMH @ 7

    Incidentally, the multiverse also means that God necessarily exists in every universe.

    Only if you believe one of God’s properties is omnipresence. And wouldn’t that also mean that all the other gods you don’t believe in must exist in at least one other universe, perhaps even all of them as well?

    1. God is a necessary being, so if He exists somewhere, He necessarily exists everywhere

    Does God as a necessary being mean He must also exist everywhere? Couldn’t He just be in this universe?

    2. God is possible (non-zero probability), and thus exists in some universe

    If there’s an infinite number of other universes then, yes, but it needn’t be in this one.

    3. Therefore, God necessarily exists in every universe.

    Not necessarily.

  10. 10
    rvb8 says:

    anthropic @6,

    “Well, I do recall a survey that showed atheists and people of ‘no religion’ being much more likely to believe in witchcraft, alien abductions, horoscopes, ghosts, and suchlike than people of faith.”

    Uh huh. Ummm, this would be the people of faith that for centuries used the Bible as sound evidence for witchcraft? And if you talk to Ken Ham and the millions like him, Harry Potter is evil.

    Horoscopes? You mean like predicting the future? You mean like prophecy? You mean like the foretelling of immenent births, manifested by celestial signs?

    Ghosts? You mean like spirits? Like one third of a triangle?

    Your right those atheists are wacky.

    I left out alien abductions, because, well, although we have no proof at all, and these people are obviously high, nuts, attention seekers, or liars, there is a possibility for this one. That is, out of the four choices anthropic gave, the alien abduction one can be naturlistically explained; it fits within the laws of nature.

  11. 11
    EricMH says:

    @rvb8 I’m refering to the ontological argument, specifically Göedel’s version, which made headlines in 2013 when computer scientists proved it computationally:

    http://www.spiegel.de/internat.....28668.html

    Here’s the research paper:

    https://arxiv.org/abs/1308.4526

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