Monday, 31 March 2014
A recent opinion poll suggests that just 49% of people in the UK believe in God ( bit of a biased question for those who believe in two or more Gods) and 55% believe in the super natural.
actually both figures are slightly down from a similar poll in 2008
http://www.livescience.com/7608-people-aliens-ghosts-god.html - 58 percent believe in the supernatural, including paranormal encounters, while 54 percent believe God exists.
Predictably, certain commenters - like Melanie Phillips http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanie_Phillips
trot out the usual line from G.K. Chesterton "when people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing, they believe in anything." The implication is that people abandon religion and take up belief in anything from psychic healing, telepathy, astrology, ghosts and demons etc
My experience is that actually, the self declared atheist is actually far more sceptical of super natural claims - its inherent in rejecting a super natural God.
Plenty of religious believers I have met have had no problem reconciling their religious belief with astrology, crystal healing, and all sorts of super natural phenomena.
So it would be interesting to see the polling data broken down to see whether my anecdotal evidence is backed by the polling figures. Mostly, I just find the assumption by people like Melanie Philips rather odd.
With just 6% of the population claiming to be regular church goers, I suspect even believers in God have but a vague comforting idea about karma, things we don't understand, everything being OK when you die etc just in the same way someone guessing the person calling them on the phone - might find it comforting to think it was a sixth sense that made them 'know' who it was.