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Please answer the following in reference to "A Few Kind Words for Superstition":People...

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afoster03 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

Posted April 7, 2010 at 8:50 AM via web

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Please answer the following in reference to "A Few Kind Words for Superstition":

People have been supersitious both today and in centuries past.  This is understandable given the rise of science.  Superstition will continue to persist.  Why?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 7, 2010 at 8:55 AM (Answer #1)

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To me, this is because we are still not in control of our lives.  Davies says as much when he tells us what superstition is about.  He says it is about trying to make sure we have some control of our fate.

We may know a lot more about things today, but we certainly don't know everything.  In addition, some stuff is still, as far as we know, due only to luck.  Why does one person get cancer and one person not?  Why is one person in the way of the drunk driver and not another person.  Both of these are at least partly luck.

So as long as luck rules parts of our lives, there will be some people who are superstitious.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted April 8, 2010 at 12:31 AM (Answer #2)

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Superstition is an unrealistic and unfounded belief that certain specific events and signs indicate some future events or results. Like in India it is believed that a person sneezes while starting to leave for some important work, then that work will not be successful. There are many such signs and their interpretations held by people all over the world. On common superstition  in the western world relates to the number 13. Because of this belief, many high-rise buildings in the USA, do not have a floor numbered 13.

One reason for persistence of superstition in spite of advance of science, is that even with the help of all these advances in science people are not able to predict their future very correctly or accurately. This created uncertainty induced anxiety in people. Superstitious beliefs helps to reduce this kind of anxiety. Superstition helps them reduce their feeling of insecurity.

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