What are the four forms of superstition that Davies defines? in reference to A Few Kind Words for Superstition"

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I would like to add that Davies found it very important that many people have superstitions and do not even realize it. They may think that other people are silly because they have superstitions but in fact have superstitions of their own.

One reason that people are superstitious is because being that way gives them a sense of control. They feel if they do something a certain way then they may be preventing something bad from happening.

Here are a few more examples for you. Vain observances include throwing salt over your shoulder after spilling it. Divination is reading the daily horoscope in the newspaper. Idolatry is having a rabbits foot for good luck. And lastly, improper worship of a deity may be bargaining with God to get something you want.

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  1. Vain observances.  This is where you do stuff that is not really going to help you, but you think it does.  The example given is of making sure you do not walk under a ladder.
  2. Divination.  The example given is using the I Ching to tell a fortune.  Later on, the example of the Italian who didn't want to meet a nun right off would be from this type.
  3. Idolatry.  Good luck charms.
  4. Improper worship of the deity.  Example given is of the student putting money under a candle at church so God would help him get this girl.
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