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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 7: 15 Day Atheist Challenge

Except for God, do you believe in anything supernatural or pseudoscientific? (Ghosts, alien abductions, spirits, souls, demons, psychics, magic, Harry Potter, etc.)

When I was younger, I did believe in things like ghosts, the Bermuda Triangle, and other "unexplained" phenomena. In college, there was a spooky, old run down mansion that my department kept various items in. I had heard various ghost stories surrounding this building, and I always got creeped out whenever I had to go in there, especially up to the old ballroom, where our storage area was. One day, I forced myself to stay there for several hours. As my familiarity with the area increased, I found my apprehension lessening. Soon, I was able to dismiss my initial discomfort to an overactive imagination, fueled by the legends. As an aside, the college has since restored and renovated the building, it now houses a variety of functions and offices, and is quite beautiful. (pictured)

I once took a picture at Gettysburg that seemed to show "ghost orbs." After thinking for a bit, I realized it was drizzling when I took the picture and the "orbs" were nothing but the reflection of the flash off raindrops.

Do I still believe in the Bermuda Triangle? Only as a physical location. Again, as I grew older and more widely read, I learned that correlation doesn't necessarily equal causation. Any heavily traveled body of water is going to have its share of ships go down "without a trace" due to accident, storms, or bad luck. No supernatural explaination is necessary.

I see no evidence for the existince of demons, or disembodied souls, or spirits. Do aliens exist? In a vast universe, I expect that it is likely, but there is no evidence for their existence. Have we been visited? There is no evidence that we have.

I believe there are people who describe themselves as psychics. I call them by another name though: Frauds.

Magic? Sure I believe in magic! I even know a few tricks! Its great entertainment. Magic as a supernatural phenomena? No.

Harry Potter? I have all the books. Its a great story. I do know that those books and movies exist.


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