If you observe the tenets of a religion such as Judaism or its unintentional offshoot Christianity, then you’re familiar with the differences between superstition and monotheism. GOD the Creator and Master of the universe is one thing, superstition quite another. When people confuse the two, trouble usually follows.
Looking at a partial list of religions might let you better understand the differences between superstition and monotheism:
Paganism and Neo-Paganism
There are other religious systems, but too many to list in this article. Non-monotheistic religions, superstition-based beliefs, celebrate multiple forces as gods. Pagans and neo-pagans are obeisant to witches, demons, spirits, and anything but One GOD, ruling over the universe that it created in the first place. Zoroastrianism is about the tug of war between good and bad “gods,” not one unifying force recognized as The GOD masterminding all of existence. Reading materials and comparative religion classes can help you to better understand the distinction between monotheism and polytheism (multiple gods with at-odds-with-each-other powers and goals).
Don’t Hold Me Responsible for My Behavior!
Superstitious worldviews suit different psychological needs. Ancient Greeks and Romans invented gods which served as licenses for dangerous human impulses and desires. Humans tend to invent religious aka self-serving superstitious beliefs as they plod through history. The chasm between monotheism and polytheism/superstition is about assigning or assuming responsibilities to, or of, gods that don’t exist, ending personal responsibility. Ask yourselves the following questions:
- Does salt know or care that you threw it over anyone’s shoulder?
- Is there indisputable evidence that salt affects the outcomes of anything other than the improvement of food flavors and preservation?
- What’s the proof that dead rabbit feet or black cats control living creatures?
- Does splitting GOD into multiple parts fulfill any biblical prophecies about the messiah figure?
- Do superstitious belief systems empower adherents to experience the same revelation, or are adherents dependent on disempowering clerical figures who experienced and/or interpret godliness for them?
- The answers to those questions might startle you into reconsidering life to some extent.
Superstitious practices and beliefs indicate that some people make things up to suit their psychological whims and fancies as they try to control, to affect, their futures. Superstitious practices are actually attempts to end a sense of uncertainty, too. When you don a lucky hat or some other “lucky” item, you’re not controlling anything other than your mood. The ritual is calming, as are other rituals such as straightening a desk before pursuing a task, and doing things in a specific order so that results will be in your favor.
Superstitions promote negative thoughts and actions, not positive outcomes. Superstition involves extraneous actions and unproven attributions of power. False prophets set up events to seem miraculous. Magicians know about such tricks. The Being There novel and movie made fun of that phenomenon when onlookers imagined a fellow named Chance (a gardener with a sheltered life history) walking on water. Readers and audiences realize that the manipulative people in Chances’ vicinity abused the story’s characters and their misinterpretations his intellectually limited utterances and actions.
False prophets preach that morals don’t matter and/or that overpowering believers in some other god is a worthwhile goal. Eventual actions based on those ideas always end in murder, theft, destruction of property, and misplaced trust.
Genuine spirituality is about growing beyond your limitations to embody compassion, patience, and other virtues. Superstitions do the opposite, removing the need for decent behavior. That problem has cost lives, ruined psyches, and harmed history since paganism began.