Against the Supernatural
What religion is not
A blunt definition of “religion” can be defined as “a belief in and worship of a superhuman power or powers, within a God or Gods.” This idea of the “superhuman” actually means the “supernatural,” and that could be described as “attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding of the laws of nature.” (Oxford Languages on Google 2023).
In recent years, religion is simply defined as “a range of social-cultural systems including designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relate humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual element.” (Wikipedia 2023).
With that being understood, religion can be defined between the supernatural and order. But how much of this supernatural influence skews reality? If you take away the “supernatural” equation from religion, you rather have a rational practice, or, an active philosophy, “a pursuit of wisdom,” that creates a better people and society around ethics and intellectualism.
However, once religion advocates an unscientific, irrational, and emotional scapegoat around magic, it becomes an institution solely around the belief in the supernatural, and less to to with the human-centric values of social connections, order, and education.
Religion has no purpose in the coming century if it relies on itself as a party that exclusively believes in the supernatural. Religion thus becomes a scapegoat for the stupid, the irrational, and the bootlickers who can’t think for themselves. It’s why we have people like Peter Popoff and Leroy Jenkins who swindle the public’s stupidity. It’s why we have “Catholic” housewives who follow orders based around the female urge of biological dependency, and then blame it on a “supernatural” urge, instead of their actions. We have common people who call themselves “trad” because they want to follow irrational orders to prove something, even if it means committing suicide.
At least “The Skeptics Society” and its “Skeptic” magazine, founded by Michael Shermer and with contributions by Martin Gardner, James Randi, and Joe Nickell, all have debunked such exploitative acts as an evil trick. I was a fan of the skeptic scene as a teenager, and I do see wisdom coming from them, even though they too have repercussions of being obnoxious liberals.
If you take the supernatural trait out of religion, one does not become an “atheist” immediately. The common people seem to believe in a binary, that “it must be real,” or, “if it’s not real.” One only believes in the supernatural, simply because there are witnesses and testimonies to the magic. However, magic is not real, as the term only describes a phenomenon and not a science. The correct term is to “conjure,” or, to make something appear as if it was magic. Religion often will conjure up a supernatural event, and people will fall for it.
Whatever happened to Baruch Spinoza or Auguste Comte? Or even Friedrich Nietzsche, who gets cited more often than both of them together? These intellects tried to save religion by erasing supernatural belief from the logical thought process. What is religion without the supernatural? It is everything that it is!
Even the most Christian intellectuals, from Alvin Plantinga to René Girard, have a clear, rational scientific foundation of the world, but only then do they contradict themselves, having to irrationally succumb to an even greater irrational belief in the supernatural, simply because, “that’s what people want to believe!”
So with this subjective liberal belief in mind, religion can only be defined as the individual interest of the believer, and the community that follows is no different than a nation or a culture.
But isn’t this a Eurocentric interpretation? Considering that European people tend to believe, first and foremost, what individuals believe in, versus the group? We have a contradiction of a collection of individuals, who all have the same intellectual and different autonomy, but all are forced to believe in an irrational power! How does this make any sense?
Religion without the supernatural can be defined as an institution that gives, resources, connections, and order to its followers. The supernatural belief is a scapegoat, or a metaphor, as there is nothing “supernatural” about people coming together under an institution. Religion becomes a code, a cultural mannerism, or a practice of keeping society together. But this comes at a cost between the elite and the masses. As Karl Marx once said about religion, “religion becomes an opiate of the masses,” the elite can have their exclusive religion, as common religion is found among the masses to serve the elite. This follows a Bell Curve of sorts, where elite religions, like Freemasonry and Kabbalah, are like a secret, intellectual, managerial code (presented in movies like Eyes Wide Shut), while the idiot masses get a religion that confines to social order, bourgeois weakness, self-guilt politics, and importantly, the belief of a supernatural power that will save them from all their “sinful” mistakes.
It ultimately feels like the religion without the supernatural is for the people in power, while “religion” as we know, an institution orbiting around the supernatural, is for everyone else who is dumb enough to have that interest. If religion is useful for the masses, the religion in question is usually a reflection of the people and culture that inhabit it. Christianity is not the same for South Americans, Mexicans, some Africans, Middle Easterners, and Northeast Asians. The supernatural belief in question goes along with the science of the people, and the people’s conquest to get their cultural values out, above and beyond the Western imperialism that chokes them with rainbow capitalist “multiculturalism.”
There is an “order” for the Filipinos to meet other Filipinos at church. There is an “order” for a Filipino woman to get with a Filipino man, under the “supernatural” belief of Christ, to be together and start a family. And there is access to resources that make this all plausible. Again, supposedly under a “supernatural” urge to be together at church.
Just like Lions Club International, it is safe to say religions, like Judaism, practice, “Judaism for Jews.” One cannot practice Judaism unless they are Jewish, by blood, themselves. In the event of a “multicultural” market of competing religions and cultures, this Jews-only Judaism will have a significant amount of control over those religions that partake in common supernatural obedience. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood only cares about itself and its avocation. “If you don’t believe in my god, you will be destroyed.” While Judaism and Islam have aspects of the supernatural, the supernatural in question relates to the order of people and their radical actions to control and destroy other non-believers. Christianity becomes weak if it allows such opposing forces to dominate over its sicking and condescending charity. “Because I died on that cross for you, realize that when we are all gone, it was God who made the transcendental spirit alive for me to give you such an altruistic power of love!” It is the pinnacle and tragedy of Jean Raspail’s novel, The Camp of The Saints.
Am I supposed to believe that a white man who pursued a Filipino woman at church did it out of a “supernatural” urge? “Because God told me to race-mix.” The so-called “supernatural” belief among the non-white, has more to do with their folk ideas and tradition. The church to the non-white is at odds against the naive white who does not have a community (considering he is an admixture European person without a solid commitment to anything above him). The “order” and resources at hand are with the race, and the connections they make to establish the community, as the “supernatural” can only exist in a metaphor.
It feels utterly pretentious to believe in the supernatural. A PhD could know everything about the world and society, and then succumb to the arrogance of knowing that there is a nature-breaking power beyond him. How could something so contradictory to the culture of the intellectual be so brazenly hypocritical to logic? As if the Ph.D. is trying to uphold the corrupt institutions of power, knowing well they are broken, at the expense of reaping profit and to control people.
In addition, many Christian followers of the supernatural become arrogant and offended over the more controversial sects of the supernatural, such as Gnosticism, Docetism, or any “Christ myth theory.” If supernatural belief is the core of religion, how come is it that the followers become intolerant of even more supernatural and wild beliefs? If the common Christian is willing to say, “There is no such thing as Bigfoot or existential life,” but is OK with the belief that “Jesus walked on water” or “the resurrection of Christ,” you have to question their sanity.
I believe that Jesus's walking on water, or his resurrection, were religious metaphors, related to an ignorant culture that is changing, or becoming one with the message. The testimonies of the supernatural have been misread as a truth when in reality, they were just as poetic as a Docetic claim of the spirit. The game of “Chinese whispers” and the lack of technology in the past, do something to our epistemology, and how we translate it into truth.
The supernatural advocates also can’t comprehend that someone can still believe in religion without the supernatural. The supernatural mind goes into a frenzy. “What’s the point of following religion if there is nothing supernatural about it!?” Like Plantinga and Girard, these men have belief but disown the supernatural. It is only then, under peer pressure and lobbying political power, do we have Christian intellectuals giving into the supernatural to satisfy the opiate masses. Religion in the postmodern era, becomes a subjective experience in an age against sincerity. If the supernatural is something libertarian, to “respect my neighbor’s preferences,” we are ruled under a liberal order that hated the supernatural to begin with. If someone says, “I’m religious,” it should come as no surprise that it means, “I believe in the supernatural, and everything around justifies my (rational) adult belief in the irrational.” A rational person would find being “religious” highly irrational.
Thus being “religious” means that one saw an act of conjuring, and became a believer. The “magic” in question was science, and this is being confused as a supernatural reality. Gene Wolfe argues in his novel, The Book of The New Sun, that what is magic is the narrative, is an unexplained form of science by the user. And eventually, this means that the creation of the Kabbalah, or Jesus walking on water, was with time-traveling technology, that was misread by the common people. Even further, in the work of Erich von Däniken, Däniken argues that extraterrestrial life brought advanced technology to the age of the Pyramids, and what we consider to be Egyptian gods or tech, is the act of misinterpretation by the common people of the supernatural. If the supernatural was true, then both Wolfe and Däniken give us the proper insight into how “magic” is constructed to create the belief in the supernatural.
If you meet someone who is “religious” and has a belief in the supernatural, they must believe in future, time-traveling technology that gave Jesus the power to walk on water or be resurrected from the dead, because only that kind of technology can justify it as a real science. The belief in the supernatural is a justification to believe in science fiction.
If we all know this to be true, how come is it that we haven’t applied Nietzsche’s stance on the Übermensch yet? Our liberal society seems more invested in transhumanism and “trans rights” than it would ever be with the concept of Logos and world enlightenment. If religion is to continue, it must have a foundation within Western philosophy, and its understanding of a science that can enlighten the follower as a teacher, rather than an idiotic consumer. Just like a proper understanding of Hegelian technology, we can understand the moments and errors of the past, and apply them to our current setting. We need both progress and praxis in religion. The supernatural is a cancer among the intellectual, and the belief in it turns the smartest man into a helpless agent of emotional wooing. There is much to learn from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and his interest in the romantic urge to build and produce. But one can never settle for one’s shortcomings, that some kind of supernatural power will excuse the arrogant and weak man from his own mistakes. He must rather celebrate Comte’s Religion of Humanity, or apply Spinoza’s Ethics every day if he is to accomplish a real religious meaning in life.
The church may serve as a small institutional unit for the arts against a world that hates the intellect. If so, we need to get rid of the middle-class cargo cults and its scapegoat hobbyism on the supernatural. We need a religion that does not rely on the supernatural, and rather, we have to rely on ourselves to accomplish Godly powers. The supernatural will always lurk as some kind of optimistic belief for utopian thinking. But as of now, the supernatural puts even the smartest person behind as an irrational fool.
I am against the supernatural. It has no place in the future of mankind.
So what does religion become when we take the supernatural away from it?
“When nothing is true… anything is possible.”