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Supernatural Religion in European Tradition

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Whereas African Tradition uses the Supernatural as a Metaphysical Realm support to explain Spiritual Reality by means of Figures of Communication, Europeans are divided on its reality, significance, and usages. Broadly, Europeans say the systematic exposition of humans' 'knowledge' of God is the science of Theology (Greek, 'god' or study of divine things) and is of two sorts: Group I is Natural 'Knowledge,' obtained by ordinary processes of observation and reasoning--the work of philosophers. Group II is Supernatural 'Knowledge.' Group I says religion has a purely natural origin, making it no different from philosophy and science as an element of culture. Perhaps a reason why European scientists and psychics tend to avoid the word "Supernatural" (above or beyond Nature) is it implies phenomena exists in which Nature's laws are broken. To deny psychic phenomena defy Nature's laws is to put this concept in Paranormal realms ('beside' or parallel to the familiar Natural laws), but not beyond or above them--the study of Parapsychology. They say the Supernatural is the domain of the miraculous, fantasizing the intervention of Supernatural Beings. Some accept a spiritual dimension to Reality, with laws of Nature applying to spiritual forces of which European physical science is unfamiliar. A reason for their confusion is by defining the "Natural" as that which is due or owed to the essence, requirements, powers, and merits of created Nature--which makes no sense. The more curious speculate that although the Supernatural is above and beyond the realm of sense experience, still behind the world of ordinary, everyday experience is the Spiritual realm transcending Nature's powers or what natural causes cannot produce. Otherwise, they continue, it is an illusion to suppose faith is God's gift rather than man's own will to believe. This means to the "faith" oriented that his critics lack the faith gift. Also, the Supernatural makes redemption possible.

Group II's Supernatural "Knowledge" is in the sense of their religions having a Supernatural foundation derived from their own concepts of divine revelation, in God's authority, and on having Faith, as outlined by theologians seeking to understand this Faith. Such understanding concerns the deeper aspects of ones religious creed, acts of piety and worship, recourse to prayer, the partaking of sacraments, the observances of certain rituals, the performance of sacrifices and purifications, obeying God's commandments, and leading a life which shall seem worthy to God. They consider their religion, based on their faith, to have a Supernatural foundation in God's revelation and authority. In Christian theology the Supernatural is the realm of the infinite, eternal Spirit, God (??) who reveals his nature and purpose to humans in a special manner. Catholics say that while humans have no claim on Supernatural things and do not need them in order to exist and act on a natural level, they do need them in order to exist and act in the higher order or economy of grace established by God for their salvation. Group III, a combination of Groups I and II, opines the root of religion is man's immediate sense of the Supernatural, "an intuition of reality--an intercourse between a universe, present always in all its meaning, and a spirit, responding with all its understanding." This is about a larger environment, which has its own particular sanctions, through commerce with which man receives his characteristically human degree of independence within his natural environment.

Intra-Group disputes over each of these issues has fashioned unimaginable conceptual chaos in Western tradition's plurality of religions + incredible numbers of varied religious foundation beliefs regarding revelations, miracles, and prophecies--stemming from the source (e.g. man-made, the Supernatural)--disagreeing on methods for "proof" and what rules apply to being right. There is great disagreement on the best way to worship, conform to rites, or be inspired. Amazingly, despite their own in-group religious confusion, conflicts, and chaos--and while knowing little about what they believe--Europeans stay on top of criticizing others without knowing anything about it. Any religion differing from theirs is labeled with such epithets as Idolatrous, Superstitious, Heretical, and Schismatic. Also, most foolishly join to condemn the superior African Tradition Spirituality as "Pagan." Critical Thinking needs to have the 'big picture' of all of these religious aspects for making sound assessments of opinions and for asking proponents: How do you know that?


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