Definition of superstition
1a: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causationb: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition2: a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary. More Webster:Recent Examples And the superstition has bled outside of stories — even today, many hotels don't have a 13th floor.— Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, "It's Friday the 13th. In 2020. Here's a brief history about the superstitious date and some hilarious tweets to get you through the day.," 13 Nov. 2020While the other 3 out of 4 Americans might scoff at this, there is actually psychological science to back superstition.— Marika Gerken, CNN, "Friday the 13th: How it came to be and why it's considered unlucky," 13 Nov. 2020These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'superstition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.When I first read this definition in Webster I said to myself they will use the bit about ignorance and deard of the unknown to indicate the mystical and the bit about causation to impune the cause argument. I think Webster's meant things like a black cat crossing your path is bad luck. The atheist take it to mean argument from first cause. The Wiki article footnotes Webster as it's source..
A superstition is "a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation" or "an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition."[Wiki 1][Wiki 2] Often, it arises from ignorance, a misunderstanding of science or causality, a belief in fate or magic, or fear of that which is unknown. It is commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, prophecy, and certain spiritual beings, particularly the belief that future events can be foretold by specific (apparently) unrelated prior events.[Wiki 3] They justify these additions by citing other sources. No one beyond that segment of atheism i call "Dawkamentalism"' believes that belief in God per se is superstition. There is another funny thing about that quote. It starts out telling us "A superstition is 'a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation' or 'an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition.'' What that actually says is that superstition results from Superstition. It defines the word by itself. Their reasoning is circular, they define the term by itself. That tells me they don't really understand they are just regurgitating party lines.
At this point it would be well to examine the origin of religion and superstition. The two did actually come out of the same phase of human development and their origins are linked. Since I don't buy a literal Genesis account I attribute human origin to evolitom. At one point humans began to notice the sense of God' s presence and mystical experience. All experiences of the divine must be filtered through cultural constructs, or symbols. God is beyond our understanding, thus beyond language. If we are talking about our experiences, however badly, we must filter them through culture.
RELIGION, although inherent in man, borrows its expressions from the setting or milieu in which man appears. The forms through which man expresses the supernatural are all drawn from the cultural heritage and the environment known to him, and are structured according to his dominant patterns of experience.In a hunting culture this means that the main target of observation, the animal, is the ferment of suggestive influence on representations of the supernatural. This must not be interpreted as meaning that all ideas of the supernatural necessarily take animal form. First of all, spirits do appear also as human beings, although generally less frequently; the high-god, for instance, if he exists, is often thought of as a being of human appearance. Second, although spirits may manifest themselves as animals they may evince a human character and often also human modes of action.
In his work The Evolution of God, Robert Wright distills the work of anthropology over the last two centuries and demonstrates an evolutionary development, form early superstition that personified nature (prehistoric people talking to the wind), through a polytheistic origin in pre-Hebrew Israelite culture, to monotheistic innovation with the God of the Bible.
The point is we left superstition ages ago. It was an attempt at coping with the unknown, but divine revelation proved a better one. We outgrew it. Lest one argue that this still implies a weakness in religion let's not forget astrology and astronomy grew up together and out of the same thought and the same stars. As did Chemistry and Alchemy
Vyse, Stuart A. (2000). Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 19–22.
Superstition, Merroam-Webster online https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superstition (accessed 1/10/21)
Siperototom, Wikepedioa https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superstition#:~:text=The%20word%20superstition%20is%20often,prevailing%20religion%20contains%20alleged%20superstitions.(accessed 1/10/21)
Soirces used in the Wiki artickle:
w1:cf. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superstition w2:Drinkwater, Ken; Dagnall, Neil. "The science of superstition – and why people believe in the unbelievable". The Conversation. Retrieved 2020-09-21. w3Vyse, Stuart A. (2000). Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 19–22. ISBN 978-0-1951-3634-0.
Ake Hultkrantz, “Attitudes Toward Animals in Shashoni Indian Religion,” Studies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 4, No. 2. (Spring, 1970) © World Wisdom, Inc. no page listed,online archive, URL: http://www.studiesincomparativereligion.com/Public/articles/browse_g.aspx?ID=131, accessed 3/21/13
Robert Wright, The Evolution of God, New York: Back Bay Books, reprint edition, 2010. The book was Originally published in 2009. The company “Back Bay books: is an imprint of Hachette Books, through Little Brown and company. Wright studied sociobiology at Princeton and taught at Princeton as and University of Pennsyania. He edits New Republic and does journalistic writing of science, especially sociobiology.
Wright, ibid, 9