I believe this is an interesting question since superstition borders with many mental issues such as phobias; fear of the dark, of elevators, of heights. Phobias have already been discussed here, and I must admit I suffer from some of those, like fear of great heights...
How would you differentiate for example fear of black cats, of thenumber 13, walking under a ladder or not stepping on cracks on the sidewalk with other irrational fears like fear of airplanes, of being on a boat of being in the dark or fear of crowds?
Of course, the first ones I mentionned belong to the realm of superstition beliefs, but one versus the other, in my mind, the line is kind of blurred. I'd say with certainty that I'm not superstitious, but if I was wrong ?
Do sun and moon eclipses hold a significance other than the scientific one for everybody, I would not believe so... and then we get into the realm of witches...
In western culture, all through history, witches have had a bad reputation and lots of negative connotations attached to them, even if some were merely healers or abortionists. (though, these days I believe they have become fashionable).
And witches, in some cultures, or in some regions (such as in Africa) or at some point in history were highly regarded (almost like the jester in court). These belief systems as the one with superstition can be easily equated to some form of religion. Anyway, I'd be very curious to have some feed-back on this and get more enlightened. I haven't done my google study yet !!! but will do...
I believe we all cringe when a mirror is broken, even though we know this is nonsense. Some of those primordal fears remain, whether we like it or not.
As for mentioning aliens and religion, I've always been at a loss to understand why the two are equated. What has possible life outside our planet have to do with religion? Even if the life is just bacteria, its still life and has nothing to do with a belief in god. And frankly, the chances of aliens actually existing is far greater than that trumped up belief in a floating man in the universe.
Most definitively! Given the enormity of our universe, it is within the realm of possible that there is life outside of our little blue planet; what kind of life, hard to tell, but at the very least there will be bacteria or something like it.
From the Wikipedia entry on UFO's which can be found here:-
After excluding incorrect reports, however, it is acknowledged that between 5% and 20% of reported sightings remain unexplained, and as such can be classified as unidentified in the strictest sense. Many reports have been made by trained observers such as pilots, police, and the military; some involve radar traces, so not all reports are visual.
Not all sightings are reported and having said that; When we take 1 or 2 percent of all sightings in the world means that it is a fair number of actual UFO's buzzing through our atmosphere over the millennia!
unexplained, and as such can be classified as unidentified in the strictest sense.
The only thing I am superstitious about is killing spiders. I think it's a Chinese superstition that gives you bad luck. I don't know though. It might just be because I find them useful at times in keeping other bugs at bay.
Well, it certainly brings bad luck to the spiders! :-) I never kill spiders either, they do keep pesky insects at bay.