July 15, 2009

How Come I Like Stories About The Supernatural So Much?

I know one thing, I do not accept that any supernatural occurrence has happened anywhere in the universe, anytime. Are supernatural occurrences possible? I guess anything in possible. But anything isn't very likely.

No Gods, no ghosts, no Leprechauns, no invisible man under my bed, no streakers on Venus, etc.

But I have to ask why I so readily accept ghosts in movies, devils in movies, supernatural events in movies? Is it a form of escape into a land of wishful thinking? Or just a form of escape? Or just plain old entertainment and appreciation of creative writers?

When I was a child, I watched a lot of Twilight Zone. After watching one particular episode, I remember asking my grandmother if she would let me phone her if and when she died. In other words, there was a time that I thought the Twilight Zone was a documentary. I'm pretty sure I grew out of it when I was 8 or 9 though, but I can't remember.

For years I slept with the light on as well, scared of the unknown. I think I stopped that nonsense in my early teens. And now I like to sleep in the dark with the TV off.

Again, I went through the regular channels in becoming atheist. From assuming there was a God and supernatural occurrences, to reading existential literature in high school while at the same time realizing that science had an answer for just about everything, I gradually became agnostic, and finally atheist after rationalizing everything out. This probably didn't happen until my early 30's. And then to top it off, around 7 or 8 years ago, in my early forties, I found out that there is absolutely no contemporary evidence for the Exodus or even a historical Jesus.

Not only is there lack of evidence for the supernatural, but there is also nothing to back up the most famous biblical stories that the overwhelming majority of human beings today buy into.

The reason I'm making this post is that I recently watch Ghost Town. I found it laugh out loud funny at times, though I wish I could have been a writer on that movie (I think I could have made it a lot funnier). I've never had that thought before either. I just thought of things that would have made it more hilarious.

But back to the movie, I really got into it. It isn't the first time. The Sixth Sense for example, same thing.

But really, my favorite shows on TV are animated. Family Guy, American Dad, South Park, and supernatural or sci fi stuff happens all the time in those cartoons.

I still believe strongly that we evolved the susceptibility to buy into the supernatural as a way of defense mainly, especially when our ancestors couldn't explain lightning. So maybe there is a disconnect from my atheistic worldview when we watch these types of movies and shows, and probably when we dream too.

I wonder if I were a theist today, if I would view films like Ghost Town and The Sixth Sense the same way. Do theists think, "hey I want to be that type of ghost when I die." Or do they just enjoy the movie, and in the back of their mind, know they are watching something unrealistic, even to them?"

Just a note, for those who don't know, the star of Ghost Town, comic Ricky Gervais, is a non believer, just like me.