The Central Issue

Who'd have imagined that with all the scientific and technological advancements occurrent at the beginning of the 21st Century that the 1966 Don Knott's comedy, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, should provide an abject lesson in the foibles of supernatural presupposition and the need for rational and skeptical inquiry?

Although supernatural and paranormal programming has long been a staple of Hollywood, it is no less prevalent today than it was 40 years ago. With television shows like Supernatural, Charmed, Medium, and Ghost Whisperer, and movies like The Lady in the Water and the remake of The Omen, it is assumed that the audience knows and understands the rules of the supernatural.

But it doesn't end there.

The world of books has thousands of titles that presuppose the workings of the supernatural realm with hundreds written under the assumption that the supernatural realm described is actually real! While fictional authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz offer supernatural thrillers for entertainment purposes only, others like Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins (Left Behind series) produce sensationalistic titles supposedly based on a particular interpretation of apocalyptic Christian doctrine. In the "non-fiction" departments, there are hundreds of books discussing an endless array of supernatural and paranormal topics, including: the Second Coming, Bible Prophecy, Miracles, the Power of Prayer, Angel Therapy, Healing Touch, Psychic Surgery, Reflexology, Bigfoot, UFOs, Alien Abductions, Area 51 and Roswell, Crop Circles, Astrology, New Age Therapies, Chakra Energy, Kabbala, Scientology, Channeling, Occult and Theosophic Literature, Karma, Reincarnation, Wicca and Witchcraft, ESP, Auras, Astral Projection, Crystal Power, Ley Lines, Psychic Communication with the Dead, Numerology, Psi, Precognition, Parasychology, Atlantis, Creationism and Intelligent Design.

The one thing all these things have in common is that none of them can actually be deduced from studying and examining the 'real world'. In other words, miraculous, supernatural, and paranormal claims are only supported by deferring to either words or art (illustrations, movies, TV shows, 3D figures and toys, statues) and nothing that can be 'pointed to' outside the realm of words and art.


Because outside the realm of words and art there is absolutely no evidence of anything miraculous, supernatural, and paranormal. Time and again, science has demonstrated that all such claims are either outright lies, hoaxes, the product of fraud, "faith-based" denial, or the wishful suspension of belief. Is science doing this because it is mean-spirited, has a hidden agenda, or wants to thwart the plans of invisible entities? Absolutely not. Science does this because it simply wants to arrive at the facts as honestly and objectively as possible using experimental testing, methodology, peer review, and repeated rounds of testing. Science has no intention to deceive or cover-up. Such deception belongs to those who must point to words as the sole reference of authority, who manipulate explanations to make the 'real world' fit the (mostly religious and/or supernatural) claims of those words.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

A Mental Exercise

Without referring to words or art, how can any of the following be ascertained? God, the Attributes of God (omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, omnibenevolence), the Will of God, Heaven, Hell, Angels, Devils, Life After Death, the Soul, the Spirit World, the Second Coming, the End of the World, Eternal Paradise, Seventy-Two Virgins, Reincarnation, Ghosts, Aliens, Monsters, etc.

Without pointing back to words or art it becomes apparent that none of these things can be determined. All these things are nowhere to be seen in the 'real world' but exist only 'inside' the use of language and art. Remove language and art—that is to say what is artificial (from which we get the word art) —and what remains? Only natural, physical, unfolding reality. This means that arguments for the religious and supernatural are just that—arguments, polemics composed only of words, verbal exercises, empty abstractions. Without depending on supernatural words there is nowhere else to point except at that which exists naturally. If your notion of 'god' or 'religion' or 'spirituality' relies on words in order to 'prove' itself, you can be rest assured this proves nothing except a lackadaisical surrender to abstract language and words strung together in the face of exuberant reality.

Isn't it time you started seeing the world for what it is and not what words are telling you it is? Isn't it time you returned to that native essence which precedes the use of language and started living your own life? Isn't it time you took responsiblity for your own reality? How wonderful might that be? How liberating?

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Copyright © 2007 by Craig Lee Duckett. All rights reserved
LAST UPDATED: July 13, 2006