Metaphysics & Psychology
Awe inspires belief in the supernatural
November 25, 2013 | 9 comments
Study participants were shown clips from a BBC nature series. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Selbst Gemacht
Awe-inspiring scenes such as the Grand Canyon have been found to invoke supernatural beliefs.
The claim is based on research conducted by a team from California who investigated how the BBC's Planet Earth documentary series influenced the spiritual beliefs of those who watched it.
The experiment involved showing a number of clips to volunteers, some from a news program and others from the nature series. Participants were asked how they felt after viewing the clips and whether or not they believed in the intervention of a higher power.
"Many historical accounts of religious epiphanies and revelations seem to involve the experience of being awe-struck by the beauty, strength or size of a divine being, and these experiences change the way people understand and think about the world," said Researcher Piercarlo Valdeso.
The results indicated that those who had been shown clips of the Planet Earth series were more likely to believe in God or the supernatural than those who were shown the news reports.
"The irony in this is that gazing upon things that we know to be formed by natural causes, such as the jaw-dropping expanse of the Grand Canyon, pushes us to explain them as the product of supernatural causes," said Valdeso.
Source: IB Times
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