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What is the difference between faith and superstition? When should I consider faith as superstition?

From google define

Faith - complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

Superstition - excessively credulous belief in and reverence for the supernatural.

If I replace the word ‘something’ by ‘supernatural’ both meanings seem very similar to me. What are the differences?

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There are two perspectives that you have to understand in order to answer this question for yourself. One perspective is from someone "of faith", a believer in God or any higher power. The other perspective is from an Athiest and more scientific point of view.

Opinion A: "Faith is different from superstition."

This article, written by a Christian has this to say:

A superstition is defined as “1 a: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation b: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition 2: a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary” (Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, page 1183). Superstitions are unsupported by facts. They originate in ignorance.

Faith is often associated with superstition. In fact, one of the definitions provide in Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary for faith is “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” I suspect that to be the definition many people attach to “faith” in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.

Faith, as that word is used in Scripture, is not belief without proof, but belief based on evidence. ...

Opinion B: "All faiths are superstitions."

This article, is an interview with a scientist (evolutionary geneticist), Jerry Coyne, author of "Faith vs. Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible"

One of the meanings of superstition in the Oxford English dictionary is a belief that is unfounded or irrational. Since I see all religious belief as unfounded and irrational, I consider religion to be superstition.

It’s certainly the most widespread form of superstition because the vast majority of people on Earth are believers. Other forms of superstition, like astrology, belief in UFOs or telekinesis, are nowhere near as widespread.


These are just a sample of thousands of articles written on this subject I imagine.

So this is something you could argue about, picking the definitions you like and claiming evidence to support your perspective.

Overall, they both agree that the word "superstition" is a belief not based on evidence. A religious person could claim that their evidence is their scriptures, books, and stories that they accept as fact. A person of science would not see those as evidence of their beliefs and so every faith has no actual evidence, so it is the same as superstition.

Focusing on the language use of these two words, you should understand that the use of the word "faith" is more respectful of people's beliefs, whereas the word "superstition" is often considered an offensive word when used to talk about someone's beliefs.


One way these two words definitely differ, is the use of the word "faith" to simply mean as you defined: "complete trust or confidence". I can have faith in my company's mission. I can have faith in my boss's leadership. That has nothing to do with religion, beliefs, or spirituality.

But if you say, "I have complete trust and confidence in God", then you will need to judge the overlap of faith and superstition there.

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They're totally different words.

Faith is belief/trust/confidence in something. There's nothing to do with supernatural things.

Superstition is anything related to the supernatural. It can be belief or reverence for the supernatural, or it can mean the practice of talking to, praying, etc. to the supernatural.

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    When people say I have faith on God. Do they use the word wrong because God must be supernatural. – Sazzad Hissain Khan Jan 14 at 2:54
  • God is "something", I didn't say "something excluding God". "generous" doesn't have to do anything with the supernatural, but you can still say "God is generous." – technophyle Jan 14 at 7:58
  • Gods one property can be natural but that does not mean God is natural, God himself is a supernatural entity and there is no objection on this statement. 2nd part of your definition There's nothing to do with supernatural things made me confused. – Sazzad Hissain Khan Jan 14 at 8:35

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