Supernatural and paranormal; what is the difference? These two words are often used interchangeably and yet they mean two very different things. To put it briefly, supernatural things are those things that we cannot understand and likely will never be able to understand. Paranormal things are those things that we cannot understand yet but may someday be able to explain using science. It can also be said that supernatural things are things that are not natural but outside of nature; because of this many people who have not experienced them simply do not believe they exist. Just as we cannot prove that something supernatural exists, likewise a doubter is not able to prove that it does not exist. Conversely, a paranormal experience is simply impossible to prove at this moment, but we have the potential to prove it does exist someday. A good example of this is the existence of ghosts versus lightening. We cannot prove that ghosts exist or do not exist. However, lightening, which was once believed to be supernatural in origin, was instead paranormal and in time it’s basis in the natural world was proven using science.
Supernatural in Religion
Supernatural things are very often connected with religions and their ritual. It is a fundamental part of the human psyche – we have attempted to explain the earth and all that is in it, as well as those things that are outside our control, since the dawn of time. This has always required some form of belief in the supernatural, things that we cannot begin to understand much less control. Deities, angels, the ability to give prophesies with accuracy, demons, spirits such as ghosts and fairies, and even our beliefs in magic all stem from religious concepts of the supernatural and our attempts at understanding how the world around us works. They go hand in hand with our attempts at making sense of the senseless. If you survive a car accident that should have killed you, people will tell you that your guardian angel or deity of choice was watching out for you. However, when something bad happens in your life you’ll likewise hear that demons or an angry god were responsible for it.
Debating the existence
The existence of the supernatural has been debated by the great minds and thinkers of every generation as they struggled to make sense of an often times senseless world. Each religion has struggled to create a set of rules that they hope will help to appease these forces that they cannot hope to control. Indeed, many of the ancient religions viewed humans as little more than ants in the eyes of gods and felt that all we could do was hope to avoid the fallout of their wars and battles fought on planes we could not hope to see with armies and strength that we could not hope to meet. Early religions sought to appease these forces with sacrifices, hoping that by garnering the affection of their deity of choice they could find some protection from the careless aggression of beings beyond their comprehension.