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How many people have heard their grandparents tell them never to break a mirror Who remembers the games of elementary school when children dared each other to run under a ladder Who really believes in seven years of bad luck It seems that these trivial sayings have been passed down to each successive generation only to further lose any sense of the sayings origin These are superstitions and they differ from culture to culture According to Funk and Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia a superstition is any unmerited belief in supernatural forces and may involve certain rituals that attempt to control otherwise unpredictable events Saliba To explain it is deemed unmerited because there exists no real proof as to whether or not that particular belief holds true It is interesting then that these beliefs persist in culture even today How did they survive the Age of Enlightenment and the skeptical attitude of current forward-thinkers This is an attempt to explain why superstition exists and why it is irrational and therefore to be done away with Folk myths as they are sometimes called are a result of religion tradition and desire for control and they have been proven wrong through their inconsistencies and actual verifiable tests Commonly most people tend to believe that superstition only appears where intellect and education is absent Claudia DeLys author of A Treasury of Superstitions claims that superstition originates from the animal-like instincts of primitive man 342 Because humans did not understand the natural world they invented something to believe in that would make sense Ulo Valk Professor of Estonian and Comparative Folklore at the University of Tartu believes that this is because such primitive cultures are in closer contact with the earth and its perils than modern society Superstition in Estonian Folklore However one expert who is superstitious himself argues that even so-called intelligent people believe in superstitions He holds a cultural belief that giving excessive compliments to someone will bring
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