There is a big difference between superstition and religion, yet sometimes they can be used interchangeably, depending on who you are talking to. Both superstition and religion hold a significant role in society these days. These have shaped and connected every culture. However, superstition and religion do not point to the same thing. If you are talking about religion, this simply refers to the worship and belief in a God or gods. With superstition, it is defined as belief in the supernatural practice or influences that are based solely on this. This clarifies the differences between these two, which are integral to society.
As it is already defined above, religion refers to the belief in a single God or gods. It is a system of beliefs wherein it is functional in a society. According to sociologists, they see that religion is not only being a part of society and its culture but also comes with a distinctive purpose. You can understand this clearly through the definition of religion by Yinger’s. He believes that religion is a system of practices and beliefs in which a group of individuals struggles with the ultimate issues of life. The issues of life, meaning that religion provides the people the system of beliefs. This is the reason that Marx said before that religion is the opium for the masses since it always the suffering.
From the sociologists’ point of view, religion is not only creating the belief system for the people to accept and embrace but it makes a collective conscience. Since many see that it is impossible to move forward in social life unless there is that shared value system, religion makes up for that void. It also makes that social stability and even maintains order.
There are different religions today and the major ones are Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. All these religions form up the society wherein its central belief is to heighten social solidarity.
Unlike with religion, superstition is a belief in the supernatural practices or influences that are based on religion. Superstitions are shaped by people and they are passed on from one generation to another. Back in the ancient days, the people had great belief and faith in superstitions. However, these days this situation has changed. This is mainly because of the advancement of technology, plus the enhancement of science that made people realize that the entire thing about superstition is just beliefs and no more beyond that. In particular cultures, wherein they haven’t advanced much when it comes to technology, superstitions still exist among them. There are times that societies people consider as very advanced, they still believe in superstition. The reason for this is due to the socialization process wherein people have acquired various cultural attributes like myths, superstitions, and values wherein it can be quite difficult to get rid of them.
Superstitions can involve evil spirits, witchcraft, magic and various traditional beliefs, too. The culture’s beliefs and superstitions are generally intertwined, which is why it is very difficult to separate the both of them.