I confess that I believe in UFOs of the space alien kind. At one time, it was an irrational fear of mine since I firmly thought that a UFO would abduct me. Although I live in the city, I still clung to this absurd fear. It inhibited my movements, keeping me awake at night. I decided to end my torment and get help.
While in therapy, I was presented with several choices. I could believe that UFOs were real but the odds of being abducted by one was nearly nonexistent. I could set up ways to prevent being abducted such as carrying a flashlight. I could decide that UFOs did not exist. I could interpret UFOs as a metaphor for hidden traumas. I could think that my mental illness manifested itself as a fear of UFOs.
I decided to make peace with the UFOs and move on. I did resolve several traumas arising from childhood that I had submerged. I admitted that my fear was silly and debilitating. At the end, I still believed in UFOs but viewed them differently. Now, they add a bit of mystery to the world.
Because of my experiences in resolving my thoughts about UFOs, I understand mental illness more clearly. Therefore I have problems with any Atheist who is a Pagan asserting that the Truth lies only in the reality of science. They usually add that believing in the supernatural is mentally unhealthy. A belief in “literal gods” is a cause for concern since that is rooted in the synapses of the brain. In other words, the supernatural is only the figment of one’s imagination. Because none of it exists, the only path to Truth is through science.
This philosophy is known as “Scientism. It states that science alone can determine the truth about the world. I find this to be very limiting, since, for me, the world is beyond human understanding. Moreover, this philosophy is self-annihilating because it posits that only scientific claims are meaningful. That is self-contradicting since science cannot confer meaning on anything or any idea.
Along with a belief in Scientism, many Atheists who are Pagans also espouse Humanistic Naturalism. According to this philosophy, humans understand and control the world through the scientific method. What occurs to me is that this centers all things on humans to determine how the world should be. That is an awful burden to bear especially if other Pagans do not agree with the assessment that the world is needs to be saved. Since many Pagans have other priorities, it becomes a cause of anger and frustration for these particular Atheists who are Pagans.
As for me, a belief in the supernatural means mental health. I do understand how a belief in the supernatural can be held in suspect. I grappled with my fears of UFOs as being malevolent. My imagination fed into my fears and prohibited me from living a full life. However, for many people, imagination and play lead to a more rounded life. A world without UFOs is a sad, empty one.