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Arias 1

Jocelyn Arias
Ms. Caruso
21 June 2016
Defense Paper
Superstitions, cultural beliefs, and fantasies are all a part of life. Just as some people
would have drinks with their food and some dont, some people believe in superstition while
others do not. Society has stated the non-existence of superstitions, making it fall under the
category of "unreal". Of course someone can prove it is all make-believe, but one should take
a look at the origins and the reason why they exist. Cultural beliefs, superstitions, and
fantasies all exist; but some may deny it, and thats okay. A line should not be drawn and
forced upon people, deciding whether something exists or not based on ones own opinion.
Each side can show evidence indicating the so-called truth. I created a board game The
Possibilities of the Impossible for my inquiry project, focusing on all ages and perfect for
family game night. I created this game board for families to be able to interact in a fun way
while learning facts. The cards the players will draw will have facts about the superstitions,
fantasies topics and cultural beliefs that exist. Families will have the opportunity to witness
the reactions of each other on what they believe to be true. In the end, I am hoping that they
gain perspective of each others stand-point on the topic and notice that no true visible line
can be determined on what is said to be true and what is said to be false.
Some but not all of society sort out the belief of superstitions and fantasy by the
authenticity versus the make-believe. Those who decide to believe in the categories under
paranormal are considered to lack wisdom or are into weird stuff. Peter Lamont, Claudia

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Coelho and Andrew McKinlay stated that the belief in the paranormal has been associated
with low intelligence, marginal social status, inadequate education, and a lack of critical
thinking (Lamont, Coelho, McKinlay 543). Most people base their beliefs on these matters
solemnly on the truth they have heard or believed to be true. Can the people specify the origin
from where a superstition came from based on their truth? Does ones truth have to be
anothers truth? For instance a black cat crossing in your path is considered unlucky
originated from the ancient Egyptians as they admired cats in any color. This superstition
began by the ancient Egyptians as good luck. Later on, King Charles I had a black cat that he
was to say it had good luck continuing the good superstition. After the cats death he claimed
that the cat left along with the good luck. The next day he was arrested furthering his theory
and now making the good superstition into a bad superstition (Wolchover 2). I am not saying
you have to believe in these superstitions but it is a way to help one understand that real
human beings had real stories to tell about the origins of why they exist. They may not exist
and thats fine too. Why do people force upon the line drawn of rational and irrational?
Superstition is defined as irrational beliefs out of fear. A line is already drawn by
society. Superstitious beliefs are often harmless, but may lead to irrational decisions (Fluke,
Webster and Saucier 102). Just as students relying on their so-called lucky charm to get a
good grade on a test or to win a soccer game. Although the facts are on paper who is to say
some nut job decided to make up the origins? Who to say that those facts are indeed true? As
far as I know, one can believe what they want to believe in unless research is presented, and
even then one can still not trust it to be true. People often rely on science to decide what they
believe in or not. Unless a matter can be explained scientifically then it might as well go in the
category of superstition (Vyse 103).

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Though cultural beliefs arent really fought for believing or not, it can be viewed as

unusual. Certain cultural beliefs are based on religion, culture, tradition etc. An outsider will
judge ones culture and it will happen if their beliefs dont coincide with ones own beliefs. In
the Japanese culture, samurai perform a ritual Seppuku, committing suicide by the
disembowelment (Encyclopedia Britannica 1). In Bolivia, miners worship a statue of the devil
in the shape of a goat, and if he is not presented with gifts and believed in, bad events were to
occur in their lives (PBS 1). In Mexico women believe that the drinking of atole--- a blend of
milk, sugar and a carbohydrate from oatmeal or cornmeal--- can increase the breast milk
supply (Salvay and Good 161). These beliefs exist from ancestor and are past down. Those
in that culture will praise and abide by the beliefs and will pass it on in the generations to
come. It is up to the next generation to uphold those beliefs or not.
In my project I created the game board The Possibilities of the Impossible. It is
intended for all ages and a fun family game. In the directions it will state my main question
Where do we draw the line between rational cultural beliefs, superstitions and fantasy? It
will state the directions, and it will be clear and understandable. I have arranged my game
board to have the bad superstitions around the start line, and fantasies people fear will
continue up the trail. Towards the middle will be most of the cultural beliefs and happy
fantasies, and reaching the finish line I will have more of the good superstitions. It is to be an
enjoyable, educating game for families to really understand different type of superstitions and
cultural beliefs and fantasies, while being able to learn about each other in the process.
Through the game, my inquiry question asked in the beginning will resonate in the players'
heads, and it will be asked again once the game is finished. My goal is to show the variety of
opinions and thoughts of the family members and to show how a line cannot be drawn based

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on ones own. The line is invisible in others' eyes except ones own, and that line will always
Fantasy can be considered an invisible cloak to the minds' wanders. There are times
where people wouldnt show what they think could be out there. Fantasy, fiction, and science
fiction all come into play into the same category. Parents let the children have imaginary
friends until the parents or the child decide its time to grow up. What does growing up
mean? On a blogspot, L.R.R. Cunha posted that growing means to have more responsibility,
taking account of ones own actions, and accepting that making mistakes is normal. He also
mentions, Growing up can mean different things for different people (Cunha 14). Kids are
told to grow up from their fantasies and to endure the real world. In a study by Jacqueline,
Woolley Are Children Fundamentally Different Thinker and Believers from Adults, she states
that adults may think more direct; for example, they believe that if you want something you
have got to work for it. Kids may have a greater deal of wishing for something they want.
Studies show that by age 3 children understand that imagined and dreamed-of entities have
different properties than physical thing 3- to 5-year-old children make a distinction between
the types of processes that happen in the real world versus the types of processes that could
only happen with magic (Woolley, 994-996). Technically, the kids know whats going on,
but they just havent been in the class that will give the term for what really happens yet.
Parents destroy the helpful minds kids use to further their wonders and curiosity. Some who
lose it are able to gain it back, but not all. They become realists who set the rules between the
real and the make-believe.
Cultural beliefs, superstitions, and fantasy all play a part in beliefs and connect
together to show that some can be reality while others are to be make-believe. Animal fantasy

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can be symbolisms for expressing human counterparts, likewise Guatemalans believe that
people have an animal counterpart who shares his/her destiny. These theories and themes can
be derived from somewhere that is to be true. In conclusion, a line where we define whats
real and whats not cant really be drawn; if anything its invisible. Everyone has a say for
what they believe in, but no one has the position to demand everyone else to believe in the
same matter. So what do you believe in?

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Original Works Cited

The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. Seppuku." Encyclopdia Britannica. Encyclopedia

Britannica, Inc., 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 01 June 2016.
The Editors at PBS. "El Tio." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 01 June 2016.
Perkins, Greg. "Is It Wrong to Judge Other Cultures?" Objectivist Advice. Fareed, 26 Feb.
2011. Web. 05 June 2016.
Farmhouse, Kentucky. "Superstitions Myths Legends Folklore Omens Lucks
Sayings." Superstitions. Kentucky Farmhouse, 27 May 2012. Web. 05 June 2016.
Wolchover, Natalie. "The Surprising Origins of 9 Common Superstitions." Live Science.
Purch, 19 Sept. 2011. Web. 05 June 2016.
Khanna, Rajan. "What Is Fantasy?" LitReactor. LIT Reactor, 09 Mar. 2012. Web. 06 June

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New Works Cited

Whipps, Heather. Urban Legends: How They Start and Why They Persist. Live Science.
Purch, 27 August 2006. Web. 14 June 2016.
Lamont Peter, Coelho Claudia, McKinlay Andrew. Explaining the Unexplained: Warranting
Disbelief in the Paranormal. Sage Publications. 11.5 (2009): 543-559. ArticleFirst.
Web. 16 June 2016.
Woolley, Jacqueline. Thinking About Fantasy: Are Children Fundamentally Different
Thinkers and Believers from Adults? Child Development. 68.6 (1997): 991-1011.
ERIC The ERIC. Web. 15 June 2016.
Fluke Scott, Webster Russell, Saucier Donald. Methodological and Theoretical
Improvements in the Study of Superstitious Beliefs and Behaviour. British Journal of
Psychology. 105.1 (2014): 102-126. Medline. Web. 17 June 2016.
Skeel, Lynda and Good, Mary. Mexican Cultural Beliefs and Breastfeeding: A Model for
Assessment and Intervention. Journal of Human Lactation. 4.4 (1988): 160-163.
Medline. Web. 19 June 2016.
Cunha, L.R.R. What does growing up exactly mean? Psychological Evolution. Blogger,
17 October 2008. Web. 20 June 2016.
World Culture Encyclopedia. Countries and their Cultures. Advameg, Inc., n.d. Web. 19
June 2016