Thursday, 20 March 2008

Modern day superstition

According to a poll published today in a Danish newspaper, 21 % of Danish women and 15 % of Danish men believe in ghosts and spirits. Only 36 % of Danish women say they don't believe in ghosts, because 43 % say they don't know! For Danish men the same figures are 54 % and 31 % respectively.

I find it hard to believe that Danes in general are very concerned with supernatural entities like ghosts, but on the other hand it seems that many Danes, although living in a highly secular society, do not rule out the potential existence of such phenomena!

1 comment:

Nicolas Barbano said...

As you know, this type of poll is completely dependent on which questions are asked, and exactly how they are phrased. You claim that the poll says something about how many Danish people “believe in ghosts and spirits”, and as source you link to an abbreviated online version of a printed newspaper article. But according to another piece published the next day by the same newspaper to correct a fatal error in the original printed article, people were asked if they believed in ghosts OR spirits (“spøgelser eller ånder”), and that’s a horse of a different colour. People who don’t believe in ghosts may believe in some sort of disembodied, spiritual lifeforce, which is not necessarily the same as believing “that ghosts and spirits are lurking among us” (“at spøgelser eller ånder lusker rundt iblandt os”), as your online-source claims. Well, it would be interesting to read the actual Gallup-paper rather than base speculation on what some journalist has written about it. But since Gallup has apparently not made its poll available to the public, we are sadly at the mercy of the press. And believing the press may well be the worst superstition of all.

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