Spiritualists generally believe that Souls survive bodily death and live in a spirit world. They say that every human soul survives the death of the body and enters a spirit-world that surrounds and interpenetrates the material world. These souls can communicate with the material world - Spiritualists say that communication is possible between the material world and the spirit-world under the right conditions usually through a medium.
Spirit beings are little changed from their earlier selves - Spiritualists say that those in the spirit-world are much the same as they were in the material world, although without any physical deficiencies. Spirit beings are interested in people in the material world - Spiritualists say that those in the spirit world are aware of and interested in the lives of those they have temporarily left behind in the material world.
Spiritualists sometimes refer to Spiritualism as a Religion, a Philosophy and a Science. They regard their religion as based on universal truths. Many Spiritualists teach that Spiritualism is based on natural, scientific laws and does not involve the supernatural. They say that difference between their faith and other religions is that most religions are based on belief while Spiritualism is based on demonstrated evidence that there is life after death.
Some writers think this scientific emphasis dates from the early days of Spiritualism. Inspired perhaps by the then recent discoveries of invisible forces such as electricity and magnetism, Spiritualism may have been 'an attempt by nineteenth-century Americans to establish empirical grounds for religious belief amid the growing cultural authority of science'.
Spiritualism has been strongly criticised because there have been many cases in which 'spiritual manifestations' have been shown to be deliberately faked. But Spiritualists retort that this doesn't show that spiritualism is itself untrue.
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