This is for those of you who, for whatever reason, just cannot get used to the idea of the existence of the spiritual. I’m not sure if there’s an actual name and example for the same idea, but if there is, I’ve not read it.
Imagine you are living in a shared house. Also, imagine that there is a door to a spare room. Now, for whatever reason, you believe absolutely in the existence of a chest of drawers nailed to the front of that door. This belief is not founded in any physical reality, but nevertheless you believe it to be true. Trying to open the door, therefore, would simply not occur to you.
Now imagine you start talking to your housemates about this chest of drawers. And imagine that you manage to convince them of the existence of the drawers, in spite of material evidence to the contrary. Now, the entire household avoids the door, not out of fear or respect, but simply because they believe they live in a universe where the door is blockaded by furniture. It is not so much a matter of faith and doubt anymore, for these people, that is simply how the world is.
Now, next door, there lives an almost identical household, with the key difference being the actual, material existence of a chest of drawers before the door. The allegory is thus: at what point does the functionality of the door, in both cases, become inconsequential? The second household cannot enter the door because they believe the chest of drawers will prevent them, and the same goes for the first household. All knowledge is merely justified belief, after all, and the first household is certainly not totally unjustified in believing the door to be inoperable. At what point does the imagined drawers, the shadow of the existence of the chest of drawers, become as powerful an idea as the actual drawers?
So endeth the allegory. Hopefully, you can see the power of memetics and ideas on reality, even if you don’t agree on parallel pseudo-physical existence. You may not wish to believe in Yahweh, but his influence is very much tangible, albeit far more recognisably indirectly. “There is no God, yet churches, yet missionaries, yet crusades.” When does existence become irrelevant to the idea of a thing?
The key difficulty for me now is proving externally advancing intelligences, independent of the minds of their creators, but I have to say, if demons truly and properly knew the processes of their own creation, there’d be a lot more of us running around.