Agnostic Front
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08-01-2012, 03:54 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(08-01-2012 01:48 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I disagree. The fundamental quality of the fundamental forces is consistency. A joule is a joule, a Newton is a Newton, addition is addition and these things never, ever vary. That's the reason we can use them to measure phenomenon and to predict things. I know that if I heat a volume of H20 to 100 degrees Celsius, it will boil. Every time. Zero exceptions. That's the natural world.

God can make an infant lift a building. When we measure the force an infant can generate and the mass of the building, there is no possible way that the infant could generate even a fraction of the force needed to lift the building. That means that this occurrence was beyond the control of the rules of the natural universe. Moreover, the rules don't need to be changed permanently. Supernatural occurrences can be unique. That means that the child lifting the building phenomenon is neither explainable nor repeatable. Any way you slice it, it can at no point be considered a natural occurrence. To be natural, by definition, that means it needs to adhere to the rules of the natural universe. He-Man baby is by definition, supernatural; super (above/beyond) the natural.

If we saw a baby lifting a heavy building, and confirmed that the natural laws we know now could not explain it, we would have to change our understanding of the natural laws so that they could explain that phenomenon. He-Man baby is not supernatural, our idea of the natural laws must have just been wrong. Simply slapping the word "supernatural' on it explains nothing.

All that being said, I can't help but point out that babies do not, in fact, lift heavy buildings because our natural laws do seem to be correct at least to that extent.
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08-01-2012, 06:26 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
Hey, Ben.

Quote:All that being said, I can't help but point out that babies do not, in fact, lift heavy buildings because our natural laws do seem to be correct at least to that extent.

Just making sure you, like, y'know, you didn't think that I was suggesting that babies are capable of lifting buildings. Pooping themselves? Check. The Baxter Building, not so much.

Think about it this way. I watch a building fall over. You show up and say, "how did it happen." I respond, "Well, see that baby over there..." How exactly do you think you'd react to that? You'd probably lock me up if you could. Why? Because it's impossible... provided of course Naturalism is correct and everything has a material explanation. If that's not true, if not everything has a material explanation, then that's the realm of the supernatural.

Say one day, 2+2=Nesquick. Just that once. Never again. How exactly do we alter math to include the notion that 2+2 doesn't always equal 4, sometimes it can equal random beverage enhancers? It's impossible because science demands consistency. The point is, 2+2=Nesquick does not correspond to the laws of the natural universe. There would be nothing wrong with the laws. They'd still be functioning as normal. But that's the point of the supernatural, it doesn't have to obey those laws; defying natural law is the very thing that defines the supernatural. If the laws of physics are constant and it still takes X amount of force to lift a building and a baby does just that on its own, there's nothing wrong with physics, it's just been circumvented. That, by definition, is supernatural.

I need to be clear. I am NOT saying that the supernatural exists (I ain't ruling it out either). What I am saying is that IF it exists, THEN it MUST meet X criteria. If it does not, then it doesn't exist. If something has a natural explanation, then it's natural. So, again, by definition, if a phenomenon has a natural explanation it cannot be supernatural. If a phenomenon does not have a natural explanation, and I don't just mean we haven't figured it out, I mean it just doesn’t exist, then that phenomenon, by definition, is supernatural.

Every supernatural phenomenon is, by definition, impossible. For a phenomenon to be considered supernatural, the impossible must occur.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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08-01-2012, 06:55 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(08-01-2012 06:26 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Ben.
I need to be clear. I am NOT saying that the supernatural exists (I ain't ruling it out either). What I am saying is that IF it exists, THEN it MUST meet X criteria. If it does not, then it doesn't exist. If something has a natural explanation, then it's natural. So, again, by definition, if a phenomenon has a natural explanation it cannot be supernatural. If a phenomenon does not have a natural explanation, and I don't just mean we haven't figured it out, I mean it just doesn’t exist, then that phenomenon, by definition, is supernatural.

Every supernatural phenomenon is, by definition, impossible. For a phenomenon to be considered supernatural, the impossible must occur.

I completely agree with that.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-01-2012, 07:18 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
Hey, Chaz.

Ah, I remember when I first agreed with me. Great feeling, isn't it? Warm... right in your belly. <Points to your belly> Right there, that's me.

Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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08-01-2012, 09:03 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(08-01-2012 06:26 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Just making sure you, like, y'know, you didn't think that I was suggesting that babies are capable of lifting buildings. Pooping themselves? Check. The Baxter Building, not so much.

If you're going to use the Baxter Building as an example, then I would conclude the baby is Franklin Richards and while his powers are exceptional, they are not supernatural.

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08-01-2012, 09:15 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(08-01-2012 06:26 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Ben.

Quote:All that being said, I can't help but point out that babies do not, in fact, lift heavy buildings because our natural laws do seem to be correct at least to that extent.

Just making sure you, like, y'know, you didn't think that I was suggesting that babies are capable of lifting buildings. Pooping themselves? Check. The Baxter Building, not so much.

Think about it this way. I watch a building fall over. You show up and say, "how did it happen." I respond, "Well, see that baby over there..." How exactly do you think you'd react to that? You'd probably lock me up if you could. Why? Because it's impossible... provided of course Naturalism is correct and everything has a material explanation. If that's not true, if not everything has a material explanation, then that's the realm of the supernatural.

I don't think I'd lock you up, just not believe you Tongue

(08-01-2012 06:26 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Say one day, 2+2=Nesquick. Just that once. Never again. How exactly do we alter math to include the notion that 2+2 doesn't always equal 4, sometimes it can equal random beverage enhancers? It's impossible because science demands consistency. The point is, 2+2=Nesquick does not correspond to the laws of the natural universe. There would be nothing wrong with the laws. They'd still be functioning as normal. But that's the point of the supernatural, it doesn't have to obey those laws; defying natural law is the very thing that defines the supernatural. If the laws of physics are constant and it still takes X amount of force to lift a building and a baby does just that on its own, there's nothing wrong with physics, it's just been circumvented. That, by definition, is supernatural.

In all of my interactions with the universe I have never once observed the laws of physics being circumvented. Because of this it seems a better explanation to say when something does at first appear to violate those laws that our understanding of the laws was wrong in the first place.

In ancient times, it would have been a reasonable statement to say that metal does not move towards rocks by itself. If a caveman found a lodestone, a natural magnet, and found that it was a bizarre exception to that seemingly reasonable rule, that does not mean that the rule was suspended. The rule was simply false to begin with, because it was based on an incomplete knowledge of rocks and the subatomic particles that they are composed of. In reality, mechanisms working on a scale of which the caveman had no knowledge eventually led to both the normal rocks that he saw everywhere, and the rare lodestone. That does not make the magnet supernatural.

Similarly, if we find a phenomenon today which breaks our natural laws, it is far more likely that our knowledge is incomplete than that the laws have been suspended. Even a very strange exception such as 2+2=Nesquick is better explained by saying that our understanding of natural laws was very, very incorrect. The caveman could never imagine that his rock and magnet are both products of subatomic particles and forces, just as there may be mechanisms working on even smaller scales of which we are entirely unaware. To me, the supernatural is an intellectually lazy non-explanation.
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08-01-2012, 10:09 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(08-01-2012 07:18 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Chaz.

Ah, I remember when I first agreed with me. Great feeling, isn't it? Warm... right in your belly. <Points to your belly> Right there, that's me.

Matt,
Keep the Tums handy, just in case.Cool

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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09-01-2012, 11:28 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
Hey, Chaz.

Cool

Hey, Ben.

It doesn't shock me that you've never seen the laws of physics circumvented.

I'm not talking about psychics and palm readers and the sasquatch. I'm not talking about things that some yahoo might say is supernatural and it just turns out that it's mundane. All of that stuff goes without saying.

If the criteria for natural is something that occurs, then we've handily defined the supernatural out of existence. But that isn't the criteria for natural. Corresponding to the laws of the natural universe is. The supernatural, should it exist, doesn't correspond.

Try this one. God shows up. SNAP. You're a woman. SNAP. You're a hermaphrodite. SNAP. You're a man. Science clearly tells us that gender doesn't change spontaneously. But here you have this phenomenon. So you go to your fellow scientists and tell them that they're wrong, gender can actually change spontaneously so they have to change the rule because, clearly, it was wrong. Why would they listen to you?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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10-01-2012, 02:05 AM
RE: Agnostic Front
(09-01-2012 11:28 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Try this one. God shows up. SNAP. You're a woman. SNAP. You're a hermaphrodite. SNAP. You're a man. Science clearly tells us that gender doesn't change spontaneously. But here you have this phenomenon. So you go to your fellow scientists and tell them that they're wrong, gender can actually change spontaneously so they have to change the rule because, clearly, it was wrong. Why would they listen to you?

They'd be skeptical, but if you showed them unequivocally that this has occurred they will believe you and try to find an explanation. Science clearly tells us nothing. Suggests, yes.

The theories we have say that this is impossible but the theories we have are constructs - we don't know for certain that they correspond to reality. If such a thing happens, then clearly our theory is wrong and not reality, so we must change it.

You'd have a hard time getting anyone to admit that it was God though.
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10-01-2012, 04:30 AM
RE: Agnostic Front
Hey Ghost,
This is a question to clarify my understanding of your understanding of the supernatural. When the Conquistadores showed up with their "firesticks", weren't they thought by the indigenous folk to be supernatural beings with supernatural devices? I am not sure yet how your argument for the possibility of a supernatural realm can't just be proposed phenomena that hasn't been explained by science, Yet. What if I told you that I knew you were lying that a baby brought down the Baxter Building because I saw a bunch of Skrull Warriors blast it with their hyper-dimensional weapons? You'd still want to lock me up, but the day the Silver Surfer shows up to herald the coming of Galactus, you'd have to let me out because now science can explain the prior events were not supernatural, but simply done by advanced beings from a galaxy far, far away. Riddle me that and I'll be willing to come over to the dark side.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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