Agnostic Front
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11-01-2012, 03:38 AM (This post was last modified: 11-01-2012 03:54 AM by morondog.)
RE: Agnostic Front
Been thinking about this some more. Here's what I came up with:

The problem is that we don't *know* the physical laws well enough to say that they've been violated. What people call laws of physics are merely rules of thumb (even the sophisticated ones like the Uncertainty Principle) which have been *found to work*. The universe has no obligation to follow laws anyway, that it seems to is fortunate for us, but it's not like the universe is sitting there thinking "Nope, too bad, I could have some fun if I could break the law of gravity".

So when you assert the supernatural you are in fact asserting to the universe "THIS is the LAW, and something BROKE it." The problem is that we don't know the law well enough to be able to say that, and probably never will.

Hypothetically yes, if there is such a thing as an absolute physical law then something *could* in theory break it and be "supernatural". But for us to *conclude* that it was supernatural we'd have to know absolutely that this physical law can never be broken, and then find an example of it being broken and say "BUT, our knowledge is SO PERFECT that we KNOW this law cannot be broken. Therefore THIS, which breaks it, IS outside the universe's control, supernatural".
As an example, gravity.

Let's say that we KNOW that gravity always attracts and that gravity is the only force in our universe.

If we find an example of two objects *repelling* in our universe, then these must be acted on from forces outside it... since we *know* that gravity always attracts.

On the other hand, if our knowledge that gravity always attracts is only derived from watching lots of objects in our universe and hypothesizing our "physical law" that gravity always attracts, then when we find two objects repelling we must conclude that *either* our theory (based on experiment) must be modified *or* these criminal objects are breaking the law and therefore supernatural.

In this second scenario, to conclude that the objects are breaking the law is unreasonable, I contend, because our *knowledge* of the law is based on such a shaky foundation (it is merely empirical) - and besides, asserting that it's outside the universe's control immediately makes it ultra boring 'cos you can't say anything useful about it.
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11-01-2012, 08:42 AM
RE: Agnostic Front
(08-01-2012 12:04 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Now, while you or I could SEE a supernatural act, we could never PROVE that it happened because to prove something we need empirical evidence.

My objection is the LC. On a Tuesday night in August of 2005 when I was supposed to be working, I can only assume the mind went pear-shaped leaving "the memory of standing before the creator of the universe and accepting the title of prophet." It was as clear and rational as a job offer, there were witnesses who knew "something happened to Johnny," there's my former boss who still calls me "Messiah..." Thing is, I never felt it to be "super" natural. The LC was "creator of the universe" in quotes for a spell until I broke down and called it first "god" (cause that kinda goes with "creator of the universe") and then Little Creep.

Can you imagine how I'd fare in Mecca with such an appellation for Allah?

And yet, YHWH can be the LC, but the LC cannot be YHWH; because the LC is three orders of magnitude larger than YHWH. What kind of crazy math is that? Beats the fuck outta me, but I say such with moral certainty now; as I said it last year when I used such math to pass as Christian. Sure I'm insane, but I communicate rational considerations about the meaning of YHWH to atheists on three forums; as an atheist. I see that as the value of maintaining the self-entitlement of journeyman prophet; that if there is a future, there is a potential in that future not that I will be elevated by such nonsense but rather prophets of the past will be rationalized by my being.

Hey, it's a positive thought. Wink

But wouldn't that make me evidence for YHWH? Wouldn't that make "super" a totally unnecessary prefix?

I mean, these are just words; that I say them in what I consider my circle of friends is not braggadocio, but rather memory of natural events. I'll even tell you a secret - the LC doesn't care to be god. Wink

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11-01-2012, 09:24 AM
RE: Agnostic Front
I'm kind of upset. I know that you guys are intelligent, which is why I can't understand why you're ignoring the thing that I am saying and arguing against what I am not saying.

If there are no laws then science is pointless. Science is utterly useless without consistent laws. There are laws and they are finite. If every phenomenon in the universe is subject to those laws then naturalism is correct and there is no supernatural. If there are phenomenon in the universe that function outside of those finite laws, then those phenomenon are supernatural.
Quote:The supernatural (Latin: super, supra "above" + natura "nature") is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature.

I'm not saying we know everything. I'm not saying there isn't room in the future for scientific theories to change. I am saying that the laws of the natural universe are finite. In this universe, it is not a case of anything goes. Quite the contrary; everything is tightly regulated. If something operates beyond the boundary of these finite rules, then it’s supernatural. Supernatural phenomenon don't redefine the boundaries of natural law, they operate outside of them. By definition. If the phenomenon operates within it, then it cannot be supernatural.

I'm not saying that the supernatural exists. I'm saying that if it does, then it MUST operate outside of the laws of the natural universe to even BE supernatural. I'm also saying that because it operates outside of those limits, it cannot be measured by those limits. That means that there is no possibility of empirical evidence. Because of that, it is impossible to investigate the supernatural scientifically.

Sup, Ex?

My apologies, brother. May Ozzy have mercy on my soul.

Yo, Lucradis.

ROFL.

Hey, Chaz.

The word supernatural exists to make sense of an idea. Like ghost. The existence of the word ghost doesn't mean there are ghosts, but it does tell us what a ghost would have to be in order to be considered a ghost. A hot dog, for example, is not a ghost. Neither is a Studebaker, a wisp of smoke or that projection that old man Trewilligar used to scare off the townspeople so he could find the One Armed Pirate's treasure in the haunted mansion; a strategy that would have worked too if it weren't for those meddling kids. For something to be considered supernatural, it must be above the natural. All that is not, is not.

At some point, there is a limit. Gravity, the weak force, the strong force, the electromagnetic force, none of them are infinite. They are all finite. It is their finite and constant nature that allows us to exploit them so that we can measure things. Whether our knowledge of them is complete or not, whether or not we're still advancing our knowledge of the natural, at some point, there is a wall. If there is no wall then EVERYTHING science tells us is wrong. If there is a wall, then, it is possible, that something lies beyond it. That's a possibility. Whether there is or not is anybody's guess. I think it's impossible to determine whether it's true or not using science. But if there is something beyond those walls, something supra, above the natural, then, by definition, that is the supernatural.

Quote:If we can detect that a phenomenon occurs it is, by definition, natural and our laws are wrong, not the universe's laws.

If we can't detect it, then it doesn't exist for us.

The issue is not detection. Someone saw the burning bush. Someone saw Moses part the Red Sea. Someone saw Christ rise from the grave. You and I could be portaging through Algonquin Park with Mr. Canoehead (points for anyone who gets that reference) and bump into God. He could be like, "Hey guys, wanna see me turn this pinecone into a couple cold beers?" and we'd be all like, "fuckin eh!" and he would and we'd drink them and the Lord said, it was good. Great. Now we have to prove, scientifically, that this happened. THAT'S where the difficulty lies. That is what is impossible.

The reason that it's impossible is because supernatural phenomenon cannot be explained or measured by the natural.

The laws aren't wrong. There is a limit. There MUST be a limit. Your assertion that if something occurs it is, by definition, natural, is false. If a phenomenon corresponds to the laws of the natural world, then it is, by definition, natural. If it is above nature, then, by definition, it is supernatural.

Sup, MDog?

Methinks you're trying too hard to hold onto your worldview in the face of logic. I don't care about teacups and I'm not saying that physics can't ever change. Maybe floating tea cups are physically possible, who knows, physics isn't my department. What I know is that there are limits. Without limits there is no empiricism and without that there is no science. D=RT. That's a limit. If 5 miles are traversed in 0 seconds, that's impossible. That's beyond that limit. Put a 0 anywhere in that equation and it's impossible. That's not making physics slightly wrong, that's nullifying it.

HERE’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE TO SAY: This isn't about where the boundaries lie. It's accepting that they exist. That’s an assumption that science has made since day one. If they exist, then, logically, anything beyond them is different.

I'm not saying that anything does lie beyond it. But if it does, then it is, by definition, supernatural.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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11-01-2012, 10:09 AM
RE: Agnostic Front
(11-01-2012 09:24 AM)Ghost Wrote:  The laws aren't wrong. There is a limit. There MUST be a limit. Your assertion that if something occurs it is, by definition, natural, is false. If a phenomenon corresponds to the laws of the natural world, then it is, by definition, natural. If it is above nature, then, by definition, it is supernatural.

HERE’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I HAVE TO SAY: This isn't about where the boundaries lie. It's accepting that they exist. That’s an assumption that science has made since day one. If they exist, then, logically, anything beyond them is different.

I'm not saying that anything does lie beyond it. But if it does, then it is, by definition, supernatural.

That is what I am saying is the fallacy of your argument.

"The laws aren't wrong." The 'laws' are human inventions, models of our observations. If we see something that doesn't conform to those laws, then they are wrong - our understanding was wrong. Time to reform the law.

There are no boundaries, so nothing lies beyond. The supernatural has all the substance of a ghost.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-01-2012, 11:34 AM
RE: Agnostic Front
Hey, Chaz.

By your ratonale, science is utterly useless.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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11-01-2012, 11:50 AM
RE: Agnostic Front
(11-01-2012 11:34 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Chaz.

By your ratonale, science is utterly useless.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Non sequitur.

Science is the pursuit of discovering reality. We refine and update our models in light of new evidence.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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11-01-2012, 12:02 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(08-01-2012 02:57 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I knew, I KNEW that if I didn't include every caveat under the Sun that someone would miss the point.

Anything that affects the boiling point of water is itself CONSTANT.

I'll be more elementary then. 2+2=4. Always.

ON EDIT: That probably came across as a bit harsh. If so, my apologies.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

Was just pokin' a little fun Big Grin

Better without God, and happier too.
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11-01-2012, 12:20 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
Hey, Chaz.

Not so much.

If everything is infinite then there's no reason to figure out the rules because anything can happen.

But we both know that's not the case. There are limits. The rules are finite.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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11-01-2012, 12:48 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(11-01-2012 12:20 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Chaz.

Not so much.

If everything is infinite then there's no reason to figure out the rules because anything can happen.

But we both know that's not the case. There are limits. The rules are finite.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

I'm not leaving the train yet, Bro, but need clarification so I can move from the caboose to the dining car...
How can the Agnostic say there are limits? Do we really know that? Naturalism can say there is nothing beyond this universe, yet, as we map the universe, is it not expanding into "something"? We have limits to our understanding, but does that mean we can say with absolute certainty that the rules are finite? You brought up earlier theoretical dimensions...11? More? Since we can't send a probe into those dimensions...yet...how can we say with certainty that we know the rules there are the same as the rules in the dimensions we know? Maybe the 12th dimension occasionally bursts into the dimension of our 5 senses and it will spontaneously set a bush on fire. Maybe the 13th dimension gives you lunch when you put 2 and 2 together. I still wouldn't call this "super" natural, just unexplained natural. Once we can explore other dimensions, we'll be able to discover those laws as well.

Or not?

Not arguing for any particular viewpoint...just seeking enlightenment, Brotha.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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11-01-2012, 01:36 PM (This post was last modified: 11-01-2012 01:40 PM by morondog.)
RE: Agnostic Front
Hey Ghost...

Sorry if I came across as rude earlier. Um... I did put quite a bit of thought into my two posts at top of this page. I thought I was on the same page with you now? I'm not sure at all that I get what you're saying otherwise.

'Fraid I'm gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. Wrote a longer post trying to explain further but eventually you just end up chasing words round in circles.
(11-01-2012 09:24 AM)Ghost Wrote:  D=RT. That's a limit. If 5 miles are traversed in 0 seconds, that's impossible. That's beyond that limit. Put a 0 anywhere in that equation and it's impossible. That's not making physics slightly wrong, that's nullifying it.

This example... D = RT being violated shows that our understanding of the physics is wrong. It is *not* impossible. Impossible when described by the mathematics of this equation, but we *don't* know that this mathematics applies *in the real world*.

The universe ain't broken if 5 miles are traversed in 0 seconds - that *shows* that it's possible. Our understanding is broken.
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