Agnostic Front
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11-01-2012, 02:46 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
Hey.

Whether we understand the limits of the rules of the natural universe fully or not, we know they're there for two reasons. 1 - We encounter them every day. 2 - If there weren't then we'd all be omnipotent.

My existence is limited by two simple words; I can't.

I cannot:
-Fly
-Fire lasers from my eyes or penis
-Re-enact the climax of Akira at will by turning into an amorphous God
-See what some alien is cooking on Lepton 235
-Place aliens on Lepton 235
-Move Lepton 235 to the right by five feet
-Reach through my computer screen and simultaneously hand everyone on the Internet a Werther's Original
-Collapse space time
-Get Cantor to fall out of love with Gwyneth Paltrow – no force in the universe could do that!

There are many restrictions in the universe. Science has been spending centuries mapping them out. I find it difficult to believe that people don't understand this concept. It feels like you embrace science when it suits you and then abandon it when it points to an uncomfortable truth.

Hey, Ex.

As an Agnostic I rely heavily on science and science tells us, clearly, empirically, unequivocally, that there are limits. If we cannot trust that science has told us that there are limits, then we can't trust science for anything.

Sup, MDog?

Rude? Not at all. In fact you made me use my brain and it resulted in some gems.

I apologise if you felt I glossed over what you said.

Let's go simpler. A match. When you strike a match, it ignites. Same always (unless you keep fucking it up or it's too damaged). We know exactly why it ignites. The sulphur, the rough surface, friction... We can light matches from here to eternity and the only thing that will happen is that they'll ignite. We designed matches in the first place to exploit the phenomena we knew of (see list above). We likely knew it would work before the first match was designed. That's the power that stems from understanding the rules of the natural universe. Prediction. I can't imagine how anyone would disagree with me up to this point.

One day, you light a match, and instead of a flame, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir appears in a puff of smoke, sings Handle's Messiah, rubs your feet, cleans your place and then jumps back into the match head which reassembles itself so that you're left with a pristine match. Dude, that's fucking impossible. Like straight up impossible. You then go back to lighting matches for the rest of eternity and it never happens again. You try to account for it, you recreate all the conditions exactly, and for the sake of the hypothetical I mean exactly, but there simply is no explanation. A thousand years pass and scientists figure out everything there is to know about matches, unequivocally so (for the sake of argument). And in a thousand years, no one was ever able to strike a match and get a foot rub/janitorial services from the MTC. There's nothing wrong with the rules. The rules were and continued to be correct. Friction remained friction. The combustion reaction remained the combustion reaction. What occurred is literally impossible.

That's the sort of thing that I mean when I say supernatural. It means according to the limits of the natural it should be impossible. Yet it occurred.

Is there such thing as the supernatural? I have no idea. But if there is, then it's beyond the natural. Simple as that.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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11-01-2012, 03:23 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
Think I'm starting to catch on. The match thing helped, thanks. Better example than the others before it. I still think it would be remiss to attribute the mormon choir to a supernatural cause... I'll write back later though 'cos I'm tired Tongue
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11-01-2012, 04:01 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(11-01-2012 02:46 PM)Ghost Wrote:  One day, you light a match, and instead of a flame, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir appears in a puff of smoke, sings Handle's Messiah, rubs your feet, cleans your place and then jumps back into the match head which reassembles itself so that you're left with a pristine match. Dude, that's fucking impossible. Like straight up impossible. You then go back to lighting matches for the rest of eternity and it never happens again. You try to account for it, you recreate all the conditions exactly, and for the sake of the hypothetical I mean exactly, but there simply is no explanation. A thousand years pass and scientists figure out everything there is to know about matches, unequivocally so (for the sake of argument). And in a thousand years, no one was ever able to strike a match and get a foot rub/janitorial services from the MTC. There's nothing wrong with the rules. The rules were and continued to be correct. Friction remained friction. The combustion reaction remained the combustion reaction. What occurred is literally impossible.

If something like this happened to me, and I could confirm that it was not a hallucination, then sure, I'll believe in the supernatural. But this kind of thing doesn't happen, and that's my point. There's a reason the MTC doesn't pop out of match heads, and that's because the universe adheres to certain sets of laws.

Can you come up with hypothetical situations that are supernatural by definition? Sure. Does that mean the supernatural is a reasonable explanation for anything? Not at all!
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11-01-2012, 04:27 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(11-01-2012 03:23 PM)morondog Wrote:  Think I'm starting to catch on. The match thing helped, thanks. Better example than the others before it. I still think it would be remiss to attribute the mormon choir to a supernatural cause... I'll write back later though 'cos I'm tired Tongue

For me it was a laser firing penis that set me straight.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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11-01-2012, 06:14 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
Hey, MDog.

I'm glad. Looking forward to ya post-nap.

Hey, Ben.

Obviously I agree that the universe is run by very specific laws.

But what proof do you have that supernatural phenomena don't occur?

That's the second part of all of this. The first part is that, should it exist, the supernatural is beyond the natural. The second part is that science cannot comment on it because empirical supernatural evidence is oxymoronic. There's no more proof for or against the supernatural than there is for or against God.

The supernatural is not a reasonable explanation for any natural phenomena. But it would be the only explanation for any supernatural phenomena.

Science has nothing to do with the supernatural. All science can do is prove whether or not something isn't supernatural by proving that it's natural. If it can't prove that a phenomena is natural, it no longer has a voice. The supernatural is about revelation and faith. You can only know the supernatural if you experience it or if someone else tells you they experienced it. There will never be any proof of it. So you either believe it or believe them or you don't. Either way, it's a matter of faith. Or you choose the third option, the rational option. You do neither and you remain neutral. Ahhhh, sweet sweet Agnosticism.

Hey, Ex.

Lol.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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11-01-2012, 06:28 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(11-01-2012 04:27 PM)Erxomai Wrote:  
(11-01-2012 03:23 PM)morondog Wrote:  Think I'm starting to catch on. The match thing helped, thanks. Better example than the others before it. I still think it would be remiss to attribute the mormon choir to a supernatural cause... I'll write back later though 'cos I'm tired Tongue

For me it was a laser firing penis that set me straight.

This reminds me of a paper I read once postulating that Superman could never have sex with Lois because, well, imagine the super speed of his ejaculate blowing off the top of her head. Undecided

Ghost, since you do allow for the possibility of the supernatural, do you think there have been any actual supernatural events that have occurred?

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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11-01-2012, 07:01 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
(11-01-2012 06:14 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, MDog.

I'm glad. Looking forward to ya post-nap.

Hey, Ben.

Obviously I agree that the universe is run by very specific laws.

But what proof do you have that supernatural phenomena don't occur?

That's the second part of all of this. The first part is that, should it exist, the supernatural is beyond the natural. The second part is that science cannot comment on it because empirical supernatural evidence is oxymoronic. There's no more proof for or against the supernatural than there is for or against God.

The supernatural is not a reasonable explanation for any natural phenomena. But it would be the only explanation for any supernatural phenomena.

Science has nothing to do with the supernatural. All science can do is prove whether or not something isn't supernatural by proving that it's natural. If it can't prove that a phenomena is natural, it no longer has a voice. The supernatural is about revelation and faith. You can only know the supernatural if you experience it or if someone else tells you they experienced it. There will never be any proof of it. So you either believe it or believe them or you don't. Either way, it's a matter of faith. Or you choose the third option, the rational option. You do neither and you remain neutral. Ahhhh, sweet sweet Agnosticism.

Hey, Ex.

Lol.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

This is where I disagree with you. The rational stance is not to remain neutral.

I'm sure you've heard this many times before but things generally accepted as fictional such as fairies are not falsifiable either. Sure, we can never know with absolute certainty that they don't exist. But by not only the lack of evidence for them but also the evidence they were invented we can be nearly certain they don't.

If you have such a strict definition of knowledge as absolute certainty then we can "know" hardly anything at all, and the word is almost useless. I can't even "know" my senses or memories provide any accurate information.

Certainty comes in degrees, and to simply say "I don't know whether [God/supernatural/fairies] exist" doesn't do justice to the fact that we can actually have a good degree of confidence that they do not exist.

As far as the supernatural being beyond science, anything that we can observe (or observe the effects of) is not beyond science. And if we can't observe it or the effects of it, even if it does somehow "exist," what does it matter?
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11-01-2012, 11:31 PM
RE: Agnostic Front
Hey, Ex.

Quote:Ghost, since you do allow for the possibility of the supernatural, do you think there have been any actual supernatural events that have occurred?

I have absolutely no idea. Lots of people have claimed to have first hand knowledge of the supernatural, not one of them has evidence of it. Not their fault. The evidence is impossible to obtain. So who knows? Call me Agnostic Cool

Hey, Ben.

Neutrality is what Agnosticism is all about, brother. We're rational all kinds Cool Here's why we're neutral about the unknown.

Thomas Henry Huxley Wrote:Agnosticism is not a creed but a method, the essence of which lies in the vigorous application of a single principle... Positively the principle may be expressed as in matters of intellect, do not pretend conclusions are certain that are not demonstrated or demonstrable.

Quote:I'm sure you've heard this many times before but things generally accepted as fictional such as fairies are not falsifiable either. Sure, we can never know with absolute certainty that they don't exist. But by not only the lack of evidence for them but also the evidence they were invented we can be nearly certain they don't.

The common sense view (that faeries don’t exist) is hegemonic, not factual.

I cannot put a "but" after "we cannot know".

Invention is a very good point. The Flying Spaghetti Monster, Hobbits, the ROUSs were all invented by fiction writers. There is documentation of this. So if someone makes the claim that any of them are real, we have evidence that they are lying. If, on the other hand, the author (or someone else) claims that they were based on something real, then we're back to square one.

I never said absolute certainty (unless it slipped out in one of my hypotheticals). I'm a subjectivist. I don't deal in objective truth. I'm dealing in scientific truth.

Quote:Certainty comes in degrees, and to simply say "I don't know whether [God/supernatural/fairies] exist" doesn't do justice to the fact that we can actually have a good degree of confidence that they do not exist.

Based on zero scientific evidence. This is an ideological position, not a scientific one.

Quote:As far as the supernatural being beyond science, anything that we can observe (or observe the effects of) is not beyond science.

That's simply not true.

Quote:And if we can't observe it or the effects of it, even if it does somehow "exist," what does it matter?

Well, I think that knowing whether or not there are supernatural phenomenon, or creatures, or if there is a God, is a pretty important question and a few millennia of philosophy agrees with me. We'll never know, but the question is important.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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