Determining supernatural
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15-03-2015, 03:46 PM
RE: Determining supernatural
But see, Chas proves my point. When there is no explanation, we call it inexplicable. Above says supernatural is impossible, and when something occurs that we thought was supernatural, we call it natural. If it were 60 years ago and I said to you, tell me something that is supernatural, something that is impossible, you could very well have said, popping in and out of existence. And now that we've witnessed it, it's natural and possible, only because we developed tools to see it happening.

I'm actually in agreement with you in that there is nothin supernatural, but what we perceive to be super in the past isn't super now. So will there ever be something we can't explain with future technology that we might be forced to say is super? And if we don't are we in denial?

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15-03-2015, 04:08 PM
RE: Determining supernatural
(15-03-2015 03:46 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  So will there ever be something we can't explain with future technology that we might be forced to say is super?

Yes. Every claim of the supernatural is simply the unexplained natural at work.

(15-03-2015 03:46 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  And if we don't are we in denial?

No. See above.

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15-03-2015, 04:25 PM
RE: Determining supernatural
Occam's Razor applies here.....

It's one of two things ----

an event happens ---

it's either

A. A supernatural event.

or

B. Just something that happened, that was observed by people too stupid to figure out causality....

.....

Guess which one I'm betting on????

.......................................

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15-03-2015, 04:36 PM
RE: Determining supernatural
To cite the late Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, maybe it's a matter of "I know it when I see it (or don't)." And then people divide themselves into gullible and skeptical.

In more than half century of life, I have been privileged to witness or learn about amazing things made possible by science—walking on the moon, advances in quantum thinking, dark matter/dark energy, advanced resuscitation techniques, faster and safer cars, the world's knowledge (and lies) at your fingertips in mere fractions of a second, Star Trek-style long-distance communication ... cool stuff.

In those same five-plus decades, there is not a single "supernatural" event or claim that I have found persuasive (even as an admittedly tepid but life-long Christian into my 40s). Not one "miracle." No ghosts. No evidence for gods. No "returning from the dead" or "near-death experiences."

Stewart's formulation is vexatiously subjective, of course, but like someone wrote above, the "omni" God knows precisely what it would take to convince me of its existence. So either a) it's not omni or b) it's malevolent, refusing to allow such convincing evidence to come before me, thereby damning me to eternal torture.

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
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15-03-2015, 06:21 PM
RE: Determining supernatural
Maybe I didn't get my point across clearly enough in the original and subsequent posts.

Just to be clear: I am in no way promoting miracles or supernatural occurrences. Nor do I need Occam's Razor to help me make up my mind. In fact, I do everything in my power to prove claims of miracles are just coincidences or have very logical explanations, when my family and friends profess something was a miracle.

But if a miracle really did happen, we would never admit it or believe it. We would file it in the unexplained category and move on to the next one. The "supernatural" event or miracle would have to be global, otherwise others would deny it, etc., and even then doubters would reign.

Take Free for instance. He and like a dozen people swear they saw a UFO. He is absolutely convinced he saw it. Barely anyone on here believes him, or at least that it was something not from this planet. But, when the day comes when enough people see the UFO all at once, and it will happen, there will be no denying it. Some idiots will claim it was Hollywood or fake, but the rest of us will know undeniable evidence when we see it. At that point, we will no longer say we are alone and alien life doesn't exist.

Is that scenario possible for the supernatural? Would we be able to recognize it as such or just keep denying it with the unexplained label? Would it take a stadium full of people seeing George Washington walking and talking as a ghost for it to be supernatural? And even then, even if everyone accepted it as something that happened, then we would just call ghosts natural, right? Like a real life Ghostbusters.

So, Above is correct, we will never see anything supernatural, because once we see it, it's natural.

Right?

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15-03-2015, 07:15 PM
RE: Determining supernatural
(15-03-2015 06:21 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  Is that scenario possible for the supernatural? Would we be able to recognize it as such or just keep denying it with the unexplained label? Would it take a stadium full of people seeing George Washington walking and talking as a ghost for it to be supernatural? And even then, even if everyone accepted it as something that happened, then we would just call ghosts natural, right? Like a real life Ghostbusters.

So, Above is correct, we will never see anything supernatural, because once we see it, it's natural.

Right?

Unless we determine a way to prove that there can be no possible natural explanation then as far as I can see it remains in the 'unexplained' bucket. We can show natural causes but without a way to identify supernatural causation it doesn't make sense to assume that is the answer. It may be "supernatural" but it may also be something that we just don't understand yet. Labeling it supernatural would have to be based on an argument from ignorance.

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15-03-2015, 07:22 PM
RE: Determining supernatural
(15-03-2015 06:21 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  So, Above is correct, we will never see anything supernatural, because once we see it, it's natural.

Right?

Right. I think that’s why this whole “God outside the realm of Nature” is unworkable.

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15-03-2015, 07:32 PM
RE: Determining supernatural
(15-03-2015 07:22 PM)Full Circle Wrote:  
(15-03-2015 06:21 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  So, Above is correct, we will never see anything supernatural, because once we see it, it's natural.

Right?

Right. I think that’s why this whole “God outside the realm of Nature” is unworkable.

But if a god did appear and convince all of us it existed, then whatever that god did would be considered natural, hence supernatural still doesn't exist. We would just have to redefine what natural is, which is what we have been doing all along.

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15-03-2015, 07:33 PM
RE: Determining supernatural
(15-03-2015 06:21 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  Take Free for instance. He and like a dozen people swear they saw a UFO. He is absolutely convinced he saw it.

I saw something I call a UFO that I absolutely cannot explain. Essentially, three non-blinking, distinct points of white light, moving incredibly fast across a starry night sky, coming together to perform what seemed to me a physically impossible "choreography" together: seeming stops without deceleration, formation into triangles, lines, and so on. Two other guys I was with (we were building a fence in the Laramie Mountains of Wyoming, far from any light pollution) saw the same thing. They'd been smoking dope, I'd been drinking, maybe buzzed, but not wasted.

One guy said—absolutely perfectly, to me—"Whatever man. We have Captain Kirk to kick their ass!"

These movements were absolutely not made by any aircraft I'd ever heard of. We could not hear any sound, so presumably they were extremely far up, making their precise and incredibly fast movement even more remarkable.

A number of years later, while living in California, I actually called into a show about UFOs with some expert guy—he actually was very grounded, not very woo to my recollection—and he told me that these kind of highly mobile, pinpoint lights were the single most common kind of "UFO" reported.

All right, then. I don't think I was hallucinating. I think I saw these things. I have no explanation. Yet I I'm just not built to say, "Oh, wow, man, it's 'supernatural'" or "Aliens!"

I guess what you are saying is that by not assuming such things, I'm somehow not being inquisitive and—I think—therefore could be missing out on something "supernatural."

Yeah, sure. I guess. But how does it profit me in any way to go all pauncy and start telling people aliens exist or I saw some super-duper sci-fi magic?

I guess I'm with Matt Dillhunty: Saying "I don't know" is OK.

God does not work in mysterious ways — he works in ways that are indistinguishable from his non-existence.
Jesus had a pretty rough weekend for your sins.
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