Hasn't god been disproved?
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24-04-2012, 08:10 AM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Sup, Noah.

Word.

Again, it's only an assault on your intelligence if you assume you can never be wrong. Clearly you're an intelligent guy. And clearly your statement was gobbledegook Cool I am still waiting for you to clarify it however.

Quote:Revisiting your "supernatural" hypothesis, my major point is that you do not know if natural laws were "violated".

My major point is that I CAN'T know if natural laws were violated.

I can't know if the supernatural exists unless I experience a supernatural phenomena myself, but at that point, I wouldn't be able to prove to anyone else that I had.

Quote:The fact that your hypothesis states that something "violates" natural
laws means it MUST BE supernatural. If natural law is proven to be
violated, then it must be supernatural. That would be proof of a
supernatural event.

If it violates natural law then yes, it must be supernatural because nothing natural CAN violate natural law.

It's not empirical proof however. Empirical observation requires adherence to natural law. How do I prove to you that God turned me into a newt? I can't. There's no material explanation for it and without material explanation, science can't comment.

That's why when some dude says, "Hey, guys, I spoke to a burning bush," we're all like, "say whaaat?" Because we know that's impossible (at least according to what we know as possible). Say for argument's sake that the burning bush was in fact supernatural, Bushtalker has no empirical evidence so they can't prove to us that it happened. We can't recreate it because WE cannot violate natural law. We can't observe it elsewhere because it is NOT a naturally occurring phenomenon. That's where faith steps in. Faith says, "I believe that phenomenon X happened even though there's no evidence and even though it violates natural law. I can't prove it to you, but I believe it." Same thing that happens in a Disney movie where the plucky Aryan kid rides a dragon and is like, "Gee whillickers, Mister, ya gotta believe me, ya just gotta." So all I can do is say, "Well, OK, I believe that you believe it but I have no reason to believe it because there's no evidence."

Common sense is a troublesome word. Agreed. People mistake its denotative meaning, the shared or majority understanding, with its connotative meaning, it's the truth dummy, duh!

Discourse produces knowledge, when that knowledge is accepted as true it becomes ideological and hegemony is the common sense view that sutures any discrepancies in the ideological viewpoint.

That's all I've been trying to do here. Point that out. "Everything has a material explanation" is ideological. Not valueless, not the reason science is worthless, just ideological. That's all. We don't actually know if everything has a material explanation. But the common sense view tells us, "duh!"

Thanks for the apology, brother. I promise that I'll be bigger about it than Darth Vader. Cool

And I'm sorry if you felt that I insulted your intelligence. That was not my intent. Please accept my apology.

And here's my WTF moment. I'm from Quebec. The drinking age here is 18. What what!


Hey, Hafnof.

Quote:The difference between natural and supernatural isn't about whether it
breaks particular laws that we may believe are constant. The question is
whether it itself has a nature, and whether it itself has properties
that are definable and constant.

I think I understand what you're getting at but my point is that if it "has a nature" (I'm not sure I fully get what you mean by that), if it has a natural explanation, then it's a natural phenomenon. I'm not talking about natural phenomena. I know that those exist.

The question is, definable how? Humans cannot define things that operate outside of natural law because we use natural law to define everything.

As far as the history of science thing goes, I'm not talking about what we know. Science posits that there are laws that exist objectively regardless of whether or not we know them. I'm not talking about whether or not we know about the natural law. I'm saying that in order for a phenomenon to BE supernatural, it MUST violate one of those objective laws. If it is governed by or limited by that law, then it IS a natural phenomenon. DO supernatural phenomena occur? I have no idea whatsoever.

The point of the methodological naturalism bias is that even if a phenomenon WAS supernatural, it wouldn't be believed because, the logic would go, everything MUST have a material explanation therefore that phenomenon is just not understood yet.

Quote:The things claimed as supernatural are not supernatural. They are ideas
that if true have defined immutable properties. God answers prayer,
right? Well, no. Science can test that claim and determine that it is
false. We could conclude that God deliberately let all those people in
the study die in order to conceal is his presence from us - that
presence that we all must know about and accept or spend eternity in
hell - but that would make him an evil little mofo and that too is
contrary to his supposed properties.

DISCLAIMER: I make no claims about the nature of God, what he does, what he doesn't do, or even if he exists.

Whether or not God answers prayers or is benevolent or [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c9xjodL1Gk][u]hits on chicks in bars[/quote] is another discussion entirely. All I'm saying is that we don't know for fact that naturalism is true (meaning some phenomena COULD have supernatural explanations) and that if the supernatural exists, then it must be able to violate natural law. I make no claim that the supernatural does or does not exist.

Quote:You are using the term for things you think can defy our known physics,
but that alone does not exclude it from scientific analysis.

No, not known physics, physics. Period. Whether we know it or not.

Quote:What excludes something from scientific analysis is if it has either no
immutable properties (ie it has no "nature") or if none of those
properties interact with the universe in such a way as they could be
tested.

I don't entirely grasp what you mean here, but I have to imagine that we're saying something similar. I'm saying that something that doesn't correspond to natural law can't be measured by natural law.

Quote:I don't by any means exclude the possibility that beings exist outside
our universe that don't interact with the universe (or at least our
neighbourhood within the universe). I don't exclude the possibility of
alien life that is too far away for us to detect. I don't exclude the
possibility of surprising life forms within our own planet.

I'm with you on the life forms thing. I'm with you on the aliens thing. But I don't know why you make the assumption that a being that exists outside of the universe does not interact with it. There's a leap there that I'm not following.

Quote:However, I do exclude the existence of all identified beings that people
normally describe as "supernatural" - because they aren't supernatural.
They have definable testable properties that have all been found
baseless and unevidenced. Maybe there are a few obscure ones that
haven't been up against sufficient scientific scrutiny as yet, but I
think every one that counts has had its properties disproven.

If something is proven to be natural, then it's natural. I'm with you there.

Quote:So while technically, mathematically, I could be called agnostic in the
sense that I'll be happy to accept new evidence as it comes in - I think
there has been sufficient time to prove the supernatural beings of our
myths and legends, and I think there has been sufficient investigation
into mythological and legendary claims to reasonably exclude those that
have not already found their way into the scientific canon.

I wouldn't call you an Agnostic, but that's because I'm an Agnostic with a particular understanding of Agnosticism.

Supernatural beings and myths and legends have not been demonstrated. I would argue that by and large they are indemonstrable. So, as a Huxlian Agnostic, I cannot pretend that the conclusions are certain, regardless of how much time has passed.

Also, the supernatural will never find its way into the scientific canon. It cannot. But that's where our disagreement lies Cool

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-04-2012, 10:03 AM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Yes, I see what you're saying for sure. IF the bushtalking incident were in fact an actual event, we only have word-of-mouth to go on. My whole problem with "supernatural" occurrences is that they just flat-out never occur. If they do occur, they never happen in a way that we can measure it. They cannot be reproduced. Nothing within our current knowledge says supernatural is a real thing. Because this is so, I toss it out. Now, I'm not saying that I trash it. I just toss it out of the pile for now and put it away. I don't trash it because I'm open to the idea if evidence is ever found to favor it.

This is why I call myself and agnostic atheist (if I call myself anything that is). I find it faulty when an atheist proclaims that they are certain no deity exists. Dawkins himself has said numerous times that he's only 99.999999999999% certain that no god exists. Technically speaking, even scientific fact isn't 100% certainty. There's always that off-chance you know?

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson
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24-04-2012, 12:49 PM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
There is no such thing as the supernatural. There is only the natural that we can explain and the natural that we can't explain yet. We simply label a natural phenomenon as supernatural because we don't have an understanding of how it happens. Once we show people the how and why a phenomenon happens, then it ceases to be supernatural in the minds of the people who believe it to be supernatural in the first damn place.

The more you know, the less superstition has a hold in your mind

As for proving that a god doesn't exist, let me offer you this analogy.
We can scientifically observe a living mind moving a living body, reacting to it's environment.
Alternately, we can observe a non-living body without a mind that has no animated reaction to it's environment. We call that DEAD.

The universe moves as a result of physics - it's movement is not directed by a mind
The universe is a non-living body

Christians believe in zombies. They believe that a dead body can be animated to walk on it's own.
First of all that can't happen, in much the same way that a child's stuffed teddy bear can't suddenly start walking on it's own.

We have tests to see if things are alive or not. We have tests to determine when people are imagining things or if they are real.
We can discern fact from fantasy.
God is a fantasy. Nothing more.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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24-04-2012, 05:22 PM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Hey, Noah.

Quote:Yes, I see what you're saying for sure. IF the bushtalking incident were
in fact an actual event, we only have word-of-mouth to go on. My whole
problem with "supernatural" occurrences is that they just flat-out never
occur. If they do occur, they never happen in a way that we can measure
it. They cannot be reproduced. Nothing within our current knowledge
says supernatural is a real thing. Because this is so, I toss it out.
Now, I'm not saying that I trash it. I just toss it out of the pile for
now and put it away. I don't trash it because I'm open to the idea if
evidence is ever found to favor it.

Hallelujah!

Yes. We only have word of mouth BECAUSE, and here's the clincher, there is no EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE. None. It just plain doesn't exist. "Where's your proof, bush boy?"

How do you know supernatural occurrences NEVER occur? More to the point, how do you prove that? You can't. And there's a reason you can't. Because there's no empirical evidence BECAUSE they happen in a way that we cannot measure.

They cannot be reproduced BECAUSE they don't adhere to natural law.

I agree wholeheartedly! Nothing in our current knowledge says that supernatural is a real thing. But nothing will EVER say that it is real; OR NOT. Because it cannot be proved or disproved by science. All we can do is experience it, not measure it. And if we experience it, we have no way to prove it. "I swear, the frog sings and dances!"

You toss it out. That's where we diverge. Because not only is the question not demonstrated, it's indemonstrable. So I don't throw it out. I don't have any reason to think it's true either! Ain't Agnosticism grand Cool I love it! I'm excited!

You're open to it if there ever was evidence. Me too! I'm an Agnostic. I demand evidence for everything! But that evidence CANNOT EXIST. Ever! Not ever! Because there will never be empirical evidence of a supernatural phenomenon. We'll be waiting until after the end of time Cool

So you say "nope" and I say "we can't know". AINT IT COOL!!!


Hey, Rahn.

That's not a proof. Well thought out and not devoid of merit, but not a proof.

Quote:There is no such thing as the supernatural. There is only the natural
that we can explain and the natural that we can't explain yet. We simply
label a natural phenomenon as supernatural because we don't have an
understanding of how it happens.

Where does that idea come from? You certainly didn't invent it. You heard it. That's memetics at work; cultural transmission.

That idea originates in the idea of naturalism; that everything has a material explanation. THEREFORE there is only what we can explain and what we can't explain yet. That's the bias that comes from naturalism. But is naturalism proven? No. It isn't. Because it can't be.

So how do you plan to PROVE that there is no such thing as the supernatural? I understand 100% why you believe it's true, but how do you prove it?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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24-04-2012, 08:17 PM (This post was last modified: 24-04-2012 09:10 PM by Rahn127.)
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Let's say you have a yard stick. It is 3ft long and it is made of wood. It is real and conforms to all the properties of existence. Let's say that someone comes along and insists that the stick is really 4ft long, 3 ft of it is natural and an extra foot in length is supernatural. It's supernaturally long.

This supernatural assertion is baseless as are all supernatural assertions.

I can prove the yard stick is 3ft long by testing it's properties as an item that exists.
When you can show that something is what it is and not something more than what it is, then you can show that it doesn't have a supernatural component and the assertion of any supernatural claim comes from within ones mind and manifests as an assertion versus something manifesting and then you coming up with a way to explain what you observe.

It's almost like asking me to prove that there is no supernatural water in an empty glass.
An empty glass is by definition - empty

A=A
S= supernatural assertion
if A=A+S, then S = 0

Quote:There is no such thing as the supernatural. There is only the natural

that we can explain and the natural that we can't explain yet. We simply

label a natural phenomenon as supernatural because we don't have an

understanding of how it happens.

As far this this goes, I didn't hear it anywhere. It's not cultural transmission.
These are my thoughts on the topic. Others may have had the same thought and expressed it in the same way.
It's like commenting on a meal you had at a famous restaurant. Many people will describe a meal in much the same way.
They aren't copying what they have heard. They simply are expressing a common thought in a common way.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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25-04-2012, 05:49 AM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Hey, Rahn.

<Commence sarcasm> I believe you. You didn't hear that idea. You came up with a complex vision of reality that millions of people agree with on your own. You're an original. I also believe that you didn't inherit any genetic material from your parents. You weren't just a virgin birth, you spontaneously came into existence with a fully formed vision of reality. <Sarcasm ends>

The above, of course, is absurd. But then again, so is your claim that you are somehow exempt from cultural transmission. The fact that you're writing in English proves that that is impossible.

If by baseless you mean that supernatural claims are unsupported by empirical evidence because there is none, then I'm with you. If by baseless you mean they are categorically not supernatural, well, I believe that you believe that but I'll continue to reserve my judgement until you can offer some proof.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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25-04-2012, 06:32 AM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Ghost,

Would you care to define what you mean by supernatural?

You are saying things like supernatural beings are able to act independently of physics. I'm thinking that when you use the term you are meaning they are able to act independently of the physics of the known universe.

I want to be clear because I think we're missing each other's point due to a lack of common definitions.

I would say that I don't deny the possibility of beings that are able even to suspend the physics of our universe. Even granted this possibility, I would not describe such beings as supernatural if it is possible to reason about the physics, the properties, the laws, the immutable behaviours, the nature of those beings themselves. Our universe has particular physics, and I think you are describing things that comply with these physics as "natural". That's not the view of naturalism, however, and that's a view that has no descriptive power when it comes to what science can and can't analyse.

If a being has a nature, if it has its own physics, if it has properties that always hold true then it is possible to reason about what those properties will imply. If any of those properties interact with our reality either by conforming to or suspending the physics of our universe then those properties can be tested. A god that is capable of suspending the physics of the entire universe to heal a child can still be detected by the improved health of that child. All of the "supernatural" beings of myth and legend are defined to have properties that interact with our reality.

If a being has a nature that it always immutably complies with then it is improper to describe it as "supernatural" or "having no nature". Instead, it has a well defined nature. There is no reason to exclude such a being from any description of the totality of the natural order. There's no reason to exclude wizards who can suspend natural laws from nature if those wizards too have a nature, and if their magic too has a physics. There is no reason to exclude a god-beast no matter how wizardly its powers from our description of nature if its nature itself is part of the order of things that exist.

The only things that science can't reason about, and the only thing a wholeheartedly naturalistic view of the world excludes (these two ideas being different concepts) are things that have no nature of their own: No physics that can be used to describe them, and no properties that hold true for them that interact with the universe in observable ways.

If you are to continue arguing that supernatural beings can't be tested by science then I think you should reasonably:
1. Define what properties the set of these supernatural things have, and
2. Describe exactly why those properties are not testable by science.

Otherwise we'll just continue to go around in circles, I think. I can give you countless examples of how the inherent properties of gods and fairies and wizards and trolls produce predictions that make them part of the natural order that science can test. Can you identify any conjectured supernatural being whose properties you think cannot be tested by science?

Benjamin.
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25-04-2012, 12:33 PM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Sup, Ben.

It would seem that we are way off.

Quote:If you are to continue arguing that supernatural beings can't be tested by science then I think you should reasonably:

1. Define what properties the set of these supernatural things have, and

2. Describe exactly why those properties are not testable by science.

I have done nothing but. I shall endeavour once more.

They have but one property: they are not limited by natural law.

Natural law has one property: It limits. A temperature of -5 billion centigrade is impossible. Utterly. Absolute zero is -273 degrees Celsius or 0 degrees Kelvin. That is a limit that no phenomenon in the universe can circumvent. A supernatural being is not limited by natural law because it is not subject to natural law. It can do whatever it wishes. -5 billion degrees is no problem for them.

The reason supernatural phenomena are not testable by science is because they are immeasurable. The reason they are immeasurable is because measurement is a property of natural law. There are limits to measurement. We cannot measure -5 billion degrees. Furthermore, if absolute zero is wrong, if -5 billion is the real limit, then a phenomenon that is -5 billion degrees is NOT supernatural because it falls WITHIN the limits of the natural. But those limits lie SOMEWHERE (for now let's assume -273 Celsius IS the limit). Whatever lies BEYOND those limits is, by definition, supernatural. Whatever lies beyond those limits cannot be measured. Furthermore, we cannot recreate -5 billion degrees because that temperature is IMPOSSIBLE. No natural force in the universe could recreate that. So what test could we possibly run? Any test we did run would say, categorically, that absolute zero is -273 degrees Celcius. Any temperature lower than that is an impossibility.

I've repeated my definition of supernatural many times. The supernatural is that which is above or beyond the natural. It is that which violates natural law. That, to me, seems pretty straightforward.

Quote:You are saying things like supernatural beings are able to act
independently of physics. I'm thinking that when you use the term you
are meaning they are able to act independently of the physics of the known universe.

I sense an unintentional language trap.

I don't care about the KNOWN universe. Space-time. That's our universe. Whether it's finite or infinite, I have no idea. We know that we are in a universe and that that universe is governed by natural law. We might not understand all of those laws, but we know they're there.

Physics is a natural law. I don't know if we understand physics properly or not and I don't care because it's irrelevant. We know that physics is a natural law whether we understand it or not.

E=MC2, D=RT, and object in motion stays in motion, for each reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. To you and me, these laws are absolute. We cannot violate them because we are governed BY them. I cannot spontaneously decide to fly because I am governed BY such laws as gravity and aerodynamics and thrust. To a supernatural being, these laws are essentially meaningless because the supernatural is not governed BY them, the supernatural GOVERN THEM. A supernatural being could spontaneously decide to do whatever it wished because there would be NOTHING WHATSOEVER limiting what they can and cannot do.

A supernatural being could travel from one end of the universe to the other in an instant, travel backwards in time, destroy energy, destroy information, create something out of nothing, will something or someone into or out of existence, or know both the position and velocity of a particle simultaneously. They don't have to alter the laws to do this because the laws have no hold over them. They just do as they will and the universe just a keeps on truckin'.

When a supernatural phenomenon occurs, it doesn't have to correspond to a single natural law. Not one. It doesn't have to have velocity, or mass, or gravity, or energy, or position, or dimension, or chemical composition, or anything else. So if it doesn't have those things, how could we possibly measure those things? We can't. It's impossible. Empiricism is made impossible. When empiricism is made impossible, science is made irrelevant. Science cannot comment without empirical data. This is the limit of science. Limit doesn't mean utter devaluation. It means limit.

The only thing that would be measurable would be if a supernatural entity did something that corresponded to a natural law (like if God manifested itself as a person and walked from point A to point B). That would be measurable. But that would be a NATURAL PHENOMENON perpetrated by a supernatural entity. It would not be proof at all of the supernatural.

Quote:A god that is capable of suspending the physics of the entire universe
to heal a child can still be detected by the improved health of that
child.



Absolutely not. BECAUSE of methodological naturalism.



Science will NOT EVEN CONSIDER the notion that the child's health was
improved by a "sky daddy". It will simply assume that there is some
material explanation for the improvement. THAT is the bias I have been trying to
point out from post one.



Even if a scientist DID ignore methodological naturalism and DID try to
measure it, they would have absolutely no tools whatsoever to conduct
those measurements. Empirical observation of the supernatural is
impossible. Without empirical data, science can say NOTHING.

Quote:Our universe has particular physics, and I think you are describing
things that comply with these physics as "natural". That's not the view
of naturalism, however, and that's a view that has no descriptive power
when it comes to what science can and can't analyse.

Naturalism posits that every single phenomenon in the universe has a material explanation. Materialism posits that the only two things that exist are matter and energy and that all phenomena in the universe are the result of the interaction of matter and energy. Natural laws are the forces in the universe that govern and limit material interactions. Methodological naturalism suggests, "Well we don't know if naturalism is true, but lets proceed AS IF it were true." Something that is natural is both material and governed by natural law. Something that is supernatural is above or beyond the natural, meaning it need not be material nor need it be governed by natural law.

Science relies on empiricism. All of our senses, all of our tools and methods of measurement are themselves natural. They are material. They are governed by natural law. Empirical observation is itself natural. Empirical observation of the supernatural is impossible. Because of this, scientific investigation of the supernatural is impossible because science without empiricism is not science. Science can ONLY comment on that which is natural and material and governed by natural law.

From Wikipedia:
Wikipedia Wrote:(The main point of Methodological naturalism) is that a difference between natural and supernatural explanations should be made, and that science should be restricted methodologically to natural explanations.[25]
That the restriction is merely methodological (rather than ontological)
means that science should not consider supernatural explanations
itself, but should not claim them to be wrong either. Instead,
supernatural explanations should be left a matter of personal belief
outside the scope of science. Methodological naturalism maintains that
proper science requires strict adherence to empirical study and independent verification as a process for properly developing and evaluating explanations for observable phenomena.[26] The absence of these standards, arguments from authority, biased observational studies and other common fallacies
are frequently cited by supporters of methodological naturalism as
criteria for the dubious claims they criticize not to be true science.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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25-04-2012, 01:24 PM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
My issue with the ideas on naturalism is that in the event something is observed to occur it is accepted into naturalism anyway. Obviously if a unicorn were to be found they would be removed from the mythical creatures list. If people began walking through walls it would be determined as a feat humans can attain. The issue for me when people discuss supernatural is that the entire idea of naturalism is simply everything possible. The limits you speak of are ever changing. When something is observed to subvert them then it's accepted those limits were false. If reiki garnered serious results it would be classified as a science. Naturalism is simply the view that there are possible and impossible things. Supernaturalism is the belief that the imposible exists and is seperate from the possible.

I see everything as possible, but I don't expect improbable things to happen. I have the view that nothing is certain and to me that's all I need to know. I find the constant attempts at distinction between supernatural and natural to be absurd personally. In the end you'll always be discussing the known and the unknown.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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25-04-2012, 08:51 PM
RE: Hasn't god been disproved?
Ghost is hung up on the word "supernatural," and ya kant prove him off of it because it's all axiomatic. Tongue

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