Is "supernatural" a useful word?
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18-08-2016, 07:49 AM
RE: Is "supernatural" a useful word?
....

So, question.

At one time we were incapable of observing UV radiation. People got sunburns and skin cancer for no apparent reason whatsoever. We might have had reason to think, statistically speaking, to think it was linked to sun exposure, but the cause was unobservable until the 1800s at the earliest.

For that matter, at one time we were unable to observe and sequence the pieces of the genetic code that cause various types of cancer and other illnesses.

At one time we were unable to observe the details of the chemical bonds that cause fire to happen. We might have known a few rough properties of fire -- that it consumed fuel, that it gave off light and heat, etc -- but the exact cause was beyond our ability to observe.

Now Heywood, let me be clear on something. Are you saying that ALL of these things were supernatural until we developed the instrumentation to observe their causes, at which point they ceased to be supernatural?
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18-08-2016, 07:58 AM
RE: Is "supernatural" a useful word?
(18-08-2016 01:41 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(17-08-2016 02:09 PM)tomilay Wrote:  Got ya. I take it that something supernatural, as per your definition, cannot be observed. In principle. As opposed to because we don't have the right measuring appliances or advanced technology.

Something whose existence can not be empirically inferred. No difference to me if it's the father of Jesus Christ. Or the ghost of the taylor who made Queen Victoria's underwear.

The effect can be observed, the cause cannot. The effect is local and the cause is non local. In the example I gave, you would certainly observe that you were instantaneously transported across the world. What you would not observe is the programmer changing the variables within the computer simulation that makes up your world.

I take it you propose it is a useful word then. How much more useful is it than argument from ignorance?

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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18-08-2016, 05:35 PM
RE: Is "supernatural" a useful word?
(18-08-2016 01:46 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The force carrier particle for gravity is the graviton
Graviton's have never been observed despite the fact that we are located near a really massive object (the Earth). It's just a hypothesis right now. They don't actually know how gravity works but they have the idea of gravitons being the force carrier particle. But they don't actually know if the particle exists or not.
(18-08-2016 01:46 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  and those would need to be local for us to observe gravity.
If our expanding universe overlaps with another one then we could detect this overlap (in theory) via observation of gravity. Even if there hasn't been enough time for matter to have come from another expansion into our own observable universe.

(18-08-2016 01:46 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Now if we observed gravitons just popping into existence you could postulate that either God done it
That would be a very poor postulation
"a magical unobservable being poofed it into existence magically without any known mechanism, just with a thought perhaps", We postulate this explanation because we have no scientifically observable or evidence based explanation and hence we just made this unsupported supernatural explanation up, without any supporting evidence, because that's what you do when coming up with supernatural explanations.
(18-08-2016 01:46 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  or that there exist some parallel dimension
What is meant by a parallel dimension?
Are you sure you have covered all the bases here, Either god did it OR there is a parallel dimension?
(18-08-2016 01:46 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  unless of course you just assume God doesn't exist.
It would make sense to assume god doesn't exist, given that there is no evidence for a god, and logically there can't be an all knowing creature made of nothing that knows everything before anything ever existed. Knowledge is acquired from data. Data is a consequence of energy and matter.
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18-08-2016, 07:49 PM
RE: Is "supernatural" a useful word?
(18-08-2016 07:49 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Now Heywood, let me be clear on something. Are you saying that ALL of these things were supernatural until we developed the instrumentation to observe their causes, at which point they ceased to be supernatural?

Our technical capability to observe them doesn't determine if something is supernatural or not. If the cause is outside our reality then it is supernatural. In the example I gave the cause of being teleported across the world was outside the reality of the one being teleported. The programmer and the computer on which the simulation runs is completely in accessible to the simulants. The programmer and the computer on which the simulation runs is non local to the simulants. What makes an event supernatural is that is has a non local cause.

Bells theorem tells us no theory of quantum mechanics can be explained by hidden local variables. If quantum mechanics is true, and causality is true some causes must be non local.....or supernatural.
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18-08-2016, 08:04 PM
RE: Is "supernatural" a useful word?
(18-08-2016 07:49 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  If quantum mechanics is true, and causality is true some causes must be non local.....or supernatural.
Sorry, are you telling us that there is some "supernatural" cause for random quantum fluctuations.

If it is a parallel dimension then it would also seem natural, would it not?
But of course, this random noise of quantum fluctuations doesn't seem to be giving us a picture of this "other" dimension. We aren't seeing high concentrations of quantum fluctuations in one area of Space and lower in others.
I mean, perhaps if we see an area of our space with a high concentration then perhaps we can say at those coordinates, maybe there is a planet or star in that "other" dimension.
Would the reciprocal happen? Would our Earth be a supernatural cause of random quantum fluctuations in their dimension?

This is all rubbish Heywood, what the hell are you talking about?
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18-08-2016, 08:14 PM
RE: Is "supernatural" a useful word?
(18-08-2016 08:04 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(18-08-2016 07:49 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  If quantum mechanics is true, and causality is true some causes must be non local.....or supernatural.
Sorry, are you telling us that there is some "supernatural" cause for random quantum fluctuations.

If it is a parallel dimension then it would also seem natural, would it not?
But of course, this random noise of quantum fluctuations doesn't seem to be giving us a picture of this "other" dimension. We aren't seeing high concentrations of quantum fluctuations in one area of Space and lower in others.
I mean, perhaps if we see an area of our space with a high concentration then perhaps we can say at those coordinates, maybe there is a planet or star in that "other" dimension.
Would the reciprocal happen? Would our Earth be a supernatural cause of random quantum fluctuations in their dimension?

This is all rubbish Heywood, what the hell are you talking about?

If every effect has a cause, there are no random quantum fluctuations. For 1000s of years it has been accepted that every effect has a cause until modern times. But instead of acknowledging the possibility of non local causes(i.e. Supernatural), we simply change the axioms by which we view to world. Every effect has a cause except on the quantum level in which case some effects just happen for no cause at all. I'd sorry but I find the possibility of effects happening with no causes to be ludicrous. In light of that ludicrosity, Supernatural explainations become a lot more palatable.

Now before you claim, "God of the Gaps", this isn't that. It isn't that because Quantum mechanics and Bells theorem tell us that no system of hidden local variables can ever explain all the predictions of quantum mechanics. There must either be non local variables(i.e. supernatural) or the more ludicrous notion that effects can happen without causes.
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18-08-2016, 08:27 PM
RE: Is "supernatural" a useful word?
(18-08-2016 08:14 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  If every effect has a cause, there are no random quantum fluctuations.
Yes, I understand what you are saying
(18-08-2016 08:14 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  For 1000s of years it has been accepted that every effect has a cause until modern times. But instead of acknowledging the possibility of non local causes(i.e. Supernatural), we simply change the axioms by which we view to world.
With scientific discovery they come up with theories that match the evidence, Philosophical laws that seem to be true given the evidence at hand.
If evidence comes up that contradicts the theories and laws, they investigate it further and perhaps change the theories and laws.
No scientific theory and law is guaranteed to be true, it all just meets the evidence at hand.
(18-08-2016 08:14 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Every effect has a cause except on the quantum level in which case some effects just happen for no cause at all.
Correct, no known cause. Seems like an interesting thing to investigate further.
(18-08-2016 08:14 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  I'd sorry but I find the possibility of effects happening with no causes to be ludicrous.
Sure, fair enough. I'm also sure that when they did the double split test they thought it was ludicrous that a single electron particle went through both slits at the same time.
(18-08-2016 08:14 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  In light of that ludicrosity, Supernatural explainations become a lot more palatable.
No, in light of the ludicrous it shows that we have some gaps in our knowledge and ought to put more focus on finding out what is going on.
(18-08-2016 08:14 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Now before you claim, "God of the Gaps", this isn't that.
Well, no-one has mentioned any gods yet. You have merely claimed that there is a cause outside of our known 4 dimensions of our observable universe.
String theory proposes 11 dimensions doesn't it. That means we have 7 "supernatural" dimensions based on your definition of supernatural. String theory doesn't propose a god like entity, they just propose other dimensions.
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18-08-2016, 11:12 PM
RE: Is "supernatural" a useful word?
(18-08-2016 08:27 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(18-08-2016 08:14 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  For 1000s of years it has been accepted that every effect has a cause until modern times. But instead of acknowledging the possibility of non local causes(i.e. Supernatural), we simply change the axioms by which we view to world.
With scientific discovery they come up with theories that match the evidence, Philosophical laws that seem to be true given the evidence at hand.
If evidence comes up that contradicts the theories and laws, they investigate it further and perhaps change the theories and laws.
No scientific theory and law is guaranteed to be true, it all just meets the evidence at hand.

The axiom, that all effects have causes, only needs to be altered in light of the new evidence if one assumes God and/or the Supernatural does not exist. Assuming God and/or the Supernatural does not exist is not a sufficient reason for me to change the axioms by which I view the world.

In fact the exact opposite is correct. If it becomes known that some effects will not have local causes, then one should begin to question the assumption that God and the Supernatural do not exist.
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19-08-2016, 12:33 AM
RE: Is "supernatural" a useful word?
(18-08-2016 11:12 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  The axiom, that all effects have causes, only needs to be altered in light of the new evidence if one assumes God and/or the Supernatural does not exist.
This is an interesting thing you say.

Science is with regards to observable and testable things.

So the law of causality is with regards to events having observable and testable causes.

You might object and say, "hey, that's unfair, science is biased towards materialism". And in a way science is biased that way.
It has to be.

Science is constrained to knowledge that can be supported by observable and testable evidence. Because that is what science is. Science is an objective method based on evidence.

In this way science is not assuming that god and the supernatural don't exist. Science is only focused on things that can be observed. If you maintain that god and supernatural are unobservable then they fall outside the realm of science.

If you consider that god and supernatural ARE observable, then put together a paper on this including falsifiable criteria and see if scientists can run those tests.

The Law of Causality from a scientific perspective is that all events have an observable cause. There isn't a precedent for an event having a supernatural cause, it has never been observed. If such an observation were to be made this would be seen as remarkable, it would be ground breaking, award winning etc. But as it is, supernatural is always postured by it's supporters, as being unobservable. So it is not science. You have no method of discovery for supernatural causes or events. You have no way to verify any supernatural claims.

All you are doing is looking at science, claiming that science has no answer and inserting your god or inserting your supernatural realm. This is unintelligent and is certainly not science. You are assuming your god, assuming your supernatural realm. There is no evidence to support this vacuous claim.
The burden of proof is on you to prove that the god or the supernatural exist. You are not proving them by pointing to gaps in scientific knowledge.

Science isn't assuming they don't exist. The burdon of proof isn't on the "they don't exist" side.



(18-08-2016 11:12 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Assuming God and/or the Supernatural does not exist is not a sufficient reason for me to change the axioms by which I view the world.
You would need to prove that they exist in order to support your claim, you would need to show how these things can be observed.

There is no precedent of an event having been caused by a god or anything supernatural.


(18-08-2016 11:12 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  In fact the exact opposite is correct. If it becomes known that some effects will not have local causes, then one should begin to question the assumption that God and the Supernatural do not exist.
Nope, one should wonder what has caused the event (if at all) or one should wonder if all events require causes.
God and supernatural don't come into any questions yet until they are proven to exist.
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19-08-2016, 01:15 AM
RE: Is "supernatural" a useful word?
(19-08-2016 12:33 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(18-08-2016 11:12 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  In fact the exact opposite is correct. If it becomes known that some effects will not have local causes, then one should begin to question the assumption that God and the Supernatural do not exist.
Nope, one should wonder what has caused the event (if at all) or one should wonder if all events require causes.
God and supernatural don't come into any questions yet until they are proven to exist.

The only reason to question the axiom that all effects have causes is to support the assumption that God and or the Supernatural does not exist. In fact by changing the axiom you make God and the Supernatural untestable when it otherwise would be.

If God and/or the Supernatural exists and have an influence on our world then we should observe effects which do not have local causes. We have looked and have found that some effects do not have local causes. This suggests that God and/or the Supernatural exists.

The only way to refute this is to throw out causality, but the only reason to throw out causality is to refute this.

I'm sorry Steve but the assumption that atheism is true isn't a sufficient reason to change the axioms by which I view the world. I am going to go on believing that all effects have causes and if the causes are not local then it is reasonable to conclude they are non local.

The thought experiment about living in a computer simulation, having a programmer pause the simulation, change some variables, restart it, and you find yourself transported across the world instantaneously suggests to me the notion of non local causes having local effects is not unreasonable.

What statement is more reasonable to you?

1. Some effects do not have causes.
2. The cause of some effects is non local

I find statement 2 to be much more reasonable.
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