Supernatural isn't God.
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
29-08-2011, 11:44 AM
RE: Supernatural isn't God.
I am also confused by what statement you are talking about. The statement that science can explain all natural processes? Or that supernature has no evidence to suggests it exists? In both cases the scientist would tell you that we have plenty of natural evidence to show that nature exists and that we can explain these observations to some degree, and that with our ever increasing knowledge and technology our understanding will also increase. As for the non-existence of Supernature the burden of proof is not on the scientist to provide positive proof of its nonexistence but on the person making the claim to provide positive proof of its existence.

Evolve
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 01:10 PM
RE: Supernatural isn't God.
(29-08-2011 09:47 AM)xander Wrote:  
(29-08-2011 07:30 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Science-lovers (not scientists) make this statement all the time, without the least shred of the supporting evidence they prize so highly.

What statement?

The one about primitive people believing that lightning is magic, because they didn't understand it - and therefore attributing it to gods. I think this is an extrapolation from a fragment of Greek mythology, which isn't primitive at all, but sophisticated, literary and fairly late in the development of religion.

My contention is that primitive people were not in awe of weather, but aware of quite real threats, like forest fire, which lightning causes. They started making up stories, farther along the development of language, that personified the elements, animals and heavenly bodies. But if you look into Native American mythology (for example) the characters are fanciful, often humorous, often outsmarted and defeated by the human hero - not at all imbued with superstitious dread. All that nonsense came much later, with agricultural, patriarchal civilization.

The apropos in this present context is that we, lovers of science, are sometimes guilty of the same careless use of words, unproved statements and generalization as are the people on the shallows of credulity, who, perhaps, have not classified rigorously enough the phenomena and subjects of study which they are considering. Maybe "supernatural" is used incorrectly, but that doesn't necessarily invalidate the proposition in the OP, viz. that you don't have to throw all the as-yet-unexplained babies out with the christening-water.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 01:31 PM
RE: Supernatural isn't God.
(29-08-2011 01:10 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  
(29-08-2011 09:47 AM)xander Wrote:  
(29-08-2011 07:30 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Science-lovers (not scientists) make this statement all the time, without the least shred of the supporting evidence they prize so highly.

What statement?

The one about primitive people believing that lightning is magic, because they didn't understand it - and therefore attributing it to gods. I think this is an extrapolation from a fragment of Greek mythology, which isn't primitive at all, but sophisticated, literary and fairly late in the development of religion.

My contention is that primitive people were not in awe of weather, but aware of quite real threats, like forest fire, which lightning causes. They started making up stories, farther along the development of language, that personified the elements, animals and heavenly bodies. But if you look into Native American mythology (for example) the characters are fanciful, often humorous, often outsmarted and defeated by the human hero - not at all imbued with superstitious dread. All that nonsense came much later, with agricultural, patriarchal civilization.

The apropos in this present context is that we, lovers of science, are sometimes guilty of the same careless use of words, unproved statements and generalization as are the people on the shallows of credulity, who, perhaps, have not classified rigorously enough the phenomena and subjects of study which they are considering. Maybe "supernatural" is used incorrectly, but that doesn't necessarily invalidate the proposition in the OP, viz. that you don't have to throw all the as-yet-unexplained babies out with the christening-water.

Ah, I see what you mean. Essentially you are saying that early humans would have regarded these events not as supernatural events but just as events like other animals do. I can understand that point and it is a good one.

Scientists don't throw out the unexplained events but they place them in the "to-do" bin not the "we don't know what this is so it must be Supernatural bin." They do not get ignored but the default position is not supernatural and until they are assigned a cause they are simply left labeled as unexplained rather than supernatural.

Evolve
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 03:32 PM
RE: Supernatural isn't God.
I'm so confused. Peterkin, you are the one that brought up lightning. You are the only one talking about "primitive" cultures. Are you having an argument with yourself? When I questioned what statement you proclaimed being made "without the least shred of the supporting evidence." You answered,
Quote:The one about primitive people believing that lightning is magic, because they didn't understand it - and therefore attributing it to gods. I think this is an extrapolation from a fragment of Greek mythology, which isn't primitive at all, but sophisticated, literary and fairly late in the development of religion.
You made the statement!

Huh Huh
-Tim
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 03:37 PM
RE: Supernatural isn't God.
(28-08-2011 07:07 PM)xander Wrote:  
(28-08-2011 04:53 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  English is my first language and philosophy my passion.

How old are you, then? Clearly you don't fully grasp the english language, yet. I draw this conclusion from all of your misspelled words and poor grammar.

(28-08-2011 04:53 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Unlke you I do not see "truth" ensconced within language.

That's obvious. You clearly don't even understand the words you are speaking.

(28-08-2011 04:53 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  If you simply listen to the so called experts, you will simply become your own expert in the "expertise" of others! Cool

Non sequitur, anyone? Again, I don't even understand what you are trying to say.



I joined this thread because I thought it was an interesting topic, but wanted to elevate the conversation by clearing up some semantics. Unfortunately, the OP doesn't subscribe to rational thought or even acknowledge that words actually have definitions. Therefore, continuing is asinine.

-Tim
I suggest you take a quick course in logic.
Arguments that use logical fallacies get us no where.
Argumentum ad hominem--Argument against the man.
"Your opponent lacks language skills"
Argument from authority-----------
REference to 'authority figures' dictionaries etc.
In your case W.V.O. Quine might be helpful.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 04:05 PM (This post was last modified: 29-08-2011 04:15 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Supernatural isn't God.
(29-08-2011 03:32 PM)xander Wrote:  I'm so confused. Peterkin, you are the one that brought up lightning. ...
You made the statement!

I asked the question: When did this happen? in response to the statement that was cited by someone else. It's been going around for years; i'm sure you will encounter it again.

I'm not arguing, just using that as an example of inexactitude (we're not perfect, either, kind of thing) - by science-loving people (not scientists) in an effort* to defend Mr. Woof's thesis that disbelief in god doesn't need to be a dismissal of everything unexplained by science - even if the word 'supernatural' is stuck to them.
*possibly misguided

Never meant to make big deal of it, but then Araktsu inadvertently quoted my question while reproving my signature, so i got a bit shirty with him, so then i had to explain.....
... little purple snowball; please disregard.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 05:46 PM
RE: Supernatural isn't God.
(29-08-2011 06:39 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Supernatural - of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil
2
a : departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature
b : attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)

Peterkin brings the point up again of what is supernatural. Just because an explanation is lacking for an observation or something is classified as "unknown" does not mean that it is supernatural. Lightning (as Peterkin) pointed out is not supernatural to monkeys and although once deemed to be the product of Zeus (and therefore once thought to be supernatural) we now know that it is clearly natural. Therefore the default position for any observation (known or unknown) is for it to simply be a natural process that is either explained or not yet explained.

Re supernatural B.D. I partially agree with your definiens. You may agree that many people look to the absolutes and 100%s often without even realizing it.
As a fan of David Hume, I appreciate a rigid approach to scientific method.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-08-2011, 05:48 PM
 
RE: Supernatural isn't God.
In his book, “The Meaning Of It All”, Richard Feynman gives a delightful account of how he would investigate someone’s claim of being a mind reader.

"This fellow comes to me, and he says, "I will demonstrate this to you. We will stand at the roulette wheel and I will tell you ahead of time whether it is going to be black or red on every shot."

So from other experience and general knowledge, I have a strong prejudice against mind readers. Million to one.

Now we begin. The mind reader says it's going to be black. It's black. The mind reader says it's going to be red. It's red. Do I believe in mind readers? No. It could happen. The mind reader says it's going to be black. It's black. The mind reader says it's going to be red. It's red. Sweat. I'm about to learn something. This continues, let us suppose, for ten times. Now it's possible by chance that that happened ten times, but the odds are a thousand to one against it. Therefore, I now have to conclude that the odds that a mind reader is really doing it are a thousand to one that he's not a mind reader still, but it was a million to one before.
….
Now suppose that we go to another club, and it works, and another one and it works. I buy dice and it works. I take him home and I build a roulette wheel; it works. What do I conclude? I conclude he is a mind reader.

it is possible to conclude, by a number of tests, that mind reading really exists. If it does, I get extremely excited, because I didn't expect it before. I learned something that I did not know, and as a physicist would love to investigate it as a phenomenon of nature. Does it depend upon how far he is from the ball? What about if you put sheets of glass or paper or other materials in between?

To be prejudiced against mind reading a million to one does not mean that you can never be convinced that a man is a mind reader. The only way that you can never be convinced that a man is a mind reader is one of two things: If you are limited to a finite number of experiments, and he won't let you do any more, or if you are infinitely prejudiced at the beginning that it's absolutely impossible.”

Accept it my friends, we are no Gods with infinite power, no matter how much we would like to be. I can’t help thinking of a joke, involving patients in a mental institution:

There is a long pole in the middle of the yard of the institute. The patients affix a board to the top of the pole, with a note on it, and climb the pole every day, one by one, read it, nod, then climb down. The doctors are burning with curiosity what the note says. Finally, one night, after the patients retire, one of the doctors climbs up the pole, reads the note, nods and then climbs down. “What does it say”? asks the other doctor. “It says: ‘this is the end of the pole, don’t try to climb any further’” the first doctors replies. They both nod and go home.
Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Zatamon's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: