Why believe in the supernatural?
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15-03-2014, 02:07 PM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
What do you guys think about those who believe in the supernatural and have emotional consequences from it. Like today this girl told me she saw a figure in the garden that ran away from her and that her neighbor told her that he had a dream that a man used to live there and had carrier pigeons and his is waiting for the day the carrier pigeons return home. So she told me she is worried about this figure and wants to tell him everything is okay. I thought to myself that if you have dumb beliefs like that then you deserve to suffer consequences like emotional pain from it. Obviously I wish she didn't have these beliefs but I think stupid people should be punished, is this right of me to think this?

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16-03-2014, 05:17 AM (This post was last modified: 16-03-2014 05:23 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(08-03-2014 04:43 PM)davidh Wrote:  I sometimes find myself wondering why on earth anyone would believe in the supernatural. If you don't understanding something about the world, so what? All that means is that you don't understand; it's a mystery. Why, because you don't understand something, or can't imagine how something might work, would you conclude that supernatural forces must be at work?

I see people making that connection all the time and I just shake my head. How does saying there must be a supernatural explanation help? What's the difference between that and just making stuff up?

Of course, I know why people have supernatural beliefs. It's how you're raised, your culture, it's how the brain works, it can make you feel better, etc.. Also, I think in our society, having supernatural beliefs, particularly religious ones, is accepted as normal, even encouraged.

I guess I just think that having supernatural beliefs is so intellectually dishonest, that I just can't get past how silly they sound when uttered in public.
People can't think properly. They think concepts without defining them. So they can believe pretty much anything they can imagine. The concept of belief itself is flawed.

On the other hand, there is a lot of fringe experience and some fringe scientific research, fringe theories... I think we're overdue a scientific revolution. There are always anomalies in science, but I think today due to cultural and political reasons the science is more rigid than usual and thus there is more "dissidents" than usual.

Strictly speaking, I don't have supernatural beliefs. I have fringe experiences which can be explained scientifically, though in a rather unusual way. For example, my experience with Laya yoga or and traditional Chinese medicine corresponds to Dr Nordenström's study of "biologically closed electric circuits". As the book's sub-title says, it is a clinical, experimental and theoretical evidence for an additional circulatory system in the body. That much is my experience. Of course for years I had no idea about that, I was left completely in the dark with my own empirical observations, without defense against a very... proactive skepticism. The first thing you get is, "c'mon, you made it all up, because you want to be special, admit it!" The second is, "how comes that scientific community isn't all over this research? YOU explain it, even though as far as you're concerned, scientific community might be located on Mars! Dodgy"

That's science. If you come up with anything new, you don't get response, you get kicked upwards, up and up until you bump off the laboratory ceiling. Nothing new ever happens in science except in laboratory. In privacy of laboratory people resolve all their technical disputes, they coin crazy and ill-fitting new concepts like "atom" (meaning indivisible, yet is totally divisible), everything else is reading, writing, talking and bureaucracy. That's the impression I got, that's my answer. That's why science is so inaccessible to random guys like me who stumble upon something empirically. People find it infinitely more comfortable to just do their own work from donations and earn a buck on alternative medicine skipping the rational explanation part, without going through all the hassle, without risking their time, money and privacy.

Then there's of course a huge crowd of irrational believers, from whom the above cases are almost impossible to tell apart. That's my experience and as you realize, there is no rational method of rejecting an experience. When experience is the topic, it's not obligatory for you to believe me and it's not obligatory for me to provide evidence for the experience.
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16-03-2014, 09:15 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
It's basically just an obsession that humans have with wanting to have an explanation for everything, truth be damned. Humans would rather bullshit themselves that they know the answer to something than admit that they don't, especially when the bullshit answer is something they have been indoctrinated with their entire life. That's always the creationist defense: "You can't give an answer about this? Well, that's because God did it! If you can't provide an answer, then I'm automatically right!"

At least the human race seems to be growing out of this childish phase, and allowing "I don't know" to be an acceptable answer, instead of taking the attitude that a bullshit answer, no matter how ridiculous and illogical it may be, is better than no answer.

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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17-03-2014, 05:02 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(15-03-2014 01:56 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  Again, a supernatural worldview would assume the causes are unnatural, and run off the rails with a supernatural explanation.
First, this is meaningless until you define supernatural.

Second, a supernatural worldview which assumes causes are unnatural is nonsensical, as supernatural and unnatural reference natural. Such a worldview is accepts both the natural and the supernatural.
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17-03-2014, 05:44 AM (This post was last modified: 17-03-2014 06:00 AM by sporehux.)
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(17-03-2014 05:02 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(15-03-2014 01:56 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  Again, a supernatural worldview would assume the causes are unnatural, and run off the rails with a supernatural explanation.
First, this is meaningless until you define supernatural.

I think supernatural is commonly understood as
"magic shit that science can't explain, so my made up shit makes me feel important/special for proposing it".

(15-03-2014 01:56 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  Second, a supernatural worldview which assumes causes are unnatural is nonsensical, as supernatural and unnatural reference natural. Such a worldview is accepts both the natural and the supernatural.

I can't see how its non nonsensical,
Supernatural = magic
Unnatural = loose description for "not possible" (based on our current understanding)

What rai was explaining as far as I understand is, that a supernatural world view would just accept the unknown as unknowable (insert WOO) instead of investigating the cause thereby knowing it.
moving it from "unnatural" to "natural" .
A supernatural world view would have little need to solve the unnatural because they already have their answer (ego flavoured woo, that usually equates them to being the center of universe or special in some way).

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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17-03-2014, 07:43 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(17-03-2014 05:44 AM)sporehux Wrote:  I think supernatural is commonly understood as
"magic shit that science can't explain, so my made up shit makes me feel important/special for proposing it".

This begs the question, what is magic? You've merely replaced one undefined term with another. This is not surprising. As I noted earlier, it's difficult to meaningfully define.
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17-03-2014, 07:51 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(17-03-2014 05:02 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(15-03-2014 01:56 PM)rampant.a.i. Wrote:  Again, a supernatural worldview would assume the causes are unnatural, and run off the rails with a supernatural explanation.
First, this is meaningless until you define supernatural.

Second, a supernatural worldview which assumes causes are unnatural is nonsensical, as supernatural and unnatural reference natural. Such a worldview is accepts both the natural and the supernatural.

Really? You need us to define "supernatural" for you?

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17-03-2014, 08:17 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
(15-03-2014 12:38 PM)alpha male Wrote:  
(08-03-2014 04:43 PM)davidh Wrote:  I sometimes find myself wondering why on earth anyone would believe in the supernatural. If you don't understanding something about the world, so what? All that means is that you don't understand; it's a mystery. Why, because you don't understand something, or can't imagine how something might work, would you conclude that supernatural forces must be at work?
It's tough to meaningfully define the natural/supernatural dichotomy. IMO it's just a matter of perspective. For example, if Jesus can explain the mechanics behind raising Lazarus, then that act was natural, but just not understood yet by us.

So, in a sense, theists, new agers, etc. don't believe in the supernatural. Or you could say that science is largely a study of the supernatural, with phenomena moving into the natural realm once they're understood.

That's not true; theists do believe in the supernatural. That's the whole point. Instead of admitting that we don't know everything about the world, they simply ascribe supernatural (made up) explanations for things. By doing so, you're basically sacrificing intellectual honesty for the comfort that fantasy beliefs convey.

Regarding the "raising Lazarus" claim, since bringing someone back to life after they have truly died contradicts everything we know about biology and physics, this kind of silliness is easily rejected. But you're basically saying that you would accept this claim, since it's possible we simply don't understand how it was done.

Of course if some scientist today created a technique for reviving dead people, and the technique was tested, peer-reviewed, etc., then we would be hard-pressed not to accept is as a scientific fact, a true state of the natural world. But that is not what's being claimed in the case of Lazarus.
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17-03-2014, 08:39 AM
RE: Why believe in the supernatural?
I can understand being fascinated by the supernatural insofar as books, movies, and other entertainment is concerned, but to make it part of a daily ritual tethered to a religious set of beliefs that one thinks is real is just insane.
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17-03-2014, 08:39 AM (This post was last modified: 17-03-2014 08:52 AM by rampant.a.i..)
Why believe in the supernatural?
(17-03-2014 07:43 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(17-03-2014 05:44 AM)sporehux Wrote:  I think supernatural is commonly understood as
"magic shit that science can't explain, so my made up shit makes me feel important/special for proposing it".

This begs the question, what is magic? You've merely replaced one undefined term with another. This is not surprising. As I noted earlier, it's difficult to meaningfully define.

Super-Natural - 1. Above or not belonging to nature.

2. (of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature.

3. A show on The WB.

Magic - the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

(Google)

Example:

"Check out that lightening over there. Those are magical thunderbolts thrown by Zeus, the magical guy who lives in the clouds. We can tell because he's the God of thunder and lightening. No one will ever come up with a better explanation."

"Actually it's caused by electrical charging in the evaporation cycle, with rising condensation, positive ions gather at the top, negative at the bottom, electrical current flows and seeks ground."

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
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