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Author Topic:   What is Supernatural?
Taq
Member
Posts: 7971
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 136 of 230 (545415)
02-03-2010 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by MatterWave
02-03-2010 4:20 PM


Re: Super-Duper-Repetition
The point is "existence", that something exists, that it is there and can be observed. Existence is beyond comprehension and you or anyone else don't know if a God is required. Your assumptions are a reflection of your personal beliefs.

. . .Whether a God is required for anything to exist is not one of things we can know.

You seem to be pulled in two different directions. You want things to be unknowable and unobservable, and yet you keep injecting a specific idea, the god idea, into the discussion. If it is so unknowable and unobservable then why suggest "God" to begin with? You blame others for rejecting ideas out of hand, and yet the very things we are accused of rejecting are made up from nothing. As the old saw goes, claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 4:20 PM MatterWave has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 144 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 4:56 PM Taq has responded

  
MatterWave
Member (Idle past 3226 days)
Posts: 87
Joined: 01-15-2010


(1)
Message 137 of 230 (545416)
02-03-2010 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by bluegenes
02-03-2010 4:30 PM


Re: Requirements for existence.
Really? If existence requires a god, then the god would be a prerequisite for its own existence. So we know that existence cannot require a god.

So you know how God works! Great! You've found all the secrets of the universe. I think you may need another universe to explore.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by bluegenes, posted 02-03-2010 4:30 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 148 by bluegenes, posted 02-03-2010 5:05 PM MatterWave has responded
 Message 149 by onifre, posted 02-03-2010 5:10 PM MatterWave has responded

    
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2836 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 138 of 230 (545417)
02-03-2010 4:41 PM
Reply to: Message 127 by Taq
02-03-2010 3:47 PM


Re: What does supernatural mean?!
Well maybe it is as defining ''darkness' as 'not light'.

red and blue can be characterised by their wave length, but black can only be described as the absence of light.

Or maybe my definition is incomplete a bit. I was previously using the expression ''outside of nature'' which I thought was more appropriate since it defined supernatural by distinction of nature and not by opposition, but some didn't like it either.

I still think my attempted definitions are the best that have come up in this thread. Better then the ''supernatural doesn't exist no need to define it!!!'' claims that are swirling around.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by Taq, posted 02-03-2010 3:47 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 141 by Taq, posted 02-03-2010 4:49 PM slevesque has responded

  
MatterWave
Member (Idle past 3226 days)
Posts: 87
Joined: 01-15-2010


(1)
Message 139 of 230 (545418)
02-03-2010 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by Taq
02-03-2010 4:31 PM


Re: A pointless exercise
Can you show us, using the scientific method (your method of choice), that the supernatural exists? If not, then is it not equivalent to something that is imagined?

My method can say absolutely nothing on what is natural(whether a God is required for existence)- this is the reason why this question is on the list of Big questions of humanity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by Taq, posted 02-03-2010 4:31 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by Taq, posted 02-03-2010 4:54 PM MatterWave has not yet responded

    
Huntard
Member (Idle past 491 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 140 of 230 (545420)
02-03-2010 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by MatterWave
02-03-2010 4:35 PM


Re: A pointless exercise
MatterWave writes:

These propositions of yours are irrelevant to the point that you don't know if anything can be in existence without the act of a god.


They are completely relevant to the point. Are you saying you can know that existence does not require Xongsong? Because again, if you can, you are special pleading.

I am not making assumptions what god is or is not.

I am not making any assumptions about what Xongsong is either.

So, again, can you know that existence does not require Xongsong? If you say you can, you are special pleading.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 4:35 PM MatterWave has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 147 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 5:04 PM Huntard has responded

    
Taq
Member
Posts: 7971
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 141 of 230 (545421)
02-03-2010 4:49 PM
Reply to: Message 138 by slevesque
02-03-2010 4:41 PM


Re: What does supernatural mean?!
Well maybe it is as defining ''darkness' as 'not light'.
red and blue can be characterised by their wave length, but black can only be described as the absence of light.

So by extension the supernatural is the absence of the natural? That's it? It's equivalent to nothing?

I was previously using the expression ''outside of nature'' which I thought was more appropriate since it defined supernatural by distinction of nature and not by opposition, but some didn't like it either.

I certainly think that is a better start since it is consistent with the structure of the word (super = above). "Outside of nature" might be better described as "perinatural", or perhaps "paranatural" which is close to paranormal.

But again, we have some of the same problems. No one describes the geography of Europe as "outside of America". At some point there needs to be a positive description, a description of what actually constitutes the supernatural.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 138 by slevesque, posted 02-03-2010 4:41 PM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by slevesque, posted 02-03-2010 5:02 PM Taq has responded

  
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2836 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 142 of 230 (545422)
02-03-2010 4:50 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by rueh
02-03-2010 4:03 PM


Re: What does supernatural mean?!
Hello Stevesque.
I don't mean to muddy the waters here but your definitions seem a little contradictory to me. If we define Nature as- everything within our universe and Reality as- everything that exists. Than how can we have something that exists that is not within our universe? If it exists and it is contained within our universe than by your definition it has to be natural. If it is outside of our universe than we have no evidence for it, nor anyway to aquire evidence for it and to me, should be labeled as imaginary until we are able to properly evidence it. Or at least as an unknown.

Hi,

You are right, if it exists and is within our universe than it is labelled natural. The problem comes from you assuming that if something is outside our universe, we have no evidence for it. But this isn't necessarily true.

We will never be able to use the scientific method concerning the center of a black hole. But we know it is real. The multiverse is a great outflow of string theory, yet probably we will never be able to empirically demonstrate it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by rueh, posted 02-03-2010 4:03 PM rueh has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 167 by rueh, posted 02-04-2010 7:52 AM slevesque has not yet responded

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 7971
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 143 of 230 (545423)
02-03-2010 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 139 by MatterWave
02-03-2010 4:43 PM


Re: A pointless exercise
My method can say absolutely nothing on what is natural(whether a God is required for existence)-

There is that assumption again. Why "God"? Why not (as Huntard keeps mentioning) Xongsong, or my favorite which is Marklar? Do we have to ponder whether or not Never Never Land exists, depending on whether or not Peter Pan exists? How far down the rabbit hole have you gone?

You are so turned around that you can't even tell us whether or not you brushed your teeth this morning. In an effort to make God possible you have made everything impossible to determine.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 139 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 4:43 PM MatterWave has not yet responded

  
MatterWave
Member (Idle past 3226 days)
Posts: 87
Joined: 01-15-2010


(1)
Message 144 of 230 (545424)
02-03-2010 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by Taq
02-03-2010 4:39 PM


Re: Super-Duper-Repetition
You seem to be pulled in two different directions. You want things to be unknowable and unobservable, and yet you keep injecting a specific idea, the god idea, into the discussion.

No, i want to know literally everything there is to know, now.

it is so unknowable and unobservable then why suggest "God" to begin with?

Existence is incomprehensible, it's way beyond our ability to understand. You should provide evidence for your assumption that for anything to be in existence, God is not required(i.e. existence is a natural state).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 136 by Taq, posted 02-03-2010 4:39 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by Taq, posted 02-04-2010 10:52 AM MatterWave has not yet responded

    
onifre
Member (Idle past 1146 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 145 of 230 (545425)
02-03-2010 4:57 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by slevesque
02-03-2010 3:40 PM


Re: What does supernatural mean?!
But didn't I answer your question in post 46 ?

Sorry, but your answer then and now is not helping matters any. I do appreciate your attempt though.

Nature: our universe, where we can do science, etc.

...is the same as this:

Reality: everything that exists

Our universe is all we know. It is our reality. This is all you can EVER experience. The 2 cannot be seperated.

Everything that exists is the universe.

And limiting it to what we can "do science on" is fallacious. We couldn't do science on lots of things 500 years ago. Would you have seperated an atom from nature then? You can see what a mistake it is today, though, right? Why would you impsoe this same logic today when you can see how wrong it has been in the past?

(this may, or may not, include God.)

It's almost as though now we need a definition for god...

These are just words you're using, they mean nothing. There is no universal concept of "god" that you can place in different realms and give it attributes assigned by you - or the religion you happen to believe in. If it can't be universally accepted (and of course it can't because again, it's just a belief) then all we have is a word that changes attributes throughout time. It can mean anything at any given time.

God, the word, has lost all meaning.

The same with "supernatural." You can't just place it in different realms and give it attributes that you couldn't possibly evidence in anyway.

Imaginary: Everything that isn't part of reality.

This is almost nonsensical. A concept imagined is a concept imagined in reality by beings able to do so. NO ONE can imagine something that isn't within the framework of what they experienced, of the reality and world that they know (example: 10,000 years ago someone would not have been able to imagine an ipod, but they could imagine the sun being pulled by a chariot).

So EVRYTHING imagined fits firmly within the framework of reality. We have neural representations, but they have restrictions. Even when people imagine aliens they still fit within a framework.

In fact, I challenge you to imagine an outside of the universe and what it would look like. Care to honestly describe what you picture?

Supernatural: Everything that is part of reality, but not a part of nature.

Can you site one example (except for the word "god")...?

And so with this terminology, any philosophical position can be explained.

No slevesque, all you have done is presented certain cultural beliefs and ascribed them qualities that are still unevidenced and undefined.

If reality is strictly nature, than you are a naturalist.

If reality is anything else, then you need to provide evidence for that. As it stands, nature is all we experience and thus all we can EVER know.

But this is besides the point since all I wanted to do was answer your first question and ismply define supernatural, so as every position can be expressed either it be evidenced or not.

The problem is you're defining one undefined word with another undefined word and using that as your argument.

God is not the answer because that word is meaningless. Outside of nature makes no sense because no human has ever experienced that, let alone, now wants to use it as answer.

This where your position continues to fall apart.

In a nutshell, supernatural is anything you can imagine it to be. From an eclipse 5000 years ago, to today, abiogenesis. It is a word, like the word "god," that means anything at any given time. It is useless. It is pointless to even try to defend (at least IMO) and those who are advocating this are failing to establish what they mean, besides using other useless and meaningless terms.

I think Taq summed it up: What is red? Not blue.

What is supernatural? Anything that is not natural.

Oh, ok........

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by slevesque, posted 02-03-2010 3:40 PM slevesque has not yet responded

    
slevesque
Member (Idle past 2836 days)
Posts: 1456
Joined: 05-14-2009


Message 146 of 230 (545428)
02-03-2010 5:02 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by Taq
02-03-2010 4:49 PM


Re: What does supernatural mean?!
So by extension the supernatural is the absence of the natural? That's it? It's equivalent to nothing?

Analogies aren't perfect unfortunately. It was just to show that it isn't uncommon to define something in regards to something else.

I certainly think that is a better start since it is consistent with the structure of the word (super = above). "Outside of nature" might be better described as "perinatural", or perhaps "paranatural" which is close to paranormal.

THe structure of the word was my first line of thinking when coming with 'outside of nature'

But again, we have some of the same problems. No one describes the geography of Europe as "outside of America". At some point there needs to be a positive description, a description of what actually constitutes the supernatural.

Your analogy doesn't really describe the situation here. We can go outside of america into europe to see what it is and describe this way. This cannot be done in the case of nature, and so it limits how we can define it.

A more suitable analogy would be if we were all locked up in a house with no contact with the exterior world but a little tiny hole in the ceiling. Everyday, light would start to come through the hole and follow a precise trajectory across the room and disappear. One day, the most crazy out of us would say that this light comes from a light source that is actually outside the house and who is circling us. This would explain it's trajectory. How useful would it be for the others to say:

- well, where is this light source anyway ?

- I can't tell for sure, but I can say that it is outside the house.

- Oh but this doesn't tell us where it is. It simply tells us where it is not. That's not an answer.

- Well I cannot tell you anymore then this, because this is all I can say from our point of view.

Of course, his answer isn't the best one possible. But it is the only one he can give, and in fact it is sufficient enough for everybody to understand what he means and so although it isn't optimal, it still is accurate enough.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Taq, posted 02-03-2010 4:49 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by Taq, posted 02-04-2010 10:47 AM slevesque has not yet responded

  
MatterWave
Member (Idle past 3226 days)
Posts: 87
Joined: 01-15-2010


(1)
Message 147 of 230 (545429)
02-03-2010 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by Huntard
02-03-2010 4:49 PM


Re: A pointless exercise
They are completely relevant to the point. Are you saying you can know that existence does not require Xongsong? Because again, if you can, you are special pleading.

No. Existence is beyond me.

I am not making any assumptions about what Xongsong is either.
So, again, can you know that existence does not require Xongsong? If you say you can, you are special pleading.

No. Existence is beyond me. And I am not willing to make unwarranted assumptions that i can know what God is or whether God has anything remotely simiular to a physical appearance, and whether it's a spaghetti monster, etc. I leave this excercise to the inhabitants of kindergartens.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by Huntard, posted 02-03-2010 4:49 PM Huntard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 211 by Huntard, posted 02-09-2010 9:52 AM MatterWave has responded

    
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 673 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 148 of 230 (545430)
02-03-2010 5:05 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by MatterWave
02-03-2010 4:39 PM


Re: Requirements for existence.
MatterWave writes:

bluegenes writes:

Really? If existence requires a god, then the god would be a prerequisite for its own existence. So we know that existence cannot require a god.

So you know how God works! Great! You've found all the secrets of the universe. I think you may need another universe to explore.

How does your comment relate to mine?

Let me put it another way for you. Nothing can be a prerequisite for existence itself.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 4:39 PM MatterWave has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 150 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 5:11 PM bluegenes has responded
 Message 163 by ICANT, posted 02-03-2010 11:46 PM bluegenes has not yet responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1146 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 149 of 230 (545431)
02-03-2010 5:10 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by MatterWave
02-03-2010 4:39 PM


Re: Requirements for existence.
So you know how God works! Great! You've found all the secrets of the universe. I think you may need another universe to explore.

No dude. What he's saying is that the logic you are using runs the risk of cancelling out that which you are trying to argue for.

If you say existence may require a god, then if that god exists, by your own logic, god would require a god too (or at least some other means of creation).

It's the same thing as saying "complexity requires a creator." Well, then if that creator is complex too, which it has to be to create complex things, by that very logic the creator requires a creator, too. See?

Bluegenes was just pointing out the error of the logic you are using.

- Oni

* sorry Bluegenes, I posted then saw you replied.

Edited by onifre, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 4:39 PM MatterWave has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 5:15 PM onifre has responded

    
MatterWave
Member (Idle past 3226 days)
Posts: 87
Joined: 01-15-2010


(1)
Message 150 of 230 (545432)
02-03-2010 5:11 PM
Reply to: Message 148 by bluegenes
02-03-2010 5:05 PM


Re: Requirements for existence.
Nothing can be a prerequisite for existence itself.

Even God? That must be another assumption. You are a human being and as such your ability to understand, unfortunately, isn't endless.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 148 by bluegenes, posted 02-03-2010 5:05 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 153 by bluegenes, posted 02-03-2010 5:28 PM MatterWave has responded

    
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