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Author Topic:   What is Supernatural?
Coyote
Member (Idle past 271 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 8 of 230 (544609)
01-27-2010 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Larni
01-27-2010 1:37 PM


Gaps
I would suggest that the supernatural is something that is believed to exist but has no actual evidence of it's existence.

We can take this farther.

The supernatural is what resides in those gaps in our knowledge.

Primitive man posited various spirits to fill the many gaps in their knowledge, and imagined that they could influence those spirits with the correct rituals.

Over time those gaps have grown smaller.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Larni, posted 01-27-2010 1:37 PM Larni has not yet responded

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 271 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 15 of 230 (544729)
01-28-2010 1:05 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by slevesque
01-27-2010 4:55 PM


On the supernatural
Coyote said:

We can take this farther.

The supernatural is what resides in those gaps in our knowledge.

Primitive man posited various spirits to fill the many gaps in their knowledge, and imagined that they could influence those spirits with the correct rituals.

Over time those gaps have grown smaller.

Ok, I'm bad at identifying fallacies, but isn't this a bit of begging the question ? You aren't really giving an accurate definition of 'supernatural', just simply saying how you perceive supernatural belief, and then define it this way.

Someone who believes in the supernatural could say that their increasing knowledge of the natural world would constitute evidence that God exists. Would it then be OK for this person to define 'supernatural' as 'what is shown to exist from oru knowledge of nature' ? Of course not, this would be absurd in my opinion.

The thing is to try to simply define what is 'supernatural'.


I think I provided a fairly accurate estimate of how the idea of the "supernatural" could have come about, and what it's function was in early cultures. I was not attempting a dictionary definition.

Someone who believes in the supernatural would do well to examine the source of that belief as it stretches back into early human history, and see if it is not ultimately related to the unknown, man's need to explain that unknown, and man's attempts to influence the unseen spirits with which he populated that unknown.

It appears that that same need is found in many, or even most, people and cultures today even though our greatly increasing knowledge is shrinking the gaps within which the unknown, and those spirits, can reside.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by slevesque, posted 01-27-2010 4:55 PM slevesque has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by slevesque, posted 01-28-2010 2:45 AM Coyote has not yet responded

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 271 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 60 of 230 (544950)
01-29-2010 9:38 PM


Evidence, science, theory & hypothesis etc.
Here are some definitions which may help:

Theory: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses. Theories do not grow up to be laws. Theories explain laws.

Theory: A scientifically testable general principle or body of principles offered to explain observed phenomena. In scientific usage, a theory is distinct from a hypothesis (or conjecture) that is proposed to explain previously observed phenomena. For a hypothesis to rise to the level of theory, it must predict the existence of new phenomena that are subsequently observed. A theory can be overturned if new phenomena are observed that directly contradict the theory. (Source)

When a scientific theory has a long history of being supported by verifiable evidence, it is appropriate to speak about "acceptance" of (not "belief" in) the theory; or we can say that we have "confidence" (not "faith") in the theory. It is the dependence on verifiable data and the capability of testing that distinguish scientific theories from matters of faith.

Hypothesis: a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices."

Also, the overall approaches of science and ID/creationism differ.

Science uses the working assumption of naturalism, and deals with what can be perceived.

ID and creationism use the a priori belief that various spirits (supernatural beings) exist, and that they interact in some ways with the natural world and with people.

There are significant differences between working assumptions and a priori beliefs. One of the primary ones is that the former are subject to testing and change, while the latter are dogma--you better believe it or else! (e.g., "We don't need no steenkin' evidence!")

This brings up two additional definitions:

Science: a method of learning about the world by applying the principles of the scientific method, which includes making empirical observations, proposing hypotheses to explain those observations, and testing those hypotheses in valid and reliable ways; also refers to the organized body of knowledge that results from scientific study.

Religion: Theistic: 1. the belief in a superhuman controlling power, esp. in a personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship. 2. the expression of this in worship. 3. a particular system of faith and worship.

And this all goes to establish a clear division between science/reality/the observable/evidence-based and supernatural/belief/dogma/the unobserved/non-evidence based.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 271 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 114 of 230 (545369)
02-03-2010 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by MatterWave
02-03-2010 1:03 PM


Re: A pointless exercise
The leap of faith is when you assume there is a supernatural origin for everything.

Or that there is a natural origin for everything. Which is what most of you are doing,


The default position is what can be measured and quantified. That is where all investigation starts.


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 1:03 PM MatterWave has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 1:31 PM Coyote has responded

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 271 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 155 of 230 (545443)
02-03-2010 6:15 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by MatterWave
02-03-2010 1:31 PM


Re: A pointless exercise
The default position is what can be measured and quantified. That is where all investigation starts.

If science were anywhere close to answering the Big questions, they wouldn't be called "big".


If scientists cared about naval-gazing and philosophical musings they wouldn't be called "scientists."


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 1:31 PM MatterWave has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 157 by MatterWave, posted 02-03-2010 6:21 PM Coyote has not yet responded

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 271 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 223 of 230 (546308)
02-09-2010 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 215 by MatterWave
02-09-2010 7:03 PM


You forgot to say "Amen!"
I was saying that you or anyone else for that matter, don't understand anything at all when it comes to the deep questions. You have zero knowledge, which is very evident by the complete and total lack of evidence to support your assertion that existence is natural and does not require a God.

Lead us, oh enlightened one! (Not another one!)

Arguments from ignorance don't go well with 'existence' because ignorance is ALL there is with regards to these questions. You are simply not aware that you are very ignorant, because you've raised a model of the universe that you somehow believe is true.

(Unlike yourself?)

That's really not different to believing in the Bible or the Toorah. Atheists and creationist share the same non-sensical dogma that you somehow understand the Universe. You don't! Claims to the contrary don't do justice to your position and are tremendously hilarious.

Sorry to have to tell you this, but you are preaching.

You have presented no evidence here, just opinion based on religious belief. Religious belief comes at a dime a dozen, as there are some 4,300 different world religions. There are even some 40,000 different sects, denominations, and flavors of Christianity!

And not one of those can show that it is right and the others are wrong using empirical evidence. Otherwise there would not be so many thousands of different beliefs!

Further, religious belief has a very poor track record against scientific investigation. Those "gaps" are getting few and far between, and narrower.

Now, about those deep questions: What makes you think that you have the TRVTH and everyone else has/is "zero knowledge," "total lack of evidence," "ignorance," "very ignorant," "non-sensical (sic) dogma," and are "tremendously hilarious?"

This brings to mind a line from an article I read many years ago:


Save us, dear Lord, from those who would save us.

Art Hoppe, On the Death of Robert Kennedy
San Francisco Chronicle
, 1968


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by MatterWave, posted 02-09-2010 7:03 PM MatterWave has not yet responded

  
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