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Author Topic:   Evidence for the Supernatural
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2103 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 16 of 107 (44808)
07-02-2003 12:39 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by truthlover
05-28-2003 3:43 AM


My "practice in faith" thread got a lot of responses I wish had been here rather than there. This is sort of a thrown out continuation to thoughts on intuition and coincidence that have been brought up in various threads on evcforum.

My mom, who's visiting for a couple weeks, told me about being at work shortly before retiring last month. Her back was bothering her, and she needed to get an invoice out of the bottom drawer of her file cabinet. She told a co-worker, "We better ask God to let me put my hand right on that invoice, because if it takes too long to find, the rest of you are going to have to carry me out of this office."

She opened up the drawer, stuck her hand in the middle of the files, and she separated the files at exactly the right invoice. She commented how good God was or something, and the co-worker said, "It would be hard to top that." My mom had to match the invoice with another that was in the top drawer. She opened the drawer, and the invoice she needed was pulled up, exposed in the drawer. The co-worker said, "Well, okay, maybe that tops it."

At lunch that same day, an irate customer was on the phone, and my mom needed an invoice from that day's pile. It wasn't in order, filed or anything. She said the stack of invoices was about ten inches high. She put the customer on hold, commented to the same co-worker that she needed to find the invoice fast to get this irate customer taken care of, and would the co-worker take half the stack and help her find it. My mom cut the stack in half, and there, on top of the bottom half, was the invoice she needed. The co-worker started humming the Twilight Zone theme.

Again, I don't think any one incident proves anything, but when people turn to God, ask for help, and experience "coincidences" like this repeatedly, then maybe you don't have repeatable, testable, scientific theory, but you do begin to have something that would carry weight in a courtroom.

Okay, back to being slammed for enjoying good intervention while there's so much suffering in the world.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by truthlover, posted 05-28-2003 3:43 AM truthlover has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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doctrbill
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 17 of 107 (44812)
07-02-2003 1:18 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by truthlover
07-02-2003 12:27 AM


Re: Natural/Supernatural
My point is this:
Many things which we call natural today were once considered supernatural.
Lightning and thunder were supernatural.
Twilight was supernatural.
Intuition was supernatural.
Mental illness was supernatural.
Everything thought to be supernatural will, in time, be demonstrably natural. Belief in the supernatural is, I believe, directly proportional to ignorance of the natural.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by truthlover, posted 07-02-2003 12:27 AM truthlover has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Peter, posted 07-03-2003 5:37 AM doctrbill has responded

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 1967 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 18 of 107 (44930)
07-03-2003 5:37 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by doctrbill
07-02-2003 1:18 AM


Re: Natural/Supernatural
quote:

Everything thought to be supernatural will, in time, be demonstrably natural

Provided that's a statement of belief I agree.

If you view it as fact you must critically assess the level
of bias it may impose on any data that comes your way otherwise
you are operating exactly like a believer in the supernatural


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by doctrbill, posted 07-02-2003 1:18 AM doctrbill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by doctrbill, posted 07-03-2003 7:56 PM Peter has responded

    
nator
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 19 of 107 (44955)
07-03-2003 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by truthlover
07-02-2003 12:27 AM


Re: Natural/Supernatural
quote:
I think supernatural things occur looking quite natural pretty regularly. I think thunder can be sent at the exact time to get a message across to a person, and then it's natural and supernatural both.

So, basically, everything that happens might be supernatural, and it's up to the individual to decide if it was or not?

So, considering that people can convince themselves of just about anything if they want to, there's no real way to tell the difference.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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nator
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 20 of 107 (44958)
07-03-2003 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by truthlover
07-02-2003 12:39 AM


quote:
Again, I don't think any one incident proves anything, but when people turn to God, ask for help, and experience "coincidences" like this repeatedly, then maybe you don't have repeatable, testable, scientific theory, but you do begin to have something that would carry weight in a courtroom.

You are right, but the issue here is, are these events actually happening repeatedly at a rate which is greater than chance would predict or do people just remember the "hits" and disregard the "misses"?

It has long been understood that the latter is much more likely the case.

This and other normal tendencies for humans to recognize patterns and cause and effect relationships can lead us down the garden path into thinking that "something is going on" when there really isn't.

That's why the scientific method is such a powerful tool. It is specifically designed to compensate for and eliminate many of these natural human tendencies to make connections when there really aren't any.

On the other hand, maybe God is punishing your mom by giving her a lot of back pain. Maybe the closeness and bonding she would have experienced with the rest of the office staff had her back gone out and they had had to take her to the hospital would have been a truly great experience, but God denied all of them that by making the files easily accessable.

See how easy it is to pick what situations you would like God to be responsible for and which ones you don't?


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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doctrbill
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 21 of 107 (45007)
07-03-2003 7:56 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by Peter
07-03-2003 5:37 AM


Re: Natural/Supernatural
I don't see it that way.

What I'm saying is that everything is natural; even your belief in the "supernatural."

When you say something is supernatural it amounts to saying it is un-natural.

Just because it's rare,amazing and wonderful - doesn't make it un-natural.

The examples of lightning, thunder, and mental illness cannot be lightly dismissed.
Not everyone belived those things were supernatural back when and not everyone believes your amazing experiences are supernatural now.

Atheists benefit from prayer, intuition, telepathy and other so-called "spiritual" gifts. The invisible guy in the white robe has no franchise on natural phenomena.

------------------
Bachelor of Arts - Loma Linda University
Major - Biology; Minor - Religion
Anatomy and Physiology - LLU School of Medicine
Embryology - La Sierra University
Biblical languages - Pacific Union College
Bible doctrines - Walla Walla College


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Peter, posted 07-03-2003 5:37 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Peter, posted 07-04-2003 4:38 AM doctrbill has responded

  
Peter
Member (Idle past 1967 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 22 of 107 (45034)
07-04-2003 4:38 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by doctrbill
07-03-2003 7:56 PM


Re: Natural/Supernatural
I suppose it depends on your world-view.

After all the 'magical practitioner' view magic to be
natural in any case ... it's all part of the universe
it's just that the scope of that universe is somewhat wider
for the 'practitioner' than within more mainstream
worldviews.

If by natural you mean governed by the laws we have so far
uncovered then I disagree ... if on the other hand you mean
that such things can be quantified and their rules of
operation understood (or found to be non-existant) then I
agree ... but then so do believers.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by doctrbill, posted 07-03-2003 7:56 PM doctrbill has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by doctrbill, posted 07-04-2003 11:10 PM Peter has responded

    
Peter
Member (Idle past 1967 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 23 of 107 (45035)
07-04-2003 4:45 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by nator
07-03-2003 10:18 AM


Re: Natural/Supernatural
quote:

So, basically, everything that happens might be supernatural, and it's up to the individual to decide if it was or not?

I'd have to say 'yes' to that (unfortunately). Even you have already
done that and your answer is (invariably I would guess) 'No it
was not supernatural.'

We just don't know. Anything else is a matter of belief.

quote:

So, considering that people can convince themselves of just about anything if they want to, there's no real way to tell the difference.

Correct.

As you have pointed out science can only investigate tha
natural, repeatable phenomena of what we view to be the
natural world.

This discussion is heading deeply into belief systems which
by defintion defy support.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by nator, posted 07-03-2003 10:18 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by nator, posted 07-04-2003 8:57 AM Peter has responded

    
nator
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 24 of 107 (45058)
07-04-2003 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Peter
07-04-2003 4:45 AM


Re: Natural/Supernatural
quote:
We just don't know. Anything else is a matter of belief.

So, are you saying that nobody knows anything and all perceptions and versions of reality are to be considered equal?

So, the 10 who say they are Elvis really might all be Elvis, and that this is equally likely as all ten of them being crazy?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Peter, posted 07-04-2003 4:45 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
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Peter
Member (Idle past 1967 days)
Posts: 2160
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 25 of 107 (45062)
07-04-2003 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by nator
07-04-2003 8:57 AM


Re: Natural/Supernatural
quote:

So, are you saying that nobody knows anything and all perceptions and versions of reality are to be considered equal?

So, the 10 who say they are Elvis really might all be Elvis, and that this is equally likely as all ten of them being crazy?


No. I'm saying that if we have no evidence then the best
we can say is 'I don't know'.

In your Elvis example we have a slightly different situation
in that there can be only one Elvis, therefore 9 are definitely
not Elvis ... without performing some tests based upon a known
Elvisness we cannot comment on whether one of them is or is
not Elvis.

Because we assume that something cannot be the case does
not mean that we are right.

We can, if we investigate sufficently, rule out some possibilities,
and logic (without bias) may be helpful.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by nator, posted 07-04-2003 8:57 AM nator has not yet responded

    
doctrbill
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 26 of 107 (45113)
07-04-2003 11:10 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Peter
07-04-2003 4:38 AM


Re: Natural/Supernatural
quote:
If by natural you mean governed by the laws we have so far
uncovered then I disagree ... if on the other hand you mean
that such things can be quantified and their rules of
operation understood (or found to be non-existant) then I
agree ... but then so do believers.

I don't fully understand your reply. I do believe that much of what is currently called supernatural is in fact explainable according to modern science. But, I doubt that such things will soon, if ever, be subject to direct observation in the scientific sense. Thus not quanifiable.

Are you saying that believers expect to understand and quantify the mechanism of spiritual gifts? Are you saying that believers are open to proving that spiritual powers are nonexistent?

db


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Peter, posted 07-04-2003 4:38 AM Peter has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Peter, posted 07-17-2003 4:42 AM doctrbill has responded

  
nator
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 27 of 107 (45572)
07-09-2003 11:44 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by nator
07-03-2003 10:33 AM


bump.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by nator, posted 07-03-2003 10:33 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by nator, posted 07-11-2003 10:33 AM nator has responded

    
nator
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 28 of 107 (45747)
07-11-2003 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by nator
07-09-2003 11:44 PM


bump.

Truthlover?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by nator, posted 07-09-2003 11:44 PM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by nator, posted 07-12-2003 4:47 PM nator has responded
 Message 31 by truthlover, posted 07-16-2003 12:26 PM nator has responded

    
nator
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 29 of 107 (45844)
07-12-2003 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by nator
07-11-2003 10:33 AM


bump
This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by nator, posted 07-11-2003 10:33 AM nator has responded

Replies to this message:
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nator
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 30 of 107 (45872)
07-13-2003 12:03 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by nator
07-12-2003 4:47 PM


bump
This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by nator, posted 07-12-2003 4:47 PM nator has not yet responded

    
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