1. Standard memberapathist
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    05 Dec '16 09:34
    In another thread, tw says ... it might be interesting to know what you actually mean by 'supernatural'.

    So, what does the term mean for you?
  2. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 Dec '16 11:46
    Originally posted by apathist
    In another thread, tw says ... it might be interesting to know what you actually mean by 'supernatural'.

    So, what [b]does
    the term mean for you?[/b]
    It means effects that cannot happen in OUR universe. Like the speed of light all of a sudden, in space, = 1 mph.
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    05 Dec '16 13:55
    It means a power outside our universe having an effect on this universe that isn't natural. It means that something can happen that we can't make happen, ever seen happen or reproduce.
  4. Cape Town
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    05 Dec '16 15:08
    Originally posted by Eladar
    It means a power outside our universe having an effect on this universe that isn't natural. It means that something can happen that we can't make happen, ever seen happen or reproduce.
    So if the supernatural happens, you will never see it? Or you can only ever see it once?
  5. Cape Town
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    05 Dec '16 15:09
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It means effects that cannot happen in OUR universe. Like the speed of light all of a sudden, in space, = 1 mph.
    So essentially something that isn't?
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    05 Dec '16 15:16
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    So if the supernatural happens, you will never see it? Or you can only ever see it once?
    It may happen once or more than once. It is something you can see should the supernatural do something in the natural world.
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    05 Dec '16 15:1914 edits
    Originally posted by Eladar
    ... It means that something can happen that we can't make happen, ever seen happen or reproduce.
    It is easy enough to conceive of something that fits that above definition but most of us would disagree should be called 'supernatural'. For example, something happening in another universe other than our own but obeying the same natural laws (esp the physical laws ) of our universe; we may not ever be able to observe it if it is in another universe but we wouldn't generally call that 'supernatural'.

    A better definition of 'supernatural' would be one that says it means something that observations, whether scientific observation or just 'ordinary' everyday observations, shows doesn't obey natural law i.e. it disobeys the pattern of behavior we always observe things to happen in our universe.

    And, with that definition of 'supernatural', it would be virtually by definition be irrational to believe that any such supernatural thing exists because it would mean there is not only no observable evidence for it (by its definition of supernatural) but the observation of natural laws imply it probably never happens (by its definition of supernatural) .

    For example, with that definition of 'supernatural', a solid object, such as a boulder, apparently floating through a sold brick wall without leaving a hole in it, would be 'supernatural' precisely because such an occurrence disobeys the natural laws we observe in our universe (we always have observed solid objects/things resist going through each other and don't 'magically float' etc; those are examples of 'natural law' ). And since it must disobey how we observe and thus rationally know how things behave for it to be 'supernatural' by the very definition of 'supernatural', just like any superstitious belief, it must be an irrational belief to believe a boulder can do that.

    And, hypothetically, if we lived in a universe where we actually do observe boulders float through solid things and we observe (excluding those of us who are drunk or on drugs or hallucinate) gods and ghosts, than all that would be part and parcel of 'natural law' by definition and if you believe anything disobeyed that 'natural law', such as a boulder being unable to magically float through a solid brick wall if observation implies it must always be able to float through a solid wall, then, in that universe, it would be that which would be the stupid superstitious belief in the 'supernatural'! (who ever heard of a boulder that can't magically float through a solid brick wall! ? I suppose next you would say there is no god or ghosts! ).

    Who agrees xor disagrees with my above definition?
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    05 Dec '16 17:39
    Originally posted by apathist
    In another thread, tw says ... it might be interesting to know what you actually mean by 'supernatural'.

    So, what [b]does
    the term mean for you?[/b]
    Easy, anything that is super and natural.

    Duh!!
  9. Cape Town
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    05 Dec '16 19:37
    Originally posted by Eladar
    It may happen once or more than once. It is something you can see should the supernatural do something in the natural world.
    You said it would be something we have never seen happen. Are you withdrawing that part of your definition?
  10. Cape Town
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    05 Dec '16 19:401 edit
    Originally posted by Eladar
    It means a power outside our universe having an effect on this universe that isn't natural. It means that something can happen that we can't make happen, ever seen happen or reproduce.
    So some 'power outside our universe' would not be able to do something normal like play a game of chess, because I sure have seen that happen before and I can reproduce it.
    Powers outside our universe are only capable of stuff that we cannot ever possibly reproduce. Why are they restricted like that?

    Or is it 'natural' when they do everyday type stuff?
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    05 Dec '16 21:04
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    You said it would be something we have never seen happen. Are you withdrawing that part of your definition?
    Could be something never seen.

    Things like creating the Universe out of nothing hasn't been seen. Turning water into wine is something that hasn't been seen. Miraculous healing some say they have seen multiple times so it could be things seen.
  12. Standard memberDeepThought
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    06 Dec '16 01:16
    Originally posted by humy
    It is easy enough to conceive of something that fits that above definition but most of us would disagree should be called 'supernatural'. For example, something happening in another universe other than our own but obeying the same natural laws (esp the physical laws ) of our universe; we may not ever be able to observe it if it is in another universe but we wou ...[text shortened]... ou would say there is no god or ghosts! ).

    Who agrees xor disagrees with my above definition?
    The problem with your argument is that Science depends on a collection of assumptions about the world, which aren't particularly controversial, called methodological naturalism. This consists of a collection of beliefs, which are inductively justified but not proven, which amount to the future can be predicted from knowledge of the past and that nature is describable with theories. Nature is understood to mean everything physical and everything that supervenes on it. The strong version of this, ontological naturalism makes the additional claim that that is all that there is. I don't think that this position is beyond criticism.

    Supernatural is used to mean the existence of things which are not physical objects nor things which supervene on them in some way. It tends further to be used in a restricted sense of agents of one form or another: gods, angels, ghosts, etc.. So I think the argument is to do with whether mind necessarily supervenes on the brain or there is something like Cartesian dualism, with mind being a substance which isn't determined by natural laws. I don't think there's any automatic internal contradiction with this position, it's just a little short of evidence.

    So, while you might argue that a belief in the supernatural is unscientific, we don't expect scientific method to apply to the supernatural anyway so there's a category error going on. I don't think that there's any contradiction between believing methodological naturalism on the one hand and the existence of the supernatural on the other. Science's position on the supernatural is essentially agnostic.
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    06 Dec '16 08:108 edits
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    This consists of a collection of beliefs, which are inductively justified but not proven, which amount to the future can be predicted from knowledge of the past and that nature is describable with theories. .
    You are obviously touching on the problem of induction [PmOI] here, which is one of the things I am currently researching. Change-of-topic; I claim to be able to provide a real solution (not just a mere resolution) to PmOI but cannot prove this yet because it is currently 'incomplete' (it is currently a partial proof) but I will prove it when I make it 'complete' in about ~one years time (it is a massively complex mathematical proof) when I have my book published. I will show it mathematically, with mathematical proofs, in my book. I plan to even display the equation for its real solution on the front cover of the book although that is by far not the only thing my book will be about.

    If you doubt I have any real solution to PmOI, I understand. All the best and most intelligent philosophers in the world say and, just like I once did, believe there is no solution and there are some very good reasons, which I will explain in my book, they have to believe that there is no real solution. But they are missing something (something to do with the conventionally accepted set of axioms of probability, which I can prove isn't exactly all OK).
  14. Cape Town
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    06 Dec '16 17:55
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Turning water into wine is something that hasn't been seen.
    Good to know you don't buy the Bible story about it.

    Miraculous healing some say they have seen multiple times so it could be things seen.
    So the whole seen or not seen thing was nonsense?

    What about the repeatable thing. Why can entities outside the universe not make wine out of grape juice? What is stopping them?
  15. Cape Town
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    06 Dec '16 17:57
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    So, while you might argue that a belief in the supernatural is unscientific, we don't expect scientific method to apply to the supernatural anyway so there's a category error going on.
    Perhaps you would care to give a definition for supernatural such that a 'category error' occurs. Why would the scientific method not apply to the supernatural?
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