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Old 03-16-2014, 09:56 PM
 
Location: OKC
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"more simply, there is nothing that is supernatural."
I agree, but that is why I don't find that term to be a useful distinction.

Things are either real or not real. By placing the label "supernatural" on it, all we are doing is describing it as not real. By saying one doesn't believe in the supernatural, all we are saying is we don't believe in things that aren't real.

But conversely, since theist believe their concepts are real, those concepts must be considered naturalistic claim, in the sense you use the term.

In other words, if someone says they believe something is real, they must, by your definitions, be making a naturalistic claim, even if that object is "simply beyond scientific or human understanding or the known laws of nature," (which by your standards still makes it a naturalistic claim.) So if they claim a god is real, then they are making what you would describe as a naturalistic claim. Even the god of Abraham would be considered naturalistic if one believed he was real.

I agree that the concept of heaven is probably untrue. I'm only asserting that there isn't much real benefit in distinguishing it as a supernatural vs. a natural claim. All claims that something is true must by definition be naturalistic.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:14 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HopOnPop View Post
The eternal Tao is either unknowable or its merely a human ideal that is comprehensible but merely unachievable. If we are talking the latter, we might represent the eternal Tao as a geometric shape -- such as a perfect circle -- for which humans will forever remain unable to ever achieve in reality, but as a concept the perfect circle is fully captured in human mathematics and comprehensible to the human mind == which is not the same thing as an unknowable concept.

On the other hand, if your notion of the eternal Tao is, in fact, ultimately an unknowable ideal for all time, how can we ever claim we know of it in the first place, to event attempt to achieve it? Such a notion is not coherent with the idea of being unknowable.
I was merely trying to express that an actually grand super-being would not be limited to idolization of ink-characters and fleeting feelings inside of people. Whether gods can be comprehensible but merely in part is a different story and an apology left to more ardent theologians. Now, I think that saying that the Tao, or “correct way,” is comprehensible but unachievable like a perfect circle is a rather misleading simile since perfect circles are only partly or vaguely comprehended anyway, and not actually known fully, although known surely as they have their definition. Still, as I value “Truth” more than the possibility of a “correct way," we can say that I think such a Tao is indeed knowable in all useful aspects.

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This is merely a conflation between unknowable and the unknown, There is no justification to think that ultimately anything we now know in part, is ultimately, going to have some component we do not ultimately understand -- unless we are willing to concede that investigative effort and time cannot both be infinite.
I’m glad we seem to agree that there is no justification. Yet what I meant was that even if a god was “known” by a human, it would still be fully/surely unknowable in the ultimate epistemological sense.

Quote:

Despite the value of your beautifully poetic expression here, the point you make is fairly obvious. If by mentioning such a notion here, however, you are implying something about the nature of the discussion, I would ask you why then do you choose to participate in it? The negative inferences one may draw from this expression here reflects rather poorly upon your motive and character.
Thank you for expression your aesthetic appreciation of the colorful metaphor. I was merely extrapolating on my idea that those pretenders who deny agnosticism are merely afraid of doubt because they do not understand its usefulness as much as they feel and hate its push against their shallow ease and contentment. I was not implying anything about the nature of the reader and their decisions. I was merely outlining the importance of doubt and the pity I has for pretenders to knowledge especially when such believes are merely willful and without good reason or evidence.

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I do not know. I do not even know from where you get your meaning and purpose. All I can know is from where I get my meaning and my purpose. Are you implying that meaning and purpose are objective things?
Again, I was merely pointing out that meaning and purpose couldn’t logically come from individualized outside sources, as those sources would need to explain their own. I hold that meaning and purpose are deeply subjective even if many people wish many people and authorities shared and “legitimized” theirs.
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You are implying that as tiny spirits who are often silly and irrational, humans are unable to understand their own concepts -- like "eternal" and "unknowable" == and that is demonstrably false. You are correct, we cannot ever understand things that are unknowable (by definition) but we most certainly can understand what we mean when we say something is unknowable (which, by discussing them with others, is all that I am attempting to do here). Eternal is another issue altogether outside this discussion, but do you at least understand the distinction I am discussing in regard to the 'unknowable'?
Definitions are definitions. I think many people can understand many of their own concepts, but usually people don’t make up their own concepts but attempt to learn concepts that have been defined or pondered upon, whether concretely or vaguely, for them already. However, it would be very hard for common people that haven’t pondered too much to understand that eternal is too unknowable for the human mind. Sure, the concept is vaguely defined and understood, but its direct and “eternal” implications aren’t as clear nor will they be. Same with the concept of “unknowable.” The words are easy enough to grasp, but the reality behind the labels are much harder. So yes, I do believe I understand the distinction.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:26 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
....

Normally you are more astute than this, Shirina. They are NOT comparable "unknowables." There is nothing that actually exists that needs to be accounted FOR BY the existence of Santa or the Easter Bunny. That is not true about God. There IS something that actually exists (reality) that needs to be accounted FOR and is currently unknown (or unknowable). That is NOT a minor difference. That is why BOTH the God and No God presumptions are preferences only. NEITHER can be substantiated. To claim EITHER one as default is to make an unsubstantiated positive claim.
Although "eternal existence" because "nothingness" is illogical could be another explination other than God.
Karma, Buddha, Demiurge, Evil Demon, powerful fairies, FSM, multiples Gods, the Easter Bunny of Creation, etc could all be used to account for existence.

Gods would have to have some sort of limiting definition to even begin a conversation about them.
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:51 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
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Originally Posted by SteakGuy View Post
No theist is claiming to be able to show you incontrovertible proof of God so your challenge is incoherent by definition. You are demanding we accept a challenge which isn't coherent with our beliefs.
God doesn't want to be proven so we have to go on Faith as God wants it.
This is not The Age Of Miracles (although there are Miracles), this is The Age Of Faith.
How do you know that "Faith" is how God (and not the money collectors) wants it if God hasn't been proven?

Does your God do anything that can be demonstrated clearly?

1st Kings 18:27
Quote:
At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
It is clear, the desert spirit for which Abraham bisected baby animals does not exist. It is as random and coincidental as Chance, as much a blessing as Fortuna, as fulfilling as Hope, as promising as Desire.

This is the Age of False Religions and Slow Progress, as it always has been with such needy people as us.
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:20 AM
 
39,211 posts, read 10,895,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
...

But conversely, since theist believe their concepts are real, those concepts must be considered naturalistic claim, in the sense you use the term.....
That's a damn' good point. I suspect that of course the supernatural (i.e "God") is natural of course, but it is not naturalistic in the sense of not...thinking it all out- which why I had the concept of 'Forward planning' as the difference between 'God' and 'nature'. How about that, Mystic?
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:40 AM
 
39,211 posts, read 10,895,806 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuminousTruth View Post
Although "eternal existence" because "nothingness" is illogical could be another explination other than God.
Karma, Buddha, Demiurge, Evil Demon, powerful fairies, FSM, multiples Gods, the Easter Bunny of Creation, etc could all be used to account for existence.

Gods would have to have some sort of limiting definition to even begin a conversation about them.
Indeed Mystic is indulging in special pleading. He already said that I could call It Tooth Fairy' (or 'Nature') and he would call it 'God'. One could equally call 'It' Santa or the easter bunny. But then he starts to assume what he would call 'beliefs' about Santa or the Easter bunny.

"They are NOT comparable "unknowables." There is nothing that actually exists that needs to be accounted FOR BY the existence of Santa or the Easter Bunny."

He is departing from the label for 'God' or 'nature' and assuming human - belief characteristics about the mythical entities to which we apply the labels 'Santa or Easter bunnies. As a mere label for 'Reality' Santa or Easter bunny is exactly what is needed to account for that which 'actually exists' (reality/nature) as much as 'God'. To deny this is to have made a distinction between the attributes of 'Santa'/'Easter Bunny' and 'God'.

Which if we make the same sort of distinction between 'God' and 'nature', he says we are applying human beliefs. Which is exactly what he is doing to try to discredit the 'Santa' label.

This is a prime example of the faulty reasoning and false logic and premise that underlies all of Mystic's thinking-because he has faith that 'God' exists and all the reasoning is a way of trying to wangle some (sound) evidence for its existence.

This is not new. we all see this, but I don't think I have ever seen a better example of faulty and indeed faith - biased illogic on his part up to now.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,097,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxcar Overkill View Post
"more simply, there is nothing that is supernatural."
I agree, but that is why I don't find that term to be a useful distinction.

Things are either real or not real. By placing the label "supernatural" on it, all we are doing is describing it as not real. By saying one doesn't believe in the supernatural, all we are saying is we don't believe in things that aren't real.

But conversely, since theist believe their concepts are real, those concepts must be considered naturalistic claim, in the sense you use the term.

In other words, if someone says they believe something is real, they must, by your definitions, be making a naturalistic claim, even if that object is "simply beyond scientific or human understanding or the known laws of nature," (which by your standards still makes it a naturalistic claim.) So if they claim a god is real, then they are making what you would describe as a naturalistic claim. Even the god of Abraham would be considered naturalistic if one believed he was real.

I agree that the concept of heaven is probably untrue. I'm only asserting that there isn't much real benefit in distinguishing it as a supernatural vs. a natural claim. All claims that something is true must by definition be naturalistic.
I agree with your line of reasoning. I would only caution that in dealing with Christians (the sort of theist I have the most experience with, and once was) that while the word "supernatural" does not in practice come up in conversation that much, it is still implicit in their thinking. Most of their claims are rife with special pleading; god is in a special category or compartment in their thinking. In this compartment, god is not subject to nature or part of nature. This only becomes explicit when they are really backed into a corner, such as discussing origins and god's role as creator. But it is there all the time, because their god is supposed to be transcendent -- and what is there for him to transcend if not nature itself? For the Christian what he transcends is "everything" or "all".

http://www.theopedia.com/Transcendence_of_God

Quote:
God is above, other than, and distinct from all he has made ... To affirm God's transcendence and deny his immanence is to arrive at deism. To deny his transcendence and affirm his immanence is to arrive at pantheism.
In this quote we see that they want to distance god from creation (transcendence) yet somehow put him in intimate contact with it (immanence). Thus they try to have it both ways. Their argument against this paradox is that without it, one would be either a deist or a pantheist. True, but at least in being one of those two things you would be logically consistent.
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:37 AM
 
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Good posts. Indeed, without immanence, 'Deism' (existence of a God claimed as believably reliable - presumably on the 'who made everything then, eh?' argument) is the only Theistic belief left. Immanence of course can be based on anything from ID, to prayers answered, the odd miracle (a natural disaster will do if there is nothing better) and of course the voice in the head and the Buddha under the body-belt. It is a question of whether those are considered really convincing as evidence for an immanent invisible intelligence outside of human individual thinking. And whether it is really convincing seems to depend on whether one want it to be or not. Oh yes, I know that I have looked at miracle healing claims and immediately begun trying to debunk them. But someone has to, or we are just letting unverified claims pass without challenge. Which is just what theists of all stripe would like.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 03-17-2014 at 07:07 AM..
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Old 03-17-2014, 06:37 AM
 
5,462 posts, read 5,942,522 times
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Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
The God Helmet used low level EM fields to elicit these experiences that were sensed and interpreted by the brain as the presence of God or whatever. You see this as tricking the brain. I see this as discovering another sensory capability of the brain. Clearly our brain is sensitive to fields. Since our reality is at base myriad field phenomena . . . that is not particularly surprising. But to me that suggests that there IS some kind of field phenomenon that our brain is supposed to sense and interpret as the presence of God.
Weird - last time I pointed out that EM field consciousness was dismissed by experts in the field (no pun intended) you got all huffy and reminded me that you obviously weren't talking about EM fields. Now you use sensitivity to EM fields as some sort of evidence for your claim.

So much for consistency - just throw whatever you can imagine up against the wall and hope something sticks?
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:10 AM
 
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I have to agree that the 'science' that Mystic claims supports his hypothesis looks very like starting out with the hypothesis and fishing around for anything that seems to be in the realm of science that seems to stick.
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