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Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

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Definitions: Natural Vs. Supernatural.

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  • #31
    Originally posted by seer View Post
    If God did create and does sustain the universe in what sense is the universe natural?
    You don’t know that God created and sustains the universe. Nor is there good reason to believe this is true. It is a conditional statement, i.e. it is entirely based upon the conditional “IF”. Conditional tenses can only be used to speculate about what could happen, what might have happened, and what we wish would happen if such speculation (e.g. god’s existence) is true.

    In short, this argument is merely wish-fulfillment on your part.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by seer View Post
      ‘Supernatural’ is defined as “some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature”.

      Prove empirically that this definition is correct. With out begging the question.
      You couldn't prove it empirically. That doesn't make any sense. 'Natural' and 'supernatural' aren't empirical concepts. Why don't you tell us where you're headed with this thread?

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
        You couldn't prove it empirically. That doesn't make any sense. 'Natural' and 'supernatural' aren't empirical concepts. Why don't you tell us where you're headed with this thread?
        My point there is no rational justification for the definitions or distinctions.
        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

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        • #34
          Originally posted by seer View Post
          I have gone around this issue a bit, and I still maintain that the definitions of natural and supernatural are so ambiguous as to be without meaning. Why can't a supernatural universe, for instance, be open to investigate with knowable laws and function? The problem is we have no way to compare these two ideas. Unlike with with most things we define, like a table or chair, there is no objective way to distinguish between supernatural and natural - it is a complete guess.

          What makes you think the definitions are ambiguous at all? It would be too simplistic to say that the Christian SN is just mystical experience. I have said things that sound that why due to short handing it for brevity sake. My view is a bit more complex than that, Rather than a transcendent realm the realm of Grace is God;'s higher nature, It isn't removed from the world it's just better. God's grace raises humans to a higher level for consciousness through mystical e and that is the practical and empirical aspect that can be demonstrated at least in so far as the kind of experience said to be mystical goes. Proving it comes from God is another matter. It is because Super nature is the ground and end of nature that it doe elevate human consciousness. Nature is life from life, the physical world of birth and flesh and blood. The two realms are not opposed to open other, The SN is in the natural as well as beyond it. There is a two sidedness but not a real dualism. This is the view of Eugene R. Fairweather and of Moiaathiaas Jospeh Scheebn before him.[10][11] I have
          summarized these views.

          SN = ground and end of nature; nature = realm of biological life


          10] Eugene R. Fairweather, “Christianity and the Supernatural,” in New Theology no.1. New York: Macmillian, Martin E. Marty and Dean G. Peerman ed. 1964. 235-256, 239.

          [11 ] Matthias Joseph Scheeben, Nature and Grace, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2009 (paperback) originally unpublished 1856.
          Metacrock's Blog


          The Religious a priori: apologetics for 21st ccentury

          The Trace of God by Joseph Hinman

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          • #35
            Originally posted by seer View Post
            My point there is no rational justification for the definitions or distinctions.
            yes there is I just told you. It;s not pressurizing that most people don;t know because it;s real neglected. Here's a blog pace where I discuss my views on it,

            http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2016/0...ernatural.html
            Metacrock's Blog


            The Religious a priori: apologetics for 21st ccentury

            The Trace of God by Joseph Hinman

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Tassman View Post
              You don’t know that God created and sustains the universe. Nor is there good reason to believe this is true. It is a conditional statement, i.e. it is entirely based upon the conditional “IF”. Conditional tenses can only be used to speculate about what could happen, what might have happened, and what we wish would happen if such speculation (e.g. god’s existence) is true.

              In short, this argument is merely wish-fulfillment on your part.

              the things you say are wrong, God is real,God did create, but your statement is wrong on a deeper level than just being factually in error. There i a definable Christian view of SN. That is what you say is wrong but you don't know what it is.
              Metacrock's Blog


              The Religious a priori: apologetics for 21st ccentury

              The Trace of God by Joseph Hinman

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Jim B. View Post
                Well, sure. Nothing in metaphysics is 'provable.' But that was kind of assumed, wasn't it?

                Naturalists are saying there's no evidence for anything beyond what can be described by natural law, at least in principle.
                I am not so sure, You make a good point, I understand you are not saying its invalid just because it;not empirical. I think it is empirical if we understand the link to mystical experience.
                Metacrock's Blog


                The Religious a priori: apologetics for 21st ccentury

                The Trace of God by Joseph Hinman

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  My point there is no rational justification for the definitions or distinctions.
                  That's like saying there's no rational justification for any metaphysical definitions or distinctions.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by metacrock View Post
                    the things you say are wrong, God is real,God did create, but your statement is wrong on a deeper level than just being factually in error. There i a definable Christian view of SN. That is what you say is wrong but you don't know what it is.
                    And the definable Christian view is that God is the supernatural realm, or as you have defined it "the ground of the natural" and the creation is the natural realm. So, I don't see a unique argument or definition there. If god exists, then he/she/it would be the supernatural realm as opposed to the created realm, or natural realm. But the natural realm would be the natural realm whether a god or a supernatural realm existed or not.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by JimL View Post
                      And the definable Christian view is that God is the supernatural realm, or as you have defined it "the ground of the natural" and the creation is the natural realm. So, I don't see a unique argument or definition there. If god exists, then he/she/it would be the supernatural realm as opposed to the created realm, or natural realm. But the natural realm would be the natural realm whether a god or a supernatural realm existed or not.
                      Except that the word "natural" would be understood in two different senses then, depending on whether or not there is a Creator; either as "created" or as "uncreated." If God does not intervene in the world, other than as creator, then the two senses would be the same as far as the internal causal workings of the world. So it wouldn't matter to a natural scientist, say, whether or not there is a God, although it would matter metaphysically, as far as the reason for the world, its initiating and sustaining cause.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by seer View Post
                        I have gone around this issue a bit, and I still maintain that the definitions of natural and supernatural are so ambiguous as to be without meaning. Why can't a supernatural universe, for instance, be open to investigate with knowable laws and function? The problem is we have no way to compare these two ideas. Unlike with with most things we define, like a table or chair, there is no objective way to distinguish between supernatural and natural - it is a complete guess.
                        Agree to no objective way to distinguish between supernatural and natural. But objectivity seems to do well enough for discussion of macro level materiality. I see no reason to claim the definition of the natural is ambiguous and without meaning. You seem to me to be offering the theist version of Daniel Dennett's 'no such thing as consciousness', which appears to be the thinking of someone so embedded in a physicalist worldview that to be consistent consciousness has to be shoved out the door in order to maintain logical coherence.

                        I don't see why you are dissatisfied with current conventions for discussing the supernatural vs. the natural. This stuff is discussed every day by folks who seem able to rely on semantically appropriate language to do so. Seems you've engaged robustly in these conversations yourself for a number of years; are you just getting burned out by the constant "linguistic waves" crashing against the stone walls of other folks' worldviews with no mind seemingly ever changed? Not uncommon for one's battery to run down after a while.

                        I look at things from the perspective of information. Things that are able to in-form perception, that intentionality is able to grab hold of and present to the [human] mind. This is no quick fix, but is the only common denominator I can find between the supernatural [spiritual in religiousspeak] and natural: the mind is able to connect to both. Matter in time and space is loud, gets most of our attention. This is why I'm no nominalist. Concepts and universals have informational structure in the intellect. Matter in time and space shares the same structure Concepts and universals are elegantly simple and natural stuff is complex, which may be why reductionism is so popular with material things. But both share the simple "that-what" organization I assign the title 'structured information'. The supernatural is "natural" to the abstract realm. It seems embedded in and around abstract objects. Ill defined? Yes. But there is nothing that violates the laws of logic--given the revelatory function of the Bible (don't know about other religions, not familiar enough to speak for them)--in the idea that while humans are tied into this large existence in houses of matter, the bigger reality [beyond the material in the abstract realm] is mostly hidden from minds. Not entirely hidden, as pointed out above abstract objects provide information to minds in the same informational structure as material stuff. There is no reason not to suppose the greater reality--of which the natural is only one form of information--is superior to the natural. The secular world has been successful in convincing us that we have to judge things by their standards...that only empirically verifiable things in spacetime exist. Can't blame them. As long as they keep their eyes on the natural it will be the altar they worship at. This is too restrictive for me, I prefer, as I suppose other theists do, more freedom to step outside material/empirical constraints.

                        Btw, for those who mock the idea of an abstract reality need to consider the lay of the land here...

                        http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu...qn_summary.pdf

                        ...and explain how this fits into the naturalist worldview.

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