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Baxter
Skeptic Friend

USA
131 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  11:30:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Baxter a Private Message
quote:
But if a god is in effect indistinguishable from the natural world, then what's the use of positing a god in the first place?
quote:
If god is defined in such a way as to be indistinguishable from the non-existent, then what reason is there to presume he does exist?
Well, I don't know, other than it's a matter of faith. I'm just not convinced that faith is invalidated even when given that God is undetectable in this way.



quote:
Couldn't the universe be exempt from it also? See you first must start with an axiom "all things are created by a creator." then break it to explain your god as the answer, making it a non-answer.
I mean that if we allow that God is eternal and outside of space and time, then why do we need to ask ‘Who or what made God?'



quote:
Atheism isn't about thinking you have all the answers. It's about rejecting non-answers. Saying god might have done this or could have done that is fine to consider philosophically, but without any evidence, it isn't reasonable to then make the leap and believe god did do this or that. It's just an unjustified belief. It isn't any better of an explanation than simply truthfully admitting that we don't know.
There is logic in rejecting non-answers. But perhaps it is not illogical to believe that a supernatural explanation is more probable than a natural one. What do you think?



quote:
And the rest of the universe seems to be mostly a big, unfeeling set of matter just floating around in accordance with arbitrary natural laws.
What makes natural laws arbitrary? And does science try to explain natural laws or is that outside its realm?

Okay, thanks for your responses. I think I do have a better understanding of an atheist's perspective. However, from your responses I admit I am having some difficulty distinguishing a substantial difference between atheist and agnostic.

"We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me." ~from Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey

"We can be as honest as we are ignorant. If we are, when asked what is beyond the horizon of the known, we must say that we do not know." ~Robert G. Ingersoll
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  11:44:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Neurosis said:
quote:
You made up all the definitions in this discussion. Nature does not mean 'thiings that exist'. Gibberish does not mean 'things that make no sense to one person in a conversation'. The word exist and existent have no mention of nature in their definitions.



More strawmen from you... shocking.(not)

I can only conclude that you are doing it on purpose, because you don't appear to be an imbecile in other threads here. No rational person can take my claim that "all things that exist, exist in nature(broad sense of the word) and contort it into "nature = things that exist".

quote:
You are a hypocrite and dumbass who you can't admit error. You also apparently cannot envision something controlling your experience and that will never able to be understood by you. This thing would be described as supernatural in the same way as alien technology would be described as magick by the ancient cultures. It is not relevent that it is not magick, only that the word was an accurate way to describe that technology where no other word exists that better describes it.


Ohhh.... I'm hurt. You have devolved into base namecalling here, so I accept that as yet another admission of error on your part since you clearly can't defend your position without resorting to strawman lies, ad hom arguments, and name calling.

marfknox said:
quote:
Oh for fuck's sake! This all started because you accused Baxter of speaking in "gibberish" for writing this:



Yeah, and WHO was it that started a semantics argument over "gibberish"? Hmmm? My use of the word is appropriate, Neurosis decided (arbitrarily) to claim it wasn't, despite a link provided by him that supports the way in which I used the word.

So go dye your hair or something and learn to read a thread before you decide to take sides and make accusations.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  12:02:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
quote:
Well, I don't know, other than it's a matter of faith. I'm just not convinced that faith is invalidated even when given that God is undetectable in this way.


Ok. How so?

quote:
I mean that if we allow that God is eternal and outside of space and time, then why do we need to ask ‘Who or what made God?'

I mean why does the universe need a creator? Time does not need a beginning or an end any more than god. Time is a relative description like heat (how cold or warm something is). What is most likely the way things are is a space-time. The point is that whereever god does exist, that realm, like space-time would need a creator, if space-time needs one.
quote:

There is logic in rejecting non-answers. But perhaps it is not illogical to believe that a supernatural explanation is more probable than a natural one. What do you think?


It is not. Because there is no reason to believe in something untestable and reason is the cornerstone of logic.

quote:

What makes natural laws arbitrary? And does science try to explain natural laws or is that outside its realm?

Okay, thanks for your responses. I think I do have a better understanding of an atheist's perspective. However, from your responses I admit I am having some difficulty distinguishing a substantial difference between atheist and agnostic.


The laws of nature are the way things interact. Science seeks answers where evidence leads, if there is no way to explain the laws yet, then no explanation is given. Here is a similar question, Does religion try to explain why god has the nature she does? The answer is no because one may very well need to be above god to answer that question. The same is true of answering why does a ball bounce, it can be broken down for a long way (all the way to particle interactions) but in the end there is a veil that cannot be crossed without being in a another perspective. Kind of like watching a magick show from the audience and never seeing the trap door. The difference is that science is comfortable working with the audience perspective and religion insists on making up explanations about the back stage area without ever having access. As a result I might add, science often makes innovations in ways of getting around the limitation and passing through veils, while religion has not and will not ever move on past its own crazy axioms.

Atheism:

Atheist do not believe in god(s). Agnostics claim no knowledge of god(s). All atheist are agnostics. Agnisticism concerns knowledge atheism concerns belief and the two are very different, but since most people do not distinguish the two (especially the religious) the general public alters the terms like square pegs in round holes. Thus, some people feel more comfortable saying they are agnostic instead of an atheist because of the social stigmas. When I hear an agnostic proclaim agnosticism I generally ask a few questions for clarity (as I do for atheists) and what I mostly find is that agnostics have 'a gut feeling that there could be something more' and are thus not comfortable saying, to themselves or others, that god does not exist. Atheist however, treat god like unicorns and have no problem assuming god does not exist until oth

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  12:08:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Baxter
quote:
If god is defined in such a way as to be indistinguishable from the non-existent, then what reason is there to presume he does exist?
Well, I don't know, other than it's a matter of faith. I'm just not convinced that faith is invalidated even when given that God is undetectable in this way.
When was faith ever "validated" in the first place? If you think faith is a valid method of gaining knowledge about the way things actually are and exist in reality, then demonstrate it.

For instance: What's the color and model of the car I drive? Can you use faith to arrive at the answer? No? Then what reason is there to presume faith can correctly answer questions of even greater scope?

If faith cannot reliably produce correct answers about things we can verify, then there is zero reason to suspect it can produce correct answers about things beyond verification. Faith is not a valid method of knowing, regardless of whether god exists or not.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 02/13/2007 12:26:19
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  12:39:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude



More strawmen from you... shocking.(not)

I can only conclude that you are doing it on purpose, because you don't appear to be an imbecile in other threads here. No rational person can take my claim that "all things that exist, exist in nature(broad sense of the word) and contort it into "nature = things that exist".


That is exactly your claim! Are you that stupid? You are claiming that nature (broad sense of the word) means all things that exist. If you are not then you lose, because that would mean that some things can exist outside of nature, supernatural. Also, we have never been talking about this broad sense of the word, because nature has nothing to do with all the things that exist. You made that up yourself, look it up. Prove that all things that exist, exist in nature, which is different than all things that exist have a nature.

It is the same as A=B thus B=A. If everything that exists, exists in nature, then nature is comprised of all that exists.
quote:

quote:
You are a hypocrite and dumbass who you can't admit error. You also apparently cannot envision something controlling your experience and that will never able to be understood by you. This thing would be described as supernatural in the same way as alien technology would be described as magick by the ancient cultures. It is not relevent that it is not magick, only that the word was an accurate way to describe that technology where no other word exists that better describes it.


Ohhh.... I'm hurt. You have devolved into base namecalling here, so I accept that as yet another admission of error on your part since you clearly can't defend your position without resorting to strawman lies, ad hom arguments, and name calling.


No. I defined you as a hypocrite because you are being one. You did not allow Baxter to use the word supernatural in its collquial usage but inist on using gibberish that way.

quote:

Yeah, and WHO was it that started a semantics argument over "gibberish"? Hmmm? My use of the word is appropriate,


Who claimed to be using a literal definition? You did. Maybe you should look up literal also.
quote:

Neurosis decided (arbitrarily) to claim it wasn't, despite a link provided by him that supports the way in which I used the word.


Liar! You quoted what was common use! It even said so! You claimed literal use. Even your own definition:

"meaningless in context = gibberish"

Does not apply because it has meaning in the context of this thread over things that are not objectively testable!

"The supernatural (Latin:super- "exceeding"+nature) comprises forces and phenomena that cannot be perceived by natural or empirical senses, and whose understanding may be said to lie with religious, magical, or otherwise mysterious explanation —yet remains firmly outside of the realm of science. ..."

So the thing can exist (in nature's broadest sense) and still remain untestable within that nature, thus SUPERNATURAL!

Yes, you are a dumbass, and yes, I am using the colloquial here, someone who cannot see something even when it is in their face!

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
Edited by - Neurosis on 02/13/2007 12:42:22
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2007 :  12:43:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
I'm going to concede a small point here, no gloating or happy-dancing allowed though.

(blame fatigue, working 35-45 hours friday-sunday and 8 hours of school monday-thursday)

If a thing exists, it exists in nature (this should be self evidently true if we use the same definitions of nature and exist).

So, yes, the natural world(in the broadest sense of the word) is the set of all real things. Regardless of our knowledge of them, or our ability to detect them, or whatever else.

(IMO this is the appropriate definition of "nature" for this context. "The totality of physical reality, exclusive of things mental." is one of the definitions listed in multiple dictionaries for "nature")

Therefore, if some deity does exist outside the imagination of the person claiming it, it would exist in the natural world, rendering the descriptor "supernatural" meaningless. (gibberish, by the usage of "gibberish" provided by you in your wiki link)


The word "supernatural", when applied to anything real, is an expression of ignorance. It seems to me to be nothing more than a god-of-the-gaps type argument. You don't understand something, so it must be supernatural. You don't know how the universe came to be, so it must have supernatural origins. You don't know how life originated, so it must have had supernatural origins. And so on and so on.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 02/14/2007 :  19:26:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message
Baxter wrote:
quote:
I mean that if we allow that God is eternal and outside of space and time, then why do we need to ask ‘Who or what made God?'
We don't. However, modern physics has already proven that we also don't have to ask where the universe came from. Cause and effect isn't a scientific law. It is a philosophical concept that has been shown to not apply to any time-based origin of the universe, much like how Newtonian physics do not apply to things on a tiny scale.

quote:
What makes natural laws arbitrary? And does science try to explain natural laws or is that outside its realm?


I do not understand this first question. That natural laws are arbitrary is self evident. There are laws that govern the natural world – this according to everything we observe so far is true. Why those laws and not another random set of laws – who knows? Why do things exist at all? If God exist, why does he exist? At some point something's state of being in the first place is ultimately arbitrary. At least that's all I meant by “arbitrary”. Maybe you interpreted it differently?

There is the possibility that there is a God who made the natural laws as they are because they would eventually produce a universe with humans. But if this is the case, heck of a round-a-bout and incredibly painful way of creating!

quote:
Okay, thanks for your responses. I think I do have a better understanding of an atheist's perspective. However, from your responses I admit I am having some difficulty distinguishing a substantial difference between atheist and agnostic.


Depending on who you talk to or what dictionary or encyclopedia you use, agnostics can be characterized as a type of atheist. There are 2 main types of atheists in definitions that I've encountered. First is the strong or positive atheist, and the other is the weak or negative atheist. Penn of Penn and Teller is a positive atheists. This means that he has a positive belief that there is no God. He explained this viewpoint very well in an episode of “I Believe” on NPR. It is a short segment and you can listen to it here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5015557 This is the view of many atheists.

Then there are negative atheists, which includes agnostics. Negative atheists simply lack a belief in any gods. They may never bother thinking much on the matter, or they may just be a general skeptic.

In regards to faith… I lost mine when I realized there were so many varieties of religious faith. Knowing there were people who had faith in concepts which often contradicted the concepts that I thought I had faith in, I questioned my faith, and my faith failed miserably to provide any answers. There are people today who are trying to promote a general kind of religious faith that somehow might allow for bits and pieces of what they claim are the essential part of all religions into one universal kind of spirituality. But to do this, they must reject many beliefs that many people hold passionate faith in, such as the belief that Jesus lived and was God embodied, that he died and rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven. Such as that Muhammad had a genuine revelation from God acted in accordance with that revelation. Such as that certain human beings reach a state of mystical Enlightenment which causes pearl-like relics to remain after they die and their body is cremate

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 02/14/2007 19:28:23
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2007 :  12:40:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Baxter
There is logic in rejecting non-answers. But perhaps it is not illogical to believe that a supernatural explanation is more probable than a natural one. What do you think?

I think it is illogical, because of the track record.
Whenever there has been an event, such as lightning for example, when the explanation has basically been unknown to begin with, naturalistic explanations has won.
If we have an event, and there are two competing explanations for them, one supernatural and one natural, which one is the right one?
A black box that magically produce the same result every time, or an explanation that describes that electrostatic charges build up between clouds (and ground) until a cascade migration of electric charge happens.
If the black box is God's will, then why does God's will always conform to be the same as the natural explanation?

If the coherence of a laser beam is a manifestation of a supernatural explanation (God's will) then why does God always make the beam coherent?
If scientists predicted that the beam would be coherent before they fired the very first one, then these scientists knew God's intentions beforehand. They accurately predicted what God would do, and now he's forced to always do it whenever a laser is fired.

The alternative is of course a naturalistic explanation.
Physics predicted the effect because photons adhere to natural laws. These laws are subject to be discovered by scientists. No black box of magic or supernatural necessary.

The naturalistic explanation also have predictive power that the black box doesn't have. We don't know when God sees fit for lightning to strike next time. But a naturalistic explanation says when the electrostatic charge exceeds a level dictated by the shape of the cloud, the ground and the proximity between them and atmospheric conditions, the lightning will strike.
Appealing to the supernatural (praying) will not make the lightning strike a desired place at a desired time. But knowledge of the natural explanation behind lightning, we can design a small rocket to carry a long wire up into the cloud to facilitate a discharge, or aiming a high-powered atmosphere-ionising laser at the cloud, so that lightning can trail the ions produced by the laser down to the ground.


Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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Collateralmurder.
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2007 :  16:16:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude

I'm going to concede a small point here, no gloating or happy-dancing allowed though.

(blame fatigue, working 35-45 hours friday-sunday and 8 hours of school monday-thursday)

If a thing exists, it exists in nature (this should be self evidently true if we use the same definitions of nature and exist).

So, yes, the natural world(in the broadest sense of the word) is the set of all real things. Regardless of our knowledge of them, or our ability to detect them, or whatever else.

(IMO this is the appropriate definition of "nature" for this context. "The totality of physical reality, exclusive of things mental." is one of the definitions listed in multiple dictionaries for "nature")

Therefore, if some deity does exist outside the imagination of the person claiming it, it would exist in the natural world, rendering the descriptor "supernatural" meaningless. (gibberish, by the usage of "gibberish" provided by you in your wiki link)


Have you read the definition of supernatural I have cited several times. "Exceding nature" does not mean not existing. If we use nature to mean what you cited when upon entering the discussion, no one would say this thing exists, but outside of existence. That would be dumb, but supernatural only means what exists that we can not use nature to discover. The only time it is used to mean "outside of nature" is when nature is defined as what we know of nature, the universe itself. Baxter was obviously using supernatural as a word that could describe something untestable. He could have even used untestable instead. Anyone could have, and you obviously realized this. That is the only reason I even entered the discussion. You chose to use the word gibberish in a common use sense, but, knowingly I assume, tried to prevent Baxterfrom using a word the same way. The cite on my link pointed out that it was common usage and not the way the word was defined. The word supernatural was also defined in the dictionary in multiple ways that could be used and still not gibberish by any definition. The only way to call supernatural gibberish was to use the common definition of gibberish, the uncommon defintion of nature, and supernatural as a sum of its parts. This is usage is unfair as you are using gibberish in a way not stemming from its etymology, but not allowing the same of Baxter
quote:

The word "supernatural", when applied to anything real, is an expression of ignorance. It seems to me to be nothing more than a god-of-the-gaps type argument. You don't understand something, so it must be supernatural. You don't know how the universe came to be, so it must have supernatural origins. You don't know how life originated, so it must have had supernatural origins. And so on and so on.


Your almost right. The word supernatural actually is used when people cannot figure out a natural one to use, that is to say one that cannot be tested for within nature itself. It is wrong to do such thinking you are correct, but that in itself is not reason to deny the existence of those things which defy natural observation, thus the word supernatural denotes those things and is not gibberish or meaningless. We have always been talking about things that cannot be observed from the opening post, therefore the context was set. It is not self evident that all things exist in nature unless nature means all things that really exists and are not in your own mind. If under that premise, Baxter was not suggesting that god is existing, but only in the mind, so he was therefore using the definition that I cited. It was obvious what he meant and you chose to respond rudely.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2007 :  21:25:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Neurosis siad:
quote:
It is not self evident that all things exist in nature unless nature means all things that really exists and are not in your own mind.


Luckily that is exactly what nature means in this context.

Baxter's contention is that the universe we live in is the direct result of an action taken by some powerful entity. That posits an undeniably real physical existence for that being. (how could a non-existent being create anything?)

Our ability to observe or understand a thing has zero bearing on it.

If Baxter's deity is real then it exists in nature, regardless of our understanding or observation of it.

So yes, "supernatural" is indeed gibberish.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2007 :  21:40:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude

Neurosis siad:
quote:
It is not self evident that all things exist in nature unless nature means all things that really exists and are not in your own mind.


Luckily that is exactly what nature means in this context.

Baxter's contention is that the universe we live in is the direct result of an action taken by some powerful entity. That posits an undeniably real physical existence for that being. (how could a non-existent being create anything?)

Our ability to observe or understand a thing has zero bearing on it.

If Baxter's deity is real then it exists in nature, regardless of our understanding or observation of it.

So yes, "supernatural" is indeed gibberish.





Apparently you just don't know what the word supernatural means. Super is the prefix it means "exeeding" or "outside of the limits". The word natural means (broadly) the physical existence as opposed to the mental non-existence, as in the laws of nature. Thus supernatural means "outside of the limits of the physical and/or laws of nature". God made the laws of nature and is thus 'super' and not under those laws or any other natural thing (not even his self because he has no limits). He is also outside the limits of nature and natural things to be tested for by us (also natural), so thus out of our reach. In the same way that superhuman supermen are still humans (man), just exceed the limits of men (normal). Superhuman stength is simply stronger than normal men could ever be, or 'strength outside the strength limits of normal men'. Superhuman does not mean raccoon and raccoons are not superhuman, even though they are outside of the human classification. Even though I have cited it about eight times, the words supernatural forces does not mean non-existent forces. To say so would be stupid. Supernatural forces are forces that violate natural laws, the ones we know about. The usage of the word here automatically assumes a definition of nature that is what we know of nature, or those laws we are under. It is stupid and mean to ignore what obvious context a person means knowingly and try and force a broader definition, but even under that definition a supernatural god is not gibberish, it means a god that is not limited by any natural laws but makes up his own. Why can you not see that?

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2007 :  12:19:52   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Neurosis said:
quote:
The usage of the word here automatically assumes a definition of nature that is what we know of nature, or those laws we are under.


There is no definition of "nature" that means "what we know". I have no idea where you are getting that one from, because it isn't in any of the references I searched to examine the different meanings of the word.

So it appears that you are the one guilty of creating your own definitions here, not me.

quote:
It is stupid and mean to ignore what obvious context a person means knowingly and try and force a broader definition, but even under that definition a supernatural god is not gibberish, it means a god that is not limited by any natural laws but makes up his own. Why can you not see that?


If such a deity were real, then they would not exist outside of nature (and therefore would not be supernatural), whatever their abilities and character may be. You cannot ascribe some imaginary attribute to a real thing just because you don't have a thorough understanding of that thing.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Neurosis
SFN Regular

USA
675 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2007 :  14:57:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Neurosis an AOL message Send Neurosis a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Dude

Neurosis said:
quote:
The usage of the word here automatically assumes a definition of nature that is what we know of nature, or those laws we are under.


There is no definition of "nature" that means "what we know". I have no idea where you are getting that one from, because it isn't in any of the references I searched to examine the different meanings of the word.

So it appears that you are the one guilty of creating your own definitions here, not me.


And you call me being intentionally obtuse! I said that nature is what we know of nature!

"the natural physical world including plants and animals and landscapes etc.; "they tried to preserve nature as they found it"

See it assumes physical in the defintion. But god is assumed to be spirit. We do not know what spirit would be, but that does not mean it does not exist, even though it is not physical and has no physical component.

But congradulations on ignoring the point of my post and the meat of the argument about how 'super' does not mean 'the opposite of'. This supernatural, is not the opposite of natural it is above the limits of nature, and god is supposed to be above all natures and have no limits. Hey that would be supernatural!

quote:

If such a deity were real, then they would not exist outside of nature (and therefore would not be supernatural), whatever their abilities and character may be. You cannot ascribe some imaginary attribute to a real thing just because you don't have a thorough understanding of that thing.



Supernatural DOES NOT mean "outside of nature". It means superior to nature! God having no limits, is superior to all natures! Nothing in nature limits god, thus god is supernatural. You need to get a dictionary. You seem to be commiting your own fallacy. You do not understand god or how he can exist, thus he doesn't. Just because you can't understand how something can have no limits and be superior to everything that exists, does not mean something cannot have that attribute. I am not arguing that god exists, I am arguing that god's definition can be supernatural, or above the limits of nature.

Facts! Pssh, you can prove anything even remotely true with facts.
- Homer Simpson

[God] is an infinite nothing from nowhere with less power over our universe than the secretary of agriculture.
- Prof. Frink

Lisa: Yes, but wouldn't you rather know the truth than to delude yourself for happiness?
Marge: Well... um.... [goes outside to jump on tampoline with Homer.]
Edited by - Neurosis on 02/19/2007 14:58:35
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Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2007 :  15:47:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Neurosis
Supernatural DOES NOT mean "outside of nature". It means superior to nature! God having no limits, is superior to all natures! Nothing in nature limits god, thus god is supernatural. You need to get a dictionary. You seem to be commiting your own fallacy. You do not understand god or how he can exist, thus he doesn't. Just because you can't understand how something can have no limits and be superior to everything that exists, does not mean something cannot have that attribute. I am not arguing that god exists, I am arguing that god's definition can be supernatural, or above the limits of nature.
I haven't been following up on this argument, and so please pardon me if I jump in here, but I'd call into question the notion that supernatural means necessarily "superior to nature." Rather, at least by modern understanding, it measn literally above nature, but in the sense of "beyond" or, as the on-line Webster's says, "unexplainable by natural law or phenomena." No one would say that, for instance, poltergeists or pyrokinetics were superior to anything. (Well, OK, Charlene McGee was superior to the personnel at 'the Shop' compound, but whatever...)

Anyhow, I think that when skeptics talk about a god (Yahweh or Zeus or whomever) being 'supernatural' I don't think they have in mind anything that is superior to nature. Rather, they mean that because such a being is beyond nature, it is impossible to test for it as you can, say, for lead in my drinking water.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2007 :  16:36:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
Neurosis cried:
quote:
And you call me being intentionally obtuse! I said that nature is what we know of nature!

"the natural physical world including plants and animals and landscapes etc.; "they tried to preserve nature as they found it"

See it assumes physical in the defintion. But god is assumed to be spirit. We do not know what spirit would be, but that does not mean it does not exist, even though it is not physical and has no physical component.

But congradulations on ignoring the point of my post and the meat of the argument about how 'super' does not mean 'the opposite of'. This supernatural, is not the opposite of natural it is above the limits of nature, and god is supposed to be above all natures and have no limits. Hey that would be supernatural!



You are creating your own definition of "nature", one that is not to be found in any reference on the subject.

The specific definition of nature appropriate to this context is:
quote:
the totality of physical reality exclusive of things mental


Physical reality includes matter, energy, space, etc.

Which would include anything real, even deities made of "spirit" who are able to circumvent the natural laws we have so far observed.

I would not agree to your usage of "supernatural" for any kind of formal debate either, because as you define it there is already a much more concise and appropriate word, one less laden with magical thinking: "ignorance".


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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