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Thread: Supernatural?

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  1. #1
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    Supernatural?

    In religious debates and the like, the word "supernatural" is often used. But I'm not sure that all parties are going by the same criteria for when something qualifies as "supernatural" or what it means to be "supernatural" so I'm forwarding how I define it in terms of the common debate here. I think a very pertinent qualifier for "supernatural" is "that which is not accounted for by current scientific understanding" (that's not necessarily a complete definition but I very much hold that that is a pertinent part of the definition and likewise the focus here).

    But of course as time goes on we learn more and more so some of what's currently not accounted for by current scientific understanding could be accounted for in the future.

    So let's say that hypothetically that what we consider as ghosts actually exist - there ARE disembodied consciousness that sometime reside in particular locations. And let's also say hypothetically that in twenty years science will confirm that this actually exists and the existence of ghosts becomes an accepted scientific reality.

    So in that scenario, it seems clear that ghosts would no longer be considered "supernatural". And likewise because ghosts currently fit the definition of "supernatural" does not mean that they don't actually exist (since what is unaccounted for now might be discovered later). That's not to say that one can't successfully argue that ghosts don't exist but I hold that one can't successfully argue that they don't exist just because they fit the definition of "supernatural".

    Anyway, I'm posting this in part to forward how I define supernatural in terms of the debate. While one can certainly argue that a certain supernatural something does not exist, it is not an accepted premise, going by the definition of "supernatural" I'm using here, that it doesn't exist just because it's qualifies as supernatural.

    And btw, if you (whoever you are) are using a different definition of "supernatural" in your arguments, feel free to argue for that definition.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Supernatural is defined as "(of a manifestation or event) attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature."

    So by definition, it is anything that science has yet been able to explain or disprove. I agree with your point that when something is explained by science, it is no longer considered supernatural - it's where the term of God in the Gaps came from.

    Religious folk tend to couch their beliefs in very poorly defined terms - ghosts, demons, angels, soul, etc. They're all considered supernatural to keep them out of the reach of science - indeed, modern theists even claim that their god cannot even be explained by science since he is outside of the natural realm. So it's not really a matter of classification at the root of an atheist's dispute, it's the fact that theists use the term to hand wave away their obligations to explain anything. It's commonly known as the '...because God' argument; theists say 'God works in mysterious ways'.



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    Re: Supernatural?

    When you say "that which is not accounted for by current scientific understanding", what , specifically, can fall into the category of "that"? Does "that" refer to an actual real-world event, such as spontaneous human combustion? Can "that" be merely an account of a thing, such as the belief of a remembered event of spontaneous human combustion? It might be useful to distinguish between the two, since people can have all sorts of thoughts/beliefs that occupy real estate in their brains, none of which correspond to any actual past/present/future real-world event.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    In religious debates and the like, the word "supernatural" is often used. But I'm not sure that all parties are going by the same criteria for when something qualifies as "supernatural" or what it means to be "supernatural" so I'm forwarding how I define it in terms of the common debate here.
    Agreed, too often people do talk past each other just because of a different definition for a given word.

    In a general physics conversation, this definition isn't too bad.

    In a religious context, this is not what I think of at all though (not saying I am correct here, just how I see the meaning behind the word)!!
    In this case I think of it more like this example:

    "God suspends the laws of the universe, in a very specific time/place to achieve a particular result."


    God made the laws of our universe, only God can do things that would violate these laws. Since God does these things with a "thought", is immaterial, and not a part of this universe, I don't see science explaining a supernatural event ever.

    Further, if science could explain how God could perform the supernatural, it still couldn't be replicated in lab since it would still violate the laws of the universe (whether such laws are known to man or not...). And you still would not be able to make predictions about possible future super natural events based on said knowledge.

    Supernatural is unexplainable by science by definition to me, or it's meaning seems to diminish to little/nothing.

    Great idea for a topic

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    Re: Supernatural?

    I would say that if you want to examine the word supernatural, we should look at some of the things it is attributed to.
    So I think the OP does well to examine Ghosts as an example. However I don't make the distinction that the OP makes, such to say that once science explains Ghosts fully and completly then it would no longer fall under the term "supernatural".

    So, some examples of super-natural.
    Raising of the dead, such as Lazerous and Christ.
    Walking on water
    As a point to push the limits, Any healing at all.

    So in what way are the first 2 outside of science? Suppose we could take have Christ walking on water in any number of "experimental" environments. In what way would science come up empty in accurately describing the event? If it is only because the event happened once, or that it is in the past and we don't have access to the forces that caused it. Then suddenly any past event is by definition "supernatural".
    Such as the beginning of the universe. That would by definition be super-natural.


    Now to push the envelope a bit, what about healing of any kind.
    While it may seem "natural" because it occurs on a regular basis, the event of healing is pretty much due to forces that science is not really able to effect very much. Things like the Placebo effect, while we may be able to predict a rate of it, would probably best fall under the category of "super natural". Spontaneous recovery from cancer and various other illnesses, who's causes are totally outside of sciences ability to explain a cause of. (Again, something that science can measure and predict, but which forces are outside of our access). I think also the fact that for all the hospitals and Dr's and "science" that is brought to bare on sickness and diseases, it is ultimately the body and some pretty squishy reasoning that people recover from any illness at all, while others die from the same thing.


    ---good topic--
    To serve man.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Suppose we could take have Christ walking on water in any number of "experimental" environments. In what way would science come up empty in accurately describing the event?
    How could science explain or quantify Jesus being able to suspend gravity by thought alone?

    However, if Jesus were available for testing on his ability to walk on water, at least we would know the phenomena exists.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    How could science explain or quantify Jesus being able to suspend gravity by thought alone?

    However, if Jesus were available for testing on his ability to walk on water, at least we would know the phenomena exists.
    Well, if he was available for testing we could ask him to explain how his consciousness did it and we most likely will learn something new. After all, Peter, his disciple, also walked on water for a few moments, which shows (if you consider the validness of the Bible) that the average man has the potential to do this.

    So your comment makes me wonder, if some Eastern adept came down from the Himalayas, subjected himself to scientific testing for a few days, and he walked on water repeatedly, levitated, showed that he was clearly clairvoyant, demonstrated super human strength, to name just a few siddhis, and all this would be recorded and documented – yes, some might say these phenomena exist. But then what? Wouldn't this just be tucked away in some vast library of paranormal observations?
    Last edited by eye4magic; May 30th, 2018 at 09:19 PM.
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Well, if he was available for testing we could ask him to explain how his consciousness did it and we most likely will learn something new.
    This assumes Jesus understands the mechanics of it and not just the capabilities (birds don't understand how they can fly just because the can do it).

    Also if he did stop by, it could clear up what version of religion is "true", why wouldn't he want to do that?

    ---------- Post added at 08:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:49 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    So your comment makes me wonder, if some Eastern adept came down from the Himalayas, subjected himself to scientific testing for a few days, and he walked on water repeatedly, levitated, showed that he was clearly clairvoyant, demonstrated super human strength, to name just a few ?
    Yes that would be fascinating if it could be studied scientifically and not be just "lore" of the past. From your own source:
    " Many of these tales exist within the literature and lore, but they are just stories, up to the readers to determine their credibility. Of course, one who subscribes to various ancient teachings would be more inclined to believe that these are more than just folklore."

    The only phenomena Harvard reported in that article was the ability to control, to some extent, the body's own metabolic functions. Like:
    " where they were astonished to find that these monks could lower their metabolism by 64%."

    They make no mention of any sort of levitation, clairvoyance, etc being observed at all.

    ---------- Post added at 09:13 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:57 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    So your comment makes me wonder, if some Eastern adept came down from the Himalayas, subjected himself to scientific testing for a few days, and he walked on water repeatedly, levitated, showed that he was clearly clairvoyant, demonstrated super human strength, to name just a few siddhis, and all this would be recorded and documented – yes, some might say these phenomena exist. But then what? Wouldn't this just be tucked away in some vast library of paranormal observations?

    Any actual levitation video being shown to be scientifically true from a reputable source and repeatable would go viral in a heartbeat!!

    People have offered thousands to millions of dollars for that! Lots of attempts but no one has ever shown any of this to be true.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...the_paranormal
    http://www.skepdic.com/randi.html

    This would literally take over social media and the news. You would have to look to find a Kardashian story thru all the supernatural stories.

    After all, if everyone could levitate we wouldn't need cars and would be saved form "global warming" at the same time.

    None of these things you have mentioned "walked on water repeatedly, levitated, showed that he was clearly clairvoyant," have ever stood up to any scrutiny.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    This assumes Jesus understands the mechanics of it and not just the capabilities
    If we consider the context of Jesus’ mission which included repeatable demonstration of his mastery to manipulate matter, i.e., changing water to wine, raising Lazarus from the dead, healing the sick, removing demons from people, resurrecting, walking through walls – this would reasonably show that he could probably enlighten us today regarding the laws (principles) he used to accomplish these acts. In fact, he was so familiar with the principles he used he used to manipulate matter, that he informed us during his mission, that his work (acts) were repeatable by others: “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12.
    Also, if he is willing to be tested, it doesn’t hurt to ask, right?

    Also if he did stop by, it could clear up what version of religion is "true", why wouldn't he want to do that?
    I think he would be more then gracious to enlighten us on the matter.

    Yes that would be fascinating if it could be studied scientifically and not be just "lore" of the past. From your own source:
    " Many of these tales exist within the literature and lore, but they are just stories, up to the readers to determine their credibility. Of course, one who subscribes to various ancient teachings would be more inclined to believe that these are more than just folklore."
    It also points out “With science shedding light on the possible truths of ancient mysticism, it’s not implausible to think that, at one time, these abilities were more common knowledge….

    The only phenomena Harvard reported in that article was the ability to control, to some extent, the body's own metabolic functions. Like:
    " where they were astonished to find that these monks could lower their metabolism by 64%."
    From the perspective of the Buddhist monks, this is probably icing on the surface. “In Buddhism, for example, the existence of advanced powers is readily acknowledged; in fact, Buddha expected his disciples to be able to attain these abilities, but also to not become distracted by them.”

    The ability to influence our autonomic nervous system and immune system at will for many people today would be considered abnormal, supernatural, if not unbelievable to many. Just think if millions of people could, through no use of drugs or machines, control their body temperature, autonomic nervous system and immune system with their mind as this study shows? That could revolutionize medicine,health care and our way of life. Where’s the viral video on this scientific study and observation?

    Granted, a study that shows one person with this super natural ability doesn’t mean everyone can do it, but the Iceman has subjected himself to scientific scurtiny and he has trained others, with a fair amount of success, to do what most people would consider to be impossible, abnormal and unnatural.

    They make no mention of any sort of levitation, clairvoyance, etc being observed at all.
    Any actual levitation video being shown to be scientifically true from a reputable source and repeatable would go viral in a heartbeat!!
    What would that prove? That one person is able to levitate at will; that this is possible using a rigorous ancient type of meditation practice? And if most people find that they can’t easily duplicate the results, does that make the observation any less real?

    This would literally take over social media and the news.
    I would think the scientific study and observation referenced above about Iceman and his super human abilities and the monks would have more immediate and practical social interest since it involves the ability of people to have more control over their health in a society where autoimmune diseases are effecting millions of people today. The ability to control our body temperature and other systems with our mind…. the implications of this are massive.

    After all, if everyone could levitate we wouldn't need cars and would be saved form "global warming" at the same time.
    Why would you assume everyone could levitate if we observed and verified someone levitating?
    Also, if we observed one supernatural event that we can’t easily duplicate, does that make the observation any less real?


    None of these things you have mentioned "walked on water repeatedly, levitated, showed that he was clearly clairvoyant," have ever stood up to any scrutiny.
    Perhaps, more Buddhist monks in the East will opt to work with researchers to study their practices. Meanwhile, there are some mind-bending studies out there that challenge our notion of natural and supernature and could revolutionzie our approach to health.
    Last edited by eye4magic; May 31st, 2018 at 11:12 PM.
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    If we consider the context of Jesus’ mission which included repeatable demonstration of his mastery to manipulate matter, i.e., changing water to wine, raising Lazarus from the dead, healing the sick, removing demons from people, resurrecting, walking through walls – this would reasonably show that he could probably enlighten us today regarding the laws (principles) he used to accomplish these acts.
    God is said to do these things with a thought. All that means is "he" is capable of such things. It does not in any way speak to "his" understanding of how a thought could actually accomplish such things.
    You know how to send an email on your computer, do you have any idea of what your computer has to do to make that happen? If you don't I am convinced you would be amazed at what has to happen for it to get to my inbox!

    ---------- Post added at 04:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:53 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I think he would be more then gracious to enlighten us on the matter.
    Anytime soon would be AWESOME

    ---------- Post added at 04:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:54 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    It also points out “With science shedding light on the possible truths of ancient mysticism, it’s not implausible to think that, at one time, these abilities were more common knowledge….
    Yes, but it was still discussing "stories of the past" or "folklore" and it would be much more common knowledge if these "events" were still as common as in folklore.
    Also, "shedding light on possible truths" is pretty vague and the article doesn't go into anymore detail on any supporting science of any of the claims such as levitation or clairvoyance.

    ---------- Post added at 05:05 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:59 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    What would that prove? That one person is able to levitate at will; that this is possible using a rigorous ancient type of meditation practice? And if most people find that they can’t easily duplicate the results, does that make the observation any less real?
    [B][B][B]It would prove you are incorrect that proof of any person that could levitate, by mind power alone, wouldn't take the whole world by storm. You would not be able to get away form it.


    ---------- Post added at 05:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I would think the scientific study and observation referenced above about Iceman and his super human abilities and the monks would have more immediate and practical social interest since it involves the ability of people to have more control over their health in a society where autoimmune diseases are effecting millions of people today. The ability to control our body temperature and other systems with our mind…. the implications of this are massive.
    What natural law is being broken by these people?
    That people can access consciously some functions of the brain that are normally automatic and happen without conscious thought?
    This is not a good definition for supernatural (with respect to Dio who hates ALL definitions of the word).

    ---------- Post added at 05:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:12 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Why would you assume everyone could levitate if we observed and verified someone levitating?
    From YOU!
    You said all one needs do is become a Buddhist Monk to be capable of this. I assume most anyone can do that if they so chose???

    ---------- Post added at 05:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:15 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Also, if we observed one supernatural event that we can’t easily duplicate, does that make the observation any less real?
    That's kinda how science works.
    If an event is not repeatable, you have not duplicated the event, or you were incorrect in the first place.
    This is how every single technological advance has happened.

    But I would love to discuss this further
    Do you have an example of a supernatural event we can explore. Maybe one in the more present day if possible.

    ---------- Post added at 05:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:20 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Perhaps, more Buddhist monks in the East will opt to work with researchers to study their practices. Meanwhile, there are some mind-bending studies out there that challenge our notion of natural and supernature and could revolutionzie our approach to health.
    Or since they allow outsider's to visit, maybe some one could go there to observe and study them levitating???

    Don't you realize the implications??? People in wheel chairs would be freed at the very least!
    This is HUGE stuff if it were true. This would indeed be the greatest accomplishment to date for humans to have learned how to overcome gravity by thought alone!

    It is not possible to overstate how profoundly this would affect humanity, forever....
    Last edited by Belthazor; June 1st, 2018 at 04:37 PM.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    God is said to do these things with a thought. All that means is "he" is capable of such things. It does not in any way speak to "his" understanding of how a thought could actually accomplish such things.
    What God are you talking about? Are you talking about the God, the main character in the Bible that describes his nature throughout the text, or are you talking about something else? Are you talking about the Creator of the heavens and earth; the eternal Spirit, the God is Love, the God is a consuming fire; the God where all things came into being through Him; the God who knows and understands all things. We’re not debating belief here, we’re discussing, on this point, someone you brought into this thread, Jesus Christ, unless you are taking about another Jesus.

    You know how to send an email on your computer, do you have any idea of what your computer has to do to make that happen?
    Are you equating the sender of the email to Jesus Christ when you state: ”if Jesus were available for testing on his ability to walk on water, at least we would know the phenomena exists.” Are we talking about Jesus the Christ, as in Jesus “Christ”, Christos, the Anointed One, the Messiah. the Son of God or are you referring to some other Jesus? Again, we’re not debating what you believe or don’t believe. We’re discussing Jesus Christ and what you think he understands and does not understand about the nature of the miracles, specifically about walking on water, he performed during his mission on earth within the context of Biblical literature.

    Anytime soon would be AWESOME
    Does that response imply that:

    1. You asked Jesus, as I suggested, and you are waiting for his response?
    2. You are waiting for him to join ODN and reply to you question?
    3. You assume I am Jesus’ press secretary and I can speak on his behalf?
    4. You're asking my personal opinion?

    Yes, but it was still discussing "stories of the past" or "folklore" and it would be much more common knowledge if these "events" were still as common as in folklore.
    Well, this issue is a work-in-process. You might be interested to know that the current Dali Lama loves science. He’s opened up, to a certain degree, the Tibetan mystic monk culture to the West and science.

    It would prove you are incorrect that proof of any person that could levitate, by mind power alone, wouldn't take the whole world by storm. You would not be able to get away form it.
    I’m not arguing that such an event would not take the world by strom. I am asking you: what would it prove scientifically, other then what the observation shows, a Himalayan adept can levitate? And if the scientific observation of the levitation could not be duplicated-- but clearly oberved, does that make the scientific observation of the one Himalayan adept any less real?

    What natural law is being broken by these people?
    Unless we regard consciousness and its mysterious ways as supernatural, none. But that’s the point. Fifty years ago if you told my brother-in-law, a long standing doctor, and many other doctors that the mind can influence and/or control human body temperature, the human immune system, nervous system and heart rate --- doctors would have called you a wacko nut and suggested you take some meds—and that they don’t believe in supernatural powers.

    As far as supernatural, I like the astronaut Edgar Mitchell’s perspective: “There are no unnatural or supernatural phenomena, only very large gaps in our knowledge of what is natural, particularly regarding relatively rare occurrences.

    How do you define supernatural?

    You said all one needs do is become a Buddhist Monk to be capable of this. I assume most anyone can do that if they so chose???
    I said “if some Eastern adept came down from the Himalayas, subjected himself to scientific testing for a few days, and he walked on water repeatedly, levitated, showed that he was clearly clairvoyant, demonstrated super human strength,”

    Why would you assume anyone could levitate after observing a controlled study of an adept levitating if they simply chose?

    Consider Michael who observes a mathematical genius, solve the most complicated types of equations that hardly anyone can solve. Michael chooses to have the same ability, but he knows very little math. His choice to want to have that knowledge and replicate the results he is observing, does not give him the ability to replicate what he is observing. Yes, he can chose to embark on a long, rigorous journey to learn and study math. But even that may not guarantee that he will replicate the genius level of math to solve the types of problems he observed.

    Now, I’m not stating that human levitation can’t be replicated after it is observed. In fact, there’s a long history of recorded levitations. Granted, the history of these obervations were not under controlled settings, but it is a reference point and context to consider.

    But I am attempting to make the point if an event can be scientificallly observed but not consistently replicated, is that supernatural?

    That's kinda how science works.
    If an event is not repeatable, you have not duplicated the event, or you were incorrect in the first place.
    So for our levitation experiment by the Himalayan adept, that will take the world by storm, is the scientific observation real if it’s not consistenly repeatable?

    Does our current science dictate what is real verses what is not real?

    Or since they allow outsider's to visit, maybe some one could go there to observe and study them levitating?
    I addressed this in the comment above regarding the current Dali Lama working with scientists.
    Last edited by eye4magic; June 5th, 2018 at 08:05 PM.
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    What God are you talking about? Are you talking about the God, the main character in the Bible...
    Again, just because "he" can change matter with a "thought" does not mean "he" HAS to know how that thought manifests itself into actually changing the matter, only that He" is capable of such an act.

    I am certainly not saying that "he" could not know, just that it isn't necessarily so.

    ---------- Post added at 09:34 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:32 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Are you equating the sender of the email to Jesus Christ
    I was only suggesting the capability to do something doesn't mean the do'er understands the "mechanics" of how it is actually done.

    ---------- Post added at 09:41 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:34 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Does that response imply that:

    1. You asked Jesus, as I suggested, and you are waiting for his response?
    2. You are waiting for him to join ODN and reply to you question?
    3. You assume I am Jesus’ press secretary and I can speak on his behalf?
    4. You're asking my personal opinion?
    You said:
    "I think he would be more then gracious to enlighten us on the matter."

    I hoped it would be soon.

    Since you asked
    It would be fun to debate "him/her" at good ole ODN
    IF Jesus did debate me I would probably lose, but think what I could learn !!!!!!!!!!
    Oh what an opportunity that would be indeed!!

    ---------- Post added at 09:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:41 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    You might be interested to know that the current Dali Lama loves science. He’s opened up, to a certain degree, the Tibetan mystic monk culture to the West and science.
    This I knew, but it is still definitely worth repeating for those that did not know.

    ---------- Post added at 09:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:43 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I’m not arguing that such an event would not take the world by strom.
    And my point was, if such an event happens/happened where you say it does, it would be news right now. That it is not, lends itself to the contrary.

    ---------- Post added at 09:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:46 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I am asking you: what would it prove scientifically, other then what the observation shows, a Himalayan adept can levitate? And if the scientific observation of the levitation could not be duplicated-- but clearly oberved, does that make the scientific observation of the one Himalayan adept any less real?
    Again, it would prove the mind alone can override gravity!
    No small feat!
    This fact would change the course of human evolution at the very least!
    The significance of this can absolutely NOT be overstated!

    ---------- Post added at 09:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:49 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    How do you define supernatural?
    I only see it with meaning in a theistic way.
    This term means something that can not happen in this universe without some power form outside of this universe.
    The natural laws that keep our universe intact are suspended in some particular way, place, and time, with a particular intent.

    If a monk could levitate just by the power of "his" own mind, I don't think it would be supernatural. A game changer, but a natural game changer.

    ---------- Post added at 10:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:59 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    I said “if some Eastern adept came down from the Himalayas, subjected himself to scientific testing for a few days, and he walked on water repeatedly, levitated, showed that he was clearly clairvoyant, demonstrated super human strength,”

    Why would you assume anyone could levitate after observing a controlled study of an adept levitating if they simply chose?
    So only certain "Eastern adepts" are capable of such acts?
    Are there any of these people alive today and still able to levitate?

    ---------- Post added at 10:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:03 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    So for our levitation experiment by the Himalayan adept, that will take the world by storm, is the scientific observation real if it’s not consistenly repeatable?
    Hmmm.
    Let us see it observed once and see where that takes us

    IOW, are you saying the "adept" can only do it once or can't reliable repeat the event, or the "scientific community" can't "repeat" the event?
    Last edited by Belthazor; June 4th, 2018 at 07:55 PM.

  13. #13
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Yeah, I don't see anything new or useful, here. One the one hand we've got a proposal that says the "supernatural" is effectively "things we observe - or things that people claim to have observed - but don't understand"; things that could eventually become "natural" if we discover the mechanisms behind it. And all the while another proposal that suggests that either 1) some things could still be "supernatural" in origin even if we DO understand them or 2) there's some things science could never explain, therefore supernatural (which is effectively the first definition minus the discovery). This has been said a million times over, and it goes nowhere.

    It's like people just really want there to be some MaGiCaL aspect of reality, no matter where science or other forms of investigation leads us.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Yeah, I don't see anything new or useful, here. One the one hand we've got a proposal that says the "supernatural" is effectively "things we observe - or things that people claim to have observed - but don't understand"; things that could eventually become "natural" if we discover the mechanisms behind it. And all the while another proposal that suggests that either 1) some things could still be "supernatural" in origin even if we DO understand them or 2) there's some things science could never explain, therefore supernatural (which is effectively the first definition minus the discovery). This has been said a million times over, and it goes nowhere.

    It's like people just really want there to be some MaGiCaL aspect of reality, no matter where science or other forms of investigation leads us.
    Yeah, and I don't even see a point to this post other than to complain about others lack of "useful" information.

    Why is new information necessary before we can define the term supernatural?

    If you have a more accurate or otherwise better definition of supernatural please forward it.

    After all, the point of the thread was to get people on the same page with regards to the term, not spell out some new as yet undiscovered "truth".

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Yeah, and I don't even see a point to this post other than to complain about others lack of "useful" information.

    Why is new information necessary before we can define the term supernatural?

    If you have a more accurate or otherwise better definition of supernatural please forward it.
    Well, I never said I have a better definition. I said there's nothing new or useful here; it's the same old noise. That's because 1) we've been playing this game about the meaning of "supernatural" since 2003, and I've yet to see anything even remotely resembling a useful definition and 2) as an example, there's a thread on this about three years ahead of you there, hoss. Click here

    P.S. In the course of this thread, let's just see if Mican budges at all from his proposed definition. Maybe this post will be regarded as "supernatural" in predicting that it won't move one iota in a way that actually means anything.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Well, I never said I have a better definition. I said there's nothing new or useful here; it's the same old noise. That's because 1) we've been playing this game about the meaning of "supernatural" since 2003, and I've yet to see anything even remotely resembling a useful definition and 2) as an example, there's a thread on this about three years ahead of you there, hoss. Click here

    P.S. In the course of this thread, let's just see if Mican budges at all from his proposed definition. Maybe this post will be regarded as "supernatural" in predicting that it won't move one iota in a way that actually means anything.
    Ok, I'll play.

    From you from your link:
    "“Supernatural” typically means that it transcends nature; that is it separate and distinct from nature; that is unobservable from the natural world."

    How did you make the enormous leap from "transcends nature" clear over to "unobservable from the natural world"?????
    If a supernatural event was unobservable to the natural world there would not be an event to discuss would there? We wouldn't even know it happened. This makes no sense to me at all, maybe I just don't get your point yet. Help me out here please...

    You seem to be saying supernatural events could be happening all the time, but there is no way for us to know?

    A supernatural event (in this case) is God suspending natural law at a particular time/place, SPECIFICALLY for the humans directly involved (the rest of the universe being unaffected), and you are saying any human is incapable of noticing?

    Knowing Mican, I doubt he will move, however, If I may ask:
    What would it take for his positon to "actually mean something"? His position in this thread doesn't seem contentious??

    I have read your posts for years, and generally have an idea where you are going, but I am at a loss currently.
    PM me if you like, but I am quite curious what is on your mind on this subject

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    How did you make the enormous leap from "transcends nature" clear over to "unobservable from the natural world"?????
    ....
    What would it take for his positon to "actually mean something"? His position in this thread doesn't seem contentious??
    Well, first, it's not my leap. Notice that I said that "supernatural" is typically regarded in this way. It doesn't mean that I regard it in this way. The reason I said that is to address those who are skeptical of those who investigate "supernatural" claims; From the ghost-hunter who says to the scientist 'Hey man, like, the spiritual world is outside of your science, dude.' to the pious religious leaders who may say something like 'God is the intangible creator of the universe, and I don't have scientific evidence for this claim because it is a metaphysical claim, not a scientific one' (I don't know how much of this you've seen, but it happens quite a lot in these discussions).

    But my difficulty with the problem does stem from the observability issue. Tell me; how does one observe something IN THIS universe and conclude that it came from OUTSIDE this universe? Think about it now; resist the urge to answer for the sake of answering. The fact is that, as far as our ability to observe the universe is concerned, we don't know what the outside of our universe looks like. We have no idea what its contents or characteristics are, so we are not equipped to claim anything about it. So if the "supernatural" means something like "outside of or beyond the observable universe", I don't see how we overcome the observability problem.

    On the other hand, if "supernatural" means something like "not yet understood by science", then really any kind of mystery can fall into the realm of "supernatural", from "God" to "the reason Dionysus enjoys Star Trek". Additionally, if the "supernatural" is something that COULD be understood by science, but isn't understood YET, then what do we mean by "supernatural" except "something strange in the neighborhood that we don't yet understand"? This is why I asked: "When you say "that which is not accounted for by current scientific understanding", what , specifically, can fall into the category of "that"? Does "that" refer to an actual real-world event, such as spontaneous human combustion? Can "that" be merely an account of a thing, such as the belief of a remembered event of spontaneous human combustion?"

    So, for a proposed definition to actually mean something, if would have to include something useful, or provide some insight or clarity that actually furthers the conversation. So far, all I've seen is the same old problems.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    2) there's some things science could never explain, therefore supernatural (which is effectively the first definition minus the discovery). This has been said a million times over, and it goes nowhere.
    I think you may have misunderstood my point.
    I'm not sure science will be able to explain how an immaterial being, from a different "universe (plain of existence???)", and is timeless can with only a "thought", create a universe out of absolutely nothing. That is a tall order indeed. How would one measure such an event?

    Now if Jesus were to make himself available to be scientifically tested while he walked on water or was dead and came back to life, these things science could measure/test. Science could show a dead body for instance. Science could measure "life signs" when the person came back to life.
    But, could science ever explain how such an event happened?? Again, a very tall order, and not where I was going with my comment.

    The best definition (in a religious sense) of supernatural I have heard is more like:

    The natural order of the universe is suspended in a very particular way, at a very specific place and time, with intent, without affecting the rest of the universe.

    I am unconvinced a ghost could qualify even remotely. It is a "dead human" after all. If a soul existed when the persons body was alive, there is nothing odd about it still hangin out after the body dies. Isn't that how Christians define a soul?
    I see nothing at all supernatural about a ghost. Definitely odd, since I have never experienced one, and don't know anyone that says they have, but supernatural, no...

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    I think you may have misunderstood my point.
    I'm not sure science will be able to explain how an immaterial being, from a different "universe (plain of existence???)", and is timeless can with only a "thought", create a universe out of absolutely nothing. That is a tall order indeed. How would one measure such an event?

    Now if Jesus were to make himself available to be scientifically tested while he walked on water or was dead and came back to life, these things science could measure/test. Science could show a dead body for instance. Science could measure "life signs" when the person came back to life.
    But, could science ever explain how such an event happened?? Again, a very tall order, and not where I was going with my comment.

    The best definition (in a religious sense) of supernatural I have heard is more like:

    The natural order of the universe is suspended in a very particular way, at a very specific place and time, with intent, without affecting the rest of the universe.

    I am unconvinced a ghost could qualify even remotely. It is a "dead human" after all. If a soul existed when the persons body was alive, there is nothing odd about it still hangin out after the body dies. Isn't that how Christians define a soul?
    I see nothing at all supernatural about a ghost. Definitely odd, since I have never experienced one, and don't know anyone that says they have, but supernatural, no...
    I don’t think we disagree at all. It seems like every definition of “supernatural” you’ve seen is as opaque and useless as any
    I’ve ever seen.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    I don’t think we disagree at all. It seems like every definition of “supernatural” you’ve seen is as opaque and useless as any
    I’ve ever seen.
    Would you then find defining say gravity or time equally "useless"?

    Or is it just that which relates to God is "useless", or I don't understand???

    ---------- Post added at 10:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:09 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    How can you say that it doesn't affect the rest of the universe when there are religions that crow about their miracles about it all the time? And what about when people pray - that's asking for much more than a "particular way"? And isn't the point of religion in the first place affecting ALL places and ALL time - that's literally the goal of a religion: to promote itself!

    To say that a supernatural action only affects a tiny bit of the universe is laughably NOT true!
    You ARE kidding me right?

    If natural law (IOW that which makes our universe even possible) were suspended in the way Christians claim, and it affected the whole universe instead of a specific time/place we wouldn't be here to discuss it, as the universe as we know it would cease to exist.

 

 
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