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Poll: Do you believe in the supernatural?

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  1. #1
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    Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Do you believe in either spirits, ghosts, a supreme being, etc.?

    Please state your reason(s) for this belief.

    In the God of gaps thread, it was stated by a few people that there was no evidence at all of the supernatural, so I'd like to hear what others think along these lines.
    anything could be an illusion and we wouldn't know the difference... proof schmoof...

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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    I tend to think there is, and at least some evidence, though the validity is shaky at best.

    Take Vampires for example. Supernatural spooky cape wearing semi-transvestite creatures of the night that hang out at Hot Topic, wear pale make up, repeatedly read Interview With a Vampire, and touch themselves to thoughts of dark seductions at the hand Dracular (as Kennedy would pronounce it).

    You can read books on the buggers and find a hundred different stories from a hundred different periods of time from a hundred different spots around the globe, comprising a total of thousands or even millions of alleged sightings, encounters, or conflicts with some form of blood sucking little bastard.

    Then you can examine, analyse, and study these stories and come to two conclusions: That they exist, or that they don't. Take this into consideration, there's a mental disorder commonly called Renfield's Syndrome. Mental disorder, primarily in males. Coincidence that most alleged encounters or sightings happen to be males?

    Symptoms include a desire to drink blood, this is also called Human Hematophagy. Vampires allegedly drink blood. Go figure. There's a sexual connotation involved, a "love bite." Weird that most stories involving neck biting since kissing or sucking someone's neck is somewhat sexual in nature. The list goes on.

    Added to it, context of time and culture. The Akkadians had some gods, one of which was a blood sucker of a fella. Is it any wonder that these people, *scoffingly* far less intelligent than we *end scoff* would assume that disease individuals would be touched by the god? Or that they would be demons? Is it any wonder that in Europe, when soap was a prophecy and disease was as european as snooty attitudes and poor hygene, that they would believe the fresh blood and continually grown hair or fingernails were signs of the damned when really it's the natural process of death?

    The list goes on.

    Werewolves.

    There's cases of fuzzy people. There was a show on, I think the Discovery channel, about this guy in Mexico that had more wool than a sheep. Five hundred years ago or further, who's to say he wouldn't be called a monster and attacked? Lycanthropy itself is defined medically as "Having the delusion that one is a wolf." Again, mental disorder.

    Ain't lookin good for the things that go bump in the night.

    Ghosts, Spectres, Phantoms, dead people, casper, the creepy ***** that lives in the house, whatever you name it, these transluscent individuals have some problems staying dead and in the hole we chose to forget them in. But let's ask some questions about Ghosts.

    How many people die? How many ghosts are told rumored? Surely if a million people die in one spot...Stalingrad for instance, then wouldn't a video camera that spotted one in a graveyard spot a million in Russia? Do only SOME people become ghosts? Do ghosts choose when to appear and when not to? *holding globe in a court room* "SHow on the globe where to spot you."

    Leprachauns....you see a midget on St. Patrick's Day, you're drunk, he's Irish and wearing green, what the are you supposed to think?

    Dhampires. The offspring of vampires and humans. Now look, if a Vampire, real, physical vampire, exists, then it has DNA different to our own. It's a new species, some family in the genus of humans or whatever. I highly doubt breeding would be possible, despite the fact that Ligers and Tigons exist.

    Evolution. Completely bogus. No evidence whatsoever that such a thing can or did happen. If we came from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?

    Creationism. Completely bogus. No evidence whatsoever that such a thing can or did happen. If we came from dirt, then that means we evolved, and since evolution is fake, Creationism is to.

    Now I will say this, that the vast array of different descriptions of vampires exist, IE, the Chupacabra in Central America is small and primarily feeds on goats apparently, hence the name, "Chupacabra" which means, "Goat Sucker." Or the descriptions of them in Europe, and the descriptions in the Middle East, and in North America, etc, that leads to some skepticism on my part as to their nonexistance.

    With ghosts, you've got stories of children seeing them, or animals reacting to them. Whether they're angels or demons that only more pure individuals or even "Adepts" can see, I have no clue. But, I put more faith in a child and a dog than a video camera and a grown man that shrieks like a prepubescent girl in a haunted house.

    It needs to be taken with a grain of salt and an open mind. But I don't think we're the only things out here.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  3. #3
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    I am unsure. I know I don't believe in a supreme being/deity, but like Hyde said I don't think we are the only things out here.
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." ~Bertrand Russell

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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    I answered that i tend to think there is not much proof for it.
    As a result i tend to not believe it.

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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    I am of the opinion that whatever exists is "natural" by definition. But much, if not all, of what people now call "supernatural" is always (when a cause is known) is not really amazing or special at all.

    I certainly do think that there are things which are really wild and of course there is alot of things in the universe which is unexplained. I just don't think it is reasonable to leap to a supernatural, physics defying explanation everytime just because something is strange or unexplained.

    Appeals to the supernatural never really explain anything.


    [edited to add:]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde
    Evolution. Completely bogus. No evidence whatsoever that such a thing can or did happen. If we came from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?
    Hee hee hee!

    All giggling aside, you do realize that there is a good answer to this question, don't you? If you'd like to hear it (and other answers to any evolution questions you might have) just let me know...
    Daniel "Theophage" Clark
    theophage<at>geocities<dot>com

    "God used to be my co-pilot, but our plane crashed in the mountains and I had to eat Him..."

  6. #6
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theophage
    I am of the opinion that whatever exists is "natural" by definition. But much, if not all, of what people now call "supernatural" is always (when a cause is known) is not really amazing or special at all.
    I agree with Theophage. People who dabble in spiritual endeavors such as astral projection, channeling, interacting in spiritual dimensions, etc...are not tapping into something that is "super"natural. It's natural and available to everyone. While the scientific intellect may not be advanced enough to define these things or explain their sources, it doesn't mean the experiences become invalid. We could view the stars long before we ever knew what they were made of.
    Souls of the animal kingdom: eagle, fox, bottle-nose dolphin, octopus, house cat. Okay, let's jump this jump. -- Rod Kimble

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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Cool. I'm partial to natural.
    I've been meek for a whole day now...

    The world is mine!!


    The power of oui.

    impssible

  8. #8
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    There isn't an option for my position: Yes--I don't think there's any evidence for it.

    Because there are multiple possible causes for any particular effect, deducing the Creator from the Creation is problematic. No matter how probable, an alternate possibility always exists that cannot be discarded. In most circumstances, people "play the odds" as it were, and believe that the hoofbeats they hear are coming from a horse, not a zebra. This is generally a prudent course--but not always the right one. If there's a 99% possibility for event [x] and a 1% possibility for event [y], it would be prudent to select event [x]--but you'd be wrong 1% of the time. Choosing which possibility to "believe" is, imo, a leap of faith.

    EDIT: I should add that I DO believe that evidence does exist for the supernatural--just not UNIQUE evidence that exclusively supports the supernatural. Different theories may rely on the same evidence but draw radically different and perhaps contradictory conclusions; this does not mean that the evidence at hand supports only one of the theories, but that additional evidence is required.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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  9. #9
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    I'm partial to an naturalistic explanation, one without ghosts or Gods, but ultimately I can't say for certain either way. I think that I keep this view because of the dominant trend toward the gods of the gaps and the idea that a naturalistic solution has a certain purity of concept in my mind. I'll address both.

    The god of gaps mentality has been around for ages...pretty much as long as we can track human civilization back. Every culture seems to have its own creation myth involving mysterious forces. Early civilizations thought that the gods were responsible for everything: the flooding of the rivers, the failure of crops, the outcome of battles, etc. As time moved on, we began to realize that less and less of these things were at least directly attributable to the gods. We now know that the Nile floods in the pattern it does because of the pattern of rain in the region surrounding Lake Tana in Ethiopia, not because the Egyptian pantheon decreed a flood. As modern science progresses, we learn so much more about the physical mechanisms of nature. We know about atoms and subatomic particles. We know about the general workings of cells, which make up all life and we are beginning to scratch the surface of the specifics. As we accumulate all this knowledge there is less need for gods to give us a reason for the way things are. Why did the river flood? Because of the rainfall upstream. Why did the crops fail? Because of a weather pattern in the South Pacific that brings a drier climate to your region. This trend biases me towards a more naturalistic view of things and gives me an attitude that we will find another mechanism.

    This ties in to the second reason that I view the universe as more naturalistic. I am more comfortable with a universe that is able to work on its own. A universe that needs a manager to give it a push every now and then seems imperfect in my mind. This is not to say that I view the situation of life as ideal, but the idea that the universe has a manager who runs certain parts that wouldn't run on their own leaves something to be desired in my mind. This idea also makes me more simpathetic to the SPID concept which I put forward in another thread, though as I said I am biased toward a naturalistic view, so I place SPID as a second plausablity.
    孟柏民
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theophage
    I am of the opinion that whatever exists is "natural" by definition. But much, if not all, of what people now call "supernatural" is always (when a cause is known) is not really amazing or special at all.

    I certainly do think that there are things which are really wild and of course there is alot of things in the universe which is unexplained. I just don't think it is reasonable to leap to a supernatural, physics defying explanation everytime just because something is strange or unexplained.

    Appeals to the supernatural never really explain anything.


    [edited to add:]



    Hee hee hee!

    All giggling aside, you do realize that there is a good answer to this question, don't you? If you'd like to hear it (and other answers to any evolution questions you might have) just let me know...
    HAHA you should have said, "come back to me when you have evolved from one"

  11. #11
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Archemike
    HAHA you should have said, "come back to me when you have evolved from one"

    Nice well put arch!
    (hope i dont get into trouble over this, um supernatural is merely current unexplained phenomena which (aurora borealis comes to mind) will be explained and when it is will be forgotten.

  12. #12
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Archemike
    HAHA you should have said, "come back to me when you have evolved from one"
    Or perhaps I should've added that I was joking.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  13. #13
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    I voted "unsure" because I'm unsure.

    Anyone who claims to be sure either has a better grip on the concept, or is out of their mind.

    In my lifetime, 99% of occurances seem to be natural - the other 1% seem to be coincidences.
    While laughing at others stupidity, you may want to contemplate your own comedic talents. (link)
    Disclaimer: This information is being provided for informational, educational, and entertainment purposes only.

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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Quote: Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde

    Evolution. Completely bogus. No evidence whatsoever that such a thing can or did happen. If we came from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?
    From what I have read humans did NOT evolve from monkeys or apes but rather we share a particular genus with them. Man was never an ape albeit a simular creature. I believe it also explains why humans progressed and apes did not.....two different animals.........:O)
    When the power of love becomes stronger than the love of power, there will be peace..........jimi hendrix.

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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    jamie:
    . I know I don't believe in a supreme being/deity, but like Hyde said I don't think we are the only things out here.
    Of course those other things would be just as natural as we are.............:O)
    When the power of love becomes stronger than the love of power, there will be peace..........jimi hendrix.

  16. #16
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    There is no compelling evidence of the supernatural. I wish there was a word to designate "unsupported folklore" from events beyond the natural world.

  17. #17
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theophage
    I am of the opinion that whatever exists is "natural" by definition. But much, if not all, of what people now call "supernatural" is always (when a cause is known) is not really amazing or special at all.
    That sounds rather dismissive if addressed merely from a scientific standpoint, and an attempt by science to sweep it under the rug. How do you naturally explain the ghost of a dead person? Either there are ghosts or there aren't. Naturalism implies there is nothing after a physical death. You can't have natural ghosts without acknowledging that death isn't the end. So there's more to it than simply saying it all fits into natural means.

    Which leads us to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Happenin' Lady
    People who dabble in spiritual endeavors such as astral projection, channeling, interacting in spiritual dimensions, etc...are not tapping into something that is "super"natural. It's natural and available to everyone. While the scientific intellect may not be advanced enough to define these things or explain their sources, it doesn't mean the experiences become invalid.
    Yes, that's what I mean. If we're going to put all this under the umbrella of "natural," then we have to then conclude that natural science is not being inclusive enough in exploring what's "natural."

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhavric
    There is no compelling evidence of the supernatural. I wish there was a word to designate "unsupported folklore" from events beyond the natural world.
    We've heard accounts of a lot of supposedly coherent people, including many at ODN, who have witnessed what they would call sufficient empirical evidence to warrant a belief in the supernatural. How can you trump their personal evidence with your arbitrary skepticism? How can a personal event be folklore? Are these people all delusional? What possible explanations are there?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theophage
    I certainly do think that there are things which are really wild and of course there is alot of things in the universe which is unexplained. I just don't think it is reasonable to leap to a supernatural, physics defying explanation everytime just because something is strange or unexplained.
    Theo, if you're going to take the "unknown" position, then how can you turn around and be so confident in scientific explanations for every facet of our existence? On what basis can you rule out ghosts as a bona fide possibility?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples
    There isn't an option for my position: Yes--I don't think there's any evidence for it.
    I know. Sorry about that, Clive. One can only get so detailed on these poll choices. The implication would be that if one believes in something, that the belief is based on something evidenciary, otherwise you would have no reason to believe it. I'd say there are probably not such things as empty hunches when it comes to matters of existence, meaning there's no such position as "just because." Even if we don't know the reason for a belief, the belief would have an underlying reason. At least that's my take on it.
    anything could be an illusion and we wouldn't know the difference... proof schmoof...

  18. #18
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Unsure.

    I'm a skeptic at heart. I want the "truth to be out there" somewhere, but sadly I see no evidence of it as of yet.

    The world would definitely be way cooler with ghosts and goblins and whatnots to keep you up late at night...
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  19. #19
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanadu Moo
    That sounds rather dismissive if addressed merely from a scientific standpoint, and an attempt by science to sweep it under the rug. How do you naturally explain the ghost of a dead person? Either there are ghosts or there aren't. Naturalism implies there is nothing after a physical death. You can't have natural ghosts without acknowledging that death isn't the end. So there's more to it than simply saying it all fits into natural means.
    Hallucinations? Imprints of a psyche left on a quantum field by an outpouring of emotion at the time of death?

    There are too many unanswereds to just say, "ghost" XM.

    We've heard accounts of a lot of supposedly coherent people, including many at ODN, who have witnessed what they would call sufficient empirical evidence to warrant a belief in the supernatural. How can you trump their personal evidence with your arbitrary skepticism? How can a personal event be folklore? Are these people all delusional? What possible explanations are there?
    Look at the conspiracy theories of 9/11. Are the people who believe shaped charges brought down those buildings nuts? Or do they just see things a little differently based on personal experience.

    Anecdotal evidence is the weakest type of evidence there is.

    Eyewitness testimony is only about 30% reliable. Memory is a tricky thing at best. The mind really is a great deciever.

    I am always reminded of the great minds of the early 19th century who bought into spiritualism. Called in scientists who were also subsequently fooled. It was ground to a halt by Harry Houdini. Because he wasn't a scientist and knew the tricks of the trade when it came to misdirection, and fooling people.

    We are NOT objective observers, XM. And we certainly don't make good witnesses for emotionally charged events.

    Just my 2 cents...
    But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest. - Buddha

  20. #20
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    Re: Do you believe in the supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Xanadu Moo
    That sounds rather dismissive if addressed merely from a scientific standpoint, and an attempt by science to sweep it under the rug. How do you naturally explain the ghost of a dead person? Either there are ghosts or there aren't. Naturalism implies there is nothing after a physical death. You can't have natural ghosts without acknowledging that death isn't the end. So there's more to it than simply saying it all fits into natural means.
    Words can hardly describe how utterly exhausted I am at seeing you accuse individuals of being "dismissive" when they simply point out that certain phenomenon lack evidence.

    Despite your claims, we are under no burden to consider unsupported hypotheses without evidence nor are we to be guilt tripped into considering hogwash for the sake of intellectual dishonesty that you have misleadingly labeled open-mindedness.

    Open-mindedness is considering things from different perspectives. Period. You would have us abandon reason, ignore the fact that no evidence is presented, and simply accept drivel for the sake of accepting drivel.

    For what I fear will NOT be the last time: We are open to any claim which has evidence. We are under no obligation to entertain claims without support.

    Yes, that's what I mean. If we're going to put all this under the umbrella of "natural," then we have to then conclude that natural science is not being inclusive enough in exploring what's "natural."
    Bull. This is just a cop-out. A not-so-clever bait and switch: whine enough about the so-called "limits" of science and you can get rational people to give validity to evidenceless claims?

    We've heard accounts of a lot of supposedly coherent people, including many at ODN, who have witnessed what they would call sufficient empirical evidence to warrant a belief in the supernatural. How can you trump their personal evidence with your arbitrary skepticism? How can a personal event be folklore? Are these people all delusional? What possible explanations are there?
    You've committed two fallacies here. First, you've implied that it's my job to come up with alternate explanations for events you haven't even mentioned by name. The burden of providing evidence rests on the shoulders of the individual making the claim. I have no obligation to dis-prove that which others have not yet proven.

    The second fallacy is something akin to an appeal to authority and an appeal to popularity. Authority because you're implying that because coherent ODN members believe it, I should believe it... I can't tell if you're relying on them because there's a lot of them or because they're coherent ODN posters. Either way, it's fallacious reasoning.

    Regardless, personal conviction =/= evidence.

    If I sincerely believe that Superman flew by my window when I was a kid, does that make Superman real? Should we just toss out everything we know about the comic book, how it was fabricated, how Superman effects our culture, etc. and just believe me based on what I said without a shred of evidence? I think not.

    Theo, if you're going to take the "unknown" position, then how can you turn around and be so confident in scientific explanations for every facet of our existence? On what basis can you rule out ghosts as a bona fide possibility?
    Xanadu, I sincerly would LOVE to sell you some swamp land in Florida. Simply because everything you've heard about it says it's a bad investment doesn't matter, right? There's a POSSIBILITY it's a good investment. You should go for it...

 

 
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