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Can a supernatural world exist?

KhalifV
Posts: 13
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6/4/2014 8:43:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Given we live in a natural world, and experience events in this natural world, we should expect natural causes for events in this natural world. If an event occurs and a natural cause is not found, it can be we don't yet know the cause or that there is not a cause(which is possible via quantum physics. However let's propose that there is a supernatural cause; is that even comprehensible? We live in a natural world, and all events we experience take place in this world, so if there is a cause outside of the natural world, it would have to come into the natural world to cause anything, does it then follow that it becomes a natural cause?
HumbleThinker1
Posts: 144
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6/4/2014 9:02:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/4/2014 8:43:23 PM, KhalifV wrote:
Given we live in a natural world, and experience events in this natural world, we should expect natural causes for events in this natural world. If an event occurs and a natural cause is not found, it can be we don't yet know the cause or that there is not a cause(which is possible via quantum physics. However let's propose that there is a supernatural cause; is that even comprehensible? We live in a natural world, and all events we experience take place in this world, so if there is a cause outside of the natural world, it would have to come into the natural world to cause anything, does it then follow that it becomes a natural cause?

I've always looked at it like this. Our senses are natural and are the basis for our methodological naturalism (aka science), the study of the natural world. We have no organs for perceiving the supernatural, so the only way we could perceive a supernatural event is if that phenomenon has some natural effect. For instance, God is said to talk to others in the Bible, which at the very least would be God producing an auditory sensation in our brain.

The only way we could actually approach supernatural phenomena in the way we do natural phenomena, one would have to devise a methodological supernaturalism. As of yet, I haven't seen such a system.

But as you say, at what point would a hypothetical supernatural phenomena become a natural one. Ghosts for instance are said by some now to be natural phenomenon or at least leave natural traces that can be analyzed with highly specialized scientific equipment. Or for another example, imagine a world where what we would call the supernatural (ie. spirits) was such an everyday occurrence and had common effects on the natural realm, would it be wrong to call spirits natural phenomena? If even further their effects on the natural realm were as predictable as the effects of any other organism's actions on the natural realm, could a science of sorts be constructed around spirits and their actions? And if so, what would the word supernatural even mean at that point?
KhalifV
Posts: 13
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6/4/2014 9:17:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I agree with you. However I think it is the case that methodological supernaturalism is completely incoherent in this universe. We have methodological naturalism, because we live in a natural world. To have a methodological supernaturalism, we would have to live in a supernatural world. A possible further objection is that we call it the natural world, because we live in it inherently (naturally). Suppose there are creatures inherently existent in a supernatural world; I think they would be in the same predicament. We perceive it to be supernatural, but for them it is the natural world. I know it sounds odd haha.
HumbleThinker1
Posts: 144
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6/5/2014 5:53:30 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/4/2014 9:17:45 PM, KhalifV wrote:
I agree with you. However I think it is the case that methodological supernaturalism is completely incoherent in this universe. We have methodological naturalism, because we live in a natural world. To have a methodological supernaturalism, we would have to live in a supernatural world. A possible further objection is that we call it the natural world, because we live in it inherently (naturally). Suppose there are creatures inherently existent in a supernatural world; I think they would be in the same predicament. We perceive it to be supernatural, but for them it is the natural world. I know it sounds odd haha.

Oh I agree. We're going on some crazy hypotheticals, but that's the fun part. We could god own the Shinto path where the natural and supernatural world are intertwined or we could go down the Star Trek path where all supposed supernatural acts are simply caused by advanced technology that is hidden really well. We could have indirect evidence for the supernatural if it were possible to show that a phenomena had no natural cause, but I'm pretty sure that's not possible if for no other reason that when would we actually know that we've exhausted all natural possibilities instead of simply hitting the limits of our current knowledge?