Naturalizing the supernatural

What would you do if?

Moderator: Moderators

Derrrpp
Student
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:51 pm

Naturalizing the supernatural

Post #1

Post by Derrrpp »

What are the benefits and ramifications of providing a sound explanation for the miracles of the Bible? Assume that some theory at least partially increases the plausibility without increasing the probability, (remind that magic and supernatural has always been associated with trained priests or magicians and not common folk /trigger mechanisms). While it may be wonderful to actually feel the paradigm shift to a more natural tone not everything is rosy. Now you have naturalistic 'data' that can be extrapolated into areas where there is no real divine revelation and blind alleys for false prophets that were merely 'following the data'. Now you have partially explained or still unexplained areas that direct Christians away from the physical embodiment scenario towards the 'new' answers which can only be ascertained by a true second coming. While it might be interesting to join our kin in Judaism alongside the third architect of the Temple it undermines or usurps the Words of Salvation. Worst of all is that the potential is there to inadvertently confirm the actions of the Egyptian priests (sticks to snakes)and hypocritically include sorcery in the explanatory methodology even though that would provide for a separate outside layer of 'evidence' to stand in support of the validity of the miracles as well as the mysteries of Egyptian accomplishment upon which much speculation has been cast.. So can we by the language used separate 'sorcery' without appearing biased to our cause while at the same time controlling the rhetoric around such an answers as Christians responsible for the effects on individual souls for these interpretations...(to much wailing and gnashing of teeth at such control). Is the removal of doubt to those who might benefit worth the undermining risk? Are we charged to proceed anyway based on how we ourselves were brought forth out of the mire..based on the one chance we each have to get in? Should such a thing be made commonly available and by whom?

User avatar
marco
Savant
Posts: 12314
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:15 pm
Location: Scotland
Been thanked: 2 times

Post #11

Post by marco »

Kevin Cross wrote:
There is probably natural explanations for most everything but somethings only God knows. For example, 1 Kings 18:45 says "Meanwhile, the sky grew black with clouds, the wind rose, a heavy rain started falling and Ahab rode off to Jezreel." In Matthew 8:26 we see Jesus calming a storm dispite Peter's lack of faith. The way I think about it, in general, is God is energy and energy is God, where ever it is found in the universe. That's how God can make the maraculus happen.
The proposition that God is energy - which form? - is fine but energy doesn't "know." The gods we've been given essentially are grandiose humans as imagined by mortals in an attempt to make sense of sun and moon and stars and rainstorms. When we stepped on the Moon we stepped on poor Selene, and she was gone. Gradually we destroy our gods but very often they destroy us as we see in our cities today after some atrocity.

Kevin Cross
Student
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Post #12

Post by Kevin Cross »

[Replying to post 11 by marco]
The proposition that God is energy - which form? - is fine but energy doesn't "know." The gods we've been given essentially are grandiose humans as imagined by mortals in an attempt to make sense of sun and moon and stars and rainstorms. When we stepped on the Moon we stepped on poor Selene, and she was gone. Gradually we destroy our gods but very often they destroy us as we see in our cities today after some atrocity.
The living God has many characteristics including all types of energy. I often think of electromagnetic energy principally since its presence would affect everything else on planet. I'm no expert on energy, but God acts on seen and unseen forces.

User avatar
marco
Savant
Posts: 12314
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:15 pm
Location: Scotland
Been thanked: 2 times

Post #13

Post by marco »

Kevin Cross wrote: [Replying to post 11 by marco]

The living God has many characteristics including all types of energy. I often think of electromagnetic energy principally since its presence would affect everything else on planet. I'm no expert on energy, but God acts on seen and unseen forces.

The living God defies description, Kevin. We identify an energy source by its consistent effect; once observed we can get sceptical others to observe it. God unfortunately lacking consistency exists in explanations of unfolding flowers, butterfly wings and replication of life. There is something of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle about him and he doesn't make it easy for us to clear up the uncertainty.

Kevin Cross
Student
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Post #14

Post by Kevin Cross »

[Replying to post 13 by marco]
The living God defies description, Kevin. We identify an energy source by its consistent effect; once observed we can get sceptical others to observe it. God unfortunately lacking consistency exists in explanations of unfolding flowers, butterfly wings and replication of life. There is something of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle about him and he doesn't make it easy for us to clear up the uncertainty.
I agree that God defies explanation and consistency in terms of seeing or hearing a physical being we can touch, smell and taste. In absence of a "physical being" all types of concepts of God have crept in over time leaving room for skepticism. On the other hand, I think God is very consistent when it comes to His presence in the world. You mentioned a few of them: "the unfolding of flowers, butterfly wings, and the replication of life."

Even though there is chaos in the world, there is an underlying rhythm to it. You can talk all you want, but there is a great unknown beyond pointing to an all-knowing and loving God. If there is a big nothing beyond, then life on Earth means nothing. I agree God may be uncertain to some, and some Christians fall into that is trap, but that does not change who God is. With faith God is not uncertain at all.

User avatar
Tcg
Savant
Posts: 7151
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:01 am
Location: Third Stone
Has thanked: 1284 times
Been thanked: 1507 times

Post #15

Post by Tcg »

Kevin Cross wrote:
With faith God is not uncertain at all.
This reveals a very real problem, Kevin.

If God were certain, no faith would be needed.

Given that faith is needed, God isn't certain.

User avatar
marco
Savant
Posts: 12314
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:15 pm
Location: Scotland
Been thanked: 2 times

Post #16

Post by marco »

Kevin Cross wrote:
With faith God is not uncertain at all.
What type of certainty are we discussing? In Pushkin's tale: The Queen of Spades, Germann moves from doubt to absolute certainty, but the shocking denouement is he is wrong. When I solve an equation I can take my solution and test it in the original to see if it is correct. There are no tests for God and so there is no such thing as certainty; all beliefs are subject to error.

Through the ages, and now, man has taken comfort in a Protector, who has variously lived on mountains, in the sky and now in lands beyond our physical universe. For many he is a necessary creation to explain the good and the evil that humanity is heir to. Blake's thoughts on the terrifying Tiger, burning in the forests of the night, are apt: did the God who made the lamb make thee? Only in myth.
Last edited by marco on Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kevin Cross
Student
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Post #17

Post by Kevin Cross »

[Replying to post 15 by Tcg]

Tell me, Tcg, do you believe in atoms and black holes and are they certain parts of the universe?

User avatar
Tcg
Savant
Posts: 7151
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:01 am
Location: Third Stone
Has thanked: 1284 times
Been thanked: 1507 times

Post #18

Post by Tcg »

Kevin Cross wrote: [Replying to post 15 by Tcg]

Tell me, Tcg, do you believe in atoms and black holes and are they certain parts of the universe?
I thought we were discussing faith as it relates to God?

If you want to discuss science, I'm sure you'll find folks much better versed in the subject in the "Science and Religion" section.

Kevin Cross
Student
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Post #19

Post by Kevin Cross »

[Replying to post 16 by marco]

Your right in at least it would seem everything is uncertain. Ah, that pesky math. I was never good at it myself. My father was an aeronautical and aerospace engineer. He was also a beyond excellent mathematician. He could solve all kinds of complex problems with math. Numbers can only be certain if you apply the correct equation If everything is uncertain then maybe everything does not exist including me. Because we cannot be sure we exist, how do you know the numbers are even right. So you're saying one thing is for certain is uncertainty. That self-contradicts the meaning of uncertainty--by definition uncertainty cannot be certain. You always need to have something to be certain for there to be uncertainty.

User avatar
marco
Savant
Posts: 12314
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:15 pm
Location: Scotland
Been thanked: 2 times

Post #20

Post by marco »

Kevin Cross wrote: [Replying to post 16 by marco]

Your right in at least it would seem everything is uncertain. Ah, that pesky math. I was never good at it myself. My father was an aeronautical and aerospace engineer. He was also a beyond excellent mathematician. He could solve all kinds of complex problems with math. Numbers can only be certain if you apply the correct equation If everything is uncertain then maybe everything does not exist including me. Because we cannot be sure we exist, how do you know the numbers are even right. So you're saying one thing is for certain is uncertainty. That self-contradicts the meaning of uncertainty--by definition uncertainty cannot be certain. You always need to have something to be certain for there to be uncertainty.


Well I didn't say that the only thing certain is uncertainty: apparently death and taxes provide counterexamples. I was discussing your certainty regarding God. I pointed out that I find certainty in solving equations.

Mathematics does supply us with fascinating answers; a close friend of mine works in Black Hole theory and the integrals he works with are certainly earth-shattering. But in the brilliancies there is just a semblance of certainty that has to be verified. But as I said, there is no verification with God.

Regarding your non-existence or your apparent existence in the dream I am now having, we can do little here either, to get certainty. Descartes supposed that his thought provided verification of his existence but I think we think while dreaming. We can pretend to exist and pretend God exists. Many do.

Post Reply