Naturalizing the supernatural

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Derrrpp
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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?

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Post #21

Post by Kevin Cross »

[Replying to post 18 by Tcg]
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.
Perhaps, but with God everything is related. I think it was a clever way to avoid an obvious question.

If you go to a play, you don't see the characters behind the curtain, but you believe and have faith that things will be revealed when the curtain is lifted and that's why you stay. Being in the theater gives you clues as to what will happen once the curtain is lifted. If you are outside the theater, you don't believe a curtain inside will go up, but your non-belief or unconsciousness of the curtain does not prevent the curtain from going up at the appointed time.

I believe that the universe is made of Swiss Cheese despite all the science evidence to the contrary

Hope you get my point

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Post #22

Post by Tcg »

Kevin Cross wrote: [Replying to post 18 by Tcg]
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.
Perhaps, but with God everything is related. I think it was a clever way to avoid an obvious question.

If you go to a play, you don't see the characters behind the curtain, but you believe and have faith that things will be revealed when the curtain is lifted and that's why you stay. Being in the theater gives you clues as to what will happen once the curtain is lifted. If you are outside the theater, you don't believe a curtain inside will go up, but your non-belief or unconsciousness of the curtain does not prevent the curtain from going up at the appointed time.

I believe that the universe is made of Swiss Cheese despite all the science evidence to the contrary

Hope you get my point
Not at all. You've yet to address my point. Perhaps that is your goal?

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Post #23

Post by Kevin Cross »

[Replying to post 22 by Tcg]

I answered your point. The answer was to the Believer, God exists, to the non-believer, he doesn't. Just because a person does not believe, does not mean God does not exist. Having faith is not just an abstract idea in one eternal being. It is about believing in shared history and traditions. Most of the world's cultures would not have developed the way they did without religion and faith. It was no accident. Although we do not have a specific Gene for it identified yet, I believe some at least are programmed to believe in God. If true, people also have outside influences to affect those genes and the degree of religiosity such as personality and social environment. It would seem biology and behavior characteristics have been molded by God to believe and have faith in Him. Faith only proves God exists to those who are open and accept Him. Faith cannot prove His existence to the rest of the world. This is an indisputable fact that faith proves evidence of God to the believer, not to the unbeliever.

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Post #24

Post by Tcg »

[Replying to post 23 by Kevin Cross]

The only thing that faith in God proves is that some people believe in God. In proves nothing about God.

At least you are attempting to talk about God now rather than atoms, black holes, and theater curtains. Unsupported assertions aren't a great improvement though, I can see why you delayed a direct discussion as long as you could.

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Post #25

Post by 2ndRateMind »

[Replying to post 1 by Derrrpp]

As the Scot philosopher and arch-sceptic David Hume put it (1748), 'A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence'.*

I have encountered many miracles, but they were all of a subjective nature and thus unproven and unprovable. They persuaded me of a divine 'supernatural', but I would not expect them to persuade anyone else. I have never experienced an objective miracle, such that one or more others can explicitly corroborate my experiences, and, in the absence of such plausible corroboration, I tend to discount the notion that objective miracles happen at all.

However, I remain open-minded, and await (but without bated breath) the occurrence of such a happening. And meanwhile, I tend to reflect that either God has become a good deal more subtle and sophisticated in His ways in modern times than He is reported through the Bible, or that the Bible contains a whole lot of fabrications. Or maybe both.

Best wishes, 2RM.

*Hume, D. (2004). An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Section X, Of Miracles. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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Post #26

Post by Kevin Cross »

[[url=http://debatingchristianity.com/forum/v ... 081#938081]Replying to post 24 by Tcg[/
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.

The only thing that faith in God proves is that some people believe in God. In proves nothing about God.

At least you are attempting to talk about God now rather than atoms, black holes, and theater curtains. Unsupported assertions aren't a great improvement though, I can see why you delayed a direct discussion as long as you could.
Let me first say I am a Christian. Therefore, when I speak of God (a.k.a. Lord, Yahweh, Creator, Father, or Jesus Christ) I mean the God of the Bible. Other then to intellectually acknowledge other people may have other conceptions of God, I cannot defend them or confirm they exist because I do not know them.

On the second point, The title of this debate is “Naturalizing the Supernatural� which connotes there is a connection between the spiritual and physical realms. So it is fair to bring up atoms, black holes, cells, the environment, planets, stars, animals, humans, etc. Need I go on. These are all
manifestations of the Creator. He expresses Himself in the physical universe.

On the third point, let’s get this straight. Proof of God depends on how one defines “proof.� Even in Jury trials, most times, issues do not receive “beyond all doubt.� Rather, the standard is “proof beyond a doubt� which leaves room to question. How about the other legal standard for civil litegation “the ponponderence of evidence,� not total proof. With God, the issue is the same for people who are Christians trying to discuss the existence of God. The Nay Sayers will always doubt and will not search further.

The job of the Christian is to tell people what they know and let the non-believers search for themselves the truth. If someone wants to know the Lord, I have the following suggestions:
  • 1. Read the Bible
    2. Pray
    3. Listen to your small voice
    4. Look and pay attention to those daily opportunities
    5. Follow your desires of a fulfilling life and watch which doors open
Some scientists have found the writings in the Bible to be correlated with biological and evolutionary theory:
“But the actual historical record says that macroevolution did not occur—both the written record in the revealed Word of God and the inferred record from the fossils and the many scientific evidences of a young Earth, (as greatly strengthened by the recent ICR/CRS RATE Project results).� http://www.icr.org/article/intelligent- ... eationism/

“All of these observations could be seen as working together with such purposefulness that one explanation for life’s origination is the tremendous wisdom and power of God. In contrast, Lovelock hypothesized that the organic and inorganic components of Earth evolved together so tightly that everything on Earth somehow became melded into a single, self-organizing system that seems to mystically exercise an intrinsic agency. This has led some researchers to ask, “Is Earth really a sort of giant living organism as the Gaia hypothesis predicts?�2 http://www.icr.org/article/evolutionist ... fy-nature/
Otherwise, I will not be put into a position to prove the Lord's existence, but defend my right to believe as I do and the faith.

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Post #27

Post by Tcg »

Kevin Cross wrote:
Otherwise, I will not be put into a position to prove the Lord's existence,
This is very wise given that you would be in a losing position.
Kevin Cross wrote:
but defend my right to believe as I do and the faith.
You are certainly free to believe whatever you want. The problem is when you start pretending that your faith proves anything about anything other than that you believe that something that you believe.

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Post #28

Post by Kevin Cross »

[Replying to post 27 by Tcg]
You are certainly free to believe whatever you want. The problem is when you start pretending that your faith proves anything about anything other than that you believe that something that you believe.
Fine, so long as you acknowledge that you don't have the final say what reality is or will be. One thing about the Christian faith has historical and cultural significance and has influenced civilization. Certain events occurred and key people lived who did certain things, not performed in any other religious tradition pointing to a loving God. This Loving Being told believers to tell others about Him. If non-believers do not want to open their hearts and minds to the message, it is their choice. Just don't think you're superior to me because of unbelief.

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Post #29

Post by Tcg »

Kevin Cross wrote:
Just don't think you're superior to me because of unbelief.
Just as you are free to believe whatever you want, I am free to think whatever I want. So you keep believing and I'll keep thinking.

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Post #30

Post by Kevin Cross »

[Replying to Tcg]

Ah, the question is how does belief and thinking differ?

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