My premise: there is nothng supernatural

Admittedly I’m approaching this from a literal standpoint, but my case is as follows…

Nature is defined as: everything ‘slash’ reality ‘slash’ existence - whichever word suits you best is good enough for the sake of this discussion.

Supernatural, by extension, means, “outside of nature”, ie/ not included within nature

If we do not know something but it exists in any realm, whether physcial or metaphysical, it is natural.

A better argument would be everything “known” is natural. Supernatural is everything “unknown”

You run into trouble when you say" if we do not know something but it exists in any realm----"it is "nature " by your definition

Because how can we not know something–that exist in any realm? If that something exists in any realm,
Then it is nature, because you define nature as everything, but supernatural, although being outside of nature(your definition) is still part of everything, because just because it’s outside nature, its still nature, because nature is everything, both outside and inside.
This is a fallacious argument, because if by" natural" you mean a set of all things inclusive, including “supernatural”, (and this is your premise: then we cannot conclude that therefore there is no “supernatural” because it is part of “natural”
You are using the premise to arrive at your conclusion, its like saying " this red apple is an apple" because green apples are not red, therefore they are apples. There is a basic tautological flaw, violating the principle of contradiction (assuming natural and supernatural are exclusive, and then concluding that they are inclusive, because one set contains the other).

In set theory, if natural -= supernatural, then their mutually exclusivity is defined. Then the conclusion that they are inclusive, --is established by the proposition: all things are natural. This proposition destroys the argument, because exclusivity has been assumed the qualification “by extension -outside of nature.”

If its outside of nature by definition, it can not be proved that it is included in nature, because everything is in nature. The principle of non contradiction is skirted by the misuse of “inside” , outside" ,and nature will not include everything that’s known to be supernatural.

Some supernatural things upon being 'known" can become “known” to be natural" things, but, again, the logical condition of what is known and why that knowledge (about the supernatural). Changes it to natural.

I think the argument can be made, but if you were to say, something like this: supernatural beliefs when becoming known, become natural events.–would make sense, but the problem again here is not passing logical certainty of meaning, but demonstration by “proof” that indeed types of superstitious beliefs once they become “known” are reducible to natural events’

This way of arguing still places a burden on “knowledge”–of how such knowledge gives rise to this change.

Hi friends,

Without going unnecessary exploration of the meaning of the words, i absoleutly agree with the intention of barcelonic.

Supernatural is a relative term. We use to term all those phenomena and knowledge supernatural which we cannot explain.

When it becomes explainable, it is natural by default.

We need not to go too far to understand that.

If we were able to send a TV to Descartes and Kant, they will would hold it supernatural as they consider it some sort of supernatural projector after seeing humans live in it.

with love,

You could say that it’s not necessary for anything to supervene over physical laws…or something like that and I would agree.

 Except somehow taking a tv set back into his room would really be a supernatural event, and the author defined his argument in terms of the "literal"
 Had he not done so, then we could dismiss the supernatural act of time travel and teleportation as an analogy between the literal and the symbolic.  Since the author has the privilege to the form of the OP, we cannot make this analogical assumption.
 He wants an argument in absolute terms, and using an analogy destroys the terms of his argument. Sorry!

[i]“If it exists, it is natural,
Supernatural is beyond natural,
Therefore supernatural does not exist.”

“If it exists, it is changing,
The above argument exists,
Therefore the above argument is changing.”

“One cannot rely on something that is changing,
The above argument is changing,
Therefore one cannot rely on the above argument.”

“This argument exists,
Thus this argument is changing,
Therefore this argument cannot be relied upon.”

“Playing with premise definitions is fun,
Playing with premise definitions exists,
Therefore playing with premise definitions cannot be relied upon for fun.”[/i]

The concept of a perfect circle is “supernatural”, but where would man be without the concept?

True. But just as definitions change, you can play around with the., a good example is differences in usage between classical usage and scholastic or medieval usage. You can play around with them and try to derive meaning from their relational qualities, as in let’s say between a “what ness” and a “characteristic”. : however —linear derivation does not go backwards in interpretation. You can only assume certain characteristics from the formal “pictorial” representations of usage, by let’s say reading literature from that era. It really does not work that way, the logical structure prevents usage to be reduced simply because apologies do not pass through the gates of analysis. (Logical). Metaphoric reductions, by referientiality, (to text’s etcetera) are transparent ways of trying to look at their meaning. And as hard as we try, we can not possibly do this, by playing language games. Their meanings will be lost in the current games we play, and the object of the game, will be sucked down into the gutters of a meaningless composite picture. Of all the arguments, this subtlety is very slight, but it defeats major detractors, by its whimsy and dazzling quasi metaphors.

I’m sure this won’t drop many jaws but I loved this post. It was precisely the reaction I was hoping I might see.

Mate, all mine underlined for ya! :slight_smile:

I do prefer to not make any assosciation with ‘physical’ here and just assume (due to varying spiritual beliefs of those in the thread) that nature/reality/existence is not confined to the known, physical world. Please appreciate this is for the sake of discussion, otherwise it’d be all too easy for someone to digress.
Post appreciated though :slight_smile:

I did not do the philosophically unthinkable and restrict our imaginations in such a way, lol :slight_smile:

By “literal”, as you’ll no doubt re-read in my OP, I merely meant I am approaching this from a literal standpoint with regard to ‘supernatural’ and its etymology.
Super- as a suffix means beyond/above/outside of etc…
Without the suffix such a word might never have formed but that’s beside the point. I’m already strating to go OT lol :slight_smile:

Please explain for me.
Where did you get those premises from?

Do they make sense to anyone else? Perhaps somebody could explain if James doesn’t.

Please explain your premise that “the concept of a perfect circle is ‘supernatural’”
I could say that the concept of a chair is supernatural, if I believed in supernatural things.
My opinion is that the chair is natural and so is the concept - above i made note of trying to keep a clear distinction from talk of ‘physical’ and ‘non-physical’. I cannot hold a concept in my hand so it is not physical but it is natural because it exists.

Ultimately, this thread is aimed at talking this question without over-philosophising but merely looking plainly at the etymology and literal definition of the word.

Barcelonic: its funny how interpretation can lead us astray. To me you proved the opposite: that there is supernatural.

Well where better to explain this than here?
Is there a reason for the brief post and is a follow-up on the way?

You have to admit you’ve not given me much to comment on there #-o

Indeed though it can be amusing at times - although I had anticipated such a reaction and so was careful in my OP to make the first line the first line, ie. there is a reason i put that line first.
I had hoped that the word literal would make it clear is was referring to definitions, due to the fairly obvious connection to ‘literature’ even to those who don’t know much etymology.

The point you’re making is linguistic. If you define nature as everything that exists and supernatural as everything else, then supernatural doesn’t exist.

Supernatural is used to refer to events that aren’t explained by the regular experience of nature, natural laws and theories. Hypnosis was thought to be supernatural, and is now thought of as natural. It’s not that it didn’t exist before and now does, but our understanding of nature has changed. So your point only stands if we have perfect understanding of nature; it has no power to confirm or dismiss anything as “supernatural”, only to define the terms of the words.

Not intending to digress. But I think of it this way…let’s say that all that’s worth considering, or better yet…even considerable…has to pass through the senses. Since those senses function according to their physical properties, we can say that the framework they provide in doing so is that by which we can measure whether or not information is consistent. Like any instance of a thing which would appear consistent to us would be an instance of a thing coming through, and being structured by the limitations of the senses.

Now this isn’t a Big Philosophy kind of idea. It doesn’t address the possibilities of all conceivable things. If you wanted to take it that far, you might be able to say that “since conceiving a thing requires structuring it such that it’s interpretable by us through the physical function of our senses, we must start off with that assumption and therefore any abstractions based on it and internally consistent would be acceptable whatever they may be”.

I swear I’m not being religious, or anti religious or anything like that. I think this kind of stuff is essentially epistemological. I just think that if you’re dividing knowledge of a thing into parts, that more than likely, there will be a hierarchy of certainty among the parts because of the methodologies that are capable of understanding the different kinds of propositions an object might manifest.

Oximoron word, if that is correct? Meaning: If it exists without manufacture, then its natural. Right now we use supernatural to explain unknown life existence. Natural cannot be super natural.

In my naturalist POV I’m with Hume in seeing the supernatural as superstition. The natural explanations of the universe and our place in it have not been exhaused. We move from the known into the unknown, never into the unknowable.

In my naturalist POV I’m with Hume in seeing the supernatural as superstition. The natural explanations of the universe and our place in it have not been exhaused. We move from the known into the unknown, never into the unknowable.

It is just a semantical issue then.

In Blue caps for convenience…

Every mystery that has ever been solved in the history of the world, ever, has turned out to be not magic.
So, I’ll take my chances.

Emm… “magic” MEANS that it cannot be explained.
So obviously anything that is explained is not going to be magic.