Is Naturalism against super-natural?
#13
(16-Sep-2011, 12:15 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
(15-Sep-2011, 11:03 PM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: A very crude e.g., borrowing from Carl Sagan's "Contact", would be if it turned out that pi has some information coded in some number system. We can always agree its a chance occurrence, but the probability suggests something external.

The information present in Pi is applicable to our natural world, and this is the only information we can know of. Carl Sagan was not talking about supernatural worlds, but about unknown natural worlds. The probability of a supernatural world existing is very very small, since there is no evidence we have to apply towards it, but we have plenty of evidence of previously unknown things becoming understood as being part of the natural world.
I don't think Carl Sagan was talking about unknown nautral worlds. He seems to be talking about unknown worlds that might be/might not be part of our natural world. Isn't that central to why he is agnostic?

(16-Sep-2011, 12:15 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
Quote:Basic stance is this. We model our natural world based on observations. We don't stop at saying its unknown.

"Unknown" doesn't imply that one should stop attempting to know. On the contrary, "unkonwn" implies that we must make an attempt to investigate and to make it known. Religious believers use the concept of the "supernatural", a word suggesting that something is not caused by the natural world, as a way of inhibiting knowledge. Science dispenses with assumptions about supernatural worlds and attempts to understand that which is unknown.


This is perfectly in tune with my thought process. My point is about being "against" gives the notion that nothing can convince us about presence of non-natural world (I will stick to this terminology because super-natural seems to arouse the typical notions about magic and divine). But that's not true. At present there is no evidence to point towards presence of non-natural world hence we can reject the belief approach. But that might change in the future, however I do agree that it seems very very unlikely.

I will give a shot at trying to explain my thought process in detail.
Science's approach is to observe effects and try to attribute causes to it. Then verify if this is indeed true by more observations. Now there is nothing that makes the following impossible
1. A cause in natural world causing an effect in non-natural world.
2. A cause in non-natural world causing an effect in natural world.
Interestingly, Science does have the capacity to analyse both these occurrences, and that is how it can build/discard evidences for the non-natural world.
Case 2 can be concluded if we seem to have exhausted all causes in natural world.
Case 1 can be probably concluded if some obscure cause in natural world seem to cause a very unrelated effect in our natural world. For e.g. if the following existed in our natural world.
Saying the word fuck in a specific temple causes the person's death.
In the above case, it would be far more natural to assume that some cause in the natural world is causing some effect in non-natural world which in turn is causing an effect in our natural world.

Mind you the double slit experiment for electrons pretty much rules out the hidden/unknown variable theory. The interference between probability waves kind of proves that the inherent behavior is probabilistic which does mean that its not fully caused in natural world. Fortunately or unfortunately for us, its probabilistic/random with no specific intelligent pattern. So it seems to point to random causation or partially un-caused behavior rather than any special non-natural world.
Reply
#14
(16-Sep-2011, 12:59 PM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: I don't think Carl Sagan was talking about unknown nautral worlds. He seems to be talking about unknown worlds that might be/might not be part of our natural world. Isn't that central to why he is agnostic?

'Contact' was not about potential supernatural worlds, but about potential natural worlds that are inaccessible using our contemporary mathematics. In any case, let's keep in mind that 'Contact' was a novel. Sagan's preference for calling himself an agnostic rather than an atheist is a non sequitur here.

But since it came up, Sagan referred to "hard atheism" whenever he used the term atheism:

"An atheist is someone who knows there is no God." ~ Carl Sagan.

By this definition of Atheism even Dawkins is not an atheist. Sagan only believed in ideas for which there is evidence, and he declared that there is no evidence of a creator god. By this standard he is an atheist on the same level as Dawkins (or myself), despite the fact that he disliked calling himself one.

Quote:I will give a shot at trying to explain my thought process in detail.
Science's approach is to observe effects and try to attribute causes to it. Then verify if this is indeed true by more observations. Now there is nothing that makes the following impossible
1. A cause in natural world causing an effect in non-natural world.
2. A cause in non-natural world causing an effect in natural world.
Interestingly, Science does have the capacity to analyse both these occurrences, and that is how it can build/discard evidences for the non-natural world.

Your theoretical framework for investigating a possible "non-natural" world bypasses an inherent contradiction in the idea of such a world. By definition, the supernatural defies cause and effect.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
Reply
#15
(18-Sep-2011, 11:22 PM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
(16-Sep-2011, 12:59 PM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: I don't think Carl Sagan was talking about unknown nautral worlds. He seems to be talking about unknown worlds that might be/might not be part of our natural world. Isn't that central to why he is agnostic?

'Contact' was not about potential supernatural worlds, but about potential natural worlds that are inaccessible using our contemporary mathematics. In any case, let's keep in mind that 'Contact' was a novel. Sagan's preference for calling himself an agnostic rather than an atheist is a non sequitur here.

But since it came up, Sagan referred to "hard atheism" whenever he used the term atheism:

"An atheist is someone who knows there is no God." ~ Carl Sagan.

By this definition of Atheism even Dawkins is not an atheist. Sagan only believed in ideas for which there is evidence, and he declared that there is no evidence of a creator god. By this standard he is an atheist on the same level as Dawkins (or myself), despite the fact that he disliked calling himself one.

Quote:I will give a shot at trying to explain my thought process in detail.
Science's approach is to observe effects and try to attribute causes to it. Then verify if this is indeed true by more observations. Now there is nothing that makes the following impossible
1. A cause in natural world causing an effect in non-natural world.
2. A cause in non-natural world causing an effect in natural world.
Interestingly, Science does have the capacity to analyse both these occurrences, and that is how it can build/discard evidences for the non-natural world.

Your theoretical framework for investigating a possible "non-natural" world bypasses an inherent contradiction in the idea of such a world. By definition, the supernatural defies cause and effect.

Ajita, Can you kindly clarify why does super-natural world defy cause and effect? Or let me rephrase my question as follows, why do you think there can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world?
Reply
#16
Ajita, kindly drop the first question as your post says "By definition, the supernatural defies cause and effect".

I am interested in your answer to the second question and if its - such a world can exist, then what are such worlds referred to as?
Reply
#17
(19-Sep-2011, 11:04 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: why do you think there can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world?

It is not me but the believers who (not quite aware of it themselves) define the supernatural as a state of existence that very selectively defies cause and effect as we know it using all the evidence we have.

'Selectively', because in order to make the claims they have to in part agree with cause and effect, but the core supernatural claims are a privileged disruption in the laws of causality. For example, ghosts (in the popular sense) are supernatural, because they can pass through solid material, can exist without a physical body etc. But in order to make the ghost claim one has to cede some causality- they need to reflect light to be seen, they remain on the surface of the planet (usually) affected by gravity, as well as the equal and opposite force exerted by the earth to counter it, etc.





"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
Reply
#18
(20-Sep-2011, 01:16 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
(19-Sep-2011, 11:04 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: why do you think there can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world?

It is not me but the believers who (not quite aware of it themselves) define the supernatural as a state of existence that very selectively defies cause and effect as we know it using all the evidence we have.

'Selectively', because in order to make the claims they have to in part agree with cause and effect, but the core supernatural claims are a privileged disruption in the laws of causality. For example, ghosts (in the popular sense) are supernatural, because they can pass through solid material, can exist without a physical body etc. But in order to make the ghost claim one has to cede some causality- they need to reflect light to be seen, they remain on the surface of the planet (usually) affected by gravity, as well as the equal and opposite force exerted by the earth to counter it, etc.

What about the second question? i.e. do you think there can/can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world? What are such worlds referred to as?
Reply
#19
A lot of the back-and-forth above has had to do with coming up with working definitions of sorts for the 'natural' and hence, the 'supernatural'. One proposed definition for the 'natural' world was the applicability of causality. By this criterion alone, there are quite a few phenomena which can be delineated as supernatural, namely:
(i) Free Will : As has been discussed often earlier, this phenomenon would be 'contra-causal'.
(ii) Creation by a Creator : Theologians parroting the cosmological argument are careful to state that "Everything that began to exist had a cause." , thus exempting the creator from causality.
(ii) Acts of Divine Intervention: eg. Revelation, Deliverance, Salvation, Miracles all of which are defined as inexplicable by the cause-and-effect reasoning that supports predictions about the natural world.

In a sense, the latter items in the list, namely Creation and Divine Intervention of all sorts, can be treated as acts of Free Will of a postulated 'Supreme Being' who exercises this will. Such a Supreme Being, must, as the advocates of the cosmological argument insist, must not have had a beginning and is 'beyond time' and the very qualifier 'Supreme' they insist indicates that this being is not subject to limitations of space as well. While it is the transcendence of space, time and causation that underlies intuitions of the Supreme and the Supernatural in most theologies, these three have been most explicitly identified as 'hallmarks of the supernatural' as it were, in Indian metaphysical traditions. The exemption claimed from space and time is applied to waive the limitations of corporality and mortality and therein lie the theologian's basis for an immaterial Soul and its eternal Afterlife. From Creation to the Afterlife, orchestrated by God's Will, we now have criteria that cover pretty much the entire extent of what is commonly understood as the 'supernatural realm'.

We can see a few examples of how these criteria were applied to draw the line between the natural and the supernatural. To begin with, here's Prof. Dennett on how for much of history, the need to draw such a line in the first place was hardly felt. For example, the Vedic sacrifice to control the Forces of Nature is a product of a worldview where a 'Force of Nature' and a 'supernatural being' are scarcely distinguished. In later theology, notably in the Bhagavad Geeta, the two are painstakingly distinguished. Exemption from the laws of nature and time is claimed in these verses (2:23, 2:24) and the supreme being's transcendence of space and suzerainty over nature is emphasized in these verses (13:14, 13:15).

Salvation and deliverance too, it is emphasized in many religious traditions, is not a function of any human effort but need to be willed by a Supreme Being. In the Bhagavad Geeta, the cosmic revelation in Chapter XI, it is emphasized, was granted out of grace only following surrender (11:8 and 11:50 ). Not to be outdone by Krishna, Jesus Christ insists in John 6:44 that only those who are willed to do so by the Supreme Being reach salvation. The state of salvation these 'incarnations' promise also is supposed to lie beyond the natural world, as can be seen in this reference from the Bhagavad Geeta (15:6) and this from the New Testament (John 18:36).

The history of religions is often punctuated by attempts of reformists and sometimes a certain breed of fundamentalists, to reclaim the salvation and the promised kingdom into this world itself. The Buddhist notion of Nirvana, as commonly understood in popular forms of contemporary Buddhism, is that of a state attainable in the here and now. That the state of Nirvana in a Mahayana scripture like the Heart Sutra is defined eliminatively as something beyond the natural, is testimony to the fact that a permanent consensus on whether the final destination is a supernatural one or one that necessarily involves a natural path and milestones, is hardly ever reached in religious traditions. The encroachment of the supernatural upon society and geography isn't always as benign and unobtrusive as notions of Jeevan Mukti (a state of Moksha attained by a living person) or here-and-now Nirvana, but can have disruptive historical consequences since the Promised Land and Dar-ul-Islam are very much part of the one world we have.

Christ's famous 'Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's!' injunction can perhaps be viewed as the first form of the uneasy truce of NOMA, which was enthusiastically advocated by Steven Jay Gould and is viewed as overly accommodationist by New Atheists like Prof. Dennett who believe that our current view of the world informed by ongoing discoveries doesn't quite map out into neat jurisdictions of a despotic Caesar and another heavenly despot who can override Nature's laws.
[+] 1 user Likes arvindiyer's post
Reply
#20
I just realized that the detailed survey of a variety of supernatural ideas does not directly address the topic of this thread, namely, the question of 'Is Naturalism against the supernatural?'
In principle, we might say, that Naturalism since it does not concern itself with phenomena that are by definition outside of Nature, is strictly indifferent to supernatural claims with no grounds for either a hostile or favorable opinion. However in practice, a Cultural Naturalist may often have reason to oppose certain specific manifestations of supernatural thinking, most prevalent among religions.

Some mainstream supernatural ideas named in the above post, namely, Creationism, Miracles, the immaterial Soul and an eternal Afterlife (in its versions of eternal reward/damnation or perpetual rebirth with a possibility of salvation) often either end up implying empirical claims in which case a Cultural Naturalist can examine them, and even if claimed to be beyond the pale of the empirical, can through its philosophical and practical consequences be detrimental to society, in which case it is incumbent upon a socially aware Cultural Naturalist to oppose them.

Supernatural claims often end up sticking an empirical neck out because a natural world with supernatural beings active ought to look measurably different and creationist claims are clearly not 'above the fray' of empirical inquiry. Quoting from this New York Times profile of Prof. Dawkins:

Quote:Belief in the supernatural strikes him as incurious, which is perhaps the worst insult he can imagine.

"Religion teaches us to be satisfied with non-answers," he says, "It is a sort of crime against childhood."

An engaged Cultural Naturalist cannot help notice that most ideas of the supernatural proposed so far are not only incurious but often demonstrably injurious as well. It would be a different matter if the devout, the mystics and those whom Prof. Dennett cheerfully calls the 'supers' kept their faith but to themselves and confined their supernatural pursuits to the worlds of their own imagination, and did not brandish and enforce the hereditary privileges, land deeds and licenses to kill which they insist their imaginary friend has issued to them. Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in. This Newsweek article is but one of the latest of the multitude of instances where peoples vying for Promised Lands and the distinction of Chosen Peoples endanger civilization for the rest of us as well. Quoting from the article:

Quote:During a visit to Israel in August 2009, (Texas Governor and Republican Presidential candidate forerunner Rick) Perry told The Jerusalem Post he was “a big believer that this country was given to the people of Israel a long time ago, by God, and that’s ordained.” And as one comment on the Israeli newspaper Haaretz website declared, “A Republican Christian is better than the Moslem currently inhabiting the White House.”

When the supers are with abandon staking our natural world in their supernatural playoffs, isn't time we spoke up and told them loud and clear that the game's up? The time for genteel deference has passed and we have waited our turn long enough.
[+] 2 users Like arvindiyer's post
Reply
#21
(20-Sep-2011, 01:48 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote:
(20-Sep-2011, 01:16 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
(19-Sep-2011, 11:04 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: why do you think there can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world?

It is not me but the believers who (not quite aware of it themselves) define the supernatural as a state of existence that very selectively defies cause and effect as we know it using all the evidence we have.

'Selectively', because in order to make the claims they have to in part agree with cause and effect, but the core supernatural claims are a privileged disruption in the laws of causality. For example, ghosts (in the popular sense) are supernatural, because they can pass through solid material, can exist without a physical body etc. But in order to make the ghost claim one has to cede some causality- they need to reflect light to be seen, they remain on the surface of the planet (usually) affected by gravity, as well as the equal and opposite force exerted by the earth to counter it, etc.

What about the second question? i.e. do you think there can/can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world? What are such worlds referred to as?

@Kanad : Will we ever be able to answer such questions ? Does it really matter what we think about such things as whatever our thinking maybe it can never be proved or disproved ? So i guess Ajitas's answer (and everyone who is rational) should be "I dont know".
Our brain is made in order to be able to make sense of things around us & whatever we "think" is too limited to be able to come up with any reasonable answer to your question. Also i would prefer to use "unknown things" instead of "unknown worlds". All that is unknown, suppose gets known someday, will definitely be part of this universe & its laws. You can imagine people from past asking questions like yours and citing pattern of rainbow(like how people cite electron behavior) when we didnt know the cause for it.
If we observe such things that are inexplicable, it simply means that we need to advance more (technologically & intellectually) in order find their cause. We might not still find their cause but then whose to say whether we need to advance even more or whether those things "humans" can never ever demystify.

Our incapability to come up with a reasonable cause for the behavior of electrons also has to do with us evolved not to care about such things. Sure, technology helps us but then it is too made by humans only & who knows whether there are far better devices(to detect such things) that insects would have created if their brain would have evolved like us.
Again, all this is mere speculation and although its fun, its just not reasonable to be assure(or even have a belief) on such things.


" What are such worlds referred to as?"
Well, they will definitely come under Science Fiction/Fantasy.
Reply
#22
(30-Sep-2011, 01:48 PM)rdbcasillas Wrote:
(20-Sep-2011, 01:48 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote:
(20-Sep-2011, 01:16 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
(19-Sep-2011, 11:04 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: why do you think there can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world?

It is not me but the believers who (not quite aware of it themselves) define the supernatural as a state of existence that very selectively defies cause and effect as we know it using all the evidence we have.

'Selectively', because in order to make the claims they have to in part agree with cause and effect, but the core supernatural claims are a privileged disruption in the laws of causality. For example, ghosts (in the popular sense) are supernatural, because they can pass through solid material, can exist without a physical body etc. But in order to make the ghost claim one has to cede some causality- they need to reflect light to be seen, they remain on the surface of the planet (usually) affected by gravity, as well as the equal and opposite force exerted by the earth to counter it, etc.

What about the second question? i.e. do you think there can/can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world? What are such worlds referred to as?

@Kanad : Will we ever be able to answer such questions ? Does it really matter what we think about such things as whatever our thinking maybe it can never be proved or disproved ? So i guess Ajitas's answer (and everyone who is rational) should be "I dont know".
Our brain is made in order to be able to make sense of things around us & whatever we "think" is too limited to be able to come up with any reasonable answer to your question. Also i would prefer to use "unknown things" instead of "unknown worlds". All that is unknown, suppose gets known someday, will definitely be part of this universe & its laws. You can imagine people from past asking questions like yours and citing pattern of rainbow(like how people cite electron behavior) when we didnt know the cause for it.
If we observe such things that are inexplicable, it simply means that we need to advance more (technologically & intellectually) in order find their cause. We might not still find their cause but then whose to say whether we need to advance even more or whether those things "humans" can never ever demystify.

Our incapability to come up with a reasonable cause for the behavior of electrons also has to do with us evolved not to care about such things. Sure, technology helps us but then it is too made by humans only & who knows whether there are far better devices(to detect such things) that insects would have created if their brain would have evolved like us.
Again, all this is mere speculation and although its fun, its just not reasonable to be assure(or even have a belief) on such things.


" What are such worlds referred to as?"
Well, they will definitely come under Science Fiction/Fantasy.

I guess the whole intent of this post is getting lost. Let me reiterate it again
1. Is naturalism AGAINST super-natural or it is actually with Science.
I had defined super-natural to be a world that comprises of causes not part of our world. Ajita then explained that in common use super-natural means something that transcends causality, hence I replaced the word with non-natural world (a natural world is a world which we can experience).
As I mentioned earlier, Science , in theory, can prove existence of causes outside our natural world. If so happens what would be stand of naturalism. Link by Lije clarifies that naturalism will go with Science.
2. I don't like the application of "we don't know" philosophy everywhere and anywhere. I totally understand suspending judgement in cases where there is not much evidence. But if you have overwhelming evidence for/against something then still saying "I don't know" is foolish. Now there is overwhelming evidence that behavior of electrons is probabilistic. And the evidence is NOT in the form of our lack of knowledge, but positive knowledge about electron's probabilistic behavior. There still is a tiny probability that we might be missing some variable that is currently unknown, but till that is found, it is reasonable to say that the behavior is probabilistic, just the way any Scientific Theory is considered a fact till a contradicting evidence is found. Thus there might be a time in future where Science has overwhelming evidence for causes outside our natural world, and I think the correct stand then would be to go with Science.
Reply
#23
(30-Sep-2011, 03:30 PM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote:
(30-Sep-2011, 01:48 PM)rdbcasillas Wrote:
(20-Sep-2011, 01:48 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote:
(20-Sep-2011, 01:16 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote:
(19-Sep-2011, 11:04 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote: why do you think there can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world?

It is not me but the believers who (not quite aware of it themselves) define the supernatural as a state of existence that very selectively defies cause and effect as we know it using all the evidence we have.

'Selectively', because in order to make the claims they have to in part agree with cause and effect, but the core supernatural claims are a privileged disruption in the laws of causality. For example, ghosts (in the popular sense) are supernatural, because they can pass through solid material, can exist without a physical body etc. But in order to make the ghost claim one has to cede some causality- they need to reflect light to be seen, they remain on the surface of the planet (usually) affected by gravity, as well as the equal and opposite force exerted by the earth to counter it, etc.

What about the second question? i.e. do you think there can/can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world? What are such worlds referred to as?

@Kanad : Will we ever be able to answer such questions ? Does it really matter what we think about such things as whatever our thinking maybe it can never be proved or disproved ? So i guess Ajitas's answer (and everyone who is rational) should be "I dont know".
Our brain is made in order to be able to make sense of things around us & whatever we "think" is too limited to be able to come up with any reasonable answer to your question. Also i would prefer to use "unknown things" instead of "unknown worlds". All that is unknown, suppose gets known someday, will definitely be part of this universe & its laws. You can imagine people from past asking questions like yours and citing pattern of rainbow(like how people cite electron behavior) when we didnt know the cause for it.
If we observe such things that are inexplicable, it simply means that we need to advance more (technologically & intellectually) in order find their cause. We might not still find their cause but then whose to say whether we need to advance even more or whether those things "humans" can never ever demystify.

Our incapability to come up with a reasonable cause for the behavior of electrons also has to do with us evolved not to care about such things. Sure, technology helps us but then it is too made by humans only & who knows whether there are far better devices(to detect such things) that insects would have created if their brain would have evolved like us.
Again, all this is mere speculation and although its fun, its just not reasonable to be assure(or even have a belief) on such things.


" What are such worlds referred to as?"
Well, they will definitely come under Science Fiction/Fantasy.

I guess the whole intent of this post is getting lost. Let me reiterate it again
1. Is naturalism AGAINST super-natural or it is actually with Science.
I had defined super-natural to be a world that comprises of causes not part of our world. Ajita then explained that in common use super-natural means something that transcends causality, hence I replaced the word with non-natural world (a natural world is a world which we can experience).
As I mentioned earlier, Science , in theory, can prove existence of causes outside our natural world. If so happens what would be stand of naturalism. Link by Lije clarifies that naturalism will go with Science.
2. I don't like the application of "we don't know" philosophy everywhere and anywhere. I totally understand suspending judgement in cases where there is not much evidence. But if you have overwhelming evidence for/against something then still saying "I don't know" is foolish. Now there is overwhelming evidence that behavior of electrons is probabilistic. And the evidence is NOT in the form of our lack of knowledge, but positive knowledge about electron's probabilistic behavior. There still is a tiny probability that we might be missing some variable that is currently unknown, but till that is found, it is reasonable to say that the behavior is probabilistic, just the way any Scientific Theory is considered a fact till a contradicting evidence is found. Thus there might be a time in future where Science has overwhelming evidence for causes outside our natural world, and I think the correct stand then would be to go with Science.


I would love to know the evidence of "probabilistic behavior". I mean who decide whether its that or again just our brain's limiting capability to see it more clearly? I want you to consider the suggestion that their is a possibility that whatever we are seeing as "weird" might just be our intellectual or technological limit. Till we advance a little more why not be satisfied with "I dont know" ? Its perfectly fine if we die without knowing the answer to somethings within our generation.
It seems that you want to be clear on everything that is currently "weird" in this universe. Or maybe i am wrong.

"Is naturalism AGAINST super-natural or it is actually with Science ?"
Is their any difference between the two ?
Also, I dont understand why this is such an interesting question? Its just semantics and the definition of "naturalism" should be subject to change. Doesnt matter much what stand of "naturalism" is. Enough evidence should change its original definition.

Reply
#24
(01-Oct-2011, 12:43 AM)rdbcasillas Wrote:
(30-Sep-2011, 03:30 PM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote:
(30-Sep-2011, 01:48 PM)rdbcasillas Wrote:
(20-Sep-2011, 01:48 AM)Kanad Kanhere Wrote:
(20-Sep-2011, 01:16 AM)Ajita Kamal Wrote: It is not me but the believers who (not quite aware of it themselves) define the supernatural as a state of existence that very selectively defies cause and effect as we know it using all the evidence we have.

'Selectively', because in order to make the claims they have to in part agree with cause and effect, but the core supernatural claims are a privileged disruption in the laws of causality. For example, ghosts (in the popular sense) are supernatural, because they can pass through solid material, can exist without a physical body etc. But in order to make the ghost claim one has to cede some causality- they need to reflect light to be seen, they remain on the surface of the planet (usually) affected by gravity, as well as the equal and opposite force exerted by the earth to counter it, etc.

What about the second question? i.e. do you think there can/can't exist a world such that some causes in our natural world causes an effect in that world, and some causes in that world cause and effect in our world? What are such worlds referred to as?

@Kanad : Will we ever be able to answer such questions ? Does it really matter what we think about such things as whatever our thinking maybe it can never be proved or disproved ? So i guess Ajitas's answer (and everyone who is rational) should be "I dont know".
Our brain is made in order to be able to make sense of things around us & whatever we "think" is too limited to be able to come up with any reasonable answer to your question. Also i would prefer to use "unknown things" instead of "unknown worlds". All that is unknown, suppose gets known someday, will definitely be part of this universe & its laws. You can imagine people from past asking questions like yours and citing pattern of rainbow(like how people cite electron behavior) when we didnt know the cause for it.
If we observe such things that are inexplicable, it simply means that we need to advance more (technologically & intellectually) in order find their cause. We might not still find their cause but then whose to say whether we need to advance even more or whether those things "humans" can never ever demystify.

Our incapability to come up with a reasonable cause for the behavior of electrons also has to do with us evolved not to care about such things. Sure, technology helps us but then it is too made by humans only & who knows whether there are far better devices(to detect such things) that insects would have created if their brain would have evolved like us.
Again, all this is mere speculation and although its fun, its just not reasonable to be assure(or even have a belief) on such things.


" What are such worlds referred to as?"
Well, they will definitely come under Science Fiction/Fantasy.

I guess the whole intent of this post is getting lost. Let me reiterate it again
1. Is naturalism AGAINST super-natural or it is actually with Science.
I had defined super-natural to be a world that comprises of causes not part of our world. Ajita then explained that in common use super-natural means something that transcends causality, hence I replaced the word with non-natural world (a natural world is a world which we can experience).
As I mentioned earlier, Science , in theory, can prove existence of causes outside our natural world. If so happens what would be stand of naturalism. Link by Lije clarifies that naturalism will go with Science.
2. I don't like the application of "we don't know" philosophy everywhere and anywhere. I totally understand suspending judgement in cases where there is not much evidence. But if you have overwhelming evidence for/against something then still saying "I don't know" is foolish. Now there is overwhelming evidence that behavior of electrons is probabilistic. And the evidence is NOT in the form of our lack of knowledge, but positive knowledge about electron's probabilistic behavior. There still is a tiny probability that we might be missing some variable that is currently unknown, but till that is found, it is reasonable to say that the behavior is probabilistic, just the way any Scientific Theory is considered a fact till a contradicting evidence is found. Thus there might be a time in future where Science has overwhelming evidence for causes outside our natural world, and I think the correct stand then would be to go with Science.


I would love to know the evidence of "probabilistic behavior". I mean who decide whether its that or again just our brain's limiting capability to see it more clearly? I want you to consider the suggestion that their is a possibility that whatever we are seeing as "weird" might just be our intellectual or technological limit. Till we advance a little more why not be satisfied with "I dont know" ? Its perfectly fine if we die without knowing the answer to somethings within our generation.
It seems that you want to be clear on everything that is currently "weird" in this universe. Or maybe i am wrong.

One of the biggest positive evidence of "probabilistic behavior" is that the probability waves interfere with each other (double slit experiment) like actual waves do. This is positive evidence rather than negative evidence. For more details kindly read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-slit_experiment

I already said that I don't mind reserving judgement till there is evidence one way or other. I am perfectly fine (I would rather say I have no option) to die with some questions being unanswered. But once there is sufficient amount of evidence taking a stance is a more sensible approach.

(01-Oct-2011, 12:43 AM)rdbcasillas Wrote: "Is naturalism AGAINST super-natural or it is actually with Science ?"
Is their any difference between the two ?
There is a difference between the two. The first one simply says we are against super-natural. It can turn out to be a fanatic approach just like religion. (Of course all this depends on the way super-natural is defined).
The second one is to say that we go with whatever we discover. This is far more open minded approach.

(01-Oct-2011, 12:43 AM)rdbcasillas Wrote: Also, I dont understand why this is such an interesting question? Its just semantics and the definition of "naturalism" should be subject to change. Doesnt matter much what stand of "naturalism" is. Enough evidence should change its original definition.
Why not define it in the first place to be more open? And its not just semantics, it is about the approach. The reason Aheism isn't a religion is because it doesn't follow their rigid approach of "so and so is correct irrespective of the evidence". I want to support philosophy that supports such thought process.
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Terrorism and Cultural Naturalism RascarCapac 5 6,910 24-Oct-2013, 07:09 AM
Last Post: arvindiyer
  Relation between methodological and philosophical naturalism SUBRAMANNYA PADDILLAYA 0 2,279 26-Apr-2013, 02:22 AM
Last Post: SUBRAMANNYA PADDILLAYA
  Naturalism Checklist arvindiyer 9 6,567 22-Jan-2013, 08:49 AM
Last Post: Captain Mandrake
  Introduction to Naturalism Ajita Kamal 7 7,687 22-Sep-2010, 03:27 PM
Last Post: Sajit



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)