Categories philosophy science causes Post author By Dale Post date October 9, 2010 9 Comments on causes just because… :) and… Share this:FacebookTwitterWhatsAppTumblrEmailPinterest Tags causal chain, dogmatism, first cause, google-docs-image-maker, nature-and-supernature, ruled-out-categories, thus-far-and-no-further ← the be(yond)attitude → two water related parables 9 replies on “causes” What *is* the supernatural (ontologically speaking)? in the context of those sketches of mine above, supernature is ontologically distinct from nature – in analogous fashion to the way Richard Dawkins is ontologically distinct from The Ancestor’s Tale. I meant *ontologically* speaking (not negative ontologically speaking). In other words, what *is* the supernatural (as opposed to what it is not)? Well, I happen to think “the supernatural” is that sphere of existence (ontos) or dimension of reality which we (being within “the natural”) define in relationship to our sphere of existence or dimension of reality. That’s the most convoluted way of saying “not natural” that I have ever seen in my life. The reason why I wanted you to define “the supernatural” ontologically is because I knew you couldn’t do it. More importantly though, I’m making a point as to the incoherence of the concept. To say that X *is*, is to give it some kind ontological meaning. One invokes its properties and attributes in order to identify X – not it’s lack of properties and attributes. Given this: when you say that X exists (where X is the supernatural), you’re leaving that X undefined. You’re not actually referring to anything intelligible when you invoke the supernatural. This kind of negative ontology is fine in every day colloquialisms; but when it comes to the universe, a negation of it would be non-existence. Meaning that you’re inadvertently defining the supernatural as non-existent. i don’t care that you think it’s convoluted :D these technical discussions are what they are – we can try to use popular-level language, or we can ask for questions in philosophical terms. But we can’t do the latter and complain when we get the kind of answer we asked for. Negation is simple (that’s the irony of all your horror of ‘the incoherence’). Both the ‘natural’ and the ‘supernatural’ are real, true, and actual – but (I can already hear you moan about the semantic issues; feel free, it won’t hurt my feelings) nature and supernature don’t have the same kind/mode of ontological existence. The very existence (small ‘e’) of nature is dependent on the Existence (big ‘E’) of supernature. (supernature would only be ‘non-existent’ if it were not real/actual) Don’t let the semantic bumps keep you from seeing what is a pretty simple negation. It’s not that you used technical terms, but you haven’t actually applied any terms to the supernatural that would even come close to painting a picture of what it actually is. Both the ‘natural’ and the ‘supernatural’ are real, true, and actual Woah woah, hold it right there, how did you make that leap? The supernatural is automatically real, true and actual because you defined it as ‘not nature’? That’s an absurd jump and is completely irrational. Things do not pop into existence in a puff of logic because they are defined in some ontological argument as ‘necessary’. the conviction (which we seem to share – and without proof, I add) that ‘things do not pop into existence’ via definition alone is precisely one of the reasons a creator is required for nature/’the-universe’. Again – we both believe (without supporting ‘facts’/’evidence’) in self-existent realities. Atheists believe (correct if i’m wrong) nature is self-existent – Theists (of all kinds) believe a g(G)od/Cause is. And also again – I have no logical problem with someone calling the universe the First Cause – as long as they can admit that in denying a supernatural First Cause, they are claiming the same for nature. and also… heck, we can’t even talk about natural things without using metaphor or analogy (try it!!), so why should we be surprised that describing the non-natural things would also require comparison (i.e. negation, metaphor)??? Comments are closed.