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Creation "science" and a Bible-based morality

Keith&Co.

Contributor
futurama-god.jpg

So, think about this for a second.
You latch onto the idea that if god or the simulation doesn't want to be detected, it need not be....while also alluding to how you determined that it's a simulation.
 

Jimmy Higgins

Contributor
So everything points to a simulation. Concurrence, contradiction, simplicity, complexity, symmetry, incongruence... it all points to simulation.
Like I've said, I think "I think ALL evidence of God and the paranormal can be explained by skeptics as coincidence, delusion, or hallucinations". I think that theory also covers non-naturalistic things like a simulation. That way the simulation is as immersive as possible. Like that Futurama God quote says, "when you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all".
There is reason to think that, given the history of things things that have been attributed to gods and then found to have earthly causes. The defining characteristic of this "god of the gaps" is that it gets smaller, and smaller and smaller.
I'm saying there is no evidence that can convince skeptics of the existence of God so there is no compelling evidence for them for ANY "god of the gaps". So if God is playing "hide and seek", when he is "hiding" it is completely from view....

So patterns, occasional patterns, and chaos are evidence of a simulation.
 

atrib

Veteran Member
You are wrong, and unwilling to listen to what other people are telling you. There is biological evolution, which is a natural process that has been observed and tested. Biological evolution is neither theistic or atheistic, just as gravity and star formation and weather are neither theistic or atheistic. They are all natural processes that can be observed and tested by humans. You would be foolish to call gravity "atheistic", yet you have no problem referring to evolution as such. This is because your judgement is clouded by your bias.

Our evidence for gravity is actually quite weak, as scientific theories go. It's based on science on one celestial body. We have no idea what kind of gravitational weirdness we might find out there. We do hope that our science here has nailed it. But it's still just a hope.

We just think it's a strong theory because anyone can test it by themselves. But they're all on the same celestial body. It's the same data point.

We can observe the effect of gravity on literally billions of celestial objects: the objects in our solar system, the objects in our galaxy (other solar systems), the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy and the star systems orbiting this black hole in close proximity, other galaxies and how they are bound together in gravitational clusters and so on. Heck, we recently observed the gravity waves produced by two neutron stars merging. So it is obviously not true that we can observe and test gravity on just our planet; we can do this on a universal scale.

We have no idea what kind of gravitational weirdness we might find out there.

We don't know how to model gravity in certain situations, as in black holes and close to the surface of neutron stars perhaps. Is that what you were saying?
 

excreationist

Married mouth-breather
Um, yeah?
I do not see a contradiction.
You said you'd call non-theistic evolution "science". Then you said "science" is neutral regarding divine action (non-theistic[specifically exclude DA]/theistic[require DA]) and evolution.

In a way your posts made sense - you could say that physics is science and science is neutral on whether it is physics, chemistry, biology, etc. But the word "physics" isn't really a synonym for the word "science" (and I was looking for a synonym for "non-theistic evolution")
What do you think 'atheist' means when you say 'atheist evolution?'
I didn't use that exact term but I think it means that there was no divine action in evolution.
But many theists believe in biological evolution that is not completely naturalistic....
....such as...?
https://www.oldearth.org/old_earth_creationism.htm
"....Some believe he created the natural laws, and let evolution run its course, while others believe God was actively involved in the evolution process..."​

So it would involve that latter group...
Theists would claim that there could be evidence such as irreducible complexity -
a claim that never stands up to scrutiny, when scientists examine a claimed example.
Like I said, I reject it - "I think that there were no jumps in evolution - that it seems perfectly naturalistic...."
So, no. Still no scientific reason to treat superstition as science.
Well I consider my belief in a simulation to be pseduoscience.
So, think about this for a second. You latch onto the idea that if god or the simulation doesn't want to be detected, it need not be....while also alluding to how you determined that it's a simulation.
Like I said I think God could be playing "hide and "seek" - and sometimes he is "hiding" (or not so present or obvious).

It is similar to Psalm 22:
"My God, my God, why have you deserted me?
Why do you seem so far away when I need you to save me?
Why do you seem so far away that you can’t hear my groans?
My God, I cry out in the daytime. But you don’t answer."​

Though I don't think it is historical, Jesus quoted this when the presence of God left him....

But I think it gives me hints of its existence e.g. post #112 The Futurama quote isn't saying it doesn't want to be detected at all - just that people can't be sure that it's done anything at all. I think evidence for a possible simulation is stronger than the evidence for an intervening intelligent force - but it still isn't obvious.
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
You said you'd call non-theistic evolution "science". Then you said "science" is neutral regarding divine action (non-theistic[specifically exclude DA]/theistic[require DA]) and evolution.
Ah. By non-theistic i read 'lacking' theism. Not 'literally excluding' theism.
All science is non-theistic by my understanding of the term.
Not to be confused with anti-theistic.
In a way your posts made sense - you could say that physics is science and science is neutral on whether it is physics, chemistry, biology, etc. But the word "physics" isn't really a synonym for the word "science" (and I was looking for a synonym for "non-theistic evolution")
i did not see this as requesting a synonym.

I would call it 'evolution.' I would avoid qualifiers that lend equal credibility to theistic evolution, as if the two choices were equally supported.
"....Some believe he created the natural laws, and let evolution run its course, while others believe God was actively involved in the evolution process..."​
So....creationism. theistic evolution. Not science.

The Futurama quote isn't saying it doesn't want to be detected at all -
just conveniently, never when anyone asks for evidence. Then it's indistiguishable from nothing at all...
 

excreationist

Married mouth-breather
"....others believe God was actively involved in the evolution process..."
So....creationism. theistic evolution. Not science.
Earlier you said "All science is neutral on the supernatural, or it isn't science"

I misunderstood you. I thought you meant that science doesn't rule out the supernatural which means that it is possible that the supernatural exists and that the supernatural can still involve science to some degree. But I think you meant that if a person is talking about the supernatural then it can't be considered science - or something like that. (roughly)

The Futurama quote isn't saying it doesn't want to be detected at all -
just conveniently, never when anyone asks for evidence. Then it's indistinguishable from nothing at all...
There are other times an intelligent force could seem to show its presence besides when a person is demanding obvious proof.

In case you were interested, here are some of the reasons why my faith in an intelligent force has grown relatively strong:
https://talkfreethought.org/showthr...nces-that-suggest-an-intelligent-force-exists

Like the saying goes "God works in mysterious ways" - and "Don't put God to the test". If God was obvious there would be no "hiding" during "hide and seek". And my saying: "I think the intelligent force only intervenes in a way that skeptics could explain as involving coincidence, delusion, hallucinations, or fraud".

Also:
Though there are hints that our world could involve a simulation and an intervening intelligence, modern supernatural skeptics feel justified in their belief that the world is purely mechanistic and physical. This way a belief in paranormal intervention is more about personal faith and reasoning rather than involving any type of scientific consensus. - so it is more intimate....
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
Earlier you said "All science is neutral on the supernatural, or it isn't science"

I misunderstood you. I thought you meant that science doesn't rule out the supernatural which means that it is possible that the supernatural exists
okay
and that the supernatural can still involve science to some degree.
nope.....
But I think you meant that if a person is talking about the supernatural then it can't be considered science - or something like that. (roughly)
The supernatural may exist. Science cannot rule it out, but cannot use it, either.
The entire theory of gravity is unchanged if ghosts are or are not real.
The water cycle can be drawn in great detail and none of it changes if unicorns exist or do not.

You can be a scientist who believes in gods. Witches. Leprechauns. Capitol tourists. Elves.
But if you use the supernatural in an explanation for something, it's not science.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
Any claim made by any person ascribing to any "unnatural" forces can be put to the test. Experiments and observations can be made to determine whether there is anything going on that is not presently understood. Quantum entanglement or "spooky action at a distance" is a good example of proving that something that appears to be unnatural can in fact be measured, quantified and the information used to understand the phenomenon. We may not know exactly how the process works but we can still quantify the phenomenon.

If, however, I am incapable of comprehending how this method of investigation works I will continue to make claims that are unrealistic and impossible to quantify. People say prayer works, for example, and we can design experiments to determine whether in fact it does. And we have, and it doesn't. But that won't keep me from believing it does if I am unable to comprehend the scientific method.

The experiments would be quite simple. We could pray that someone killed in an accident is resurrected. We can pray that someone grows a new finger or limb that was accidentally lost or genetically unformed. And we can have controls. Like quantum entanglement, we don't have to understand precisely what's happening in the process, only that the process is real, not merely a claim.

We can design experiments to find out whether a person is being visited by an unknown force. But we can't know whether that force is a simulator or a creator or something else until we can define what it is, and then test for it. Otherwise it's still the magic dust mite in my bed that's causing it all.
 

atrib

Veteran Member
Earlier you said "All science is neutral on the supernatural, or it isn't science"

I misunderstood you. I thought you meant that science doesn't rule out the supernatural which means that it is possible that the supernatural exists and that the supernatural can still involve science to some degree. But I think you meant that if a person is talking about the supernatural then it can't be considered science - or something like that. (roughly)

Science deals with phenomena that can be observed. As of now, there is no way to observe supernatural phenomena, like gods. Therefore, science has nothing to say about the supernatural.
 

ideologyhunter

Veteran Member
No, but we will apparently always have these people who step up and tell us we must believe in their invisible world with invisible gods, demigods, angels,saints, demons, and maybe gnomes, who knows, and another class of people who make their living telling us they know what all these characters are like and how our lives can be better if we follow their (the priesthood's) guidance. And just maybe you won't be tormented for eternity (that's one way to learn a lesson, except the knowledge ends up being pointless.) I can't see how Christianity is any different from sitting in a hut worshipping a juju stone. Except there's no TV network set up in the name of juju. Yet.
 

DrZoidberg

Contributor
Earlier you said "All science is neutral on the supernatural, or it isn't science"

I misunderstood you. I thought you meant that science doesn't rule out the supernatural which means that it is possible that the supernatural exists and that the supernatural can still involve science to some degree. But I think you meant that if a person is talking about the supernatural then it can't be considered science - or something like that. (roughly)

It's a misunderstanding of both what the supernatural is as well as natural/science. Whatever can be detected is science. So if science would be able to detect anything supernatural, it would stop being supernatural. It would just be natural. By definition, supernatural is something that cannot exist. This is by the definition theologists themselves formulated. A force that doesn't interact with anything in the natural world can just be ignored, by both scientists and religious people.
 

excreationist

Married mouth-breather
It's a misunderstanding of both what the supernatural is as well as natural/science. Whatever can be detected is science. So if science would be able to detect anything supernatural, it would stop being supernatural. It would just be natural. By definition, supernatural is something that cannot exist. This is by the definition theologists themselves formulated. A force that doesn't interact with anything in the natural world can just be ignored, by both scientists and religious people.
Would you consider the concept of a poltergeist to be supernatural? They apparently can interact with the natural world....
 

DrZoidberg

Contributor
It's a misunderstanding of both what the supernatural is as well as natural/science. Whatever can be detected is science. So if science would be able to detect anything supernatural, it would stop being supernatural. It would just be natural. By definition, supernatural is something that cannot exist. This is by the definition theologists themselves formulated. A force that doesn't interact with anything in the natural world can just be ignored, by both scientists and religious people.
Would you consider the concept of a poltergeist to be supernatural? They apparently can interact with the natural world....

If it, in any way, can be detected it is natural. If it cannot be detected in any way it has no impact on this world, what so ever. If it has any interaction with the natural world, no matter how minute, it is natural, and not supernatural. The moment God got involved and nudged evolution his action is immediately included in the definition of science and is a natural force. Not supernatural force.

It comes from Aristotle's metaphysics. He described the laws of nature in his book physics, and then he fit all the other stuff into his second book, "metaphysics" a grab bag of whatever didn't fit in his first book. Metaphysics literally just means, "after physics". Meaning after the book. "Supernatural" is the same expression in Latin.

His physics book describe how the world works. His metaphysics explores the more esoteric subjects of why and what rules define physics. This is where he defines logic. But it's really just a bunch of wild speculations and philosophical musings. It doesn't have nearly the same dignity as his physics book.

More softheaded people took this Aristotelian concept and made it into... well... magic. Before Aristotle God and the actions of the gods were seen as poetry. It was inherently mysterious and defied defining. Gods were unpredictable and there was no way of knowing whether your actions would please God. God was a label we used interchangeably with "the unknown". After Aristotle philosophers started studying God like they would any scientific concept. It's this movement, (Philo of Alexandria) that invents all the concepts which later make it into Judaism, and then Christianity. None of it makes any sense. The peak of this lunacy is Thomas Aquinas. I highly recommend reading his work. To the modern, secularly schooled, reader it sounds retarded. But Thomas Aquinas was preaching to the choir, so they canonized him as a saint instead.

Bottom line, nobody has ever had anything intelligent to say about the nature of god. At any point in history. People's urge to want to know, made us fail to stop and think, at some point, which created a slew of theological treatises where it's clearly defined what needs to done to ensure entrance into Heaven. While nice for those among us who are a bit neurotic, isn't exactly helping. It's better to go back to what God used to be, a stand in for the unknown and mysterious. And just make friends with that instead.

You've said before, you want to know what the intelligent force ruling the world wants from you. No matter if that force is out there or not, you will never learn this. That information, has never in history, been forthcoming. I think it's a pretty safe bet that the various prophets who claimed divine inspiration were just full of shit, or had deluded themselves. They were just pandering to the needs and insecurities of people around them.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
I think it's a pretty safe bet that the various prophets who claimed divine inspiration were just full of shit, or had deluded themselves. They were just pandering to the needs and insecurities of people around them.
You are assuming they were otherwise capable, were not schizophrenic, were not bipolar, were not manic, etc. There has been much written about these prophets and individuals that fits well with modern medical diagnoses of psychiatric disorders. Sure, some of them were frauds but many were likely experiencing the same delusional brain activity we see today, whether it be genetic or caused by lesions or be of some other origin.
 

James Brown

Veteran Member
It's a misunderstanding of both what the supernatural is as well as natural/science. Whatever can be detected is science. So if science would be able to detect anything supernatural, it would stop being supernatural. It would just be natural. By definition, supernatural is something that cannot exist. This is by the definition theologists themselves formulated. A force that doesn't interact with anything in the natural world can just be ignored, by both scientists and religious people.
Would you consider the concept of a poltergeist to be supernatural? They apparently can interact with the natural world....

Just not in any scientifically measurable way.

Does Santa Claus apparently interact with the natural world?
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
It's a misunderstanding of both what the supernatural is as well as natural/science. Whatever can be detected is science. So if science would be able to detect anything supernatural, it would stop being supernatural. It would just be natural. By definition, supernatural is something that cannot exist. This is by the definition theologists themselves formulated. A force that doesn't interact with anything in the natural world can just be ignored, by both scientists and religious people.
Would you consider the concept of a poltergeist to be supernatural? They apparently can interact with the natural world....

Just not in any scientifically measurable way.

Does Santa Claus apparently interact with the natural world?

Wouldn't it be interesting to facilitate a discussion among Santa believers on the subject of how his reindeer are able to fly. The more interesting observation of such an exercise would be to watch the adults who still believe in some version of woo as they listen, and think about how many would possibly "get it." Most no doubt would be quick to distinguish between child woo and adult woo, defending their adult woo in the same fashion the children are essentially defending their child woo.
 

excreationist

Married mouth-breather
Would you consider the concept of a poltergeist to be supernatural? They apparently can interact with the natural world....
If it, in any way, can be detected it is natural. If it cannot be detected in any way it has no impact on this world, what so ever. If it has any interaction with the natural world, no matter how minute, it is natural, and not supernatural. The moment God got involved and nudged evolution his action is immediately included in the definition of science and is a natural force. Not supernatural force.
I'm talking about the mainstream definition of supernatural not yours... (well I did ask you for your own opinion....)
e.g.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poltergeist
"...a type of ghost or spirit that is responsible for physical disturbances"
The "further reading" and "references" have two book titles with "supernatural" in their name.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernatural#Spirit
"A spirit is a supernatural being, often but not exclusively a non-physical entity; such as a ghost..."​
"The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature"

 

James Brown

Veteran Member
Just not in any scientifically measurable way.

Does Santa Claus apparently interact with the natural world?

Wouldn't it be interesting to facilitate a discussion among Santa believers on the subject of how his reindeer are able to fly. The more interesting observation of such an exercise would be to watch the adults who still believe in some version of woo as they listen, and think about how many would possibly "get it." Most no doubt would be quick to distinguish between child woo and adult woo, defending their adult woo in the same fashion the children are essentially defending their child woo.

I was in a nearly identical discussion about that on another board. A Creationist complained, "I'm sick of you atheists comparing belief in God with belief in Santa Claus. No rational adult believes in Santa Claus!"
 

DrZoidberg

Contributor
Would you consider the concept of a poltergeist to be supernatural? They apparently can interact with the natural world....
If it, in any way, can be detected it is natural. If it cannot be detected in any way it has no impact on this world, what so ever. If it has any interaction with the natural world, no matter how minute, it is natural, and not supernatural. The moment God got involved and nudged evolution his action is immediately included in the definition of science and is a natural force. Not supernatural force.
I'm talking about the mainstream definition of supernatural not yours... (well I did ask you for your own opinion....)
e.g.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poltergeist
"...a type of ghost or spirit that is responsible for physical disturbances"
The "further reading" and "references" have two book titles with "supernatural" in their name.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernatural#Spirit
"A spirit is a supernatural being, often but not exclusively a non-physical entity; such as a ghost..."​
"The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature"


If you can see it it is a physical entity. That definition is incoherent. But I'm pretty sure the person who wrote that knew that. Since ghosts is wholly an imaginative creation who only exists in stories

It's not my definition. It's THE definition. Colloquialy people might get a bit sloppy and vague.

But the guy who defined it is Aristotle, and however you twist it around, you will always come back to Aristotle.
 

excreationist

Married mouth-breather
I'm talking about the mainstream definition of supernatural not yours... (well I did ask you for your own opinion....)
e.g.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poltergeist
"...a type of ghost or spirit that is responsible for physical disturbances"
The "further reading" and "references" have two book titles with "supernatural" in their name.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernatural#Spirit
"A spirit is a supernatural being, often but not exclusively a non-physical entity; such as a ghost..."​
"The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature"

If you can see it it is a physical entity.
Poltergeists are apparently able to move physical objects yet I'd say they don't have a physical body (according to the tradition). Perhaps an analogy is a player moving objects around in a game of "The Sims". The player's body isn't part of the "physical" world of The Sims.

That definition is incoherent.
Wikipedia says: "The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature"

In the game "The Sims" the player could be considered supernatural.... "the laws of nature" would involve objects and sims within the game.
It's not my definition. It's THE definition.
I quoted the definition of supernatural from Wikipedia....
Another definition:
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/supernatural
"of, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal"

I think that covers poltergeists...
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
Just not in any scientifically measurable way.

Does Santa Claus apparently interact with the natural world?

Wouldn't it be interesting to facilitate a discussion among Santa believers on the subject of how his reindeer are able to fly. The more interesting observation of such an exercise would be to watch the adults who still believe in some version of woo as they listen, and think about how many would possibly "get it." Most no doubt would be quick to distinguish between child woo and adult woo, defending their adult woo in the same fashion the children are essentially defending their child woo.

I was in a nearly identical discussion about that on another board. A Creationist complained, "I'm sick of you atheists comparing belief in God with belief in Santa Claus. No rational adult believes in Santa Claus!"
I suppose such a person must see children as irrational.

People like their woo, both adults and children. The shortcoming with adult woo is that enough other adults rise to its defense, a behavior that allows wrong answers to persist. Unlike adults, children don't get to collectively decide which answers are correct and which answers are incorrect. If children were able to do this Santa worship would be a religion.

There are many adults possessing the intellect of a child so Santa just morphs into some other manifestation of that attraction to woo. They want Santa to be real so they make it so because now they have the power to collectively decide.
 

Jimmy Higgins

Contributor
Just not in any scientifically measurable way.

Does Santa Claus apparently interact with the natural world?

Wouldn't it be interesting to facilitate a discussion among Santa believers on the subject of how his reindeer are able to fly. The more interesting observation of such an exercise would be to watch the adults who still believe in some version of woo as they listen, and think about how many would possibly "get it." Most no doubt would be quick to distinguish between child woo and adult woo, defending their adult woo in the same fashion the children are essentially defending their child woo.

I was in a nearly identical discussion about that on another board. A Creationist complained, "I'm sick of you atheists comparing belief in God with belief in Santa Claus. No rational adult believes in Santa Claus!"

Adults believe in god.

Therefore god exists.
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
Poltergeists are apparently able to move physical objects yet I'd say they don't have a physical body
You should say they're 'traditionally' able to move physical objects. Until one is reliably observed.

Of course, another tradition about poltergeists is their association woth young women, leading to speculation it's not a ghost, but a troubled telekinetic with an imaginary friend.

There's also debate on the physical limitations. According to several ghost hunters, ghosts can never lift any greater weight than about 100 pounds. So if the fridge door opens, and ketchup bottles fly out, it could be a ghost, but if the fridge chases you down the hall, it's a demon.

And there's always the plot twist that it's the greedy landlord using magnetism, wires, mirror projections, and other completely natural tricks to pretend poltergeists exist....

Either way, the discussion of alternative traditions and interpretations is about as compelling as comparing Federation and Klingon teleportation. 'What if' is fun, but not getting any close to actual knowledge.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
Poltergeists are apparently able to move physical objects yet I'd say they don't have a physical body
You should say they're 'traditionally' able to move physical objects. Until one is reliably observed.

Of course, another tradition about poltergeists is their association woth young women, leading to speculation it's not a ghost, but a troubled telekinetic with an imaginary friend.

There's also debate on the physical limitations. According to several ghost hunters, ghosts can never lift any greater weight than about 100 pounds. So if the fridge door opens, and ketchup bottles fly out, it could be a ghost, but if the fridge chases you down the hall, it's a demon.

And there's always the plot twist that it's the greedy landlord using magnetism, wires, mirror projections, and other completely natural tricks to pretend poltergeists exist....

Either way, the discussion of alternative traditions and interpretations is about as compelling as comparing Federation and Klingon teleportation. 'What if' is fun, but not getting any close to actual knowledge.

Kids actually DO observe Santa so you can't think them irrational in their belief. Presents from Santa appear. Other adults are telling them that santa is on his way to bring presents and those presents are there the next day. The kids aren't so dumb.

The adult Santa, on the other hand, is like all such entities, invisible and impossible to observe, but it becomes just as apparent as the childhood santa was at the earlier age. You would think the propensity to disbelieve in fantastic childhood stories would make adult santas rare or impossible. Interestingly that isn't the case.
 

Bomb#20

Contributor
Poltergeists are apparently able to move physical objects yet I'd say they don't have a physical body (according to the tradition). Perhaps an analogy is a player moving objects around in a game of "The Sims". The player's body isn't part of the "physical" world of The Sims.

DrZoidberg said:
That definition is incoherent.
Wikipedia says: "The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature"

In the game "The Sims" the player could be considered supernatural.... "the laws of nature" would involve objects and sims within the game.
It's not my definition. It's THE definition.
I quoted the definition of supernatural from Wikipedia....
Another definition:
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/supernatural
"of, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal"

I think that covers poltergeists...
Not if they actually exist. "Supernatural" refers to a fiction genre -- it means when a fictional character does stuff real people couldn't do, the author "explains" it with something Harry Potterish instead of Star Trekish.

Dictionaries can't save a concept from being incoherent. What makes the "supernatural" concept incoherent is that it's circular; well, all dictionary definitions are ultimately circular. Back in the dead tree days I had a dictionary that defined "god" as "a male deity" and defined "deity" as "a god or goddess". :D Dictionaries rely on their readers to break the circle, by having already acquired by some non-dictionary means an understanding of enough of the words. But in the case of "supernatural" and "natural" there's nothing to break the circle with, any more than with "god" and "deity".

What's supernatural? Phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature.

What's a law of nature? A statement about what stuff does that's true of all the stuff in nature.

What's nature? The portion of reality that isn't supernatural.

It's a misunderstanding of both what the supernatural is as well as natural/science. Whatever can be detected is science. So if science would be able to detect anything supernatural, it would stop being supernatural. It would just be natural. By definition, supernatural is something that cannot exist. This is by the definition theologists themselves formulated. A force that doesn't interact with anything in the natural world can just be ignored, by both scientists and religious people.
Would you consider the concept of a poltergeist to be supernatural? They apparently can interact with the natural world....
Nope. When "supernatural" is applied to anything real it doesn't mean anything. Suppose you have a statement about what stuff does such as "For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction." that implies "There are no poltergeists interacting with stuff." And suppose you really have a poltergeist that really interacts with stuff. That wouldn't make your statement about what stuff does "a law of nature that's violated by poltergeists". It would make your statement about what stuff does "wrong".
 

rousseau

Contributor
Poltergeists are apparently able to move physical objects yet I'd say they don't have a physical body
You should say they're 'traditionally' able to move physical objects. Until one is reliably observed.

Of course, another tradition about poltergeists is their association woth young women, leading to speculation it's not a ghost, but a troubled telekinetic with an imaginary friend.

There's also debate on the physical limitations. According to several ghost hunters, ghosts can never lift any greater weight than about 100 pounds. So if the fridge door opens, and ketchup bottles fly out, it could be a ghost, but if the fridge chases you down the hall, it's a demon.

And there's always the plot twist that it's the greedy landlord using magnetism, wires, mirror projections, and other completely natural tricks to pretend poltergeists exist....

Either way, the discussion of alternative traditions and interpretations is about as compelling as comparing Federation and Klingon teleportation. 'What if' is fun, but not getting any close to actual knowledge.

The adult Santa, on the other hand, is like all such entities, invisible and impossible to observe, but it becomes just as apparent as the childhood santa was at the earlier age. You would think the propensity to disbelieve in fantastic childhood stories would make adult santas rare or impossible. Interestingly that isn't the case.

Technically not true, there is evidence of organized religions and their veracity everywhere - churches, cultural artifacts, history, stories passed from person to person.

Religion is so normalized in our day to day lives that it's not surprising that people believe. If anything religion is more misleading than Santa, because we know Santa is a fun story, but religion is literally believed to be real by many, and has been for thousands of years.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
The adult Santa, on the other hand, is like all such entities, invisible and impossible to observe, but it becomes just as apparent as the childhood santa was at the earlier age. You would think the propensity to disbelieve in fantastic childhood stories would make adult santas rare or impossible. Interestingly that isn't the case.

Technically not true, there is evidence of organized religions and their veracity everywhere - churches, cultural artifacts, history, stories passed from person to person.

Religion is so normalized in our day to day lives that it's not surprising that people believe. If anything religion is more misleading than Santa, because we know Santa is a fun story, but religion is literally believed to be real by many, and has been for thousands of years.
To a child there is organized santa veneration and belief everywhere too. The childhood perception of the childhood santa is exactly the same thing as the adult perception of adult santas. If you think that is not accurate I'd like to know how they are different. The adult perception of the childhood santa is certainly different than the childhood perception of the childhood santa, but that's to be expected.

Adults who take part in their organized adult santa churches and adult santa stories are perceiving just like children. The supernatural aspects of their beliefs are identical to when they were children. It's all the same, it's belief in woo. Calling it supernatural is just giving it an allegedly respectable label but it doesn't change what it is.

My main point is that as a child the childhood santa is even more real than the adult santas. The child can actually sit in Santa's lap and talk to him and Santa gets his letters and brings him gifts. Can adults do that with their gods? Do they get to sit in their laps and ask them for things and have those things appear? Not hardly.

I have a unique perspective on all this as a brother-in-law suffered brain damage at birth so that intellectually he never progressed beyond about age four. So naturally when he was in his 50s and living at home he was still utterly devoted to Santa, largely because of his mother. He only ever got past his belief when he entered a supervised group home. So I was able to watch this man in his 50s completely believing in Santa. It's identical to what adults do with their gods, their adult santas. It's exactly the same thing except that to the child there is more proof of his santa than adults have for their adult santas.
 

rousseau

Contributor
The adult Santa, on the other hand, is like all such entities, invisible and impossible to observe, but it becomes just as apparent as the childhood santa was at the earlier age. You would think the propensity to disbelieve in fantastic childhood stories would make adult santas rare or impossible. Interestingly that isn't the case.

Technically not true, there is evidence of organized religions and their veracity everywhere - churches, cultural artifacts, history, stories passed from person to person.

Religion is so normalized in our day to day lives that it's not surprising that people believe. If anything religion is more misleading than Santa, because we know Santa is a fun story, but religion is literally believed to be real by many, and has been for thousands of years.
To a child there is organized santa veneration and belief everywhere too. The childhood perception of the childhood santa is exactly the same thing as the adult perception of adult santas. If you think that is not accurate I'd like to know how they are different. The adult perception of the childhood santa is certainly different than the childhood perception of the childhood santa, but that's to be expected.

Adults who take part in their organized adult santa churches and adult santa stories are perceiving just like children. The supernatural aspects of their beliefs are identical to when they were children. It's all the same, it's belief in woo. Calling it supernatural is just giving it an allegedly respectable label but it doesn't change what it is.

My main point is that as a child the childhood santa is even more real than the adult santas. The child can actually sit in Santa's lap and talk to him and Santa gets his letters and brings him gifts. Can adults do that with their gods? Do they get to sit in their laps and ask them for things and have those things appear? Not hardly.

I have a unique perspective on all this as a brother-in-law suffered brain damage at birth so that intellectually he never progressed beyond about age four. So naturally when he was in his 50s and living at home he was still utterly devoted to Santa, largely because of his mother. He only ever got past his belief when he entered a supervised group home. So I was able to watch this man in his 50s completely believing in Santa. It's identical to what adults do with their gods, their adult santas. It's exactly the same thing except that to the child there is more proof of his santa than adults have for their adult santas.
I'm questioning your main point that santa is more real than the adult God, and that it takes child like perception to believe in God.

Maybe you could re-consider how difficult it is for adults to see through every day and ubiquitous cultural elements: religion, marriage, nationalism, status etc

That God isn't real, in many cases, is very hard to deduce. Many members of this forum spent years of their lives figuring it out.

Sent from my SM-A520W using Tapatalk
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
That God isn't real, in many cases, is very hard to deduce. Many members of this forum spent years of their lives figuring it out.

It's the instant feedback.
When you catch my dad cheating at a game, he shrugs, gives back the money, your bishop, Park Place, whatever. When i started to wonder if Santa was real, they all shrugged and stopped telling me Santa details.

But...

When i told the Chief that the command's justification for withholding liberty was in direct contradiction with the facts of the matter, i got attacked personally as a troublemaker...which i was, but that didn't make the command's story true. Still had to wait an extra six hours for libs to go down, and how dare i mutiny.
When i started to question details about our religion, i was attacked for daring to question GOD. My curiosity was to blame, not the inconsistencies within the story, or the differences between what they told me and what i fucking saw.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
I'm questioning your main point that santa is more real than the adult God, and that it takes child like perception to believe in God.
From the perspective of the child, how is santa not more real than adult gods? I think you're seeing santa as an adult, which is good, but as a child, santa rocks. I can sit in his lap, he talks to me and brings me presents. Does it get any more real? I can feel him, he holds me, he has a voice, he laughs, he talks to my parents. All my family tells me he's real too, tell me his reindeer fly. They put up a christmas tree and make him cookies. Stores are full of christmas things, music everywhere.

Now contrast that with the adult version. Can you touch your adult santa, pull his beard, hear his voice, smell him, sit in his lap? NO! Adult santa has become all spooky and invisible and everyone says it's real but it sure isn't real like santa was real.

The child believes because it's as real as it gets. Then the child finds out it's just a story. The adult santa isn't a patch to the child santa when it comes to being convincing. Kieth&Co.'s above post pretty much sums up the reason people don't doff their adult santas, and it has nothing to do with it being real. The message is 'don't rock the boat.' Even if you think the adult santa's are not real, just keep acting like they are.
 

Jimmy Higgins

Contributor
Pondering the need to invent a third party to bring presents to children for the holiday about Jesus. Apparently no one would believe Jesus went home to home...
 

hyzer

Senior Member
I'm questioning your main point that santa is more real than the adult God, and that it takes child like perception to believe in God.
From the perspective of the child, how is santa not more real than adult gods? I think you're seeing santa as an adult, which is good, but as a child, santa rocks. I can sit in his lap, he talks to me and brings me presents. Does it get any more real? I can feel him, he holds me, he has a voice, he laughs, he talks to my parents. All my family tells me he's real too, tell me his reindeer fly. They put up a christmas tree and make him cookies. Stores are full of christmas things, music everywhere.

Now contrast that with the adult version. Can you touch your adult santa, pull his beard, hear his voice, smell him, sit in his lap? NO! Adult santa has become all spooky and invisible and everyone says it's real but it sure isn't real like santa was real.

The child believes because it's as real as it gets. Then the child finds out it's just a story. The adult santa isn't a patch to the child santa when it comes to being convincing. Kieth&Co.'s above post pretty much sums up the reason people don't doff their adult santas, and it has nothing to do with it being real. The message is 'don't rock the boat.' Even if you think the adult santa's are not real, just keep acting like they are.

When I was four years old (1963) for Christmas my parents took me to visit my grandparents north of Pittsburgh. Their house was in the country side. It was snowing on Christmas Eve. At night in the dark, a sleigh pulled by a horse appeared on my grandparents driveway - and seated in the sleigh was Santa Claus. Santa was invited into my grandparents home where Santa delivered two presents (a Tonka-toy type tank for me and a silver rattle for my 12 month old baby brother). We have half a family photo album devoted to this Christmas Eve (made possibly by a friendly neighbor with a beard, a horse and a sleigh). I believed in Santa until I was nearly a teen defending him by asserting that "in 1963 he visited me first, before any other kids - I was still awake!"
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
Pondering the need to invent a third party to bring presents to children for the holiday about Jesus. Apparently no one would believe Jesus went home to home...
That's not it.
Cardinal: So, how's the campaign to stamp out solstice celebrations going?
Bishop: Not well, people are really attached to their pagan holiday.
C: Dang. Doesn't look good for us, then.
B: Should we steal it?
C: Looks like we're gonna have to. Okay, so the date's Jesus' birthday. The celebration's a high holy day, and the Star on the tree is the Star of Bethlehem.
B: Great. And Jesus brings everyone gifts and candy?
C: Shit, no! Then they'll expect him to actually answer their other prayers! No, no, sanctify some pagan character whose only job is Christ-mass gifts, leave Jesus off the hook.
 

rousseau

Contributor
I'm questioning your main point that santa is more real than the adult God, and that it takes child like perception to believe in God.
From the perspective of the child, how is santa not more real than adult gods? I think you're seeing santa as an adult, which is good, but as a child, santa rocks. I can sit in his lap, he talks to me and brings me presents. Does it get any more real? I can feel him, he holds me, he has a voice, he laughs, he talks to my parents. All my family tells me he's real too, tell me his reindeer fly. They put up a christmas tree and make him cookies. Stores are full of christmas things, music everywhere.

Now contrast that with the adult version. Can you touch your adult santa, pull his beard, hear his voice, smell him, sit in his lap? NO! Adult santa has become all spooky and invisible and everyone says it's real but it sure isn't real like santa was real.

It seems like you're missing my point, or just ignoring it. My understanding of what you're saying is there is no physical embodiment of God, therefore Santa is perceived as more real. Yes, I'm with you on the point that to children Santa is real because there is a physical embodiment. But the analogy between child / adult isn't even really apt, because children will believe anything you tell them. You could feed a four year old literally any story and they would believe it.

But my argument is that you're understating how much of a physical embodiment of the Adult God there is. No you can't actually see God, but you can spend your entire life surrounded by other people who literally believe in it's existence, and will do anything in their power to convince you that it's real. In some regions of the world people can spend their entire life coming across no contrary social inputs.

You can live in cities where there might be 20 - 30 churches, some very grandiose, and in Catholic versions very striking imagery. In these same cities there might be biblical quotes on a number of street corners.

The bible is the world's best selling book and at least half of the world's population believe that it's a holy text.

On Facebook you can follow religious pages that will promote religion day after day.

So for the adult it's not just a matter of intellect, and interacting with the world like a child, it's a matter of religion being a normalized part of our culture. Religion is even more pernicious than Santa because to most of the world it is real. I get that you consider yourself an activist of sorts with regards to religion, but the constant insinuation that the religious are just dumb feels off the mark to me.

I think it's more the case that those who can see beyond culture are very smart. Where those who fall for culture are just normal people.
 
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excreationist

Married mouth-breather
.....Dictionaries can't save a concept from being incoherent. What makes the "supernatural" concept incoherent is that it's circular; well, all dictionary definitions are ultimately circular. Back in the dead tree days I had a dictionary that defined "god" as "a male deity" and defined "deity" as "a god or goddess". :D Dictionaries rely on their readers to break the circle, by having already acquired by some non-dictionary means an understanding of enough of the words. But in the case of "supernatural" and "natural" there's nothing to break the circle with, any more than with "god" and "deity".

What's supernatural? Phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature.

What's a law of nature? A statement about what stuff does that's true of all the stuff in nature.

What's nature? The portion of reality that isn't supernatural....
What if the natural world is defined as it being the "physical" world and physical laws - like "The Standard Model" and its forces and elementary particles? I believe that the supernatural can not be proven to exist to skeptics but I still think the concept can make sense.

It is similar to the game "The Sims" where the sims and objects are at the mercy of computer code and the player (completely determining their behaviour). Using the mouse the player can interact with the world but the world can't really affect the player (other than being seen and heard) - so in that game the sims and objects are "natural" (or physical) while the player is "supernatural".... well there are also the sims' mental processes - which are completely based on the computer (or the player affecting the computer).
 

DBT

Contributor
If something cannot be proven, there being insufficient evidence, there is no reason to be convinced that it is true. A conviction is not justified. It remains an idea. Ideas can be entertained.
 

Bomb#20

Contributor
What's supernatural? Phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature.

What's a law of nature? A statement about what stuff does that's true of all the stuff in nature.

What's nature? The portion of reality that isn't supernatural....
What if the natural world is defined as it being the "physical" world and physical laws - like "The Standard Model" and its forces and elementary particles? I believe that the supernatural can not be proven to exist to skeptics but I still think the concept can make sense.
That's just saying "natural" and "physical" are synonyms, which doesn't break the circle -- it just runs the circle through "physical".

When we discover something that doesn't fit our notion of physical laws, we don't conclude it's nonphysical; we conclude that we were wrong about what the laws of physics are and we figure out better laws. This has happened repeatedly since the time of Newton and Galileo. We thought physics was a matter of particles pushing and pulling on each other; then in the 1800s we discovered force fields. So we thought it was a matter of fields and particles exerting forces on each other; then the precession of Mercury disabused us of that notion. We thought it was about the current state of the universe deterministically controlling the subsequent state; then we discovered quantum randomness. We thought it was about locality and the propagation of changes to neighboring points in the geometry of spacetime; then we discovered entanglement. What's next? We don't know yet, but we do know that "The Standard Model" is wrong, since quantum mechanics and general relativity are inconsistent with each other.

So what would it mean for us at some point to say "Yes, yes, all those things were physical; but this latest thing we've discovered falls completely outside that pattern, and is really nonphysical, because this time it's the Actual Laws of Physics that don't cover it, and not just our current best incorrect approximation to the laws of physics."? It wouldn't mean the new fact about the world was different this time -- it would mean we were different this time. It would mean we were giving up.

If you disagree, explain what "physical" means without using a circular definition.

It is similar to the game "The Sims" where the sims and objects are at the mercy of computer code and the player (completely determining their behaviour). Using the mouse the player can interact with the world but the world can't really affect the player (other than being seen and heard) - so in that game the sims and objects are "natural" (or physical) while the player is "supernatural".... well there are also the sims' mental processes - which are completely based on the computer (or the player affecting the computer).
But being seen and heard is the world affecting the player. Just as you can't explain what a Sim does without taking the player's mouse movements into account, you equally can't explain how the player chooses to move the mouse without taking the Sims' mental processes into account. Causality flows freely across the line we imagine separating the "The Sims" world from the world the player lives in. All that computer code isn't natural while the player is supernatural; humans are natural too. The line we imagine separating the "The Sims" world from the world the player lives in exists only in our imaginations, just like the line in the mind of some stodgy old-school 1890 physicist who decided electromagnetic waves must be magical because they held energy without any particles to carry it. If a Sim thinks the computer code is all there is to physics, and then when he discovers there's a player with a mouse he can interact with he concludes players are supernatural, that isn't a Sim discovering physics can't account for everything. That's a Sim giving up.
 

excreationist

Married mouth-breather
.....If a Sim thinks the computer code is all there is to physics, and then when he discovers there's a player with a mouse he can interact with he concludes players are supernatural, that isn't a Sim discovering physics can't account for everything. That's a Sim giving up.
I'd assume that the mouse pointer can only be seen by the player and the sims also can't see or hear the player. The only activity of the player that the sims would be able to detect is the player creating, removing, moving, and modifying objects - and when the player is giving orders to the sims they would think they (or part of their personality) thought up the decision themselves. Sometimes the sims call out to the player but they wouldn't know anything about the player.

Your argument seems pretty solid though natural vs supernatural is assumed to be meaningful by lots of people including in the definition of naturalism.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

Formerly Joedad
I'm questioning your main point that santa is more real than the adult God, and that it takes child like perception to believe in God.
From the perspective of the child, how is santa not more real than adult gods? I think you're seeing santa as an adult, which is good, but as a child, santa rocks. I can sit in his lap, he talks to me and brings me presents. Does it get any more real? I can feel him, he holds me, he has a voice, he laughs, he talks to my parents. All my family tells me he's real too, tell me his reindeer fly. They put up a christmas tree and make him cookies. Stores are full of christmas things, music everywhere.

Now contrast that with the adult version. Can you touch your adult santa, pull his beard, hear his voice, smell him, sit in his lap? NO! Adult santa has become all spooky and invisible and everyone says it's real but it sure isn't real like santa was real.

It seems like you're missing my point, or just ignoring it. My understanding of what you're saying is there is no physical embodiment of God, therefore Santa is perceived as more real. Yes, I'm with you on the point that to children Santa is real because there is a physical embodiment. But the analogy between child / adult isn't even really apt, because children will believe anything you tell them. You could feed a four year old literally any story and they would believe it.

But my argument is that you're understating how much of a physical embodiment of the Adult God there is. No you can't actually see God, but you can spend your entire life surrounded by other people who literally believe in it's existence, and will do anything in their power to convince you that it's real. In some regions of the world people can spend their entire life coming across no contrary social inputs.

You can live in cities where there might be 20 - 30 churches, some very grandiose, and in Catholic versions very striking imagery. In these same cities there might be biblical quotes on a number of street corners.

The bible is the world's best selling book and at least half of the world's population believe that it's a holy text.

On Facebook you can follow religious pages that will promote religion day after day.

So for the adult it's not just a matter of intellect, and interacting with the world like a child, it's a matter of religion being a normalized part of our culture. Religion is even more pernicious than Santa because to most of the world it is real. I get that you consider yourself an activist of sorts with regards to religion, but the constant insinuation that the religious are just dumb feels off the mark to me.

I think it's more the case that those who can see beyond culture are very smart. Where those who fall for culture are just normal people.

I get what you are saying and I don't disagree with the gist of it. I can certainly see myself being the same way given the same inputs. It's why I don't try to change the way people think anymore than I try to change how tall they are. Would I be happier if I woke up tomorrow and observed that everyone had acquired sufficient knowledge to conclude that there aren't invisible people living in the sky? Certainly.

One of my favorite sayings is "You can't use knowledge you don't have." That is the explanation for why kids pretty much believe anything they're told, because they don't know any better. They simply lack enough knowledge to come to the informed conclusion that santa is a dog and pony show. Not until they muster sufficient knowledge does santa belief change.

How are adults that worship invisible creatures living in the sky any different? What exactly would allow them to "see beyond culture" if not knowledge? In short, they lack the intellect - lack the intellect for whatever reason. Those reasons are many and varied but in the end it's an intellectual shortcoming. And aren't very smart people normal people too?

That kid who believes in santa is living in his santa culture. Then it changes. The kid was just as normal before he stopped believing as he was after, but he's smarter because he has knowledge that allowed him to make an important change.

That same kid has no doubt heard about gods and religion too. Think for a second how many kids' lives would be different if told that some people believe gods are real and some don't. And that it's fine to be either way. Pretty important bit of acquired knowledge wouldn't you say? But how many kids have that experience? Pretty close to zero?

And that's why kids continue to believe in invisible people living in the sky. It's okay to stop believing in santa but it isn't okay to stop believing in invisible people living in the sky. That understanding, that knowledge, is denied in that culture.
 

DrZoidberg

Contributor
Poltergeists are apparently able to move physical objects yet I'd say they don't have a physical body (according to the tradition). Perhaps an analogy is a player moving objects around in a game of "The Sims". The player's body isn't part of the "physical" world of The Sims.

The player isn't external to the sims world. The player is an integral part. Without the player not much would happen in Sims. Just like a poltergeist would be, if they existed.

That definition is incoherent.
Wikipedia says: "The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the laws of nature"

In the game "The Sims" the player could be considered supernatural.... "the laws of nature" would involve objects and sims within the game.
It's not my definition. It's THE definition.
I quoted the definition of supernatural from Wikipedia....
Another definition:
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/supernatural
"of, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal"

I think that covers poltergeists...

The laws of nature is whatever happens in the world. No matter the source. ANYTHING that actually happens in the world is always natural. EVERYTHING

Anything beyond the laws of nature is stuff that doesn't happen. That's what being beyond the laws of nature means. It's non-events
 

excreationist

Married mouth-breather
The player isn't external to the sims world. The player is an integral part. Without the player not much would happen in Sims. Just like a poltergeist would be, if they existed.

The laws of nature is whatever happens in the world. No matter the source. ANYTHING that actually happens in the world is always natural. EVERYTHING

Anything beyond the laws of nature is stuff that doesn't happen. That's what being beyond the laws of nature means. It's non-events
What about the "zero player game", Conway's Game of Life:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway's_Game_of_Life

The "game" only has 3 (or 4) rules.... that could be called the laws of nature...

But if a player intervened, it could turn any of the cells on or off... I'd say the regular 3 rules are the regular laws of nature... and when the player is involved that involves special additional rules....

The player could intelligently design machines... e.g. Conway's Game of Life emulated in Conway's Game of Life....

[YOUTUBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP5-iIeKXE8[/YOUTUBE]

Though normally there would just be the initial conditions then it runs by itself.
 

DrZoidberg

Contributor
The player isn't external to the sims world. The player is an integral part. Without the player not much would happen in Sims. Just like a poltergeist would be, if they existed.

The laws of nature is whatever happens in the world. No matter the source. ANYTHING that actually happens in the world is always natural. EVERYTHING

Anything beyond the laws of nature is stuff that doesn't happen. That's what being beyond the laws of nature means. It's non-events
What about the "zero player game", Conway's Game of Life:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway's_Game_of_Life

The "game" only has 3 (or 4) rules.... that could be called the laws of nature...

But if a player intervened, it could turn any of the cells on or off... I'd say the regular 3 rules are the regular laws of nature... and when the player is involved that involves special additional rules....

The player could intelligently design machines... e.g. Conway's Game of Life emulated in Conway's Game of Life....

[YOUTUBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP5-iIeKXE8[/YOUTUBE]

Though normally there would just be the initial conditions then it runs by itself.

In the game of life, if the player does anything that has ANY influence on the game what so ever, then the player action is added to the list of rules for the game.

You seem confused about what the laws of nature is. The laws of nature isn't like a set of rules, like for a board game. Where you can cheat and win the game even though you shouldn't have, according to the rules. The laws of nature are descriptive. Every recorded event in nature has been catalogued and then we have, after the fact, searched for patterns in the data. They're only made into a law of nature if they NEVER deviate. If any exception to the rule, no matter how small, would be recorded this law of nature would be thrown out.

The way the laws of nature are formulated any action made by a god would instantly be included into the laws of nature. It would be equated with nature.

It's not like there's a conspiracy of scientists trying to cover up acts of God. They're just collecting data and looking at the results. Maybe it really is the Greek god Helios that makes the sun rise in the morning. And the way that looks is the way scientific data looks.
 

excreationist

Married mouth-breather
In the game of life, if the player does anything that has ANY influence on the game what so ever, then the player action is added to the list of rules for the game.....
There are three regular rules (involving zero players)... there could be a huge number of rules related to the player. I thought that the rules could be distinguished between those two types....
 

DrZoidberg

Contributor
In the game of life, if the player does anything that has ANY influence on the game what so ever, then the player action is added to the list of rules for the game.....
There are three regular rules (involving zero players)... there could be a huge number of rules related to the player. I thought that the rules could be distinguished between those two types....

The whole point of the game of life is to show how evolution works (without the need of a God). The rules just simulate the natural mechanics of evolution. So you couldn't possibly have used a worse example to prove acts of God in the world.
 

Keith&Co.

Contributor
there could be a huge number of rules related to the player. I thought that the rules could be distinguished between those two types....
But any given square just counts neighbors.

It doesn't behave differently if it's a player-added/-subtracted life or one spawned/killed off by the previous generation's math.

So the rules are best expressed from the square's point of view.

Life spawns here if there are ___ neighbors when calculating the next generation.
Life continues here if there are ___ neighbors when calculating the next generation.
Life ends here if there are ___ neighbors when calculating the next generation.
Life spawns here if player says so.
Life ends here if player says so.

Not really much else needed to express the game.
But the player's actions must be part of the one set of rules for the game.
 

excreationist

Married mouth-breather
The whole point of the game of life is to show how evolution works (without the need of a God). The rules just simulate the natural mechanics of evolution. So you couldn't possibly have used a worse example to prove acts of God in the world.
In the game of life the initial conditions are usually intelligently designed. If they are random it behaves randomly then usually gets stuck
e.g.
[YOUTUBE]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzMQY9Etb4Q[/YOUTUBE]

If intelligently designed it can involve the game of life simulating the game of life (see post #195) - an intelligent designer can take advantage of their knowledge of still lifes, oscillators, and spaceships....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway's_Game_of_Life

I'm not aware of evolution simulating/emulating itself (like that example of the game of life emulating the game of life)

Perhaps the game of life could also be about chemistry and machines/factories like living cells.... (random vs purposeful machine-like structures) I think it is about "emergence"...
 
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