Friday, March 7, 2008

The "Supernatural" Needs No Explanation

Many times atheists will get themselves all in a tizzy trying to explain how supernatural can’t exist, because when the physical law for a supernatural event is discovered it becomes “natural” law. But I contend that they are over thinking this.

Yes, its true, theists have for ever attributed natural events for which they had no explanation to God, Satan, Miracles, the realm of the supernatural. Lightning strikes, two headed calves, eclipses, Black Plague, famine, drought, locust, floods, foreign invaders, Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, epileptic seizures, you name it, at some point in pre-scientific man’s history, and not very long ago, it was an indicator and omen of some god’s wrath, mercy, or the workings of an evil being.

That we now know what causes these things dispels attributing them to the supernatural pretty much for everyone in the modern world. The more knowledge man attains, the fewer the default explanation of “God / the supernatural did it” thus, the smaller the “God of the gaps” explanation has become. God has gotten much smaller over the past 300 years thanks to the scientific age and discovery.

But I have never seen, nor has any theist ever shown me a supernatural event. Therefore, the cause, the natural law necessary to explain the event, never comes into play, because there is no event / no effect, to observe and explain. Thus to attribute a non-event to some natural law is trying to find an answer to a question never asked.

As I see it there are four levels of "supernatural" non-events for which no "natural law" causation explanation is needed:

Physical Manifestations: The appearance of Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich, or Jesus as stain on a men’s room floor, is as close to physical supernatural evidence as theists seem to get. The fact that the later is comprised of urine and shoe tracks (and looks as much like Willy Nelson as it does Jesus to an impartial party) pretty much negates any serious compulsion to invoke "natural law" to explain it.

Wishful Thinking : A devout Xtian once told me he attributed hearing a hospital nurse singing his terminally ill relative's favorite hymn to proof of God's presence. No natural law need be presented to explain it. The fact it was a Catholic hospital repleat with singing nuns, and the need for a "sign" by a highly receptive and distraught subject speaks for itself. But trying to get that across to the religiously impaired and willfully credulous is hardly worth the effort.

Hear Say: Jesus’ resurrection, Moses parting the Red Sea, frog plague ... some people, non-theists no less, try to come up with natural cause explanations for these fables. But, these stories are as much evidence of actual events or proof of supernatural as Star War’s Bobba Fett is proof of inter-stellar bounty hunters, or “ET” is proof of alien visitations. How much time really need be devoted to exploring the possibility that "ET" might possibly have been a mutant possum?

Non-Miracles: The fiery plane crash that kills everyone on board except the infant who’s thrown clear ... “IT’S A MIRACLE!!”. And Aunt Sadie’s cancer going into remission … “MIRACULOUS!!!" Well, would it have been a “miracle” if everyone in that horrible crash survived except the infant child? Hmmmm? And wouldn’t it have been more “miraculous” had Aunt Sadie NOT undergone surgery, chemo and radiation therapy and instead depended ONLY on the miraculous healing power of God through prayer? No natural law explanation needed, since nothing supernatural has been demonstrated to require it.

So, where are these supernatural events which defy natural law and necessitate evaluation with the scientific method? When Aunt Sadie’s rotting corpse drops by for tea with Jesus in tow , call me. I’ll be right over with a qualified scientist

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