Atheist bored at work. Feel free to ask questions


#21

Yes, I also do not see value in the term “supernatural”. It is basically anything we cannot explain. But then, there is a great deal we cannot explain or even detect. And just because something cannot be explained does not make it any less real.

So in my view, “God” is mostly mystery. Whether something actually is revelation is a matter of faith. And that is true even at a personal level. we call “God”. I believe I have had an encounter with God. I certainly cannot verify it. But then that even takes us to what we mean by “God”. But before we go there. let us talk more about the mystery of our own selves. There is much to us that is definable and explicable, knowable and thus “natural”. But there is also a great deal that is unknown, mysterious, beyond definition.


#22

Russell_SA:

I don’t see how the supernatural is distinguishable from the unknown…

Have you ever wanted to know the unknown? Did you ever seek it?

The way I see the religious splitting the idea of Natural and Supernatural is the same as someone like me saying Reality and the Unknown.

Again, have you ever tried to understand the unknown? Or is your mind made up?

Supernatural, as I see it being used, is an attempt to smuggle in the idea that there is something supernatural at all.

When you encounter the supernatural, you know it is supernatural. There is no other explanation.

Nope, you have to show me how it’s distinguishable between the unknown of reality. Currently, the track record of every unknown event that was attributed to the supernatural and then it becomes known to how that event works, it was never the supernatural.

“….every unknown event”? I don’t think you’ve done much research in this field. You and other atheists are going through life with blinders on, and you seem to like it that way. I was like you once. Then one day, I decided I wanted to know, and I found out. Thanks be to God. Try seeking instead of arguing. I wish you peace. I don’t mean to be uncharitable.


#23

Don’t agree with your grouping of “atheist” there.
Again, Atheism is a single position on a single question. “Do you believe the supernatural exists?” No, No we don’t. Ok now you can’t go from that to any world view, political view, etc. That’s why they say bringing atheists together is like herding cats. They are all individuals about everything other than that one question. You can be an atheist and a republilcan, culturally catholic, hippy, lawyer, mom, dad, gay, straight, nazi, democratic, etc.
Miracles - all I seem as miracles is a rare event that happened that we can not investigate as to how it happened yet. So again, all claims of the supernature appear as no different to me than just saying “the current unknown of reality”. Here’s how you could attribute something to the supernatural that would work for me: (analogy but think it works)

Say we find a piece of wood marks that look like burns. Are we justified in claiming that those marks were put there by the supernatural? No, we are not because we have investigated how burn marks can be recreated by hot objects. We can recreate the event and have repeatable models that anyone can repeat. Now, before we knew what hot objects were and how they interact with wood, the religious are claiming those marks are supernatural in origin and the nonreligious are just stating, “we don’t know”. Once we learn how burn marks on wood is made, that process becomes part of “nature” but I don’t like using “Nature” since the religious continue to distinguish “natural” and “supernatural”. In my experience it’s all just “reality” and “current unknown about reality”. So once we learn that there is a realm of magical creatures and we learn how those magical creatures interact with our realm, does that realm now go from supernatural to natural since we learned a new area of reality and how it works? No it’s all just reality and the current unknown of reality.


#24

I don’t see how labeling something as “miracle” is any different than “unknown part of reality”. We have to be able to investigate a causal link between a magical being and this event. That means that we have to first be able to investigate that the realm where that magical being exists is actually there. Then we have to investigate how that being can interact in our realm. Then we have to investigate how to tell the difference between that being interacting with our realm and something else going on in our realm. Since we can not do that yet, claims of supernatural events in our realm can not be distinguished as any different than an unknown event that we don’t have an answer to yet. We have to be able to tell the difference some how. Otherwise again, it’s one hand holding an empty jar and another hand hold a jar of supernatural transcendent marbles that no one can investigate. The religious can see a difference, but to everyone else the jars just look like empty jars.


#25

Our Church does investigate miracles. Simply saying something is a miracle isn’t enough, really.


#26

I would respond with, “Ok you exist. Now lets get to know each other.”


#27

So how do you determine a causal link from event A is from the divine other than an argument from ignorance since we can not investigate the supernatural in anyway yet.


#28

:slight_smile: thank you​:grin::sun_with_face::sun_with_face::sun_with_face:


#29

"And just because something cannot be explained does not make it any less real."
So isn’t it better to honestly say, “I/We don’t know.” and then go investigate from there. To hold your model of reality based on what you can currently justify instead of what you hope will be there before you actually find it?

How do you define “faith”?
To me, the way I see people use the word “faith” is: The claim to believe something when they do not have an actual justified reason to do so. If you have a justified reason, then it’s just belief, not faith. Faith seems to be putting the cart before the horse, to hope that it is there before having justification that it is there.

As to the unknown, I’m all about exploring the unknown. I just don’t make claims about reality that I don’t believe I can justify if I can help it. If someone spots me doing that, then I want to know so that I don’t keep getting in my own way of understanding how reality actually works.


#30

What is love? Ought we love? Why (or why not) does it matter?


#31
  1. What religion seems more plausible to you?

  2. Do you believe there was a historical Jesus?


#32

Do you ever have a longing and wistfulness that nothing ever satisfies?


#33

That is an interesting answer. I’m not very well versed with this sort of stuff, I admit. But I would like to explain my thoughts on miracles.

Let’s take the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano, for example. The story goes that a monk who had doubts about the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist found, when he said the words of consecration at Mass, that the bread and wine changed into flesh and blood. This is an alleged story, we do not know for sure if this is the case. But we do know for sure the outcome of the Eucharist.

In 1971, the specimens were analyzed by Odoardo Linoli, a professor in anatomy and pathological histology as well as chemistry and clinical microscopy, and former head of the Laboratory of Pathological Anatomy at the Hospital of Arezzo. It was an anonymous test. The report was published in Quaderni Sclavo di Diagnostica Clinica e di Laboratori in 1971. Dr. Linoli’s analysis was confirmed by Ruggero Bertelli, a retired professor of human anatomy at the University of Siena.

According to Linoli’s study, the flesh is human cardiac tissue of type AB, consistent with the source being of Middle Eastern descent. He said he found proteins in the blood, in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of normal blood. Linoli found no trace of preservatives.

Basically he came to the conclusion that the sample given to him was the heart tissue of someone who had undergone incredible torture, with the blood type of AB, blood that is also commonly found in other Eucharistic miracles and the same blood type of the Turin Shroud.

We cannot prove 100% that this is Jesus’s flesh, but we can prove that it is human flesh and that the results would align very well with what we have been told of Jesus’s passion.

Most of scientific conclusions are, in fact, based on assumption. Most scientists even base their conclusions on evolution, which has never been proven and is actually just a theory, which could be incorrect. One would be surprised how many theories and scientific observations are floating around that are widely accepted today as fact, which have never been completely proven. Even global warming cannot be completely proven.


#34

We are always seeking out an understanding of the unknown so that our internal model of reality matches reality in the best possible way. This is why we don’t cross the street without looking both ways or thinking that tomorrow’s reality is soo different from today’s that we set out our 3rd floor window to go to work.

No one has a “made up mind” of reality. It always changes based on their understanding of reality and the data from it. Ex: 1+2 = 3. 1,2 are data points from reality. “+” and “=” is our applied logic and understanding of how reality works. Concluding the answer to be 3 is not a choice. Its the result of that experience and your current understanding. No one can choose their beliefs about reality as I understand it. They can choose not to research enough data about a topic so that they can always hold on to their tentative conclusions, but once they are shown enough data, their beliefs will change. Such as 2+3 = 5. Now choose to believe that is 24. You can’t. For me, what I see the religious presenting is 1+2+magic = apple. That doesn’t seem to follow for me. They need to explain how numbers got to apple and more about that “magic” part. Until then, I am stuck at not believing that 1+2+magic = apple as I understand reality.

"When you encounter the supernatural, you know it is supernatural. There is no other explanation."
Argument from Ignorance presentation here. Since no one has a better explanation, you’re personal favorite one stands until debunked. But the problem with your favorite one, is that it is indistinguishable from an imagined solution. It may actually be the solution but how do you demonstrate that it is? How do we tell the difference between a hand with an empty jar and the other hand with a jar of supernatural transcendent dice that no one can investigate? You can assert that the left on has the dice in it, but we can not actually investigate that to see if it is the case or not.


#35

I don’t think there is anything wrong with having hopes. And I see hope as very close to faith. But you are right. It is accurate to say “I/We don’t know.” That is what makes it faith.

The key here is “evidence”. What we count as evidence differs from person to person. And that is even true with science and economics. Is Supplyside best for the economy? Is climate change linked to human activity? What diet is healthier Paleo, Plant Based or Ketogenic. Every contemporary controversy has its experts and evidence on both sides.


#36

Emotions like “love” are emergent properties of a functioning brain it seems to be.


#37

Does “might make right”? Do objective moral standards exist? Is it wrong to kill innocent people? If it is wrong, by what standard is it wrong? Why does it matter? Why does anything matter? How do you get from an is to an ought?

I’m like a kid in a candy store, so many questions!


#38

So, if you say you love your mom or your daughter, for example, you really mean the electron soup in your head is causing a physiological response in your body and making you utter the linguistic symbol for that feeling. Right?


#39

Every version of the supernatural is, by definition, uninvestigatable. So by default, all claims of the supernatural are indistinguishable from someone’s imagination. We have to be able to tell the difference. If someone claims that they can, good on them. But what makes them think that their reasons is good enough for everyone else?

There could be someone called Jesus, but the magical claims of that person is something I don’t believe actually happened.


#40

I’m no more special than any other person on this planet, so every thing that everyone goes through, I go through as well.


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