Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
TinMan

Bias Against the Supernatural

Recommended Posts

"You do not believe in miracles | Bible | God because you have a preconceived bias against the supernatural."

 

I hear this statement come up a lot when theists are debating agnostics/atheists, it really becomes tiresome. There are actually two arguments I have against this statement, and I think my second argument has more power to put theists into an apologetic stranglehold than the first.

 

Here is my first objection to the bias against supernatural statement:  It is not a matter of taking a predetermined stance against the supernatural, it is the mere fact that there is not good evidence to support the idea the supernatural exists. In my opinion, theists believe agnostics/atheists do not buy into the supernatural merely because they secretly hate God, or even the idea of a God.

 

According to theists, those outside of religion are there because they want to live in sin, or they were hurt by the church, etc. In their mind, they just cannot reconcile the idea that people are not in the church because they find the evidence to be illogical and contradictory.

 

Consider how many different versions of Jesus/God we hear from various apologetics. My favorite being “God is love.” Based on our observable reality, I just do not see how that is possibly true. At any given moment, there are thousands of living organisms experiencing pain and suffering. Children are being raped, tortured, and murdered. If what Christians say is true, and that God is all-knowing, then what exactly is he doing when these heinous acts are being carried out…shrugging his shoulders? Is that love, is that how anyone would even describe love, let alone the standard of maximum love – sounds like divine apathy. How can you say you love someone, but yet not act consistently to ensure their safety and well-being? In the Bible, some NT writers comment that God chastises his children as a good father would do. Dare they push that analogy too far. What good father lets his children starve to death? What good father sits by while his children are abused? So really, the father analogy does not make it past punishment to correct behavior. Anything beyond that, it simply does not work nor is applicable.

 

Really, I am just scratching the surface of anti-apologetics with my argument against the God of love. I could write a book on the various discrepancies I hear from Christians. Most of which cannot keep their own theology straight. I have yet to meet a Christian who presents a systematic way of thinking about the Christian God, or the Bible, without contradicting themselves at some point in time, usually sooner than later.

 

My second rebuttal to the claim nonbelievers are biased against the supernatural is that often times, I wish there was a supernatural. I wish there was an all-powerful being who would be able to handle the problems I find overwhelming. How about climate change? “Carbon emissions causing global warming – I got you fam” – God.

 

I do not like the idea that everything in this life is so tentative. There are so many variables outside of my control. I would much prefer divine protection and guidance – if there was such a being inclined to provide these things. There are definitely some comforts I lost as I came to terms the world most likely is naturalistic. While a believer, I used to think that if I kept my head down and tried to do the right thing, then things would never get too bad, maybe a significant inconvenience, but nothing heinous. I used to think that people who really suffered somehow brought it upon themselves. Now I know that you never know if something absolutely terrible will happen to you or the ones you love. Plenty of people are born into this world, live shit lives, and then die. That is it, end of story. And frankly, that sucks. I wish things were not that way. I wish there was some justice in an afterlife. I wish that people who suffered in this life could find peace in a next one, but once again, there is no good reason to believe any of that is true. At the end of the day, the universe is cold, hard, and unforgiving. Reality more often than not, is disappointing.

 

Perhaps many people find a naturalistic worldview comforting, I do not. But it is the reality I have to contend with. I would much prefer a universe where a loving God was in control. It would look a lot different than the world around us.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TinMan said:

"You do not believe in miracles | Bible | God because you have a preconceived bias against the supernatural."

 

My preconceived bias was FOR the supernatural. I was raised and thoroughly indoctrinated into Christianity and I had no desire whatsoever to leave it. If I was merely following my preconceived bias, then I would still be a Christian. My loss of faith has absolutely nothing to do with preconceived bias and everything to to with the overwhelming weight of the evidence.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The very separation is from the start problematic for me. What is the supernatural exactly? Usually something the ability of current science to explain through its models. Something we have no idea Why and HOW it happened. Ok, that is 99 percent probably of my daily life. I have no idea of the profound reasons why the sun goes up , what is the exact chemical composition of the cucumber I just ate or anything .

 

I mean we have not even defined our terms thoroughly. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Myrkhoos said:

The very separation is from the start problematic for me. What is the supernatural exactly? Usually something the ability of current science to explain through its models. Something we have no idea Why and HOW it happened. Ok, that is 99 percent probably of my daily life. I have no idea of the profound reasons why the sun goes up , what is the exact chemical composition of the cucumber I just ate or anything else.

 

And anything that happens that can be perceived by me is in some way natural as I am a part of nature. If there is supernatural it is unperceivable.

 

I mean we have not even defined our terms thoroughly. 

 

In my experience, the supernatural is generally defined as something that operates outside of natural laws as we know them. For example, if we could speak an incantation of some sort and that manipulates the physical world - it would be defined as supernatural. Going to Christianity, someone rising from the dead is supernatural...it defies what we know to be true of the physical world.

 

Some apologist, like J.P. Holding would say the supernatural does not exist; in that, Holding makes the argument that God lifting a box is not really different in humans lifting a box, other than God is utilizing a method we are not familiar with. I am sure that would difficult to really define, but I have an impression of what he means.

 

You also provide some idea of the supernatural as I have heard it over the years, it is un-perceivable. You could describe it as a world that exist right behind our perceived reality. Of course there is no known way to establish such a thing does exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think theists generally have a preconceived bias against the natural.  It's not enough that our lives are surrounded by the beauty, uniqueness, intelligence, grace, and emotion of the natural world; they need gods, ghosts, and goblins to make themselves feel complete and satisfied.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, TinMan said:

"You do not believe in miracles | Bible | God because you have a preconceived bias against the supernatural."

 

 

I shouldn't have to 'believe' in miracles. Maybe just observe or experience one.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say if you want me to believe some extraordinary claim then just show me some evidence. Actual evidence, not a Bible verse or a quote from Joel Osteen. Requiring good reason to believe something is not a bias, it is clear thinking.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, florduh said:

I'd say if you want me to believe some extraordinary claim then just show me some evidence. Actual evidence, not a Bible verse or a quote from Joel Osteen. Requiring good reason to believe something is not a bias, it is clear thinking.

Interesting here. Jesus from the Bible was said to have performed numerous miracles in front of masses of crowds. Healings, ressurections, materialisations. I fail to see modern day preachers of any denomination with that kind of activity. :). Of course I know some apologetics to this.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All claims about the supernatural are far better explained by reasons other than the existence of actual supernatural processes or entities.

 

For example, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is best explained as an allegory for the annual death and rebirth of the sun as a regular natural process.  All other alleged miracles in the Bible have similar natural explanations for how the stories arose.  Their value is as moral fables, not as claims about actual events.

 

The best explanation of miracles is from the philosopher David Hume, who argued more than two centuries ago that lies and deception are vastly more probable causes of miracle stories than any inconsistency in the laws of physics. 

 

Belief in the supernatural is solely a psycho-social process of emotional comfort, combined with a corrupted distortion of moralistic parables.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.