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Does anyone still believe in the supernatural?


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I left Christianity and religion but I never ceased to believe in the supernatural.  Does an ex-Christian turn their back completely on them?

 

My belief in the supernatural changed a little bit though, in terms of the source, where it's coming from.  Now, I don't know where it's coming from and my head is in pretzels just trying to figure it out.

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There are some of us that have spiritual leanings, though I don't know that I would call it supernatural as much as part of the natural. When I first deconverted, I felt very at home among parts of witchcraft/paganism, but more in the cycles of life than in spells and such. Others here are more literal about this life being it for us, that we didn't exist prior to here and won't after the body dies. So there is no one-size-fits-all view of self and the world. 

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Believing in the supernatural is like believing in God.  You can't prove it exists, or doesn't exist.  But it is interesting that "miracles" have seemed to diminish as knowledge increases.

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I've been fascinated with magic since I was very, very young - several years before I knew that such a thing as religion even existed.  As much as I want magic to be real, my gut feeling is that it would have to be 100% natural, an unexplored corner of reality that science just hasn't figured out yet.

 

So you can put me into the "strong 'Nope!'" category for the supernatural.

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28 minutes ago, Astreja said:

I've been fascinated with magic since I was very, very young - several years before I knew that such a thing as religion even existed.  As much as I want magic to be real, my gut feeling is that it would have to be 100% natural, an unexplored corner of reality that science just hasn't figured out yet.

 

So you can put me into the "strong 'Nope!'" category for the supernatural.

 

I guess we're simply using different words for the SAME thing🙂

 

But I prefer to use "supernatural" to differentiate unexplained phenomenon (even if it's still a natural process) against phenomenon that can be explained in full extent by science.

 

Just to set the two apart distinctly.  I've always been interested in Magic / Occult even when I was still a Christian but kept certain boundaries concerning it.  But now I guess I can let loose some of the boundaries.  I still practice extreme care on the matter.

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55 minutes ago, Weezer said:

But it is interesting that "miracles" have seemed to diminish as knowledge increases.

True for the most part but there are still a few types of miracles I still cannot debunk.  Things that seem to involve telepathy, yes, in Christianity.

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Using terms such as "miracle" or "supernatural" for things we don't yet understand is just a different face on the old "God of the Gaps" argument.

 

Spontaneous cancer remission can happen to the prayerful religious, the godless atheist, the good, the bad and the ugly. People call it a miracle if prayer was involved, but clearly prayer is not relevant to the phenomenon. Medical science doesn't understand spontaneous remission but does that mean it's supernatural? A miracle?

 

Is a well timed coincidence a supernatural event? Does confirmation bias often turn a coincidence into a miracle? Do the faithful ever embellish events, consciously or not, to fit their belief system and prove their validity?

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I find a certain practicality to living by Buddhist principles.  My outlook and perceptions have shown some improvement through meditation, awareness, and mindfulness.  I don't necessarily attribute that to anything supernatural; it's simply cause and effect.

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15 hours ago, Crove said:

I left Christianity and religion but I never ceased to believe in the supernatural.  Does an ex-Christian turn their back completely on them?

 

My belief in the supernatural changed a little bit though, in terms of the source, where it's coming from.  Now, I don't know where it's coming from and my head is in pretzels just trying to figure it out.

 

I believe I have a soul, there may or may not be Gods. There may or may not be beings more powerful than humans but not all powerful. I dont believe the stories in the Bible are true. A Supreme Being is not a narcissist like BibleGod. 

 

I enjoy the occult and spellcraft. 

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What little magic I have heard of seems to be mostly mundane.  People wishing for love, a good job, health or wealth and doing some ritual in the hope that it will assist that goal.  When they naturally achieve their goal they can then claim the ritual had an effect.  It appears to be a placebo effect identical to prayer.  People wishing to have control on things that they have no way to influence.

Some Christians, including the infamous Chick Tracts (Chick.com: Dark Dungeons) try to claim magic is real, especially for mind control, but like the rest of their ridiculous claims they can't show any evidence that such a thing has or could occur.

Then you have bible verses talking about people using magic (Exodus 7:8-13 "Then Pharaoh, for his part, summoned the wise men and the sorcerers; and the Egyptian magicians, in turn, did the same with their spells; each cast down his rod, and they turned into serpents.") as though that was possible.  Exodus 22:18 "Thou shalt not allow a witch to live", must mean witchcraft was considered real otherwise it would not be a crime worthy of death.

 

And then you have the salespeople and scammers who are keen to tell you its true in order to separate you from your money.  "Buy this crystal rod, it will cure your dandruff", "Burn this incense, it will purge evil spirits from your home" or "Wear this necklace, it will stop magic from influencing your mind, only $19.99 plus postage and packaging".  As soon as money becomes involved I'm naturally suspicious of ulterior motives. 

 

I see a lot of people wanting to be special, wanting control of the incontrollable and wanting to make money off the gullible.  I don't see any sign that there is anything to this other that hope and wishes.

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"Does anyone still believe in the supernatural?"

 

Hi Crove,

 

Since many here in the X-Christian network have a wide range of beliefs, I expect some still have beliefs or consider the possibility of the supernatural.

 

Of course the answer to this question depends upon the definition of "supernatural." 

 

This is the one which I prefer:

 

Supernatural definition, of, relating to, or beyond our understanding of the laws of nature or the related sciences that could be involved; Something which exists that is neither matter nor physical energy, and which is not explainable by science. 
 
By this definition of the supernatural it does not have to be something spiritual or a God based entity. There could be things that exist outside our understandings of nature that are not physical or fantasies. But I can't think of any example  that is not pure BS IMO.
 
 
 

 

 

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9 hours ago, pantheory said:
By this definition of the supernatural it does not have to be something spiritual or a God based entity.

 

I'm OK with that context.

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Ironically, there's a lot of Christians who doesn't believe in the supernatural unless it concerns money or health.  Their biased beliefs are self-serving.  It's one of the things that pushed me to investigate deeper into the religion and eventually find many errors.

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      Well, I think a reflection on the natural/supernatural dichotomy is in order. Not all traditions, and not all strands of a tradition see it the same way. For example, take Eastern Christian Orthodox theology, following Gregory Palamas, 14 century bishop/mystic/theologian who had several debates with scholastic catholic inspired theology from his time and some with Muslims, as well. The essential concepts are not natura/supernatural, but created and uncreated. There is an unaccesible uncreated essence, there are uncreated energies somehow spawning from that essence, and there is the created world/created energies. BUT, creation is done and sustained through the uncreated energies and the whole reason of creation was an ever more deeping participation in the uncreated energies of God - aka grace - so that creation becomes one with God, without in the same losing its created status. The metaphor used was a rod of iron in fire, it heats up, becomes red, hard to distinguish from the fire, but it does not BECOME the fire, it just partkaes and is transformed/imbued with heat.

     A somewhat long comment, but just to point that there are many traditions that do not subscribe to natural/supernatural dischotomy and could not really answer that question. I mean, they talk about the NATURE of God and the NATURE of MAN , and the NATURE of.....etc . For example, man, in the current fallen state can 1. become transcendent - over natural, continue in his natural, or become beneath/against his nature - animalic/demonic. Homosexuality ( as is heterosexual sodomy, and oral sex for that matter, non penetrative orgasm in general, so the exclusion of every fetish), for example, is against nature, normal marriage in natural, and chastity is over natural, godly/angelic. They call the monastic life the angelic life. 

      As is the dischotomy between immaterial soul and material body. St Ignatius Briancheaninov specifically targets this a post cartesian/western innovation, and the soul IS NOT immaterial, it just a subtler form of matter, as are angels and demons. That is why, the attack that, well, how can something without nerve endings feel pain in Hell for example is not applicable. They actualy talk about the soul as a kind of complementary subtle body, complete with its own set of sense. Not withstanding that after the ressurection people will gain their material bodies back, in a somewhat spiritualized form. 

      In current scientific terms, there is no such thing as supernatural. That words means nothing and is an absurdity. There is reality and different ways/procedures, to investigate it. To say, I believe in science, not the supernatural, is to utter nonsense from current scientific worlview. It is like saying, there is everything, and then there is something beyond everything. To a physicist, for example, nothing BREAKS the laws of nature. What happens is that predictions that follow from a well established model are proven false, so that they require further investigation that could to a rethinking of a model. Let s say we have a model of the force of gravitiy that says everywhere on earth things fall down. Then, you find a mountain where apples keep floating into outer space. Well then, you investigate. Is there another force? Does gravity, when certain variables are there, change direction? Is there a deeper principle at work here? Then you start building hypotheses and do experiments. 

     That is why, in you thread about miracles I said that things need to be investigated. Did some people say they receive names and were those names from people in need? Ok then, what could happen? 1. An intervention from some subtle entity they call God 2. They are lying 3 They are embelishing 3. Someone gave them a letter with that name and said it was from God, but they lied. 3. There is a random telepathic connection in the world,which some people associate with their cultural heritage - Dao, Buddha, Lord Shiva, Mahommed, jesus, Prophet Moses, etc. And maybe others. 

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22 hours ago, pantheory said:

 

Supernatural definition, of, relating to, or beyond our understanding of the laws of nature or the related sciences that could be involved; Something which exists that is neither matter nor physical energy, and which is not explainable by science. 
 
By this definition of the supernatural it does not have to be something spiritual or a God based entity. 
 
 

 

Right. Regardless of one's belief on whether the supernatural is real or not, the word supernatural can still be examined. One 'can' be an atheist yet still believe in supernatural things that aren't gods: Ghosts, ESP, Telepathy, etc. Perhaps the term paranormal is a better umbrella term for these things. I dont know. 

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14 hours ago, Myrkhoos said:

   To a physicist, for example, nothing BREAKS the laws of nature. What happens is that predictions that follow from a well established model are proven false, so that they require further investigation that could to a rethinking of a model

 

I agree with you, it's just a lot easier to say "supernatural"🙂

 

Than instead say "predictions that follow from a well established model are proven false, so that they require further investigation that could to a rethinking of a model"😁

 

It's simply a choice of words.  And "Supernatural" or "Paranormal" much more quickly conveys the meaning and easily distinguishes it from well-known and accurately modeled phenomenon.

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On 12/29/2020 at 2:16 AM, Crove said:

 

I agree with you, it's just a lot easier to say "supernatural"🙂

 

Than instead say "predictions that follow from a well established model are proven false, so that they require further investigation that could to a rethinking of a model"😁

 

It's simply a choice of words.  And "Supernatural" or "Paranormal" much more quickly conveys the meaning and easily distinguishes it from well-known and accurately modeled phenomenon.

          I think Supernatural carries another semantic weight that what I said. If you want just ONE word, you can say unsual, or unforeseen, unknown, etc. If so, yes, I do believe unusual, unforeseen, unknown things exist.

           Wheter such things are conscious entities, I am not so sure, but for example, people think of aliens in vey antropomorpfic ways, but maybe there ways of creating conscious beings in a very nont Earth Manner, like maybe a being made out of pure electricity, or actuall photons - light, etc.

          I mean that is why I would not rule out non-carbon based sentience. Or, who knows, like in Star Trek, maybe there fully sentient suns or planets. Who says sentience and consciousness is tied only to brain-like structures? Maybe there are forms of it. Especially considering the vastness of the universe.

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I'm often reminded of a saying attributed to Einstein:

 

"There are two ways to live. You can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle."

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9 hours ago, Moonobserver said:

I'm often reminded of a saying attributed to Einstein:

 

"There are two ways to live. You can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle."

 

You might be surprised that also happens among Christians.

 

There's also something in between where Christians limit the miracles they want to believe. Like they'll only believe miracles about money or finances and health.   Anything beyond must be from the devil or occult, witchcraft, etc.

 

Then there's Christians who absolutely don't belive in miracles nor the supernatural / paranormal.  They only believe in their salvation, money, health, God. 

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  • 1 month later...

I don’t like to say I belive as if I needed a blind leap of faith. I know. Peps that don’t keep thinking of cartoons when they here it and think that’s what it is. That’s the only reason really peps deny the supernatural. Also I don’t even like the word ether, it’s not well defined i don’t think.

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3 hours ago, poci said:

Peps that don’t keep thinking of cartoons when they here it and think that’s what it is. That’s the only reason really peps deny the supernatural

Could you elaborate on this idea?  I don't follow what you are trying to say.  I could imagine several reasons for denying the supernatural, so any claim that there is only one possible reason seems incorrect.

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On 12/31/2020 at 7:03 PM, midniterider said:

If you dont believe in the supernatural just go to Netflix. It's there. :)

 

The Show "Supernatural" ? On Netflix. Evidence please :P I've looked for that show on Netflix but cannot find it. Great show... if you can find a legal platform to stream it.

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What are you calling "supernatural"?

 

If it is something that occurs outside of the natural order, and thus our reality, then no I don't believe in anything supernatural.

 

And my first question on a claim of the supernatural is are you sure it's not just something that is part of the natural order than we hadn't yet discovered?

 

As Neil De Grasse Tyson said, if you keep putting God (or the supernatural) off to what we don't know or understand then they are an increasing small area of ignorance. (Paraphrased) 

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