What is Metaphysical Naturalism?

Discuss philosophical concepts and moral issues.
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Cheerful Charlie
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Post by Cheerful Charlie » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:14 pm

Logic isn't if you throw logic out altogether.

Explaining an unknown (God), by other unknowns (supernaturalism) means in the end one is making a series of unproven claims that get shuffled into the realm of unexplainable in principle.

And when the atheists demonstrate that God s defined by theologians is self contradictory, the theologians can always dodge with the tired old claim "God is inscrutable, incomprehensible".

This is an old tactic going back to Paul, and used by many theologians from Augustine to Luther and is still being used today by amateur theologians all over the net.

All of this then becomes one big word game. If one's whole scheme to explain reality is based on a proposition, supernaturalism, that cannot be explained or proven to really exist, logically then, there is no reason to accept it as meaningful, any more than we would accept the claims God is magical, or not bound by logic and reason. It's unprovable and unlikely assertions all the way down.

Again, the propositions traditionally made for God soon enough create logical problems that have caused centuries of theologians to abandon rationality and reason to make claims God is inscrutable and incomprehensible to dodge the issues.

The problem then is, why can't atheists use the same sort of bad reasoning in an analogical manner? Why can't anybody abandon reason and take refuge in special pleading and outright nonsense?

For me, supernaturalism does not in the end save God. This is a rather meaningful and very real problem ofr theology.
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BWE
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Post by BWE » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:25 am

Theology has bigger problems.

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Post by subsymbolic » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:57 pm

What BWE said.

I get that you are pissed off with religion. However, I’m entirely unclear how that bears on the issues that were being discussed. The point that you get a different view of the world depending on the assumptions you start with seems to be being ignored as does the idea that there might be more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in science’s ontologies. There are undeniably things that science alone cannot address. That’s entirely neutral about any deity, it’s just how things are.

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Post by Cheerful Charlie » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:49 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]What BWE said.

I get that you are pissed off with religion. However, I’m entirely unclear how that bears on the issues that were being discussed. The point that you get a different view of the world depending on the assumptions you start with seems to be being ignored as does the idea that there might be more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in science’s ontologies. There are undeniably things that science alone cannot address. That’s entirely neutral about any deity, it’s just how things are.[/quote]

I simply don't accept the idea that logic and reason are optional when these things become a problem for theism. Theology has long had the problem of finding the God hypotheses they promulgate fall apart when probed carefully.

God is said then to be inscrutable, incomprehensible, beyond our ability to understand.

This is rank obscurantism. It is intellectual nihilism.

The other problem is basing theologies on unprovable things like supernaturalism, as if that solves anything. The problem with this is it puts theology beyond a possibility of being proven or disproven. It is useless. We might as well being arguing about fairies and magic and how magic works (We don't know, it just does).

Thus any problems that arise when considering the hypotheses of God are swept away with logic and reason banished from the debate.

My problem with religion is that it is an intellectual dead end. It is an extreme form of organized obscurantism.

"....idea that there might be more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in science’s ontologies"

My problem is that no theological claim is such a failure that theology will ever abandon that. Theology will happily abandon reason to prop up failed propositions. Obscurantism is not the solution to ontology and its problems for theology.
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Post by subsymbolic » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:24 pm

I simply don't accept the idea that logic and reason are optional when these things become a problem for theism.
I'm sure you don't. However, I certainly didn't claim they were, in fact i claimed precisely the opposite.
Theology has long had the problem of finding the God hypotheses they promulgate fall apart when probed carefully.
Sure, however what you haven't done is shown what the hell this has to do with the actual subject under discussion.
God is said then to be inscrutable, incomprehensible, beyond our ability to understand.
If you say so, however, what has this got to do with the subject under discussion?
This is rank obscurantism. It is intellectual nihilism.
I quote agree.
The other problem is basing theologies on unprovable things like supernaturalism, as if that solves anything. The problem with this is it puts theology beyond a possibility of being proven or disproven. It is useless. We might as well being arguing about fairies and magic and how magic works (We don't know, it just does).
Maybe, but what has this got to do with the subject under discussion?
Thus any problems that arise when considering the hypotheses of God are swept away with logic and reason banished from the debate.
If you say so, but what has this got to do with the subject under discussion?

My problem with religion is that it is an intellectual dead end. It is an extreme form of organized obscurantism.
I'm noticing that. However, what has this got to do with the subject under discussion?

Sub wrote:"....idea that there might be more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamed of in science’s ontologies"
My problem is that no theological claim is such a failure that theology will ever abandon that. Theology will happily abandon reason to prop up failed propositions. Obscurantism is not the solution to ontology and its problems for theology.
I'm pretty sure that lumping all religious thinkers in one box isn't helpful and makes your claims as indefeasible as anyone you are complaining about. However, what has this got to do with the subject under discussion?

I get that you don't like religion. However, you also seem to be doing all the things you are complaining about.

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Post by Cheerful Charlie » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:18 am

The question was, "What is metaphysical naturalism?". The answer is abandonment of supernaturalism, magic, occultism, and such. Why? because these things lead to obscuantism and nonsense. In the end, religion is based merely on assertions that followed to their logical ends collapse in self contradiction and incoherence.

I have lost all patience with stacking up unprovable and unproven concepts in an attempt to support hypotheses that in the end, do not work. And so have others. which is what metaphysical naturalism is all about.
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Post by Grendel » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:23 am

[quote=""subsymbolic""] There are undeniably things that science alone cannot address.[/quote]

Supernatural or natural?

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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:59 am

[quote=""Grendel""]
subsymbolic;678606 wrote: There are undeniably things that science alone cannot address.
Supernatural or natural?[/QUOTE]

Well, that largely turns on what your definition of natural and supernatural are.

If you are defining 'natural' as all and only things that fall within the empirically generated ontology of current science then supernatural. If however you define 'natural' as all and only things that supervene upon a monist conception of nature then natural.

This is part of doing metaphysics - we dicker over what we mean when we use a word so that when we argue, or theorise, we are all using the words in the same way (and know we are using words in the same way) and can be sure we are actually disagreeing or theorising about the same thing.

Now you can, and probably will, assert that this is 'just semantics' or 'logic chopping' or some other illogical rejection of getting the rules clear before we start to play, but the fact is that my (and any one else's) answers will vary according to how we define natural.

A Christian could (and has) argued that all of creation is natural as it was created by God and what could be more natural than that. It's just a rather vague term and can be misused.

So tell me precisely what you mean by natural and supernatural and I'll tell you what I believe.

Meanwhile, is emergence natural? Is anomalous monism natural? is (to use my current favourite example) the Banach Tarski paradox natural? Are paradigms (in the sense that Kuhn used them) natural? is quantum entanglement natural? Are Hilbert spaces natural? is internalised logical reasoning natural? Are unpredictable internally generated free choices natural? is our own personal internal conscious awareness natural? Is any sufficiently advanced technology... natural? I could go on, but I guess that's enough to get my point across.

Here's a better question: Do I believe that there is only one sort of stuff and that everything is made out of that stuff or supervenes upon that stuff?

The answer to that is yes.

Furthermore, I actually believe that, at some point in the future, we will have a science that is able to make sense of (almost) all of the possible interactions of stuff. However, rather like Godel in maths and logic, I strongly believe that there are some areas in which we will remain systematically unable to use a scientific methodology to make sense of it.

That religious people will go to great lengths to stuff the threadbare remains of their deities into these gaps is a racing certainty. That's their desperation and their problem.

My problem is people who will see those areas as somehow disreputable precisely because (1) science can't get traction on them and (2) the faithful try to hide their gods there.

It is here that what counts as natural and supernatural really starts to matter.
Last edited by subsymbolic on Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:14 am

[quote=""Cheerful Charlie""]The question was, "What is metaphysical naturalism?". The answer is abandonment of supernaturalism, magic, occultism, and such. Why? because these things lead to obscuantism and nonsense. In the end, religion is based merely on assertions that followed to their logical ends collapse in self contradiction and incoherence.

I have lost all patience with stacking up unprovable and unproven concepts in an attempt to support hypotheses that in the end, do not work. And so have others. which is what metaphysical naturalism is all about.[/quote]

Oh? are you telling me that you have tried? Really?

Because right now, you have defined p as '¬p and any cognates of ¬p'. That's not a definition, it's merely an opposition and a circular one at that.

This is a teeny bit ironic as your definition, being circular, leads directly to contradiction and incoherence.

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Post by Cheerful Charlie » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:45 am

[quote=""subsymbolic""]
Cheerful Charlie;678617 wrote:The question was, "What is metaphysical naturalism?". The answer is abandonment of supernaturalism, magic, occultism, and such. Why? because these things lead to obscuantism and nonsense. In the end, religion is based merely on assertions that followed to their logical ends collapse in self contradiction and incoherence.

I have lost all patience with stacking up unprovable and unproven concepts in an attempt to support hypotheses that in the end, do not work. And so have others. which is what metaphysical naturalism is all about.
Oh? are you telling me that you have tried? Really?

Because right now, you have defined p as '¬p and any cognates of ¬p'. That's not a definition, it's merely an opposition and a circular one at that.

This is a teeny bit ironic as your definition, being circular, leads directly to contradiction and incoherence.[/QUOTE]


I oppose useless obscurantism. And things like supernaturalism are just that. Unprovable, unproven and cannot support the weight of theology on top of it. And still the problems of God and his supposed attributes doom the theological enterprise. Arguing whether God is supernatural, magical or occult does not solve the problem.

Then we have the phenomena I despise of abandoning rationality and reason, God is incomprehensible etc, to avoid having to admit, God as a hypothesis is in the end, incoherent and unworkable.

Again, I simply refuse to indulge the metaphysicians and theologians in their dead end endeavors. Metaphysical naturalism draws the line because that cuts out the nonsense that tempts many to in the end, abandon reason.

Again, without evidence such things as occultism, supernaturalism and magic exist are time wasters
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Post by Grendel » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:49 am

[quote=""subsymbolic""]
Grendel;678622 wrote:
subsymbolic;678606 wrote: There are undeniably things that science alone cannot address.
Supernatural or natural?
Well, that largely turns on what your definition of natural and supernatural are.

[/QUOTE]

You gave me a 5000 word answer and ended up asking me a question? Natural is that which does not break the laws of physics, and Supernatural does. Simple hehee.

I don't really understand everything you said, but to pick your current favourite, Banarchi and Tarski. That's a theorem in geometry, (I just looked it up) it relies on infinity and numbers-beyond-count. It does not obey the laws of a closed system. In old terms energy can neither be created nor destroyed. That's why the laws of conservation hold - never been broken. The theorem relies on matter/motion being unaccounted and freely available. In our universe the laws of conservation hold. No free lunch.

The paradox is only in the math. Not in Nature. It's not something science is 'obliged' to address, anymore than any mathematical paradox is, anymore than infinity has to be addressed. There are known infinities in math but that doesn't imply nature contains the supernatural (or outside the natural)

I don't understand how you're implying it, but it doesn't really have much to do with anything here that I can see.

.

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Post by DrZoidberg » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:31 am

[quote=""Abominable Intelligence""]I'm curious. What the fuck is metaphysical naturalism?
If something exists, it is natural and not metaphysical. In other words, for the sake of argument, if ghosts existed, they would be natural.

The whole notion of metaphysicalism is a contradiction in terms.[/quote]

Is it really? I think the name gives the impression of trying to label naturalistic explanations for the metaphysical. Ie, the kind of stuff skeptics do all day.
"Sorry, you must have been boring"
/Dr Zoidberg

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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:16 am

[quote=""Grendel""]
subsymbolic;678624 wrote:
Grendel;678622 wrote:
subsymbolic;678606 wrote: There are undeniably things that science alone cannot address.
Supernatural or natural?
Well, that largely turns on what your definition of natural and supernatural are.
You gave me a 5000 word answer and ended up asking me a question? Natural is that which does not break the laws of physics, and Supernatural does. Simple hehee.

I don't really understand everything you said, but to pick your current favourite, Banarchi and Tarski. That's a theorem in geometry, (I just looked it up) it relies on infinity and numbers-beyond-count. It does not obey the laws of a closed system. In old terms energy can neither be created nor destroyed. That's why the laws of conservation hold - never been broken. The theorem relies on matter/motion being unaccounted and freely available. In our universe the laws of conservation hold. No free lunch.

The paradox is only in the math. Not in Nature. It's not something science is 'obliged' to address, anymore than any mathematical paradox is, anymore than infinity has to be addressed. There are known infinities in math but that doesn't imply nature contains the supernatural (or outside the natural)

I don't understand how you're implying it, but it doesn't really have much to do with anything here that I can see.

.[/QUOTE]

Yes I did. I'm sorry Grendel, but you can't do philosophy, or science, in soundbites.

However, that's progress.
Natural is that which does not break the laws of physics
So here's a teeny bit of logic:

If something is natural it does not break the laws of physics

X breaks the laws of physics

therefore X is not natural


You have also defined supernatural as anything that is not natural.

Let me be clear, this is a little chunk of formal logic, to be precise, modus tollens: p->q ¬q ∴ ¬p (If p then q, not q, therefore not p) The premises are yours. You are rationally forced to accept the conclusion. (Or you can reject logic, or even one of your premises, your call.)

So now all I have to do is find anything that breaks the laws of physics, which I have already done, and I have a reductio ad absurdum of your position.

Here you go

You are saying, quite correctly, that B/T is in violation of the laws of physics. (although your reason:
The theorem relies on matter/motion being unaccounted and freely available.
is a trifle revealing. I guess you are one of those folk who think a singularity exists in nature.

However, the problem is precisely between what physics and geometric intuition tells us will happen and what actually happens in this particular application of the axiom of choice.

I have given you a formal proof that B/T is, by your definition, supernatural. You might not like that conclusion but it is a direct logical conclusion of your definition. Personally, I'd take that as meaning that metaphysical naturalism, as defined, disallows things that we'd rationally want in our ontology.

And yes, by this definition, at least, I believe in the supernatural, as do pretty well every scientist, mathematician and logician I know (and indeed you know, if you know any, show them this and ask them).

Then, of course, there is your faith claim. Just like The Faithful get all excited about the world that is to come, you are trying to invoke a mature and complete physics to support your arguments about a far from mature physics.
Going beyond the available evidence is anti scientific, in fact it's a faith claim.

It's a day of ironies. I suspect you are about to reject logic, rather than have another shot at getting your metaphysics right.
Last edited by subsymbolic on Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:46 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:21 am

[quote=""Cheerful Charlie""]
subsymbolic;678626 wrote:
Cheerful Charlie;678617 wrote:The question was, "What is metaphysical naturalism?". The answer is abandonment of supernaturalism, magic, occultism, and such. Why? because these things lead to obscuantism and nonsense. In the end, religion is based merely on assertions that followed to their logical ends collapse in self contradiction and incoherence.

I have lost all patience with stacking up unprovable and unproven concepts in an attempt to support hypotheses that in the end, do not work. And so have others. which is what metaphysical naturalism is all about.
Oh? are you telling me that you have tried? Really?

Because right now, you have defined p as '¬p and any cognates of ¬p'. That's not a definition, it's merely an opposition and a circular one at that.

This is a teeny bit ironic as your definition, being circular, leads directly to contradiction and incoherence.

I oppose useless obscurantism. And things like supernaturalism are just that. Unprovable, unproven and cannot support the weight of theology on top of it. And still the problems of God and his supposed attributes doom the theological enterprise. Arguing whether God is supernatural, magical or occult does not solve the problem.

Then we have the phenomena I despise of abandoning rationality and reason, God is incomprehensible etc, to avoid having to admit, God as a hypothesis is in the end, incoherent and unworkable.

Again, I simply refuse to indulge the metaphysicians and theologians in their dead end endeavors. Metaphysical naturalism draws the line because that cuts out the nonsense that tempts many to in the end, abandon reason.

Again, without evidence such things as occultism, supernaturalism and magic exist are time wasters[/QUOTE]

You seem much more interested in religion than science. Personally I wouldn't want to define my position in opposition to a position I don't like, I'd just get on with the science. You seem so keen, so I'd love to know what sort of scientist you are and perhaps you could tell us a little bit about your research.

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Post by BWE » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:44 pm

[quote=""Grendel""]
subsymbolic;678624 wrote:
Grendel;678622 wrote:
subsymbolic;678606 wrote: There are undeniably things that science alone cannot address.
Supernatural or natural?
Well, that largely turns on what your definition of natural and supernatural are.
You gave me a 5000 word answer and ended up asking me a question? Natural is that which does not break the laws of physics, and Supernatural does. Simple hehee.

I don't really understand everything you said, but to pick your current favourite, Banarchi and Tarski. That's a theorem in geometry, (I just looked it up) it relies on infinity and numbers-beyond-count. It does not obey the laws of a closed system. In old terms energy can neither be created nor destroyed. That's why the laws of conservation hold - never been broken. The theorem relies on matter/motion being unaccounted and freely available. In our universe the laws of conservation hold. No free lunch.

The paradox is only in the math. Not in Nature. It's not something science is 'obliged' to address, anymore than any mathematical paradox is, anymore than infinity has to be addressed. There are known infinities in math but that doesn't imply nature contains the supernatural (or outside the natural)

I don't understand how you're implying it, but it doesn't really have much to do with anything here that I can see.

.[/QUOTE]

That's a circular answer. We have defined the laws of physics such that whatever happens is consistent with them. If it isn't, that just means the law is flawed, not the premise. That premise is very simple. The universe is consistent.

Now, I'm not saying that premise is flawed, just that your statement is circular. If God was really a bearded sky chieftain, he would be consistent with physics and your statement would be pointless. It isn't that physics would be wrong, it's that physics would explain it.

As much as people like to dismiss godel and the rest of subsymbolic's examples, those issues really do make the question far more complicated.

"What is real?" Is as much a question about semantics as a question of semantics.

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Post by BWE » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:49 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]
Grendel;678628 wrote:
subsymbolic;678624 wrote:
Grendel;678622 wrote:
Supernatural or natural?
Well, that largely turns on what your definition of natural and supernatural are.
You gave me a 5000 word answer and ended up asking me a question? Natural is that which does not break the laws of physics, and Supernatural does. Simple hehee.

I don't really understand everything you said, but to pick your current favourite, Banarchi and Tarski. That's a theorem in geometry, (I just looked it up) it relies on infinity and numbers-beyond-count. It does not obey the laws of a closed system. In old terms energy can neither be created nor destroyed. That's why the laws of conservation hold - never been broken. The theorem relies on matter/motion being unaccounted and freely available. In our universe the laws of conservation hold. No free lunch.

The paradox is only in the math. Not in Nature. It's not something science is 'obliged' to address, anymore than any mathematical paradox is, anymore than infinity has to be addressed. There are known infinities in math but that doesn't imply nature contains the supernatural (or outside the natural)

I don't understand how you're implying it, but it doesn't really have much to do with anything here that I can see.

.
Yes I did. I'm sorry Grendel, but you can't do philosophy, or science, in soundbites.

However, that's progress.
Natural is that which does not break the laws of physics
So here's a teeny bit of logic:

If something is natural it does not break the laws of physics

X breaks the laws of physics

therefore X is not natural


You have also defined supernatural as anything that is not natural.

Let me be clear, this is a little chunk of formal logic, to be precise, modus tollens: p->q ¬q ∴ ¬p (If p then q, not q, therefore not p) The premises are yours. You are rationally forced to accept the conclusion. (Or you can reject logic, or even one of your premises, your call.)

So now all I have to do is find anything that breaks the laws of physics, which I have already done, and I have a reductio ad absurdum of your position.

Here you go

You are saying, quite correctly, that B/T is in violation of the laws of physics. (although your reason:
The theorem relies on matter/motion being unaccounted and freely available.
is a trifle revealing. I guess you are one of those folk who think a singularity exists in nature.

However, the problem is precisely between what physics and geometric intuition tells us will happen and what actually happens in this particular application of the axiom of choice.

I have given you a formal proof that B/T is, by your definition, supernatural. You might not like that conclusion but it is a direct logical conclusion of your definition. Personally, I'd take that as meaning that metaphysical naturalism, as defined, disallows things that we'd rationally want in our ontology.

And yes, by this definition, at least, I believe in the supernatural, as do pretty well every scientist, mathematician and logician I know (and indeed you know, if you know any, show them this and ask them).

Then, of course, there is your faith claim. Just like The Faithful get all excited about the world that is to come, you are trying to invoke a mature and complete physics to support your arguments about a far from mature physics.
Going beyond the available evidence is anti scientific, in fact it's a faith claim.

It's a day of ironies. I suspect you are about to reject logic, rather than have another shot at getting your metaphysics right.[/QUOTE]

B-T isn't a violation of physics exactly. Although your point is clear enough. I think there's a simpler way to make the case.

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Post by subsymbolic » Mon Oct 23, 2017 10:31 pm

[quote=""BWE""]
subsymbolic;678632 wrote:
Grendel;678628 wrote:
subsymbolic;678624 wrote:
Well, that largely turns on what your definition of natural and supernatural are.
You gave me a 5000 word answer and ended up asking me a question? Natural is that which does not break the laws of physics, and Supernatural does. Simple hehee.

I don't really understand everything you said, but to pick your current favourite, Banarchi and Tarski. That's a theorem in geometry, (I just looked it up) it relies on infinity and numbers-beyond-count. It does not obey the laws of a closed system. In old terms energy can neither be created nor destroyed. That's why the laws of conservation hold - never been broken. The theorem relies on matter/motion being unaccounted and freely available. In our universe the laws of conservation hold. No free lunch.

The paradox is only in the math. Not in Nature. It's not something science is 'obliged' to address, anymore than any mathematical paradox is, anymore than infinity has to be addressed. There are known infinities in math but that doesn't imply nature contains the supernatural (or outside the natural)

I don't understand how you're implying it, but it doesn't really have much to do with anything here that I can see.

.
Yes I did. I'm sorry Grendel, but you can't do philosophy, or science, in soundbites.

However, that's progress.
Natural is that which does not break the laws of physics
So here's a teeny bit of logic:

If something is natural it does not break the laws of physics

X breaks the laws of physics

therefore X is not natural


You have also defined supernatural as anything that is not natural.

Let me be clear, this is a little chunk of formal logic, to be precise, modus tollens: p->q ¬q ∴ ¬p (If p then q, not q, therefore not p) The premises are yours. You are rationally forced to accept the conclusion. (Or you can reject logic, or even one of your premises, your call.)

So now all I have to do is find anything that breaks the laws of physics, which I have already done, and I have a reductio ad absurdum of your position.

Here you go

You are saying, quite correctly, that B/T is in violation of the laws of physics. (although your reason:
The theorem relies on matter/motion being unaccounted and freely available.
is a trifle revealing. I guess you are one of those folk who think a singularity exists in nature.

However, the problem is precisely between what physics and geometric intuition tells us will happen and what actually happens in this particular application of the axiom of choice.

I have given you a formal proof that B/T is, by your definition, supernatural. You might not like that conclusion but it is a direct logical conclusion of your definition. Personally, I'd take that as meaning that metaphysical naturalism, as defined, disallows things that we'd rationally want in our ontology.

And yes, by this definition, at least, I believe in the supernatural, as do pretty well every scientist, mathematician and logician I know (and indeed you know, if you know any, show them this and ask them).

Then, of course, there is your faith claim. Just like The Faithful get all excited about the world that is to come, you are trying to invoke a mature and complete physics to support your arguments about a far from mature physics.
Going beyond the available evidence is anti scientific, in fact it's a faith claim.

It's a day of ironies. I suspect you are about to reject logic, rather than have another shot at getting your metaphysics right.
B-T isn't a violation of physics exactly. Although your point is clear enough. I think there's a simpler way to make the case.[/QUOTE]

I'm just using B/T as another way of explaining anomalous monism that doesn't look like philosophy. I agree there are simpler ways, but I can't think of any more convincing for those with a hard on for science. So I'd be delighted if you wish to share your version. It might be both simpler and more acceptable to others.

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Post by BWE » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:05 am

That it's impossible to make an argument for infinity from a finite position.

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Post by Grendel » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:36 am

BT is a theorem? So is the Special Theory of Relativity. Both ignore mass (matter in motion) Spacetime is a function of mass. You can't manipulate volume without accounting for mass. And yet that's what it does, manipulates space. The theory is simply plausible in a universe where energy has no cost. Special Relativity only applies to a special universe that contains zero mass, a universe where motion (energy) does not cost. A free lunch universe.

Given that. I don't see how the special theory of relativity can be considered supernatural. It doesn't break the laws of physics, given it's limitation. It manipulates volumetric space. It's neither a natural-physical-thing nor a super-natural-physical thing. It's just a theory and we use bits of it as yardstick all the time.

If such a universe was found perhaps then you could argue it's supernatural. I don't think you've proven anything at all.

(I don't where you're getting the singularity thing from. I only know of one, Einstein's, amd no one takes that seriously because there are much better alternate accounts)

.

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Post by subsymbolic » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:03 am

I was talking about B/T. Are you really arguing that because you think both are theorems then a disproof of one is a disproof of the other.

Because that’s clearly nonsense.

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Post by subsymbolic » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:13 pm

[quote=""BWE""]That it's impossible to make an argument for infinity from a finite position.[/quote]

Either I don't understand what you are saying or isn't that precisely what Cantor did with his diagonalisation argument?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantor%27 ... l_argument

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Post by Cheerful Charlie » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:07 pm

[quote=""subsymbolic""]
Cheerful Charlie;678627 wrote:
subsymbolic;678626 wrote:
Cheerful Charlie;678617 wrote:The question was, "What is metaphysical naturalism?". The answer is abandonment of supernaturalism, magic, occultism, and such. Why? because these things lead to obscuantism and nonsense. In the end, religion is based merely on assertions that followed to their logical ends collapse in self contradiction and incoherence.

I have lost all patience with stacking up unprovable and unproven concepts in an attempt to support hypotheses that in the end, do not work. And so have others. which is what metaphysical naturalism is all about.
Oh? are you telling me that you have tried? Really?

Because right now, you have defined p as '¬p and any cognates of ¬p'. That's not a definition, it's merely an opposition and a circular one at that.

This is a teeny bit ironic as your definition, being circular, leads directly to contradiction and incoherence.

I oppose useless obscurantism. And things like supernaturalism are just that. Unprovable, unproven and cannot support the weight of theology on top of it. And still the problems of God and his supposed attributes doom the theological enterprise. Arguing whether God is supernatural, magical or occult does not solve the problem.

Then we have the phenomena I despise of abandoning rationality and reason, God is incomprehensible etc, to avoid having to admit, God as a hypothesis is in the end, incoherent and unworkable.

Again, I simply refuse to indulge the metaphysicians and theologians in their dead end endeavors. Metaphysical naturalism draws the line because that cuts out the nonsense that tempts many to in the end, abandon reason.

Again, without evidence such things as occultism, supernaturalism and magic exist are time wasters
You seem much more interested in religion than science. Personally I wouldn't want to define my position in opposition to a position I don't like, I'd just get on with the science. You seem so keen, so I'd love to know what sort of scientist you are and perhaps you could tell us a little bit about your research.[/QUOTE]


I am down here in Texas, where creationism has long been a problem for science educators. Where ignorant creationists are packed in our Texas State Board of Education. We fight attacks on science here continually and have been for decades now. And now we are fighting the religious fanatics over climate change denial, and teaching of dishonest history in our schools. In years past these morons fought teaching critical thinking in schools.

I have spent years watching bad religion championing anti-intellectualism in our education systems. For me, its not just an armchair debate. Its a battle against arrogant and militant backwardness.

I have never been religious, never believed in God. And have been openly atheist for years. And have been challenged my entire life by theists on the issue. And have become quite knowledgeable about such issues. And quite bluntly, militant about it.

Science is a thing that has worked well. I am quite aware of just how well, and I am aware fantasies like occultism, supernaturalism, mysticism et al do not work, leads to nothing worth knowing.

I have cut loose the Russellian teapots and have adopted metaphysical naturalism due to the failures of speculative metaphysics et al. It is all about as fruitful as discussing how fairies do magical things and what magical things fairies can do.

There is a homely little British saying about the basic ways of science, "Suck it and see". Or in other words, test it. Metaphysical naturalism passes the suck it and see test. Supernaturalism, bad metaphysics, occultism do not.

Seeing first hand here in Texas how bad metaphysics supports anti-intellectualism it is not to me just an abstract debate, bad metaphysics is a problem. It is not something like alchemy we can just smirk at and not worry about. Some amusing woo that does not really affect anything. It is an engine that drives foolishness.

"There isn't anything so foolish that some philosopher has not believed it."
- Cicero
Cheerful Charlie

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Post by subsymbolic » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:43 pm

I am down here in Texas, where creationism has long been a problem for science educators. Where ignorant creationists are packed in our Texas State Board of Education. We fight attacks on science here continually and have been for decades now. And now we are fighting the religious fanatics over climate change denial, and teaching of dishonest history in our schools. In years past these morons fought teaching critical thinking in schools.
But what you are doing is not remotely critical thinking. As far as I can see you are doing precisely what you are complaining about, you are just doing it about science.
I have spent years watching bad religion championing anti-intellectualism in our education systems. For me, its not just an armchair debate. Its a battle against arrogant and militant backwardness.
Why assume that it is an armchair debate for other people? The fact is that you have demonstrated no grasp of either science or metaphysics and you just keep repeating that science is good and religion is bad.

I have never been religious, never believed in God. And have been openly atheist for years. And have been challenged my entire life by theists on the issue. And have become quite knowledgeable about such issues. And quite bluntly, militant about it.
I get that you are militant about The Issue.
Science is a thing that has worked well. I am quite aware of just how well, and I am aware fantasies like occultism, supernaturalism, mysticism et al do not work, leads to nothing worth knowing.
Sure, that's a claim; fundies on the other side of the issue make a pretty similar one.
I have cut loose the Russellian teapots and have adopted metaphysical naturalism due to the failures of speculative metaphysics et al. It is all about as fruitful as discussing how fairies do magical things and what magical things fairies can do.
I get that you think that, but that's just a false dichotomy because the available options are not just 'speculative metaphysics' (whatever that means) or metaphysical naturalism (Of which your definition is far from clear.
There is a homely little British saying about the basic ways of science, "Suck it and see". Or in other words, test it. Metaphysical naturalism passes the suck it and see test. Supernaturalism, bad metaphysics, occultism do not.
Actually the 'homely little British saying' means try it and see if you like it. It's referring to something entirely subjective. Science is not.
Seeing first hand here in Texas how bad metaphysics supports anti-intellectualism it is not to me just an abstract debate, bad metaphysics is a problem. It is not something like alchemy we can just smirk at and not worry about. Some amusing woo that does not really affect anything. It is an engine that drives foolishness.
I quite agree that bad metaphysics is a problem. People who just assert, without argument that their metaphysical stance is right is bad metaphysics.

"There isn't anything so foolish that some philosopher has not believed it."
- Cicero
“Most people would rather die than think and many of them do!”

Russell.

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Post by Cheerful Charlie » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:22 pm

I think this debate has gone as far as it is going to go. It is getting repetitious.

Metaphysical naturalism is all we need. Metaphysical teapots do not add to our understanding, but can be used to prop up bad ideas that in the end, cannot and do not stand on their own feet but gains nothing from an added layer of unprovable and improbable metaphysical nonsense

Cutting all of that loose is a reasonable and desirable. Theologians are still trying to make God as a concept square with the Universe as we find it, without success. Adding something like supernaturalsim to the mix has not helped. This is what we call, a clue.

Metaphysical naturalism simply admits the truth, that all of this metaphysical woo leads to an intellectual dead end.

I have given my reasons for cutting loose these metaphysical teapots and will let my criticism stand as they are, rather then go around and around ad nauseum.

Metaphysicians cannot demonstrate that the supernatural exists. Much less demonstrate the real nature of this hypothetical supernatural, its attributes, limits or abilities. The idea is barren, intellectually useless, and in the end, a waste of time.

The proper response to it is to say, "Call us when you have some firm evidence to offer us".
Cheerful Charlie

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Post by subsymbolic » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:41 pm

I think this debate has gone as far as it is going to go. It is getting repetitious.
What debate?
Metaphysical naturalism is all we need.


That's a fine assertion, but you have given sod all evidence for it.
Metaphysical teapots do not add to our understanding,
Metaphysics is what you do before you start experimenting and it has to be neutral or you are just fooling yourself - working out what is a teapot and what isn't. You, like the very people you are bitching about are just lazily trying to ensure that the playing field isn't level. This isn't anti religion, it's anti science.
but can be used to prop up bad ideas that in the end, cannot and do not stand on their own feet but gains nothing from an added layer of unprovable and improbable metaphysical nonsense
It's always easy to say something is nonsense, but proving it is another matter.
Cutting all of that loose is a reasonable and desirable. Theologians are still trying to make God as a concept square with the Universe as we find it, without success. Adding something like supernaturalsim to the mix has not helped. This is what we call, a clue.
I'm still waiting for a satisfactory definition of supernaturalism. At least some people are trying. You are not.
Metaphysical naturalism simply admits the truth, that all of this metaphysical woo leads to an intellectual dead end.
So you say, but I'd say a complete lack of critical thinking is a damned sight worse.
I have given my reasons for cutting loose these metaphysical teapots and will let my criticism stand as they are, rather then go around and around ad nauseum.
As far as I can see your reasons are that you live in Texas and don't like Christians.
Metaphysicians cannot demonstrate that the supernatural exists.
Metaphysics isn't about demonstrating anything. Do you actually know what the word even means?
Much less demonstrate the real nature of this hypothetical supernatural, its attributes, limits or abilities. The idea is barren, intellectually useless, and in the end, a waste of time.
Metaphysics, as I explained earlier, is simply the questions you ask before you start. Stuff like what counts as evidence, how do we test a theory and so on.
The proper response to it is to say, "Call us when you have some firm evidence to offer us"
In advance of working out what would stand as evidence, how would you do that?

The battle isn't between science and religion, it's between ignorance and reasoned understanding. You want to cheerlead for science, I suggest you learn some. You want to slag down philosophy or metaphysics, at least work out what it is you are slagging down.

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