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Thread: Supernatural Problems

  1. #1 Supernatural Problems 
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    (I've posted this on another forum, but I want to see what people here think. Also I think I might've gone beyond myself and I'm not sure if I understand anything I've written here, lol)

    Now, how do we define the supernatural?

    I define the supernatural as something which is unknown. In other words, something which is indeed not defined. Before I go any further though I'm going to check out if my definition of the supernatural is fair (and does not commit a strawman fallacy).

    The Oxford English Dictionary defines "supernatural" as:

    ‚ÄĘ adjective 1 attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. 2 exceptionally or extraordinarily great.
    If it's beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature, then it follows that we don't know what it is, because we are of nature. And beyond, or outside the laws of nature is only valid within the physical world.

    You might argue that: "just because it's outside scientific understanding doesn't mean we don't know what it is. Assuming we have a soul, we are connected to the spiritual/supernatural world and therefore can through personal experiences know the supernatural."

    A valid point, but it can be easily rebutted with a question: "If you know what it is, can you describe it for me?" That's not the only point to be made. Considering our brain is susceptible to self-deception and hallucination, personal claims can only be assumed to be a misinterpretation the brain made while analysing something vague and perhaps getting it wrong in a split second, making it appear as something that wasn't there, was there. I remember myself hearing Mozart once when going to sleep, only to discover that what I was really hearing was the fan.

    So personal experiences are of the nature of vague yet common and can be explained as misinterpretations made by the brain.

    To make another point, if a personal experience is true, then the supernatural contradicts itself by definition since it has been observed (I will consider feelings, etc as "observations" as well). If this is true, then another definition of the supernatural needs to be be made, or the old definition needs to be clarified. If the supernatural is beyond nature, but can still interact with the physical world, we need to redefine the supernatural.

    So, we can conclude that the supernatural is an unknown which is defined negatively as: something which is not physical and does not operate under natural laws.

    With this I'll demonstrate a major flaw in the concept of the supernatural. A negative definition can be useful to describe things like blindness, being the absence of sight. But a negative definition is useless when describing the supernatural. What is the supernatural? Is it not anything? Well, then it's nothing. It still could be something though? Something outside the physical world? But if that's true, the possibilities could be endless, it could be anything therefore rendering the negative definition useless. It can be compared to saying that 1+1 = not 435.

    With this we can further conclude that the supernatural by deifnition lacks consistency, and most of all, logical soundness. The reason it's inconsistent is because the supernatural is an unknown, but it can't be assumed to be unknowable since we can't know that it is. If you consider the supernatural to be an a priori, it will contradict itself by definition.

    As a little side-topic, let's bring God into this. The most consistent definition of God is "the cause of all causes." But this only reveals a stolen concept fallacy, and thus contradicts itself. If God is the "cause of all causes", he doesn't necessarily need to be conscious. He, or it, might as well be a particle of some kind. But anyhow, if God doesn't have a cause you'll need to explain why/how that is in a logically sound way. But as already mentioned, saying God is the cause of all causes reveals a stolen concept fallacy.

    These things are the reasons why I'm an atheist. I'm looking for scrutiny, so please try and prove me wrong


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    Everything we perceive is a brain 'illusion' and that includes science as well as the supernatural.

    Thus seeing the result of an experiment is possibly no more real, than seeing a pink elephant fly past the window. If it seems REAL to you, then it is REAL to you, in the manner by which we ourselves define REAL.

    We tend now to differentiate between hallucination and reality by considering what the majority can see compared to the individual, but the fact is, if you were alone on a desert island and were having very 'real' hallucinations, you would not know them as such and that would be YOUR reality.

    It is thus the shared consensus as to what is happening that allows to define what IS NOT happening for others, and thus is in their 'mind'.

    BUT consider this:

    Consider that those of us who share a reality are really just telepathically linked and hence sharing the same hallucination. Those not linked have their own.

    We can give these not linked pills in-order to get them linked (anti psychotic drugs).

    It's all brain chemistry, we don't know for sure what is real and what is not, we just live in the shared moment as that is all we can really do.

    As for the supernatural, I have a lot of experience of things that go bump in the night, and they have been real for me and everyone present at the time. Brain chemistry doing something a bit more interesting than usual, that is all.

    With regards to GOD: He/She/They interfere with us on many levels. Consider God not as a supernatural being but as a parent. A creature that can be born, live and die, a step above us in evolution.

    If not as a parent then as part of us, perhaps we are a small part of a greater whole.

    Neither of these suggestions is impossible or supernatural.


    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
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  4. #3  
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    see edits at bottom re God.
    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    Everything we perceive is a brain 'illusion' and that includes science as well as the supernatural.
    Science often assumes that what we believe to be true is false. The method of falsification seems to step around the problem of confirmation bias.

    But I would argue that it isn't a brain illusion, but more of a brain interpretation. Everything we percieve is an interpretation the brain makes of reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    Thus seeing the result of an experiment is possibly no more real, than seeing a pink elephant fly past the window. If it seems REAL to you, then it is REAL to you, in the manner by which we ourselves define REAL.
    Real is defined as being the actuality of things. If everything was a simluation, an illusion rather than the actuality of things, the complexity and processing power of the given system which runs the simulation would approach near infinity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    We tend now to differentiate between hallucination and reality by considering what the majority can see compared to the individual, but the fact is, if you were alone on a desert island and were having very 'real' hallucinations, you would not know them as such and that would be YOUR reality.

    It is thus the shared consensus as to what is happening that allows to define what IS NOT happening for others, and thus is in their 'mind'.
    I would have to disagree considering the principle of parsimony.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    BUT consider this:

    Consider that those of us who share a reality are really just telepathically linked and hence sharing the same hallucination. Those not linked have their own.

    We can give these not linked pills in-order to get them linked (anti psychotic drugs).

    It's all brain chemistry, we don't know for sure what is real and what is not, we just live in the shared moment as that is all we can really do.
    An interesting idea, but one that I would find highely unlikely. We have to consider evolution. If we were made unable to differentiate what's real and what's not, we would probably not survive. Are other organisms etc just a part of the illusion, or do they share the same illusion. Either way, things start to seem more and more improbable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    As for the supernatural, I have a lot of experience of things that go bump in the night, and they have been real for me and everyone present at the time. Brain chemistry doing something a bit more interesting than usual, that is all.
    So I presume you agree with me in saying: "The brain misinterpreted"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Theoryofrelativity
    With regards to GOD: He/She/They interfere with us on many levels. Consider God not as a supernatural being but as a parent. A creature that can be born, live and die, a step above us in evolution.

    If not as a parent then as part of us, perhaps we are a small part of a greater whole.

    Neither of these suggestions is impossible or supernatural.
    Perhaps not, but improbable, yes. Surely all organisms are connected through evolution, but I wouldn't say we make up an entity all in all. You may call the connection "God", but considering this is an entity of its own, asking the question "what is this God?" becomes quite tricky. The simple answer from my side would be that "God" is the name given to the fact that through evolution we're all connected. It's a word comparable with terms like: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, Subspecies.

    But considering God is a part of the physical world, things become very confusing. Is he then physical? If so, does he have a cause? Can we observe him with certain instruments? etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Real is defined as being the actuality of things. If everything was a simluation, an illusion rather than the actuality of things, the complexity and processing power of the given system which runs the simulation would approach near infinity.
    The brain has sufficient capacity for our lifetime, but then we die, so there is no need for infinity. The simulation runs for our lifetime.

    When I die, this world dies.........how will I know otherwise? How will you prove the world exists after me? You can not.

    Everyone who has died up until now could have been part of my simulation only, thus no reason to presume they exist at all if not for my existance.

    We could all be living our own simulation.

    This is not my belief you understand, just a thought.
    'Time is the space between birth and death' by me.
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    So is there no flaw in my reasoning?
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    If it's beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature, then it follows that we don't know what it is, because we are of nature. And beyond, or outside the laws of nature is only valid within the physical world.

    You might argue that: "just because it's outside scientific understanding doesn't mean we don't know what it is.
    There is a field of science that does deal with the supernatural and has verified things and come up with evidence. I remember watching a TV show, this woman who did not know she was psychic and she would have apparitions of seeing spirits. One day she was seeing a spirit who was a army man, he looked sad and she grew fearful of the sight. Well she wanted to get help. She thought she was crazy. She went to doctors, to make a long story short, they could not help her. She called up these scientists who worked in the area of the paranormal. As she was seeing the spirit, they would put a detector thing near her and it would go ringing like crazy, but anyone else it went near, it did nothing. She told them what she saw, and the name of the man.

    They in turn went to invistegate what she saw. Army man, they looked up his name, near the area she lived. And they found the man. Well what they decided to do was take pictures of all kinds of men, including the picture of the guy she was seeing as a spirit, they omited the names from all the pictures, then showed her only the pictures and asked her what man she saw. All the while they knew the name that matched the face. But they wanted to see if she knew with her mind. Well she did know, she saw the mans face and called out his name saying ďthatís the manĒ(I forget his name myself) and they said, she was right, the name of the man and his face matched what she saw in her apparition. Then once they showed her this, she concluded she was not crazy after all.

    Now, either this show was a big lie that was planed(which the show is not based on, nor claims, it was a non fiction show), or this show was true and is very compelling evidence for the supernatural.

    Assuming we have a soul, we are connected to the spiritual/supernatural world and therefore can through personal experiences know the supernatural."
    Yes, I assume this too.

    A valid point, but it can be easily rebutted with a question: "If you know what it is, can you describe it for me?"
    How does that question rebut the supernatural? I will answer the question for you. The supernatural is that which is not natural to our normal senses. However TO an angel, the supernatural is not supernatural, itís natural. Why? Because they are use to it, to them itís normal. To us itís out of the norm, so we call it supernatural. TO God creating the universe in 6 days is natural and normal, but TO us, it would be supernatural. TO God raising the dead is natural, and normal, but for us seeing such a thing would be supernatural, out of the norm. The phsycic example I gave above would be supernatural and out of the norm, but for the woman who constantly had these experiences and thought she was crazy and feared them, well to her it was normal.

    So a better way to explain the supernatural is to say there is a spirit world. Within that spirit world there is spirits, ghosts if it were, angels, demons, human spirits, GOD who IS THEE Spirit of spirits. There is heaven a place, hell another place. And different things that happen within the spirit world. Such as flying, seeing in the back of your head, able to think of a place and BANG you appear there. Say something like the word ďtableĒ and it appear right in front of you. These are things that happen in the spirit world. I have not had those experiences, but they are claims from others. However this is a very valid and real world I believe, and is backed up with evidence and many claims and experiences. Plus the many out of body experiences and near death experiences all validate it as well.

    I remember watching the national geographic channel WHO does believe in evolution by the way. They talked about the near death experiences. One such example was this old man who came in to the hospital and saw the doctor there in a blur because he was almost dead. Well the doctor put him asleep and did surgery on him. As the old man was brought into the surgery room, he was completely out. Plus a board blocked his head from seeing the doctors working on him, plus he was out, completely asleep. Well the doctor was moving his arms like a penguin as a signal to other doctors to do such and such a thing in the surgery. Well the old man came out of his body, floated up to the sealing and looked down and saw the doctor moving his arms like a penguin. He never saw or knew anything like that before, he thought it was funny and weird. Then he looked through the table and saw the doctors shoes, black shoes. Well the old man decided to remember those two important things. Finally when surgery was over, he came back into his body, and told the doctor these two things he could not have known NATURALLY. The doctor was shocked that he knew these two things, because the old man did not see him moving his arms like a penguin, he could not have seen it, and he did not see it. And nor did he know he had black shoes on. There was no way of knowing this. The old man did not see with his natural bodily eyes, he saw it with his spirit eyes when he came out of his body(the supernatural). Well national geographic wanted to get a naturalists explanation to account for it, so this sceptic doctor who did not believe in this stuff said this ďI do not know how this man could have known these two things, however we not knowing at this time does not mean the spirit world is real, it just means we are still seeking the answers and developing our technology to study thisĒ. Basically he could not account for it. He did not have a valid counter argument against it, all he had was ďI donít knowĒ in basic terms.

    That's not the only point to be made. Considering our brain is susceptible to self-deception and hallucination,

    Oh wait, you went too far there. Yes I agree the brain is susceptible to self deception, granted, but I do not believe it is susceptible to hallucinations at all. Who says there hallucinations? That is just a word man has put on something they do not believe is really there. But how do they know itís not really there? To the one who sees a ghost or a spirit or whatever, to them at the time, it looks like itís really there. Now when someone else tells them, or when they tell themselves there just seeing things, or there crazy, thatís just denying what was really there. People do that with the physical world too, not many do, but some do. Some say the physical world is not really here. Obviously thatís not true, we are here, so if thatís true, why would seeing things in the spirit world be untrue? If the spirit world is a hallucination, why would the physical world not be as well? That would be consistent. Someone sees a ghost and they say ďI seen a ghost, it looked real, but I donít believe it was realĒ. Like come on, thatís like looking at your computer and saying ďI see my computer, but I donít believe itís there, itís an obticle delusionĒ. Thatís just insane. People who see things are not crazy, there only crazy when they deny those things are real which they really see. They got it backwards.

    You got stupid psychiatrists today who say to you that your not normal, that your crazy, that your insane and need to be medicated if you see things other people donít see. BOLONEY! Those folks are not crazy, there only crazy when they obey the psychiatrists who tell them to deny there experiences and say there not truly there.

    Iíll show you the absurdity of some psychiatrists. One time I went to the insane ward at the hospital because of my pure passion for my faith in Christianity at the age of 15. Well I was not forced to go in because I was not doing anything insane. Well my mother just did not like me being all passionate about my faith. Well too bad for her, I was going to remain passionate about it weather she or anyone else liked it or not. It was my choice and that was that. Well she KNEW and I KNEW she could not put me in no insane ward because I was not doing nothing wrong or harmful. Well she kept pressing me over and over to go into that stupid place. Well she nagged me to death to the point I did so. I willingly sighed myself in just to prove a point to her that I was not nuts, I was just passionate. Well as I was in there I had to talk to this guy, this psychiatrist man. He happen to be a Muslim. Well he asked me why I was in there, and what I believed, and what my experiences were. I cant remember the ins and outs of the conversation, it was such a long time ago. But basically I was asking him what his believes were and he told me as well, that he was a Muslim. Well I asked him if he believed in Mohamad. He said yes. I said well you would have to believe Mohamad was crazy then, would you not? Since he had angels appear to him and had a spirit come into his body, he even claimed it himself. So to be consistent you would have to call him crazy, but then again, you are afraid of doing that since you believe him. Why are people in your ward here crazy, while he himself is not crazy? That is hypocritical to the cor! So either he and all the people here are crazy, or he is sane and so is all here. Itís one or the other.Ē Well thatís when the conversation ended. He said ďwell I will call for you at another time or send someone to check up and further things along. We will do some tests and try you on some medicationĒ well I was there for 2 weeks, and I could endure no more of such nonsense, yet they call it professional! I never saw such stupidity in all my life as when I was there. Such hypocrisy was sickening to me. Well no medication stopped my passion which my mom was hoping for. What stupid ignorance was that. Well I could have stayed longer and she wanted me to, but I had enough. I signed myself out and I had full authority to do so because I was clearly not crazy, I was only passionate. Well I came out and then told her the medication did not change my faith or my degree of passion for my faith. So I told her I was clearly not crazy, I proved it to her. Then I asked her if she would be willing to go in and see if she was the one who was crazy now. Of course she was not willing to do so. Anyhow that was the end of that story. I never was doing anything harmful to her or myself from the start or even after I came out of there. The problem was, she just did not like ďher sonĒ turning into a religious fanatic. Well to bad for her, he became one and loves every moment of it. Anyhow, I love my mom, we still talk, itís pleasant, she has finally excepted the reality of my passion I have for my faith.

    Anyhow, the reason I bring up this story is too show the absurdity of some of these so called professional stupid, ignorant, inconsistent, hypocritical psychiatrist who donít have a blazing CLUE of what there talking about or what there doing! They walk around with there nice suit and tie looking all intelligent and professional, but there very stupid men, at least in the case I HAD assigned to me. Im not saying all psychiatrist are stupid or like the guy I was talking to. But boy that guy took the cake.

    In short, there is no such thing as hallucinations. There is only such things as deception and truth. Nothing more, nothing less.

    personal claims can only be assumed to be a misinterpretation the brain made while analysing something vague and perhaps getting it wrong in a split second, making it appear as something that wasn't there, was there. I remember myself hearing Mozart once when going to sleep, only to discover that what I was really hearing was the fan.
    When someone sees something from the spirit world, how do you know it was a misinterpretation of the brain? In other words your saying there not really seeing what there seeing. That makes no sense. Again thatís like saying I donít see the computer in front of me, even though I do see it. What are you saying? This makes no sense, non.

    Also by saying when people see things from the spirit world, itís vague. This is ignorance when you say this. Thatís not true at all. Not one bit. Many people see spirits from the spirit world as clear as I see the computer in front of me. Itís not a vague way they see it. When someone sees a elephant in a cloud up in the sky, or someone else sees a fox in the cloud; Thatís subjective, thatís vague. I know people personally who have seen actual spirits appear to them and it was not one bit vague. They appeared to them as if they were actually real people. I remember a lady, she said Jesus appeared to her and even TALKED TO HER as he appeared. A man my moms ex boy friend said he saw a lady ghost appear to him in his bedroom, clearly, not vaguely.

    So personal experiences are of the nature of vague yet common and can be explained as misinterpretations made by the brain
    No they canít. How do you know there misinterpretations of the brain? How do you know that? You donít know that. Thatís your interpretation. You have no clue of that. Back that up please. Plus there not vague apparitions. Same with the out of body experiences, there not vague, there real to the person and many of them have even been verified when the person went back to there body.


    To make another point, if a personal experience is true, then the supernatural contradicts itself by definition since it has been observed (I will consider feelings, etc as "observations" as well).
    If the spirit world is true and we have experiences from that world, that does not contradict that world, it just means that world would be true.

    If this is true, then another definition of the supernatural needs to be be made, or the old definition needs to be clarified. If the supernatural is beyond nature, but can still interact with the physical world, we need to redefine the supernatural.
    Right, the definition would have to be changed or clarified, hence the spirit world being true does not contradict the spirit world. So the definition of the spirit world is that which we experience or witness that is not normal TO us. Or, better yet, just simply define it as the world of spirits, human spirits, ghosts, demons, angels, God, and some of the system ways of the spirit world and places, such as heaven, hell, and the middle parts.

    So, we can conclude that the supernatural is an unknown which is defined negatively as: something which is not physical and does not operate under natural laws.
    No, itís a known to some people, not all people though. Then again the spirit world can channel through to the physical world, hence changing natural law. Example would be the red sea of Moses opening up. Another modern example that just pops into my head is some of my sisters friends telling me they did the quigie board and the demon channeled through the opening and dragged a garbage bag across the room. It freaked them out and they ran out the door. Another example would be a man who did the same things, used the occult, and many similar supernatural things channeled into the physical world, doors opening up, windows opening by themselves, winds blowing in his room when windows are closed, objects moving. Ext. Then he was getting messed up in his head, finally broke down and turned his life over to Jesus.

    With this I'll demonstrate a major flaw in the concept of the supernatural. A negative definition can be useful to describe things like blindness, being the absence of sight. But a negative definition is useless when describing the supernatural. What is the supernatural? Is it not anything? Well, then it's nothing. It still could be something though? Something outside the physical world? But if that's true, the possibilities could be endless, it could be anything therefore rendering the negative definition useless. It can be compared to saying that 1+1 = not 435.
    Yes the supernatural Is the spirit world/world of spirits. And that world is different then the physical world, but both worlds are connected through channels. The channel connection is the soul realm. We are made of spirit, soul and body. The body is in the physical realm, the channel between the spirit realm and the physical is the soul realm.

    With this we can further conclude that the supernatural by deifnition lacks consistency, and most of all, logical soundness. The reason it's inconsistent is because the supernatural is an unknown, but it can't be assumed to be unknowable since we can't know that it is. If you consider the supernatural to be an a priori, it will contradict itself by definition.
    It does not lack consistency or logic. It is known by some. It does not contradict itself. I donít understand how you come to this conclusion.

    As a little side-topic, let's bring God into this. The most consistent definition of God is "the cause of all causes." But this only reveals a stolen concept fallacy, and thus contradicts itself. If God is the "cause of all causes", he doesn't necessarily need to be conscious. He, or it, might as well be a particle of some kind. But anyhow, if God doesn't have a cause you'll need to explain why/how that is in a logically sound way. But as already mentioned, saying God is the cause of all causes reveals a stolen concept fallacy.
    I donít understand what your saying here. Please explain this more. How does saying God is the caus of all causes reveal a stolen concept fallacy and thus contradicts itself. I donít understand?

    Also saying God is a particle or something natural is pantheism. Which is illogical. If God is not conscious, but is all things in the physical, then he has no intelligence, because he has no consciousness, thus there really is NO GOD in that sense. Itís just a play on words. There is no God if he is not conscious. If God is everything physically, then itís the same as saying thereís no God at all, yet they say there is. Thatís weird and inconsistent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Real is defined as being the actuality of things. If everything was a simluation, an illusion rather than the actuality of things, the complexity and processing power of the given system which runs the simulation would approach near infinity.
    Amusing. If I were to design a computer simulation of a whole universe, I would include in it that my characters could perceive their simulation in a way that permitted them to create a mathematical framework that did two things: First, it allowed them to describe to their satisfaction everything they could see of the simulation I had created for them. Second, it would allow them to calculate that the simulation itself was impossible by their standards, thereby deceiving them into believing in their own reality.

    Therefore, your conclusion that the simulation is impossible because it would require near-infinite computing power agrees with the design specification, and is therefore evidence in favour of the simulation.

    Whereas, evidence - should it exist - of the existence of a simulation is indicative of a simulation.

    From these two facts we conclude that it is not possible, by our standards, to conceive of evidence that disproves the existence of the simulation.

    Therefore, by the rule of falsifiability, which states: It must be possible to conceive of evidence that would prove the claim false, we conclude that we are not living in a simulation.

    But, since I also programmed the rule of falsifiability into my simulation this conclusion is simply further confirmation that you are living in my simulation.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obvious
    I define the supernatural as something which is unknown.
    By the given definition, anything at all which is unknown is, by default, supernatural. This includes all as-yet undiscovered things. So the cure for cancer is by definition, supernatural. Suppose, also, that there is some as-yet undiscovered source of power, let's call it widget power. By this definition, despite the fact that no one has even claimed to have discovered it yet, widget power is supernatural, simply because it is unknown. I'm not sure this is what the original poster intended, but it is a consequence of the chosen definition.

    Let's try a different definition. Let's instead define supernatural as: Anything that is claimed to exist, but which science cannot explain.

    By this definition, things which are undiscovered have no status because no one has claimed they exist.

    By this definition, the cure for cancer is no longer supernatural, because science denies any such universal cure. There might, one day, be cures for specific cancers but no universal cure for cancer.

    Also, by this definition, Widget power has no status until a claim is made that it has been discovered. Initially, before the claim has been examined, Widget power still has no status, it is neither science nor supernatural. Only after science examines the claim and concludes that there is no explanation can Widget power be considered supernatural.

    The requirement that science cannot provide an explanation also covers those claims where the claimant either can not or will not provide sufficient evidence for appropriate testing. Claims which are untested have no status, it is only after science has failed to provide an explanation that we can attach the label, supernatural.

    If this definition excludes your favourite supernatural phenomenon, please provide some testable evidence of its existence.
    Everything the laws of the universe do not prohibit must finally happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Amusing. If I were to design a computer simulation of a whole universe, I would include in it that my characters could perceive their simulation in a way that permitted them to create a mathematical framework that did two things: First, it allowed them to describe to their satisfaction everything they could see of the simulation I had created for them. Second, it would allow them to calculate that the simulation itself was impossible by their standards, thereby deceiving them into believing in their own reality.
    Amusing indeed. Sounds even more complex and improbable. Perception in itself is quite complex. And there are billions of lifeforms on our planet alone. We should also take into consideration the history of this reality.

    No, I think your premise is too simple to lead to a reasonable conclusion. But that is merely my opinion I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Therefore, your conclusion that the simulation is impossible because it would require near-infinite computing power agrees with the design specification, and is therefore evidence in favour of the simulation.
    This sounds like the creationists design argument. Hardly an argument at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    By the given definition, anything at all which is unknown is, by default, supernatural.
    And here the rest of your post falls apart. Can you spot the fallacy which started the rockslide?

    The supernatural is an unknown phenomenon assumed to be beyond nature. It is not readily defined and can be therefore said to be an unknown due to the lack of definition. I thought I covered this in my post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Sounds even more complex and improbable. ... No, I think your premise is too simple to lead to a reasonable conclusion.
    According to these comments, my premise is simultaneously too complex to be probable but also too simple to be reasonable. This truly does sound as though you are undecided.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Perception in itself is quite complex.
    This is the point of my post. I was trying to make the point that perception is too complex for us to be able to determine that what we call reality is in fact real. We cannot prove that we do not live in a simulation. I am not, incidentally, saying that we do live in a simulation; I am saying that we cannot prove that we do not. Merely assuming that since it would require near-infinite computing power it cannot possibly exist does not refute it out of hand since this assumption only agrees with any reasonable conclusions we might make about the specifications of the simulation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    This sounds like the creationists design argument. Hardly an argument at all.
    Your own argument against the simulation can be summarised as: I personally can't believe that, therefore it isn't happening.

    This is merely an argument from personal incredulity and is therefore also no argument at all. I do you the honour of discussing your view as though you are earnest about it and avoid the simplistic temptation to dismiss your non-argument out of hand, and you dismiss my logical refutation of your non-argument as though I had not spoken. Do you actually want to discuss the topic of your thread or do you just want everyone to agree with you out of hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    And here the rest of your post falls apart. Can you spot the fallacy which started the rockslide?
    To be honest with you I can't spot the fallacy. I am depending on your own definition of supernatural as you wrote it in the opening post in this thread. You said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    I define the supernatural as something which is unknown. In other words, something which is indeed not defined.
    Forgive me if I am wrong, but you did not mention anything at all about a requirement that it should be assumed to be beyond nature; you have only added that requirement after I pointed that doing so improves your definition.

    In your first post you quoted a dictionary definition that included a requirement that the supernatural is beyond nature, but you did not include this in your own definition. I chose to discuss your definition, the one you actually posted. I'm sorry if I was supposed to assume something you did not say.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    The supernatural is an unknown phenomenon assumed to be beyond nature. It is not readily defined and can be therefore said to be an unknown due to the lack of definition. I thought I covered this in my post.
    Whereas I disagree on both points. Most relevantly I think there is a valid definition of the supernatural, which I posted. And, since I think there is a valid definition of the supernatural it is not an unknown due to the lack of definition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    According to these comments, my premise is simultaneously too complex to be probable but also too simple to be reasonable. This truly does sound as though you are undecided.
    Your premise is too simple and the consequence of that is improbability.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    This is the point of my post. I was trying to make the point that perception is too complex for us to be able to determine that what we call reality is in fact real. We cannot prove that we do not live in a simulation. I am not, incidentally, saying that we do live in a simulation; I am saying that we cannot prove that we do not. Merely assuming that since it would require near-infinite computing power it cannot possibly exist does not refute it out of hand since this assumption only agrees with any reasonable conclusions we might make about the specifications of the simulation.
    Yet it seems unlikely. Still, I agree with you here on proof. But what about logical proof? Would you say both options are just as reasonable, or?

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Your own argument against the simulation can be summarised as: I personally can't believe that, therefore it isn't happening.

    This is merely an argument from personal incredulity and is therefore also no argument at all. I do you the honour of discussing your view as though you are earnest about it and avoid the simplistic temptation to dismiss your non-argument out of hand, and you dismiss my logical refutation of your non-argument as though I had not spoken. Do you actually want to discuss the topic of your thread or do you just want everyone to agree with you out of hand?
    It seems you have gotten the wrong impression. My apologies. I merely think that saying "your conclusion that the simulation is impossible because it would require near-infinite computing power agrees with the design specification, and is therefore evidence in favour of the simulation" sounds in my ears an awful lot like "the same way a painting proves there was a painter, the complexity of the universe proves there was a creator". Perhaps I'm thoroughly mistaken?


    Premise: the simulation is coded in a way which makes us think it would be impossible to simulate it.

    I think simulating this reality would be impossible.

    Therefore,

    This proves there is a simulation.


    I find that this lacks soundness due to the fact that it ignores the possibility that we might percieve a simulation to be impossible because this isn't a simulation. Correct me if I'm wrong, but because of this, both premises seems equivalent to eachother. None of them are more reasonable than the other. But what about evidence? Evidence seems consistent to the idea that this reality is too complex to be simulated? Is that enough to make one premise more likely than the other then?

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    To be honest with you I can't spot the fallacy. I am depending on your own definition of supernatural as you wrote it in the opening post in this thread. You said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    I define the supernatural as something which is unknown. In other words, something which is indeed not defined.
    Forgive me if I am wrong, but you did not mention anything at all about a requirement that it should be assumed to be beyond nature; you have only added that requirement after I pointed that doing so improves your definition.

    In your first post you quoted a dictionary definition that included a requirement that the supernatural is beyond nature, but you did not include this in your own definition. I chose to discuss your definition, the one you actually posted. I'm sorry if I was supposed to assume something you did not say.
    Yes, I'm unclear at times. My fault entirely.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Whereas I disagree on both points. Most relevantly I think there is a valid definition of the supernatural, which I posted. And, since I think there is a valid definition of the supernatural it is not an unknown due to the lack of definition.
    Hmm. Well, the reason I state it as an "unknown" is because it's beyond our world and perception which would deem it "unknowable". But since we can't know if it's unknowable, we must assume it to be and unknown instead.

    Please clarify if there's any flaw to that logic.
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    In your last two posts you have made points that lead me to suspect that you are concerned that I might be either a creationist or trying to convince you that the universe is a simulation created by some higher being. So let me first of all put your mind at rest on this point; I am an atheist. I do not believe in god because I see no credible reason for doing so. My only interest in this thread is discussing with you the logicality or otherwise of your argumentation on the possible existence of the supernatural; I have no hidden agenda and I am not trying to persuade you of anything. The history of internet discussions would seem to indicate that we will ultimately agree to disagree, but for me the pleasure is in the discussion, the flexibility of approach that both sides can muster, in trying to see things from your point of view whilst encouraging you to see them from mine, and to broaden my perspective on life and all its wonders which, for the purposes of this discussion, includes the supernatural.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Yet it seems unlikely. Still, I agree with you here on proof. But what about logical proof?
    You agree with me that we cannot prove that we do not live in a simulation. But, you still think it seems unlikely. Good, because I personally think it unlikely too, but my point is that since we cannot prove the non-existence of a simulation everything else in your argumentation is based purely on your subjective assessment of its likely non-existence. There is nothing wrong with having subjective assessments, as long as we realise that is what we are doing and do not seek to prove that our assessment, or anything else based on that assessment, is true or correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    It seems you have gotten the wrong impression. My apologies.
    I think I have been equally guilty of giving the wrong impression. My apologies, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    ..."the same way a painting proves there was a painter, the complexity of the universe proves there was a creator". Perhaps I'm thoroughly mistaken?
    I think it entirely possible you have argued with creationists so often your radar is now highly attuned to them. But reading back through my posts I am in sympathy with you and think I could have made my points more clearly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Premise: the simulation is coded in a way which makes us think it would be impossible to simulate it ... I think simulating this reality would be impossible ... Therefore, ... This proves there is a simulation. ... I find that this lacks soundness...
    The way you have paraphrased it I agree it does lack soundness. I am not claiming that it proves there is a simulation. I am saying that it indicates that we cannot summarily dismiss the possibility of there being a simulation. It was intended to make the point, converse to your paraphrase, that you have not proven there is not a simulation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    ...it ignores the possibility that we might percieve a simulation to be impossible because this isn't a simulation.
    Strictly speaking I can't see how we can percieve a simulation to be impossible, but I won't mince words with you because I get your point. Let the existence of a simulation be the logical statement P. Then basically you are saying that I have ignored the possibility that P is not true because not-P is true. I am aware that you are not claiming that not-P is true. You are saying I have omitted to consider this possibility.

    Your argument against P was: I can't believe it, therefore it isn't true. When I don't see how the actual truth or otherwise of P changes my contention that your assessment is simply an argument from personal incredulity.

    Think of it like this: Suppose P is true. Does your belief in P affect its truth value? No, obviously. Now suppose P is not true. Does your belief in P affect its truth value? No, obviously. So the truth of P is not affected by your personal incredulity. Further, if we knew the truth value of P personal incredulity would not be an issue, so your personal incredulity is not affected by the actual truth value of P. So, since the truth value of P neither influences nor is influenced by your personal incredulity I do not have to consider whether P is true or not in order to show that personal incredulity is not proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Well, the reason I state it as an "unknown" is because it's beyond our world and perception...
    Some people claim to be able to perceive the supernatural, they claim to see ghosts or talk to spirits or perform miracle surgery or read unopened packs of playing cards. So to answer your specific question, I don't see any flaw in your logic, but as long as all you have is your subjective assessment that the supernatural does not exist it isn't really honest to state that it is unknown simply because it is beyond your personal experience, perception and credulity; all we have here are opposing opinions and it isn't obvious that logic has an awful lot to do with it.

    It is slightly disappointing that you have not yet commented on my revision of your definition of supernatural.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Let's instead define supernatural as: Anything that is claimed to exist, but which science cannot explain.
    When someone claims to have a supernatural experience or ability, our tendency is to subject their claim to tests of the scientific double-blind kind and, generally, conclude they are mistaken. Yet there are things we already know of which science cannot explain; love, for example. If I told you I love my girlfriend would you subject me to a double-blind test? No, of course not. But my failure to have passed such a test is not taken as any kind of evidence that love does not exist. We are happy to accept that there are things which science cannot explain and yet we still have this apparently perverse insistence on requiring them to pass scientific tests. Is it not even possible that science cannot explain ghosts in the same way that science cannot explain love, and that the failure of science to explain the supernatural is not really evidence for its non-existence?
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    In your last two posts you have made points that lead me to suspect that you are concerned that I might be either a creationist or trying to convince you that the universe is a simulation created by some higher being. So let me first of all put your mind at rest on this point; I am an atheist. I do not believe in god because I see no credible reason for doing so. My only interest in this thread is discussing with you the logicality or otherwise of your argumentation on the possible existence of the supernatural; I have no hidden agenda and I am not trying to persuade you of anything. The history of internet discussions would seem to indicate that we will ultimately agree to disagree, but for me the pleasure is in the discussion, the flexibility of approach that both sides can muster, in trying to see things from your point of view whilst encouraging you to see them from mine, and to broaden my perspective on life and all its wonders which, for the purposes of this discussion, includes the supernatural.
    I knew you were an atheist. :wink: My argumentative style is rather... direct I guess. I dunno.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    You agree with me that we cannot prove that we do not live in a simulation. But, you still think it seems unlikely. Good, because I personally think it unlikely too, but my point is that since we cannot prove the non-existence of a simulation everything else in your argumentation is based purely on your subjective assessment of its likely non-existence. There is nothing wrong with having subjective assessments, as long as we realise that is what we are doing and do not seek to prove that our assessment, or anything else based on that assessment, is true or correct.
    I try to base all my conclusions on objective reasoning. In order to make an objective assessment of something one must look at the evidence and logic. However, the problem with the current subject is evidence, and if we can trust that it is indeed evidence. I'm certain there's an answer if we dig deep enough, but that's merely my intuition speaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    I think it entirely possible you have argued with creationists so often your radar is now highly attuned to them. But reading back through my posts I am in sympathy with you and think I could have made my points more clearly.

    ............

    The way you have paraphrased it I agree it does lack soundness. I am not claiming that it proves there is a simulation. I am saying that it indicates that we cannot summarily dismiss the possibility of there being a simulation. It was intended to make the point, converse to your paraphrase, that you have not proven there is not a simulation.
    I see.

    I'm not so much trying to prove there isn't an simulation as much as I'm trying to determine the likelyhood of it. My problem is that I'm not a math genius and thus can't simply make a calculation. Therefore I must appeal to reasoning alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Your argument against P was: I can't believe it, therefore it isn't true. When I don't see how the actual truth or otherwise of P changes my contention that your assessment is simply an argument from personal incredulity.

    Think of it like this: Suppose P is true. Does your belief in P affect its truth value? No, obviously. Now suppose P is not true. Does your belief in P affect its truth value? No, obviously. So the truth of P is not affected by your personal incredulity. Further, if we knew the truth value of P personal incredulity would not be an issue, so your personal incredulity is not affected by the actual truth value of P. So, since the truth value of P neither influences nor is influenced by your personal incredulity I do not have to consider whether P is true or not in order to show that personal incredulity is not proof.
    Agreed.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Some people claim to be able to perceive the supernatural, they claim to see ghosts or talk to spirits or perform miracle surgery or read unopened packs of playing cards. So to answer your specific question, I don't see any flaw in your logic, but as long as all you have is your subjective assessment that the supernatural does not exist it isn't really honest to state that it is unknown simply because it is beyond your personal experience, perception and credulity; all we have here are opposing opinions and it isn't obvious that logic has an awful lot to do with it.

    It is slightly disappointing that you have not yet commented on my revision of your definition of supernatural.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Let's instead define supernatural as: Anything that is claimed to exist, but which science cannot explain.
    When someone claims to have a supernatural experience or ability, our tendency is to subject their claim to tests of the scientific double-blind kind and, generally, conclude they are mistaken. Yet there are things we already know of which science cannot explain; love, for example. If I told you I love my girlfriend would you subject me to a double-blind test? No, of course not. But my failure to have passed such a test is not taken as any kind of evidence that love does not exist. We are happy to accept that there are things which science cannot explain and yet we still have this apparently perverse insistence on requiring them to pass scientific tests. Is it not even possible that science cannot explain ghosts in the same way that science cannot explain love, and that the failure of science to explain the supernatural is not really evidence for its non-existence?
    Quite to the contrary, I think we know a lot about love:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wiki
    Studies in neuroscience have involved chemicals that are present in the brain and might be involved when people experience love. These chemicals include: nerve growth factor[9], testosterone, estrogen, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, and vasopressin.[10] Adequate brain levels of testosterone seem important for both human male and female sexual behavior.[11] Dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin are more commonly found during the attraction phase of a relationship.[citation needed] Oxytocin, and vasopressin seemed to be more closely linked to long term bonding and relationships characterized by strong attachments.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_(scientific_views)
    You might not be satisfied with the answer, but that would be by personal incredulity alone. I find that the explanation for love is consistent with evolutionary theory. Even if that may seem cold.

    I would still argue that calling the supernatural an "unknown" has a logical basis where the supernatural can't be defined properly, neither by theologians nor people with personal experience with the supernatural. They merely change the name to "spirit", "force" and other equally vague terms trying to avoid the dilemma at hand.

    This is probably as far as this subject goes though. I would happily continue our discourse on the supposed simulated reality and its likelyhood.

    Sorry for the late reply, by the way...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Quite to the contrary, I think we know a lot about love:
    Okay, so we know a lot about what happens to the chemistry of someone who claims to be in love and, since you base your conclusions on objective reasoning you have obviously at some point in your life taken a chemical test to tell you whether you are in love or not?

    No, I thought not. When we can do that we can claim to know about love, until then it is no more objective than smoke and mirrors, but very real nonetheless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    I would happily continue our discourse on the supposed simulated reality and its likelyhood.
    I am not sufficiently mathematical to be able to calculate the probability that the supernatural exists. However, I did find a paper by a Professor Nick Bostrom. He is (or at least was) a professor of philosophy and the Director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. He was speculating about the possibility that we are living in a simulated reality and he arrived at some rather interesting conclusions.

    You may recall that your original incredulity was inspired by the assumption that our technology is not up to it? Nick Bostrom's thinking went a little further. He supposed that some future civilisation might have appropriate technology to create simulations of their history - he called them Ancestor Simulations. The idea then is that we might be living in the ancestor simulation of some future civilisation. This means that what we might consider a technological limitation is seen by them as mere childs play.

    He presents a philosophical argument for why they might want to do that, and some brief mathematical justification for the belief that they might have the ability to do that and arrives at a postulate:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Bostrom
    Posthuman civilizations would have enough computing power to run hugely many ancestor-simulations even while using only a tiny fraction of their resources for that purpose.
    I found his definition of Posthuman Civilisation a bit woolly. It was essentially, they are civilisations that can do what I want them to do, in which case he could have chosen some other name, but, he didn't.

    He then uses some rather basic probability maths to show that one of the following three possibilities must be true:

    • The fraction of all human-level technological civilisations that survive to reach a posthuman stage is approximately equal to zero.
    • The fraction of posthuman civilisations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations (or that contain at least some individuals who are interested in that and have sufficient resources to run a significant number of such simulations) is approximately equal to zero.
    • The fraction of all observers with human-type experiences that live in simulations is approximately equal to 1


    If the first of these is true, that means that humanity will not reach posthuman civilisation status and therefore we are not living in a simulation because there is no one to create it.

    If the second is true, virtually no posthuman civilizations decide to use their resources to run large numbers of ancestor-simulations, in which case we are almost certainly not in a simulation.

    If the third alternative is true we have two intriguing consequences.

    • If we are living in a simulation, then the cosmos that we are observing is just a tiny piece of the totality of physical existence. The physics in the universe where the computer that is running the simulation is situated may or may not resemble the physics of the world that we observe. While the world we see is in some sense ďrealĒ, it is not located at the fundamental level of reality.
    • If you believe that future civilisations will be capable of and interested in running ancestor simulations, then you must also believe that we are living in one!


    One interesting consequence of this is clearly that the posthumans running the simulation would be equivalent to Gods in the eyes of the humans in the simulation, so, if you believe that future civilisations will be capable of and interested in running ancestor simulations you also have an explantion for God.

    Clearly this whole idea did not meet with universal acclamation and he has not been feted as the new messiah or swept the board of all the philosophy prizes for his paper. There were newspaper articles (both for and against) and some more scholarly articles and papers quibbling about bits of it. Then Professor Bostrom rebutted the rebuttals and so on. I found a website that collected some very readable materials together, which you can find here.

    I'm still working my way through them, and whilst I am not convinced I believe in the possibility it is interesting stuff, nonetheless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Sorry for the late reply, by the way...
    That's okay, the forum will still be here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    Okay, so we know a lot about what happens to the chemistry of someone who claims to be in love and, since you base your conclusions on objective reasoning you have obviously at some point in your life taken a chemical test to tell you whether you are in love or not?

    No, I thought not. When we can do that we can claim to know about love, until then it is no more objective than smoke and mirrors, but very real nonetheless.
    This makes no sense to me. We are evolved creatures and obviously know the feeling of love when it emerges. But no matter how we percieve it, it's nothing more than chemical reactions sending signals thus making you feel love.

    I see nothing wrong in that reasoning.

    Quote Originally Posted by numbers
    I am not sufficiently mathematical to be able to calculate the probability that the supernatural exists. However, I did find a paper by a Professor Nick Bostrom. He is (or at least was) a professor of philosophy and the Director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. He was speculating about the possibility that we are living in a simulated reality and he arrived at some rather interesting conclusions.

    You may recall that your original incredulity was inspired by the assumption that our technology is not up to it? Nick Bostrom's thinking went a little further. He supposed that some future civilisation might have appropriate technology to create simulations of their history - he called them Ancestor Simulations. The idea then is that we might be living in the ancestor simulation of some future civilisation. This means that what we might consider a technological limitation is seen by them as mere childs play.

    He presents a philosophical argument for why they might want to do that, and some brief mathematical justification for the belief that they might have the ability to do that and arrives at a postulate:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Bostrom
    Posthuman civilizations would have enough computing power to run hugely many ancestor-simulations even while using only a tiny fraction of their resources for that purpose.
    I found his definition of Posthuman Civilisation a bit woolly. It was essentially, they are civilisations that can do what I want them to do, in which case he could have chosen some other name, but, he didn't.

    He then uses some rather basic probability maths to show that one of the following three possibilities must be true:

    • The fraction of all human-level technological civilisations that survive to reach a posthuman stage is approximately equal to zero.
    • The fraction of posthuman civilisations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations (or that contain at least some individuals who are interested in that and have sufficient resources to run a significant number of such simulations) is approximately equal to zero.
    • The fraction of all observers with human-type experiences that live in simulations is approximately equal to 1


    If the first of these is true, that means that humanity will not reach posthuman civilisation status and therefore we are not living in a simulation because there is no one to create it.

    If the second is true, virtually no posthuman civilizations decide to use their resources to run large numbers of ancestor-simulations, in which case we are almost certainly not in a simulation.

    If the third alternative is true we have two intriguing consequences.

    • If we are living in a simulation, then the cosmos that we are observing is just a tiny piece of the totality of physical existence. The physics in the universe where the computer that is running the simulation is situated may or may not resemble the physics of the world that we observe. While the world we see is in some sense “real”, it is not located at the fundamental level of reality.
    • If you believe that future civilisations will be capable of and interested in running ancestor simulations, then you must also believe that we are living in one!


    One interesting consequence of this is clearly that the posthumans running the simulation would be equivalent to Gods in the eyes of the humans in the simulation, so, if you believe that future civilisations will be capable of and interested in running ancestor simulations you also have an explantion for God.

    Clearly this whole idea did not meet with universal acclamation and he has not been feted as the new messiah or swept the board of all the philosophy prizes for his paper. There were newspaper articles (both for and against) and some more scholarly articles and papers quibbling about bits of it. Then Professor Bostrom rebutted the rebuttals and so on. I found a website that collected some very readable materials together, which you can find here.

    I'm still working my way through them, and whilst I am not convinced I believe in the possibility it is interesting stuff, nonetheless.
    As interesting as it may be, I still find it quite unlikey. I find that Occam's Razor makes things easier in that one doesn't need to multiply entities beyond neccessity. You can't prove that this is a simulation and that makes it a waste of time to even think about it, in my opinion anyway.

    Anything claimed to be unprovable yet also claimed to exist is, in my mind, inconsistent and wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    You can't prove that this is a simulation and that makes it a waste of time to even think about it, in my opinion anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Anything claimed to be unprovable yet also claimed to exist is, in my mind, inconsistent and wrong.
    Good job contradicting yourself, Obviously.

    Well, not really though. Paradoxially, both statements are true. It's just that in a simulation, if we assume we are restricted to only knowing things within the simulation, we can't prove that we are being simulated. However, the fact that we can speculate and imagine that this is a simulation should be proof enough that there is no restriction, yes? Yes, but what if the simulation doesn't restrict our ability to imagine this being a simualtion, but still restricts us from proving that it is? Now it's clear that we can think in this manner, but that doesn't refute the possibility that we might be restricted from proving this is a simulation. So in this sense the contradiction seems vapid.; the thing that hinders it from becoming a contradiction being power (in this case the power of the simulation to restrict us).

    Anyhow, why should it matter if this is a simulation? Considering it's complexity, why should we assume the logical laws here are different outside the simulation? And what stops the infinite regression of simulations upon simulations? Causality still applies, obviously.

    No, it seems clear that Ockham's Razor is the correct principle to apply here in order to avoid infinite regressions.
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    People are very good at seeing patterns. It is also the case that we are better off reacting to those patters than not, because we do not easily discriminate between what is a real perception and what is illusion. If we think we see a tiger in the bushes it is more advantageous to react to the patter illusion of the tiger we see than it is to ignore the perception or try and analyze whether or not it is real. see link

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...ngful-patterns
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    It may be that we will prove we are simulations. Supernatural things are not necessarily things that are unknown. ghosts for instance are a phenomenon that is not currently accepted scientifically to the majority of scientists. some scientists try and gather evidence but because the majority of scientists don't agree with the findings they encounter the giggle factor and ridicule. But everyone knows what a ghost is. So it is not something that is unknown. there are many thousands of reports of being touched or pushed. Evidence has been filmed or objects moving by themselves. A skeptic will give explanations for the pushing events as being some kind of mind trick and as for the objects that move by themselves as being tricks using strings. But of course they do not go out and try and seek evidence for themselves. Skeptics explain things they have not experienced. Scientists use science to explain observed phenomenon, but universities don't pay you for ghost hunting. Most scientist specialize in the field the enjoy (ideally) and get jobs doing it. I don't think there are degree being offered in paranormal research. Some may do so in there spare time if they want to damage their reputations. I think you can be skeptical to a fault. If the evidence is an object like a picture frame moving by itself the skeptic claims it is a trick. Why? there is no evidence that it is a trick, just his opinion based on facts about reality he knows. But science is not done with it's investigation of reality. There are many things that "science" does not know. Things that are observed that have no known cause are paranormal. I've utilized Remote Viewing to gain knowledge about random numbers from the future. It works, but I don't know how. How much did it work? I would get two numbers out of a set of three numbers. Each number of the three digit sequence had possible the numbers 0-9. I would get two out of three numbers right which is 1:100. Out of maybe thirty trials. I'm terrible at math and do not know the statistical odds of doing that but it seemed above chance to me. I also drew picture of a target I had no knowledge about. Big blue cylinder on a floating thing. The target was a spent nuclear reactor that was floating on a barge down our river. I could have drawn a bird, or a tree, or a computer but not a big blue tarp wrapped reactor. there was a report made by AIR that stated that remote viewing was not effective and basically stated that none of the evidence showed any support for PSI functioning. they stated they had reviewed all of the data produced my the army team and none of it was useful. but most of the information that the army produced was classified that's 99% of the information. AIR only saw 1% and made their judgment which closed the military project. At any rate I know it works. I cannot explain it, and have no knowledge about how it would scientifically work. Just maybes. Maybe quantum entanglement or pilot waves or something. Does it always work, No. But it works above chance and it's not a coin toss. If you get a hit it's not just heads up, it's specific details that describe a target but not another target. Like my reactor on a barge, not being a Mcdonalds. Wow, what a long post. I'll stop now. :-D
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