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Creation Vs 'materialistic' Evolution


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#1 Ron

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 09:43 AM

I find it strange that it shouldn’t be taken for granted that the title of this sub-forum is “Creation versus Evolution”, yet it is inferred “Creation versus Materialistic Evolution”. Why; because it is a given that Theistic evolutionists don’t question it to be of Supernatural (metaphysical, ethereal, abstract, nonphysical etc…) origins, explained ontologically. In other words, in order to be a "Theistic" Evolutionist, by definition, one MUST believe in Creation!

The materialists (atheist, skeptic, agnostic etc…) evolution (by definition) must wholly believe in a naturalistic origin, but they proceed so bereft of ANY materialistic/naturalistic evidence/facts/proof. Yet the materialist also requires an ontological explanation; which, of course, is metaphysical in nature as well!

In other words the materialistic atheist (skeptic, agnostic etc…) relies heavily on metaphysical (ethereal, abstract, supernatural, nonphysical etc…) evidence for their “Origins” explanations; all the while eschewing anything that is not materialistic/naturalistic.

All of this leads to the questions at hand:

If the materialist ‘has’ to have a naturalistic/materialistic evidence based explanation, what naturalistic/materialistic evidence based explanation does the materialist have for the “Origins” of all of this (the universe, life, intelligence etc...)? In other words, from what did evolution evolve/spring? Because, in order for materialistic evolution to be a fact, it MUST be materialistic in nature AND have a materialistic origin! And if it does not, they (the materialists) are living their life wholly by faith; and “Blind Faith” at that.

Is there a materialist (atheist, skeptic, and agnostic etc…) that has the Origins answer based only on “materialistic/naturalistic” factual evidence?

#2 JayShel

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:06 PM

I have been thinking, are atheists really hard-core materialists, or do they merely adhere to materialism when it is convenient? They have to know that logic, language, and emotion are non-material. I don't think it is a rejecting of everything that is non-material, mostly just God. What are some of the logical dilemmas that this leads to? I have been trying to delve into this area of apologetics, but I don't know where to begin.

#3 Ron

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 06:49 PM

The materialist will attempt to render everything (no matter how illogical and unscientific) to the physical. For example, they will argue that “Man is nothing but matter in motion.” Of course, anyone would agree that ‘physically’ human beings are matter in motion, but this in no way means that we aren’t far more than this.

These materialists will also attempt to assert a thought nothing but electrons firing across the synapse, or nothing but chemical reactions.

The problem with all these reductive fallacies is that these “nothing-but” statements imply a “more-than” knowledge. For example; how could I know that I was nothing but “matter in motion” unless I was more than just a physical body?

#4 gilbo12345

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Posted 04 April 2012 - 07:00 PM

I've had a chat with one of my class mates on this and he proposed that immaterial things exist but this doesn't mean supernatural things exist ie- God... I did try to say that they are one and the same, but it seems we were at an impasse.

#5 Ron

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:36 AM

The materialist gets hung up on the word "Supernatural", which actually means "more than natural", or "other than natural" (from the Medieval Latin supernaturalis “super- + natura”); which is why I make it clear what the word means (as it is synonymous with metaphysical, otherworldly, preternatural, transcendent, transcendental, ethereal, abstract, nonphysical etc…).

They get hung up on it, using it as a crutch for themselves, and as a club to swing at theists; but they don't really understand the meaning of it.

This is why I prefer to use words like metaphysical, transcendental, ethereal, and abstract when dealing with non-materialistic phenomena such as thoughts, altruistic love, the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, and the scientific method (etc…). This forces the strict materialist to come face to face with the fact that “Materialism” is not all there is, just as solipsism is not all there is; BOTH are extremist philosophies that are self-stultifying.


#6 miles

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 06:07 AM

The materialist gets hung up on the word "Supernatural", which actually means "more than natural", or "other than natural" (from the Medieval Latin supernaturalis “super- + natura”); which is why I make it clear what the word means (as it is synonymous with metaphysical, otherworldly, preternatural, transcendent, transcendental, ethereal, abstract, nonphysical etc…).

They get hung up on it, using it as a crutch for themselves, and as a club to swing at theists; but they don't really understand the meaning of it.

This is why I prefer to use words like metaphysical, transcendental, ethereal, and abstract when dealing with non-materialistic phenomena such as thoughts, altruistic love, the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, and the scientific method (etc…). This forces the strict materialist to come face to face with the fact that “Materialism” is not all there is, just as solipsism is not all there is; BOTH are extremist philosophies that are self-stultifying.

What dictionary or thesaurus are you using that has abstract as a synonym for supernatural? Same question for ethereal.

#7 gilbo12345

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:35 AM

What dictionary or thesaurus are you using that has abstract as a synonym for supernatural? Same question for ethereal.

Perhaps giving some dictionary quotes to the contrary would have been applicable here :)



su·per·nat·u·ral
   [soo-per-nach-er-uhl, -nach-ruhl] which is supernatural, or outside the natural order.
6.
behavior supposedly caused by the intervention of supernatural beings.
7.
direct influence or action of a deity on earthly affairs.
8.
the supernatural,
a.
supernatural beings, behavior, and occurrences collectively.
b.
supernatural forces and the supernatural plane of existence: a deep fear of the supernatural.

http://dictionary.re...upernatural?s=t





im·ma·te·ri·al
   [im-uh-teer-ee-uhl] object or instance, as justice, poverty, and speed.
3.
theoretical; not applied or practical: abstract science.
4.
difficult to understand; abstruse: abstract speculations.
5.
Fine Arts .
a.
of or pertaining to the formal aspect of art, emphasizing lines, colors, generalized or geometrical forms, etc., especially with reference to their relationship to one another.
b.
( often initial capital letter ) pertaining to the nonrepresentational art styles of the 20th century.
noun
6.
a summary of a text, scientific article, document, speech, etc.; epitome.
7.
something that concentrates in itself the essential qualities of anything more extensive or more general, or of several things; essence.
8.
an idea or term considered apart from some material basis or object.
9.
an abstract work of art.

http://dictionary.re...se/abstract?s=t



tran·scend·ent
   [tran-sen-duhnt] immanent ( def. 3 ) .


1.
going beyond ordinary limits; surpassing; exceeding.
2.
superior or supreme.
3.
Theology . (of the Deity) transcending the universe, time, etc. Compare immanent ( def. 3 ) .
4.
Philosophy .
a.
Scholasticism . above all possible modes of the infinite.
b.
Kantianism . transcending experience; not realizable in human experience. Compare transcendental ( defs. 5a, c ) .
c.
(in modern realism) referred to, but beyond, direct apprehension; outside consciousness.
noun Mathematics .
5.
a transcendental function.

[url="http://dictionary.re...se/transcendent"]http://dictionary.re...se/transcendent




!!!!! For some reason the first parts of the definitions are getting chopped off.

#8 Ron

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 08:59 AM



The materialist gets hung up on the word "Supernatural", which actually means "more than natural", or "other than natural" (from the Medieval Latin supernaturalis “super- + natura”); which is why I make it clear what the word means (as it is synonymous with metaphysical, otherworldly, preternatural, transcendent, transcendental, ethereal, abstract, nonphysical etc…).

They get hung up on it, using it as a crutch for themselves, and as a club to swing at theists; but they don't really understand the meaning of it.

This is why I prefer to use words like metaphysical, transcendental, ethereal, and abstract when dealing with non-materialistic phenomena such as thoughts, altruistic love, the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics, and the scientific method (etc…). This forces the strict materialist to come face to face with the fact that “Materialism” is not all there is, just as solipsism is not all there is; BOTH are extremist philosophies that are self-stultifying.


What dictionary or thesaurus are you using that has abstract as a synonym for supernatural? Same question for ethereal.


As you research many various and diverse reference materials (which I’ll let you do on your own), you’ll soon find that you can indeed draw conclusions based on facts that you compile within that research. I’ll submit the following for you to mull over:

What is the definitive definition for “abstract” Miles? Is an “abstract” phenomenon “physical”, or “metaphysical”? Is an “abstract” phenomenon “immaterial”, or is it “concrete”? Can you touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or in any other way physically test something that is “abstract”? Or, must one touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or physically test only the effect of said “abstract” phenomena?

In the same sense; what is the definitive definition for “ethereal”? By definition, is an “ethereal” phenomenon “of subtenant physical form”, or is it “lacking material substance”? Is an “ethereal” phenomenon “lacking material form”, or is it “concrete”? Can you touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or in any other way scientifically test something that is “ethereal”? Or, must one touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or physically test only the effect of said “ethereal” phenomena?

Now, ask yourself, does "Supernatural" fit these discriptions as well?

I could go on, but I feel you now understand the answer to your questions; so I’ll leave you with this:

Synonymous (adjective) “having an implication similar to the idea expressed by another word”.
Encarta Dictionary

#9 miles

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 12:04 PM

Perhaps giving some dictionary quotes to the contrary would have been applicable here :)

[list of definitions removed for brevity]

I'm not seeing anything which says abtract is equivilant to supernatural? It looks like you are trying to chain definitions together to go from abstract -> immaterial -> supernatural. That's not how the english language works, though. Definitions/synonyms aren't like math, you can't go word A=word B, word B=word C, therefore word A=word C, especially when there are multiple definitions for a word.

Consider this chain of synonyms/definitions evil->immoral->unchaste->easy->pleasing. I'd be completely mistaken to conclude that evil is a synonym for pleasing. How is this any different than trying to go from abstract -> immaterial -> supernatural instead of noting that the actual definition of abstract doesn't have anything in common with supernatural?

As you research many various and diverse reference materials (which I’ll let you do on your own), you’ll soon find that you can indeed draw conclusions based on facts that you compile within that research. I’ll submit the following for you to mull over:

It sounds like you are saying that you personally derived an equivelance between abstract and supernatural rather than use commonly understood definitions/synonyms for the words? Does this mean you acknowledge that no dictionary or thesaurus lists abstract and supernatural as synonyms?

What is the definitive definition for “abstract” Miles? Is an “abstract” phenomenon “physical”, or “metaphysical”? Is an “abstract” phenomenon “immaterial”, or is it “concrete”? Can you touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or in any other way physically test something that is “abstract”? Or, must one touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or physically test only the effect of said “abstract” phenomena?

Dictionary.com for abstract
1. thought of apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances: an abstract idea.
2. expressing a quality or characteristic apart from any specific object or instance, as justice, [url="http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/poverty"]poverty, and speed.

something abstract is metaphysical, or a concept divorced from a real object. An abstract phenomenon doesn't exist in reality, so it would be considered immaterial. You can't experience an abstract because it does not exist in reality. There is no effect of an abstract phenomenon because abstract phenomenon do not exist in reality. There is no effect of redness, or roundness, or speediness, fairness because these are just concepts or labels we give to characteristics of real objects/phenomenon. You can't take the quality of speediness off a metaphorical shelf somewhere and staple it on a object to make it move quickly.

In the same sense; what is the definitive definition for “ethereal”? By definition, is an “ethereal” phenomenon “of subtenant physical form”, or is it “lacking material substance”? Is an “ethereal” phenomenon “lacking material form”, or is it “concrete”? Can you touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or in any other way scientifically test something that is “ethereal”? Or, must one touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or physically test only the effect of said “ethereal” phenomena?

1. light, airy, or tenuous: an ethereal world created through the poetic imagination.
2. extremely delicate or refined: ethereal beauty.
3. heavenly or celestial: gone to his ethereal home.
4. of or pertaining to the upper regions of space.

Ethereal is usually used to describe the quality of being light/faint/airy/delicate/etc. A faint mist can be described as ethereal and is certainly physical with material substance. Something that is faint and exists is concrete and ethereal. Something that is imaginary and imagined to be faint would be ethereal and lacking physical form because it wouldn't actually exist. You can measure ethereal objects that exist (mists, sheer silk, anything else that is faint/airy/delicate/etc.). You can't measure objects that don't exist but are thought of as ethereal (ghosts, will-o-wisps, etc).

Now, ask yourself, does "Supernatural" fit these discriptions as well?

Not at all. There is nothing in common between the definitions for abstract and supernatural. Only #3 of ethereal comes close to supernatural and nobody who describes a existing object as ethereal is using #3. Supernatural as I understand you to mean it, refers to something that exists in reality, albeit following different rules from what we understand. Abstract things don't have an existance of their own, they are categories of ideas or behaviors or characteristics of things. Objects that are ethereal may or may not exist, depending on if the particular object in question is real or not.

I could go on, but I feel you now understand the answer to your questions; so I’ll leave you with this:

Synonymous (adjective) “having an implication similar to the idea expressed by another word”.
Encarta Dictionary

So you are asserting that supernatural has an implication similar to abstract? Since abstract things don't exist outside of our minds, wouldn't the implication of god being supernatural be that god doesn't exist outside of our (your) head?

#10 Fiver

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 02:29 PM

I've had a chat with one of my class mates on this and he proposed that immaterial things exist but this doesn't mean supernatural things exist ie- God... I did try to say that they are one and the same, but it seems we were at an impasse.

If 'immaterial things' are the same as 'supernatural things', then wouldn't that mean that love, being immaterial, is supernatural? And music, being immaterial, is also supernatural?

#11 Ron

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:11 PM



As you research many various and diverse reference materials (which I’ll let you do on your own), you’ll soon find that you can indeed draw conclusions based on facts that you compile within that research. I’ll submit the following for you to mull over:


It sounds like you are saying that you personally derived an equivelance between abstract and supernatural rather than use commonly understood definitions/synonyms for the words? Does this mean you acknowledge that no dictionary or thesaurus lists abstract and supernatural as synonyms?


No, I have provided that the relevance is self-evident, and you are somehow attempting to use some sleight-of-hand to pretend that it isn’t. And, by the way, the ‘equivalence’ between these words was provided in the definition of the word:


Synonymous (adjective) “having an implication similar to the idea expressed by another word”.


And I am admitting that you are having a hard time reconciling that “abstract”, “ethereal”, “metaphysical”, “supernatural”, “transcendental” (etc…) all have similar implications (which by definition makes them synonymous).

Further, are you implying that “abstract”, “ethereal”, “metaphysical”, “supernatural”, “transcendental” (etc…) are somehow NOT abstract? If this is the case, can you provide, then, how the “abstract”, “ethereal”, “metaphysical”, “supernatural”, “transcendental” (etc…) are somehow “physical” in nature? Or are you going to continue equivocating on terms linguistically?


What is the definitive definition for “abstract” Miles? Is an “abstract” phenomenon “physical”, or “metaphysical”? Is an “abstract” phenomenon “immaterial”, or is it “concrete”? Can you touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or in any other way physically test something that is “abstract”? Or, must one touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or physically test only the effect of said “abstract” phenomena?



Dictionary.com for abstract
1. thought of apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances: an abstract idea.
2. expressing a quality or characteristic apart from any specific object or instance, as justice, [url="http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/poverty"]poverty, and speed.

something abstract is metaphysical, or a concept divorced from a real object. An abstract phenomenon doesn't exist in reality, so it would be considered immaterial. You can't experience an abstract because it does not exist in reality. There is no effect of an abstract phenomenon because abstract phenomenon do not exist in reality. There is no effect of redness, or roundness, or speediness, fairness because these are just concepts or labels we give to characteristics of real objects/phenomenon. You can't take the quality of speediness off a metaphorical shelf somewhere and staple it on a object to make it move quickly.


So according to number one in your definition, the abstract is itself apart from the physical. And it is indeed METAPHYSICAL (or “incorporeal - without material form or substance”) and if you look up the synonyms for metaphysical you’ll find SUPERNATURAL! The similar implications are amazing aren’t they…

Further, an abstract phenomenon’s not extending into reality, in no way mean it doesn’t exist… They just don’t exist physically. For example the Laws of Logic, are abstract concepts. Now, are you going to insist that they don’t exist? This should be interesting.


What is the In the same sense; what is the definitive definition for “ethereal”? By definition, is an “ethereal” phenomenon “of subtenant physical form”, or is it “lacking material substance”? Is an “ethereal” phenomenon “lacking material form”, or is it “concrete”? Can you touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or in any other way scientifically test something that is “ethereal”? Or, must one touch, taste, see, feel, smell, measure, or physically test only the effect of said “ethereal” phenomena?


1. light, airy, or tenuous: an ethereal world created through the poetic imagination.
2. extremely delicate or refined: ethereal beauty.
3. heavenly or celestial: gone to his ethereal home.
4. of or pertaining to the upper regions of space.

Ethereal is usually used to describe the quality of being light/faint/airy/delicate/etc. A faint mist can be described as ethereal and is certainly physical with material substance. Something that is faint and exists is concrete and ethereal. Something that is imaginary and imagined to be faint would be ethereal and lacking physical form because it wouldn't actually exist. You can measure ethereal objects that exist (mists, sheer silk, anything else that is faint/airy/delicate/etc.). You can't measure objects that don't exist but are thought of as ethereal (ghosts, will-o-wisps, etc).



So, what you’re saying is that “Ethereal” phenomena can indeed be considered “abstract”! Thanks for making my point for me. You may want to further admit that an ANTONYM of ethereal is SUBSTANCIAL. So, if the phenomenon IS NOT SUBSTANCIAL, it is then “lacking material substance”.



What is the In Now, ask yourself, does "Supernatural" fit these discriptions as well?


Not at all. There is nothing in common between the definitions for abstract and supernatural.


So, you’re asserting then, that the term “Supernatural” cannot be abstract? Can you provide actual evidence for this assertion?


Only #3 of ethereal comes close to supernatural and nobody who describes a existing object as ethereal is using #3.


That, of course, would be incorrect. It is also disingenuous to only pick those few definitions that you like (whether they fit or not):


ETHEREAL ethe·re·al adj \i-ˈthir-ē-əl\
1
a: of or relating to the regions beyond the earth b: celestial, heavenly c: unworldly, spiritual

2
a: lacking material substance : immaterial, intangible b: marked by unusual delicacy or refinement <this smallest, most ethereal, and daintiest of birds — William Beebe> c: suggesting the heavens or heaven

3 : relating to, containing, or resembling a chemical ether




Supernatural as I understand you to mean it, refers to something that exists in reality, albeit following different rules from what we understand. Abstract things don't have an existance of their own, they are categories of ideas or behaviors or characteristics of things. Objects that are ethereal may or may not exist, depending on if the particular object in question is real or not.


That would also be incorrect miles. “Super Natural” (as I succinctly provided) means ‘other-than-natural/physical’. These phenomena are ‘metaphysical’, ethereal, abstract, nonphysical (etc…), yet they are as real as any physical phenomena.

For example: The Laws of Logic and The Laws of Mathematics are but two phenomena that are abstract, and yet have an existence of their own, and are as substantially meaningful as ANY physical phenomena.


I could go on, but I feel you now understand the answer to your questions; so I’ll leave you with this:

Synonymous (adjective) “having an implication similar to the idea expressed by another word”.
Encarta Dictionary


So you are asserting that supernatural has an implication similar to abstract?


Absolutely, but each is relevant only in its importance, and one’s ability to provide evidence for its existence.


Since abstract things don't exist outside of our minds, wouldn't the implication of god being supernatural be that god doesn't exist outside of our (your) head?


Not at all! As I provided above, the abstract phenomena’s relevance is tied directly to the ability of providing evidence of its existence. For example; the Laws of Mathematics (for one) are abstract phenomena (i.e. metaphysical, ethereal, supernatural etc…), yet we know they are self-evident, and therefore exist outside of our head.

By the way, I do enjoy when the materialist attempts this argument, as it is nothing more than a ‘red herring’ that ignores the implications of other-than-materialistic phenomena on their naturalistic sensibilities.

As I stated in post# 3 “The materialist will attempt to render everything (no matter how illogical and unscientific) to the physical. For example, they will argue that “Man is nothing but matter in motion.” Of course, anyone would agree that ‘physically’ human beings are matter in motion, but this in no way means that we aren’t far more than this.”

It is conversations like these that expose the materialist’s penchant to stifle definitional language with equivocal interpolations. Because the truth of the matter forces the strict materialist to come face to face with the fact that “Materialism” is not all there is, just as solipsism is not all there is; BOTH are extremist philosophies that are self-stultifying.

#12 Ron

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:20 PM



I've had a chat with one of my class mates on this and he proposed that immaterial things exist but this doesn't mean supernatural things exist ie- God... I did try to say that they are one and the same, but it seems we were at an impasse.

If 'immaterial things' are the same as 'supernatural things', then wouldn't that mean that love, being immaterial, is supernatural? And music, being immaterial, is also supernatural?



No Fiver, music is neither immaterial, nor supernatural. Music is a measurable phenomenon via the sound spectrum. Therefore music is physical and NOT metaphysical, supernatural, ethereal, abstract (etc…). But, I must admit, varying genera’s of music can be described (labeled) as ‘ethereal’ or ‘abstract’; but that is semantically driven (mood and style), not descriptive of its physicality.

#13 Ron

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 03:22 PM

I might suggest now, that we consider the OP questions, and not get side-tracked with the semantical misunderstandings of materialist's

#14 miles

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:59 PM

No, I have provided that the relevance is self-evident, and you are somehow attempting to use some sleight-of-hand to pretend that it isn’t. And, by the way, the ‘equivalence’ between these words was provided in the definition of the word:


And I am admitting that you are having a hard time reconciling that “abstract”, “ethereal”, “metaphysical”, “supernatural”, “transcendental” (etc…) all have similar implications (which by definition makes them synonymous).

Except you haven't shown that abstract has similar implications to supernatural, only that it has similar implications to words that have similar implications to supernatural.
As I mentioned to gilbo, the english language doesn't work that way. You can't go through a chain of synonyms and assume that the start and end are synonyms of each other as well.

evil->immoral->unchaste->easy->pleasing
Which word does not have similar implications to the words to the immediate left or right? Does the start word have similar implications to the end word?

Abstract may have similar implications to immaterial and immaterial may have similar implications to supernatural, but this does not mean that abstract has similar implications to supernatural.

Further, are you implying that “abstract”, “ethereal”, “metaphysical”, “supernatural”, “transcendental” (etc…) are somehow NOT abstract? If this is the case, can you provide, then, how the “abstract”, “ethereal”, “metaphysical”, “supernatural”, “transcendental” (etc…) are somehow “physical” in nature? Or are you going to continue equivocating on terms linguistically?

abstract is by definition non-physical
ethereal means faint which can be a description of a physical property.
metaphysical is by definition non-physical
supernatural could be physical if there was anything supernatural that existed. (example: if ghosts were real and visible, they would be "physical" since they would interact with photons)
transcendental simply means beyond or greater than, which could refer to having a greater quantity, size, quality, etc. which would all be physical characteristics.

So according to number one in your definition, the abstract is itself apart from the physical. And it is indeed METAPHYSICAL (or “incorporeal - without material form or substance”) and if you look up the synonyms for metaphysical you’ll find SUPERNATURAL! The similar implications are amazing aren’t they…

Chaining synonyms together doesn't mean that the initial word is a synonym of the end word. If abstract were a synonym for supernatural, why do you think no dictionary or thesaurus lists it as such?

Further, an abstract phenomenon’s not extending into reality, in no way mean it doesn’t exist… They just don’t exist physically. For example the Laws of Logic, are abstract concepts. Now, are you going to insist that they don’t exist? This should be interesting.

I'd feel comfortable saying that laws of logic are NOT real things with their own distinct existence but instead simply descriptions of how reality must be, but I think that may be getting off topic. I'm mostly interested in seeing if there's any documentation to support your claim that abstract and supernatural are synonyms. So far you've shown that they are synonyms of synonyms, but not that they are synonyms of each other, which is what your argument (abstract=supernatural) relies on.

So, what you’re saying is that “Ethereal” phenomena can indeed be considered “abstract”! Thanks for making my point for me. You may want to further admit that an ANTONYM of ethereal is SUBSTANCIAL. So, if the phenomenon IS NOT SUBSTANCIAL, it is then “lacking material substance”.

Of course something ethereal could also be abstract. But it's not abstract because it's ethereal, they aren't synonyms (if you'd care to show a thesaurus or other source that lists them as synonyms I'll be happy to stand corrected). A ethereal abstract thing would be ethereal because it met the definition of ethereal. It would be abstract because it also met the definition of abstract. It would not be abstract because it met the definition of ethereal because the definitions are different. This is no different from something being both round and orange, they are two different attributes which something may or may not have.

So, you’re asserting then, that the term “Supernatural” cannot be abstract? Can you provide actual evidence for this assertion?

Same as ethereal and abstract above, something supernatural could of course also be abstract. Pretending that supernatural things are real, 'vampires' as a general concept would fit as an abstract, supernatural idea. It would be supernatural because that's an attribute we've assigned to vampires, however it's abstract because it refers to a general concept disassociated from any particular instance of a vampire (i.e. Dracula). If something supernatural existed it would be supernatural and not abstract, since it would be real.

Would you agree that if for example, Dracula were real, he would be supernatural and not abstract?

That, of course, would be incorrect. It is also disingenuous to only pick those few definitions that you like (whether they fit or not):

That would also be incorrect miles. “Super Natural” (as I succinctly provided) means ‘other-than-natural/physical’. These phenomena are ‘metaphysical’, ethereal, abstract, nonphysical (etc…), yet they are as real as any physical phenomena.


That's an extremely broad definition for supernatural that is very vulnerable to twisting and equivocation. Example, 'Artificial' also has similiar implications to "other than natural", but artificial shouldn't be considered a synonym for supernatural. Do you recognize that when someone says supernatural things don't exist they are generally not using your definition but instead using the more common definition of "things that cannot be explained according to natural laws"?

For example: The Laws of Logic and The Laws of Mathematics are but two phenomena that are abstract, and yet have an existence of their own, and are as substantially meaningful as ANY physical phenomena.

See above about not wanting to get off topic regarding what logic is or isn't. I'm going to skip the rest about logic and math and go to your questions as you requested. I'd appreciate if you could answer one simple yes or no question though, do you know of any dictionary or thesaurus which lists abstract as a synonym for supernatural?

If the materialist ‘has’ to have a naturalistic/materialistic evidence based explanation, what naturalistic/materialistic evidence based explanation does the materialist have for the “Origins” of all of this (the universe, life, intelligence etc...)?

The expansion of the universe and cosmic background radiation is materialistic evidence that the universe originated from a central point.
There are multiple possible natural causes for this origination, from the zero energy universe concept to the brane collision idea. The zero energy universe concept has some support if you treat gravity as negative potential energy, it appears to balance out the positive energy of matter yielding a universe that has no net energy and therefore wouldn't violate the idea that energy can't be created.

Fossils are materialistic evidence that at one point life did not exist on the planet, then single cellular life existed, then multi-cellular life.
It's possible that life or the universe originated via supernatural means, but in the absence of any supernatural entity capable of doing so, this possibility must be discounted and the default state assumed. The default for all explanations is non-supernatural because there has never been an explanation for anything which involved a supernatural entity and has been shown to be correct.
Intelligence is simply a function of brain operation, the materialistic evidence of this is studies of the brain showing that altering the brain alters intelligence.


In other words, from what did evolution evolve/spring? Because, in order for materialistic evolution to be a fact, it MUST be materialistic in nature AND have a materialistic origin! And if it does not, they (the materialists) are living their life wholly by faith; and “Blind Faith” at that.

Evolution is a unavoidable consequence of imperfect replication and differential survival rates. It 'sprung' from the fact that not all organisms are the same and not all organisms survive or reproduce at the same rate. Death, genetic mutation, and reproduction are all physical, materialistic processes.

#15 Ron

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 07:51 AM

Two things real quick Miles, and you may want to pay close attention, so as NOT to further equivocate AND continue to stay from the OP's questions:

First – Did you NOT read post# 13

Second – Are you attempting to insinuate that ALL the words I provided CANNOT be considered as synonymous (i.e. “having an implication similar to the idea expressed by another word”) with NONPHYSICAL.


YOU may want to consider carefully prior to answering the above questions with anything but factual answers.

#16 Ron

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:40 PM



No, I have provided that the relevance is self-evident, and you are somehow attempting to use some sleight-of-hand to pretend that it isn’t. And, by the way, the ‘equivalence’ between these words was provided in the definition of the word:


And I am admitting that you are having a hard time reconciling that “abstract”, “ethereal”, “metaphysical”, “supernatural”, “transcendental” (etc…) all have similar implications (which by definition makes them synonymous).


Except you haven't shown that abstract has similar implications to supernatural, only that it has similar implications to words that have similar implications to supernatural.



Except yes, I did indeed. The problem is that you’re having a hard time reconciling truth with ‘what you want to be truth’. So, I’ll provide it for you one more time, BUT this time you won’t be allowed to equivocate on definitions.

Abstract = Nonphysical (not relating to concrete objects but expressing something that can only be appreciated intellectually…conceptual, ideal, ideational, metaphysical, notional, theoretical)

Ethereal = Nonphysical (lacking material substance… bodiless, immaterial, formless, incorporeal, insubstantial, nonmaterial, nonphysical, spiritual, unbodied, unsubstantial)

Metaphysical = Nonphysical (of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the sensesconceptual, ideal, ideational, abstract, notional, theoretical)

Transcendental = Nonphysical (independent of human experience of phenomena but within the range of knowledgemetaphysical, otherworldly, paranormal, preternatural, transcendent, supernatural, unearthly)
Supernatural = Nonphysical (of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universemetaphysical, otherworldly, paranormal, preternatural, transcendent, transcendental, unearthly)


All of the above are NONPHYSICAL, or not physically substantive; especially in the context of each other. They ALL have “similar implications” to EACH OTHER, regardless of your attempts for “conversion by definition.


As I mentioned to gilbo, the english language doesn't work that way. You can't go through a chain of synonyms and assume that the start and end are synonyms of each other as well.



Your attempted allegations are fallacious at best. It is easily proven that ALL of the synonyms I have provided are 1- alike in meaning or significance (in that they are NONPHYSICAL) 2- having the same connotations, implications, or reference (in that they are NONPHYSICAL) 3- have “similar implications” to EACH OTHER (in that they are NONPHYSICAL). They are all too similar in definition to dismiss (as you have attempted). In these facts alone, your misrepresentations fail epically. But they all link contextually, given the sentence structure (paragraph etc…) and meaning in what is being elucidated.



evil->immoral->unchaste->easy->pleasing
Which word does not have similar implications to the words to the immediate left or right? Does the start word have similar implications to the end word?


The above is a non sequitur, as it is not analogous to the conversation/context and does not follow from the premise. Further, if the words were similar in definition (as are ALL the synonyms I provided) you might have a case, BUT the last two to not follow the first three. Therefore you are being disingenuous in your conversation. And, as I said; this time you won’t be allowed to equivocate on definitions.




Abstract may have similar implications to immaterial and immaterial may have similar implications to supernatural, but this does not mean that abstract has similar implications to supernatural.


Once again, you are incorrect AND are still being disingenuous in your conversation. ALL the synonyms I provided “have similar implications” in that they are ALL immaterial, nonphysical,(etc…). So your allegation is, once again, a non sequitur and fallacious in nature.



Further, are you implying that “abstract”, “ethereal”, “metaphysical”, “supernatural”, “transcendental” (etc…) are somehow NOT abstract? If this is the case, can you provide, then, how the “abstract”, “ethereal”, “metaphysical”, “supernatural”, “transcendental” (etc…) are somehow “physical” in nature? Or are you going to continue equivocating on terms linguistically?


abstract is by definition non-physical
ethereal means faint which can be a description of a physical property.
metaphysical is by definition non-physical
supernatural could be physical if there was anything supernatural that existed. (example: if ghosts were real and visible, they would be "physical" since they would interact with photons)
transcendental simply means beyond or greater than, which could refer to having a greater quantity, size, quality, etc. which would all be physical characteristics.



Ummm… NO! As I provided earlier ethereal = lacking material substance, supernatural = of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe (and you use of the words “could be” sink your assertion). You are really stretching here Miles… And yet you still fail.



So according to number one in your definition, the abstract is itself apart from the physical. And it is indeed METAPHYSICAL (or “incorporeal - without material form or substance”) and if you look up the synonyms for metaphysical you’ll find SUPERNATURAL! The similar implications are amazing aren’t they…


Chaining synonyms together doesn't mean that the initial word is a synonym of the end word. If abstract were a synonym for supernatural, why do you think no dictionary or thesaurus lists it as such?


I can chain them together by definition (as I provided above), and I can chain the together by the very definition of the word synonym (as I have provided above).And I’m still waiting for you to refute it, but you simply continue to equivocate. And as I stated earlier - This time you won’t be allowed to equivocate on definitions.


Further, an abstract phenomenon’s not extending into reality, in no way mean it doesn’t exist… They just don’t exist physically. For example the Laws of Logic, are abstract concepts. Now, are you going to insist that they don’t exist? This should be interesting.


I'd feel comfortable saying that laws of logic are NOT real things with their own distinct existence but instead simply descriptions of how reality must be, but I think that may be getting off topic. I'm mostly interested in seeing if there's any documentation to support your claim that abstract and supernatural are synonyms. So far you've shown that they are synonyms of synonyms, but not that they are synonyms of each other, which is what your argument (abstract=supernatural) relies on.



What is off topic here, is that you have continued to equivocate over definitions, and have yet to attempt at the OP questions. I suppose that you’ll attempt the same tactics on them as well.

If the Laws of Logic were not a real thing, then they would not work. But, as it is they DO work and are self-evident. But at the same time they are abstract and metaphysical in nature.

Also, I have already provided the synonymous correlation between abstract and supernatural (as well as ethereal, metaphysical, and transcendental as well). If you cannot accept the truth of it, that is a failing of yours, but keep I mind, I said “This time you won’t be allowed to equivocate on definitions.”

#17 Ron

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 04:44 PM

Also, keep in mind, below is the OP:

I find it strange that it shouldn’t be taken for granted that the title of this sub-forum is “Creation versus Evolution”, yet it is inferred “Creation versus Materialistic Evolution”. Why; because it is a given that Theistic evolutionists don’t question it to be of Supernatural (metaphysical, ethereal, abstract, nonphysical etc…) origins, explained ontologically. In other words, in order to be a "Theistic" Evolutionist, by definition, one MUST believe in Creation!

The materialists (atheist, skeptic, agnostic etc…) evolution (by definition) must wholly believe in a naturalistic origin, but they proceed so bereft of ANY materialistic/naturalistic evidence/facts/proof. Yet the materialist also requires an ontological explanation; which, of course, is metaphysical in nature as well!

In other words the materialistic atheist (skeptic, agnostic etc…) relies heavily on metaphysical (ethereal, abstract, supernatural, nonphysical etc…) evidence for their “Origins” explanations; all the while eschewing anything that is not materialistic/naturalistic.

All of this leads to the questions at hand:

If the materialist ‘has’ to have a naturalistic/materialistic evidence based explanation, what naturalistic/materialistic evidence based explanation does the materialist have for the “Origins” of all of this (the universe, life, intelligence etc...)? In other words, from what did evolution evolve/spring? Because, in order for materialistic evolution to be a fact, it MUST be materialistic in nature AND have a materialistic origin! And if it does not, they (the materialists) are living their life wholly by faith; and “Blind Faith” at that.

Is there a materialist (atheist, skeptic, and agnostic etc…) that has the Origins answer based only on “materialistic/naturalistic” factual evidence?


Not your further attempts at equivocation and side-tracking.

#18 Paul of Eugene OR

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:37 PM

Excellent opening post.

I have read a few materialists who asserted that somehow the universe just always "was" and that is a perfectly good explanation for how things came to be, in their eyes.

Such reasoning always seemed incomplete to me . . . . the universe seems to be decidedly un-material the more we find out about it. Particles taking many different paths to arrive at a destination all at the same time . . . . weird!

The internal life I directly perceive within myself . . . . how can that possibly be merely material?

Anyhow, like I said, great opening post.

#19 Ron

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 05:37 AM


Excellent opening post.

I have read a few materialists who asserted that somehow the universe just always "was" and that is a perfectly good explanation for how things came to be, in their eyes.

Such reasoning always seemed incomplete to me . . . . the universe seems to be decidedly un-material the more we find out about it. Particles taking many different paths to arrive at a destination all at the same time . . . . weird!

The internal life I directly perceive within myself . . . . how can that possibly be merely material?

Anyhow, like I said, great opening post.



Yes, when someone attempts the “Just Is” argument (as Gordon Stein did in “the great debate, does God exist” debate with Greg Bahnsen) they do so with absolutely no logical, rational or empirical scientific evidence to validate their assertion.

This is known as the "Assertum Non Est Demonstratum"(to assert is not to demonstrate) logical fallacy; and they commit this fallacious action because they believe that to state a belief, or to state it repeatedly, and vigorously is somehow to demonstrate or to substantiate the veracity of that belief. But, on the face of it, it is simply a statement of great faith.

Yes FAITH…

#20 miles

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 07:59 AM

Two things real quick Miles, and you may want to pay close attention, so as NOT to further equivocate AND continue to stay from the OP's questions:

First – Did you NOT read post# 13

Second – Are you attempting to insinuate that ALL the words I provided CANNOT be considered as synonymous (i.e. “having an implication similar to the idea expressed by another word”) with NONPHYSICAL.


YOU may want to consider carefully prior to answering the above questions with anything but factual answers.

1) Yes I read #13, and if you read the post I wrote you'll note that I address your questions in the OP at the bottom.
2) I'm not insinuating that at all, all the words you listed could definitely be synonyms with non-physical.

I'm apparently not permitted to expand on 2 in this thread so I'll ask if it would be acceptable to attempt to explain further in a separate thread?




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