Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


WHO SAYS THE SUPERNATURAL ISN'T MECHANISTIC?

The divine, the supernatural, the magical, the miraculous, call it what you may.  It is always given importance for being something bigger than nature.  People want to think there are more than just material things.  Why?  The answer has to be they want magic but what use is magic unless it can do what it wants or what you want?  So they want something that is like it has free will.  It is not programmed.  It is not mechanistic.  It can intervene for it has the free will to change what it is doing.  People need to ask is this free will in a framework or free will as in say a Good God being able to turn totally evil at will?  They are confused about what they want.

Science studies nature.  It has to treat everything it finds as mechanistic even if it does not know how it might be. Even if science could find the supernatural it has to assume the same thing for who says what is supernatural isn’t mechanistic as well? So the scientist approaches the natural as mechanistic for anything else involves begging the question. Begging the question means you claim to prove something when in fact you are only assuming it. “I assume it therefore it is true.” Or “I assume it and therefore it is a fact”.

But surely science is begging the question by making machines out of everything? No. this is a method. The method is to treat all things as machines.  The reward is that science is able to predict what something will do.  It is self-checking.

You cannot keep control of a dog when there is no fence around the field.  Same idea.  This is not begging the question.

So we find that the interest in the supernatural is really about thinking there is some power that intervenes in some way in nature and which is free enough to help you.  The assumption that the supernatural is not mechanistic itself or perhaps even more so than nature is just an assumption.  You cannot test the supernatural.  It is also in principle anti-science.

The liar who says something magical happened or who does not care about evidence enough is a disgrace.

Natural selection goes with the assertion that whatever accidently develops in a pointless way will be eliminated. It presupposes real randomness and thus that no person or God is guiding this process.  People fear what this means.  But the supernatural gives no way out.  It may have a natural selection of its own!!