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Old 04-19-2014, 10:18 PM   #6301
TSmitty6
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Originally Posted by gonzaw
I'll make this as unambiguous as possible:

A = The "parts"
B = The "whole"

E(A) = What the parts A explain
E(B|A) = What the whole B explains given the parts A

Axiom 1: E(A) = E(B|A)
Based on reductionism

Scenarios:
1)There is A
2)There is A and there is B

Definition: For all scenario N, E(N) = Union of E(Xi|X1...Xi-1,Xi+1..Xn), for all things X1..Xn in it (e.g A, B)

Therefore:
E(1) = E(A)
E(2) = E(A|B) U E(B|A)

Axiom 2: E(A) = E(A|B)
The parts can explain the same things independent of the whole being there or not

Lemma 1: E(1) = E(2)
E(2) = E(A|B) U E(B|A)
E(2) = E(A) U E(A) (based on axiom 1 and 2)
E(2) = E(A) = E(1)

Definition: For all scenario X and Y, X-Y indicates what there is in X, but there isn't in Y.
Axiom 3: Given X and Y, E(X-Y) = E(X) - E(Y)
What the differences between X and Y explain, is what X can explain without Y

Lemma 2: E(B) = 0
2-1 = B
E(2-1) = E(2) - E(1) (based on axiom 3)
E(B) = E(2-1) = E(2) - E(1) = 0 (based on lemma 1)

Therefore E(B) = 0, thus B, or the "whole" can't explain anything (by itself without its parts).

Now, if "explain" is isomorphic with "information", or E(B) === I(B), then I(B) = 0.
I reject this, for me I(B) > 0

s






This is the part of philosophy I cheated off the exchange kids for.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:21 PM   #6302
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All dictionary definitions are created post-hoc. When people say supernatural they usually just mean ghosts and shit, stuff we don't understand. But even those nuts would say that we could maybe understand how ghosts work. The idea of supernatural as something that cannot be explained in any way is kind of incoherent.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:27 PM   #6303
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but even people i look up to--derren brown for example--say things like 'i would love to meet a medium who actually toys with the supernatural, but i never have' as if the idea of anything supernatural even makes sense. i'm just wondering why it isn't simply a thing of fiction. even nutters that think ghosts exist shouldn't think it's supernatural, their explanations border on descriptions of what they think is... nature. if there was a ghost that lived in the city and everyone knew about it, would it be supernatural? surely not
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:36 PM   #6304
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Derren Brown is a sceptic, he was being funny. I think you just have a rigid understanding of the word and need to realise that people use it all sorts of ways regardless of what it truly "means". Like I said, when people say supernatural they usually just mean either: 1) ghosts and shit; or 2) God shit.

EDIT: And to your question whether the ghost would be supernatural, the only answer one could give is "it depends on what you mean by supernatural". Some people would say of course because its a ****ing ghost, others would say nah because everyone knows about it or whatever.

EDIT2: But then again, what do even mean by "ghost"? See what I'm getting at?
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Last edited by WhiskeyFace : 04-19-2014 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:44 PM   #6305
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i'm starting to realise the reason i hate semantics. the fucker causes all my problems.
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Old 04-19-2014, 10:46 PM   #6306
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:03 PM   #6307
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my problem with the concept of being supernatural is that it's a misnomer.. if it exists, it has to be natural, because everything that exists is natural. and it DOES follow some laws, apart from some conceptions of god, but they're simply laws we're unaware of.

as whiskeyface said, the supernatural being completely unexplainable is kinda incoherent. we might not have the capacity to, but that doesn't mean a nearby possible world wouldn't be able to, so the "supernatural" can't be necessarily unexplainable. not to mention that there's typically some consistency in the behaviors of ghosts. that means that there are factors that cause their behavior and/or function. which means there is some explanation that can be made. the only way we wouldn't be able to have an explanation is if every supernatural event was completely unique and unpredictable because it wasn't caused by something.

which violates our notions of causality and is therefore pretty incoherent for us.
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Old 04-19-2014, 11:09 PM   #6308
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yeah, that's the kind of thing i would 100% agree with. it really is just the idea of something having no explanation that is incoherent. the idea that something hasn't yet been explained is elementary, but like you said, something having no explanation violates our notions of causality. yet many people hold the idea that some things can't be explained or 'have no explanation' which is without merit.
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Old Yesterday, 01:27 AM   #6309
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well, the idea that some things can't be explained isn't an invalid one, it's just usually poorly applied.

any cosmological account violates our notions of causality. i don't think there is a coherent explanation for the emergence of the world.

however, i'd argue that's because there are some questions that are incoherent. the question of "where did everything come from" is a bad question, because it assumes that everything came from somewhere. and yet that assumption is at the root of our views on causality. if someone asks a question that is impossible for any human to give a coherent answer to, it's a bad question.
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Old Yesterday, 01:46 AM   #6310
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I agree that the concept "supernatural" does seem to make no sense, JUST when taken as "beyond the laws of nature". But it has other connotations, which DO relate to the "ghosts and shit" stuff, or stem from it.

Here's what I believe supernatural means:

1)An aspect of our universe nobody can explain, nor come close to explain with the current scientific models of the universe (it does belong to "the laws of nature" though).
2)This aspect needs to be able to be observed on Earth by humans, or be affected by it somehow, while still following rule (1)

(2) seems the more arbitrary notion to me, in the sense that it makes the least "sense". But basically, (2) is what I think defines stuff as "supernatural" and not just "theoretical science stuff nobody cares about".

For example, you could ask someone at the street "Is dark matter supernatural?". He'd say "No" (or would ask wtf dark matter is in the first place). Yet (I think), dark matter follows rule (1).
Would people tell you "The theory of everything is supernatural"? Again, they wouldn't, and no one of us would consider it that way.

For it to be supernatural, it needs to have some impact on people's lives in a more direct way, but still not be able to be explained (and most of if not all the time not even reproduced) by the current scientific models (Newton's laws, etc).
Seeing a ghost, believing a medium can talk to the dead, seeing a person fly up into the air, believing in the soul, spirits, fairies, deities, etc, fall into this category.
So yeah, you need ghosts and shit. If not, nobody that is the kind of person to call something "supernatural", would call it so.

Last edited by gonzaw : Yesterday at 01:48 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 06:57 AM   #6311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progdude93
well, the idea that some things can't be explained isn't an invalid one, it's just usually poorly applied.

any cosmological account violates our notions of causality. i don't think there is a coherent explanation for the emergence of the world.

however, i'd argue that's because there are some questions that are incoherent. the question of "where did everything come from" is a bad question, because it assumes that everything came from somewhere. and yet that assumption is at the root of our views on causality. if someone asks a question that is impossible for any human to give a coherent answer to, it's a bad question.

yeah, i 100% agree. thanks for the correction. i very often find myself stumped by a question that i've either asked myself or somebody has asked, and i realize that i'm trying to look for a mystery. if i break it down to more specific questions and more sensible questions, the task of answering isn't so tough anymore.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzaw
I agree that the concept "supernatural" does seem to make no sense, JUST when taken as "beyond the laws of nature". But it has other connotations, which DO relate to the "ghosts and shit" stuff, or stem from it.

Here's what I believe supernatural means:

1)An aspect of our universe nobody can explain, nor come close to explain with the current scientific models of the universe (it does belong to "the laws of nature" though).
2)This aspect needs to be able to be observed on Earth by humans, or be affected by it somehow, while still following rule (1)

(2) seems the more arbitrary notion to me, in the sense that it makes the least "sense". But basically, (2) is what I think defines stuff as "supernatural" and not just "theoretical science stuff nobody cares about".

For example, you could ask someone at the street "Is dark matter supernatural?". He'd say "No" (or would ask wtf dark matter is in the first place). Yet (I think), dark matter follows rule (1).
Would people tell you "The theory of everything is supernatural"? Again, they wouldn't, and no one of us would consider it that way.

For it to be supernatural, it needs to have some impact on people's lives in a more direct way, but still not be able to be explained (and most of if not all the time not even reproduced) by the current scientific models (Newton's laws, etc).
Seeing a ghost, believing a medium can talk to the dead, seeing a person fly up into the air, believing in the soul, spirits, fairies, deities, etc, fall into this category.
So yeah, you need ghosts and shit. If not, nobody that is the kind of person to call something "supernatural", would call it so.
interesting take on it. i completely agree; if something is labelled as supernatural it's usually a very emotionally-weighted, subjective experience.
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