Daily Archives: September 22, 2011

Natural vs. Supernatural

I don’t believe in distinguishing “natural” and “supernatural.”  Sounds weird, I know.  But just think about it for a moment.

A “supernatural” explanation is a suspension of natural law and explanation.  For an explanation to be truly “supernatural,” it must defy all attempts to explain it inside the natural system, and must come from totally outside the natural system.  It must create a pure miracle, a suspension or violation of the natural order.

Here is why nothing is ever “supernatural:”

If I pick up a box and hold it over a table, that doesn’t violate the law of gravity by supernatural intervention.  By the same token, if God suspends that box, that doesn’t violate the law of gravity, but people have the need to label that “supernatural.” A box floating in midair seems to be a violation of the law of gravity, right?

But is it any different than the human holding the box?  The human creates a situation contrary to what we expect (the box falling to the ground) by normal and natural interactions of agents.

So I believe the same is the case for God holding the box.

Therefore, when God monkeys with nature, he isn’t “supernaturally intervening.”  He is making a change or interrupting the natural flow, but he isn’t rewriting the laws of physics when he does it.  It’s as natural as the human holding the box up in the air.

Natural and supernatural are actually points of view, simple as pie.  What exists in the encapsulated system of space and time that we occupy is “natural” to us, what exists outside of that is “supernatural” to us.  That makes us “supernatural” from God’s point of view.