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.
Through Dave Armstrong, I’ve found an ex-Christian atheist who goes by DaGoodS (I’ll call him DGS). He runs a blog discussing (naive) critiques of his former faith (don’t all ex-Christian atheists?) called Thoughts from a Sandwich.
The author referred to a survey where 10,000 Christians were asked, “What Questions do you find difficult to answer?” and compiled a list of the top ten; the author kindly provides Christian responses.
DGS doesn’t think that the questions in the book are very good, and I’m also guessing that he finds the answers lacking as well.
Since I’m a sucker for questions that Christians allegedly can’t answer, I thought I’d take a shot at DGS’s list. Starting today, I’ll take a poke at two questions per day, posting one first thing in the morning and one in the late afternoon.
I’m hoping we can learn something from each other. Read the rest of this entry