Discussions centered around “what is supernatural?” are pretty interesting. It’s definitely worth noting that historically, natural processes “controlled” by insanely complex environmental processes were chalked up to spirits of earth, water, sky, etc. In fact, there are tribal areas where these beliefs still operate today! But although volcanologists aren’t 100% certain in their predictions of eruptions, Western science is 100% certain that they can be explained solely by materialistic mechanisms, no volcano spirit required.

So things previously thought to be squarely in the realm of the supernatural turn out to be amenable to description by science, and therefore “natural” rather than “supernatural.” To those who think nothing exists other than what can be described by science, of course the very idea of the existence of the “supernatural” is ludicrous. They’ve quite simply defined it out of existence, in their worldview.

Here’s the thing. The material world runs in a reasonable, cause-and-effect manner that can be observed. I’m pretty sure that the “supernatural” – aka, a “spirit realm” – also runs in a reasonable, cause-and-effect manner, and if the technology were developed, could be observed. Under which circumstances, materialists would “prove” that the “supernatural” doesn’t exist. It probably wouldn’t be a very “hard” science, as spirits would be persons, and the “science” of studying persons (psychology, sociology) is badly infected by Marxism and therefore has some Issues (and a couple of magazine subscriptions) but since people have a fairly immutable nature, I see no reason why spirits (whatever they happen to be “made of” once “science” gets a hold on them) wouldn’t be the same.

What would be truly supernatural – as in, not following a reasonable, cause-and-effect pattern – would be actual miracles. (Though I’m sure a sufficiently dogmatic materialist could be shown a miracle a day for their entire lives and not believe – because where a miracle interacts with the physical world, there’s going to be a “secondary cause” that the materialist can combine with “chance” as a way to ignore the miraculous.) As far as I’m concerned, “nature” is everything that’s created – and that includes non-physical spirits. They’ve got rules, too. And there’s way too much “eyewitness” testimony for me to believe that spiritual entities don’t exist.

Don’t get me started on the ghost-hunting thing, though. If I for one second thought that there was an actual haunting going on in someplace, you could not PAY me enough to stay there overnight. It’s like the movie Paranormal Activity: here’s this idiot who receives sufficient evidence that a spiritual entity (a) exists and (b) is EXTREMELY HOSTILE. If I were him, I’d have gone and holed up in a cathedral somewhere, not tried to (essentially) poke it with sticks! (He richly deserved his Darwin Award.) However, I’m quite skeptical of the concept of hauntings, myself. Even though I do believe in so-called “supernatural” phenomena. If you tell me that there’s a friendly ghost in your dorm room – okay, whatever, I’m not gonna call you a liar. Maybe there is something there. If you get out one of those little EVP recorders to try to “talk” to the ghost, however, I’m going to be laughing hysterically at you on the inside, at the very least. I really don’t understand how anyone can take that stuff seriously. I mean, my parents had a set of speakers that would literally talk, seemingly at random, when no one was using the computer or had any audio or video playing – but none of us thought that was supernatural. They were just picking up stray signals. I see zero reason to believe anything caught on electronic recorders is anything other than static and/or some kind of interference.

But yeah. I enjoy pantheistic stories, and I’m pretty sure that if there are such things as fae and youkai and such, they’re not any more “supernatural” than the jet stream or El Niño. Do spirits themselves exist? Well, sure. Are they supernatural? That depends on what you mean by “supernatural.” I don’t think that they’re any more supernatural than gravity, myself – after all, I can’t see gravity, but I’ve seen and felt its effects. And while gravity is easily testable, because it’s an impersonal physical phenomenon caused by mass, spirits tend not to sit in one place and play nice with the scientists trying to poke them with sticks. Why should they? I wouldn’t sit still and play nice while a scientist tried to poke me with sticks, either! Especially if the sticks were unable to “connect.” That would get really, really boring, really fast.

About pancakeloach :)
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