04 November 2010

The silent, the hidden, and the lawless

I love this list of how things might be “supernatural” at Cosmic Vicariance:

Rather that declare once and for all what the best definition of “supernatural” is, we can try to distinguish between at least three possibilities:
  1. The silent: things that have absolutely no effect on anything that happens in the world.
  2. The hidden: things that affect the world only indirectly, without being immediately observable themselves.
  3. The lawless: things that affect the world in ways that are observable (directly or otherwise), but not subject to the regularities of natural law.

A problem that I see is the difficulty of distinguishing “the lawless” from the rare and / or the complex.

For us to determine if there are underlying regularities, we often need a large number of observations. But there are some events we just cannot conjure up on a whim, and these rare events may be important.

And causal chains can be so complicated that we can’t necessarily parse them out in law-like terminology.

1 comment:

Whimsical Trovers said...

The Silent, the Hidden, and the Lawless. That sounds like Thanksgiving at my house.