Thursday, 18 August 2011

Philosophy, Consciousness, Virtual Reality & the Supernatural

By definition, you can't prove or disprove the supernatural with the natural, but you can disprove a supernatural claim on a natural occurrence - and once you have a natural answer to a claimed supernatural event the realm of the supernatural shrinks just a little bit more (or moves). The question then has to be: At what point does the supernatural pass into the natural?

If our natural bodies contain a supernatural spirit/soul what element of the natural body is it that contains the soul? What is it that ties the spiritual to the corporeal? If you can state what it is you can quantify it... or disprove it.

To me, this is philosophy, discussing the uneasy meeting point between modern science and modern religion (the latter being, as Sam Harris puts it, a failed science, although that is a little glib and ignores the never-intended-to-be-scientific elements of religion).

As science explains more and more of the natural world it limits the postulated input of the supernatural to less and less - the only question that remains is whether that will ever be nil.

To me the supernatural is analogous to our ability to think about the way we think.

The ability to think conceptually as well as concretely, virtually by definition, brings about our ability to conceive the supernatural, as such it is entirely virtual.

We will always be able to conceive of things outside the realms of the currently provable - the teapot orbiting the moon will become the teapot orbiting Alpha Centauri, then Betelgeuse, then Deneb - but this only serves to push us to further our actual knowledge and do away with (or be more sophisticated with) our wishful thinking.