“supernatural-lite.”

#1
From here,


Implicit in the blank-slate take on religion is the idea that religious faith may be diminished simply by changing the type of cultural inputs people receive. This would seem to be supported by the gradual replacement of religious doctrines with rationalist, evidence-based methods for explaining the world: The history of science is full of examples of science replacing old superstitions. But explaining the natural world is only one of religion’s functions. Ultimately, religion is about the human need for meaning. This need is inherent, not learned. It is a fundamental component of the human condition.

Indeed, the degree to which humans perceive their lives as meaningful correlates reliably with observable measures of psychological and physical health. A sense of meaning also helps people mobilize toward the pursuit of their goals (persistence), and serves to protect them from the negative effects of stress and trauma (resilience). In short, people who view their lives as full of meaning are more likely to thrive than those who don’t.

When people turn away from one source of meaning, such as religion, they don’t abandon the search for meaning altogether. They simply look for it in different forms. As I discuss in my new book, [i]Supernatural: Death, Meaning and the Power of Invisible World[/i], the decline of traditional religion has been accompanied by a rise in a diverse range of supernatural, paranormal and related beliefs.



.... and ...


Some who reject both traditional and non-traditional supernatural beliefs are attracted to what I refer to as “supernatural-lite.” This label encompasses beliefs that require a leap of faith and have characteristics reminiscent of religion, but do not explicitly rely on the idea of supernatural power. And they often are superficially wrapped up in scientific or technological conceits, which make them more palatable to those who do not fancy themselves people of faith (especially men). This includes the belief that intellectually superior aliens are monitoring and even influencing, the lives of humans. Some of these believers have even embraced the idea that extraterrestrials are responsible for human civilization, and will one day welcome us into a larger cosmic community once we reach some baseline level of enlightenment.

In his 2011 book, [i]The Believing Brain[/i], Michael Shermer argues that alien beings are “secular gods—deities for atheists.” And while most hardcore atheists aren’t dedicated UFO conspiracy theorists, the dream of life amid a larger interplanetary community reflects the hunger for collective human meaning that transcends the pedestrian scientific view of human beings as transient organisms inhabiting an inconsequential rock hurtling through an indifferent universe. As with the other patterns described, across the Western world, at the same time as traditional religions are declining, supernatural-lite beliefs are on the rise.
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#2
I would suggest that science offers meaning to human beings as much as religion or the supernatural does. Science offers a grand metanarrative of evolution, human conquest and discovery, and technological progress that is as inspiring and value-laden as any other worldview. It assumes the mastery of the human mind over the physical universe in being able to break down and dissect its components and laws and principles. It also carries on the Enlightenment tradition of everything being rationally explainable and comprehensible. Mankind comes out of the scientific metanarrative shining like a demigod who thru noble effort and genius recreates the universe into a world completely suited to his purposes. It is a hero myth, and one that is clung to by many for its meaning-giving effect.
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#3
(Jan 15, 2020 07:16 PM)Anu Wrote: From here,

[...] In his 2011 book, [i]The Believing Brain[/i], Michael Shermer argues that alien beings are “secular gods—deities for atheists.” And while most hardcore atheists aren’t dedicated UFO conspiracy theorists, the dream of life amid a larger interplanetary community reflects the hunger for collective human meaning that transcends the pedestrian scientific view of human beings as transient organisms inhabiting an inconsequential rock hurtling through an indifferent universe. As with the other patterns described, across the Western world, at the same time as traditional religions are declining, supernatural-lite beliefs are on the rise.

Not just space aliens, necessarily. Of more general category, they'd be deities of natural origin like pseudo-scientific Doctor Manhattan of the Watchmen. Who in the recent HBO series even indulges in his own creationism schtick on Europa.

If there was actually evidence of traditional folklore entities (merely counterfactual musing here)... Then instead of being "spirits", something like the Japanese Kami might be reinterpreted as technologically engendered in some anachronistic manner (time-travel, parallel universe, etc) or as ETs or as von Neumann machines or as deliberate physical anomalies introduced into the world simulation.

The elimination of their "supernatural" classification facilitated by taking into account claims or arguments that dualism is actually an interpretative revision retrospectively foisted upon older religions (including the Abrahamic ones): The "dualism was not originally part of ancient belief systems" proposal

Of course, what's meant by spiritual beings has probably always been hopelessly mangled in the West, anyway, due to people sighting them in spacetime or asserting evidence of them. When by definition that shouldn't even possible for a manner of existence prior in rank to the corporeal phenomena of the experienced world (i.e., "nature").

So-called "scientists" occasionally testing for souls or ghosts or whatever being the peak of hilarity, since such acts in themselves indicate that what's meant by "supernatural" is indeed popularly conflated with natural properties (detectable). While referencing dualism on the surface, the West instead seems to have been wallowing about more in the purported non-dualism stance of much of the rest of the globe.
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#4
If it happens, it's not supernatural. Supernatural is nothing more than a belief, like any other.
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#5
(Jan 15, 2020 10:57 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: If it happens, it's not supernatural. Supernatural is nothing more than a belief, like any other.

That sounds like your own personal belief.
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#6
(Jan 15, 2020 09:54 PM)Magical Realist Wrote: I would suggest that science offers meaning to human beings as much as religion or the supernatural does. Science offers a grand metanarrative of evolution, human conquest and discovery, and technological progress that is as inspiring and value-laden as any other worldview. It assumes the mastery of the human mind over the physical universe in being able to break down and dissect its components and laws and principles. It also carries on the Enlightenment tradition of everything being rationally explainable and comprehensible. Mankind comes out of the scientific metanarrative shining like a demigod who thru noble effort and genius recreates the universe into a world completely suited to his purposes. It is a hero myth, and one that is clung to by many for its meaning-giving effect.
This is all suggested in the article. But what the article also suggests is that this subservience to a "meaning-laden narrative" is not categorically "natural" science. Rather, it belongs to the "supernatural."
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#7
(Jan 16, 2020 02:37 AM)Magical Realist Wrote:
(Jan 15, 2020 10:57 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: If it happens, it's not supernatural. Supernatural is nothing more than a belief, like any other.

That sounds like your own personal belief.

If God is a product of some unknown event in some mysterious unseeable realm that existed since the beginning of time and if he is the creator then we/universe might be the closest thing to supernatural there is. Depends how he did it. 

Will someone show me something supernatural?
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#8
(Jan 16, 2020 05:22 AM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
(Jan 16, 2020 02:37 AM)Magical Realist Wrote:
(Jan 15, 2020 10:57 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: If it happens, it's not supernatural. Supernatural is nothing more than a belief, like any other.

That sounds like your own personal belief.

If God is a product of some unknown event in some mysterious unseeable realm that existed since the beginning of time and if he is the creator then we/universe might be the closest thing to supernatural there is. Depends how he did it. 

Will someone show me something supernatural?
If you identify the supernatural as unknowable and unseeable, you have quite a bit to work with already.
But then if you want to say those things that you don't know or see are systematically natural and knowable by Science with a capital S, you are probably traversing the path of supernatural-lite.
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#9
Quote:If you identify the supernatural as unknowable and unseeable, you have quite a bit to work with already.


Sorry, you misunderstood, there is no supernatural but if you want to believe there is then be my guest. It's a natural thing to do. It's of the universe. 

Do beliefs make more work than necessary or do they make more unnecessary work?
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#10
(Jan 16, 2020 05:55 AM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
Quote:If you identify the supernatural as unknowable and unseeable, you have quite a bit to work with already.


Sorry, you misunderstood, there is no supernatural but if you want to believe there is then be my guest. It's a natural thing to do. It's of the universe. 
I was just using language you provided.

Quote:Do beliefs make more work than necessary or do they make more unnecessary work?

If noone, yourself included, can refrain from it, it wouldn't appear to be something we can do "less" of, nor somehow render it "unecessary."
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