virus: Supernatural.

Gifford, Nate F (
Mon, 29 Sep 1997 15:13:14 -0400

Tad <speaker for the people of the Planet TeTa> answers:
>On planet TeTa we do not believe in Supernatural. Period. This way God
>the Universe or Nature which can be explored. Have you read
>with God" by Neale Donald Walsh? Excellent two books (not that I agree
>what the author says, but the books are very stimulating).

>Planet TeTa to Gifford, Nate F: what do YOU think?

Pardon me inhabitants of TeTa, but don't you think not believing in the
Supernatural, but believing in God is a bit contradictory? On par with
A.C. Clarke's "Any sufficiently advanced technology will look like magic to
a less advanced society." It sounds like you use the word God when reality
reaches the bounds of resolution of your conceptual tools. I'm afraid that
it will be a very long time until I get around to reading anybooks <sic,tm>
with the word "God" in the title as the signal to noise ratio for the group
as a whole is just to damn low for me to take a risk on any member of the

Eva writes:
>Nate: There are realms of belief in what is called the "supernatural"
>that don't posit the existence of a supreme being, which is the sense in
>which I understand the word "god" in the definition of "atheist" you
>There are also people who believe in things others would call
>"supernatural", but who themselves believe them to be within the natural.

Eva, please note that the super in supernatural does seem to indicate some
sort of supremacy to the natural world. To believe in the supernatural is
to believe that there are forces that can manifest themselves counter to
what would "naturally" happen. For the sake of argument it is possible to
believe in a "subnatural" universe in which all our actions have
consequences, but whose consequences will never affect us. The only reason
a believer in the "subnatural" universe would care about the consequences
of their actions in the subnatural universe would be out of compassion for
its inhabitants. Likewise if there is a supernatural universe why does it
matter unless it is to propitiate the inhabitants of that universe in order
to improve our opportunities in this universe?

I believe this is the basis for tieing memes to the Shaman thread which I
quit reading soon after it was spawned. I believe the longevity of a
supernatural belief system will be tied to its efficacy in the real world.
Thus, you get all kinds of Xtians who believe God has done something for
them when as a consequence of their belief that thing happened. Example 1
would be the power of positive thinking. I firmly believe that positive
thinking can extend your life ... perhaps even place cancer in remission.
I also think that Xtian groups have a good mechanism for reinforcing
positive thinking. Thus, with all other things being equal I would
encourage Xtian beliefs in anyone close to me who had cancer. In fact
should I find out that Jesse Helm's has cancer I plan on sacrifice animals
in Satanic rituals on video tape and sending the tapes to his family in the
hope that my actions might discourage any benefits their faith gave them.
This does not mean I believe in the supernatural. Should, word get to
Jesse and his family about the time of my ritual, and should they
fruitlessly pray to their pathetic god to save him, and should he die
anyway ... was it the supernatural or the natural that killed him?
Example 2 might be the Calvinist ideal of the elect. Their are lots of
Xtian businessmen who swear that God runs their business ... never counting
on the various memes that God is propagating for them ... for instance
keeping them in touch with honest suppliers, providing them with a paradigm
that keeps them honest, providing them with a built in network of
customer's <There's a deacon in our church who could sell you one of those
....>. The same is true with the Shamans ... their belief system may give
them a shorthand to success ... and that shorthand may be so good that I
can never hope to disambiguate cause from effect in order to reproduce the
Shaman's results .... I will pay $25 to the first Shaman who can force
Jesse Helms to die before October 31. In case of multiple winners I will
pay the first Shaman to get back to me $25, but I will give $25 to any
Shaman who can make the Shaman who got the money die. Etc. My belief in
the natural world allows me to make this bet since:

1) Assume that you post this message on alt.superstitious.
2) Assume that Jesse Helms dies. <I'm serious about this bet ... if Jesse
Helms dies before Oct 31 the first person that writes me saying they caused
his death gets $25 >
3) Assume that all 2 million readers on alt.superstitious get back to me
and I'm not fired losing my access to Email before I pay off.
4) What are the chances that I will have to pay off another $25?
5) Should I have to pay a total of $75 I would be more than willing to
change my position on the supernatural...and by $150 I would be willing to
pay protection money from the other 1,999,994 million members of the group
....but at that point we're still talking minor odds compared to the
chances of Uri Geller being able to bend spoons with his mind or whatever
your favorite supernatural rap is nes pas?