This is going to my longest OP yet (sorry about that) and get quite involved (sorry about that too), but read what you find interesting enough, and then post your opinions. Dare to get into “the weeds,” if you feel you are up to the task. I.e., Enter at your own risk. – Signed, The Management. 😉
Many atheists are atheists because they believe that nothing of a “supernatural” nature is possible. And that, of course, would include any God(s). To such atheists, if something exists or happens, it must be considered natural; no “magic.” Further, that anything seeming to be supernatural will, with enough time and study, be completely explained away by science as a natural occurrence; no more need for a “God of the Gaps.”
So, to sum up their argument in simple terms:
P1: Nothing that exists can be of a supernatural nature.
P2: Gods are of a supernatural nature.
C: Therefore, Gods cannot exist.
Pretty simple (and don’t we love it that way ;). But I’m wondering if the condition “natural” is merely a perspective-related thing. In other words, if such supernatural-denying atheists are going to claim that everything that exists is natural, does “natural” only relate to events and conditions in our macro world; the only perspective we have direct access to? Aren’t these atheists being a bit short-sighted and presumptuous, locked into their own perspective (as they accuse the theists of being) to insist that only natural events can possibly occur? (That’s not the question yet… hold on. ;-P
Getting Into the Weeds
Yes, there is another realm all around us, the micro world (which, by the way, makes up and are the building blocks to our macro world) to take under consideration. And that micro world is completely unnatural vis-à-vis our macro world. Let’s look at some examples:
Spooky action at a distance-
For example, you got your spooky-action-at-a-distance; also called entanglement or non-locality. (LOOK THIS UP!) They (of the famous they’s) say that we could split a particle, send half of it across the universe (love that Beatles song…one of my very favs), change the spin of the Earth’s half particle, and the other half would instantaneously react to its counterpart. It’s true. Linked particles with seemingly faster-than-light communication: Impossible! Absurd! (Loved “Fiddler on the Roof” too!) Experiments have been done right here on earth and have been documented. (If interested, please Google Spooky Action at a Distance testing.)
And then there’s wave-particle duality? You know, the two-slit experiment where particles can “choose” their activity, including going through both slits at the same time. Or, as one of my favorite theoretical physicists, Brian Greene, tweeted this morning, “In quantum mechanics, we often say that a particle can be two places at once. More precise to say that there are situations when a particle may not have a location at all. Which is deeply weird.” You ain’t a-schnitzen, doc!
It’s a wave when not observed, but collapses into a particle when observed. Qué ¿ Say again!?
“The Copenhagen interpretation was first posed by physicist Niels Bohr in 1920. It says that a quantum particle doesn’t exist in one state or another, but in all of its possible states at once. … Since it may be forced into a different observable state each time, this explains why a quantum particle behaves erratically.”
“The Copenhagen interpretation intends to indicate the proper ways of thinking and speaking about the physical meaning of the mathematical formulations of quantum mechanics and the corresponding experimental results. It offers due respect to discontinuity, probability, and a conception of wave–particle dualism.”
How about superposition? Schrödinger’s Cat comes to mind. Not sure, but I think this is a version / offshoot of the Copenhagen Interpretation, where something isn’t “real” (doesn’t settle into a state of “existence”) until it’s observed; IOW, our observations of the world actually changes it. The Copenhagen Interpretation, the most widely held theory of QM, says that it is only when something is observed, that its wave function collapses into what we call a “reality.”
Some examples, see the Twin paradox, atomic clocks, Google for others.
Then you atheists have theoretical physics to contend with. The Many Worlds Interpretation, bubble universes, string theory, etc.
Okay, okay! I’m already in way over my head here and I know it! But… my point is, atheists, why so confident, indeed insistent, that supernatural, including Gods, isn’t possible? It sure seem possible to me. Am I that naïve? I just wonder why the quantum world doesn’t give you any pause about some God Notion. No, still not my actual questions. 🙂 3-2-1…
Here are your questions:
Question 1: What exactly constitutes the “supernatural”? What is the baseline metric for judging that?
Question 2: Isn’t the condition “natural” perspective-related?
Question 3: Is it possible that the world of the quantum may leave room for what we call a generic “God” notion? (No, not biblical God per se (as people have bastardized it) but rather a Notion (or as I, a Pantheist, call it, “the God Process”) of “God-ness”)
Question 4: If your argument is that you cannot believe in a “God possibility” because it demands too much belief in the supernatural, how do you explain the world of the quantum vis-à-vis some supernatural God Entity/Notion/Process?
Answer any or all questions, and thanks for recommending!