In general, I think creature vs. Creator is a much more helpful
distinction. Free agency is not unique to God. However, one wonders
where to put the activity of angels and demonic spirits. These agents
are creaturely yet I suspect that we might call their activity
I have tended away from supernatural vs. natural in favor of regular
vs. irregular or ordinary vs. extraordinary.
>I had defined four subdefinitions of the (loaded) word "supernaturalism,
>Divine action, in the Christian orthodox tradition, unlimited.
>Divine action, in the Process Theology view, somewhat limited; still >>
>Some human action. Severely limited, of course, but still sometimes
>Some animal actions.
>Howard observed that "Although human decision-making may be neither
>"natural" (in the senses noted above) nor divine, it is fully a
>creaturely action. Perhaps the distinction between "divine" and
>"creaturely" action would be more fruitful than the one between natural
>and non-natural (or supernatural, or extra-natural)."
>One problem I have with that is that it appears that many of the actions
>we humans perform are just by rote/habit, and to ascribe any free will to
>them seems kind of silly. I think it is necessary to distinguish between,
>say, a sneeze, or a reflexive turning of the head upon hearing someone
>call our name, and a deliberate choice of choosing between two (or more)
>alternative actions based upon considered thought.
>Generally speaking, I do not choose to sneeze, and so I would not ascribe
>any supernaturistic(h) characteristic to that action. But in responding
>to your comments, I do ascribe supernaturalism(h).
> (source data on issues of science/theology, quantum mechanics,
> baseball, ethics, humor, great cars, a story of God's
>intervention into the natural causation of the universe, etc.)
-- _________________ Terry M. Gray, Ph.D., Computer Support Scientist Chemistry Department, Colorado State University Fort Collins, Colorado 80523 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.chm.colostate.edu/~grayt/ phone: 970-491-7003 fax: 970-491-1801
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