Terry posted: "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."
While I agree that the term "supernatural" is loaded," I continue to
think we need SOME sort of language in which to assert that we human
beings do, at least sometimes, violate natural causality when we make
decisions in which some thought is involved. Neither you nor Howard like
the word "supernaturalism" but in avoiding its use the concept of
"breaking into the causal nexus of the universe" (Griffin's terminology)
is glossed over and ignored.
I wish there were another term -- "extra-natural" comes close, but seems
contrived. Maybe someone here can suggest one.
I had forgotten to include the angels/demons possibility, so my
definitions must be expanded to the following:
sn(d) (divine; God of orthodox Christianity)
sn(o) (divine; God of Open Theism)
sn(p) (divine; God of Process Theology)
sn(i) (inanimate matter)
One may argue, of course, that some of the above are null; as a matter of
fact, only sn(h) can be fairly said to be established; all the others are
open to argument. I guess even sn(h) is open to argument if your name is
Sagan, Dawkins or Crick.
My own belief structure is that sn(h) surely is true; sn(i) is surely not
true. My jury is out on the other categories, except to say that some
variation of sn(d), sn(o) and sn(p) must certainly be true, with my
position being one that sn(d) seems the most credible.
John Burgeson (Burgy)
(data on science/theology, quantum mechanics, baseball, ethics,
humor, great cars, God's intervention into natural causation,
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