I suppose I would require a technical definition of the argument from ignorance fallacy.
10. Appeal to Ignorance (Argumentum ad Ignorantiam)When the premises of an argument state that nothing has been proved one way or the other about something, and the conclusion then makes a definite assertion about that thing, the argument commits an appeal to ignorance. The issue usually involves something that is incapable of being proved or something that has not yet been proved.
These examples do, however, lead us to the first of two important exceptions to the appeal to ignorance. The first stems from the fact that if qualified researchers investigate a certain phenomenon within their range of expertise and fail to turn up any evidence that the phenomenon exists, this fruitless search by itself constitutes positive evidence about the question.
As someone saying that it is "too improbable..." or "science can't explain..." is relying on solely on current limitations of knowledge, I would say an appeal to ignorance would be what it should properly be called.
Under this impression of "supernatural" would you say Jesus was natural or supernatural during his time on Earth (assuming the Christian scriptures to be accurate in relating His life).
In my pdf, I present objective reasoning for evaluating claims about the supernatural. The reasoning is based on the key logical principal of science, proof by elimination. There are atheist and theists who just prefer their positions for subjective reasons. The reasoning to reject the supernatural because the natural explanation is more simple or less ad-hoc (ocman's razor) and the reasoning of always waiting for possible evidence that will dismiss the supernatural, are approaches the can be used in an unfalsifiable way to dismiss evidence for the supernatural regardless of how objective, or strong the evidence is. Philosepher of science, Popper pointed out the scientifc approaches should be falsifiable.
My approach is the type that the unbiased scientist as described below would follow.
Considering three observers of a hypothetical Guru. The presupposed naturalist, the presupposed super-naturalist and the unbiased scientist. They all sit and watch the Guru flip a supposedly fair two sided coin and the coin keeps landing heads. The more it lands heads the more the presupposed naturalist believes it has heads on both sides. The more it lands heads the more the presupposed super naturalist believes in the super natural powers of the Guru. After the Guru is done the presupposed walk away with their strong opposing beliefs that contradict each other so they could not both be correct, but these two do not ask any further questions. The unbiased scientist is not convinced either way; however, for him the more the coin lands heads the more he wants to check out the coin to see if the super natural is occurring. After the Guru is done he goes up and ask the Guru if he can look at both sides of the coin. Also, he asks the Guru to do the same thing with his own coin he brought that he knew was not rigged. If the Guru still keeps getting heads even with a truly fair two sided coin, then the unbiased scientist becomes convinced that the super natural has intervened. However, if the unbiased scientist discovers a trick of the Guru such as the coin has heads on both sides then he is not convinced the Guru was performing a supernatural event.
I do not think anybody is a perfect Presuppositionalist or unbiased scientist; however, I think a honest thing to do whenever we are developing our beliefs is to honestly ask if am I thinking more like a Presuppositionalist or an unbiased scientist. This should give better insight into oneself as they better understand their own presuppositions and why they hold onto them.
rrr333 wrote: I agree it is not enough for there to be no known natural explantion. Rather according to my method, there must be the reaosniong provided that all possible natural explanation are considered and none of them are plausible. That is what section 2.5 of my pdf addresses.
Reasonable assumptions can be made that limit the number of possibilities to a finite number. For example, if your car isseen being driving away, it can be assumed if this is a natural phenomenon that a human is driving it away or there is aremote control device in the car. If you just thoroughly check the car and found no remote control device, then if it occurrednaturally, one could assume a human was driving it away. Since the number of humans is finite, the number of possiblethieves is finite. In this case to determine the actual individual who stole the car, one would have to show that all otherhumans except for a certain one was driving the stolen car. If it can be shown no human was in the car and since there isno remote control device, PE would indicate the supernatural intervened.
rrr333 wrote: The reasoning to reject the supernatural because the natural explanation is more simple or less ad-hoc (ocman's razor) and the reasoning of always waiting for possible evidence that will dismiss the supernatural, are approaches the can be used in an unfalsifiable way to dismiss evidence for the supernatural regardless of how objective, or strong the evidence is.
The reasoning to reject the supernatural because the natural explanation is more simple or less ad-hoc (ocman's razor) and the reasoning of always waiting for possible evidence that will dismiss the supernatural, are approaches the can be used in an unfalsifiable way to dismiss evidence for the supernatural regardless of how objective, or strong the evidence is.
Give me an example of such evidence.
Given your scenario, I would say the unbiased scientist was not thorough enough. I would say in addition to using another coin, he should also require the guru to perform the same feat in another location.
At this point I must ask you in what way you define supernatural. What if the Guru had discovered some repeatable, verifiable method by which he can generate a force through a mental exercise?
Though the method would not be understood at the time, would this necessarily be supernatural, or just some innate ability of humankind (or perhaps even only this specific man through some mutation) .
I now have a scenario for you:
Criss Angel is a very talented magician. In addition to this instance, where he manages to walk through glass, he also has the impressive ability of levitation.
However, I have seen the levitation trick explained. Very clever, and it was done without using any of the natural tricks I would have considered. However, I would have been wrong to assume it was supernatural, as all of the possible natural methods did not encompass all it could possibly be.
Still, I am yet to hear the explanation for how he walks through glass. I notice that it appears he has something under his shirt. There seems to be no seem in the glass, so it is unlikely that he removes or slides part away and then reinserts it. Obviously he is not moving through it as a liquid, as glass at that temperature is far too brittle. If he increased the temperature that far he would himself come to physical harm, and the paper would burn. I'm guessing that those in the crowd are in on the trick... or at the very least the man on the inside. Video editing is possible, but at least Snopes agrees that it is one, unedited continuous take.
Assuming the video was unedited, would you feel that this was supernatural?
I don't. I believe there was a natural explanation, and that explanation lies behind a thin sheet of paper. Our view of the scene was incomplete. We were withheld key data that is necessary to properly understand the phenomenon witnessed.
I think this is an excellent analogy for all insufficiently understood phenomena. If not a direct hindrance to observation, at the very least ignorance of physical properties and natural principles limits our field of view... and obscures the key to full understanding.
Drm970 wrote: That which is not natural is, well, not natural. So, if one were to eliminate all possible natural explanations, one would be justified in believing in a supernatural explanation. You seem to be confused in that you think "all natural explanations" is equivalent to "all natural explanations I can think of."