Tuesday 2 October 2012


"One reason that belief in the supernatural remains widespread, despite its negligibility, is that, as discussed earlier, it cannot be proven wrong, and the epistemological insulation provided by its inaccessibility is accorded the weight of evidence despite the fact that it carries no evidential weight at all. The supernatural remains logically possible, and thus an option for belief, only because it is not susceptible to confirmation or disconfirmation on the basis of evidence. But this status is permanent--the metaphysical status of supernaturalism as at most a logical possibility will never change. To become more than a logical possibility, supernaturalism must be confirmed with unequivocal empirical evidence, and such confirmation would only demonstrate that this newly verified aspect of reality had all along never been supernatural at all, but rather a natural phenomenon which just awaited an appropriate scientific test. Supernaturalists have not succeeded in providing such a test, but the naturalist has all the time in the world, and is prepared to give the supernaturalist all the time in the world, to make the attempt. In the meantime, the philosophical naturalist can point to the constantly expanding success of science in explaining what once were thought intractable mysteries or fixed categories of experience and reality." ~ Barbara Forrest, "Methodological Naturalism and Philosophical Naturalism: Clarifying the Connection" (2000)

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