Class Warfare Blog

April 18, 2018

The Supernatural: A Con Man’s Special Place

Filed under: Culture,Reason,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 1:53 pm
Tags: , , , ,

An alarming number of people believe that there is a realm called “the supernatural.” While I suspect people have different definitions for the term, the idea is rather straightforward. Here are dictionary definitions of supernatural and the prefix super-:

1: of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe; especially : of or relating to God or a god, demigod, spirit, or devil
2a : departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature
b : attributed to an invisible agent (such as a ghost or spirit)

1a: over and above : higher in quantity, quality, or degree than : more than

[Source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary]

The supernatural realm is always “above” the natural realm, never sideways to it or goodness knows, beneath it. Such a realm basically can’t have a location in the natural realm, so why the insistence on the “above” nature is beyond me. I think this relates to belief in a god which is “up there,” and also another god which is “down there.” The “up” being good and the “down” being bad. Of course, the bad gods and the good gods are in the same supernatural realm, unless there is more than one such realm, but why not? The more the merrier.

I used to hear the phrase “planes of existence” a great deal before the Internet drove us to a more common vocabulary. I think this came about from a pack of cards metaphor as it makes no sense otherwise. Why would one wonder about how realms of existence relate to one another spatially when they shouldn’t be interacting, and so no “fit” is required. Of course, fiction writers, even some of my favorites (Andre Norton was a past favorite), wrote about beings being transferred between these planes of existence via various “gateways.” As a narrative device, this allows the author a great deal of rein to “adjust” foliage, animal life, geology, history, etc. to their whim. But, hey, it is fiction.

All of this was before the “multiverse” became fashionable to talk about in rarified physics circles. The Multiverse was either an invention of Marvel Comics or possibly Jack Vance, maybe Michael Moorcock, I can’t say for sure, but it is now playing a role in cosmological theoretical speculations. I suspect, however, that just as invoking gods to explain the creation of the universe, making things horrifyingly more complicated, that invoking a multiverse to make sense of our one verse will also prove to be vastly complicating and, when that happens it seems to be a sure sign of a dead-end road into a theory.

Currently I consider anyone who mentions anything “supernatural” to be one of two types of people (well, maybe three): an entertainer (Think Ancient Aliens or whatever that show is.), or a con man (most serious religionists are in this category (Think William Lane Craig.). The third possibility is that someone has been, or just is, deluded. If all of your friends and family talk about Disney World as if it were real, you’d think it is, ditto for Heaven and Hell.

Anytime you hear someone talk seriously about the supernatural (beings, locations, occurrences, etc.) grab your wallet and back away briskly. Do not run, you may trip and actually hurt yourself interacting with the only reality for which we have evidence of its existence.



  1. Why can’t the ‘natural’ be wonder-filled?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by john zande — April 18, 2018 @ 2:05 pm | Reply

    • I think it quite wonderful, don’t you. (Alternating with aw-ful.)

      On Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 2:05 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — April 18, 2018 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

      • As Douglas Adam’s wrote: “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”


        Comment by john zande — April 19, 2018 @ 4:04 am | Reply

        • Deep at the bottom of this is our need as individuals to believe we are special and part of that feeling is having “special” knowledge that one else has. The Bible and Bible historians are always talking about this special knowledge (gnosis).

          I used to say to the students in my classes: “You are all very, very, special … just like everyone else.”

          On Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 4:04 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:


          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — April 19, 2018 @ 7:39 am | Reply

          • Yep exactly right. I express the same things too with my students. At 12 and 13 a whole lot of them think they are special. That was one thing I really appreciated about the Army. It was a great leveler. Nothing like an open air stalless latrine to help you know everyone is the same!


            Comment by Holding The Line In Florida — April 20, 2018 @ 10:22 am | Reply

            • :o)

              On Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 10:22 AM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



              Comment by Steve Ruis — April 20, 2018 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  2. Love it!


    Comment by Nan — April 18, 2018 @ 4:11 pm | Reply

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