Definition of the term "supernatural"
#1
How would one define the term "supernatural?" As Catholics we use this term often but what does it actually mean? Etymologically, it means above nature yet how would I explain it to someone who does not believe that anything can be above nature.
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#2
(09-16-2012, 10:08 PM)obscurus Wrote: How would one define the term "supernatural?" As Catholics we use this term often but what does it actually mean? Etymologically, it means above nature yet how would I explain it to someone who does not believe that anything can be above nature.

Most precisely, Catholics use it to refer directly to the Divine. The term "preternatural" is used to refer to things outside of nature generally (such as general spiritual matters such as demons and angels).

For those who think nature that we experience directly is the extent of reality would have no concept of this and it is on par with imagination and fantasy.
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#3
(09-16-2012, 10:12 PM)Rosarium Wrote: Most precisely, Catholics use it to refer directly to the Divine. The term "preternatural" is used to refer to things outside of nature generally (such as general spiritual matters such as demons and angels).

This is how I always understood it too.
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#4
Sometimes I think people should not use the word "miracle" so readily as they do.  A miracle is something that can only be explained by God's acting above nature - the supernatural.  Some events in our life are absolutely wonderful coincidences that are clearly works of God - but He is still working within nature; there is a natural explanation.  People call these wonderful things "miracles" but sometimes lose sight of what is truly miraculous.  (Of course we can recognize two kinds of "miracles", but shouldn't confuse them)
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