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The ‘Supernatural Realm’: the biggest ad hoc fallacy ever

by John Richards

Here’s the way things actually go in the real realm: a new creature is discovered then it’s studied to find out what its characteristics are. What does it eat? Does it mate for life? Does it build a nest? How long does it live? So many questions that can’t be answered until after we’ve found one!

That’s the order: first find the beast, then examine and study it. Do not invent properties without any evidence! That would be like claiming that, ‘My Loch Ness Monster is pink and likes Nutella’ before checking that such an organism exists in the first place!

When a theist realizes they can provide no evidence for their god, they must accept that they are at risk of apportioning properties to a myth. Naturally, they don’t want to be ridiculed.

So, what do they do? Do they search for evidence? No! They skip that stage and go straight to making wild assumptions about the abilities and characteristics of this being that they have no evidence for! Never mind having a king with no clothes, here’s lots of royal clothes!

When they eventually realize that there is no possibility of finding any evidence for their god in the Natural Realm, they invent another realm for it to exist in! Of course, they can provide no evidence for that either!

In logic, this is known as an example of an ad hoc fallacy: trying to protect a claim with another claim! It’s really the fool’s mate of philosophy.

Yet, they don’t really want a completely unnatural realm outside of the Natural Realm for their god to exist in, they want the Law of Causality to apply there! What reason do they have for that? The Law of Causality is a good ‘law’ but the all evidence we have for it is firmly within the Natural Realm. So in reality they are making a double ad hoc fallacy – not only that there is another realm, but also that it has one of the properties that belongs to the Natural Realm!

That causes them to make another logical error – the Special Pleading fallacy!

Pile fallacy upon fallacy why doncha!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. bazza

    Hi, John,
    Another great piece, many thanks.
    The subject of ‘the spirit realm’ is one of my favourite areas of debate with believers. Of those believers, my favourite crazies are the JW’s.
    These people have pretty concrete ideas about ‘heaven’, what it’s like, who’s there now, who’s likely to go in the future and who definitely won’t be making the trip. Listening to them is an absolute hoot.

    Invariably, the discussion will be terminated by the visiting JW with the classic, “’s not possible for humans to comprehend heaven fully, since the spirit world is beyond our senses.”

    Hmmm. Any questions?

    Check this out:


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