Shaun Connell;8182 wrote:
... my argument is that there is much that is supernatural and natural. I'm simply arguing that the concepts described by both words overlap, and that we can't simply suppose mutual exclusivity.
Also, definitionally, I can't really think of any alternative definition that explains a religious understanding of supernatural. If one is presented, I will, of course, be open to it, if it adequately explain the concept referred to in common discussion.
There is 'mutual exclusivity' (Re: Natural/Supernatural) beyond the boundaries of any 'place' of overlap.
Perhaps the difference can be flushed out more by considering that,
'Natural is to Supernatural as Physics is to Metaphysics'.
'Supernatural' is a term (adjective, as used here) describing an event that cannot otherwise be explained by mundane physics (cause-effect).
The 'term' that describes a 'religious understanding of supernatural' is 'God' or 'The Tao' or however one approaches the ineffable. The essence of any 'religious understanding' of supernatural is to simply name the originating cause... God, Tao, etc., etc. and be without concern regarding any intermediate chain of causality.
The supernatural is not exclusively a 'religious' item. It is a significant component of metaphysics.
For example (#1):
A child is walking down the street and finds a dollar bill.
Mundane physics (cause/effect) explains that event easily. Someone dropped or discarded a dollar bill and the child found it.
A child imagines that he or she is holding a dollar bill in his or her hand.
Two days later the child finds a dollar bill in the park and, of course, picks it up.
The event mirrors the child's earlier visualization.
Mundane physics says that the event was coincidental.
Metaphysics says that there was a chain of events that produced that result and that the 'chain of events' is undiscernable in toto. The event, however, is not considered coincidental.
As such, Example #2, for the metaphysician, has 'supernatural' elements. Elements that are beyond the scope of mundane physics.
Religionists would say that "God answered the child's prayer".
Metaphysicians would say that the child's visualization was the causal event that put things into motion that produced the favorable result.
"Supernatural" is the arena of causality that takes over and 'explains' conditions and/or events when mundane physics runs out of 'things' to explain.
Mundane physics runs out of gas at the 'last discovered' physical causal event.
Metaphysics does an end-run around intermediate causality and determines that the causal chain was set into motion by 'non-physical' phenomena which are beyond the scope of mundane physics.