Setting aside the word “spiritual”, which means different things to different people, the word “supernatural” is problematic to say the least. In fact, it’s a non-sequitur. Even assuming an intelligent designer for the universe exists (an idea which cannot be disproven and so can only be taken on faith), that designer itself must be a natural phenomenon. If anything exists at all, it is natural. Therefore, if a God exists it is not beyond nature but embedded within it. Nothing can transcend nature. Nature is all that is and ever will be.

To say a being exists that violates the laws of nature is to deny there are any true laws of nature. We will likely never know the totality of what exists, and could never verify we have learned all there was to know even if we did. Regardless, if something exists, it’s natural, not supernatural. Adding the prefix “super” to natural is redundant. It’s like saying the water in a glass is wet while the water in a lake is very wet. In fact the water in both are equally wet. The difference is you can immerse yourself in one but not the other making our experience of their wetness different. However, the quality of wetness doesn’t vary.

For the reasons outlined above — that people tend to make God out to be more than it is possible for any being to be — I tend to think the concept of an intelligent designer limits rather than expands spiritual experience. No one has yet explained to me why we must abandon the physical to benefit from spiritual experiences. There’s no logic or consistency in any argument that dictates an experience must rely on an immaterial realm to be meaningful. We may not understand the source of the experience, but whatever that source is will necessarily be grounded in physical laws, even if they are ones we have yet to grasp or uncover. How could it be otherwise? After all, where did the intelligent designer come from? Who designed it? If you respond it’s eternal, then I will reply that the universe could just as easily be eternal. No god need apply.

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US citizen residing in British Columbia, Canada. Degrees include anthropology and environmental studies. Activism, politics, science, nature.

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