PostHeaderIcon The Word I Have Been Looking For

Amystic: A person who rejects the supernatural, whether in the form of God or gods, elves or faries etc., or other non-demonstrable concepts such as parallel universes and time(history) travel.

This is exactly the sort of word many of us have been looking for because it describes our point of view exactly.. Thanks Dae for bringing it up.

Perhaps we could start a national Amystic Society right here on this blog? With Dae as our first president??


7 Responses to “The Word I Have Been Looking For”

  • Yeah, it works for me too. I have just fine tuned it a bit and added it to our ‘Terms’ page: ‘Amystic‘ Does that definition work for you? John? â—„Daveâ–º

  • Daedalus says:

    From Dave’s contribution:

    Amystic Not a mystic. One who rejects belief in supernatural entities and causation, such as ghosts, goblins, gremlins, elves, fairies, gods, etc., or other non-demonstrable concepts such as magic, sorcery, miracles, parallel universes, time travel, etc.

    I am not sure I reject belief in causation, meaning antecedent things lead to subsequent things. Certainly I don’t accept a ‘first cause” for all of existence since the term is used to refer to existents and has no meaning when applied to all of existence because if something caused all that we know and then some, the “cause” would be part of existence not its origin. Outside of existence has no meaning. I am not even sure “the beginning of time” has any meaning. The way physics views things now, if there was anything before the so called “big Bang” we don’t presently know how we could discover it. That doesn’t mean it is not discoverable. In mathematical thought there is a universal “set” It is the set that contains all other sets. unlike all other sets it contains it does not have an empty set for itself. I do not rule out time travel, since to all intents and purposes we are all traveling through time. I do rule out history travel since we and the atoms of our bodies are presently at this point in time, not in some past or future time. If we look at time as a dimension such as distance along a road, we are at this point along the road not 5 miles back or several miles forward.
    I tried to keep the “laundry list” of examples short so as not to get weighed down in interminable arguments. Take “magic” for example. Is “magic” what magicians do. In that case there may be perfectly rational explanations for the observed phenomena. The key is the attempt to appeal to a supernatural (not of existence) explanation for observed events. If there is a natural explanation, it is tautologically not supernatural.
    I don’t object as strongly to “not a mystic” although it should come at the end of the definition. I am not comfortable being described in terms of a negative. I am not sure mystics are of this world. 🙂 This last was a funny.

    • Good critique, John. I have made some edits based on it.

      Actually, my dictionary shows causality (which I think is what you are alluding to) as the second definition of causation; the first is a): the act or process of causing; or b) the act or agency which produces an effect. Thus, my intent was to say that not only do we reject belief in supernatural entities, we also reject belief in supernatural causes for phenomena. That should now be more clear.

      I put the ‘(not a mystic)’ in parenthesis to downplay it as only explanatory; but left it in the front. The only reason I put it in in the first place, is that when I first encountered the term, I literally took it for a medical condition, because it looks like one. Starting with the derivation of the term, prepares the reader for what follows.

      I have spent not a little time studying and pondering the concept of time travel, and have never encountered anyone thinking it necessary to narrow its definition to future and past (and to me, history doesn’t work for future), as opposed to presently traveling through time, so I don’t think it necessary to complicate it with the exception. I did break up the term by inserting the other common form of mystical travel, ‘astral,’ to de-emphasize it. Actually, on my own, I would have never thought to include it.

      As an aside, I have actually been involved in experiments where a person’s present and future reality, has been permanently altered by changing their past. Under hypnosis, an early memory can be deleted, altered, or something that never happened can be inserted, and once back in the present and out of trance, their reaction or attitude toward a stimulus that once caused them distress, no longer does. The nature of consciousness is the last frontier, and the mind is a fascinating thing to play with. 😉

      So, how does it look now? â—„Daveâ–º

  • Daedalus says:

    Dave, you have convinced me that adding examples of Amysticism too narrowly defines the term, so instead I reduced it to:

    Amystic: [from greek a – not, without + mystikos, meaning ‘an initiate’]
    A person who rejects the supernatural and mystical, and holds reason and perception as the only means to knowledge.

    Discussion: Amystics do not believe in the existence of any supernatural beings such as God or gods, and don’t consider intuition or visions as a reliable source of knowledge.
    This leaves plenty of room for folks to discuss all the different items that may or may not fit the concept. Interestingly, of all the worlds major religions the only one, I think, did not involving mysticism, at its birth, was Confucianism.

  • To some extent, this runs into the issue of science being an inexact and ever evolving pursuit of things which are known to various extents. What we need is not a populace who only believes what they can verify absolutely, but one which admits that they are acting within their best understanding of current knowledge.

    Gravity, evolution, human caused global climate change; these are all accepted as near fact by current science, but to different degrees of certainty. We have two branches of physics which disagree as to how the universe is put together. It’s ok, so long as one side yields when the evidence shows conclusively that they have lost. I for one don’t believe in dark matter. We shall see.

    I was recently speaking with a friend of mine (Catholic), who told me she doesn’t believe in dinosaurs. When I asked why, she told me that it was because she had never seen one. She figures people may have just made them up and hidden fake bones to stir up publicity, like the local bigfoot hunters. When I asked her if she had ever seen Jesus, she got very noncommittal very fast. Later she told me that something looked like the surface of Mars. I told her she didn’t believe in Mars. I mean really, which is harder to fake? Bones hidden randomly underground all over the world, or some photoshopped up images of the desert?

    I was proud of her though, because she didn’t give me the stereotypical biblical answer. Her disbelief came from skepticism rather than mysticism. This is exactly what we need, and I would submit that skepticism is the true opposite of mysticism. There are few, if any, absolute truths out there. There is some evidence that the speed of light isn’t what it used to be. Who can say that gravity will be the same tomorrow? I’m not gluing all my stuff down, but neither am I believing that I should pray to some deity who created me to worship it while gardening naked and not eating apples. I’m sure that sounded plausible to someone thousands of years ago, but please.

  • Troy says:

    Good post. I wonder why it is so very hard for most humans to admit that there are things they simply do not know, and, perhaps, some they cannot know?

    BTW, for my part, I am not sure I “believe in” anything. There are many things I do not know; there are many things I am skeptical about; there are a few things I understand well enough to claim that I “know” them; there are a few more which I “accept” because of the apparent evidence.

    To “believe” suggests (to me) the acceptance of an idea or concept, absent any real supporting evidence.

    As for dark matter, I don’t know enough to process the notion in my mind although I am reading an interesting book: A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss that has a lot to say about the notion of dark matter.


  • Daedalus says:

    There are some absolutes, Existence Exists comes to mind. Many, including scientists and religionists, confuse data with theory. In Steels examples; on “dark matter,” measured data show the observed matter in galaxies is not measured to be moving according to Newton’s laws. That is all we really know presently. Dark matter is an unfortunate word to describe what is measured, it more properly could have been referred to as “Anomalous motion” On dinosaurs, there are copious fossils. That is the measured data. Theories of how they came into existence have been proposed and proven by other separate measurements. Selective evolution has been proposed as a mechanism for the change of life forms over the eons. That theory based on measurements of time and form is the most reasonable to date based on measured data. Nobody , to my knowledge has measured a god or gods or extra-terrestrials as existents that are proposed in other theories.
    The more fundamental problem is the alienation of philosophy from other areas of human endeavor, a problem largely caused by the myopia of philosophers in general. The term Doctor of Philosophy applies to many areas of human studies. Philosophy underlies every theory, method, validation and pronouncement of all human studies. It is the fundamental substrate of knowledge. We humans have come a long way, but just a peremptory visit to modern Philosophy as a topic will expose the utter mess philosophers have made of the topic. No wonder we are faced with mind-body dichotomy, duality, “dark matter” , “dark energy“, religions still exist, and people vote for O’Bama.
    Now all this as little to do with my definition, revised version. I just wish to characterize my particular world view. I just don’t see any measurement which gives any validity to supernaturalism – the term is an oxymoron Supernatural; not natural meaning not of nature or existence, therefore just plain “not.” Mysticism; beliefs acquired by non-sensory means – lets see, does that have anything to do with the meaning of “nonsense.”

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