Understanding the term "supernatural"
Anonymous: What I don’t get is why this should lead one to adopting a belief in the supernatural. Why the insistence that one need believe in the supernatural in order to be able to legitimately deem an act to be rational or non-rational?
VR: I don't like introducing the term "supernatural too soon in the discussion, at least without clarifying the idea. In the initial stages of the argument we are simply trying to show that the explanatory chain has to hit something rational at rock-bottom, and not something non-rational. Now if we expel all intelligent causes from the rock bottom of nature, then we got something super that, and hence in some sense we've got something supernatural. But you have to understand what sense we mean when we are using the word "supernatural." We need to keep this Lewis quote in mind.
To call the act of knowing--the act, not of remembering that something was so in the past, but of 'seeing' that it must be so always and in any possible world--to call this act 'supernatural', is some violence to our ordinary linguistic usage. But of course we do not mean by this that it is spooky, or sensational, or even (in any religious sense) 'spiritual'. We mean only that it 'won't fit in'; that such an act, to be what it claims to be--and if it is not, all our thinking is discredited--cannot be merely the exhibition at a particular place and time of that total, and largely mindless, system of events called 'Nature'. It must break sufficiently free from that universal chain in order to be determined by what it knows.