What is the definition of supernatural? If one defines "natural" as "everything that exists", then, simply by definition, nothing is supernatural, not even ghosts or gods or spirits, assuming they in fact exist. So, I guess that is not the true definition of natural. So, then, what is the definition of it, that most people use?

  • "Supernatural" would include things like: ghosts, souls, magic, gods, miracles, clairvoyance, vampires, afterlife. Basically, stuff from myths that violates the known laws of physics. If we discovered some of those things were actually real, then whether we'd still call them supernatural would depend on whether we can reconcile them with the existing paradigm of physics. If not, then we might continue to call them supernatural.
    – causative
    Commented Mar 31 at 0:39
  • My answer to Is non-physicalism reasonable? seems relevant.
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Mar 31 at 2:40
  • Even if one defines "natural" as "everything that exists" "nothing is supernatural" will not follow by definition. There are plenty of non-existent things people talk about, unicorns for example. And if you want what "most people use", Wikipedia is a more relevant source on that than philosophy: Supernatural.
    – Conifold
    Commented Mar 31 at 4:32

2 Answers 2


What is the definition of supernatural?

The prefix "super" is defined as above and beyond.

Above and beyond the natural is phenomena that isn't natural. "Natural" obeys the laws of physics, biology, and chemistry.

Therfore, supernatural is phenomena that does not obey the laws of physics, chemistry, or biology.

  • 1
    If an angel comes to Earth (for some business) and takes the form of a human. Will he be bound by the same laws of physics? Commented Mar 31 at 5:23

According to computer science, the answer will be straightforward. All the variables that originate in our runtime environment (they don't exist outside of it) - would be natural.

All the global or external variables that can exist or have value outside our simulator - would be supernatural.

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