Poll

What is your religious position?

gnostic atheist - I know for certain that there are no gods.
159 (16.5%)
gnostic monotheist - I know for certain that only one specific god exists.
94 (9.8%)
gnostic polytheist - I know for certain that there is more than one god.
4 (0.4%)
gnostic pantheist - I know for certain that that everything is god.
12 (1.2%)
gnostic deist - I know for certain that there is a god that started the universe but does not actively meddle with it or us.
6 (0.6%)
agnostic atheist - I do not know for certain, but I think there are no gods.
275 (28.6%)
agnostic monotheist - I do not know for certain, but I think only one specific god exists.
21 (2.2%)
agnostic polytheist - I do not know for certain, but I think there is more than one god.
4 (0.4%)
agnostic pantheist - I do not know for certain, but I think that everything is god.
24 (2.5%)
agnostic deist - I do not know for certain, but I think there is a god that started the universe but does not actively meddle with it or us.
36 (3.7%)
ignostic atheist - While the concepts of god(s) are meaningless, it is likely that there are no gods.
87 (9%)
ignostic monotheist - While the concepts of god(s) are meaningless, it is likely that only one specific god exists.
2 (0.2%)
ignostic polytheist - While the concepts of god(s) are meaningless, it is likely that there is more than one god.
1 (0.1%)
ignostic pantheist - While the concepts of god(s) are meaningless, it is likely that that everything is god.
10 (1%)
ignostic deist - While the concepts of god(s) are meaningless, it is likely that there is a god that started the universe but does not actively meddle with it or us.
7 (0.7%)
apnostic atheist - I don't care if there are any gods, but I guess there are no gods.
37 (3.8%)
apnostic monotheist - I don't care if there are any gods, but I guess only one specific god exists.
1 (0.1%)
apnostic polytheist - I don't care if there are any gods, but I guess there is more than one god.
0 (0%)
apnostic pantheist - I don't care if there are any gods, but I guess that everything is god.
7 (0.7%)
apnostic deist - I don't care if there are any gods, but I guess there is a god that started the universe but does not actively meddle with it or us.
7 (0.7%)
Any type of henotheist - There (may be/is only) more than one god, but I think of only one specific god.
6 (0.6%)
I am a god!  [checks self in mirror and grins]
82 (8.5%)
Missionary.
30 (3.1%)
So! Many! Choices! (Karma Sutra)
50 (5.2%)

Total Members Voted: 624

Author Topic: What is your religious position?  (Read 70248 times)

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Offline Whitney

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #58 on: November 23, 2008, 12:42:59 AM »
I chose agnostic/ignostic atheist by assuming that by "god" the poll means creator.  I know that nothing worth worshiping as a god exists.

Offline Hermes

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #59 on: November 23, 2008, 01:08:06 AM »
I chose agnostic/ignostic atheist by assuming that by "god" the poll means creator.  I know that nothing worth worshiping as a god exists.

The term 'god' or 'gods' refers to "deities (if any) you personally think exist" (from the OP).

To the point: The definition is entirely open ended.

If someone thinks that the deity they worship or believe in is a cat, and that's how they define it, they could say they are a gnostic monotheist.  If the cat has a litter of kittens, they could switch to calling themselves a gnostic polytheist.  (This is not an extreme example.   There are 'living gods' and gods that embody animals (or are said could).)

If someone thinks that only a specific category of entity exists but no others -- say a 'universal mind' or an omnimax deity -- that would also qualify.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 01:11:42 AM by Hermes »
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Offline Whitney

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #60 on: November 23, 2008, 08:55:13 PM »
I know what the word god is intended to mean....but I also know a lot of people use it interchangeable with creator.

Offline Hermes

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #61 on: November 23, 2008, 09:27:55 PM »
Agreed.  They are myopic.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline xphobe

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #62 on: November 23, 2008, 10:41:36 PM »
Hm, maybe you should include "myopic" as one of the choices!   ;D
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Offline Hermes

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #63 on: November 23, 2008, 10:44:22 PM »
Hm, maybe you should include "myopic" as one of the choices!   ;D

Well, if someone wants they can pick Karma Sutra yet practice in private ...   :o
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline xphobe

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #64 on: November 23, 2008, 10:49:54 PM »
Well, if someone wants they can pick Karma Sutra yet practice in private ...   :o

Solo?  I guess that is said to cause myopia, isn't it?  Or something like that...
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Offline Judas

Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #65 on: November 26, 2008, 01:44:36 PM »
i believe God & the Creator are twins  :D

Offline Buster Fixxitt

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #66 on: November 26, 2008, 10:17:07 PM »
I would say Gnostic Atheist.  Which I do understand is a faith-based decision. I don't have concrete evidence for this, which is why I'm suggesting that it requires faith/belief.
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Offline Hermes

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #67 on: November 26, 2008, 10:20:55 PM »
I'm a gnostic atheist in regards to specific deity claims, for some others, I'm an ignostic or an apnostic atheist. 

As a general rule, philosophically, I'm an agnostic atheist on the question of deities though not on a practical level in normal life.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline Kitomi_Sensei

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #68 on: November 27, 2008, 07:21:23 AM »
How would you refer to a person who

-requires proof to believe in God(s)/god(s),

- believes that at this time in human history there is no way to prove the existence of such "higher" powers, but would be willing to believe if such a means were produced, or if scientific proof were available and provided.   

-thinks that supposing there is one God or many Gods, deities or all-encompassing Gods is even more meaningless in absence of evidence, but that absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence. Yet at the same time feels that spirituality without dogma is healthy and useful, and that theological study by non-fanatics (believers and disbelievers and conditional believers alike) is an excellent thing to consider... or else why would I have spent so much time and effort on such ruminations?

I did a great deal of study on the evolution of brain structure and function and how belief systems evolved.  The basis of all of that can be called the cognitive imperative: That if a question can be asked, it will be asked.  I go a step farther to consider that in a time when scientific validation was impossible, and there was only undocumented experience to validate possible answers to questions like: Where did the first people come from?  What is the meaning of life?  What happens to me when I die? An answer that is comforting would arise, and an answer that is likely to reinforce early societal structure is the one that would be promoted by the folks in charge- evolutionarily, it makes sense to come up with an answer that leads to more reproduction and less killing. One generation is comforted by their belief and fruitful because they believe its the right thing to do (which, evolutionarily speaking, it is) and pass on those beliefs, as it is natural for a child to learn first from the beliefs of their parents and the first faith any human being experiences is faith in parental figures... and so on as they become more and more complex.

Based of fMRI and behavioral studies, I came to the conclusion that the peak experiences coincide with neurological structure and function to explain how the brain can create its own closed feed-back loop with the brain telling itself that logically it is experiencing God or Everything. The brain cannot conceptualize nothingness, and when in fact it is only attempting to define itself- a thing that the conscious brain is always attempting to do, it is at the same time closing itself off to sensory information that allows human beings to orient themselves in time and space. My ultimate conclusion was that most likely the idea that what is experienced is "God" or "Oneness" or connection with "everything" is an error, but that it is possible there is something being experienced that the fMRI's can't account for, that is not as readily perceivable when the stimulus is bombarding the brain with sensory information- which could possibly be "INSERT YOUR BELIEF HERE".

I also concluded that peak experience need not be derived from insanity, delusion, or religion- and it is generally a healthy experience.  There is a scientifically verifiable difference between schizophrenic experiences of a higher power, and Zen-master peak experience.  Some of the studies were conducted on Nuns with powerful visions of Jesus who exhibited identical brain function as non-secular meditative peak experience.  Sane minds under stress can activate peak experience as well, which is most likely why people who are undergoing trials may be able to access such states without meditative discipline.

I have had experiences that could be defined as spiritual, and they reinforce ideas about the supernatural that I personally find comforting, but I do not believe that they are God.  I do, however, consider these experiences a positive force in my life and see no reason to try and shut them down or stop them because I can't explain them rationally.  I simply do not file them under "God", nor do I base any sort of morality on them or attempt to convert or control others because of them.
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Offline xphobe

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #69 on: November 27, 2008, 11:08:05 AM »
How would you refer to a person who

-requires proof to believe in God(s)/god(s),

- believes that at this time in human history there is no way to prove the existence of such "higher" powers, but would be willing to believe if such a means were produced, or if scientific proof were available and provided.   

-thinks that supposing there is one God or many Gods, deities or all-encompassing Gods is even more meaningless in absence of evidence, but that absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence. Yet at the same time feels that spirituality without dogma is healthy and useful, and that theological study by non-fanatics (believers and disbelievers and conditional believers alike) is an excellent thing to consider...

"Me"!

Well, now, having said that, I have to qualify it a bit.  I actually don't think proof of a supernatural being is possible, precisely because such a being would be supernatural, and scientific proof is limited to the natural world.  But I am willing to consider the possibility that if an omnipotent god wanted me to know about it, it could produce such knowledge in me - somehow bypassing the whole proof thing.

Also, I think study of religions is beneficial, in the cultural anthropology sense.  Religion is a very powerful force in our culture and we need to understand it as best we can.   Study of theological doctrine is an idle pastime, no different than reading science fiction.  If you enjoy that kind of thing, go for it, but debating the nuances of the concept of the Holy Trinity is as irrelevant to the real world as learning Klingon.
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Offline Pale Rider

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #70 on: November 27, 2008, 04:30:11 PM »
Most likely Humanists but thats not etched in stone and was not on the list....Got this interesting book on FreeThinkers by Susan Jacoby from the local library its starting to open my eyes about somethings....

Offline jointherebellion

Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #71 on: December 03, 2008, 01:28:30 PM »
Gnostic Atheist is missing  :'(
I'm sure there is no god-thingy-whatsoever-thing

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #72 on: December 03, 2008, 01:56:04 PM »
I could swear that 'Gnostic Atheist' used to be the first poll option. Odd   :-\
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Offline Hermes

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #73 on: December 03, 2008, 03:41:48 PM »
I could swear that 'Gnostic Atheist' used to be the first poll option. Odd   :-\

Same here -- and I wrote the damn thing.  That's not good; either someone mucked with it or there is DB corruption.

For some reason editing the poll has been turned off or I'd fix it.  (It was possible to edit polls for a few weeks...so the change to locked polls is something new.)
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Offline spider

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #74 on: December 03, 2008, 08:31:44 PM »
Okay, gnostic atheist definitely was there before because I was wondering who voted for gnostic atheism. 

Offline Hermes

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #75 on: December 03, 2008, 09:03:18 PM »
The top item looks to have the proper count for Gnostic Atheist, but the label and text are all wrong.

I followed a pattern when I made up the survey (as you can see) and the only logical spot for Gnostic Atheist is spot #1.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

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Offline rickymooston

Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #76 on: December 03, 2008, 09:05:19 PM »
Sexism!!!

I enjoy sex.
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Offline Operator_016

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #77 on: December 03, 2008, 09:56:20 PM »
The top item looks to have the proper count for Gnostic Atheist, but the label and text are all wrong.

I followed a pattern when I made up the survey (as you can see) and the only logical spot for Gnostic Atheist is spot #1.

Fixed the label... what's the text supposed to say?

full disclosure: I voted "I am a god" although moderators are not supposed to vote, because I wanted to see the poll result bar graph.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 10:19:25 PM by Moderator_016 »
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Offline Hermes

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #78 on: December 03, 2008, 10:43:18 PM »
The first entry looks right now.  Any ideas what happend?  (Hoping it was me, but I don't think I made any changes since the 20th of November when I actually copied the results into a post in a different thread;

http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php?topic=2406.msg53461#msg53461


FWIW ... the last few poll entries are there for fun.
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Offline Operator_016

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #79 on: December 03, 2008, 11:00:25 PM »
Is it possible that you had the text for Apnostic Deist loaded into your clipboard buffer and then inadvertently pasted it into slot 1?

We may never know.  It could have been a glitch.  Something to keep an eye on though...
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Offline realdemocracy

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #80 on: December 17, 2008, 04:42:40 PM »
  I actually don't think proof of a supernatural being is possible, precisely because such a being would be supernatural, and scientific proof is limited to the natural world.  But I am willing to consider the possibility that if an omnipotent god wanted me to know about it, it could produce such knowledge in me - somehow bypassing the whole proof thing.

I think perhaps you are confusing supernatural with unnatural or extranatural.  If there were such a being, and especially if it was omnipotent, then it would certainly be able to have some presence and effect in the natural world.  Thus, it would not be impossible to prove its existence.

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #81 on: December 17, 2008, 06:14:21 PM »
I think perhaps you are confusing supernatural with unnatural or extranatural.  If there were such a being, and especially if it was omnipotent, then it would certainly be able to have some presence and effect in the natural world.  Thus, it would not be impossible to prove its existence.

Welcome the the forum, realdemocracy!

It's an interesting idea you have there, but could you expand on it? I'm rather confused about how you'd be able to prove the existence of a supernatural entity, absent any reliable criteria by which to do so. Could you elaborate? Also, could you expand on what you consider the difference between 'supernatural' and 'unnatural' or 'extranatural' (extramundane?) to be?
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Offline realdemocracy

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #82 on: December 17, 2008, 07:23:51 PM »
I think perhaps you are confusing supernatural with unnatural or extranatural.  If there were such a being, and especially if it was omnipotent, then it would certainly be able to have some presence and effect in the natural world.  Thus, it would not be impossible to prove its existence.

Welcome the the forum, realdemocracy!

It's an interesting idea you have there, but could you expand on it? I'm rather confused about how you'd be able to prove the existence of a supernatural entity, absent any reliable criteria by which to do so. Could you elaborate? Also, could you expand on what you consider the difference between 'supernatural' and 'unnatural' or 'extranatural' (extramundane?) to be?

Let's start with the definitions:

supernatural = more than natural, having the ability to manifest itself within the natural, despite also existing in some sense "beyond" the natural

or from Merriam Webster's second definition: 2 a: departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature b: attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit)

unnatural: I withdraw my use of this term, as it is inconsistent with the common connotation.  This word generally refers to things that are not mutually exclusive to what we might call "natural" in the context we are using here, but rather to things that are "synthetic," which is not at all what I meant.  I apologize for not thinking through my syntax before posting.

extranatural = not natural, mutually exclusive from what is natural, that which is either imaginary, or at least, yet to be proven to be either natural or supernatural.

A supernatural being, such as a deity or a ghost, if indeed such an entity should exist, would be able to affect the material world, even while in some sense, existing "beyond" it.  These effects made upon the material world would be measurable.

An extranatural entity would exist entirely outside of the natural, and could not affect it or be affected by it.  I'm not sure what we would place in this category.  Perhaps this category is undifferentiated from the category we would call "imaginary."  A logical assumption might be to work from the position that all things that we cannot classify as "natural" be considered extranatural unless/until they can be proven to exist, in which case they might be defined as supernatural.

That is, one indeed could not "prove the existence of a supernatural entity, absent any reliable criteria by which to do so" but would need to do so based on measurable data.  Until that can be done, there is no evidence that such a thing is indeed supernatural, but is merely imaginary.

Offline Deus ex Machina

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #83 on: December 17, 2008, 07:30:44 PM »
The problem, as I see it, is that it wouldn't be enough merely for its effects to be measurable: they'd also have to be, according to some reliable criteria, actually attributable to that entity, as opposed to some entirely natural phenomena whose effects were precisely the same. Occam's Razor is never going to be on the side of the 'supernatural' on that one, I fear. It wouldn't be enough to say "postulated supernatural entity X has outward natural effect A; we observe natural phenomenon A; therefore X exists" (the "my cat is a dog" argument, effectively), when phenomenon A could - more parsimoniously - be put down to natural processes.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 07:33:58 PM by Deus ex Machina »
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Offline realdemocracy

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #84 on: December 18, 2008, 04:08:20 PM »
Yes, you are right.  I'm sorry I didn't think to include that criterion.  Nevertheless, the fact remains that a supernatural being, if there were such a thing, could affect things in the natural world, and thereby prove its existence. 

The fact that none has done so would seem to be strong evidence that no such being exists, or that even if they do, their existence is irrelevant to our own.

Offline xphobe

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #85 on: December 18, 2008, 04:38:47 PM »
I still contend that proof of a supernatural being is not possible, even if it can interact with the natural world (which God is claimed to do).  What possible evidence would be incontrovertibly proof of a supernatural being, and not simply a very advanced natural being?

You watch sci fi, right?  This concept is so familiar to the genre as to be almost cliche.

Having said that, I can think of one way it might be possible.  If a candidate god announced that he was going to change the value of some well-established fundamental constant, such as pi, to a different value, and then did it... that would be way cool.

Of course, it might be easier to simply induce hallucinations in everyone to make them think the constant had changed...
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Offline realdemocracy

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Re: What is your religious position? (Now with *Henotheism!* ... hmmm.)
« Reply #86 on: December 18, 2008, 05:38:06 PM »
I still contend that proof of a supernatural being is not possible, even if it can interact with the natural world (which God is claimed to do).  What possible evidence would be incontrovertibly proof of a supernatural being, and not simply a very advanced natural being?

You watch sci fi, right?  This concept is so familiar to the genre as to be almost cliche.

Having said that, I can think of one way it might be possible.  If a candidate god announced that he was going to change the value of some well-established fundamental constant, such as pi, to a different value, and then did it... that would be way cool.

Of course, it might be easier to simply induce hallucinations in everyone to make them think the constant had changed...
I don't watch much sci-fi, but your point is well-taken.  I have seem ST-TNG episodes featuring Q, and as far as I can tell, such a character would be indistinguishable from a supernatural being, at least from a human perspective.  So, then, what would in fact distinguish such a very advanced or very powerful natural being from a supernatural one?  I don't even think your pi example could provide that distinction.  Ostensibly, if it were possible to change pi within the scope of teh natural universe, then a Q-like character might be just as capable as a supernatural deity of accomplishing that.  I think such a supernatural being would have to not only provide incontrovertible proof of its existence and its ability to function meaningfully in the natural world, but would also need to verify that it had access to something that could be defined as "beyond" the natural.

How would it do this?  At least for the moment, I cannot devise such a test, but that does not actually make it impossible.  Certainly, if there were a being who was not only supernatural, but omnipotent, it would be able to find a way to prove its existence beyond any doubt.  How can I make such an assertion? Simply by the definition of omnipotence.  To an omnipotent being, nothing is impossible.

Of course, for a non-omnipotent supernatural being, it may in fact be impossible to prove both that it exists and that it is supernatural.  However, I'm not inclined to give them such an easy out.  Certainly, someone here can devise a test that a supernatural being could meet to prove both...and then, we can use the fact that no such proof has been offered to show that no relevant supernatural being exists, even while we may not ever be able to prove that no supernatural beings exist.