Miracles? Do they support religion / discredit scientific camp?

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unicorn2006

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unicorn2006

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Many discussions about religion and/or science bring in various types of support or evidence for their respective camps. It also seems like most of them are logic and science-based arguments.

Then what about things/events that are unexplainable and illogical from current humanity's point of view? More specifically, what do we make of 'miracles' that purportedly occur today in modern society?

Do miracles actually happen? If so, can they be used as 'evidence' to support religion and/or to detract from the scientific camp?

"Faith means believing in something that will only make sense in reverse."
"When men are the most sure and arrogant they are commonly the most mistaken..."

  • Mar 05, 2006
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"Miracle" is kind of a vague term. Are we talking virgin mary on a cheese toast sandwich? A drunk driver lucky enough not to die in a head on collision? These are the only types of miracles I've seen in modern society.

And even if you did find a real unexplainable event you'd then have to be able to link it to a supernatural being which is obviously impossible. If you can't prove a god exists you obviously can't prove he's done anything specific. If you proved he did something then he would have to exist to have done it right?

Miracle is only a term that has meaning to someone who is already religious.

  • Mar 05, 2006

RubyDrg0n

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lol.... agreed but sometimes it do occur...
real example:
I got a relative... my grandpa's grandchildren's children who is around 40 now(lol.... fast birthrates... I'm REALLY still 18).... she is a faithful Christian but unfortunately when she was 30+... she have one of those Taoism God exorxism which happen periodically... and now... she had to face the fact that she cannot be Christian no longer....
I am not lying about her being a faithful Christian coz she and her family really did go Church every SUnday without fail and read the bible and start bible classes and stuff...

so is this a miracle?nah... it is possible but in an ironic way... but i do think ppl may think so...

also... wanna comment about the miracles that modern society thinks nowadays... i can only say that all are coincidence that is hard to occur... but still occur...
only ppl misinterpret it...lol....(blindly)
my interpretation: something that is impossible but had occured!

20cents... wat i said is true about my relative...

  • Mar 05, 2006

mountain

mountain

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mmmm you should just look up miracles on google, and there will be hundreds of them. Look up ghosts and publications in the library and stuff, there is just so much around, it shows that supernatural events do occur and thus supports religion... thats what I think. i.e. that there is a spiritual realm ou there

  • Mar 05, 2006

Tatsumi09

Tatsumi09

Seeker of Inner Peace

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I'd say neither. Here is my reasoning.

The chances for the air particles in a room to all move in the same direction leaving a vaccuum on the other is in fact possible! The changes of that is infinitely close to zero though. However if it did happen, science can explain it through the probability of that happening and religion can explain it through a miracle.

A miracle in science is just something that has a probability infinitely close to zero that occurs. In religion it is "god's gift" for something almost impossible to happen. They just have different ways to look at the same thing.

That's my reasoning. So, how would you criticize my thinking?

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I don't think that encidents known to many people as miracles discredit science or proves religion, because both are a way of explaning what goes on in the real world, and both are human made. What I think miracles show us is that we don't fully understand reality and Religion is the weak peoples explanation, because the don't have to question what acually happened... so as a sumup I would rather say that it discredits religion and science, by showing that niether has the absolute truth.

  • Mar 05, 2006

joemighty16

joemighty16

Hope is an optimist

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As Plunkies said, the term "miracle" is a bit vague. Most of the miracles I know are documented in the Bible, and almost all of them have been explained in terms of natural occurances. I have to add though that due to the little information given in the descriptions, most of the natural explanations are usually guesswork or speculations. And who's to say the re-writings didn't add a little miraculous "aura" to the descriptions?

To date I haven't seen or heard of a plausible (that is to me) miracle. If I see a picture of an angel in the clouds - photoshop! If I see a documentation on TV I usually think, "How do we really know this isn't set up?". I'm suspicious by nature. There are usually tricks invloved - you don't go to a magician or illusionist and shout "miracles!" everytime he makes his hankerchef dissapear.

But then again I'll accept that there are a lot of stuff going on that we know nothing about or which science can't explain. But then again, I'll wait a few hundred years untill science can explain it before I shout "Miracle!".

Life is a game played by gods who are bored and who fight over the rules.

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Quote by mountainmmmm you should just look up miracles on google, and there will be hundreds of them. Look up ghosts and publications in the library and stuff, there is just so much around, it shows that supernatural events do occur and thus supports religion... thats what I think. i.e. that there is a spiritual realm ou there

Some con artist with a tin foil hat and an emp detector isn't proof of ghosts dammit. The only thing there's "so much" of are scammers taking people's money, con men trying to get on tv, and nut jobs obsessed with ghosts and aliens. Go look up feng shui in google. Hundreds of them. So what? Doesn't mean putting your couch on the west wall is going to make you rich.

  • Mar 05, 2006

mountain

mountain

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"Some con artist with a tin foil hat and an emp detector isn't proof of ghosts dammit"
- maybe the white house just made up the existence of iraq so bush can scam $$$$ of taxpayers money. what I mean is that there is just so much documentation out there that u can't really deny its existence. Making up ghost stories isn't very profitable so I don't people do that for money. They are better ways to earn money

  • Mar 06, 2006
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Quote by mountain"Some con artist with a tin foil hat and an emp detector isn't proof of ghosts dammit"
- maybe the white house just made up the existence of iraq so bush can scam $$$$ of taxpayers money. what I mean is that there is just so much documentation out there that u can't really deny its existence. Making up ghost stories isn't very profitable so I don't people do that for money. They are better ways to earn money

Not of iraq, just wmds. I bet there was a lot of documentation for that too.

And what documentation are we even talking about here? Even assuming there's plenty, documentation and proof are not the same thing. There's a lot of documentation for big foot, aliens, there's even documentation that we didn't walk on the moon. Problem is some nut with a geocities site isn't proof of any of it. Hell there's even documentation that I'm doing actual work right now and not killing time arguing with some random guy over the internet about the existence of ghosts. That's clearly not true.

Why isn't the scientific community in an uproar over the existence of ghosts? Why haven't I heard of this revelation until now? If you can't possibly deny their existence then there must be a ton of research allocated to it right? Oh? Ghosts work in mysterious ways? Only believers can truly see them? Houdini was a liar and just didn't feel like contacting us after he died? How convenient for the ghosts!

And there is infact money in claiming the existence of ghosts. Many towns get tourism cash by claiming certain old buildings/hotels are haunted. Those ridiculous conventions where all the "believers" get together and rip each other off with overpriced crap. People who call themselves ghostsbusters, who run around with emp detectors (apparently ghosts give off magnetic fields), and bs ignorant people into believing they need their home exorcised every time a light bulb dies or the washing machine breaks. Not to mention the thousands of "psychic mediums" and cold readers claiming they can talk to your dead dog if you'll just pay them $80 a minute. Go tell John Edward there's no money in ghosts right after he's finished scaming you out of every dime you have (and he would too cuz you seem like a perfect mark).

Look I'm not an unreasonable guy. Point me to this abundant proof. You'll be famous dude. Proving ghosts means you've single handedly proved the existence of a soul, the existence of an afterlife, and the possibility that your great grandmother might be watching you every time you pee. That's one hell of a discovery.

  • Mar 06, 2006

RubyDrg0n

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mountain: dun agree with that though... ghost story give publications.... one of the desires(money, fame and other stuff)....
and also wat you guys think about as being a miracle? i would say it is a miracle that a miracle will occur...
I think there are some spiritual beings out there but i dont characterize them as ghost or anything that is described in the encyclopedias and stuff... but if one do comes and confront me(if that is possible)(not saying it is impossible too)... i would not call that a miracle coz it is a possibility that they exist and i might be confronted one day....

so in the end it is all human perspection? on terminologies to describe wat they think is rare or impossible(again... ppl need to widen their space about wats possible and not possible...aka... religious ppl should think that it is possible that their religion is untrue and a true religion is still out there(and also not out there))

20 cents

  • Mar 06, 2006

Carmen

Carmen

Alaba a Dios

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I believe that God can make anything, because He created the universe. Then, I believe that God can make miracles (even I have seen some in my life). But you believe in miracles and in Gob throught your faith. And I think that is the nature of faith (you believe because you believe, not because someone say something to you, or because you saw something) that makes impossible to use faith, miracles, etc. as evidence to support anything.

If you want to prove your point of view, you need solid facts. But if you don't believe in miracles, a miracle will not convince you. And if you don't believe in the cientific metod, you will not be convinced by a cientific fact. That is the nature of things. Then, why some people have faith? I think that the faith I felt, that my family felt, is some kind of miracle in itself.
Sometimes I feel like God is no hearing me, but God knows better. I have seen His miracles in my life, but I believed in Him before those miracles. But I have a cientific mind. I believe in cientific facts too. I don't think that a cientist need to only believe in cience, and that a Christian can't believe in cientific facts.

God is there, He is Jehova (The One who Is), the Lord of the universe, and he will not disapear just because some people don't believe in Him.

If someone don't want to believe, you could show to that person hundreds of miracles, but that person will not believe. We have the right to choice in our lives what we want to believe, God gives us that right.

  • Mar 06, 2006

Mnemeth

Mnemeth

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I agree with Plunkies in that miracle is a very general term. After all if you were to go to certain "less than in contact" areas in the world about half a century ago with a modern lighter you'd probably get worshipped as a god or demon.
A religious miracle is no different unless you espouse that particular faith at which point it takes own a life of its own (the appearance of Mary at Fatima for example)

Do not interfere in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

  • Mar 06, 2006
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Carmen (and others): I'm sure you don't want to hear this, but since this is a discussion thread, I will contribute.

What you 'feel' and believe is the prescence of the divine in your life is, in fact, desire. Desire for there to be a God, an afterlife and a meaning beyond that which we make for ourselves in this life.
Your argument for miracles is not based on logic, reason or science of any sort. Of course, you are welcome to your beliefs as long as you do not harm others with them, but that is all you base your argument upon: blind belief, faith and the desire that the events you have witnessed in your life so far have deeper meaning. Your view is natural and shared by many. This however does not make it correct. I might believe that the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around us- I might believe it with every ounce of my being- but that would not make it true.

Faith is the argument used when all reason disappears. Follow my reasoning if you will: You have faith that God exists and performs miracles. Little Mohammed has faith that Allah exists and that Jehovah does not. Little Rahid has faith that the thousands of Hindu Gods exist. Little Ismael has faith that Jehovah exists, but that Jesus was not his son. I have faith that you (and they) are wrong. Who is right?

The topic of miracles has been debated for centuries by thousands of minds. Great philosophers (some believers, some not) have explored the issue thoroughly. Not one of them has provided a watertight (or even probable) argument for the likelihood of miracles. All 'evidence' is found to be inconclusive and/or biased. Many believing philosophers have been forced to abandon the seemingly indefensible position on miracles.

With all respect and no intended offence,

Ed (Drills)

  • Mar 06, 2006

Lightaura

Lightaura

Devil Alchemist

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I believe that miracles don't prove or disprove it is just a unique set of circumstances that lead to a very rare occurance and is classified as a miracle, but then again I'm one who happens to ignore most religions. Ahh ignorance is bliss.

Human alchemy is just like the sun get to close to it and your gonna get burned.

  • Mar 06, 2006

Darowin

Darowin

Oogly Boogly

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i think that a mircle is something of the mind...

Doctors tell a woman that after her car accident that her back was broken in three places and that she would not be able to walk ever again...

In the months too come that woman then proceded to go against the doctors perdiction and walk again...

Is that a miracle or is that just a fact that a person can over come any odds if they are willing to just believe in themself

RubyDrg0n

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Erm... suddenly think that it is time to answer the thread's questions....

i would say NO to the fact that no miracles has ever occured and all so-called "miracles" are all bias on the fact that human mind stop accepting new stuff that might occur and some new stuff occured....

in the end its all about the incapability of us human to fully understand all that is there in the world and also the major flaw of us to stop learning.....(i wanna add: via blind believe in religions)

  • Mar 07, 2006
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Important point from Ruby Dragon that I will develop:

Humans have a very limited understanding of the universe they inhabit. The temptation to point at something one doesn't understand and say- "It must be the work of God" is very common even today. In ancient cultures the people were unable to explain the passing of the sun across the sky. The immidiate conclusion- "The Sun God pulls it across in his chariot". Obviously this is not true. As time goes on we make more and more discoveries, allowing humans to understand more and more, and leaving less and less room for religious fanatics to cry 'Miracle!'

  • Mar 07, 2006

RubyDrg0n

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sry... that is not my orginal point... have to credit someone who post it first...:)

Quote by tutankamonI don't think that encidents known to many people as miracles discredit science or proves religion, because both are a way of explaning what goes on in the real world, and both are human made. What I think miracles show us is that we don't fully understand reality and Religion is the weak peoples explanation, because the don't have to question what acually happened... so as a sumup I would rather say that it discredits religion and science, by showing that niether has the absolute truth.

  • Mar 07, 2006

suejean

suejean

[onigiri]

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hmm..good question...i don't know...depending on the type of miracle you're talking about...depends on the answer. If a person was driving and crashed and the car got squished but he/she survived ... i call it lucky, because in most situations like those... poeple do get squished... i'm not quiet sure..i'll have to get back to you on that one ^^; ....

  • Mar 08, 2006
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In today's society, "miracle" is just a term used for something that happens out of good luck or coincidence. It may be such of a coincidence that it would seem like God's intervention, but then again, it may JUST be a coincidence. Who knows? I just confused myself

  • Mar 09, 2006
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Quote by drillsCarmen (and others): I'm sure you don't want to hear this, but since this is a discussion thread, I will contribute.

What you 'feel' and believe is the prescence of the divine in your life is, in fact, desire. Desire for there to be a God, an afterlife and a meaning beyond that which we make for ourselves in this life.

So you know the "facts" about God and the Bible? Wow. You actually have no idea what my belief is based on - it has nothing to do with desire as you describe; therefore, I'm the exception which proves your point cannot be taken as a true generality of all Christians.

Quote: Faith is the argument used when all reason disappears. Follow my reasoning if you will:

Wait a minute. According to your first statement, we should have no faith in your reasoning.


Quote: Your argument for miracles is not based on logic, reason or science of any sort...Many believing philosophers have been forced to abandon the seemingly indefensible position on miracles.

What exactly do you mean by "indefensible?" Unlike the person you seem to be responding to, my faith is based off of logic and reason. I have in fact studied Hume, McKinnon, Smart, Flew, Erlandson, Troeltsch, and the like. They have all presented arguments against miracles and everyone has a response.
If you claim it's "indefensible" then you are claiming that someone has a "watertight" logical reason to prove their point. So which one is it?

Here's some logical reasoning for you.

1. If a theistic God exists, then miracles are possible.
2. A miracle is a special act of God.
3. God is the source and standard of all truth; He cannot err.
4. Nor would a theistic God act to confirm something as true that was false.
5. Therefore, true miracles in connection with a message confirm that message to be from God: (a) The miracle confirms the message. (b) The sign confirms the sermon. (c) An act of God confirms the Word of God. (d) New revelation needs new confirmation.

If there is an all-powerful, all-good, and all-wise God, then it follows that He would not perform a miraculous act to confirm a lie. Since miracles are by nature special acts of God, God would not act contrary to his own nature. The God of all truth would not miraculously confirm error. Hence, when a truth claim is repeatedly confirmed by miracles, such as the Old Testament prophets, Jesus, and the New Testament apostles did, then it is true and all opposing views are false.

Several criteria can be established, on the basis of principles discussed above, for allowing miracles as a confirmation of a truth claim. These are criteria for apologetically valuable miracles. They all assume miracles to be possible. Confirming miracles should be: 1) Connected with a Truth Claim. 2) Truly Supernatural. 3) Unique. 4) Mulitple. 5) Predictive.

Of course I could go deeper into these five categories but, wait, I just remembered that Christians do not follow or apply any logical reasoning. Hmmm.

  • Mar 09, 2006
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Quote by Tatsumi09I'd say neither. Here is my reasoning.

The chances for the air particles in a room to all move in the same direction leaving a vaccuum on the other is in fact possible! The changes of that is infinitely close to zero though. However if it did happen, science can explain it through the probability of that happening and religion can explain it through a miracle.

A miracle in science is just something that has a probability infinitely close to zero that occurs. In religion it is "god's gift" for something almost impossible to happen. They just have different ways to look at the same thing.

That's my reasoning. So, how would you criticize my thinking?

Since infinity is a mathematical construct, the term is meaningless in reality. The actual probability of this event happening leading to suffocation in one half of a room, is something like 1:1x10^40 or so, in other words, a 1 with 40 zeroes after it against. It's nowhere near infinity, whatever that may be, but it is sufficiently improbable enough to warrant the term "never going to happen", given a few trillion years would have to pass for it to happen once.

There are things that are impossible, like breaking down an electron, but things we consider "miracles" are just seemingly improbable events that will naturally stand out in everyday life.

  • Mar 09, 2006
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Quote by kellyo
So you know the "facts" about God and the Bible? Wow. You actually have no idea what my belief is based on - it has nothing to do with desire as you describe; therefore, I'm the exception which proves your point cannot be taken as a true generality of all Christians.

If you KNEW your faith was nothing but your own desire to want it to be true then I guess you wouldn't believe in it anymore would you? Your belief in an invisible man in the sky obviously wasn't based on evidence or logic though was it? His point still stands.

Quote:

Quote: Faith is the argument used when all reason disappears. Follow my reasoning if you will:

Wait a minute. According to your first statement, we should have no faith in your reasoning.

That's a pretty lame copout. By your logic I can say you believe in an invisible supreme being and are therefore insane. So now I can just ignore every point you have to make because everything you say is just the insane ramblings of some nutjob. Just because you don't agree with someone doesn't mean all their arguments are instantly flawed.

Quote:

Quote: Your argument for miracles is not based on logic, reason or science of any sort...Many believing philosophers have been forced to abandon the seemingly indefensible position on miracles.

What exactly do you mean by "indefensible?" Unlike the person you seem to be responding to, my faith is based off of logic and reason. I have in fact studied Hume, McKinnon, Smart, Flew, Erlandson, Troeltsch, and the like. They have all presented arguments against miracles and everyone has a response.
If you claim it's "indefensible" then you are claiming that someone has a "watertight" logical reason to prove their point. So which one is it?

Uh I think you should look up indefensible or something man. He's saying a stance on miracles isn't even a reasonable position to take. By definition a miracle is an unreasonable assumption made to explain an odd occurance. I mean jeez, we have an entire thread here on miracles and nobody has pointed out a single one. Not even a retarded one like an image of jesus on a wood grain or a virgin mary statue crying blood. Nothing. Oh and name dropping a bunch of philosophers (who disagree with you) doesn't help you make much sense either. What, people responded to these guys so miracles are logical explainations of the world now? Guh?

Quote:
Here's some logical reasoning for you.

1. If a theistic God exists, then miracles are possible.
2. A miracle is a special act of God.
3. God is the source and standard of all truth; He cannot err.
4. Nor would a theistic God act to confirm something as true that was false.
5. Therefore, true miracles in connection with a message confirm that message to be from God: (a) The miracle confirms the message. (b) The sign confirms the sermon. (c) An act of God confirms the Word of God. (d) New revelation needs new confirmation.

Not a single part of that was logical. Logical - Based on earlier or otherwise known statements, events, or conditions. YOUR ENTIRE ARGUMENT IS BASED ON THE ASSUMPTION THAT GOD EXISTS. Then you end it with a statement that basically states "because God did it God obviously did it, and that confirms that God did it". Yeah that's some serious logic for you. Thanks for that you've changed my perception of the universe.

You can't use god to prove miracles if the whole point of proving miracles is to prove the existence of god. It'd be like going to court and saying you didn't commit a crime because you had an alibi, and you had an alibi because you didn't commit the crime. It makes no sense. You have to prove one to prove the other, however in your case both are unprovable. Yup that's religion for ya.

Quote:
If there is an all-powerful, all-good, and all-wise God, then it follows that He would not perform a miraculous act to confirm a lie. Since miracles are by nature special acts of God, God would not act contrary to his own nature. The God of all truth would not miraculously confirm error. Hence, when a truth claim is repeatedly confirmed by miracles, such as the Old Testament prophets, Jesus, and the New Testament apostles did, then it is true and all opposing views are false.

I can't tell if you really have a point to make here or if you're just babbling to confuse people. What does a miracle have to do with God not lying? Wtf is a truth claim? Pretend I have no idea wtf you're talking about here and explain it (because I seriously don't).

Quote:
Several criteria can be established, on the basis of principles discussed above, for allowing miracles as a confirmation of a truth claim. These are criteria for apologetically valuable miracles. They all assume miracles to be possible. Confirming miracles should be: 1) Connected with a Truth Claim. 2) Truly Supernatural. 3) Unique. 4) Mulitple. 5) Predictive.

Wow that's a pretty roundabout way of saying absolutely nothing. And you've yet to give us an example of what you even consider a miracle.

Quote: Of course I could go deeper into these five categories but, wait, I just remembered that Christians do not follow or apply any logical reasoning. Hmmm.

FINALLY you're making some sense. Fhew.

Ok so here's something for you. There's really only two reasons for your God to create a miracle.

1.) Change an event
2.) Prove he exists

Since he obviously doesn't want to prove he exists since he could just as easily do something truly miraculous like build a mountain in the desert with the words "WORSHIP ME" written across the sky and giant squirrels playing banjos, then we have to assume it's to change an event.

Let's take some person living through a car crash as an example since that's one of the few even labeled here. Person survives horrible crash - Miracle. But if god is all knowing and all powerful he could have just as easily saved this person without the whole car crash thing and covered his existence without the miraculous event even raising anyone's suspicions. The whole concept of miracles doesn't even make sense except to convert non believers by convincing them to accept an event as proof of a god. Yet when they're in the religion they find out that god works in mysterious ways and actually doesn't want to prove himself at all, so you have to use faith. I guess by mysterious they really mean stupid. He was probably too busy planting dinosaur bones and winning football games to figure out his own motives.

  • Mar 09, 2006

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