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"Miracles happen all the time"

This was part of a response to my "faith can move mountains" question.

The member went on to say that some are obvious, while some are not, but they do happen "all the time".

This is an extraordinary claim, and as the quote goes, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence".

What sort of miracles "happen all the time"?

An accepted definition of 'miracle' is:  A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine.

Therefore, these "miracles" that "happen all the time" cannot, by definition, be explained by natural or scientific laws.  Not knowing to what "miracles" the member was alluding, I can only guess that the definition of 'miracle' probably disqualifies most of them.

However, for the sake of argument, let's say that miracles do happen all the time.  How do we know which divine entity deserves the credit?

Here's a personal story:  One of my brothers and I got into a discussion about my atheism.  He told me a story about my grandmother that turned him back to religion.  He never said that he was atheist, and I sincerely doubt that he was, but he did imply that religion did not play any significant role in his life.  He implied (as many "converts" love to do) that he was atheist, like me.  Anyway, he said that he was visiting my parents over the Christmas holiday.  My grandmother, who suffered dementia, was living with my parents.  My brother said that as he was walking past her room one night, he heard her having a conversation, but no one else was in the room with her.  He stepped into her room to see if she was alright, and she said that she was, that she was just talking with her husband (deceased) and her sister Hazel, who lived in another state.  She said that they were telling her that they were okay and happy.

The next day, we received word that Hazel, my grandmother's sister, had just passed away.  This was all it took to convince my brother that the Holy Trinity is real, and that heaven exists.  He considered it "evidence" to prove the myths we had been raised to believe in were true.

The story might give one goosebumps without further examination.  First of all, my brother couldn't say whether my grandmother had had similar "conversations" with her dead husband, and other members of her family and friends.  These might have been nightly occurrences, and he just happened to hear one that seemed to coincide with the death of her sister.

Also, my grandmother and my brother were raised in the Lutheran traditions and mythologies.  These are the background for which all their ideas of life, death, and the "afterlife" were formed.  Had they been raised Hindu, or Native American, or in any other tradition, their understanding and fantasies would be colored and shaped by those beliefs.  Their superstitions would have been different, and the "conversations" with people who were either living far away, or deceased, would have had different meanings.

In addition, my grandmother did not mention that they were in heaven.  My brother just inferred that, again based on his upbringing.  Perhaps she really was communing with the dead.  How does that prove or disprove any of the world's religions - or exclude other explanations?

So, I am suggesting that most "miracles" can be explained scientifically.  In fact, I'd say that all "miracles" have some natural explanation.  However, for those who insist that miracles are real, how do you attribute them to the god(s) of your specific beliefs, keeping in mind that other belief systems would be able to attribute them to their god(s) just as easily?  In simpler terms, how do the "miracles" you might believe to happen prove the existence of your particular god?

Answer Question

Asked by jsbenkert at 11:13 AM on Feb. 10, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (70)
  • Jesus performed many miracles. Not all of those who seen became believers. People who do not want to believe, won't, no matter what the miracle is. They will just find an excuse for it that aligns with their own beliefs be it science, luck or coincidence. For this reason I don't feel any need at all to "prove" to others that God still works miracles.

    I think miracles are gifts from God. I think God can use miracles in all different ways such as through instant healing, answered prayers or through provision for us. I think we are truly only aware of a very small portion of all God does for us and protects us against.

    I had a remarkable answer to prayer when I was 9 that I will never forget. It actually was very formative in my faith. I'm sure if I shared it, those who do not believe in miracles would excuse it for coincidence.....but I know it wasn't and I treasure it.

    Answer by deedee3849 at 3:43 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • As a non believer, I have no problem with people who do have the faith, but please don't try to convert me. I don't want to be converted. And don't put your hands on me and pray if I tell you i have a cold, headache, bad day, etc. . . . I have a co worker who does this, drives me crazy. I don't believe in your "God", don't call on "him" to cure me.

    Answer by musicmaker at 3:46 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • Musicmake I don't believe I have done anything of the sort. I simply answered the question.

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:05 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  •  I am curious to know why it bothers you so much that other people believe in God.~ JeremysMom

    LOL @Jeremysmom.  This is a debate section, and I'm a curious being.  As a curious being, I ask questions - I think everyone should question everything.  To me, there is no sense whatsoever for people to hold on to ancient superstitions today, so I'm curious as to what draws them to believe that what they believe is the only right thing to believe, and can discredit other's beliefs while holding on to their own.  Don't you think that's interesting?

    I'm sorry if you lack any curiosity.  To me, it's one of life's spices.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 4:11 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • I will agree that you do seem to target christians rather than any other group. I do not mind your questions. I try not to force what I believe on to others. But sometimes you do come off as having only one mission in life and that is to discredit other's beliefs. I can't say that I understand that point of veiw but I think you are entitled to have it.

    Answer by Dardenella at 4:27 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • Let me assure you, Dardenella, that it isn't my "life's mission".  I ask questions, limited to forums like this, about issues that intrigue me.  If some feel that I am targeting them or their beliefs, well, I can't help that.  I think religion needs to be questioned.  As I am pretty consistent with my line of questions, I suppose that if some tend to feel offended, they could easily avoid me.  I am happy to accept challenges to my point of view, and everyone has the option to read and answer my questions, if they choose, or to pass them by if they choose.  I am baffled by those who still believe in the Abrahamic religions, and I can't apologize for that.  The best I can do is try to satisfy my curiosity in forums such as this.  As I said, question everything - especially those things you are told to accept without question.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 4:40 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • I will agree that you do seem to target christians rather than any other group.

    Orrrr, Christians are more likely than any other group to read any question that mentions "religion" and automatically translate the word to mean only Christians. And that's a regular occurrence around here. If you do not specify any other religion by name, far too many people ignorantly assume that the question is about Christianity.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:52 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • As I said, question everything - especially those things you are told to accept without question.


    You are wrong to assume people who are religious have not questioned their beliefs.  I've never had a problem with people who don' t believe the same way i do, because I assume they've spent as much time examining their own beliefs as I have mine.  I love theology and have spent years reading and listening to diverse philosophies.  People and their beliefs interest me, I'm never baffled by different beliefs because I understand lots of paths lead people to what they believe.  


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 4:58 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • That is true, NP.  In fact, this question, while using a specific story from my family which mostly identifies with Christianity, very clearly does not target Christianity.  That has to be assumed by the reader.

    I do often ask specific questions about items that appear in the news.  Now, please keep in mind that I have no control over the news or the events that are mentioned in the media.  Most of the stories that appear have to do with some form of Christianity or Islam.  And, the truth of the matter is, I was raised Christian, so I have some experience with those particular superstitions and traditions.  Additionally, two of the three major Abrahamic religions make it their mission to convert as many people as possible, and make them, whether by force, bribe or affecting national laws, follow their beliefs.  I have a big problem with that.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 5:02 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • Those who say 'scientifically impossible' have never had the actual situation recreated exactly in a scientific environment to see if it actually WAS impossible. There is always a natural explanation even if it comes down to coincidence and gut feelings but some would rather believe god had a hand in it because it makes them feel all special.


    Answer by IhartU at 5:04 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

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