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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)
  • So, Ballad, do you believe that the Abrahamic god added more food to your skillet?

    Damn, he must REALLY hate all those starving people in Africa

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:48 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • So, Ballad, do you believe that the Abrahamic god added more food to your skillet? Damn, he must really hate all the starving people in Africa.

    I posted: I don't know why that happened to me. I realize there are many people who starve to death in this world, or don't have what they need. I don't believe I'm more special, or have more faith, than anyone else. But if there's a scientific explanation for the full skillet, I haven't found it.

    NotPanickcking, yes, that night, I do beieve God added more food to my skillet. Why it happened to me then, and not the other nights I ended up having to snatch the McDonald's leftovers out of the top of the dumpster, or why every belly in the world isn't full every day, I don't know. Some of it goes to free will: corrupt governments and greedy people make poor choices. Some of it I can't explain. But yes, on that particular night, my God provided for me.

    Answer by Ballad at 8:09 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • Js actually I an glad that you and others post questions because quite honestly some of them I have not thought about at all or I have not in a good long while and it is good to revisit your beliefs and question / examine.

    I guess what I was saying is that some may percieve your questioning as targetting because of the way you present them (perception)
    I have never witnessed christians ganging up on non believers in my own life. I can certainly believe that especially family members would be prone to try to "bring someone back into the fold" Certainly I would like to see anyone who was dicouraged out of their faith to be able to find it, but I can not do it for them and just like trying to get a smoker or drinker to quit by nagging the, so too nagging someone into "faith" does not work either.

    Answer by Dardenella at 9:16 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • I have what is sometimes called an odd veiw. Not ever god that is called upon is the God that I believe in, however IMO God is sometimes called by different names. Confusing, I know, but I can explain better in person than in typing unfortunately.
    How do I know? Partly by what those people do, outward signs, and what they say. WBC is a good example. Supposedly they are christians. Supposedly we have the same God but by their outward signs, I would say that we do not believe in the same God.

    Answer by Dardenella at 9:22 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • Ballad, I want to apologize in case my last couple of questions directed to you seemed aggressive or provoking.  I didn't mean for them to come across that way, but when I came back and re-read them, knowing that it's hard to read tone, I can see that they might be construed.  I'm honestly curious about how you perceived that occasion, and how you think someone else of a different faith might have explained such a "miracle" . . . and whether you think it's the work of a god, a guardian angel, or what.  I'm inclined to think that you misjudged how much food you had either before or after you cooked it, but I wasn't there to witness this incident, so that's my skepticism at play. You were there, of course, so I wonder how you explain it, and how you think someone of a different faith would explain the same situation.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 9:43 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • Jsbenkert, I'm not sure how someone of another faith would explain what happened that night with the food in my skillet. It would be an interesting conversation, and it's one I will have if I ever get the opportunity.

    I'm quite sure I didn't misjudge the amount of food I had because I had so little. It wasn't like when you put together a soup and it suddenly outgrows your pot because you toss in more of something than you thought you did. I remember two potatoes that fit in the palms of my hands with a fist nearly closed around each of them. I remember the four hot dogs, what was left from a pack of eight. And the half an onion, which wasn't very large. Being hungry, or on the verge of hunger, tends to be a memory that sticks with a person. The way I see it, what happened isn't at all beyond the realm of what my particular God, or any other creator-king of the universe, could do, being not bound by human limitations.

    Answer by Ballad at 11:06 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • Inspiring story Dardenella and I won't be one to take away your faith from you but I am pretty sure it is explainable. My friend from high school just lost her three children in a horrible house fire that was electrical....a little sour with that one as you can see

    Answer by Jessplus31979 at 7:43 AM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • I can certainly imagine where you would be. I am sorry for your losses. No one has yet been able to explain it. I would really like an explaination but I may have to wait a very long time.

    Answer by Dardenella at 11:24 AM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • What makes you think that Science and many of the advances of it aren't miracles,?

    Answer by snookyfritz at 9:02 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • What makes you think that Science and many of the advances of it aren't miracles,?

    Because they don't fit the definition.


    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 9:57 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

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