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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
 
jsbenkert

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

Level 37 (89,331 Credits)
Answers (70)
  • Because they don't fit the definition.

    Funny how quickly things like definitions get thrown out the window when they become inconvenient.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:59 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

  • That's not necessarily true. If the source itself defines the miracle, there would be no limitations on the definition.

    And not panicking, if you want to get a decent debate out of a topic, you might lighten up on the sarcasm. Especially the passive sarcasm
    snookyfritz

    Answer by snookyfritz at 11:18 PM on Feb. 11, 2013

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


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


    Because miracles cannot be explained by natural or scientific laws, science and the advances attributed to it cannot be considered miracles.  

    jsbenkert

    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 9:34 AM on Feb. 12, 2013

  • I think when people jump on the "it's a miracle!" Bandwagon they sell themselves short. Imagine where we'd be if all the scientists resigned with " well it's a miracle we can no longer research the answers". I think it's a way of resigning from ones inner strength to fulfill the curiosity we all have. Sometimes the simple answer fulfills the minds of simple people.
    sahmamax2

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 10:21 AM on Feb. 12, 2013

  • And not panicking, if you want to get a decent debate out of a topic, you might lighten up on the sarcasm. Especially the passive sarcasm

    Right, my not taking people seriously when they make up their own rules as they go along is the problem. If you want a decent debate you might start from the point that most regular posters here aren't idiots who are swayed by Sunday school rote speech.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:46 PM on Feb. 12, 2013

  • I think when people jump on the "it's a miracle!" Bandwagon they sell themselves short

    I see it as massive narcissism.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 12:46 PM on Feb. 12, 2013

  • Hey I wouldlove for a rational scientifically explained explaination.
    You could call it narcissism but considering I rarely speak of it and can't figure out any reasons why it would have happened, I rather doubt it.
    I have heard stories from other people and not necessarily about them being the person involved in the "miracle".
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 2:31 AM on Feb. 13, 2013

  • Hey I wouldlove for a rational scientifically explained explaination.

    And had you ever asked the fire inspector for it, they probably could have given you one. Fire does not follow a rule book, there are literally thousands of factors that can change it, and those would've been apparent to whoever inspected your house, but probably not a layman.

    As for the apartment, yes, something that happens every day happened to you at a time when you really needed it. It's just as likely that the person renting would've backed out if you hadn't been looking, and one of those other 4 people would've gotten it instead of you - would it still be a miracle then? Would they have to need it as much or more than you for it to be a miracle, or would simply getting out of a bad neighborhood into a better one be enough to qualify?
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 3:06 PM on Feb. 13, 2013

  • Not Panicking, I have watched your surly and snarky responses though out these boards and given your obvious dislike of anyone who thinks differently than you. I think I'll abstain from direct conversation with you.
    snookyfritz

    Answer by snookyfritz at 6:22 PM on Feb. 13, 2013

  • jsbenkert, given that my belief that God did indeed create all of this through a big bang sort of mess, I'd say that pretty much everything is a miracle and it's genesis would be the biggest proof of that
    snookyfritz

    Answer by snookyfritz at 6:23 PM on Feb. 13, 2013

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