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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?

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jsbenkert

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

Level 37 (89,290 Credits)
Answers (70)
  • I've experienced a very profound miracle in my life that has influenced to by belief in God. This is only proof to me, I don't expect other people to be swayed by my experiences.

    I do think people need to be skeptical when someone claims a miraculous event, but this doesn't mean they don't occur. It's really an individual experience. I won't convince anyone else there is a God based on my experiences and no one will convince there isn't a God, because of the experiences I've had.
    RyansMom001

    Answer by RyansMom001 at 11:35 AM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • So you've experienced something that cannot  be explained through science or nature, and you're certain that it was your god that performed the miracle for you?  How is it proof, even to you?  Or is it your belief that looked for something to reinforce your belief, much in the same way that we can see a series of unconnected dots that seem to form a circle, but cannot be a circle by definition because they are not a solid line - but our brains, naturally adapted to look for patters, see a circle?

    jsbenkert

    Comment by jsbenkert (original poster) at 11:42 AM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • I made eggs and bacon this morning and I managed to keep it all away from the dog......(see miracle.....at least according to the person claiming they happen all the time). I sneezed and took a piss this morning as well. Also miracles. I mean without god's assistance I wouldn't be able to physically wake up each morning much less have any NORMAL biological functions. I'm just a normal HUMAN.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 12:18 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • In all honesty, with dementia, she could've been reliving a convo that took place 30 yrs ago. But, even with the addition of ghosts existing, that would not prove a biblical god. I do believe that ghosts may exist & that one day SCIENCE may be able to explain it. After all we are all energy & according to quantum physics there are different planes/dimensions that barely touch our "reality". So, maybe our energy moves to a different plane, unseen by most. Still, that wouldn't be a "miracle", with a similar explanation.
    3libras

    Answer by 3libras at 12:19 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • I have "conversations" with people who aren't there all the time. I don't suffer from dementia, but I do have an active imagination and I live a lot "in my head"... my husband rightfully makes fun of me for it when the volume and gestures start getting big. :) I call it being quirky (I know they are not there) but if I ever start to have neurological problems, I can totally see myself becoming like your grandmother.

    Honestly, I think its very easy to see what you want to see, and to ignore or discount other possible rational explanations. This goes for most everything people do - religion, research, relationships, etc. It's very very hard to truly be objective all the time.
    Sebbiemama

    Answer by Sebbiemama at 12:37 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • It's called "Faith"
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 12:48 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • I am still in limbo whether there is a god(s) or not, but I am curious to know why it bothers you so much that other people believe in God.

    JeremysMom

    Answer by JeremysMom at 12:48 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • I was in a house fire . I had taken some pretty heavy meds for migraines and was laying in my bed. Everyone was gone. They came back and were doing something outside when there was an explosive sound. Not thinking it was inside (the fuse box exploded in an electrical fire) They continued until smoke was trickling out a window just below my bedroom. They ran around the house to the front, back was locked up. They looked in and the house was filled with smoke. He had had a heartattack not 2 months before and got the phone and got 911 hinking my DD was outside. She came in and I was still out on the bed smoke fire and smoke traveling through the inner walls and flames coming from the open closet. She claims something seemed to be holding them back. She got me on my feet by slapping me. We got out and DH was out and the fire and ambulance crews were there in about 10 minutes. Most of the house was gutted by then and
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:43 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • Ambulance guys sat him down and it so happened right in front of the trucks running exhaust. It was 106 that day. It wasn't lng before He and DD were headed to the hospital. Someone was required to stay and fill out the report and secure the home. (actually watch as they did it) DH only had an anxiety attack, thank goodness but they kept him overnight.
    I needed to go back. My son and some others came in. My bedroom was totally ecxept in one area, the wall near my side of the bed and the door to the hallway. This is where I hang my crucifix. It was not damaged or even sooty. That was not the most startling part. Around the cross was a radiating pattern of smoke and soot or whatever you want to call it. I can't even explain how I got out. There should have been no possible way for DD to have gotten in fron the firemen's reports. No way I should have survived let alone be unharmed
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:50 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • if you know anything about electrical fires you will know they are a thing all their own. We got a room in a sleezy motel because that was all they was. We had no changes of clethes at all. We are going and calling every apartment / rental we can find but school starts in less than a week. They of course have all been rented. One was truely sorry but she had just promised her last to someone just hours before, but she took our number just in case.We were going to be on the street soon because even the sleezy motel was sucking our savings dry. 2 days before school the lady calls and says that the person was not going to be able to take the apartment but she has 4 others who have called o we need to get there asap. We were there in less than an hour and they worked with us a bit Letting us pay the deposit and 2 months rent over 2 months instead of right up front. Sure that is a happy coincidence.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:58 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

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