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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 (89,220 Credits)
Answers (70)
  • 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

  • It's called "Faith"
    layh41407

    Answer by layh41407 at 12:48 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.
    NotPanicking

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

  • 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 dont believe in miracles and the dumbing down of the word is a pet peeve of mine. birth is not a miracle, sunsets/rainbows are not miracles, getting a close parking space in a down pour is not a miracle.

    i use to watch that show "i shouldnt be alive" and often times they call it a miracle & praise their version of God for saving them. i understand that. when you're life is spared in a less than 1% chance of survival, you're gonna view it as your God's work. personally, i see it as simply that small percentage of likelihood that one can survive coming true, luck if you will.
    okmanders

    Answer by okmanders at 5:09 PM on Feb. 10, 2013

  • Unexplained things happen... Would I say its a miracle from god no. Just think how what some may have considered miracles from god 100 years ago can be explained today.
    skinnyslokita

    Answer by skinnyslokita at 5:50 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 those starving people in Africa
    NotPanicking

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

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