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Do you believe in Miracles?

  1. A.Villarasa profile image80
    A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago

    Unlike the song with the same title, my question is not a rhetorical one.
    If we are to believe the naturalist's  view, then miracles are absolutely non-existent,  because from their philosophical perspective, the process of "becoming" exists on its own in SPACE or TIME  , and that NOTHING exists outside of what they call "the single total reality, ie NATURE.

    If on the other hand one believes that  our senses are not infallible, then one has to also believe  the possibility of an ENTITY existing on its own that has produced a framework of SPACE and TIME, and the events which fill them, (one may call 'nature'), and further,  that the PRIMARY BEING may have produced other 'natures'.

    IF NATURALISM  is true, then miracles are impossible because there is nothing outside of nature to come in. On the other hand, if SUPERNATURASLISM is true, MIRACLES may or may not occur.

    C.S Lewis in his book "Miracles"  argued quite succinctly and convincingly, that if naturalism is true, "every finite thing or event must be in principle explicable in terms of the total system. If one thing exists which cannot be given that kind of explanantion, then naturalism is in ruins. The whole idea of nature depends on our thinking, not vice-versa. Reasoning is the prime reality on which the attribution of reality to everything else rests."

    1. mishpat profile image61
      mishpatposted 19 months ago in reply to this

      What is medicines explanation for the unexplainable, daily?  "It's a miracle."  Yup, they happen.

    2. Slarty O'Brian profile image87
      Slarty O'Brianposted 19 months ago in reply to this

      The miracle is being able to put out your hands and manipulate material to your will. Life is a miracle. The totality is a miracle to stand in awe of.

      It's all pretty miraculous, particularly if there is no god.

      And who told you Christians that god lives outside time and space? Bible doesn't say that. In fact it says god is everywhere.

      I mean think about: pretend you paint one wall in your house black. Stick the point of a needle into the drywall to reveal a dot of white.

      Now, go to the other end of the room. Can you find the pin prick? Probably not, or very faintly.

      That's the view of earth from Pluto. The universe is now some 85 billion light years across and expanding. You know that a light year is the distance light travels at close to 700,000,000 miles per hour for one earth year, right?.

      You could pile souls twenty miles high all over the earth, and from anywhere outside our solar system we represent less than a virus on the butt end of the totality, and you're going to tell me a god lives outside that and gives a rat's behind what an unseen pin prick is up to? Seriously?

      1. A.Villarasa profile image80
        A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

        @slarty:
        "Life is a miracle", I fully  agree but to say that life was nature created is not giving credit  to  whence nature came from, and to  who mandated that the conglomeration of  interacting and interlocking material entities in nature lead to .....not only life, but sentience as well.

        The Bible saying that God is everywhere is of course a metaphor of the fact that God is manifested in all of his creation, and his creation is everywhere we see it ( or don't see it, as  in the case, maybe , of dark matter and dark energy). God is a supernatural entity, thus could not reside in nature.

        Seriously, yes He cares about that pinprick of a blue.white dot of a planet, because in that planet resides  humans who are sufficiently entranced by His creation to even think that there must be someone  out there who made him and the rest of the universe, possible.

        1. Slarty O'Brian profile image87
          Slarty O'Brianposted 19 months ago in reply to this

          With a god it's far less of a miracle, just like life has more value if it actually ends. Why do you mourn people passing if you really think they are not dead at all?

          It's because even the religious aren't sure.

          A little history lesson: The Jews thought of god as living in the heavens, meaning the firmament with all the stars. He is worried at one point that if we build a tower high enough we will be capable of anything. Perhaps even walking into heaven?.

          This is of course what Babylonians and Sumerians believed. The gods came down from heaven on the towers they built and then visited the underworld, and returned to heaven via the tower.

          Christians believed in heaven as the universe for a long time. Right up until we went to space.

          He punished us for building towers too high. What would the punishment be for sending a rocket up into heaven?

          But he wasn't there to stop us. And when I asked Christians about this they asked if we had searched all of the universe, and until we had we shouldn't assume. Meaning that up till 40 years ago people still thought heaven was in among the stars.

          In the last ten years I've been hearing more and more that god isn't in the universe. How Christianity has evolved, running from science and trying to find some way to reconcile itself to new knowledge.

          Same time I was arguing with people who thought god's heaven was close by, I was also talking to them about what god was. They said energy was the soul and god was spirit, a kind of energy. Matter was considered base and vulgar. But after we atheists told them that E = MC squared meant that matter and energy are the same thing, over the years suddenly god isn't pure energy anymore.

          Funny how that worked out.

          Now you say you think AI is possible. Again until recently Christians said it was impossible because only god can create life. Well we've already created life in the form of individual cells which we wrote our own DNA code for. And it lives.Next AI? So I guess god isn't the only one who can create life? We'll see. But I think AI is all but already here.

          Soon evolution will be in our hands. You are right to worry. But if we survive the next thousand years or two, life is going to be different. How different we can't guess or imagine.

          If people want immortality, we'll have to take it, like we took sentience from a god that didn't want us to be like him, according to the myth.

          And so it will go.Should science find that there is no outside of the universe, I'm sure god will move.To another dimension perhaps?

          The apologetic keeps changing, but god doesn't change, right?Neither does the bible.

          Funny how that book is never read word for word the way it is written. Christians insist on interpreting it, and you all do it differently. You all cherry pick, even those who say they don't do.

          Why would a god care if we know it exists and created the processes for things like us to evolve. I don't know about you but my mother and father created me, not the Christian god. Is it that egotistical and self centered?

          But yes this is all amazing isn't it? Nature is wonderful.

          " God is a supernatural entity, thus could not reside in nature."

          Why are you telling god what it can't do? I thought it could do anything. No?

          1. A.Villarasa profile image80
            A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

            And your point being?
            The conceptualization of God as a supernatural being as far as I could gather, have never changed, ever since humans started conceptualizing a Creator. Myths are useful in the sense that interaction between a Creator and the created impose congruence at different levels some if not most of which may not necessarily be understandable in terms of  human exsitence and experience.. So long as the mythological concepts are derived not from some kind of sensibility, but essentially based upon human's understanding of the supernatural.

            1. janesix profile image59
              janesixposted 19 months ago in reply to this

              But there is no "understanding" of the supernatural, is there?

              1. Slarty O'Brian profile image87
                Slarty O'Brianposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                Absolutely. If you hadn't said it I would have

              2. A.Villarasa profile image80
                A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                @janesix:
                You might want to read Dr. Eben Alexander's book "The Proof Of Heaven", a detailed narration of his immersion in the supernatural world during his NDE, imposed by a severe form of E.Coli Meningitis/Encephalitis.

                1. janesix profile image59
                  janesixposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                  I only look at scientific evidence, not anecdotes. There is too much subjectivity in personal experience.

                  1. A.Villarasa profile image80
                    A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                    @jnesix: If you must know, Dr,. Eben Alexander is and continues to be a practicing neurosurgeon. His scientific background surely grounded him to believing only in what his scientific eye would lead him to believe. That grounding was totally untethered and unhinged after what he experienced as succinctly and scientifically detailed in that book.

            2. Slarty O'Brian profile image87
              Slarty O'Brianposted 19 months ago in reply to this

              "And your point being?"

              My point being the conception you are arguing under is new. The only reason you have it is because you are trying to find arguments to counter objections to your beliefs based in science. So naturally your arguments have evolved. But they are no longer in line with the original beliefs of your religion.

              What you would be better off doing, perhaps, since you are already playing the supernatural card, is just say: God is supernatural, he can do what he likes. He has no restrictions, End of story. But that doesn't satisfy you either, does it?

              "The conceptualization of God as a supernatural being as far as I could gather, have never changed, ever since humans started conceptualizing a Creator."

              Of course they have. You may want to study ancient religions.

              " Myths are useful in the sense that interaction between a Creator and the created impose congruence at different levels some if not most of which may not necessarily be understandable in terms of  human exsitence and experience."

              An omnipotent god could make short work of such trivial obstacles, Couldn't he?
              Christians always sell their god short. But that's natural because their god is nowhere to be found, so they have to make up excuses for its absence, and the state of the world.

              Usually its "humans just can't understand." But again, an omnipotent god could correct that , couldn't he? Next they say sure but he wants us to have free will. Another absurd excuse, as if knowing a god exists in no uncertain terms would hamper your free will, if you had it.

              How could being able to make informed choices hinder free will? Is it only free if it's blind? I hardly think so.

              The real tell is your religion’s insistence on faith. Why? Why would a god value faith?  The only reason for faith is there are no facts. The insistence on faith should be a warning sign to everyone. It shows that the belief has no real basis, or faith wouldn't be required. Faith is a sure sign of a scam.

              Faith is just knowing without the ability to actually know. People with faith just feel certain, but they can’t be. It’s like the Hindu state of just knowing, in which you really don’t come away with any extra real knowledge. It’s a form of self hypnosis.

              Myths are models, just like any human attempt at finding truth. A model contains facts, but the model itself isn’t always representative of those facts even though its purpose is to explain them. 

              At any rate, I would expect that if there were an omnipotent god that wants us to know it, we would all know it in no uncertain terms. That we don’t is another tell. 

              At least it should tell us either there is no such thing or it really doesn’t want us all to know it. The third option is its not omnipotent and can’t make us know it exists due to its limitations.

              Which do you prefer?

              1. A.Villarasa profile image80
                A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                @Slarty: I would prefer to do the work myself in trying to uncover whatever it is that I need to uncover to get a better understanding of God and His supernatural world, while I'm still living in the natural world. I certainly don't like the idea that just because God is omnipotent that He would give me those perceptual and intuitive knowledge, without me doing any work at all.... just there being passively given without ever doing anything to deserve those kowledge.

                The operative phrase being "while still living in the natural world". When one dies, then all these discussions become irrelevant because if you believe and have faith in the idea that there is another world where your existence could continue, not materially/physically but transcendentally, then whatever you gained while still,living in the material world could then continue growing exponentially in that transcendental world.

                Now we all know of course that atheists/materialists/physicalists do not believe in the existence of that supernatutal world. I suippose there is always space/time  for them to be surprised when the moment comes, when they leave the natural world and start experiencing the nature of that supernatural world.

                1. Slarty O'Brian profile image87
                  Slarty O'Brianposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                  Guess you don't like meeting famous people either?

                  I don't care where the truth comes from. What I said was that if he wants us all to know he exists as the bible explains, then it should be easy for him to drop by and say hi to us all at the same time. He'd hardly be forcing you to know the truth about anything else if you want to continue to guess. And he wouldn't be surprising you who already believes in him. For you it shouldn't add anything to your knowledge, right?

                  But it would eliminate your need for faith. That can only be a good thing.

                  And I assure you, should I wake up dead I'll know exactly what happened. I've practiced for it. I'm still assuming that when it's really over, it's over. I'm fine with it either way.

  2. janesix profile image59
    janesixposted 19 months ago

    No, because everything is natural, and nothing is supernatural.

  3. wilderness profile image97
    wildernessposted 19 months ago

    Defining "miracle" as an event that violates natural law, there has been only one possibility in either the history of man or the history of the universe (as we understand it) that might qualify. 

    Best guess, then, is a resounding NO.  A single "might" is insufficient reason to say yes, and even an extremely small "maybe" is quite questionable.

    Please note that the Lewis statement depends on man knowing everything there is to know.  Nowhere does he leave room for ignorance, yet it is pretty well accepted that we as a species are extremely ignorant.  It is, then, a logical failure.

    1. A.Villarasa profile image80
      A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

      @Wilderness: it is a common mistake or inaccuracy to define miracle as something that breaks the laws of nature. A more nuanced definition of miracle invokes the idea that it is NOT the suspension of the pattern to which events conform, BUT  the  feeding of new events into that pattern.
      The reason you may find that notion intolerable  is because you start by taking nature to be  the whole reality. Nature and the new event(s) introduced into it by miracle(s)  is/are related by their common origin. Calling these events miracles  only mean that left to her own devices  or resources, nature could never produce them.

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 19 months ago in reply to this

        So anything new is a miracle?  Like a new star?  A new life form?  A change in motion of a comet?  You're right - I'd have to say those are not miracles at all.

        Perhaps the reason you define it that way is that you find the notion of a lack of miracles intolerable so you will re-define the term to mean ordinary, every day events?

        But you fail to consider that "miracles" (your definition) happen from natural law and do not require the supernatural to happen.  They are thus no more than a subset of nature, the same things and events we see all the time.

        1. A.Villarasa profile image80
          A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

          Re-read the last sentence of my last post. You might find it enlightening.

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 19 months ago in reply to this

            Yeah.  Doesn't fit with the definition much, does it?  One says nature does them, one says it can't.  (Nature being defined here as natural laws, not trees and frogs).

            Did you mean it as just more double speak, without real meaning, or are you trying to say something?

            1. A.Villarasa profile image80
              A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

              So sorry that you have no clue what I was talking about. Be that as it may, You might find it less stressful to just ignore my post and go about your nature-driven ways and pray that that half-mad comet  that decided on its own to change course does not hit where you are. NOw that would be a miracle all by itself wouldn't you think?

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                Not particularly.  Comets change orbits for a variety of reasons, from nearby gravitational fields to heating of the gas pockets in them to collisions from other masses.  Or was that intended to be a miracle?

                1. A.Villarasa profile image80
                  A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                  A miracle? You should be so lucky, but then again, luck has nothing to do with miracles.

                  Someone smarter than me, once said: " miracles are not going against the laws of nature, but transiently suspending them".

                  1. wilderness profile image97
                    wildernessposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                    You know, making poetry out of words does not change what those words describe no matter what the intended perception might be.  And "transiently suspending" the laws of nature means "going against them" as those laws cannot be suspended.  Ever.

                    Which in turn means we're back to events that violate the laws of nature,  Plus a lot of fancy, poetic, terminology that means the same thing, aren't we.

    2. A.Villarasa profile image80
      A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

      @ wilderness:
      Whatever or whoever gave you the idea that  C.S.  Lewis's  "statement depends on man knowing everything there is to know". Unless of course if you are grabbing at straws again.

      1. wilderness profile image97
        wildernessposted 19 months ago in reply to this

        From your post of what Lewis said:
        "If one thing exists which cannot be given that kind of explanantion, then naturalism is in ruins."

        As there are a great many things that are not understood, they cannot be given that kind of explanation, and that means naturalism is in ruins.  Of course, it means nothing of the sort; it means that we don't know.  Only when man knows everything there is to know, and still unable to give an explanation, would Lewis's statement be true.

        1. A.Villarasa profile image80
          A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

          If naturalistic explanations could not account for events that has been well documented and whose factuality/veracity has been verified then, one must by necessity look for other explanations...... Explanations that are not necessarily in the physical realm.

          When  explanations from that physical realm are not sufficient  to account for events, your naturalistic bent  is to immediately say: I don't know. But why stop there? Why not intuit that events that happens in the material world could in fact have reasons beyond what your 5 physical senses can provide.

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 19 months ago in reply to this

            "If naturalistic explanations could not account for events that has been well documented and whose factuality/veracity has been verified then, one must by necessity look for other explanations"

            Why?  Are you, too, assuming that we know everything there is to know in nature?  I would disagree with that statement, vehemently so.  As every single answer to every single question proposed, and we that know and accept as true and factual, has come from the natural world it seems far more logical to continue the search there instead of formulating theories we can never test, let alone prove.

            But why do you say we should stop there?  What's wrong with continuing to search, and learn, about our environment?

            Nor can you "intuit" answers that you have no experience with.  You can only imagine them, and with no way of knowing if they are true or not.  Not when they exist only in the imagination.

            1. A.Villarasa profile image80
              A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

              I fully agree that we can not know know everything there is to know about nature.... To think otherwise would infer that our 5 sense are infallible, which they are not.
              But as knowledge goes, there are knowledge that we gain from our senses and there are knowledge that we gain by inference from our senses.

              1. janesix profile image59
                janesixposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                The knowledge we get from our senses is suspect, as our brains interpret the data in a subjective way.

              2. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                Would you not agree, then, that the proper course to alleviate ignorance is to search for an answer?  Not make one up, even if we use pretty words like "intuit" instead of "make up"?

                (Although it would certainly be in line to "intuit" an answer...IF we then thoroughly test it for truth and veracity.)

                1. A.Villarasa profile image80
                  A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                  Reasoning and intuiting are two sides of the same coin....the unity of  duality.  Something beyond nature operates whenever we reason or intuit. Rational and intuitive thoughts induce and enable us to alter the course of nature. Nature is quite powerless to produce rational/ intuitive  thought. It does not mean however, that rational/ intuitive thoughts exist absolutely on their own. They might be independent of nature by being dependent  on something else.

                  What exist on its own must have existed from all eternity and must exist incessantly---human minds,then, are not the only supra-natural entities that exist. To believe that nature produced the human mind is absurd. To believe that nature and the human mind are both independently self-existent is impossible. So God created both.

                  1. wilderness profile image97
                    wildernessposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                    Sorry, intuition does not come from reason; it comes from experience.  No, nothing "beyond nature" operates when the human mind begins to think.  Or intuit, or feel, or anything else.  We know this because there IS nothing beyond nature.

                    As man is part of nature, nature thus DOES produce rational/intuitive thought. 

                    Which means that minds do not exist on their own, and had a beginning.  They are NOT supra-natural entities, as there are none.  To think that the non-existent supernatural produced the human mind id absurd.  To believe there is a god is impossible.  So there is no god

                    Did you catch that fabulous reasoning ability?  Using the exact same logic and supporting fact base as you, I said the exact opposite.  As the logic must be true (it came from you) you must then, logically, believe what I said.  Anything else is absurd.  At least as absurd as thinking your mind is not a part of nature.

        2. A.Villarasa profile image80
          A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

          @wilderness:
          There certainly is no ALL OR NOTHING in the statement you just quoted. It only means that should  humans start believing that they know everything that they need to know about nature, then nature as it stands glorified by its proponents/adherents as the be all and end all of creation, would actually be devalued and corrupted to the point of banality and vapidity.

          The point being,  if nature does reveal itself to the humans  as an inconsequential product of non-intention, then where do humans go from there? NOWHERE, except banality and vapidity.

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 19 months ago in reply to this

            The you obviously did not read Lewis's statement, for it is very clear on that.  If there is but one item that cannot be explained then all of naturalism is in ruins.  Re-read your own post, with it's quote.

            Nor does what man knows or does not know, thinks or does not think, or anything else have the slightest effect on creation.  It is neither devalued nor valued by man's opinion and it is not corrupted, banal or vapid as a result of that opinion, either.

            Humans go where they will, and whether you find that destination banal or vapid is of no consequence to anyone but yourself.  As such things can only be opinion, not fact, everyone will have their own and are quite justified in creating that opinion.  It just doesn't mean anything to anyone else - it is of no value to anyone but the one creating it.

            1. A.Villarasa profile image80
              A.Villarasaposted 19 months ago in reply to this

              "Human's go where they will, and whether you find that destination banal or vapid is of no consequence to anyone but yourself."

              Quite a statement from someone who, if I remember right does not believe that humans have free will.
              The destination should be a concern to all of us, for in the exercise of that free will , humans might decide on acting supra- naturally via genetic tinkering, and or as was mentioned on this forum, creating artificial intelligence.
              Humans will rue the day when they don't make the necessary  instrumentation and  adjudication when  tinkering with the human genome and applying those mechanisms that would or could couple human intelligence with artificial ones.

              1. wilderness profile image97
                wildernessposted 19 months ago in reply to this

                You mis-remember, for I am a believer in free will.  Not the free will of scripture, where the future is pre-ordained by a god, but real free will, were a person may actually make choices.

                Genetic tinkering is quite within the natural world, and does not take a miracle to do.  Just a product of that world - the human mind.  I fully expect humanity to begin tinkering with the human genome in the next few decades, though whether we'll have the necessary knowledge to make good decisions with it is doubtful.

                Same for AI - it is being done now and will only expand, perhaps to surpass human intelligence.  Again, whether that is wise is debatable.

  4. Indianstudent profile image60
    Indianstudentposted 19 months ago

    There is nothing like miracle, it is just by chance

  5. LeslieAdrienne profile image81
    LeslieAdrienneposted 19 months ago

    Yes, I do believe in miracles... and, you do too. You just might not be aware of it.

    1. Slarty O'Brian profile image87
      Slarty O'Brianposted 19 months ago in reply to this

      I think the author of the question: A.VILLARASA , does believe in miracles, I might too. Depends on what you mean.

 
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