Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


ARE MIRACLES IMPOSSIBLE BY DEFINITION?

Miracles mean divine acts which alter/suspend the laws of nature. They are grounded in the God belief that there would be literally nothing at all if God did not bring things into existence. Miracles are acts of creation performed by God that nature cannot do. A miracle is what is not naturally possible. It is a supernatural occurrence. It is paranormal.

Those who deny miracles happen on the grounds that they are impossible by definition are supposed to be like people who argue, ďGod by definition is impossible therefore atheism is correct.Ē They are taking for granted the very thing needs to be proven or shown believable. The Christians say the right approach is to have no preconceptions but just look at the evidence for miracles and on that basis one may believe they have happened. But why would you look at the evidence for miracles to see if they happen? Why care?

Unless a miracle is in your face, any other interest in them such as the Christian centring on the resurrection of Jesus Christ shows a definite bias. You assume it is likely to show up as believable which is why you select it.

Religion says with David Hume that evidence for a miracle must be good which means that bias has to be eliminated. Thus the demand of the resurrection for special investigation means it is a false miracle.

The person who says no miracle is believable or true is accused of being a dogmatist - a person who makes their mind up regardless of the evidence.

If miracle needs bias then miracle by definition is lacking credibility.

If both believers and unbelievers are biased and that never changes then to avoid bias you suspend faith when it comes to miracles. No God by definition is going to do a miracle when it matters no more than finding a dime in your pond.

If believers have a worse bias than unbelievers then miracles should be disbelieved. They may be true but their believability is destroyed.

Who is the worst dogmatist: the person who says they donít believe in miracles or the person who says they do or the person who is agnostic in this matter? The person who believes is the worst assuming it is really right to call the others dogmatists. All of us are dogmatists about most or all supernatural reports being untrue.

What is classed impossible relates to descriptive or prescriptive and sometimes both. It may be that something needs to be considered or assumed impossible. We don't say fairies are unlikely to exist. We just say they are impossible. To say they are likely is being biased to maybe starting to believe they are real. You assume their impossibility because we should favour natural not supernatural as an explanation. Fairies as a belief does not have great value or use so why not consider them impossible. There are some things that are probably false or impossible just by definition. Religion would say that the notion that the Devil is God is by definition impossible. It says that magic is by definition impossible. If the supernatural is not by definition impossible then nothing is.

We look around us and describe and that leads to us making prescriptive valuations and judgements. Its not the other way round. You will never think of 1 and 1 being 2 if you are blind and deaf and lack a sense of touch. Your senses describe things to you and then the principles are revealed to you through those things.

If you say miracles are impossible just because there is no supernatural or it cannot intervene so only natural things happen then you are saying that miracles by definition are false. They are lies or mistakes perhaps driven by some natural anomaly that you cannot put your finger on. There is not one thing anybody can do to show that any event is definitely or probably NOT an act of nature. This is a practical matter so let nobody accuse you of bias.

If there is a supernatural there could be a supernatural law that it cannot act miraculously. So the supernatural in itself by definition does not necessarily encourage faith in miracles. It is used as an excuse for such faith.

For all of us, we think that our powers of free will and our power to be aware, our consciousness, are not like ghosts or magic. We may not want to use the word supernatural but we think of them as something that doesn't fit very well into the physical natural world. It is like they are above or superior. That is part of us what we take as our experience. A miracle cannot have the same force. If we see our freedom and consciousness as a miracle, then no other miracle can have the same force.

You may say that if we experience that miracle then it is possible that there are others. Maybe but they cannot be as important as those miracle experiences. Miracles being true does not mean you should consider the resurrection important enough to be the focus of a religious community or standard of doctrine. A miracle that claims importance would have to be dismissed.

Whatever the relationship between mind and matter is, the important thing is that mind cannot and does not live apart from brain states. Something physical is able to produce consciousness. That physical is the real producer and consciousness is the instrument that feels like it is the producer. You feel you are the boss when the boss is not around. A miracle would have to be assumed to be a magic deed done by nature not on nature! Nobody accepts that so a miracle by definition is nonsense.

Something not fitting well into something does not mean it cannot fit or does not fit enough. Only nature can tell you if a miracle does not fit in but it cannot speak to you. It is man that decides that which is no good. Science tries to avoid opinion and let the evidence and facts do the talking. If miracles have a point - which would be to give a message otherwise you end up saying God gets it wrong and has to fix things with a miracle - then they do not happen simply because that point cannot be made.

Christians say that the laws of nature are not rigid rules or rules at all. It is not literally a law that a brick cannot be eaten. To say the brick cannot be eaten is merely to describe not to prescribe. They think that saves them from the argument, "Nature does not change so miracles which break nature cannot happen." It does not for a natural anomaly is not a miracle but just a path if you want to admit seeming miracles happen yes but they are not miracles. So it does the opposite of what they want it to do.

Religion may say that there are no laws of nature - just patterns. The so-called laws of nature can be ignored by God because they are not laws but descriptions of how we expect things to behave based on our observation. But the fact that say planets have gravity can be as rigid as a law. Just because it is not law in the usual sense does not mean it can be ignored. It could be functionally the same as law without being law.

If you want to use the word law for this, then God is not tied down to the natural laws he makes unless he binds himself to them. So the notion that God makes laws that he intends to suspend at times is merely a notion. Maybe he does and maybe he does not. It is wisest to assume that the laws are static. A wise God will be able to make static laws for they will be good laws.

We have shown the uselessness of the only answer to the declaration that miracles are impossible. We have shown, "Those who say that God makes nature work a certain way and will not change it are forgetting God can do what he wants" forgets that God making rigid laws of nature or regulating it without exceptions could be God doing what he wants! Their argument is an insult to God. Do they want to insult God to believe in the pope and other cranks who say miracles are real? If God is responding to our needs then surely we can make him have to do a miracle?

Is natural "law" Godís language? Is the natural law that a brick wonít talk to you to be understood as God communicating to you through nature that bricks do not talk? If there is a God then the laws are language. God then will not change them.

They are taking advantage of the universal error that the exception proves the rule. This is more than an error - it is a lie and every hypocrite needs that untruth. If you don't donate money to beggars and you give to one beggar who clearly needs it to pay for an antibiotic jab is that breaking the rule? If it is then it is not an exception. The rule is don't give to beggars. You are not giving the money because the person is a beggar but because he needs healthcare urgently and there is no debate about that. You are not breaking the rule but using another one. To give the money to the beggar in ordinary circumstances cannot be called an exception to the rule. It is breaking it.

It is testimony that tells us a miracle happened - no miracle as such does that. Witnesses to a miracle testify to each other so if you were alone you would regard it as something strange but not a miracle. The Christians do nothing to eliminate preconceptions. They accept the testimony of those who want to believe a miracle has happened that it has happened. Believers define miracle based on testimony but how can testimony define a miracle when it may have only seen a natural anomaly? The definition is not a definition but sophistry posing as one.

A miracle is thought to be an event that tries to touch the human heart and lift it to godliness. If that is what a miracle is about, then it follows that a butterfly charming you and making you feel spiritual is a bigger miracle than a bleeding statue of Mary that does not stir anything in you. Why would God have to act as if he is violating nature when he does not need to?

A miracle cannot really ask for serious commitment unless it attempts to be hard evidence perhaps even if it fails. If that is not intended then there is no point in it being hard evidence. The miracle needs hard evidence and is trying to be hard evidence by itself. A miracle is a rationality mess not a definition.

If you cannot prove miracles are by definition impossible you can believe there is proof without having it. You still have the right to say the miracle cannot happen for a miracle contradicts itself. Is that not special pleading? Not when you admit you are assuming it for clearly you have the right to assume. Also miracles are not important and not needed to explain anything. Believers get unbelievers to invest miracles with importance they do not have. Believers say that there is proof for a miracle even if we do not have it but have to rely on evidence. Why is that not called special pleading?

We conclude that a miracle being defined as a rational act by a rational God that cares about the gift of evidence makes no sense and a miracle by definition is nonsense. We cannot say that unbelievers and believers are both doing the best they can and should agree to disagree and so that it does not matter for that amounts to saying the miracle is a lie for the miracle says it teaches and inspires and those things matter. So the unbeliever is the one with the good sense.