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?

 


HOW TO BE SOLID IN NATURE SO YOU CAN DISCERN A MIRACLE

A miracle is seen as a sign of God's love and presence and is seen as a gift. A miracle is like a magical event such as Jesus rising from the dead or Muhammad being able to dictate the Koran without any education. It is not what you would expect nature to allow or facilitate. So to spot a miracle you need to be well grounded in what nature does and what it is about. Needless to say miracle witnesses are never biologists or scientists but ordinary people trying to live from day to day without thinking about anything other than what to put on the table. That is the science they care about.

A miracle is a violation of nature but claims that it is just a suspension of nature not a violation are thin. A suspension can be a violation. And if other hidden laws of nature are at work then its not a miracle. Religion defining miracles as a non-violation of nature fail for the fact remains that they impose that definition and that does not make it true. A miracle definition could be, "It might be a violation but it could be a suspension of nature." Anything else is dishonest.

The requirement that you be solid in what natural law is before you can identify a violation

You need to be sure what natural law is before you can put down any event such as a dead woman appearing to a child as being against the law of nature. So natural law is fixed and God changes the law to do something strange. This implies that God didnít set up the laws right in the first place. How then could miracles be signs from Heaven coming from a God like that? What right would we have to think miracles are supernatural when it could have been one of the laws that came about from Godís mistakes that did the miracles? If miracles are violations of nature then miracles are unintelligible and the definition as given here makes no sense. If nature is broken you donít know what nature is so you canít describe anything as a violation of nature!

There is a contradiction between saying you must be solid in what natural law entails and then must recognise violations. How can you? You are getting a mixed message.

If miracles are against nature, then God has to change nature to do them. He sets up the law for instance that anybody dead for three days cannot rise. But if he allows an exception - whether that exception is a violation of the law or not - then the law isnít true any more. Its not a law. Then natural law is nonsense. Christians will reply, "But exceptions prove the rule." Not in any case and not in this case. An all-powerful God should be able to create a universe in which he does not need to suspend his laws. If he doesn't then he is a bit of a show off and unfit for worship. God would be in charge of everything. If we abuse free will, we do it because of him and not in spite of him so he is ultimately responsible for all that happens. A God with that amount of control has no need to change the way nature works. If he does miracles, he has no need to make them known. Surely if Jesus had to rise from the dead to save us this resurrection could have taken place in secret and still do its job? We should be doing good works instead of investigating miracles. God by doing miracles infers that the miracles matter most. Evil.

Be agnostic on the source if miracles are violations

To admit miracles are against the law of nature means there could be a law against nature that is not divine in origin but which could be doing them. We are saying we cannot understand how miracles happen or the force that causes them meaning the cause could be any bizarre thing or it could be a law that is able to break nature for miracles are bizarre by definition. The definition does not support the view that miracles are indicators that God exists and where the true religion is to be found. When it fails to do it we cannot expect the other definitions to help for they are less extreme.

If miracles are not against the law of nature then there is no need to bring in God as an explanation for them. Perhaps some kind of invisible intelligent computer is doing them. We can invent whatever possible explanation we wish and nobody has any business saying, ďGod did this or thatĒ.

Watering down law

Another problem is the fact that laws in nature do not cause things to be the way they are. They only describe the way they work. Laws are merely descriptions of what happens and the way nature works uniformly and with regularity. Believers say that the laws of nature are merely generalisations about ordinary events caused by God and miracles are events that happen outside the ordinary i.e. are supernatural. But this problem can be safely ignored. Religion is only raking up the problem because it wants to argue, "There aren't really any laws of nature. We only think there are. It only looks that way. The statue in the Church then down the road could have come to life like some people said." But that is saying there are no miracles in reality. The acorn falling off the tree is much of a miracle as the statue having tea and scones.

If you deny the validity of natural law then to talk of miracles is ridiculous because a miracle is by definition something that varies from or conflicts with natural law. If there is no natural law, the word miracle means nothing. Miracles do deny that natural law is valid which is the same as saying natural law is not law for they break it and claim that nature is unstable. Miracles even imply that we should abandon our most important belief, that nature works by laws for the sake of a less important belief, that God communicates through miracles Ė events which change nature! They are anti-person and therefore pro-evil. Yet miracles need to assume natural law is valid and fixed before they can break it or be an exception to it.

To illustrate the antimony between nature and miracle, I draw attention to what I wrote in the past, ďI believe that miracles Ė alleged events like Jesus rising from the dead, if they happen, speak against the existence of God. Some believers say they are not violations of nature for God set up natural law and will not change his mind about it for he is always right. If miracles violate nature then they mean that God is not God but incompetent and mad and we cannot trust his natural laws. Now if miracles are natural then it follows that we should always assume that there is a natural explanation for them even if we donít have one yet which means they are not miracles and/or should not be assumed to be!"

Miracles are not evidence for God but there is more.

It is only the evidence of physics and its proofs that has the right to declare if a natural law has any fluidity. Believers have no right to declare it fluid so that they can make room for miracles. That is religion telling science what to teach instead of letting science do its job.

Evil of miracles

Miracles are either compatible with natural law or they are not. In other words, some natural illusion could make a statue seem to cry tears of blood. It might be inexplicable but natural. But if its a magical event then the blood is coming out of nowhere and its supernatural. Many say, even religionists, that if miracles are against the laws of nature then they are ridiculous and impossible and the reports that they happened are wrong. So to keep believing they deny that they are against natural law. They have to believe that miracles are not a break in order. If they are right then miracles are not intrinsically evil. But if they are wrong then miracles are evil.

When a miracle report is judged credible, believers only assume it is not a violation of nature. They assume so they donít believe its a non-violation though they lie saying they do. They are only guessing. When we have to guess that so-called miracles are not anti-nature what is the point of any God doing them for they are just left guessing? They would prove his unintelligence which amounts to disproving God! They prove he is the kind of God who would set up laws to break them. Miracles still may be a violation of nature which means that their assuming is as reckless as assuming that triggering a nuclear bomb wonít make it go off. It is less serious to trigger the bomb than it is to question that natural law is free from supernatural interference because it is our belief in nature that enables us to have a life at all. Belief in nature is our basic need. It is absolutely necessary to hold that the supernatural has a natural explanation for holding to anything else is evil.

Without the miracle being a sign from God, we have no reason to take the God concept seriously or to insult sufferers by looking upon their suffering as the mere absence of evil and non-existent for God must be blamed. And if a miracle is a violation of nature then it is evil how it won't violate nature as to end all suffering.

The miracle supposedly happens to end faithlessness and apathy towards God, end spiritual sickness. But it is warped to care about that at the expense of people suffering.

Believers have to pretend they know more than they know in order to proclaim miracles as part of their faith. In reality they are being arrogant and using faith to channel that arrogance.

Nature violates itself?

Religion says, "If God does not do miracles that violate nature, then it follows that if he does do miracles they happen for sound reasons and because of that they do not violate nature. For example, its a violation of the law to preserve life to kill a man at random but to kill him in self-defence is not a violation of the law. It is down to the reasons."

But a violation is a violation and the reason is irrelevant. The rule not to kill applies only to innocent people. Another rule says you may kill in self-defence if it is the only way. That is not an exception to the rule but another rule.

If a miracle were accepted as genuine and it never happened at all then religion is putting forward evidence that a violation of nature has happened. False miracles and claimed violations of nature amount to the same thing.

Some Christian philosophers state that the supernatural violates nature and even sometimes that nature can be made to violate itself - eg when somebody is beamed down from a spaceship as in sci-fi. Thus they say that there is no such thing as a law of nature that says a man cannot die and rise again in three days.

Their argument is a trick. It is because of the laws of nature that the beaming down can happen.

If natural law can mess with itself so can supernatural law. Saying the supernatural tampers with nature and nature is inviolable otherwise is shifting the problem. The supernatural may also tamper with itself!

It is all in the looks!

Miracles look like they break the law of nature. If it looks like a man committed murder we have to call him a murderer. Saying that the man could have been possessed by evil spirits to kill so that it wasnít him or that a demon or alien did it while disguised as the man doesnít help at all. How it looks is what we must go by. And so it is with miracles Ė assume they break natural law.

I would add that when a miracle looks more like a violation of nature than anything else, miracles would have to prove they are not a violation to be acceptable. That would mean only top scientists with an IQ so high that it canít get any higher would witness miracles for they would be in the best position to verify that no violation took place. But even these wouldnít know enough so it seems silly to believe that miracles are non-violations. Most people will not and never will accept miracles as non-violations. Those that do wouldnít accept them as non-violations if they knew better. Miracle believers say that real miracles verify human beliefs as agreeable with the word of God so logically what most people make of miracles is what miracles intend most people to make of them. So whatever does miracles must want them to be seen as violations of nature.

Maybe if we could see into the hearts of believers in miracles we will see they do treat them as violations but won't admit it and even lie about it.

Finally

Fixed lines have to happen and need nobody to set them. A chaotic universe must still have fixed lines. Its atoms don't turn into cheese! That is what we mean by natural law. There is no room for sneaking the idea in that natural law implies somebody set up the law and made the law. It is not law in any literal sense.

A miracle must be believed to be a contradiction of order and therefore evil. A contradiction of perceived natural order is bad for we need that perception. We need to perceive that bricks don't float by themselves to be able to trust the universe and life. That perception is good for it leads us to education.

Believers say that saying, "A miracle claim is unconvincing for nature works normally making it too unlikely to be believable" is a mistake. They urge that it could be that the evidence shows that nature did not work the normal way. A miracle is always a claimed miracle - nobody says a miracle can be proven. And there is a difference between nature not behaving normally and unknown but rare laws of nature taking action. Why are the believers not investigating reports of ducks walking on water, rocks that go walkabout and beach pebbles turning into seashells? Real respect for nature and science DEMAND that. All they care about is anomalies that are useful to a religious ideology. If miracles are not a violation of nature the way they are treated tries to make them just that. If they demand such behaviour they mean to be seen as violations. (The Virgin Mary in her apparitions never tells people to investigate non-religious miracles and to be cautious with reason and the truth in such matters.) If we want such behaviour then we want them to be violations. Religion is religion and science is science. Science has to oppose their approach totally. The believers should be far more concerned about non-religious miracles for if it is the case that nature is erratic we have to know that otherwise a miracle vision or healing cannot be considered to be spiritually or religiously important at all.

When a miracle is reported and accepted by the religious, they are forced to assume that what looks like a violation of nature is not. But they and we can assume that it is. It's 50/50. Assuming will not take away the fact that it is 50/50.

Miracles are violations of nature and are absurd for they both need a God and deny his existence. They are impossible if there is a God and if there isn't. And there are sinister and harmful implications to accepting them and to making them sacred as religion does.

Miracles are a violation of natural law. Even if they are not necessarily we do not know so to believe in them is to violate a natural law that needs us to have confidence in natural law. If miracles were possibly violations of nature but not necessarily violations, it still remains true that when a miracle happens it lessens our faith in natural law. This is evil for the stronger our perception and acceptance is of natural law the better.

It is so important to be trusting nature that coming up with something that we think might be a violation is a serious matter.