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?

 


Religion lies that it sees miracles as God's testimony to the truth not man's

God teaches us through miracles so we are told.

Laws of nature in science and religion seem to be not laws but descriptions of what we can expect to happen.  A stone doesn't need a law for it to break a window.  It just does.  Religion says we need to know these laws well enough otherwise we will never recognise a miracle.  If you don't know that somebody who is three days dead cannot rise then you cannot be impressed by Jesus' comeback from the dead.

The problem is that the laws are countless and their cause effect relationship is too complicated to imagine.  It is not something simple that puts the drop of water on your footway.  So a miracle believer is guilty of seeing only the end product and calling that a miracle.  You still don't really know a miracle when you see one for there is no such thing as one law altering.  Its countless.  Other laws have to be miraculously preserved from changing as well.  For example, if God does a miracle to put a drop of water on your footpath he has to deal with other laws that might absorb the drop before it is seen or dry it up.  The cat has to be kept from sweeping the drop away. It goes on and on and on.  Its just a lot of work for an effect.  It speaks more about the thirst for signs no matter what the cost than about real concern for divine testimony.

Religion says testimony gives good enough reasons for accepting certain miracles as true.

Whose testimony?  Its - it is really testifying that it finds the testimony reliable.

Yet religionists will say it is something else's testimony.

Here is the list.

God's - surely the whole concern is what God is using the miracle to try to say.

Some say it is the witnesses.

Some say it is all those witnesses.

Others say that it is the direct witnesses that are believed in not God or the miracle.
 
Without testimony we would not believe in miracles. People often want to believe in miracles and pretend it is because of the evidence and testimony. A miracle is so strange and needs such good evidence that the witnesses would need to make a huge effort to show that is not about what they want to believe. When they try so hard to have others believing it is a sign that it is about what they want to believe.
 
What if you say when you believe in a miracle it is the case that you believe the witnesses rather?  Then it is more accurate to say that if you believe in miracles, you believe because you believe in the witnesses. This is not the same as believing in the miracle. To believe X that the car is broken down is believing X intends to speak the truth about the car not that the car is broken down. People enjoy the glory of being looked up to and listened to because of their miracle tales.
 
We tend to accept testimony because we have never disproven or had reason to question most of the testimonies given to us. But that does not make it reliable enough to base miracles on it.

If one person records and collates a number of testimonies by people to a miracle the Church accepts the testimonies. But it is really only one person - typically somebody on the Church payroll - testifying that he did the interviewing and examining of witnesses properly. Religion would not accept a person saying, "Please convict X of murder for Mary and then Jesus and then Joseph appeared to me respectively last night. Each of them told me they saw him doing it. Their testimony is evidence of his guilt. It is satisfactory. They were eyewitnesses for they saw it happening from Heaven. That is what they said." If they accept that rubbish as evidence soon there will be no law and order. Everybody will be pretending that heavenly beings told them this and that. The example shows that religion itself admits that if a miracle is reported it should not be accepted as true but checked first. This is a principle. Then why is religion so deceitful and inconsistent? It only remembers the principle when it wants to.
 
The testimony to any miracle is not enough. Therefore we must ask, "Why wait for a testimony before accepting something as a miracle? Why not say that Saddam Hussein has risen from the dead though there is no testimony?" Belief in miracles is implicitly dangerous - the world cannot function if people start thinking like that. At least the flawed principle of depending on testimony puts some control - albeit weak control - on it.
  
The argument that if we reject miracle testimony then we have no reason to trust anybody's testimony is incorrect. You can trust people except in supernatural claims. As long as you place enough trust to be able to function in society who cares? And you don't need to trust in supernatural claims to achieve that.
 
If religion did surveys and tests to examine how reliable people are when they see or think they have seen the supernatural at work and found that reliability is high, then it would be justified in saying that testimony to miracle should be taken seriously. It does no such thing.

Believers may condemn those who choose not to accept miracle stories as unfair and selective.  But they are selective about witnesses themselves.
 
There is nothing necessarily irrational about rejecting some idea because somebody says it is true. Naturally the more outrageous the testimony the more rational it is to dismiss or ignore or reject it.
 
Believers ridicule the philosopher David Hume who said that though a testimony for miracles is not by default wrong we can still disbelieve it simply because human nature makes mistakes and lies and it is more likely that witnesses to a miracle are wrong than that a miracle has really happened. It is easy to tell a lie but not so easy to see a miracle. Hume said also that most people do not see dead men rising from the dead supernaturally so it is safe to say that witnesses to any exceptions are wrong.
 
Jesus was not the only one who was supposedly doing miracles. The primary reason why believers in miracles disbelieve, not just dismiss, the alleged miracles of his rival, Apollonius, is not because there is testimony against them but because there is testimony for them. Even if there were testimony against which there isnít, their motive is to reject them because of testimony. And also they assume God had no reason to let this man suspend nature and do miracles. Here they do what they accuse David Hume of. They ignore testimony on the grounds that nature PROBABLY does not change.
 
The Church officially accepts only the stigmata claims made for St Francis of Assisi. There are hundreds of claims and many of these must be fraudulent. Yet the fact remains that nobody admits to engaging in such fraud. There had to have been friends and family and accomplices who caught them out and said nothing. This is overwhelming proof that testimonies to miracles must be accept with extreme caution and even the seeming virtue of the witnesses is not much of a reason to believe them.

The error of cum hoc ergo propter hoc thinks that because two events happen together that one has something to do with the other.  If this happens with x therefore it causes x is wrong.  People who experience miracles are changed by them.  Or so we are told.  This change is the better miracle or the one that counts. But how do we know itís the miracle that is doing it? Maybe it is because of their relative fame and now they have more friends and have to be nicer?  They want people to believe them so that counts too!  So the testimony of a changed life is not a testimony to miracles.  Yet miracles never get any attention unless the witnesses seem to be saints in some way as a result.

To sum up, the religion testifies that the miracle is real for the changed life has happened - so the miracle becomes a tool rather than a wonder!

If you challenge miracles and are accused of calling God a liar or unreliable you can say it is about the validity of the witnesses.