Prudence and belief in miracles

A miracle is a sign from God that directs us what to believe.

A miracle claim is a very serious claim.  Some say that a miracle is so extraordinary you need extraordinary evidence to verify it.  That is fine but they need to be careful with the expression extraordinary evidence.  It is best stated that it needs to be as good as the evidence to put somebody away for life in jail.  You want to avoid the notion that unbelievers want too much evidence.

There is extraordinary evidence that human beings are prone to deception and lying about such subjects and it stands to reason that many people whose families would swear they never lie have indeed lied about miracles.  That is one reason you have the right and the need for decent and appropriate evidence. 

Evidence never lies - it can just be misinterpreted.  If there is a God then evidence is a gift from God.  Anybody who tells you to not question a miracle claim either because it is sacred or because God gave no evidence is a charlatan and is trying to get you to prefer what you want to believe to what God wants you to believe.  Or rather they are trying to get you to be like them believing what you want to believe because you want and they want you to believe what they want you to believe.  It is their egotism and do not be drawn in.

Prudence tells you that if somebody gives you poor evidence for a supernatural or magical claim they are con-artists. It is only to be expected that they will make excuses for the missing evidence or its poor standard. The best way to be a superstition based charlatan is to say that some God or god works through you and when he doesn't it is just that he considers it best right now not to intervene. That takes the pressure off the person having to produce wonders from this deity all the time or on demand. Arguments about his sincerity are actually useless and irrelevant.  Repeat this for a lot of religious beliefs are spread not by being true or credible but by the seeming sincerity of the preachers: ARGUMENTS ABOUT THE SINCERITY OF PREACHERS AS A REASON TO AGREE WITH THEM ARE TOTALLY USELESS AND IRRELEVANT.
If I claim to be a billionaire, that is an unusual claim but I don't have to prove it to people who I ask to believe it. If I claim to be a zombie, I do. If I claim to have been grown in a lab, I do. If I claim I dropped out of heaven miraculously, I do. And I need a lot of evidence and proof. To fail to provide it, proves I am encouraging people to believe what they should not believe without proper evidence and thus I am really manipulating them and encouraging them to fool themselves or risk fooling themselves. I am showing disrespect to truth and to them. And even if I do not need to provide them with excellent evidence (I do but leave that aside for the sake of argument), I certainly do have to say to them, "Do not believe me unless you examine, cross-examine, check and assess whatever evidence there is carefully." There has to be something that requires that treatment and if is not the magical and the supernatural then it is nothing. It is a matter where nobody else must check it for you. Do your own checking.
We see then that there is another issue - God is so important that if man says he has done something man has to come up with extraordinary evidence that God may have acted.  Evidence that a miracle may have happened needs to be very strong and evidence to support a claim that a miracle has happened needs to be even more watertight.  This is because God is so important you don't want to be mistaking the work of human delusions and lies and errors for the work of God. You want to think with God not with man who thinks he is thinking with God.

We should use all the methods we have to find a natural explanation - it does not have to be right it just has to be enough and irrefutable - for an alleged miracle. There could be a time when we have to give in and just say, “God must have done this.” But this is not really about God.  The must is odd for you cannot ask God if he did it and get an answer.  It is about man wanting to decide if God did it even if he didn’t and not caring if he didn’t.

Miracles cannot pretend to be about instilling the virtue of prudence - they are in fact opponents of it.

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