Miracles (for Meta)

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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Tyrrho
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Re: Miracles (for Meta)

Post by Tyrrho » Thu Jul 28, 2011 6:35 am

mdsimpson92 wrote:
Tyrrho wrote:Good question. To me, it only has meaning when contrasted with "supernatural".

In the context of miracle claims, it would mean something like "not all that improbable."
The former statement may be a problem with me due me not considering either the word "natural" or "supernatural" as particularly useful or meaningful. Probably Spinoza's fault on that (in a good way) :mrgreen:. Then again that is just me (and maybe Spinoza depending on how you interpret him).
I don't mind discarding the term "supernatural", but then you are still left with the problem of describing what's so special about a "miracle".
On the latter statement I am assuming you mean as something (to use my own words) "very unlikely from our personal perspectives." I say from personal perspectives due to the example of the Indian man not believing in ice due to never experiencing it (I hope I am remembering it correctly).
True, the prior probability you assign a given event will depend on your own knowledge and experience. That Indian man may have been perfectly reasonable in not believing there was such a thing as ice.

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Re: Miracles (for Meta)

Post by mdsimpson92 » Thu Jul 28, 2011 8:04 am

Tyrrho wrote:I don't mind discarding the term "supernatural", but then you are still left with the problem of describing what's so special about a "miracle".
Not entirely sure about that. You yourself made a definition of miracle without any reference to "natural." Though perhaps we use miraculous as "extremely unlikely from a personal perspective." So from the subjective perspective something can be a miracle. I always considered it more as a descriptive, that something is "miraculous."

Maybe another definition in anomylous or "potential for paradigm shift" but you are correct that does not seem so special as a break in the laws of reality or something. But I might say that given our limited perspective, we don't necessarily (some might argue never can) really know the true final laws of reality. It well could be this "higher nature," so I think we are both right in adding the bit of "from a subjective perspective."
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Re: Miracles (for Meta)

Post by Tyrrho » Sun Jul 31, 2011 8:24 am

Meta, I read through this thread again, and it appears that you tried to reply to the post I made on Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:25 am, but edited it instead. Below is my reply to some of your comments in that post.
Metacrock wrote:
Tyrrho: Whether they are descriptive or prescriptive is a bit of a red herring. The fact is, they are so reliably consistent that we have very good reason to believe there are no exceptions.
The regularity of the law wouldn't make any difference if our observations of it are incomplete. There are ovations of other rising form the dead. But what difference should the regularity of events make f there's a transcendent cause that is not naturalistic? If our perceptions are incomplete then it's only supposed that there's no intervention!
It doesn't matter if our observations are incomplete. If there are no known exceptions, that is strong reason to believe there are no exceptions, especially if many of our theories are based on the assumption that there are no exceptions, and these theories have been used to make many predictions, which all turned out to be accurate.

And while the possibility of a transcendent cause can't be ruled out, there is no way of taking it into account in our probability calculations.
Tyrrho: It doesn't beg the question. It makes the very obvious point that the prior probability of a miracle occurring must be balanced against the prior probability of the report of a miracle being wrong.
Yet if the observations are not complete the alleged probability of the report being wrong is just assumed based upon ideology. Everything evidence for the report is made it's denounced on basis of theory rather than actual evidence. when good solid evidence is made it's immediately swept under the rug on the assumption that it can't becuase we swept all the past evidence under the rug.
Observations are never complete. You have to makes estimates of probability based on what you know.
Tyrrho: I will grant you that someone who already believes in God will quite reasonably allow a higher prior probability of a miracle occurring, and is more likely to accept the testimony. So testimony of a miracle might provide confirmation of what you already believe. I just don't think it works in providing an atheist with a good reason to believe.
then how do you explain conversion experience miracles? what makes you think that x-rays and cat scans care about prior events or belief systems?
Hey, if I have a conversion experience miracle, then I'll stop arguing with you. :) But someone else's conversion experience doesn't seem particularly miraculous to me.

X-rays and cat scans mean nothing without accompanying testimony, and it is the probability of that testimony being inaccurate that is at issue.
Tyrrho: Keep in mind that Hume is thinking of miracles that violate the laws of nature, and is not claiming that they can't happen. His argument is epistemological rather than ontological, and is probabilistic, rather than deductive.
His reason for casting into doubt is based upon the assertion since prior reports have been swept under rug that it's safe to assume they haven't happened. Arguing that they can't happen for some reason would make more science logically than just arguing they don't because there's really no reason to think that once one becomes aware of the claims.
In practical terms, it might be impossible for one (who is an atheist) to come to believe that a miracle has occurred, since by the time enough repeatable evidence had been gathered to show that a law of nature had been violated, the law would have been either modified or discarded, and the event would no longer be considered a miracle. But it is still a question of whether we can have good reason to believe that a miracle has occurred, rather than whether a miracle is possible.
Tyrrho: I haven't heard of any Lourdes miracles that violate any laws of nature.
of course all of them do. The rules demand that they must have no naturalistic explanation or they are not chosen. Any time an incurable disease is cured and there's no sign of remission (remission is not ever the total over night disappearance of all traces of disease but a slow reversal of disease process) that is a violation of natural law.
You can't have a cure without any sign of remission, by definition.

The body heals itself of disease in ways that we don't completely understand. That doesn't mean that these ways are not natural.
Tyrrho: A "miraculous" cure doesn't violate any conservation laws, or laws of motion, thermodynamics, etc. The human body is sufficiently complex that the fact that we can't explain the cure doesn't mean there isn't a natural explanation.
You are trying to say that there are no possibilities of miracles because nothing that happens in the human body can be opposed to natural law, that's foolish. Rising from the dead, eyes that were totally blind seeing again over night perfect vision, lungs growing back over night perfectly new (not saint making miracle) those are things that "can't happen" but did.
Rising after appearing to be dead does not violate any natural laws. Rising after actually being dead for some time would, but it is awfully hard to distinguish one from the other.

Eyes that were totally blind seeing again might or might not be a violation of natural law. If it was a matter of nerve regeneration, we know that does happen on rare occasions.

Lungs growing back over night sounds awfully hard to document. One would have to wonder why we don't see cases of arms and legs growing back overnight.

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Re: Miracles (for Meta)

Post by Metacrock » Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:52 am

Meta:In practical terms, it might be impossible for one (who is an atheist) to come to believe that a miracle has occurred, since by the time enough repeatable evidence had been gathered to show that a law of nature had been violated, the law would have been either modified or discarded, and the event would no longer be considered a miracle. But it is still a question of whether we can have good reason to believe that a miracle has occurred, rather than whether a miracle is possible.
Tyrrho: I haven't heard of any Lourdes miracles that violate any laws of nature.
Metaof course all of them do. The rules demand that they must have no naturalistic explanation or they are not chosen. Any time an incurable disease is cured and there's no sign of remission (remission is not ever the total over night disappearance of all traces of disease but a slow reversal of disease process) that is a violation of natural law.
Tyrrho:You can't have a cure without any sign of remission, by definition....The body heals itself of disease in ways that we don't completely understand. That doesn't mean that these ways are not natural.
Metawrong. the technical medical term "remission" refers to the natural reversal of he disease. That takes time and leaves marks. It doesn't disappear with no trace over night. That's not remission it's something else. that's why there's a term "miracle."if you study the phenomenon medically there's always a pattern. it is never over night and without any trace. Most remissions take months.
Tyrrho: A "miraculous" cure doesn't violate any conservation laws, or laws of motion, thermodynamics, etc. The human body is sufficiently complex that the fact that we can't explain the cure doesn't mean there isn't a natural explanation.
MetaYou are trying to say that there are no possibilities of miracles because nothing that happens in the human body can be opposed to natural law, that's foolish. Rising from the dead, eyes that were totally blind seeing again over night perfect vision, lungs growing back over night perfectly new (not saint making miracle) those are things that "can't happen" but did.
TyrrhoRising after appearing to be dead does not violate any natural laws. Rising after actually being dead for some time would, but it is awfully hard to distinguish one from the other.
there's incredulity factor. I refuse to believe because it's opposed to the way it's supposed to be. on that basis all evidence is dismissed, thus there's a pile of well documented stuff that's dismissed as unsupported.
TyrrhoEyes that were totally blind seeing again might or might not be a violation of natural law. If it was a matter of nerve regeneration, we know that does happen on rare occasions.
that's not what the medical experts say. the committee is made up of the finest medical researchers in Europe.
TyrrhoLungs growing back over night sounds awfully hard to document. One would have to wonder why we don't see cases of arms and legs growing back overnight.
incredulity. hard to document! come off it! one xray the day before, one xray the day after. It is so documented. what you really mean is it's hard not to rule it out on incredulity. what would happen if you didn't rule it out dogmatically?
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Re: Miracles (for Meta)

Post by Tyrrho » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:33 pm

Metacrock wrote:incredulity. hard to document! come off it! one xray the day before, one xray the day after. It is so documented. what you really mean is it's hard not to rule it out on incredulity. what would happen if you didn't rule it out dogmatically?
I'd be glad to look at the evidence, simply because you seem to find it convincing. But I doubt that it would be good enough to convince me that someone grew a lung at all, much less overnight.

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Re: Miracles (for Meta)

Post by Metacrock » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:48 am

Tyrrho wrote:
Metacrock wrote:incredulity. hard to document! come off it! one xray the day before, one xray the day after. It is so documented. what you really mean is it's hard not to rule it out on incredulity. what would happen if you didn't rule it out dogmatically?
I'd be glad to look at the evidence, simply because you seem to find it convincing. But I doubt that it would be good enough to convince me that someone grew a lung at all, much less overnight.
I grant you that one should investigate as much as possible. I don't expect you to just believe that. I don't necessarily believe it, but it's at least a starting point. It should not be dismissed on the basis of having dismissed stuff before.

I did talk to Lourdes committee guy who had seen the X-rays he said they are for real. I don't see any reason to just he's lying becuase he's Catholic, which is a response I have gotten. I'd like to get hold of the copies but those guys are not real communicative right now.
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Re: Miracles (for Meta)

Post by Tyrrho » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:02 am

Metacrock wrote:
Tyrrho wrote:
Metacrock wrote:incredulity. hard to document! come off it! one xray the day before, one xray the day after. It is so documented. what you really mean is it's hard not to rule it out on incredulity. what would happen if you didn't rule it out dogmatically?
I'd be glad to look at the evidence, simply because you seem to find it convincing. But I doubt that it would be good enough to convince me that someone grew a lung at all, much less overnight.
I grant you that one should investigate as much as possible. I don't expect you to just believe that. I don't necessarily believe it, but it's at least a starting point. It should not be dismissed on the basis of having dismissed stuff before.

I did talk to Lourdes committee guy who had seen the X-rays he said they are for real. I don't see any reason to just he's lying becuase he's Catholic, which is a response I have gotten. I'd like to get hold of the copies but those guys are not real communicative right now.
You realize how that sounds, I hope. The one "documented" miracle that sounds like it could be an actual violation of natural law. Ordinarily, I would dismiss it out of hand, but because you claim that the documentation is particularly good, I'm willing to investigate further; only to find out that the documentation isn't really available.

I don't need to see the x-rays myself, necessarily. I would like to see an affidavit (or equivalent) from a qualified expert who has seen them, and interprets them as evidence of a violation of natural law. You telling me that someone told you that he's seen them and that they are "for real" doesn't cut it.

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Re: Miracles (for Meta)

Post by Metacrock » Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:17 am

the evidential organization of the committee is a affidavit. Their function is to document the facts that why they are independent of the Vatican. They have no priests on the committee they are an outside body, the have skeptics on the committee and they makes their findings and screen out whom they will before the chruch people see them.
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Re: Miracles (for Meta)

Post by Kane Augustus » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:04 pm

There are no shortages of people recovering quickly from diseases, even overnight healings. Despite being areligious, I have no difficulties believing spontaneous healings occur. I don't credit such things as "miracles" because it is part of the natural order of things to seek wholeness and well-being. If I was pressed to state what is 'unnatural' between spontaneous healing and disease, I would pick disease every time. Why? Because the very word, 'disease', contains within it the definitive implication that what is natural is 'ease,' not the negation of that ease.

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Re: Miracles (for Meta)

Post by Tyrrho » Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:58 pm

Metacrock wrote:the evidential organization of the committee is a affidavit. Their function is to document the facts that why they are independent of the Vatican. They have no priests on the committee they are an outside body, the have skeptics on the committee and they makes their findings and screen out whom they will before the chruch people see them.
Fine. I would like to see what the committee has to say about a man growing new lungs overnight.

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