An argument against the belief in miracles

This is an excellent post you know. I saw this video of Penn from Penn and Teller…and he asked the same questions. You know, I do tell people. As much as I can or as much as they will listen.

An argument against the belief in miracles

Statue idols, it seemed, had taken to drinking milk being fed to them by spoon. By what bizarre urging the first pilgrim to report this phenomenon was compelled to test whether a milk offering would pass the lips of a statue is unclear, but the idea rapidly took hold, devolving into a frenzy.

Police reinforcements were deployed by necessity to restrain outbreaks among the fevered milk-bearing mobs. Faithful conviction ruled the day. Some believers may well have been unamused — especially those within the ranks of the afflicted and dying — that the gods had chosen such a valueless display with which to affirm their continued beneficent authority, but it was the science-minded unbelievers who were predictably the least impressed… Nor did it take long to figure out what was really going on.

The surface tension of the milk created an upward pull upon contact with the surface of the statue before the liquid ran downward in a transparent film, while some was absorbed into the porous stones.

To illustrate this, the scientists colored their milk with a dye that remained apparent as it coated the statue. Faithful supernaturalists have proved predictably unwilling to abdicate their miracle to non-magical explanations.

Nor has the lasting insistence that the Milk Miracle remains a mystery unsolved been confined to willfully credulous Hindus. A widely used college-level World Religions textbook states in its edition, referencing the incident: Both capillary action and mass hysteria were perfectly evident.

There are many sceptics and scientists who have tried to explain what happened on September 21, in terms of science. To them, I would like to say this — there are many things that we just cannot explain with our present levels of science and technology.

Perhaps, we will need to look into our souls and discover the secret spiritual powers that we all have before we can fully explain such phenomena. And so it degenerates… the actual explanation rejected, marginalized, obscured, and ultimately re-written to the point that numerous bloggers now treat the question of the Milk Miracle as one of mass hallucination versus paranormal activity, weighing the merits of — or elaborating the flaws in — an explanation that never was.

Presenting the scientific attempt at a rational explanation as a snobbish dismissal of mass eyewitness testimony certainly has its advantages to those who wish to maintain that something otherworldly was plainly observed, and arguments against the mass hallucination theory can be found anywhere believers in the improbable attempt to make their case.

It suggests a large number of people suddenly, simultaneously, and spontaneously experiencing an intense, shared, detailed, false or grossly distorted shared perception of an event or events contrary to the reality surrounding them.

At its most crudely literal, this would have us interpreting the Milk Miracle as an event wherein masses of individuals merely perceived milk disappearing from their spoons, while in actuality it did not; Sasquatch as a sudden unprovoked mental phantom shared amongst unwitting forest explorers; UFOs as but internal synchronized specters projected upon the empty skies.

And has there ever actually been an anomalous event for which mass hallucination was offered as a scientific explanation? Or — as with the Milk Miracle — is the idea of Mass Hallucination merely a straw man argument meant to paint the skeptical position as both improbable and patronizing?

In The Crowd, Le Bon described inflated suggestibility as a general characteristic of human herds. The concept is further expanded upon in a book titled Anomalistic Psychology: Although the subjective matter of individual hallucinations has virtually no limits, that of collective hallucinations is limited to certain categories.

These categories are determined, first, by the kinds of ideas that a group of people may get excited about as a group, for emotional arousal is a prerequisite of collective hallucinations. This may take place during the hallucination or in subsequent discussions. Interestingly, despite their priming, none of them seemed to manage an actual vision of Mary herself.

Here again, reports were less-than-impressive as far as presumably synchronous specific subjective events are concerned. Of course, the sun did not make any aberrant movements that day, as witnessing astronomical observatories could attest.

The same sun, visible to much of the world, appeared to be following its daily routine everywhere but where expectations for a miracle found faithful pilgrims looking to the sky in anticipation of something extraordinary.

In both Medjugorje and Fatima, observers were staring into the sunlit sky.

An argument against the belief in miracles

In either case, however, the prerequisite conditions of emotional arousal, spreading imagery, as well as the subsequent harmonizing of the narrative from various disparate reports, were clearly extremely influential factors in Medjugorje and Fatima. To begin, while there is ample cross-cultural research demonstrating the human tendency to embrace superstition and to exert self-deceiving confirmation biases, there is no such research at all that satisfactorily demonstrates any supernatural phenomena.

An argument against the belief in miracles

For that matter, supernatural forces are, by definition, not observable — they cannot be recorded, transcribed, traced, or measured by scientific procedure.The Club features Christian testimonies of miracles, healings, and other inspirational stories.

One of the things atheists tend to believe is that modern science is on their side, whereas theism is in conflict with science: that, for example, belief that God created man in his own image is inconsistent with scientific explanations provided by the theory of evolution. In his absorbing new book, Where the Conflict Really Lies, Alvin Plantinga, a distinguished analytic philosopher known for.

Design Argument: This entry in the Dictionary of the History of Ideas is historical summary of the argument from design by Frederick Ferré. Ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary versions of the argument are described. "Does Science Make Belief in God Obsolete?".

"Of Miracles" is the title of Section X of David Hume's An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (). Redated from March I was a Christian recently enough to remember what it felt like to really believe the Creator of the universe talked to me, to really believe I would go to heaven and unbelievers would go to hell, to really believe that prayer made a difference..

It sure felt like I really believed that stuff. And other Christians tell me they really believe that stuff, too. David Hume (—) “Hume is our Politics, Hume is our Trade, Hume is our Philosophy, Hume is our Religion.” This statement by nineteenth century philosopher James Hutchison Stirling reflects the unique position in intellectual thought held by Scottish philosopher David Hume.

Part of Hume’s fame and importance owes to his boldly skeptical approach to a range of philosophical subjects.

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