Feed on Posts or Comments 27 April 2018

Christianity &Islam Johnson on 06 Jan 2009 12:54 am

Religious “miracles” and the people who believe them

This video demonstrates the “Miracle of the Holy Fire”:

From the video description:

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built over both the sites of Christ’s Crucifixion, Golgotha, and His Tomb, the Holy Sepulchre. Annually in the Orthodox Church, on the Day of Great and Holy Saturday(Julian Calendar-the day before Paschal Sunday), the Miracle of the Holy Fire takes place.

The Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem enters the Holy Sepulchre where an unlit lamp is placed. Alone, with doors shut, the lamp ignites spontaneously, and when he emerges, he emerges with two large bundles of candles lit from that lamp. Then the Holy Fire is passed on to the people inside the Church.

This Fire is different. One thing about it is that it does not burn. These video clips demonstrate that. Pilgrims are seen passing their hands, faces, hair, etc., through the flames without any trouble.

Why would anyone believe this to be a “miracle”? The lamp “ignites spontaneously”, but it happens behind closed doors. The fire “does not burn”, yet no one seems willing to hold their hand or face over the flame for more than a second. If it does not burn, why not hold your hand in the flame for 30 seconds?

Over in India there is a similar sort of thing that happens with a “miracle worker” named Sai Baba. He is able to perform many “miracles”, and millions of people believe these miracles prove his divinity. Wikipedia points out:

According to the Sathya Sai Organization there are an estimated 1,200 Sathya Sai Baba Centers in 114 countries world-wide.[8] The number of Sathya Sai Baba adherents is estimated sometimes as around 6 million, and followers cite “50 to 100 million.”

One miracle: Sai Baba is able to make an object called a golden lingam appear from his mouth, as shown here:

This video shows several other miracles and debunks them:

What sort of mental mis-wiring would cause millions of people to believe these sorts of thing? Or to believe any of the “miracles” in the Bible? Any rational person can see that these “miracles” are simply magic tricks. What do the followers gain for their belief in nonsense?

Carl Sagan comments on the phenomenon here and shares the same bewilderment:

The Dragon In My Garage

Once again, the only sensible approach is tentatively to reject the dragon hypothesis, to be open to future physical data, and to wonder what the cause might be that so many apparently sane and sober people share the same strange delusion.

Why share a delusion? If you are religious and would like to heal your delusion, this book can help:


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