Author Topic: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)  (Read 14675 times)

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #87 on: June 10, 2013, 08:02:00 PM »
NGFM, sounds like your upbringing was difficult, to say the least. You must have some amazing qualities to be where you are now. I'm impressed.

I no longer wish to pursue the line of discussion I had in mind when I asked you the question.

Send me a PM then. I am game to discuss just about anything. ;)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #88 on: June 10, 2013, 08:05:06 PM »
And when "evil" has no explanation and neither does religion, science creates a prosthetic arm, and works on ways to grow the person a new one.

Evil simply corrupts that which is constructive and good. 
It has no power in itself.  It simply degrades rather than
creates.  We don't live in heaven where Creation would
a normal experience.

We live in a corrupted place, separated from God.

Who created evil, again? And why didn't we just live in heaven from the getgo--what's the point of the "beta" version (the corrupted place) with all the opportunities to screw up?  :-\
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline median

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #89 on: June 11, 2013, 12:26:22 AM »
And when "evil" has no explanation and neither does religion, science creates a prosthetic arm, and works on ways to grow the person a new one.

Evil simply corrupts that which is constructive and good. 
It has no power in itself.  It simply degrades rather than
creates.  We don't live in heaven where Creation would
a normal experience.

We live in a corrupted place, separated from God.

...just not in any way you can demonstrate.

You can stop paraphrasing bible verses now. Would you accept it if I started paraphrasing the Koran at you? Most of us know what your bible says, and we reject it's claims. The question is, why have you chosen to accept it uncritically?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Astreja

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #90 on: June 11, 2013, 10:01:21 AM »
"Emotions" are the key to all persuasions.  Evil will use this fact to create ways to take advantage of what is good and constructive.  No surprises here.

Just as evil will ask why a severed arm does not come back.  Evil people playing on emotions.

"Evil" does this or "Evil" does that?  Seriously, that kind of anthropomorphism is victim-speak.  It separates people from their actions and attributes them to an outside entity.

What does that say about other human endeavours?  Is a skilled classical guitarist adept because of thousands of hours of practice, or is he a victim of the whims of "Music"?  Is a surgeon at the top of her form because she put in the time and effort, or did "Medicine" tag-team her for excellence and foist it upon her against her will?

And  we're "evil people" now because we correctly observe that severed arms don't grow back?  I shall wear that particular badge with pride, as I see nothing "good and constructive" in making excuses for do-nothing deities or promising True Healing™ in a mythical afterlife.
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Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #91 on: June 11, 2013, 10:57:04 AM »
As this is my first post in this forum, please forgive me and re-direct as appropriate if I stray.

First off, I want to state that I am a critical thinking Born Again Christian.

So with that, here is my attempt to answer the question:
God does not heal amputees because He does not work in reverse. He is not all powerful because He gave us free will.

Prayer only works going forward.

There are several difficulties with the premise of this question. First, what is the perception of God that is being referred to here? I don't think there is agreement on that and so every respondent first creates a mental model (or perception) of the God about whom they are about to opine before proceeding. The difficulty is that there are several fundamental issues of philosophy that have taken many great thinkers to task in the past that are not agreed upon/resolved as a basis of the question. e.g. what is real? what exists? and by even entertaining a discussion about the concept of God, God has been created and therefore exists?

So perhaps, if it was clearer what the perception of God that was intended in the question, I may be able to give a better answer.

Offline pianodwarf

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #92 on: June 11, 2013, 11:18:01 AM »
Hi, Zele, welcome to WWGHA.  I hope you find your time here informative and enjoyable.

To take the most pertinent part of what you're asking here:

There are several difficulties with the premise of this question. First, what is the perception of God that is being referred to here? I don't think there is agreement on that and so every respondent first creates a mental model (or perception) of the God about whom they are about to opine before proceeding. The difficulty is that there are several fundamental issues of philosophy that have taken many great thinkers to task in the past that are not agreed upon/resolved as a basis of the question. e.g. what is real? what exists? and by even entertaining a discussion about the concept of God, God has been created and therefore exists?

So perhaps, if it was clearer what the perception of God that was intended in the question, I may be able to give a better answer.

The god being referred to here is Yahweh, the god of the bible.  There are several passages in the four gospels where Jesus states, quite explicitly, that if you have faith, you will receive anything you ask for in prayer; no qualifications or limitations on that promise are attached to it.  That being the case, if someone has faith, they should be able to pray for an amputee to get his leg back, and the leg should spontaneously and miraculously reappear.  And yet, it never happens.  The question is meant to make believers think about their beliefs.  Sometimes, it even works.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #93 on: June 11, 2013, 11:35:19 AM »
As this is my first post in this forum, please forgive me and re-direct as appropriate if I stray.

Welcome to the forum

First off, I want to state that I am a critical thinking Born Again Christian.

Isn't that kind of like being a happily married adulterer?

So with that, here is my attempt to answer the question:
God does not heal amputees because He does not work in reverse. He is not all powerful because He gave us free will.

Prayer only works going forward.

I have no idea what that means or how any of that fits together.

So perhaps, if it was clearer what the perception of God that was intended in the question, I may be able to give a better answer.

It is based on a plain, straightforward reading of the bible.  Read the argument at main site.  It may help:
http://www.whywontgodhealamputees.com/summary.htm
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Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #94 on: June 11, 2013, 11:55:56 AM »
OK Pianodwarf - I presume

>That being the case, if someone has faith, they should be able to pray for an amputee to get his leg back
You are referring to Mathew 21:22 right? If i suppose that you are then, this is easily answered with

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." - It therefore simply means you do not believe and that is why the amputees leg does not grow back. I suspect that does not really satisfy as we are into something that is not decidable. And if I say yes,  it means no one believes as there is no recorded history of the legs ever growing back - then you say?? Whilst this might be logical, it is not really credulous.

So i re-state my initial position. God is not all powerful and prayer only works going forward.

You can pray for something to happen. You cannot reverse something that has already happened because God has given us free will. My meaning of prayer here is influencing causes in the spiritual realm so they may physically manifest. We are co-creators.

If your will is not aligned with the will of God, your prayer will not  happen the way you expect. See the model of the Lord's prayer in Mathew 6:13-19. There is nothing there about amputees or attempting to influence past events.

Offline median

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #95 on: June 11, 2013, 12:09:25 PM »
As this is my first post in this forum, please forgive me and re-direct as appropriate if I stray.

First off, I want to state that I am a critical thinking Born Again Christian.

So with that, here is my attempt to answer the question:
God does not heal amputees because He does not work in reverse. He is not all powerful because He gave us free will.

Prayer only works going forward.

There are several difficulties with the premise of this question. First, what is the perception of God that is being referred to here? I don't think there is agreement on that and so every respondent first creates a mental model (or perception) of the God about whom they are about to opine before proceeding. The difficulty is that there are several fundamental issues of philosophy that have taken many great thinkers to task in the past that are not agreed upon/resolved as a basis of the question. e.g. what is real? what exists? and by even entertaining a discussion about the concept of God, God has been created and therefore exists?

So perhaps, if it was clearer what the perception of God that was intended in the question, I may be able to give a better answer.

Zele,
First let me say, Welcome to the forum! We are glad you are here and hope to have some stimulating and (perhaps) life changing discussions. Now, I don't mean to sound pessimistic straight off but if you wind up staying here for any length of time I will be surprised (as most theists who come here wind up being challenged too greatly, can't take it, and leave).

With that said, let me address your response. First, do you not think God is all powerful (as the bible indicates)? If you can, please describe what you mean when you use that term. Ultimately, as far as I'm concerned, that term doesn't actually refer to anything. Thus, when we ask the question "Why Won't God Heal Amputees?" we are asking why the God most theists say they believe in will not act in this manner of healing. We could of course easily get into the billions of different interpretations/spin that theists attempt with the bible, in order to get around it's passages that indicate Christians/God should be healing amputees everywhere, but the reality is that the question we are asking pertains to a deity that supposedly acts in the real world (i.e. - does stuff). Does your God do stuff in the real world, or are you more of a deist? If you could clarify what kind of God you personally think is real that might help.

Second,  what do you mean by "He does not work in reverse" and "prayer only works going forward"? It sounds to me as if you are using definitions of terms that would make the results of those definitions indistinguishable from their non-existence (i.e. - "answered prayer" can't be distinguished from rare events).

Lastly, are you making the argument here that God won't heal amputees b/c if he did he would be violating our freewill? If so, this argument is completely false, and here's why. Did Satan have freewill? How about Adam and Eve? How about all of the angels in heaven that supposedly knew God directly and still chose to "fall"? Also, what about the certain disciples (like Judas etc) who supposedly saw God/Jesus do miracles directly and still didn't believe?? According to the bible itself, God interacting directly with his creation does not, in any way, violate freewill. So this argument just doesn't work. God, through you (his disciple) should be healing amputees daily, and since we don't see that happening (among many other reasons) we have good reason to doubt this alleged being is real (just like you likely have good reason to doubt all the other alleged gods throughout history).

However, much of this presumes we are discussing (roughly) the same definition of "God". So, in order for us to get onto the same page, let's start there. What is your definition of God? Does it come from the bible?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 12:15:40 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline screwtape

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #96 on: June 11, 2013, 12:10:32 PM »
Hi zele,

You will be able to more effectively communicate with us if you learn to use the quote function.  Please see the link at the bottom of my post, in my sig, to go to the quoting tutorial.

So i re-state my initial position. God is not all powerful and prayer only works going forward.

You can pray for something to happen. You cannot reverse something that has already happened because God has given us free will. My meaning of prayer here is influencing causes in the spiritual realm so they may physically manifest. We are co-creators.

1. you are missing the point.  Many xians believe in "miraculous" cures of various ailments and use that to justify their belief in god.  If you are not one of them, this argument is not for you.

2. everything is in the past.  If you are hungry it is because you did not eat in the past.  According to your reasoning, god would not answer a prayer for food.  If you are sick, you got sick in the past, and praying to get better will not help.

3. free will?  That is addressed in the arguments on the main site.  I suggest you read them so you can make a better argument.

If your will is not aligned with the will of God, your prayer will not  happen the way you expect.

So then prayer is a pointless endeavor, because you are saying god is going to do what god is going to do.  And prayers are not going to change his mind.


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Offline median

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #97 on: June 11, 2013, 12:42:52 PM »
>That being the case, if someone has faith, they should be able to pray for an amputee to get his leg back
You are referring to Mathew 21:22 right? If i suppose that you are then, this is easily answered with

"If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." - It therefore simply means you do not believe and that is why the amputees leg does not grow back. I suspect that does not really satisfy as we are into something that is not decidable. And if I say yes,  it means no one believes as there is no recorded history of the legs ever growing back - then you say?? Whilst this might be logical, it is not really credulous.

Are you familiar with the fallacy called No True Scotsman? I'm not accusing you of it (yet, lol) but I am throw up a red warning flag b/c I see it coming here. First, many of us here were believers in Jesus for many years. I was a born-again Christian for nearly 20 years. I believed STRONGLY in divine healing, and not once did I ever see anything close to supernatural or miraculous. Back in 2000-2001 my good friend Sean (a very devout Christian) was diagnosed with Leukemia. Many, many different people from different churches prayed and believed for a miracle. Nope. He suffered and died. As far as I'm concerned this is a knock down argument against Christianities claim to miracles/Yahweh (all believed and he was NOT healed). Of course, I've heard every rationalization attempt regarding "God's will" and/or "true belief" but this directly contradicts the supposed words of Jesus regarding anyone who believes.

The main problem many of us here see is that Christians ASSUME the bible is divinely inspired, that it cannot have errors, or that it is infallible - and then go about defending their particular interpretation of it against all critical thought (but they don't do that with other holy books). In other words, they start with their conclusion (as it seems you may have). Now that, is backwards.

Basically, this idea that God heals all who believe winds up being a big game of smoke and mirrors. If someone is healed you say, "It was God!" If they die you say, "He didn't believe" or "It wasn't God's will". What a beautifully terrible way to make your belief system immune from evidence. It's really a built in fallacy. "Whenever things support my presupposition I praise my assumed belief, but when they go against my presupposition I rationalize." Can you see the flaw here?


You can pray for something to happen. You cannot reverse something that has already happened because God has given us free will. My meaning of prayer here is influencing causes in the spiritual realm so they may physically manifest. We are co-creators.

I'm not following you here. Please be more specific.

If your will is not aligned with the will of God, your prayer will not  happen the way you expect. See the model of the Lord's prayer in Mathew 6:13-19. There is nothing there about amputees or attempting to influence past events.

According to the bible this isn't true at all. As Screwtape pointed out, a miracle/healing (allegedly from Jesus, an apostle, or otherwise) are ALL affecting what was a past event. Remember when Jesus supposedly healed a blind man? How about when he allegedly rose Lazarus from the grave or when he supposedly healed the woman at the well?

The bigger question here might be, are you (or should we) interpret the supernatural claims of the bible favorably, when we DO NOT do that with any other claimed holy book? It seems you are lowering your standard of evidence for only the bible. Why would you do that?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 12:49:15 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #98 on: June 11, 2013, 02:01:38 PM »
Srewtape, thank you for pointing me to the tutorial. I promise I will improve in time - as you can see I am still a novice.

Quote
Are you familiar with the fallacy called No True Scotsman? I'm not accusing you of it
No, I am not. I was not using that as a serious argument. I will read up about it though.
Quote
everything is in the past.  If you are hungry it is because you did not eat in the past.  According to your reasoning, god would not answer a prayer for food.  If you are sick, you got sick in the past, and praying to get better will not help
I am sure you will agree that there is a future. If not, I have no further case. If you do, then I hope you can see the point about prayer affecting things going forward.

Quote
The main problem many of us here see is that Christians ASSUME the bible is divinely inspired,
Yes it is. But written by humans who are fallible. So whilst the bible contains the truth, it is not incoveivable that there would be human error introduced by the human writer. However, if you truly seek, you will find the truth in there.
Quote
So, in order for us to get onto the same page, let's start there. What is your definition of God? Does it come from the bible?
A very good shot! I think screwtape is already trying to oust me when he says this
Quote
If you are not one of them, this argument is not for you.

Quote
See the model of the Lord's prayer in Mathew 6:13-19. There is nothing there about amputees or attempting to influence past events.

I will be back as I am little rushed now with a more considered response to many of the issues all three of you have raised.

Please bear with me ...

Offline screwtape

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #99 on: June 11, 2013, 02:08:03 PM »
Srewtape, thank you for pointing me to the tutorial. I promise I will improve in time - as you can see I am still a novice.

You are welcome.  Keep working at it.  Next, you might want to learn how to include the name and link to the post you quote. Practice in the test area.

If you do, then I hope you can see the point about prayer affecting things going forward.

Let's say I agree there is a future.  I'm not sure I do.  But for the sake of discussion, let's say there is.  I do not see the point about prayer affecting things going forward.   Please elaborate further.

Please bear with me ...

No problem.  This forum can be overwhelming to new people.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #100 on: June 11, 2013, 02:39:42 PM »
Yes it is. But written by humans who are fallible. So whilst the bible contains the truth, it is not incoveivable that there would be human error introduced by the human writer. However, if you truly seek, you will find the truth in there.
How do I do this?  How do I determine which claims within the bible are true and which ones are in error?  How do I determine which aspects of the bible are divinely inspired and which ones are in error?

Furthermore...how do I determine that the bible is divinely inspired?
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
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Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #101 on: June 11, 2013, 06:29:05 PM »

How do I determine which claims within the bible are true and which ones are in error?  How do I determine which aspects of the bible are divinely inspired and which ones are in error?

Furthermore...how do I determine that the bible is divinely inspired?
By Faith. Hebrews 11:1-3 - And I quote this fully aware of the strawman fallacy.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

I take it that you are asking these questions in good faith with the intention to find out something and not because you have a preconceived answer. It is very easy to ask questions. And I have plenty of my own... but not yet...

....the same definition of "God". So, in order for us to get onto the same page, let's start there. What is your definition of God? Does it come from the bible?
The God that I believe in is unfathomable as it is not in man's gift to comprehend this mystery. That is why i say this:
My meaning of prayer here is influencing causes in the spiritual realm so they may physically manifest. We are co-creators with God.
Can you please give me a specific biblical reference which states that God is all powerful? I don't believe this is sound doctrine as it has no basis in scripture.

... See the model of the Lord's prayer in Mathew 6:13-19. There is nothing there about amputees or attempting to influence past events.
Did you check this out?

And by the way, one other logical problem that i find with the premise is that one cannot logically proof a negative. e.g. you cannot prove to me that the moon is not made of blue cheese. see here for the logic problem with such quests. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_absence#.22You_can.27t_prove_a_negative.22

So I started by giving a very simple and clear answer. Because you do not believe. That was not acceptable. The truth is, the question as posed is not really seeking a meaningful answer that will satisfy.

Screwtapte, I am not missing the point. The question is posed with a primary aim of supporting the premise you already hold that there are no miracles. Guess what, if you believe there are no miracles, then that is true - because that is your reality. If you are not prepared to consider subjective evidence, then you will not be able to have a meaningful dialogue with someone of faith. That is also their reality.

How about I try the following answer. why doesn't God heal amputees? I don't know - Ask God. Does that statisfy? I suspect not.



Offline jdawg70

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #102 on: June 11, 2013, 07:31:45 PM »
By Faith. Hebrews 11:1-3 - And I quote this fully aware of the strawman fallacy.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

I take it that you are asking these questions in good faith with the intention to find out something and not because you have a preconceived answer. It is very easy to ask questions. And I have plenty of my own... but not yet...
Yes, I am asking questions in earnest.  However, I may have some preconceived answers in mind - I've had this conversation a number of times.  The conversations take different paths but have inevitably led to intellectual dead ends for both parties.  In that sense I do have preconceived answers to some questions and follow up questions, but I ask the questions and consider the answers honestly.

In this instance, I'd like some clarity on 'faith'.  What exactly do you mean by that?

Quote
How about I try the following answer. why doesn't God heal amputees? I don't know - Ask God. Does that statisfy? I suspect not.
Every time this kind of answer is given I cringe a bit.  I do not believe that this 'god' entity exists.  It seems pretty damn clear that I am incapable of 'asking god'; either because I sincerely do not know how to do that (I DO NOT THINK THE GOD ENTITY EXISTS), or I am too powerless ('spiritually', intellectually, or otherwise).  You are the ones that know, or at least, think god exists.  You ask.

Edit:
me fail English corrections
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."
- Eddie Izzard

Offline median

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #103 on: June 11, 2013, 08:43:12 PM »
Zele, before you make your responses try copying the "quote author=" tag which is enclosed by [these] markers. You should be able to see it when you click "quote" on an individual. That way each person you are quoting knows you are quoting them. As example, here is yours for this quote:

quote author=zele link=topic=23740.msg558087#msg558087 date=1370977298

Again, you must enclose these tags with brackets like this "quote author=text".

Yes it [the bible] is [the word of God]. But written by humans who are fallible. So whilst the bible contains the truth, it is not incoveivable that there would be human error introduced by the human writer. However, if you truly seek, you will find the truth in there.

Again, you need to research the No True Scotsman fallacy because your argument is dangerously close to it. Saying that all who "truly seek" will find the answer actually commits another fallacy as well. It's called Begging the Question. You are ASSUMING your position in advance (namely that the bible is "the word of God"). First, if it has errors...then it is not entirely the word of God! Secondly, how do you know what "truly seeking" is? Again, you are assuming your position in advance and that is illogical, and unsound.

How do you know the bible is 'the word of God'? What gave you this idea? Why did you accept this claim?

Perhaps more importantly, how do you know that "all who seek shall find"?? Do you claim to know this simply because your bible says so? If so, this is called Circular Reasoning, and it is also illogical. Just because a book (any book) says "Seek the truth and you will find it here" doesn't make it true. You must critically examine such claims (from any source) - not just accept it based on gullibility/credulity.

Quote
[median] So, in order for us to get onto the same page, let's start there. What is your definition of God? Does it come from the bible?

A very good shot! I think screwtape is already trying to oust me when he says this

If you are not one of them, this argument is not for you.

Uh, I don't know what you mean by "good shot!" sir. I was simply asking what you mean when you are using the term "God".

See the model of the Lord's prayer in Mathew 6:13-19. There is nothing there about amputees or attempting to influence past events.

Quoting just one passage isn't going to cut it. Read Mark ch 16 and John ch 14, for starters. Jesus (supposedly he said this) quite clearly states that those of his disciples who believe in him... WILL DO MIRACLES. He even goes so far as to say that he will do anything for him that asks in his name. He also says, in Mark 16, "these signs shall follow them that believe" - just after telling his 12 disciples to preach the gospel everywhere.

It is the all too common cherry picking of bible verses that makes your argument so weak. Of course, I know this because I saw it happening a ton when I was a Christian and a "defender of the faith", and I know very well why Christians do it - namely because if you had to admit the bible clearly teaches that these miracles should in fact be happening today (right now), then the house of cards would come tumbling down and you would also have to admit that your "faith" is in error.

So again, you cannot start with the conclusion that the bible is divine. That is irrational, and arbitrary, and it does nothing to help us separate fact from fiction. Just like nearly every other religion on the planet (from the past to now) you need to demonstrate how you think you know this ancient set of writings is divine.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 08:57:28 PM by median »
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #104 on: June 12, 2013, 02:44:40 AM »
God does not heal amputees because He does not work in reverse. ..... Prayer only works going forward.

You can pray for something to happen. You cannot reverse something that has already happened because God has given us free will. My meaning of prayer here is influencing causes in the spiritual realm so they may physically manifest.

Couple quick questions, zele.

Dos god cure cancer/any other physical ailment?  I presume not, since once yiou start to suffer from something physical, it has "already happened" and cannot then be reversed?

It would perhaps be useful if you could give an example of a miracle that your god could do (not necessarily one you have experienced, just one in potentia), as I am at the moment struggling to think of anything that meets your criteria of "not changing what has already happened". 

For example, one could not pray for "strength", because what has happened in the past has led to us being in a position of not having strength - and therefore cannot be changed.  Surely any change of state going forward will be an alteration or reversal of what has happened in the past....or am I missing something?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #105 on: June 12, 2013, 04:49:22 AM »
Sorry, Median, why is this still not right?
Zele, before you make your responses try copying the "quote author=" tag which is enclosed by [these] markers. You should be able to see it when you click "quote" on an individual. That way each person you are quoting knows you are quoting them. As example, here is yours for this quote:

quote author=zele link=topic=23740.msg558087#msg558087 date=1370977298

Again, you must enclose these tags with brackets like this "quote author=text".
I thought I was doing that already ... perhaps I need to rehearse my quoting  some more ...


Again, you need to research the No True Scotsman fallacy because your argument is dangerously close to it.
I have. And see the the second section  in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman about A common mistake among people identifying Scotsman fallacies

... You are ASSUMING your position in advance (namely that the bible is "the word of God").
No, that is not my position. My position is that the Bible contains the Word and if you truly seek, you will find it in there. If you are interested in making mischief and proving a point, you will also find it in there.

Please stick to what I say and not what others may have said. I can defend what I say and it cannot be reasonable to expect me to defend what others may have said to you in the past.

First, if it has errors...then it is not entirely the word of God! Secondly, how do you know what "truly seeking" is? Again, you are assuming your position in advance and that is illogical, and unsound.
That is your opinion with which I disagree. Just because you state that something is illogical and unsound to you does not make it so. For the avoidance of doubt, my view is that I have made a hypothesis that God exists and through continuous revelation, in time, more will be revealed. For now I take it on faith.

Uh, I don't know what you mean by "good shot!" sir. I was simply asking what you mean when you are using the term "God".
The God that I believe in is unfathomable as it is not in man's gift to comprehend this mystery.

See the model of the Lord's prayer in Mathew 6:13-19. There is nothing there about amputees or attempting to influence past events.

Quoting just one passage isn't going to cut it.
I take it you don't like that one. I think you may be confusing 2 things. How to pray and the power to work miracles. These are 2 separate things. The fact that the central premise of this discussion considers the 2 as the same is a matter for you. What I want you to see clearly is that prayer and DOING MIRACLES are separate. Can we agree on that before I proceed?

It is the all too common cherry picking of bible verses that makes your argument so weak.
So you can cherry pick, but I can't? That is absurd.

Of course, I know this because I saw it happening a ton when I was a Christian and a "defender of the faith", and I know very well why Christians do it - namely because if you had to admit the bible clearly teaches that these miracles should in fact be happening today (right now), then the house of cards would come tumbling down and you would also have to admit that your "faith" is in error.
The problem I find with this line of thinking is that you seem to think that a miracle belongs in a special category such as healing amputees. I have a much wider domain of miracles. e.g. The fact that I am awake today and typing this message is a miracle. If you limit your thinking to define a miracle as narrowly as those you are trying so hard to enlighten, then you are in danger of ending up with a closed mind. I am here because I have faith that you are all open minded - right?

And as to 'Faith in error' ? That is another absurdity. Faith by definition is subjective. It can therefore not be in error. It is your opinion vs mine. So can we drop that as that is an intellectual blind alley?

Couple quick questions, zele.

Dos god cure cancer/any other physical ailment?  I presume not, since once yiou start to suffer from something physical, it has "already happened" and cannot then be reversed?
Yes. God works his miracles through men(please read human going forward). Just bear with Him, in time, genetic engineering might get us to understand Epigenesis a bit more and maybe get our future amputees to grow their limbs.

It would perhaps be useful if you could give an example of a miracle that your god could do (not necessarily one you have experienced, just one in potentia), as I am at the moment struggling to think of anything that meets your criteria of "not changing what has already happened".
Insert stem cells at the end of the limb of an amputee to reproduce just the right epigenetic magic required to grow a limb. You have to be a little patient though. Earthworms already exhibit this genetic technology.

For example, one could not pray for "strength", because what has happened in the past has led to us being in a position of not having strength - and therefore cannot be changed.  Surely any change of state going forward will be an alteration or reversal of what has happened in the past....or am I missing something?
Possibly not missing something, but let me state this again: Prayer is influencing something in the spiritual realm so that it may physically manifest. We are co-creators. We have free will to choose, but have no choice in determining the consequences. I am aware that this may already be veering into a discussion on cause and effect and I have read your discussion thread rules that stipulate that one should stick the topic of discussion at hand.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #106 on: June 12, 2013, 04:55:13 AM »
Couple quick questions, zele.

Dos god cure cancer/any other physical ailment?  I presume not, since once yiou start to suffer from something physical, it has "already happened" and cannot then be reversed?
Yes. God works his miracles through men(please read human going forward). Just bear with Him, in time, genetic engineering might get us to understand Epigenesis a bit more and maybe get our future amputees to grow their limbs.

Sorry, but you've completely missed my point, it seems.  You are saying that your god does NOT intervene to answer prayers to heal cancerous tumours, blindness, et al, is that correct?  Never intervenes directly in the world to heal anyone, have I got that right?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #107 on: June 12, 2013, 05:28:44 AM »
Couple quick questions, zele.

Dos god cure cancer/any other physical ailment?  I presume not, since once yiou start to suffer from something physical, it has "already happened" and cannot then be reversed?
Yes. God works his miracles through men(please read human going forward). Just bear with Him, in time, genetic engineering might get us to understand Epigenesis a bit more and maybe get our future amputees to grow their limbs.

Sorry, but you've completely missed my point, it seems.  You are saying that your god does NOT intervene to answer prayers to heal cancerous tumours, blindness, et al, is that correct?  Never intervenes directly in the world to heal anyone, have I got that right?
Or perhaps you've completely missed mine. God works His miracles through men. I thought this was already established. Or should I quote scripture to show that He works miracles through men? Where do you get the idea that God directly intervenes to make miracles without employing humans? That is false doctrine that is not based on scripture.

There are many strawmen that have been set up just to be taken down. First that God is all powerful. I asked for scriptural basis for this and I am still waiting. Now a second strawman - That God works miracles directly without employing humans - again, scriptural basis please as this is yet another false doctrine.

Please think carefully about what I write. I know there is already a lot of baggage from discussions with BA christians in the past. That is why I am urging you to challenge me to defend what I am saying - not some preconceived idea you may already habour about BA christians.

Can you agree with me that prayer and power to perform miracles are separate? At least to this BA christian?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 06:21:06 AM by zele »

Offline Mrjason

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #108 on: June 12, 2013, 05:37:42 AM »
... I asked for scriptural basis for this and I am still waiting. Now a second strawman - That God works miracles directly without employing humans - again, scriptural basis please as this is yet another false doctrine.


Lets start a the beginning with this one

Genisis 1
Quote
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

Would this qualify as a miracle?

edit cant spell :P
« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 05:54:00 AM by Mrjason »

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #109 on: June 12, 2013, 06:08:59 AM »
Can you please state whether you agree with my previous positions on my perception of God and all the other positions I have already laid out?

That way I will not have to continuously lay a foundation for my replies.

And please scriptural basis for what I requested. We need to have a common basis for discussion otherwise we risk talking at cross-purposes.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #110 on: June 12, 2013, 06:17:29 AM »
Your position appears to be that the bible is purely subjective and can be interpreted at will.
In reality what you are saying is that even if I do quote scripture which argues my point you can refute it by saying "well that's your interpretation and you're trying to cause mischief"

Here is an example of Joshua 10 where it appears to me that the bible is saying something was asked for and it happened and it was miraculous and not done via man.

Quote
12 Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,  “O sun, stand still at Gibeon,  And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,  Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.  Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 There was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.



Offline jetson

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #111 on: June 12, 2013, 06:40:07 AM »
As this is my first post in this forum, please forgive me and re-direct as appropriate if I stray.

First off, I want to state that I am a critical thinking Born Again Christian.

So with that, here is my attempt to answer the question:
God does not heal amputees because He does not work in reverse. He is not all powerful because He gave us free will.

Prayer only works going forward.

There are several difficulties with the premise of this question. First, what is the perception of God that is being referred to here? I don't think there is agreement on that and so every respondent first creates a mental model (or perception) of the God about whom they are about to opine before proceeding. The difficulty is that there are several fundamental issues of philosophy that have taken many great thinkers to task in the past that are not agreed upon/resolved as a basis of the question. e.g. what is real? what exists? and by even entertaining a discussion about the concept of God, God has been created and therefore exists?

So perhaps, if it was clearer what the perception of God that was intended in the question, I may be able to give a better answer.

You are making a bold statement that has not been supported by any evidence whatsoever.  YHWH, a character in the pages of the Bible, does not work in reverse.  Please, show that YHWH is an actual god, and then show clearly how you know that this "god" does not work in reverse.  Maybe you can start by explaining the attributes of this god, with some citations that support it.

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #112 on: June 12, 2013, 06:43:26 AM »
Your position appears to be that the bible is purely subjective and can be interpreted at will.
In reality what you are saying is that even if I do quote scripture which argues my point you can refute it by saying "well that's your interpretation and you're trying to cause mischief"
Wrong. Please review my positions again. And I think part of the forum rules say you may not misrepresent someone's views.

Here is an example of Joshua 10 where it appears to me that the bible is saying something was asked for and it happened and it was miraculous and not done via man.
Do you consider this the same as the class of miracle of the subject about which we are discussing? healing miracles? I don't see it so. Please find me an example of miraculous healing in the bible where God does not employ a human.

Quote
12 Then Joshua spoke to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,  “O sun, stand still at Gibeon,  And O moon in the valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,  Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies.  Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. 14 There was no day like that before it or after it, when the LORD listened to the voice of a man; for the LORD fought for Israel.

Again, please state whether you agree with my other positions. We will not get too far unless you tell me whether you agree/disagree and why? Please do not regurgitate to me views that you harbour from the past about others. Stick to mine - I have my work cut out to defend those.


Offline Anfauglir

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #113 on: June 12, 2013, 06:43:31 AM »
Sorry, but you've completely missed my point, it seems.  You are saying that your god does NOT intervene to answer prayers to heal cancerous tumours, blindness, et al, is that correct?  Never intervenes directly in the world to heal anyone, have I got that right?
Or perhaps you've completely missed mine. God works His miracles through men. I thought this was already established. Or should I quote scripture to show that He works miracles through men? Where do you get the idea that God directly intervenes to make miracles without employing humans? That is false doctrine that is not based on scripture......Can you agree with me that prayer and power to perform miracles are separate? At least to this BA christian?

Sure.  I can accept that you do not believe your god intervenes directly in the world, does not directly carry our any healings, does not carry out any direct interventions.  Sorry to have to belabour the point but I have yet to find two Christians who agree 100% on what their god actually does, so it pays to be grindingly specific from the get-go.

To that end, can I also confirm that where you say he "works miracles through men", what  exactly are you saying there?  Are you saying that he slowly directs mankind towards the medical advances that cure disease and that that is how any healing miracles occur?  Or are you saying that he "works miracles through men" in a more direct form - for example that a faith healer can instantaneously cure blindness or cancer or whatever as the instrument of your god?

Pretty sure you mean the former, but (like I say) it always pays to make sure!
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #114 on: June 12, 2013, 07:06:52 AM »

Sure.  I can accept that you do not believe your god intervenes directly in the world, does not directly carry our any healings, does not carry out any direct interventions.  Sorry to have to belabour the point but I have yet to find two Christians who agree 100% on what their god actually does, so it pays to be grindingly specific from the get-go.
And I am yet to find 2 non believers who agree on the perception of the God whose existence they are actually refuting. I suggest that is a moot point.

To that end, can I also confirm that where you say he "works miracles through men", what  exactly are you saying there?
First of all according to scripture, it is not in man's gift to comprehend God's mind. And I realize 'Mind' is loaded. But let's not get distracted. For now let's agree with the existence of minds otherwise the whole discussion can not go anywhere. (and there are some who don't accept that minds exist). But let's take it they do.

So if I cannot comprehend the mind of God, all I can do is use my own mind to try and figure out how He works miracles through men. See here for a definition of a miracle http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/miracle?s=t. I go with 3.

And by the way, do you accept that the absence of evidence is not evidence of non-existence?

... Pretty sure you mean the former, but (like I say) it always pays to make sure!
Somewhat, but not quite. Can you please get over this 'your god' thing? I still do not have confirmation of whether you accept my perception of God. I suspect what you have in mind when referring to 'your god' above is not what I stated.

If you accept that we are co-creators with God and that He is not all powerful, perhaps you will be able to understand more what I mean when I say God works His miracles through men. You will note (or perhaps not) that so far I have left out timing. Deliberately so - as it is another grand topic altogether.


Offline Mrjason

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #115 on: June 12, 2013, 07:11:57 AM »
Wrong. Please review my positions again. And I think part of the forum rules say you may not misrepresent someone's views.

Apologies for that, I'm not entirely clear on your position.

Do you consider this the same as the class of miracle of the subject about which we are discussing? healing miracles? I don't see it so. Please find me an example of miraculous healing in the bible where God does not employ a human.

I don't really see a difference in class of miracle. I was responding to you saying that god does not directly intervene.
however re healing;

Exodus 15:26

He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."

Psalm 107:19-21

Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.  Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men

Exodus 23:25

Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you,

Psalm 30:2

O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.

Psalm 41:2-3

The LORD will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes.  The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness...

etc

Do you know of anywhere where it says that god only heals through man?
Again, please state whether you agree with my other positions. We will not get too far unless you tell me whether you agree/disagree and why? Please do not regurgitate to me views that you harbour from the past about others. Stick to mine - I have my work cut out to defend those.
No I don't  agree with you. I think humans through the advancement of science can heal the sick. The reason why I think this is that the advancement of science is well documented and demonstrable. Knowledge of processes can provide explanations for all that we have achieved. There is no reason to attribute human advancement to anything other than endeavor.