Author Topic: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)  (Read 15573 times)

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Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #145 on: June 13, 2013, 03:19:58 AM »
I never understood how people can go for endless pages about a god, telling us everything that it wants and does.......then they say its unfathomable. Do they not see the irony?
As I have already said, it would help if you would please keep to challenging my perception of God. The One I believe in is not moved by wants! Please read what I write carefully and if I err I will admit it. Do not ascribe to me something I have not said and expect me to defend it.

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #146 on: June 13, 2013, 03:31:34 AM »

I haven't even got to that stage yet.  What I'm wondering is whether - given that healings WILL happen - why god and his earthly representatives won't heal amputees.
why god and his earthly representatives won't heal amputees. yet ?

Here the evidence from the earthworm and genetic engineering is our hope. We will co-create with Him and in due time, I have faith that future amputees will re-grow their limbs. I am praying for a revelation on epigenesis. I am not praying for the amputated limbs to come back and be rejoined as that is futile.

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #147 on: June 13, 2013, 03:39:36 AM »
Body thetans.  Specifically sustaining the life of the girl during the time she was unconscious.
Please forgive me, but are you a non-beliver/atheist? not even sure what that means as I don't like labels ... but from this response you venture into the spirit realm. Are you sure you want to go there?

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #148 on: June 13, 2013, 03:41:55 AM »
To get back to rabid Giese girl, you said you saw a miracle there.  Could you please say in what capacity was god involved, specifically?
In answer to your question: Specifically sustaining the life of the girl during the time she was unconscious. Who or what do you think is sustaining your life right now?  Please also be very specific in a way that is helpful and unambiguous.

As helpful and unambiguous as your answer was?  Sure, I can do that.  Electro-chemical reactions.  That says as much - or as little - as your answer does.  Probably more, in fact.

But you asked me some questions - here are my answers.

The miracle of Jeanna Giese. The plausible explanation given there is coincidence. What co-coincided? Are you at least admitting that something happened here that the medical community can not yet explain?

Nope.  The medical community has always been positive that rabies is an extremely dangerous disease.  So much so that it is next to impossible to survive it without a particular course of treatment.  But I don't think they have EVER said that it is IMPOSSIBLE to survive it without treatment.  How rabid was the bat?  How much of the disease was transmitted?  How robust was the girl's general constitution?  There are three bell-curve distributions there, and - lucky Jeanna - she came in at the right end of all of them.  It's going to happen to SOMEONE - same as SOMEONE is going to win the lottery.  The coincidence, in this case, is that she had lots of prayers said for her. 

The WWGHA argument - quite rightly - aims to examine this to see if it IS a coincidence.  In effect, it wants to look at all other cases where a person was bitten, was prayed for by Christians, and survived.  Unless and until we can see the results of that study, I can say in response that "it was not the prayers that sustained her, it was the Lucky Magic Socks she was wearing on the day she was bitten.

If that is the case, and if I choose to accept by faith that this is an act of God then I am suddenly delusional?
Not necessarily.  Easily swayed by anecdotes, perhaps.  I have some land to sell you which is worth loads - interested?   ;)

As I have already mentioned, there are key strawmen that are set up in the book e.g God is all powerful - without any scriptural basis - and then further use that to defend various other positions. If we are to engage in genuine intellectual honesty, we need to establish an agreed foundation for having the discussions. And that can be quite daunting.

Very true.  So it would be useful if - in a few paragraphs - you laid out clearly and in one place exactly what it is you believe.  At the moment it seems to be a very hard task to get to the details of your beliefs.  Broad brush, sure - a god that is NOT all powerful, fine.  But what then ARE the constraints on his power?  How could he create everything, and then be so limited afterwards? 
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 Mrjason

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #149 on: June 13, 2013, 03:42:40 AM »
any god. which i why i used a small G. I don't have any gods in my imagination that I imagine to be real.
I am talking about the ones you imagine to be unreal.

Therefore it is possible to recover without divine aid?
Person A chooses to recover and co-operates with the recovery process. What is in this statement that supposes the preclusion of divine aid?

What I was trying to get at with the questions is this;

You can have an explanation for an outcome (maths in my example) and it isn't relevant whether you understand the explanation as the outcome will always be the same. You can extrapolate an explanation to come to a conclusion of the cause of the outcome.

Where you assign outcomes to god you have come to a conclusion of a cause and then backfill the explanation to fit the conclusion. This to me is a critical flaw in reasoning.

What you are suggesting is that an outcome can be altered. I do not believe this to be so, i think that outcomes remain the same, it is the explanations that can be altered.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #150 on: June 13, 2013, 03:46:25 AM »
What I'm wondering is whether - given that healings WILL happen - why god and his earthly representatives won't heal amputees.
why god and his earthly representatives won't heal amputees. yet ?

Here the evidence from the earthworm and genetic engineering is our hope. We will co-create with Him and in due time, I have faith that future amputees will re-grow their limbs. I am praying for a revelation on epigenesis. I am not praying for the amputated limbs to come back and be rejoined as that is futile.

Sorry zele, that looks like a dodge.  My question there was NOT about the healings that occur due to the gradual acquisition of medical knowledge and scientific advances.  It was about the healing that - you agreed - happened instantaneously by god's representatives on earth.  The faith healers who apparently cure tumours and blindness and rabies, but who have never cured an amputee.  Ever.  Despite - allegedly - having in the past managed instant cures for everything else, before those conditions were fixable medically.
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 #151 on: June 13, 2013, 03:58:53 AM »
It was about the healing that - you agreed - happened instantaneously by god's representatives on earth.
Sorry could you please kindly remind me where I did this?

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #152 on: June 13, 2013, 04:02:38 AM »
What you are suggesting is that an outcome can be altered. I do not believe this to be so, i think that outcomes remain the same, it is the explanations that can be altered.
No, quite the opposite. I believe we have some limited capacity as co-creators to influence the future - free will. However, once we choose, we have no capacity to influence the outcome.

Offline Mrjason

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #153 on: June 13, 2013, 04:21:41 AM »
What you are suggesting is that an outcome can be altered. I do not believe this to be so, i think that outcomes remain the same, it is the explanations that can be altered.
No, quite the opposite. I believe we have some limited capacity as co-creators to influence the future - free will. However, once we choose, we have no capacity to influence the outcome.

I'm not talking about changing the future. I'm saying that something with a known outcome (i.e. dying of rabies if you contract it and have no medical intervention) can not be changed.
Once we have an explanation for an outcome (as in the Giese case) we can alter future outcomes.

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #154 on: June 13, 2013, 04:44:41 AM »
Very true.  So it would be useful if - in a few paragraphs - you laid out clearly and in one place exactly what it is you believe.  At the moment it seems to be a very hard task to get to the details of your beliefs.  Broad brush, sure - a god that is NOT all powerful, fine.  But what then ARE the constraints on his power?  How could he create everything, and then be so limited afterwards?
I will try and limit this to the believes relevant to this topic.
The God that I have in mind is unfathomable but can be experienced in some limited manner. We are a part of Him - hence why we are co-creators. Psalm 82: 6
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6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
  John 10:30
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4 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’?

Through continuous prayer, endeavour and faith, more and more of Him is revealed to us by His Spirit. He is moved by Faith. Endeavour is quite important because Faith without works is dead. James 2:14-17
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14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

I believe that God has put in place a system of laws/principles that govern the universe. He is also subject to those laws/principles. If you seek the Truth about those laws/principles, you will find it. The bible contains The Truth. The Word. And that is the only thing God sets above Himself. His Word (laws/principles) governing the universe.

I hope I have not lost you ...

And now also, a summary of your tenets ? (not sure what a non-believer will call his believes but I'm sure you know what I mean)  please - broad brush

Offline The Gawd

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #155 on: June 13, 2013, 05:15:02 AM »
Again here we go with the "unfathomable" but then proceeding to tell us about this imaginary being. You really need to think about this zele.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #156 on: June 13, 2013, 05:42:29 AM »
It was about the healing that - you agreed - happened instantaneously by god's representatives on earth.
Sorry could you please kindly remind me where I did this?

Sure.

'He sometimes "works miracles through men" in a more direct form, for example a faith healer instantaneously cure blindness or cancer or whatever' - yes or no?[/b]
Yes.

My bold.  Did you mean "no" to that question?

This is why your piecemeal approach to what your god is, and what it can and cannot, does and does not do, is causing problems.
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 Anfauglir

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #157 on: June 13, 2013, 05:51:47 AM »
I will try and limit this to the believes relevant to this topic.

Thanks zele - let me try to reflect back what you have said.

We cannot understand god.
We can experience the effects of god.
We can create in partnership with god.
God is revealed through prayer.
God reveals himself more to the faithful.
God is bound by physical laws he has put in place.

So for that reason why should NEVER see an instantaneous cure for anything?  Because that would violate law?  But doesn't that fly in the face of the curing of lepers, lame, etc that Christ allegedly did?  And as Gawd also pointed out, if your god IS unfathomable, and we can never fully understand him, how can we have any degree of certainty at all that anything we think we know about him is true?

And now also, a summary of your tenets ? (not sure what a non-believer will call his believes but I'm sure you know what I mean)  please - broad brush

Not worried by the terminology - worldview, perhaps?

There may be a god or gods - but any god that has been clearly defined and that I have examined has proved not to exist, or to be irrelevant.
Any thing that happens, happens as the result of particular physical laws, influenced by random quantum fluctuations (and, incidentally, that there is no "free will" in the sense that we have no control over any choices we make).
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 Azdgari

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #158 on: June 13, 2013, 08:00:04 AM »
OK I am beginning to pick up a pattern here. And here are the clues I am gathering when something I say challenges your mindset.
... It is vague
... I have lost someone
... I am missing the point
... It is not useful

However, non of the simple questions I have asked here has been given a serious answer by any of the non believers. I'll pose it here in another form.

Untrue.  I answered as I did because your answer was an attempt to avoid actually answering.  The question Screwtape asked was basically, "how specifically did God sustain her life through this ordeal?" - to which you basically responded, "oh, he sustained her life through this ordeal!"

The problem with your answer has nothing whatsoever to do with differing world-views, atheism, theism, etc.  It's just simply a non-answer.  It's like if I asked how someone cooked dinner, and they said "oh, I cooked it while you were waiting".  That is precisely how much detail you gave - the amount that was already stated by the one asking the question, and thus didn't need to be repeated.

Can you specifically tell me what you mean by 'machinery already in our bodies'? and where did the supposed 'machinery' come from?

Pretty sure it came from her parents and the food she ate.  But that's not my point.  Our bodies function in a certain way - usually they stay alive in that way.  When something interferes with this normal state of affairs, we can point out specifically what is doing it.  Here's an analogous situation:

A car has trouble.  The engine is shot.  Let's compare two questions:

1. What did the mechanic do to get the car working again?

2. What kept the car working beforehand?

The first one is specific, because it addresses a specific problem with the car.  It was malfunctioning.  That's something we can talk about specifically.  For example, we could answer it with "the mechanic replaced the car's engine with a new one that he had in his shop; it was model xyz".  This is a specific answer.

The second question, however, is uselessly general.  A ridiculously large number of things kept the car working before, from the gasoline fuel, to the engine, to the key, to the human keeping it on the road while driving, to the road itself, to the Earth's gravity keeping it on the road, to the sun keeping the Earth's temperature high enough for the car to function...I could go on and on.  So it is impossible to specifically answer the second question.

These are directly parallel to the two questions asked by you and Screwtape.  Asking for a specific answer to yours is in no way comparable to asking for a specic answer to his.  Asking anyway, as you've done, is a transparent attempt to avoid discussing what you're actually proposing happened.  Your evasiveness is an answer in itself - it says "I have no clue what I'm talking about and wish to hide that fact".
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Offline screwtape

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #159 on: June 13, 2013, 08:50:06 AM »
Which one would you have picked from the list?

 I would define a miracle as an event whereby a deity intervenes by breaking the known laws of nature.  It would preclude human efforts and it would be unambiguous.  An amputee regrowing limbs could be such an event, if it occurred, provided it did not also coincide with say, an experimental stem cell implant designed to regrow limbs.  So the closest would be definition 1 from your link.

We get an awful lot of xians who come here and say that some guy died in church and they prayed over him and he miraculously cambe back to life.  After a little bit of digging we find out that there was also a team of paramedics performing CPR and using a defibrillator.  Then they praise god, instead of the paramedics.  Idiots.

First you were not sure what my definition is. I gave you one and you don't find it useful.

Yes.  And?  Is there anything wrong with my conclusion?  Am I not entitled to that?

At the risk of sounding patronizing, I hope things that marvel you are of much more complexity than hula hoops.

I find hula hoops fascinating.  I could watch Mrs Screwtape hula hoop for hours, if she'd indulge me.  I adore good gin.  I have also spent a lot of time lately playing with cicadas, which I find to be marvelous.  I am glad I can still find pleasure in simple things.


As I have said already many times, the god you are referring to here is not what I perceive.

I've not referred to a god.  At least, I've tried to not assigned to it any attributes or assumptions other than what you've said.  I'm trying to understand your conception.

In answer to your question: Specifically sustaining the life of the girl during the time she was unconscious.

Thanks.  That was what I was looking for.  I take it then that your contention is that she - and the other 5 survivors of rabies who have been treated by this technique - would have died if not for divine intervention.  Which is kind of weird to me, because prior to this medical technique, there were 0 instances of divine intervention that allowed rabies victims to survive.   That sounds a lot like the case above with the defibrillator.  Sorry, I do not see the miracle. 

In your conversation with ngfm, I noticed you indicated that she was a miracle.  To me, that leads to the conclusion that all life is a miracle.  If we apply that to the Giese case, the miracle is not here cure, but just  the fact that she was ever even alive in the first place. 

So bringing Giese up as an example really did not serve any purpose to you, because you could have just as easily pointed out anyone.  You could have said "the miracle of Ben Affleck", or "the miracle of Jesse Helms" or "the miracle of John Wayne Gasey".  They are all equally miraculous. 

Who or what do you think is sustaining your life right now?

Nobody.  I don't think life needs "someone" to sustain it.  I am an ever changing collection of matter and chemical reactions, like a wave in an ocean (which also needs no one to sustain it).  Eventually, I too will break upon a beach.


Please also be very specific in a way that is helpful and unambiguous.

No need to be that way.  I am not familiar with your ideas and if we are going to discuss them I'd rather not make bad assumptions or take things for granted.  You should take that as a sign of respect.

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Offline jdawg70

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #160 on: June 13, 2013, 10:22:03 AM »
Body thetans.  Specifically sustaining the life of the girl during the time she was unconscious.
Please forgive me, but are you a non-beliver/atheist? not even sure what that means as I don't like labels ... but from this response you venture into the spirit realm. Are you sure you want to go there?
I consider myself to be an atheist.  For simplification, I use that label to mean that I do not believe that a god entity exists.

My response was a bit of a jab at your request for specificity for an explanation when you failed to provide any specificity in your explanation.  It was meant to elicit a response of the form of "I don't believe that body thetan claim; god was responsible for the girl's sustenance, and I know (or believe) this because <insert explanation for why you know/believe that god was involved in this scenario>".

Insofar as venturing into the spirit realm...the tone of your response seems to indicate that driving the conversation towards the 'spirit realm' would be undesirable/fruitless/not useful/unproductive or somesuch.  If that is correct (again, not sure if it is), then I'm confused by it because you appear to want to drive the conversation towards the 'spirit realm' (god, miracles, etc.).
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #161 on: June 13, 2013, 11:41:17 AM »
We are moving into the common theist realm of "god as a sometimes powerful, randomly useful and generally absent d!ckwad".

People suffer and die for thousands of years from simple infections until god finally decides it is time to co-create germ theory and have people teach other people to wash their hands. 

People suffer and die for thousands of years from horrible diseases like smallpox and syphilis, until god decides it is time to co-create vaccinations and penicillin, and have people go around giving them to other people.

And thousands of people (like the children in Afghanistan and other war zones) will continue to suffer and die terribly from having arms and legs blown off--or survive as permanently handicapped people in constant pain-- until god decides it is time to co-create prosthetic limbs and later, genetic treatment to regrow lost limbs. God has already decide that worms and salamanders deserve this ability. But human beings? Not yet.

If there was a person with the knowledge or ability to cure amputees, but who sat on that information indefinitely as children in Afghanistan suffered, just because, we would say:  What a d!ckwad. We would not thank or worship this evil, horrible person. :P
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 #162 on: June 13, 2013, 01:40:21 PM »
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

Once again, I wasn't accusing you of this fallacy but was hearing a precursor.

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.

"The Word...if you truly seek"?? Are you talking about "the word of God"? Your words here are really vague but if this is what you are saying, then can you demonstrate how you know the bible is "the word of God" or even contains "the word of God"? How did you come to this conclusion? In fact, when was the first time you started believing this?

Regarding "making mischief" I often find it as an easy cop-out for nearly every religious person (who believes THEIR religious text is divine) to encourage others to lower their standard of evidence. I'm sorry, I will not play that game. This reference to "making mischief" is absurd b/c it hints at the presumption that your bible is divine (which hasn't been demonstrated). Why should we think this collection of books is (at all) authored by some supernatural being - just b/c it says so, or b/c someone sold you on the idea of fulfilled prophesy? Science makes predictions about the world all the time (and they come true). Should we call those people divine?

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.

Faith is not a pathway to truth. It is unreliable in helping us separate fact from fiction (and no, I do not accept the assertion that faith is "trusting the evidence"). Faith is believing something, as you are now, when you don't have a good reason to do so (i.e. just "taking it on faith"). It is trusting IN SPITE of the evidence. Why would you do that? Why would you (by your own words) take a mere hypothesis and base your entire life upon it? It sounds to me like you do not (contrary to your words) have just a hypothesis. You have a pre-commitment.

Secondly, if I point out something as illogical in your argument (in this case question begging), denying it just displays intellectual dishonesty. You've already admitted that you have a "hypothesis" and that you are "taking it on faith". That very much is assuming your position in advance. A hypothesis is the beginning of inquiry, NOT the end.

Third, avoidance of doubt? Why would you want to avoid doubting? This sounds very much like credulity.

The God that I believe in is unfathomable as it is not in man's gift to comprehend this mystery.

So you believe in some-thing (or whatever) that is "unfathomable" (i.e. - that you can't think about)? It really sounds like you are contradicting yourself here. How can you believe in something for which you have no idea (i.e. - cannot fathom)? If you couldn't fathom it, why believe in it? Indeed, why base your entire life upon it!

The bible quite clearly looks to contradict this. It points to all sorts of things that are, supposedly, "fathomable" about this alleged Yahweh deity.

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?

Quoting "the Lord's prayer" isn't relevant to Jesus alleged own words in Mark 16, John 14, and elsewhere. The old comeback, "it wasn't God's will to heal this time" doesn't work because it directly contradicts Jesus' own alleged words. And this brings us to your main problem (which you already admitted, in a round about way, above). You have a precommitment to your "hypothesis". You have STARTED with your conclusion NOT A HYPOTHESIS. A hypothesis can sometimes be called a working assumption. Is that what you have, an assumption? So you've assumed your interpretation of the bible. You've assumed it has words from God in it, and you've assumed that we should interpret it favorably instead of critically, like we do with all other alleged holy books. Why would you do this?

So you can cherry pick, but I can't? That is absurd.


HA! This is excellent! So you are admitting that you are cherry picking, and then, trying to accuse me of it too? Even if it were true that I was cherry picking bible verses (which I don't for a second admit), two illogical wrongs don't make a right, do they?

I have pointed out other passages which contradict the passage you are trying to provide. They provide MORE context, not less, and instead of admitting that your "hypothesis" is in error, you are instead trying to turn the tables? That sounds like confirmation bias. It doesn't really seem that you are being critical enough of this hypothesis (i.e. - you committed yourself to your conclusion in advance). Would you practice this same methodology (i.e. - assuming your hypothesis is true) with other holy books?

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?

Regarding miracles, Jesus seems to have put them a "special category" too. He said (supposedly) that if the pharisees didn't believe him they should believe "the works" he allegedly did. Were those works just breathing, eating food, drinking water, or being alive? No, his writers were pointing to alleged violations of the laws of physics. Your method for distinguishing a miracle from a rare event, a natural event, or something common is quite indistinguishable from having NO miracles at all. By your definition, there is no reason to have science b/c every occurrence in the natural world could be called "a miracle", at which case the word has no meaning whatsoever. If you're going to call nature a miracle, why not just call it nature? That word simply has way too much baggage attached to it which opens the door for all types of quackery, trickery, and absurdity.

Secondly, an open mind is one that is not practicing confirmation bias or assuming ones "hypothesis" in advance (and then trying to defend it in the face of contrary evidence). Someone with an open mind is, generally, not fixed to a "faith" or a presumed conclusion. In my life, I have demonstrated at least twice that I have an open mind (b/c I allowed my worldview to change with the evidence at least twice), have you?

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?

No, we can't. Whether or not faith is practiced in a subjective manner is irrelevant to the question of discovering it's error. If you'd like to debate the definition of what faith is, that is another matter. But I hold that faith is believing something when you don't have good reason to do so, b/c if you had good reason you wouldn't need faith (as you alluded to above - basing your entire life on an alleged hypothesis), and that is in fact possible to demonstrate.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 01:54:18 PM by median »
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Offline median

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #163 on: June 13, 2013, 02:25:34 PM »
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.

This is wholly false. God didn't show his backside to Moses? God didn't show up in a burning bush to Moses? God didn't come down in the form of Jesus and do miracles, personally? Your position seems to be the one that is not based in "scripture", and that is because you have assumed your theology (your interpretation of the text) in advance - which is what every Christian does and has done all throughout history.
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Offline median

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #164 on: June 13, 2013, 02:35:29 PM »
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.

No, it isn't a moot point b/c it is not our job to define your God for you (or anybody else'), nor is it our job to hold some definition of an alleged God for which we do not believe exists. The burden of proof lies upon he who makes the claim, and since all of the definitions of the term "God" that we have thus heard fail, it is irrelevant as to whether one non-believer speaks of varying definitions of that term from another.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #165 on: June 13, 2013, 03:29:34 PM »
Now a second strawman - That God works miracles directly without employing humans - again, scriptural basis please as this is yet another false doctrine.

Let's see, in no particular order:
Creating the world would be one. 
Flooding the world would be another. 
Turning Lot's wife to salt might qualify. 
Killing Onan's older brother, Er. 
Killing Onan. 
The 10 plagues in Egypt. 
Does parting the Re Sea count?  Since Moses didn't actually do anything, I would say it counts. 
The destruction of the people of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Numbers 16) was not done "through" people.
Holding the sun (earth?) still at Jericho.
Setting the wet wood on fire for Elijah when tested (1 Kings 18:23-40) 

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Offline Azdgari

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #166 on: June 13, 2013, 03:34:46 PM »
^^ I guess the most direct example would be "creating humans".  He couldn't have very well employed humans in creating the first human!
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Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #167 on: June 13, 2013, 05:53:10 PM »
I will try and limit this to the believes relevant to this topic.

Thanks zele - let me try to reflect back what you have said.

We cannot understand god.
We can experience the effects of god.
We can create in partnership with god.
God is is continuosly being revealed through prayer. This is an eternal process
God reveals himself more to the faithful. is moved by faith.
God is bound by physical laws he has put in place.
For the purpose of the discussion, I grant you the above.

how can we have any degree of certainty at all that anything we think we know about him is true?
We can't. I don't. I have faith. You are the one who appears to be certain about the absence of evidence being the evidence of non-existence of God.

And now also, a summary of your tenets ? (not sure what a non-believer will call his believes but I'm sure you know what I mean)  please - broad brush

Not worried by the terminology - worldview, perhaps?

There may be a god or gods - but any god that has been clearly defined and that I have examined has proved not to exist, or to be irrelevant.
Any thing that happens, happens as the result of particular physical laws, influenced by random quantum fluctuations (and, incidentally, that there is no "free will" in the sense that we have no control over any choices we make).
So we seem to be getting somewhere. We agree on the existence of some universal [physical only in your case] laws. And were do you suppose is the origin of the physical laws? Random quantum fluctuations? no control over any choices we make? So you are not in control of the choice you have made to engage in this discussion? That is clearly another miracle to me.

Now that we are getting serious, we might as well  just slay some sacred cows. The god that is not able to heal your amputees is too incompetent. I can conduct similar prayer experiments to illustrate this. e.g. he cannot re-assemble shattered china or unscramble a scrambled egg. So we can shatter some china. Sit pray and wait. And that god will not deliver the miracle. I hope you can see that there is possibly an infinite set of things that we will not get a miracle on from your strawman god. I am engaging in this discussion purely as an intellectual exercise as I could have just dismissed the absurdity that is inherent in the central premise that any serious thinker would immediately identify.

So moving on, can you see from here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Determinism that yours is just one of the many schools of thought that have engaged the minds of many great thinkers in the past well before us? You will also see bits of what I subscribe to, reflected there.

Offline median

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #168 on: June 13, 2013, 09:50:47 PM »
So we seem to be getting somewhere. We agree on the existence of some universal [physical only in your case] laws. And were do you suppose is the origin of the physical laws? Random quantum fluctuations? no control over any choices we make? So you are not in control of the choice you have made to engage in this discussion? That is clearly another miracle to me.

No actually, we do not agree on some "universal" laws. Laws are descriptions of regularities we notice in nature, and our confidence in them grows as they continue to be regular. But they are not absolute, and in fact, we can say nothing about them prior to the singularity which was prior to the Big Bang.

Regarding the freewill/determinism subject, have you read any current philosophers on this? How much research have you done? There is also a position called Compatiblism. Have you heard of it? What do you mean by the word "control"? As for me, I can sum up my position to the question, "Do we have freewill" by saying: We have no choice but to...

When I hear Christians, and religious people, start talking about freewill it doesn't seem they (well most of them) have really thought about that word very deeply, what it means to have it, or what they mean when they use it. What does it mean to have freewill, to you? B/c when I'm using that term I'm usually just talking about the ability to make my own choices as I wish (i.e. - without coercion).

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/

Btw, in your theology, is God completely sovereign over all of his creation? Does he have control over everything that happens? If so, then it really doesn't seem like you have "freewill" either (but I will wait for your response as to a definition).


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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #169 on: June 14, 2013, 03:57:51 AM »
how can we have any degree of certainty at all that anything we think we know about him is true?
We can't. I don't. I have faith. You are the one who appears to be certain about the absence of evidence being the evidence of non-existence of God.

Nope.  Absence of evidence simply gives no reason to accept the existence of something.  If there is no evidence for something, then (for practical purposes) I will act as if it does not exist.  Same way as I do not always check under my bed for tigers before I climb out in the morning.  I have never seen a tiger in my room, smelt one, heard one, or seen any sign whatsoever that a tiger is or was ever in my room.  With no evidence to support the thought that there is a tiger there, I never check.  Apparently though, that is the sort of thing that YOU do?

It was about the healing that - you agreed - happened instantaneously by god's representatives on earth.
'He sometimes "works miracles through men" in a more direct form, for example a faith healer instantaneously cure blindness or cancer or whatever' - yes or no?[/b]
Yes.

My bold.  Did you mean "no" to that question?

Just a reminder - I would appreciate it if you would clear this up. 
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline jetson

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #170 on: June 14, 2013, 07:45:26 AM »
Zele.  Can you paraphrase the premise of WWGHA accurately? 

Offline zele

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #171 on: June 14, 2013, 11:37:03 AM »
So we seem to be getting somewhere. We agree on the existence of some universal [physical only in your case] laws. And were do you suppose is the origin of the physical laws? Random quantum fluctuations? no control over any choices we make? So you are not in control of the choice you have made to engage in this discussion? That is clearly another miracle to me.

No actually, we do not agree on some "universal" laws. Laws are descriptions of regularities we notice in nature
What do you mean by nature??

and our confidence in them grows as they continue to be regular. But they are not absolute, and in fact, we can say nothing about them prior to the singularity which was prior to the Big Bang.
I hope you can see that the bits in bold require quite a leap of faith. My response to this is that I don't know.

Regarding the freewill/determinism subject, have you read any current philosophers on this? How much research have you done? There is also a position called Compatiblism. Have you heard of it? What do you mean by the word "control"? As for me, I can sum up my position to the question, "Do we have freewill" by saying: We have no choice but to...
How current? I am still trawling through 'A History of Philosophy' by Thomas Taylor and with the information explosion age, there is a lot to take in.

When I hear Christians, and religious people, start talking about freewill it doesn't seem they (well most of them) have really thought about that word very deeply, what it means to have it, or what they mean when they use it. What does it mean to have freewill, to you? B/c when I'm using that term I'm usually just talking about the ability to make my own choices as I wish (i.e. - without coercion).

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/compatibilism/
Quite fascinating. It looks like I will enjoy it. Thank you.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries
Btw, in your theology, is God completely sovereign over all of his creation? Does he have control over everything that happens? If so, then it really doesn't seem like you have "freewill" either (but I will wait for your response as to a definition).
No, I do not have a Theology. As I said, He is not all powerful and so cannot have control over everything. Also, he is subject to the rules He has put in place. The system loses integrity if he does not conform.

Offline One Above All

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #172 on: June 14, 2013, 11:40:41 AM »
No, I do not have a Theology. As I said, He is not all powerful and so cannot have control over everything. Also, he is subject to the rules He has put in place. The system loses integrity if he does not conform.

I just want to point out that I said the same things about Myself in My "I am the LORD your GOD. Ask me anything." thread. Coincidence? I think not. zele is, in reality, worshiping Me.
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Offline jdawg70

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Re: How faith healing works (and why God doesn't heal amputees)
« Reply #173 on: June 14, 2013, 11:48:03 AM »
and our confidence in them grows as they continue to be regular. But they are not absolute, and in fact, we can say nothing about them prior to the singularity which was prior to the Big Bang.
I hope you can see that the bits in bold require quite a leap of faith. My response to this is that I don't know.
?
Well I certainly don't see the leap of faith that's necessary to say "we don't know", which is basically what the portion in bold is saying.  Maybe I'm just confused at what you're saying?
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