Author Topic: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?  (Read 3010 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline b.a.worldchanger

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Darwins +4/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #58 on: September 04, 2013, 05:38:17 AM »
...As far as a believer is concerned, no prophecy can be wrong, so they must be reinterpreted to fit the unfacts..

This, obviously, is not an accurate statement.   The actual fulfillment (or lack of) is the ultimate test of whether any purported prophecy is true.  This is the standard by which all prophecy must be held to in order to validate or invalidate the one who brings the prophecy.  In fact, fulfilled prophecy is one of the greatest evidences a skeptic can encounter to influence their belief in a deity.  Paul addresses this very issue to Christians in 1 Corinthians.

Online Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1201
  • Darwins +89/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #59 on: September 04, 2013, 06:06:56 AM »
...As far as a believer is concerned, no prophecy can be wrong, so they must be reinterpreted to fit the unfacts..

This, obviously, is not an accurate statement.   The actual fulfillment (or lack of) is the ultimate test of whether any purported prophecy is true.  This is the standard by which all prophecy must be held to in order to validate or invalidate the one who brings the prophecy.  In fact, fulfilled prophecy is one of the greatest evidences a skeptic can encounter to influence their belief in a deity.  Paul addresses this very issue to Christians in 1 Corinthians.

I don't get why the statement you quoted is not accurate. If a prophecy is vague enough then it can be interpreted to fit any occurrence. The works of Nostradamus are great example of this.

Offline b.a.worldchanger

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Darwins +4/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #60 on: September 04, 2013, 06:20:09 AM »
I don't get why the statement you quoted is not accurate. If a prophecy is vague enough then it can be interpreted to fit any occurrence. The works of Nostradamus are great example of this.

It is not accurate because it assumes ALL believers will act in this manner.  I agree that "vague" prophecies can potentially be interpreted to fit many potential occurrences.  This leaves them as impossible to reject outright, per se, but some can be so far fetched that they will likely be disregarded by many because the "interpretation" may be open to too many different possibilities to be highly regarded.  Again, it doesn't make it false, per se, but it certainly makes it more difficult to trust or verify with any real degree of certainty.

Online Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1201
  • Darwins +89/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #61 on: September 04, 2013, 06:30:55 AM »
So if
<snip>
fulfilled prophecy is one of the greatest evidences a skeptic can encounter to influence their belief in a deity. ..
but

<snip> it doesn't make it false, per se, but it certainly makes it more difficult to trust or verify with any real degree of certainty.
Then how can this be the case

<snip>The actual fulfillment (or lack of) is the ultimate test of whether any purported prophecy is true.  This is the standard by which all prophecy must be held to in order to validate or invalidate the one who brings the prophecy.

?

Offline b.a.worldchanger

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Darwins +4/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #62 on: September 04, 2013, 06:45:25 AM »
@MrJason, it is clear in 1 Corinthians that Paul talks about the unbeliever being converted when the secrets of their heart are revealed in prophecy.  Essentially, he's making the argument that a precise prophecy (or word of knowledge) will affect the unbeliever (because he has not revealed the secrets of his heart to those prophesying), and he will be convinced that God is indeed speaking through the one delivering the prophecy.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 06:47:14 AM by b.a.worldchanger »

Online Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1201
  • Darwins +89/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #63 on: September 04, 2013, 06:57:37 AM »
@MrJason, it is clear in 1 Corinthians that Paul talks about the unbeliever being converted when the secrets of their heart are revealed in prophecy.  Essentially, he's making the argument that a precise prophecy (or word of knowledge) will affect the unbeliever (because he has not revealed the secrets of his heart to those prophesying), and he will be convinced that God is indeed speaking through the one delivering the prophecy.

And how is what you are saying here different to;
 
...As far as a believer is concerned, no prophecy can be wrong, so they must be reinterpreted to fit the unfacts..

Have you heard of derren brownWiki?

Offline b.a.worldchanger

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Darwins +4/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #64 on: September 04, 2013, 07:10:48 AM »
@MrJason,

Like you, I agree that vague prophesies are essentially less trustworthy.  I think specific prophesies that are either proved true or false by definition of whether they prove accurate or not are less open to this vague interpretation issue we're both acknowledging.  Not sure what you're getting at, but my point is:

1.  Specific prophecies are proved accurate or "true" based upon whether they occur or not.
2.  Vague prophecies, while they can't necessarily be proved "false", are inherently less trustworthy since they may be open to a variety of interpretations.

I believe specific prophecies that prove to be true are much more valuable at solidifying belief or addressing the issue of the unbeliever (or skeptic), which is what I believe Paul is addressing in 1 Corinthians.

I have not heard of Derren Brown, nor am I much interested in the tactics of illusionists, nor so-called psychics.  As you know, they also deal in the vague and read the responses of their subjects to get them to essentially "self-prophesy" rather than beginning with a specific prophecy and letting it live or die solely based on its accuracy.


Online Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1201
  • Darwins +89/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #65 on: September 04, 2013, 07:23:21 AM »
@MrJason,

Like you, I agree that vague prophesies are essentially less trustworthy.  I think specific prophesies that are either proved true or false by definition of whether they prove accurate or not are less open to this vague interpretation issue we're both acknowledging.  Not sure what you're getting at, but my point is:

1.  Specific prophecies are proved accurate or "true" based upon whether they occur or not.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean here. Can you give me an example of a specific prophecy please?

2.  Vague prophecies, while they can't necessarily be proved "false", are inherently less trustworthy since they may be open to a variety of interpretations.

I agree. In that respect they are less than worthless as a tool for influencing belief in a deity as confirmation bias can turn something inherently untrue into a truth (for the believer)

I believe specific prophecies that prove to be true are much more valuable at solidifying belief or addressing the issue of the unbeliever (or skeptic), which is what I believe Paul is addressing in 1 Corinthians.

As I said, I'm not sure what you mean by specific prophecy, is it different from the tactics used by the derren browns of this world? If so how is it different and how can you prove this?


Offline b.a.worldchanger

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Darwins +4/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #66 on: September 04, 2013, 07:44:00 AM »
@MrJason,

A specific prophecy (or word of knowledge) would, by definition, be more specific.  If you need an example, let's just start with something simple like someone prophesies that you'll get into a car accident.  If tomorrow you're not in said car accident, well, you know the prophecy was false.  If it happens, sure, suppose it was just coincidence.  But, let's further suppose the person making the prophecy prophesies this several times, and every time it comes true.  The degree of certainty is increased as the probability of multiple coincidences happening without error goes down.

Further, let's assume this event really rattles you, and so you decide to go into a church.  As you enter the building, someone is prophesying that someone named Jason was in a car accident today, and was struck by a driver in a white Chevy pickup.  The person then goes on to say that Jason has also been committing adultery and cheated the government this past year by $2500 on his taxes.  At this point, the prophecies would clearly be getting more specific.  Sure, could all totally still be "coincidence", but that probability is now effectively approaching zero if all that is said is indeed accurate.

I think we saw this a lot in 2012 as the "end of the world" prophecies we're all claiming days and times when the world would end.  Since clearly the world did not end on those dates, we can conclude those were false prophecies.  I wouldn't even claim them as "vague" prophecies that are open ended, they were clearly just "false" since they made a claim which included and event and a timeline, and the timelines expired without events taking place.  Clearly, as presented, these are false "specific" prophecies, not vague predictions.  The Bible itself warns that "prophets" are vetted simply by whether the prophecies come true or not.  One who prophesies false events is, by definition, a false prophet and should be rejected.

Online Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1201
  • Darwins +89/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #67 on: September 04, 2013, 08:11:32 AM »
@MrJason,

A specific prophecy (or word of knowledge) would, by definition, be more specific.  If you need an example, let's just start with something simple like someone prophesies that you'll get into a car accident.  If tomorrow you're not in said car accident, well, you know the prophecy was false.  If it happens, sure, suppose it was just coincidence.  But, let's further suppose the person making the prophecy prophesies this several times, and every time it comes true.  The degree of certainty is increased as the probability of multiple coincidences happening without error goes down.

This type of prophecy seems to me to be based on what is known being extrapolated to a possible outcome.

There is nothing mystical in informed guess work.

Further, let's assume this event really rattles you, and so you decide to go into a church.  As you enter the building, someone is prophesying that someone named Jason was in a car accident today, and was struck by a driver in a white Chevy pickup.  The person then goes on to say that Jason has also been committing adultery and cheated the government this past year by $2500 on his taxes.  At this point, the prophecies would clearly be getting more specific.  Sure, could all totally still be "coincidence", but that probability is now effectively approaching zero if all that is said is indeed accurate.

Do you consider that prophesying something after the event is a prophecy?
I would consider that to be knowledge.

I think we saw this a lot in 2012 as the "end of the world" prophecies we're all claiming days and times when the world would end.  Since clearly the world did not end on those dates, we can conclude those were false prophecies.  I wouldn't even claim them as "vague" prophecies that are open ended, they were clearly just "false" since they made a claim which included and event and a timeline, and the timelines expired without events taking place.  Clearly, as presented, these are false "specific" prophecies, not vague predictions.  The Bible itself warns that "prophets" are vetted simply by whether the prophecies come true or not.  One who prophesies false events is, by definition, a false prophet and should be rejected.

So the vaguer the prophecy the better really. Which is why there aren't many specific prophecies around and those that have made specific prophecies have been proven to be either false prophets or knowledgeable about the subject of their prophecy.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 08:14:21 AM by Mrjason »

Offline ParkingPlaces

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6306
  • Darwins +732/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Hide and Seek World Champion since 1958!
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #68 on: September 04, 2013, 08:38:01 AM »
Welcome b.a.

A few words about prophecies.

The religious whose worship includes the bible often put great importance on the prophecies contained within it. First of all, they are impressed that some appeared to come true, and don't seem to be able to take into consideration the possibility that the stories were changed after the fact to match up. And then there are prophecies which did not come true, which they will often argue actually did come true, and claim that we are just misinterpreting things. Then there are the prophecies that are claimed by the bible that have clearly not come true (the return of Jesus) which believers still put a lot of stock in.

Then we toss into the mix the bad/false/pseudo christian prophets that have existed in just my lifetime (I'm old). They have lined up and scared the bejesus out of their followers, been wrong, and though they oft times found excuses that satisfied their cult, the rest of us laughed at them.

And why do we laugh? Because we know it isn't possible. Predicting end times accurately would require a lot more than bad guesses and silly desires to get right. And any time they include Jesus then it has to be false, because the guy never existed. So since the 60's when I first became aware of such claims, I have just shook my head in pity as group after group has fallen prey to various egocentric claim-makers. Individuals caught up in the fray have done everything from lose everything, because they gave away all their possessions, to die, via suicide, because they were so frightened by the prediction. Then you toss in the few times entire groups have offed themselves in preparation for the expected journey. What a waste.

So to me, the whole idea, inspired by the bible (which many claim to be the perfect word of god) is far from harmless. And there is absolutely no proof, other than within the one book that makes the claims in the first place (which hardly qualifies as an independent verifying body) that anyone has ever successfully prophecies anything important. Just the list of excuses people give for the prophecy from Jesus that he would return in the lifetime of his listeners is astonishing.

Anyone can go to a NASCAR race and predict, before hand, that contest will be won by a person driving a really really fast car. One group of prophets are correct every year about who is going to win the Super Bowl. Most of which are fans of the team that eventually wins. But those prophecies are coincidental and inevitable, given the structure of the sport. Not the structure of reality. And so, as you discuss prophecy here on the site, please keep in mind that we are not just skeptical of them, but most of us simply flat out reject the idea.

You're got a lot of convincing to do, just to get one or two of us to rethink the idea. Let alone to have an atheist change his or her mind. Lacking real evidence, it won't matter how you couch the concept. We'll still shake our heads in pity for you too, should you claim authenticity in biblical prophecies.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Hatter23

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3880
  • Darwins +257/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • Doesn't believe in one more god than you
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #69 on: September 04, 2013, 10:27:58 AM »
Yes a specific fulfilled prophesy after the development of scientific method would help your(the theist) case. A documented miracle with unambiguous evidence would also certainly help.

Except none exist. I don't know why theists continue to argue this one. None exist. How more plain could it be?




« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 10:31:53 AM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline b.a.worldchanger

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Darwins +4/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #70 on: September 04, 2013, 01:25:40 PM »
This type of prophecy seems to me to be based on what is known being extrapolated to a possible outcome.

How so?  Does this kind of thing normally happen to you?  What if someone who doesn't know you prophesies that after the accident you're going to go the hospital and a scan to check for injuries will reveal you have a rare bone cancer that only affects .5% of the population?  As the "coincidences" mount up without false positives, my point is the probability that true events keep coming to pass brings a degree of confidence that wouldn't come from a single vague prophecy.

Quote
Do you consider that prophesying something after the event is a prophecy?
I would consider that to be knowledge.
Paul refers to this as prophecy or word of knowledge.  That is why I referenced both above.  Settle on whatever terminology you want, if someone who doesn't know you reveals your darkest secrets without you saying a word and without foreknowledge, that falls along the same lines of a prophetic gifting, or the ability to see something which can't be known in advance.  If the person has foreknowledge or tricks to read your responses (in the case of an illusionist or psychic) then clearly, it isn't supernatural knowledge as you are the one providing the information for them to "read".  I know of one such popular case of an evangelist who would hold large meetings in which he would seem to know "unknowable" facts about people in the audience, when radio transmissions were picked up that showed his wife was feeding him the information from prayer cards that had been filled out beforehand.  Obviously, this would fall into the category of foreknowledge and deception.

So the vaguer the prophecy the better really. Which is why there aren't many specific prophecies around and those that have made specific prophecies have been proven to be either false prophets or knowledgeable about the subject of their prophecy.

If someone is not capable of producing an accurate and specific prophecy, than this would be an advantage to the one GIVING the prophecy.  However, I don't think it would be of as much use to the one receiving it.

Offline b.a.worldchanger

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Darwins +4/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #71 on: September 04, 2013, 01:42:31 PM »
Yes a specific fulfilled prophesy after the development of scientific method would help your(the theist) case. A documented miracle with unambiguous evidence would also certainly help.

Except none exist. I don't know why theists continue to argue this one. None exist. How more plain could it be?

I don't think this is necessarily true.  There are cases that happen from time-to-time where a doctor simply says "I don't know what happened" or declares it a miracle, in the sense that it defies his own explanation or current knowledge within science.  However, the hardened "true" skeptic will scoff at that and say "There is always an explanation, even if we don't yet understand it."  So, I suppose this would fit into the "ambiguous evidence" category for the skeptic since the answer that "God did it" would likely still be unacceptable.  To the person who was healed miraculousl that couldn't walk and was in such excruciating pain and depression, it will be much easier to accept than to the skeptic looking in saying "There must still be an explanation".  I am aware of several such cases, but in light of the lack of explanation, it still requires a degree of faith to say "God did it."  That is still harder for some to accept than others, especially the hardened skeptic who has perhaps prayed for something in earnest at some point in life, not experienced their own miracle, and concluded that God must not exist.  That seems to be something I run into regularly when talking with people.  I realize that isn't the case for all skeptics, but that can be a crucial starting point for many. 

"God didn't heal my mom dying of cancer."
"God didn't keep my parents from getting a divorce."
"God didn't intervene at that point in my life where I felt I needed it most, so He must not exist."

So, we begin to look at someone else's miracle and say, well, God isn't real, so let's find the real explanation behind this.  The framework from which we filter the world, good or bad, will usually keep us within some sort of "box" that rejects things that can't be fit into that box, so we seek other explanations.  This happens within Christianity too.  A simple example would be Calvinism vs. Armenianism.  When you make an "either/or" distinction, you begin to filter all scripture through your "ism".  Which, leads many to change a scripture to fit their viewpoints.  I believe you would call this cherry picking, or perhaps biased interpretation, where we must make a scripture fit our viewpoint, or even reject it if it contradicts our "box".  We all do this, to some degree, because we've already selected those filters, and it is extremely difficult to have them challenged or to break out from them, even when things contradict or don't fit so neatly into the boxes we've established.

Offline Hatter23

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3880
  • Darwins +257/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • Doesn't believe in one more god than you
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #72 on: September 04, 2013, 02:01:20 PM »
Yes a specific fulfilled prophesy after the development of scientific method would help your(the theist) case. A documented miracle with unambiguous evidence would also certainly help.

Except none exist. I don't know why theists continue to argue this one. None exist. How more plain could it be?

I don't think this is necessarily true.  There are cases that happen from time-to-time where a doctor simply says "I don't know what happened" or declares it a miracle, in the sense that it defies his own explanation or current knowledge within science.  However, the hardened "true" skeptic will scoff at that and say "There is always an explanation, even if we don't yet understand it."  So, I suppose this would fit into the "ambiguous evidence" category for the skeptic since the answer that "God did it" would likely still be unacceptable.  To the person who was healed miraculousl that couldn't walk and was in such excruciating pain and depression, it will be much easier to accept than to the skeptic looking in saying "There must still be an explanation".  I am aware of several such cases, but in light of the lack of explanation, it still requires a degree of faith to say "God did it."  That is still harder for some to accept than others, especially the hardened skeptic who has perhaps prayed for something in earnest at some point in life, not experienced their own miracle, and concluded that God must not exist.  That seems to be something I run into regularly when talking with people.  I realize that isn't the case for all skeptics, but that can be a crucial starting point for many. 

"God didn't heal my mom dying of cancer."
"God didn't keep my parents from getting a divorce."
"God didn't intervene at that point in my life where I felt I needed it most, so He must not exist."

So, we begin to look at someone else's miracle and say, well, God isn't real, so let's find the real explanation behind this.  The framework from which we filter the world, good or bad, will usually keep us within some sort of "box" that rejects things that can't be fit into that box, so we seek other explanations.  This happens within Christianity too.  A simple example would be Calvinism vs. Armenianism.  When you make an "either/or" distinction, you begin to filter all scripture through your "ism".  Which, leads many to change a scripture to fit their viewpoints.  I believe you would call this cherry picking, or perhaps biased interpretation, where we must make a scripture fit our viewpoint, or even reject it if it contradicts our "box".  We all do this, to some degree, because we've already selected those filters, and it is extremely difficult to have them challenged or to break out from them, even when things contradict or don't fit so neatly into the boxes we've established.


"DOCUMENTED AND UNAMBIGUOS" Those are the words I used. Those are the words I meant.

Because with anything else, there is no differentiating your viewpoint to the belief in Magic, fairies, other religions, Shamans, and wishes.

Are you not skeptical to those claims? Then why do you use a different standard of proof to the mystical/religious/mythical tradition that HAPPENED to be popular at the place and time you were born, just like every other mystical/religious/mythical believer does?

Seriously, Why wont God heal amputees?
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 02:02:52 PM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline ParkingPlaces

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6306
  • Darwins +732/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Hide and Seek World Champion since 1958!
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #73 on: September 04, 2013, 02:13:52 PM »
^^^ (the little arrows are supposed to be pointing at b.a.'s last post. Hatter mucked things up  ;))

When we didn't understand fire, every flame was a miracle. People sometimes get better for no known medical reason. If we learn all we can ever know about the body and diseases and injury, and still can't explain it, then I might start considering other explanations.

Or if only christians had these wondrous outcomes, I might pay attention. But that is not the case. Even atheists can get better for unknown reasons. I'm not seeing a god in any of this.

Though I understand why a religious person would. It's probably nice to decide that certain aspects of reality fit your own views and hopes.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 02:37:25 PM by ParkingPlaces »
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline neopagan

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1161
  • Darwins +86/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #74 on: September 04, 2013, 02:41:15 PM »
^^^ My daughter was at a religious camp for inner city kids this summer as a counselor.  She hurt her back during an activity and was bent over in pain for some time. One of the leaders came and "prayed for healing" and my daughter claims she felt warmth (it was 100 degrees out) and suddenly felt better.  All the counselors declared it a "miraculous, unexplainable healing and a message from god."

The next day, she could not get out of bed due to her back pain and yours truly had to take her to the Dr and the physical therapist - she missed the next couple days of camp.  I hate when miraculous healings from an omnipotent being don't stick!

When I went to the party the camp threw on closing day, all I heard about was how blessed everyone was by my daughter's healing.  I said the Dr and the therapists had done a good job to get her back in shape.  They were oblivious - going on about god's hand, miracles, etc.  (Sigh)
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline ParkingPlaces

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6306
  • Darwins +732/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Hide and Seek World Champion since 1958!
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #75 on: September 04, 2013, 02:51:55 PM »
If anyone ever prays over me when I'm hurt I'll have a miraculous recovery and beat the crap out of them.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Hatter23

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3880
  • Darwins +257/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • Doesn't believe in one more god than you
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #76 on: September 04, 2013, 03:22:56 PM »
If anyone ever prays over me when I'm hurt I'll have a miraculous recovery and beat the crap out of them.

Just because the Shaman of Ugabuga with the bone through his nose prays that Ugabuga heals you, at least he is wishing you well. He might be stupid, credulous, and unhelpful...but he isn't actively harming you...so I don't agree with the wanting to harm the fool


unless said believer is doing this INSTEAD of getting real help, then let the beating commence.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline neopagan

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1161
  • Darwins +86/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #77 on: September 04, 2013, 03:39:19 PM »
unless said believer is doing this INSTEAD of getting real help, then let the beating commence.

There would have been an ugly scene if they did not call me to let me know she was injured. At least someone bothered to do that.
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline ParkingPlaces

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 6306
  • Darwins +732/-6
  • Gender: Male
  • Hide and Seek World Champion since 1958!
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #78 on: September 04, 2013, 05:02:48 PM »
If anyone ever prays over me when I'm hurt I'll have a miraculous recovery and beat the crap out of them.

Just because the Shaman of Ugabuga with the bone through his nose prays that Ugabuga heals you, at least he is wishing you well. He might be stupid, credulous, and unhelpful...but he isn't actively harming you...so I don't agree with the wanting to harm the fool


unless said believer is doing this INSTEAD of getting real help, then let the beating commence.

Well, Im sort of assuming I won't be in a very good mood in the first place, and that it won't take much to put me over the edge.

And actually I'm still pissed that Mitt Romney had his deceased father in law, an atheist, baptized into the Mormon Church. After he was dead, of course. And I don't want anything even vaguely similar happening to me. And if someone does try to baptize me into their faith after I die, I guarantee that I will return. And beat them to a pulp.

I guess you've found my weak spot, Hatter.  ;)
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline wright

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1775
  • Darwins +75/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • "Sleep like a log, snore like a chainsaw."
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #79 on: September 04, 2013, 10:58:29 PM »
There would have been an ugly scene if they did not call me to let me know she was injured. At least someone bothered to do that.

Glad your daughter is better, neo.

Did they have someone qualified examine her injury as well as pray? Because if they decided that because the pain went away, a "miracle" had occurred and made actual treatment superfluous... It makes me angry and tired when people are so superstitious.
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
--Marcus Aurelius

Offline b.a.worldchanger

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 56
  • Darwins +4/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #80 on: September 05, 2013, 12:13:21 AM »
Quote
"DOCUMENTED AND UNAMBIGUOS" Those are the words I used. Those are the words I meant.
As I mentioned, there are many documented miracles, a basic google search can pull those up.  However, the explanation still lies as the crux of the problem for the skeptic.  Since "God did it" isn't an acceptable answer, the skeptic must hold to the belief that science will one day explain why such "miracles" occur, even though they might be outside the bounds of current explanation by doctors who simply document the case as "miraculous" recovery/healing/remission, without knowing the cause.

Quote
Because with anything else, there is no differentiating your viewpoint to the belief in Magic, fairies, other religions, Shamans, and wishes.
Sure there is.

Quote
Are you not skeptical to those claims? Then why do you use a different standard of proof to the mystical/religious/mythical tradition that HAPPENED to be popular at the place and time you were born, just like every other mystical/religious/mythical believer does?
Depends on the claim.

Quote
Seriously, Why wont God heal amputees?
I don't know.  Any attempt on my part to answer that, since I've never witnessed it, would be pure speculation.

Online Mrjason

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1201
  • Darwins +89/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #81 on: September 05, 2013, 04:09:24 AM »
This type of prophecy seems to me to be based on what is known being extrapolated to a possible outcome.

How so?  Does this kind of thing normally happen to you?  What if someone who doesn't know you prophesies that after the accident you're going to go the hospital and a scan to check for injuries will reveal you have a rare bone cancer that only affects .5% of the population?  As the "coincidences" mount up without false positives, my point is the probability that true events keep coming to pass brings a degree of confidence that wouldn't come from a single vague prophecy.

There is a whole industry based on it, as parkingplaces described.

Prophecy plucked from thin air, or divine inspiration, doesn't happen to me, it doesn't happen to anyone.
If this type of thing were possible and someone could tell the future then the whole world would know about it.
As it stands we have shysters who claim to be able to do this in order to profit from the credulous.

Do you consider that prophesying something after the event is a prophecy?
I would consider that to be knowledge.
Paul refers to this as prophecy or word of knowledge.  That is why I referenced both above.  Settle on whatever terminology you want, if someone who doesn't know you reveals your darkest secrets without you saying a word and without foreknowledge, that falls along the same lines of a prophetic gifting, or the ability to see something which can't be known in advance.  If the person has foreknowledge or tricks to read your responses (in the case of an illusionist or psychic) then clearly, it isn't supernatural knowledge as you are the one providing the information for them to "read".  I know of one such popular case of an evangelist who would hold large meetings in which he would seem to know "unknowable" facts about people in the audience, when radio transmissions were picked up that showed his wife was feeding him the information from prayer cards that had been filled out beforehand.  Obviously, this would fall into the category of foreknowledge and deception.

If an event has happened in the recent past it is possible to know about it, however unlikely. There are no unknowable facts where recent past events are concerned.

Quote
So the vaguer the prophecy the better really. Which is why there aren't many specific prophecies around and those that have made specific prophecies have been proven to be either false prophets or knowledgeable about the subject of their prophecy.

If someone is not capable of producing an accurate and specific prophecy, than this would be an advantage to the one GIVING the prophecy.  However, I don't think it would be of as much use to the one receiving it.

exactly. Isn't this what actually happens?

Offline Hatter23

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3880
  • Darwins +257/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • Doesn't believe in one more god than you
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #82 on: September 05, 2013, 07:49:32 AM »
Quote
"DOCUMENTED AND UNAMBIGUOS" Those are the words I used. Those are the words I meant.
As I mentioned, there are many documented miracles, a basic google search can pull those up.  However, the explanation still lies as the crux of the problem for the skeptic.  Since "God did it" isn't an acceptable answer, the skeptic must hold to the belief that science will one day explain why such "miracles" occur, even though they might be outside the bounds of current explanation by doctors who simply document the case as "miraculous" recovery/healing/remission, without knowing the cause.




"DOCUMENTED AND UNAMBIGUOS" Those are the words I used. Those are the words I meant.

Quote
Because with anything else, there is no differentiating your viewpoint to the belief in Magic, fairies, other religions, Shamans, and wishes.
Sure there is.


If there is, do so. I think you are blowing a lot of hot air, just like any believer of any religion. Get it through your head....I am holding you to the same standard.


Quote
Are you not skeptical to those claims? Then why do you use a different standard of proof to the mystical/religious/mythical tradition that HAPPENED to be popular at the place and time you were born, just like every other mystical/religious/mythical believer does?
Depends on the claim.
I am holding your feet to the fire on this. The Grecian Gods interfered in the Trojan war in the Iliad. There are conflicting origin myths in every religion. The Quaran says that Mohammad is a prophet.

You are not being honest, when a Shaman states they have healed someone of a disease, a disease known for going occasionally into remission for unknown reasons, do you believe it to be a demonstration of the power of his Tribal God?


Quote
Seriously, Why wont God heal amputees?
I don't know.  Any attempt on my part to answer that, since I've never witnessed it, would be pure speculation.
You never witnessed it, because it would make it UNAMBIGUOUS.



edit - fixed quotes
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 10:06:54 AM by screwtape »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline screwtape

  • The Great Red Dragon
  • Administrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 12130
  • Darwins +646/-27
  • Gender: Male
  • Karma mooch
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #83 on: September 05, 2013, 10:08:11 AM »
As I mentioned, there are many documented miracles, a basic google search can pull those up.

what, you mean like these:
http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=3461
http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-blogs/seekers/mysticism/hindu-list-of-miracles
http://miraclesofislam.com/
http://www.discoveringislam.org/miracles_of_Islam.htm
http://www.islamcan.com/miracles/
http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/tacitusc/histries/chap17.htm

There are several problems.  One is trying to figure out which are bona fide miracles and which are not.  Most xians - heck, I'll go out on a limb and say ALL xians - would say none of these are real miracles.  They'll suddenly become skeptics, like us, and explain how they are coincidences, baloney, frauds, or just weird things without explanation.  You will get many say "it was the DEVIL!!!"  But when it comes to alleged xian miracles, ho ho, well then, every friggin last one of them is the GEN-U-INE article.  Rubes. 

It is so easy to see how every single religion in the world is a preposterous fraud, except your own.

However, the explanation still lies as the crux of the problem for the skeptic.

No, son, that is not how it works.  There is no requirement to provide an alternative explanation when the one at hand is inherently loopy and bereft of evidence by definition.  A lack of an explanation is better than a stupid explanation.

Since "God did it" isn't an acceptable answer, the skeptic must hold to the belief that science will one day explain...

No, son, we don't.  We understand that the human species will never know everything.  There will always be questions and mysteries.  That is just how it is. That does not mean an explanation does not exist.  Nor does it mean ghosts and goblins are at work.

Quote
Because with anything else, there is no differentiating your viewpoint to the belief in Magic, fairies, other religions, Shamans, and wishes.
Sure there is.

The correct form would be "sure there is.  The way to tell the difference is..." and then provide an explanation.  Your answer is a slightly more literate version of "Yuh-huuh."

Quote
Seriously, Why wont God heal amputees?
I don't know.  Any attempt on my part to answer that, since I've never witnessed it, would be pure speculation.

That's a cop out.
Links:
Rules
Guides & Tutorials

What's true is already so. Owning up to it does not make it worse.

Offline neopagan

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1161
  • Darwins +86/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #84 on: September 05, 2013, 10:50:23 AM »
Did they have someone qualified examine her injury as well as pray? Because if they decided that because the pain went away, a "miracle" had occurred and made actual treatment superfluous... It makes me angry and tired when people are so superstitious.

They had their "medic" look her over but he prayed as well.  I still picked her up - I guess it was my lack of faith that derailed god's healing? :) I am one powerful SOB to outfox the omnimax!
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline neopagan

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1161
  • Darwins +86/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #85 on: September 05, 2013, 11:02:23 AM »
As I mentioned, there are many documented miracles, a basic google search can pull those up. 

"Documented" - yeah lost of stuff is documented... Would you provide us with whatever this goggley searchy thing is that provides miracles you believe are "real?"
At least we would have something to go on to start defining the limits of your credulity.

The pastor at the church I attend just told us all about the miraculous healing of his wife a couple months back.  He actually ditched the whole Sunday sermon and babbled on about this miracle.  She had some disease he had never really defined for the couple years she "suffered" from it, then they trotted off to the Mayo Clinic and "viola!!" she was healed.  What's a theist doing at the Mayo Clinic?

Please... show us your version of a "documented miracle"
If xian hell really exists, the stench of the burning billions of us should be a constant, putrid reminder to the handful of heavenward xians how loving your god is.  - neopagan

Offline LoriPinkAngel

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1207
  • Darwins +124/-6
  • Gender: Female
  • I'm Your Nurse, Not Your Waitress...
Re: Are prophecy and miracles real and how do you prove either to the faithful?
« Reply #86 on: September 05, 2013, 11:08:38 AM »
Miracle at the Mayo Clinic?  Really?  The physicians and nurses and aides and therapist and medications and procedures had nothing whatsoever to do with her healing?  Bite me.  >:(
It doesn't make sense to let go of something you've had for so long.  But it also doesn't make sense to hold on when there's actually nothing there.