They stand but not as counter arguments. They do not diminish the value of miracles as proof of the existence of God.
I did read the other points you made, they might be right but I did not understand how they could diminish the value of miracles.
The fact that there are Theologians who are working on miracles and do not believe in God allow the value of miracle to not be tainted by the faith. Making them reliable proof of the existence of God.
First off, thank you for acknowledging the validity of my previous statements. It is a lot less frustrating for you to say, "these are (or might be) correct but I don't see their relevance" than to effectively dismiss them, whether that was your intention or not. That's one of the reasons I try to acknowledge every point someone else makes; if I leave something out, it's usually because it's been worked out to my satisfaction.
So, now I can properly address your argument, that there are atheists studying theology and miracles, and that their lack of faith makes the miracles reliable proof that your god exists. I do not agree with this. Your argument appears to hinge on the idea that since these atheists cannot disprove your church's conclusion that such-and-such is a miracle, that this makes it into proof of your god's existence. However, that is a flawed idea, as someone's inability to disprove something does not have any bearing on whether that thing actually exists.
For example, take [wiki]Russell's Teapot[/wiki]. If someone were to assert that there was an invisible teapot orbiting the sun somewhere between Earth and Mars, the fact that other people could not disprove that assertion would not have any bearing on whether it was correct. It is up to the person making the assertion to prove it by showing that the teapot exists; nobody has any obligation to accept that it does exist without evidence.
How does this apply to miracles? I think we can both agree that things the Catholic Church considers miracles are, at the least, unexplained by human knowledge. However, to go from "I cannot explain how this happened" to "it is proof of God's existence" is not a valid proposition without evidence. But that is exactly what you are proposing - that because your church has concluded that it is a miracle, that it must be evidence of your god's existence. Yet this is a flawed approach; it is like arguing that gravity is caused by invisible beings that lurk within matter, even though you have no evidence of their existence. You cannot say that gravity is the evidence, because that becomes a circular argument (you must presuppose that these invisible beings exist because gravity exists, which then proves that these invisible beings exist); you must have other evidence of their existence besides gravity for your argument to be convincing.
Similarly, if you want to convince other people that miracles are the work of a god, you must be able to show that this god exists without relying on miracles to stand as your evidence. Otherwise you'll just go around in circles without convincing anyone.
That is totally true. I cannot properly distinguish between the two. But it shouldn't matter since :
In certain fields, such as law, they are closely related; And I am using the miracle as evidence/proof of the existence of God. I am condemning God as responsible for the events based on all the clues he left.
On the contrary, it matters very much if you cannot distinguish the difference between the two in any given field. That's called conflation, meaning to confuse one thing for another. For example, in the law, evidence establishes a possible connection between something, while proof represents a conclusive, unassailable argument fully supported by evidence. Philosophy (and thus theology) work in a similar manner; therefore you cannot afford to conflate the two terms.
That aside, the point I am trying to make, and have been trying to make for quite a while now, is that you cannot use miracles as evidence of the existence of your god. The reason is because in order to make the claim that miracles stand as evidence that your god exists, you must presuppose that your god exists, which makes the argument circular. A circular argument is very far from unassailable. Logically, you must establish that your god exists through some other means; then you can use miracles as corroborating evidence of your god's existence.
You keep repeating that. I am not sure that it is true. I believe that some miracles didn't made the "miracle recognized by the Vatican" group even before they received word from scientists. I also believe that some made the group but the Vatican waited for the results from scientists...just to be more sure of their claim.
Many possible miracles are excluded because they do not meet certain guidelines established by the Vatican (such as being immediate, complete, and permanent). As for the latter one, it wouldn't surprise me to find that priests have already privately come to a conclusion on whether something is a miracle or not long before scientists finish reviewing it. However, neither of these make any real difference here; they certainly do not make the "is this a miracle" process any more reliable.
That would be true if some miracle were to be dismissed by science after they were claimed miracles. But that is not the case.
It is true regardless of that, because of the advancement of scientific knowledge. Things that would once have been considered miracles are now scientifically explainable, and thus are no longer considered to be possible miracles. This is precisely what I was referring to by "God of the Gaps".
You argument here, as I understand it, is that Miracles are not proof because they are excuses for something we don't understand.
That is more or less correct.
I would argue that we understand miracle. You are the one saying that you don't understand it, that you can't explain it. We explained it before even you did.
No. You claim to understand miracles, but your claim amounts to the statement that God was responsible for them (at least as far as I can tell). You are confusing "knowing who is responsible" with "understanding how they did it"; they are not the same thing, and you cannot logically progress from the former to the latter. Unless you can explain how
God performed a miracle, any claims you make to understand it are false.
It is true that often we are wrong and the reason for a supposed miracle is not God. But we are not wrong when it comes to miracles recognized by the Vatican.
This is essentially special pleading. You are stating that Catholics have been wrong about various things, but the Vatican is not wrong about miracles, without giving any reason to support why this is the case. Why do you say that the Vatican is not wrong about miracles?
There is yet to have such a person to come forward. The evidence are so "flawless" that no respected theologian would come up with a different answer. Which means, contrary to what you propose, that the review process is extremely reliable.
This is a horrible, horrible argument, Lukvance. The fact that nobody has come forward has no relevance, because it only reflects on what has already happened, not what might happen in the future, and as far as arguing that the evidence is 'flawless'...really? The only 'evidence' used to state that something is a miracle is subjective. Subjective evidence is anything but flawless. I will acknowledge that so far as I know, nobody has contested these supposed miracles on theological grounds, but that does not make the review process reliable. If anything, it makes it quite unreliable, because it means nobody is reviewing past conclusions for validity, something that happens in science all the time.
You understand that sometime we condemn people to prison based only on testimony from other people, right? We don't need that much evidence.
You mean like the false convictions listed in this article
? I don't know about you, but I don't consider testimony reliable enough by itself to convict anyone on.
Alright. I don't want to be rude, but read a little about miracles before claiming such things. Miracles recognized by the Vatican are full of physical evidences. Pick one, read about it then come back with counter arguments based on what you read about it.
I read through the whole list of Lourdes healing miracles on that "miracle hunter" website you linked a while back. Not a single one of them had any physical evidence that any supernatural being was responsible, never mind your god. So that means that I contest your assertion that "miracles recognized by the Vatican are full of physical evidence" that links them to your god.
Here's a suggestion for you; find one of these recognized miracles, and explain exactly what the physical evidence tying the event to your god was. The reason you need to look is because you're the one convinced that it was your god, so you need to point out exactly what convinced you.