The circular reasoning to which I refer is the assertion athesits make that based upon the past inability to prove miracles that miracles have never happened before, thus this presumption counts against current evidence of miracles. The problem with that is past denials are not based upon lack of evidence but upon dismissing the evidence out of hand. Then a long string of denial has built up over the years as case after case is passed off for no good reason, the alleged lack of evidence is assume to be based upon a real lack which is not true. The proof is in the fact that modern cases have good evidence to support them.
I used four examples of modern cases of resurrection, one being my own father who was clinically dead for 11 minutes before being revived. The real "miracle" (according to his own doctor) was not so much revival (although that is amazing but not unknown) the real issue was an 89 year old man who had suffered three massive heart attacks in one day bounding back with a strong rhythmical heart beat. He said "I have never used the term 'miracle' in my pactice before, but this has to be a miracle."
Of course the skeptics who weren't even there and didn't talk to the Doctor always claim that he didn't mean, or he's a bad doctor and so on.
Atheists never deal with the evidence for the res. That evidence is historical data which set up the circumstances such that one can argue that the resurrection is the most logical solution to explain the data.
Rather than deal with that atheists always go for the philosophical level of asserting the impossibility of resurrection based upon the normal in human observation.
There are three things that are logically wrong with this approach.
(1) It's a bait and switch.
The Christian concept is that God intervened to do something beyond the norm. So atheists come back and say "this is not the norm." Well so what? It's not supposed to be the norm it's a break from the norm. They get everyone to worrying about "no ever raises from the dead." No they don't that's why it's amazing.
they issuing red herrings and taking us off the trail by hysteria and hyperbolic versions of the same argument. It's just a red herring nonetheless because the whole point of the even is that it doesn't happen. God did the impossible.
(2) Their notion of natural law is so weak and un-law like that it doesn't amount to a reason to doubt miracles.
They believe in descriptive natural law. I'm going to call "natural suggestion" becuase it's not a law at all. So they want us to think "this can't happen" but there is no reason why it can't. The only argument is about "we don't ever see it happen."
in fact you shouldn't because God did something amazing with Christ not something in the norm. But that's no physical law to prevent miracles because there is only natural suggestion not natural law.
(3) Because descriptive natural suggestion is based upon our concepts of the universe it can be wrong.
What they replace natural law with is description based upon our observation. We have no other set of observation to go by. Our observations are so very limited. We allow tons of things to fall through the cracks.
Hey by their very reckoning life itself, the existence of the earth, the place earth occupies in the solar system that allows life to flourish, the fact that the universe can bear life, all of that represents thing that falll through the cracks, things that happened despite overwhelming odds against it.
(a) The fact that some report resurrections shows us that resurrections may fall through cracks.
In other words, our observations are not complete, so there may be resurrections. In such are reported. they dismiss them because they are part of their descriptions, but their descriptions are based upon such a limited sample.
I've known four people who were dead then were alive again:
a1. My father, dead for 11 minutes, doctor said it was a "miracle"
a2. Dr. Richard Ebby whom I met and I felt such a strong presence of God anointing him I think he was speaking the truth.
a3. a Russian guy named Grigorievich Rodonai who I was introduced by by my professor t Perkins. He has been shot by the KGB and was pronounced dead and lay in the morgue for 3 days.
I can't vouch for this one but it is a claim:
Just remember that's in the media.
(b) Other miracles
the fact of other miracles should be evidence enough. No miracle should be possible if resurrection isn't possible. If some aspect of the physical universe is such that "laws" can't be violated nothing should be able to violate them.
illness doesn't just heal overnight, lungs don't just grow back over night that these are observed is a good indication that our observations are limited.
b1. Casdropugh miracles
Study: The Miracles: A Doctor says "Yes"
by Richard H. Casdorph.(Logos International, 1976)
Richard H. Casdroph collected medical evidence, x-rays, angeograms, and other data from 10 cases associated with the Kathryn Kulhman ministry. Now it will of course strike skeptics as laughable to document miracles of a faith healer. Ordinarily I myself tend to be highly skeptical of any televangelists. I am sitll skpeptical of Kulhman because of her highly theatrical manner. But I always had the impression that there was actual documentation of her miralces, and I guess that impression was created by the Casdorph book.
The Casdroph book goes into great deatail on every case. Since these were not the acutal patients of Casdroph himself, there are 3 tiers of medical data and opinion; Casdroph himself and his evaluation of the data, several doctors whith whom he consluted on every case, and they very from case to case, and the original doctros of the patents themselves. The patients gave their permission and were happy to provide the medical data on their healings since they were all people who had written to the Kulhman ministry with words of their healings. Not all of them were healed immediately in the meeting. Some were healed latter when they got hom.Naturally no one had a x-ray machine standing by at the faith meeting to crank out results like a x-rox copy, so all of them took some period of time to see the results. Not all of them were toally healed immediately. But all the cases were either terminal or incurrable and all of them, within a year, returned to full health and pain free existences.
Dr. Richard Steiner, of the American Board of Pathology, head of department of Pathology Long Beach Community Hosptial reviwed several of the slides. William Olson, American Board of Internal Medicine and head of Isatope Department at Long Beach Community Hospital, and several radiologists form that Hospital also consulted on the rest of the cases.
1)Reticulum cell Sarcoma, right pelvic bone.
2)Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis with Severe Disability
3)Malignat Brain Tumor (Glioma) of the left Temoperal lobe
5)Arterioscloratic Heart Disease
6)Carcinoma of the Kidney (Hypernephroma)
7) Mixted Rhumatoid Arthritis with Osteoarthritis
8)Probable Brain Tumor vs Infarction of the Brain
9)Massive GI Hemorrhage with GI shock (instantly healed)
10)Ostioprosis of the Etire Spine
All of these people were totally healed of incurrable or terminal states. The one commonality they all have is that they were at some point prayed for by the same person, Kulhman. Let's look at a few examples:
1)Lisa Larios: Cell Sarcoma of the right Pevic bone.
Larios didn't know she had cancer. She had developed a great deal of pain in her pevis and was confined to a wheel chair, but the doctors had not found the evidence of the tumor at the time her mother took her to hear Kulhman. Yet, when Miss Kulhman said "someone over here is being healed of cancer, pelase stand up" she stood up wihtout knowing why. She had already started feeling a strange heat in that area and had ceased to feel pain. She went up onto the stage and walked around without pain. She was than "slain in the spirit" which is that odd thing when the healer palces his/her hand on the forehead and the person falls over in a faint. It took some time to recieve the next set of xrays becasue she only learned after the meeting some days latter that she had cancer. Than the next set of xrays showed vast and daramtic improvement. It would still be some time,almost a year, before her pelivis was completely resorted. But she did return to full health. The Catholics wouldn't except this miracle because it could be confussed with a normal remission. The power of suggestion can be ruled out because the heat started before she was called to the stage, and because she didn't even know she had cancer, but responded to a call for healing of cancer. The first dramatic improvement which was immeidate within a few days, and walking on the stage is not characteristic of remission. Casdroph has the medical evidence from several hospitals to which she had been taken.
3)Mrs. Marie Rosenberger: Milignant Brain Tumor.
"Three things make this case an exceptionally excelent example of divine healing. 1) medical evidence of the case includes biopsy proof of the milignant nature of the tumor. The slides were obtained from Hollywood community Hospital and reviewed by the head pathologist at Long Beach community Hostpital who confirmed the diagnosis of milignant astrocytoma or glioma class II. 2) When the healing occurred Marie Rosenberger was down to 101 pounds and was expected to die."
The healing began to manifest immediately and by the next moring was evident. She recieved no futher drugs or medication from that point on. 3) The third thing that makes the case good is the long term nature of the healing. Her diagnosis was in 1970 and by the time Casdroph wrote the book in 76 she was still healthy and happy with no sign of the disease since the healing (which was in 1971 one year after the diagnosis).
MODERN MIRACLES HAVE STRICT RULES
BY DAVID VAN BIEMA
The paradox of human miracle assessment is that the only way to discern whether a phenomenon is supernatural is by having trained rationalists testify that it outstrips their training. Since most wonders admitted by the modern church are medical cures, it consults with doctors. Di Ruberto has access to a pool of 60 - "We've got all the medical branches covered," says his colleague, Dr. Ennio Ensoli - and assigns each purported miracle to two specialists on the vanquished ailment.
They apply criteria established in the 1700s by Pope Benedict XIV: among them, that the disease was serious; that there was objective proof of its existence; that other treatments failed; and that the cure was rapid and lasting. Any one can be a stumbling block. Pain, explains Ensoli, means little: "Someone might say he feels bad, but how do you measure that?" Leukemia remissions are not considered until they have lasted a decade. A cure attributable to human effort, however prayed for, is insufficient. "Sometimes we have cases that you could call exceptional, but that's not enough." says Ensoli. "Exceptional doesn't mean inexplicable."
"Inexplicable," or inspiegabile, is the happy label that Di Ruberto, the doctors and several other clerics in the Vatican's "medical conference" give to a case if it survives their scrutiny. It then passes to a panel of theologians, who must determine whether the inexplicable resulted from prayer. If so, the miracle is usually approved by a caucus of Cardinals and the Pope.
Some find the process all too rigorous. Says Father Paolino Rossi, whose job, in effect, is lobbying for would-be saints from his own Capuchin order: "It's pretty disappointing when you work for years and years and then see the miracle get rejected." But others suggest it could be stricter still.
There is another major miracle-validating body in the Catholic world: the International Medical Committee for the shrine at Lourdes. Since miracles at Lourdes are all ascribed to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, it is not caught up in the saint-making process, which some believe the Pope has running overtime. Roger Pilon, the head of Lourdes' committee, notes that he and his colleagues have not approved a miracle since 1989, while the Vatican recommended 12 in 1994 alone. "Are we too severe?" he wonders out loud. "Are they really using the same criteria?"
The Marian Library Newsletter
No. 38 (New Series)
Marian Library (Ibid.)
"In the last one hundred years, over 6,500 individuals have reported cures to the Medical Bureau. Of these, at least 2,500 cases are considered truly remarkable, but they lack some requirement needed to allow them to advance to the next stage--witnesses, evidence, lack of agreement on the nature of the ailment. In the last twenty years, there have been reports of about twenty cases of extraordinary cures or healings, about one a year. Mr. Bély's healing is the 66th cure occurring at Lourdes which has been officially recognized by ecclesiastical authorities. The recognition by church authorities has been a feature of Lourdes for a total of sixty- three years of its history."
b3. Charles Anne's Lungs
Society for the Little Flower (Website) FAQ (visited 6/3/01)
St. Theresse of Lisieux
"Regarding St. Therese, in 1923 the Church approved of two spontaneous cures unexplained by medical treatment. Sister Louise of St. Germain was cured of the stomach ulcers she had between 1913 and 1916. The second cure involved Charles Anne, a 23 year old seminarian who was dying from advanced pulmonary tuberculosis. The night he thought he was dying, Charles prayed to Therese. Afterward, the examining doctor testified, "The destroyed and ravaged lungs had been replaced by new lungs, carrying out their normal functions and about to revive the entire organism. A slight emaciation persists, which will disappear within a few days under a regularly assimilated diet." These two miracles resulted in Therese becoming beatified."
C. Atheist argument based upon circular reasoning.
Circular reasonnig masquerading as scinece. It says
*we refuse to accept accounts of miracles because we don't see them
*therefore we have no evidence of miracles
*therefore miracles don't happen.
then any new evidence brought in they just evoke the circular of reasoning. all those past accounts were dismissed becasue we don't observes ourselves, so this can't evidence fo miracle because they don't happen.
therefore there is no evidence. The truth is there's a ton of evidence they just pass on it because they don't want it to be true.
as long as their notion of physical law is descriptive and as long they are not omniscient they can never guarantee that their observations are 100% accurate. miracle can fall between the cracks.
so some comments by atheists to this very post:
these are real comments by actual atheists.
Especially since no Lourdes study ever counted the unexplained remissions elsewhere.
they don't have to. that's the advantage of going case by case. It's not a field trial for a drug. tis' a will that decided on a case by case basis. the fact there may not be many doesn't prove anything. Moreover the rules are designed to screen out remission. they do that by not taking cases with high remission rates.
It's rather pathetic that you actually believe it.Tyrrho 2:
Okay, so since you seem to be taking this Russian guy at his word that he was dead for three days, how does he know that he was really dead?(because he woke up in the morgue)
"Because there is zero evidence to back it up, rather simple concept that will be lost on you. "
this is just gain saying the evidence. there is clearly evidence in the post above.
Really? Where is the research that eliminates any natural causation? Do they have a peer reviewed science journal where that research is published?listed above in the post. See how their basic argument is "we ignored this in the past so therefore we ignore it again?"
I really don't give a crap if you think it is evidence or not because you have shown us time and again that not only do you have pathetically low criteria for evidence you would not know the what actual evidence is if it jumped up and bit you. You have never once presented evidence all you do is present the same tired nonsense that you think is evidence ie; personal opinion that no one in their right mind would accept as such. I also have to add that anything from your DOXA website is worthless drivel.(1) his assertion that I've shown 'time and time again' that I have a low standard for evidence is of course based upon other times when he refused to read the material and made gainsaying his answer instead of understand what I said. this is gold! he's doing exactly what I said they would do. He's using the circular reasoning of past incredulity to rule out current evidence.
(2) "never presented evidence all you do is present the same tired nonsense"
the tired nonsense is the evidence. I keep presenting it becuase you never answer it you just dismiss it as tired nonsense because you always have before.
you can't give me one single reason why it is.