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Old 08-14-2006, 11:07 AM   #1
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Miracles!

I was prompted by the other thread of the little girl being 'miraculously' cured of cancer to start a thread dedicated to the world of miracles in general.
Miracles sure are an integral part of Christianity. With regards to the little girl, I'm happy she no longer has cancer, however, I do have numerous problems with calling what happened to this girl a 'miracle.'

Am I the only one fascinated by the fact God exclusively cures cancer when people pray to him? How come God only performs his 'miracles' when the situation is ambiguous? In this case, everybody knows that our medical world really knows very little about cancer (that's why we can't cure it yet). So to say that doctors can't explain why the cancer disappeared, therefore it's a miracle seems ludicrous to me. Our medical knowledge is quite limited into the field (there is so much we don't understand), so a reason for its disappearance shouldn't be attributed to GOD, it should logically be attributed to some behaviour or characteristc of cancer we haven't discovered yet! God of the Gaps sound familiar anyone? Look how far the God of the Gaps role has been diminishing in the past several centuries, and you can bet it will be reduced even further when we discover a cure for cancer!

What I don't understand is if God really wants to prove his presence in this world, why won't he perform them in situations which are NON-AMBIGUOUS.
Like the miracles that alledgidly happened in the Bible. None of those were ambiguous, they were all very clearly done through the power of God and NO other explanation is possible (according to historical heresay).

So why won't God heal an amputee, or why won't God heal the blind. No matter how much people pray, no matter how genuine and fervent they are about their faith and God's healing power, they will never be healed. Why?
In the Bible, Jesus says, "For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."
He also says "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. "
God will never answer their prayers. It is clear that if we ask anything of God, we shall recieve, but that's never the case.

I find it quite bizarre that people would be respond to this by saying 'Oh but God can't do miracles that are that obvious, he's trying to remain hidden.' The entire course of Christianity is riddled with very clear accounts of God's power where God is revealing himself and NOT trying to remain hidden! However, ever since we have been able to be more critical and myths have stop being misused as historical fact, and now that we require evidence of such things, God's power has COMPLETELY disappeared and none of these clear cut miracles have been occuring at all!

People also respond to God refusing to answer prayers by saying 'It's not God's will.' So all those millions and millions of fervent believers who pray to God and are genuine about their faith and their request is unselfish get shunned by God because it is 'not his will, he has a plan for them.' Come on, it sounds like a very standard defence mechanism for a blind follower. We hear thousands and thousands of people dying of cancer all the time, and so rarely do we hear about these 'miracles.' Imagine how many Christians die of cancer, and how many are 'healed' by the power of God, and then you do the math, he sounds like a very very cruel God.
Also I think Christians are contradicting themselves (correct me if I am wrong) when they say, God has a plan for everyone, he knows what is going to happen in the future, and yet we pray that God changes the future.......that doesn't make sense to me at all. If he knows what is going to happen to everyone in the future and he has a plan for everyone, why are we arrogantly asking him to change them through prayer?

Finally, if miracles are only possible through the one and only God, how can you explain all the disappearing of cancer from non-Christians. A study was recently done (2002 I believe), that got 100 Christians with cancer and 100 non-Christians (athiests, muslims, jews, everything) and all the Christians had their family and friends pray for them and the non-Christians had nothing like that. The result is a forgone conclusion for any rational person. The sucess rate of recovery was exactly the same, needless to say really. I'll find the link for it.

In conclusion I think what Jesus really meant was, 'Ask anything of me, and if it is my will, and if the situation is totally ambiguous as there is room for other rational explanations, and then I will give it to you!'
Miracles Shmiracles! Let's just be happy that some people recover from cancer from something we haven't discovered yet in the medical realm, instead of labelling cancer erradication divine intervention and perpetuating ignorance.
Sorry If I come off as hostile, I'm just quite confused about the whole concept.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:12 PM   #2
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I don't think miracles are anything more than positive events with a statistically low probability of occuring, but then again, I don't believe in God. If the avarage FYM image of God is any guide, it would seem strange that (s)he'd change his/her mind based on what a few sinners are asking.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:17 PM   #3
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Re: Miracles!

Quote:
Originally posted by AussieU2fanman
IWhat I don't understand is if God really wants to prove his presence in this world, why won't he perform them in situations which are NON-AMBIGUOUS.
Like the miracles that alledgidly happened in the Bible. None of those were ambiguous, they were all very clearly done through the power of God and NO other explanation is possible (according to historical heresay).
I think God has no interest in proving his presence to the world. If you believe, you believe because of faith, not proof. I think that's how he wants it.

Also, I have had what you would call a "non-ambiguous" miracle happen to me. I have posted it on no less than 3 occasions. Have you ever read it?
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:32 PM   #4
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Re: Re: Miracles!

Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


I think God has no interest in proving his presence to the world. If you believe, you believe because of faith, not proof. I think that's how he wants it.

Also, I have had what you would call a "non-ambiguous" miracle happen to me. I have posted it on no less than 3 occasions. Have you ever read it?
I haven't 80's.
Please post it again.

thx,
dbs
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:53 PM   #5
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Re: Miracles!

Quote:
Originally posted by AussieU2fanman
I was prompted by the other thread of the little girl being 'miraculously' cured of cancer to start a thread dedicated to the world of miracles in general.
Miracles sure are an integral part of Christianity. With regards to the little girl, I'm happy she no longer has cancer, however, I do have numerous problems with calling what happened to this girl a 'miracle.'

Am I the only one fascinated by the fact God exclusively cures cancer when people pray to him? How come God only performs his 'miracles' when the situation is ambiguous? In this case, everybody knows that our medical world really knows very little about cancer (that's why we can't cure it yet). So to say that doctors can't explain why the cancer disappeared, therefore it's a miracle seems ludicrous to me. Our medical knowledge is quite limited into the field (there is so much we don't understand), so a reason for its disappearance shouldn't be attributed to GOD, it should logically be attributed to some behaviour or characteristc of cancer we haven't discovered yet! God of the Gaps sound familiar anyone? Look how far the God of the Gaps role has been diminishing in the past several centuries, and you can bet it will be reduced even further when we discover a cure for cancer!

What I don't understand is if God really wants to prove his presence in this world, why won't he perform them in situations which are NON-AMBIGUOUS.
Like the miracles that alledgidly happened in the Bible. None of those were ambiguous, they were all very clearly done through the power of God and NO other explanation is possible (according to historical heresay).

So why won't God heal an amputee, or why won't God heal the blind. No matter how much people pray, no matter how genuine and fervent they are about their faith and God's healing power, they will never be healed. Why?
In the Bible, Jesus says, "For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."
He also says "Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. "
God will never answer their prayers. It is clear that if we ask anything of God, we shall recieve, but that's never the case.

I find it quite bizarre that people would be respond to this by saying 'Oh but God can't do miracles that are that obvious, he's trying to remain hidden.' The entire course of Christianity is riddled with very clear accounts of God's power where God is revealing himself and NOT trying to remain hidden! However, ever since we have been able to be more critical and myths have stop being misused as historical fact, and now that we require evidence of such things, God's power has COMPLETELY disappeared and none of these clear cut miracles have been occuring at all!

People also respond to God refusing to answer prayers by saying 'It's not God's will.' So all those millions and millions of fervent believers who pray to God and are genuine about their faith and their request is unselfish get shunned by God because it is 'not his will, he has a plan for them.' Come on, it sounds like a very standard defence mechanism for a blind follower. We hear thousands and thousands of people dying of cancer all the time, and so rarely do we hear about these 'miracles.' Imagine how many Christians die of cancer, and how many are 'healed' by the power of God, and then you do the math, he sounds like a very very cruel God.
Also I think Christians are contradicting themselves (correct me if I am wrong) when they say, God has a plan for everyone, he knows what is going to happen in the future, and yet we pray that God changes the future.......that doesn't make sense to me at all. If he knows what is going to happen to everyone in the future and he has a plan for everyone, why are we arrogantly asking him to change them through prayer?

Finally, if miracles are only possible through the one and only God, how can you explain all the disappearing of cancer from non-Christians. A study was recently done (2002 I believe), that got 100 Christians with cancer and 100 non-Christians (athiests, muslims, jews, everything) and all the Christians had their family and friends pray for them and the non-Christians had nothing like that. The result is a forgone conclusion for any rational person. The sucess rate of recovery was exactly the same, needless to say really. I'll find the link for it.

In conclusion I think what Jesus really meant was, 'Ask anything of me, and if it is my will, and if the situation is totally ambiguous as there is room for other rational explanations, and then I will give it to you!'
Miracles Shmiracles! Let's just be happy that some people recover from cancer from something we haven't discovered yet in the medical realm, instead of labelling cancer erradication divine intervention and perpetuating ignorance.
Sorry If I come off as hostile, I'm just quite confused about the whole concept.
If you don't want to believe in miracles, that's great. I have no problem with that. Here's what I believe.
(Did I set that one up right guys )

You made a great point in saying that we don't know everything about cancer, and that because of this, we can't assume that the girl's cancer going away wasn't due to something tied to the disease itself. Am I hearing you right? If so, that's a valid point. From my perspective, I believe you're using faith to believe that though. You don't know for sure, do you?

I hope I didn't step on your toes or anyone else's. I'd hate to do that in FYM.
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:04 PM   #6
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here is a FYM thread on Miracles

people will choose to believe different things
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Old 08-14-2006, 01:47 PM   #7
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Re: Re: Re: Miracles!

Quote:
Originally posted by diamond


I haven't 80's.
Please post it again.

thx,
dbs
Alrighty, it's pretty long, so I'll need to look for it so I can copy and paste rather than retype.
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:03 PM   #8
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80s is this what you're talking about?
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
80s is this what you're talking about?
Yes, that is it; thanks very much!
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:21 PM   #10
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I think miracles can be a touchy subject even for many Christians. Honestly, I don't know exactly how I feel/believe, I haven't really thought about it much before. In general, I personally do not need evidence of miracles, or even to believe they exist, to believe in a god.
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
I don't think miracles are anything more than positive events with a statistically low probability of occuring,
wow...what a definition

this is the onei believe in too
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
I don't think miracles are anything more than positive events with a statistically low probability of occuring,
Have you read about my miracle? If so, I don't know how you could say that it had a "statistically low probability of occurring". I would describe it more in this way: "absolutely impossible to occur without supernatural intervention".

Quote:
Originally posted by DrTeeth
but then again, I don't believe in God. If the avarage FYM image of God is any guide, it would seem strange that (s)he'd change his/her mind based on what a few sinners are asking.
I don't really know what God changing his mind has to do with anything. God doesn't bring cancer upon anyone, so therefore, healing someone with cancer would not be an example of him changing his mind.
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Old 08-14-2006, 05:18 PM   #13
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why are miracles so important to some believers?

what if we could disprove each and every assumed miracle? would this affect your faith?
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:26 PM   #14
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Has anyone here read Miracles by CS Lewis?

" …the question whether miracles occur can never be answered simply by experience. Every event which might claim to be a miracle is, in the last resort, something presented to our senses, something seen, heard, touched, smelled, or tasted. And our senses are not infallible. If anything extraordinary seems to have happened, we can always say that we have been the victims of an illusion. If we hold a philosophy which excludes the supernatural, this is what we always shall say. What we learn from experience depends on the kind of philosophy we bring to experience. It is therefore useless to appeal to experience before we have settled, as well as we can, the philosophical question." ~ CS Lewis, Miracles

The existence of miracles is only part of a much deeper set of philosophical questions -- first, the existence of God; second, His role in the creation of the universe; and third, His ongoing role in His creation's process.

Skipping a bit in Lewis:
"Our question could, if you liked, be put in the form, 'Does Supernature ever produce particular results in space and time except through the instrumentality of human brains acting on human nerves and muscles'. I have said 'particular results' because, on our view, Nature as a whole is herself one huge result of the Supernatural: God created her. God pierces her wherever there is a human mind. God presumably maintains her in existence. The question is whether He ever does anything else to her. Does He, besides all this, ever introduce into her events of which it would not be true to say, 'This is simply the working out of the general character which He gave to Nature as a whole in creating her'? Such events are what are popularly called Miracles."

And finally:
"The divine art of miracles is not an art of suspending the pattern to which events conform but of feeding new events into that pattern."

It's a fascinating read.

EDIT - to address U2Aussieman's comments about why more people aren't healed, this quote seems relevant:
"All records of miracles teach the same thing. In such stories the miracles excite fear and wonder (that is what the very word miracle implies) among the spectators, and are taken as evidence of supernatural power. If they were not known to be contrary to the laws of nature how could they suggest the presence of the supernatural? How could they be surprising unless they were seen to be exceptions to the rules? And how can anything be seen to be an exception till the rules are known? If there ever were men who did not know the laws of nature at all, they would have no idea of a miracle and feel no particular interest in one if it were performed before them. Nothing can seem extraordinary until you have discovered what is ordinary."
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Old 08-14-2006, 06:26 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
why are miracles so important to some believers?

what if we could disprove each and every assumed miracle? would this affect your faith?
Miracles are very important, because the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, say that they happened. If they did not happen, then the Bible tells lies, and if it lies in some parts, how do you judge which parts to believe? If I thought that the Bible was lying at all, I wouldn't believe any of it, because I wouldn't know which parts to trust, and which parts not to trust.

I don't really have to worry about that, however, because the miracles can't be disproven to me, especially the one that happened to me. As I have said before, there is no non-supernatural explanation for what happened to me.
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