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View Diary: Kenneth Miller at Bradley University: science/faith (18 comments)

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  •  do you have to accept miracles? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, tytalus

    Or any theological statements?

    "Obama won. Get over it."

    by onanyes on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 10:02:28 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Different people approach it differently. (0+ / 0-)

      Some accept that there may have been some miracles in Biblical time (e.g. Resurrection) but usually people don't think that miracles happen on regular basis in everyday life.

      •  Yet they forget that the miracles of history (2+ / 0-)
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        onanyes, FG

        are interpretations of natural phenomenon by shepherds and such;  while today there are still claims of exorcism and resurrections, I note were exorcisms the solution for mental illness, there would be no need for our mental health system

        •  Not necessarily..... (0+ / 0-)

          Some claims of miracles are, of course, dismissed today because we now know the natural cause of the phenomenon in question.  So when we read that a shepherd explained a thunderstorm as the wrath of Zeus, we reject his explanation because we now know more than he did.  

          On the other hand, if a shepherd says a virgin gave birth to a son or a man arose from the dead, his claim is of a different order altogether.  We may know much more about pregnancy and about the physical processes of the body than that shepherd, but neither he nor we believe that there can be a scientific explanation for such phenomena. We can, of course, doubt that it happened.  Maybe he lied, or exaggerated, or was delusional.  But it is important that we not dismiss all claims of the miraculous on the grounds that they were made by less knowledgeable people than us.  The shepherd may not know what we know, but he knows that dead men don't get up and walk around. Now as then, such claims are evaluated by examining the evidence.

          •  such claims should be dismissed (0+ / 0-)

            if there isn't a ton of convincing evidence to back them up.

            If I said that I levitated last night, you should dismiss that out of hand unless I provide a LOT of unimpeachable evidence to the contrary.

            "Obama won. Get over it."

            by onanyes on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 02:52:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  also, virgin births were quite common in the (0+ / 0-)

              ancient world if we are to believe those ancient reporters.  The Christians were actually late comers to the "Sired by a God" sweepstakes

            •  I agree with this. (0+ / 0-)

              I once read an analysis of miracles in which the writer asked what evidence I would need to make me believe that a person had levitated (maybe we've read the same article!).  Of course, modern readers would mention cameras, instruments, etc.  Then he said, what evidence would it take to convince you that a person had levitated 500 years ago.  

              Points out the problem pretty dramatically.  

              If you rule out miracles a priori, that's one thing. Even if you don't, however, the evidence bar is pretty darn high....

          •  but dead men do get up and walk around (1+ / 0-)
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            hence, as recently as the 19th century, before embalming became common circa the Civil War, it was traditional to wait until the cadaver began to "spoil" before interment and one reason for above ground burial.

            Ref: "Premature Burial" by EA Poe and the actual considerations giving rise to such considerations

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