Very specific, personal experiences...
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19-01-2012, 09:29 PM
Very specific, personal experiences...
We all have heard them and they vary from vague to specific, miracles. I recently had another discussion today and I hear these so often I am now compelled to ask you all about it. When a person claims a very specific miracle, that has happened to them, how do you reason with it? I am talking specific, here is the one I heard today.

The lady had recently given birth, the doctors said the child will die, it's a matter of time. The child had matter in it's lungs and was slowly suffocating, it was turning bluer as the time went on. She had priest called in, they said some things from within the bible as they touched the child and she watched, with her own eyes, the blue fade and the baby become well. On two separate accounts she claimed this had happen to both of her children, but different problems.

Now, as I said before they are all different and we have heard them before.

X thing happens, authority(ex: Doctors) can't explain it, possible priest involvement with immediate recovery with eye witnesses.

I write this off as they are severely deluded, but obviously I don't say that to their face cause that will get us no where. My question is, how do you respond? What is your rational behind said event?

"We Humans are capable of greatness." -Carl Sagan
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19-01-2012, 09:33 PM
RE: Very specific, personal experiences...
I just put it in a context of reason.

So if your god is all powerful and knew your child would be born with this condition not only did he permit it to be and let you think your child was going to die but refused to fix the problem until you pay him tribute?

What a freaking jerk!
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19-01-2012, 09:45 PM
RE: Very specific, personal experiences...
How about the persons experience? Delusion as I said? Or luck?

"We Humans are capable of greatness." -Carl Sagan
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19-01-2012, 09:51 PM
RE: Very specific, personal experiences...
First off, the story sounds a bit fishy. If the child had "matter" (a bit vague isn't it, why not say "atoms") in its lungs, wouldn't the hospital be in crisis mode trying to clear the lungs? Is that when Yahweh decided to reach down and heal the child - when a team of hospital personnel were frantically working to keep it breathing? Or are you supposed to believe that the doctor told the parents "your child's going to die, just have him sit over there and get blue, and sure, bring that priest over, there's nothing we can do." This just sets off the old crap detector.

So how to respond - my favorite lately is to ask knowingly "Gee, that's great, but why doesn't god ever cure amputees?"
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19-01-2012, 10:03 PM
RE: Very specific, personal experiences...
I think this goes back to the tried and true argument of correlation verse causation. Many of us think in terms of "X" therefore, necessarily, "Y." This is especially potent with the religious, because it lets God act as the driving force. From a more distant stand point, the rest of us think in terms of correlation. "X" and "Y" happen independently of each other. The fact that they occur together is merely something worth remarking on, not praising.

Plus, stories like these bring into light success through exclusion. For every one of these stories that are spread, there are thousands that have the opposite ending. Better to focus on the better parts, the victories. It's just like a history.

I only see causation. What do I know though, I'm just some guy.
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19-01-2012, 10:06 PM
RE: Very specific, personal experiences...
If millions of people prayed to me every time something went wrong, I guarantee a few people would come out of it with amazing stories of the wondrous miracles in my name.
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19-01-2012, 10:09 PM
RE: Very specific, personal experiences...
My first instinct on any miracle is that they are simply lying. This happens often. There is almost a competitive atmosphere in some churches for “the one” who god has shown mercy on. They must be the one god likes best. Obviously he loves this woman as he has saved not just one, but two of her children from death.

Number two is that they see what they want to see. These types of “miracles” happen to the nonreligious as well, they just don’t go around telling people how god saved their children.

I don’t even address it or try to refute it. Why bother?

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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19-01-2012, 10:37 PM
RE: Very specific, personal experiences...
Sounds like her and the priest need to open a clinic. Also sounds like they thwarted god's will by interfering and touching the child.
This wasn't a matter luck per se. In medicine remarkable things happen. The human body is complex and a child's will to survive is an amazing thing.
When you think you've seen a miracle, keep this in mind, a broken clock is right twice a day.
Things that are very unlikely do happen from time to time. I am happy that her children lived, but the touch, nor reading the bible verses, nor god had anything to do with it.
If they had read from Lord of the Rings and prayed to Gandolf, the results would have been the same.

When my grandmother was 85, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She had smoked most of the life and this wasn't unexpected.
I went to visit her in the hospital and she looked me dead in the eye and said "I'm going to beat this"....I replied a very sincerely "Sure, I know you can", but I didn't believe that.
A month later, my grandmother was released from the hospital with no signs of lung cancer. No body in my family is that religious and no one attributed this to god.
We attributed this to my grandmothers body fighting off and killing the cancer within her in a way that medical science can't explain at the moment.
Three years later, my grandmother was back in the hospital with a couple minor strokes and damage to her heart. The doctors told us that she may only have a couple hours or a couple days left to live and we should call any family members right away so they can come to say goodbye.

We called my father and he flew back home as fast as he could to be there before she passed. I picked my father up from the airport and we drove faster than normal to get to the hospital in time. My father arrived as the last of her children to be by her side. He talked to her and held her hand and asked if she was ready to go.
She talked about seeing a plane before her and said she was ready to get on the plane and go. I was there in tears watching this unfold, but apparently my grandmother must have taken flying lessons when she was younger. She took the plane for a spin and landed.

In the coming days, she got better. The doctors and nurses were amazed and didn't quite know what to say. Each day she grew stronger and stronger until two weeks passed and the hospital said that she could go home.
It's an odd thing when you have all of your family emotionally ready for a loved one to die at the age of 88 from a few strokes and heart damage.
It's quite another when they don't.
My grandmother went home, as healthy as she could be given the circumstances.
She lived two more months and quietly died in her sleep in her own bed and knew for certain that she had loving children and grandchildren that cared deeply for her.

Rare events happen from time to time

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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19-01-2012, 10:43 PM
RE: Very specific, personal experiences...
(19-01-2012 10:06 PM)Ben Wrote:  If millions of people prayed to me every time something went wrong, I guarantee a few people would come out of it with amazing stories of the wondrous miracles in my name.

I will pray for you my son.
Please send your donation to.....

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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20-01-2012, 06:15 AM
RE: Very specific, personal experiences...
Has anyone ever suspected bold face lying? I can't help but draw this conclusion at times considering how specific the claims. Especially when it is something extraordinary, like priest healing on the spot, and it doesn't have a single piece of documentation like a news paper article.

I find it hard to think they are lying to be when they are generally a nice coworker of mine. The problem lies in the extraordinary claims and zero evidence. For me to cope with the lying I pawn it off as severe delusion, which is also hard for me to adjust with considering there are so many people with what I might call with severe delusion.

"We Humans are capable of greatness." -Carl Sagan
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