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What About the Failures? October 19, 2010

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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18 comments

You simply cannot have it both ways. For almost every miracle, there is a failure, or more often, massive failure. When a bus goes over a cliff, and a single person survives, God gets the credit for the miracle. But why does God not also get the blame for the other deaths? The moment you give credit to God for a miracle, you are by default stating that God is also responsible for the tragedy as well. Even the Chilean miner accident had tragedy.

Sure, all of the miners were saved – thanks to the rescuers, and everyone else involved. But a miracle from God? Are you kidding me? Someone even claimed that God was the 34th person in the mine along with the miners! Seriously? What was he doing down there? If God’s miracle saved the miners, why were they stuck in the mine for more than two solid months? How much more incompetent can the creator of the universe actually be? And how is the collapse not the fault of God in the first place?

Anyway, it sure gets old hearing about all of the miracles of God, while conveniently ignoring the disaster that required the miracle in the first place! It’s disgusting. And many people do this without giving it a second thought. God, they say, was the reason that there were survivors in a particular disaster. But simultaneously, God certainly is not to blame for the tragedy and untimely and horrific deaths of the rest of the group. And no one seems to notice, nor care. The last thing on the mind of miracle thumpers is the fact that the miracle was even necessary.

I suppose that if California ever experiences a massive earthquake, one that has long been feared and seems as likely as all of the prior earthquakes, God will get all of the miracle credits, while perhaps hundreds of thousands will surely die as the ground swallows them whole, or perhaps a large chunk of the coast crumbles into the pacific, forever reshaping the coast line. But who will actually blame God for the disaster? Did God create the earth, and all of it’s natural disasters? There are certainly plenty of Christians who have no problem blaming tsunamis and earthquakes on sinners. I guess we’ll never know for sure, since God is conspicuously absent from modern times (assuming you believe he physically interacted with ancient humans some 2,000 years ago and earlier.)

As one who is quite certain that many modern humans are simply unable to abandon imaginary gods, I have to say that I am wholly unimpressed by miracle claims where credit is given to God. This god, who is also given full credit for actually creating the entire universe, and everything in it, is apparently incapable of managing the world, and the universe in such a way as to allow his beloved humans to live without fear of getting buried alive by a volcano, or be drowned on an otherwise beautiful beach by the sudden appearance of a tsunami. There is even a ready made excuse for such ineptness – free will! That’s right – free will is the reason that suffering is allowed by God.

Yeah, I tried to understand that one, and I was left with the same bewildered feeling. Pathetic.

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Why Won’t God Heal Amputees? December 20, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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14 comments

When I first decided it was OK to be atheist, to not believe in a god, I found this website. Along with the website there is also a discussion forum for debates and discussions regarding the topic of why God won’t heal amputees. At first, I have to admit, the forum felt uncomfortable. It seemed that believers were quickly put down and put in their place with aggressive responses and sometimes insults. I joined the site and began to participate and learn what all the discussions from atheists were really about. That was then.

Today I am still an active forum member, and I have also joined the site “Is God Imaginary”, which is asking those believers who can answer the question to stop by and discuss. I like both sites, but the first one, “Why Won’t God Heal Amputees” is very intriguing because it looks at direct claims by Christians of God’s healing all sorts of physical issues, yet never does an amputee get their limb replaced. Why is that?

To me it is obvious, God does not heal amputees, because God is imaginary. What could possibly be a more simple answer to this question? Yet, believers from seemingly every flavor of Christianity and even Islam flood into the forum proclaiming Gods greatness, His benevolence, His almighty powers of healing, and His infinite wisdom in making decisions about who exactly gets to be healed through the power of God. The site makes a claim, namely that there has never been a single case of a human, miraculously or otherwise, re-growing a severed or missing limb. So many thousands of illnesses healed miraculously, yet not a single amputee.

Houston, we have a problem. How is it possible that the amputees are singled out and rejected by the mighty power of Gods healing? The excuses come in every shape and size from believers. God only heals the faithful. Prayers are not always answered with a yes from God. It was Gods plan that some humans be amputees. And so on, and so on. But each of these excuses doesn’t deal directly with the facts.

According to some, God has healed cancer directly through his miraculous power. Those people, and their families and congregations prayed for their loved one to be cured, and the cancer went away. This same scenario plays out for other types of illnesses, including paralysis. The patients were healed through the miracle of faith in God, and prayer. These are the facts according to believers. But those very same things are done by equally faithful, and equal amounts of prayer from friends and congregations in efforts to help victims of amputated legs, arms, fingers, toes, hands, etc. Yet not one single case of re-growth of any limb, small or large, has ever occurred.

Stop by and join the site if you are a believer and can explain this mystery. Beware, the site is genuinely friendly towards anyone who cares to discuss issues using evidence and reason to support their claims. If you stop by and proclaim excuses in the name of your particular god, you won’t get too far. If you believe your god is real, and that your god can actually heal amputees, or do anything it wants, you must be able to show how that is actually true. Your belief that it is true, or your knowledge of past miracles of The Bible, for example, are simply not evidence that can be taken seriously. Good luck!

Jetson

Miracles of God November 5, 2009

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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What is a miracle? Here’s a definition I found on the web:

1. an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
2. such an effect or event manifesting or considered as a work of God.
3. a wonder; marvel.
4. a wonderful or surpassing example of some quality: a miracle of modern acoustics.

For this conversation, we can use the first two definitions, mainly because God can be considered “supernatural” in my mind. In conversations with believers, I have heard that miracles are excellent proof of a divine being, God, existing. This is very difficult for a rational person to understand. A miracle, by definition, is beyond our natural laws; it is something that science cannot explain. In other words, it cannot happen, but it still does. Well, sort of.

If a man survives for three days inside the stomach of a fish, is that a miracle? Well, the first question for science would be this; is it possible for a grown male to survive for three days inside the stomach of a fish (some people claim it was a whale.) If you look at the anatomy of whales, is there enough room inside the stomach of the largest whale for a grown man? Apparently, the Sperm whale does have room. However, can it support a man who needs oxygen for three days? Not very likely.

This is why it is called a miracle. Because anyone who has ever considered the story, knows that there would be all sorts of problems involved with surviving in the belly of a whale for 72 hours. There would be little to no air to breathe, and there would also be stomach acids to deal with. So, it is called a miracle because the people who wrote the story know very well that it would take an actual miracle for the man to survive.

Can a human walk on water? Technically, no. But we’ve seen it in the movies, where a special body of water contains a clear platform just below the surface, making it appear as though one can walk on water. Can a god walk on water? Sure, why not? But, we have no proof that any gods are real, much less that they became human, and walked on water. Humans, when walking, do not have the buoyancy to walk on water. The moment a human steps onto the surface of a body of water, the foot penetrates the water. There is just not enough surface under the average foot of a human to suspend them on the surface of water. It’s a physical impossibility.

Can an egg, inside the ovary of a human female, become fertilized without the direct penetration of a male sperm into the egg? Well, of course not! Human eggs are basically sterile, and incapable of becoming an actual baby, without being fertilized. Of course there are numerous ways these days to fertilize an egg. But every one of those are the result of introducing male sperm into the environment so that the egg can be fertilized. The idea that a woman can become pregnant without the aid of another male humans sperm is completely “miraculous.”

In other words, sperm cannot be “magically” inserted into eggs. But that doesn’t phase those who believe the stories of a “virgin birth.” This is an amazing miracle, and adds credibility to the idea that Jesus was divine. But that doesn’t make the story true. Miracles are unexplainable by science, but they are easily explainable by people who are willing to suspend their disbelief on events that don’t happen in nature. Like, literally rising from the dead.

True, we have cases where dead people have been revived. But we have never seen a completely brain and heart dead person, come back to life after three days of being dead. Maybe Jesus was only in a coma? Either way, the miracle is described as evidence that Jesus was divine, and somehow managed to leave his tomb and talk to people. Wild.

As I read The Bible, I have difficulty understanding certain stories and passages. But I can work to understand those over time, and try to see what the meaning may have been. But miracles are different. No one is capable of explaining a miracle without resorting to magic, and the suspension of natural laws. This is where I can say with great certainty, that miracles from The Bible are more likely misunderstandings, or stories designed to inspire people to believe, in a time when no one was really capable of discerning the impossibilities of claims made. We also know that humans are notorious for “embellishing” stories in order to make them more exciting.

I think it is a miracle that so many people believe that real miracles, like the ones above, actually happened!