Miracle Sceptic Website
Miracle Sceptic Website
FACTS NOT DOGMA!
Stories about God raising Jesus from the dead and instantly healing the sick and statues coming to life to talk to us are miracle stories. A miracle is something that is not explainable naturally. Only a magical cause can be behind it. The Church says we should believe miracle tales when told by very trustworthy people. The Church says, "If we refuse to believe trustworthy miracle tales we must ask ourselves if we should believe any testimony to anything!" That is ultimately the only argument for belief in miracles there is.
# If I say I have built a tree house, you wouldn’t need much evidence for that. It’s not unusual so you could take my testimony as sufficient evidence. But if I said I built a spaceship that could go to the moon you would need to see and test the spaceship before you could believe me. A miracle would be even more extraordinary. Its more out of the ordinary. Having the spaceship would be strange but at least it would be a natural event. A miracle being supernatural would be stranger and even more unusual. If miracles are routine events and happen too much, the message they allegedly convey from God will not be taken very seriously. We need to test and check out the evidence very carefully. Then we can work out if miracles are believable.
# Now we all know that there has to be some things we must see ourselves before we can be asked to believe in them or before we can believe in them. If miracles do not fall into that category then what does? Miracles look like magic for goodness' sake! Religion takes it for granted that some miracle reports at least should not be believed unless you see it for yourself. It should say that of all miracle reports because it is denying that evidence or the reliability of the testimony to miracles counts.
# If a miracle appeared saying that Ron Hubbard was God and that we must all eat frog spawn to gain his salvation, religion would say we should not believe in the message for its ridiculous. This contradicts the religious claim, "God does miracles to show or indicate that the doctrines he has revealed are true. We believe in the doctrines because they are proven or shown plausible by miracles." To say God does miracles then is to accuse him of doing wonders without any concern for helping us to become better people. That would be superstitious and undignified.
# Jesus said we must love God with all our hearts and to accept God as Lord with all our hearts - ie do good or whatever because God says so! If God is boss as religion says, it follows that we have an obligation to believe in the miracles he has done. The atheist does not like this for if we have obligations, we have enough of them without religion adding more into the mix. Any religion that puts us at risk of spending time and energy on what may not be true is bad religion.
# If a miracle appeared saying that only people on macrobiotic diet will go to Heaven and avoid an eternity in Hell, religion would say we should not believe in the miracle for its ridiculous. If we should not believe even when we see such a miracle, then clearly religion is admitting that the only real argument for belief in miracles - ie a reliable witness said the miracle happened so it probably did - is not much of an argument!
# Believers, like unbelievers, say dead people stay dead. The believers add that Jesus was an exception for he rose again. But how do they know that he was the only exception? They say the evidence tells them. But evidence is not everything! Perhaps resurrecting happens a lot and no evidence is left behind? What gives them the right to assume that dead people staying dead is really a regularity? The person who does not believe that anybody rose is more supportive of regularity than they are. The supernatural attacks science. It denies regularity. It cannot be tested. It provides then no direction for doing research.
# It is better for nobody at all to believe in miracles than for people to believe they are possible or that they happen if so much as one person is hurt by that belief. For example, people die because they suppose there is a miracle-working God who will reward them with a resurrection to everlasting life for refusing a blood transfusion.
# If belief in miracles is based on testimonies, then it follows that it is the miracle stories told by the people that have the most sincerity that should be considered to be the most convincing. But the trouble is, the more absurd the report the more likely the testifier is to sincerely believe that he experienced a miracle! The implications are dangerous! The more the testifier gets ridiculed for his story and the stranger it sounds then the more sincere he is. Clearly then miracles are to be believed because they are so strange and bizarre. Jesus rising from the dead is not as convincing as a cat giving birth to fairies that then turn into pea soup.
# If I reject all miracle testimonies, that does not mean I am being hypocritical in accepting testimonies to mundane things. It looks as if I am for I often accept mundane testimonies even on little or no evidence. That would seem unfair if there is reasonable or good evidence favouring the view that a miracle has happened. The logic is incorrect simply because miracle and mundane are not the same thing. If you treat them the same then you can justify people shooting doctors on the basis that the Devil will turn all humankind to zombies if its not done. Indeed if you do not justify it you should. Miracle beliefs have dangerous implications. We experience the mundane all the time so its not in the same category as a miracle.
# We have the right to reject even a reliable person's testimony if we think its silly. We do not accept everything a reliable person says. The religionist who condemns unbelief in miracles is a bigot. If miracles encourage that attitude then we should hope that people will discard belief in them.
# Reliable people may not be as reliable as we think. Good liars cover their tracks well. As we cannot check all things out all the time, our default position is that a person is probably telling us the truth. Liars take advantage of that.
# If we trust the testimony of those who experience miracles, the best we can do is trust that they experienced something they interpreted as miraculous. We do not have to trust their interpretation. Miracle believers always think that believing an interpretation is the same as believing in a miracle.
# If I rely on you, it is not you but my judgement of you that I rely on. I never ever believe in a miracle - strictly speaking. I really believe in my assessment that a miracle has happened, not the miracle. If I believe in me, I must just believe in me. What do I need to even contemplate miracles for?
# A God who wants me to accept the word of men about what he reveals is asking me to trust them rather than him. Does that explain why religions of miracles are always hunting for converts?
# Believers in principle do not take seriously the testimony to a miracle of a man who is not impeccably honest. This proves that it is not the miracle that they really value but the testimony.
# Reliable people in one religion testify to miracles that contradict the miracles testified to good people of another religion. Within a religion, there will be miracles that it rejects as inauthentic despite the testimony of reliable people that something miraculous was happening.
# Even the most ardent Roman Catholic would not believe the pope if the pope testified to seeing Jesus murder the Virgin Mary. If some miracles are absurd then should we believe any? There is seemingly satisfactory testimony to some absurd miracles. The testimony proves that evidence for miracles is not justification for belief in them. They are evidence against the evidence because their absurdity proves them to be myths regardless of the evidence for them.
# If we don't think miracle testimonies are silly, then where do we draw the line? People won't agree. Belief becomes a matter of opinion and opinion is not as strong as belief. If a religion just becomes opinion then its a dead religion.
# If we don't think miracle testimonies are at least neither convincing or unconvincing then where do we draw the line? People won't agree. Belief becomes a matter of opinion and opinion is not as strong as belief.
# Miracle believers are themselves sceptics towards those who think that miracles happen to them forty times a day. They abhor the dangers and fanaticism.
# If testimony is so important that its enough to defend belief in an occurrence that seems naturally impossible - it follows that if science contradicts it then science should not be taken as seriously as it.
None of that is unfair or biased against miracles. Be conscious of the fact that the believers bully unbelievers by saying, "They pretend to be open-minded but they actually oppose belief in miracles without looking at the evidence." That is not what we are advocating at all. The points above are all fair and unbiased and it would be unfair to divert from them. We have the right to find it offensive when people start setting up miracle shrines and running after wonder-working saints. By implication, they insult us.
The sceptic of miracles may have the kindness to say that witnesses of miracles are mistaken. The believer in miracles will be hard of heart and say that the sceptics are biased and stubborn. The believer not the sceptic necessarily gets personal. Belief in miracles then necessarily makes one a worse person. If one does lots of good, one still has a bad attitude underneath it all.
Supernatural beliefs make you biased and immune to logic. For example, if you believe God raised your Messiah from the dead and the CCTV shows trickery you can say the Devil did something to the CCTV. Without authentic commonsense the world and life is f**cked.
There are things we cannot be expected to believe. If miracles and magic don't fall into that category then nothing does. If we cannot be expected to believe in them, people must not promote belief in them. It demeans us.