If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
THE MIRACLE CONSPIRACY
How the Catholic Church tricks People with its Miracle Tales
One of the main reasons that the Roman Catholic Church is the largest Church in the world is because it seems to have convincing miracles that seem to be God putting his seal on it as the one true Church. A miracle is what is not naturally possible. It is a supernatural occurrence. It is paranormal. The Church reasons that God alone does miracles therefore he does them to draw attention to the only right religion.
Prayer is not about trying to change anything but to unite to God and opening yourself up to being like him. Prayer is cultivating the ability to make God God by making him all that matters. Jesus hinted at that by commanding us to love God wholly and with all our hearts. If miracles emphasised that doctrine they would not have as many fans. A handful would have been there the day the sun "spun" at Fatima. The attraction about miracles is not God but human craving for idolatrous worship, the religious buzz and the love of sectarianism. Man prefers man-made religion.
Are the miracles really any help in working out what religion has God's authority to exist? The truth of the matter is that the Church cannot be trusted. At the very least we can be sure that we should not trust the miracles and at the most we can hold that they are pious frauds. Miracles testify chiefly to being signs but when we look at them honestly we see that they cannot be, so miracles are not signs from Heaven.
CHURCH FAKES THE EVIDENCE
Big claims require equally big evidence. Miracle believers deny this. Murders happen and yet we demand a huge pile of evidence before jailing killers for murders are out of the ordinary. Miracles are more uncommon than murders and the same quantity of evidence would be no good for verifying them. We need more. Its a matter of needing it not wanting it.
Believers demand extraordinary evidence for extraordinary miracles they don’t like such as Buddha’s enlightenment but they don’t for the miracles that suit their religious preferences! Then they themselves are happy with less! The evidence they present is only an excuse. They would believe without it. Miracles invariably induce bigotry and dishonesty and blindness. Not very godly are they?
Take the miracle of the Virgin appearing to St Bernadette at Lourdes in 1858. The Church claimed to authenticate that Mary appeared to her. It did not. What it authenticated (leave aside the question about whether the authenticating is of any validity) was that Bernadette was having trances that couldn’t be explained by doctors and that a spring appeared and that healings took place. None of this proves that Bernadette really saw Mary. She might have lied or misunderstood. Or the vision might only have been pretending to be Mary. Bernadette may have went into a miraculous trance that affected her brain to make her imagine she saw the Virgin Mary. For the Church to say that it authenticated the apparitions of Mary at Lourdes is simply for it to lie. So here we have an extraordinary claim, that Mary appeared for which there is little evidence if you want to be generous. But the truth is there is NO evidence at all. So the miracles of Lourdes did nothing only support lies. We know that the stranger or more unlikely the claim, the evidence needs to be of a standard and strength to match the strangeness of the claim. The evidence needs to be in proportion to the level of unbelievableness of the claim. You don’t need the same evidence that Charlie met Annie at Loch Ness that you need to justify believing that Charlie saw the monster there. Lourdes and all the accepted Catholic apparitions deny this truth and so are evil and trying to drag us into superstition.
We all see that people die and stay dead. For those who disagree to say that Jesus didn’t stay dead, the burden of proof therefore is on them. It is up to them to prove the resurrection. (Because of the burden of proof they have to prove every miracle of Jesus and every other one they say happened individually. That is because if those stories are tricky or worthy of scepticism so is the resurrection.) They answer that the burden of proof is on those who deny the resurrection to disprove the resurrection! It is not. It can’t be on both sides. If one and one is usually two and somebody says there is an exception then the burden of proof is on that person. Using miracles as signs is fundamentally sectarian and unfair.
The Church says that only the revelation given up to the death of the last of Jesus' apostles is infallible and required for belief of the Catholic. Subsequent revelation does not have the same authority and is only intended to reiterate the apostolic revelations. The Church says that Mary appearing at Fatima in 1917 was private revelation. It says the Bible is public revelation. It uses these terms to distinguish between revelation that is infallible and binding and that which is fallible and not binding.
The distinction between private revelation and public revelation is arbitrary. Take Knock. You have a better testimony that Mary was seen at the Church gable than you do that Jesus Christ rose from the dead or that God inspired the Bible book of Ecclesiastes. The resurrection and the Bible are considered public revelation.
The miracles are not from God for they back up a silly theology that says we must believe the Bible miracles and don’t have the same obligation in relation to miracles that happened since Bible times. The miracles that are regarded as true are arbitrarily selected. If they suit the Vatican’s’ agenda they are recognised. It’s all political manipulation. The miracles are not signs from Heaven that call us to faith at all.
Knock then is really evidence against Catholicism despite its seeming Catholic context.
The Roman Church cannot be trusted when it reports miracles. It manipulates unexplained events for propaganda purposes.
Further Reading ~
Answers to Tough Questions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press, Bucks, 1980
Apparitions, Healings and Weeping Madonnas, Lisa J Schwebel, Paulist Press, New York, 2004
A Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Veritas, Dublin, 1995
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Enchiridion Symbolorum Et Definitionum, Heinrich Joseph Denzinger, Edited by A Schonmetzer, Barcelona, 1963
Looking for a Miracle, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
Miracles, Rev Ronald A Knox, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1937
Miracles in Dispute, Ernst and Marie-Luise Keller, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1969
Lourdes, Antonio Bernardo, A. Doucet Publications, Lourdes, 1987
Medjugorje, David Baldwin, Catholic Truth Society, London, 2002
Miraculous Divine Healing, Connie W Adams, Guardian of Truth Publications, KY, undated
New Catholic Encyclopaedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc, Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Raised From the Dead, Father Albert J Hebert SM, TAN, Illinois 1986
Science and the Paranormal, Edited by George O Abell and Barry Singer, Junction Books, London, 1981
The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000
The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan, Headline, London, 1997
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996
The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief Volume 1, Gordon Stein, Editor, Prometheus Books, New York, 1985
The Hidden Power, Brian Inglis, Jonathan Cape, London, 1986
The Jesus Relics, From the Holy Grail to the Turin Shroud, Joe Nickell, The History Press, Gloucestershire, 2008
The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994
The Stigmata and Modern Science, Rev Charles Carty, TAN, Illinois, 1974
Twenty Questions About Medjugorje, Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D. Pangaeus Press, Dallas, 1999
Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer, Freeman, New York, 1997
The Problem of Competing Claims by Richard Carrier