Would you believe a miracle if it was on video?

skepticdude
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Would you believe a miracle if it was on video?

Suppose you were presented with a video that shows somebody with a missing arm, having it completely restored, at some church revival meeting.

Would you believe your eyes, or would you suspect video trickery?

If video trickery, why?  Doesn't that answer just prove that you are determined not to believe the evidence even when you get it right in the face?

Faith does not have the power to move mountains. However, it does have the power to make you think a mountain has moved.


shelley
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why a video?  i'd rather

why a video?  i'd rather have medical records before and after.


Loc
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Have you seen what hollywood

Have you seen what hollywood does with CGI? Of course I wouldn't believe it.


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shelleymtjoy wrote:why a

shelleymtjoy wrote:

why a video?  i'd rather have medical records before and after.

Pretend a video is all you had.  Would you believe it, or suspect video trickery.

Faith does not have the power to move mountains. However, it does have the power to make you think a mountain has moved.


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Loc wrote:Have you seen what

Loc wrote:

Have you seen what hollywood does with CGI? Of course I wouldn't believe it.

So would you agree with me that if the government wishes to manufacture false video "evidence" of something, they could probably create such video?  Is the current state of technology sufficiently advanced so as to make a faked video near impossible to debunk?

Faith does not have the power to move mountains. However, it does have the power to make you think a mountain has moved.


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skepticdude

skepticdude wrote:

shelleymtjoy wrote:

why a video?  i'd rather have medical records before and after.

Pretend a video is all you had.  Would you believe it, or suspect video trickery.

if a video was all i had, i'd be suspicious that a video was all i had, yes.


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skepticdude wrote:So would

skepticdude wrote:

So would you agree with me that if the government wishes to manufacture false video "evidence" of something, they could probably create such video?  Is the current state of technology sufficiently advanced so as to make a faked video near impossible to debunk?

I'm not a cinematopgraphy expert, so I wouldn't know.But I'm sure they could make something to fool most people if they wanted.

Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible

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videos are not very good

videos are not very good evidence. I saw a video of Fred Astaire dancing with a vacuum cleaner but i don't believe it actually happened.

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A video by itself would not

A video by itself would not be enough evidence for me to believe that a miracle happened.  A video and eye-witness testimony still wouldn't be enough unless I had good reason to believe that the witnesses were trustworthy.  That doesn't mean I would assume the video was altered or that any witnesses were lying, though... I would try to investigate further to try to determine one way or the other.


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QuasarX wrote:A video by

QuasarX wrote:

A video by itself would not be enough evidence for me to believe that a miracle happened.  A video and eye-witness testimony still wouldn't be enough unless I had good reason to believe that the witnesses were trustworthy.  That doesn't mean I would assume the video was altered or that any witnesses were lying, though... I would try to investigate further to try to determine one way or the other.

If you would refuse to call the witnesses liars, and refuse to speculate that the video was altered, then what specific reason do you have for refusing to believe the testimony of such witnesses and such video?

Faith does not have the power to move mountains. However, it does have the power to make you think a mountain has moved.


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skepticdude wrote:QuasarX

skepticdude wrote:

QuasarX wrote:

A video by itself would not be enough evidence for me to believe that a miracle happened.  A video and eye-witness testimony still wouldn't be enough unless I had good reason to believe that the witnesses were trustworthy.  That doesn't mean I would assume the video was altered or that any witnesses were lying, though... I would try to investigate further to try to determine one way or the other.

If you would refuse to call the witnesses liars, and refuse to speculate that the video was altered, then what specific reason do you have for refusing to believe the testimony of such witnesses and such video?

Because it might not be true, and that's enough reason to not believe that it is true.


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this is a good example...

as a believer, I would probably not even believe it myself. Consider the probability of actually having a camera set up and there being a healing at the same time - this would be even lower than the normal rate of astronomically small.

Once a pastor claimed that a daughter of a friend has herpes and then was miraculously cured but she had medical tests before and after to prove it. I thought, thats interesting, I've never heard that before. So I kept pressing him every week to call his friend and get the results to show us. After a few months he just recanted. I think it was just hearsay.

Then, at another church, a lady came in  in a wheel chair. And we prayed for her, but what I heard from God was that her back just hurt and wasnt really damaged. Some others were encouraging her to get up and walk, and then they yelled me for following her around with the chair like why dont I have enough faith. Everyone was cheering but no one wanted to really mention that she could walk before (which was verified by asking her)

So thats when I realized we really do have our heads up our asses as christians....constantly making shit up that God has supposedly done....well, I'm still a believer but I dont think God needs our help to make shit up....

so, alas, I dont really trust anyone either....a trustworthy leader of our church told me...hey, pray for a few thousand people personally and you "might" see something miraculous....but thats the frequency we're talking about....so I cant really "test" for the real frequency but its pretty damn low....

 


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 God doesn't cure amputees.

 

skepticdude wrote:

Suppose you were presented with a video that shows somebody with a missing arm, having it completely restored, at some church revival meeting.

God doesn't cure amputees. He only cures people when it requires faith not scientific evidence to believe. So amputees are SOL.

Gauche wrote:

videos are not very good evidence. I saw a video of Fred Astaire dancing with a vacuum cleaner but i don't believe it actually happened.

Yes he tried to dance with one, but it just sucked.

 

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I'm with Shelly, I've heard

I'm with Shelly, I've heard too many lies from fundies trying to prove their point. Quite frankly, unless medical records before and after were supplied by a competent doctor or hospital I would simply assume it was just another fundy lie to con weak minded people into believing in fairy tales.

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Occam's razor

The most likely explanation is that the video is fake.


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Loc wrote:Have you seen what

Loc wrote:

Have you seen what hollywood does with CGI? Of course I wouldn't believe it.

You don't even need hollywood these days, just someone with a little skill and an ordinary desktop computer.  Extroadinary claims require extroadinary proof, and with how easy such a video would be to fake these days it would not be enough proof. 

JustAnotherBeliever hit the nail right on the head with how most of these things are played out.  Luminon could learn a thing or two or millions from him.  It just takes a little skepticism, rational thought and investigation and the real reasons and explinations will come out.  That was quite a refreshing post to read, JAB. Smiling

I wouldn't limit it as you have done to christians though, humanity in general is more like it.  Many groups in all shapes and forms, not just religious groups.  Heresay, exagerations, embellishments, errors from retelling.  You'll find those things everywhere from political groups to environmentalists, lobbies of all shapes and forms.  You really have to take EVERYTHING you hear with a grain of salt so to speak.

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skepticdude wrote:Suppose

skepticdude wrote:

Suppose you were presented with a video that shows somebody with a missing arm, having it completely restored, at some church revival meeting.

Would you believe your eyes, or would you suspect video trickery?

If video trickery, why?  Doesn't that answer just prove that you are determined not to believe the evidence even when you get it right in the face?

Long ago I was discussing a matter with an attorney who just happens to be extended family and asked her about video surveillance evidence. Much to my surprise (and dismay) she said that in her personal experience over a third of that gets tossed out by the courts. She further went on to say that there are a multitude of reasons it happens and that most other law firms she knew of reported approximately the same outcome with such exhibits.

In regards to your hypothetical revival event, I am not suggesting my opinion to be that such a "miracle" requires evidence that would pass through a court of law on each and every ocassion, but such suggested truth would not undermine the wheels of  believability.

So logically I have to ask questions.... Who is the party responsible for the actual filming of this video "miracle"?  Would they be cooperative and willing to submit to a reasonable amount of investigation ? Perhaps even lie detector tests ?  Etc., etc.

If events such as you describe, the restoration of appendages, were an everyday occurence, I  personally wouldn't need much evidence. My guess is, most people wouldn't.  The fact that it would be highly unusual for it to actually happen for a human is precisely why I would question and scrutinize, beyond video evidence and even beyond medical records.

By the way, "right in my face", in my mind, would not include video "evidence" but rather first-hand observation. The scenario you propose seems to involve a video that was shot previously for everyones viewing pleasure at a later time.


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skepticdude wrote:Suppose

skepticdude wrote:

Suppose you were presented with a video that shows somebody with a missing arm, having it completely restored, at some church revival meeting.

Would you believe your eyes, or would you suspect video trickery?

If video trickery, why?  Doesn't that answer just prove that you are determined not to believe the evidence even when you get it right in the face?

As there has never been a scientifically supported religious 'miracle' I'd have to go with  'Trick'.

The fabrication has a benefit to the church, cult or group, that's the 'why'.

I'm determined NOT to be gullible.

Post proof of any religious 'miracle' and we'll take it from there.

Waiting............

 

 

Oh, and I know where you're going with this line of questioning.......9/11 *cough* *cough*

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


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Bulldog wrote:I'm with

Bulldog wrote:

I'm with Shelly, I've heard too many lies from fundies trying to prove their point. Quite frankly, unless medical records before and after were supplied by a competent doctor or hospital I would simply assume it was just another fundy lie to con weak minded people into believing in fairy tales.

People here keep comparing religion to fairy tales.  Why do people feel the need to insult fairy tales?


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I compare it to fairy tales

I compare it to fairy tales because that is what it is.  There is no rational evidence for god or jesus (as a divine being) that does not require faith and the suspension of reason.  The bible is not proof, it is nothing more than midrash.  Follow the historical and archealogical evidence for Isrealites and compare the stories in the bible to the ancients myths of Egypt, Greece and other nations throughout the Isrealite's travels and it can be shown that the stories in the bible were taken from popular myths of those nations.  As they travelled out of egypt the influence of new cultures altered those stories.  The thousands of contradictions such as four different creation stories can be related to the myths of those other cultures and their gods.

Ultimately, the church picked through all the documents they could to come up with the earliest version of the bible which would, throughout the early history of christianity, change depending on who transcribed new copies or which church authority thought of a better way to write it.  The current version of the bible is a far cry from many of the earliest writings.  Even today, fundies rethink the stories to suit their purposes.

Edit> My bad. It's like 5 in the morning here as I take a moment out from getting ready for work and I misread your entry.  Good one.

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QuasarX wrote: People here

QuasarX wrote:

 

People here keep comparing religion to fairy tales.  Why do people feel the need to insult fairy tales?

 

Hehe... got it Quasar


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I don't think I would even

I don't think I would even need a video of it happening. As long as there was sufficient evidence that the person had no arm and there was sufficient examination that he now had a real functioning arm, I would be astonished.

There should be a long medical history of how the arm was lost and I would guess if you grew an arm back there would be extensive medical research into how it happened.

"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." -- former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien


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Quote:Pretend a video is all

Quote:
Pretend a video is all you had.  Would you believe it, or suspect video trickery.

Only a video isn't enough for courts to convict someone.  Why should it be enough for me to believe something that science says is impossible?

 

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How many times have limbs

How many times have limbs miraculously grown back? How many times have things been faked in videos? With those two numbers in mind, which explanation has the higher probability of being correct? If you answer those three questions, you'll know why I wouldn't accept the video as proof of miracularous regeneration.

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If it were just the video? 

If it were just the video?  And not also corroboration from doctors and medical documentation.. then no.     Hollywood could make this look pretty convincing.

Then you'd just have as much "proof" as the Alien Autopsy or Bigfoot videos. 

There's much more evidence of special effects houses making things seem real than a human limb growing back.   Maybe we'll get there in regeneration medicine, where this process would then become more believable.  But currently, the prescident is not there.


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Two more points:Ages ago now

Two more points:

Ages ago now I saw a show where an illusionist made a real helicopter disapear in front of a live audience. Now this is not someone who claims to be magical, but someone who entertains by making tricks look magical. The helicopter even seemed slightly too long for the curtain frame they had it in. I watched it frame by frame on my VHS (told you it was ages ago), but could not work it out. Obviously I saw it on TV, so the audience could have been in on it. Either way, it LOOKED magical, but the illusionist didn't actually claim that it was magic.

There are thousands of illusionists and "magicians" around the world who make a living by doing amazing tricks in front of live audiences.

So detailed medical examination before and after the arm grew back (by an impartial 3rd party, or even better, by 2 different parties: one for before and one for after, a kind of blind study where they didn't know what it was about) would be essential. Reproducibility is also important (gods are soooo unreliable these days, think that the occasional out of the way miracle is enough, definately don't get what you pay for).

Point 2:

Even if the "miracle" was proven, the arm really did grow back, it does not prove the existence of god. It would prove that something we would describe as magical had happened and we would need to find new ways to explain it scientifically.

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Quote:Even if the "miracle"

Quote:
Even if the "miracle" was proven, the arm really did grow back, it does not prove the existence of god. It would prove that something we would describe as magical had happened and we would need to find new ways to explain it scientifically.

I never cease to marvel at the joy theists feel when they think they have figured out a way to prove god, and all they've done is figure out a new way to make an ad hoc claim.

 

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Just a point of order: This

Just a point of order: This is a good discussion, but it does not belong in this forum, it needs to be moved, but I'm at a loss as to where to place it.

Suggestions?

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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Just a point of order: This is a good discussion, but it does not belong in this forum, it needs to be moved, but I'm at a loss as to where to place it.

Suggestions?

In reading past threads over the last year or so on RRS forums I've noticed this happening from time to time. I think there is a need for additional forums to be added.  Rational Inquiries, Hypothetical Questions and so forth. Beyond that,I am at the same loss you are at.


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Visual_Paradox wrote:How

Visual_Paradox wrote:

How many times have limbs miraculously grown back? How many times have things been faked in videos? With those two numbers in mind, which explanation has the higher probability of being correct? If you answer those three questions, you'll know why I wouldn't accept the video as proof of miracularous regeneration.

I asked the thread opening question in order to demonstrate the rational basis for my contention that any given Osama-confession video can be faked with today's technology, and given the many lies and decietfulness of the Bush administration, the people who disagree with me never had a right to trust any such confession video in the first place.

How many times has Osama confessed guilt over 911 in a manner that 911 truthers and debunkers can agree on?  NONE.  So we don't have any common ground to work from, which means we act like a jury and examine the credibility of the Bush administration to see whether or not they'd be likely to fake an Osama-confession video.

How many times have things been faked in videos?  Plenty.

Why exactly should a person START OUT trusting in the authenticity of the Osama-confession videos as authentic?  Do you need to personally watch Bush and Cheney walk into a preschool class and start mowing everybody down with AK-47's before you will suspect that they have an agenda they don't wish the general public to become aware of?

Sure, we should first trust until we have a reason not to, hasn't Bush given you plenty of reason to withdraw trust in the convenient "discoveries" he comes up with that conveniently beef up his version of events?

 

Faith does not have the power to move mountains. However, it does have the power to make you think a mountain has moved.


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skepticdude

skepticdude wrote:

Visual_Paradox wrote:

How many times have limbs miraculously grown back? How many times have things been faked in videos? With those two numbers in mind, which explanation has the higher probability of being correct? If you answer those three questions, you'll know why I wouldn't accept the video as proof of miracularous regeneration.

I asked the thread opening question in order to demonstrate the rational basis for my contention that any given Osama-confession video can be faked with today's technology, and given the many lies and decietfulness of the Bush administration, the people who disagree with me never had a right to trust any such confession video in the first place.

How many times has Osama confessed guilt over 911 in a manner that 911 truthers and debunkers can agree on?  NONE.  So we don't have any common ground to work from, which means we act like a jury and examine the credibility of the Bush administration to see whether or not they'd be likely to fake an Osama-confession video.

How many times have things been faked in videos?  Plenty.

Why exactly should a person START OUT trusting in the authenticity of the Osama-confession videos as authentic?  Do you need to personally watch Bush and Cheney walk into a preschool class and start mowing everybody down with AK-47's before you will suspect that they have an agenda they don't wish the general public to become aware of?

Sure, we should first trust until we have a reason not to, hasn't Bush given you plenty of reason to withdraw trust in the convenient "discoveries" he comes up with that conveniently beef up his version of events?

 

Why should a person read an ancient and fault riddled book and decide to base their life on it? You'd be horrified as to how many people do.

 

Are you a big fan of Kevin Barrett?

 

 

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais