To Deny God is to deny life

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To Deny God is to deny life

Life requires an all-powerful being, God, to even exist. Life is too complex to simply be something that fell into place. The replication of DNA to formation and cooperation of cells. The very beginning of matter requires God.


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http://skepdic.com/incorrupt

http://skepdic.com/incorrupt.html

My favourite parts;

 "A photo of her corpse can be seen on the cover of a book called The Incorruptibles, which claims the body has been "preserved intact since 1879 without embalming or other artificial means." Actually, the face and hands that look so real in the photo are made out of wax. The wax was added because the face was "emaciated" when the body was first exhumed (Nickell 1993: 92).  "

 "The body of the Venerable was found in the same state of preservation as ten years earlier, except that the face was slightly discoloured due to the washing it had undergone during the first exhumation. A worker in wax who had frequently applied such a coating to the faces of the newly dead was entrusted with the task of coating the face of the Saint who had been dead forty years."(Wax will preserve tissue)

The website and links found within cite their sources.


StMichael
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Quote: Not every miracle?

Quote:

Not every miracle? But some?


Anything that is properly a miracle cannot be disproven by science.

Quote:

I cannot say that miracles don't exist, but neither can I (nor you) say that miracles do exist, with only the argument that we (currently) lack an explanation for this or that.

I think that the clearly supernatural character of a miracle shows the authority of the one performing said miracle. So, for example, when Christ says, "Which is easier to say: 'your sins are forgiven you' or 'rise and walk'?" and then proceeds to make the man able to walk, I place a lot of value in His claim to forgive sins and to be God. I also think that these things are inherently beyond human knowledge. We cannot explain them, period.

Quote:

I put no faith in science. Science does not admit faith. Science is an ongoing process of discovery. That which was hard science yesterday could be falsified tomorrow. The 1988 study of the Shroud may very well one day be found to be faulty. So also your exalted 1970 study of the Lanciano blood. I put no faith in science. You put too much faith in everything.

Then how can you say that all things will eventually be disproven by science? That seems a far more irrational belief than my own. As you said, science never claims that.

Quote:

"Quite enough"? We never know "quite enough" about anything. To say "quite enough" is to be satisfied with ignorance. Can't have that. Not in my house.


You can know enough to say that blood and flesh cannot survive in an open canister for 1200 years, let alone a day. The same goes for the fact that if I get shot in the face and my brains fly out, I am not going to live. Or, if my heart is ripped from my chest, I am going to be dead very shortly. We know quite enough to support these conclusions.

Quote:

As long as you have a chastened view of your church and its place in history, I quite agree.

Schisms do not affect its unity as the Catholic Church.

Quote:

How do you conclude that order requires intelligent agency, other than you need that to support your argument?


Because ordering toward ends, not just random correspondence, is what intelligence does. Intelligence orders things toward ends. That is what we see in the world.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


zarathustra
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StMichael wrote: Anything

StMichael wrote:
Anything that is properly a miracle cannot be disproven by science.

"properly" a miracle? What distinguishes between a proper and an improper miracle? Please provide examples of each (drum roll...)
StMichael wrote:

I think that the clearly supernatural character of a miracle shows the authority of the one performing said miracle. So, for example, when Christ says, "Which is easier to say: 'your sins are forgiven you' or 'rise and walk'?" and then proceeds to make the man able to walk, I place a lot of value in His claim to forgive sins and to be God. I also think that these things are inherently beyond human knowledge. We cannot explain them, period.

When is the supernatural character of a miracle ever clear? How do we know that our current inability to explain a particular phenomenon is due to "supernatural character", and not simply a deficiency in investigative resources, which future advances will permit us to overcome?

I really have no notion where you're going with the "rise and walk"/"forgive sins" interlude. If you're implying "rise and walk" is a miracle of clearly supernatural character, you're wrong. There is nothing clearly supernatural about that. Check out the clip of James Randi vs. Doris Collins in the video section of this site for an example of the fake healing of a cripple. And regardless, to specify for the general case: Even if we can't presently explain a lame man rising and walking, that is not to say future discoveries in human physiology would yield an explanation. And sure, we cannot explain the forgiveness of sins, because there's really no way to observe and test it. If it can't be observed, there's no grounds for labeling it a "miracle".
Note: By discussing jesus' healing of the cripple, I am not for a moment acknowledging that it even happened, or that jesus even existed. I'm merely saying that even if jesus did exist and told a criple to rise and walk, we do not have a certifiable miracle on our hands.

StMichael wrote:

Then how can you say that all things will eventually be disproven by science? That seems a far more irrational belief than my own. As you said, science never claims that.

I did not say that all things will be eventually be disproven...another contributor may have said that, but I did not. I am saying is that although we can't explain something today, we shouldn't assume we can't explain it tomorrow. Science may be able to disprove tomorrow what it can't disprove today. So it is not sensible to call anything a miracle based on our current ignorance. In the future we may not be so ignorant, and at that point, things may not seem so miraculous.

StMichael wrote:

You can know enough to say that blood and flesh cannot survive in an open canister for 1200 years, let alone a day. The same goes for the fact that if I get shot in the face and my brains fly out, I am not going to live. Or, if my heart is ripped from my chest, I am going to be dead very shortly. We know quite enough to support these conclusions.

You do not know enough to say that. We know oodles more about "blood and flesh" today than we knew in 1970, and there is oodles more to learn! Again, I am not tacitly agreeing that there's any truth to this claim of fresh 1200 year old blood. If there is any truth to it, I can only wonder why the case is not being vigorously investigated today by medical researchers (rather than being signed and sealed in 1970). The implications for leukemia, hemophilia, HIV etc, would be truly amazing.

StMichael wrote:
Schisms do not affect its unity as the Catholic Church.

It seems by your reckoning that even if every last catholic quit the church except the pope, it would still have its unity.

StMichael wrote:

Because ordering toward ends, not just random correspondence, is what intelligence does. Intelligence orders things toward ends. That is what we see in the world.

Heat and condensation in equatorial waters can give rise to a highly ordered structure called a hurricane. Is this intelligence at work? Is it still intelligence when the hurrican converges on New Orleans (home of the Saints)? You decide.

Take care

P.S. Are you still "tending to believe"?

There are no theists on operating tables.

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Scientists are not the best

Scientists are not the best people to investigate any phenomenon where there is any chance that human intervention is deliberately trying to maintain a deception of some kind.

You need to have a professional investigator with knowledge and experiences of how people can be deceived and misled, such as James Randi or Joe Nickell, assisted if necessary by technical and scientific experts.

There are plenty of examples of scientific investigators being fooled by some relatively simple trickery and/or misdirection, when someone like Randi can point to just what is happening, as with Uri Geller.

This is because nature is not a conscious entity deliberately trying to deceive them, so they don't develop skills in that area.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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Quote: StMichael wrote:

Quote:
StMichael wrote:

Because ordering toward ends, not just random correspondence, is what intelligence does. Intelligence orders things toward ends. That is what we see in the world.

Yes, intelligence usually generates order in pursuit of some end, but you can't use that to imply that all ordering is towards some end, and therefore must be intelligently generated. That is simply reading that logic backwards, ignoring the possibility that not all order is 'towards some end'.

Logically, if either A or B lead to C, the presence of C does not imply A, it merely proves that A, or B, or both, may exist.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


StMichael
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"properly" a miracle? What

I am sorry, there seemed to be an error in my posting. I'll try to fix it below.

Quote:

When is the supernatural character of a miracle ever clear? How do we know that our current inability to explain a particular phenomenon is due to "supernatural character", and not simply a deficiency in investigative resources, which future advances will permit us to overcome?

First, I want to point to the fact that a miracle does not demonstrate with certainty that Christ was authoritative. It establishes a reasonable belief in His authority as God, from which we establish an infinite certitude about what He says, assuming He is God. Second, miracles, as I might have pointed out, come in different species. However, all substantial and productive miracles (the two main species of miracles proper), man can perform like actions. In the first order, however, man can never do them. In the second, the effect can be brought about sometimes by human effort, but in a mode of production that human beings cannot perform.

Quote:

I really have no notion where you're going with the "rise and walk"/"forgive sins" interlude. If you're implying "rise and walk" is a miracle of clearly supernatural character, you're wrong. There is nothing clearly supernatural about that.

It is, as human beings cannot instantly heal a man of crippled legs. And we are not talking about fake healings. For example, a man in Italy was healed by Padre Pio (now a saint) of crippled legs, where he had a congential disorder that I believe caused them to be calcified. He met Padre Pio, who promised to pray for him. Very shortly thereafter, the next day, the man was able to walk, inexplicably. The very odd thing was that his legs remained, for all intents and purposes, calcified. It defied science that he was perfectly able to walk in this situation.

Quote:

Even if we can't presently explain a lame man rising and walking, that is not to say future discoveries in human physiology would yield an explanation.

I see no reason why a more complex understanding of human physiology would yield such a result. It is like saying that if we only understood water better, we could easily see how it could turn into wine. It is rather silly and quite a bit of an overestimated trust in science in an area that is beyond scientific knowledge.

Quote:
And sure, we cannot explain the forgiveness of sins, because there's really no way to observe and test it. If it can't be observed, there's no grounds for labeling it a "miracle".

But you miss the point about forgiving sins. I was not claiming that it was verifiable that our sins are forgiven, as it is not testable in an ordinary sense. But you see the point of the miracle, however, is to precisely verify that Christ can forgive sins, and is hence God incarnate.

Quote:

I did not say that all things will be eventually be disproven...another contributor may have said that, but I did not. I am saying is that although we can't explain something today, we shouldn't assume we can't explain it tomorrow. Science may be able to disprove tomorrow what it can't disprove today. So it is not sensible to call anything a miracle based on our current ignorance. In the future we may not be so ignorant, and at that point, things may not seem so miraculous.

Miracles are not merely a matter of ignorance. Miracles are things that are beyond human power altogether, either in mode of substance or production.

Quote:

You do not know enough to say that. We know oodles more about "blood and flesh" today than we knew in 1970, and there is oodles more to learn! Again, I am not tacitly agreeing that there's any truth to this claim of fresh 1200 year old blood. If there is any truth to it, I can only wonder why the case is not being vigorously investigated today by medical researchers (rather than being signed and sealed in 1970). The implications for leukemia, hemophilia, HIV etc, would be truly amazing.

What implications for leukemia or hemophilia? It is a miracle, and has no impact on what natural science can do; further, it makes little sense as to why it would result in medical discoveries. Further, scientific teams do periodically investigate these miracles. For example, the shrine at Lourdes has its own medical commission that has existed for years to verify miracles that occured at the shrine. The diocese in which Lanciano is situated probably has established some sort of smaller committee to deal with the miraculous Host.

Quote:

It seems by your reckoning that even if every last catholic quit the church except the pope, it would still have its unity.

Yes, that would be true.

Quote:

Heat and condensation in equatorial waters can give rise to a highly ordered structure called a hurricane. Is this intelligence at work? Is it still intelligence when the hurrican converges on New Orleans (home of the Saints)? You decide.

The fact that such obeys laws and exists in an ordered manner belies an intelligent orderer.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Causing disaster, war, and calamity would be an act of evil..

I'll say. Smiling

 

Yes, I've always found this theist dodge of Isaiah 45:7 to be pretty hilarious... it's just moving the problem one step back. 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


zarathustra
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StMichael wrote: I am

StMichael wrote:
I am sorry, there seemed to be an error in my posting. I'll try to fix it below.

Using only your reasoning, can you determine whether or not I've forgiven you?

StMichael wrote:
First, I want to point to the fact that a miracle does not demonstrate with certainty that Christ was authoritative. It establishes a reasonable belief in His authority as God, from which we establish an infinite certitude about what He says, assuming He is God.

Look at you Michael, you're a mess! There are so many problems with that argument:

1) A miracle does not demonstrate that christ was authoritative, but it establishes a reasonable belief in his authority?

Ergo, perspiration does not demonstrate that the sun is hot, it establishes a reasonable belief in its heat? Absolutely meaningless, and that's when applied to something we know exists (the sun)!

2) "...from which we establish an infinite certitude about what He says, assuming He is God"

As you'll learn in any logic class, a false assumption permits one to establish an "infinite certitude" about anything. We can establish the Pixies stole the Snow-Dog from the Fountain of Lamneth, if we assume the moon is made of green cheese. The reports of elephant statues drinking milk in India establish a reasonable belief in Ganesh's authority,assuming he is a god. And remember, Ganesh is at least twice as old as Jesus. With more arms. And a bigger...well, you know.

 

StMichael wrote:
Second, miracles, as I might have pointed out, come in different species. However, all substantial and productive miracles (the two main species of miracles proper), man can perform like actions. In the first order, however, man can never do them. In the second, the effect can be brought about sometimes by human effort, but in a mode of production that human beings cannot perform.

I really don't recall any clear definition on your part of "substantial" vs. "productive" miracles. If we were going to enter into a discussion of miracles, you ought to have mentioned it at the outset. As I've pointed out before, you bring up these nuances later, as if I was supposed to know of them already. How many trump cards are you hiding there, boy? Ultimately, I don't mind, it's just that in the midst of trying to reach an understanding, you bring up something like this, and we have to drop everything and square dance for 20 minutes. So, Johnny rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard...

DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES!!!? How can we talk about DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES when we haven't even established that they exist? We might as well be talking about the menstrual cycles of mermaids, or the digestive processes of trolls...

TWO MAIN SPECIES!!!? How many species are there? Might there be a couple species yet to be discovered, lurking somewhere in the Amazon? I'd just like to know now, my poor heart can't take any more surprises like this.

"In the second, the effect can be brought about sometimes by human effort, but in a mode of production that human beings cannot perform." - So I can sometimes bring about (insert "productive miracle" here), but in a mode of operation I cannot perform. Now I understand. Actually, I don't.

StMichael wrote:
I see no reason why a more complex understanding of human physiology would yield such a result.

You don't see a reason, or you don't want to see a reason? How many illnesses and conditions were attributed to evil spirits or god's wrath, which "a more complex understanding of human physiology" yielded diagnosis and treatment of? Do you think we've learned as much as we're going to learn? Anything we haven't explained yet is never going to be explained?

StMichael wrote:
It is like saying that if we only understood water better, we could easily see how it could turn into wine.

I didn't realize we had even one trustworthy, documented case of that happening. Is CNN holding out on me?

StMichael wrote:
It is rather silly and quite a bit of an overestimated trust in science in an area that is beyond scientific knowledge.

Then it is rather silly to make factual claims in such an area. I don't have an overestimated trust in science; I believe there are limits to human knowledge, although we haven't reached them yet. But it is rather, RATHER silly to think " we have no scientific knowledge of X, we will never have scientific knowledge of X, therefore: god/jesus/blah".

It is plain to see in what great esteem the church holds scientific knowledge, given that it took until 1992 for Galileo to be vindicated for pointing out the blatant truth of the heavens.

StMichael wrote:
...you miss the point about forgiving sins. I was not claiming that it was verifiable that our sins are forgiven, as it is not testable in an ordinary sense.

Then why are we talking about it? Is it even testable in an extraordinary sense?

StMichael wrote:
But you see the point of the miracle, however, is to precisely verify that Christ can forgive sins, and is hence God incarnate.

Can't say for sure, but if I was a typical illiterate fisherman in 1st Century Galilee witnessing a carpenter wither a fig tree or walk on water, my immediate reaction would not be to point and say "Hey! That man can forgive sins, which are not verifiable in an ordinary sense, and hence he is god incarnate!"

StMichael wrote:
What implications for leukemia or hemophilia? It is a miracle, and has no impact on what natural science can do; further, it makes little sense as to why it would result in medical discoveries. Further, scientific teams do periodically investigate these miracles.

What for? If everyone's already decided that they're miracles, what is left to investigate? If, on the other hand, we have non-rancid blood from 1200 years ago (which I for one remain entirely skeptical of), and there's even the off chance of a non-miraculous explanation, yes, it would have great implications in the field of medicine.  Honestly, what would you accept as a non-miraculous explanation, or will you simply not consider that possibility in the first place?

StMichael wrote:
For example, the shrine at Lourdes has its own medical commission that has existed for years to verify miracles that occured at the shrine. The diocese in which Lanciano is situated probably has established some sort of smaller committee to deal with the miraculous Host.

Yes, I'm sure they keep very busy. I heard they took their postings off Monster because they couldn't handle all the applicants.

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
It seems by your reckoning that even if every last catholic quit the church except the pope, it would still have its unity.
Yes, that would be true.
StMichael wrote:

Then your claims of church unity are really not all that impressive, are they? I actually wonder if Splendor Veritatis reduced the church to an army of one.

Quote:

 

StMichael wrote:
Heat and condensation in equatorial waters can give rise to a highly ordered structure called a hurricane. Is this intelligence at work? Is it still intelligence when the hurrican converges on New Orleans (home of the Saints)? You decide.
The fact that such obeys laws and exists in an ordered manner belies an intelligent orderer.

If hurricanes are indicative of an intelligent orderer, i think god would do us all a favor by getting a lobotomy and dumbing himself down.

That's all for now kids, see you next time!

There are no theists on operating tables.

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StMichael
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Quote: 1) A miracle does

Quote:

1) A miracle does not demonstrate that christ was authoritative, but it establishes a reasonable belief in his authority?

I am sorry about the confusion. I miswrote that, having written something else and erased it only partially. Sorry.
I meant that miracles establish Christ's authority as God, and what He says is thus infinitely trustworthy.

Quote:

2) "...from which we establish an infinite certitude about what He says, assuming He is God"

As you'll learn in any logic class, a false assumption permits one to establish an "infinite certitude" about anything....

There is no reason to assume that it is a false premise.

Quote:

I really don't recall any clear definition on your part of "substantial" vs. "productive" miracles....

I am writing more than a few posts at the same time, and that is why I thought I had already posted said distinction. Apparently, I did not.

Quote:

DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES!!!? How can we talk about DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES when we haven't even established that they exist? We might as well be talking about the menstrual cycles of mermaids, or the digestive processes of trolls...

There are different species of miracles, in that some are done in such a way that natural effort can produce the effect or it cannot. Natural effort cannot produce the effect found in "substantial" miracles. An example would be that I can never naturally make the sun dance, or cause dead men to rise to life, or regrow a limb. Natural effort can produce the effect found in miracles of "production," but never in the same way. So, for example, I can make water into wine by watering a grape plant, making grape juice, and fermenting the juice. However, I cannot produce it in the same way Christ did, by pouring water into pots and instantly converting it without an outside agency.

Quote:

You don't see a reason, or you don't want to see a reason? How many illnesses and conditions were attributed to evil spirits or god's wrath, which "a more complex understanding of human physiology" yielded diagnosis and treatment of? Do you think we've learned as much as we're going to learn? Anything we haven't explained yet is never going to be explained?

I think we can learn new things. We just know enough to say, for example, that a dead man cannot return to life. No chance. Nada. The same goes for flesh and blood. Survival time = 1200 years? No.

Quote:

...it is rather, RATHER silly to think " we have no scientific knowledge of X, we will never have scientific knowledge of X, therefore: god/jesus/blah".


That is not my argument.
"We can never have knowledge of how to do X, therefore it is beyond the order of nature and hence a miracle."

Quote:

Then why are we talking about it? Is it even testable in an extraordinary sense?

Yes. That is the point of a miracle. To prove the authenticity of the revelation.

Quote:

Can't say for sure, but if I was a typical illiterate fisherman in 1st Century Galilee witnessing a carpenter wither a fig tree or walk on water, my immediate reaction would not be to point and say "Hey! That man can forgive sins, which are not verifiable in an ordinary sense, and hence he is god incarnate!"

The event occurs in Scripture and Christ Himself makes an argument that basically goes: "If I say, I forgive sins, you might not believe me. But to show that I do have the authority, "rise and walk." Hence, I, Christ, can forgive sins."
I think this argument is clear enough that even a Galilean fisherman could understand.

Quote:

What for? If everyone's already decided that they're miracles, what is left to investigate? If, on the other hand, we have non-rancid blood from 1200 years ago (which I for one remain entirely skeptical of), and there's even the off chance of a non-miraculous explanation, yes, it would have great implications in the field of medicine. Honestly, what would you accept as a non-miraculous explanation, or will you simply not consider that possibility in the first place?

I don't see such an explanation as possible at all. It is entirely not within the order of nature. We can confirm by scientific studies that they truly are miraculous.

Quote:

Yes, I'm sure they keep very busy. I heard they took their postings off Monster because they couldn't handle all the applicants.

Don't be so cynical. Very good doctors form their team, atheists and skeptics being critical to ensure fairness.

Quote:

Then your claims of church unity are really not all that impressive, are they? I actually wonder if Splendor Veritatis reduced the church to an army of one.

Splendor Veritatis? What does that have to do with it?
The Catholic Church, however, has remained a unified body that is historically traceable from Christ until today. It is not news. You can trace the succession of the Popes and the bishops to the apostles.

Quote:
If hurricanes are indicative of an intelligent orderer, i think god would do us all a favor by getting a lobotomy and dumbing himself down.

I still see no argument against that fact that order thus exists.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


Vastet
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StMichael wrote: This is a

StMichael wrote:
This is a different thing. Still in my opinion a miracle (the Church it open to debate, however), but a different thing that the one I was presenting.

Then I haven't even found mention of it, let alone any scientific documentation. Leading me to believe it's a figment of your imagination. Like god.

StMichael wrote:

I told you it was.

So? That's not even remotely resembling evidence.

StMichael wrote:
It was for the studies on Lanciano. You are reading an article about a miracle in Naples, not Lanciano. The miraculous host at Lanciano was sampled and analyzed.

Lanciano doesn't exist.

StMichael wrote:
Yes, it is a picture of a paper on a wall. But it is a picture of a paper on a wall that indicates what you wanted me to indicate. Namely, that tests had been performed, samples taken, that indicated that Lanciano was real human blood and flesh over 1200 years old that was unexplainable by medical science.

Nope. It says the moon is made of green cheese. And I know it isn't, so the paper lies. It also isn't scientific, so it's a lie even before it's a lie. Oh I like that.

StMichael wrote:
You cannot confirm that the blood was type AB if it was not blood in the first place.

You haven't empirically confirmed it was blood in the first place, so the AB reading was obviously contamination.

StMichael wrote:
Preservative measures don’t exist for that. Which is why blood banks constantly need donations.

So your knowledge of medicine and logic applied therein is as pathetic as that of science. Can't say I'm surprised.

Not one human could be alive with preservatives running through their body. Incredibly stupid notion.

StMichael wrote:
It is not impossible. Scientific teams examine them all the time.

Lies. That's what I'm going to say to every lie or unproven assumption you make. Makes things faster. Explaining things to you is often pointless, since you usually don't know how things work.

StMichael wrote:
Mummies are destroyed by free contact with the air.

Lies.

StMichael wrote:
Not immediately. But it is like any other historical artifact. They deteriorate according to their exposure.

Lies.

StMichael wrote:
Actually, they have.

Lies.

StMichael wrote:
Many of the churches in Italy which have incorruptibles allowed scientists to autopsy them. I have not found a report of those on the internet yet, but not everything is on the Internet, of course.

*Rolls eyes*

StMichael wrote:
The Church does not refuse to do so.

Yes it does.

StMichael wrote:
The Church allows scientists to examine the bodies all the time.

Lies.

StMichael wrote:
It is not hard to find out.

Lies.

StMichael wrote:
There is a Pontifical Academy of Science, but these are not involved with these sort of investigations, but with ordinary affairs with the scientific community. There are no “Church” doctors at all, other than Catholic doctors. But Catholic doctors are not the exclusive or even majority group investigating these miracles.

Lies.

StMichael wrote:
Prove that crazy claim before you make it.

Google church + scientist. Google church + doctor. Monopolization point proven.

StMichael wrote:
Too bad. ‘Cause it was published in a reputably peer-reviewed medical journal like you wanted.

Lies. I said scientific, not medical. Stop putting words in my mouth, it only makes you look a fool.

StMichael wrote:
Don’t stick to your original standards for evidence or anything.

Don't pay attention or anything.

StMichael wrote:
Not true.

Only applies to your response. My original comment is quite true.

StMichael wrote:
Now you are manifestly shifting your position.

Lies. You tried to side step and I cornered you.

StMichael wrote:
And English is now a requirement as well?

It is if you want me to be able to read it, and to be able to consider it proof for this argument. Otherwise I'll just find some Trekkie geek and copy a few words of klingon, then claim it's the origins of the no-god texts written 50,000,000 years ago, proving every religion on the planet wrong before they were even created. And by your own just made comment, you will be unable to argue against it.

StMichael wrote:
Let’s not stay in the same place for a sentence….

I don't know or care what this was supposed to mean. Probably more rambling on your side trying to deflect your massive and complete failure in anything except confirming that your god doesn't exist.

StMichael wrote:

I don’t know what you mean. The Catholic Church has been solidly the same.

Lies.

StMichael wrote:
Other groups have split away, but the Catholic Church itself has not split.

Split before it even started. Learn your history. I'm not going to argue established fact with someone who argues with antiquated notions, outdated resources, and false scripture. Waste of my time.

StMichael wrote:
History, the records of early Christians, the attestation of the Gospels and the book of Acts of the Apostles, ect.

So nothing more than fiction then. Thought so.

StMichael wrote:
I never denied that some factions broke off. But the Catholic Church itself has remained throughout the centuries from Christ’s founding of it.

More of the same.

StMichael wrote:
I presented peer-reviewed medical journals. Get over it.

You've provided nothing of scientific value. Get over it.

StMichael wrote:
Guess what? Cryogenics has not been satisfactorily applied yet outside of sci-fi movies.

Guess what? It doesn't have to actually be done before it's established as technically doable.

StMichael wrote:
I know many in the medical profession. Give me a good example with references if you want to say that.

I don't have to. I heard of it. = your responses.

StMichael wrote:
The hour was under induced hypothermia.

Good for the hour. It's still bullshit. People have been revived after longer periods. I used to have a friend who was clinically dead for 5 hours before resusitation(sp). You're wrong, that's all there is to it.

StMichael wrote:
You have not proven why it is such.

Yes I have. And then you furthered the proof by throwing in more irrationality.

StMichael wrote:
I seem to have at least something of good evidence in peer reviewed medical journals which establishes the case that miracles could be at least argued to have happened in a verifiable way. Even if they have not, these sources exist and my belief in miracles is not irrational or contrary to the evidence.

You're mistaken when you think you've provided a shred of evidence to a single claim you've made in a single topic you've posted in against a single debator on the site. This has been mentioned repeatedly to you, but you irrationally disregard it.

StMichael wrote:
It is often green.

Only if you're colour blind. Blue, white, grey, red, orange. Those are the colours/tints the moon appears in. Not green.

StMichael wrote:
And it depends on the circumstances. It could be merely reflecting the light in a strange fashion making it look a different color.

But you'd have to prove that in order to back up your claim. Which you can't do because you're disregarding the science that shows what it is in the first place. So you lose.

StMichael wrote:
But I see no reason to believe your claim that the moon is not made of green cheese unless you pay for my ticket there.

Irrational.

StMichael wrote:
Otherwise, you have no way to prove it to me.

Irrational.

StMichael wrote:
How can peer-reviewed journals then satisfy you?

By being scientific.

StMichael wrote:
You rejected them earlier

I've done no such thing.

StMichael wrote:
and I am beginning to think that it will do no good to further supply your false need for evidence.

Irrational.

StMichael wrote:
I never claimed you could.

Then your whole moon analogy is fundamentally flawed and completely irrelevant.

StMichael wrote:
But miracles support truths of the Catholic faith that are inaccessible to human reason

Nope. They only prove we don't know everything.

StMichael wrote:
(like transubstantiation in the Eucharist)

Fiction.

StMichael wrote:
rather than naturally known truths.

No such thing.

StMichael wrote:
The existence of God is a natural truth that you don’t need faith to know.

Fiction based on fictional concept.

StMichael wrote:
I provide clear evidence for my beliefs.

Lies.

StMichael wrote:
Even if you were spreading lies with a pamphlet on how God doesn’t exist, and it seemed that the evidence you had would support this position, I do not fault you for being an irrational zombie who spreads a disease.

Well I fault you for being one. Fortunately I'm not an irrational zombie like yourself.

StMichael wrote:
Your position is wrong but you think it is rational.

Got that backwards.

StMichael wrote:
Which is perfectly acceptable.

No it isn't.

StMichael wrote:
It is wrong, but you have sufficient reason to hold it.

You are wrong, and don't even have sufficient reason to hold on to your wrong beliefs. Definition of irrational.

StMichael wrote:
You are not acting on an irrational belief. You are acting on a wrong one.

Nope. I'm rationally acting on reality. You're irrationally acting on delusion.

StMichael wrote:
However, your condemnation of me is exactly the opposite.

If I'd condemned you I wouldn't be talking to you. There was some theist moron in another topic who pretended to be a biologist that I've condemned as a moron. You aren't there yet. Not even close. At least your lies are based in ignorance. His were in stupidity.

StMichael wrote:
I don’t shove it down your throat

Yes you do. You're trying to do it right now. Failing mind you, but trying.

StMichael wrote:
and I see no reason why we are either a mindless disorder or detrimental to the “future of our species.”

Because you haven't let go of your irrationality yet, if you ever will. Once/if you do, you'll get it.

StMichael wrote:
You seem to have a rather high expectation for human technology; I recall, “technology will reveal it in time.”

Misquote. I said time answers all.

StMichael wrote:
I think you are wrong, but not necessarily irrational.

I know you are wrong and irrational.

StMichael wrote:
The more you shift your positions, however, the less honest I think you to be.

Projection of your own shifting onto me.

StMichael wrote:
Existence in God is the cause of existence in things.

Nope. Existance is existance. That's all there is to it. There is no god to exist to force us to depend on to exist.

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StMichael wrote: Quote: I

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
I really have no notion where you're going with the "rise and walk"/"forgive sins" interlude. If you're implying "rise and walk" is a miracle of clearly supernatural character, you're wrong. There is nothing clearly supernatural about that.
It is, as human beings cannot instantly heal a man of crippled legs. And we are not talking about fake healings. For example, a man in Italy was healed by Padre Pio (now a saint) of crippled legs, where he had a congential disorder that I believe caused them to be calcified. He met Padre Pio, who promised to pray for him. Very shortly thereafter, the next day, the man was able to walk, inexplicably. The very odd thing was that his legs remained, for all intents and purposes, calcified. It defied science that he was perfectly able to walk in this situation.

This is becomming a common theme for you, but can I have a link please?  A verifiable source reviewed by multiple parties?  Or do we just have your anecdotal report to go on?


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Once again, you start

Once again, you start citing Scripture as a reliable source for your claims. After all this time, you have not proven that scripture is a reliable source. Either do so, or stop citing it. Consider:

StMichael wrote:
I am sorry about the confusion. I miswrote that, having written something else and erased it only partially.

Very well. That's all it takes a slight error to emerge. One small oversight, despite the amenities of technology. Yet you would think that word of mouth transmission over the course of a generation preserved an iron-clad historical account of a person named jesus, miracles in tow. Pardon me while I disagree.

StMichael wrote:
I meant that miracles establish Christ's authority as God, and what He says is thus infinitely trustworthy.
Quote:
As you'll learn in any logic class, a false assumption permits one to establish an "infinite certitude" about anything....
There is no reason to assume that it is a false premise.

There is every reason to assume it as a false premise! It defies common sense! Do the tricks that the birthday clown performs also establish christ's authority? It's okay! You don't need miracles! The real world is fascinating enough!

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES!!!? How can we talk about DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES when we haven't even established that they exist? We might as well be talking about the menstrual cycles of mermaids, or the digestive processes of trolls...
There are different species of miracles, in that some are done in such a way that natural effort can produce the effect or it cannot. Natural effort cannot produce the effect found in "substantial" miracles. An example would be that I can never naturally make the sun dance, or cause dead men to rise to life, or regrow a limb.

Okay, let's try again...

DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES!!!? How can we talk about DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES when we haven't even established that they exist? We might as well be talking about the menstrual cycles of mermaids, or the digestive processes of trolls!

Michael, neither has god every made the sun dance (Phaethon maybe, but never your god) or regrown limbs. If the sun danced, havoc would have resulted. I'm sure you've already heard of http://www.whydoesgodhateamputees.com/, but maybe check it out to see how benevolent your miracle-working god is.

As far as raising the dead: Has this in fact happened? Your miracle patent committee has confirmed this? Are any of these raised dead still alive, or did they die again (I always wonder what happened to Lazarus)? If they did die again, what was the point? Also, catalepsy is a known medical condition where a person forgoes all vital signs, and then revives later. Nothing miraculous about that.

StMichael wrote:
Natural effort can produce the effect found in miracles of "production," but never in the same way. So, for example, I can make water into wine by watering a grape plant, making grape juice, and fermenting the juice. However, I cannot produce it in the same way Christ did, by pouring water into pots and instantly converting it without an outside agency.

Your only basis for this is scripture, which as mentioned above has not yet been established as reliable. Until it is so established screw miracles of "production". And jesus wasn't the first figure of antiquity to have this attributed to him, so if anything, he's stealing someone else's act. I'd expect more from the son of gawd.

StMichael wrote:
I think we can learn new things. We just know enough to say, for example, that a dead man cannot return to life. No chance. Nada. The same goes for flesh and blood. Survival time = 1200 years? No.

And we still have no proof that a single dead man returned to life. No chance. Nada. The jury is still out on your flesh and blood in Lanciano. You have made an attempt to provide some corroboration (thank you), but nothing yet convincing. We are trying to get there, however. You've been asked to provide more information on this supposedly objective board which certifies all attributed miracles. Until that gains greater traction, please refrain from citing the lanciano phenomenon as a fact. It might be just as easy for you to write to Ratzinger, so he can write to god, and have him duplicate the lanciano miracle under controlled laboratory conditions, here in the States. That would much more rapidly settle the debate. Only if god's not too busy, of course...

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Then why are we talking about it? Is it even testable in an extraordinary sense?
Yes.

Fine. If it is not testable in an ordinary sense, I do not have to believe it, in an ordinary sense. So, in an ordinary sense, god does not exist.

StMichael wrote:
The event occurs in Scripture and Christ Himself makes an argument that basically goes: "If I say, I forgive sins, you might not believe me. But to show that I do have the authority, "rise and walk." Hence, I, Christ, can forgive sins." I think this argument is clear enough that even a Galilean fisherman could understand.

That pesky scripture again. Not yet a reliable source - not yet a good reason to believe in miracles. Jim Jones pulled that same stunt more recently, of performing stunts and then claiming he was divine - and we do have hard evidence of that. It would appear he attempted the wedding feast miracle also (using Kool-Aid instead of water), but the miracle went horribly awry.

StMichael wrote:

I don't see such an explanation as possible at all. It is entirely not within the order of nature. We can confirm by scientific studies that they truly are miraculous. Very good doctors form their team, atheists and skeptics being critical to ensure fairness.

Just curious...do these atheists & skeptics (assuming this group of fact-checkers even exists) remain atheists & skeptics following the study? If so, why? If not, do they have to continuously canvas for new atheists and skeptics after each certified miracle?

If god keeps dropping down these goodies which confound the order of nature, why should we even bother respecting the order of nature? Why should I apply logic to any aspect of my life, and act as if the order of nature holds, when at any moment, god can lift the needle off the record? Why eat, why turn the ignition in the car, why assume the elevator is going to hold my weight, when some miracle can throw into confusion any or all those things we take for granted, just because some saint needs to get his chops?

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Then your claims of church unity are really not all that impressive, are they? I actually wonder if Splendor Veritatis reduced the church to an army of one.
Splendor Veritatis? What does that have to do with it? The Catholic Church, however, has remained a unified body that is historically traceable from Christ until today. It is not news. You can trace the succession of the Popes and the bishops to the apostles.

Yup. You can trace hindus back further than that. Let's go worship some water buffalo.

StMichael wrote:
I still see no argument against that fact that order thus exists.
Don't you? An ordered system which wreacks chaos, upon nature and civilization? Praise god.

There are no theists on operating tables.

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StMichael wrote: An example

StMichael wrote:
An example would be that I can never naturally make the sun dance, or cause dead men to rise to life, or regrow a limb.

 Of course not.  A man regrowing his limb?  No mammal can do that.  Especially not humans, but neither can dogs nor cats nor mice.

 

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,68962-0.html

 

oops. 


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Quote:Then I haven't even

Quote:

Then I haven't even found mention of it, let alone any scientific documentation. Leading me to believe it's a figment of your imagination. Like god.

What are you talking about? I have been providing documentation this entire time!

Quote:

Lanciano doesn't exist.

Well, then, I can't help you. I fear this conversation must come to a quick end.

Quote:

Once again, you start citing Scripture as a reliable source for your claims. After all this time, you have not proven that scripture is a reliable source. Either do so, or stop citing it.

Scripture is not being used to prove anything. The most I used was an analogy from Scripture where Christ performs an action that indicates how miracles establish authority.

Quote:

Very well. That's all it takes a slight error to emerge. One small oversight, despite the amenities of technology. Yet you would think that word of mouth transmission over the course of a generation preserved an iron-clad historical account of a person named jesus, miracles in tow. Pardon me while I disagree.

Except that we are not talking about that sort of oral tradition.

Quote:

There is every reason to assume it as a false premise! It defies common sense! Do the tricks that the birthday clown performs also establish christ's authority?

"It defies common sense!" It does not. We are not talking about magic tricks, we are talking about clear miracles that no human being can do. We are talking about curing dead limbs, raising the dead, ect. But, again, you assume a false premise.

Quote:

DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES!!!? How can we talk about DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES when we haven't even established that they exist? We might as well be talking about the menstrual cycles of mermaids, or the digestive processes of trolls!

Even if we have not proven them to exist, it has no bearing on whether such things are divided as such. A miracle is an event that happens outside of the ordinary course of nature. It can happen in two ways: the effect itself is beyond nature, or the method of obtaining that effect is beyond nature.

Quote:

Michael, neither has god every made the sun dance (Phaethon maybe, but never your god) or regrown limbs. If the sun danced, havoc would have resulted.

Limbs have been restored to people who lost them in accounts of miracles throughout history, from Christ himself.

Quote:

As far as raising the dead: Has this in fact happened?

Many saints throughout history have done this. It is a rarer miracle, but it happens. Saint Dominic famously raised a mangled boy to life and restored him whole after the boy was run over by a carriage. Saint Hyacinth rose quite a few people back from the dead.

Quote:
Are any of these raised dead still alive, or did they die again (I always wonder what happened to Lazarus)? If they did die again, what was the point?

The raised dead, of course, die again. Their miraculous raising is proof of God's power and a show of the authority of the message being preached.

Quote:

Also, catalepsy is a known medical condition where a person forgoes all vital signs, and then revives later. Nothing miraculous about that.


Wrong. The cataleptic does not "forgoe" vital signs. His vitals slow down, but if they disappeared, he would be dead.

Quote:

Your only basis for this is scripture, which as mentioned above has not yet been established as reliable. Until it is so established screw miracles of "production". And jesus wasn't the first figure of antiquity to have this attributed to him, so if anything, he's stealing someone else's act. I'd expect more from the son of gawd.

It is not based in Scripture. I never used Scripture to prove that they happened, I just offered an example from Scripture. Another example: in the order of production, human power can bring about the healing of sick people. However, certain healings of metastatic cancers which riddled the bodies of patients were cured in a miraculous way instantly without recurrence, with no treatment. This is likewise a miracle of production.

Quote:

The jury is still out on your flesh and blood in Lanciano. You have made an attempt to provide some corroboration (thank you), but nothing yet convincing.

And why is it not yet convincing? Independent medical studies occured at Lanciano that verified it multiple times! Their paperwork and reports are both posted in the shrine and available if you ask for them.

Quote:

You've been asked to provide more information on this supposedly objective board which certifies all attributed miracles.

It doesn't certify ALL miracles. It is a particular medical board that certifies and evaluates claims of miraculous medical healing at the shrine at Lourdes, France.

Quote:

Until that gains greater traction, please refrain from citing the lanciano phenomenon as a fact.

The Lourdes Committee has no reference to Lanciano.

Quote:

It might be just as easy for you to write to Ratzinger, so he can write to god, and have him duplicate the lanciano miracle under controlled laboratory conditions, here in the States. That would much more rapidly settle the debate. Only if god's not too busy, of course...

A total and utter misunderstanding of Catholic dogma.

Quote:

Fine. If it is not testable in an ordinary sense, I do not have to believe it, in an ordinary sense. So, in an ordinary sense, god does not exist.

It is not a proof for the existence of God. It is a proof for the truth of articles of faith, of which the existence of God is not directly related.
Also, why is it not testable in an ordinary sense?

Quote:

That pesky scripture again. Not yet a reliable source - not yet a good reason to believe in miracles.

YOU were the one who claimed that no one could follow that line of reasoning! I gave an example of it!

Quote:

Just curious...do these atheists & skeptics (assuming this group of fact-checkers even exists) remain atheists & skeptics following the study? If so, why? If not, do they have to continuously canvas for new atheists and skeptics after each certified miracle?

I am sorry, as far as I know no atheists are on the board. I meant merely skeptics, but I was writing in a hurry.

Quote:

If god keeps dropping down these goodies which confound the order of nature, why should we even bother respecting the order of nature? Why should I apply logic to any aspect of my life, and act as if the order of nature holds, when at any moment, god can lift the needle off the record? Why eat, why turn the ignition in the car, why assume the elevator is going to hold my weight, when some miracle can throw into confusion any or all those things we take for granted, just because some saint needs to get his chops?

God's intervention is not an ordinary event. That is precisely the issue. God's intervention is not something assumed according to the ordinary laws of nature. God only acts in this way to confirm His character as author of nature to us.

Quote:

Yup. You can trace hindus back further than that. Let's go worship some water buffalo.


I never claimed the antiquity itself was the reason to believe them, just that the unbroken chain of succession to Christ as a unified body was a partial indication of their divine character. Also, the Hindus have had quite a few breaks in authority and have no central body, as the Catholic Church does.

Quote:

Don't you? An ordered system which wreacks chaos, upon nature and civilization? Praise god.

It wreaks havoc, not because of God's design, but because of the effects of original sin which makes death and suffering a reality.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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That miracle involving the

That miracle involving the dancing sun is clear proof that a massive number of people can be lead to testify to having seen something that did not actually occur. There are plausible psychological mechanisms for this, vastly more plausible than that such an event actually occurred as reported. IOW, some unfamiliar phenomena probably occurred, which was mis-interpreted. Some natural but unusual atmospheric effect or whatever. When something unfamiliar is seen, the brain, in attempting to make sense of it, can create very bizarre impressions.

The dancing sun would have to have been observed over the entire daylight side of the earth, which AFAIK, was not the case. This is ignoring the severe physical difficulties of of keeping the Earth stable and earthquake free during such an event, but of course that is part of the miracle.

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StMichael

StMichael wrote:
Quote:

Then I haven't even found mention of it, let alone any scientific documentation. Leading me to believe it's a figment of your imagination. Like god.

What are you talking about? I have been providing documentation this entire time!

Invalid church documentation and a few things I can't read. You've provided nothing.

StMichael wrote:
Quote:

Lanciano doesn't exist.

Well, then, I can't help you. I fear this conversation must come to a quick end.

I could have told you that you couldn't "help" me when you first started posting. Though I'm disappointed you didn't take advantage of this comment. Ah well. If you really feel it must end, then I suggest you leave the site altogether. Because I'm not about to stop debunking you. Neither are others. And if you repeat the same bs too many times, you'll probably be forced out for breaking terms and conditions.

I'll take the fact that you were unable to counter the rest of my post as empirical evidence to it's truthfullness, and admission that your god doesn't exist and is impossible.

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BobSpence1 wrote: That

BobSpence1 wrote:

That miracle involving the dancing sun is clear proof that a massive number of people can be lead to testify to having seen something that did not actually occur. There are plausible psychological mechanisms for this, vastly more plausible than that such an event actually occurred as reported. IOW, some unfamiliar phenomena probably occurred, which was mis-interpreted. Some natural but unusual atmospheric effect or whatever. When something unfamiliar is seen, the brain, in attempting to make sense of it, can create very bizarre impressions.

The dancing sun would have to have been observed over the entire daylight side of the earth, which AFAIK, was not the case. This is ignoring the severe physical difficulties of of keeping the Earth stable and earthquake free during such an event, but of course that is part of the miracle.

 

It would do more than that.  The gravitational effects would be beyond catastrophic and would likely leave our planet in a state much like Mars.  Maybe that's what happened to Mars?  God made the sun dance and then went "Aww crap, well, I guess I won't do that again."  Laughing out loud :D


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Such an event would throw

Such an event would throw the entire solar system into disarray. A billion comets and rocks would be dislodged from the oort cloud and head inbound. Jupiter and Saturn could rip into puff balls of frozen clouds. Mercury would be swallowed in a fraction of a second. Venus' atmosphere would be ripped away(if not the entire planet). Pluto would either get swallowed or ejected. Not to mention the affects on the galactic area.

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Vastet wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Such an event would throw the entire solar system into disarray. A billion comets and rocks would be dislodged from the oort cloud and head inbound. Jupiter and Saturn could rip into puff balls of frozen clouds. Mercury would be swallowed in a fraction of a second. Venus' atmosphere would be ripped away(if not the entire planet). Pluto would either get swallowed or ejected. Not to mention the affects on the galactic area.

There would certainly be Solar System-wide effects, if the Sun did 'dance'.

However, I am sure the reply would be that God used his power to keep everything in place while he moved the Sun. My point was that even if God had managed that, it would have been reported all over the sunlit world. Which presents a problem - I think we would have had reports from more than just one place.

Or maybe all He did was literally create a local illusion. Doesn't sound quite as impressive tho. Smiling

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Quote: Invalid church

Quote:
Invalid church documentation and a few things I can't read. You've provided nothing.

You have just rejected it because it claims there is a miracle and because it claims that the Catholic Church is correct. Also, it is clear that evidence exists, even if written in other languages. You just refuse to acknowledge it.

Quote:

I could have told you that you couldn't "help" me when you first started posting.

I can't talk to someone who doesn't listen to reason. I hoped that people here were better than retreating into irrationality.

Quote:

If you really feel it must end, then I suggest you leave the site altogether. Because I'm not about to stop debunking you. Neither are others. And if you repeat the same bs too many times, you'll probably be forced out for breaking terms and conditions.

You can't "debunk" my answers by just writing off everything I say with the word, "lies," or just asserting that everything I talk about doesn't exist. If you want to, we can't have a conversation and I have no way to talk with you as a rational person.

As to the dancing of the sun, it was quite assuredly a local phenomenon. But the mere fact that it wasn't truly the dancing of the sun itself is not proof that the miracle is false. If it appears that the sun moves all around the sky, from one end to another, down toward earth and back up, I would think that is a pretty good feat.

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StMichael

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StMichael wrote: Quote:

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Once again, you start citing Scripture as a reliable source for your claims. After all this time, you have not proven that scripture is a reliable source. Either do so, or stop citing it.
Scripture is not being used to prove anything.
The most I used was an analogy from Scripture where Christ performs an action that indicates how miracles establish authority.

I have repeatedly challenged the historicity of jesus, and the credibility of the miracles that jesus performed. A couple of your previous quotes:

"The event occurs in Scripture and Christ Himself makes an argument that basically goes: "If I say, I forgive sins, you might not believe me. But to show that I do have the authority, "rise and walk." Hence, I, Christ, can forgive sins."

"The Gospels on a whole are obviously and clearly historical in character and the interpretative tradition of the Church confirms this character."

That you freely and frequently mention it in your arguments, you can understand how I thought you were using it as a source of proof, for whatever you were trying at the time to prove. If, as you have now clealy said, "Scripture is not being used to prove anything", do not bring it up again. Do not even use it for "analogies". You might as well be mining Shakespeare for examples.

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Very well. That's all it takes a slight error to emerge. One small oversight, despite the amenities of technology. Yet you would think that word of mouth transmission over the course of a generation preserved an iron-clad historical account of a person named jesus, miracles in tow. Pardon me while I disagree.
Except that we are not talking about that sort of oral tradition.

Then what "sort of oral tradition" are talking about? You have previously claimed the gospels are reliable accounts of what happened up to 70 years prior to their writing, on the belief that the events of jesus' life were accurately passed down up until the gospel writing. Are you getting ready to spring "different species" of oral tradition on me, as you did with miracles? Can't wait.

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
There is every reason to assume it as a false premise! It defies common sense! Do the tricks that the birthday clown performs also establish christ's authority?
"It defies common sense!" It does not. We are not talking about magic tricks, we are talking about clear miracles that no human being can do. We are talking about curing dead limbs, raising the dead, ect. But, again, you assume a false premise.

How do we know we are talking about "clear miracles" (identify species, please!) and not magic tricks? To this day I don't know how the birthday clown did all those neat little tricks. No human being can spontaneously generate a rabbit in a hat, no human being can be cut in half and then restored to whole, and yet we see it done. Unless we can observe these phenomena under controlled scientific conditions (more on that later), it is much more reasonable to assume you are seeing a "magic trick", and not a "clear miracle".

StMichael wrote:
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DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES!!!? How can we talk about DIFFERENT SPECIES OF MIRACLES when we haven't even established that they exist? We might as well be talking about the menstrual cycles of mermaids, or the digestive processes of trolls!
Even if we have not proven them to exist, it has no bearing on whether such things are divided as such. A miracle is an event that happens outside of the ordinary course of nature. It can happen in two ways: the effect itself is beyond nature, or the method of obtaining that effect is beyond nature.

Yes, michael my good man, it does have bearing. Without proving them, it is an entire waste of time to talk of their "species". A mermaid is an organism that happens outside of the ordinary course of nature (mammalian upper body, piscine lower body). To talk about a mermaid's menstrual cycle without first establishing the actual existence of mermaids is an exercise in fiction. As is defining the taxonomy of miracles.

StMichael wrote:
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Are any of these raised dead still alive, or did they die again (I always wonder what happened to Lazarus)? If they did die again, what was the point?
The raised dead, of course, die again. Their miraculous raising is proof of God's power and a show of the authority of the message being preached.

I still think it is pointless to restore someone to life just to have them die again. For what? So they can suffer death twice? So the loved ones can mourn his passing twice? Were god to do that to me, merely to use me as an example of his alleged greatness, I would take great offense. Lazarus could not be reached for comment, but I bet he did not appreciate being jesus' guinea pig. A study in cruelty, it is.

StMichael wrote:

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Also, catalepsy is a known medical condition where a person forgoes all vital signs, and then revives later. Nothing miraculous about that.
Wrong. The cataleptic does not "forgoe" vital signs. His vitals slow down, but if they disappeared, he would be dead.

I did not say "vitals", I said "vital signs". As in, "signs of vitality". As in "signs of being alive". Lacking "vital signs" does not mean "lacking vitals". The cataleptic does indeed "lack vital signs", yet he does not "lack vitals". How easily you warp a simple phrase. Simply to hold on to your unproven belief that the dead can be restored to life.

StMichael wrote:

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Your only basis for this is scripture, which as mentioned above has not yet been established as reliable...
It is not based in Scripture. I never used Scripture to prove that they happened, I just offered an example from Scripture.

Once again: If you can't prove that scripture is reliable, don't bother using it for examples.

StMichael wrote:

Another example: in the order of production, human power can bring about the healing of sick people. However, certain healings of metastatic cancers which riddled the bodies of patients were cured in a miraculous way instantly without recurrence, with no treatment. This is likewise a miracle of production.

So are we wasting our time researching cures for cancer, when god every so often snaps his fingers (metaphoricaly speaking, of course) to cure it? Why are there only "certain healings" of cancer? Are the multitude of other people suffering not good enough to be used as examples of his greatness? Cure all cases, not just "certain" cases, and I'll be well on the way to being impressed.

StMichael wrote:
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The jury is still out on your flesh and blood in Lanciano. You have made an attempt to provide some corroboration (thank you), but nothing yet convincing.
And why is it not yet convincing? Independent medical studies occured at Lanciano that verified it multiple times! Their paperwork and reports are both posted in the shrine and available if you ask for them.

Yes, as you have said. The thing is: You do not have to go to germany to learn Einstein's theory of relativity. You do not have to go to England to learn Newton's laws of motion. You do not have to see the original vial of broth Pasteur used in France, to understand germs. The knowledge has now spread to us all. But the knowledge that there is an all-powerful being reaching into the world and working amazing miracles such as these would be far more interesting and important. And yet we have to trudge over to some shrine in Lanciano to know this? Not adding up. Just isn't.

StMichael wrote:
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It might be just as easy for you to write to Ratzinger, so he can write to god, and have him duplicate the lanciano miracle under controlled laboratory conditions, here in the States. That would much more rapidly settle the debate.
A total and utter misunderstanding of Catholic dogma.

How so? It would be very simple for god (wouldn't it?) to duplicate this wondrous miracle in front of "skeptics" at MIT or Berkely, with the cameras rolling. Then we would all be convinced, and you wouldn't have to keep chanting "lanciano" like a broken record! I mean, as you said god does these things to prove christ's authority, can't he give the good ol' U.S. of A. an example of their own? Hell, he could even do it in Brooklyn, if he wants to stay on the Italian theme!

StMichael wrote:

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Fine. If it is not testable in an ordinary sense, I do not have to believe it, in an ordinary sense. So, in an ordinary sense, god does not exist.
It is not a proof for the existence of God. It is a proof for the truth of articles of faith, of which the existence of God is not directly related.

Fine then. In an ordinary sense, the articles of faith have not been proven true.

StMichael wrote:
Also, why is it not testable in an ordinary sense?

You tell me. You're the one who said it: "But you miss the point about forgiving sins. I was not claiming that it was verifiable that our sins are forgiven, as it is not testable in an ordinary sense."

If you can't even keep track of your own quotes, what is the point?

StMichael wrote:
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Just curious...do these atheists & skeptics (assuming this group of fact-checkers even exists) remain atheists & skeptics following the study? If so, why? If not, do they have to continuously canvas for new atheists and skeptics after each certified miracle?
I am sorry, as far as I know no atheists are on the board. I meant merely skeptics, but I was writing in a hurry.

You were writing in a hurry? So you were typing so fast you accidentally banged on the keyboard, and the letters just happened to spell "atheists"? Or you realized post-facto that you had painted yourself into a corner? But no matter.

Merely skeptics? How are they "merely" skeptical? They're not atheists as you've retroactively said, so what are they? Precisely what are they skeptical about? And do they remain skeptical after each certified miracle? That question still remains to be answered; you snuck around the "atheist" part of it (or at least tried to), but I would still like to know what effect the witnessing of an actual miracle has on a "skeptic". Please respond, preferably when you're not in a hurry.

StMichael wrote:
God's intervention is not an ordinary event. That is precisely the issue. God's intervention is not something assumed according to the ordinary laws of nature. God only acts in this way to confirm His character as author of nature to us.

Yes, I pretty much already got that. But the situation still holds: Since these miracles are so true and all, I am free to assume --perhaps not in an "ordinary sense"-- that at any moment god is going to "act in a way to confirm His character as author of nature to us", which would override whatever I would assume "in an ordinary sense". Hence, my question: What is the point of assuming anything "in an ordinary sense", if god may at any moment override it in "an extraordinary sense"?

StMichael wrote:

I never claimed the antiquity itself was the reason to believe them, just that the unbroken chain of succession to Christ as a unified body was a partial indication of their divine character. Also, the Hindus have had quite a few breaks in authority and have no central body, as the Catholic Church does.

But as you already acknowledged, all you need is a pope on the throne to say that there's a church. One old guy passing the sceptre to another is not that impressive an achievement, even over the course of 2,000 years. If that's what we need for a "partial indication of divine character", I'm still not impressed. And, like hindus, the Jews have had quite a few breaks in authority and have no central body, up until the time jesus (presumably) existed, and continuing on thereafter. So god may have had his "continuity" from the 1st century on, but it would appear it took him several millennia prior to that to get his bearings.

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An ordered system which wreacks chaos, upon nature and civilization? Praise god.
It wreaks havoc, not because of God's design, but because of the effects of original sin which makes death and suffering a reality.

So if not for original sin, we would not have warm air in the middle of the ocean organizing into a hurricane to wreack chaos, whether or not humans lie in its path. Earthquakes and volcanoes too. Products of original sin. Nice.

There are no theists on operating tables.

πππ†
π†††


StMichael
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Quote: You might as well

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You might as well be mining Shakespeare for examples.

Which I believe I can equally do. I can mine the Homeric poems if I want to draw an analogy. I just think that Scripture is an easy place to compare my points, because Christ Himself makes the case from His miracles to His divinity to His authority, the same way I am suggesting. It is a concrete example.

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Then what "sort of oral tradition" are talking about? You have previously claimed the gospels are reliable accounts of what happened up to 70 years prior to their writing, on the belief that the events of jesus' life were accurately passed down up until the gospel writing. Are you getting ready to spring "different species" of oral tradition on me, as you did with miracles? Can't wait.

There are different types of oral traditions, but that is entirely irrelevant. We are not talking about these stories being passed down through generations, we are talking about eyewitnesses writing their accounts of Christ's life and miracles. No oral tradition involved. Also, they were written not within 70 years, but probably more like 30 or less, depending on how you date Matthew and Mark. You also have St. Paul, who is writing less than 10 or so years from the actual events.

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How do we know we are talking about "clear miracles" (identify species, please!) and not magic tricks?

Substance and production.

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To this day I don't know how the birthday clown did all those neat little tricks.

Too bad. I was a magician once, so I suppose I have an inside track.

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No human being can spontaneously generate a rabbit in a hat, no human being can be cut in half and then restored to whole, and yet we see it done. Unless we can observe these phenomena under controlled scientific conditions (more on that later), it is much more reasonable to assume you are seeing a "magic trick", and not a "clear miracle".

But in a magic trick we can easily investigate whether or not it was a trick. In a miracle, we cannot find a natural cause. Further, men can replicate these tricks. They cannot do certain others even as a trick. For example, I cannot kill you and bring you back to life. Not at all. Totally beyond my power as a human being and even as a tricker. I might be able to create an illusion of killing you and bringing you back to life, but of course this is something we can dispel by investigation.

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Yes, michael my good man, it does have bearing. Without proving them, it is an entire waste of time to talk of their "species". A mermaid is an organism that happens outside of the ordinary course of nature (mammalian upper body, piscine lower body). To talk about a mermaid's menstrual cycle without first establishing the actual existence of mermaids is an exercise in fiction. As is defining the taxonomy of miracles.

It is a divison of what extraordinary interventions could take place. You are asking how I define miracles and how I can rationally justify them. Thus, it makes clear sense that I would lay out my definition of miracles and miraculous occurences so that we could investigate them. If you were to say, for example, going to tell me that quarks exist, and I doubted it, you would have to define what quarks are for me to evaluate them. If I merely rejected it, saying, "But quarks don't exist. Therefore, you are merely defining FICTION and it is irrelevant" then we wouldn't get anywhere.

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I still think it is pointless to restore someone to life just to have them die again. For what?

So that unbelievers can be converted Smiling

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So they can suffer death twice? So the loved ones can mourn his passing twice? Were god to do that to me, merely to use me as an example of his alleged greatness, I would take great offense. Lazarus could not be reached for comment, but I bet he did not appreciate being jesus' guinea pig. A study in cruelty, it is.

I think Lazarus appreciated such an action, considering his later acceptance of ordination as a bishop and his see of Kition (Kittim) in modern-day Cyprus. And I think it is very nice of Christ to restore Lazarus to his loved ones for even a few days, even if he dies again. Is this not precisely the point of many plays and movies? "If I had but a day more with so-and-such?" Also, I'd think it much easier to undergoe death after having already had a stab at it, apart from other considerations.

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I did not say "vitals", I said "vital signs". As in, "signs of vitality". As in "signs of being alive". Lacking "vital signs" does not mean "lacking vitals". The cataleptic does indeed "lack vital signs", yet he does not "lack vitals". How easily you warp a simple phrase. Simply to hold on to your unproven belief that the dead can be restored to life.

However, again, that is wrong. The catalepic does NOT lack vital signs, signs of being alive, or whatever you might call them. He has a heartbeat, an EKG, and many other signs that he is alive. His breathing slows enormously and his heartrate plummets, but it still exists, otherwise he would be dead. Simple medical science.

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So are we wasting our time researching cures for cancer, when god every so often snaps his fingers (metaphoricaly speaking, of course) to cure it? Why are there only "certain healings" of cancer? Are the multitude of other people suffering not good enough to be used as examples of his greatness? Cure all cases, not just "certain" cases, and I'll be well on the way to being impressed.

Because God uses miracles to reveal a greater reality. He does not abrogate the order of the universe entirely. We are not wasting time on research of cancer, because such research is an act of mercy towards those who have it. Our acceptance that God might use a miracle to cure cancer is not a guarantee that He will do so always. His miracles are used in His Providence to bring about the salvation of souls, not of all bodies of men.

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Yes, as you have said. The thing is: You do not have to go to germany to learn Einstein's theory of relativity. You do not have to go to England to learn Newton's laws of motion. You do not have to see the original vial of broth Pasteur used in France, to understand germs. The knowledge has now spread to us all. But the knowledge that there is an all-powerful being reaching into the world and working amazing miracles such as these would be far more interesting and important. And yet we have to trudge over to some shrine in Lanciano to know this? Not adding up. Just isn't.

I never said that you had to go to Lanciano. But, for example, if you need to understand Newton's theories, you need to pick a book up from the store, or give some effort. If you want to verify that, for example, catalepsy has been verified in some person, you would need to get a journal article that establishes this. So, in the same way, you need to seek the evidence where it is. If I am claiming a miracle in a specific part of the world, not a universal miracle present equally in England as in France, you need to go to that place. Just as if I were to say that a particular hill exists in France, you need to go there and see it if you doubt all and any articles concerning its existence.

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How so? It would be very simple for god (wouldn't it?) to duplicate this wondrous miracle in front of "skeptics" at MIT or Berkely, with the cameras rolling. Then we would all be convinced, and you wouldn't have to keep chanting "lanciano" like a broken record! I mean, as you said god does these things to prove christ's authority, can't he give the good ol' U.S. of A. an example of their own? Hell, he could even do it in Brooklyn, if he wants to stay on the Italian theme!

He has performed miracles in front of scientists. Scientists can get off their tushes and go to France to Lourdes, or they can go to Lanciano, or any other place in the world with such a perpetual miracle, and verify it themselves. They do the same if someone says, for example, "Hey, we found a new species of whale in the Atlantic!" The scientists might respond "Sweet! Let's go get ourselves on Animal Planet!"
In a certain sense, that is exactly what God has done. He has plopped down an verifiable miracle into the middle of a church in Italy, or France, or any number of places. You just need to head out there with equipment and a desire to test it, and you can do so. Any member of MIT's researching faculty could do so if they so desired and obtained permission.

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Fine then. In an ordinary sense, the articles of faith have not been proven true.

Why not?

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You tell me. You're the one who said it: "But you miss the point about forgiving sins. I was not claiming that it was verifiable that our sins are forgiven, as it is not testable in an ordinary sense."

If you can't even keep track of your own quotes, what is the point?


You can't directly verify that your sins are forgiven, but you can indirectly do so through the miracles of Christ (or, by extension, the saints).

Quote:

Merely skeptics? How are they "merely" skeptical? They're not atheists as you've retroactively said, so what are they? Precisely what are they skeptical about? And do they remain skeptical after each certified miracle? That question still remains to be answered; you snuck around the "atheist" part of it (or at least tried to), but I would still like to know what effect the witnessing of an actual miracle has on a "skeptic". Please respond, preferably when you're not in a hurry.

I meant that many of the doctors who are consulted in the committee's efforts are not Catholic and do not necessarily accept that miracles may happen. However, they are compelled by the force of the evidence to conclude that said actions are entirely unexplainable according to medical science. Let me just completely clarify by posting the committee's own description: "In 1905, Pope Pius X requested 'to submit to a proper process' the most spectacular of the cures of Lourdes. The Medical Bureau was set up to carry this out.

"Medical Bureau" has two different meanings. It is, first of all, a place in the Sanctuary with two offices where a doctor practices. This doctor receives the declarations and begins an examination of the facts according to the traditional criteria as it was defined in the 18th century by Cardinal Lambertini the future Pope Benedict XIV for the process of beatification

If the case appears serious, the doctor arranges a Medical Bureau which is a consultation where all the medical doctors, regardless of their religious persuasion, present in the Sanctuary on the day may attend.

If the doctor of Lourdes and the gathered medical bureau find in favour the file is sent to the International Medical Committee of Lourdes (C.M.I.L.). This is made up of some 20 members, respected in their own particular area. This committee has been in existence since 1947. In 1954, Bishop Théas wanted it to have a true international dimension.

This committee is chaired jointly by the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes and one of its members nominated by the Bishop for a set period of time which can be renewed. The doctor of Lourdes is the secretary to this committee.

This committee makes a judgement about a case. One or more of its members are them charged with examining it in detail and informing himself on all the medical literature published on related subjects... The person charged with the case may consult with colleagues on the outside. Normally the person concerned is not summoned to be present.

The Committee meets once a year, in the autumn. They examine the current files, When everything is in place (this can take some time) the committee decides by way of a vote whether to declare or refuse to confirm that this cure is inexplicable according to present scientific knowledge. A two-third majority is required for an affirmative vote.

The medical result is sent to the bishop of the diocese where the cured person lives. The bishop would, naturally, have been kept up to date with the proceedings. If is appears that the result is going to be positive the bishop is advised, in advance, to set up locally a small medical committee who can, at the given moment, consider the conclusions of the committee.

In the light of current events, the bishop can decide or abstain from recognising the "miraculous" character of this cure."

I wrote those few things from memory and I tripped up a bit with the facts in this particular case. I probably ought to have clarified what I meant beforehand. Mea culpa.

Quote:

Yes, I pretty much already got that. But the situation still holds: Since these miracles are so true and all, I am free to assume --perhaps not in an "ordinary sense"-- that at any moment god is going to "act in a way to confirm His character as author of nature to us", which would override whatever I would assume "in an ordinary sense". Hence, my question: What is the point of assuming anything "in an ordinary sense", if god may at any moment override it in "an extraordinary sense"?

God could, but God does not. It would defeat the purpose as well if God did always extraordinarily intervene, would it not? Further, in a certain sense, every act in the world is directly sustained by God in existence, so that every act is caused by God.

Quote:

But as you already acknowledged, all you need is a pope on the throne to say that there's a church. One old guy passing the sceptre to another is not that impressive an achievement, even over the course of 2,000 years. If that's what we need for a "partial indication of divine character", I'm still not impressed. And, like hindus, the Jews have had quite a few breaks in authority and have no central body, up until the time jesus (presumably) existed, and continuing on thereafter. So god may have had his "continuity" from the 1st century on, but it would appear it took him several millennia prior to that to get his bearings.

The Jews had a central authority in the High Priest and priests in the Temple, which were founded by Moses. While they don't have one today, they did.
And, the fact that no human government has survived that long (or even come quite close) makes the papacy quite an achievement in that regard.

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So if not for original sin, we would not have warm air in the middle of the ocean organizing into a hurricane to wreack chaos, whether or not humans lie in its path. Earthquakes and volcanoes too. Products of original sin. Nice.

If we had no original sin, people would not be bothered by an earthquake or hurricane; nobody would die. Death and suffering are entirely the result of original sin.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


zarathustra
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StMichael wrote:

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
You might as well be mining Shakespeare for examples.
Which I believe I can equally do. I can mine the Homeric poems if I want to draw an analogy. I just think that Scripture is an easy place to compare my points, because Christ Himself makes the case from His miracles to His divinity to His authority, the same way I am suggesting. It is a concrete example.

If you "believe" you can "equally" use Shakespeare and Homer, please proceed to do so, and refrain from using scripture. Let's see how credible your arguments sound (both to us and to you) at that point. And again, as you have not shown that the scriptures are reliable, you cannot say that you are giving "concrete examples". If you actually think you can demonstrate beyond any doubt that the scriptures are reliable, perhaps start another thread to address that issue itself, so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle. Until you do establish that the scriptures are trustworthy (please don't think that you have), any citation of scripture is on par with a citation of any fictional work.

StMichael wrote:
There are different types of oral traditions, but that is entirely irrelevant. We are not talking about these stories being passed down through generations, we are talking about eyewitnesses writing their accounts of Christ's life and miracles. No oral tradition involved. Also, they were written not within 70 years, but probably more like 30 or less, depending on how you date Matthew and Mark. You also have St. Paul, who is writing less than 10 or so years from the actual events.

Brother Michael, do you have ADD or something? We are not talking about eyewitnesses writing down their accounts, we are talking about people writing down accounts at least 2 degrees removed from the purported "eyewitnesses". As far as Paul, once again, he did not make mention of most of the gospel events in his letters. You can give all the circuitous reasons why he didn't (such as "he just mentioned them in person, he didn't see a need to write about them in his letters&quotEye-wink, you have not proven that he knew about these events, and that they did not simply surface later. And perhaps you just misunderstood me about the "70 years". If (a very big "If" at that) jesus lived from 0 A.D. to 33 A.D., and the gospels date to roughly 70 A.D., then the gospels account for events occurring roughly 40 - 70 prior, yes?. Just some simple arithemetic - but since you elsewhere said that "2 + 2 = 4" is less obvious to you than the virgin birth, I'm not surprised you didn't think to use it.

StMichael wrote:
Too bad. I was a magician once, so I suppose I have an inside track.

And you still are. It's just that this time around, you believe the hocus pocus yourself.

StMichael wrote:
But in a magic trick we can easily investigate whether or not it was a trick. In a miracle, we cannot find a natural cause. Further, men can replicate these tricks. They cannot do certain others even as a trick. For example, I cannot kill you and bring you back to life. Not at all. Totally beyond my power as a human being and even as a tricker. I might be able to create an illusion of killing you and bringing you back to life, but of course this is something we can dispel by investigation.

Right-o. So get god to restore to life a certified dead person under controlled laboratory conditions, with full ability to investigate, and you might see some of us jumping on the miracle bandwagon (gee, I hope there's room). Otherwise, I'll be singing "Uh oh! It's magic..."

StMichael wrote:
It is a divison of what extraordinary interventions could take place. You are asking how I define miracles and how I can rationally justify them. Thus, it makes clear sense that I would lay out my definition of miracles and miraculous occurences so that we could investigate them. If you were to say, for example, going to tell me that quarks exist, and I doubted it, you would have to define what quarks are for me to evaluate them. If I merely rejected it, saying, "But quarks don't exist. Therefore, you are merely defining FICTION and it is irrelevant" then we wouldn't get anywhere.

Ah but you see...

If I were to tell you about quarks, I would not tell you something broad which covered some quarks and not others, and after you point out something wrong in my description recover by saying "Oh, I was only talking about top quarks, not strange and charm!" Whereas, after you gave a description of miracles, and I took issue with your description, you went "Oh but there are different species of miracles! And I was talking about this species, and not that species! Nyahh!" Knowhutimean?

StMichael wrote:
However, again, that is wrong. The catalepic does NOT lack vital signs, signs of being alive, or whatever you might call them. He has a heartbeat, an EKG, and many other signs that he is alive. His breathing slows enormously and his heartrate plummets, but it still exists, otherwise he would be dead. Simple medical science.

As late as the 19th century, doctors would pronounce dead people prematurely, merely lacking (at the time) adequate means for determining true death. Sometimes these people would revive and it might be hailed as a miracle. So what passed for "vital signs" in the 19th century are different than today. Get it? When was the last acknowledged miracle of a dead man returned to life, care to tell us? As I suggested above, let's do this miracle right, EKG and everything, and then you can claim victory. Feelin' up for it?

StMichael wrote:
Because God uses miracles to reveal a greater reality. He does not abrogate the order of the universe entirely. We are not wasting time on research of cancer, because such research is an act of mercy towards those who have it. Our acceptance that God might use a miracle to cure cancer is not a guarantee that He will do so always. His miracles are used in His Providence to bring about the salvation of souls, not of all bodies of men.

Given how little we still know about cancer, it is a bit too presumptuous to assume any case of healing is due to god's grace, rather than the body's ability to overcome it, or cancer simply going into remission. However, if in fact god chooses some select few to be cured while the majority suffer, I see that rather as an act of cruelty than a glorious miracle. How does he decide the lucky winners?

StMichael wrote:
If I am claiming a miracle in a specific part of the world, not a universal miracle present equally in England as in France, you need to go to that place. Just as if I were to say that a particular hill exists in France, you need to go there and see it if you doubt all and any articles concerning its existence.

Fine. I've got definitive proof that god doesn't exist locked in a safe in my basement. I can send you a photo of a scientific study conducted in 1970, written in Navajo. And I heard about a guy in Mecca with proof that mohammed flew to heaven on a horse and all that. Buyin it, Michael?

There's nothing terribly remarkable about a hill in France, so I wouldn't demand extraordinary proof for such an assertion.

StMichael wrote:
He has performed miracles in front of scientists. Scientists can get off their tushes and go to France to Lourdes, or they can go to Lanciano, or any other place in the world with such a perpetual miracle, and verify it themselves. They do the same if someone says, for example, "Hey, we found a new species of whale in the Atlantic!" The scientists might respond "Sweet! Let's go get ourselves on Animal Planet!" In a certain sense, that is exactly what God has done.

Whales in the atlantic need to be observed in their natural habitat. God can get off his holy tush and perform a miracle anywhere. I wish he would, just so you'd stop saying "lanciano".

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Fine then. In an ordinary sense, the articles of faith have not been proven true.
Why not?

You yourself said, "I was not claiming that it was verifiable that our sins are forgiven, as it is not testable in an ordinary sense." Are you going senile?

StMichael wrote:
You can't directly verify that your sins are forgiven, but you can indirectly do so through the miracles of Christ (or, by extension, the saints).

Care to give a detailed methodology of this "indirect verification"? Otherwise, I suppse I can use the miracles of Christ to indirectly verify that the moon is made of the green cheese and the Pope has a fetish for dead weasels.

StMichael wrote:
I meant that many of the doctors who are consulted in the committee's efforts are not Catholic and do not necessarily accept that miracles may happen. However, they are compelled by the force of the evidence to conclude that said actions are entirely unexplainable according to medical science.

Way to copy and paste:

http://www.lourdes-france.org/index.php?goto_centre=ru&contexte=en&id=491&id_rubrique=488

You did not answer my question: Do they remain skeptics, or do they promptly become ardent catholics, after they make their conclusions?

StMichael wrote:
The Jews had a central authority in the High Priest and priests in the Temple, which were founded by Moses. While they don't have one today, they did. And, the fact that no human government has survived that long (or even come quite close) makes the papacy quite an achievement in that regard.

Not really. In the 1st century (when you-know-who was supposed to have lived), there were multiple jewish factions, with differing takes on the messianic prophecy. Nothing special about the vatican's continuity either - if you ingratiate yourself to whoever the powers that be are at the time, sure you'll stick around.

StMichael wrote:
If we had no original sin, people would not be bothered by an earthquake or hurricane; nobody would die. Death and suffering are entirely the result of original sin.

Interesting. So did earthquakes and hurricanes not occur during the first several billion years of earth's existence, or did they only start after the fall of man (answer carefully)? Also curious: when exactly -- and how -- did original sin emerge on the evolutionary timeline?

Take your Ritalin,

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Another problem: Without

Another problem: Without plate techtonics (the cause of earthquakes) and vulcanism, how exactly did the continents/islands/mountains form?

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I've already successfully

I've already successfully destroyed most of stm's arguments(in his own admission), but here's a comment warranting further attention.

StMichael wrote:
If we had no original sin, people would not be bothered by an earthquake or hurricane; nobody would die. Death and suffering are entirely the result of original sin.

So people would be able to magically float out of the way? Merely being immortal wouldn't stop a hurricane or earthquake from "bothering" people.

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Quote: We are not talking

Quote:

We are not talking about eyewitnesses writing down their accounts, we are talking about people writing down accounts at least 2 degrees removed from the purported "eyewitnesses".

And how do you support that claim? I am precisely arguing that the Gospels WERE written by eyewitnesses (or indirectly in the case of 2)!

Quote:

As far as Paul, once again, he did not make mention of most of the gospel events in his letters. You can give all the circuitous reasons why he didn't (such as "he just mentioned them in person, he didn't see a need to write about them in his letters", you have not proven that he knew about these events, and that they did not simply surface later. And perhaps you just misunderstood me about the "70 years". If (a very big "If" at that) jesus lived from 0 A.D. to 33 A.D., and the gospels date to roughly 70 A.D., then the gospels account for events occurring roughly 40 - 70 prior, yes?.


The Gospels account for events occuring 40 years prior. Yes. And?

Quote:
Right-o. So get god to restore to life a certified dead person under controlled laboratory conditions, with full ability to investigate, and you might see some of us jumping on the miracle bandwagon (gee, I hope there's room). Otherwise, I'll be singing "Uh oh! It's magic..."

Many other things have been done that are verifiable miracles. I cite, again, Lanciano.

Quote:

If I were to tell you about quarks, I would not tell you something broad which covered some quarks and not others, and after you point out something wrong in my description recover by saying "Oh, I was only talking about top quarks, not strange and charm!" Whereas, after you gave a description of miracles, and I took issue with your description, you went "Oh but there are different species of miracles! And I was talking about this species, and not that species! Nyahh!" Knowhutimean?

That's not what I said. I meant to outline the different types of miracles so that our conversation was more coherent. Both are beyond human ability, but in two different ways. It was merely meant to draw the necessary distinctions. The criticisms levelled applied to neither.

Quote:
As late as the 19th century, doctors would pronounce dead people prematurely, merely lacking (at the time) adequate means for determining true death. Sometimes these people would revive and it might be hailed as a miracle.

Not after days in the tomb. Or after being mangled, with pieces disconnected.

Quote:
When was the last acknowledged miracle of a dead man returned to life, care to tell us?

Not sure. I don't have a master list for these sorts of things.

Quote:

Given how little we still know about cancer, it is a bit too presumptuous to assume any case of healing is due to god's grace, rather than the body's ability to overcome it, or cancer simply going into remission.

Miracles are not certain proofs. They do not give an absolute certainty. However, they are probable grounds for belief. And the knowledge we do have of cancer tells us that this is clearly impossible.

Quote:
However, if in fact god chooses some select few to be cured while the majority suffer, I see that rather as an act of cruelty than a glorious miracle. How does he decide the lucky winners?

They are not lucky winners. Suffering is used to unite us to God, in a manner of speaking. Cures are effected to continue to show the authority of God for unbelievers.

Quote:
Fine. I've got definitive proof that god doesn't exist locked in a safe in my basement. I can send you a photo of a scientific study conducted in 1970, written in Navajo. And I heard about a guy in Mecca with proof that mohammed flew to heaven on a horse and all that. Buyin it, Michael?

The evidence for miracles is outstanding. Yours is not. I also want to point out, again, that Islam denies miracles.

Quote:
Whales in the atlantic need to be observed in their natural habitat. God can get off his holy tush and perform a miracle anywhere. I wish he would, just so you'd stop saying "lanciano".

He performs them all over. Lanciano just happens to be a very convenient and scientifically verified specimen.

Quote:
You yourself said, "I was not claiming that it was verifiable that our sins are forgiven, as it is not testable in an ordinary sense." Are you going senile?

It is not directly verifiable from a feeling or a priori knowledge that our sins are forgiven. We know this indirectly through the authority of the one revealing, which is shown forth by miracles.

Quote:
Care to give a detailed methodology of this "indirect verification"? Otherwise, I suppse I can use the miracles of Christ to indirectly verify that the moon is made of the green cheese and the Pope has a fetish for dead weasels.

I used the example before from the Gospels:
Christ says, "I forgive sins."
People say, "He can't forgive sins."
Christ says, "Which is easier: I forgive sins, or Rise and walk?"
Christ raises paralytic.
Crowd has evidence that Christ forgives sins.

Quote:

You did not answer my question: Do they remain skeptics, or do they promptly become ardent catholics, after they make their conclusions?

They are doctors. They make decisions based on the medical evidence. I would have to suppose that most are Catholics. Read the post.
The intial attitude of any investigation of miracles is always skepticism.

Quote:

Not really. In the 1st century (when you-know-who was supposed to have lived), there were multiple jewish factions, with differing takes on the messianic prophecy.

All Jews were not Jews unless the held to the Temple and its priesthood. The factions among Judaism existed in this "unity."

Quote:

Nothing special about the vatican's continuity either - if you ingratiate yourself to whoever the powers that be are at the time, sure you'll stick around.

Too bad nobody else seems to be catching on and imitating successfully. Or has. For the last 2000 years.

Quote:

Interesting. So did earthquakes and hurricanes not occur during the first several billion years of earth's existence, or did they only start after the fall of man (answer carefully)?

The earthquakes and hurricanes did not directly arise as a result of original sin. The harm that they caused to human beings did.

Quote:
Also curious: when exactly -- and how -- did original sin emerge on the evolutionary timeline?

I have no idea when. When Adam and Eve lived. The sin in the Garden obviously answering the "how."

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


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StMichael wrote: Quote:

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
We are not talking about eyewitnesses writing down their accounts, we are talking about people writing down accounts at least 2 degrees removed from the purported "eyewitnesses".
And how do you support that claim? I am precisely arguing that the Gospels WERE written by eyewitnesses (or indirectly in the case of 2)!

Michael, is there lead in your drinking water?  What is the "case of 2)"?  You said here, "The Gospel was written down after the fact by Gentile educated converts who were informed by eyewitnesses."

Now you say  "I am precisely arguing that the Gospels WERE written by eyewitnesses...".  You aren't precisely saying anything, my friend.  Are you now saying that actual eyewitnesses waited until 70 A.D. to write down their accounts?  

StMichael wrote:
 
Quote:
Right-o. So get god to restore to life a certified dead person under controlled laboratory conditions, with full ability to investigate, and you might see some of us jumping on the miracle bandwagon (gee, I hope there's room). Otherwise, I'll be singing "Uh oh! It's magic..."
Many other things have been done that are verifiable miracles. I cite, again, Lanciano.

Yes you cite it again.  And again.  What you're not getting is if god pulled one of his parlor tricks under controlled laboratory conditions, we would all be convinced, (lanciano or no lanciano), we would no longer need to debate back and forth in this manner.

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
...after you gave a description of miracles, and I took issue with your description, you went "Oh but there are different species of miracles! And I was talking about this species, and not that species! Nyahh!" Knowhutimean?
That's not what I said. I meant to outline the different types of miracles so that our conversation was more coherent. Both are beyond human ability, but in two different ways. It was merely meant to draw the necessary distinctions. The criticisms levelled applied to neither.

 Um, yes.  You waited until I challenged the credibility of miracles as possibly being natural phenomena which we simply can't presently explain, to make your save here   with different species. 

StMichael wrote:
Not after days in the tomb. Or after being mangled, with pieces disconnected.
zarathustra wrote:
When was the last acknowledged miracle of a dead man returned to life, care to tell us?
Not sure. I don't have a master list for these sorts of things.
Then don't talk about them.  

StMichael wrote:

 Miracles are not certain proofs. They do not give an absolute certainty. However, they are probable grounds for belief. And the knowledge we do have of cancer tells us that this is clearly impossible.

Yes michael, the knowledge we do have.  The knowledge that we will have in the future may flatten your claims of miracle cures.  Disavow them now lest you risk looking like a hapless fool.

StMichael wrote:

Quote:
However, if in fact god chooses some select few to be cured while the majority suffer, I see that rather as an act of cruelty than a glorious miracle. How does he decide the lucky winners?
They are not lucky winners. Suffering is used to unite us to God, in a manner of speaking. Cures are effected to continue to show the authority of God for unbelievers.

Suffering is used to unite us to god?  He's sicker than I thought. 

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Whales in the atlantic need to be observed in their natural habitat. God can get off his holy tush and perform a miracle anywhere. I wish he would, just so you'd stop saying "lanciano".
He performs them all over. Lanciano just happens to be a very convenient and scientifically verified specimen.

Yes.  VERY convenient.  Lanciano.  Play it again, Sam.  I'll repeat my request:  Do the "Lanciano" under controlled laboratory conditions.  That would be verifiable.  

StMichael wrote:
I used the example before from the Gospels: Christ says, "I forgive sins." People say, "He can't forgive sins." Christ says, "Which is easier: I forgive sins, or Rise and walk?" Christ raises paralytic. Crowd has evidence that Christ forgives sins.

 Let's try this:

Christ says, "I can pull lamborghinis out of my <expletive>."

People say, "He can't pull lamborghinis out of his <expletive>."

Christ says, "Which is easier: I pull lamborghinis out of my <expletive>, or Rise and walk?"        

Christ raises paralytic.

Crowd has evidence that Christ can pull lamborghinis out of his <expletive>.

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
You did not answer my question: Do they remain skeptics, or do they promptly become ardent catholics, after they make their conclusions?
They are doctors. They make decisions based on the medical evidence. I would have to suppose that most are Catholics. Read the post. The intial attitude of any investigation of miracles is always skepticism.

Ah but now we see...It started out as a board of "atheists and skeptics", and worked its way down to a board where you suppose that "most are catholics".  Anyone see a problem?

StMichael wrote:
StMichael wrote:

 The earthquakes and hurricanes did not directly arise as a result of original sin. The harm that they caused to human beings did.
Quote:
Also curious: when exactly -- and how -- did original sin emerge on the evolutionary timeline?
I have no idea when. When Adam and Eve lived. The sin in the Garden obviously answering the "how."

So earthquakes  and hurricanes already existed, but only because of original sin did they result in harm to humans.  Had they not sinned, there would be no harm sustained.  Am I getting it?

 Clarify for me:  You believe in evolution, or the genesis story. Adam and Eve lived?  The serpent too?  Please clarify.  Please.

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Quote: Are you now saying

Quote:
Are you now saying that actual eyewitnesses waited until 70 A.D. to write down their accounts?

Yes.

Quote:
Yes you cite it again. And again. What you're not getting is if god pulled one of his parlor tricks under controlled laboratory conditions, we would all be convinced, (lanciano or no lanciano), we would no longer need to debate back and forth in this manner.

That is exactly the point. Lanciano is very much verifiable because you can test it and it has been tested under laboratory conditions. It is human flesh and blood which has been preserved in a way human science cannot explain for the past 1200 years.

Quote:
Um, yes. You waited until I challenged the credibility of miracles as possibly being natural phenomena which we simply can't presently explain, to make your save here with different species.

All I did was outline the different ways miracles cannot be natural phenomenon. Miracles of substance are things human artifice can not produce in their substance. Miracles of production are those things which human artifice cannot produce in their mode of production.

Quote:
Then don't talk about them.

They have happened. I don't know when the latest was, but they have happened historically.

Quote:
Yes michael, the knowledge we do have. The knowledge that we will have in the future may flatten your claims of miracle cures. Disavow them now lest you risk looking like a hapless fool.

While there is always a possibility that what we now think is a miracle could be disproven in the future, both the overwhelming volume and the lack of disproof seems to grant them great credibility. I am not arguing that miracles are certain and logically necessary proofs. But they give us a more than reasonable ground to believe in the articles of faith.

Quote:
Suffering is used to unite us to god? He's sicker than I thought.

Your contention. I don't think you understand it.
Suffering entered the world because of sin but Christ Himself embraced it in order to destroy its power over us. Suffering is still an evil in itself, but it is made a good in light of the fact that we can offer our patient endural of sufferings for the salvation of our fellow men, in imitation of Christ.

Quote:
Let's try this:

Christ says, "I can pull lamborghinis out of my ."

People say, "He can't pull lamborghinis out of his ."

Christ says, "Which is easier: I pull lamborghinis out of my , or Rise and walk?"

Christ raises paralytic.

Crowd has evidence that Christ can pull lamborghinis out of his .


They would if this happened. However, Christ could easily produce said car, while there is no such test for the forgiveness of sins. You can't see the forgiveness coming out of Christ and going onto the person. You could see and verify the car. So, for those things which cannot be seen, you need seeable evidence to verify it.

Quote:
Ah but now we see...It started out as a board of "atheists and skeptics", and worked its way down to a board where you suppose that "most are catholics". Anyone see a problem?

I already said that there was an initial mistake. Get over it.

Quote:
So earthquakes and hurricanes already existed, but only because of original sin did they result in harm to humans. Had they not sinned, there would be no harm sustained. Am I getting it?

Yes. Death would not result.

Quote:

Clarify for me: You believe in evolution, or the genesis story. Adam and Eve lived? The serpent too? Please clarify. Please.

Adam and Eve actually lived. The serpent is probably entirely an allegory for the Evil Spirit tempting them. I believe in evolution, but do not think it incompatible with the account of Genesis.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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Ah, Intelligent Design.

Why don't we return to the thread, which was originally about life requiring design?

 

Ah, Intelligent Design. Nothing more than creationism in a cheap tuxedo. William Paley's fallacious idea, flying in the face of modern biology by the way, that life is too complex to arise without a designer.

 

Idiocy.

 

Life is in essence an autocatalytic cycle of transcription, secretion and catalyzation. It is a highly complex closed loop function of hormones and chemicals controlling each other, each activating the next, deactivating one and stimulating another, to keep the organism in homostasis.

 

Irreducible Complexity was first put forth by Michael Behe and states that whereas in complex biosystems, if any single mechanism in a body function is removed, it fails to work. Thus it needs a designer. A laughable error. Every biomechanism can be broken down into simple components. Take the eye. According to IR theorists, if we remove a part of the eye it fails to work. First of all, this only works if you assume the eye to be a closed system. Complex Systems do not evolve independently. You don’t see an eye in the primordial soup, do you? Second, we can track the evolution of an eye from simple patches of light emitting cells. Third, even if we disregard this, the eye is not an IR mechanism. If you remove the lens, you will still see, just rather blurry. But for an evolving organism, blurry vision is better than none at all. If you remove the cone cells, you can still see, just not in color.

What makes life remarkable is that it needs no designer, it is an autocatalytic cycle, bound to happen by the laws of chemistry, fixed in the nature of molecular interaction. It’s processes are self assembling, it’s mechanisms self-regulating. It needs no design.

The organism that Behe likes to use is the bacterial flagellar motor mechanism. Richard Dawkins said of it: “This device is remarkable in nature in that it is the only example outside human technology of a freely rotating axel as a means of propulsion. (Wheels on large animals really would be irreducibly complex and I suspect this is why they do not have them)” It is powered by a tiny molecular motor. According to Behe, if any part were removed, the motor would stop working. Not only is this not irreducibly complex as each function works fine on its own, but we can track it back to simpler versions of it and see how it mutated. The axel bears clear resemblance to a simple mechanism used by bacteria to pump toxins into their hosts called a Type Three Secratory System (TTSS); we can track the TTSS from simple proton pumps and ion channels.

In fact, there is no such thing as Biological Irreducible Complexity. Again, complex Systems do not evolve independently. A collection of simple systems accumulates more functions as these become advantageous. Now I shall set a challenge for you: If you can give me an example of genuine biological Irreducible Complexity, I will abandon the theory of Evolution. I am dead serious. I have posed this challenge before, and never once was an answer delivered. Darwin said in the Origin of Species: “Were it that a system could genuinely not function without the removal a mechanism, my theory would collapse completely”. So far, it holds.

 

DNA mechanisms are extremely complex, but it's software code is fairly simple.

Every time a cell divides, its chromatin arms line up and split. As the DNA base pairs replicate, 6 billion bases have to go into the right place, this is really hard, the only way a nucleotide can recognize it’s counterpart is that the activation energy needed for them to bond is less than if incorrect nucleotides bonded, so if it takes place with an abundance of adenosine triphosphate, it is guaranteed some will end up in the wrong slots on the ribose-phosphate ring, thus forming new strings of genes. DNA controls protein synthesis. The proteins carry out every cellular function. When a protein is needed, the transcriptase enzyme for that protein is secreted, as this enters the cell’s nucleolus, it causes the chromosome containing the DNA to unwind, where a piece of single helix containing a particular string of base pairs is “cut” from the double helix by the enzyme. This piece is identical to the code of the protein. Using templated polymerization, free bases (a nucleotide bound to a sugar-phosphate) make the mirror image of this code, where the correct nucleotides are slotted in, A to T and C to G. Then the strand is peeled apart and the template is returned to the genetic code, where the new strand is ejected from the nucleus where RNA (differs only in one nucleotide and ribose instead of D-Ribose for the backing) called messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) is assembled from a second round of polymerization, the mRNA binds to a ribosome (a ribosome is a giant macromolecular protein assembling machine that just trundles along) in the endoplasmic reticulum, where it is run through it like a conveyer belt, as different tRNAs (transfer RNA) line up with the codons in order, bound to a specific amino acid, stitching them together before leaving the ribosome, creating the protein necessary for whatever function the cell needs to perform.

 

As for the formation of DNA without a designer as being impossible, this shows poor understanding of abiogenesis.

 

 

The hypothesis begins with the Earth’s hydrogenesis, the formation of the oceans. Due to the polar nature of water, dissolving free ions with its slightly polar configuration, it is an ideal “primordial soup” to use the phrase, for the formation of simple self-replicating abiotic molecules. Due to the atmospheric difference of the Earth at the time, the Primordial Soup was very different. It was much warmer, an ideal incubator for the development of simple biomolecules. Experiments have shown that these simple amino and nucleic acids can arise in a hydrated anoxic environment provided there is sunlight. Molecules like Cytosine and Adenine are reasonably simple and will reassemble. This is not probable, but considering the vast size of the ocean and the span of time, the Law of Averages states it will eventually happen. The first abiotic reassembling molecules will vastly increase the chance that they will form life components like RNA; this is the basis of the RNA world Hypothesis.

 

I shall sign off by saying the IDT and IR are psuedoscientific concepts taht have no place in biology.

 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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StMichael wrote: Quote:

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Are you now saying that actual eyewitnesses waited until 70 A.D. to write down their accounts?
Yes.

Why anyone would wait 40 years to write about a direct encounter with god is beyond me, but no matter.  You fully realize this runs entirely in contradiction to what you previously said, that the gospels were written by converts hearing eyewitness accounts.  Another initial mistake on your part?  That's okay.   

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Yes you cite it again. And again. What you're not getting is if god pulled one of his parlor tricks under controlled laboratory conditions, we would all be convinced, (lanciano or no lanciano), we would no longer need to debate back and forth in this manner.
  Lanciano is very much verifiable because you can test it and it has been tested under laboratory conditions.
 

 Lanciano this, Lanciano that.  When is jesus going to launch his U.S. tour so we can have a miracle of our own?

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Then don't talk about them.
They have happened. I don't know when the latest was, but they have happened historically.

There are thousands of events that prove god doesn't exist, and christianity is an absolute crock.  They have happened.   I don't know when the latest was, but they have happened historically.

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Yes michael, the knowledge we do have. The knowledge that we will have in the future may flatten your claims of miracle cures. Disavow them now lest you risk looking like a hapless fool.
While there is always a possibility that what we now think is a miracle could be disproven in the future, both the overwhelming volume and the lack of disproof seems to grant them great credibility.

"Seems to grant them great credibility". Seems.  An all-powerful god, and all he can manage is seems.  

StMichael wrote:
I am not arguing that miracles are certain and logically necessary proofs. But they give us a more than reasonable ground to believe in the articles of faith.

Not when they themselves are articles of faith.   

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Suffering is used to unite us to god? He's sicker than I thought.
Your contention. I don't think you understand it. Suffering entered the world because of sin but Christ Himself embraced it in order to destroy its power over us. Suffering is still an evil in itself, but it is made a good in light of the fact that we can offer our patient endural of sufferings for the salvation of our fellow men, in imitation of Christ.

"Endural"?  Is that a new word sanctioned by the vatican?

So suffering is a good thing.  Thank the lord for the holocaust.  Thank the lord for 9/11.   

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Let's try this: Christ says, "I can pull lamborghinis out of my ." People say, "He can't pull lamborghinis out of his ." Christ says, "Which is easier: I pull lamborghinis out of my , or Rise and walk?" Christ raises paralytic. Crowd has evidence that Christ can pull lamborghinis out of his .
They would if this happened. However, Christ could easily produce said car, while there is no such test for the forgiveness of sins. You can't see the forgiveness coming out of Christ and going onto the person. You could see and verify the car. So, for those things which cannot be seen, you need seeable evidence to verify it.

Tell you what.  Jesus shows up at my door and extracts a lamborghini from his posterior, and I'm a believer.  Where do they make lamborghinis anyway?  In Lanciano? 

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Ah but now we see...It started out as a board of "atheists and skeptics", and worked its way down to a board where you suppose that "most are catholics". Anyone see a problem?
I already said that there was an initial mistake. Get over it.

Yeah, but you ran quite a while with that "initial mistake"  before you punted it.  How many other "initial mistakes" are we going to find.  If you just stopped believing, you wouldn't have to worry about all these "initial mistakes".

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
So earthquakes and hurricanes already existed, but only because of original sin did they result in harm to humans. Had they not sinned, there would be no harm sustained. Am I getting it?
Yes. Death would not result.

Okay.  Let me read that again.  But for original sin, we would not suffer in the midst of earthquakes and hurricanes.  Did we forget to take our medication today, Michael? 

StMichael wrote:
Adam and Eve actually lived. The serpent is probably entirely an allegory for the Evil Spirit tempting them. I believe in evolution, but do not think it incompatible with the account of Genesis. 

"...probably entirely an allegory..."?  What keeps it from being "definitely entirely an allegory", or "probably partially an allegory", or "definitely partially a literal account"? 

Would you kindly explain how Adam and Eve and the probably entirely allegorical serpent fit into the evolutionary timeline?  Watch out for any "initial mistakes"!

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Thanks for that exposition,

Thanks for that exposition, deludedgod.

By any stretch, that confirms that there is no intrinsic problem with life arising from entirely naturalistic agency.

Just to confirm that even in principle, in terms of the 'classic' arguments, which certainly don't capture the reality of modern scientific understanding such as you describe, there still is no problem. 

To elaborate, there cannot be a 'logical' requirement that 'causes' must be 'greater' than their effects, otherwise every current 'effect' would require a monstrous ever greater infinite regress behind it.

Once this is acknowledged, as long as any cause-effect chain ultimately leads back to a sequence where each cause is definitely lesser than its 'effect' in duration and energy, no actual infinities arise. This is demonstrated by the summation of an infinte geometric series, where the sum of an infinite series of terms such as 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8... = 2.

The everyday observation that a single fertilised spore, seed or egg can grow by entirely natural processes into the vastly greater complexity of a mature organism takes care of any idea that a complex object requires a more complex source.

 All we need then is to elaborate the actual processes by which all this actually occurred, and as you show, that is a task on which we have made and continue to make real progress.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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Quote: Why anyone would

Quote:
Why anyone would wait 40 years to write about a direct encounter with god is beyond me, but no matter. You fully realize this runs entirely in contradiction to what you previously said, that the gospels were written by converts hearing eyewitness accounts. Another initial mistake on your part? That's okay.

Mark and Luke were not eyewitnesses, but they used eyewitness accounts in creating their Gospels. Mark was the scribe of Saint Peter and compiled his preaching. Luke was writing with the authorities of multiple eyewitnesses, as is clear from the beginning of his Gospel.

Quote:
Lanciano this, Lanciano that. When is jesus going to launch his U.S. tour so we can have a miracle of our own?

We have had our own miracles. I just cannot say that they are so verifiable "under laboratory conditions" as Lanciano.

Quote:
There are thousands of events that prove god doesn't exist, and christianity is an absolute crock. They have happened. I don't know when the latest was, but they have happened historically.

First, God's existence is not a matter of faith, but of natural reason working without revelation.
Second, point to one. I have already pointed to one of the many miracles of the resurrection of the dead by saints which was attested to by many eyewitnesses.
Third, I didn't say that they never happened, ever. I just don't know when the latest was.
Fourth, I never claimed miracles were entirely and absolutely sufficent proofs, like logical necessity. They are probable, but they are reasonably certain probabilities.

Quote:

Not when they themselves are articles of faith.


The miracles I am using to support Christianity are not articles of faith.

Quote:
So suffering is a good thing. Thank the lord for the holocaust. Thank the lord for 9/11.

They are intrinsic evils and reality is full of suffering. We can bear it joyfully because of Christ's Passion. It doesn't make evil good, it makes it a means of holiness.

Quote:

Yeah, but you ran quite a while with that "initial mistake" before you punted it. How many other "initial mistakes" are we going to find. If you just stopped believing, you wouldn't have to worry about all these "initial mistakes".


The fact that the medical commission exists with top medical scientists verifying the miracles of Lourdes still lends great credibility to the miracles themselves, regardless of whether the scientists are atheists or not.

Quote:
Okay. Let me read that again. But for original sin, we would not suffer in the midst of earthquakes and hurricanes.

Absolutely correct. No suffering would result. Human beings would not die or suffer.

Quote:
"...probably entirely an allegory..."? What keeps it from being "definitely entirely an allegory", or "probably partially an allegory", or "definitely partially a literal account"?

Because we don't know everything about everything. We know what is necessary for salvation. I am offering honest opinion.

Quote:

Would you kindly explain how Adam and Eve and the probably entirely allegorical serpent fit into the evolutionary timeline?

Adam and Eve being the progenitors of humanity, they exist at the beginning of human history. The serpent is a fallen angel, Satan, who exists without a body and is not within the evolutionary timeline. He could have commandeered a serpent's body by his power as an cherubim, and used this to talk to Eve, or he could have tempted her directly as a spirit, but this has no relationship to the evolutionary timeline.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
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StMichael wrote: [ Mark and

StMichael wrote:
[ Mark and Luke were not eyewitnesses, but they used eyewitness accounts in creating their Gospels. Mark was the scribe of Saint Peter and compiled his preaching. Luke was writing with the authorities of multiple eyewitnesses, as is clear from the beginning of his Gospel.

You've gone back and forth now, I don't know how many times, on whether the gospels were written by eyewitnesses, and handed down over the 40 year gap (between jesus' presumed death and the actual writing) by word of mouth.  You consistently point to the gospels as support for the beliefs you hold.  And yet you are inconsistent about who composed them.  You can understand if I consider your beliefs less than well-supported.

StMichael wrote:
We have had our own miracles. I just cannot say that they are so verifiable "under laboratory conditions" as Lanciano.

 You seem to treat Lanciano as the gold standard for miracles.  Anything less "verifiable" than that is really not verifiable at all.  

StMichael wrote:
I never claimed miracles were entirely and absolutely sufficent proofs, like logical necessity. They are probable, but they are reasonably certain probabilities.

If they are not  "absolutely sufficent proofs", then don't bring them up.   When it comes to something like god, we are interested in proof.  We may consider "reasonably certain probabilities" when trading stocks or betting on horses, but not with god, or the illusion of such. 

StMichael wrote:
The miracles I am using to support Christianity are not articles of faith.
Quote:
So suffering is a good thing. Thank the lord for the holocaust. Thank the lord for 9/11.
They are intrinsic evils and reality is full of suffering. We can bear it joyfully because of Christ's Passion. It doesn't make evil good, it makes it a means of holiness.

holiness = good

means of holiness = good

evil = means of holiness

evil = good 

 

StMichael wrote:
  The fact that the medical commission exists with top medical scientists verifying the miracles of Lourdes still lends great credibility to the miracles themselves, regardless of whether the scientists are atheists or not.

I consider it an egregious error (if not a deliberate distortion) rather than a mere lapse of memory for you to say at the outset that the miracles were reviewed by atheists, and then for you to amend it to "catholic skeptics".  By any standard, we can expect someone with "catholic' in front of their title to have a vested interest in finding a presumed miracle to be an actual miracle.  Exactly what is a "catholic skeptic" skeptical about?  If he's catholic, he already accepts the existence of miracles; how can he possibly be skeptical about any miraculous claims?

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Okay. Let me read that again. But for original sin, we would not suffer in the midst of earthquakes and hurricanes.
Absolutely correct. No suffering would result. Human beings would not die or suffer.

So what would happen to a man without original sin as a hurrican bore down upon him? 

StMichael wrote:
...we don't know everything about everything. We know what is necessary for salvation. I am offering honest opinion.

Michael, find the nearest trash can and throw your opinions in.  We need facts.  You're right that we don't know everything about everything.  The solution is not to spout your opinions, however honest or dishonest. 

StMichael wrote:
Adam and Eve being the progenitors of humanity, they exist at the beginning of human history. The serpent is a fallen angel, Satan, who exists without a body and is not within the evolutionary timeline. He could have commandeered a serpent's body by his power as an cherubim, and used this to talk to Eve, or he could have tempted her directly as a spirit, but this has no relationship to the evolutionary timeline.

You might want to compare notes with your ecclesiastical superiors.  I attended a catholic university, and in multiple courses on scripture, it was clear that the catholic stance on the genesis story is that it is not history in the remotest sense - and that adam and eve were not real people, much less the talking serpent an actual creature.  Ultimately, it's a negligible point - the task remains to interpolate satan and the "fall of man" into the evolution of Homo sapiens.  No matter the context in which you cite the genesis story, you're digging yourself a hole.  You just might want to make sure you're using a shovel approved by your church. 

There are no theists on operating tables.

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ShaunPhilly

ShaunPhilly wrote:
StMichael wrote:

I don't believe I will have time to respond to this in the near future.

I'll see when I can get around to it.

 

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,

StMichael

No, that's fine. Take all the time you need to rationalize an answer. I'm patient.

Precisely.

Quote:
 

I did notice you had time to respond in other threads, which I found interesting.

Shaun

He runs from my posts too, yet manages to reply to others along the way, and then has the audacity to claim the reverse. 

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StMichael wrote:Quote:

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Why anyone would wait 40 years to write about a direct encounter with god is beyond me, but no matter. You fully realize this runs entirely in contradiction to what you previously said, that the gospels were written by converts hearing eyewitness accounts. Another initial mistake on your part? That's okay.
Mark and Luke were not eyewitnesses, but they used eyewitness accounts in creating their Gospels. Mark was the scribe of Saint Peter and compiled his preaching. Luke was writing with the authorities of multiple eyewitnesses, as is clear from the beginning of his Gospel.

I'm amazed with how little you know about your own theology.

From Rook:

1.) Luke doesn't state he got his information FROM eyewitnesses, just that there WERE Eyewitnesses.

2.) Luke doesn't cite his sources or name the eyewitnesses, which makes his claim here dubious. He could have been talking about Paul, for all we know, and Paul wasn't an eyewitess to the Life of Christ.

This makes Luke dubious. Not to mention the obviously false information in his works which cast doubt on his "history", for example, the following are historical problems in the work of Luke: [5]

  • Luke 23:33
    • If Jesus has been tried, convicted and Executed by the Jews, he would have been stoned to death, not crucified. The Jews did not use Crucifixion, nor was Blasphemy (as it claims in Luke to be the reason for his trial) condemnable by death.
  • Luke 3:36-38
    • Luke lists Jesus' anscestors, the first ten of which are known via archaeology to have been Babylonian Kings.
  • Luke 23:12
    • Herod and Pilate never became friends. According to Josephus they hated each other to the day of Pilates recall. Herod was continually plotting to unite Judea and Galilee which was part of Herod's fathers Kingdom, and which his father promised him.
  • Luke 2:7
    • At this time, "inns" were unknown to the Jews.
  • Luke 2:46
    • Not until Gamaliel was a Child allowed to sit in the presence of Rabbis.
  • Luke 2:1-2
    • No contemporary of this period states anything about a census being taken of the whole Roman World.
    • According to the KJV, "all the world should be taxed; Augustus never issued a general decree, nor did he attempt a uniform assessment. Taxes were done privince by province.
    • Cyrenius (quirinius) did make a census in Palestine, but it took place TEN YEARS after the death of Herod, instead of during his reign like Luke claims.
    • If Jesus was born during the reign of Herod, as Matthew 2:1 says, Joseph, whether a resident of Judea or of Galilee, could not have been taxed by Augustus since neither province was then a part of Syria. Both provinces belonged to Herod's Kingdom and Herod's subjects were not taxed by the Romans.
    • Cyrenius did not become governor until nearly ten years after the death of Herod and Jesus would have been born in the time of Herod.
  • Luke 3:1-2
    • How could John have gotten the word of God during the reign of Lysanias in Abilene when Lysanias had been dead for thirty-four years when Jesus, a supposed contemporary of John, was born? Lysanias was put to death at the instigation of Cleopatra sixty years before Jesus' ministry began (Josephus, Antiquities B. 15:4:1)?
    • At the time mentioned by Luke, the territory of Abila or Abilene was no longer a tetrarchy.
    • Two men never held the office of High Priest jointly. Josephus says Gratus, who ruled before Pilate (15-26 CE) deprived Annas of the High Priesthood and appointed Ishmael who was followed by Caiaphas (Antiquities B. 18:2:2). There never was more then one High Priest at a time. It would have been the same as having two Legitamate Popes.

Also, this demonstrates how much the book of Luke steals from Josephus:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html

 

I don't cite this for you, as you clearly are not an honest persuer of the truth.. This post is just to debunk your continued dishonesty on our site.

 

Quote:
Mark was the scribe of Saint Peter and compiled his preaching.

Then why is the book of 'mark' so clearly a midrash of old testament writings, and clealry not an account of any real event?

http://users2.ev1.net/%7Eturton/GMark/GMark_index.html 

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StMichael wrote: It is not

StMichael wrote:

It is not a contradiction. Satan and all the spirits were created good. There was no evil naturally in them.

But this 'god' created the potential for evil, even when he need not have done so.

Quote:
 

But He created them naturally free, with the ability to turn against the good.

So your 'god' did create the potential

And he also created their nature, which is what decides whether to turn evil

And even if you say 'god then steps aside to allow them to choose freely' this god still decides whether to step aside or not.  

This creator is omnipotent and omniscient, and completely responsible for every aspect of the situation, ergo he is perfectly responsible. 

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zarathustra

zarathustra wrote:

StMichael wrote:
The miracles I am using to support Christianity are not articles of faith.
Quote:
So suffering is a good thing. Thank the lord for the holocaust. Thank the lord for 9/11.
They are intrinsic evils and reality is full of suffering. We can bear it joyfully because of Christ's Passion. It doesn't make evil good, it makes it a means of holiness.

holiness = good

means of holiness = good

evil = means of holiness

evil = good

I love watching others tear apart Michael's half baked,  half considered rationalizations. He seeks whatever appears to get him off the hook, and never bothers to think any of his nonsensical assertions through.

They all fall to pieces just as easily as you've shown here.  

 

StMichael wrote:
The fact that the medical commission exists with top medical scientists verifying the miracles of Lourdes still lends great credibility to the miracles themselves, regardless of whether the scientists are atheists or not.

Quote:
 

I consider it an egregious error (if not a deliberate distortion) rather than a mere lapse of memory for you to say at the outset that the miracles were reviewed by atheists, and then for you to amend it to "catholic skeptics".

Agreed.

Quote:
 

By any standard, we can expect someone with "catholic' in front of their title to have a vested interest in finding a presumed miracle to be an actual miracle.

The church used to utilize a 'devil's advocate' but they ceased using the office recently....

The irony, of course, is that even a 'devil' would accept the existence of god and miracles, a priori. 

Quote:
 

Exactly what is a "catholic skeptic" skeptical about? If he's catholic, he already accepts the existence of miracles; how can he possibly be skeptical about any miraculous claims?

We probably can consider Mike a good example of a catholic skeptic.  

StMichael wrote:
Adam and Eve being the progenitors of humanity, they exist at the beginning of human history. The serpent is a fallen angel, Satan, who exists without a body and is not within the evolutionary timeline. He could have commandeered a serpent's body by his power as an cherubim, and used this to talk to Eve, or he could have tempted her directly as a spirit, but this has no relationship to the evolutionary timeline.

Quote:
 

You might want to compare notes with your ecclesiastical superiors. I attended a catholic university, and in multiple courses on scripture, it was clear that the catholic stance on the genesis story is that it is not history in the remotest sense - and that adam and eve were not real people, much less the talking serpent an actual creature.

I've noticed how Mike seems to make basic blunders about catholicism like this too....

Quote:
 

 Ultimately, it's a negligible point - the task remains to interpolate satan and the "fall of man" into the evolution of Homo sapiens. No matter the context in which you cite the genesis story, you're digging yourself a hole. You just might want to make sure you're using a shovel approved by your church.

LOL

The genesis account of original sin commits a major internal blunder: to sin requires intent. You can't 'sin' without intent, ergo you cannot 'sin' by disobeying if you don't undestand the moral ramifications of  disobeying are.... Seeing as genesis tells us that adaa and eve are created innocent and that they are even forbidden knowledge of good and evil, genesis books 2 and 3 commit a grevious internal contradiction....  adam and eve might as well try to lift themselves by their own bootstraps. 

So dies original sin, (an utterly immoral concept anyway) and thus falls the entire NT.

 

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StMichael wrote: Quote:

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Invalid church documentation and a few things I can't read. You've provided nothing.

You have just rejected it because it claims there is a miracle and because it claims that the Catholic Church is correct. Also, it is clear that evidence exists, even if written in other languages. You just refuse to acknowledge it.

Nope. I rejected it because there was nothing valid. No scientific journals. Nothing.
And you're beyond irrational if you think an illegible piece of paper on a wall is evidence of anything. You didn't even tell me what it said for fucks sake. I can now say with all certainty that you're an idiot.

StMichael wrote:
Quote:

I could have told you that you couldn't "help" me when you first started posting.

I can't talk to someone who doesn't listen to reason. I hoped that people here were better than retreating into irrationality.

How ironic, since you don't listen to reason. I think you misinterpretted the situation. You can't talk to someone who USES reason, since you use the opposite. All I did was mirror your own irrational arguments. Amusingly you then take off in a huff like every theist who is exposed to their hypocracy.

StMichael wrote:
Quote:

If you really feel it must end, then I suggest you leave the site altogether. Because I'm not about to stop debunking you. Neither are others. And if you repeat the same bs too many times, you'll probably be forced out for breaking terms and conditions.

You can't "debunk" my answers by just writing off everything I say with the word, "lies," or just asserting that everything I talk about doesn't exist. If you want to, we can't have a conversation and I have no way to talk with you as a rational person.

I'd written it off with words previously. You just keep repeating the same bs without countering anything I've said or providing a shred of evidence. Unlike you I don't wish to repeat myself to infinity, so I shortened my answers to the most basic. You're free to try and prove my claims of your lies wrong. Instead you ran away like a little kid who just found out santa doesn't exist.

StMichael wrote:
As to the dancing of the sun, it was quite assuredly a local phenomenon. But the mere fact that it wasn't truly the dancing of the sun itself is not proof that the miracle is false.

Nor is it proof of a miracle in the first place. It has rational and logical explanations, you just throw them away and say goddidit.

StMichael wrote:
If it appears that the sun moves all around the sky, from one end to another, down toward earth and back up, I would think that is a pretty good feat.

Could also be a mass hallucination. Or atmospheric. Or perhaps not even the sun in the first place.

I can readily acknowledge that there are things that happen that we can't explain. I simply don't make the logic leap that you do.

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Quote: You've gone back

Quote:
You've gone back and forth now, I don't know how many times, on whether the gospels were written by eyewitnesses, and handed down over the 40 year gap (between jesus' presumed death and the actual writing) by word of mouth. You consistently point to the gospels as support for the beliefs you hold. And yet you are inconsistent about who composed them. You can understand if I consider your beliefs less than well-supported.

Matthew and John were written directly by eyewitnesses. Mark and Luke were written using direct eyewitness accounts from eyewitnesses themselves. No word of mouth involved.

Quote:
You seem to treat Lanciano as the gold standard for miracles. Anything less "verifiable" than that is really not verifiable at all.

It is not the standard. It just happens to be one that is still happening and thus verifiable without reliance on historical records.

Quote:

If they are not "absolutely sufficent proofs", then don't bring them up. When it comes to something like god, we are interested in proof. We may consider "reasonably certain probabilities" when trading stocks or betting on horses, but not with god, or the illusion of such.


Miracles are the proof or evidence that allows one to believe in articles of faith, such as the virgin birth or resurrection. It is perfectly legitimate evidence and necessary to establish any supernaturally revealed truth. Knowledge of God can be gained without these, but these miracles give proof for supernatural truths that reason cannot discover, which is why we need them.

Quote:

holiness = good

means of holiness = good

evil = means of holiness

evil = good


The evil is not equal to the means of holiness. The evil itself is not the means of holiness, but only as considered under the aspect of patient suffering. Evil does become a good, but only in an analogous sense, not directly as you put it.

Quote:
I consider it an egregious error (if not a deliberate distortion) rather than a mere lapse of memory for you to say at the outset that the miracles were reviewed by atheists, and then for you to amend it to "catholic skeptics".

I don't think I ever claimed the skeptics were Catholic. I don't believe they are. They are top medical experts. They are not necessarily Catholic. I admit my ignorance of their particular religious beliefs, but it is not necessary that they are Catholic at all to be on the Medical Committee.

Quote:
Exactly what is a "catholic skeptic" skeptical about? If he's catholic, he already accepts the existence of miracles; how can he possibly be skeptical about any miraculous claims?

The Church defaultedly is skeptical of any claims of miracles. Which is why they pursue a thorough investigation into the matter. The basic attitude toward a proposed miracle is rejection. Just because miracles are possible doesn't mean that everything claimed as a miracle is one.

Quote:
So what would happen to a man without original sin as a hurrican bore down upon him?

I can't say. I have no revelation concerning hurricanes and their effect on pre-fallen men. I would suppose that they weren't affected.

Quote:
You might want to compare notes with your ecclesiastical superiors. I attended a catholic university, and in multiple courses on scripture, it was clear that the catholic stance on the genesis story is that it is not history in the remotest sense - and that adam and eve were not real people, much less the talking serpent an actual creature. Ultimately, it's a negligible point - the task remains to interpolate satan and the "fall of man" into the evolution of Homo sapiens. No matter the context in which you cite the genesis story, you're digging yourself a hole. You just might want to make sure you're using a shovel approved by your church.

The Church has no such stance on it. The teachers at your school might have presented their opinion as Church doctrine, but it is wrong. There is no document that states that the entire story was allegorical or in fact gives a complete interpretation of it at all. We only know what is necessary for salvation from the story with certainty: among them, that man fell through pride and lost grace, wounded nature, and required a redeemer.

Quote:

From Rook:

1.) Luke doesn't state he got his information FROM eyewitnesses, just that there WERE Eyewitnesses.


And I quote Saint Luke: "According as they have delivered them unto us, who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word" Clearly stating that he recieved this from eyewitnesses.

Quote:

2.) Luke doesn't cite his sources or name the eyewitnesses, which makes his claim here dubious. He could have been talking about Paul, for all we know, and Paul wasn't an eyewitess to the Life of Christ.

Saint Paul was not an eyewitness, hence Saint Luke is not referring to St. Paul when he says, "eyewitnesses." Also, he was writing to someone who already believed as a member of the apostolic Church and wanted an account of Christ's life. He didn't need to lay out who gave him what.

Quote:

This makes Luke dubious. Not to mention the obviously false information in his works which cast doubt on his "history", for example, the following are historical problems in the work of Luke: [5]

Luke 23:33
If Jesus has been tried, convicted and Executed by the Jews, he would have been stoned to death, not crucified. The Jews did not use Crucifixion, nor was Blasphemy (as it claims in Luke to be the reason for his trial) condemnable by death.


Which is why the Jews went to the Romans to execute Him. And the Romans did execute using cruifixion.

Quote:

Luke 3:36-38
Luke lists Jesus' anscestors, the first ten of which are known via archaeology to have been Babylonian Kings.

Adam, Enoch, Seth, Methusale, Henos, Cainan, ect. were Babylonian kings? Where are you getting your information?

Quote:

Luke 23:12
Herod and Pilate never became friends. According to Josephus they hated each other to the day of Pilates recall. Herod was continually plotting to unite Judea and Galilee which was part of Herod's fathers Kingdom, and which his father promised him.

I have not found that in Josephus. Further, Luke never says that they stayed friends.

Quote:

Luke 2:7
At this time, "inns" were unknown to the Jews.

And where are you getting your information? Read L. Casson, Travel in the Ancient World. "Inn" is a reference to a two-story caravansary.

Quote:

Luke 2:46
Not until Gamaliel was a Child allowed to sit in the presence of Rabbis.

Again, where are you getting your information? Prove it.

Quote:

Luke 2:1-2
No contemporary of this period states anything about a census being taken of the whole Roman World.
According to the KJV, "all the world should be taxed; Augustus never issued a general decree, nor did he attempt a uniform assessment. Taxes were done privince by province.
Cyrenius (quirinius) did make a census in Palestine, but it took place TEN YEARS after the death of Herod, instead of during his reign like Luke claims.
If Jesus was born during the reign of Herod, as Matthew 2:1 says, Joseph, whether a resident of Judea or of Galilee, could not have been taxed by Augustus since neither province was then a part of Syria. Both provinces belonged to Herod's Kingdom and Herod's subjects were not taxed by the Romans.
Cyrenius did not become governor until nearly ten years after the death of Herod and Jesus would have been born in the time of Herod.

This is a problem with Scripture that is not easily resolved. It could be multiple cases. One particular solution is that Luke refers to a governorship of Cyrenius that occured earlier than the "second" governorship wherein he made. The placement of the census likewise could be before the one in the time of Cyrenius' second governorship, as Rome called for census' many times. However, while Rome did not tax the people of these provinces directly, and relied on tribute from Herod, it is likely then that Herod was enforcing a Roman-style census in Palestine. It is a complex historical issue of which we don't know the full story. Just going off half-cocked is not a good position.

Quote:
Luke 3:1-2
How could John have gotten the word of God during the reign of Lysanias in Abilene when Lysanias had been dead for thirty-four years when Jesus, a supposed contemporary of John, was born? Lysanias was put to death at the instigation of Cleopatra sixty years before Jesus' ministry began (Josephus, Antiquities B. 15:4:1)?

Lysanias the SON OF PTOLEMY, not the Lysanias who was the son of Herod.

Quote:
At the time mentioned by Luke, the territory of Abila or Abilene was no longer a tetrarchy.

Quote:

Two men never held the office of High Priest jointly. Josephus says Gratus, who ruled before Pilate (15-26 CE) deprived Annas of the High Priesthood and appointed Ishmael who was followed by Caiaphas (Antiquities B. 18:2:2). There never was more then one High Priest at a time. It would have been the same as having two Legitamate Popes.

They held the high priesthood in close succession and during what ought to have been a single term. Hence, they were "jointly" high priests.

Quote:
Then why is the book of 'mark' so clearly a midrash of old testament writings, and clealry not an account of any real event?

Because it is not a midrash.

Quote:
But this 'god' created the potential for evil, even when he need not have done so.

God did not create evil.

Quote:

So your 'god' did create the potential

And he also created their nature, which is what decides whether to turn evil


No, God does not determine that there will be evil creatures. He creates them naturally good. Evil only happens as a result of the choice of creatures, in terms of moral evil. He creates the potential for evil, but moral evil follows on free choice. It is a necessary condition of free creatures.

Quote:

And even if you say 'god then steps aside to allow them to choose freely' this god still decides whether to step aside or not.

And that makes the decision not free how?

Quote:

This creator is omnipotent and omniscient, and completely responsible for every aspect of the situation, ergo he is perfectly responsible.

"Perfectly responsible" how? He is not responsible for every aspect if He causes the creature to be self-determined. Even in you point to the fact that He does cause them to be self-determined, that STILL entails no reason why the choice should be less free.

Quote:

The church used to utilize a 'devil's advocate' but they ceased using the office recently....

Devil's advocates still exist.

Quote:

I've noticed how Mike seems to make basic blunders about catholicism like this too.... [the allegorical nature of the Adam and Eve story]

There is no blunder. The story of the Garden is nowhere doctrinally defined as being purely allegorical. Ever.

Quote:

The genesis account of original sin commits a major internal blunder: to sin requires intent. You can't 'sin' without intent, ergo you cannot 'sin' by disobeying if you don't undestand the moral ramifications of disobeying are.... Seeing as genesis tells us that adaa and eve are created innocent and that they are even forbidden knowledge of good and evil, genesis books 2 and 3 commit a grevious internal contradiction.... adam and eve might as well try to lift themselves by their own bootstraps.

That is an egregious misinterpretation of Genesis. Nobody has claimed that Adam and Eve lacked moral culpability because they lacked moral knowledge. Ever. It is not the correct interpretation of this passage. The tree is intended in a different sense. The most probable interpretation is that the tree was the knowledge of good and evil by way of knowing sin because of its presence in themselves.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

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StMichael wrote: Matthew

StMichael wrote:
Matthew and John were written directly by eyewitnesses. Mark and Luke were written using direct eyewitness accounts from eyewitnesses themselves. No word of mouth involved.

You said here that "The Gospel was written down after the fact by Gentile educated converts who were informed by eyewitnesses. ". This is a bit different than what you are now saying. How many times does your argument have to morph until you finally say something definitive?

StMichael wrote:
Miracles are the proof or evidence that allows one to believe in articles of faith, such as the virgin birth or resurrection. It is perfectly legitimate evidence and necessary to establish any supernaturally revealed truth. Knowledge of God can be gained without these, but these miracles give proof for supernatural truths that reason cannot discover, which is why we need them.

You are therefore saying that without miracles, we cannot have knowledge of god? I still fail to see, should we assume the lanciano story is true (as I currently don't), how you extrapolate therefrom proof for your particular articles of faith (virgin birth, etc.), and not someone else's. What perceivable continuity lies between a container of supposedly imperishable blood and the virgin birth myth?

StMichael wrote:
The evil is not equal to the means of holiness. The evil itself is not the means of holiness, but only as considered under the aspect of patient suffering. Evil does become a good, but only in an analogous sense,not directly as you put it.

"The evil itself is not the means of holiness, but only as considered under the aspect of patient suffering".

"Evil does become a good, but only in an analogous sense...?".

I will not even pretend that either of those sentences makes any sense, Michael. Let's rephrase that first sentence, to remove the conjunction: "Only as considered under the aspect of patient suffering, evil itself is not the means of holiness.". Which I take to mean: When not considered the "aspect of patient suffering" (whatever the hell that is!), evil is the means of holiness. Neither do I know what "evil in an analogous sense" means. Michael, if I am damned to eternal suffering because I cannot accept god when presented through your obfuscated syntax, so be it. You would think that if her majesty can perform all those cute little miracles, she could at least induce you to write with clarity.

StMichael wrote:
I don't think I ever claimed the skeptics were Catholic. I don't believe they are. They are top medical experts. They are not necessarily Catholic. I admit my ignorance of their particular religious beliefs, but it is not necessary that they are Catholic at all to be on the Medical Committee.

Michael, this is absolutely atrocious. Please observe:

On 2/2/2007, you said,

"Don't be so cynical. Very good doctors form their team, atheists and skeptics being critical to ensure fairness."

On 2/3/2007, you said,

"I am sorry, as far as I know no atheists are on the board. I meant merely skeptics, but I was writing in a hurry."

(You were "writing in a hurry"? What, you accidently banged on the keyboard, and the word "atheists" just happened to appear? IT'S A MURRICLE!)

On 2/5/2007 (this same page Michael, THIS SAME PAGE!), you said,

"They are doctors. They make decisions based on the medical evidence. I would have to suppose* that most are Catholics."

* Will refer to underlined text later

And NOW... you say,

"I don't think I ever claimed the skeptics were Catholic. I don't believe they are."

So your train of thought has gone:

"atheists and skeptics" → "no atheists" → "most are catholics" → "no catholics"

Do you see anything problematic with this, Michael? Anything at all? You have routinely changed your answer. I don't consider this absent-mindedness, or simple ignorance (as you finally concede), I consider this deliberate dodging. You responded with whatever served your present purpose, perhaps with the expectation (or hope) that you would not be brought to task. When brought to task, you simply say "Oops, sorry! Embarassed", and continue blathering, as if nothing happened. You don't even have enough concern for accuracy to click back (or just scroll up!) to your previous posts to see what you yourself said. You just say "I don't think I said that...". How are we to respect your arguments -- much less the beliefs you are arguing -- when you proceed with such a lack of integrity?

You perhaps will ask "What's the big deal about this anyway?" It is a big deal to me because I would like to know what effect a "miracle" has on a non-catholic who observes it in person and acknowledges it as a miracle? Do they uniformly convert at that point? This is worth knowing because - if it is the case that even a single non-catholic (whose integrity the church accepts for the purposes of verifying miracles) remains non-catholic after beholding a "miracle", and does not find grounds for adopting your articles of faith, how can you expect me to adopt them when I am on the other side of the world, without the luxury of seeing the "miracle" in person? In simpler language: If a miracle doesn't convert up front, how can it convert at a distance?

I'm sure you'll craft a response to this, but given your track record, I'm sure it's more of the same...

StMichael wrote:
So what would happen to a man without original sin as a hurrican bore down upon him?
I can't say. I have no revelation concerning hurricanes and their effect on pre-fallen men. I would suppose that they weren't affected.

You actually mean this as a serious response? Let's examine...

You honestly think there is some difference in effect that hurricanes have on "pre-fallen men" and fallen men, and such actual difference can only be gleaned through "revelation". I'm sorry, but I cannot consider this anything other than patently ridiculous. Perhaps we are at an impasse on this one point. Yet perhaps we are at an impasse altogether, if the foundations of your thinking allow for statements such as this. Perhaps we are at an impasse if you think it a tenable hypothesis that humans at one time were impervious to hurricanes. Perhaps we are at an impasse when you maintain that certain knowledge can only be acquired through revelation. Like you, I have no revelation concerning this. I have no revelation concerning anything. I have never received revelation. I don't believe in revelation. Until such time that I do receive revelation, I see nothing wrong and nothing insensible in denying the existence of this god of revelation.

That's the main point, some smaller points follow...

"I would suppose..."

I have made issue of this weak-kneed syntax of yours before (I won't grace you with links this time -- if you don't believe me, go back through this thread -- you'll definitely see examples). Multiple times. You have neither ceased to do it, nor sought to defend your continued use of such ambiguities. You are essentially hedging your bets when you write like this. You can't answer with surety, you have to suppose. No, you don't even suppose, you would suppose (you would suppose IF WHAT? Under WHAT CONDITIONS would you suppose? Under WHAT CONDITIONS would you NOT suppose?). You must lack confidence in your own statements that you can't say anything concrete. Or, you have little interest in thinking your answers through, and are content to just go through the motions of answering, without saying anything definitive. So Michael -- I will consider any further conditional suppositions on your part as unsatisfactory responses. You are welcome to defend your prolonged use of "would suppose" and its many variants, but otherwise, I would suppose your argument is dead in the water.

"pre-fallen men"

You have implied that you consider the genesis story historical, i.e., Adam and Eve were actual people. Perhaps I am mis-reading (but I think more likely that you are mis-writing), but "pre-fallen" men suggests more than just adam, or even more than adam & eve. Is this so? How many "pre-fallen men" were there?

To your credit, you have admitted in this post that you are at times ignorant, and don't know. The lesson to be learned is: When you are ignorant on a topic, and don't know, you very well ought not to proceed with a discussion on that topic. I think I've said this before. No, actually I'm sure of it.

There are no theists on operating tables.

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StMichael
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Quote: You said here that

Quote:

You said here that "The Gospel was written down after the fact by Gentile educated converts who were informed by eyewitnesses. ". This is a bit different than what you are now saying. How many times does your argument have to morph until you finally say something definitive?

I have, but I admit I might have been a bit unclear.
The Gospel of Matthew was written by an eyewitness, namely Saint Matthew.
The Gospel of John was written by Saint John, also an eyewitness.
The Gospel of Mark was written by Saint Mark, who was a convert and scribe for Saint Peter the Apostle. He wrote down the records of Saint Peter's preaching.
The Gospel of Luke was written by Saint Luke, the Gentile physician who accompanied Saint Paul, and his sources in writing were direct eyewitnesses of the events.

In the earlier statement, I was referring to the fact that Luke and Mark were written by educated Gentiles, with Matthew being the only exception. John was probably dictated by Saint John to Greek-speaking scribes.

Quote:
You are therefore saying that without miracles, we cannot have knowledge of god?

Knowledge of God as He is in Himself. We can naturally know that He exists and certain other things which follow from this (that He is one, omniscient, and the like). We cannot naturally know something like that God is a Trinity of Persons.

Quote:

I still fail to see, should we assume the lanciano story is true (as I currently don't), how you extrapolate therefrom proof for your particular articles of faith (virgin birth, etc.), and not someone else's. What perceivable continuity lies between a container of supposedly imperishable blood and the virgin birth myth?

The miracle of Lanciano supports our belief that the Eucharist is really, truly, and substantially the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, who was God made man. If this is true, this upholds multiple beliefs apart from this fact of Christ's divinity, among them being His Church's authority in teaching doctrine. Hence, when the Church reveals that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, who likewise remained a virgin after His birth, we believe it as coming from the Holy Spirit.

Quote:
"The evil itself is not the means of holiness, but only as considered under the aspect of patient suffering".

"Evil does become a good, but only in an analogous sense...?".

I will not even pretend that either of those sentences makes any sense, Michael. Let's rephrase that first sentence, to remove the conjunction: "Only as considered under the aspect of patient suffering, evil itself is not the means of holiness.".

Or switch it and it would say, "Not in itself, but only as considered under the aspect of patient suffering is the evil a means of holiness."

Quote:

Which I take to mean: When not considered the "aspect of patient suffering" (whatever the hell that is!), evil is the means of holiness.

No, you are reversing the negative. Evil in itself is not a means of holiness. When the evil is suffered in patience, it becomes a means to share in Christ's Cross and hence a means of holiness. Only in this way is the evil a good.
To use an analogy, to run a race, one needs to practice and exert onesself. This excertion is an evil in itself, resulting in tiredness, injury, and the like. But the evil is a good when considered in view of the end - to win the race.

Quote:

Neither do I know what "evil in an analogous sense" means.

Evil only as analogically considered. So, we consider it as an evil in itself, but as a good when considered in view of the end being achieved. Again, the race example.

Quote:

Michael, this is absolutely atrocious. Please observe:

On 2/2/2007, you said,

"Don't be so cynical. Very good doctors form their team, atheists and skeptics being critical to ensure fairness."

On 2/3/2007, you said,

"I am sorry, as far as I know no atheists are on the board. I meant merely skeptics, but I was writing in a hurry."

(You were "writing in a hurry"? What, you accidently banged on the keyboard, and the word "atheists" just happened to appear? IT'S A MURRICLE!)

On 2/5/2007 (this same page Michael, THIS SAME PAGE!), you said,

"They are doctors. They make decisions based on the medical evidence. I would have to suppose* that most are Catholics."

* Will refer to underlined text later

And NOW... you say,

"I don't think I ever claimed the skeptics were Catholic. I don't believe they are."

So your train of thought has gone:

"atheists and skeptics" → "no atheists" → "most are catholics" → "no catholics"

Do you see anything problematic with this, Michael? Anything at all?


Yes I do. I admit that I didn't read my previous post, which is why I said, "I don't think I ever claimed..." I am sorry that it caused confusion and I concede the point. I was clearly in error here on the matter of their religious beliefs.
Leaving aside all question of their religious background, which I admitted to not having knowledge of, other than the fact that they held a position of strict standards of skepticism toward potential miracles, I didn't definitively claim these other things. Which is why I prefaced them by my statements. I fully revoke any claims about their religious beliefs, then, as I have little information on their personal beliefs.

Quote:

You have routinely changed your answer. I don't consider this absent-mindedness, or simple ignorance (as you finally concede), I consider this deliberate dodging. You responded with whatever served your present purpose, perhaps with the expectation (or hope) that you would not be brought to task. When brought to task, you simply say "Oops, sorry! ", and continue blathering, as if nothing happened. You don't even have enough concern for accuracy to click back (or just scroll up!) to your previous posts to see what you yourself said. You just say "I don't think I said that...". How are we to respect your arguments -- much less the beliefs you are arguing -- when you proceed with such a lack of integrity?

I was writing my arguments in a hurry, due to the vast number of posts I had to answer. I made a mistake and I have conceded that it was a mistake. But it is not a reason to reject every argument.

Quote:
You perhaps will ask "What's the big deal about this anyway?" It is a big deal to me because I would like to know what effect a "miracle" has on a non-catholic who observes it in person and acknowledges it as a miracle?

I don't know whether the doctors are Catholics or non-Catholics at all. Which is why I merely said that "I suppose most are...." I do know, however, of miracles that occurred before non-Catholics and caused conversions. Many miracles used in canonizations are validated by non-Catholic doctors. In many of these cases, the doctors do convert to Catholicism as a result.

Quote:
Do they uniformly convert at that point?

I don't know about "uniformly" but I do know that some have.

Quote:
This is worth knowing because - if it is the case that even a single non-catholic (whose integrity the church accepts for the purposes of verifying miracles) remains non-catholic after beholding a "miracle", and does not find grounds for adopting your articles of faith, how can you expect me to adopt them when I am on the other side of the world, without the luxury of seeing the "miracle" in person? In simpler language: If a miracle doesn't convert up front, how can it convert at a distance?

The Church does not expect the doctors to convert, but to testify that they are unable to explain it. But, regardless of that, I don't see why it would require every person who witnesses a miracle to convert. People can be stubborn in the face of clear evidence. And, lastly, a miracle is not an infallible or logically necessary proof for articles of faith - it is only reasonably probable. The evidence can be overwhelming, but it does not necessitate, in a strict sense, belief.

Quote:

You actually mean this as a serious response? Let's examine...

You honestly think there is some difference in effect that hurricanes have on "pre-fallen men" and fallen men, and such actual difference can only be gleaned through "revelation". I'm sorry, but I cannot consider this anything other than patently ridiculous.


I don't see why it is ridiculous at all.

Quote:
Perhaps we are at an impasse on this one point. Yet perhaps we are at an impasse altogether, if the foundations of your thinking allow for statements such as this. Perhaps we are at an impasse if you think it a tenable hypothesis that humans at one time were impervious to hurricanes. Perhaps we are at an impasse when you maintain that certain knowledge can only be acquired through revelation. Like you, I have no revelation concerning this. I have no revelation concerning anything. I have never received revelation. I don't believe in revelation. Until such time that I do receive revelation, I see nothing wrong and nothing insensible in denying the existence of this god of revelation.

Now, the existence of God is not a matter of revelation. Only the truths that are beyond natural reason are. God's existence is not only revealed, but can be known without revelation. Revelation proves things beyond this about God as He is in Himself, like His Trinity.
Also, you do have a revelation from the existence of Sacred Scripture and the like. You can also reasonably accept it from miraculous evidence for its truth.

Quote:

"I would suppose..."

I have made issue of this weak-kneed syntax of yours before (I won't grace you with links this time -- if you don't believe me, go back through this thread -- you'll definitely see examples). Multiple times. You have neither ceased to do it, nor sought to defend your continued use of such ambiguities. You are essentially hedging your bets when you write like this. You can't answer with surety, you have to suppose.


On some things, I don't have a sure answer. I make probable arguments. Which is why my syntax indicates this. It is not a good thing to always speak in language indicating absolute surety. I am sure about some things, but I offer as many viewpoints as probable about others. For example, I know with certainty that the Genesis account is correct. But, a number of different interpretations of it are probable. I offer the most likely ones. I do not claim certain and infallible knowledge about exactly what it means in every aspect.

Quote:
You must lack confidence in your own statements that you can't say anything concrete.

It has nothing to do with confidence. I just acknowledge that there are sometimes many possible viewpoints, some more probable than others. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it would be silly to speak in absolute sureties about every single thing.

Quote:

Or, you have little interest in thinking your answers through, and are content to just go through the motions of answering, without saying anything definitive.

I am answering, but I provide different viewpoints. The Genesis story can have different interpretations, of which Christians are free to hold. Some are out, such as the view that the creation of the earth was in a literal six days. That would be contrary to what we know. Other interpretations of events aren't so definite. Which is why I offer the most probable interpretation, saying, "It seems..." or "I suppose that...."

Quote:

You have implied that you consider the genesis story historical, i.e., Adam and Eve were actual people. Perhaps I am mis-reading (but I think more likely that you are mis-writing), but "pre-fallen" men suggests more than just adam, or even more than adam & eve. Is this so? How many "pre-fallen men" were there?

No, I do not. There was just Adam and Eve. When I say, "pre-fallen men," I mean, "pre-fallen humanity." "Men" being a designation of the species.

Quote:

To your credit, you have admitted in this post that you are at times ignorant, and don't know. The lesson to be learned is: When you are ignorant on a topic, and don't know, you very well ought not to proceed with a discussion on that topic. I think I've said this before. No, actually I'm sure of it.

Which is why, on matters of which I don't have certain knowledge, I offer statements which are conditional or only probable. Others, I know for certain and speak with certainty about them. But I wouldn't rule out all knowledge that we cannot have certainty of. I can have a reasonably certain belief about things, which is not a true certainty.

Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom,
StMichael

Psalm 50(1):8. For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me.


zarathustra
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I'm happy to see that

I'm happy to see that you're at least now showing a willigness to admit when you're wrong. Thank you for being forthright about this. Hopefuly the discussions can proceed more productively now.

StMichael wrote:
...I admit I might have been a bit unclear. The Gospel of Matthew was written by an eyewitness, namely Saint Matthew. The Gospel of John was written by Saint John, also an eyewitness. The Gospel of Mark was written by Saint Mark, who was a convert and scribe for Saint Peter the Apostle. He wrote down the records of Saint Peter's preaching. The Gospel of Luke was written by Saint Luke, the Gentile physician who accompanied Saint Paul, and his sources in writing were direct eyewitnesses of the events. In the earlier statement, I was referring to the fact that Luke and Mark were written by educated Gentiles, with Matthew being the only exception.

You are surely aware of the "Synoptic Problem" - your Church itself acknowledges it. If as you claim, MM & L were written by 3 disparate authors -- either eyewitnesses, or primary recipients of eyewitness accounts, the synoptic problem remains unresolved: Why are so many passages nearly identical (sometimes verbatim) across all three gospels? And yet, why do they differ in so many details: Matthew and Luke differ on jesus' genealogy (Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38), as well as the beatitudes; matthew makes no mention of the ascension; mark mentions miracles the others don't; and on and on. And this doesn't even bring the widely different John into the equation. This does not make for good history, particularly when there are no contemporary non-gospel accounts of jesus. And again, why would the apostles wait nearly 40 years to write this "history" down?

StMichael wrote:
John was probably dictated by Saint John to Greek-speaking scribes.

"...probably..."? You'll have to do better than "probably" if this is supposed to count as historical proof.

StMichael wrote:
The miracle of Lanciano supports our belief that the Eucharist is really, truly, and substantially the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ, who was God made man.

How? At best, it's just a sealed jar of fresh blood (by your account). It's simply subjective interpretation on your part to relate that to the eucharist. Any religious myth with even a tangential mention of blood could be attached to this "miracle". I might as well say it reminds me of spaghetti sauce, and claim that it proves the divinity of Chef Boyardee.

StMichael wrote:
If this is true, this upholds multiple beliefs apart from this fact of Christ's divinity, among them being His Church's authority in teaching doctrine. Hence, when the Church reveals that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, who likewise remained a virgin after His birth, we believe it as coming from the Holy Spirit.

You're right. If this is true. If it is not, it is a tragic farce that people are wasting their lives away, subscribing to these ancient myths. These being the stakes, one would hope god would provide a more obvious and straightforward sign of his existence.

StMichael wrote:
Evil in itself is not a means of holiness. When the evil is suffered in patience, it becomes a means to share in Christ's Cross and hence a means of holiness. Only in this way is the evil a good. To use an analogy, to run a race, one needs to practice and exert onesself. This excertion is an evil in itself, resulting in tiredness, injury, and the like. But the evil is a good when considered in view of the end - to win the race.

No wonder Pius largely ignored the holocaust. He saw it as a means to holiness.

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Neither do I know what "evil in an analogous sense" means.
Evil only as analogically considered. So, we consider it as an evil in itself, but as a good when considered in view of the end being achieved. Again, the race example.

I'm not sure if there's a formal definition of "analogical consideration", but it would appear by your usage that anything can be used to mean anything else. As far as evil analogically considered as good: has the church changed its stance on ends justifying means?

StMichael wrote:
I admit that I didn't read my previous post, which is why I said, "I don't think I ever claimed..." I am sorry that it caused confusion and I concede the point. I was clearly in error here on the matter of their religious beliefs. Leaving aside all question of their religious background, which I admitted to not having knowledge of, other than the fact that they held a position of strict standards of skepticism toward potential miracles, I didn't definitively claim these other things. Which is why I prefaced them by my statements. I fully revoke any claims about their religious beliefs, then, as I have little information on their personal beliefs.

Again, thank you for acknowledging your error.

StMichael wrote:

I don't know whether the doctors are Catholics or non-Catholics at all. Which is why I merely said that "I suppose most are...." I do know, however, of miracles that occurred before non-Catholics and caused conversions. Many miracles used in canonizations are validated by non-Catholic doctors. In many of these cases, the doctors do convert to Catholicism as a result. ... I don't know about "uniformly" but I do know that some have. The Church does not expect the doctors to convert, but to testify that they are unable to explain it. But, regardless of that, I don't see why it would require every person who witnesses a miracle to convert. People can be stubborn in the face of clear evidence. And, lastly, a miracle is not an infallible or logically necessary proof for articles of faith - it is only reasonably probable. The evidence can be overwhelming, but it does not necessitate, in a strict sense, belief.

Well, unless I'm on my way to showing you another series of quotes showing how your view of the matter has changed:

You have previously said that the purpose of miracles was to support articles of faith. If that is their intended purpose, I cannot imagine them having any effect other than 100% conversion of those witnessing it. If a single non-catholic (whose intelligence and integrity is accepted by the church for objective review of "miracles&quotEye-wink is not converted in the presence of a miracle, you very well cannot expect me or any other skeptic to be converted, based merely on your re-telling, or even on a photo of a "study" conducted nearly 40 years ago. If even a single eyewitness is not convinced, you certainly can't expect me or anyone else to be.

StMichael wrote:

Quote:
You actually mean this as a serious response? Let's examine... You honestly think there is some difference in effect that hurricanes have on "pre-fallen men" and fallen men, and such actual difference can only be gleaned through "revelation". I'm sorry, but I cannot consider this anything other than patently ridiculous.
I don't see why it is ridiculous at all.

Perhaps you would be gracious enough to compare and contrast the physiology of humans before and after the Fall, which would clarify how pre-fallen humans would not be affected by a hurricane, whereas fallen humans unquestionably would. If you could explain this in a sound manner, I would cease to find this claim patently ridiculous.

StMichael wrote:
Now, the existence of God is not a matter of revelation. Only the truths that are beyond natural reason are. God's existence is not only revealed, but can be known without revelation. Revelation proves things beyond this about God as He is in Himself, like His Trinity. Also, you do have a revelation from the existence of Sacred Scripture and the like. You can also reasonably accept it from miraculous evidence for its truth.

I did read the scripture michael. One of the reasons I gave up my faith was because of reading it, because I realized how fabricated the whole story is. The plethora of christian denominations today would suggest that noone's really getting a clear hold of this revelation. Once again, michael. We need clear, obvious, unambiguous revelaton. As far as miraculous evidence, see above.

StMichael wrote:

Quote:
"I would suppose..." I have made issue of this weak-kneed syntax of yours before (I won't grace you with links this time -- if you don't believe me, go back through this thread -- you'll definitely see examples). Multiple times. You have neither ceased to do it, nor sought to defend your continued use of such ambiguities. You are essentially hedging your bets when you write like this. You can't answer with surety, you have to suppose.
On some things, I don't have a sure answer. I make probable arguments. Which is why my syntax indicates this. It is not a good thing to always speak in language indicating absolute surety.

Michael, we're talking about god here. Either she is or she isn't. If you don't have a sure answer, don't answer at all. Just say you don't know, and leave it. I'm all about using probabilities, etc, but "probable" means that you might be wrong. If you're open to the prospect of being wrong about your beliefs, fine. But as you have said before, you cannot imagine anything which would shake your faith in these matters -- they are more true to you than 2 + 2 = 4. In that case, you need to provide absolutely sure arguments. I don't give probable arguments for 2 + 2 = 4.

There are no theists on operating tables.

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StMichael wrote: Quote:

StMichael wrote:
Quote:
Invalid church documentation and a few things I can't read. You've provided nothing.
You have just rejected it because it claims there is a miracle and because it claims that the Catholic Church is correct. Also, it is clear that evidence exists, even if written in other languages. You just refuse to acknowledge it.
Quote:
I could have told you that you couldn't "help" me when you first started posting.
I can't talk to someone who doesn't listen to reason. I hoped that people here were better than retreating into irrationality.
Quote:
If you really feel it must end, then I suggest you leave the site altogether. Because I'm not about to stop debunking you. Neither are others. And if you repeat the same bs too many times, you'll probably be forced out for breaking terms and conditions.
You can't "debunk" my answers by just writing off everything I say with the word, "lies," or just asserting that everything I talk about doesn't exist. If you want to, we can't have a conversation and I have no way to talk with you as a rational person. As to the dancing of the sun, it was quite assuredly a local phenomenon. But the mere fact that it wasn't truly the dancing of the sun itself is not proof that the miracle is false. If it appears that the sun moves all around the sky, from one end to another, down toward earth and back up, I would think that is a pretty good feat. Yours In Christ, Eternal Wisdom, StMichael

 

Another example of michael claiming that others just naysay him, another example of michael lying that others have not given him arguments. 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.