Are miracles ongoing?

Good that your son healed, but you have no evidence that the cause was God or that your prayers had anything to do with it. As has often been said about medical “miracles”, get back to me when God restores an amputated limb.


Isn’t that your standard? It was enough for me to call it a miracle… and it was enough for his doctor also to call it a miracle.
If the ressurrection of Jesus actually happened, would you classify it as good enough 'medical miracle"?
What would your standard of evidence to believe in the ressurection be?

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Your standards are not sufficient.

Yes. If.

Again sufficient for me based on other subjective experiences.
Not sufficient for you based on your subjective choices.

So what’s your standard of evidence for it?
Would you have to see him?

No, but ancient testimony from unknown individuals, several probably copied from a single source, isn’t good enough. At this late date it would be difficult to find any good evidence.

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What about the individual testimony of millions of people of having experience Jesus?
End of the day, the only thing that would convince people IMO is a personal subjective experience.
But all this should be enough to start inveatigating into it…

What form does this experience take? How can we truly know it was Jesus?

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“We” can’t. Each individual has to be convinced on his own.
The question you need to ask yourself is how you can truly know it was Jesus.
That’s a very personal/subjective question.

The question I need to ask you is how you can truly know it was Jesus.

: moderator note : @Ashwin_s and @John_Harshman, I split out your conversation on miracles. It’s a good one, but a bit off topic for the original thread so it seemed appropriate to break it out into its own conversation.

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What about them? Could they be like the millions of people getting a deep emotional experience and calling it Muhammad, Thor, Zeus, deep and unconditional love and happiness, benevolent alien species on a mission of cosmic love, or a sense of “connectedness with the universe”? Could they be attaching significance inherited from their upbringing and cultural surroundings to this feeling and rationalizing that this cultural baggage is what it is from, because that’s what their mind jumps to?

Could we all have this feeling, and just call it different things due to our surrounding culture and upbringing? “Touched by God”, the “witness of the holy spirit”, being “telepathically comforted by advanced alien species on a benevolent mission”, feeling an “incredible sense of wonder, connection, love, and happiness”, and so on.

Some people can reliably induce it by taking certain drugs, or being stimulated by having electrodes placed on their head. Many people with epileptic seizures see and experience [iconography and emotions of their religious upbringing and surrounding culture] while having their episodes.

Perhaps some of us have had, and some times still do have such experiences, but have come to understand that they aren’t what we used to think?

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If your question is whether they could be wrong, yes its possible. However, they dont believe it is so, and some could be right… and no evidence can prove that their experience was merely emotional.

Hence the warrant to examine these beliefs.

Are you suggesting the vast majority of human beings are hallucinating?
How is the experience of those who experience stuff through drugs or because of a neurological problem relevant to the vast majority who are normal human beings?

This is just handwaving used to discount the vast amount of witness for the supernatural.

Prove? No. Indicate? I think there’s lots of evidence it’s emotional. The fact that those experiences can be reproduced under laboratory conditions with brain stimulation, or by taking certain drugs, is part of that evidence. The fact that people all over the word report similar experiences, but interpreted through the lens of their cultural and religious upbringing, is another strong indication it’s emotional and not actually Jesus “entering their hearts”.

Halluscinating? Are you saying they are having visions? That Jesus appears to them as if just another person walking across the street? Or standing in their bedroom looking down on them with a bright light behind him?

In my own experience I have never had visual appearances, and most religious people I have spoken to about their claims to have experienced the presence of God/Jesus/Allah/whatever don’t report outright visual appearances or being literally spoken to. Instead they report being overcome with some powerful sense of presence, wonder, love, awe, happiness and so on. And they are convinced it’s God/Jesus/Allah/whatever. They can rarely articulate why they think it is, or how they know it.

How is the experience of those who experience stuff through drugs or because of a neurological problem relevant to the vast majority who are normal human beings?

They report the same types of “religious experiences” that people who claim to have “experienced God/Jesus/Mohammed/etc.” do.

This is just handwaving used to discount the vast amount of witness for the supernatural.

No, your response is handwaving to discount evidence that it isn’t actually a witnessing of the supernatural.

Also, what is a witnessing of the supernatural, specifically? Visual experiences, do they actually see physical Jesus in front of them, is that what’ you’re saying? Does God audibly speak to them, do they hear voices?

Almost every person I have ever spoken to have said no, they don’t have visual or audible experiences, rather they feel a presence and a strong sense of awe, wonder, love, happiness, and connection. And then they call it Jesus/The Holy Spirit/God/Allah/Muhammed/Zeus/Thor/Vishnu/a million other things.

Or they some times see a deep connection in things, or interpret certain everyday life experiences as having been orchestrated and planned by God so as to communicate with them. They are driving home in their car and they’re maybe in a bad mood, thinking about whether to go ahead with some action but have a hard time deciding, and they could even be thinking something like “should I do it, God?” but it’s bad weather on a grey boring day, but then a hole in the clouds appear and a beautiful ray of light appears and they interpret this to mean God says yes. In this way religious people interpret their everyday lives through a God-lens and God is “real” to them because they feel like he answers questions and guides their lives with these kinds of “hints”. So they convince themselves they’re really communicating with God.

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If God performed a miracle like the part of the Red Sea today it would immediately be known beyond a doubt to everyone on the planet, thru electronic media.

How odd that, now that this is possible, God no longer performs such miracles. Why did he get so shy all of a sudden.

There is far, far more witness evidence for the existence of Bigfoot or for alien abductions than there is for the “supernatural.” Do you consider those things to be facts as well?

It’s called “science.” Ever heard of it?

No really. Drugs are not a causal linkage for most people who have religious experiences… Thats a fact.

This need not be true. There are several instances of people accepting christianity in India, china, the middle east etc which is in direct contradiction to cultural and religious upbringing.

Not in most of the cases… some people do report visions or very strong dreams. End of the day, you are connecting religious experience with the visions seen when a person has epileptic seizures, hence my question about hallucinations.

I am not sure you are even looking at data here. While drugs can cause ecstasy, they also cause extremely negative experiences in many cases.
But end of the day, there is no causal link. Most people who have religious feelings do not have a history of drug abuse.

Your claims are not even logical.

Due to the high rate and unpredictable nature of spontaneous resolution of DDH and the absence of comparative studies of intervention vs. no intervention, the effectiveness of interventions is not known.

Glad for your son. Not a miracle.

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Yes. But, like i have already mentioned to @John_Harshman; these kind of events are rare in the biblical narrative. There is no reason for a christian to expect God to split the red sea every other day or month.

I am not sure about big foot.
As to alien abductions… well, recently, the US government itself has released videos of something it claims is an “UFO”…
I don’t believe Aliens abduct people, but i don’t write such experiences off as hallucinations either.

Your missing the point. The studies demonstrate that these so-called “supernatural religious experiences” can be replicated thru non-supernatural chemical processes. This means that the spontaneouls occurence of such events is almost certainly also due to such chemical processes, and not to any supernatural interventions.

Similarly, if I increase your heart rate by giving you a shot of adrenaline, it does not mean that when your heart rate increases without the shot this is a supernatural miracle.