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After his folks say the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.
Because God, under carefully controlled laboratory conditions, can do whatever the heck he feels like.
The LORD is just in all his ways, merciful in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth. (Ps. 145)
Except when he allows rape, orders genocide, endorses slavery, you know, the immoral things that he’s done.
Oh look, another fundamentalist.
“God doesn’t exist…the bastard.”
“Because God, under carefully controlled laboratory conditions, can do whatever the heck he feels like.”
So God helps this one guy out and leaves hundreds/thousands of innocent children to starve to death…
The eager will of the atheist to hunger for despair. Of course, you simply don’t know what God is up to in the life of another person. But don’t let that stop you from hoping for maximum despair.
No, it has nothing to do with feelings. Just because a belief gives you comfort has nothing to do with whether or not it is true.
And if we don’t know what God is up to in the life of another person, how do we, or whoever reported this story, know that God had anything to do with this?
Because God is God and nothing happens in all of creation without his involvement. What is true in this story is that the guy was brain dead. Then his parents prayed. Then he stopped being brain dead. I can’t, of course, prove a cause/effect relationship. Nor can you disprove one. As to feelings, it’s obviously you who feel deeply threatened by the documented facts of the case and feel a burning need to shout them down. My faith does not depend on this being a miracle. But your faith *deeply* depends on it not being a miracle. You, therefore, are the dogmatist. I’m comfy with either a natural or a supernatural explanation, since God is God of both miracles and medicine.
How do you the guy was brain dead? The story is told by the family members not the medical staff. Besides which even if he was declared brain dead, why are other explanations seemingly ruled out such the doctors made a mistake? The human body is complicated machinery. Or the family could have misheard what the doctors actually said which is understandable in such traumatic circumstances. Human memory is fallible, our medical technologies are also fallible. Humans like to tell stories. You’ve seemingly ruled all of that out.
Humans also like to figure out ways to get rid of You Know Who when they feel threatened by His existence.
That’s completely incoherent.
First I didn’t shout you down. I simply disagreed with you. People disagree all the time, that doesn’t mean they are doing rude things like shouting.
Secondly, if nothing happens in all creation without God involvement, then it becomes impossible to demonstrate his existence. If a brain dead man got better, it was because of God’s involvement. If a brain dead man didn’t get better it was because of God’s involvement. There’s no distinction between the two possibilities and the answer of “God did it” becomes meaningless.
Thirdly, claiming that you can’t prove it’s true but I can’t prove that it’s not true is a shifting of the burden of proof. You are the one claiming that a god of some kind exists. I am not claiming that no god exists. All I’m saying is that I don’t believe that you god exists based on the evidence and reasons you (and other theists) have provided so far. If you’re going to claim something exists, be prepared to back it up.
Fourth, I don’t have any faith. Faith is just an excuse people give for believing in something when they have no good reason otherwise. For example, I don’t have faith that the sun will come up in the morning because I understand how the Earth spins in its orbit. When you understand something, you no longer need faith.
Fifth, I already explain how I don’t have faith, but lets say that this situation played out exactly how it was reported: a brain dead man was prayed over by his parents and he got better. This in no way affects my atheism because based on those facts alone, you have yet to tie the results to any god. All we have is an unexplained situation, a horribly sick man got better, but no connection between the praying the the healing. You have to demonstrate that connection.
And even if you did demonstrate that connection, you still haven’t demonstrated that a god was responsible for the connection. That’s another whole step in the process that you’ve glided over. So there two steps here: establish that the praying was responsible for the healing, and establish that a god was what powered the healing power of the praying. You have provided nothing to back up either of those propositions.
Finally, I’m not a dogmatist. Should you provide some compelling evidence that your God or any god exists, then I will stop being an atheist. But when all that’s provided are vague stories of unexplained events, that’s hardly compelling evidence. All I want to do in this life is believe as many true things as possible an as few false things as possible and in that respect I have very high standards when it comes to extraordinary claims. But that doesn’t mean those standards are insurmountable.
I’m get the impression that there’s no rationale behind the author’s acceptance of the “miracle”. So there’s a gulf to which an appeal for rationality is futile.
What makes you suppose I think it a “miracle”? Because I think God involved? Ah Fundamentalism! So simple.
He was brain dead until they prayed. That’s not a miracle. God was tested under controlled lab conditions (which is ridiculous assertion by itself). But you’re not talking about miracles.
If you want to conclude it was a miracle, that’s up to you. It does sound very much like you *fear* it was a miracle. I’m open to the possibility of a miracle since I don’t, like you, have a dogma to defend and so can accept either “miracle” or “strikingly coincidental” (read “providential”) natural event. But you’re the one whose dogmatic commitments absolutely oblige you to make a faith statement about something you know jack about.
Oh look it’s the theological dance of the 7 veils.
Dude. I have no problem with miracles. You do. If, upon investigation, this were scream “Miracle”, I’d have no problem with that. You would. If upon investigation, this were to yield some highly time coincidental natural explanation, I’d have no problem with that the either. My assumption is that God typically answers prayers by natural means. Your dogma is that prayers can’t be answered since there is no God to answer them.
If it even turns out that these parents are inexplicably faking their son’s grave suffering in order to fake a miracle (something only desperate atheists posit in order to bat away the possbility of You Know Who) I *still* would have not big issues since I’m aware that fakes do happen and I’m also aware that “If one claim of miracle is a fake, therefore all are” is bad logic that only Brights like yourself accept.
Bottom line: I’ve got nothing invested in “This was clearly a miracle!”. You’ve got everything invested in “This can’t have been a miracle since my religious system requires it not to have been.” It is you, not I, who are both the dogmatist and the obscurantist here.
Funny old world, innit?
I didn’t say that the parents are faking. I’m arguing that it’s probable that their recollection are mistaken. I’ve got nothing against the idea of miracles. What I doubt are miracle claims.
Ah! Right. “Mistaken recollection”. They only *thought* their brain dead son revived after they prayed. Theists are especially stupid people after all. They easily become confused about such matters. Smart people such as yourself have a much clearer knowledge of the facts of the case because they are assisted by the sure and certain dogmas that Such Things Can’t Happen. So the testimony of people actually involved isn’t even necessary really. You are already know–by faith. 🙂
To doubt somebody’s testimony isn’t to say they’re an idiot. I never said that family involved are idiots. I implied that people taking such claims at face values are idiots. Everybody’s memories, recollections and experiences are fallible. Or do you really believe everything that people say? I’ve also never said that such things can never occur, just that it’s unlikely. Your reading comprehension is terrible.
Sure it is. You can be fuzzy on what you had for dinner and forget the math teacher from 10th grade. But people don’t forget “Your son is brain dead” and they don’t forget when he awoke after prayer for him. You *have* to say this kind of patronizing bullshit because you *need* to believe that no miracle could have possibly occurred. I don’t need to believe one occurred and I don’t have any problem is one did since my faith in God is not a consequence of this incident but remains the same whether it was a miracle, a natural occurrence, the world’s stupidest and most forgetful parents, or a fraud. Your faith requires a naturalistic explanation and you seem to be favoring one of the dumber and more improbable ones. Some people have a particularly robust faith.
Again I’ve never said that no miracles can never occur.
Where did I say the family forgot? I said memories and recollections are fallible. No offense but are you on the autism spectrum? I’m having difficulty understanding your responses. If you are autistic then I’ll adjust accordingly.
I know somebody who claimed to have been abducted by aliens when she was a child. She’s trustworthy, intelligent and mentally stable. I don’t believe that she’s had the experiences which she claims she’s had.
Nope. Not autism spectrum. Just amused by the patronizing attitude being taken to some parents who are understandably happy that their son is no longer brain dead. Why is it so important to you? And what has this to do with alien abduction claims? It’s a rather simple thing: the kid was brain dead. Now he’s not. In between they prayed. They (rather reasonably) see this as an answer to prayer. For some reason, it’s Very Important to you that it *not* be that. I think it’s due to your faith. I can’t imagine that it’s due to reason.
Oh my goodness, this is hilarious. You really can’t be that dense? So if the parents had been Voodoo worshipers and had sacrificed a goat, it would be reasonable to think that there’s a link?
I genuinely thought you may have been autistic as you seem unable to separate the valuation of a claim from the qualities of the person making the claim. Hence the example of the UFO abductee. You can be truthful and sober yet make extraordinary claims about experiences that have never occurred. You can also dismiss a claim without thinking badly of the person making the claim.
I really hope that Nigerian scammers don’t get hold of your personal email address, because they’ll take you for every dime you’ve got.
As far as I know, dead goats aren’t able to make people who are brain dead stop being brain dead. But a God who is personal and omnipotent and who answers prayer can do so. Given that I see good reason to think such a God exists *and* that this guy appears to have stopped being brain dead after prayer, I have no objection to the parents being grateful to God. But then, as I noted, my faith is not absolutely dependent, as yours is, on the denial of the miraculous. It is you, not I, that needs to chase down every odd thing that happens and stamp out all possibility of miracle since your dogma requires it. Hilariously, you call this :”open minded pursuit of the evidence whereever it leads.” I can take it or leave it as a miracle. In this particular case, I’ll go with “particularly pointed answer to prayer.”
And as far as i know prayers aren’t able to make brain dead people stop being brain dead. So do you think its patronising, dogmatic, fundamentalist to dispute the claims of Voodoo worshipers?
And yet it appears the stopped being braindead. A theist can be grateful for that without having an explanation. You’re too busy trying to shout it down to be grateful. One fo the many sad and repellent things about atheist fundamentalism.
Thing is the parents aren’t grateful for that without an explanation – they’re offering an explanation, and the explanation is rubbish (just like ThisIsTheEnd’s Voodoo example would be).
Also, the blog owner is also offering an explanation. Perhaps you’d care to explain to him that he’s mistaken in doing so?
Also, ThisIsTheEnd and my self aren’t shouting down the gratefulness of the parents, or saying they shouldn’t be overjoyed. We’re simply saying that attributing this to God, to the power of prayer is rather ridiculous.
Um, no. I’m not offering an explanation. I don’t know the means by which God healed the guy. Might have been natural, might have been supernatural. Dunno. I merely note that he was, in fact, healed and that the parent (reasonably) see that as an answer to prayer. For some reason, you guys are obsessed with trying to say it could not possibly be that. Because your rigid, dogmatic and intolerant faith absolutely requires it.
“Might have been natural, might have been supernatural” The family prayed and their brain dead son was revived.
So what’s the difference between God healing a brain dead guy naturally and God healing supernaturally?
As a sacramentalist who thinks the supernatural God works through nature all the time, I think finding that line might be tough, but as a general rule, I think most reasonable people would say that when you exhaust natural explanations for, say, a corpse dead four days coming back to life, it’s reasonable to call that supernatural. In this case, deprived of the details it’s hard to say. However, if (for instance) the man’s brain was, you know, dead and it now is not, I’d be inclined to say that one way to speak of that is “miraculous”. But since I’m not a doctor and I don’t know the details, I leave that one to the experts.
I mentioned the word miracle before and you fell on that like a ton of bricks. Wow so you are actually capable of acting civil. Keep it up.
Western modern science was established by deist and theist scientists. Good thing that they didn’t have the same attitude as the blogger (hey prayer works, DON’T LOOK FOR EXPLANATIONS!!!). We still be stuck in the 15th century
chezami: Um, no. I’m not offering an explanation. I don’t know the means by which God healed the guy.
You realise that the second sentence is an explanation, contradicting the first sentence, right?
Not offering an explanation sounds more like “I don’t have an explanation for what happened” rather than “God did it”.
chezami: I merely note that he was, in fact, healed and that the parent (reasonably) see that as an answer to prayer.
That’s not reasonable at all, as the many deaths attributable to putting things in gods hands rather than human hands demonstrates.
For some reason, you guys are obsessed with trying to say it could not possibly be that.
And of course you can quote someone saying this could not possibly be a miracle rather than this was unlikely to be a miracle, and the positive claims of the parents and the blog owner are jumping to that currently unwarranted conclusion.
Because your rigid, dogmatic and intolerant faith absolutely requires it.
That, coming from someone that appears absolutely certain that God is responsible, is funny.
Saying that the Supreme Governor the universe was involved in a healing is like saying he was involved in the fall of a sparrow. It’s not an “explanation”. It’s an acknowledgement of Omnipotence. It’s fun, meanwhile, to watch you waffle between “There’s no God and I’m pissed at him for allowing evil”. Make up your oh so Bright mind.
For a Bright, you sure lack reading comprehension skilz. Where did I say, “Don’t look for an explanation.” I have no problem with a natural explanation should one turn up. God works through nature as a general rule. You’re the one pre-empting looking at it by coming up with “explanations” in advance of and in the teeth of the testimony of those actually involved. That’s because your faith–rigid, dogmatic, and intolerant–absolutely requires it. You should stop worshipping your intellect and try using it.
And now you’ve relapsed. You seem very attached to human testimony. Like I said I hope some grifters never come across you.
Chezami, the existence of the “Supreme Governer of the Universe” has not been established. Saying that God works through nature is surely an attempt at an explanation – and it’s a very poor one at that.
And while berating ThisIsTheEnd and myself for our “Dogma”, “Intollerance”, and some imagined (on your part) offering of explanations, I haven’t yet seen you state that the parents or the blog owner are out of line for offering their explanations, which, unlike ThisIsTheEnd and myselt, seem to be offered with certainty.
I don’t hope for despair for anyone. What I do hope is that people use actual logic and evidence to come to their conclusions instead of automatically attributing everything to god.
I find it funny that humans used to attribute so many things to god, but every time we say “lets find out the cause,” low and behold, its yet to be god.
Sure you hope for despair. And you do it so eagerly you haven’t even given the slightest thought to Thomas’ answer to the second objection to the existence of God, which is what you unthinkingly regurgitate here:
Objection 2. Further, it is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by a few principles has been produced by many. But it seems that everything we see in the world can be accounted for by other principles, supposing God did not exist. For all natural things can be reduced to one principle which is nature; and all voluntary things can be reduced to one principle which is human reason, or will. Therefore there is no need to suppose God’s existence.
Chezami, just because you lack the imagination to see and understand that without your god life need not be full of despair doesn’t mean others of us are similarly limited.
There’s a lot of projecting going on “You’re dogmatic, you’re threatened by God, you’re filled with despair” Err no mate, not really.
“you simply don’t know what God is up to in the life of another person”
I agree, it’s impossible to know what impact an imaginary friend has on someone else.
These guys are amazing. A couple of weeks ago they were mistaking a priest at a traffic accident for the Angel Gabriel, now this. Who needs the Onion when you’ve got the Catholic channel on Patheos?
A) I assumed there was a natural explanation for the priest thingie.
B) There may well be a natural explanation for this thingie too. It’s still a happy story and something to thank God for.
C) One of the curious things about atheist psychology is its burning need to crush human happiness lest it lead to gratitude. I believe it’s called “cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face.”
C) Not really. I’m sure alcoholics when drunk are happy. Pointing out to alcoholics that they may want to put down the bottle isn’t crushing human happiness. Unless you think that whatever promotes human happiness is beyond criticism or ridicule?
Practically by definition, the addict is not happy.
No, not really.
For B) if you can thank your god for this, then can you also curse your god for not helping out other people?
To only praise god for the “good” things is to be unreasonable – if something is good when it is done, then the converse is generally bad. God is to be thanked for helping here, so god is to be cursed when he doesn’t help there.
Very good! God then is to be praised in all instances, since all things work for the good. Romans 8:28
We should praise God for cancer, parasites, starvation, etc, since they work for the good, right?
No. We should praise God for turning these things to good. You do get that the Church says there is such a thing as real evil, both natural and moral, right?
I get it.
So you praise God for children starving, since he turns this to the good?
Or, because it leads to good.
Or does God allow gratuitous suffering?
No. You don’t get it. To be grateful that God turn evil to good is not to be grateful for evil.
So you praise your god for all of the good that comes from children suffering and dying of starvation?
No, actually, WE leave them to starve to death. Hunger we can manage ourselves….and don’t.
OK then, God helps this one dude, but leaves the thousands/millions of others to suffer and die from similar conditions.
And besides, Both we and GOD leave them to starve to death. I, personally, cannot help the children who will die in the seconds after I finish writing this comment, since my actions take time and there are no children starving in my vicinity.God is not so limited, and therefore it seems he can be held more accountable for not doing anything.
Basically, yes. And Jesus resurrected a few people in Israel, while lots died every day. Is that wrong?. According to what set of values?. What is “wrong”?. God Himself defines Good and Evil. You’d be judging God’s actions by parameters He defines. If God exists (in the Catholic trascendent version), there is no measure of Good and Evil outside of Him. He is Good. Whatever it is He does is Good, by definition. The book of Job might help here. But you are free to decide that, after all, you don’t like God nor His ways. His most intelligent and gifted creature decided exactly that, and proclaimed “Non serviam!”.
If I stood in front of a starving child and let them die without doing anything, would that be morally blameworthy according to God? Especially if such action could be taken by me a little to no cost or risk?
Would I be more morally praiseworthy if I did help the child?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then either your God is morally blameworthy for not helping the child, or God is not as morally praiseworthy as he otherwise could be – both of which appear to go against the definition of “God” as being morally perfect.
And if you claim that God may have a morally sufficient reason to let the child suffer from hunger, then I can also presume that God has a sufficient reason to allow the suffering, and do nothing – which leads to us never stepping in to help another because we can assume God has a morally sufficient reason to allow such suffering.
Anyway you slice it, your position looks to be in some very serious trouble.
you are comparing God’s actions to those of a creature. And you are judging God according to a moral code external to Him, and superior to Him (which -by definition- makes no sense). I conclude you don’t know what christians understand by the word “God”. You are not talking about the christian God, you are talking about an imaginary spiritual creature you have chosen to call “God”. Then your questions, and any answers I could give to them, make no sense at all.
The words of Job in 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” only make sense in the Jewish or Christian understanting of God. There is no ruler to measure his actions. Because He is “the ruler”. And we are in no position to judge Him. Because we are His creatures.
As I said, you may not like the ways of God (it doesn’t mean you have a logical case against Him. Only that you happen not to like Him). His best creature didn’t like them either, and so he chose not to obey Him.
So if we were to accept what you were saying, then we seem to lose our ability to judge our morality against your God – something that Christians tend to do – since to do so is to compare God’s actions and nature to those of a creature.
You want to have it both ways, but you can’t. Either God can be held morally praiseworthy/blameworthy, or our morality has no connection to this supposed God, and we shouldn’t care about God’s ways when it comes to figuring out what our ways are/should be.
Javier: Whatever it is He does is Good, by definition.
So when he leaves an innocent child to suffer and die from hunger and malnutrition, it is good by definition. Since going against God, by your own account, can never be as good as going with God, we should do nothing to alleviate the child’s suffering, since whatever we do cannot be as good as what God is already doing.
As I said – you want to have it both ways, but it seems you simply cannot.
The suffering of the child is part of the Creation, and alleviating it is part of the Creation too. I don’t see why you separate one from the other. All I know is there are suffering children, and that I am under God’s command to alleviate their suffering. The question of why God allowed that suffering in the first place, makes no sense in the context of a trascendent, eternal, all-knowing God. There is a Universe, and there are commands from God to be obeyed. Period.
Creation is Good, by definition. Of course, there is the problem of Pain. Couldn’t God have created a Universe without Pain?. But Pain is a created concept, so the question, in the lips of a creature, doesn’t make much sense. (There was no such thing as Pain before Creation. The concept itself did not exist. So, how could a painless Creation be created, when Pain is not a concept external to the system?).
If you want a technical answer to the problem of Pain, some say it is related to Free Will and to The Fall, and that in fact Pain and Evil are not created, are not “beings”, but “holes” into the created being. In a way, Evil would be “nothing”. I don’t know. That is philosophy, and far beyond my competence. And I suspect it won’t satisfy you.
I repeat that I am by no means trying to probe to you the moral superiority of christianity (measured against what absolute ruler?). Only it’s logical consistency.
I’m really trying hard not to be intellectually dishonest. I am only trying to present the christian idea of God.
No. We just don’t have the ability to judge God. He is trascendent. There is no law to judge Him. That is what I said. The rest is your own opinion. Not mine.
I’m not trying to convince you christianity is the way. Far from it. I’m only trying to make clear what is the christian understanding of the idea of God. But you keep coming back to an atropomorphic idea of God. Which is not christian. Is pagan. And paganism is ok. But it is not christianity.
Javier, if the suffering is a part of creation then it must be “Good”. On what grounds can you justify alleviating it when, by your own admission, you are in no position to judge God.
From your position, all you can claim to know is that the suffering is not gratuitous, therefore must be for the greater good, and therefore you shouldn’t interfere to alleviate it.