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Old 04-30-2001, 05:31 AM   #21
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:
So, if I say I believe in Miracles I must be on drugs? How can I refute that?
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No, perhaps not on drugs, but because you want to believe in miracles then you experience them. It's called autosuggestion and means "believing what one wants to believe" (atheists may be culpable of that too, I admit).

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I believe in Miracles. I believe they have happened to other people. I even believe I've had at least one in my own experience. I say this from the heart, and I've never done a drug in my life (except maybe caffeine ).
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What miracle did you have? I'm interested. If it's something like the Star Wars ability to summon objects remotely, then it ought to be in the newspapers all over. But if it's just being saved from an accident by virtue of prayer, then it's a chance event that you interpret as a miracle. Interpretation can produce lots of miracles, and I suspect that's what the authors of the Bible did with many natural events.

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Maybe you could look at it like this. There are people who believe there are aliens out in space somewhere. They search for them because they believe they might be there. They have never found any evidence, past nor present (though people make claims). Now, do aliens exist or don't they? Some say yes though they can't prove it, they only "feel" it. I think extra-terrestrial life is a possibility (and it would make no difference to my belief in God if we found them or they found us). Do you believe there might be aliens out there somewhere? But you don't believe in the remotest possibility of miracles or the supernatural?
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But aliens aren't supernatural, and there's proper scientific probability of their existence (after all, evolution must work on other worlds as well). And still, I don't discount the existence of the supernatural, just as I don't discount that of aliens, but as of yet there's no evidence for neither.

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I don't claim this to be a perfect example, but I wouldn't discount things because you haven't personally experienced it (yet?).
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Neither do I discount them, but since they're only in the room of possibility, and not certainty, I do not base my life decisions upon them. You need quite a certainty in miracles in order to accept JC as Lord and Saviour.

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As to the Bible being fiction, I just don't buy it. There are too many historical facts behind it in my opinion (more so than in Homer's works and look what they turned up). Your argument is interesting, but is really only your opinion.
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Part of the Bible is fact, and has been verified by archaeological evidence, such as Sennacherib's siege on Jerusalem at the time of Hezekiah. But other parts of the Bible are definitely fiction. Suffice it here to say that Darwin's theory of evolution means that there were never any such two real people as Adam and Eve. They simply didn't exist. I can't see how the existence of Adam and Eve and the evolution of man and apes from a common ancestor can both be true. Either this or that. Theistic evolution is a problematic compromise. See:

http://www.geocities.com/stmetanat/scirel.html


[This message has been edited by devnet (edited April 30, 2001).]
 
Old 04-30-2001, 06:27 AM   #22
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St. Augustine had an illigitimate son before he bacame a Christian and named it "not given by God".
Are you saying he is not a real person?
Also miracles are not supposed to follow everyday life experience, that is why they are considered miraculous. There is no way to prove or disprove a miracle that happened in the past. I guess you possibly disprove a false miracle, but the Bible does not claim that there are no false miracles, actually it says the opposite.
How would you go about disproving the ressurection for example? By proving dead people don't come back to life? DUH!
If dead people came back to life regularly it would not have been a miracle.
Even if you proved that no dead person has ever been documented to come back to life it would not disprove it.
 
Old 04-30-2001, 06:48 AM   #23
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That "before he became a Christian" line is a little disingenuous. His mother, Monica, was a Christian. According to a biography of Augustine at www.catholic.net:
---------------------------------------------
Monica taught Augustine religion when he was young but (as many foolish people of the time did) he delayed Baptism
for fear of sinning afterwards. He was a lazy student, disobedient to his parents and teachers, studying only to avoid
being whipped, which he feared. He was far from being slow; he just liked to play.

At sixteen, he moved to Carthage where he eagerly studied rhetoric (the art of persuasive speech) and with great
success, which added to his already considerable pride. He soon took a mistress with whom he lived for the next 14
years. They had an illegitimate son, Adeodatus, in 372.
---------------------------------------------
So Augustine just didn't name his son that name out of the blue. It appears that he was heavily influenced by Christianity through his mother before he "converted".
 
Old 04-30-2001, 04:37 PM   #24
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Theo the Logian:
St. Augustine had an illigitimate son before he bacame a Christian and named it "not given by God".
Are you saying he is not a real person?
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All I'm saying is the nomenclature fits the axe to grind. That the Bible should name the kings of Sodom and Gomorrha as Bera (bad son) and Birsha (wicked son) is quite obvious. I doubt those were their real names. If the Bible is storytelling with pejorative conotations, then this speaks volumes of its trustworthiness as an objective source. God, as external to his creations, is supposed to be objective (incorruptible, righteous judge, isn't that right? That's what religious people say).

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Also miracles are not supposed to follow everyday life experience, that is why they are considered miraculous. There is no way to prove or disprove a miracle that happened in the past. I guess you possibly disprove a false miracle, but the Bible does not claim that there are no false miracles, actually it says the opposite.
How would you go about disproving the ressurection for example? By proving dead people don't come back to life? DUH!
If dead people came back to life regularly it would not have been a miracle.
Even if you proved that no dead person has ever been documented to come back to life it would not disprove it.
</font>
Where do we find miracles? In two contexts:

1. Context of Propaganda (=Bible, Qur'an)
2. Context of Ignorance (natural explanation as yet unknown to the writer)

We do not find miracles outside those contexts. That leads me to believe miracles did not happen in the past either. 100% certainty? No such thing, I agree. But the odds are very high for Metaphysical Naturalism. See my intro to MetaNat:

http://www.geocities.com/stmetanat/mnintro.html
 
Old 05-01-2001, 05:18 AM   #25
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Wombat do you have a point?
Did you just learn a new word today? How am I being "disengenuous?"
I just made up St.Augustines conversion?
Just because you view conversion experiences with derision, does not mean I am being dishonest when I mention people having them.
I believe in them, so if I mention them it is not disingenuous.
 
Old 05-01-2001, 07:13 AM   #26
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I'm afraid you missed my point, Theo. I am not, as you claim, viewing his conversion (or rather his return to the faith of his youth) with "derision." For all I know, he was sincere about his Christian beliefs. However, Augustine clearly would have a justification to name his son Adeodatus, because he was raised by a pious Christian woman and studied religion (presumably including Christianity) in his youth before his conversion. If you note the quote of his biography that he "delayed Baptism for fear of sinning afterwards", it appears that he was probably well aware that having a child out of wedlock was considered sinful to Christians, and one can imagine that he felt guilty about it.
Compare this with the fact that in the Bible, the kings of two neighboring "bad" and "wicked" cities just happened to both have names "Bad Son" and "Wicked Son" at the same time. In Augustine's case, one can see why he would name his son as he did without invoking a mythical nature to the story, while it stretches credulity to think the same of the names of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrha.
 
 

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