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Miracles - Do They Exist?

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Old 12-03-14, 12:50 PM   #1
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Exclamation Miracles - Do They Exist?

We often refer to events in our everyday lives as miracles, but are they? We say things like “It’s a miracle I found a parking space!”, “It’s a miracle I survived Black Friday!” or “Over 65 diseases are now treated with adult stem cells . . . it’s a medical miracle!” Yeah, we tend to throw the word “miracle” around rather carelessly. From a scientific standpoint, miracles are those events that violate or transcend the laws of nature. They don’t conform to the normative process of science. Gravity causes objects to fall to earth, as we know - but a satellite given a certain momentum may assume a trajectory that allows it to fall around the earth. Is that a miracle? No, it’s an extension of a number of physical or scientific laws that govern our universe.

When something occurs totally outside our expectations and experience, it might be called a miracle, but even these have limits. We cannot produce a three-sided square, or produce life from death. There is an inherent violation of terms here, concepts that we cannot overcome. We either have to explain them or put them on a high shelf for later consideration - we cannot dismiss what we don’t understand.

Case in point:

A healthy, athletic young man drowned at Lake Tahoe last July. Look at the following video and note the dozens of “coincidences” that just happened to come together at precisely the right time: swimmers who discovered his body, a passing competitive paddle-boarder who pulled his body from the depths of the lake and pushed him onto a kayak provided by a mother and daughter who happened on the scene . . . and lifeguards and jet-skiers who towed them to shore. Count the medical professionals who happened to be in attendance and the flood of EMT’s at the scene, the arrival of a rescue helicopter, the trauma team at the hospital and the facilities that were lined up in a row precisely as they were needed.

Look at the circle of strangers, friends, and family who came together at the young man’s bedside, tens of thousands who prayed online and in his hospital room, for a man who was clinically dead from the time he broke the surface of the water. By all accounts he arrived at the hospital flat-lined for well over 30 minutes - a sure indication of serious and debilitating brain damage - even if through some incredible confluence of circumstances he managed to survive. Nothing in the professional experience of the trauma team could prepare them for what would happen.

Meet Jake Blackmon . . . the way so many did last July 30th . . .


If miracles are excursions beyond the scientifically possible, this is certainly a demonstration of one. Three weeks ago, Jake returned to the fire station at Incline Village where his rescue team was assembled. He visited the ER staff at the hospital in Reno where he was flown, the medical and rehab teams here in Houston - just to say thank you for all they did in saving his life. Jake still has a few months to go before he’s 100% again, but he knows exactly what a miracle is. He and so many others, Christians, non-Christians, skeptics, and agnostics, it didn't matter; they all swear they witnessed a genuine miracle.
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Old 12-03-14, 02:28 PM   #2
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Every time the Vatican canonizes a saint (which, BTW, was just recently done with two former popes and a deceased military chaplain), it is the culmination of a long, thorough investigation process that examines intercessory prayer involving that deceased person, the general credibility of those persons involved and their stories, the nature of the responses to the prayer, and how many times that consequences or answer to the prayer were observed that cannot be explained by medical science or other scientific fields. As a general rule, there is a "Blessed" phase, a "Beatified" phase", and, after at least two official, confirmed, legitimate miracles in the Church's view are attributed to the intercession of that deceased person with God, a new saint is proclaimed.

Don't be surprised, BTW, if Mother Teresa is next. What IS surprising is that she hasn't been canonized by now, though she has been in the Beatification phase (one miracle attributed to her) for a number of years.
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Old 12-04-14, 06:45 AM   #3
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Don't be surprised, BTW, if Mother Teresa is next. What IS surprising is that she hasn't been canonized by now, though she has been in the Beatification phase (one miracle attributed to her) for a number of years.
I hope not - an absolutely evil woman, who inflicted misery and suffering on tens of thousands of people she could have helped. She saw the suffering of the sick and dying as an extension of the "passion of Christ" and denied them painkillers and medicines that could have helped them.

As for the OP - it's a coincidence, lucky chance, no more, no less. It occasionally happens, most often it doesn't.
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Old 12-04-14, 01:13 PM   #4
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Don't be surprised, BTW, if Mother Teresa is next. What IS surprising is that she hasn't been canonized by now, though she has been in the Beatification phase (one miracle attributed to her) for a number of years.
bill gates should be made a saint before mother teresa. he has helped MILLIONS more people with real and tangible work and money through his philanthropy, and of course by created billions, and probably trillions of wealth for the world by leading an innovative company for decades. sames goes for steve jobs, although he wasn't as nice a guy.

the world needs more like bill gates and less like mother teresa.
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Old 12-04-14, 01:16 PM   #5
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If miracles are excursions beyond the scientifically possible, this is certainly a demonstration of one.
when you say possible, perhaps you mean currently understood. science is a process to refine, challenge, and expand knowledge over time. it accepts it is never perfect, never done, never complete. so miracles might be considered anything beyond that which we currently understand, and by that definition, miracles happen all the time.
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Old 12-04-14, 01:23 PM   #6
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What a great topic. In short, I don't think there are miracles. If the probability of something happening is very small, and it does happen, many people would say its a miracle. But its not. Everything that happens can be explained.

For those things that seem out of this world, I have yet to see something happen in person. Maybe then I will believe/classify it as a miracle.
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Old 12-04-14, 03:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Big Andy
As for the OP - it's a coincidence, lucky chance, no more, no less. It occasionally happens, most often it doesn't.
I have to disagree with that one. I've seen (and experienced) too many "miracles" in my own life (and what I've seen in others) to simply attribute them to "luck", "chance", or "coincidence". One can only do that so many times before running out of (natural) excuses.

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I hope not - an absolutely evil woman, who inflicted misery and suffering on tens of thousands of people she could have helped. She saw the suffering of the sick and dying as an extension of the "passion of Christ" and denied them painkillers and medicines that could have helped them.
Say What?

Her Missionaries of Charity order of nuns worked in some of the poorest and most destitute places on earth, usually living very frugal lifestyles themselves. To say that she denied medications to the sick and dying is simply not true.....as long as those medications were actually available. Of course, she could not give out what she didn't have. As a Catholic nun who took lifetime vows in the Church, the only things she denied to her patients is what the Church itself forbids....artificial birth controls, abortions, and euthanasia (which she also believed in her own conscience). But that is not the same as denying them basic medications.

Besides, the Vatican already has proof of at least one intercessory miracle on her behalf (which beatifies her)...so it doesn't really matter what her critics might say. One more documented miracle, and she is a saint. God, as usual, will have the last word.
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Old 12-04-14, 04:14 PM   #8
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when you say possible, perhaps you mean currently understood. science is a process to refine, challenge, and expand knowledge over time. it accepts it is never perfect, never done, never complete. so miracles might be considered anything beyond that which we currently understand, and by that definition, miracles happen all the time.
Part of that is true, but there are some things that science simply is not capable of understanding...and perhaps never will. The unseen world of the spiritual simply cannot be explained by physical science, though it is true that some things like solar/lunar eclipses, comets, serious viral diseases, mental illnesses, etc.....that were once attributed to demons or the supernatural now DO have explanations in science. But that does not mean that science can......or will......understand everything.
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Old 12-04-14, 05:44 PM   #9
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Part of that is true, but there are some things that science simply is not capable of understanding...and perhaps never will. The unseen world of the spiritual simply cannot be explained by physical science, though it is true that some things like solar/lunar eclipses, comets, serious viral diseases, mental illnesses, etc.....that were once attributed to demons or the supernatural now DO have explanations in science. But that does not mean that science can......or will......understand everything.
You are making a giant assumption here. The unseen world of the spiritual may only exist in your mind. There may be nothing there to be scientifically explained in the first place.
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Old 12-04-14, 07:05 PM   #10
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^^ It's dark matter + dark energy
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Old 12-04-14, 08:40 PM   #11
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^^ It's dark matter + dark energy
Or trans-dimensional beings
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Old 12-04-14, 10:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by LazarusLng View Post
You are making a giant assumption here.
It is not an assumption, but a fact.

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The unseen world of the spiritual may only exist in your mind.
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There may be nothing there to be scientifically explained in the first place.
The human brain, of course, like the rest of the human body, is part of science, and, to some extent (not totally), its operation can be scientifically explained. But I'm not referring to that. I'm talking about unseen forces that are beyond the realm of science....even today's and tomorrow's science. Science can deal only with physical matter....and with some unseen forces, like gravity, that are associated with matter.
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Old 12-04-14, 10:23 PM   #13
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Every person is different. Their bodies react differently. What may occur for one person may not for another. Similar how two people can fall into a coma at the same time under the same circumstances, and one will wake up eventually while the other remain a vegetable. Would one say a miracle happened there? Absolutely not.

Miracle in itself is a faith based term used to explain that which people cannot yet scientifically explain regarding a positive situation that's out of the ordinary. People being flung by a tornado hundreds of feet while they were sleeping and waking up with no broken bones......miracle. Drunks getting into car wrecks and somehow walking away from them while the victim is dead. Would that be a miracle? Given time....miracles will slowly diminish. As scientific knowledge grows and expands, the concept of a miracle will die out.
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Old 12-04-14, 11:41 PM   #14
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Part of that is true, but there are some things that science simply is not capable of understanding...and perhaps never will.
which part of what i wrote isn't true? i said science is never complete and doesn't assume to be perfect. it's a process.

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... some things like solar/lunar eclipses, comets, serious viral diseases, mental illnesses, etc.....that were once attributed to demons or the supernatural now DO have explanations in science. But that does not mean that science can......or will......understand everything.
didn't say it can or will. i also wrote miracles happen all the time, because science, or faith, can't explain everything, and anything we can't explain can be considered a miracle, or actually, even things we believe we can explain, like human birth, or just looking at a tree or the stars.
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Old 12-04-14, 11:49 PM   #15
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You are making a giant assumption here. The unseen world of the spiritual may only exist in your mind. There may be nothing there to be scientifically explained in the first place.


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Originally Posted by mmarshall View Post
It is not an assumption, but a fact.
lazarus is right, all of the reality and spirituality we feel aware of may absolutely be just 'in our heads'. not saying it is or isn't, but i don't believe you can say that 'the unseen world of the spiritual' is a fact, except as an act of faith.

i respect your faith of course, and being faith, it is not to be proven or disproven, it is yours. likewise atheists being 'certain' that there is no God are in fact engaging in an act of faith that there is no God.

the only logical spiritual view is agnosticism, but spirituality doesn't have to be logical and none of us are purely logic-driven robots.
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