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Category Archive: Miracles

Aug 13 2012

Miracles and the power of suggestion

According to a story in the New York Times, the placebo effect isn’t just limited to a drug’s expected benefits. People can and do suffer negative side effects as a result of believing they are taking real drugs. It’s called the “nocebo” effect. In a curious study, a team of Italian gastroenterologists asked people with …

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Apr 08 2012

A top ten list

Happy Easter everybody—I hope you all have prepared your colored eggs for Astarte, the pagan fertility goddess, and have filled your house with other fertility symbols like rabbits and such. Remember, Astarte is the reason for the season (and even gave it her name, slightly misspelled). Oh yeah, and some guy died too. I suppose …

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Apr 07 2012

Why God can’t heal amputees

One of Mighty Timbo’s lost posts addresses the question of why God does not heal amputees. As with the question of why God doesn’t show up, though, he phrases the issue in such a way as to miss the most important aspects of the question. The Atheist has likely never been witness to a miraculous …

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Apr 04 2012

God’s evil addiction

There’s an old joke about a woman who keeps hitting herself in the head with a hammer. When they asked, “Why are you doing that?” she replied, “Because it feels so good when I stop!” Yesterday we looked at Mighty Timbo’s story about how God allegedly healed his wife years after a serious car accident …

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Apr 03 2012

Does God show up through miracles?

Today I’d like to look at Mighty Timbo’s claim that he has evidence of God, in the form of a miracle that allegedly happened to his wife. It follows the traditional outline for miracle stories, so we can reasonably call this a typical case. And that’s a good thing because it also gives us at …

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Feb 03 2012

Consistency with the truth

Our recent (and ongoing?) discussion with Kevin got me thinking about truth and the supernatural. By definition, the difference between a true story and a false one is that the true story is consistent with reality and the false one isn’t. This consistency has two aspects: negatively, consistency means the true story does not contradict …

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Jan 05 2012

A prescription for gullibility

We’re approaching the point of beating a dead horse with this miracles discussion, but I do have one last point to cover before we move on. Jayman’s primary complaint is this: Based on multiple surveys and polls, Keener notes that hundreds of millions of people alive today claim that they have witnessed or experienced miraculous …

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Jan 04 2012

Depending on ignorance

This is proving to be a fun week. On Sunday I observed that the Gospel is a story and that we do not see God showing up in real life, attending church, and raising the long-dead. Jayman777 objected to that observation and tried to refute me—by supplying more stories about people seeing alleged miracles. He …

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Jan 03 2012

Documenting miracles

Following up on yesterday’s post, I thought I’d take some time to explore further the question of how we can observe that miracles do not happen in real life. Some believers like to think that ignorance is their ally, that nobody knows everything, so they’re safe (they hope) in assuming that no skeptic can know …

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Jan 02 2012

Debunking Skepticism

A believer who goes by the handle “Jayman777″ has written a blog post taking me to task. He’s not happy with my remarks at Evangelical Realism about how William Lane Craig handles the historical arguments for Jesus. I have not read this book by Craig but DD’s post contains a few problems common to arguments …

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