What evidence is there for the miracles of the Bible OUTSIDE of the Bible?

by punkofnice 81 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • tec

    What I have never said... is that that what I think matters so much.
    You said, and I quote: Not that it matters what we think on that matter.
    Are you not included in we?

    EP... your question does not make sense. Yes, I am included in 'we'. But those two statments are saying the exact same thing. That it does not matter what I think... and that I have never said that what I think matters so much. So what is the problem?



  • HarryMac
    cantleave - I reckon if Derren Brown performed some of his illusions / psychological feats in front of a group of bronze age goat herders, they would be classed as "miracles".

    I'd like to nominate David Copperfield to be the next son of God.

    You'd better believe in him.

  • 20yearfader

    i always use to say as a jw why didn't he leave the flaming swords at the garden of eden,that way future humans could say look that's where our parents use to live but were thrown out.Now at this point in my life i believe nothing in that book it is a well written fairy tale and that is it.

  • yadda yadda 2
    yadda yadda 2

    If the apostle Thomas refused to believe in the resurrection without hard, tangible proof, why should anyone else be any different today? Where is the line drawn between faith and incredulity?

  • yadda yadda 2
    yadda yadda 2

    The great British Philosopher David Hume on miracles (from Wikipaedia):

    Hume starts by telling the reader that he believes that he has "discovered an argument [...] which, if just, will, with the wise and learned, be an everlasting check to all kinds of superstitious delusion". [2]

    Hume first explains the principle of evidence: the only way that we can judge between two empirical claims is by weighing the evidence. The degree to which we believe one claim over another is proportional to the degree by which the evidence for one outweighs the evidence for the other. The weight of evidence is a function of such factors as the reliability, manner, and number of witnesses.

    Now, a miracle is defined as: "a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent." [3] Laws of nature, however, are established by "a firm and unalterable experience"; [4] they rest upon the exceptionless testimony of countless people in different places and times.

    "Nothing is esteemed a miracle, if it ever happen in the common course of nature. It is no miracle that a man, seemingly in good health, should die on a sudden: because such a kind of death, though more unusual than any other, has yet been frequently observed to happen. But it is a miracle, that a dead man should come to life; because that has never been observed in any age or country." [5]

    As the evidence for a miracle is always limited, as miracles are single events, occurring at particular times and places, the evidence for the miracle will always be outweighed by the evidence against - the evidence for the law of which the miracle is supposed to be a transgression.

    There are, however, two ways in which this argument might be neutralised. First, if the number of witnesses of the miracle be greater than the number of witnesses of the operation of the law, and secondly, if a witness be 100% reliable (for then no amount of contrary testimony will be enough to outweigh that person's account). Hume therefore lays out, in the second part of section X, a number of reasons that we have for never holding this condition to have been met. He first claims out that no miracle has in fact had enough witnesses of sufficient honesty, intelligence, and education. He goes on to list the ways in which human beings lack complete reliability:

    • People are very prone to accept the unusual and incredible, which excite agreeable passions of surprise and wonder.
    • Those with strong religious beliefs are often prepared to give evidence that they know is false, "with the best intentions in the world, for the sake of promoting so holy a cause". [6]
    • People are often too credulous when faced with such witnesses, whose apparent honesty and eloquence (together with the psychological effects of the marvellous described earlier) may overcome normal scepticism.
    • Miracle stories tend to have their origins in "ignorant and barbarous nations" [7] - either elsewhere in the world or in a civilised nation's past. The history of every culture displays a pattern of development from a wealth of supernatural events - "[p]rodigies, omens, oracles, judgements" [5] - which steadily decreases over time, as the culture grows in knowledge and understanding of the world.

    Hume ends with an argument that is relevant to what has gone before, but which introduces a new theme: the argument from miracles. He points out that many different religions have their own miracle stories. Given that there is no reason to accept some of them but not others (aside from a prejudice in favour of one religion), then we must hold all religions to have been proved true - but given the fact that religions contradict each other, this cannot be the case.

  • LisaRose

    I wish I could believe in miracles, but I don't. The accounts in the bible were written thousands of years ago by men who did not understand the human body, or the human mind. Most so called faith healers rely on the fact that people often see what they expect to see, and group hysteria does happen. Most so called healings are just suggestible people who, in the heat of the moment, feel better temporarily. The Faith healers are very good at picking people out of the audience who they know will produce the desired effect. They have scouts who know what to look for. They often choose people in wheelchairs who can actually walk, but are limited in how far. They get them up on stage and after a lot of laying on of hands, voila, they walk accross the stage. It's a miracle! Of course, they are not really cured, but it looks good on stage. Plus, The bible accounts were not written down until years later, by which time they could have been greatly exaggerated. Who knows, Jesus could just have been the Pat Robertson of his day.

  • cofty

    Anybody who gives credence to claims of bible miracles including Jesus' resurrection needs to consider why they also reject other miracle claims.

    Please take a moment to browse this index page of the miracles of Sathya Sai Baba...

    Please explain why you don't accept these extraordinary accounts and why those very same reasons don't apply to your preferred miracle worker.

    Here is just one of hundreds of Sai Baba's miracles.

    Baba sends an Australian back home - through His interview room!

    A group of six devotees had come to have darshan of Baba from Australia . Baba called them for a private interview.

    During the normal course of the talk, Baba looked at one of the devotees and asked -- “Why did you come now. Your mother is not well. She needs you there back in Australia” .

    He replied saying-- “ Yes Baba, I called home yesterday night and this news was conveyed to me. I pray for her early recovery.”

    Baba replied --

    Go home soon. She is asking for you. In fact go home now.”

    So saying, Baba created a map of the world with the wave of the hand. He spread it on the wall and the following conversation took place : --

    BABA : “Where is Australia in this map ?”

    Devotee : “Here, Baba .” (Pointing to the map).

    Baba touched it and the world map changed into an Australian map.

    BABA : “Where in Australia do you say ?”

    Devotee : “New South Wales, Baba .” (pointing to the map).

    Baba touched it and the Australian map changed into the map of New South Wales.

    BABA : “Where in New South Wales do you say ?”

    When the devotee mentioned the place, Baba touched it and the chart changed to show all the apartments in the area.

    Then Baba touched the house in which the man was staying and lo! the wall of the interview room became the door of the devotee’s home. Baba opened the door and showed the man his mother sleeping on the sofa. Baba called the man and asked him to go in and closed the door. He rubbed his hands on the door and the door became the wall of the interview room again!

    Later when the Australians came out of the interview room, only five came out instead of the six who went in. The students of Prashanthi Nilayam campus saw this. Later they called back the man who was sent to Australia only an hour later, who confirmed his ‘safe arrival’.

    Baba said that ---

    “Time and space exist only in the worldly plane. In the divine plane there is no time and space. I can easily cross time and space as and when I want to. That experience of the Australian crossing space to reach Australia from the interview room was my leela to show you that it is possible for me to do that if necessary. Time and space hold no barrier for GOD.

  • tec

    Cofty, for me... I neither accept nor reject it, at least not out of hand. I just know nothing of it. I have no experience of it, and so no evidence of it (and I am assuming that he has not posted empiricle evidence for his claims?) other than the claims of some people, and I do not just take someone's word for something (as I do not expect anyone to take my word for anything).

    I also do not accept everything from the bible 100% unless my Lord has confirmed it to me either though. Including miracles. That doesn't mean I reject them... it just means I might set it aside as an unknown until such a time as I learn or hear the truth of the matter.

    Unless something is actually against Him, or I have heard otherwise from Him, then I don't really worry too much about the claims that others make. I follow where Christ leads and teaches me... not where others lead and teach.



  • cofty

    I rest my case.

  • tec

    What case?

    I have told you that my faith is based on evidence. Not evidence that I personally can show you... but which evidence you would have to go to Christ to receive. That is what I did.

    You are not reserving judgment though... or placing something in the unknown... you are telling me that I (and anyone else who hears from Christ), am delusional/wrong/etc.

    I suppose my first question to the person on that site would be to ask how I can know if what he claims to be true, is true... then go from there. I would also be curious... if he is doing something that affects the physical... if he has physically recorded anything; why or why not? How I proceeded would depend upon the answers that I was given.



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