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Featured What if Miracles were Real?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Sunstone, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Suppose you woke up one morning to discover that miracles had been demonstrated to be real. If such an event were to come to pass, would you expect miracles to be (1) suspensions of the natural laws of the universe, or (2) heretofore unconfirmed special cases of those laws? That is, the laws are not suspended. It's just that humanity has discovered exceedingly rare ways in which the laws are expressed.







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  2. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    Miracles happen every day, but people do not longer see them. or if they see them they explain it as a natural phenomenon or just good luck of something
     
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  3. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Interesting. But how would you answer the questions in the OP?
     
  4. Amanaki

    Amanaki Well-Known Member

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    What we can see as a miracle in this physical realm would be within the law of the universe, it would have to follow the physical law. But that does not mean we can see a miracle happens right in front of us. an example can be someone got hit by a car, and should have been dead. but for some reason, we could not see directly why the person survive without a scratch. would not most people say that is a miracle?

    But if you look at the more spiritual miracle we must look at "supernormal" abilities that only those who cultivate spiritual teaching would be able to develop. But those abilities are not allowed to show to others, because they are a byproduct of the cultivation of our mind. and should not be sought after by anyone.
     
  5. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    I think of miracle as an intended suspension of natural law, i.e., it implies Agency. If presented with some anomaly, I would expect it to be 'natural' (yet unexplained and, perhaps, unexplainable) unless and until Agency can be demonstrated.
     
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  6. exchemist

    exchemist Well-Known Member

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    The latter. As soon as a "suspension" of a previously understood "law" were to be corroborated, the "law" would cease to be regarded as universally applicable, and the search would be on for what lay behind the "suspension".

    "Laws" are human constructs in any case. They are ways of expressing in simple terms the order we perceive in the physical world. Very often they are not universal or followed exactly.
     
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  7. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    To paraphrase Arthur C Clarke
    Anything sufficiently advanced would seem like a miracle to those who do not understand it.

    So 2
     
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  8. Laika

    Laika Well-Known Member
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    If its a new set of laws, thats technically within the boundaries of science as it is deterministic. Science can cope with cause and effect because it studies predictable phenomena, ideally those that can be repeated under controlled laboratory conditions. It would be a scientific revolution like a Copernicus, a Galileo or a Newton. Technically Einstein has already done it with relativity and we are still grappling with the possibility of “miracles” with an indeterministic theory of matter in quantum mechanics even a century later.

    Our knowledge is finite, so it is not impossible we may discover such laws at some point in the future. In fact, I’d guess it is inevitable particularly as we head out in to outer space and encounter things well beyond our current experience. With time, we may come to accept it and even recognise were just a bunch of “flat earthers” bounded by the knowledge specific to our time. The supposed rationality of our age was just a complacent illusion.

    Personally, I’d argue that a “true” miracle would be the first option: an inexplicable suspension of natural laws. But its like a magic trick: is it real magic or just a very convincing illusion?

    Thats the part we have to find out and expand our understanding in the process.
     
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  9. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    It's been said hat the most exciting phrase in science isn't 'aha!', but rather 'That's strange'.

    Any violation of what we know so far as 'natural law' simply means we just found something new: an extension of our understanding. More to test and figure out.

    Miracles in the sense of 'violation of known natural law' happen and generally lead to scientific revolutions (Michelson-Morely experiment, orbit of Mercury, photoeletric effect, etc).

    Most things people think of as miracles violate either conservation of energy or conservation of mass. If those are broken in some fundamental way, we will definitely have a scientific revolution.
     
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  10. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    I would conclude that it doesn't matter (since I couldn't know). Even more so if I/we have no control over when or how they occur.
     
  11. wellwisher

    wellwisher Active Member

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    In the late 1950's, it was discovered that proteins fold with exact folds. This was due to advances in microscope technology. What was revolutionary about this observation, was that it had been assumed, to that point, that life was governed by the law of statistics and that random events were the rule of life. Protein were supposed to fold with randomizations. This observation showed that the most dominate materials of life; protein, had repeatable, order with a probability of 1.0; life was determinate and not statistical. The assumption du jour was wrong.

    This should have led to a revolution in biology, and in the life sciences. However, here we are 60 years later and we are still using the old statistical way. A science swamp successfully resisted needed change. The horse and buggy killed the horseless carriage.

    Interestingly, the main source of miracles is currently connected to biology; miracle healing. If we add this observation to the sum total of this discussion; miracles have explanations, biological sciences have the most miracles because the underlying premises of biological sciences are most flawed.

    Instead of looking themselves in the mirror and wonder how they went wrong, they make miracles taboo, so one cannot see the man behind the curtain. If you are a scientist and assume a miracle has an explanation, the areas of science with the most miracles, should be the areas of science with the worse conceptual framework. Miracles are observational flaws in theory.

    In the Catholic Church to become a Saint one needs one or two confirmed miracles, most of which involve biology; miracle healing, which cannot be explained with the 60 year old obsolete theory, that is still being used, and which appears to resist any change. Miracles are useful in that they point out obsolescence in science. A miracle gets and keeps attention because these observation are very important to the species. It is food for thought and food for progress.

    Look at the expensive response to the Corona Virus. If we had started to develop the cause and affect approach to life in 1960, instead of censoring it, so we could continue to roll dice, we would be far more advanced and cost effective. Miracles would then need to push these boundaries, which is good.God keeps us on our toes.
     
    #11 wellwisher, Apr 5, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2020
  12. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    On the contrary, the protein folding problem was an important area of research for decades. We now understand it in terms of the interactions of the amino acids with themselves and the water (and other things) in the environment. We have learned a LOT about such things in the last 60 years.

    Or that biological systems are simply the most complicated.

    And, yet again, when we investigate those 'miracles' further, we find them to be products of basic physics and chemistry, just like with the protein folding problem.


    I'm guessing your understanding of modern biology, especially biochemistry, isn't that great. Maybe you should look into it a bit more?

    I'm curious what you see as the 'cause and effect' here. it seems to me that the biologists have been pretty consistent in this latest crisis and correct almost every step of the way. it is the politicians and those with set belief systems that seem to be problematic here.
     
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  13. MNoBody

    MNoBody Well-Known Member

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    if miracles were merely random events governed by principles still too murky for us slow brained humans to differentiate from magic, then why do they occur with a baffling sort of synchronicity...and have so much meaning?
    has been a question that comes up
    perhaps it is a coping mechanism where the mind presented with such an occurrence has to resolve it into some type of 'sense', to 'balance the books' so to speak.
    but this isn't enough of any kind of answer.
    the whole genre of material that i have gone through does not present a picture of some type of inert force that works in ways incomprehensible to us as a position i could take with no doubts about it.
    There is enough of what appears to be specific intelligence as a hallmark of the miraculous events with enough regularity to raise the question as to why these things occur being somehow attached to a question of who is involve, not merely what.
    why that is and what it all means absolutely is a damn good set of questions, for which i am still looking for answers....
     
  14. Nimos

    Nimos Well-Known Member

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    I don't even think one can really define or figure out what a miracle is suppose to be to begin with.

    If a miracle is something happening against all odds, then clearly winning the lottery is a miracle. But if that doesn't count as one, then a miracle can't be something that is simply unlikely to happen.
    Which means that it must be something supernatural.
    And if it were the case, we discovered that miracles were possible, then I would see no reason why one would not also assume that God(s), ghosts and all sorts of other things would be possible or real as well.

    So one would have to explain what exactly is meant by a miracle?
     
  15. GoodbyeDave

    GoodbyeDave Well-Known Member

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    Firstly, you need to define what you mean by a miracle. One definition is an unexpected event manifesting divine activity. Consider two people with a disease that is normally fatal. The first responds, against all odds, to the efforts of their physician. The second makes a pilgrimage or prays to a god and also recovers. The second event could reasonably be described as a miracle, but it no more violates any natural laws than the first.

    Secondly, you need to justify the idea of natural law. Some philosophers of science consider the concept flawed and some would say it's a spin-off from Christianity's idea of a creator.
    Dispositions (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
     
  16. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    I have a multifaceted answer to the OP. The first and perhaps the most important in my eyes is this:

     
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  17. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    My answer is also (3) laws of the universe unknown to most. These are not suspension of known laws nor special cases but the operation of unknown laws.
     
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  18. Left Coast

    Left Coast Well-Known Member
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    I genuinely don't know, because I don't see how one would tell the difference between the two. "Natural law" is the label we give to some set of phenomena we have repeatedly observed so many times that probabilistically the chances that we'll observe the same thing if we look again are virtually certain. If we make some observation that contradicts all our other observations, I don't know how, from our vantage point, we could tell if that observation was a result of some natural mechanism being suspended, or the result of us just not fully understanding how the mechanism works.

    This is also is why I don't see how we can ever definitively say anything supernatural exists. Any example someone comes up with could simply be something natural that we don't understand (yet).
     
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  19. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita Vedanta and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I would think:

    (3) That there is more to reality than the directly detectable physical realm. And that these other planes/realms/dimensions have entities, forces and energies native to those planes. And through conscious efforts when these forces/energies are used to affect the physical, we have the so-called 'miraculous'.
     
  20. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    It would have to be (2): unconfirmed special cases of the laws of nature. Otherwise, the "laws" would not really be laws.
     
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