Theological implications of "Miracle" plane crash
#11
Quote:** The parting of the Red Sea involved use a force that was not natural.

Actually, it could have been very natural (many times waters can recede and then come back in full force). It wasn't necessarily walls of water like the movies, but a severe drop in water level to make a land bridge. The miracle again was not that it happened, but that it happened then.

Could have been, yes.  But the same certainly cannot be said of *all* miracles which is - correct me if I'm misunderstanding - what you seem to be saying.

When a consecrated Host bleeds, no natural law can explain the phenomena.  No amount of timing, or coincidence, nor any statistical anomaly.

Some of the great healing miracles at Lourdes - for example - involve things as dramatic as withered limbs growing back in seconds.  Again, no natural process can explain this.

Or just consider the Lord's Resurrection.  Again, it is not possible by any "natural" means (by the typical understanding of that word).  His flesh would have begun to decay.  He would have needed fresh blood in his vessels.  His Heart would have needed to have new tissue grown to close the lance wound.

I could go on.


Quote:** An instantaneous cure of leprosy involves growth of tissue at a rate that is impossible by any natural process.  These things are indeed departures from the natural.  In fact, that is what *supernatural* means.  And that's why miracles are outside the realm of science - science, by definition, deals with the natural.

Leprosy is caused by bacteria, so a cure of that is possible with fully natural means.

You didn't read what I wrote carefully - "instantaneous" was the key word here.  As in the Gospel healings.


Quote:** Again, it seems you're (mostly) talking about than *near*-miraculous unlikely events.  These are not what the Catholic Church considers miracles.  Such things would never be approved as miraculous.  For instance, in the case a healings, a physician has to testify that it was *impossible* by any known natural means - not just very unlikely.

No, I am writing more broadly. I am writing that miracles (true miracles) are done with natural means. Life itself is unnatural in that as soon as one dies, all our molecular structures go back to what they can naturally be (this seems to be the biggest hurdle for science, as life is something which comes only from something already alive, and once it is gone (truly gone, not suspended), the molecules themselves change). So, a cure of an actual physical injury can occur in ways that science can never explain, but the means of it are natural (existing tissue, healing, etc). One hears of things being healed, but not of things being regrown. I am not aware of any miracle involving the regeneration of a lost limb for example.

So yes, I believe most miracles will not be approved as such because it is not the only explanation (say, a miracle where a man meets a needy person and is able to fulfill that person's needs exactly at that time, right after the man prayed for assistance), but also improbable events can not be miracles any more than any other event is.

To some extent I think we are differing on the semantics of the word "natural".  But, I still think your take on this has holes.  It's a bit of a pedantic topic to debate but an interesting discussion.
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#12
(08-25-2010, 08:36 PM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote: Could have been, yes.  But the same certainly cannot be said of *all* miracles which is - correct me if I'm misunderstanding - what you seem to be saying.
Seem to be saying or did I say it?

Quote:When a consecrated Host bleeds, no natural law can explain the phenomena.  No amount of timing, or coincidence, nor any statistical anomaly.
It is easy to explain why Flesh and Blood would indeed have blood visible. The statistically impossible event is the bread becoming the Body and Blood of Christ.

Quote:Some of the great healing miracles at Lourdes - for example - involve things as dramatic as withered limbs growing back in seconds.  Again, no natural process can explain this.
The limb was there or not there?

Quote:Or just consider the Lord's Resurrection.  Again, it is not possible by any "natural" means (by the typical understanding of that word).  His flesh would have begun to decay.  He would have needed fresh blood in his vessels.  His Heart would have needed to have new tissue grown to close the lance wound.

I could go on.
I think you think I'm writing something which I am not.


Quote:To some extent I think we are differing on the semantics of the word "natural".  But, I still think your take on this has holes.  It's a bit of a pedantic topic to debate but an interesting discussion.
I do not think you know what my take is.

I am saying:

* Miracles happen
* They are scientifically insignificant (ie, they do not need to be taken into account for science to be useful)
* They are not controlable by people
* Because of human fallibility and perception, they can be dismissed as being some natural if sometimes improbable event, regardless of their actual nature
* Miracles make use of existing matter when it concerns it
* Most miracles are known to individuals and cannot be "proved" for various reasons
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