Author Topic: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)  (Read 2176 times)

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2020, 07:40:44 PM »
Just to be clear, which do you want to discuss now?  And, know that whichever you do, the previous numbers you agree with.

Was I not clear enough when I said "I will discuss (solely) point no. 4"?  You are only allowing me to choose one.  I would prefer to discuss both 4 and 5 as I disagree with both, but my own preferences are of no concern to you.

At present I am ambivalent on point no. 3, as I do not know precisely how many unbelievers out of the 70K people assembled you consider to be "many."  If there is an official percentage or a number on record, I would be willing to accede to it.  I provided you earlier with my reasons for being dubious concerning how many atheists were there.

I will agree with points nos. 1 and 2.


« Last Edit: January 23, 2020, 07:44:07 PM by Pon de Replay »
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2020, 07:59:28 PM »
The third secret were an unveiling of a sacred mystery: that "Our Lady is God, the Lord of the bible is Satan, and this is the secret of the saints."?  This is convergent to the Cathar heresy of the Old Testament god to be an evil demurrage or satan.  Now how can this problem come up invariantly in two independent ways, once in form of a movement, then in form of a miracle?  Your take?

The problem has come up far more often than twice; it is a perennial heresy.  Marcion of Sinope seems to have concocted a form of Gnosticism independent of the Gnostics, both of whom predate the Cathars.  The Priscillians of Spain are my favorite.  I believe there are certain texts in the Nag Hammadi library that suggest a pre-Christian sect of Jewish Gnostics who themselves were in rebellion against Yahweh.  Dualistic theology is thought to have originated in Persia with Zoroaster.

Marian Gnosticism, however, seems to be a unique and relatively recent development.  There is a former member of this forum who has come up with his own version.
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!
 

Offline Non Nobis

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2020, 10:13:46 PM »
The third secret were an unveiling of a sacred mystery: that "Our Lady is God, the Lord of the bible is Satan, and this is the secret of the saints."?  This is convergent to the Cathar heresy of the Old Testament god to be an evil demurrage or satan.  Now how can this problem come up invariantly in two independent ways, once in form of a movement, then in form of a miracle?  Your take?

The problem has come up far more often than twice; it is a perennial heresy.  Marcion of Sinope seems to have concocted a form of Gnosticism independent of the Gnostics, both of whom predate the Cathars.  The Priscillians of Spain are my favorite.  I believe there are certain texts in the Nag Hammadi library that suggest a pre-Christian sect of Jewish Gnostics who themselves were in rebellion against Yahweh.  Dualistic theology is thought to have originated in Persia with Zoroaster.

Marian Gnosticism, however, seems to be a unique and relatively recent development.  There is a former member of this forum who has come up with his own version.

Man-made beliefs, instigated by Satan.  Whenever these beliefs arose they they don't affect the reality of the Miracle of Fatima, of Our Lady the Mother of God.  Satan just takes whatever opportunity he has for another subversion.
[Matthew 8:26]  And Jesus saith to them: Why are you fearful, O ye of little faith? Then rising up he commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm.

[Job  38:1-5]  Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said: [2] Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words? [3] Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me. [4] Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding. [5] Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

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Offline Arvinger

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2020, 04:30:10 PM »
How do we establish that the battle of Rocroi actually happened? Why is the same method not sufficient for establishing whether Miracle of the Sun and Christ's miracles happened?

The main problem is that behind such a question, which is in itself legitimate (miracle claims must be examined) an implicit double-standard is being created for assessment of natural and super-natural events, with the latter ones being held to a higher standard, which begs the question in favor of naturalism. Carl Sagan's principle "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" is one of the most fallacious ever formulated, as it commits begging the question fallacy in terms of what is "extraordinary". Why are miracles "extraordinary", who decided that? If we live in a world created by God then miracles are an integral part of it, just like the sun rising and snow falling in winter. To claim that miracles require extraordinary evidence and the authenticity of historic miracles cannot be established the same way truth of other historical events is established is to fallaciously assume naturalism a priori, on a basis of a preconceived worldview biased against the supernatural.

This is absolutely fair enough, Arvinger, but surely I have to assign some level of a priori weight to naturalism.  If not, I would end up believing in all manner of different miracle claims and paranormal occurences. 

That does not follow at all, Pon - not assuming naturalism a priori does not commit one to accept every miracle claim out there. The Church herself investigates and judges miracle claims, often rejecting them on the basis of insufficient evidence. You don't have to be a naturalist in order to be able to investigate evidence and draw conclusions in critical manner.

As I wrote, assuming naturalism a priori is a classic example of begging the question fallacy - a naturalistic presupposition based on worldview is taken and used in order to dismiss evidence for supernatural which refute naturalism. Rather, we should remain open to the possibility of existence of supernatural and examine the evidence honestly, without preconceived biases against it. Claiming that miracles are "extraordinary" and thus require more evidence than non-supernatural historical events is precisely such a bias, because you create a double standard in terms of what evidence is required.

Quote
I think we have a sufficient understanding of crowd psychology, groupthink, and confirmation bias to be at least baseline skeptical of eyewitness accounts of extraordinary events.  Otherwise I would have to give credence to things like the Ganesha drinking milk miracle or various alien abductions.

First, again you use a loaded term "extraordinary events". How do you know miracles are extraordinary? Assuming it a priori is precisely begging the question in favor of naturalism, for if God and the supernatural exist, miracles are not extraordinary at all - rather, they are part of the world we live in, just like natural events.

Also, it would be interesting to see whether you apply same way of thinking to non-supernatural historical events. Would you doubt what Strabo, Livy etc. wrote on the basis of "knowing crowd psychology and confirmation bias"? if so, we have to throw most of our knowledge about ancient history away as useless. Maybe the battle of Cannae did not really happen - Carthaginian witnesses saw what they wanted to see (a victory) and the Romans due to their distress were prone to mass panic and believed unconfirmed news about the defeat. I know it is an exaggerated example, but the point is - unbelievers do not use the same standards to assess evidence for natural and supernatural events, which demonstrates their own bias to begin with. There is no epistemological reason to refuse to use the same historical method to assess credibility of sources and testimonies about natural and supernatural events.

Quote from: Pon de Replay
It would be especially difficult to refute the Travis Walton abduction since there were multiple eyewitnesses, all but one of whom passed polygraph tests.  I would be lurching all over the mystico-religious-supernatural map with every new eyewitness story of some levitating guru or UFO goo-goo, and my head would be filled with the contents of the Fortean Times.

I have no particular interest in alien abduction stories, but even opening the wikipedia article the evidence does not seem to be as strong as you claim - according to the article Walton himself failed the polygraph test.

Second, apart from the alien abduction issue, nobody denies that supernatural events can and do occur outside the context of Christianity, for God's power is not the only supernatural power that exists. Pharaoh's magicians were able to supernaturally produce snakes as well. So, merely pointing out that there are credible supernatural claims outside of Christianity does not refute Christianity at all.
 

Offline GBoldwater

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2020, 06:17:13 PM »
Just to be clear, which do you want to discuss now?  And, know that whichever you do, the previous numbers you agree with.

Was I not clear enough when I said "I will discuss (solely) point no. 4"?  You are only allowing me to choose one.  I would prefer to discuss both 4 and 5 as I disagree with both, but my own preferences are of no concern to you.

At present I am ambivalent on point no. 3, as I do not know precisely how many unbelievers out of the 70K people assembled you consider to be "many."  If there is an official percentage or a number on record, I would be willing to accede to it.  I provided you earlier with my reasons for being dubious concerning how many atheists were there.

I will agree with points nos. 1 and 2.

Number three it is: "3. The crowd included many who came only to ridicule, expecting nothing to happen."

Do you know the situation in Portugal in 1917?  That you can research. Do you know the anti-Catholic press there?  The O Seculo is what covered this event. That paper represented the powers that were. Research that newspaper. Now think, as an unbeliever, in that area where three children said there would be a "miracle" three months in the future?  Sure you would go!  Doubters would love to go knowing how much of a stir it was. Many Catholics even doubted the children, and went out of curiosity.

Somehow you care how "many" were disbelievers? Somehow you care how many were doubters?  That's all just pretext because you know very well that people get the death penalty in court even over ONE witness. How many witnesses do you personally believe must be obtained to give someone capital punishment?
My posting in the non-Catholic sub-forum does not imply that I condone the decision to allow non-Catholics here. I consider non-Catholics here to be de facto "trolls" against the Catholic Faith that should be banned. I believe this is traditional Catholic moral procedure.
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2020, 09:06:25 PM »
First, again you use a loaded term "extraordinary events". How do you know miracles are extraordinary? Assuming it a priori is precisely begging the question in favor of naturalism, for if God and the supernatural exist, miracles are not extraordinary at all - rather, they are part of the world we live in, just like natural events.

Also, it would be interesting to see whether you apply same way of thinking to non-supernatural historical events. Would you doubt what Strabo, Livy etc. wrote on the basis of "knowing crowd psychology and confirmation bias"? if so, we have to throw most of our knowledge about ancient history away as useless. Maybe the battle of Cannae did not really happen - Carthaginian witnesses saw what they wanted to see (a victory) and the Romans due to their distress were prone to mass panic and believed unconfirmed news about the defeat. I know it is an exaggerated example, but the point is - unbelievers do not use the same standards to assess evidence for natural and supernatural events, which demonstrates their own bias to begin with. There is no epistemological reason to refuse to use the same historical method to assess credibility of sources and testimonies about natural and supernatural events.

But I think historians do consider bias as a problem for accuracy.  It's the reason why historians doubt some of the more sensational accounts in Suetonius, or Julius Caesar's descriptions of the Celts.  A lurid rumor about an emperor's sex life is more likely to get traction than something mundane, and it circulates until it becomes accepted.  And notables usually have enemies who want to smear them.  The same goes for a general's contempt for the barbarians he's fighting.  He is naturally going to want to cast the Romans in a positive light and the enemy in a negative one.  But there is, for example, some archaeological evidence to support Caesar's contention that the Celts practiced human sacrifice, even if it might not have been so dramatic as he claimed.  The task is to look for independent corroboration or confirmation.  A good historian is a fierce skeptic of eyewitness testimony.  There's a popular British academic named Mary Beard who specializes in doing Roman history this way.

At some point, and I don't know what terms you want to use, there has to be a distinction made between the mundane and the outrageous.  You don't care for "extraordinary," but perhaps we can use something else.  If my neighbor tells me he saw a deer in his yard, that doesn't make me suspicious.  If he tells me he saw a blue-skinned, six-armed Hindu god come down from the clouds and dance in his bird feeder while playing a flute, I am not likely to believe him.  Surely you can appreciate the difference.  Hallucinogens exist.  Mental illness exists.  Obsessive Indophilia exists.  There are ordinary explanations that seem far preferable than to conclude that something so fantastic actually occurred.

I have no particular interest in alien abduction stories, but even opening the wikipedia article the evidence does not seem to be as strong as you claim - according to the article Walton himself failed the polygraph test.

Not that it matters much, but to be fair to Walton, the polygraph he failed was administered thirty years later and on national television.  Seeing that the test measures blood pressure to get a read on the subject's nervousness, a reasonable appeal could be made that the circumstances affected the result.  The first polygraph he took in the aftermath of the events, he passed.  As did four of out of the five witnesses, with the outlier being inconclusive rather than a failure.  Statistically, that's either anomalous or impressive.  Nevertheless, it's still reasonable to dismiss the claim because the description is so outlandish.  I don't know what the statistics are, but intuitively it seems more likely that six people can pass a polygraph while lying than that it is that aliens exist and are interested in studying loggers in Arizona.

Second, apart from the alien abduction issue, nobody denies that supernatural events can and do occur outside the context of Christianity, for God's power is not the only supernatural power that exists. Pharaoh's magicians were able to supernaturally produce snakes as well. So, merely pointing out that there are credible supernatural claims outside of Christianity does not refute Christianity at all.

I am glad you brought this up.  It's an important aspect.  The fact is that miracles are inevitably partisan.  Even if we somehow get to the point where we can accept that a miracle took place, we are only left with having to figure out who wrought the miracle, God or the devil.  Even having the Catholic faith doesn't help because, as you know with Fatima, there are divisions among traditional Catholics themselves over precisely this.  Some contend the Miracle of the Sun was a demonic deception.  How can we know?  They make a persuasive case.  The only things to refute it with are a) that the Church might be infallible when approving apparitions, which doesn't seem right, because it would be strange if infallibility covered something optional, and b) that it seems to accord too much power to the devil, but then again, who sets the threshold for that power?  Satan is called "the prince of this world," so maybe it's within his purview.

And the same problem occurs when you step out of the Catholic faith.  Each religion will say the other religion's miracles are of the devil.  One needs faith in X religion to accept its miracles, but the miracles are supposed to be things which testify to X religion.  It's a double bind.


« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 09:29:28 PM by Pon de Replay »
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2020, 09:20:24 PM »
Do you know the situation in Portugal in 1917?  That you can research. Do you know the anti-Catholic press there?  The O Seculo is what covered this event. That paper represented the powers that were. Research that newspaper. Now think, as an unbeliever, in that area where three children said there would be a "miracle" three months in the future?  Sure you would go!  Doubters would love to go knowing how much of a stir it was. Many Catholics even doubted the children, and went out of curiosity.

Somehow you care how "many" were disbelievers? Somehow you care how many were doubters?  That's all just pretext because you know very well that people get the death penalty in court even over ONE witness. How many witnesses do you personally believe must be obtained to give someone capital punishment?

I would be impressed by a prosecutor who could get a death penalty conviction solely on the testimony of one witness.  You would almost certainly need additional evidence, because witness credibility is frequently (and successfully) called into question by defense lawyers.  I have already explained why it matters how many unbelievers were in the crowd.  And do we have their individual testimony, or is it second-hand?  As I already indicated, anyone's cause is naturally bolstered if they can get an opponent to switch sides.  And it's not unheard for people to switch sides without the purest motives, or for people in a fervor to falsely claim someone switched to their side.  "My brother was an atheist, but when he saw my statue of Ganesha drinking the milk, he immediately went prostrate on the floor and began chanting the sacred mantra!"  We should want to hear this from the brother.

You are asking me to do my own research.  How very strange.  Typically the onus is on the one making the case to present the evidence.  But I will endeavor to learn fluent Portuguese so that I might read these newspaper accounts in the original language, so as to avoid any confusion or mistakes of translation.  I will get back to you when I have this completed, and then we can proceed to nos. 4 and 5.


« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 09:33:29 PM by Pon de Replay »
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!
 

Offline GBoldwater

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2020, 11:12:45 AM »
Do you know the situation in Portugal in 1917?  That you can research. Do you know the anti-Catholic press there?  The O Seculo is what covered this event. That paper represented the powers that were. Research that newspaper. Now think, as an unbeliever, in that area where three children said there would be a "miracle" three months in the future?  Sure you would go!  Doubters would love to go knowing how much of a stir it was. Many Catholics even doubted the children, and went out of curiosity.

Somehow you care how "many" were disbelievers? Somehow you care how many were doubters?  That's all just pretext because you know very well that people get the death penalty in court even over ONE witness. How many witnesses do you personally believe must be obtained to give someone capital punishment?

I would be impressed by a prosecutor who could get a death penalty conviction solely on the testimony of one witness.  You would almost certainly need additional evidence, because witness credibility is frequently (and successfully) called into question by defense lawyers.  I have already explained why it matters how many unbelievers were in the crowd.  And do we have their individual testimony, or is it second-hand?  As I already indicated, anyone's cause is naturally bolstered if they can get an opponent to switch sides.  And it's not unheard for people to switch sides without the purest motives, or for people in a fervor to falsely claim someone switched to their side.  "My brother was an atheist, but when he saw my statue of Ganesha drinking the milk, he immediately went prostrate on the floor and began chanting the sacred mantra!"  We should want to hear this from the brother.

You are asking me to do my own research.  How very strange.  Typically the onus is on the one making the case to present the evidence.  But I will endeavor to learn fluent Portuguese so that I might read these newspaper accounts in the original language, so as to avoid any confusion or mistakes of translation.  I will get back to you when I have this completed, and then we can proceed to nos. 4 and 5.

I was trying to show that you are asking for silly requirements that should ordinarily be simply believed. There was no controversy over what was witnessed, and the anti-Catholic press reported it occurred. Somehow, you want the percent of unbelievers who were there?  Why? What percent is minimum for you to make it legitimate in your mind? Why would you not accept the witness of even 1,000 Christians?
My posting in the non-Catholic sub-forum does not imply that I condone the decision to allow non-Catholics here. I consider non-Catholics here to be de facto "trolls" against the Catholic Faith that should be banned. I believe this is traditional Catholic moral procedure.
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2020, 11:37:26 AM »

I was trying to show that you are asking for silly requirements that should ordinarily be simply believed. There was no controversy over what was witnessed, and the anti-Catholic press reported it occurred. Somehow, you want the percent of unbelievers who were there?  Why? What percent is minimum for you to make it legitimate in your mind? Why would you not accept the witness of even 1,000 Christians?

The reason to prefer unbelievers over Christians in this case is the same reason to prefer the testimony of Christians at a Hindu miracle.  People with a neutral or negative bias are better corroboration because they come without prior expectation.  Whereas people who are anticipating a miracle (as was the case at Fatima) are more susceptible to things like mass suggestion and crowd psychology.  And the greater the established percentage of non-biased observers, the better the odds (as I've mentioned) against factors like impulsive side-switchers or rumors of side-switchers.

I'm not sure why you contend that "there was no controversy over what was witnessed."  Certainly there was.  The witness descriptions varied wildly, and some witnesses reported seeing nothing at all.
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!
 

Offline GBoldwater

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2020, 02:37:05 PM »

I was trying to show that you are asking for silly requirements that should ordinarily be simply believed. There was no controversy over what was witnessed, and the anti-Catholic press reported it occurred. Somehow, you want the percent of unbelievers who were there?  Why? What percent is minimum for you to make it legitimate in your mind? Why would you not accept the witness of even 1,000 Christians?

The reason to prefer unbelievers over Christians in this case is the same reason to prefer the testimony of Christians at a Hindu miracle.  People with a neutral or negative bias are better corroboration because they come without prior expectation.  Whereas people who are anticipating a miracle (as was the case at Fatima) are more susceptible to things like mass suggestion and crowd psychology.  And the greater the established percentage of non-biased observers, the better the odds (as I've mentioned) against factors like impulsive side-switchers or rumors of side-switchers.

I'm not sure why you contend that "there was no controversy over what was witnessed."  Certainly there was.  The witness descriptions varied wildly, and some witnesses reported seeing nothing at all.

I already answered this in the other thread and now you act as though I didn't. Do you need me to repeat it for some reason? If you are going to show good will, change your method. I explained how people could see different things, and you said nothing to it.

Bringing up something alleged about Hindus is illogical in support for something else alleged. It means nothing here. The people at Fatima had no expectation other than "a miracle", at most. No particulars of a suggestion. Looking toward the sun doesn't produce even 10 strangers scattered on a field to see the same unprecedented thing they had no idea would happen. Yes, but there were 70,000!  And what they saw was quite similar.

Now, how about an answer to my previous question? How many a non-believers do you personally require to have seen this before you will believe it happened?



My posting in the non-Catholic sub-forum does not imply that I condone the decision to allow non-Catholics here. I consider non-Catholics here to be de facto "trolls" against the Catholic Faith that should be banned. I believe this is traditional Catholic moral procedure.
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2020, 08:50:30 AM »
I already answered this in the other thread and now you act as though I didn't. Do you need me to repeat it for some reason? If you are going to show good will, change your method. I explained how people could see different things, and you said nothing to it.

We did not discuss Fatima on the other thread.  The only mention I can find that relates to our present discussion is:

Statistically, by multiple people for the very same thing. (Probability of multiple people hallucinating same thing?)

But that is not an answer; even the Catholic authorities who approved Fatima conceded that the witness accounts were varied.  Some described the sun whirling, some described it zig-zagging, some described it plunging towards the earth, and some described nothing out of the ordinary.  To refer to all these descriptions as "the very same thing" is absurd.  At best, we could take a bulk of them and place them under the label of "wondrous solar magnificence," but that still wouldn't encompass the accounts of those who saw nothing.

Now, how about an answer to my previous question? How many a non-believers do you personally require to have seen this before you will believe it happened?

It's not so much a question of how many I require, but how many there actually were.  If you could just tell me that, we would be off to the races.  Was the number of unbelievers ever determined?  And how was it determined?  To answer your question, though, I would say that something like 1,000 unbelievers giving corroborative testimony to a Catholic miracle would be extremely impressive.  So at Fatima, that would be one person out of every seventy.

How would their testimony be collected?  One of out seventy is a needle in a haystack when you're conducting interviews.  Even to get the testimony of a mere ten unbelievers, you would have to interview on average seven hundred people.  Was that done?  Think of the time investment involved against the presumably small number of reporters who were present.  I am aware that there was an Italian priest who conducted interviews decades later in the 1940s, but that only makes the task all the more arduous.  How do you locate and interview seven hundred people?  And even when you do, you get maybe a dozen unbelievers.  That's not nearly large enough a sample size to avoid the problems I've already mentioned.  It seems like the only way to do it would be to put out a public call for any unbelievers who witnessed something extraordinary, but then you would pollute the purity of your study by heightening the likelihood of people out for notoriety or acceptance.


« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 09:52:07 AM by Pon de Replay »
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!
 

Offline GBoldwater

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2020, 10:18:53 AM »
I already answered this in the other thread and now you act as though I didn't. Do you need me to repeat it for some reason? If you are going to show good will, change your method. I explained how people could see different things, and you said nothing to it.

We did not discuss Fatima on the other thread.  The only mention I can find that relates to our present discussion is:

Statistically, by multiple people for the very same thing. (Probability of multiple people hallucinating same thing?)

But that is not an answer; even the Catholic authorities who approved Fatima conceded that the witness accounts were varied.  Some described the sun whirling, some described it zig-zagging, some described it plunging towards the earth, and some described nothing out of the ordinary.  To refer to all these descriptions as "the very same thing" is absurd.  At best, we could take a bulk of them and place them under the label of "wondrous solar magnificence," but that still wouldn't encompass the accounts of those who saw nothing.

Now, how about an answer to my previous question? How many a non-believers do you personally require to have seen this before you will believe it happened?

It's not so much a question of how many I require, but how many there actually were.  If you could just tell me that, we would be off to the races.  Was the number of unbelievers ever determined?  And how was it determined?  To answer your question, though, I would say that something like 1,000 unbelievers giving corroborative testimony to a Catholic miracle would be extremely impressive.  So at Fatima, that would be one person out of every seventy.

How would their testimony be collected?  One of out seventy is a needle in a haystack when you're conducting interviews.  Even to get the testimony of a mere ten unbelievers, you would have to interview on average seven hundred people.  Was that done?  Think of the time investment involved against the presumably small number of reporters who were present.  I am aware that there was an Italian priest who conducted interviews decades later in the 1940s, but that only makes the task all the more arduous.  How do you locate and interview seven hundred people?  And even when you do, you get maybe a dozen unbelievers.  That's not nearly large enough a sample size to avoid the problems I've already mentioned.  It seems like the only way to do it would be to put out a public call for any unbelievers who witnessed something extraordinary, but then you would pollute the purity of your study by heightening the likelihood of people out for notoriety or acceptance.

Yes, I mentioned the following 5 days ago, in the other thread:

"The sun was involved. You have NO IDEA at all what may even have naturally moved in the air between the earth and sun. Could have been an unprecedented cloud of transparent swirling gasses unknown to man that refracted the light and distorted the placement of the sun. That is why it was seen nowhere else than a localized area. That is why people, who were all standing in different places, saw something different. "

Let's focus on this right now.

My posting in the non-Catholic sub-forum does not imply that I condone the decision to allow non-Catholics here. I consider non-Catholics here to be de facto "trolls" against the Catholic Faith that should be banned. I believe this is traditional Catholic moral procedure.
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2020, 10:36:20 AM »
Yes, I mentioned the following 5 days ago, in the other thread:

"The sun was involved. You have NO IDEA at all what may even have naturally moved in the air between the earth and sun. Could have been an unprecedented cloud of transparent swirling gasses unknown to man that refracted the light and distorted the placement of the sun. That is why it was seen nowhere else than a localized area. That is why people, who were all standing in different places, saw something different. "

Let's focus on this right now.

Okay, but this seems to be on more or less the same level as the naturalistic explanations.  The only difference here is that it relies upon a phenomenon as yet unknown.  I'm not sure why this particular explanation should be preferable to concluding any of the known precedents posited by scientists and skeptics.

The only thing in Fatima's favor at this point would be how remarkable it was that a rare phenomenon occurred on the predicted date.  But Lucia could've simply gotten lucky—extremely lucky.  It's not unheard of.  People win the lottery.  Pitchers throw perfect games.  Things with infinitesimal odds do happen without being considered miraculous.


« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 10:41:54 AM by Pon de Replay »
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!
 

Offline GBoldwater

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2020, 11:17:24 AM »
Yes, I mentioned the following 5 days ago, in the other thread:

"The sun was involved. You have NO IDEA at all what may even have naturally moved in the air between the earth and sun. Could have been an unprecedented cloud of transparent swirling gasses unknown to man that refracted the light and distorted the placement of the sun. That is why it was seen nowhere else than a localized area. That is why people, who were all standing in different places, saw something different. "

Let's focus on this right now.

Okay, but this seems to be on more or less the same level as the naturalistic explanations.  The only difference here is that it relies upon a phenomenon as yet unknown.  I'm not sure why this particular explanation should be preferable to concluding any of the known precedents posited by scientists and skeptics.

The only thing in Fatima's favor at this point would be how remarkable it was that a rare phenomenon occurred on the predicted date.  But Lucia could've simply gotten lucky—extremely lucky.  It's not unheard of.  People win the lottery.  Pitchers throw perfect games.  Things with infinitesimal odds do happen without being considered miraculous.

It answers the silly objection that something objective like that couldn't happen and be seen only in that locality and not outside of it. Scientists are constantly finding new things out about our world, so the probability is quite high compared to your desperate quest to interject things about the lotto and baseball stat probability.

The only thing remarkable is the prediction to the day and hour 3 months beforehand?

No, it is remarkable that thousands of people, strangers and acres away, could describe seeing the same exact thing as others. There was no suggestion other than to look up. Even one atheist describing the same thing should impress you. The anti-Catholic "O Seculo" newspaper acknowledged the objective occurrence.

Mass hysteria or suggestion is totally stupid and unscientific. The muddy saturated ground was dry in 10 minutes, and there was nothing hot about the day. This makes it objective. Scientists cannot even get two people on LSD to look in a direction and see the same unsuggested thing, nor have them effect some change outside of themselves.

I think you need to research, yes. You have gotten yourself into some kind of disease of the mind where certitude basically cannot be had for you when you don't personally "want" it to be because of its ramification to your life. I foresee that in this Fatima subject, you will suggest everyone who has an ounce of faith, or desire for religion deep down are not trustworthy witnesses. You will even find an atheist describing the same thing and dismiss his testimony by saying he must have had a hidden desire for religion and the miracle. Because, you will maintain, no valid witness would objectively see just what the Christians saw! It's the logical fallacy of "no true Scot".



« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 12:36:02 PM by GBoldwater »
My posting in the non-Catholic sub-forum does not imply that I condone the decision to allow non-Catholics here. I consider non-Catholics here to be de facto "trolls" against the Catholic Faith that should be banned. I believe this is traditional Catholic moral procedure.
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Subject of Miracles (for Pon de Replay)
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2020, 03:11:08 PM »
Scientists are constantly finding new things out about our world, so the probability is quite high compared to your desperate quest to interject things about the lotto and baseball stat probability.

You misread me.  I said that if you're granting a naturalistic explanation, which you apparently are, then the probability is very low of a 12-yr-old peasant girl in 1917 correctly predicting a natural anomaly months in advance.  That's just factual.  It is indeed comparable to winning a lottery or pitching a perfect game.  But as to what you're claiming, no, there is not a high probability that it was an unknown transparent gas.  For this to work, it would have to be the case that things we don't know about have a high probability of being true.  But that can't be right.  Otherwise anyone could posit anything and say, "we don't know it yet scientifically, but it has a high likelihood of being true."  You can game that out in your head and realize it's absurd.  Start with the healing power of new age crystals.

No, it is remarkable that thousands of people, strangers and acres away, could describe seeing the same exact thing as others.

But you've just said it could've been a transparent gas having an effect on the appearance of the sun.  This is no different from how clouds and certain weather anomalies can affect the appearance of the sun.  This is a naturalistic explanation, even if the precise natural cause you want to appeal to is, as you concede, "yet unknown."

Even one atheist describing the same thing should impress you.

I'm not sure why you keep repeating this.  Does being an atheist somehow make a person less fallible or more reliable?  Humans are fickle and quirky creatures.  There is a user on this forum, all due respect to him, who by his own admission apostatizes what seems like every other week, and then he has a change of heart and is suddenly back with the faith again.  Just because a person self-identifies as an unbeliever doesn't tell us how committed they are to their unbelief, nor does it mean they're necessarily impervious to religious fervor.  Or being influenced by proximity to a pretty religious girl.  Or feeling guilty that particular day because they scoffed at religion in front of their beloved mother.  The reason to prefer the testimony of multiple atheists is to factor out all these things and others like them.  No political pollster forecasts a national election by taking a poll of ten people.  A small sampling is nearly worthless.

I foresee that in this Fatima subject, you will suggest everyone who has an ounce of faith, or desire for religion deep down are not trustworthy witnesses. You will even find an atheist describing the same thing and dismiss his testimony by saying he must have had a hidden desire for religion and the miracle. Because, you will maintain, no valid witness would objectively see just what the Christians saw! It's the logical fallacy of "no true Scot".

That's not my approach at all.  You are the one dismissing things out of hand, like mass suggestion and crowd psychology and confirmation bias.  Those are well-established phenomena.  Ask yourself this: if this same miracle had been reported by 70,000 Hindus on the banks of the Ganges, would you be accepting it?  You can even factor in a secular newspaper and claims of unbelievers having witnessed it.  I think you would be asking the same questions I am.
"The sneakiness of prigs, the conventicle secrecy, gloomy concepts like hell, like sacrifice of the guiltless, like unio mystica in drinking blood; above all, the slowly fanned fire of revenge, of chandala revenge—all that is what became master over Rome."

Rome sank to whoredom and became a stew
The Caesars became beasts, and God—a Jew!