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Re: This is for theists everywhere

In article <3379C6E5.1EF9@btg.com>, Sam Finlay <sfinlay@btg.com> wrote:

>>>Check out the medical records at Lourdes.
>>:Which will  provide "pointers on where the physical proof of this is

>I responded to the chalenge of providing proof of the supernatural
>without reference to the Bible & providing a source for documentation.
>I have tried to do so. Now feel free to go check it.

Suppose there are a few cures at Lourdes over the years? What does that prove?

"Miraculous" cures, particularly a **small number** of miraculous cures, 
proves neither that God exists, nor that Christian theology is correct. Such a 
cure would represent a medical phenomenon. Such putative cures would present 
us with two separate questions - the reality of the phenomenon and its origin 
if real.

Taking the phenomenon as real, what can we say about the origin?

Most religions have reports of healing by faith. This is not unreasonable.
Psychosomatic medicine seems to show a tight coupling between the mind and 
body to the extent that one's mental state can drastically affect how the body 
responds to attack by disease or injury. There are even reports that blisters 
can be raised by hypnosis. Why should not the existence of a deeply held faith 
make healing possible? 

The faith doesn't have to be true. The role of faith here would be nothing 
more than the creation of a psychological state conducive to the healing 
process. The fact that quite different faiths can result in healing suggests 
that it is the mental state of holding a faith that would be implicated in the 
healing rather than the nature of the object of that faith.

It is a huge leap to go from a particular phenomenon to the assertion of the 
existence of God. Basically to argue from healing to the existence of the 
Christian God, is like arguing from the existence of lightning to the 
existence of Zeus the Thunderer. The essence of the argument is "we don't 
understand it, and therefore God must have done it." 

This kind of argument represents little more than an appeal to ignorance. The 
fallacy is self-evident. You cannot prove anything on the basis of lack of 

The classic demolition of proof by miracles is the argument of the 
Enlightenment philosopher David Hume. The following is a summary found at 

	The locus classicus for modern and contemporary philosophical
	discussion of miracles is Chapter X ("Of Miracles") of David 
	Hume's Enquiries Concerning Human Understanding, first published 

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Article-ID: 05_1997&3279257
Score: 78
Subject: Re: Please explain Swish, also exquisite