Evidence of Miracles

I am going to re explore this quote by Pixie,whichI used last time because I think it typifies most atheist's views of prayer:
If you get cancer, you can either pray for God to cure you or go see a doctor. Today, going to see a doctor has a decent chance of leading to you surviving. Praying will not improve your chances at all. The original arguments of Christianity were the miracles; the healings performed by Jesus and later his apostles. Nowadays, these "miracles" are being done by science, and those doing it in Jesus' name are routinely shown to be charlatans. Is it any wonder young people are not impressed?[1]

What I see here, in addition to out and out doubt, is the tendency to think of God's healing power as a competitor for  modern medicine. God did not set out to heal all sick nor did he offer his healing as a response to the human condition. Miracles are signs as Px says but he abandons this insight right away and sees them as an attempt to heal all sick people.

Of course when he claims that we are getting nothing out of God's care he is going entirely by the most crass materialistic needs. He's not even considering the fact that religion is about meeting existential/phenomenological and soteriological needs. I think there is a special use of miracles in helping certain people but not to replace human medicine.

I don't usually try to prove the existence of God through miracles. I think miracles are basically for those who already believe. On the other hand, with the bar lowered to "rational warrant," I think miracle claims do provide a good warrant for belief. The important point is the proximity to prayer. The coincidence of an unexplained recovery from an illness, or other seemingly amazing event, in conjunction with prayer for some reaction, provides a good reason to believe that God has answered a prayer. This is an existential argument, as a rational warrant will always be a personal decision.

See my Miracle Pages for Details.(click here)

Good scientifically verifiable evidence exists for miracles

The paradox of human miracle assessment is that the only way to discern whether a phenomenon is supernatural is by having trained rationalists testify that it outstrips their training. Since most wonders admitted by the modern church are medical cures, it consults with doctors. Di Ruberto has access to a pool of 60 - "We've got all the medical branches covered," says his colleague, Dr. Ennio Ensoli - and assigns each purported miracle to two specialists on the vanquished ailment.

They apply criteria established in the 1700s by Pope Benedict XIV: among them, that the disease was serious; that there was objective proof of its existence; that other treatments failed; and that the cure was rapid and lasting. Anyone can be a stumbling block. Pain, explains Ensoli, means little: "Someone might say he feels bad, but how do you measure that?" Leukemia remissions are not considered until they have lasted a decade. A cure attributable to human effort, however prayed for, is insufficient. "Sometimes we have cases that you could call exceptional, but that's not enough." says Ensoli. "Exceptional doesn't mean inexplicable."[2]


Medical Historians Agree Lourdes Cures are Unexplainable[3][4]

There are only 65 offocual miracles but thousands reported.

It is impossible to estimate the number of cures which have occurred at Lourdes. There are healings of a spiritual nature, such as faith, conversion, acceptance, joy. There are also the psychological cures-- freedom from anxiety, release from addiction and compulsion. There are cures of a physical nature, the only type investigated at Lourdes (and also the only type accepted in the beatification or canonization process), because evidence of both the past and present condition can be presented...."In the last one hundred years, over 6,500 individuals have reported cures to the Medical Bureau. Of these, at least 2,500 cases are considered truly remarkable, but they lack some requirement needed to allow them to advance to the next stage--witnesses, evidence, lack of agreement on the nature of the ailment. In the last twenty years, there have been reports of about twenty cases of extraordinary cures or healings, about one a year. Mr. Bély's healing is the 66th cure occurring at Lourdes which has been officially recognized by ecclesiastical authorities. The recognition by church authorities has been a feature of Lourdes for a total of sixty- three years of its history.[5]


Protestant Miracles

Richard H. Casdroph collected medical evidence, x-rays, angeograms, and other data from 10 cases associated with the Kathryn Kulhman ministry. Now it will of course strike skeptics as laughable to document miracles of a faith healer. Ordinarily I myself tend to be highly skeptical of any televangelists. I am still skeptical of Kulhman because of her highly theatrical manner. But I always had the impression that there was actual documentation of her miracles, and I guess that impression was created by the Casdorph book.[6]

The Casdroph book goes into great detail on every case. Since these were not the actual patients of Casdroph himself, there are 3 tiers of medical data and opinion; Casdroph himself and his evaluation of the data, several doctors with whom he consulted on every case, and they very from case to case, and the original doctors of the patents themselves. The patients gave their permission and were happy to provide the medical data on their healings since they were all people who had written to the Kulhman ministry with words of their healings. Not all of them were healed immediately in the meeting. Some were healed later when they got home. Naturally no one had a x-ray machine standing by at the faith meeting to crank out results like a xerox copy, so all of them took some period of time to see the results. Not all of them were totally healed immediately. But all the cases were either terminal or incurable and all of them, within a year, returned to full health and pain free existences.

Dr. Richard Steiner, of the American Board of Pathology, head of the department of Pathology Long Beach Community Hospital reviewed several of the slides. William Olson, American Board of Internal Medicine and head of Isotope Department at Long Beach Community Hospital, and several radiologists form that Hospital also consulted on the rest of the cases.[7]

1)Reticulum cell Sarcoma, right pelvic bone.
2)Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis with Severe Disability
3)Malignant Brain Tumor (Glioma) of the left Temporal lobe
4)Multiple Sclerosis
5)Arterioscloratic Heart Disease
6)Carcinoma of the Kidney (Hypernephroma)
7) Mixed Rheumatoid Arthritis with Osteoarthritis
8)Probable Brain Tumor vs Infarction of the Brain
9)Massive GI Hemorrhage with GI shock (instantly healed)
10)Osteoporosis of the Entire Spine[8]

1)Lisa Larios: Cell Sarcoma of the right Pelvic bone.

Larios didn't know she had cancer. She had developed a great deal of pain in her pelvis and was confined to a wheelchair, but the doctors had not found the evidence of the tumor at the time her mother took her to hear Kulhman. Yet, when Miss Kulhman said "someone over here is being healed of cancer, please stand up" she stood up without knowing why. She had already started feeling a strange heat in that area and had ceased to feel pain. She went up onto the stage and walked around without pain. She was than "slain in the spirit" which is that odd thing when the healer places his/her hand on the forehead and the person falls over in a faint. It took some time to receive the next set of xrays because she only learned after the meeting some days latter that she had cancer. Than the next set of x rays showed vast and dramatic improvement. It would still be some time,almost a year, before her pelvis was completely resorted. But she did return to full health. The Catholics wouldn't accept this miracle because it could be confused with a normal remission. The power of suggestion can be ruled out because the heat started before she was called to the stage, and because she didn't even know she had cancer, but responded to a call for healing of cancer. The first dramatic improvement which was immediate within a few days, and walking on the stage is not characteristic of remission. Casdroph has the medical evidence from several hospitals to which she had been taken.

3)Mrs. Marie Rosenberger: Milignant Brain Tumor.

"Three things make this case an exceptionally excellent example of divine healing.

1) medical evidence of the case includes biopsy proof of the malignant nature of the tumor. The slides were obtained from Hollywood community Hospital and reviewed by the head pathologist at Long Beach community Hospital who confirmed the diagnosis of malignant astrocytoma or glioma class II.

2) When the healing occurred Marie Rosenberger was down to 101 pounds and was expected to die."

The healing began to manifest immediately and by the next morning was evident. She received no further drugs or medication from that point on.

3) The third thing that makes the case good is the long term nature of the healing. Her diagnosis was in 1970 and by the time Casdroph wrote the book in 76 she was still healthy and happy with no sign of the disease since the healing (which was in 1971 one year after the diagnosis).

8)Anne Soults: Probable brain tumor vs. Infarction of the brain.

"This lady's brain abnormality was well documented by the standard diagnostic techniques and she was seen by man specialists. Electroencephalographic study was performed in each of her hospitalizations.The repeat study dated January 6th reported 'abnormal EEG suggesting left temporary pathology, there is no significant change since 12/27/74.'...the clinical impression was that of brain tumor and her symptoms suddenly and completely disappeared following a visit to the Shrine service."

When she went to the service an unknown christian placed his hands on her shoulders and prayed for her. The symptoms immediately disappeared and subsequent tests found that the abnormality had disappeared. This is not normal remission. Remission does not mean that the symptoms immediately vanish.

9)Paul Wittney Trousdale:Massive GI Hemorrhage.

Trousdale was a prominent civic leader and builder in California in the early 70s. On December 12, 1973 he was admitted to St. John's Hospital in Sana Monica with massive hemorrhaging which required many transfusions. His wife called Reverend John Hinkle to his bedside, they prayed and he was instantly healed. All the medical values returned to normal and he went on to live a normal and productive life, engaging in aesthetics and sports. Subsequent examinations revealed no abnormalities.[9]


Note

[1]Poxie in BK,"When we Teach our Kids that God is Irrelevant, Expect them to Believe It," Cadre Commments blog, comments, (Dec 16,2020) https://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2020/12/when-we-teach-our-kids-that-god-is.html (accessed Jn 1,2021)

[2]Joseph Hinman, "Mircles," Doxa, (2004) http://www.doxa.ws/other/Miracles.html (accessed Jan 1, 2021)

[3]Bernard Francis, Ester M. Sternberg and ElizabethJ Hist Med Allied Sci. 2014 Jan; ,69(1): 135–162.Published online 2012 Jul 27. doi:  10.1093/jhmas/jrs041http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2012/11/medical-historians-agree-lourdes-cures.htmlBernard Francis is former professor Emeritus of medicine, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon. Elisabeth Sternberg taught at National Institute of Mental Health and The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Elisabeth Fee was at the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

[4]Jacalyn Duffin  Medical Miracles: Doctors, Saints and Healing: Medical Miracles in the Modern World.Oxford:Oxford university press,2009.http://religiousapriori.blogspot.com/2012/11/medical-miracles-doctors-saints-and.htmlJacalyn Duffin, M.D. (Toronto 1974), FRCP(C) (1979), Ph.D. (Sorbonne 1985), is Professor in the Hannah Chair of the History of Medicine at Queen's University in Kingston where she has taught in medicine, philosophy, history, and law for more than twenty years.

[5]Hinman, Mracles 2, Doxa, http://www.doxa.ws/other/Miracles2.html This number was docemted by the Marian library but the link isso olod It's just looked to my Doxa sight,

see more recent source: https://psi-encyclopedia.spr.ac.uk/articles/lourdes-cures#Independent_Assessments

[6]Hinman, "Protestant" Miracles: Good medical evidence."mracles 5" Doxa,2004 https://www.doxa.ws/other/miracles5.html (accessed Jan 1,2021)Study: The Miracles: A Doctor says "Yes" by Richard H. Casdorph.(Logos International, 1976);

[7]Ibid
[8]Ibid
[9]Ibid

Comments

Anonymous said…
Joe: What I see here, in addition to out and out doubt, is the tendency to think of God's healing power as a competitor for modern medicine. God did not set out to heal all sick nor did he offer his healing as a response to the human condition. Miracles are signs as Px says but he abandons this insight right away and sees them as an attempt to heal all sick people.

That misses the point, because you have forgotten the context. The issue is how Christianity attracts new members from outside Christian culture. Those who were indoctrinated to assume the Bible is true from an early age are, of course, likely to become Christians, whatever the denomination. Those who are not indoctrinated are very unlikely to adopt it. Thus, the decline in Christian numbers in Europe and the US is irreversible because Christianity has no way to convince anyone who did not receive that indoctrination.

In Jesus' time it attracted new members by healing the sick, if the gospels and Acts are to be believed - and to at least some degree I think they can. Today, that does not happen; Christianity simply does not attract new members by healing the sick.

The rest of your post is chasing off after the same red herring, so I will not bother with, other than to give these two links to scientific papers on the subject.

https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/41/4/923/689380 (full paper)

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01533874 (abstract only)

Pix
Anonymous said...
Joe: What I see here, in addition to out and out doubt, is the tendency to think of God's healing power as a competitor for modern medicine. God did not set out to heal all sick nor did he offer his healing as a response to the human condition. Miracles are signs as Px says but he abandons this insight right away and sees them as an attempt to heal all sick people.

That misses the point, because you have forgotten the context. The issue is how Christianity attracts new members from outside Christian culture.


No it wasn't. I wrote this to introduce a new topic



Those who were indoctrinated to assume the Bible is true from an early age are, of course, likely to become Christians, whatever the denomination. Those who are not indoctrinated are very unlikely to adopt it.

except for 2 million a year. that's 128 million over my lifetime.



Thus, the decline in Christian numbers in Europe and the US is irreversible because Christianity has no way to convince anyone who did not receive that indoctrination.


the 3% luxation that's in the margin of error?? re you actually arguing that popularity = truth? Because even if Christianity had fallen to 50% atheism is still 3%

In Jesus' time it attracted new members by healing the sick, if the gospels and Acts are to be believed - and to at least some degree I think they can. Today, that does not happen; Christianity simply does not attract new members by healing the sick.

I just presented evidence that it does. you have no counter evidence. BTW it's quite stupid to think miracles are the only reason Christianity made it, All historians know better..

The rest of your post is chasing off after the same red herring, so I will not bother with, other than to give these two links to scientific papers on the subject.

In other words you have no counter evidence. none of the stupid assertion you make based upon miracles not happening are valid because they do happen



https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/41/4/923/689380 (full paper)

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01533874 (abstract only)

Pix
Pix I will tearing your bull shit apart after breakers, the heavy handed gun thug approach to discussion the bull shit is Witten in really makes me wonder. I thought Brits were sublet?
Anonymous said…
Joe: No it wasn't. I wrote this to introduce a new topic

As long as we are clear you are not addressed what I said.

Joe: except for 2 million a year. that's 128 million over my lifetime.

Where does that figure come from? I asked you to e-mail me the paper you cited days ago, and still no sign of it. Makes me think you do not have it. How many of those supposed 2 million were raised in Christian families? We have no way to tell because we do not know what that figure actually is.

Joe: the 3% luxation that's in the margin of error?? ...

Evidence of the decline:

"The religious landscape of the United States continues to change at a rapid clip. In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade."
https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/

Joe: ... re you actually arguing that popularity = truth? Because even if Christianity had fallen to 50% atheism is still 3%

No. But do not let that stop you pretending I am; it never has in the past.

Pix: In Jesus' time it attracted new members by healing the sick, if the gospels and Acts are to be believed - and to at least some degree I think they can. Today, that does not happen; Christianity simply does not attract new members by healing the sick.

Joe: I just presented evidence that it does. ...

I can already tell this is going to be another of those times where we go round in circles, as you flip between very different claims. You did it last time when you said "most people who were liberals or democrats or Repubs were taught that way by family" and then flip-flopped over whether they are faiths or not. I am sure we will see the same oscillations here, but anyway, here goes:

Point me to the evidence you presented that Christianity attracts new members by healing the sick.

Joe: ... you have no counter evidence.

So what? It is not an issue I take any interest in, given we have now established you are not addressing what I had said.

Joe: ... BTW it's quite stupid to think miracles are the only reason Christianity made it, All historians know better..

And another of Joe's tiresome straw men. What I said:

"In Jesus' time it attracted new members by healing the sick, if the gospels and Acts are to be believed - and to at least some degree I think they can."

What Joe pretends I said:

"The only reason Christianity made it is the healing of the sick."

Christianity "made it" over several centuries, and there are various reason for that, not least being Paul selling it to the gentiles as Judaism without circumcision and getting adopted as the state religion of Rome. However, I am talking about before that, hence I said "In Jesus' time". But do not let the truth bother you, Joe. If you can score points by pretending I said something else, you go for it. It is the Christian way, right?

Joe: Pix I will tearing your bull shit apart after breakers, the heavy handed gun thug approach to discussion the bull shit is Witten in really makes me wonder. I thought Brits were sublet?

And I thought Christians were supposed to be honest.
First on matters I have already documented I've made those sources available. read the notes.

You want this to be about the previous topic. That topic is finished. I really don't think being competitive about discussions is right, I think it's childish, It's not about winning but learning from each other. I need my old brother the late Ray he kept me focused.

As for the areole you site their study is based upon a fallacy. The fallacy is that prayer must always work the sane way every time. Prayer is God's choice it is not automatic. It cant be studied quantitatively.

You have offered no counter to my documentation.
Anonymous said…
Joe: As for the areole you site their study is based upon a fallacy. The fallacy is that prayer must always work the sane way every time. Prayer is God's choice it is not automatic. It cant be studied quantitatively.

You have offered no counter to my documentation.


Your post starts:

"I am going to re explore this quote by Pixie,whichI used last time because I think it typifies most atheist's views of prayer:"

What that apparently means is that you want it to appear as though you are countering what I said, but clearly have no intention of doing so. That is your choice, of chose, but it stinks of straw man to me.

I do not care about your documentation. It is not an issue I have researched and it does not touch on anything I have said.

Pix
Anonymous said…
Joe: As for the areole you site their study is based upon a fallacy. The fallacy is that prayer must always work the same way every time. Prayer is God's choice it is not automatic. It can't be studied quantitatively.

You have offered no counter to my documentation.

Your post starts:

"I am going to re explore this quote by Pixie,whichI used last time because I think it typifies most atheist's views of prayer:"

What that apparently means is that you want it to appear as though you are countering what I said, but clearly have no intention of doing so. That is your choice, of chose, but it stinks of straw man to me.

I did disprove it's content,

I do not care about your documentation. It is not an issue I have researched and it does not touch on anything I have said.

you presented that article so you did have that point
BK said…
I started reading the first of the two papers put up by Pixie and got as far as this:

"The efficacy of prayer seems to me a simple, as it is a perfectly appropriate and legitimate subject of scientific inquiry. Whether prayer is efficacious or not, in any given sense, is a matter of fact on which each man must form an opinion for himself. His decision will be based on data more or less justly handled, according to his education and habits. An unscientific reasoner will be guided by a confused recollection of crude experience. A scientific reasoner will scrutinize each separate experience before he admits it as evidence, and will compare all the cases he has selected on a methodical system."

Oh brother. And Pixie accuses Joe of setting up straw men. This "scientific paper" is not worth the time it took to type it.
His assumption will be prayer has to work automatically like taking medicine. Since prayer is subject to the will of God it cat be studied the way people like Pixie want to study it. It has to be case y case not quantitative As at Lourdes.
BK said…
Yes, that's a typical approach. Prayer is like a vending machine: put in your $1 and get your candy bar. It isn't scientifically testable because God is not required to answer your prayers in a particular way. It also assumes that you know what's best for you. It is always the case that unanswered prayers serve God's purpose as much as the answered prayers, but there is no way to scientifically test for that. The best you can do is take data and try to make sense out of it, but if you don't know what to look for you can't get good information; and the researchers (like the person who wrote the paper that I referenced) has no clue what to look for.

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