Monday, March 26, 2012

Atheist attack on theology are poisoning the well.


Atheist have always bad mouthed things they are not willing to study. Lately I see a trend whereby they have become vicious in their defense of the right to criticize things they don't know about. One such example is that of Magritte on CARM.

Observing the types of arguments posted by theists on this board, I'd have to say that a great many - if not the preponderance - of "philosophically sophisticated" ones attempt to draw the outlines of God from the negative outline of non-belief or naturalism.

A typical approach is to point out that the nonbeliever has limited knowledge, certainty or justification. Well, I'll enthusiastically agree. I'm fallible, limited, terribly ignorant of a great many things.

But does that warrant a belief that the negative space formed by my ignorance and limitations contains gods, demons, angels and talking snakes? Why not werewolves, ghosts and vampires? Why not a tea kettle floating in space? Merely because those aren't entities anyone has a vested interest in asserting or denying? Does the isolated fact that someone takes the existence of some entity seriously thereby justify taking it seriously?

Is there any other well regarded field of inquiry whose major support consists of pointing out that its critics aren't omniscient?
I say he's damn right my approach is to point out the non believer has limited knowledge. That is a franck admission that that he's whining because he wants to mock and ridicule theology without having to learn about it.

you are damn right it is! because those ignorant wastrals are willing to mock and ridicule beautifully brilliant wonderful ideas that are proved and great and need to be known that these hick fools who know nothing are mocking and ridiculing them.

this is a little gimmick that allows you to spit your venom against things you know nothing about merely because you are too lazy to study it.

Deist says:

This is the main reason you can't rationally discuss things with Christians. You have those who contend they are "Christains" with belief systems from Metacrock to JYB and everything in-between. From nearly a deist God to a God that really did kill an entire population of humans and hates gays. How in Gods world can you deabte these people when they all get to make up their own God, contend their God is the true one, and all of them using choice bible verses to prove their contentions.
you hold certain fallacious ideas that really prevent you from understanding real obvious things. One such fallacy is that one view point means one truth. If you have a discipline that only allows one model that proves that that one model must be true.

The corollary to that is your mistaken notion that science is about a big fortress of facts. you apparently think science is proving everything and building this fortress of facts around your ideology.

(1) Popper shows us that scinece is not a bout proving things. Scinece does not prove it can only disprove.

(2) Kuhn shows us that scinece works by paradigm shifts. Its' non cumulative and when the paradigm shifts the anomalies of the former paradigm become facts that legitimize the new one and the former facts become anomalies. this means there isn o fortress of facts nor can there be.

(3) you do not have a proved scientific fortress of facts proving your world view. you have an ideology that is relative and will be discorded eventually.

that means that your silly denigration of theology is based upon several fallacies that will be overturned and you have no basis to criticize theology. Your only argument merely boils down to "they have a lot of views." So what?

diversity is good thing. since there is no fortress of facts there's no draw back to lots of views.

since you don't study theology you have no idea how diverse it is anyway.

to both I say:

you are not even discussing something you have actually studied. even you though may not have uttered the very words per se you clearly express the idea. don't you dare to worm out! you are defending Ignace and anti-learning.

you are calling names and deriding me for being studious sand schoolyard .l you are to destroy my reputation by mocking and ridiculing books.

theologians write books stupid little scientists write equation that mean nothing.

you don't know **** about theology you have not studied it.l YOU HAVE NOT THE RIGHT OT CRITICIZE THEOLOGY YOU DON'T CRAP ABOUT IT!!!

They also introduce the fallacy of "this can be used to prove anything." They make this charge of theology. Anything can be used to prove anything if you are willing to use it wrong. I think this is a version of black is white slide. Just because something can be abused and thus used to defend "anything," that doesn't make it wrong. If theology is used properly it can't prove UFO's or whatever. That charge is also begging the question because some of the things that it might prove are only "disproved" in the mind of the atheist.

What this all boils down to is they are poisoning the well. They can't answer theology because they don't know anything about it. So they are trying to eliminate ethology as an answer for the Christian without having to know anything about it.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Atheists Justify Brown Shirt Tactics

After chasing off a guy called Paul by ganging up on him, say ridiculous things and mocking and ridiculing his ideas without listening, they then turn around justify what they did. Basically they are admitting that they are brown shirts, bullies and refuse to think.

Originally Posted by Haven View Post
Paul said this in the "Christians: why Christianity?" thread:
I don't exactly understand how omnipotence requires a trinity (in fact, I hold that a trinity is logically impossible, but that's a discussion for another time), or even how omnipotence and triunity are related. Could Paul, or someone else who holds this view, explain their argument for this?

you guys chased Paul off so he's not going to come and explain it. I would like to hear it.


Yes-a grown man was "ganged up on" over an internet forum, and hence had to leave
Humble Thinker (alledges himself to be
a "christian" always blocks with atheists)

The Internet is serious business, ya know? Disembodied words that one voluntarily reads can have that effect on a person.
Back Up
It is a bizarre and common practice of Christian forums to censor anything even vaguely disrespectful of their specific dogma.

Telling people it is a good thing that they and their family are going to burn in hell for all eternity for not joining a particular group is still considered polite conversation.


PaulO was pretty good at giving as good as he gets.

Everyone has a different excuse but they all have excuses for bullying, ridiculing and not listening. So they basically admit they are not there to think. If you are an adult it doesn't matter how you are treated. So obviously they making excuses to justify their behavior and their brown shirt thuggish behavior is base upon the need to feel important by bullying others (low atheist self esteem) and the fervor that comes with ideolgoical brain washing. Atheists in general are brained washed lacky of a hate group.

Of course when one fights back they get anger and so "you are so meaning and insulting." they don't laugh that off with the same kind of excuses.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Trick Atheists Do With Evidence


"There's no proof for your God," this is the refrain perennially voiced by atheists on every message board every single day. J.D. Walters, on the CADRE blog, has done a piece comparing this problem to smoking. He acknowledges that he is sometimes dissatisfied with the level of proof, but there is proof enough that smoking is harmful and people who know that it is can't or wont stop. I find this very non apt as an analogy. The problem is people who understand that smoking is harmful either, want to stop and can't or they don't want to stop but do realize that it's harmful. Few smokers actually still believe it's not harmful. Atheists are not exactly in this same predicament. Some atheist want to believe in God but struggle because they only want to bleieve on their terms, that is if the evidence is overwhelming and they can't argue with it. Most atheists have bought into the line that there is no scientific proof for God. That is a crucial draw back because once they accept he premise that scinece is the only form of knowledge then they never have to believe. So the atheist opinion leaders construct this huge ideolgoical edifice around the concept that science is the only way to know what's real, and there's no scientific evidence for God so there can't be a good or you can't ever find him so it must not be a big deal. That's not like smokers. If we examine the edifice of that ideological construct we soon realize it's a trick and crumbles.

The point is a lot more complex. The atheist assertion the evidence isn't good enough is based entirely upon their refusal to accept the perimeters of evidence that theists accept. We have two different worlds going. Theists and atheists live in different worlds. Atheists think about the Question of God as just adding a fact to the universe. It's just one more thin, scinece is the only form of knowledge, if there is no absolute scientific proof so strong they can't argue whit it then it's not proved and it's worth thinking about because the only form knowledge has to be absolute and obvious. They want to be totally and utterly forced to believe by the power of absolute proof.

God is not just adding a fact to the universe. The God embedded universe is not just a universe exactly like the atheists except it has God in it. It's a universe where subjective human experience is the only form of human experience, where science is not the only form of knowledge, where inner life counts too. If I'm right about God, then God doesn't want one to find "him" through absolute scientific evidence that can't be refitted. If that were the case God would be subjugated to human understanding. If we could have scientific evidence that proved God then God would have to be objectified and we would be in control because as the subjects we control the data and the knowledge that gives us any object of our scrutiny. That's why reductionism works by the game of losing phenomena. The whole point of reducing is to eliminate aspects that you can't control. God is not fool, and God would be a fool if he allowed himself to become an object of scientific proof, because to do he would be competency at the disposal of humanity in terms of setting the perimeters for understanding. The way God does it we have to go to him. We have to surrender our wills we have to accept that God is the boss, these are things atheists cannot stand thinking about doing. That's really what atheists are in a sense, people ho refuse to give up the will to God. I know that's going to upset a lot of atheist readers, if its not true why can't they accept the parameters of the search in the heart?

Every time an atheist tells me "I tried searching in my heart and God never never never answered" when I push I find that what he really means is "I tried real hard to do it the way some human being told me I had to." What I have never seen them actually mean is "I really gave up my will." All the people I know who are deeply spiritual and have true and meaningful relationships with God tell me they have given up their wills to God. I think it's an insight of the noetic quality of spiritual experience that we understand intuitively to seek God in the heart means to give up the will to God, giving up our desires, giving up our insistence that God come to us and present himself on our terms. That's what atheists are really saying they want God to do when they demand total absolute scientific evidence that so so strong they can't argue with it.

They keep trading on this conundrum. They keep saying "there's no proof, there's no scientific poof." What they mean is "there's proof that fits my parameters that I control he data and set up the understanding of the God phenomena my way so I will still be in charge." You can see this clearly in the actual insistence for scientific data. It is not unreasonable to demand scientific proof of a scientific hypothesis or of an assertion that the world works in such and such a say, but is unreasonable to except scientific proof of metaphysical and ontological assumptions and then reject metaphorical and ontological proofs on the grounds that they are not scientific. God is beyond our understanding. That means there is scientific proof because God is not a scientific question because God is not given in sense data. The atheist at this point dismisses the whole question as "made up," "imaginary" as though the only two choices in life are either imaginary or total absolute scientific proof. When you tell them there are other kinds of proof they laugh and mock and say "scientific is the only reliable way to know what's real." Not for areas that are not given in sense data. Science can only work in realms of empirical observation. Things that are beyond our empirical observation are not scientific questioned.

There are many such areas that science accepts as "scientific" and true (even though thy may have their detractors) even without scientific proof:

(1) Smoking was deemed harmful decades before a mechanism was discovered through which smoking causes cancer. Smoking was deemed a cause of cancer decades before there was any direct evidence based only on the tight correlation, which any atheist will point out in connection with a God argument is foolish and marks Christians as idiots for believing it.

(2) String theory is the hottest theory going no data. No objective empirical observations to back up string theory, tons of atheists are willing to talk about it as though ti's a proved fact.

(3) consciousness is also in the same ball park.

The list would be huge, inflationary theory, a-causal principle in Quantum theory (there's data to back it but there are schools that interpret the data differently) Oscillating universe, Quantum tunneling, there's a huge list. Science doesn't take the lack of hard evidence as seriously as atheists do when it comes to God arguments. In fact atheists are down right anti-scientific when it comes to scientific data that supports a God hypothesis. Look at the way they mock and ridicule the hundreds of studies I talk about that show that religious experience is real, good for you and not related to mental illness. These studies are all from peer reviewed journals, some are from major figures in social science such as Abraham Maslow, and Hood data on the M scale (the basic lynch pin of the whole field of research) is one of the most strongly verified prices of social science research. Atheists are constrained dismissing that stuff like it's just garbage. They call it 'pseudo science" and they find the most trivial reasons to argue against it. The Atheists on CARM even made the argument that these studies must be bad because one researcher included some of them on a bibliography with a source by Depok Chopra. They didn't even to look at why she quoted Chopra. She could have said he's a fool and quoted him to show that he is, for all they knew. Of course being on a bib with that source has nothing to do with the way the studies are done, but these atheists were dancing around going "we disproved them we beat Metacrock, his studies are crap!" Because they share space on a bib with a source they don't like! O yea they are an excellent example of scientific integrity. It becomes obvious that the demand scientific proof is just an ideolgoical ploy. Look at the way atheists refuse to accept that they part of a movement. There are a dozen national organizations that bring law suits on behalf of atheism they all say the same things, but they still try to argue that it's not a movement and it's not organized.

I refer to "opinion leaders" and to an organized movement that doesn't make it a conspiracy. There's nothing wrong with being in a movement. Feminism is a movement, and liberalism is a movement. I am part of both movement to some extent, and I don't seem them as conspiracies. There's nothing with being part of a movement, but atheists are loath to admit they are part of movement, they are scared to death to even admit a moment exists.This is becasue they have been taught an ideolgoical strategy that says "we don't have a movement." Just as it's obvious they do have one it's equally obvious that their insistence upon scientific proof is an ideological strategy. That move is not logical. It's only true function is propaganda. It's very off putting to a theist to be constantly bombarded by this demand and with the mystique of science in first world it becomes almost a shameful thing for a lot of people to even admit "God is not a scientific question." To a lot of people that's almost like admitting there can't be a God. That's because those people are in awe of the cultural capital science in a culture that isn't taught science very well. Those of us who study history and philosophy of science know better than to be intimidated by such a mindless ploy. Science is not the only form of knowledge, it is not the only way to know reality. God is not just another fact in the universe.

The scientific way of thinking objectifies reality. It reduces the real to a set of data and allows true aspect of the real to be lost between the cracks of empirical observation and reductionist loss of phenomena. Belief in God is not just adding a fact to the universe, it is a realization about the nature of one's place in being. God is the ground of being, not a big man in the sky, God is at the foundation of being, too basic to be part of scientific data, too transcendent to be reduced without losing phenomena. The ground for the search was never meant to be microscopes and telescopes, but the human the heart. It's a test of the wills one must give up the will to find God.

The smoking analogy is not satisfying to me but I can see how it is apt in many ways. The addiction aspect doesn't quite fit because some smokers want to quite and just can't. But atheists are socialized into a cultural construct through which they are, for want of a better term, "brain washed (socialized) by an ideology. The problem it's not analogous to addiction because they don't want to quite. It is analogs to smokers who don't want to quite. Atheists don't' want to believe. Some struggle with belief and maybe they do half want to believe, but their would be belief is conditional upon finding the truth but only if they get it their way meaning, so totally proved they can't argue with it. That is a trick of sin nature because it's an excuse not to view the good evidence (of which there is a ton) in a positive light. That is the glass half empty syndrome.

God is obvious to anyone who is willing to accept the search and truly diligently searches. Because belief in God is actually a realization about one's own relationship to being.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Atheist Problem With Prayer


We can always expect atheists to be on prowl to mock and ridicule prayer. They really have no choice to but reject it and clutch at straws to keep from believing the thousands of stories that come out every years of answered prayers. They have to reject it. It's only their ideology that prevents their addition that they have no intention of examining the facts. A particular study has been bandied about as "proof that prayer doesn't work." This study is ironic because to accept it's validity they actually must accept the validity of previous studies that show prayer does work. Since atheists are usually pretty dishonest they can't distinguish between different kinds of evidence, so they act as though this one studies disproves even empirical results.

Friendly Atheist

Study Concludes Intercessory Prayer Doesn’t Work; Christians Twist the Results

I was reading an article in Christianity Today and one of the paragraphs made me do a double-take. I couldn’t believe anyone was actually writing it… it was incredible how much fact-twisting was going on.

First, a bit of background.

It’s no surprise that prayer can have a positive effect on those who believe in it. If you pray, it can relax you and make you feel better. If you know others are praying for you — that others care about you — you feel better and your body might actually respond to that positivity. None of this has anything to do with a god answering (or even listening to) the prayers. It functions more like meditation. Prayer can have a calming, healing effect for those who buy into it.

But what happens when others pray for you and you are unaware of it? To no atheist’s surprise, this has never been shown to work.

This idea has been tested repeatedly — usually, the studies have flaws. And even when the results show that the intercessory prayer has no effect on anyone, those who believe in it will look at the hits and ignore (or rationalize) the misses.

Funny he should mention flaws, because that's going to be a key issue with me. The so called "faults" he's talking about are mainly about the inability to control for outside prayer. The irony is back ten years ago when there were about 14 studies that proved prayer worked,* the major athist argument was you can't control for outside prayer. These were all done the same way, double blind and so on. The major atheist argument was that you can't control for outside prayer. The study athesits now run around touting as a disproof of prayer is one that is invalidated by the same argument it depends upon controlling for outside prayer. Rather than understand that if they accept their anti-prayer study they have to drop the major argument against Byrd and Harris and the pro-prayer studies, they try to invalidate the pro prayer studies on irrelevant grounds that basically amount to guilt by association.

Here's the "big study" that disproves all prayer:
also from the article above:

Three years ago, a multi-million-dollar, controlled, double-blind study was conducted to test intercessory prayer.

The Study of the Therapeutic Effects of Intercessory Prayer (STEP) found two major results:

1) “Intercessory prayer had no effect on recovery from surgery without complications.”

2) “Patients who knew they were receiving intercessory prayer fared worse.”

Fared worse?! Even I was surprised by that. So were many Christians — this didn’t sit well with them.

This new article from Christianity Today, though, offers a rationalization I’ve never heard before. You can tell they’re really straining to find a silver lining…[this is quoting Christianity today]

Ironically, STEP actually supports the Christian worldview. Our prayers are nothing at all like magical incantations. Our God bears no resemblance to a vending machine. The real scandal of the study is not that the prayed-for group did worse, but that the not-prayed-for group received just as much, if not more, of God’s blessings. In other words, God seems to have granted favor without regard to either the quantity or even the quality of the prayers. By instinct, we might selfishly prefer that God give preferential treatment to those who are especially, deliberately, and correctly prayed for, but he seems to act otherwise.[end quote]

True to his character, God appears inclined to heal and bless as many as possible.

This prefectly rational explanation the atheist calls a "rationalization." Of cousre he does, his ideology demands that he not think reasonably bout it but that he use it to attack. That's what atheism is about. Nothing could be more reasonable. What the quote actually says is that we can't study prayer the way we would a drug in a field trial. The reason the mystical experience studies I use don't make this mistake is becuase they have the sense to study the effects, they don't try to get inside the experience itself. These studies must actually assume that we can control God's will and control for what God does as well as for outside prayer.

What do I mean by outside prayer? The study has two groups, experimental group and control group. You blind the study so that neither the participants nor the researchers even know who is in which group. That way they wont treat them differently based upon expectations. So in this case it means the control group is not prayed for the experimental group is prayed for. Then you look to see if there is a difference. Back ten years ago when I used to argue these studies all the time I was actually rationalizing the answer on the control because I felt it was so important to have studies since atheists are always flapping their gums about no empirical proof. I was rationalizing. It was only latter that I was able to force myself to take a good hard look at the rationalization and then I stopped using the arguments. But the current crop of atheists are not willing to face the honest truth. How can you double blind and say no one in group A will be prayed for? How can you know people not connected with the study aren't praying for them? Their friends know they are sick. How can we be sure no one of them has one friend, or how can we know one guy on the freeway doesn't pray for everyone in the hospital every time he passe it on his way home form work? Christians do things like that. So there's no way to ever control for outside prayer.

Friendly Atheist man wants to Claire its' Christianity today that is rationalizing but look at his own rationalization. He's twisting the facts, as surely as he says Christians do. He has to ignore the problems of controlling for God's will and for outside prayer. He's twisting because the says the pro prayer studies have flaws but he's not begin honest about what they are. He is in a catch 22. He must either give up his study and admit you can't control (his study depends as much on controlling outside prayer and Byrd or Harris did). If he denies the problem and says they can control for outside prayer then he must accept that Byrd, Harris, and at least eleven other studies show that prayer works.*

Friendly Atheist above:

So the fact that the prayers had no effect on the sick? Don’t think about that, say Gregory Fung and Christopher Fung, the authors of the article. Instead, they want you to consider that prayer works because the un-prayed-for people didn’t die a horrible death.

That’s one way of ignoring the evidence when it’s staring you in the face.

What's obvious here is that the concept of double blind prayer study is a problem. Not prayer that is disprove, clearly , it is the ability to conduct a double blind and control for the will of God and outside prayer. One of the major problem with atheists taking this is a rationalization is that they don't know what prayer is about. They think prayer is just for getting stuff if it doesn't get you somethign one time then it doesn't work. This is because they refuse to study about the meaning of Christian theology or to understand what Christianity is about. Since they don't want to know they can't figure out what they are doing wrong with the criticize the wrong end of prayer. Far from disproving prayer this study disproves the ability to study prayer as thought it's a drug that has to work every time.

Friendly atheist:
There’s gotta be a perfect analogy for this somewhere. What comes to mind?
to be honest what comes to my mind first is that you are not idiot. I suppose that would be one of those uncalled for comments that is sure to send Hermit comment the comment box. But he did ask.

The better method of "proof" for prayer is empirical evidence. Prayer is something that can be studied empirically in terms of result so we don't need double blinds. There are no cotrols on them anyway so they can't be good double blinds. Empirical is better because it's there, if you have the evidence its' obvious. There's another atheist argument, one that says we just look at the good stuff and ignore the misses, that's "hit rate."

"Paradoxical" on CARM

I think it gives them the notion that they "could" have some control over things that are beyond their control. By way of just one example, I think they know that they personally can't control whether or not a loved one dies, and it is comforting to think that a being can grant that loved one a reprieve. If that loved one is deathly ill, and the believer prayed very hard that he or she would live, and he or she recovered, the believer chalks it up to a prayer being answered, and spreads the news so that others can feel empowered by this being that he and his friends believe in. This gives solace to society as a whole, and is useful to the human psyche. Humans don't want to think that life is random and there's nothing they can do to change what will be. Since they are not God, they want to think they can have a direct pipeline to Him and have him grant favors. That is the next best thing to being God, and gives that person perceived power that they wouldn't otherwise have without the prayer belief.

It matters not that billions and billions of prayers go unanswered or ignored. If there was even just ONE person out of a billion that got well after prayer, that would be all a believer would need. As for the outher 999,999,999,999, either they didn't pray enough, pray right, or it was God's will.
My opinion is that prayer gives humans the illusion of power that they do not possess by using an imaginary God to give it to them
The problem here is it doesn't take into account empirical miracles and it doesn't consider the complexity of veriables. In other words you don't need the hit rate because you are not dealing with something that is supposed to happen every single time. You are dealing with a will that can decide case by case if it wants to work or not. If scietnfiic studies on partcial excellorators had a theory about sub atomic pascals having minds of their own there would be no way to study them and no one would have evdience for the existence of any of them. Its' only when we can assume a stable situation that we can study it. That's why we have to go case by case. If a cause violates what we know nature on it's own produces then, and only then, do we have reason to believe there's really evidence of answered prayer. God goes case by case deicding if he wants to act. So we must go case by case deciding the chances of this or that happening according to probability. The veriables are far too complex to ever expect to be able to analyze the outcome short of something that really challenges our understanding of how nature behaves.

A leg is broken. We pray, we x-ray, the leg is not broken anymore. Within a half an hour the leg went from broken to not broken, this is something nature just doesn't ever do in our experience. That would be empirical evidence of a miracle. It would require a double blind. It wouldn't even try to control for anything because it doesn't have to. The only thing it would control for is making sure the X-Ray is not a fraud. I don't now of a case this dramatic but I do know of several that are close enough that they count as evidence of prayer working. The scientific study of miracles at Lourdes, France, the shrine to Mary of the Catholic chruch is very good. The ruels are strict and they are administered by major medical researchers of Europe.



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. Any one 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."

"Inexplicable," or inspiegabile, is the happy label that Di Ruberto, the doctors and several other clerics in the Vatican's "medical conference" give to a case if it survives their scrutiny. It then passes to a panel of theologians, who must determine whether the inexplicable resulted from prayer. If so, the miracle is usually approved by a caucus of Cardinals and the Pope.

Some find the process all too rigorous. Says Father Paolino Rossi, whose job, in effect, is lobbying for would-be saints from his own Capuchin order: "It's pretty disappointing when you work for years and years and then see the miracle get rejected." But others suggest it could be stricter still.

There is another major miracle-validating body in the Catholic world: the International Medical Committee for the shrine at Lourdes. Since miracles at Lourdes are all ascribed to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, it is not caught up in the saint-making process, which some believe the Pope has running overtime. Roger Pilon, the head of Lourdes' committee, notes that he and his colleagues have not approved a miracle since 1989, while the Vatican recommended 12 in 1994 alone. "Are we too severe?" he wonders out loud. "Are they really using the same criteria?"

Reported by Greg Burke/Lourdes
Copyright 1995 Time Inc. All rights reserved.

The Lourdes miracles are a good argument. They are much stronger than those double blind studies. There are a lot of good arguments and good info available on my miracles page on Lourdes. (Don't pronounce the s). There are also protestant miracles. There are three main prolems wtih this info:

(1) it's old
(2) It's assocaited with a faith healing ministry, the faith healer (Kathryn Kulhman ministry)
(3) book's out of print although recently has been re-pulished in a new form that I have not seen.** Kullman ministry asked Dr.Richard H. Casdraoph to verify several of the healing and he uses his his entire staff of medical technicians and consulting doctors to help. This is not as well founded as the Lourdes miracle committee, but it's not bad.

The Casdroph book goes into great deatail 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 healing since they were all people who had written to the Kulhman ministry with words of their healing. Not all of them were healed immediately in the meeting. Some were healed latter when they got hom.Naturally no one had a x-ray machine standing by at the faith meeting to crank out results like a x-rox copy, so all of them took some period of time to see the results. Not all of them were toally 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 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.

1)Reticulum cell Sarcoma, right pelvic bone.
2)Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis with Severe Disability
3)Malignant Brain Tumor (Glioma) of the left Temoperal lobe
4)Multiple Sclerosis
5)Arteriosclerosis 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

All of these people were totally healed of incurable or terminal states. The one commonality they all have is that they were at some point prayed for by the same person, Kulhman. Let's look at a few examples:

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 pevis and was confined to a wheel chair, 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 pales his/her hand on the forehead and the person falls over in a faint. It took some time to receive the next set of x-rays becasue 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 except 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: Malignant 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 astronomical 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 vanished 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 athletics and sports. Subsequent examinations revealed no abnormalities.

10) Delores Winder: Osteoporosis of the Complete Spine.

"Mrs. Delores Winder presents us with an unusual case of severe, chronic, disabling pain secondary to Osteoporosis, which her physicians tried to relieve by five different spine operations. The patients symptoms had begun early in 1957. By 1962 she had worn a full body cast or brace of some sort...although at the time of her healing she was in a light weight full body plastic shell. Although she did not believe in instant miraculous healing she attend a lecture by Miss Kulhman in Dallas on August 30. 1975.She was miraculously healed beginning with a sensation of heat in both of her lower extremities.She has been resorted to full health, wears no barce or support, takes no medication and has completely normal sensations in the lower extremities. This is unusual becasue the spinathalamic in the spinal cord had been interrupted on both sides, and in such cases the resulting numbness is usually permanent."

The real problems that I have with atheists and they way they deal with prayer is they can't bring themselves to modrate the criticism. It's either out and out mockery or they feel they have to totally accept. They don't seem to regard keeping their mouths shut until the evidence is really good as an option. They also make no effort to understand the point of prayer. they can only deal with the surface level. They can't make the effort to understand what prayer is and thus undestand why the answers are not rationalizations, but they only want to focus on one thing, the surface level, did you get what you want? it never occurs to them that's not the point of prayer. I will deal with these factors and more next time.

*one study has been disproved. Wirth the study on invetro, Wirth himself has been proved to be a fraud. That's where atheists argue guilt by association. I've seen them try to invalidate the studies that Wirth wasn't even connected with.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Atheist Straw Man: Don't let atheists dicate what is Christian


post no 24 and 26

I find that atheists are always trying to dictate what is Christian.This is especially true if one is supporting liberal sorts of theology.On CARM Keith made the statement derisively everlasting my experince of God's presence as "belief based on some grand feeling of being happy" soemthing of that nature. I told him: "there's a lot more to it. I have always said it doesn't turn on the actual feeling of the experience." I provided a link to my testimony.

Keith says:

Yes I have before, and cutting right to the "religious experience" part, there was nothing that stood out as "Christian" whatsoever. In fact you claim someone or something transmitted to you the names of Mayan cities, which could mean that the same extraterrestrials that influenced the Mayans still had residual technology that influenced you also. I don't see why this has to be "Jesus Christ".
He's distorting what I said. A remark in my testimony (see link above) about when I first recieved the gift of tongues I was saying certain words that I latter found as Myan place names.He concludes that bedause he can't figure out immediately without knowing any of the facts of my life why God would tell me Myan place names that this must prove it's BS. The tpical narrow minded stupidity of thes hateful creatons to think that if they don't get something right away there's nothing to it.

Of course he's totally distorting the issue of the place names. Just for the record I have a theory about why God would give me Myan place names. I understand it and he doesn't need to know that. Of cousre he concludes that my whole faith is based upon that one thing. It's not. far from it. I could find tomorrow those were the words I said I wouldn't care a whit because that is a totally minor incident. The gist of the story is that I was knocked standing up from a sitting position out a chair by a bolt of what felt like electricity but it didn't hurt, my arts were pulled up by a magician feeling force, my palms seemed to burn with fire and I began moving my mouth in ways I had to fight against not to say. I could control it but decided to go with it. My ilfe changed completely and dramatically for the better form that point on. The one thing from that whole story that he chooses to comment on and that he deems is the only important thing is the place the names. They are a totally unimportant side bar. Even the dramatic feelings of extacy are a side bar. The narrow minded know alls must have their way.

I point out the Christian nature of tongues. It's in Acts, It's in 1 Corinthians. My testimony conforms basically to the standards of a thousand other Charismatic stories. He says:

Keith post24

I am familiar with the delusional charismatic groups and pentecostal groups that fall backwards in their chairs and run around the church screaming and yelling gibberish. When my old church was sold, it was sold to one of these groups. Nobody knows what they are talking about and the "interpreter" (if there is one) makes up even more gibberish, which is nothing like the story in Acts, which was real terrestrial human language to get converts from other nationalities.
Here he is again trying to define what is Christian. Why should be allowed to do this? He went to chruch as a kid (as though I didn't). He beloved to a group that he deems is the only Christian group and they get to decide who is Christian and who isn't. you can tell he was a fundamentalist becasue he still is! Little does he realize that it was my group that I grew up in that was the only true Christian group.

When I show that my experience conforms to groups that are immanently understood to be Christian he pulls out this childhood prejudice and decliners them not Christian. This tactic is even more ridiculous because here is a guy whose only understanding of Christianity comes from some childhood experince in a very narrow provincial group trying to dictate to a guy with a Masters degree in theology form a major seminary in a mainline protestant chruch (UMC) what's what theologically.

The God hater club has to keep way form the Christian image any sort of positive elements like education or liberalism. So they insist that view that doesn't portray Christianity as stupid and unrefined is false and unchristian. this shows the circular nature of atheist reasoning, on the part of the segment of athesits who think this way (whihc is fortunatley not all of them). Their reason for hating Christianity is that it's narrow and unrefined and uneducated, yet when we show that it's not that way, they reject the reality and fight to keep the image of it that way. This means they are not concerned with what's true but with what helps their side.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Atheists Hide in The Gaps, part 2


The epistemic gap that will always exist in miracle hunting is the same gap that will always exist in any sort of causation. As Hume says we do not see the causes. We don't see the causation at work. All we see is one billiard ball stop and the other start up. We infer cause and effects from the correlation. That's exactly what is being done, we are inferring cause form a correlation. Of cousre we can't always infer cause form correlation, it has to be a really tight correlation and there has to be a mechanism to explain it. Even a mechanism is established through correlation. In miracle hunting the gap is always going to be that we can't see God at work. We must have a reason to infer a miracle. Because this gap always exists the atheist is always going to claim the miracle can't be proved, there's always a gap to hid in. The best we can do is to eliminate all other possibilities and have a really good reason for inferring that God is involved. At Lourdes the rules are set up to do this.

They don't take Lukemia cases for ten years. Lukeimia has a high rate of remission. In ten years it's most likely a remission will have reversed itself and the patient will be sick again. Another way the rules are set up to achieve is is that the patent can't have taken a drug and the only factor different from the ordinary situation is the prayer. That way the only possible alternate cause is the prayer, that we know of. It's never going to be fool proof but few things are and it's probably as good as most things we pretend to understand that we really don't understand, like the origin of the universe.

Miracles are not the only issue involved in this point of hiding in the gaps. Here are some more things atheists have said in the thread:

A New version of Sherlock Holmes in the Twenty First Century on PBS "Mystery," the Watson character says "no one has arch enemies in real life." Watson has never been on an apologetics message board. On message boards we do have them. This one is mine, HRG on CARM.

Originally Posted by HRG View Post
Not at all. It is a fact that some people think that miracles at Lourdes have been confirmed statistically. It is also a fact that their method (not counting the "failures" at Lourdes, and not counting the "successes" elsewhere) is invalid.
It doesn't matter what people think. The fact is Lourdes miracle are not judged by statistics.

that is entirely ludicrous. how it possibly be invalid? it's the only valid method there is you saying that just proves to me you don't know anything about any of this. nothing could be more valid than before x-ray shows broken leg, after x-ray shows no trace of broken leg, and one day apart. what could be better proof? No Lourdes is not statistical. Statistical method would not prove crap about healing.

statical assumes God is like a drug and must work automatically. it does not allow for will. God is not a drug he's not an automatic process. So your study design is totally invalid..That's because you don't care about truth you are not trying to understand belief, you want to show your great ego and how brilliant you are.
I have never supported liberal politics because I thought it was true; that would be like thinking that Schubert's Trout Quintet (which gave me a few transcendental seconds this morning ) is "true". I support liberal politics because of my secular humanism.

right, you don't have the sense or the honesty to see that that is ideological. nothing more than sheer ideology! But if you don't think humanism is true what do you do you think? It flatters your ego. your only truth is your ego. total selfishness then you are too deaf to hear God saying "hey that's not right, that's going to land you in trouble." you don't listen.
Stunning admission that he doesn't believe liberal politics are "true," but I do. Calling political stands "true" or "false" is a bit problematic, but I do think my political views are based upon what I feel I feel is true. He grounds his politics in what he feels is true, although he doesn't believe in truth, so this is just more obfuscation on his part, for which he is famous.

But your God cannot be proven beyond a substantial doubt either. And when I believe something for which there is no proof beyond any rational doubt, I'm aware that the proof is not 100% - and that I may be wrong (this is not even a humbling thought).
Look at how nuanced his answer, so that for his burden the requirement is not 100%, even though he claims to be humble about it, but for my belief the burden is 100% in his view. Why can't mine be less than that too since my argument only claims Rational Warrant and not proof!??

My Answer in the Thread
That's not the point! you are hiding in the gap. that's so funny you do exactly what i predict you will do then you act like it's big triumphal gesture.

you are basically admitting to the whole concept. you can't furnish 100% for your world view either, but with that you don't care. you use that as a deceptive device to foster disconnect with bleief but you don't care how hypocritical your argument is.
Just like you may be wrong about the existence of your God.

that's what hiding in the gap is. you are hiding. I say "I have to make a leap of faith." like any leap it could go wrong. But I have ot make want to pretend you don't have leap to make and yous ay "O any kind of leap is no good, we can't ever leap" but you are just living a pretense because you have to make one for your own views.


BTW, I firmly believe in the truth that there are infinitely many primes, and that the Earth is not flat.
That's just another guilt by association fallacy. I don't believe the world is flat either and you know that. but you try to evoke the pretense of all knowing scinece verses backward superstition. when the reality is you work by bait and switch, bad fallacious arguments, egotism and hiding in the gap.
He accepts mathematical truth but can't apply it to anything else. While accepting mathematical truth proves my argument about hte transcendental signifier so his view is still supporting a God argument but he doesn't understand that. Perhaps because he didn't think of it.

Originally Posted by Penguin_Factory View Post
The problem here is that the answer you're proposing doesn't work,

Yes sure does. that's what the 200 studies document.
there's a brilliant argument, "it doesn't work." why didn't I think of that?

nor does it fit any criteria by which we judge reality.

yup does that too:


those are the criteria why which we judge reality, I can demonstrate every one.
Assuming some basic facts about the nature of reality- eg that it exists in a state separate from our subjective impressions and operates according to a set of rules that can be uncovered and which do not vary - is necessary not only to understand the Universe, but to interact with it in any sane way.

How do we know when we have that? When it fits the criteria. Most of my criteria are in the things you just named: "Assuming some basic facts about the nature of reality-" That is epistemic judgment. that's my basic assumption about the criteria, that it can't prove reality, we have to use it instead of proof because you can't get proof. so we use that criteria that enable epistemic judgment. What said confirms my point.

PF's criteria:
operates according to a set of rules that can be uncovered and which do not vary -

My answer
you mean like "regular" and "consistent?" that's why I said. that''s my criteria!

but to interact with it in any sane way

in other words. to make an epistemic judgment. that's why I call my argument "argument form epsitemic Judgment."

I just showed that all the criteria he uses fit the criteria I lay out in my argument. All he's done is prove my argument.

A deity, on the other hand, is a different assumption completely. When you add an undetectable supernatural aspect to the universe you are simply piling on complexity with no additional explanatory power.

We are not doing that. It's not undetectable. that's what the studies prove. we can tell the presence of God by our experience of the divine (mystical experience) and we know it works due to the M scale so we can detect it. We cant' control it, which is what scinece really wants to do. but we don't have to control we can prove we can trust it. That's what faith is. Faith is not believing things without evidence, it's confidence in trust. We can prove we can trust God, because the experiences have postiive effects and do so time and time again (200 studies).
Because we can detect it by it's effects using the M scale, it's not undetectable. We can sort out phony from true mystical experience, and by effect it can be demonstrated. Super natural is the experience. That's what term the originally meant. The experience of God's presence, the sense of the numinous and mystical experience

Assuming that reality is as it appears to be acts as a springboard to further understanding, while assuming the existence of God either achieves nothing or (as most often seems to be the case) retards understanding by attempting to posit God as the ultimate explanation for everything.

that's nothing more than ideological slogaism. it's been disproved by the empirical studies. let's break it down:
Assuming that reality is as it appears to be acts as a springboard to further understanding,


200 studies show that reality appears to be divine, that's the basis of mystical experience, it's all one thing,undifferentiated unity. You have 0 studies on the other hand none at all that disprove god or show there's no God.
Notice how selective he's being about what it means to say "assuming reality is as it appears." Reality appears to be divine to the mystic. He's assuming that's not true appearance so he's actually not wiling to willing to assume reality is as it appears when it doesn't appear as we wants it to!

while assuming the existence of God either achieves nothing

since the 200 studies demonstrate that God makes your life better that disprove what you said. That also disproves the earlier statement by paradoxical that just having your life made better isn't proof. If we are supposed to hide in the gap by assuming belief doesn't do anything for us, and yet that's disproved empirically, then obviously it does matter if it makes your life better. Your idea of a negative argument contradicts that dictum anyway because you are truth upon how it affects your life.
"or (as most often seems to be the case) retards understanding by attempting to posit God as the ultimate explanation for everything..."
Right like Newton was held back from his theories about the universe because he believed in God or like the whole Royal society who were all Christians, every single one of the, didn't contribute to modern scinece because their religious belief got in the way, learn some history of scinece! what you are saying is obviously empirically disproved by history. Belief in God has spurred scinece, invention, exploration, higher thinking all the way through human history.
My commentary upon PF's over all approach:
this what I said before, a selective self serving mythology based upon slogans and ideology. That's atheism.
That is exactly hiding in the gap!

By way of an analogy, let's say come across a red cube and decide to study it. It could be that my perception is completely jacked up and the cube really has 10 sides instead of 6, or it's actually blue and not red. However, in the absence of any compelling reason to think either of those things assuming that the red cube is in fact a red cube is a fairly rational thing to believe.

But of cousre when the mystic's red cube is found, in the form of the sense of the Holy or the sesne of the numinous it's exactly the same. The world appears to be based upon the divine to me because that's' the way ti strikes me in my experience of God's presence. The content of the experience is the sense of the divine just as the content of the experience of finding a red cube is seeing a red cube. With the cube that he likes it's rational to assume the world is as it appears. When the cube is not the cube he wants its' irrational to proceed with appearances.

What's not rational is assuming that the cube possesses some sort of extra quality which cannot be detected or interacted with in any way but which is, for some reason, vital to understanding and interacting with it.
If that's the way it appears why is that any less rational than yours?

Analogies are not proof. The proper use of analogy is to clarify concepts. Your analogy obscures concepts because it's based upon begging the question by assuming your ideologically driven prejudices about religion. The evidence disproves those prejudices.

At every hand's turn they basically confirm what I'm saying. They see hiding in the gap as a virtue. Atheists world view is based upon the idea of talking only the surface of being, thins exist as one dimensional things on the surface, what appears is all there is and even that has to be selected for the appearance we like. It's a shallow and hypocritical view. If one says "there's more to reality that that" they say, that's just philosophy and philosophy is stupid." Why is philosophy stupid? Primarily because it doesn't give them the appearance they want. Philosophy is the antithesis of hiding in the gap. Philosophy says "dig deeper." The Atheism says "give me an appearance I like and I'll stick with it because anything else requires traversing the gap in knowledge," they don't want to traverse the gap.

see third and final segment on friday

Atheists Hide in the Gaps


I started this thread on CARM. (remember CARM therads are backwards so go to the last page to see the beginning). The atheist responses have been predictable if not furious and angry, but the funny thing is not a one of them has actually addressed the issue. The concept is simple, there's always a gap in knowledge, there's always a need for a leap of faith. The only question is how wide is the gap, can we narrow it with conventional forms of knowledge (logic, science, reason, yada yada yada)? The punch line is the atheists assume as long as there is a gap there's a reason not to believe. Yet, there is always a gap, so they are hiding in the gap because they not only have o intention of bridging it, but they actually against the attempt.

I always use the concept of a diving board for the leap of faith. Its' an amusing metaphor based upon real life childhood experiences of going up the high dive ladder with good intentions and brave heart, and coming back down the high dive ladder having decided that more manly aspect of leaping is not leaping. This always came after a long period of deliberation about the nature of faith and the lack of necessity of leaping, conducted at the end of the high dive board, shivering and shaking from fear with a long line of agitated older kids behind me going "come on and jump!" That's when I became an existentialist, that moment. I decided it was much more important to understand and deal with the angst of being a kid stuck on a high dive than to jump! I use this metaphor to represent my arguments. No argument will eliminate the need to make the leap but perhaps come can get us out there further on so we narrow the gap.

There's always a gap where one must make a leap of faith. You can reduce the gap or it can grow wide, but there is always a gap. Even in what atheists take to be rock solid proved scientific facts there is a gap. If you look in the right place, usually do some epistemology, every source of knowledge and every rock solid fact has a gap where we don't know and we have we must bridge the gap with a leap of faith.

We solve most gaps with a make-piece system of accepting what works and moving on. That's part of Heidegger notion of "ready to hand" in the discussion of the nature of being. What that means is bridging the gap with what works and making the leap of faith are so much a part of what we take for granted about life we don't even know we do it.

Atheists use the gap as an excuse to shun belief in God. We see this being done now in the thread about certainty. The atheist wont to pretend his world view is based upon "fact" and faith is some stupid thing only fools resort to. When we use answers that work, which fit the common criteria by which we judge reality, the atheist balks and demands absolute proof a standard even scinece doesn't pretend to.

you are hiding in the gap. you are using the fact of a gap to pretend that faith is somehow sub standard and that doubt is some kind of answer to truth.

The early responses just asserted the all sufficiency of scientific outlook to tell us what's what, really this amounts to gap denial. From "Big Thinker" (contrasting his name to that of my friend Tiny Thinker, Tiny is one of the most Brilliant people I know, and their names are the inverse of their abilities).

Typically, the atheist's position is based on fact, its based on what is known. This contrasts with the believer's position that is founded on faith. The believer's position is based on possibility and speculation. The believer's gap is HUGE, their conclusion are unfounded and (ironically) unwavering. The atheist who's position is based on known facts is not emotionally committed to any particular idea but rather to an honest and critical assessment of the existing facts.

This is the same guy who said my 200 studies can't be any good because no academic would ever make a study showing that religious experience was good for you because it clearly isn't. when I pointed out that these were published in academic journals and done by real academics, not theologians and not religious publications he asserted that none of them were double blind. When I put down a link to a textbook written by the major researcher, Ralph Hood Jr. Of University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the definitive article on the "M" scale which is the control mechanism for knowing if religious experience is valid, this stalwart defender of scinece refused to read the article, he would not click on a link and asserted that it wasn't scientific. He has no knowledge of the body of work, he has not read one word about what the field says of Hood or his M scale (I've talked to enough shrinks of religion to know that they regard him highly). When push comes to shove this guy has no regard for scinece, and no faith in scinece at all, no understanding what is and what is not scinece. All he's doing is working on prejudices and stereotypes.

In fact what he's doing is a perfect example of hiding in the gap. Almost all atheist arguments are argument from incredulity "I refuse to ever believe no matter what the evidence, therefore, it can't be true because if it was true I would believe." It's a form of circular reasoning. In asserting this sort of sceitnism he's actually illustrating hiding in the gaps. He's really saying "if there's a gap it's an excuse not to make the leap becuase there's a gap and I'm opposed to leaps of faith of any kind." Of course, his alternative is a selective pretense that only regards that which backs his view as "real scinece."

Super Genyus says (see link above):

There's no such thing as a "rock solid proved scientific fact." All scientific knowledge is tentative and conditional. Why you would need faith to say, "There is strong and copious amounts of evidence to suggest X being an accurate representation of reality," is beyond me.

Of cousre there's not "rock solid proof" that's my whole point. There is always a gap and always a leap of faith no matter what the issue. Even scientific hypothesis requires some leap of faith, however small it may be. Why we need faith to say something is reality is precisely because of what he said, all hypothesis are tenuous. What he's doing is to say first there is no such thing as solid proof, secondly, we can take evidence as solid proof if it's strong enough. That's fine, but what's strong evidence. It's apparently evidence that supports their view and not mine. If it supports mine it's not scientific and suddenly bad evidence. Look at the hypocrisy of this answer in relation to the next two issues that come up. The issue is no rock solid proof in scinece but we can accept strong evidence in place of proof (which is exactly what I say in m rational warrant argument--God is not proved but belief in God is rationally warranted).

the very next statement he makes:

This is generally not the case. We, generally speaking in terms of your most common arguments, just don't see how an explanation "working" to improve one's well-being relates to "working" as an explanation of reality. They are two separate criteria.

He's talking about 200 empirical studies that all basically say religious experience is real good for you and will transform you life (change dramatically for the better). Not only do they not have one study but they refused to look at the text book chapter explaining all about the studies. In two years of putting that link up time after after time (well over a hundred) one of them has actually claimed to look at at it and I'm certain he did not read the whole chapter because he still doesn't know what the M scale is. He asserts just being good for you isn't evidence but why wouldn't it be? The claim is that God wants to save you, to renovate your life and make your life better. We find that experiencing God's presence actually does that. That seems pretty much like validation for the number one claim religion makes to be true, so why would that not be a rational warrant for belief? Strong evidence is warrant when ti backs atheism. Not when it backs God belief?

Is 200 studies strong evdience? Air Bags were deemed proven by four studies. Naturally the quality of the studies matter but 200 is a heck of a lot of studies, and none of them have managed in two years to dig up a valid methodological problem. This is proof of what I say that the atheist admiration for science is totally selective and ideologically driven. Also note the contradiction, one says the atheist position is "fact" (even though they can't find a single "fact" that disproves the existence of God) the other one says there are no rock solid proofs in scinece, it's all tentative. Yet, despite this contradiction they both take the very same position with regard to counter evidence that challenges their world view. They are both hiding in the gap. When the gap is in terms of their view it's trivial and can be traversed easily or it's just not there at all, when it's in terms of belief in God then it's a huge chasm that can never be bridged.

The poster Crockoduck (that's his screen name) get's into it:

So miracles actually remove the need for faith. True? In the Bible, God went around demonstrating his power all the time even when it wasn't necessary. Like when God took pot shots at the defeated and fleeing Amorite army:
Joshua 10:10 The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, who defeated them in a great victory at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites. [emphasis his]
So why can't he do some miracles today?

I'm not sure what this is supposed to prove. It's begging the question on miracles, assuming there are none without consulting the evidence. It looks more like a gratuitous opportunity to throw rocks at the Bible. A lot of atheists have been conditioned by fundamentalism to think that if there's anything wrong with the Bible then God id disproved. I think most atheists see through that but not all. Still it introduced the issue of miracles into the thread which became a huge argument and joke. Joke because the poster "Paradoxical" (that's his screen name, I guess "Metacrock"Is not one to make fun of screen names) continued to assert the same untruths against the shrine at Lourdes as though extraneous issues disprove miracles. I talk about Lourdes, that it has strict rules and doctors on the committee. Paradoxical talks about people spend their life savings to go to Lourdes, how cruel of God to lure people to that one place, take their life savings, then not heal but a tiny handful. I document with sources such as the Marion Newsletter that this is simply not the case. No one has ever claimed that God will only heal at Lourdes, that is not the deal. If one can't make it to Lourdes the water can be brought to them.

Then of course he cuts lose on the committee. They are all lackeys who work for the Vatican. The RCC has taken lots of measures to assure the autonomy of the committee. They are not paid, that is not their job. It's true that many of them loyal Catholics but they also use skeptics on the committee. He continually asserts these things over and over again as though I said nothing, and I'm quoting sources. Of course he also asserts other prayer studies have proved inconclusive so in his mind that is a complete disproof of God or miracles. That is an incredibly illogical conclusion. All that can really prove is that the study itself was inconclusive or that the double blind type of study is bad for prayer because outside prayer can't be controlled for. For example no one was healed in the experimental group above natural cure rate (even with the control group). Does that mean there's no God, or that God didn't want to heal anyone that time? How do we know no one outside the study prayed and that's why they weren't healed. So that's still an issue of control group. We can't control for outside prayer. I used to argue for those studies there 14 of them which are good and show results, but this one was suppossed to be the best.

Yet the Lourdes evidence is quite different. That is empirical evidence. the Xray shows the lung grew back over night. That is not remission, nothing grows back over night, lungs never grow back. Lungs that far gone (in the case of Charles Ann was not really a Lourde's case but a saint making miracle) do not remit. That statistically never happens. That it did happen make it automatically a candidate for miraclehood. That's totally different than the controlled double blind study which just relays upon statistical averages. Yet Pradoxical seems to think these externalizes issues about how the shrine is run and allegiance of the doctors are germane to the evidence, and he doesn't even consider the xrays. Such concern with scientific fact!

What's really going on is he's hiding in the gaps too in a way. They are all saying "there's some kind of gap in knowledge of the God element and as long as there is belief is totally unreliable. Yet their view, which they contrast as "factual" also has gaps but those gaps they write off as trivial, based upon selective evidence that just excludes anything that disproves their views. That's what I call "hiding in the gap!"

There's also an interesting epistemological problem with miracle hunting but I'll consider that net time.