Can a Religion Pass The Outsider Test for Faith?

The Outsider Test for Faith (OTF) calls upon believers to test their own geographically inherited faith with the same level of skepticism they use to test the religious faiths they reject. The only kind of religion that might possibly pass this test is one that embraces some kind of nebulous god (although I don't think one exists). I think all of the so-called divinely revealed religions based in the ancient superstitious past fail this test. And yet, it didn't have to be this way had there been more evidence to believe. The evidence just doesn't exist for any of them. Christianity, for instance, could pass the OTF if God provided the needed evidence to believe. But he didn't do so.

39 comments:

Andre said...

Maybe Buddhism (in its general, vanilla flavour)?

(I think you are focussing only on the theisms, but just in case).

Chuck O'Connor said...

It didn't for me. The only options were intellectual honesty and atheism or emotional palliation and a modification of my former Calvinism to a more liberal Christianity. Either way, my former faith failed the test. What those objecting to this challenge don't admit is the modifications they make to their religion creates a new religion to the death of the old. One need not accept atheism as a consequence of the test. One could move from Calvinism to open theism as evidence to a successful test.

Tyro said...

I can think of a dozen ways that religions can be tested. Prayer and faith could heal (but only Christian prayer), miracles could occur but only to help the Jews, a prophet could rise from the dead once per generation in every culture on the planet to preach, the faithful are consistently rewarded in this life or are visibly taken to Heaven before death, professed psychics could be legit, Christians could survive snake bites, and on an on. And why stop with these - the ancient Gods used to come down to earth regularly and even the OT God came down for a little wrassling when he wasn't sending angels.

"Don't be silly Tyro" people will say, "you just don't understand God." Like hell I don't. These are all things that would be recognizable or even anticipated by early Christians. Who's going to tell me that modern Christians know God better than they did? The reason that God has become "mysterious" and "hidden" (euphemisms for impotent, uncaring or non-existent) is because enough dissonance has built up that even believers are forced to admit that the biblical god just doesn't exist but maybe, just maybe they can cling to the text while disregarding everything it says about God and people won't notice. That was driven by weight of evidence, not a revelation or deeper understanding of god and there's no a priori reason why, if a god existed, it couldn't act like described in the bible.

Lvka said...

Go to Jerusalem for Easter, see if the Holy Light descends or not; go to the Holy land for Jan. 19th, see if the Jordan reverses it course or not; go to the Hozeva desert to see if these relics decayed sice the pictures there were taken or not. -- You're an "outsider", so feel free to test us.

Hendy said...

@Lvka:

Just read about the holy fire HERE.

So... a priest is patted down to make sure he doesn't have a lighter and matches, then enters a room alone and then magically the candles in that room light while he is inside?

I'll come to Jerusalem if any of the following are permitted:
- me to supply the candles
- me to enter the room
- a video camera to be placed in the room with the priest
- the priest to be strip searched; one can carry almost anything in their stomach attached to a string or up their butt. Do you think a pat-down is enough to detect a single strike-anywhere match?

Better yet, have James Randi verify this with his methods; the church will land itself an instant $1MM donation if they succeed.

Re. the river, can I place a floating, untethered buoy in the Jordan river all year long and monitor it's motion? Also, what if other rivers 'reverse' due to various natural phenomenon? Will the Jordan still be special?

Actually scratch all the above.

Let's have some human healings that are repeatable. As, in the end, what were Jesus' miracles? He was kind of done with the whole 'call down fire onto soaking wood' thing and stuck to healing people and changing their physical lives. Therefore, I call foul on the above miracles as preposterous. Jesus is far more interested in healing than natural events which were in the far minority during his day: water -> wine, a fig tree... anything else?

Natural miracles are from Baal. Consistent physical healings are from Jesus.

GearHedEd said...

I'll bet no one is allowed to swim in the Jordan River anywhere near the Jan. 19th 'miracle' site.

I bet they'd find some Las Vegas style water jets under the surface...

akakiwibear said...

Hi John, at last an opportunity to once again visit.
First let me agree with you that everyone should believers to test their own geographically inherited faith with the same level of skepticism they use to test the religious faiths they reject but why exempt atheists, or yourself from the same scrutiny?
If I understand you correctly you say that you do not believe there is no God you merely do not believe there is one – you are without belief. To arrive at this position you acknowledge that there is no proof absolute one way or the other (an agnostic position which you occasionally admit to). So far I think we agree.
However, your position of non-belief is not arrived at without decision, deliberation and judgements. You have made a decision to reject the evidence of a God – so do your decisions stand up to outsider scepticism? – a quick example.
You acknowledge that Jesus lived, but deny any claims made about him, claims that his followers were prepared to die for. An outsider would wonder why you dismiss this. Logically, those closest to the events would be smart enough to know that they were being asked to die for a fiction and would recant. Yet you appear to have developed some elegantly complex obfuscation of Jesus as an apocalyptic doomsday prophet to dismiss this evidence.
I suggest a sceptic would view your position as somewhat selective, perhaps even faith based.

Sala kahle - peace

Ajay said...

Akakiwibear - And then John can read about Islam and recognize that some of their miracle claims probably have just as much support as those of your religion. And then he can move on to Hinduism...

I don't think anyone is suggesting that atheists not be skeptical of their own position. But why pick the claims of only one religion and think that would prove anything?

akakiwibear said...

Ajay, to I think John should proceed in part as you suggest.

However it seems to me that your point is that some followers of a religions doctrine dismiss other doctrines - hardly a basis for atheism.

I apologise to John for once again linking the religion and atheism, but it seems to me that the basis of much atheist thinking depends on religion and does not actually address theism as such.

Religion is an invention of humanity, Gandhi's comment that 'God has no religion' should be understood for its wisdom.


sala kahle - peace

Ajay said...

Akakiwibear - Sorry, perhaps I poorly phrased my point and it did not come across. It wasn't simply that "some followers of a religions doctrine dismiss other doctrines", which as you correctly not is not a basis for atheism.

Rather, my point was the same type of reasoning you apply for one religion can usually apply for another. You say early Christians were willing to die for their beliefs, and that this is in some sense evidence for Christianity.

Okay, I follow. But isn't this also an argument for Islam? Were not Mohammed's followers also willing to die for their beliefs? And this argument applies to probably 100 other religions too.

That was the point I was trying to make.

zenmite said...

"You acknowledge that Jesus lived, but deny any claims made about him, claims that his followers were prepared to die for."

Muhammed's followers are willing to die for Islam even today. Does this make their claims true? Muslims have killed countless hindus who refused to convert to Islam. The Chinese have killed many tibetan buddhists who refuse to denounce buddhism.

The martyrdom of Guru Arjun Dev was followed by that of Guru Tegh Bahadur and of the four sons of Guru Gobind Singh. The eighteenth century saw not only two ghallugharas (massacres of the Sikhs) but numerous committed Sikhs, remaining steadfast in their faith being brutally tortured to death. Does this make the Sikh faith true?

In Shiraz in 1983, ten Bahá’í women, arrested and charged with the “crime” of teaching religious classes for children and youth, were hanged, one by one, from the oldest to the youngest, as the others stood by. Prisoners who watched the 1983 hangings said that the executioners had hoped to force the younger women to recant their Faith, or even simply to say they were not Bahá’ís. None did, all preferring to die rather than to renounce their beliefs.
Does this mean the Bahai faith is true?

According to recent research the total number of Christian “martyrs” is only around 3000, and ca 1500 of these from the first three centuries. This is approximately the same number at the average number of Jews the holy Church killed during a year in the Middle Ages, - or sometimes, on just one single day (Deschner 1986). Most of the Church martyrs and martyr stories are holy forgeries and blatant lies.

akakiwibear said...

Ajay, I think I understand your point and yes it is just as valid to apply the arguments to followers of other religions.

However, my point about being willing to doe for the belief was qualified by the fact that hey were prepared to die for what they claimed to have witnessed.

This should not be confused with the often chemically assisted and certainly psychological coerced suicide bombers of today.

sala kahle - peace

Lvka said...

...or DON'T feel free to test us: retrieve into your ivory blog-towers knowing better... :-) -- either way, it's your choice...

Chuck O'Connor said...

What documentation exist to confirm the christian martyr stories as anything but apocraphyl?

zenmite said...

"However, my point about being willing to doe for the belief was qualified by the fact that hey were prepared to die for what they claimed to have witnessed.

I realize many christians make much of this distinction. To an outsider the willingness of people to die for beliefs about things they did not witness seems to require even firmer 'faith'. However, even if we accept the accounts of the apostles martyrdom as authentic (a point which even many christian scholars seem to have serious doubts about) it is not clear that their execution was specifically for their insistence upon the validity of the resurrection.

Since it is clear that many other people over the years have been willing to die for their beliefs as a whole (and not any specific tenet like the resurrection)it seems this behavior is not dependent upon first-hand witnessing or even upon any specific doctrine like the resurrection.

From my reading it seems many of those that knew the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh were tortured and executed rather than recant their faith that Bahá'u'lláh was a messenger from god. Since they knew him first-hand, would this prove that Bahá'u'lláh was a true prophet of god?

People tend to identify themselves with religious and political ideologies. The idea of converting or rescinding their faith is tantamount to death itself. In some cases they identify even more with their faith or nation than with their own individual self. Thus, so many soldiers who are willing to die for an idea (like liberty, freedom, world communism, national socialism, etc) It is not necessary for a soldier to have personally known George Washington to be willing to die for his country.

Similarly, I don't think the apostles willingness to die (if they were martyred) has anything specifically to do with the fact or fiction of Jesus' resurrection any more than the early Bahai's willingness to die rather than renounce their faith means that Bahá'u'lláh must actually have been god's latest prophet.

Ajay said...

Akakiwibear -

"However, my point about being willing to die for the belief was qualified by the fact that they were prepared to die for what they claimed to have witnessed."

This applies to the followers of David Koresh too. But is that an argument for his divinity?

Chuck O'Connor said...

Akakiwibear

Please provide the documentation that confirms christian apostolic martyrdom.

akakiwibear said...

While no one has really addressed my point that Logically, those closest to the events would be smart enough to know that they were being asked to die for a fiction and would recant I happily concede that being willing to die for what one believes is not proof that it is true.

Now back to my main point - John’s selective acceptance of the record of Jesus.

John , you seem happy to acknowledge the record of what you describe as doomsday saying of Jesus (after all your interpretation of them aids your case)yet you deny the record of his miracles.

Perhaps another example – acknowledge the record that Paul had the Damascus road experience but deny the record of what it was about.

Sala kahle -peace

Chuck O'Connor said...

Akakibear

I will ask again. What documentation do we have that attests to the claim that any disciples were martyred under interrogation? Your entire argument rests on that assertion as fact yet you have yet to establish it. I won't respond to a specious assertion and lend it weight until that assertion is supported with evidence. Make your case before declaring victory.

akakiwibear said...

Chuck, I see no reason to provide evidence of a claim I did not make. However, to help you with what I said – after the death of Stephen those proclaiming Jesus were effectively under a death threat. I leave you to find for yourself evidence of the persecution of Christians.

You really should read things more carefully – you urge me to Make your case before declaring victory. but where did I claim victory – or was my argument so persuasive that subliminally you were compelled to acknowledged it through a Freudian slip ;)

Your initial comment implies that from your Calvinist base you found some of the teaching – I guess for example literal inerrancy – could not stand the test of sceptical scrutiny. Well done!

In your earlier comment you acknowledge two options – there is no God or the Calvinist doctrine falls short when you say One could move from Calvinism to open theism as evidence to a successful test.. Here you seem acknowledge the need to be equally sceptical of the claims of atheism as theism. Indeed that is the test I posed to John – can his atheism stand up to the outsider test. He has yet to convince me it can.

Sala kahle -peace

Chuck O'Connor said...

bear

You claim nobody addressed your point about early descendents dying for a fiction and doing so implied victory while asserting that early christians were martyred. Th Book of Acts is not a historical text.

How about you provide documentation extant Christian scripture in making your case. You have yet to articulate an argument worth debating.

akakiwibear said...

Chuck, do you seriously deny that early Christians were martyred? Oh and the holcast never happened either?
Sala kahle -peace

Chuck O'Connor said...

Bear

Nice equivocation. Just provide support to your premise that specific eyewitnesses to the risen Jesus were given opportinities to recant their faith under the pain of death. You have not supported this premise yet.

akakiwibear said...

Chuck you dodge well too - no answer to my question ;) But this is boring.
Try St Peter, read Tertullian, Origen, Dionysius & Clement of Rome.

Guess he could have said " Nah Me and my mates made it all up - doon't kill me"

sala kahle - peace

Gandolf said...

1,
akakiwibear said..."While no one has really addressed my point that Logically, those closest to the events would be smart enough to know that they were being asked to die for a fiction and would recant I happily concede that being willing to die for what one believes is not proof that it is true. "

Hey nice hearing from you again Kiwibear.

But humans dont always act logically do they Kiwibear.Often even some folks who happen to have passed university degrees, will still be capable of acting very illogically and well, even quite stupidly.

I happen to have experienced this phenomenon myself.And i dont think its even a phenomenon thats really so very rare.

Its also "fiction" that all folks from out west, are simply completely against anyone Muslim and all hate them ,isnt it .Yet the Taliban are still able to convince many people who are really "smart enough " to know better,that all westerners are NOT simply against Muslims and hate them so much they are trying to wipe them out at all.

Smart people can be talked into the most stupid things.Smart people can even "talk themselves" into the most stupid things also.

Many smart kids,still really believe,yes maybe a monster really does sleep under their bed,and worry about the dark itself also.

And lets not forget seems religion does have a very special tendency of helping smart people to believe some very silly things,often without bothering much to even question .Why else do so many follow the Benny Hinns of this world?,i mean if these miracles were so honest ...Our hospital bed would/should be near empty by now right? ..As the honestly healed believers, passed the good message on around the place and many others became saved and healed.

Kiwibear people will always be quite prepared to die for fiction,when they have been talked into believing it is the truth.Right down throughout history "religious cults" especially! have been inclined to die for fiction,simply because they have been indoctrinated and manipulated into fully believing it is truth.

There are very many situations of these fictitious beliefs of religious cults ...but heres just one so you get the general idea http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/
worldnews/1583543/Russian-cave-cult-deserts-underground-lair.html

"John , you seem happy to acknowledge the record of what you describe as doomsday saying of Jesus (after all your interpretation of them aids your case)yet you deny the record of his miracles. "

We deny the miracles of the likes of Benny Hinn too.But that doesnt stop there still being plenty of people who no doubt, will still record that they believe they actually happened.

Gandolf said...

2,

Kiwibear you ask if others here, have really given things some serrious consideration .I understand that and agree, we should all give everything! some serrious considderation...I still considder "maybe" good evidence for faith might? exist,i still look for any evidence!,even if so far so happens i see none.

Some times situations happen around me, and i notice my mind can start me off down a path/tangent of thinking all sorts! of things ...I have had to "train my mind" not to simply led to run with these thoughts,but instead to stop and first look for more and more evidence to either throughly debunk! or else throughly prove! the evidence i thought i had experienced.

This i have found is very important.

Do you also do this Kiwibear?.Tell me something, if records you read suggest it seems miracles used happen quite often,what good honest reason do you supposed there might be,that we still dont see miracles happening that can be proved as being honest truthful miracles? .

What mode of logic have you yourself used, for finding good logical reason! to think records of miracles of old times, should have reason to be said! to actually hold anymore promise of being actual truth!, than all the many suggestions of miracles still often arising today?.Is it because they were recorded "the" bible, that so happens matches with lots of history?.

In thousands of years time!!, records of many situations surrounding Benny Hinn for instance, will also match with much "actual history"! and "actual places" that existed too!,so will that be enough good evidence to prove for you, his suggested miracles also were likely true?.

I agree we all need to try to be very thorough in testing what and why we have reason to believe.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Kiwi

Citing 2nd century theologians does not seem to be sufficient evidence to support your premise.

You still have not supported your premise.

Your argument is silly without support. Do you care to be a critical thinker or a shallow rhetorician?

akakiwibear said...

Hi Gandalf, I apologise for the length of this ... but miracles are a real puzzle and interest to me. You only need one real miracle to shatter all atheist argument, which may explain why atheists fight so hard to deny all miracles.

Yes there do seem to be fewer physical miracles now than before. I think two factors (among other play to this)
1: The more scientific modern scrutiny of claims of miracles has in part reduced the claims.

For instance of the many thousands of people claiming a miracle at Lourdes only 66 have been fully documented, scrutinised and recognised as miracles. (I did not do this research myself but http://www.doxa.ws/other/Miracles2.html seems worth a read even though metacrock is not really well received at DC)

2: The media frenzy around these claims provides little incentive for non-publicity seeks to claim a miracle.
Many people leaving Lourdes and claiming a miracle decline to lodge a formal claim citing the attention as un wanted

Certainly miracles have to tested and I tend to rely on the Catholic process of canonisation of saints. To make it to saint there have to be a number of miracles attribute to the intersession of the prospective saint – that is not the important bit. What is important is the process that the Church goes to verifying that, for a miracle of healing for example:

a) The healing has to be response to specific prayer
b) It has to be time an immediate response to the prayer
c) the healing has to be permanent
d) the healing has to be contrary to science – unexplained and unique (so ‘we ocassionally get these remissions’ does not qualify).

This involves a medical panel, which may not be Catholic, reviewing the whole case history and related medical evidence.
The Catholic Church has become increasing sensitive about acknowledging miracles and has adopted a very conservative approach not wanting to get ‘caught out’.

An example is the miracles associated with St Faustina (www.holyspiritinteractive.net/features/divinemercy/fmiracles.asp ) where the medical panel included Dr. Valentin Fuster a renowned cardiologist from Mount Sinai's School of Medicine in New York City.

So I look at the effort the independent medical experts go to studying these cases and not being a medical person myself I accept that they have done the work properly to protect their professional reputations and accept their conclusions.

Sala kahle - peace

John W. Loftus said...

akakiwibear, said: "I suggest a sceptic would view your position as somewhat selective, perhaps even faith based."

Outsiders all reject Christianity, all of them. That's why they are outsiders, which includes Muslims, Orthodox Jews, Buddhists, and infidels. I have indeed taken the OTF. That's why I am an outsider in the first place. I rejected one religious faith after another for the same exact reasons through a process of elimination leaving me with no supernatural beings or supernatural explanations.

Agnosticism is the default position. But atheism and agnosticism are twins sleeping in the same bed. For an atheist merely concludes there are no supernatural beings leaving the only other conclusion that none exist.

In any case, whether or not I am consistent in skepticism leaves you no excuse. You must be skeptical of the faith that was handed down to you on your mama's knees regardless of what I do. I would be happy to meet you on agnostic ground and admit we just don't know. You?

John W. Loftus said...

akakiwibear, please watch this debate, and read this post before responding.

Ryan Anderson said...

akakiwibear, please see Pliny's letter to Trajan. What I take away from that document is that 80 years after Jesus execution, at least one Roman Governor was uncertain how to deal with Christians prisoners who recanted their faith. The implication being that many of the early church martyrs very well might have recanted and still be killed, or they might have known that recanting wouldn’t have done them any good.

GearHedEd said...

The flip side of Ryan's comment is that recanting often didn't save those accused of Heresy by the RCC in medieval times from being tortured to death anyway, either.

akakiwibear said...

John, already read that, watched that – ho hum, I preferred to respond to Matt’s “Historical Double Standards” Post.

I am quite happy to meet you at the agnostic point that neither of us know for sure – I got there from the atheist side. However, we have both stepped away from that point and drawn a conclusion ... did we do so for valid reasons? Clearly we both think so, so you propose an outsider test ...

We should not be asking if an outsider accepts our point of view. You say Outsiders all reject Christianity well that’s a given by the very definition of an outsider – all outsiders to atheism reject atheism; outsiders to Welsh rugby fans reject Welsh rugby.

What we should be asking if our reasons for choosing to shift from the agnostic point stand up to objective scrutiny; where an objective entry point to seeking an answer is one that is open to accept any outcome.

Now I have subjected your arguments to sceptical scrutiny and found them wanting – in fact they were a major influence in my shifting from atheist to agnostic to theist (I actually started out wanting to accept them!).

So when you post that belief in God cannot stand up to sceptical scrutiny, I question if your reasons for choosing to shift from agnosticism to atheism are able to stand up to the level of scrutiny that you allege mine can’t.

Now we could bat this back and forth and get nowhere, so how about a “put up or shut up” challenge. Pick your 5 most compelling reasons for concluding there is no God; state them one at a time (max 300-400 words) and I will reply; then let’s limit ourselves to 2 rounds of rebuttal and move on to the next reason – akin to a debate.

I am happy to go turn and turn about on my reasons for shifting from agnosticism if you want but I think one side uninterrupted will be more interesting. Also happy to host it on my humble blog if you want to keep to a particular plan on yours or we can both run copies. We can agree any other ground rules e.g. this not be a quoting contest – your reasoning vs. mine.

I await your reply with interest.

Sala kahle - peace

PS I will be away until 9 June,so no hurry, think about it.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Kiwi,

I'm still waiting for you to verify your premise that eye-witnesses to Jesus' resurrection were coerced to renounce their faith with the pain of death and then didn't.

You do realize your entire argument rests on the evidence that this assertion is historical fact.

You still haven't supported the assertion with a credible case.

It is difficult to believe that you have done a serious honest investigation of the relevant material in determining a theist position when you can't justify your argument to intractable christian eyewitnesses.

You just don't seem honest at all.

But, most christians need to lie to maintain their cognitive bias either to themselves (e.g. the "mystery" of god) or to credulous and emotionally crippled people in winning social status (e.g. apologists and preachers).

When are you going to defend your argument with evidence?

John W. Loftus said...

Akakiwibear, try this post, although there are eight, not five arguments in it.

Gandolf said...

1,

akakiwibear said...."html seems worth a read even though metacrock is not really well received at DC)"

Howdy Kiwibear.Interesting stuff about the miracles at Lourdes.I did have a read of Metacrocks site,but really didnt think so much of it,specially once i read he thinks anyone claiming a miracle,simple is evidence enough.

Good grief,just imagine what big business would soon evolve from that sort of thinking.We would have guru in every car park having car boot miracle healing workshops selling their wares, to the unaware and unwise.

I agree with you that these miracles at Lourdes maybe do still leave much unanswered.Allthough i read through much pro miracles at Lourdes stuff and noticed a general theme of suggestions miracle were connected to Catholism claim coming through,and i did wonder what good reason there might be that catholism might be favored by God, when popes and priests have been trying to cover up sex abuse for so many years?.Is there a connection between abusers and miracles here?.

St Bernadette Soubirius the little girl who lays at the root of this mystery,though those around her deny it,did she infact subconciously remember something about the lady of "Immaculate Conception" ?,because the catholic priests and/or popes had only just brought the idea of the "Immaculate Conception" into centre stage about 3 or 4 years before hand.Lets not forget Bernadette was 14 at the time of discovery of the grotto,so that would have still made her about 10 when the "Immaculate Conception" idea was new big news! around town and folks would have talked about it.A ten year old girl maybe dont likely miss much,when its been big news around town.What with her already having a devoted faithful family and all.

I also read somewhere that suggested, at some later stage, St Bernadette Soubirius herself actually came to even personally dislike the claims being made, that this place at lourdes was being connected to many claims of supposed miracles.see here http://www.pyreneanvillas.com/visit-lourdes.php

And its a fact that St Bernadette Soubirius herself, later even moved away from this place Lourdes,and never ever returned ?.

Maybe miracles sceptic.com put forward some things worth considdering.http://www.
miraclesceptic.com/
apparitionfraud.html

For instance "Immaculate Conception" they say refers to the virgin mary.St Bernadette Soubirius as a child decribed the Virgin Mary as pale in complextion,now why would that be if Virgin Mary was a Jew?.

Like this article states the virgin Mary is suggested to be seen in a number of places,some she is seen to be pale,yet others she is suggested darker or even as having rosy cheeks?.The virgin Mary is also like a mood stone maybe?.

This http://www.mult-sclerosis.org/news/Jan2002/MoreOn
LourdesMiracleMSCure.html written by Dr Raj Persaud talks about effects of the mind and meditating.It suggests.."The best scientific theory is that religious and spiritual practices engender positive emotions like hope, and limit negative emotions like hostility, and this has profound long-term hormonal and immune system benefits"

It also mentions .."But sceptics such as the novelist Emile Zola famously asked why in Lourdes there are no piles of wooden legs alongside the crutches cast aside by those who had been supposedly cured, suggesting that these were not proper miracles, as they did not radically challenge fundamental laws of physics or biology."

And thats a interesting question isnt it Kiwibear,why dont these "miracles" ever been seen to also regrow limbs?.Whats the rub with that?

Gandolf said...

2,
And then why help some folks and not help others.Specially those with extra double extra ammounts of faith ...Such as this case http://www.religionnewsblog.
com/17321/lourdes-syndrome

And Kiwibear what about the parting words of Doctor Patrick Theiller,the man himself! who overseas much of the show at Lourdes,deciding what cases to maybe put forward as being a possible miracle etc .

It says .."He was shocked by the case".

He is said to have stated .."This is a normal town. There aren’t permanent miracles happening here – that’s a wrong interpretation of the place,” he said. “Not everything is easy here, it’s not magic. The truth is heaven doesn’t exist on earth.”

Now Kiwibear it seems we have some suggestions that both the original St Bernadette Soubirius who originally suggested the idea of the virgin Mary appearing,as later also suggesting it was not actually any place of miracles...And now the Doctor Patrick Theiller also saying much the same thing.

When Bernadette Soubirius as a child of 14 first suggested the appearence of the Virgin Mary,it was well known she was very sickly at the time.Tell me Kiwibear have you ever experienced being very sick,so sick you actually become delirious and delusional? .I have,as a kid i do remember there was a time i had such a really great fever when i was sick,and family members said i was asking them things like ..Did they kill the bad monsters! and things for me, that i really had thought had been there trying to get me!.I do remember it did seem very frigtening and real at the time,kinda like a really vivid dream :)

Now i trust my family enough to know it was actually more likely just me thinking silly things when i was sick.But i can still remember how very honestly real these delusions actually seemed at the time.

Still even after all this, im not about to totally write the possibility of miracles off yet,im still open to the possibility that maybe they do actually exist.I even often still look around for any sign i myself might see of miracles.

Have a look at the links i posted Kiwibear,and when you find time ..Tell me what you think.

GearHedEd said...

Gandolf said,

"...Like this article states the virgin Mary is suggested to be seen in a number of places,some she is seen to be pale,yet others she is suggested darker or even as having rosy cheeks?.The virgin Mary is also like a mood stone maybe?"

I guess it depends on whether you see the Blessed Virgin as an accretion of ice in a leaky supermarket freezer or as a pattern burned into the backside of a flour tortilla...

Ryan Anderson said...

Does the RCC maintain a list of sick people who visit Lourdes and are not healed? Probably not...