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0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
11 Points

miracles occur, but almost never to atheists

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,195 times Debate No: 32529
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)




please show something that happened to an atheist, that would have been called a miracle had it happened to a religous person, because of its scientifically inexplicable nature.
no semantics pleas

what are thought of as miraculous events are heavily documented and readily available. someone can see with no retinas even though this seems scientifically impossible etc, just to use an example.

the common objection of atheists and skeptics is that things just happen to occur by probability, that a genetic deviance, or random chance etc has caused it to happen to them. (that's how evolusion occurs, someone with a genetic deviance getting their genes prominent in the population)

but I don't see these things happening to atheists.
I see plenty of evidence from chrisitans and to a lesser extent other religious folks. but I don't see it from atheists etc, why is that? they might claim that it's just not as newsworthy or interpreted that way given the lack of religious context etc.
but you'd think there's at least be noteworthy evidence, or something, at least, that shows it happens to atheists etc

also, even if i acknowledged that they may occur, as a favor from God, it would be extremely very small percentage wise.
as of now i'd be happy with just couple or a few examples.


First of all, there are no "scientifically inexplicable" events that happen. Lack of knowledge of the event, its cause and/ or effect does not presuppose that the even is " scientifically inexplicable." That would the synonymous to the "god of the gaps" notion, in other words labeling ignorance god.

However, for the purpose of this debate I will show that events viewed through the lens of the of a believer, with acceptance of miraculous events as being plausible, happen to everyone including atheists. In my proofs show that these events are not in fact miracles, they are simply a lack of understanding of the event, this is unavoidable in order to show these miracles are cited and documented. I will note here that atheists will obviously not call something a miracle (except when using the term colloquially) simply because by nature an atheists does not accept miracles as fact or reason and thus they are not plausible.

In this debate I would ask that the burden of proof be shared. I will have to prove that things that (seen through religious eyes) are miraculous also happen to atheists. I would also ask that Pro show proof that miracles as defined below happen to theists.

Definitions: (Since CON did not propose definitions I will impose them)
Miracle: An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God.

Atheist: A person who is a non-believer, has no religious affiliation

According to recent polls roughly 20%[1] of Americans have no religious affiliation (being atheist, agnostic or have no beliefs in particular). Using this figure as a basis for the globe, if I am granted some latitude (as a worldwide recent poll was not found from a credible source in my search) we can make a reasonable assumption that worldwide, there is anywhere from 10-20% of non believers, conservatively.

Example 1:
I borrow from Pro, "someone can see with no retinas even though this seems scientifically impossible." Based on the above figure I would like to relate to a story of a group of 32 individuals.

Across the world 32 people that suffer from a disease called retinitis pigmentosa are chosen. This is a disease causing blindness from destruction of the retinas and for all intensive purposes these people have no retinas. These 32 people were constantly looking for help for their ailments. Wise men found these people and offered a cure. From their healing hands they crafted the gift of sight and delivered, as if from god the cure for their ailment. Many were joyus and some thanked god for this gift. Based on your example of a miracle, this is a miracle!

With the 10-20% statistic, between three to six people in this group are atheists. So this miracle (more than likely) did happen to atheists!

Example 2:
Continuing with the theme of curing the blind:
A man had been blind since childhood meets by chance a wise man. The wise man looks at the ailments of the man and proceeds to take from the man his essence. With skilled hands he shapes a cure from the man’s own bodily materials, as the lord crafted Eve from the rib of Adam. The wise man puts the cure into the man’s eyes, as Jesus did in Bethsaida. In a flood of light the man’s sight had been restored! What was once lost in childhood has now been miraculously regained! The same thing can, and has been done to many more with his similar ailments, as this is a known procedure amongst the wise men of our times.

Again, with the above miracle and the 10-20% statistic, we can conclude that these miracle cures for the blind are also being received by atheists as well.

Debunking the Miracles: (Do not read if you would like to continue thinking that miracles are “scientifically inexplicable” )
For the first example, the wise men were a group scientists in different fields. The scientist’s implanted a device that acts as an artificial retina, artificial because it is electronic, thus they still did not have working biological retinas. To someone who does not understand science, this would appear to be inexplicable. To someone hearing the story as I told it above it would be a miracle! [2]

Second Example, the wise man was an ophthalmologist. The man’s essence was stems cells and this healed the damaged portions of his eyes. You can read more of his story in Crashing Through: A True Story of Risk, Adventure and the Man Who Dared to See [3]

Debate Round No. 1


the bottomline is that you have yet to show a miracle happening to atheists. something scientifically inexplicable that appears supernatural.

what you have showed is... some people may wrongly perceive something miraculous, seeing without retinas using technicllogy. but this doesnt acccount for people who see without retinas and dont have technology as the reason. and you have shown that in theory it's very possible that there is a standard percentage of atheists and theists who have "miracles" happen to them. but you haven't show that it is true in reality, just in principal. examples examples, please. that's what I asked for, the standard here.


Please note the following:

Pro asked me to "... show something that happened to an atheist that would have been called a miracle had it happened to a religious person, because of its “scientifically inexplicable nature."

I presented two examples, both conforming to the Pros example (the blind miraculously seeing) and both written in the fashion to presuppose a miracle, coupled with statistical evidence that these miracles more than likely happened to atheists as well. Had I not cited, these would have been acceptable miracles since they both "appear inexplicable" and "appear supernatural." The key word there is appear, and we all know, thing are not always what they appear to be.

I also asked if the Pro could please cite a documented example of a miracle happening to a theist in the following: "show proof that miracles as defined below happen to theists." Pro had the chance to give citations of these miracles but decided not to do so. I presume it is due to the fact that had these “miracles” been investigated thoroughly and properly via scientific means they would reveal themselves to be similar to my examples and would prove (even to Pro) not to be proper miracles.

Because Pro neither clearly defined miracle (as I have), nor provided cited examples (as I have); I have only my definition, my examples and the brief undocumented basis of a miracle (from which I fleshed out in my examples) that was provided by Pro.

Pro responded as expected with "some people may wrongly perceive something miraculous." Pro also explained that I have also shown "in theory it's very possible that there is a standard percentage of atheists and theists who have "miracles" happen to them." May I suggest that the religious sometimes “wrongly perceive something miraculous?” Since I clearly stated no atheist would call something a miracle (being they rely on science), showing that miraculous events happen to mass populations (thus 10%-20% of which are atheists) will have to suffice for proof that these events have, and do happen, to atheists.

The Miracle of Plagues:

I will however present the following argument in attempt to appease. From the bible: the plagues of Egypt. These plagues were obviously meant to assist the Hebrew people in their escape of the imprisonment of slavery by the Egyptians in the book of Exodus, miracles wouldn’t you say? However, who did they happen to? The 10 plagues go as follows:

1. Water to Blood

2. Frogs

3. Lice (or gnats I have read both)

4. Flies

5. Livestock Diseased

6. Boils

7. Thunder and Hail

8. Locusts

9. Darkness

10. Death of the Firstborn

These ten events happened to the people of Egypt, they did not believe in god of Abraham, the same god of Moses. These plagues (at least at the time) were miracles as they were scientifically inexplicable in nature and attributed to the supernatural, the god of the Hebrews.

I will volunteer the exclusion in my argument of all Egyptian first born children over the age of 1.5 years old and obviously all Egyptian teenagers and adults that were first born.

The first born Egyptian babies had no inclination or belief in god and yet the miracle killed them. This is certainly a perfect example of a miracle happening to an atheist/ non-believer, as there is no belief in a god or choice made in regards to religion at birth. This supernatural event that god begat on the people of Egypt killed babies that had yet to even make the choice of belief in the Egyptian gods or the god of Abraham.

I would argue for the rest of the plagues but I am sure a logical mind will see how I relate those as well. (i.e. #6 Shkhin eruptions on Egyptian men, aka non-believers in the god of the Hebrews.)

A word about the faithful Egyptians:

Before the argument comes up that Egyptians were not atheists since they believed in their own gods. Here is the logic I propose. The god of the Hebrews was the one responsible for these miracles, so we can assume he is at the least one of many gods. Now, we must take god at his word that he is the only god, if we didn’t then we’d be skeptics and down the rabbit hole we go! So all other gods do not exist, the demonstrated god has said as much in for example Deuteronomy 32:39. So the Egyptians believing in other gods are as good as belief in no gods. Egyptians were atheists since they literally believed (without their knowing) in nothing! Their religion, defined as belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, therefore was also not a religion since if did not worship any real superhuman entity.


I have now given at least 3 solid examples of miracles, and many more plausible examples that I have not the time or character count to divulge.

Pro asked “examples examples, please. that's what I asked for, the standard here.” I ask the same of you, share the BoP as I stated previously, and have not even attempted to hold up your end. I ask you to prove that a miracle exists, that it happens to theists. These miracles must be documented and have underwent scientific reviews, otherwise they may be nothing more than wildly imaginative retellings of a parlor trick and thus not credible.

Debate Round No. 2


con says he presented two examples of miracles, but they were merely technology and people thinking they were miracles. clearly this isnt the burden of proof i asked for, something akin to an atheist seeing without retinas w out technology.

there are tons of examples of miracles to theists, in previous debates i shown them. most credible people dont dispute hat things appear to be miracles, just that they claim there's alterative explanations. im not going to do a bunch of work to find them when it's readily available.
but here's one, to throw you a bone.

Because Pro neither clearly defined miracle (as I have), nor provided cited examples (as I have); I have only my definition, my examples and the brief undocumented basis of a miracle (from which I fleshed out in my examples) that was provided by Pro.

you have now that miraclulous events happen to people, across the board in similar statistical fashion. youve shown that it could be that way, in theory. in reality, you can't find a single example of something that would be a miracle had it happened to a theist, that happened to an atheist.

the bible is pretty weak for an atheist to cite given they dont belive in teh bible. also, you should be able to find examples from modern times, since that is what i asked for. i find examples for theists, you should be able to with atheists.
plus there's no examinging the bible's claims if we are looking at it objectively, but we can modern claims.

all the examples from the congregation of the saints undego scientific scrutiny.
again credible people dont dispute that these things happen, that they are scientifically inexplicable, and that it sppears supernatual. for you to dispute it shows your lack of credbility.
all i'm asking fo is that you show this stuff happening to atheists, and you haven't done it. that's the bottom line.


I would like it noted that now the benchmark for the blindness miracle is "seeing without retinas w out technology." I'm that case Jesus himself couldn't perform as many miracles, he relied of "technology" when he heal the blind with mud and saliva, not electrical sure but I also presented an example of a biological cure as well!

Also the token miracle finally cited would also not conform to a miracle, did you even read the article entirely? In the case of Jesse, of course it was prayer and not the dialysis, or anything doctors might have don't... even this example has technology in it. Not a miracle in your eyes. As far as the nun, you own source says that experts cast doubt on her actual recovery!!

I used the bible because it seems you are so unable to look at reason I figured I'd turn your own faith based text and make it a suitable documentation of my side. But even your own book, the book you believe inspired by god himself was not a credible piece of evidence for you.

If you won't except logic, reason, your own biblical text for proof.... what the hell am.I supposed to do?

Please, vote for whoever you honestly think had better grasp of logic or reality...

Miracles don't happen... it's the wrong interpretation of the events by the ingorant that want to label god as the reasons.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by jackintosh 5 years ago
According to you and I miracles are not real, but to those who believe (and for the sake of this debate I tried to take my personal beliefs out of it) it is real, and if it is real them it is real for everyone. You are right though, miracles are a figment of the believers imagination, just like god, but when debating these things with people like this, you have to put forth logic within their context.
Posted by GeekiTheGreat 5 years ago
But Miracles are not real. Just because i say i have an invisible Unicorn that you cannot touch or see doesn't make it exist.
Posted by jackintosh 5 years ago
If something is true, and happens in reality, why would it matter if you believed in it or not? here is an example:

Truth: you will die if you jump off a cliff without anything to keep you from falling to your death.
If I do not believe that I will ever die, and jump of the cliff with nothing but my boxers and faith in my belief, would I not still die?

Another, if hell actually exists, and you are a bad person, when you die you go to hell regardless of whether or not you believed in it while living.

If something is true, it is always true for everyone in those exact circumstances.
Posted by GeekiTheGreat 5 years ago
why would miracles happen to someone who doesnt beleive in miracles?
Posted by jackintosh 5 years ago
I am sorry for how my last response was written, my cat was all over me when i wrote that and the previous comments I posted.
Posted by jackintosh 5 years ago
Sorry my cat hit the button, you get a spear. That's was a.huge technological leap forward and it was with natural equipment. Like mud and saliva, he had some knowledge, put knowledge to practical use to create a cure, its a form of technology. Just like stem cells are also natural but be use an advanced technological fashion.
Posted by jackintosh 5 years ago
So are sticks and stones, the technology of prehimand were made.of these. Put a stick and a sharp stone you get a spa
Posted by Paulh 5 years ago
mud and saliva aren't forms of technology...they occur naturally...
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 5 years ago
not that it'd change too much, cause people still seem unable to find examples from modern times, something scientifically inexplicable appearing supernatural, and would be called a miracle had t happened to a theist etc.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 5 years ago
can you give me a couple examples from the bible?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Misterscruffles 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Arguments- con, as pro missed the BOP. Sources, as con used some, S/G, look for yourself.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: miracles werent defined, but to me and most other people a miracle is anything that occurs even though the chances of it occurring are slim to none. that being said con did give examples of miraculous things happening to Atheists that pro simply tried to dismiss as claiming that they arent miracles without giving evidence as to why they arent miracles. Arguments to the con and sources to the con