The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
5 Points

scientifically inexplicable happenings occur that appear supernatural but almost never to atheists

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 580 times Debate No: 55356
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)




scientifically inexplicable, apparently supernatural things occur, but not to atheists. these are apparent miracles.

please show something that happened to an atheist, that would have been called an apparent 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. there are tons of examples for 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. . someone can see with no retinas even though this seems scientifically impossible etc, just to use an example. here are some documented miacles, and things that are inexplicable.

here is a list of incurable illnesses that have been cured, and medically documented...

lourdes is a religious place where many healings are said to occur. they have an organization set up to examine them (similar to the congregation for saints that the catholic church uses, but said to be even more rigorous)

an organization from the catholic church that does similar investigations

their criteria...
For a cure to be recognised as medically inexplicable, certain facts require to be established:
The original diagnosis must be verified and confirmed beyond doubt
The diagnosis must be regarded as "incurable" with current means (although ongoing treatments do not disqualify the cure)
The cure must happen in association with a visit to Lourdes, typically while in Lourdes or in the vicinity of the shrine itself (although drinking or bathing in the water are not required)
The cure must be immediate (rapid resolution of symptoms and signs of the illness)
The cure must be complete (with no residual impairment or deficit)
The cure must be permanent (with no recurrence)

The steps to verify the claims...
Approximately 35 claims per year are brought to the attention of the Lourdes Medical Bureau. Most of these are dismissed quickly. Three to five each year are investigated more thoroughly, by drawing up a Medical Bureau, comprising any doctors who were present in Lourdes at the time the apparent cure took place (this is the rationale for all members to notify the bureau of their visits to Lourdes).
The Medical Bureau investigates the claim, by examining the patient, the casenotes, and any test results (which can include biopsies, X-rays, CT scans, blood test results, and so on).
If this conference decides that further investigation is warranted, the case is referred to the International Lourdes Medical Committee (abbreviated in French to CMIL), which is an international panel of about twenty experts in various medical disciplines and of different religious beliefs. CMIL meets annually. A full investigation requires that one of its members investigates every detail of the case in question, and immerses him/herself in the literature around that condition to ensure that up-to-date academic knowledge is applied to the decision. This
may also consult with other colleagues about the case.
This information is presented at a CMIL meeting. Also present at the meeting are the head of the Lourdes Medical Bureau and the Bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes (currently this is Nicolas Brouwet). The cured subject is not normally present.

medically documented of incurable illessness..... what more would you require of me? that is a sincere question, not rhetorical
i will keep looking for studies and such, and may redebate you. if i deem it necesssay, if you do too good of a job as devil's advocate.
at a certain point, it is more the profound skeptisicms of the person, who needs to see it with their own eyes. than it is the lack of documentation etc.

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, it would be extremely very small percentage wise.
as of now i'd be happy with just couple or a few examples.

ive shown some examples happening to theists, it shouldnt be hard to find some happening to atheists.


I will use this round to determine that I fully understand my responsibility in this debate.

Although my opponent's resolution would place the burden of proof on Pro to prove that "inexplicable happenings" that "appear supernatural" almost never happen to atheists (a resolution that is impossible to prove), my opponent is asking that I, Con, do the proving. I am willing to accept the burden and do as my opponent requests, but only if I am correct in my understanding of the request.

If I am not mistaken, my opponent's request is as follows: I should supply at least two, or, as my opponent put it, "just couple", examples of scientifically inexplicable happenings that appear supernatural happening to an atheist. Although whether or not something appears supernatural is subjective, for the purpose of this debate I take it to mean an occurrence that is not easily or readily explained scientifically. Some might call it a "freak coincidence", or "luck". If I succeed in supplying two examples, I win the debate.

Pro, if I am correct, please acknowledge so in the next round. If not, please clarify what it is you are asking. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


sure, based on the way you described it, you are correct. show that, and you win the debate.


Thanks, Pro, for clarifying.

Before I begin, I'd like to point out two obvious reasons that it is difficult to find reports of "supernatural" events in the lives of atheists:

a. Atheists don't care as much. If a Christian or other religious person has trouble finding an explanation for something that happens to them, they are likely to attribute the event to God or other such forces, and that event will excite them and make them feel more confident in their faith. The specialness of the event warrants reporting, so that other believers may have their faith strengthened, and so that unbelievers may change their minds.
When an atheist can't easily explain something that happens, they attribute it to chance or ignorance on their part. As crazy as something may seem at the time, they believe that there is a natural explanation for everything. For them, the "inexplicable happening" lacks the specialness it holds for the religious person, so they are less likely to document and report it.

b. According to the CIA's World Factbook, atheists make up only 2.01% of Earth's population, and people who consider themselves nonreligious still only make up 9.66%.[1] This means that religious people outnumber nonreligious people by more than 10 to 1, and outnumber atheists by more than 49 to 1. The fewer atheists there are, the lower the chance of scientifically inexplicable things happening to one, and even lower the chance that such an event will be widely reported.

Okay, now that that's out of the way, on to winning the debate.

1. For my first example, I will use my weakest. According to Gary Mancini, Elder and Prayer Team leader at The Gathering Place Church in San Diego, California, his co-worker, Don, a self-avowed atheist, converted to Christianity after he was miraculously healed of a back injury. Mancini attests that Don remained an atheist until after he was healed.[2] I say this is my weakest example simply because of the source. However, I believe it still has merit in this debate considering that it was reported as fact by religious, Christian people.

2. For my second example, I will refer to an event that concerned Lourdes Medical Bureau, an organization my opponent mentioned as being known for miraculous healings. According to two sources I found (there may be more), Louis Olivari, a Communist atheist, was healed of a medically incurable condition in the waters of Lourdes. [3][4] The account notes that he converted, but not until after the healing.

3. For my third and favorite example, I will direct your attention to an event that transpired in the life of Brad Pitt, a self-avowed atheist and opponent of religion.[5] During the filming of the movie Achilles, Pitt, playing the title character, tore his Achilles tendon. The injury delayed filming for a month. [6][7] This freak coincidence meets the requirement of being scientifically inexplicable. Science can't currently explain how or why an actor would have an accident that injures the part of his body named for the character he is playing. A character who, in legend, suffered a similar injury. This event could also meet the condition of appearing supernatural. A religious person might think that this was a divine joke on an atheist.

Thank you, Pro, for this opportunity to waste hours of my life researching this topic. Please present your rebuttals or concede the debate to me.







Debate Round No. 2


con gives two examples of miracles happening to atheists and then they converted. i have acknowledged that this happens in other debates, maybe i should have excluded it here.
as i said there, sure i guess you technically fulfilled the debate requirement. it doesn't do much per the main gist of what's being debated, whether atheists have a similar basis to say they too have 'apparently supernatural' things happen to them. if it's just here and there as a springboard to christianity, i wouldn't say their basis is at all similar.

con also gives the example of brad pitt. that is merely an ironic happening. maybe even unlikely. it's in no way shape or form a miracle and it's pretty much ridiculous to include it. it's just as bad as when theists say their child being born is a miracle etc, and insisting it's true. fluff and stuff.

i do give pro credit for a well written 'this is why i actually CANT negate the proposition...". well written, but it still pretty much proves the point of my debate.


My opponent has conceded the debate by admitting that I have "technically fulfilled the debate requirement." The modifier, "technically", is irrelevant, since I clearly spelled out my understanding of the requirements in Round 1, and my opponent verified in Round 2 that my understanding was correct. As Pro admits, any extra requirements for acceptable evidence should have been listed in Round 1, so that I could conduct appropriate research.

As for Pro's rebuttal of the Brad Pitt case: The events being researched and presented in this debate must meet the requirements of being "scientifically inexplicable", "appearing supernatural", and having happened to atheists. As I have already stated, the Brad Pitt Achilles incident potentially fulfills the requirements. Brad Pitt is an atheist, a scientific explanation is not readily available, and the incident may indeed appear supernatural to a superstitious or religious person. "Religious" and "superstitious" are often interchangeable adjectives. Obviously, whether or not something "appears" supernatural is subjective, as is my opponent's denial that the event can be described as a "miracle". There is science that explains the development and birth of a child, but there is no currently known science that explains why an actor playing Achilles injured his Achilles tendon.

I thank Pro for complimenting my points "a" and "b", but she is mistaken in believing that they prove her point. They only show the difficulty of located recorded events. They do not rule out the existence of such events.

Thank you, Pro, for the opportunity to research this interesting subject, and thank you, voters, for your time and consideration.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
i acknowledge there is a bit of an issue with 'appears supernatural'. but, everyone seems to get my point. as your openting statement surely seems to. others just like to go off on tangents and rants etc that are beside the point.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
To an atheist, nothing truly "seems supernatural", because he or she believes that there is a natural explanation, whether he or she can currently explain it or not.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
Even if one were to find a news article about a seemingly supernatural recovery, how would one go about finding out if the person who recovered was an atheist?
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 2 years ago
if you argue why miracles cannot happen to atheists, you are probably focusing on semantics of the word miracle. i purposefully chose 'appears supernatural' for a reason. the bottomline of the debate, is you have to show similiar things happening to atheists, as happen to theists. most would rather get into semantics and general thoughts on why these apparently supernatural things do not convince them.
Posted by MilesandMilesofMiles 2 years ago
Posted by Burncastle 2 years ago
The word 'appear' coupled with the word 'supernatural' is a guarantee that this will be a semantic debate.
Posted by Atheist1096 2 years ago
I agree with DSky25
Posted by Atheist1096 2 years ago
I will take up this challenge to prove miracles cannot happen to atheists. It isnt exactly what the deabte is about(If you ask me, I don't think the instigator wanted it to be a debate), but I would like to put in my opinion as well, if this comment receives a positive response.
Posted by DSky25 2 years ago
What is the focus of your argument? That atheists don't experience miracles proportionately to Christians? Or are you trying to say that atheists don't acknowledge miracles with a religious connotation? Your disposition needs to be coherent and you need to consolidate some of your key points to avoid redundancy. Also, make sure your argument is in a clear and organized manner because your writing just sounds like a simple regurgitation of impetuous thoughts.
Posted by Valtin 2 years ago
I think because Atheists reject 'Jesus' or 'God' from what I heard.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro admits that Con won the debate, due to a combination of the strong arguments and good sources of Con.