The Instigator
linate
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
SimpleObserverofThings
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

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

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
SimpleObserverofThings
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/29/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 490 times Debate No: 59700
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)

 

linate

Pro

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

note: i am not accepting examples of miracles that happen to atheists who then convert.

what are thought of as miraculous events are heavily documented and readily available. there are tons of examples for theists. 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.

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here is a list of incurable illnesses that have been cured, and medically documented...
http://christiancadre.blogspot.com...

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)
http://en.wikipedia.org...

an organization from the catholic church that does similar investigations
http://en.wikipedia.org...

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
investigator
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.
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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.
SimpleObserverofThings

Con

I will accept this challenge and hope all the best to my opponent.

I will begin with rebutting Pro's arguments by stating the following:

1. Pro hasn't demonstrated or provided information as to what would be considered "supernatural", this needs to be defined
2. Pro needs to define what a miracle is which he has not
3. Atheists by definition reject supernatural claims so to request atheists to present a "miracle" is a complete non sequitur

Pro states that there are "credible" researchers who consider these unexplained phenomenons as "miracles" and cites the following resources which are unaccredited. The information cited within Wiki simply provides information with regard to what this organization does and shows by it's own admission that it is overseen by those with an already bias toward theology and the supernatural. How can we use that as evidence with regard to the supernatural and miracles?

The Christian blog site that Pro refers to has a supposed miracle healer by the name of Kathryn Kuhlman who supposedly cured up to 25 people from serious illnesses. When some of these people were interviewed much later in time to see their progress, it was found out that they weren't healed of anything, some didn't even have the illness that they complained about but rather had something much worse, which wasn't cured. Some of the illnesses returned providing proof to our current medical understanding that at times cancers can go into remission which in some cases happens to people who are younger with great health.

So far Pro has only demonstrated that some medical ailments can go away on its own, like cancers going into remission, which is rare, but it does happen. Also, another factor to consider is what is called the placebo effect. In these, also rare occasions, people can be given a placebo drug but told that it is in fact the "good drug" that will help aid or 'cure' their illness. Some have reported, like in the case of people who suffer from depression or irritable bowl syndrome, that the condition healed essentially on it's own, but others they haven't. These supposed miracles that have been researched/documented have shown researchers that these claims are likened to the placebo effect.

There are reputable organizations that are willing to put forth the rigorous scientific tests needed in order to prove a supernatural claim to be valid. Organizations such as The James Randi Foundation, are on the front lines accepting any applicants that can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that what they do is in fact supernatural with James Randi Foundation willing to award the person(s) up to 1 million dollars. Sadly, none have met the challenge which really leads to a logical conclusion, so far healer claims, personal experiences, are not proof but are simply hearsay.

Look forward to Pro's response.

Resources:
List of reputable medical journals:
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Kathryn Kuhlman: http://www.quackwatch.com...

Cancer remissions: http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
http://www.cancer.gov...

Placebo effect:
http://www.webmd.com...
http://www.skepdic.com...

James Randi Foundation: http://www.randi.org...
Debate Round No. 1
linate

Pro

i give con props for a generally well argued debate. but, as with most who take the debate, he couldn't provide a single example of something that would be called supernatural happening to atheists had it happened to atheists.

con criticizes me for 'miracle' and supernatural and such, but it's obvious that i didn't call anything either. at most i said it 'appears supernatural given there's no scientific explanation'. 'appears' is somewhat loaded, but everyone surely knows what i meant. i was careful not to call anything a miracle or supernatural.

perhaps not all supposed 'apparent supernatural' events are true, and con has given examples with the blog examples. but, some of them have stood the test of time. same goes for most examples for Lourdes and Congregation for Doctrine of Faith.

some cures do have medical explanations, some don't. do they have scientific explanations anyways? well, that remains to be seen. we can surely find examples happening to atheists that happen to theists, but that have for sure explanations to them. what about something that would be called non explicable?

i realize in theory this is possible to find, and then quibble about explicable or not. but, con hasn't even allowed us to get off the road, cause he hasn't provided any examples of things happening to atheists.
SimpleObserverofThings

Con

Thank you for your argument

Pro stated "he couldn't provide a single example of something that would be called supernatural happening to atheists had it happened to atheists." My response: atheists by default do not share a belief in the supernatural or miracles so to state that I (being an atheist/skeptic) should present a "miracle" or "supernatural" example doesn't make any sense.

Pro stated "i was careful not to call anything a miracle or supernatural" in round 1 of the debate Pro stated "scientifically inexplicable, *apparently supernatural things occur*, but not to atheists. these are apparent miracles." Pro in fact did make the positive claim that supernatural things do occur, and again he will need to clarify what is supernatural (e.g. something where the laws of physics are momentarily suspended). We will need cited, peer reviewed studies of such phenomenons, to which I can confidently say, aren't any. Based on the resources that Pro cited, to which I already addressed, doesn't show anything that can't be explained by natural means, such as cancer remissions, and people apparent cures which can be easily likened to the placebo effect, which has been thoroughly documented to be the case when such miraculous healing claims are made.

Pro stated "perhaps not all supposed 'apparent supernatural' events are true, and con has given examples with the blog examples. but, some of them have stood the test of time. same goes for most examples for Lourdes and Congregation for Doctrine of Faith." - Pro will need to provide reputable sources to which have been scientifically verified to be supernatural in origin, if not then the argument stands that it is natural in origin or simply hearsay.

Pro stated "some cures do have medical explanations, some don't. do they have scientific explanations anyways? well, that remains to be seen" - Yes most if not all "cures" have a scientific explanation. (e.g. cancer remissions, placebo effect)

Pro stated "i realize in theory this is possible to find, and then quibble about explicable or not."

My response: such studies as the Intercessory Prayer have been tested to see the effectiveness of praying for someone to be cured of an illness, in which the studies have come up inconclusive. I would like to quote the following from Wiki which is taken from The International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine 41 (1): 91"105 in where it states I quote "A group at Johns Hopkins published a study in 2011 reporting no significant effects on pain, mood, health perceptions, illness intrusiveness, or self-efficacy, but a small improvement in reported energy in a double-blind study to test the efficacy of spiritual exercise in chronically ill adults." So the most sought after method for supernatural healing "Prayer" at best to put it in laymen terms, simply makes the person feel good, no real medical cures as a result of prayer.

Pro stated "on hasn't even allowed us to get off the road, cause he hasn't provided any examples of things happening to atheists."

Again I must reiterate, atheists by definition is simply the rejection of theism, nothing more. Atheists do not claim to believe in the supernatural and miracles, so to request atheists to provide a "miraculous" healing is silly.

Will wait for Pro's response to make my final rebuttal and closing remarks.

Resources:

Atheism: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Medical Miracles: http://www.livescience.com...

Intercessory Prayer:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
linate

Pro

i can't give as high of props for con's next round of argumentation.

con pretty much resorts to semantics regarding use of the words "supernatural" and "miracle". first he just ignores that i said "appears supernatural". and it may have not been the best worded request, but everyone knows what i mean when i say "appears". find something that is of the same magnitude as what is provided for theists. cancer remission isn't of the same magnitude cause there are readily available explanations for that. i realize that it could still be arguable about any cures i provide, whether scientific or not.... but that misses the point that you could still find something of the same magnitiude as what happens to theists.

unless your bottomline is that it all happens by placedbo? but even if that's true, there should be a placedbo for atheists at least in some situations. but bottom line... do you hinge your whole debate on placebo? and do you then follow that to acknowledge that things of the same magnitude "cant" be provided by atheists?
it's almost a tacit admission that some things do occur to theists and not atheists, cause con insists on calling it placebo effected based.

"Yes most if not all "cures" have a scientific explanation."

do i detect a hint of reservation? that there might not be a natural explanation?

as for the intercessory prayers study, i'm sure if miracles did occur, they wouldn't if the people actively being monitored. that is not 'of faith'. it's bad enough that miracles do putatively occur, and might not be viewed as 'of faith', and people just write them off.... but even that given the hardness of heart still must be 'of faith'.
SimpleObserverofThings

Con

Thank you again for your argument.

Pro stated "first he just ignores that i said "appears supernatural". and it may have not been the best worded request, but everyone knows what i mean when i say "appears"."

- I haven't ignored, as you can easily read my previous arguments I clearly stated that atheists/skeptics do not hold to the belief of the supernatural and miracles so to request a "miraculous" example for atheists is a non sequitor. Also, to claim that "everyone knows what I mean" isn't a valid explanation seeing that when someone states something is supernatural in origin is to say that the laws of physics have been momentarily suspended and the same definition goes for anything to have been claimed miraculous, so since those are the definitions of such words then no atheists/skeptics can provide examples of such seeing that atheists/skeptics don't hold to those beliefs.

Pro stated "find something that is of the same magnitude as what is provided for theists. cancer remission isn't of the same magnitude cause there are readily available explanations for that"

- That is correct, there are medical explanations as to what causes cancer remissions in patients who were diagnosed with cancer, but cancer remissions is by far a "cure" or even "miraculous" in nature, some have been documented to have returned. I cited this as an example of why some who profess to have consulted a healer, who have cancer, later no longer have it, and immediately conclude that this was a miraculous incident. After these claims are investigated, like in the case of Kathryn Kuhlman healing up to 25 people, showed that they were in fact not miraculously healed but rather some of the medical ailments have gone away on its own (e.g. depression, irritable bowl syndrome, chronic illness etc.) which are medically documented to go away on it's own, nothing miraculous about that. Other patients who had cancer, were told by this healer that they were healed, later were found to still have the cancer or not have the cancer they complained about but rather had something else much worse which wasn't even cured.

Pro stated "unless your bottom line is that it all happens by placebo? but even if that's true, there should be a placebo for atheists at least in some situations. but bottom line... do you hinge your whole debate on placebo? "

- The placebo effect is simply an example of many of where you have people who have ailments (e.g. chronic illness, depression, cold, etc.), consults a healer or even just prays about it, the ailment goes away, and immediately attributes it to miraculous healing. As my previous argument, some studies have shown that when you present such patients under controlled experiments where the doctor prescribes to the patient a pill, in where they are informed is the supposed "cure" but in fact is simply a sugar pill, the patient eventually gets better like the case of depression. The experiment showed that in cases where people are depressed are given this placebo are later found to have been cured of their depression but unbeknownst to the patient they did this on their own, no real cures. This goes hand in hand with the experiment conducted regarding the power of prayer.

Pro stated ""Yes most if not all "cures" have a scientific explanation." do i detect a hint of reservation? that there might not be a natural explanation?"

- As mentioned, what I provided are just some of the examples that shows a natural explanation of such claims. I placed quotes on the word cures because in medical science there a few things that are "cured" but for most medical ailments like cancer remissions they seem like cures but in actuality they're not cures because it has been documented that some cancers have returned even returning worse than before. Yet, other medical ailments such as depression, chronic illnesses, have gone away for some on their own without any medical attention, some have been provided medical attention either with real medication like anti-depressants or simply given a placebo (sugar pill) and have "cured" themselves of such ailments. These examples simply show that there are natural explanations of apparent miraculous healing, that's it.

Pro stated "as for the intercessory prayers study, i'm sure if miracles did occur, they wouldn't if the people actively being monitored. that is not 'of faith'. it's bad enough that miracles do putatively occur, and might not be viewed as 'of faith', and people just write them off.... but even that given the hardness of heart still must be 'of faith'."

- So Pro is stating that in order for miraculous cures to occur the person needs to strongly believe it to be so and it will happen, much like how Uri Geller in the 60s-70s promoted the idea that if you believe something strong enough you can "will it" to be so. These believers have shown to have a strong zeal a strong conviction to what they thought was a miraculous healing or that the healer was in fact divine. - Which brings to my concluding thoughts:

This debate brings to mind of an incident in the 80s in where James Randi exposed healers for what they are, as an example I will quickly highlight a former famed miracle healer, Peter Popoff. James exposed this person for fake healing and even though James as well as other skeptics knew that this person was a fake, the people who followed him did not. So to answer your last statement, his people clearly showed that they had much faith in the power of miraculous healing, and despite Peter Popoff being a fraud, would it not make sense that since the followers had such "faith" that their "faith" alone would have healed them? I would assume so, but as the investigation held by James Randi revealed later after catching up with some of Peter Popoff's followers, some weren't healed of their ailments, some of died of the ailments that they thought was cured, and other were stricken with a different ailment which wasn't known much less even miraculously healed. In conclusion, no atheists/skeptics can provide supernatural or miraculous claims seeing that atheists/skeptics do not share the belief in such claims. What has been investigated in medical science simply shows natural explanations to supposed "miraculous cures".

I do appreciate Pro's participation in this debate which I've thoroughly enjoyed, thank you!

Resources:

Miracle Definition: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Supernatural Definition: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Uri Geller: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Peter Popoff:

http://en.wikipedia.org...

https://www.youtube.com...
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
LOL, douchpad deleted some words while I was typing, clumsy thumbs and center douchpads are a menace to ppl with clumsy thumbs on notebooks. If it was out of the way like my original notebook, it would be a touchpad, but since it does silly things with clumsy thumbs it is a douchpad.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Yes Sfaulkner, I have experienced many Out Of Body Experiences and apparitions, yet, I know full well that all are Hallucinations. The surgery visions of my floating above my body during surgery were my mind's own construction during REM awakening as my sense of hearing had not shut down and I was constructing the image from the knowledge that I was in surgery and from what I could hear going on around me.
On awakening I realized it was a hallucination as the equipment (heart monitor) that was on my right in my vision looking down on myself from above, should have been on my left in the vision, but since I was painting the vision from my hearing (unit was on my right while laying on my bed) and it was sounding in my right ear, it appeared on my right when looking down on myself, when it should have been on the left.
Thus it was a hearing constructed hallucination. The anesthetic also likely had something to do with it.

My other OOBEs were either from drugs I was using or caused again by my hearing being active while sleeping.
Some apparitions were due to being semiconscious when people walk into my room or walk past me, I don't pick them up at the time, but recall somebody walking or talking to me, much later when I awake.
I sometimes answer back, but this is also due to being semiconscious during REM periods when the frontal cortex (awareness) is somewhat detached from the rest of the brain.
This is the period when many people can talk and walk and say all stupid things, because the primary Executive function (control center) is not functioning fully. (REM period)

I strongly that these are the primary cause of most Near Death Experiences and others OOBEs.
So do many neurologists.
Posted by Sfaulkner 2 years ago
Sfaulkner
That's because to non-skeptics, some explainable phenomena appear supernatural.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
linateSimpleObserverofThingsTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Much of Pro's argument is counterintuitive, When an apparent supernatural event occurs to an atheist they look for possible real reasons and often find them. Con explained this well and provided evidence against Props evidence. As well as better sources.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
linateSimpleObserverofThingsTied
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Reasons for voting decision: It's not Con's job to prove miracles, it's Pro's. Con defeated "miraculous" claims.