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The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

scientifically inexplicable things occur, apparently supernatural, but not to atheists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/2/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,462 times Debate No: 36286
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)




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)

here is a list of incurable diseases, that were cured

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.

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.


First I'm going to explain why scientifically inexplicable things DON'T happen to atheists. It's because they don't happen at all. there is no such thing as faith healing or the like. We don't believe things that are supernatural happen, and therefore look for more rational answers. When confronted with the extraordinary, we do not accept magic to be an answer. Have you heard of James Randi? This won't of course be enough but I would like to point out that his organization is offering a million dollar prize for anyone who can prove the supernatural.(1) As you may have already guessed, it has yet to be won. If you really can prove it, contact him, win a million dollars. This is because faith healing, like magic, is all a mixture of trickery and emotion. People like Peter Popoff are great examples of this, he works by knowing things about people that he couldn't possibly know, such as their name and sickness, as if he is receiving a message from god. Then with the entire crowed emotional he will "smite" their arthritis or throw out their walker. They are healed! Nope, just high on emotion makes them feel better. This has been know to kill people, faith healers claiming cancer is gone, so people don't get treatment.

However, that's not all of what you mentioned. Firstly, the "scientific" documentation of miracles, was not done by a scientist. I found no mention of him anywhere else on the internet. Not to mention the lack of evidence, only a short paragraph. The website itself says that anyone skeptical will find it laughable... and they were right. As for your others, I conclude that Wikipedia is a reliable source, but I disagree with these so called "incurable" diseases. I argue that there is no such thing as an incurable disease, proven by your own sources and my own(2). This does not mean, however, that science can cure all diseases, only that they are curable. The bodies immune system is an amazing thing, and while there may not yet be a medicinal cure for these diseases the immune system can, in rare instances, rid the body of disease.

What more would I require of you? Win the million dollars. I am sincere as well. I am no scientist, I cannot claim to know all there is about medicine. The people from the James Randi foundation are scientists, and will not be fooled by tricks, cheap or elaborate. If you wish to convince skeptics worldwide, then have science really confirm what you "know" to be true. You say it shouldn't be hard to find miracles happening to atheists, I disagree. Try it.

Debate Round No. 1


it was a simple request. i showed some things that could be said to appear supernatural happening to theists, and i asked for something similar happening to atheists. this wasn't done.
even if there are natural explanations, there should at least be something equivalent looking happening to atheists.

also, i showed plenty of credible links and organizations and people there. look closer if you dont see it, and search the internet for corraborating evidence of what's posted.
your points. randi. he may have too high of standards for gauging the supernatural. if he expects reproduciblity it isn't somethjing that should be expected, even if miracles occurred. an eye might spontaneously regenerate, but that dosn't mean you can make it happen to someoen else. also, tehre is always a possible natural explanation, but to a certain extent it's going to far to think this should be the case. if the eye grows back, it defies all known laws. does that mean there are laws that says it could grow back? possibly. it could also possibly be a miracle. straightforward, that's what it looks like.

"you say it shouldnt be hard to find miracle happening to atheists. i disagree" so where are the examples? they dont have be 'miracles' per se, but things that appear supernatural, something like teh examples ive shown etc etc. in any case, it was a simple request, and the whole point of the debate,.... and it wasn't honored.


I'm not sure exactly what you want from me. I am arguing that scientifically inexplicable things do not occur. Trying to find examples of such happening to atheists would be against my argument. Not only that, but it doesn't happen. As far as my previous point goes about there not being incurable illnesses, I was merely playing devils advocate. After reexamining your sources, the incurable illnesses that have been "cured", were either not cured, or falsely diagnosed to begin with. Many of these diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, often go into remission, sometimes lasting for life. This is not a cure, it is merely in remission.

Again, not sure what you want, somehow I'm not honoring my side of the debate? We may have to rematch because as far as I'm concerned I've done what has been asked of me...
Debate Round No. 2


actually, you didn't do what was asked of you. i asked you to show examples of things that appear supernatural, as i have done with the theists. all you did is try to argue how it's not supernatural to begin with. even if that was true, you should be able to find the examples.

as to multiple sclerosis, i have heard that it goes into spontaneous remission. im sure the medical books document it if that's true. but there's plenty of other diseases listed on there, eye damage disease, nerves, vessel damage etc. that do not have explanations. perhaps there are explanations, but again the point of the debate is for someone to show those sorts of things happening to atheists or in a nonreligouis context.
examp[les of mutiple sclerosis dont count as ive acnowledged that science says it happens naturall sometimes.

it was a simple request, and the whole point of the debate, and it wasn't honored.


Well I would never try to convince someone miracles exist, and if that was what you wanted then I loose. But, the title states "scientifically inexplicable things occur, apparently supernatural, but not to atheists", and I chose to argue the point that miracles don't happen to anyone. It is still Con, and I see nowhere in your posts that says I am to find miracles happening to atheists. Also, if a miracles happened to an atheist (assuming miracles happen at all), they would no longer be an atheist. So I guess this turns out to be an argument over what the argument is about, and if I thought I was wrong I would concede, but I still think I held my side.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DMiller584 3 years ago
About that Lourdes nonsense ...
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
i dont know what happened to all the votes cast in this debate that are now gone. something similar happened in the other debate. maybe they are posters who came and deactivate or something? i had twenty against Duncan in that debate for example. was six v six in the other one and now not etc
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
i like this example. not that there's plenty to be said con to me.

Age 41, from Le Lion-d'Angers, France. Recurrent right hemiplegia, with ocular lesions, due to bilateral carotid artery disorders. Symptoms, which included headache, impaired speech and vision, and partial right-side paralysis began without warning in February 1964. During the next six years he became a wheelchair user, and nearly blind. While on pilgrimage to Lourdes in April 1970, he felt a sudden warmth from head to toe, his vision returned, and he was able to walk unaided. His cure was recognised on 17 June 1978.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
i wouldnt count NDE's as a miracle or apparently supernatural etc.
i can see the rasoning, but i am looking for something more akin to traditional "miracles".
to roy's point, as i said some where else, im sure there are spontaneous remissions with athessts. all im aware of with atheists though, is that they occur when it's established scientifically that they could occur. like multiple sclerosis. but there are examples that are not expected scientifically. and i dont see them happening to atheists. perhaps they just are not as noted as much, but you'd think there would be examples. i admit that lourdes is somewhat of a miracles making machine, in that statisticailly with the millions of people there, that it would show examples that could be said to be mere probability. athestis dont have something like that. but, still, something should be said about what theists are able to show,t hat athetists are not.
Posted by DMiller584 3 years ago
One point I want to make is that belief in the Christian god iss not necessary for a belief in an afterlife.
Posted by DMiller584 3 years ago
Almost left out this one
Hello from Heaven
Posted by DMiller584 3 years ago
I guess a visit to heaven ought to suffice as supernatural - HUH?
Maybe a conversation with someone who died and returned to living after a short stay in the afterlife will qualify as "scientifically inexplicable things occur, apparently supernatural ". Or perhaps a communication with someone who is dead will do.
Here are sources that say atheists have experienced these.

Let's start with current events October 2012 Dr. Eben Alexander author of the book: " Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife"

Before he underwent his journey, he could not reconcile his knowledge of neuroscience with any belief in heaven, God, or the soul.

Thousands of people have had near-death experiences, but scientists have argued that they are impossible. Dr. Eben Alexander was one of those scientists. A highly trained neurosurgeon, Alexander knew that NDEs feel real, but are simply fantasies produced by brains under extreme stress.

For some older stuff: Dr. Raymond Moody's pioneering work in the field of near-death experiences has changed the way we perceive dying. He was the first medical doctor to study the near-death experience, and his ground-breaking book Life After Life, which was written twenty-five years ago, is still in print.
It is full of accounts some from religious believers some from atheists or agnostics of supernatural experiences surrounding their own near death or the death of others close to them.

Dr. Elizabeth Kubler - Ross
Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross draws on her in-depth research of more than 20,000 people who had near-death experiences, revealing the afterlife as a return to wholeness of spirit.
Some of the 20,000 people she interviews are atheists. Despite this they report similar experiences to those that the religious report.
Posted by yoyopizza 3 years ago
@ Ameliamk1, thanks for your vote to even out that earlier voter
Posted by Bullish 3 years ago
Uh Roy why do your votes make no sense in relation to you RFD..
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
to the person who voted against me, and to the debater who made the point once. i did not contend that miracles per se happen to theists, i said what the title said. and i noted how it doesn't happen to atheists. arguing that there might be natural explanatios doesn't detract from the fact taht the debate is about showing similar things happening to atheists that happen to theists.
i didn't say "show miracles happen to athesits" cause that terminology opens a can of worms and which gets into stuff not at the heart of teh debate. again, not that miracles do or don't occur, just supernatural appearing type stuff etc.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Things that "appear supernatural" do happen to atheists. For example, spontaneous remission occurs about 20% of the time for certain types of cancer. But Pro didn't give examples of apparent miracles, whether explained or not, he only asserted that everything could be explained. The events occur and we trust there will be an explanation someday, but they are "apparent miracles." If it were true that science in fact has explained everything then there would be no job left for scientists. Apparent miracles also occur to atheists by pure chance. The challenge was straightforward and Pro did not address "apparent miracles." Pro no caps and random punctuation loses S&G.
Vote Placed by Ameliamk1 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro seemed to fail to understand that con was not showing "miracles" happened to atheists, but that miracles do not happen to theists, which he succeeded in. Pro's entire contention was that miracles happen to Christians and not atheists, and con destroyed that Contention. Pro also needs to do better capitalization. And because the earlier vote was ridiculous, giving pro conduct and sources, I will go out of my way to tie it up.