The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
jinxtedium
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

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

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
jinxtedium
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/18/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,186 times Debate No: 32669
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (3)

 

dairygirl4u2c

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

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 here's another
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...

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.
jinxtedium

Con

I'd like to note this is my second debate and English is not my first language, I apologize in advance for any grammar or debate structure mistakes.

Just analyze the inverse of what you ask. What happens to a theist would not have been understood as a miracle for an atheist. The theist INTERPRETED it as a miracle, while a mind that tends to the logical would find some other types of reasoning and explanations. If you were Indian, it would have been Karma for whatever you did you thought was a good enough deed.

Just to give you an example using your own article: the baby had Herpex Simplex, (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com...) which one of its most known characteristics is going into remission, where the visible symptoms disappear. So, proving that events interpreted as miracles by a theist is pointless, because it for sure happened to someone else that did not interpret it as a miracle. The doctor validates this by saying that there was a 50% percent chance of survival, for arriving to this statistic, other surviving cases must have happened, and in these last century, there haven't been that many dead Popes.

For the debates sake, my approach will be different than what your other opponents have used, I will give you some of the examples you want, but I will not focus on them. I will prove that the inverse of your argument is false which renders the original argument also false. It is very easy to show that the heavily documented and supposedly scientifically inexplicable nature is an assumption and even without being an expert in whatever relevant field, a scientific explanation could be given.

Examples of 'miraculous events' to non-theists (I'll try to find events very similar or at least of the same caliber as your past arguments. They have focused on medicine.)

http://www.nytimes.com...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

A man falls 47 stories from a scaffold with his own brother and survives and recovers, while his own brother who was with him dies.

Pretty much all accidents it would have been difficult to pray before they happened, so one has to assume they could also happen around non-religious people.

A well-known atheist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking:

http://www.latimes.com...

Diagnosed with motor neuron disease at the age of 21. At the time doctors gave him a life expectancy of two years. He is 71 now.

As you mentioned, alternative explanations (especially scientific) could be found for these examples the same as the ones you've given in your past debates:

http://www.revelife.com...

A woman is relieved of pain when an unknown old man smiles at her at the hospital. (The Placebo Effect is well documented especially with pain, which is a highly psychological and subjective symptom).

http://www.mindpowernews.com...

A man’s cancer goes into remission after visiting a saint’s tomb. (Assuming the tomb visit is the cause of the cure is jumping to conclusions, the same weight should be given to the fact that he was getting treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy)

Because my opponent seems so dissatisfied with her past opponents regarding this issue, I’ll address every part of her arguments and try to avoid semantics as requested.

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

I find interesting that you now use the word apparently and supernatural (different from theist); I’m not going into semantics, but I think you have realized people tend to interpret their world through a filter made of their beliefs. This concept is very important in our debate because what one decides to interpret as a miracle is mostly based on the preconceptions of what a miracle should be. The most crucial effect of this bias is that one tends to favor information that confirms one’s beliefs or hypothesis and unconsciously ignore or invalidate evidence to the contrary. This effect, called confirmation bias, is usually stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. To summarize, this means theists will tend to interpret unusual events as miracles, and atheists (or agnostics, scientists, logical personality types) will tend to explain it by what they think is rational or logical thought (i.e. scientific).

-‘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’

Continuing from the last paragraph, one can easily assume then that these supposedly inexplicable events will happen with the same frequency to the non-theist population. I’ve given a few examples and I’ll add a larger list at the end. Very important also is that the term ‘scientifically inexplicable’ term is actually seldom used by most scientists. To a scientist, nothing is unexplainable, because logical hypothesis can be raised to explain any situation based on evidence, the limit will almost always be the limits of current technology in measuring whatever needs explaining, or the impossibility of reproducing what needs study. Most natural phenomena has been heavily explained in the last century only. The currents “unknowns” of current science are either too small to measure with current tech (I.e. particle physics), too big or too far away (astro-physics), or invisible to our current instruments (dark matters). My point is that to scientists (the majority also tend to be non-theists) unknowns in our world such as miracles are more like a challenge to solve a puzzle. People have to learn to live with the fact that there will always be people that want and can explain ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING with science, especially people with beliefs. So because I am your opponent in this debate, I have to take the position that scientifically inexplicable events do not exist. I am simply presenting unusual events, interpretation is up to the reader.

-‘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. ‘

As explained before, I reemphasize that these documentations of miraculous events are indeed very common but they still are an interpretation of an event, by definition, a theistic intervention is impossible to prove.

-‘most credible people don’t dispute hat things appear to be miracles, just that they claim there's alterative explanations.’

What are the requirements to be credible? Because this is mostly opinion so I won’t argue for or against it.

-‘im not going to do a bunch of work to find them when it's readily available. . ‘

I don’t mind searching for evidence myself, as I enjoy very much discovering or learning new things or clearing doubts. I think in this debate setting, bringing the evidence yourself will certainly raise the validity of your statements; saying you won’t do the work harms your credibility. You did present 2 sources in one of your other debates.

**** I have run out of space, if my opponent desires to leave her second round blank it's OK with me. I assure the Pro all her points will be adressed in the remaining text. ****

Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

i thank u for trying to use examples. i suppose id say the examples you use are not as strong as the examples theists could use. your examples invovle natural explanations.
here's one that you cannot or have not shown to happen theists, or something like it...

Among the many miracles of healing attributed to Padre Pio, some are so unusual & unique that they have been the subject of much discussion & controversy in medical circles. In these particular cases, the person who has been healed lives a completely normal life afterward, even though they continue to have all the physical symptoms of their illness. From a scientific viewpoint, they are still sick. One such person is Gemma di Giorgi.

her in person testimony. seeing w out pupils defies explanation. u can rummage up plausible theories, stretching it type stuff. but you cannot explain it, and it's inexplicable and appears supernatural. looks like a miracle is most obvious

Gemma di Giorgi was born on Christmas day in 1939, in the Sicilian town of Ribera. Almost immediately, her mother realized that her eyes were different from other children's eyes. The truth was, Gemma was blind. Her mother took her to a doctor who was unable to determine the gravity of her condition. She was referred to two specialists in Palermo. They determined that Gemma had no pupils in her eyes; that nothing could be done for her blindness; that her condition was inoperable. Gemma's family was desperate, but there was nothing they could do. Her parents often took her to Mary's altar in the church to pray because they felt it would take a miracle to heal her eyes.

A relative who was a nun, advised the family to seek out Padre Pio. Her advice gave the family a ray of hope. Gemma's grandmother asked the nun to write a letter to Padre Pio on Gemma's behalf.

When the nun returned to her convent, she wrote to Padre Pio asking him to pray for Gemma. One night the nun saw him in a dream. Padre Pio asked her, "Where is this Gemma for whom so many prayers are being offered that they are almost deafening?" In her dream she introduced Gemma to Padre Pio & he made the sign of the cross on her eyes. The next day the nun received a letter from Padre Pio in which he wrote, "Dear daughter, rest assured that I will pray for Gemma. I send you my best wishes."

The nun was struck by the coincidence of the dream & the letter that followed so she wrote to the family & encouraged them to take Gemma to see Padre Pio. And so it was, that in 1947, the grandmother took 7 year old Gemma to San Giovanni Rotondo to see Padre Pio, praying & hoping all the while for a miracle.

On the trip from Sicily to San Giovanni Rotondo, Gemma's eyesight began mysteriously functioning.

About halfway to their destination, Gemma began to see the sea & a steamship & she told this to her grandmother. Her grandmother as well as other friends who were accompanying them, all marveled & began to pray. While Gemma's grandmother recognized the miracle that had taken place, she was still preoccupied by the idea of seeking Padre Pio's intercession in the matter. At San Giovanni Rotondo, Padre Pio called Gemma by name before the child was ever presented to him. He heard her confession, & even though she made no mention of her blindness, he touched her eyes with the wounded part of his hand, tracing the sign of the cross. At the end of the confession, as he blessed her, he said, "Sii buona e santa." (Be good & saintly)

The grandmother was upset that Gemma had forgotten to ask Padre Pio for the grace of a healing while she was in the confessional & so she began to cry. Gemma became upset also & began to cry. The grandmother went to confession to Padre Pio & in her own words, "I asked the grace for Gemma & I told Padre Pio that Gemma was weeping because, in her confession with him she had forgotten to ask this grace. I will never forget his soft & tender voice as he answered me with these words, "Do you have faith, my daughter? The child must not weep & neither must you for the child sees, & you know she sees." I understood then that Padre Pio was alluding to the sea & the ship Gemma had seen during the trip & that God had used Padre Pio to break through the darkness that covered Gemma's eyes." The same day, Padre Pio gave Gemma her first Holy Communion & again made the sign of the cross over each of her eyes.

When Gemma returned to Sicily her eyes were again examined by a specialist. The doctor held up various objects in front of her & she was able to see each one of them. She was able to count the doctor's fingers at a distance of sixteen feet. Gemma, even though without pupils, had her eyesight. The doctor declared that Gemma's eyes were in no condition to see. There was no medical explanation for it.

Many doctors from all over Italy requested to examine Gemma's eyes. This extraordinary cure, & the prophecy preceding it, aroused enormous interest in the Italian press during the summer of 1947. Gemma's sight continued to improve & she was able to go to school & learn how to read & write. She was able to lead a perfectly normal life.

So what must the conclusion be? Simply that while Gemma & her grandmother were traveling to San Giovanni Rotondo to ask for healing grace, the grace came to them through the intercession of Padre Pio's prayers before they had even arrived at their destination. God, for His own mysterious reasons, had wanted it to happen this way.
jinxtedium

Con

****Continuing from my first round****
-‘someone can see with no retinas even though this seems scientifically impossible etc, just to use an example.’

You have mentioned this many times before but my search for this case was futile. I read some explanations from another one of your opponents so I will add my educated guess. There are very few reasons why someone could have no retina, the most probable is by retinal detachment. Ironically, one of the symptoms is a highly diminished vision especially central, but almost never total blindness, as most of the retina falls but very rarely it dies completely. So yeah, with all types of retinal separation, or loss, vision is very rarely completely lost. If I assume all of the retina is lost, many ways of “seeing” exist for the blind, a few are mentioned in the other debate. The blind have been known to use echolocation, like bats or dolphins, and are able to see their environment. I don’t think you were referring to alternate seeing so I won’t go further.

-‘here here's another http://usatoday30.usatoday.com......’

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but this case is not even unusual, a common virus with a 50% probability of surviving feels more like a forced reason to classify it for a miracle, especially if one is needed that appears connected to a man that is in the process of beatification. The scientific explanation is definitely given. I remember the death of Pope John Paul II particularly because it fell on my birthday. I’m closer to the kid’s hospital so maybe I made the miracle. My intent is not to disrespect, it is to bring the point that this particular case is not of “scientifically unexplainable” and for it to be classified a miracle it needed a gigantic jump to connect it to a dying Pope halfway around the world. Other events seem a lot more reasonable to argue that they could be miracles.

-‘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)’

Shows confirmation bias from both sides, as explained before.

-‘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.’

Great example of confirmation bias, when one wants to see miracles, one can see them everywhere on situations that happen identically or very similarly to the rest of the population. For example, if one is a theist and is very poor and hungry and finds a 20 dollars on the floor, he will tend to see it as a miracle. The same situation happens to a theist and he would just consider himself lucky. Further extending this example, to the theist this is worthy of being told and would share the story of his miracle as much as possible. A story like that would never be considered newsworthy. The girl from one of your sources, who is suddenly relieved of pain, also would never appear on the news. There is a high degree of truth to this claim. Out of a religious context, the story is as interesting as someone with a headache taking a Tylenol. So yes, because it is not interesting to an atheist, they will not remember it happened, even though it happens to everyone.

-‘but you'd think there's at least be noteworthy evidence, or something, at least, that shows it happens to atheists etc’

To be newsworthy it needs to be sufficiently unique to be interesting. I noticed while I was doing my research that the degree of uniqueness of the articles about miracles was far lower than the events in the mainstream news out of a theist context. A sick newborn gets better VS Stephen Hawking survives 50 years a deadly disease, changes our understanding of black holes all while the only movement he can do is a spasm in his right cheek; a girl is relieved of pain after back surgery with a smile VS man survives and walks 47 story fall where his brother died. There is little doubt this events happens to atheists too, but for you to start seeing them you will probably only notice the very rare events without any religious context. Maybe the man that fell had an angel looking out for him? We can never know.

-‘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.’

If you need atheists to explicitly say that certain events appear as miracles and that they can’t explain them then you are right a percent close to zero is the probability of you seeing them. Experiences in life are known to be very similar between members of a common culture, regardless of beliefs, so yes, they happen equally, if not more to atheists (theists have a tendency by personality to be more conservative and avoid risky situations). Maybe you are the one that is going need to show the atheists around you the miracles they are part of and they can’t see, or just keep quiet and enjoy the moment. Think about it, you are pretty much assuming no special moments can happen to atheists so they are pretty much miserable people? I hope you are more satisfied with my response than with your other debates, and I’m very interested in reading your thoughts.

Pseudo-Miracles?:

- Dead Woman Wakes After Onset of Rigor Mortis

http://www.foxnews.com...

- Black and White Twins

http://www.dailymail.co.uk...

- Teen Lives 118 Days Without a Heart

http://www.reuters.com...

- Man Holds Own Skull

http://news.bbc.co.uk...

- Baby Born with Two Rare Conditions Beats 1-in-500 Million Chance

http://www.journallive.co.uk...

- Comatose Man Wakes After 19 Years in a Coma

http://news.bbc.co.uk...

Sources:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[others I forgot…]

****End of Round 1****

Your round 2 was about Gemma di Giorgi so I’ll focus on her and allow you to respond to the rest of my round 1 and two on our last one.

I’ll try to be objective about this case, even though it is largely anecdotal and no verifiable proof of how this happened or at least the relevant medical details have been provided.

NOTES:

-Cured is a giant overstatement, it’s evident from the video, her mannerisms, and even in the anecdote, that she can barely see.

Anecdotal evidence is seldom accepted as evidence because they have a tendency to distort over time, especially memories about childhood on a 70+ year old woman. I will assume this anecdote as true and explain why this case is further proof of confirmation bias. I emphasize this debate is about showing situations that can be considered miracles by theists also happen to atheist. The veracity of miracles is irrelevant to this discussion.

The pupil is the name of the hole located in the center of the iris of the eye. Interestingly, with diseases in the optical visual pathway, some degree of vision is expected, and rarely lead to total blindness.

Medical evaluations are mentioned but I found zero evidence of this. So supposed medical references are rendered null and we are left with the anecdote we assumed as true.

I will show some reasoning jumps and conclude next.

Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

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...

here is a list of incurable diseases, that were cured
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.

--------------------------------

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.
jinxtedium

Con


My plan was to show some examples of reasoning jumps in this round, but I’ve realized it’s a futile endeavor. The pro hasn’t addressed not even a single of my arguments. Rounds 1 and 2 constrained himself to the few sentences I explained there was little medical evidence, oblivious to the fact that I always followed this sentences by saying I was assuming everything as true. Instead of showing evidence, she copy and pasted more similar examples without addressing any of my points.


I started the debate by saying that so as to approach this debate differently from her past ones. The point of this debate was showing that the situations considered miracles to theists, also happen to atheists. I presented the requested examples to get this issue out of the way. And move on to my inverse approach to her argument: to show how an atheist in the same situation considered miracle by a theist, would view the events. In no way I was asking trying to falsify the miracles, actually it was the total opposite, I was assuming the events as true and put an atheist in the theists shoes to show how he would view the events in another way and why it appears to my opponent that they don’t happen.


Cutting the copy and paste from her sources, this is her actual responses:


-‘i thank u for trying to use examples. i suppose id say the examples you use are not as strong as the examples theists could use. your examples invovle natural explanations.


here's one that you cannot or have not shown to happen theists, or something like it...’



-‘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.’



Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Chase200mph 3 years ago
Chase200mph
A lack of evidence doesn't lend itself to the existence of magic.....
Posted by Chase200mph 3 years ago
Chase200mph
A lack of evidence doesn't lend itself to the existence of magic.....
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
"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."

i ended the debate with this point. and i'd also add, if there's documentation and strong evidence etc, then where is something that is comparable happening to atheists?
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 3 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
"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."

i ended the debate with this point. and i'd also add, if there's documentation and strong evidence etc, then where is something that is comparable happening to atheists?
Posted by vmpire321 3 years ago
vmpire321
atheists call it luck
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Anon_Y_Mous 3 years ago
Anon_Y_Mous
dairygirl4u2cjinxtediumTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: This isn't intended as a votebomb. Con actually won every category. Con wins conduct because Pro has been repeatedly posting an identical debate, only to make a slight revision on the topic when they lose. S/g goes to Con because he appears to have one of those computers with that newfangled shift key. Arguments go to Con because Pro didn't respond to many of Con's arguments, and Con made many valid points. Sources go to Con because they used more sources, and they were more reliable.
Vote Placed by jdog2016 3 years ago
jdog2016
dairygirl4u2cjinxtediumTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Dairy Girl, you are ignorant as hell.
Vote Placed by rottingroom 3 years ago
rottingroom
dairygirl4u2cjinxtediumTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con made more convincing arguments and used a plethora of sources to rebut pro's claims. Pro made no attempts to address Con's rebuttals.