Proof of Miracles

image_1552939090437This weekend my lover and I took a long walk in a local wooded, hilly park. It is the end of winter with barren trees, dull colors and cloudy skies — all with a beauty of its own. Without foliage, dead fallen trees stood out as they litter the forest floor. With all these trees, both of us reflected and confessed that we, ourselves, had never seen a tree fall. For all these dead trees around us, not once had we been in the forest when even one of them had fallen, and yet here they are – hundreds of fallen trees.

The Bible, and other religious texts, are full of stories of miracles — really big obvious miracles. Not subtle miracles like finding a hundred dollar bill on a sidewalk when you we short on money or like the dead sea being parted, or blind people being cured and the dead brought back to life.

One of my standard arguments against miracles has been that nowadays with almost everyone with a camera in their pocket, we get youtube witnessing of robberies, killings, accidents, hurricanes and more, but never youtube videos witnessing miracles. With all the amazing miracles religious people base their faith on, it seems they only happened at a time when there were no cameras and thus no evidence. And if they happen nowadays, it is only a miracle that no one is catching them on their cameras.

But consider the dead fallen trees as miracles. It is obvious that miracles happen, the Bible tells us so, we can read about them on any walk through the Bible. It is obvious that trees fall, we can see them in the forest on any walk. Just because we don’t see the trees fall, does not mean they don’t. It actually takes very like faith, with such trustworthy evidence, to know that trees fall or that miracles happen.  No?

Please tell me you see the problem with such logic. If you don’t, and this story moved you, then you need to embrace some religion if you haven’t already.

For fun, on my poetry blog, I tried to capture this little essay in a poem.  If you have time, tell me which works best.  See here.



Filed under Philosophy & Religion

8 responses to “Proof of Miracles

  1. rautakyy

    I have seen a couple of trees fall. I have spent a fair amount of time in the wild, and I have seen them fall on a stormy weather. But you only have my word for me having witnessed this. However, even if I had never seen a tree fall, seeing both the standing trees and fallen trees, it is no great leap of faith to assume they do fall. There are also a bunch of scientific facts about how do we know that trees do actually fall, why and what is the mechanism leading to their fall. For miracles we have no such evidence. In comparrison miracles are like unnatural trees, that you have never seen, that you have no evidence that these trees even exist at all, but merely stories about them having fallen.

    To make matters worse for miracles, even if we had such inference as the standing and fallen trees, like actual observed change from a standing tree to a fallen tree, we have no way of even investigating what caused the alledged miracles. People who talk about miralculous events run to attribute the weird events that led them to believe something unnatural happened, to all sorts of deities and other unnatural agents and then makebelief, that the rare event, they call a miracle, somehow validates their belief in the assumed force/intelligence behind it.

    Ad to injury the notion, that some religions base their entire belief system on a miracle, that nobody even wittnessed. Like Jesus rising from the dead. Now giving the Jesus stories the benefit of the doubt, that they actually tell a story about an actual person, the conclusion, that since the grave was empty, he was miraculously resurrected from actual death, is nonsensical. Far more likelier explanations (excluding that the entire story is most likely a fabrication) are that he did not die on the cross, but was taken to the grave, so that the soldiers who sold him to Joseph of Arimathea would not be punished for their failure to fulfill their duty. Or that if he was somehow revived from coma, it was done by some space aliens, simply because aliens (however extremely unlikely) are as natural agents, a far, far less extraordinary claim, than that his cell decomposition was reversed by some unnatural agent, such as a particular god.

  2. rautakyy

    Oh, by the way, I really like your new “Ouroboros” symbol.

  3. People who cannot escape the artificially imposed boundaries of naturalism in their cognition and feeling must perforce represent the world and all phenomena to themselves in a certain limited fashion. This holds true, incidentally, both for ardent athiests and stubborn religionists. (It is an oft missed fact that that many ‘believers’ cling to a deeply material worldview about things and hence represent even religious concepts to themselves in definitely naturalistic ways.) On the other hand, for people who can pierce the veil of naturalism with their thoughts and feelings, it is not difficult at all to recognize all trees, for example, whether standing or fallen, as miraculous. SUch individuals know intuitively, whether they have pursured science in their biographies or not, that science as presently constitued restricts itself only to studying the physical aspects of things — and as such can never reach through to reality, but cast a candle flicker upon one (of many) aspect of it.

  4. @rautakyy
    I hope to see a tree fall someday, and away from me.

    @ Stolzyblog
    “[I can] recognize all trees as miraculous.”
    You are so very fortunate to be on such a higher plane.

  5. Now I see where your dVerse poem came from. I agree with Stolzy, all trees, standing or not are miracles. You’ve seen time-lapsed photography of a plant sprouting from a seed, haven’t you?

  6. @msjadeli: Calling everything a miracle dilutes the word miracle, taking the focus off understanding an event to bragging about one’s own enlightened vision. That was my point to Stolzyblog.

  7. Hi Sabio, thank you for your kind words on Sound Bite Fiction.
    I don’t agree with your logic, but I have no problem with you believing in miracles or whatever else your heart and mind dictates.

  8. LOL : I doubt Ceayr is following, but in case, sorry you did not pick up on the sarcasm there — but then, you’d have to read to the end. 😉

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