7/04/2016 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Carl S ~
The feeding of the ﬁve thousand men using ﬁve loaves of bread and two ﬁshes. The parting of the Red Sea. Raising Lazarus from death. Why aren't there any more of those fantastic miracles to prove the truthfulness of a faith? In their beginnings, all faiths have astounding miracles and, it is claimed, these went on for centuries. What happened since then? Why are there no more big miracles to keep proving God or Allah or any of the other deities exists, if for no other reason?
What about the last Big miracle on record, in the 20th century, the alleged "Miracle of Fatima"? Thousands of believers “witnessed” the sun falling to the earth. They were the only ones who saw the sun move thus. Mass hallucination? There’s been nothing since then to make any headlines. In our time, all the miracles will eventually be attributed to natural causes. They're mc-miracles, bite-sized junk food which leave cravings for more, for those who partake of them. They're far from being satisfying, unlike the Big Convincing Miracles in the old time religion days. Obviously, something changed when "miracles” came to be researched/explained.
You'd think a god would really take serious efforts to now and then prove, through occasional Big Miracles, that he/ she is still around. If that "divinely enacted" system really worked before, then keep it up, right? And why would any self-respecting deity stoop to answering prayers by mini-miracle "signs" via selling a very un-sellable house, or by having an anonymous donor drop a large wad of money into a church's coffers, and other such trivia? Why not make one single disease disappear, since millions of believers plead for it to do so? Praise to a deity for selling an unsellable house, or even for spontaneous remission of a cancer, even if beyond the wildest expectations of the petitioners - now isn’t that undeserved to any deity claiming to be almighty?
What about those "Witnesses to miracles"? All historical eyewitness reports of miracles are hearsay. In every instance of miracle claims, shouldn't we be asking the question: Are they not "reported," but rather, "reputed," to have taken place? Aren't they rather, tricks of the senses, the brain, therefore, the imagination? Are they due to trauma, mass hysteria, temporary brain damage, or a myriad of other possible natural explanations?
What about those "Witnesses to miracles"? All historical eyewitness reports of miracles are hearsay. What about pre-Fatima, 20th century sightings by witnesses? Are they possibilities? William Manchester is highly regarded as one of America's ﬁnest historians. In his book, "The Arms of Krupp,” he details the lives of Germany's powerful family dynasty of arms manufacturers and dealers. When one of the sons, Friedrich A. Krupp (1854-1902), died, his death was not investigated, since it was likely a suicide. At the time, this would have caused a scandal. About this, the author writes, "Even the conservative press... engaged in what brieﬂy became a necrophilic obsession throughout the empire - guessing the whereabouts of Friedrich Alfred Krupp. Encouraged by the sealed cofﬁn and the absence of an autopsy, rumor spread that Fritz hadn't died at all, that he had slipped away quietly. Over the next four years, newspapers periodically published interviews with travelers who reported having seen him in America, South America, Jerusalem and the Far East."
Fritz sightings were long before Elvis sightings, and much longer after the "sightings" of a risen Jesus. Are any of these sightings "credible," as in "creed, credo, believable?" And what of all those saints who, while they lived, are the subjects of "bi-location," as eyewitnesses claimed to see them in two places, far apart, at the same time?
Whether speaking of the past or present regarding "miraculous" reports by believers, we might refer to their expectation of something "miraculous" happening in the future, and coming to pass (or not, which is a "Never mind" moment). Consider that the results of the expectation, of a “gut feeling" or intuition, usually don't pan out; believers don't think about those things. Is the expectation of a miraculous intervention and its result convincing to anyone other than themselves?
The age of Big Time miracles is gone. There's no evidence pointing to a possible reason to even slightly be inclined to believe in some kind of deity. Why should we have to take the words of delusional people or clerics with products to sell, that miracles exist? Is this all they have to offer us: some itsy-bitsy-mini crummy miracles to appease their followers and leaving them hungry for more? ‘Tis a pity. How about some old-time resurrections? You know, having some individuals come back from the dead even for a short period of time, just to go back to their families or friends before they die again? (Remember, you've read about this happening before, in one of the gospels.) Sure, they’d be no miracles on the magnitude of the earth swallowing up a huge gathering of enemies, or of manna falling from heaven for years. On the subject of manna alone - how about some bread from heaven falling on the famished millions, say, just a day’s worth? Now, any of those things would go viral. Nope.
Some people can't wait till they can die so they can get a new body free of pain and suffering, and see their deceased relatives once again. They expect a Really Big Miracle to happen to them personally. Meanwhile, as they accept such an impossibility, they keep telling themselves miracles happen all the time, even as they scrape the bottom of the barrel of incredibility to find them.
How long will it be before people realize that miraculous explanations are wishful thinking? Progress in medicine alone is delayed any time a miracle is accepted in place of pursuing natural and rational explanations; through investigation and discovery the mechanisms leading to cures are found and are repeatable.
If "Big miracles" are claimed to prove a deity exists to cause them, what do those lauded trite miracles tell us? If no one can conjure up a miracle promised by a man telling his followers: "even greater works than I have done, you will do," (walking on water, feeding ﬁve thou, raising the dead, etc.), what does that prove?
And so we have it. Let's stick with the current definitions of "miracles," such as : Amazing rescues, medical and military operations with improbable possibilities of ever succeeding, and of the remissions of cancer. Prescription drug results. Household cleaning products and wrinkle-removing skin creams. Miracle Whip in sandwiches, etc., etc.. Let's not quit investigating reputed, rather than reported, testimonies of miracles, nor those alleged rather than actual, claims. And everyone should start dealing with the "miracle" of our existing, at all. Now that's an amazing and awesome realization.