collapse

Author Topic: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?  (Read 3976 times)

EJay

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 269
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
I'm re-reading Stranger in a Strange Land and it got me to thinking.

If you witnessed a miracle--someone walking on water, changing water into wine, raising someone from the dead, hovering or flying, making things/people disappear, etc. (and you were convinced it wasn't a Criss Angel thing)--would that be enough for you to change your faith and follow that person's path toward enlightenment, heaven, etc.?

If you were promised the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you renounce your current faith and beliefs?  Even if you weren't promised that you'd get the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you still follow your beliefs or follow the miracle-worker?

Or would you look more at this person as a mutant X-Man type?
If you understand, things are just as they are.  If you do not understand, things are just as they are.

Shine

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 912
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://houseofthelion.wordpress.com/
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 11:22:56 pm »
Quote from: EJay;79414
I'm re-reading Stranger in a Strange Land and it got me to thinking.

If you witnessed a miracle--someone walking on water, changing water into wine, raising someone from the dead, hovering or flying, making things/people disappear, etc. (and you were convinced it wasn't a Criss Angel thing)--would that be enough for you to change your faith and follow that person's path toward enlightenment, heaven, etc.?

If you were promised the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you renounce your current faith and beliefs?  Even if you weren't promised that you'd get the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you still follow your beliefs or follow the miracle-worker?

Or would you look more at this person as a mutant X-Man type?

 
I'll admit I'd be impressed (albeit veeery skeptical), but it'd take more than a couple of miracles to turn me away from the Netjeru. :)
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

BunnyMaz

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 122
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 11:43:16 pm »
Quote from: EJay;79414
I'm re-reading Stranger in a Strange Land and it got me to thinking.

If you witnessed a miracle--someone walking on water, changing water into wine, raising someone from the dead, hovering or flying, making things/people disappear, etc. (and you were convinced it wasn't a Criss Angel thing)--would that be enough for you to change your faith and follow that person's path toward enlightenment, heaven, etc.?

If you were promised the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you renounce your current faith and beliefs?  Even if you weren't promised that you'd get the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you still follow your beliefs or follow the miracle-worker?

Or would you look more at this person as a mutant X-Man type?

Ehh, my faith is about more than whose God offers the fanciest tricks.  I'm on my current path after a lot of internal and external searching, because my non-religious beliefs preclude me from touching some religions with a barge pole no matter what they have to offer, and because my current path just feels so RIGHT for me.  Just because X person can say, walk on water and worships deity Y, doesn't mean deity Y is real and others are not, or that deity Y is more powerful or more deserving of acknowledgement than another.

That doesn't mean I wouldn't be impressed with the miracle-working person's gifts, but I don't see how their personal experience of faith should influence mine.  I mean, unless they're the only worshipper of a deity no one else has ever heard of, there'd be hundreds or maybe thousands of other people worshipping said deity who don't get shiny powers.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 11:47:19 pm by BunnyMaz »

Grimnir

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Posts: 48
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2012, 12:18:13 am »
Quote from: EJay;79414
I'm re-reading Stranger in a Strange Land and it got me to thinking.

 
No, but then Mike was a normal human who was taught to use his mind and body in ways the rest had never heard of. It was not about religion for him though I still don't grok 'grok'!
Kind Regards, Raven
Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel! - Fate goes ever as she shall!

EJay

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 269
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2012, 05:26:45 am »
Quote from: Grimnir;79435
No, but then Mike was a normal human who was taught to use his mind and body in ways the rest had never heard of. It was not about religion for him though I still don't grok 'grok'!


:)

I'm still trying to grok 'grok' also.

Along these lines, tho, would you follow Mike or Jesus or Jonathan Livingston Seagull?  If they showed you that "Thou Art God" and showed you a proof-positive way to transcend, would you become a convert?

In my own beliefs, I'm a panentheist who has the Pythagorean t-shirt "Thou Art God," so for me, I wouldn't have to jump ship.

My cynicism might get the best of me, tho.  The Teacher might tire of me looking for wires, mirrors, hidden mind-controlling devices, and might not wait.  Not that time matters in this case, but then it truly becomes a matter of faith.  And trust.

I don't know if I could trust anyone enough to lay all of my faith in their hands.

I guess I'm cynical about anything I haven't discovered/accepted (maybe grokked?) for myself.  I'd want to learn about how the Miracle was done, but I don't think I'd give myself over to whatever path was being put forth.

I think I'm on a good path, but I'll accept directions from anyone (doesn't mean I'll follow them, however!).

[On a side note, I love how I have a little icon here telling me I'm on a distinguished path!  I'll be sure to check back often when I have choices to make, so I can be sure I stay on that distinguished path!  I love it!  What will the icon say, tho, if I step off the distinguished path?]
If you understand, things are just as they are.  If you do not understand, things are just as they are.

EJay

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 269
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2012, 05:30:59 am »
Quote from: EJay;79464
[On a side note, I love how I have a little icon here telling me I'm on a distinguished path!  I'll be sure to check back often when I have choices to make, so I can be sure I stay on that distinguished path!  I love it!  What will the icon say, tho, if I step off the distinguished path?]


Okay.  Road.  Not path.  :)
If you understand, things are just as they are.  If you do not understand, things are just as they are.

Faemon

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 1229
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 9
    • View Profile
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 05:38:20 am »
Quote from: EJay;79414
If you witnessed a miracle--someone walking on water, changing water into wine, raising someone from the dead, hovering or flying, making things/people disappear, etc. (and you were convinced it wasn't a Criss Angel thing)--would that be enough for you to change your faith and follow that person's path toward enlightenment, heaven, etc.? If you were promised the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you renounce your current faith and beliefs?

I might follow that person's path towards power if I and they could both, but enlightenment? Not necessarily. Besides, I and they both might not be able to. Maybe I have a handicap. Maybe they never had one and don't know how to explain to someone with a handicap how to overcome it and do exactly what they do. Maybe they think it works with all these bells and whistles, but someone else can do it just as well another way that might be much simpler.

Quote
Even if you weren't promised that you'd get the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you still follow your beliefs or follow the miracle-worker? Or would you look more at this person as a mutant X-Man type?

I'd follow any illuminating studies done with them on how they do it. I might even follow them on twitter and tumblr. X-Man sounds about right, without, hopefully, the racism metaphor.
The Codex of Poesy: wishcraft, faelatry, alchemy, and other slight misspellings.
the Otherfaith: Chromatic Genderbending Faery Monarchs of Technology. DeviantArt

SkySamuelle

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 717
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
    • http://seastruckbythecrossroads.wordpress.com/
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 05:51:34 am »
Quote from: EJay;79414
I'm re-reading Stranger in a Strange Land and it got me to thinking.

If you witnessed a miracle--someone walking on water, changing water into wine, raising someone from the dead, hovering or flying, making things/people disappear, etc. (and you were convinced it wasn't a Criss Angel thing)--would that be enough for you to change your faith and follow that person's path toward enlightenment, heaven, etc.?

If you were promised the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you renounce your current faith and beliefs?  Even if you weren't promised that you'd get the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you still follow your beliefs or follow the miracle-worker?


 
No, because my faith doesn't exclude anything of the above.

I chose to turn away from Christianity because it was not for me and because it's my gods I love and I feel home with, not the trinity - I don't think there's any tangible reason I should believe that, if miracles are physically possible, they are not possible in ANY religious framework.

Also... I never thought that miracles were all that different, in substance, from  what gets potentially accomplished in successful spellcraft or pagan ritual : maybe there's less sensationalism, but it's still intent and divine presence channeled toward a tangible result.
“Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly.” ― Neil Gaiman *
Currently blogging at: http://seastruckbythecrossroads.wordpress.com/
Icon by jewelotus

RandallS

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: NE Ohio
  • Posts: 10023
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 213
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2012, 08:10:18 am »
Quote from: EJay;79414
If you witnessed a miracle--someone walking on water, changing water into wine, raising someone from the dead, hovering or flying, making things/people disappear, etc. (and you were convinced it wasn't a Criss Angel thing)--would that be enough for you to change your faith and follow that person's path toward enlightenment, heaven, etc.?

Probably not. I might learn from the person, but convert just because someone can do something I can't? Not very likely.

Of course, to put this in perspective, a fundamentalist Christian who really wanted to covert me once ask that if God volunteered to create the universe anew for me (to prove me he was indeed what he claimed to be) would I then believe. My reply was no because:

1) The ability to create a universe does not prove omnipotence or omniscience as I can easily imagine entities more powerful/knowledgeable.  After all, creating a universe might not take much more than the ability to trigger a long-lived fluctuation in the quantum vacuum.

2) The ability to create a universe is not proof that one created the universe we are in, let alone that one created everything.

Translation: Powerful/unusual abilities are unlikely to convince me.
Randall
RetroRoleplaying [Blog]: Microlite74/75/78/81, BX Advanced, and Other Old School Tabletop RPGs
Microlite20: Lots of Rules Lite Tabletop RPGs -- Many Free
OSR.SPACE: Old School Tabletop RPG Community

Grimnir

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Posts: 48
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2012, 09:42:17 am »
Quote from: EJay;79464
:)

I'm still trying to grok 'grok' also.

Along these lines, tho, would you follow Mike or Jesus or Jonathan Livingston Seagull?  If they showed you that "Thou Art God" and showed you a proof-positive way to transcend, would you become a convert?

 
There are enough people in the world already who believe they are godlike, one less won't hurt matters :) Seriously though, I'd definitely like to learn from Mike, but I really can't say if I'd ever see the world his way. We'd have some great discussions though!
Kind Regards, Raven
Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel! - Fate goes ever as she shall!

mlr52

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 781
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.GIN.michaellrichardson.com
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2012, 10:52:28 am »
Quote from: EJay;79414
I'm re-reading Stranger in a Strange Land and it got me to thinking.

If you witnessed a miracle--someone walking on water, changing water into wine, raising someone from the dead, hovering or flying, making things/people disappear, etc. (and you were convinced it wasn't a Criss Angel thing)--would that be enough for you to change your faith and follow that person's path toward enlightenment, heaven, etc.?


I encounter miracles everyday.  The flashy stuff, while impressive may get my attention, but if you want me to join, you need to live the life, so I can look at it, and then decide.

Quote

If you were promised the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you renounce your current faith and beliefs?  Even if you weren't promised that you'd get the same abilities/powers/understanding, would you still follow your beliefs or follow the miracle-worker?


What is expected of me to follow this person?  The paths I tried to follow that were laid out by others chaffed, would following this be any different?
 
Quote
Or would you look more at this person as a mutant X-Man type?


The Original X-Men or the replacements?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 10:55:21 am by mlr52 »
Light Your Candle, In Love and Service, Blessed Be.
I am a Notary Public for The State of New York, - I do not charge for Notary Fee\'s, I Live in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Maps

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 703
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2012, 11:33:58 am »
Quote from: EJay;79414



 
I'd wait for the dissertation to show up in a peer-reviewed journal before I believed anything outright. But my first gut reaction would be a that it was a "miracle" of science that they happened to be in the position to put a religious spin on. Which is fine, but I have my own gods, thanks.

mlr52

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 781
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://www.GIN.michaellrichardson.com
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2012, 11:50:16 am »
Quote from: Maps;79494
I'd wait for the dissertation to show up in a peer-reviewed journal before I believed anything outright.

I take it that you have not bought my favorite bridge in Brooklyn yet?
Light Your Candle, In Love and Service, Blessed Be.
I am a Notary Public for The State of New York, - I do not charge for Notary Fee\'s, I Live in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Maps

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 703
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2012, 12:43:28 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;79498
I take it that you have not bought my favorite bridge in Brooklyn yet?

 
Huh?

Valentine

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 936
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 77
    • View Profile
  • Religion: get free; get others free; make new life in the aftermath
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2012, 03:07:31 pm »
Quote from: Maps;79500
Huh?

 
I think it's a reference to an old joke--a reference to people's gullibility, when people used to get conned into "buying" the Brooklyn Bridge.  So there's this idiom, "If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you."  Which is to say, you're being called "not gullible."

Now, for me, I'd feel no reason to abandon my faith upon witnessing some flashy miracle, because my faith accounts for people being able to do that stuff sometimes, so it wouldn't, like, Turn My World Upside Down.
"Let be be finale of seem." - Wallace Stevens, "The Emperor of Ice-Cream"
"There isn't a way things should be.  There's just what happens, and what we do."
- Terry Pratchett, "A Hat Full of Sky"

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
3 Replies
1621 Views
Last post September 19, 2011, 10:43:53 pm
by VickyRose
25 Replies
3880 Views
Last post November 16, 2011, 02:43:20 pm
by mandrina
65 Replies
9275 Views
Last post July 17, 2014, 10:47:04 pm
by Melamphoros
5 Replies
1133 Views
Last post October 27, 2016, 08:26:08 pm
by Voren
5 Replies
455 Views
Last post June 07, 2017, 05:31:33 am
by Vixen

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 26
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall