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Author Topic: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?  (Read 4468 times)

RandallS

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #45 on: November 07, 2012, 08:26:11 am »
Quote from: EJay;79970
I guess I'm thinking along the lines of a "miracle" going against what we call Truth.  Walking on water, flying, disappearing...  Those things defy what I now hold to be True.  If someone can defy my basic physics, then perhaps I'm stoopid and everything I've ever held to be self-evident is wrong and I should follow this guy..........

We can do all of those things today -- and to someone who did not know the science behind them they can appear miraculous. Since we don't know everything, I expect things to happen that I not only do not understand but that go against what I have believed about reality.  So the fact that I'm wrong about some being impossible does not make me think I'm stupid or that the person who shows me my error has some supernatural ability that means everything he says about reality must be accepted because he can do X which I thought impossible.
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BunnyMaz

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #46 on: November 07, 2012, 02:50:15 pm »
Quote from: SkySamuelle;79977
I think you are assuming what corresponds your definition of miracle undermines completely any polytheistic vision of life and that the one deity theorically able of those miracles is the Christian god.

Let's put this this way: if tomorrow you witnessed  a ritual in Apollo's honor, and the ritualist channeling Him healed a terminal cancer patient with a few weeks left to live, would you be ready to dedicate yourself to Apollo on the spot?
If you went to vodou fet and witnessed a 'real' possession from the Lwa, would you become a vodouisant?

If you discovered that a devotee of Brighid learned to turn water in beer, would you become Brighid's?

Hypothesis: if i didn't doubt a miracle worker and yet I thought, as I did before, that there's no 'one true way' to Enlightenment, why would I ever take hir way on mine?

On a personal level, I would not care how flashy are the tricks, I wouldn't probably want to be around a person that proclaims being 'the light and the way'- it would make me to roll my eyes too much.

 
This is a really good point.

I don't believe that my Gods, my morals, my worship and my path are the ONLY true, or ONLY correct way.  I don't believe that any other person's Gods are false unless proven otherwise and that mine are true.

How could I be a member of a Pagan forum - where we all have different Gods, different beliefs and different practices - where even two people who acknowledge the same deity have different ideas of how to practice, or where two people of the same or a similar path may have different Gods - if I thought everyone else on this forum was deluded?

With that in mind, the concept that another person somewhere may gain special abilities through their faith has exactly zero impact on my beliefs.  So, that person's Gods are powerful, eh?  Good for them.  Unless I'm unhappy on my path, or looking to incorporate something new into it, why would I change?

Not to mention, I personally disagree deeply with evangelism.  I consider faith a private thing that you may choose to discuss with others, but that you shouldn't try to push onto anyone.  The Gods will find the people they want, and visa versa.  It's not for me to try to influence them, so having someone show off their "miracles" and then try to convince me to abandon my path is automatically going to get side-eye from me for being rude and presumptuous.

EJay

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #47 on: November 08, 2012, 07:16:17 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;79982
You're also assuming that we'd be able to TELL something was a "true miracle" as opposed to a "good con".  What's the difference, REALLY?  If I've discovered how antigrav works, and can hover in front of you, it's not a miracle to ME - but it still is to YOU.  No laws are violated, just new ones discovered.

It looks like you're saying that any miracle that cannot be explained MUST be God and ergo we must be wrong.  I'm saying that a miracle doesn't PROVE anything.  What the person DOES with them might make me believe there's enlightenment going on, maybe, but someone with flashy tricks acting like a jackass isn't going to prove anything other than the whole power-corrupts thing.


I'm not trying to go on assumptions that flashy tricks are enough to convert us, not in this day and age.  But what would?  Is there anything that would convince you to change your beliefs?  Or is it all personal gnosis?

What would it take to convince you that a different Truth offers, perhaps, a better path your own?
If you understand, things are just as they are.  If you do not understand, things are just as they are.

mlr52

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2012, 07:45:15 am »
Quote from: EJay;80074

What would it take to convince you that a different Truth offers, perhaps, a better path your own?

 
When I am no longer content with the path I am on.

My personal understanding is that all paths have or lead to a part of the Truth, no one path has all of it.
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RandallS

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2012, 07:58:20 am »
Quote from: EJay;80074
What would it take to convince you that a different Truth offers, perhaps, a better path your own?

My own thoughts. I could decide a religious/spiritual belief system is better for me than my current one -- I done it before, after all. However, attempts to proselytize me have always failed and likely always will. Miracles as a method of proselytizing probably always would fail as they only convince me that you can do unusual thing X, not that your views on reality/spirituality/religion are better than mine. The ability to perform something considered miraculous  says nothing about the correctness or incorrectness of your religious/spiritual/moral claims.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2012, 08:29:58 am by RandallS »
Randall
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HeartShadow

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #50 on: November 08, 2012, 08:21:16 am »
Quote from: EJay;80074
I'm not trying to go on assumptions that flashy tricks are enough to convert us, not in this day and age.  But what would?  Is there anything that would convince you to change your beliefs?  Or is it all personal gnosis?

What would it take to convince you that a different Truth offers, perhaps, a better path your own?

 
Better questions than the ones I have, better ways of finding answers that lead to better outcomes.

My faith is grounded in the fact that THIS world - I don't know for sure about anything else, but I know this world exists.  I'll change my beliefs if something else works better, and I'll certainly /listen/ if I hear something that sounds like it might work - but this world, real outcomes.  Anything else is navel-gazing to me.

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #51 on: November 08, 2012, 08:47:41 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;80081
My faith is grounded in the fact that THIS world - I don't know for sure about anything else, but I know this world exists.  I'll change my beliefs if something else works better, and I'll certainly /listen/ if I hear something that sounds like it might work - but this world, real outcomes.  Anything else is navel-gazing to me.

 
Not just real outcomes: consistent ones.  (I suspect you agree with me on this.)

"This happened once" is a real outcome, but if I have no idea how to get there other than mimic things that I think might be related and it never happens again, that's utterly unuseful.  A plaintive hope that maybe someday someone will hit on something that works a teeny bit better isn't enough to do major life-changes on.  Now is where I am now; it's where I have to do things.

Sacrificing now for the sake of a maybe is a bad deal.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

SkySamuelle

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #52 on: November 08, 2012, 08:53:09 am »
Quote from: EJay;80074
I'm not trying to go on assumptions that flashy tricks are enough to convert us, not in this day and age.  But what would?  Is there anything that would convince you to change your beliefs?  Or is it all personal gnosis?

What would it take to convince you that a different Truth offers, perhaps, a better path your own?

 
The core truth is, I love my gods and my religious practice, and not with the kind of impersonal, distant love you can discard on the flip of a coin. I love the fact my religion helps me not only to cope better with the difficulties of ordinary life, but to be an overall better person. I love the fact it keeps me changing and awake and thinking and I love my gods for who they are, beyond what they do for me.

Experience teaches me that unless I go through a several and fundamental personality change I can't find the same fullfillment in any form of Christianity or monotheism.

In order to switch religion again I should find a religion that makes me to feel the same things I do in my current practice and more, or I should grow so completely disillusioned in my current religion that I can't bear associating myself with it anymore.

Miracles have little bearing in both possibilities.;)
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Sophia C

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #53 on: November 08, 2012, 09:39:34 am »
Quote from: SkySamuelle;80088
In order to switch religion again I should find a religion that makes me to feel the same things I do in my current practice and more, or I should grow so completely disillusioned in my current religion that I can't bear associating myself with it anymore.

Miracles have little bearing in both possibilities.;)


This. I did change my religion relatively recently because the miracle of an enspirited world broke in, along with some gods I actively wanted to worship.

And now that I think about it, that was fairly miraculous. And not at all flashy.

I don't know if my brain could deal with another paradigm shift along those lines, although I'm always open to new spiritual possibilities - but I have a feeling that these deities have me for life now. More could come along, of course, and others could say goodbye. But the worldview is probably here to stay. And any god who wanted to be the only one in my worldview would be unlikely to be interested in me, and vice versa.
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EJay

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #54 on: November 10, 2012, 02:12:50 am »
Quote from: EJay;79414
...

 
Thanks y'all for the responses.  They were interesting and about what I expected:  Mr. Barnum would be wasting his time here.

I don't think there's anything that could change my fundamental faith and beliefs--I've spent years questioning and refining.  However, the minutiae will always be flexible.
If you understand, things are just as they are.  If you do not understand, things are just as they are.

mlr52

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #55 on: November 10, 2012, 06:45:40 am »
Quote from: EJay;80321
Thanks y'all for the responses.  They were interesting and about what I expected:  Mr. Barnum would be wasting his time here.

 
P.T. Barnum was an entertainer out to make money, not change peoples faith.  One of his weakness was a lot of people, did not apply critical thinking to what he promised them, and what he gave them.
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RandallS

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #56 on: November 10, 2012, 08:38:30 am »
Quote from: EJay;80321
Thanks y'all for the responses.  They were interesting and about what I expected:  Mr. Barnum would be wasting his time here.

I don't think P.T. Barnum has much to do with this question -- or at least he should not. Barnum was a showman out to make money by giving people showy "miracles" and "unusual people/animals/things". His stuff was often fake but entertaining in the same was professional wrestling is. Neither Barnum nor pro wrestling were/are out to convince people to change their core beliefs about reality, just to get them to part with some cash to see fake but entertaining stuff.

For the purposes of this discussion, I've been assuming the miracles were real not fake.
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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #57 on: November 10, 2012, 06:40:24 pm »
Quote from: EJay;79414



Nope. The way I see it, God is behind every genuine miracle out there, he just doesn't care to claim credit for each and every one. I would definitely listen to whatever the 'miracle worker' had to say about their way, though. You can never know where the next nugget of insight is going to come from.
'You created us restless, O Lord, and we find no rest until we rest in You.'
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Nyktipolos

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Re: If You Witnessed a Miracle, Would It Be Enough to Change Your Faith?
« Reply #58 on: November 11, 2012, 04:52:27 am »
Quote from: RandallS;80342
For the purposes of this discussion, I've been assuming the miracles were real not fake.

So was I (although I just watched, didn't participate). Although rather from a much more practical stand point, like a family member or friend being miraculously healed. Which in the end would require me to change nothing about my belief (miracles happen, other gods exist, other afterlives exist), just offer worship or reasonable sacrifice in thanks.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 04:53:23 am by Nyktipolos »
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