Author Topic: Cause and effect and miracles  (Read 1722 times)

Offline Paolo

Cause and effect and miracles
« on: March 12, 2021, 11:36:38 AM »
Sometimes a miracle is interpreted as ''coincidence''. Let's say, if I pray for it to rain, and it rains, then the chances are small, but there is 1 in 100,000 (just a stupid and simple example). But if I pray for for a chest pain to go away, and it happens, it cannot be a mere coincidence, for it is statistically impossible for me to desire something so specific and it happens right after I said it. So there must be a cause and effect relationship. That's the problem with miracles.

How do we refute this?
Oh noes...I think I’m dead....

Offline aitm

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2021, 11:57:16 AM »
I don’t consider your scenario to be a miracle. Maybe if you prayed for a third leg or asked to fly your house to to a better location.
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline Hydra009

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2021, 12:12:52 PM »
Sometimes a miracle is interpreted as ''coincidence''.
Isn't it the other way around?  Something happens and people assume that it's some sort of miracle when it's really not.

Quote
Let's say, if I pray for it to rain, and it rains, then the chances are small, but there is 1 in 100,000 (just a stupid and simple example). But if I pray for for a chest pain to go away, and it happens, it cannot be a mere coincidence, for it is statistically impossible for me to desire something so specific and it happens right after I said it.
Both examples are basically the same thing, the only difference is that chest pain is a less common occurance, but the fallacious post hoc logic is the same.  In short, it doesn't logically follow that because something happened shortly after something else, that there is some sort of causal connection, miraculous or not.

The classic example of the post hoc fallacy is thinking about your friend calling you and shortly after, your friend calling you.  But what doesn't get examined as much as it should is the frequency with which you think about your friend and the frequency that your friend calls you.  Instances where one happened without the other go unremarked, which makes the rare roughly simultaneous event seem much less coincidental than it actually was

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2021, 12:25:09 PM »
Sometimes a miracle is interpreted as ''coincidence''

A miracle is always a coincidence by definition. There is not one scientifically accepted case of any "supernatural" event. The laws of physics remain unchallenged. A scientific accepted miracle would be the biggest event in human history. Yet with billions of faithful prayers every single day, nothing.

If the Pope himself flipped a coin 1,000 times and prayed for heads every time, his prayers would go unanswered around 500 times.

Offline Hydra009

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2021, 12:47:32 PM »
Littlewood's Law: if you define a miracle as something that very rarely happens to people - a one-in-a-million chance - then miracles happen thousands of times a day.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 01:31:52 PM by Hydra009 »

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2021, 01:25:55 PM »
Sometimes a miracle is interpreted as ''coincidence''. Let's say, if I pray for it to rain, and it rains, then the chances are small, but there is 1 in 100,000 (just a stupid and simple example). But if I pray for for a chest pain to go away, and it happens, it cannot be a mere coincidence, for it is statistically impossible for me to desire something so specific and it happens right after I said it. So there must be a cause and effect relationship. That's the problem with miracles.

How do we refute this?
First one needs to define what a miracle is.  For you, what is a miracle? 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline aitm

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2021, 07:29:15 PM »
First one needs to define what a miracle is.  For you, what is a miracle? 
Apparently heartburn stopped...
A humans desire to live is exceeded only by their willingness to die for another. Even god cannot equal this magnificent sacrifice. No god has the right to judge them.-first tenant of the Panotheust

Offline SGOS

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2021, 08:57:22 PM »
Littlewood's Law: if you define a miracle as something that very rarely happens to people - a one-in-a-million chance - then miracles happen thousands of times a day.
I actually had one of those today, I was stopped behind some guy in Traffic and he just a regular license plate, not one of those vanity plates.  The first symbols on plate were letter UGY.  I thought to myself, "That plate is 1 letter short of UGLY."  What are the chances that I would see such a plate today?  What are the chances of me even noticing a license plate on any day?  And I was 48 miles from home, not 47 or 49, but exactly 48.  What are the chances that I would see that license plate when I was exactly 48 miles from home.  The weather was predicted to be cloudy, but the sun was out when I saw it.  What are the chances I would see a standard license plate that almost spelled a funny word, when I hardly ever look at license plates, when I was exactly 48 miles from home, and the sun was out at that particular moment, when it was supposed to be a cloudy day?  I wish that I would have marked the time to the second, because seeing it exactly when I did would be amazing.

Once I saw a puddle that exactly fit the hole it was in.  How do you refute that is not a miracle?

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2021, 10:17:14 PM »
I actually had one of those today, I was stopped behind some guy in Traffic and he just a regular license plate, not one of those vanity plates.  The first symbols on plate were letter UGY.  I thought to myself, "That plate is 1 letter short of UGLY."  What are the chances that I would see such a plate today?  What are the chances of me even noticing a license plate on any day?  And I was 48 miles from home, not 47 or 49, but exactly 48.  What are the chances that I would see that license plate when I was exactly 48 miles from home.  The weather was predicted to be cloudy, but the sun was out when I saw it.  What are the chances I would see a standard license plate that almost spelled a funny word, when I hardly ever look at license plates, when I was exactly 48 miles from home, and the sun was out at that particular moment, when it was supposed to be a cloudy day?  I wish that I would have marked the time to the second, because seeing it exactly when I did would be amazing.

Once I saw a puddle that exactly fit the hole it was in.  How do you refute that is not a miracle?
:2thumbs: Gotta love it!
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2021, 10:22:24 PM »
I had a miracle happen to me yesterday.  It was raining and I had to take out the trash to the curb.  When I stepped off my porch a drop of rain hit my forehead.  How many rain drops are there in a rain cloud, especially when the rain was happening for hours.  But one hit my forehead--what would the statistical probability be of that one, that exact one, hitting me in the forehead?  It would have to be trillions and trillions (or what is larger than that? )  to 1; yet that exact rain drop hit me--gotta be a miracle.  What else could it be????
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2021, 10:55:52 PM »
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Offline Paolo

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2021, 02:43:10 AM »
You idiots don't understand. I will be more specific. Not that it will help, since the best you can do is apparently insult people.

Anyway...

The first example was a mere coincidence, it could certainly be argued.

I was wrong with my second example, though. It didn't get the point across.

Anyway, let's substitute the example...

Let's say someone with severe, almost mortal CHEST PAIN (yes, did not change much) was being ''laid hands on'' by someone who claimed to be a miracle worker. Then that person stopped feeling that pain after being prayed for. Now you would not be convincing in saying it was a coincidence, for how could the pain stop right after the praying words?

You could PERHAPS justify that it was psychosomatic, that maybe because the person wanted to be healed, and believed, then she was able to ''self-cure''. But NO ONE would deny the causal relationship between the prayer and the ''cure''. Or at least you could deny, but you would not be convincing to anyone.

That's a bit clearer now?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 02:48:30 AM by Paolo »
Oh noes...I think I’m dead....

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2021, 07:04:41 AM »
NO ONE would deny the causal relationship between the prayer and the ''cure''. Or at least you could deny, but you would not be convincing to anyone.

..Yeah, to fake pain and then its relief seems so impossible. What a miracle. At that very moment a small child or ten died of real observable disease and/or starvation as the gawd was busy with fake chest pain.


Online drunkenshoe

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2021, 07:30:13 AM »
Everybody understands what are you talking about very well. Because they've had this very conversation many times with other people.

Have you ever wondered why do these miracle workers almost always work with some sort of an audience or some people, some group following them? There is always some specific groups witnessing, some 'testimony' if you will, and sharing their doings. Is there any miracle worker without an active community constantly following them in some way to watch, confirm, applaud, cherish how they 'heal' perfect strangers? Why don't these miracle workers just do their job by themselves, get paid and go on to their way?

Do we have an audience when a physician examines us? Do we watch, follow our physicians examining, treating other patients, people who we know nothing about and become ecstatic, explode with joy... get together to talk about it when they cure people, as a group (or online), telling others over an dover again? No. Most of the people don't want to even talk about their health situation with their close friends. Why don't we do all that? Physicians treat and cure people all the time. They diagnose sicknesses without visible symptoms, people don't know they have.

Think about surgeons operating 10-15 hours straight...operating much longer than that when necessary? Why don't we gather around them, make groups for them praying and following with applaud? What they do is superior to what you call 'miracle' in every aspect because they know what they are doing; what it works or doesn't; even when they don't, they know the probable cause. There is nothing mysetrious about it. But then isn't it some sort of a 'miracle' to the laity, esp. when your loved ones or you are on the operating table because we don't really know how/what they do, do we?

I won't get into any terminal illnesses people have horribly suffered until a few decades ago which today we can survive and even manage our lives. Because if you'd lived a hundred years ago, you would have died of diabetes. Fucking diabetes. It was a terminal lillness exactly a hundred years ago and that's shorter than a possible human life span. So forget praying and praising, let's worship these people, why not?

But we don't do that, do we? While everyone perfectly knows that these people save lives everyday, we don't gather around or follow phsycians and surgeons, screaming prayers, cry in ecstacy, talking to some spirit, some energy whatever...because they do NOT need people to believe in what they are doing, watch, witness or do any of that to do it successfuly, while 'miracle workers' have to work people around them and create a community, and a collective 'testimony' otherwise nobody would get 'healed'.

Because there is no 'healing' or 'curing', but something just like baptism, confession -without actually confessing something with words- some sort of feeling of absolution, something marking the patient as accepted; as healed back into some group with a fresh start.

But the person is not feeling pain anymore. She is well now, she got 'cured'. No. Yes, I can deny it. Every kind of mumbo jumbo defined as 'alternative' to medicine is dangerous for the individuals and the society. For starters, there is no such thing as 'alternative medicine' because there is no such thing alternative to medicine. Roughly, why this bullshit is so dangerous in many levels:

- The person can have a serious, actual illness with various different, changing-shifting symptoms that come and go -which is the usual deal- develop in various states... but being convinced she is cured, she would ignore them and cause it to become far worse, and even lose her chance of being treated or cured. After all, if somebody's in great pain constantly, they can't function and would already end up in an a hospital anyway. So these 'miracle' cases have certain traits. These people are probably functional and often suffer from trivial cases which can become serious as a result of this bullshit.

-These 'Miracle' or any kind of energy, belief, prayer healing bullshit performances sometimes are done in private; secondly, sometimes with prescription of some subtsances along with it. With the latter somebody could end up crippled, even dead. Simple as that.  Because there is nothing behind it. And they do all the time.

With the former, they provide perfect circumstances for sexual, emoitonal...any kind of abuse, esp. for children. While medical personnel everywhere are under scrutiny for any kind of abuse, malpractice attached to specialised laws, strong ethical codes, licences for their practices, these 'miracle workers' are just sharalatans, some sort of spritiual, religious men and women who people automatically trust because of their position, taking their 'license' from stupidy and ignorance; universe or some god or some...whatever you call it. There is no definition of what they do. Because whatthey do doesn't exist. Because if it did exist, they would be working in hospitals, it would be another industry, they would make far more money.

-There is no such thing as 'psychcosomatic medicine', because there is no such thing as 'psychosomatic illness'. The idea belongs to tenth century Persia, probably it was a revolutionary one at the time. However, there is no medical, scientific evidence for it.

And the worst thing is this pushing of 'positive outlook', 'fighting spirit', 'not having the right attitude' harms tons of actually ill people in a lot of cases because they believe it's their failure.

-Financial abuse of any kind of sick, most efficiently terminally ill people. They basically prey on sick people in many different levels, drain their life savings, inflict al kinds of emoitional abuse because when the 'miracle' doesn't work obviously their faith is not strong enough.

-Medicine is not just one of the major fields and industry in human culture but it is attached to it many different ways. When more people start to believe in 'alternative medicine' in any way, the society gets sick. Pun intended in every way. First, it literally gets sick because anti-vaccinators are huge masses everywhere now and many diseases that were wiped out is BACK because of it. Losing the secular principle of trusting medicine to do its job -doesn't matter what your belief is- results in every kind of corruption, it is the mother of all kinds of mumbo jumbo and end always with body count. Always. Period. And then you get deamons impregnating women, 5G conspiracies...all kinds of conspiracies... and you can't fight back against a pandemic.

So yeah...fuck any kind of 'miracle' healer with a barbwire. If you feel chest pain, first go to a doctor. Then you can pray at home or somewhere with anyone you want after that...play chakra or send energies, crystals, angle cards...etc. However, if you are living in a country/culture with the luxury of medicine -because it is a fucking luxury-  and insist on doing this to yourself and others, I wish you'd be removed from the gene pool as soon as possible, and call it 'natural selection'.

« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 08:05:30 AM by drunkenshoe »
"I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides." Havelock Vetinari

Offline SGOS

Re: Cause and effect and miracles
« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2021, 07:38:15 AM »
Miracle cures are widely known to be effective against diseases and injuries that don't exist.  For actual injuries or organ failures, a doctor is recommended.