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Re: [XTalk] re: which miracles?

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  • tomkirbel@aol.com.au
    In a message dated 2/26/01 4:21:18 E. Australia Standard Time, antonio.jerez@privat.utfors.se writes:
    Message 1 of 18 , Feb 26, 2001
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      In a message dated 2/26/01 4:21:18 E. Australia Standard Time,
      antonio.jerez@... writes:

      << Bob,
      I have a feeling that Bill Arnal would dispute step 1. and 2. as the
      the propositions are expressed in the above. I at least do. I think
      Bill and I would agree to the following as a startingpoint for a meaningful
      discussion:
      1. Miracles MAY be possible.
      2. This particular miracle MAY therefore be possible

      If I have caught the nuances of the english language there is quite a
      difference
      between what IS possible and what MAY be possible. For Bill and me to agree
      that miracles like walking on water ARE possible we would first like to have
      verified
      evidence that such a thing has happened at least once during the millenia
      that humankind has been on earth. I also believe that both you, me and Bill
      can agree that a CLAIM in a text or hearsay is not enough evidence. I am also
      quite certain that you would agree with Bill and me that the kind of
      metaphysical whatifs and hypothetical scenarios that Tom Curtis and Ricki
      Watts have so far presented can [NOT] be taken as real evidence. As you also
      pointed out it would be helpful if Tom Kirby stepped out of the world of
      metaphysics for a moment and showed us by what methods he believes that it ma
      be possible for a historian to distinguish between a true miracle as claimed
      in a christian text and a disputable miracle in buddhist or hindu text.>>

      First, I am Tom Curtis, not Tom Kirby (although you may have gained the
      impression there were two of me with different names because of my email
      adress). Second, I have stepped out of the world of metaphysics to give some
      indication of the type of considerations I consider appropriate in an email
      on Thursday, the 15th of February on the subject, "Miracles & Modern
      Historians/ Healing Stories" (Message 6135 in the archive). There I consider
      Karel Hanhart's treatment of the healing of Jairus' daughter and the walking
      on water, and also consider the calming of the sea to give an example of the
      type of considerations I consider appropriate.

      I have also, elsewhere, stated my conviction that we can use the same methods
      we use in determining if a natural event occured, or did not, to determine
      whether a supernatural event occured, or did not. In essence, I am claiming
      that if a supernatural story was "invented", it will in general have the
      fingerprints of that invention all over it. We will not need to assume that
      miracles are impossible, or even improbable, in order to show the invention.
      In some cases we may not be able to find fingerprints. Still we might find
      evidence of invention through a shared modus operandi with stories that do
      bear fingerprints. In some cases we may not even be able to do that. In
      these later cases, so far as the historical evidence is concerned, the
      miracle occured. So let us admit that, even if we wish to state that for
      other reasons, we do not think it occured.

      Regards

      Tom Curtis
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