Re: [XTalk] re: which miracles?
- In a message dated 2/26/01 4:21:18 E. Australia Standard Time,
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
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
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
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.