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Discussion 5 to Meditation 376

by The Rev. David Marjanović

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"So by that logic, miracles happen ONLY in religions professing a belief in God (or whatever name He assumes in the various monotheistic religions)."

Er... no, by that "logic", miracles only happen in "my" religion simply because only "my" religion is "true". All other reported miracles have either never happened, or they are the work of whatever demons, spirits or (other) powers of evil you happen to believe in.

(For example, for most of Christian history it seems to have been Christian dogma that the ancient Roman gods etc. all really existed, just that they weren't gods but instead evil demons who wanted to be prayed to -- so praying to them wasn't considered a waste of time, it was considered positively dangerous.)

If they are accepted as fact, then the only logical conclusion (for the deist) must be that God confers this power, irrespective of belief in Him - perhaps to good people only, regardless of faith.

If only it were that simple! But theologists always find a way out. That's why so few aspects of so few religions are scientifically testable.

Catholicism, for example, still exorcises demons on a regular basis (even though this practice is nowadays largely restricted to Africa). Demons are by definition supernatural, so "surely" they can do supernatural things... as to why God allows it, if he allows the devil to do his evil works... and anyway, it's all ineffable anyway*. Now we have reached the epitome of pseudoscience, the killer argument with which there is no reasoning. End of discussion.

Fortunately this kind of "problem" is absent from agnosticism.