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Forum LockedMiracles or Metaphors - Reasoning with Science

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    Posted: 13-Dec-2007 at 19:38

Ever get tired of blind faith? Ever wonder about the cause of things? If so, then this thread is for you.

After scoping around our threads lately I have noticed inquiring threads revolving around shared experiences with premonitions, religions, concepts from the unreligious (kinda like the uncola -7'up), and evolution. Then I got to thinking, do I challenge myself enough to satisfy my own curiosities? What basis am I going on?
 
This thread is an opportunity to explore our questions about unexplained mysteries. Not by just sharing an experience or quotation from a book but by using a principle dear to any rational mind - logical reasoning. Yup! that is all you need to participate in this thread.
 
Let's try to use scientific exploration in order to question and hypothesize about generally any unexplained thing.
 
Atheists are right in saying that religious folk have not proven many facets of religious beliefs. Religious people are correct in applying the notion that something, somewhere created stuff. Somehwere along the line we gave into face value and not deep understanding though. Miracles and metaphors. Blind faith or reasoning! Take your position and explain yourself.
 
Try to question your age old belief systems and see what you come up with. Maybe you would like to talk about miracles in the bible, Qu'ran or Torah. If so then what is the scientific basis for them? Are there any? Premonitions. We all had them one time or another. How come? What are the laws of nature that we are tapping into? What scientific explanations exist about these phenomena?  
 
Back in the days of the ancients we had science but not at the rate of understanding we have today. Tommorow's generations will have even more. People have created expectations, true or false, that affect their judgement. A perceived value. Parents were all knowing till you hit puberty and rebelled because you 'knew better'. Tribal leaders were given supernatural powers to go along with their high esteem and their ability to throw you out of the village. Statesman held political clout and can wield a mighty pen or sword. All along this power trip we have placed value into the unkown. Time to get the power back for ourselves. All you need is a rational mind.
 
Examples of curiosities I may scientifically explore:  premonitions, Moses's staff, parting of the Red Sea, the use of Quantum theory, gullible humanity, etc.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2007 at 03:19
I may be mistaken, but I believe that in the mid 20th century there was a movement of looking back at miracles and trying to find out a rational explanation.

Here are two that have to do with Jesus:

The miracle of the loaves and fish is explained in that people shared their food, and if everyone ate until they got enough and shared, everyone could be fed.

Sort of like "to each according to their needs" if you think about it.

The second rational explanation for Jesus curing cursed or possessed people is that it was through his compassion that people he reached out to them.
To judge the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may no more oppress.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2007 at 04:05
Okay, heres one for you guys:   I have noticed over the years that I have a phenomenon happen to me, I suppose somewhat often, that I have utterly no way to explain.  Deja vu.  Now originally it would happen and I would react midly; wow, that was odd, along those lines.  However, as it continued to occur I would try and "break" the cycle.  Decide to take this action, thinking it would break it.  As this continued to happen the Deja vu adapted or something, now when I would take an unpredictable action to break the cycle, that wouldn't stop it.  Eventually it got to the point where I would do like 10 random actions trying to break the cycle and yet every, single, time, it would fail.  Now I'm to the point of not doing anything except letting it take its course until it passes.  I'm sure I did not explain that all that well, but hopefully you can understand what I am talking about.
 
Any ideas what is going on here?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2007 at 04:55
This is what I heard about Deja vu: it is a mental hiccup. The reason why we feel that we have lived the moment we are living is because, well, you did. It is just that you did a second before, and you forgot about it. Some part of your mind forgets that you lived this before, so it is experiencing as if it were new. Yet the memory from a second ago is there already, which gives you that feeling that your experience is both new but that it happened before.

But this was a few years ago. There could be a better explanation today.

Also, remember that with stuff like that, such as ear worms, the more you fight it the more you have it. Sometimes it is better to just let it happen and then it stops all by itself.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2007 at 14:44
Before I go into some detail about my views concerning the mechanisms of premonitions or miracles in this thread I will present a few real mysterious examples of my own.
 
Back in my early adolescence I had this nack for making accurate predictions while watching football games on the television. When the quarterback stepped back to throw I would tell myself on certain plays before the ball was released that there would be an interception. More than not it happened. This went on for years.
 
A couple more experiences. Twice I recall accurately predicting a phone call before I picked up the phone that the person calling was so and so. Both times I was correct. I don't get that feeling hardly any of the time. One time the person calling hadn't been heard from in months and the other time that other person in years. Yet I had a gut feeling that it I knew who was calling me. People that I had no idea would do so then and there until each premonition. Weird!
 
How does this stuff work? More on that later.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2007 at 15:49
There were others who thought of thes things too. I'm a SF fan so here's some books:
Cryptozoic - Brian Aldiss; my favourite generator of deprimation. Hothouse is a happy story when compared. Basic idea: time goes the other way around and human race decide at a moment to change the perceptions of time in order to maintain a stabile state of mind. In short, Big Bang is the end, and we know it so there's no future. Time travelers come from the past (which we know as future) to contemplate the extinction of mankind.
Operation Chaos - Poul Anderson; a superb story in a Universe where magic works. The concept of multiverse and inteference between them is not the central part of the novel. Follow the werewolf and his beloved wife, a witch, fighting against the dark forces.
Luntrea sublima - Victor Kernbach; a Romanian novel that basically states what many other writers said: all gods and miracles are encounters with aliens.
 
My personal opinions, there are no miracles just unexplained things. Premonition might be a new evolutionary step: a different perception of space time continuum.
 
I also had a few premonitions, not to mention some "deja-vu" experiences. I'm not very concerned about such things, I'm afraid. I like discussing ideas about these events though.
 
From the above, I think Aldiss's idea is Occam razors firs choice. So, maybe we are perceiving time differently as a protection mechanism for what intelligence we have left untilve we evolve into bacteria. Therefore, premonitions are actually memories surfacing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Justinian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2007 at 23:53
Originally posted by hugoestr hugoestr wrote:

This is what I heard about Deja vu: it is a mental hiccup. The reason why we feel that we have lived the moment we are living is because, well, you did. It is just that you did a second before, and you forgot about it. Some part of your mind forgets that you lived this before, so it is experiencing as if it were new. Yet the memory from a second ago is there already, which gives you that feeling that your experience is both new but that it happened before.

But this was a few years ago. There could be a better explanation today.

Also, remember that with stuff like that, such as ear worms, the more you fight it the more you have it. Sometimes it is better to just let it happen and then it stops all by itself.


Seems like a reasonable explanation, except for me it would be years apart.  I'll remember this and then sometimes up to two years later it happens.
"War is a cowardly escape from the problems of peace."--Thomas Mann

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