Re: Naturalisim

From: Steven Carr <>
Date: Fri Apr 01 2005 - 15:22:12 EST

In message <>, D. F.
Siemens, Jr. <> writes
>On Fri, 01 Apr 2005 05:58:09 +0100 writes:
>> Exodus 8
>> 10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the LORD
>> commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his
>> officials, and it became a snake. 11 Pharaoh then summoned wise men
>> and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things
>> by their secret arts: 12 Each one threw down his staff and it became
>> a snake.
>> On a naturalistic view of the Universe, is this story to be taken
>> as untrue on the grounds that the Egyptian sorcerers could not work
>> miracles
>> and were unable to change wood into snakes?

>First, you're quoting from Exodus 7. I can't document it now, but I
>recall a claim that an ancient Egyptian document described how to hold a
>snake near the head in such way that the critter stiffened out. It would
>look like a rod. Dropped, it would move. It would have to be gripped near
>the head to stiffen again. But note the directions in Exodus 4:3f. The
>rod that Moses and Aaron carried was to be grabbed by the tail. The
>Egyptian priests would know the difference, though Pharaoh did not.

SO this was God's chosen method of persuading Pharoah that Moses was
from God - a stage magic trick that others could do?

(I assume that is also how Moses did his trick?)

I suppose nowadays God could get people to believe he is real by getting
his spokesman to saw a woman in half.

Are naturalistic explanations to be preferred when the Bible relates
seeming miracles?

Later in the same chapter
 20 Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded. He raised his
staff in the presence of Pharaoh and his officials and struck the water
of the Nile, and all the water was changed into blood. 21 The fish in
the Nile died, and the river smelled so bad that the Egyptians could not
drink its water. Blood was everywhere in Egypt.

    22 But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret

Not a bad trick, if you can pull it off.

How did the Egyptian magicians work that miracle - turning all the water
of the Nile into blood?

Or should we assume a naturalistic explanation for people turning water
into blood (or wine, another favourite trick of ancient magicians)

Steven Carr
Received on Fri Apr 1 15:23:33 2005

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