Re: Naturalisim

From: Steven Carr <>
Date: Sat Apr 02 2005 - 13:53:59 EST

In message <>, D. F.
Siemens, Jr. <> writes
>I doubt that I can spell this out clearly enough for you to understand,
>given your responses earlier. But I make one last try. I noted that the
>Egyptians had a technique for causing snakes to stiffen by grasping them
>near the HEAD. That's a trick. Moses was told to throw down a wooden
>staff and pick it up by the TAIL. That's not a trick. The Egyptians
>pulled a TRICK. Aaron and Moses demonstrated a MIRACLE. The trick has a
>naturalistic explanation, but the miracle does not. HOW DOES THIS RULE

Here is a photo showing a flaccid snake and a 'stiff' snake.

And this is supposed to be a duplication of a miracle involving a
genuine piece of wood?

Just how dumb must Moses have been not to be able to show the Pharoah
that his staff was real, while the magicians staff was still a snake?

If people can't work miracles, how do we explain the following well-
documented miracles?

There are named eyewitnesses who claim to have seen Mohammed split the
moon in two.

Josephus's 'Wars of the Jews' was written with ten years of the events ,
by a direct participant , and he records eyewitness testimony - 'I
suppose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not related
by those that saw it' . He is referring to a heifer giving birth to a
lamb in the middle of the Temple. Should we believe a cow gave birth to
a lamb, in a work written within ten years of the event? Surely this is
just as well attested as the raising of the widow of Nain's son.

In the 'Histories' by Tacitus, he records that the Emperor Vespasian
cured blindness with spittle and cured lameness. Tacitus writes 'Persons
actually present attest both facts, even now when nothing is to be
gained by falsehood.' Should we believe Tacitus's reports, based on
eyewitness testimony, and attributed by him to the god Serapis?

In Mark 8:23-26, Jesus cures blindness, partly by spitting on someone's
eyes. Should we believe this story?

In the Histories, Tacitus also records that a priest of the god Serapis,
Basilides, was seen by Vespasian in the Temple, although Vespasian knew
, and checked by sending horsemen to verify, that a moment earlier
Basilides had been in a town some eighty miles distant. Should we
believe Tacitus, reporting the eyewitness testimony of the hard-headed
Emperor/Soldier Vespasian?

How should we evaluate miracle claims from antiquity?

Steven Carr
Received on Sat Apr 2 13:55:19 2005

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