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Bill Dembski on technology and religion in the face of miracles


“The Faces of Miracles is an eBook written by Bill Dembski and Alex Thomas. It will be presented on this blog, BillDembski.com, over the next four months (November 2019 thru February 2020), with new installments typically appearing on Mondays.

The Faces of Miracles is a work of clarification rather than persuasion. If at the end of this book readers better understand the impact of miracles on people’s lives, we will consider this book a success. We have tried to provide a representative cross-section of views on miracles. But we have made no attempt to be encyclopedic. The people whose views on miracles we examine are almost exclusively from the English-speaking world, contemporary or fairly recent, and either Christian or reacting to Christianity (as when a skeptic debunks Christianity for its reliance on miracles). And even within Christianity, we’ve tended to focus on that segment of Christianity we know best, namely, Protestant and Evangelical.

Of course, miracles are not limited to Christians or Christianity. Indeed, accounts of miracles have been reported across the world and across faiths. But a book like this could easily have mushroomed if we also considered miracles outside the Christian context. Yes, it would have been interesting to cast the net wider to include such miracle workers as Brazil’s John of God and India’s late Sai Baba. But the supernatural power ascribed to them takes many of the same forms, at least in outward expression, as seen with the Christian faith healers we consider, even if the ultimate source of the healing power is understood differently. Accounts of miracles show common patterns, and those patterns are exemplified in this book. We therefore didn’t think we lost much by focusing on the Christian context.

Bill Dembski, “The Faces of Miracles — A Serialized eBook by Bill Dembski and Alex Thomas” at Freedom, Technology, Education

Hey, we’ll keep you posted re Mondays.

Good point Belfast. For some reason the Catholic Church's very rigorous approach to validating miracles tends to be ignored. And it fits very well with Dembski's explanatory filter. The Church consults secular authorities to eliminate the chance hypothesis of natural processes. Then, the miracle also has to conform to the Church's specification of advancing the Christian faith, such as miraculous healing at the invocation of a saint that is no longer on this earth. Only once these items are carefully verified is the event declared a miracle. Dembski's explanatory filter in action, and has been for a very long time. EricMH
One of the requirements in the Catholic faith for sainthood is a cure of an ailment which goes against evidenced seriousness. With all respect to the authors they have omitted these and taken examples from everywhere except Catholics. Belfast

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