Miracles In Other Religions? Eyewitness Testimony? Mermaids? Alien Abductions? Flying Spaghetti Monster? Zeus? Thor? Copycat-Gods? Celestial Teapots?
Unthinking Skeptic Magazine released its latest: What About Miracles In Other Religions? What About Testimony? Mermaids? Alien Abductions? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? Zeus? Thor? Copycat-Gods? Celestial Teapots?
Note: The following content is in part taken from discussions in various comment sections and will therefore reflect the usual wording of “you” and “yours” and “me” and “I” and so on. Because there are a few comments fused together there are a few edits along the way in order to provide a more seamless flow.
So, with that qualification, the “SSSFSMCC” Fallacy & The Universal Stalemate strawman:
It seems that neither you nor anyone else here is asserting “Testimony-Alone” so it’s not certain that there’s much there other than a few fallacious straw man premises (….which neither you nor the Christian assert, but which some do try to implicitly sneak in….) as things are unpacked from upstream content and down the “ontic-line”, so to speak. That said, you do on occasion give evidence that your own reliability is faulty when you say something along the lines of, “….Those are the types of testimonies on which belief in the Bible hangs…..” Perhaps there’s some sort of Non-Christian metaphysic you are referring to? It comes up from time to time in your own premises against the Christian Metaphysic. For example you’ll say things like, “The Bible says Men can walk on water!” But of course Scripture does NOT say that — instead there’s the reality of Casual Agents suspending X’s atop water — which is something that happens all the time. You’ve left out that key interface with Being-Itself / God which Scripture claims there within the narrative, and so on as one’s premises are moving both upstream and downstream. And of course leaving out facts isn’t quite honest of you.
Eyewitness claims of this or that eye-witnessed event both by other Non-Religious folks and also by Religious folks in other Religions is all fine as far as it goes, however, for you to argue along the lines of something like the following is fallacious:
“….well there are eyewitness accounts of X so “therefore” I have met the Christian burden of rational belief so WHY don’t Christians believe in those other X’s TOO….?”
All of that misses the point of what testimony is and what testimony is not with respect to the entire narrative surrounding any claim by any claim-maker. Or, we can say this: Within the doxastic experience which we all journey through, and as for rational belief, you’ll have to do more than foist [eyewitnesses] as a challenge unless you do so within the far wider narrative which surrounds any claim by any claim-maker. It always comes back to whichever T.O.E. is under review as each comes as a body of statements which do not exist in a vacuum but are in fact immersed in the whole of reality.
Again for clarity as we move forward: It always comes back to whichever T.O.E. is under review as each comes as a body of statements which do not exist in a vacuum but are in fact immersed in the whole of reality.
The Uninformed Copycat Premise of Another Religious Claim and/or Flying Spaghetti Monster Claim:
Let’s say, oh, something like Sathya Sai Baba, or FSM’s, or Mermaids, or Pasta Bowls, or Flying Over The Moon, or Mormonism, or Islam, or Pantheism, or Atheism, and so on. Okay. As it turns out, that whole approach amounts to an irrational Paradigm Swap against actual premises which are in play.
Whether it’s Sathya Sai Baba or the FSM or Celestial Teapots or Mermaids, and so on, it’s all the same uninformed premise. Let’s call Sathya Sai Baba “SSS” and the Flying Spaghetti Monster “FSM” and all the Copycats “CC”, for a net term of a new blog post over at the Unthinking Skeptic, namely, “SSSFSMCC”.
It’s common for Non-Theists to say that the SSSFSMCC is God and then have the SSSFSMCC do some act X. Like appear in a bowl of pasta instead of a burning bush or raise the dead.
There are two problems with that (fallacious) approach.
The First Problem:
The first is that the SSSFSMCC proposed by the Non-Theist doesn’t have the properties of “Being Itself“, of *GOD*. How do we know that? Well it’s easy, because if that were the case then there’d be evidence of this bowl-bearing, dead-raising, world-making ontological SSSFSMCC and of his 5000 year history-soaked metanarrative. But there isn’t evidence of the bowl-bearing, dead-raising, world-making ontological SSSFSMCC and of his 5000 year history-soaked metanarrative. If one wants to [1st] steal and borrow the full import of “Being Itself” as his (the Non-Theist’s) metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility and then [2nd] state that in fact *that* *god* in fact goes about appearing in past-bowls, an in raising the dead X’s, and in world-making ontological X’s, well then he is going to have show us his evidence that such is the case.
One of the fundamental errors in reasoning over at the Unthinking Skeptic is that the Non-Theist forgets that there are two halves to the equation:
1 — that of logic and reason and logical possibility (etc.) and, then,
2 — that of reality as she actually is in real history, in the real human narrative. While there are arguments and evidence for Scripture’s metanarrative vis-à-vis the ontological history of becoming which constitutes the (real) human narrative in (real) human history, the Non-Theist has not presented any evidence for his bowl-bearing, dead-raising, world-making ontological SSSFSMCC and of his 5000 year history-soaked metanarrative as being a (real) part of that (real) human history.
This is why part of what is missing (one of the “halves”), is this: When it comes to the FSM or to Mermaids or to any other copycat / SSSFSMCC, they never show us their foisted reality of actual historical bodies of historicity which have been demonstrated as accurate for the last 5000-ish years which include that heavy-handed SSSFSMCC factor.
The claims of Atheism with respect to irreducible moral facts are clearly absurd but unless one does the work of unpacking the entire narrative in question (…Non-Theism…) one will not really see the problem. So too if Pantheism or Islam or Mormonism and so on make claims about miracles or irreducible love and so on and that’s all fine as far as it goes, but far more is needed. On must unpack it and carry his premises through till the end. Contrary to the common strawman, the Christian metaphysic does not go as follows: “Eyewitness! Full Stop!”. Nor does it go as follows: “People believed it! Full Stop!” It always comes back to whichever T.O.E. is under review as each comes as a body of statements which do not exist in a vacuum but are in fact immersed in the whole of reality.
The Second Problem:
“A Christian just told me that GOD kept his ice cream cone frozen all day on his kitchen table!”
So what do we do with that claim? Well we do what we always do with all claims. There’s nothing spooky about keeping cream and milk frozen – we do it all the time. We can even freeze a lake and get a whole stadium sub-freezing for ice skating in the middle of summer. Manipulating layers of nature’s fundamental building blocks and creating elements which never existed and/or cellular tissues and so on is what we as casual agents do all the time. It’s called science (…though over at the Unthinking Skeptic the posts and essays often refer to that science as Black Magic and Fairytales….not sure why…). Subatomic particle manipulations and/or atomic rearrangements (and so on) are not the concern per se as we do that sort of frozen-cream thing all the time.
By the way that is one of the many reasons why, say, the Resurrection of Christ is perfectly compatible with the physical sciences vis-à-vis Causal Agents intentionally manipulating and rearranging nature’s fundamental building blocks to build cells and novel elements to add to the Universe’s Periodic Table – and so on – as it is all demonstrable. Obviously all of that lands within physical systems wherein “Physics Can Build Physical Systems Called Animals” (…and so on…) as Non-Theism assures us in its Maps of evolutionary manipulation of and rearranging of nature’s fundamental building blocks – and so on – as it is the case that there’s no general feature of science in any of that which is problematic.
The causal ecosystem changes as agent capacity changes. There’s just no rational need to presuppose no-causal-agent when it comes to such particle rearrangements. That’s all, well, easy, rational, and clean.
So what about the ice cream? Well, so, is there something in Scripture’s narrative that would lead me to believe that *GOD* visited my friend, saved his ice cream cone, froze it, and then kept it from melting all day. Well no. Not at all. In fact the opposite emerges.
It’s common for Non-Theists to change definitions and paradigms and then pretend they didn’t and the Non-Theist gets a star for effort, even though his SSSFSMCC premise fails in the end. The SSSFSMCC just can’t fly because there’s just no reason to believe in said bowl nor in said bowl-bearing-god or in said dead-raising SSSFSMCC.
Again the error there is that the Non-Theist forgets that there are two halves to the equation, that of logic and reason and logical possibility (etc.) and, then, that of reality as she actually is in real history, in the real human narrative.
While there are arguments and evidence for Scripture’s metanarrative vis-à-vis the ontological history of becoming which constitutes the (real) human narrative in (real) human history, the Non-Theist has not presented any evidence for his SSSFSMCC as being a (real) part of that (real) human history.
As for the “acts” of SSSFSMCC such as, say, burning bushes, well we did that in science class in the sixth grade. It was pretty fun stuff. “Magic!” we thought. As for building various cellular structures and neuronal tissues and DBS (…Deep Brain Stimulation…) and getting ever closer to helping stroke patients recover functions, well, science marches on and we’re getting ever closer. Non-Theists still (demonstrably) think about that science of a lame man standing up as Black Magic of course, but then over at the Unthinking Skeptic it’s a bit of free-for-all. Oh dear – what will our Non-Theist friends do if mankind ever rearranges and manipulates a few fundamental particles and invents a new element? “Black Magic!” they’ll shout. Oh….. wait…. didn’t I just read something? God forbid neuroscience ever does it with spinal cord tracts and so on. Oh…wait…. didn’t I just read something?
It’s a good thing Hume and Mackie aren’t alive to see this – the darkest of ages! “But he was lame! And now he can stand! Black Magic! Black Magic!” Between that and DBS (deep brain stimulation) we’ll stop as I don’t want to frighten our Non-Theist friends with all of that Faith-Based scientific-y neuroscience-y stuff. You know, like our burning bush in the sixth grade. As for the SSSFSMCC, well, it’s a premise in want of a fact.
Fortunately, given the fact that the only solutions which the Non-Theist finds personally satisfying will be counted as worthy of his consideration, it should be easy enough for him to protect his own doxastic experience from the intolerable light of pure physicality atop the angelic wings of science.
The Non-Theist too often argues as if the Christian starts blind and stays here: “Cause-Da-Bible-Says-So!!” – But that’s false.
Reason as truth-finder makes her relentless demands for lucidity through and through. As folks allow their T.O.E. to be informed by all data points they simply need to gather the facts and follow the evidence, which spans the spectrum from the lens zoomed in near — say — the fact that causal agents can and do rearrange nature’s fundamental building blocks, or such as – say – such things as historicity, genre, context, reason, and logic, to yet farther and wider sight-lines with the lens zoomed out into – say – whatever successes or failures this or that body of claims has within its own respective T.O.E.
Why? Because everything about every T.O.E. just is a matter of  truth as correspondence and  cumulative cases constructed atop cumulative layers of coherence and  convergence of truth claims and  avoiding those ever-painful reductions to absurdity.
That’s just a demonstration of the obvious: facts don’t exist in vacuums.
Why? Because reality doesn’t work that way. And reality matters. It always comes back to whichever T.O.E. is under review as each comes as a body of statements which do not exist in a vacuum but are in fact immersed in the whole of reality.
Over at the Unthinking Skeptic the contributors seem to foist their own rather unfortunate mental habit of “-Cause da-Bible!” onto all comments and assume (therefore) that that is the only evidence for Christianity. But that’s false.
Why? Because it always comes back to whichever T.O.E. is under review as each comes as a body of statements which do not exist in a vacuum but are in fact immersed in the whole of reality.
We have to be careful and precise in these discussions. Tossing about wide brushstrokes isn’t enlightening or helpful for understanding one another, not for the Christian you-ward nor for you us-ward. It is not the Christian claim that [Eyewitnesses] is the bar for rational belief with respect to how rational belief worked in the first century and how rational belief works now as we explore the intricacies of the doxastic experience. With respect to the Non-Theist’s conclusion, the Christian claim is not that eyewitnesses are enough for rational belief and therefore the Christian claim as to the Non-Theistic embrace of the No-God paradigm cannot be that the Non-Theist is too set in his ways with respect to eyewitness accounts which contradict Non-Theism.
In General Terms – Resurrection, Celestial Teapots, Zeus, Islam’s Miracles, and Historical Lines
In general terms: It is the case that the Resurrection of Christ is perfectly compatible with the physical sciences vis-à-vis Causal Agents intentionally manipulating and rearranging nature’s fundamental building blocks to build cells and novel elements to add to the Universe’s Periodic Table – and so on – as it is all demonstrable. Obviously all of that lands within physical systems wherein “Physics Can Build Physical Systems Called Animals” (…and so on…) as Non-Theism assures us in its Maps of evolutionary manipulation of and rearranging of nature’s fundamental building blocks – and so on (…Dualism aside etc…). As such there’s no general feature of science in any of that which is problematic. Yet, you seem to have some bizarre and generally anti-scientific philosophical biases which say otherwise.
In general terms: The scientific and metaphysical baggage vis-à-vis Celestial Teapots, Thor, & Zeus forces several logical and observational contradictions. Whereas, Jesus, Pilate, Marcus Lepidus, & George Washington simply pass under the lens of standard historicity metrics and aren’t problematic.
In general terms: The metaphysical baggage vis-à-vis Islam’s various explanatory termini forces several logical contradictions, so that Meta-narrative yields less confidence. Whereas, say, the Resurrection of Christ is obviously compatible with the physical sciences and, also, hasn’t the metaphysical baggage of Islam, so that Meta-narrative yields a higher confidence.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster & Scientific Realism Are Both Illusion
You asked for justification of “X Degree Confidence” and you were referred to the nature of rational belief vis-à-vis the ontology of Reason Itself and told that all of that IS why so many Christians believe Scripture’s Metanarrative. That is the answer given to your “Why X Degree of Confidence?” The argument from Mind and Reason is long-standing and, yes you say you are unfamiliar with it, which is fine, but then you insist that it not be unpacked in this discussion and even refuse to comment further if it is brought up. But then that makes your request for mutual understanding within “why have confidence in ABCD etc…” disingenuous.
With respect to category there’s no difference between A. The Flying Spaghetti Monster and B. Scientific Realism. So we must ask you – do you believe in either one? Are you “LESS CONFIDENT” in your rejection of one vs. the other?
When it comes to Realism & Antirealism and why the Flying Spaghetti Monster ends in the same category as what Non-Theism ultimately demands from our own confidence in our own First Person Experience of “I-Am” vis-à-vis the illusion of the Intentional Self vis-à-vis Intentionality and so on…), do you believe in either one? Are you “LESS CONFIDENT” in your rejection of one vs. the other? What of Solipsism? Idealism? One needs to have an “expansive” “reach” in one’s metaphysic and the architecture of the Christian Metaphysic provides that explanatory power. Context there is in the following:
A— Sean Carroll, Downward Causation, Churchland, Rosenberg, E. Feser, Mad-Dogs, Kripke, Ross, Freedom, & the Mind/Self – as per http://disq.us/p/1zyhrnw
B— Fallacies Physicists Fall For – as per https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2018/07/fallacies-physicists-fall-for.html
Before unpacking the Universal Stalemate Fallacy – a brief note on falsification:
Disqualification vs. Falsification:
Most knowledge is not falsifiable in any heavy weight sense. Explanatory power and robust reach both reach a certain critical mass at some point, either in affirmation or in disqualification – as per:
“…. falsificationism is a rather feeble instrument to wield against theology. And in fact, atheist philosophers have known this for decades, even if New Atheist combox commandos are still catching up…..”
The “Universal Stalemate” Straw Man:
Interacting with one’s own ToE (Theory of Everything, Paradigm, Etc.) and/or with the Christian Metaphysic finds that at some “ontological seam somewhere” one must bring all definitions back, and back again to the Epicenter common to all of Christendom: the “…three distinctions in “GOD” as Trinity…” and the “…All Sufficient Self-Outpouring of God…” and of course to one’s own explanatory terminus vis-à-vis one’s own ToE.
If one wants to affirm such-and-such as one’s proverbial T.O.E. (ToE / etc.) then it’s not any one claim but rather the convergence of multiple metrics revealing a robust explanatory power overall. The metaphysical baggage of the Hindu’s Pantheism, of Spinoza’a Pantheism, of Islam, of Non-Theism(s), of various Deism(s), and so on, all come to the table with this or that X.
From there it’s a matter of following through.
That is the key problem with Celestial Teapots and Flying Spaghetti Monsters, and so on. They don’t share the same set of truth-claims with the Christian metaphysic and, so, when one then goes through that work of following through, well, divergence rapidly ensues.
So, when someone presents something like the Celestial Teapot or some other X and states, “Well, see, uummm, like, like what’s the difference?” it just isn’t helpful. It’s either uniformed or else its dishonest and hostile. One has not done any homework or “following through” with various truth-claims and equates all vectors, landing, therefore, in the fallacy of The “Universal Stalemate” Straw Man.
The “Universal Stalemate” Straw Man:
 The Hindu’s?
 The irreducible distinctions and divergence amid Islam and Judaism?
 The impressive divergence through large swaths of ontological real estate between those in  juxtaposed to one another?
 The impressive divergence through large swaths of ontological real estate between those in  juxtaposed to the Christian metaphysic?
 The imaginary stopping points and logical contradictions forced by philosophical naturalism and its twin named Buddhism?
The general theme here can be applied to *any* landscape, however, the primary focus here has to do with a bit of misguided reasoning which often arrives on scene in one of the following forms:
[A] “But Christians disagree! What the heck is THAT all about?” and/or
[B] “But knowledge is fragmented! Therefore No-God!” and/or
[C] “Rapid discovery of knowledge of God by revelation is false because No-God!” and/or
[D] “Slow discovery of knowledge of God through temporal becoming? What the heck is THAT all about?” and/or
[E] “But Christians Sin! What the heck is THAT all about?” and/or
[F] “But knowledge is fragmented! But Christian’s sin! But love!”
[….With respect to [E] and [F] see The “Contingency Defines Necessity” Straw Man Progression …or else… The “Proverbial Key” Progression at http://disq.us/p/1k4178q and see Segue: War and Religion: at http://disq.us/p/1k41dkh ….]
You have  left out premises and you have  simply observed that different folks believe different things. In essence you’ve declared a Universal Stalemate. Unfortunately your own premises are included in said universal stalemate. One has to go a little further, or risk saying what amounts to nothing.
Worse: You may actually be equating all claims of all paradigms. What I mean is that you’ve declared your Universal Stalemate as if that is where all thinking stops, as if divergence or disagreement is either a fiction or a problem yet you’ve not shown that divergence or disagreement is a fiction or a problem. Two comments with respect to that overly broad brushstroke:
Equating all truth claims upon the fundamental nature of reality in your Universal Stalemate is an unfortunate move on your part in that you’ve revealed a high degree of unawareness with respect to the several topics you just introduced. Or is it that you intend to insist that everyone should embrace contradictions of logic in their explanatory termini?
With respect to those truth claims upon the fundamental nature of reality have you followed through on, Pantheism?  Spinoza’s?  The Hindu’s?  The irreducible distinctions and divergence amid Islam and Judaism?  The impressive divergence through large swaths of ontological real estate between those in  juxtaposed to one another?  The impressive divergence through large swaths of ontological real estate between those in  juxtaposed to the Christian metaphysic?  The imaginary stopping points and logical contradictions forced by philosophical naturalism and its twin named Buddhism?
Is there a reason you’ve left out, well, everything?
Discussions & Disagreements Within Christendom:
You have conflated [A] Christendom’s internal discussions and/or disagreements about The Aqueducts for [B] actual disagreements within Christendom about The Living Water. Or you have equated one to the other. The conclusions you’ve extrapolated with respect to veracity are therefore misguided. Worse than that, there is even a layer of “disagreement equals false on all points” embedded in your analysis, which, in addition to the aforementioned conflations and/or false identity claims, disqualifies your conclusions with respect to veracity. For context on that see the
Christendom’s Unity Through The Irreducible Epicenter Of Shared Ontological Real Estate Across All Of Christendom’s Branches – at http://disq.us/p/1k8x3ni
Malleable Truth? Christian Ethics Change Over Time? The Shell, The Core, 40K Denominations, & Christendom’s Epicenter – at http://disq.us/p/1zqv39r
1 — “…my natural theology aspires to be as system-free as possible….”
2 — “What is your metaphysical system?” This question made me smile. I guess I don’t have one!”
It is worth noting that the Christian metaphysic is not reliant on any “one” metaphysical system. It has the luxury of allowing reason to lead the way. Just as in chemistry or physics, for there also the rational mind continues to embrace, say, “Fact ABC” from “History’s Timeline 777” and as new chemical and physics-based equations come into focus the chemist / physicist is, with reason as his guide, fully rational for holding onto what remains coherent and pulling in from other arenas as well. It’s not “all or nothing” in any genuine sense and that just is the nature of knowledge – and in fact Scripture actually predicts just that kind of interface when it comes to God, Man, Perception, and Insight.
The question of “Are My Theistic Arguments Dependent upon a Metaphysical System?” is at https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/question-answer/are-my-theistic-arguments-dependent-upon-a-metaphysical-system and the short answer is, “Of course not!” But, for clarity, a few brief excerpts follow.
Question: “I would presume… that you are aware of the different metaphysical systems underpinning your different arguments. How do you reconcile these differences, if at all? What is your metaphysical system? Do you think that it is wise to defend arguments with such different and seemingly incompatible metaphysical assumptions? Doesn’t this just make your case for the existence of God more incoherent? I ask this last question, because it seems to me that many atheists frequently misrepresent theistic arguments, and the biggest problem (I suspect) is ignorance of the metaphysical underpinnings of these arguments.”
Reply: So in answer to your question: I deny that there are “different metaphysical systems underpinning your different arguments.” The arguments, while drawing upon metaphysical concepts and insights which appear in various systems (concepts and insights many of which have become generally or at least widely accepted), are independent of those systems in which these concepts may have been initially enunciated. So there’s no need to “reconcile these differences.” Do I “think that it is wise to defend arguments with such different and seemingly incompatible metaphysical assumptions?” No, but the arguments I defend are characterized, quite deliberately, so as to be as free as possible from extraordinary metaphysical assumptions, not to speak of seemingly incompatible assumptions, so as to broaden their appeal as much as possible. The premises of the various arguments are perfectly coherent, and no one I’m aware of has argued otherwise.
Finally, “What is your metaphysical system?” This question made me smile. I guess I don’t have one! I mean, I’m a theist, a tensed time theorist, a Divine Command theorist, a substance dualist, an anti-realist about abstract objects, and, I suppose, many other things. But I don’t have any sort of system other than the composite of these various commitments. In any case, my natural theology aspires to be as system-free as possible in order to appeal as widely as possible to people of different persuasions.”
Summarizing God’s Involvement In All “Miracle/Interface” Landscapes, the problems in the General Non-Theistic approach to Miracle/Interface are obvious. Our Non-Theist friends will often read a few verses and then comment to the Christian something like the following:
“Have you ever read the Bible? Every claim I made, which you deny is there in plain text. I will make just a few examples, quoting the actual Bible, a book you never seem to quote…. (examples given…. X walked on water…. etc….). Again, you can discuss the how all you want. That does not change the fact that the Bible clearly says human beings were walking on water. You can say, “but it was a miracle,” if you like. That still does not change the fact that the Bible says the donkey spoke, it only changes the supposed how. I am not discussing the how. My claim is that the Bible says those things happened. Your claim is that the Bible does not say it can happen. I quoted verses in the Bible where it says it happened…….. You said the Bible does not say human beings walked on water….. Your claim is that the Bible does not say it can happen….“
Now, clearly that re-make of the observation is fallacious, given that the actual observation/premise was as follows:
“Scripture does not say that donkeys or any other animal can talk, in “human” or any other language….. Scripture does not say that “dead bodies” can be reanimated nor do Christians think that is the case (you’ll have to read up on our fun adventures within particle rearrangements and cell-building as science and her bench top march onward)…… Scripture does not say that folks can walk on water….”
Observation: Scripture DOES claim that *GOD* / “Being Itself” can and does intentionally and causally interface with nature’s fundamental building blocks (….like we ourselves do on the bench top…). Scripture does NOT claim that those fundamental building blocks constituting, say, a man, can walk on water.
Humean/Mackiean evidence-free irrationality didn’t know about agents intentionally rearranging nature’s fundamental building blocks (….like we ourselves do on the bench top…). Therefore, it is understandable (sort of) that the Non-Theist’s emotional commitments to yesteryear’s uninformed and anti-scientific premises continue to fuel his move to expunge that science and that syntax from reality – or at least from the reality he wishes for. Whereas, the Christian and ancient Hebrew have always affirmed such science and such syntax for all of it is and always has been both mapped and predicted within the expectations and contours of their metaphysical topography (……dualism is beyond the Non-Theist’s reach and so obviously none of this can help him when it comes to the metaphysical baggage of his definitions relating to Man, Man’s nature(s), “ontological histories of becoming”, and etc….).
Christian observation: “…..Scripture does *not* say that folks can walk on water…” (Etc.). Causal Agents suspending objects atop water happens all the time. Perhaps a step-by-step:
Read the statement: Can.
Read scripture: God.
Read science: Interface.
Read scripture: Interface.
Was God involved? Was “Being Itself” / *GOD* involved?
Or did the muscles and neural circuitry and tissues and subatomic particles do it all by themselves (animals can talk, etc.)? Today’s DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) would be considered Black Magic by the premises of our Non-Theist friends.
The Non-Theistic approach to miracle/interface does not seem to know what the word “can” means with respect to “folks” in the observation / premise. Or the Non-Theist’s approach just ignores its presence and its meaning. But that approach is merely (then) changing the premise by removing words and then claiming forward progress.
The Non-Theist’s premise must assert that the muscles of tongue and cheek and the neural circuits and tissues and subatomic particles involved were – all – isolated and all alone and void of an interface with *GOD* / “Being Itself” according to Scripture’s metanarrative. But that’s clearly not what Scripture nor science affirm, regardless of the miracle/interface in question. It seems the Non-Theist’s approach to miracle/interface is uninformed with respect to both Scripture and science.
Think of it this way:  when we build cells on the bench top or  when do we do DBS / deep brain stimulation in the operating room or  when we intentionally rearrange subatomic particles on the bench top, the interface in question is there amid (on the one hand) the intentional and causal agent and (on the other hand) nature’s fundamental building blocks. The causal ecosystem is unmistakable. Though off topic here it is the case that the definition of miracle is contingent upon the causal ecosystem and the capacities of the Causal Agents present. Again it’s off topic but a few items for reference vis-à-vis the definition of the term MIRACLES: Part 1 http://disq.us/p/1cz6gff Part 2 http://disq.us/p/1d0laqg Part 3 http://disq.us/p/1d0lt8u Part 4 http://disq.us/p/1nx4mkc Part 5 http://disq.us/p/1nppieu Part 6 http://disq.us/p/1tvlnfk
Scripture and science affirm all of this. Whereas, Hume and Mackie echo the Non-Theist’s resistance to such facts. Non-Theists certainly are confused. In fact, with intentional subatomic rearrangements now in hand the fact of the “seat of agent causality” demonstrably merged with “intentionally rearranged particles” leaves Hume and Mackie not only speechless but irrelevant. Want a new element? Build it. Want a new cell? Build it. Want a new neural pathway? DBS (deep brain stimulation).
For our Non-Theist friends (or rather, for their approach), a kind of summary:
 Scripture affirms the interface in question. If you don’t like that causal ecosystem it’s not the Christian’s problem. Science affirms those same interfaces in that same causal ecosystem just as Scripture affirms them. You’re still irrationally claiming that Scripture does not affirm the reality of that interface in all of your examples. A kind of, no-god-present. Scripture says otherwise as “Being Itself” / *GOD* is presented as involved, present, interfacing, bringing-about. Scripture *does* claim that *GOD* / “Being Itself” can and does intentionally and causally interface with nature’s fundamental building blocks (like we do on the bench top). Scripture does *not* claim that those fundamental building blocks comprising, say, a man, can walk on water.
 You are removing the word ‘God’ and you are removing the word ‘can’ (animals ‘can’ talk) from the premise (…scripture does not say animals can talk….) and you are removing Scripture’s (and science’s) affirmed interface. All that approach does is change the premises and terms and foist a straw man.
 Because your approach has expunged the content of ‘God’ and ‘Can’ and ‘Interface’ then you are still irrationally claiming that Scripture does not affirm the reality of that interface in all of your examples. A kind of no-god-present. Scripture says otherwise as “Being Itself” / *GOD* is presented as involved, present, interfacing, bringing-about. Or….
 In order for you to change the premise and terms you have to pretend the word “can” isn’t there or else you have to pretend it doesn’t mean what it means or else you have to pretend Scripture does not affirm that game-changing interface.
 Look at the bench top when we intentionally rearrange subatomic particles. Think about the causal ecosystem. Think about the interfaces in play.
 You may want to read up on the Christian term of “Being Itself“.
 Which is it? [A] Was God involved? Was “Being Itself” / *GOD* involved? Or, instead, [B] did the muscles and neural circuitry and tissues and subatomic particles do it all by themselves (animals can talk, etc.)? The Non-Theist’s approach to miracle/interface claims “B”, or rather claims that Scripture is affirming “B”. The painfully obvious fallaciousness of that approach is demonstrable. Whereas, Scripture, science, the ancient Hebrew, and the Christian affirm “A”, for in fact “Being Itself” / *GOD* was (is) involved.
A Brief Observation:
*IF* Physicalism — then rebuilding cells is a wide open YES.
*IF* *GOD* — then rebuilding cells is a wide open YES.
There obviously isn’t a violation of nature as we manipulate and rearrange nature’s fundamental vectors, wave functions and so on vis-à-vis the Eons-Old-Syntax of the Christian Metaphysic as per Causal Agents intentionally manipulating and rearranging nature’s fundamental building blocks and elementary particles/fields to make, say, novel elements and add them to the Universe’s Periodic Table. Black Magic for yesterday’s Non-Theistic “Predictions” and Science for the predictions of yesterday’s Christian syntax. We do it all the time of course – stuff like that. Right now. Today. And we’re getting better at it. And we’re just kiddies in the sandbox — never mind what <i>Being-Itself</i> brings to the Table in this Arena.
Overall we are sorry if that reality is something our Non-Theist friends have chosen not to interface with. Sure, they’d rather pretend that their Straw-Men are what the Christian premises ACTUALLY claim rather than interact with the real world as it actually is. It seems reality isn’t for everyone. A lame man walking isn’t comfortable for Hume/Mackie either. But science is marching on.
Presuppositions aside, evidence affirms the compatibility of what the physical sciences tell us about reality and the Christian truth claims upon that same reality.
Epistemological Timelines & Who Said What First
Neither is convertible with mapping Ontological Truth. Pointing to the existence of the Box [Who Said What First] in fact isn’t an argument either Pro/Con:
Yahwism? Judaism? Polytheistic Origin? Who Said X First – Full-Stop? See http://disq.us/p/1yewf7v
We All Emote, Perceive, Intuit, And Reason Within The Same Pool. And? So What? See http://disq.us/p/1sozwi7