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Why all religions believes in Miracles (is it humanity expects miracles)?

prasad1

Well-known member
Believing in miracles is somewhat common. Holding these beliefs is not limited to certain age groups nor is it restricted to certain religious denominations or a religious affiliation. In 2007, a study surveyed almost 36,000 Americans, aged 18 to 70-plus-years-old, and found that 78 percent of people under the age of 30 believed in miracles versus 79 percent among those older than 30 (Pew Research Center, 2010). With respect to religious affiliation, 83 percent of those who were affiliated believed in miracles in contrast to 55 percent of respondents who were unaffiliated. Although people from all religions believe in miracles, over 80 percent of those with Protestant and Catholic affiliations endorsed this belief.

Some people rely on religious or spiritual beliefs as a way to live their lives; however, many others turn to such beliefs in time of need. Relying on a powerful, beneficent, supernatural being (e.g., God, angels, guardians) to be present, and hopefully intervene, can help the afflicted cope with extremely difficult situations. In medical contexts, faith in God and/or the competency of their treating medical professionals can provide powerful psychological comfort. This is especially so when a patient believes God acts through physicians.

When a doctor predicts little to no chance for a patient’s recovery, it is not uncommon for the patient and/or family members to reject the prognosis. They may question the doctor’s predictive accuracy. Moreover, if they believe in divine intervention, the patient’s surrogate (usually a family member) may be more likely to request continuation of life support. In such cases, medical professionals who underestimate the importance of religious and spiritual beliefs may be undermining their patient’s medical care by creating conflicts and impaired bereavement (Widera, Rosenfeld, Fromme, Sulmasy, & Arnold 2011).

On the other hand, the quality of the patient’s life near the time of death can be adversely affected when individuals are steadfast in their hope for miraculous healing to the extent that they reject care that will ease the patient’s demise. Consequently, there needs to be a mutual understanding between the medical team and the patient and their family, where the spiritual beliefs of the patient/family are respected, and the medical condition is meaningfully and sensitively communicated to them.

There are many people whose spiritual and religious beliefs include the existence of miracles. To some, these beliefs may seem peculiar or even reflective of mental illness. We should not be so inclined as to mistake this faith in the supernatural as a sign of a mental disorder. Doing so takes away the power of giving meaning to life; particularly, in the direst of circumstances when life is threatened. This vehicle of hope should not be underestimated or debased.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
According to recent surveys 72% of people in the USA and 59% of people in the UK believe that miracles take place. Why do so many people believe in miracles in the present age of advanced science and technology? Let us briefly consider three possible answers to this question.

The first possible answer is simply that miracles actually do take place all the time. If they take place all the time it is not a surprise that many people witness them and believe in them. However, philosophers widely agree that miracles always involve a violation of the laws of nature. Such acts as healing a fatal injury instantly or turning water into wine are considered miracles primarily because they violate the laws of nature—they cannot be performed without defying the laws of physics, chemistry, biology and so on. Yet nature is a uniform and stable system. If the laws of nature were regularly violated, we would not be able to speak, walk, or even breathe. Hence, even if miracles can occur in principle, they simply cannot occur regularly.

The second possible answer is that belief in miracles is a projection of wishful thinking. According to this answer, many people believe in miracles because they want to think that they take place. There is some truth in this answer. One can argue that belief in miraculous healing is particularly common because people want to remain hopeful even when they suffer a serious illness or injury. However, it is not clear why so many people would believe something merely because they want it to be the case. For example, many people want to become millionaires but few believe that they are millionaires, unless they really are.

The third answer is that belief in miracles has cognitive and developmental origins. According to recent psychological research, a cognitive mechanism that detects violations of the laws of nature is in place as early as infancy. In one experiment, two-and-a-half-month-old infants consistently showed ‘surprise’ when they witnessed their toys appearing to teleport or pass through solid objects. Some psychologists even argue that such a violation of expectations creates an important opportunity for infants to seek information and learn about the world. In these experiments, infants spent more time exploring toys that violated their expectations than toys that did not. Some of them were even eager to test their ‘hypotheses’ by banging the toys that appeared to pass through a wall or drop the toys that appeared to hover in the air. Some psychologists also argue that belief in miracles has survived for a long time because miracles have a common character: ‘minimal counterintuitiveness.’

That is, well-known miracles often deviate slightly from intuitive expectations but do not involve overly counterintuitive elements. They spread successfully through generations because while they offer an idea that is challenging enough to attract attention, they also avoid over-taxing people’s conceptual systems. The hypothesis of minimal counterintuitiveness has been supported by psychological experiments. Many well-known miracle stories—such as Jesus walking on water and Muhammad instantly restoring the sight of a blind person—are indeed minimally counterintuitive because they are only slightly counterintuitive.

On the face of it, believing in miracles seems to be incompatible with modern life. It seems unlikely, however, that they will disappear any time soon as they have deep cognitive roots in human psychology.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
Faith in a time of rationality


Religion, in the past, seemed vested with the power of performing miracles. Today, blind faith is the equivalent of gullibility and miracles are vested with scepticism, says P. RADHAKRISHNAN.
THE news report from London, "Was she cured miraculously?" by Hasan Suroor (The Hindu, August 20), raises several issues about the nexus between religion and rationality and goes against the conventional wisdom that with the progress of knowledge, religion declines in its importance. As the subject of the report has ramifications for every religion worth its name, to place this write-up in perspective, a brief introduction of this report is necessary.

Going by the report, as a miracle is a prerequisite for beatification by the Vatican, Mother Teresa's canonisation hangs on a tenuous thread of the testimony of an illiterate 30-year-old Bengali woman, Mrs. Monika Besra. The reason for this is Besra is believed to have claimed that she was "miraculously" cured of an "incurable" tumour with the posthumous blessings of the Mother, though at least three important references in this claim - miracle, incurable, posthumous-blessings - warrant dissection. The "official account" of Besra's cure runs thus: In May 1998 she was diagnosed with a large tumour in her abdomen and for two months she was in acute pain, unable even to stand straight. One day, she "hobbled" into the destitute home run by Mother Teresa's order in Raiganj, where first the sisters gave her medicine but when it did not work, they decided on invoking the Mother's blessings. This they did on the first anniversary of the Mother's death - September 5, 1998 - when two nuns tied the same silver medallion round Besra's stomach that had been placed on the Mother's body. Following this, Besra fell into deep sleep and when she woke up there was no sign of the tumour. A claim attributed to Besra in the report is: "My stomach became smaller and smaller. In three days it was completely all right. I am sure that Mother Teresa made me alright."

But the claim has not gone uncontested. The Sunday Times, a British newspaper, would have it as one of the "most powerful alleged miracles supporting her (Mother Teresa's) cause", and the emphasis is obviously on the word alleged.

The Observer, another British newspaper is forthright in its scepticism. Stating that even Besra's identity had not been officially disclosed, it pointed out that "the excessive secrecy deployed by Mother Teresa's order, and her successor, Sister Nirmala, in Mrs. Besra's case" raised questions about the veracity of her claim, and claimed there were "inconsistencies" in Besra's account. The Observer correspondent in Raiganj quoted a doctor expressing doubt, while the archbishop of Calcutta, Henry D'Souza, has reportedly claimed, "Renowned physicians have certified that the disappearance of the tumour was nothing short of a miracle."

 

prasad1

Well-known member
Closely related to this miracle episode is an account "A Bold Claim: God Takes Human Form", by Mr. Robert M. Price: A central figure in first-century Christianity was actually not a Christian. There has been more written about Simon of Gitta than about the apostles. Simon claimed to be the incarnation of the one, true God ... Some scholars think Simon's reputation for miracle working, along with his declaration of divinity, helped influence the Christian idea of Jesus Christ as God incarnate ... Simon's reputation for miracle working made him famous. He even impressed the Roman Emperor Nero (37-68 AD) by supposedly flying through the air. Around 175 AD; Justin Martyr reported that Simon was still widely worshipped in both Rome and Samaria. Martyr recognised the importance of Simon's claim to divinity, and he argued strongly that Jesus was the One who embodied the "Divine Mind" of God. This became a central tenet of the School of Alexandria, the first Christian institution of higher learning founded in the mid-second century AD in Alexandria, Egypt. But it took another 300 years of theological debate before the Catholic Church officially declared Jesus was God incarnate, a paradox meaning he was both the Son of God and God (Source: "Religions of the World", Zooba.com, Inc.)

The key usages in the above quote, namely miracle working, divinity, worship, incarnation, Son of God and God, are important to note. For, though the meanings of none of these are still clear (miracle-working could as well mean magic, and in the not so distant past magic and religion were inseparable), all these usages are still bandied as banalities to buttress and legitimise religions, religious institutions and practices, and a juxtaposed reading of Price's account with Suroor's report in The Hindu makes it abundantly clear that Christianity has not changed much ever since it came into existence about 2000 years ago.

It will be in larger public, nay global, interest to dissect these issues, so that the world can gradually minimise the threats of obscurantism, irrationalism, fundamentalism, Talibanism, Buddha-bashing, and what have you.
To conclude, "Men will never be free", wrote Voltaire "till the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." But what will men do if the king and priest are rolled into one? That seems to be the Vatican dilemma.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
Is a miracle = Superstition?

Religions are the most fertile breeding grounds for superstitions. There are secular superstitions but they are nothing compared to religious superstitions. Superstitions are to religion what stupid children are to a wise and noble mother. They point to our incapacity to think and act rationally. Superstitions inhibit what is good and noble in our nature and anchor us in what is subhuman.

Superstitions thwart our ethical development. This is obvious from the operating strategies of our fraud godmen. Do we know a godman who does not claim to perform miracles? Miracles belong to the domain of blind faith. When does someone blindfold you? Isn’t it when he does not want you to know where you are being led? In whose interest is such an arrangement?
All superstitions thrive in darkness. All merchants of superstition hide themselves. Fraud godman Gurmeet Singh needed his gufa. Every godman creates a world of impenetrable secrecy around himself; lest he is seen as an ordinary human being. Every superstition is a blatant contradiction of truth and the light of spirituality

Superstitions caricature God. If anyone spends a few minutes considering the idea or image of God that superstitions imply, he would be shocked. To think of the Creator and Sustainer of the cosmos in terms of this petty image — especially assuming that God can be bribed to be partial towards you — is laughably atheistic. If we have a modicum of love for God in us, we will realise that we insult God by casting the muck of superstitions at him/her. Superstitions are manufactured and popularised mainly to hold people back from God, which is essential if they are to be manipulated.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
Most of us have grown up in environments where rationality takes a back seat. We continue to carry forward all the beliefs of our parents and our family with out any rational and call it culture and tradition. We do not question the fundamentals behind them. We dare not. Questioning itself is a taboo!!!! and that is how we continue to live?

Over a period, thanks to globalization and media, we have evolved into a very modern society, filled with liberal concepts and fundamental ideas. We have access to information at our finger tips. We are well educated and in good jobs, have great health care systems and above all most of us live as nuclear families with out the influence old beliefs and yet we are compelled to ignore the distinguishing attributes between a socio-cultural compulsion and a irrational behavior.

These beliefs are not limited to Hinduism alone. They are part of every religion, community, society and civilization. They have passed on from generation to generation, era to era with more vigor and colour . These beliefs are a thorn in our progress as an individual and as a society. Many a great men have fought this menace but were merely misunderstood.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
SUPERSTITIONS
Ours is a religion of the great Vedas. Veda means Knowledge. Knowledge is both material and spiritual. There is no contradiction between the two. Vedic scriptures promote rational thinking. They don’t ask any one to follow any of their aspect with out a valid reason or rationality. Man is free to question the Vedas but with an intention to seek answers. All the superstitious beliefs and habits should be analysed and dissected in a scientific plane in order to under stand the rational behind it. Question the intent. If it is found that any practice is without a reason or rational it should be rejected forth with. By doing so the the practice ceases to be a superstition. Superstition is a bane on the society. Many Strong minded men spend time and energy to justify the practice and invent allegories to explain their dirty beliefs.

Superstitions originated out of ignorance and allied with it is fear. These started with early men who desperately tried to explain Nature and his own existence and wanted to wade fear and invite fortune. We forget to realise that fortune is an outcome of hard work coupled with sincerity and knowledge. There are no short cuts!

 

prasad1

Well-known member
MIRACLES
Miracles are mere tricks similar to the ones that a street magician performs to enthrall his audience. People are fooled by these tricks and start seeing divinity in them. There is no need for God to prove his existence through these tricks. Miracles are against the laws of nature.

The greatest of all miracles is the nature around us. The orderliness we see in this nature is itself a miracle sufficient enough to prove Gods existence. Even a well learned scientist cannot find answers to the ultimate origin of the universe. We seldom forget the laws of physics and the fact that every effect has a cause. It is impossible to create something from nothing . Miracles are tricks to fool week minded people. If some one claims he has experienced miracles in life it means that he is either trying to deceive or is being deceived.
There will be a question in every ones mind. If Miracles are cheap tricks, why do the holy Hindu scriptures such as Puranas and the Itihasas mention miracles? Yes it is true. They mention many miracles but the point to note is that these texts are considered work of literature, a creation by humans and the intent of introducing the concept of miracles is to bring in faith and nothing more than that. The Vedas are more superior to any of the holy texts. They do not mention Miracles. They speak logic and rationality. Moreover, Puranas and Itihasas are literary works containing stories on morality and one needs to understand that all stories have elements such as plot, characters, mystery, suspense and imagination of the author. Miracles in these stories should be accepted only for the sake of the message they convey and not as reality.

Miracles cannot be performed.

 
One way to look at so called Miracles is to escape from harsh reality of present. For religious leaders creating miracles induces awe and disbelief coupled with respect and increased followers which leads to more wealth and power.
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
Scientific analysis purely focusses on the external world and its laws and principles.

Our ancients primarily focussed on the "power of the mind" and that a highly trained mind can unleash the supreme power of the consciousnesses.

And that consciousness can transcend the human limitations as it is a god entity. And we humans can escape the karmic sufferings via miracles. So it is natural for our religions to be founded on miracles.

Nostradamus was ridiculed in 1600s for drawing images of fantastic looking flying objects like aeroplanes, etc.. And in today's age, it is no longer a mystery.

Those following my posts know our history as written in our scriptures are very accurate. So I would not dismiss these claims of miracles in our scriptures offhand.

It may be possible, that years of meditation can power the mind to perform extraordinary feats.
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
And why would people want religions if it cannot perform miracles?? If it cannot solve their problems. ??

So when people are facing insurmountable problems, they look to God and religion for pariharams, pryaschittams, etc..
 

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