Atheist Friend Comments On Visions


#1

Hello all, and here was his comments about thinking all visions are either natural phenomenal or hallucinations, starting with Bernadette of Lourdes:

The answer she got was, “I am the Immaculate conception.”

You know, if you go back into the Aramaic, you find virgin is actually just young woman. It appears to be a translation error, kind of like maid and maiden in English.

However regarding the vision, she had been taking to people, and I am sure she had one or two suggestions for her visions from other people. I note however it wasn’t until many viewings of ‘the lady’ that she was to be identified.

"she was told she had seen Mary. "

Yeah, I bet she was. Sorry, but the story is suspicious. Also the vision instructed the construction of a shrine. Good girl, she brought her family out of starvation. I feel quite warm towards her.
Do you honestly believe that there is no likelihood that after having many visions of this lady in a cave, that someone wouldn’t have suggested who it might be to the girl?

Do you not think that this is likely, and if it is likely that it would have affected her ‘vision’?

Besides once again, the vision is subjective. Subjective truth has not advanced mankind, objective truth has. Had Mary appeared to a crowd of people told them of god and so on, left a weird heaven radiation in the ground, which was a perfect after image, and then vanished up into the heavens. That would have been a lot more convincing to me. Since it is objective, it rules out tricks of the mind, lies, and hallucinations.

"Bernadette never speculated on the lady’s identity, she did always refer to her as “Aquero,” the patois word for “indescribable being.” "

I guarantee you that had she lived in ancient Roman times, the woman would have been identified as Aphrodite, had she lived in India, she would have been identified as one of their pantheon.

Why is it that Christian visions occur in countries and people who have Christian culture, and Hindi visions occur in countries and people which have Hindi culture?

“the Church is always, “Skeptical” of visions etc.”

Of course they are. All these visions are contradictory, you cannot accept them all. If you did you would look like a fool. They must reject the majority of them.

If we can’t scientifically prove what is divine or generated from the mind, then what is the point of those learned men of the church? If they cannot prove one way or the other, then they are just going with what they want to believe is and isn’t a vision, picking and choosing by what conforms to their predetermined beliefs.

"if it is not detrimental, then what is the harm in allowing for the possibility of a Divine Source? Nothing. "

Sure, in fact in that girls case the visions were very beneficial to her and her family.

The problem is that it is a skyhook. It doesn’t actually advance our understanding of how things work, how best to improve ourselves or our world. A crane is a much better solution cranes can be used to build things. However to make a crane, you must start from the bottom up. This is how science works.

“Why do you dismiss all visions as not divine?”

Well, the same reason I dismiss Bigfoot stories. I look for evidence then draw conclusions from said evidence. Since there is no evidence for the divine or for god, I dismiss them as I do with Bigfoot and just as with Bigfoot, if evidence shows up, I will be willing to change my position.

“You cannot do that scientifically until all questions are answered for”

Only when you demand absolute knowledge, since I say that’s impossible… :wink:

Also, if you apply the same demands of absolute knowledge upon your religious convictions, they fail too, everything does. Except as Socrates once said “the only true knowledge is the knowledge that we know nothing”

"God exists behind the question, “WHY”. :slight_smile: "

I am reminded of the Discworld novels, in which the wizards of unseen university create a powerful thinking machine to answer the difficult questions. To see what would happen, they typed “WHY?” into hex. After a while, hex responds with “Because!”

And so it finishes, that’s what he said. I’m trying my best to gather a good response. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.


#2

The answer she got was, “I am the Immaculate conception.”

You know, if you go back into the Aramaic, you find virgin is actually just young woman. It appears to be a translation error, kind of like maid and maiden in English.

The Immaculate Conception is not a reference to Mary’s virginity.

Besides once again, the vision is subjective. Subjective truth has not advanced mankind, objective truth has. Had Mary appeared to a crowd of people told them of god and so on, left a weird heaven radiation in the ground, which was a perfect after image, and then vanished up into the heavens. That would have been a lot more convincing to me. Since it is objective, it rules out tricks of the mind, lies, and hallucinations.

If your friend is looking for something like a real and concrete impression of Mary to investigate then there is actually a ‘weird heaven radiation which was a perfect after image,’ already in existance, an image of her left on a cloth during a vision in Mexico. Its called the Tilma, if he wants to google it.

Why is it that Christian visions occur in countries and people who have Christian culture, and Hindi visions occur in countries and people which have Hindi culture?

I understand there are visions of Mary in an African Islamic country, to its Islamic peoples.

Sure, in fact in that girls case the visions were very beneficial to her and her family.

I understood that in Fatima the three young children who saw the visions were arrested by the ‘atheistic’ local officials and taken by force from their families. They were very young children to be arrested and held and questioned.

"Bernadette never speculated on the lady’s identity, she did always refer to her as “Aquero,” the patois word for “indescribable being.”

…they are just going with what they want to believe is and isn’t a vision, picking and choosing by what conforms to their predetermined beliefs.

Theses two statements are contradicting each other. As your friend rightly says Bernadette did not know who the woman in the vision was, so the vision was not conforming to her predetermined beliefs.

Well, the same reason I dismiss Bigfoot stories. I look for evidence then draw conclusions from said evidence. Since there is no evidence for the divine or for god, I dismiss them as I do with Bigfoot and just as with Bigfoot, if evidence shows up, I will be willing to change my position.

Your friend understands that he is talking about Spiritual matters but he probably wants material evidence. Thje evidence for spiritual things is spiritual evidence, the evidence for material things is material evidence.
Spiritual evidence will be found where it naturally belongs, within the human heart and human soul. That is where I think he must look for this evidence if he wants to find evidence.


#3

“Theses two statements are contradicting each other. As your friend rightly says Bernadette did not know who the woman in the vision was, so the vision was not conforming to her predetermined beliefs.”

No, I was the one who said the first line, I put quotes around what I said. Sorry


#4

Ok, you can substitute this quote for it, its the same thing.

I note however it wasn’t until many viewings of ‘the lady’ that she was to be identified.


#5

A lot of this is just due to ignorance. It’s good that you go out of your way to figure out the facts. If I seem a little hostile or irritated, it isn’t to you but it’s meant more as responses to this person. The following is directed to your friend:

You know, if you go back into the Aramaic, you find virgin is actually just young woman. It appears to be a translation error, kind of like maid and maiden in English.

Show me your degree in Ancient Aramaic, then we’ll talk.

Bible translators aren’t idiots; we put the best people on the job to do it.

Sorry, but the story is suspicious. Also the vision instructed the construction of a shrine.

The shrine was for May’s message regarding God, which you address right below. So, in one place you complain that it was about a shrine that involved God, then below you complain that it had nothing to do with God.

Had Mary appeared to a crowd of people told them of god and so on, left a weird heaven radiation in the ground, which was a perfect after image, and then vanished up into the heavens. That would have been a lot more convincing to me.

Well she didn’t that time, but she already did in Guadalupe – a cheap cloak that should not last for more than a decade but yet has lasted for centuries now. While the rays around the image and other embellishments on it were painted on, the image of Mary itself is real. Scientists have taken pictures of the eyes, magnified it, and discovered that they have the same images actual pupils have. So she already did what you said.

Furthermore, about her appearing to a crowd of people and talking to them, that also has happened. Just because they didn’t happen in Lourdes, it doesn’t mean they never happened at all. The events at Fatima had 70,000 people witnessing the miracle, a lot of them atheists (Portugal was going through an atheist whim at the time). In the crowd were a lot of Catholics who didn’t believe in the claims of the three children who said they say Mary; they actually went there to ridicule them. You can’t say it was wishful thinking there.

Of course they are. All these visions are contradictory, you cannot accept them all. If you did you would look like a fool. They must reject the majority of them.

We’re not stupid, and we don’t pick them on whim. Logic and scientists helped us figure out which were supernatural and which weren’t. Bayside and Medjugorje, for example, are frauds.

Fatima and Lourdes have been investigated, again through science.

Sure, in fact in that girls case the visions were very beneficial to her and her family.

Not true. In the case of Fatima, the kids were mocked, kidnapped and threatened, and their families suffered right there with them.

It doesn’t actually advance our understanding of how things work, how best to improve ourselves or our world.

Did you study these Marian apparitions at all? Their messages were of peace and of care for the human race. Like Fatima – it was all about how the world was going through a war and would be soon going through another one if people didn’t shape up. Mary didn’t fail; people did.

Well, the same reason I dismiss Bigfoot stories. I look for evidence then draw conclusions from said evidence. Since there is no evidence for the divine or for god, I dismiss them as I do with Bigfoot and just as with Bigfoot, if evidence shows up, I will be willing to change my position.

I don’t believe you really do look for evidence. It’s obvious the conclusions you drew from these Marian visions weren’t based on any study of them. Study them, and we can debate on what you discover. So far it’s based on presumptions and not on study.

You presume that these visions of Mary were hallucinations of pious people, but in one vision approved by the Catholic Church in Zeitoun, Egypt, she appeared not only to Copts and Catholics, but to people who have no reason to venerate Mary, such as Muslims and protestants. You have no idea about the kind of scientific work that goes into studying canonisation causes, for example, where people are impossibly healed of illnesses. Doctors and scientists study it. The Vatican has tough criteria to meet.

All these arguments can be knocked down with study. It isn’t hard to do.

Now, I know that being an atheist you aren’t interested in it; that’s your perogative, but at least observe the wisdom of not speaking on topics of which you know nothing. You can start off with “Greater Than You Think: A Theologian Answers the Atheists About God,” a new book that was just featured on EWTN. Then, move on to more specific books about Fatima and Lourdes and explore the empirical, scientific evidence behind them.


closed #6

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