Fatima: Proof?


#1

Luke 16:29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

This is a thread about Fatima. As far as I know, there exists no real atheistic explanation of this event.

The miracle of the sun itself is an extraordinary event, but the fact that it coincided with the revelations of the children (who talked about theological and political concepts way beyond what they could know) seem quite literally speaking a good a proof of the supernature and the Catholic Faith as one could ask for.

I plan to use this as a major sword to attack atheism, but I need to know if any plausible ‘debunkings’ exist. I have seen the wikipedia page and I don’t find any of those convincing.


#2

Huh.

No replies, let’s just go back to bickering over how many angels can fit on the head of the pin rather than address an apodictic vindication of Orthodoxy and its critics.


#3

An atheist would argue that the miracle of the sun was nothing more than mass hysteria and that those who think they saw it from far away were influenced by reports of it they heard from the deluded who were there.

In a word, no experience by individuals or groups will convince people who are set on not believing. Skeptics live for debunking–it’s the only faith they have, poor things.


#4

That’s not a plausable explanation though… they must have a better one. That is, unless they don’t want to believe it.

But how could someone not want to believe such good news? You thought life was meaningless, vain, simply pointless with no real right or wrong- sitting on your rump and watching TV is objectively no better or worse than finding a cure for cancer, and everyone you love and yourself is going to cease to be.

Then, someone says, no, actually, there’s hope. This miracle happened, and people were around to prove it. Life isn’t existentially negative after all! Yay!- Right?!?!

Wouldn’t the sane reaction be one of guarded optimism?

Sometimes I think these people are more cases for the headshrinker than the priest.


#5

Because if they believed it, they would have to admit that some or much of their current behavior is disordered and they would have to give up some favorite pleasures.


#6

No, actually, they don’t have a better explanation. Sad and funny at the same time, isn’t it?

But how could someone not want to believe such good news? You thought life was meaningless, vain, simply pointless with no real right or wrong- sitting on your rump and watching TV is objectively no better or worse than finding a cure for cancer, and everyone you love and yourself is going to cease to be.

Then, someone says, no, actually, there’s hope. This miracle happened, and people were around to prove it. Life isn’t existentially negative after all! Yay!- Right?!?!

Wouldn’t the sane reaction be one of guarded optimism?

Not for those who don’t want to exist in the first place. I believe, and it’s JMHO, that those who refuse to believe or give any credence to the idea of God and heaven are wounded optimists who want the world to be just as they’d like, not as it is. They blame God and religion for it being the way it is rather than actually doing anything positive about it themselves. At least, that’s what I see in such an attitude.

Sometimes I think these people are more cases for the headshrinker than the priest.

Sometimes they are, but there is a spiritual pride here than cannot be overcome by mere facts. If a person wants to discount the miraculous because they think nothing miraculous has happened to them, that’s their choice. After all, God made each of us with a free will, didn’t he? :shrug:


#7

Interesting thoughts.

But I have never come across anything from any side of any issue which did not have a coherent retort from the opposing view. If this truely has no retort, then that would be in my own personal search, huge.

What you said though Della, about wounded optimists who don’t want to exist, brings up an interesting question about the psychology of atheism. Since most psychologists are probably agnostics or atheists, this is not something which has really been looked into AFAIK.

I remember one time a strident atheist told me that she did not want there to be a God, because if there was, then it’d mean that there was a reason for all of the suffering in the world and somehow that would make suffering okay. That’s just about the only revealing thing I’ve ever gotten from one, they usually just get mad and start their ‘evolution’ chest-thumping.


#8

I think first of all your notion of the life of an atheist is rather simplistic. Maybe an agnostic who is disenchanted and seeking. Then why would you want to use a “sword”. Certainly Jesus and the Apostles never did. Perhaps some of the Christian Champions of Frankland did and gained massive numbers of baptisms, but who knows how many real converts.

Winning arguments is not the best way to make a convert, nor will many atheists accept your “proofs.” Try the advice of St. Francis of Assisi preach the Gospel always, use words only when necessary. How you live your life as a Christian is more powerful than any argument you might put forth. When it is time God will provide the gift of Faith. It is caught, not taught.


#9

Yes,

Love over insults and head shaking any day.

I believe miracles may strengthen the faith of those who believe…even a little bit, but are nearly useless against those who are not in the faith. Inexplicable things happen all the time, and we come up with explanations, for faithful, the explanation is often their deity, for the unfaithful…whatever it is they see as the power in the universe.

A real miracle is to see someone Living their faith, in such a way that the only reasonable explanation is…that it is truth!


#10

For rwoehmke and cheddarsox, no one has advocated using a sword to try to win converts, and healthy debate is not the same thing as shoving one’s opinions down another’s throat. :wink:

We are not discussing debating tactics, but why some people cannot/will not accept the miraculous even when there are good proofs for it. Understanding why helps a good apologist help those who need him. And that is what we are discussing.

For mschrank, as to coherent arguments from all sides, I like what G. K. Chesterton had to say about that. He stated that the logic of the madman is irrefutable because it is a closed system like a circle that does not admit anything that will not keep it intact (I’m paraphrasing his thought here).

Whenever one cannot admit a new element into one’s thinking, then that thinking is closed. Catholicism admits all that is true into it, so it is not a closed system of belief like atheism is.


#11

Hi della from epiphany. Long time no post.

Why aren’t you and your husband in my theology of the body class. :confused: Hummmmmmmm!:smiley:


#12

I can think of a lot more important doctrinal points to work on with an atheist, and someone who does not even believe in God or Jesus is probably not going to be impressed by his mother.


#13

But this is not a small, Jesus on a tortilla chip kind of “Miracle”, this is like, the biggest thing since the Ressurection. I don’t think I’m exaggerating either!

Imagine if they had photos of Jesus dead on the cross, then photos of him Ascending with a crowd of 10,000 people there to back it all up. Okay, its not quite THAT big, but it’s pretty darn close.

Empiricism/Materialism is like iron, its strong but if only one tiny miracle out of the million reported ones were true, then it’d crack into a million pieces and nobody would ever be able to put it together again. Then atheism would be revealed for what it is- not so much a positive belief in something (materialism) but the product of a deep wound in the human soul that feels like heaven ought to be closer than it really is and something is deeply wrong, a kind of existential blackness that sees Christianity as too good to be true.

I think Fatima is that miracle that shows what our doubts really come from, a deep seated blackness and despair that covers all people and the only explanation for this and a good description of it is the one offered by Christianity.


#14

I would not use something that is not doctrine or dogma when working with unbelievers.

No Catholic is bound to believe in Fatima.


#15

I think that directing any atheist to a private revelation that does not form part of the Church’s official Deposit of Faith is misguided. Without a background in everything else the Church teaches, the atheist might be content to assert mass hysteria for events like the dancing of the sun.


#16

Still, I think Fatima is far more exciting to your average joe than say, Summa Theologica.

The problem with philosophy and theology is that nonbelievers dismiss it all as basically coherent nonsense. So how does coming at someone with coherent nonsense help them out at all? Heaven, saints, unicorns… “So you say” is the best that it often moves one to.

The thing I appreciate so much about Fatima is that it makes real all the theology- it is coherence and correspondence. It is like a cup of water to a world dying of thirst.


#17

For one who believes in it yes.

For one who does not, no. It is just nonsense to them. Hysteria.

With out a grounding in what the Church actually teaches apparitions.

There is no scientific evidence to back it up so why should they believe? While many may have seen the Miracle of the Sun, there are many who see UFOs daily.

It just doesn’t work.


#18

Another great modern miracle is the incorruptables, especially of Saint Bernadette. Her body looks as if she died yesterday, rather than over 100 years ago.

Jon


#19

I can understand why Protestants dismiss Fatima; Because it goes against their beliefs about Mary. Some acknowledge that it was a miraculous event, but that it was the work of Satan in disguise :eek:, because Fatima had messages that we should trust Mary.

But that comparison about UFOs is terrible. 70,000 people were waiting for a miracle on October 13th, 1917. And they got it. :thumbsup:

UFO occurances are pathetic; There is never any substance to them. What a horrible comparison. :mad:

If Pope John Paul II can acknowledge Our Lady of Fatima for saving him at his attempted assasination (which, by the way, occurred on the anniversary of the first Fatima apparition, May 13th, 1981) then we should have confidence in Our Lady of Fatima too.
:signofcross:


#20

Actually the OP said they planned to use Fatima as a sword to attack atheists. Others joined in to suggest atheists are psychologically ill, all about pride and pleasure, oh, and evolution.

And, though I am not an atheist, (though some like to call me one), I was suggesting that these tactics are not all that useful in conversion.

I do honestly think that a life lived in faith is the most compelling thing, that might get someone searching, wanting to know more. If the size of the self help aisle at the library and book store is any indication, people are eager to learn from others who have what they see as valuable.

You may argue that no atheist would see a life of faith as valuable, but I guess that is another thread.


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