How do atheists explain Eucharistic Miracles

No way of doing this with absolute certainty, of course. While “dark matter” is “unknown natural” because we do not have a physical model of nature to explain it; I would say that some event that upsets areas of nature that appear to falsify otherwise reliable laws would not be “unknown natural” as much as “preternatural” — something else that is not explicable with our otherwise reliable models of nature.

Something which is necessary to explain the existence and operation of nature. This goes back to the cosmological argument; so I would start there if you do not yet accept that the supernatural is metaphysically necessary.

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It is original sin. Atheists do not believe because they do not want to give up their sin.

Eucharistic miracle of Sokolka.

This is off topic but there are plenty of Catholics and Christians who do not want to, and in fact do not, give up their sins. There are many atheists who simply do not have faith, and part of that may be because of significant intellectual obstacles that may have been built up and reinforced over many years of thinking, amounting to practically insurmountable cognitive bias. Many are convinced, because of our methodologically naturalistic education, that nature is uniform and cannot admit the possibility of anything miraculous, it just does not enter their ability to assent to (and least not on their own).

G.K. Chesterton and Hillaire Belloc were particularly astute at describing this effect of modern education and the “modern mind.”

This old canard is really ridiculous and overused. I don’t know any atheists over the age of about 50 that are atheists because they want to keep sinning. If I became Catholic tomorrow I wouldn’t have to change my current morality a single bit to fit within Catholic morality. Atheists are atheists because they don’t believe in God. Period.


The difference is that the faithful recognize their sinfulness before God and humble themselves before Him for HIs mercy. We are all not worthy but we humble ourselves in our weakness before God. Those who do not believe in God do not humble themselves or recognize their sinfulness. This is the great deception of Satan.

You do realize that atheists don’t believe in Satan, either?

Do you even know and interact with any atheists? I realize it’s quite easy to demonize any you disagree with but you may just be surprised at how closely your and atheists morality agree with each other…but, then you might have to humble down your opinions a bit!

What strikes me about the Buenos Aires miracle is that I can’t comprehend what the supernatural explanation of the miracle would be. We know that Catholic teaching is that the host retains the accidents of the Bread. Why didn’t this host? Was the sacrament incorrectly confected? If this is a miracle, then it is a miraculous … what exactly?

God loves you regardless if you believe in Him. Satan will destroy you and lead you to hell for all eternity if you don’t believe in him. Atheists do not believe, I get it. That does not change objective truth.

For which we have no objective evidence.

Yes, you are a good Catholic and stick with the Catholic message. Threats of Hell will not serve you, however, in making Catholisism look appealing. A person can not make themselves believe in something which they don’t. It just doesn’t work that way.

It’s a good question, although a simple answer, offered speculatively, would be an “extraordinary Eucharist” wherein the accidents themselves undergo a further change of appearance (and obviously no longer intended for consumption). The substance — the whole body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ — would be the same and still invisible. So in addition to the transubstantiation, there is a transmutation?

At this given time, an atheist may not find what they need to believe. However, no one will go through their entire life without God giving them the truth to believe and save their soul. God is not cruel like that. The problem is that many will reject that grace from God to believe and will be lost. Many atheists convert on their deathbeds.

Yes indeed. Strange. What we’re faced with, I suggest, Neithan, is that atheists are being challenged to find a natural explanation for an alleged phenomenon for which we have no supernatural explanation either. A problem!

A good problem if it lets some light into the closed doors of our natural presumptions. Perhaps our parsimonious scientific method provides reliable models for utilitarian purposes, but there are other possibilities in reality. For an atheist, that may be the only available purpose to consider.

Yes, we atheists will be handicapped in that way.:wink:

The other possibilities would be open to theologians, perhaps? Do they study modern miracles and publish explanations from their side of the fence? They must address them in some way, I presume.

There is a theology of miracles, and the Feast of Corpus Christi was (allegedly) instituted partly by inspired response to a Eucharistic miracle in the 13th century. You’re right though, you can leave any attempt to explain the “supernatural” side to the theologians. One step at at time. :slight_smile:

I’m glad we agree that the “unknown (potential) natural” does not equal the supernatural. Otherwise, I think we both agree that would be a textbook example of arguments from incredulity or “supernaturality of the gaps” type reasoning.

Relative to how you do define the supernatural, I guess I don’t quite follow how something necessary to explain existence and operation of nature is supernatural. For example, if it could be shown to your satisfaction that the cosmos has always existed as the necessary grounding for all that we observe…would you call that supernatural?

The cosmological argument doesn’t demonstrate a God exists even if you accept all the premises. It simply demonstrates that our present local universe has a cause. I do not accept the cosmological argument (nor do the majority of cosmologists) because the Big Bang isn’t a demonstration of the “beginning” of our universe, simply the expansion from an initial low-entropy state. We do not observe our universe “beginning to exist” so I reject that premise. Nor do we actually observe (in a sense) anything beginning to exist. We do however, observe a perpetual rearranging of energy and matter into different states that we label as beginning to exists. For example, in a sense we don’t observe a chair “beginning to exist” we do however observe a rearranging of matter via energy (humans constructing things) forming various amalgamations of matter into a different constructs and eventually that rearranged matter will rearrange into different matter (ie tree is turned into a chair, which goes to the dump, which then is decomposed into detritus, which then is absorbed by various forms of bacteria, etc.). There is no reason NOT to assume that this perpetual rearranging of positive and negative energy has not always been the case when you explore zero energy theory. All other arguments that proport a God to exist are arguments from ignorance (ex. you cant prove me wrong therefore I am justified in believing in God) OR they are arguments from incredulity (ex. I can’t think of another explanation therefore I am justified in believing in God).

I do not accept the supernatural as metaphysically necessary because we have no way of differentiating the supernatural from the natural, therefore we cannot appeal to the supernatural as explanatory (we would be appealing to a mystery using a bigger mystery that seems simple, but is in reality far more complex than any natural explanation).

Your thoughts?

That’s a broad generalization. What’s your basis for it? [And out of curiosity, are you a cosmologist?]

This is off topic but you’re welcome to start a new discussion (and copy your post here or link to it).

I am not a cosmologist, so I default to the consensus in fields I am not an expert. If the majority of cosmologists accepted the cosmological argument we would see that noted in the literature, of which we do not. This is an argument from silence where we would otherwise expect a large vocalization of consensus.

Would you mind starting another thread and linking this discussion? I am not quite sure how to do this.

Also did you have any other thoughts on appealing to the supernatural in a cosmos that has always existed in some form or another. Under that model we would expect the “supernatural” NOT to exist nor manifest in any way…which seems to be exactly what we do observe. Now if you presuppose that the supernatural exists then you will find what you are looking for (ex. healing crystals, eucharistic miracles, hindu statues drinking milk, etc.), but I would argue that is one more presupposition then is warranted if one attempts to be as properly basic as possible. Do we agree on that?

*maybe that would be a good thread to start “properly basic beliefs” or something like that to continue this discussion. I believe you are a genuine interlocutor neithan.

It should be your topic with you as the Original Poster. If you go to the Philosophy forum (you can click it at the top of the page here) there should be a button on the bottom right for New Topic.

The classic cosmo argument does not depend on a beginning of the universe; the supernatural is still necessary given the premises of the argument, if nature is what we observe.

Axioms? Yes, that would be the place to begin, and I think they are either asserted (if not consciously, then assumed anyway) or not. A Buddhist for example would not accept that what we observe is ontic in the same way that we would with a classical Western metaphysic. There are other posters on CAF who are well acquainted with philosophy and you might appreciate their input. :slight_smile:

*Of course, there is no way for us to model reality as truly axiomatic, unless we were omniscient.

Okay I will start a new post. Ultimately, between 2 people, the one that presupposes LESS in an effort to be as properly basic as possible, the one that presupposes less (in my opinion) posses a superior ontology/epistemology. Do you agree with that?

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