How do atheists explain Eucharistic Miracles

With respect to the OP’s question, we usually don’t. Why would we? Eucharistic miracles are, please pardon me, pointless to a non-believer. What does it accomplish? What does it matter to me if a piece of bread is said to have turned into human tissue?

I would say, “Hmm, that certainly seems an odd thing to report. It’s likely a mistake in either the lab sample, the process of preservation of the lab sample (such as contamination, etc.), a defect in the equipment, or a misidentification by the lab worker.”

And then it would go no further, because it isn’t the kind of “miracle” that makes any difference to me. Why do I need said thing to occur, or why do I need to have dead people be shown to have a very slow decaying process? In the end, they are still dead. And the Eucharistic sample is still just a collection of cellular material.

A useful miracle is one that one that simply cannot be explained by any other possibility.

Such as, you take a randomized group of people who are dying from ALS and give some the Eucharist and others a regular cracker, and find out that those who were in the first group had a complete and full restoration of all neurological function. And those who didn’t had no appreciable change.

THAT would be a Eucharistic miracle.

I’m not claiming that current Eucharistic miracles serve no purpose at all. They do for those who already believe, and some who are caught up in the investigation, may also accept them.

But you have to understand, to a atheist who does not believe in a god, does not believe in a Fall of Man and Original Sin, and does not hold that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, it makes no sense to even need a Eucharist to begin with.

So, therefore the hype about these kinds of miracles is more likely to be regarded by atheists as polite, but nonplussed, disinterest.

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That’s like asking how Leonardo da Vinci can draw a line. The atheists have mastered this art of believing falsehood and disbelieving truth. :slight_smile:

Just observe:

And yet he mentions two beliefs the presence of which obviously strongly correlates with atheism: that atheism is “non belief in god(s)” and that atheism “predicts nothing about other beliefs or conclusions”.

So, what do they do?

We have seen several techniques.

For example:

Please note the absence of references to those “events”, not to mention the Catholic reaction to such references. :slight_smile:

In fact, finding Hinduist (or Budddhist) miracle claims is hard.

And once we find something that looks like a Hinduist miracle claim, the questions that Catholics ask are not the questions that atheists ask.

We should ask “Is it really a miracle claim?” (as opposed to, let’s say, a parable), “Does that miracle make sense assuming their doctrines?” (in fact, I have seen cases that do not - it is easier to harmonise the assumption that it was a true event with Catholicism than with Hinduism or Buddhism).

And atheists…?

First, what do they themselves imagine to be doing:

But let’s see what they really do:

In other words, they do not look for evidence. They look for some excuse to dismiss the evidence.

And, well, “he that seeketh, findeth”. :slight_smile:

If a peer reviewed paper was presented, we would hear that impact factor of the journal is too low. :slight_smile: Or that he does not believe human reason can find truth.

At worst, an atheist will proclaim that he has not been persuaded, and, since he assumes he is trustworthy - honest, smart, knowledgeable - that will be enough for him.

And yet, he will happily believe the claims he likes without any peer reviewed papers.

For example, that “Non belief in god(s) predicts nothing about other beliefs or conclusions”. Or that he is trustworthy.

But the more honest atheists will actually admit:

Well, “he that seeketh, findeth”. It is not very surprising when he who “seekth not”, “findeth not”…

Anybody got a list of eucharistic miracles that Catholics are required to believe in?

I don’t think atheists explain eucharistic miracles because they know nothing about them. You could try this–you could ask an atheist you meet if he knows about any of them.

Not necessarily, no.

One of my parents’ friend is a medical doctor. He reviews files for the Lourdes sanctuary and is a staunch atheist.


Miracles don’t necessarily have to be physical healings do they, I’ve had prayers answered in ways that go beyond “just coincidence” as atheists would no doubt claim, no matter how far fetched their claim would be. I’ve no doubt there are an untold number of people who have personally, or collectively experienced various types of miracles in their lives, to those people they don’t need physical proof to believe in miracles. And to put it bluntly I doubt they would care one iota what atheists think.

Yes I get that feeling often here. However, surely the point of someone talking about a ‘miracle’ is exactly that the person talking does feel the need to care about what someone else thinks and describes the ‘miracle’ in order to produce, or reinforce, faith. To us atheists though the miracles people claim to have experienced are so unimpressive compared to the miracles Jesus is said to have been responsible for. The dead rising in large numbers from their graves, multiplying loaves and fishes, changing water into wine. It seems odd that ‘miracles’ today depend on faith. The ‘signs’ Jesus is recorded as making were just that - incontrovertible signs of his divinity.

I did not understand most of your response to my comment but I did understand that you had my meaning wrong here.

When I said ‘non-belief in god(s) predicts nothing about other beliefs or conclusions’ I mean that if I know someone does not believe in god(s) I cannot conclude from that that the person does not believe in karma, angels, alien abduction, that latte is no better than any coffee with milk, that bigfoot is real, that Trump will make America great again, that Mozart was a vegetarian or that Covid-19 is cure with bleach. Non-belief in anything that cannot be observed predicts nothing. That’s what I meant.

I don’t think you’d ever see that, as once the bread is consecrated, it ceases to be bread. It becomes Jesus’s body and blood. It doesn’t appear to have changed but the miracles that have occured, during which it’s appearance has changed and then it is tested to prove it is a man’s heart tissue have proved that.

It makes me sad to read how hardened the hearts are of some replying to this thread.

If God stood directly before you when you die would you still not believe and call him a con man? I have never done this but I am muting this thread.


I think that even if you test the human flesh, you can’t be certain of what it was before (unless you were there - but since none of us knows who God is going to provide that miracle to, that’ll be almost impossible). Even if you were somehow there before, by the time the miracle occurred it’s too late to test what it was before (“Am I sure there was no sleight of hand? Not 100%” - “Is it on video? Yes - but was the video edited?” etc.) Main point - I don’t think total exclusion of fraud is realistic

Same is true for walking on water (3 people in Church history). But if you’re lucky enough to be on the shore observing Mary of Egypt, by the time she gets to you they could’ve already reeled in the secret underwater cables.

Not trying to cop-out, but believe it or not, most Orthodox monks and nuns don’t have internet access. There’s a monastery in California that doesn’t even have phone. (And none of them have TV). Do you live near the Northeast US by chance? Maybe you’re close enough to meet them in person?

No sorry I am many, many miles and oceans away. But surely that should not pose a problem to someone with such powers?

I think a miracle on the scale reported in Matthew 27 would exclude the possibility of fraud were it to happen today:

[ 51 ]And behold the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top even to the bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were rent. [ 52 ]And the graves were opened: and many bodies of the saints that had slept arose, [ 53 ]And coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, came into the holy city, and appeared to many.

Why would someone who does not believe in god(s) be expected to have an explanation for these things. Is the existence of god(s) shown by an inability to explain things? This is called the ‘God of the gaps’ idea. God is used to explain what we have yet to explain. We used to attribute fire, rain, cold, heat, birth, crop yield, and success in war to god(s). The gaps are closing. The thing about us atheists is that we don;t believe in god(s). That’s all. We have all sorts of other ideas and no two atheists are the same. We have nothing in common, any more than two people who don’t believe in bigfoot have anything else in common.

It wouldn’t, but like I mentioned, monks very rarely have internet. Many don’t use electricity. One Coptic monk lives in a cave in the Egyptian desert. Visits would have to be in-person.

It’s the same as we talked about above, I think - God allows certain miracles at certain times (not whenever we might like one); that is how miracles work, and this one was meant to happen at the moment of Jesus’ atonement (graves being open, death being conquered) but there’s no reason for it to happen again today.

I guess so. But I was talking about a miracle ‘on that scale’. Why can’t we have equally impressive miracles to address the issues that concern God today? Why do we have miracles, but ones incapable of impressing anyone who does not already have faith?

That would just make it a more impressive miracle.

To see if its true or not.

It does, they even call doctors and scientists to look at some miracles and claims, the Church does not want people being mislead by liars or mistaken by some natural event, in my father’s town there was a mini-hurricane that passed through a lake and after that fish started to fall out of the sky, people could think it was supernatural or a sing of God when it was just a hurricane in a river, that’s why if you ever seen something that looks like a miracle you should call a Bishop.


What do you have in mind that can’t be falsified, co-opted for evil, or God forcing belief on people?

Also, just curious: what do you think of the incorrupt Archbishop above (post 14) whose buried body should’ve been a pile of sludge after 5 years of unembalmed burial in the ground?

By far the most likely explanation, and the one that needs to be checked before any further discussion, is that the reporter was mistaken about the body not having been embalmed.

Orthodox bodies aren’t embalmed - that’s standard practice for all faithful but especially for an archbishop. The monks who dressed the Archbishop’s body wouldn’t have had any of the chemicals to do it anyway. By the way, the article author was a member of the parish, not any random reporter who may have gotten unfamiliar details wrong.

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