How to prove the supernatural?

Not just evidence, but hard proof!

It would be totally impossible to fake it, or deny it. No experts would be needed, it would be obvious for every observer to look up to the night sky and it could be even photographed! And it could not be explained away. The “trick” is that the laws of physics and astronomy are established beyond any doubt, not just any reasonable doubt.

Two things cannot be denied. One is the speed of light in vacuum, and the other is size and structure of the universe.

From this it follows that the position of the stars cannot be doubted. However, a supernatural entity, let’s call it God, is not limited this way - at least according to the believers. God could rearrange the stars at will, and could make them display any message he desires.

This would be a true miracle, undeniable by any skeptic. So, let’s imagine a few possible messages:

  1. The stars start to move around, and display the text of the bible. This would be the proof of not just the supernatural, but also the Christian God.
  2. How about displaying the text of the Koran? That would be the proof for Islam.
  3. How about the text in the Book of Mormon? That would be the proof for the Church of Letter Day Saints.
  4. What about the Triptaka, the major book of Buddhism?
  5. What about the Paramahansa Yogananda for the Hindi religion?
  6. What about the Talmud?

But let’s move on… Displaying…

  1. the Kama Sutra?
  2. the Communist Manifesto?
  3. Das Kapital (Marx), or the Anti Duhring (Engels) or the writs of Lenin, Stalin or Mao?
  4. The full text of Homer’s Odyssey?
  5. How about the text of Zarathustra?

All would be supernatural, true miracle, for sure. But proof of what?

The so-called medical miracles are not even worth to mention. The “laws” of biology are not established. They would need some “experts” to declare them. They could be mistaken, the evidence could be faked. Of course I do not wish to accuse anyone working in bad faith, even though it was not unheard of.

Interesting.

There would still be people insisting it’s not real. Somebody put a barrier between us and our view of the stars, and is projecting images on the barrier.

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I think this is a problem all of us atheist/agnostics face concerning miracles. We want verifiable evidence and the supernatural just does not provide it. It seems you either believe it exists or you don’t.

I don’t need stars rearranging but I also want more than claims from centuries ago, medical cures that are very doubtable and Eucharist material that is now heart tissue (no trace of bread remains?hmmm).

Things I would accept…a limb regrowing, something verifiable that defies physical law…things like that. It’s too much to ask for.

Of course, first you have to have a clear definition of what is miraculous. To me, it must defy the laws established by science of not being able to be violated. Most medical cures miracles fall within the bounds of medicine…people do spontaneously heal. If it’s your loved one, it definitely looks like that’s a miracle but it really isn’t. Wonderful? Yes. Miraculous? No.

I’d like to think prayer really works. They tried doing a legitimate study but it failed miserably. Every prayer healer has been shown to be a fake. The “healings” are temporary and merely placebo effect.

I accept that the supernatural may exist. It just has never met my skeptical requirements, nor sciences’. Those that accept them, do so on faith…and that’s fine. Just don’t ask me to accept it without a bit more substance.

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Wrong. Everything can be denied, except one’s own existence. Descartes said it.

Also, the ‘structure’ of the universe is not a given. Scientists cannot currently explain why there is a super massive black hole in the center of every galaxy, it currently goes against our understanding of astrophysics.

If you think that, you aren’t familiar with them. For example, the first miracle attributed to the intercession of St. Mother Cabrini could not have been faked.

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Luke 18

24 And Jesus seeing him become sorrowful, said: How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God. 25 For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26 And they that heard it, said: Who then can be saved? 27 He said to them: The things that are impossible with men, are possible with God.

Matthew 7

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

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The medical miracles of modern times that the Vatican accepts for sainthood are very well documented and investigated by a number of doctors. I understand not all the doctors used are Catholic.

It’s rather rude IMHO to dismiss these as “Doubtable” when they are firmly backed by science. Of course, people who want to reject the conclusions will continue to reject them, even if the entire staff of the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics combined agreed that the healing was medically inexplicable.

This is one reason why I always come back to the futility of trying to somehow persuade non-believers of anything. Faith needs to first open the door to belief, even if it just opens it a crack. A lot of atheists, agnostics etc have the door closed and it’s not opening for anything ever.

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Scepticism is not rude; it is an important element required to arrive at truth.
Would you be considered “rude” to dismiss as “doubtable” the miracle claims of Islam?

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He does put them where he Willed, displaying his message of unchanging dependability not to sway at the teasing of some troll. Those born again from above can see the Kingdom established by God, though the ones hearing only parables cannot.

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Are they firmly backed by science? If so, I am hardly going to dismiss them. Why would I, especially when Islam has in common with us the worship of God the Father who can do all things?

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Well said.

One reads how improbable the universe as we know it actually is. Our own existence and nature are even more improbable. In physics there are “singularities” everywhere; inescapable facts that science is incapable of understanding or explaining.

If we heard a “heavenly choir” singing the Hallelujah Chorus nightly, would we believe any more than we do when astrophysicists discover to their surprise that there are uncountable, complementary interactions among unexplainable physical phenomena that bring about a particular and bizarre result like a quasar.

The latter “symphony” is far more complex than the Hallelujah Chorus, yet we take the first as a “physical given” and would probably think the same about the second if we heard it every night.

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Descartes was wrong. A strong enough slap on the face cannot be denied.

Well, let’s take the miracle which was the basis for JPII’s canonization. There was an alleged fatal aneurysm in the brain of a woman. And after she prayed to the deceased JPII, the aneurysm disappeared.

There are at least two problems with this. How could they prove that there was no spontaneous remission? And - most importantly, what evidence is there that there was a causative relationship between the healing and the intercessory prayer?

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Jesus being raised from the dead isn’t enough.
Luke 16:30-31

The Rich Man and Lazarus
…30‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone is sent to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31Then Abraham said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

The Good News of the Gospel has always been good news, received with joy over the centuries. In response, people have done incredible things.

Ask God for a new heart. The one you have appears to be broken.

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There obviously was a spontaneous remission. Those with faith attribute it to God through the intercession of St JPII. Those without faith might attribute it to anything from coincidence to the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The kind of “proof” you’re after doesn’t exist.
Faith is always going to be necessary. If you don’t have any then you’ll never accept any conclusion involving faith.

My response was to PattyIt who suggested that the medical miracles were dubious. It’s not at all dubious that something totally unexpected and unfounded occurred when you get a bunch of docs critically looking at it and concluding that. Whether someone wants to believe God did it or not. It’s not like some hinky thing where maybe the illness was psychosomatic to begin with.

Regarding you and your question, there’s no such thing as “hard proof” for the supernatural and you wouldn’t accept whatever proof someone tried to offer, so I don’t even try to respond to you.

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It seems like the question is how to use the natural to prove the supernatural. I posit that it’s impossible for something lower to prove something greater.

Can an ant prove that humans exist? No. They lack the sentience to even recognize a bunch of dead ants before walking into an ant trap.

We are like ants.

My heart is pumping blood.

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You are wrong. We only have physical I/O systems.

The physical I/O comment seems to confirm rather than refute my statement.

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If I were still an atheist, I would think that a regrowing limb on a human at least, would be a result of a chance mutation. A mutation, that enables an organism to review its genetic code and regrow a limb. Sort of how geckos regrow a tail or how an octopus regrows its tentacles.

To me, the belief in God is a postulate, an axiom, or a floor function. It’s just there, and from there we can now formulate new theories.

Geometry is one of my favorite subjects in school and it has played a role in my faith development.

From this web page.
https://www.sparknotes.com/math/geometry3/axiomsandpostulates/summary/

Two of the most important building blocks of geometric proofs are axioms and postulates. In the following lessons, we’ll study some of the most basic ones so that they will be available to you as you attempt geometric proofs.

Axioms and postulates are essentially the same thing: mathematical truths that are accepted without proof. Their role is very similar to that of undefined terms: they lay a foundation for the study of more complicated geometry. Axioms are generally statements made about real numbers. Sometimes they are called algebraic postulates. Often what they say about real numbers holds true for geometric figures, and since real numbers are an important part of geometry when it comes to measuring figures, axioms are very useful. Postulates are generally more geometry-oriented. They are statements about geometric figures and relationships between different geometric figures. We’ve already studied some, such as the parallel postulate. In the following lessons we’ll formally outline some of the most important, but certainly not all, of the axioms and postulates that one can use when writing a geometric proof.

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