My brother  recently found out I am an atheist and is having a hard time dealing with it. He feels that I am lost and that I am not thinking things through. I just woke up to find I was tagged me in a note on facebook. I will post it below and if anyone would be willing to help me with a well thought out reply to it, I would really appreciate it. (On a side note, he tagged a few other people, one of whom being the pastor I debated a few weeks ago. This should be interesting.)

Science only concerns itself with explaining scientific phenomena. The scientific method is based on the observation of repeatable, measurable
events. Any event that is neither repeatable nor measurable is of no
interest to science since theories can not be developed nor validated
for events that can’t be duplicated, predicted or measured. But, what
happens to the stuff that science can’t explain? Miracles. Things that
only happen once, often not caught on camera, but in unexpected times.
It’s funny that people who experience such events can’t explain them,
nor can science. But if science requires repeatable, measureable events
then what is it? If this event violates the rules of cause and effect,
but undeniably happens, what can it be? Does this mean that proven
science is true, but only within its limited scope, and that there are
things beyond which science cannot go. The existence of miracles, or
just one miracle, will never be proven by scientific method. Its funny
though if it happens to you in is a miracles, but if it happens to
someone else, there has to be a natural cause behind it. Couldn’t this
be part of God’s plan? By God’s existence not being proven by science,
or by natural cause, it makes us rely on faith. By not having faith, we
only have fact, and faith in fact is truly important to God’s plan.
Some Christians I know have spoken movingly of a personal miracle that
convinced them that God exists, and that he loves us. For them, this is
the single event, an effect without any possible cause, that
demonstrates that science is true but incomplete, that there are
phenomena that lie outside of science, that there are events that are
neither repeatable nor measurable but still very real. They are lucky
indeed, but as Jesus said, “Even better blessings are in store for
those who believe without seeing. Of course, for Christians, we all
have one miracle that is very personal and very universal at the same
time: the risen Christ. This too, is unconvincing as scientific
evidence, and has been explained away countless times. But for those of
us who have experienced this truth personally, if no other miracle ever
occurred, it is all the proof that we need.

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as my Guru's guru used to say... "There are no miracles only higher laws"

While I no longer believe in the validity of Guru's.....there is a truth to the quote... Just because we can't explain something doesn't mean there isn't a natural explanation for it.

its also good to fight fire with fire.... This example from Sikhism makes some good points about miracles.

Did the Sikh Gurus perform miracles? If so, why?

"Prophets and saints have performed miracles. A miracle is an extraordinary event which reason or science cannot explain. Science has not yet advanced so far as to explain everything. According to the scientists, miracles have nothing to do with holiness or piety. Miracles are "not happening against the laws of God, but are the results of superior powers which God bestows on His servants." Men of God are able to do things which are beyond the understanding of the scientists' limited reason.

Sikhism accepts the possibility of supernatural powers, but like any worldly possession, they should not be used for selfish ends. A Sikh should not run after occultism, because the greatest gift is Nam and not supernatural power.

According to Sikhism, occult powers come naturally through concentration on "The Nam". Miracles should not be performed at the bidding of a king or a leader or to prove the greatness of one's religion or to confirm the faith of people in a spiritual guide. Guru Raam Daas Ji says: "The desire to perform miracles is a worldly attachment and is an obstacle in the way of 'The Nam' residing in our hearts."

The Sikh Gurus did perform miracles off and on, but they did so out of compassion or to set an erring person right. Guru Nanak made the bitter soap-nuts sweet near Pilibhit, to save Baba Mardana from death by starvation.

The Guru condemned miracles performed for personal glory. Baba Atal who performed a miracle had to give up his life as atonement for it. Guru Arjan and Guru Tegh Bahadur were requested to perform miracles so that their lives would be spared. They refused to do so and welcomed the penalty of death. The greatest miracle is not to perform a miracle, in spite of having the capacity to do so. As Emerson puts it: "Self-sacrifice is the real miracle out of which all the reported miracles flow."

Guru Nanak was asked by the Sikhs about his supernatural powers. He answered: "I can do nothing against the law of God. It is only He who can perform a miracle. The 'True Name' is the miracle of miracles. I know of no other miracles." Saintly people do not like to interfere with God's Will by performing miracles. The Sikh Gurus never performed miracles to convince others about their faith or to save themselves from calamities or penalties."

and a world wide miracle in hinduism..

Ask him if God is behind the miracles in sikhism, Hinduism and Islam or can they all be attributed to natural causes? Then ask him what distinguishes the miracles claimed to have happened by followers of other religions from those that happen to christians?


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