Could you cite any news articles that reference these amazing occurrences? I’m sure anything as astounding as these examples of yours would have made at least local news.
He can tell you himself actually.
*the girl was 19, my bad
Wow. Just wow.
This guy asked god to make himself real to him. Asked for a sign when he was a college student. Got cancer when he was 29 years old. Well, color me chagrined! That's obviously a direct cause, because, well, you know, no one gets cancer unless god gives it to them - even if he takes a few years to get around to it!
Oh - and the guy telling his own story is not the kind of documentation that Obfuskation asked for.
Interesting that he makes a living through deception and self-promotion. Just sayin'. OK - now that I've stepped into the realm of ad hominum attacks ... in for a penny, in for a pound!
Check out his profile on this website (http://www.iamsecond.com/). The melodrama is rich. "When faced with the choices of how to proceed, Jim knew his best chance of living was to allow himself to die first. Chemotherapy to destroy blood cells. New blood to replace his own. Yet how could he allow himself to endure the agony?" Oh I don't know - maybe he could endure the agony of a bone marrow transplant because it's what virtually every other person faced with the same situation has done.
I checked out your link. It is from [I Am Second]; a group with a theistic agenda. Their productions go for dramatic effect, and play on emotions. They rely on testimonial, and not scientific evidence. It could be noted that a great many scam artists use testimonials to support their cons.
I did a few quick Google searches of Jim Munroe. He is a professional stage magician who works with church groups. It is natural that I Am Second would use him; he has presence. These two things leave us with a fairly respectable possibility that this is simply theistic theater.
If his story is true, acute lymphocytic leukemia has a roughly 60% recovery rate, while the chronic variety has a recovery rate of roughly 70%. He states in his video that his variety was “rare”, yet does not elaborate. He also goes into a dramatic tangent where he talks about the medical staff using quasi-religious “terminology”. I know a few people in the medical field, and one of them has been a nurse in a cancer ward for almost two decades. I have never heard quasi-mystic or quasi-religious terminology used in the medical field, ever.
This leads me to conclude that chances are very good that your link is simply to a manipulative testimonial made by a group with an obvious religious agenda. However, even if the story is true, it can only be counted as the emotionally driven story of a person who went through a traumatic experience, and in no way gives evidence to the existence of a magic sky daddy.
I love how you twisted the word evidence to mean something completely different. Seems legit.
Just because something is unlikely or difficult to explain does not mean the answer is magic. Two stories where the individuals were looking for magic, and then subjectively decide that magic is the best explanation, is not evidence. Lack of imagination is the only thing that is proven by not being able to come up with a non-magic explanation.
If there was one match, that means the bone marrow transplant was not against ALL odds. The fact that it was an atheist has zero bearing on the story. Unlikely outcomes are still possible - without magic. It was the bone marrow transplant that saved the dude - doctors, science, medicine and all that other NON-magic stuff.
As for the other story - unlikely outcome, perhaps, but still possible without magic. There are certainly alternative explanations. Even things as unsavory as the faulty memory of a 9-year-old, or an initial misdiagnosis. Those explanations don't fit your narrative, but are still possible. Without being able to go back and recreate the situation, let's call it a draw - maybe your explanation is right, maybe one of mine is. So again, it is not evidence of magic just because the people in the story couldn't provide a different explanation.
I happen to have an atheist friend with cancer. Based on how the cancer had progressed, this friend was supposed to have died three or four years ago, but is still alive and kicking. All the treatments had been tried, nothing was stopping the cancer. How is my friend still alive? Hell if I know, but it happens. Some folks just beat the odds - and it has jack diddly to do with magic.
So now let's get down to the real nitty-gritty. I'll go along with your contention that your two anecdotes are proof that a higher power is in control. So he picked a couple of individuals upon whom to bestow his healing powers, meanwhile, hundreds, thousands, millions of other people in equally difficult circumstances who pray with full faith and earnestness - they have to stay sick, hungry, poor, fill-in-the-blank)?
No cop-out "god works in mysterious ways" answer, please. If you're going to cite as proof the stories that you know two people who prayed and something great happened, then I get to cite the millions who pray but are left to suffer daily as proof that your god is a prick.
Who's got a better cure rate - god, or doctors? Based on real results, I'm putting my life in the hands of the doctors, not the prayers, every time.
I have a friend named Greg who shared with me his evidence for believing. When he was 9 years old, he was in southeast Asia with his parents, who were missionaries, when he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. He was taken to the best hospital in the area and not one doctor believed he was going to live much longer. Soon after, a Christian couple came in and prayed for him and the VERY NEXT DAY, he was completely healed. Upon examination, not one doctor believed that what happened was possible. There was no explanation. How is that not evidence that there is a higher power in control?
I have a similar story to Greg's. When I was in college, I had a friend invite me to a party where there was a couple who shared with us their trip to Mars, which they assured us was a habited planet with trees with orange leaves and fields of something that looked like wheat, only it was bright blue. So, using your standards of proof, I guess I'd have to say that the space probes are wrong.
Now to the last few lines of your story:
"There was no explanation. How is that not evidence that there is a higher power in control?"
You have a serious need to take some courses in logic and philosophy. As a matter of fact, "no evidence" can be interpreted as either evidence for nothing or evidence of anything. Why couldn't it have been, oh, SATAN who cured him? Or, since he was in Southeast Asian, it certainly could be the case that some Buddhist made a sacrifice and/or did a few turns of a prayer wheel.
Furthermore, you're taking the second-hand story of a 9 year old boy! Have you NO standards of proof or no skepticism whatsoever?
Another friend of mine, named Jim, didn't believe in God at all. One day, he decided to ask God (if He was real) to show him in some amazing and extreme way that He was out there. Not long after, Jim was diagnosed with cancer. You can only imagine he hated God at this point. It got worse and worse, and no treatment was working. Jim was soon told that he was going to die in less than two months. The only chance he had was a bone marrow transplant. They searched for exact matches only to find that there was one and only one match available. A sixteen year old girl, who happened to be an atheist. Against all odds, the transplant was successful and Jim recovered. The whole scenario was God's answer to his request. Evidence right there.
What? I missed the evidence. Stuff like this happens all the time. You established no causal chain there. Neither he nor the girl prayed (both were nonbelievers, according to you). So, where is the cause and effect that establishes it was God?
This sort of anecdotal evidence only proves one thing: You are extremely gullible.
Jim asked God to demonstrate his existance in a dramatic and extreme way, and thats exactly what God did. Cause and effect, right?
Not in any way, shape or form. Definitely not logically.
Even if you were to take it from a religious perspective, it wouldn't work because the Bible clearly says you are not to put God to the test.
But logically... not even close. That is not how causation works. It presumes far too much.
I don't have a problem with religious people being on this site but surely they should have to agree to some sort of directive to not post drivel like what we see above. Even if it is to agree to some standard of evidence. Why is any of this here?
I'm here to learn from everyone, even if they're not making sense. At least I can still learn about flawed, human psychology. Hopefully the conversation is constructive and two-way. But if I don't want to have a conversation with them, or if I think they're just an incurable idiot, I just find someone else to have a conversation with. I don't even read some people's stuff any more.
@Kyle - that is the only thing they can post is drivel, or lots of cut and paste from the bible. Not one of them answer a question, and just keep on quoting the bible, 'cause that is all they know. They can't and won't see truth. The only book they read is the bible, and then proceed to cherry pick. Not one would come onto an Athesit site to really question what we believe or not beleive. They really believe they can convert, so strong is their belief in god and jesus. They live in fear of hell.
Then you have all the different sects of religion, mainly muslim and xians who play on keeping this fear alive and well, to line their pockets and keep them in power.
Oh, I know why they post drivel. My question is why they are allowed to post their drivel here.
I've had fascinating and insightful conversations with religious people and I wouldn't have any problem if people like that were here. I don't see any evidence Jerod and Michael are capable of having a fascinating and insightful discussion on the issues related to this site. They're not even trying to contribute.
@Pope Paul, simply talking to someone else is a tactic I have to use every day in real life. As this is ostensibly an atheist/nontheist/secularist social network, I shouldn't have to do it here. (At least, not for this reason ;) )