Archive for November, 2016

Lack of Miracles

Posted in Faith & Science on November 16, 2016 by daviddiel

The Bible contains extraordinary claims for which the only evidence is testimony. The lack of miracles in modern times is devastating to its credibility.

For one example, which is simply the first one that comes to mind, consider Exodus 7:8-13:

Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Work a miracle,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, that it may become a serpent.’” So Moses and Aaron came to Pharaoh, and thus they did just as the LORD had commanded; and Aaron threw his staff down before Pharaoh and his servants, and it became a serpent. Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers, and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did the same with their secret arts. For each one threw down his staff and they turned into serpents. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the LORD had said.

Here we have a claim that humans were able to turn their wooden staffs into living serpents. Aaron, who follows the God of Abraham, and the magicians of Egypt, who follow Pharaoh as God, both did something miraculous in this story that we have no evidence of today besides written testimony.

If miracles of this concrete and visible sort were happening today, then they would surely be caught on cameras and posted online. People would loudly exclaim that their video evidence was genuine, and skeptics would search for evidence of video editing to try to prove them wrong.

If you say that the God of Abraham is withholding miracles from our generation because of something we have done, then why do we not see miracles from other sources, perhaps of Egyptian or Satanic origin?

We do not see them for precisely the same reason that Poseidon does not emerge from the sea during hurricanes and Zeus does not emerge from the clouds during lightning storms. These are all fictional stories.

After a Trump Win

Posted in Uncategorized on November 9, 2016 by daviddiel

Trump has won against the odds of most pollsters. Now is the time to look for positives.

Trump said he wanted to be the president of all Americans. In business, and on his show, he has historically been moderate toward ethnic minorities and those who are LGBT.

He has been a supporter of the arts.

A wall may be a waste of money, but he also claims that he will make legal immigration much easier, and would support a guest worker program.

According to most analysts, he will be less interventionist overseas, meaning that we are less likely to overthrow governments now. Let’s hope he doesn’t start an unnecessary war.

He claims that he can stop our national debt from spiraling out of control. It’s a dubious claim, but it could not go on increasing at its previous rate without an eventual crash.

The TPP would have sucked jobs and money out of the US. We probably won’t sign on to it now.

Contrary to Al Gore, the climate is changing more slowly than his hockey stick predicted, and humans cannot actually influence it much in 4 years.

If he had not been elected, then it seems that the other 50% of the population would be angry. Now they will get some of their wishes. This can be seen as a cycle of releasing some tensions while others are created. Because of division in Congress, the rate of change will be moderated.

Even in true blue Massachusetts where I live, almost 40% voted for Trump. Remember the purple nation maps from previous cycles. The divisions that have been highlighted by the media are partly a temporary side-effect of the two-party first-past-the-post voting system. Most of those who voted for Trump are more centrist than their candidate or their party.

Love thy neighbor, live long and prosper, and all that jazz.