Just because it's not nice doesn't mean it's not miraculous.
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The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament—the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana—is a tribute to the persistence of Hellenism in an otherwise austere Judaea. The same applies to the seder at Passover, which is obviously modeled on the Platonic symposium: questions are asked especially of the young while wine is circulated. No better form of sodality has ever been devised: at Oxford one was positively expected to take wine during tutorials.
The tongue must be untied. It's not a coincidence that Omar Khayyam, rebuking and ridiculing the stone-faced Iranian mullahs of his time, pointed to the value of the grape as a mockery of their joyless and sterile regime. Visiting today's Iran, I was delighted to find that citizens made a point of defying the clerical ban on booze, keeping it in their homes for visitors even if they didn't particularly take to it themselves, and bootlegging it with great brio and ingenuity.
These small revolutions affirm the human. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers But I had gradually come by this time, i. By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported, and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become , that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost uncomprehensible by us, that the Gospels cannot be proved to have been written simultaneously with the events, that they differ in many important details, far too important, as it seemed to me, to be admitted as the usual inaccuracies of eyewitnesses; by such reflections as these, which I give not as having the least novelty or value, but as they influenced me, I gradually came to disbelieve in Christianity as a divine revelation.
The fact that many false religions have spread over large portions of the earth like wild-fire had some weight with me. Beautiful as is the morality of the New Testament, it can be hardly denied that its perfection depends in part on the interpretation which we now put on metaphors and allegories. But I was very unwilling to give up my belief Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. The rate was so slow that I felt no distress, and have never since doubted even for a single second that my conclusion was correct. I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all of my friends, will be everlastingly punished.
10 Facts About Miracles That Will Build Your Faith
And this is a damnable doctrine. Everyone is so quick to believe in it, in all these new scientific discoveries, new pills for this, new pills for that. Get thinner, grow hair, yada, yada, yada, but when it requires a little faith in something you all go crazy. For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved.
10 Facts About Miracles That Will Build Your Faith
I have been hearing wisdom from tongues I did not want to listen. I have been finding beauty where I did not want to look. And I have learned so much from journeys I did not want to take. Forgive me, O Gracious One; for I have been closing my ears and eyes for too long. I have learned that miracles are only called miracles because they are often witnessed by only those who can can see through all of life's illusions.
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I am ready to see what really exists on other side, what exists behind the blinds, and taste all the ugly fruit instead of all that looks right, plump and ripe. A miracle is when one plus one equals a thousand. I can watch them for hours, transforming wood into something it never dreamed of being. That goal must be attained by means of exact science and can only be achieved by such means.
The fact that man, for ages, has superstitiously believed in what he calls a God does not prove at all that his theory has been right. There have been many gods — all makeshifts, born of inability to fathom the deep fundamental truth. There must be something at the bottom of existence, and man, in ignorance, being unable to discover what it is through reason, because his reason has been so imperfect, undeveloped, has used, instead, imagination, and created figments, of one kind or another, which, according to the country he was born in, the suggestions of his environment, satisfied him for the time being.
Not one of all the gods of all the various theologies has ever really been proved.
Is It Enough To Have Faith In Miracles?
We accept no ordinary scientific fact without the final proof; why should we, then, be satisfied in this most mighty of all matters, with a mere theory? Destruction of false theories will not decrease the sum of human happiness in future, any more than it has in the past The days of miracles have passed. I do not believe, of course, that there was ever any day of actual miracles. I cannot understand that there were ever any miracles at all. My guide must be my reason, and at thought of miracles my reason is rebellious.
Personally, I do not believe that Christ laid claim to doing miracles, or asserted that he had miraculous power Our intelligence is the aggregate intelligence of the cells which make us up.
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There is no soul, distinct from mind, and what we speak of as the mind is just the aggregate intelligence of cells. It is fallacious to declare that we have souls apart from animal intelligence, apart from brains. It is the brain that keeps us going. There is nothing beyond that. Life goes on endlessly, but no more in human beings than in other animals, or, for that matter, than in vegetables. Life, collectively, must be immortal, human beings, individually, cannot be, as I see it, for they are not the individuals — they are mere aggregates of cells.
There is no supernatural. We are continually learning new things. There are powers within us which have not yet been developed and they will develop. We shall learn things of ourselves, which will be full of wonders, but none of them will be beyond the natural. Some people say that a sunrise is a miracle, because it is somewhat mysterious and often very beautiful, but other people say it is simply a fact of life, because it happens every day and far too early in the morning.
Keep track of which miracles seem most favored and least favored. This activity intentionally invites participants to move around a bit.
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For example, you can ask participants to stand up or raise a hand to indicate their opinion about each miracle. For more information contact religiouseducation uua. Create Account Log in with:. Main Content Activity 1: It's a Miracle. Activity 1: It's a Miracle. Part of Miracles, Wide Age Span. Put the slips of paper into the basket. Make sure you have enough unique slips for all participants.
Feel free to add your own ideas.