NPR Believes in Miracles


The RCC is determined to make her a saint. The flock want it.

They'll find a pretext; they always have, they always will. Nothing essential changes.
Poor Bitter Dan.

But we sympathize, being raised Catholic will do that to you.

But the problem with Atheism is that it is tough to prove a negative,
and it only takes one actual diety somewhere in the Universe to blow your whole belief structure.

And even if you disprove Billions and Billions of quack miracles there still may be real ones out there.

We feel sorry for Atheists, because usually they do come from a place of having been abused by some quack belief system and they are super bitter and buttsore and negative; but mostly because it requires a huge lack of Imagination, and Hope, to insist that there is Nothing out there, anywhere.
A very pessimistic, small, empty view of Life...

Miracles DO happen... I watch the ocean tides go in and out regularly... YOU CAN'T EXPLAIN THAT!
Having faith requires believing in miracles (what do you think you're having faith in?) To reject miracles is to reject religion, (not that there's anything wrong with that)
miracle (n.) mid-12c., "a wondrous work of God," from Old French miracle (11c.) "miracle, story of a miracle, miracle play," from Latin miraculum "object of wonder" (in Church Latin, "event caused by God")
It's fundamentally why science and religion is immiscible despite a long history of honest and powerful efforts to the contrary. So i humbly disagree with some of the "not equal to"s posted.
Atheists aren't "proving" a negative. They're not proving anything. They just don't believe the unsupported claims of the faithful.

Sure, deities could exist. When I see even a shred of credible evidence for it, then I'll re-evaluate my beliefs.

That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.
Please don't feel sorry for me - I come to my atheism through years of education, formal and self-directed. I find science to be an amazingly expansive and beautiful view of the Universe. Science is humbling, and grand, and creative and anything but pessimistic. I'm not an atheist because someone hurt me; I'm an atheist because I was exposed to something bigger AND more rational than anything I had been exposed to before.
" while acknowledging they have no alternative explanation."

Literally everything else is an explanation but magic.
What difference does this make to non-Catholics/people who don't have Catholic baggage?

Everyone who believes in this dumb shit is brothers and sisters with people who believe in Hindu dumb shit or Muslim dumb shit or Shinto dumb shit etc etc etc. All of the crap within their own houses is inconsequential. This isn't a story that exists outside of the Catholic church. Oh she's a saint? Oh fucky doodle doo check out this new dab pen I got. Doesn't matter.

Mother Teresa was a piece of shit but this isn't connected to anything that will push outward to nonbelievers, so who cares. You can practically feel the educated world trying to grin in cultural appreciation while holding back guffaws at how silly this is.

Given that Monotheists' basic conceptualization of their godhead is expressed by a grouchy old man in a bathrobe, I don't think they have much call to question Atheists' "lack of Imagination". Seriously, if that is the best you can come up with for an omniscient, omnipotent supreme being who presumably can create entire universes by the power of thought alone, then who exactly is the one being "pessimistic, small" and "empty" here? The Flying Spaghetti Monster (praise His noodley appendages!) is a thousand times more imaginative in terms of concept than Yahweh when it comes right down to it.

As for whether any actual miracles have occurred out of the "billions and billions of quack miracles" that have been discounted, well, if we can eliminate that many and not find a single solitary exception, then it would be eminently reasonable to conclude it's because they don't exist in the first place. Considering how obsessively believers have sought them out over the millennia, even the most ardent gambling addict would see the problem in clinging to those odds. It's simply engaging in a fallacious argument that requires an absence of evidence to support its most fundamental assumptions. But then, religious belief is rather dependent on such fallacies.

So, when you actually HAVE some empirical evidence of your deity (sic) to present, then we can talk about whose belief structure is more worthy. Until then, it's just grasping at invisible, intangible, mystical straws.
I was going to rail against @2, but Urgutha @6 already said it much better. I'm happy to believe in any god you choose, as long as you show me the slightest verifiable evidence that he/she/it exists. Until then... not so much.

Also, Tim Minchin is hilarious, as always.
@2, I can just feel the love and compassion of the holy spirit radiating from my computer screen right now. Blessed are the believers.
I appreciate Dan going into this with some depth and feeling. Sometimes stuff pisses us off, and we howl at the moon--not because we think the moon will run away from us and hide, but because we're pissed off.

Because the sad truth is that this sort of willful, earnest belief in the unbelievable is all too common in society, and is accorded undue respect. It is called faith, and NPR reported with a straight face all this credulous nonsense because that's considered polite. NPR is many things, but they might put courtesy above all other virtues.

As for me, I shrug at the silly 'evidence' of 'miracles' that the Roman Catholic Church has deemed sufficient to elevate Mother Theresa to literal sainthood. They're just doing what they do, and there is something charmingly retro about it. Long before she died, we knew she'd be sainted, and there's something satisfying in having our expectations fulfilled.

Protestants don't do sainthood and evidence of miracles stuff, this is a corner of quackery that the Catholics have to themselves, and it is kind of entertaining, a contemporary iteration of the old theological battles about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. Its quaint and cute, and NPR, I suspect, covered it with all sincerity since their implied wink is so obvious that it needn't be referred to at all.
@2: Bless your heart.
@2: The burden of proof rests on your shoulders. If I told you I had the Hope Diamond in my pocket and challenged you to prove that I didn't have the Hope Diamond in my pocket, you would laugh at me and walk away. Kinda like I laughed at higher powers and walked away at age 16. Still go to church, though, because they're pretty and I'm faggy and I miss my mommy.
I think it's safe to say that with a few more comments from the moron @ 2, we'll be able to prove that he doesn't have a functioning brain.
#3 and #9 are winners.
I might believe there's a god when dictators like Kim Jung Un and wannabes like Donald J. Trump spontaneously combust instead of getting into power. Meanwhile, life is random, shit happens, and every time one fucking little thing doesn't go completely wrong is proof of nothing. Half the creatures which should have been on Noah's Ark have gone extinct, the planet and its troposphere are forever trying to kill us, and 40% of Americans are ready to vote for Trump. Draw your own conclusions.
And then there is the issue of amputees.

If God can produce medical miracles, why hasn't He never made an amputee's limb grow again?

He must really hate them!
RCC miracles(tm) can still be "real" if we define them as either of three things: An event, associated with a certified Church figure, that is a) a divine coincidence; b) a divine misunderstanding; or c) a divine ruse. God wouldn't have made the coincidence happen; wouldn't have made the circumstances so muddled; or wouldn't have made the ruse so credible/dopes so dupable; if the Church figure were not a saint. It is all God's will.
I have no problem with people who believe in miracles. If it helps you, that's fine. But believing isn't what's happening here - creating a belief that benefits the Catholic Church financially and politically, that's what's up. Preying on the poor and the desperate. And it's horrible and inhuman and unbelievably shitty, and if God is truly a thing, he is not on board.
@2, you forgot to mention the threat of eternal torture for thought crimes.
Still waiting for restoration of an amputated limb.
Is there a Saint in the offing? I suddenly get stomach ache if I have to read anything Catholic. Thanks Tim.
I won't get into the whole theism vs. atheism thing mostly because I'm not a 21 year old college kid with a bag of pot handy.

What I will observe is that human beings seem to have a fairly deep impulse towards religion and spirituality. I'd hazard a guess that even the most committed atheist will feel the stirrings of something when coming to a particular spot in the mountains or a clearing or a spring or something. Likewise, we love our rituals. Just as Dan said, even if you don't believe in it, for someone raised Catholic, there's something comforting about the rhythm of the liturgy.

People believe in this stuff because they want to. Some of them on a really deep level. It's hardwired into humanity. You could, as some do, take that itself for a sign of the presence of a creator. But even if you don't, it's still there.

Eighty years of Soviet atheism and the Russian Orthodox church is still there, even growing. Millennia of hardship and slaughter and diaspora and Judaism, truly the religion that will not die, is still going strong.

So the whole "is there or isn't there?" argument is kinda beside the point. People are going to proceed on the basis that there is. Might as well get used to it.
@2 as an atheist, the proven existence of some god, somewhere would be a much smaller blow to my conceptualization of the universe then it would likely be to your typical monotheist.
Why are you guys falling for #2's bullshit? That moron has been inventing sock puppets for the last couple of weeks to troll you dopes. Just ignore him. Or better yet install the Greasemonkey extension or CommentBlocker to hide troll comments for ever. You'll never go back.

That reminds me. PLONK.

Nope. There is no scientific evidence what so ever humans are "hard wired" for religion.

What people are hard wired for is a sense of awe and aesthetics in the natural world due to our sensorial inputs AND need to explain the universe around them.

that's not religion.

In fact according to demographics religion and the religious are shrinking rapidly. The only places where religion is "growing" is poor and poorly educated corners of this world.


Why the fuss? I thought the article was pretty straightforward. Here is what the Catholics believe/do, period-- no endorsement that I could read. They even linked to the same Hitchens piece that Dan quoted... not exactly presenting the detractors, but not really hiding them either.
Shame that Hitch, like Dawkins and other pseudoskeptics was a misogynistic, hateful piece of shit.
oh Danny; addressing our post but deleting our account, AGAIN, before we could reply?
poor form.
really, what are you afraid of?



The belief in diety is something that one must find for themself.

You may assert that you have never found or experienced 'god' in your life.
You may disprove some miracles that some quack claims.
You may disprove every claim of the Catholic Church.
Hundreds of Popes and and Priests and Preachers may be liars and frauds.
But it does not necessarily follow that there is no diety.

You may make it your mission to disprove every claim of every faith in the world,
but we doubt you will succeed,
and until you do the most you can rationally claim is that if there is a god you haven't found it yet.

To assert that there is no diety is to accuse every believer;
billions of people you have never met,
that they are liars, or deluded.
A breathtakingly arrogant claim.

All it takes is for one person to be right for you to be wrong.

We get why you are so bitter.
We get why you are so obsessed with attacking religion.
There are a lot of liars and frauds.

But there are a lot of folks who area not liars and frauds.
Evidently you have never met (m)any of them.

Perhaps one day you might take a break from trolling the nets for frauds and liars and look for something positive.
The Truth. It will set you free.

The first step in that journey, however, is to recognize that one does not have all the answers.
Humanists have a hard time with that one.
Arrogance, and Ignorance; always seem to be running around together….

The burden of proof does not rest on our shoulders.
You are free not to believe in 'god'.
If you assert that there is no 'god', however, then the burden lies on you to disprove the experience of each and every person who claims to have found God.
That pursuit seems to us a sad and bitter waste of a life, however...
I really love all the God of the Gaps miracles the church has proclaimed. Anything they don't understand is a God-made miracle. In their past, this has included:
1. Rain
2. The existence of more than one language
3. Light diffraction
4. Geese

and so much more. The number of miracles has shrunk alarmingly under the relentless onslaught of evidence-based facts provided by physics, biology, cosmology etc, but they still have enough mysteries (if they squint their eyes and don't check with well educated people) to squeeze out a few more saints.

Just my two cents as a historian (of Catholicism in Latin America): miracle stories -- miraculous cures, healing springs, apparitions speaking of dire consequences if a shrine or chapel is not built in a particular spot -- have and do surface often, especially in times of social/political change, anxiety or conflict. The Church often disregards such stories until it sees a potential use in harnessing one or another of them, thereby co-opting them and turning them into positive "P.R." for the Church. If the Church approves, more people will go to the shrine, express their devotion to the saint, and cement people's faith (and hopefully, bring more people into the fold). The case of Mother Teresa, it seems, is no different. As a previous commenter mentioned, (I'm paraphrasing here), the Church is giving the people what they want (with clear benefits for the Church).
@15: I don't tell people what to believe, and I ask the same courtesy of them towards me. The God to whom I occasionally pray isn't so small and petty as to require that everyone follow my faith, and I'm certainly not about to ask people to believe in something for which I do not and cannot have evidence. (And as the sages of old cynically noted, better for someone to be a good and upstanding Gentile than for them to be an impious and ignorant Jew.)

@31: I'm a religious man, and you're an asshole, Alleged. And apparently you are no more capable of correctly spelling "deity" than of correctly spelling "Gomorrah".
@Commentor Comltatus

"To assert that there is no diety is to accuse every believer;
billions of people you have never met,
that they are liars, or deluded.
A breathtakingly arrogant claim."

This is a breathtakingly silly claim. People have believed all sorts of wrong things over the last 200,000 years... and we can point it out. Unless it's that "there is a god." Then atheists are arrogant. You can't even seem to decide which of the gods you want to believe in, keeping your mind open for all of them, but closed to naturalistic explanations. "The Burden of Proof" breaks down when you are supposed to disprove a rats nest of conflicting beliefs about what god wants or does.
@13, Atheism+420, yes, NPR tends to take the polite "fair and balanced" thing too far, often leaning over backwards to accommodate conservatives, presumably to avoid antagonizing those who hold the purse strings in Congress. I'm pretty sure nobody of note at NPR seriously believes this crap. I also notice them sometimes "teaching the controversy" with right-wing political and scientific lies as well. Completely unethical form a journalistic standpoint, of course.
@31: "That pursuit seems to us a sad and bitter waste of a life, however"

Quite exactly like your presence on the Internet!

Likely in personal as well, considering.
@36: "presumably to avoid antagonizing those who hold the purse strings in Congress"

Those people have already worked to defund NPR, they're doing it to placate their corporate sponsors, but also because conservatives work at NPR and set this sort of garbage programming.
Dan, you know you love NPR. Two mentions in one day at least shows your listening.

As an Atheist, I didn't mind the story. If the media didn't report on 'the church' I would never know what they are doing.

Dan, you should consider self identifying as an Antitheist instead of as an Atheist. You believe that religion is bad for humanity, and that is your right. There's plenty of evidence backing up your belief.
I self identify as Atheists because I don't believe in fairy tales, and I'm not bothered by people who do. In fact I realize that some people need fairy tales to get through their lives, in the way drug users need drugs to cope.
If you think some of the 'believers' act like assholes because of their fairy tales, imagine what they might be like without them.
Sure, some of them might be 'nicer' as a result, but some of them would become hatred unchecked and unbound.
Meh, no NPR doesn't believe in miracles. They said some people "credited their dramatic recovery" to miracles. What's the problem with that statement?
@39: "antitheist" is a pejorative and unnecessary term.

Atheist is a non-theist. That's it, that's all there is to it.

You can keep your "helpful" suggestions, he doesn't need them.
@40: The difference is in the credulousness of the reporting and coverage.

It's not even a properly developed human interest story.
There is nothing pejorative about the word Antitheist.
"Antitheism (sometimes anti-theism) is active opposition to theism. The term has had a range of applications. In secular contexts, it typically refers to direct opposition to organized religion or to the belief in any deity, while in a theistic context it sometimes refers to opposition to a specific god or gods."
Dan is actively opposed to theism, therefore he is an Antitheist by definition.
Many people self describe as Antitheist, the only people who associate a negative connotation to the world are theists and special snowflakes like yourself. I suggest a quick Google before your next attempt at trolling.
There was nothing wrong with NPR's coverage.
@40 is completely correct. Also, you didn't even attempt to answer Mtn. Beaver's question.
What exactly was 'incredulous' about NPR's reporting? In what way was the story 'improperly developed'?

You certainly enjoy trolling, and that's fine I guess; but I suggest that you put a little more effort into your posts if you want to be taken seriously.
@43 word not world.
@41: An anti-theist is an atheist who proselytizes. And like all who proselytize, they can fuck right off.
I don't delete accounts. Not my department.
Antitheists are anti religions, whether they proselytise or not.
I don't consider myself to be an Antitheist because I believe people have the right to choose to be religious. Some religious people claim that the only reason they behave is because 'god is watching' and they fear punishment. If the only thing keeping some people from rape and murder in an attempt to stay off Santa's naughty list, then you won't find me complaining when they want to hide Easter eggs on their front lawn.
Also, Dan fits your definition of an Antitheist. He is very vocal regarding religion, and he wants everyone to know he thinks it's bad for society.
I'm an Atheist, and I don't care what other people believe; because everyone has the right to make their own choices.
I support Dan's Antitheistic proselytizing because religion can be harmful, and he has every right to say so.
I won't be joining him up on the soapbox though.
The difference between an "atheist" and an "antitheist" is that an "antitheist" is someone you personally dislike.

It is a word that means nothing but to insult a person, calling others "troll" is pure projection when you're trying to throw out these incendiary terms and pretend that you're discussing anything seriously.
As I said before, you should learn how to use Google.
Try Googling anti-theist movement.

I highly doubt that people who describe their movements as the Antitheist movement and describe themselves as Antitheists are insulting themselves.

I already gave you the definition of Antitheism.
The term is not an insult, regardless of what you think.
I also repeatedly said that Dan had every right to his Antitheistic beliefs.
I wasn't insulting anyone, but you are.

we're sorry if we accused you falsely.
Can we still be friends?

(ps, could we please have the name of the asshole(s) who do keep deleting our accounts? thanks)
Dan, I have a request.

Please write a column about the sick piece of shit that beat her child with a wire coat hanger, and then claimed 'religious freedom' as a defense.
@48: Religion can be harmful if you're an asshole about it. So can chemistry. So can art. So can collectivism. It doesn't mean that any of those things are innately harmful or bad.
The message shouldn't be "believe this" or "don't believe that"; it should be "DON'T BE AN ASSHOLE", a message which most religions contain in some form or another (you may know it as the Golden Rule). Atheists who think that they'll accomplish anything of value by converting the faithful are just as naive, simplistic, and foolish as the men of years past who thought they could bring order and civility to the world by spreading Christianity.
I completely agree.
That's the reason why I'd like more anti religious Atheists to identify as Antitheists. A lot of them are already thankfully.
I'm an Atheist, and I don't have a problem with religious people, as long as they don't try to 'convert' me or 'damn me to hell'.
I don't think religion is intrinsically bad. It seems to make a lot of people happy, and happiness is a scarce thing for some folks.
When you tell someone you're an Atheist, some people get angry because they think you go around trashing religion and calling belivers stupid.
I think most people want to be left alone to believe what they want, and to live the way they think is best. I know that's what I want.
@51: Nobody wants to use the term YOU prefer for their beliefs when "atheist" is all that's required.

Howsabout you let a person self-ascribe with the term they feel best represents them?

Throwing out the term "troll" is highly insincere when you believe you know how best to represent a person and their beliefs, private and public.

There is no need to push your particular beliefs and opinions on another.
There's no reason to invent special terms to toss at atheists you find offensive and uncouth, they are simply atheists you simply dislike and you do yourself no favors for this snotty insistence.

It is not a term I made up, as you suggest.

I'm also not the only person who thinks 'atheist is all that is required'.

I never said I don't like antitheists, I said I wish more strongly anti religious atheists would adopt the term.

“I’m not even an atheist so much as I am an antitheist. I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches, and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful.”
Christopher Hitchens, from Letters to a Young Contrarian
I provided you with the definition of antitheism, and I suggested you Google the term.
You obviously didn't.
Now, I've given you a link to an antitheist organization and a quote from Hitchens where he clearly states his preference for the term antitheist.

All of these things are facts.

All you have given are opinions.

People who post comments on the Internet that are based solely on opinion, and disregard facts in those posts, are commonly called Trolls.
Therefore, I feel completely justified in calling you a Troll.

You feel the need to dismiss my opinion, and yet you expect me to respect your opinion.
You are a Troll.

You have repeatedly misrepresented my statements.
Again, the behavior of a Troll.

I never told Dan to describe himself as an antitheist, I suggested that he consider it.
There is a big difference.

Just like there is a big difference between a self described atheist (like myself) and a self described antitheist like Christopher Hitchens.

I don't dislike antitheists or religious believers.
I don't dislike people until they do something to make me dislike them.

Dan has posted on this thread himself. If he had a problem with my suggestion, he didn't mention it.
And again, there is nothing that requires any atheist to join any "movement".

"People who post comments on the Internet that are based solely on opinion, and disregard facts in those posts, are commonly called Trolls.
Therefore, I feel completely justified in calling you a Troll"

Projection is strong within you. You offer nothing but subjective opinions that you believe should be taken aeriously as fact.

Nobody is under any obligation to take how you prefer to define the world seriously, no matter how you wish to assign persons into buckets, how you see the world is irrelevant to how others live their lives.
You are ridiculous.

I never said anyone had to join any movement.

There is an antitheist movement. That is a fact.

In your original trolling post (41) you stated:
" 'antitheist' is a pejorative and unnecessary term."
That is completely false, as I have repeatedly shown.

Later, you claim that I 'invented' the term.
Again, that is false.

You have repeatedly accused me of 'pushing my opinions and beliefs on others'.
I haven't done that in any way. In fact, that's what you have been doing. You are the one projecting.

I provided facts to prove the Antitheist movement exists (because you claimed it didn't) and to prove that people (like Hitchens) self identify as Antitheist.

I have offered my opinion, I haven't 'pushed' anything.
I haven't told anyone to do anything, I have repeatedly stated that people can and should believe what they want and live how they want.

You realize that "how you see the world is irrelevant to how others live their lives", right?

It's simple. I gave Dan a suggestion you didn't like.
That's fine, we can agree to disagree.
But you also made the absurd claim that the term Antitheist is an insult.
I couldn't let a falsehood like that go unchallenged, so I gave you facts that proved you wrong.
You didn't like that.

I never said my opinion was superior to yours (or anyone else's).
You are the one pushing your opinion on me.
That is projection.

I gave up on the "antitheist"/"all religious people are inherently stunted and disappointing" angle sometime around when I was 19-20 and realized I was surrounded by a circle-jerk of assholes.
I'd like to suggest we all roast a big blunt (or have a nice tea, whatever you're into) and binge the fuck outta some Cosmos. Just to gain a little perspective. Tell me degrasse Tyson isn't THE MOST. The burden of proof is on YOU.
He is the mostest MOST!