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Tags Charbel Makhlouf , Raymond Nader , St. Charbel , stigmata

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Old 24th December 2020, 03:34 PM   #1
suren
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A supernatural hand mark?

Hi again. I found this miracle story where a man claimed that God or a Lebanese saint left a hand print mark on his arm. According to some sources he was examined by many doctors and they couldn't explain this burn.

http://www.visionsofjesuschrist.com/weeping361.htm
Quote:
Raymond returned to our world at around 3:35am. He then, tried to comprehend what has happened. Was it a dream? Or hallucination? He remained in this state of mind until he discovered the mark on his arm: a trace of five fingers imprinted by a strange flame of fire. Raymond immediately notified the Father superior of Annaya monastery, Tomas Mehanna, and the Maronite bishop of Beirut Abi Nader, who knew him since his childhood. They both asked Raymond to consult credible physician specialists and obtain from each a medical report that explains the cause of the mark. All reports stated that the cause couldn’t be established, and that the mark looks like a third degree burn without any pain or inflammation. Besides, the color was not typical of any deep burn that is usually gray or black, but instead, was pinkish and red. It was a precisely drawn lesion that healed within 5 days without any treatment.
This isn't a new story but unfortunately I couldn't find many discussions about this in skeptical circles. I don't know how much is this credible. Although this is similar to stigmata and many stigmatas can be faked, I'm not sure about this one.

Any ideas on how such marks could be formed? You can search Testimony Of Raymond Nader for more sources.

Last edited by suren; 24th December 2020 at 03:44 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 24th December 2020, 03:57 PM   #2
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Betteridge's Law of Headlines.

Also, as to this question:
Originally Posted by suren View Post
Any ideas on how such marks could be formed?
Does it matter? Say the consensus is that there's not enough information to come up with a good explanation for exactly what happened. So what? The world is full of photographs that can't be explained, not because something inexplicable happened, but because there's not enough information to make explaining it possible, or trying to explain it worthwhile. You want an explanation for these marks? Come up with one yourself.

Last edited by theprestige; 24th December 2020 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 24th December 2020, 04:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Betteridge's Law of Headlines.

Also, as to this question:


Does it matter? Say the consensus is that there's not enough information to come up with a good explanation for exactly what happened. So what? The world is full of photographs that can't be explained, not because something inexplicable happened, but because there's not enough information to make explaining it possible, or trying to explain it worthwhile. You want an explanation for these marks? Come up with one yourself.
I would like to know about plausible explanations, this images are unlikely to be completely faked, you can also find youtube videos where the marks are exposed.
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Old 24th December 2020, 04:27 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Hi again. I found this miracle story where a man claimed that God or a Lebanese saint left a hand print mark on his arm. According to some sources he was examined by many doctors and they couldn't explain this burn.

http://www.visionsofjesuschrist.com/weeping361.htm


This isn't a new story but unfortunately I couldn't find many discussions about this in skeptical circles. I don't know how much is this credible. Although this is similar to stigmata and many stigmatas can be faked, I'm not sure about this one.

Any ideas on how such marks could be formed? You can search Testimony Of Raymond Nader for more sources.
Why are you tossing out such a stream of absurdities?
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Old 24th December 2020, 04:37 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Why are you tossing out such a stream of absurdities?
But isn't the whole point of this forum to find plausible explanations or perhaps debunk extraordinary claims? There are plenty paranormal and miracle claims discussed on this forum. What's wrong with this one?

Last edited by suren; 24th December 2020 at 04:40 PM.
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Old 24th December 2020, 04:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
But isn't the whole point of this forum to find plausible explanations or perhaps debunk extraordinary claims? There are plenty paranormal and miracle claims discussed on this forum. What's wrong with this one?
A man had a pinkish-red mark on his arm which was said to resemble 5 fingers. It didn't hurt and went away in a few days.

There's not much to debunk.
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Old 24th December 2020, 04:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Hi again.
Enough with the sloppy reasons for theism - use this as your go-to: https://www.aglimpseofeternity.org/

There's no other explanation than god saved his life.

It's so comforting to know the sky-fairy does all these amazing miracles, then sits back and laughs as another 1000 kids die in agony.

Greatest sense of humour ever!
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Old 24th December 2020, 05:02 PM   #8
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I have an interesting intersection of veins on my hand that looks very much like a pi symbol. I also tend to find bruises of various colors and shapes that I have no idea how I got, but being on blood thinners makes that much more likely.
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Old 24th December 2020, 05:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
But isn't the whole point of this forum to find plausible explanations or perhaps debunk extraordinary claims? There are plenty paranormal and miracle claims discussed on this forum. What's wrong with this one?
You are making the extraordinary claim. Have you any extraordinary evidence?

Of course not.
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Old 24th December 2020, 05:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
But isn't the whole point of this forum to find plausible explanations or perhaps debunk extraordinary claims?
No. It'd be closer to the truth to say that the point of this forum is to provide skeptics a place to discuss topics of interest around the themes of skepticism and critical thinking.

Sometimes this involves debunking, but not always, nor necessarily.

I should point out that when good debunking does happen, it's usually the opposite of what you're asking for here. Something like the Apollo Project or the 9/11 attacks have a huge amount of information about what happened. There's plenty of established facts to refute bogus claims about those events. When someone says there were no planes involved, we can point to several major lines of evidence that refute this claim. That's debunking.

There's nothing like that here. We simply do not have enough facts about what really happened to his arm to properly debunk anything. An appropriate skeptical/critical thinking response to this claim is simply, "that which is claimed without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." And that is exactly what I propose be done with all such vague and poorly-documented cases.

My speculation? It's a henna tattoo or similar shenanigan.
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Old 24th December 2020, 05:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I have an interesting intersection of veins on my hand that looks very much like a pi symbol. I also tend to find bruises of various colors and shapes that I have no idea how I got, but being on blood thinners makes that much more likely.
Yeah. Not to long ago I woke in the morning with matted hair and blood all over my pillow. How did that happen? I can only surmise that I did something in my sleep.

What I did not conclude was that magical demons attacked me in the night because they were out to get me for reasons unexplained.
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Old 24th December 2020, 08:35 PM   #12
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More than you could ever possibly want to know about stigmata here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stigmata

Enjoy!

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Old 24th December 2020, 08:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Yeah. Not to long ago I woke in the morning with matted hair and blood all over my pillow. How did that happen? I can only surmise that I did something in my sleep.



What I did not conclude was that magical demons attacked me in the night because they were out to get me for reasons unexplained.
Don't try that crap on us... YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID!

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Old 24th December 2020, 11:10 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
More than you could ever possibly want to know about stigmata here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stigmata

Enjoy!

Thanks, I know about this, I also mentioned that it was similar to stigmata, but stigmata are typically associated with Jesus' wounds and are much easier to be explained as self inflicted. This one is quite unusual.

Actually I was debating with someone about God's existence (he is a Christian), and he sent me Saint Charbel miracles as a proof of God's existence. I would like to have quite good plausible (not supernatural) explanation, just saying that I don't know the cause of these marks will only make him more convinced that it's a miracle.

Last edited by suren; 25th December 2020 at 01:02 AM.
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Old 25th December 2020, 12:05 AM   #15
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There is no independent verification of the claims. Someone will lose big if they are exposed as something natural. It is also religious in nature. So they should be viewed as something very doubtful.
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Old 25th December 2020, 01:56 AM   #16
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I'm just curious if someone else have heard/read about St. Charbel and his supposed miracles. This particular saint is very famous as a "miracle worker" especially in Lebanon. A disproportionate number of miracles/miraculous healings are attributed to him.

Last edited by suren; 25th December 2020 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 25th December 2020, 05:20 AM   #17
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Disproportionate how?
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Old 25th December 2020, 05:32 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Disproportionate how?
In the sense that a huge amount of miracles are attributed to him. His miracles outnumber most other saints. He is probably the most famous "miracle worker" in Lebanon. You can search a lot of miracle stories attributed to him. One of the most famous miracles was curing a woman with hemiplegia in her dream and according to the story she woke up with surgical scars on her neck. She claims that the saint (long ago a dead person) performed the surgery.

Last edited by suren; 25th December 2020 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 25th December 2020, 06:05 AM   #19
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After my first MI I was started on Clopidogrel, a blood thinner. My son grabbed my arm quite hard when we were goofing around. That night, God placed his clear handmark, in the form of a bruise, in the exact spot my son grabbed me.
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Old 25th December 2020, 06:10 AM   #20
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While as others have said nothing can be concluded, the position of the hand print might suggest what kinds of explanation are more likely. Imagine you wanted to leave a hand-print in that position on someone (and your hand had paint or powder or something on it). You could do it, but you'd have to stand facing their right side and then reach across to their left tricep. Or reach around while hugging them from behind. Standing face to face, you wouldn't be able to leave a print at that angle.

Now suppose you wanted to leave the print on your own arm instead. Easiest thing in the world: just reach your right hand across to place your fingertips on your left tricep.

I don't think it's his own actual handprint, though. Ink or powder or paint would be too obvious. (The lesions are more consistent with a chemical burn.) But more important, the print isn't right to be a real (human) handprint. To be that far away from the fingers, the "thumb" print would be angled more. And the finger lengths and joint positions, and they way they line up at the base, are all a bit wrong. What it looks like is a drawing of a handprint, made with care but without artistic skill.
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Old 25th December 2020, 06:18 AM   #21
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As others have said I don't think it really matters how they were faked. You have to admit that they look fake, they don't even look like a clever fake.

For example he might have a paper template which he straps around his arm and then exposes it to the sun for a long time, or a tanning machine.

It may be that he paints on something that leaves a rash. Perhaps he has exposed it to some mild radioactive substance.

I expect there are many ways to do something like that.
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Old 25th December 2020, 07:29 AM   #22
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By definition, a “third degree burn” is deep into the underlying tissues, not a red or pinkish mark on the epidermis. That would be a “first degree” burn.

3rd degree burns don’t vanish in 5 days.
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Old 25th December 2020, 08:20 AM   #23
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Did this even happen?

Folk claim a lot of things happened which did not.

So far this is just a claim, so no need to go any further.
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Old 25th December 2020, 01:23 PM   #24
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Strange flames of fire? Clearly the work of Lucifer.
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Old 25th December 2020, 01:45 PM   #25
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An most obvious explanation is he drew the marks on himself in ink, to gain notoriety.

Next silly question?
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Old 25th December 2020, 02:28 PM   #26
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Having sun spots on my hands, I just noticed one of the dark spots looks just like a heart. Obviously, I was tattooed overnight by Cupid!!! I must be really special!
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Old 25th December 2020, 02:38 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
In the sense that a huge amount of miracles are attributed to him. His miracles outnumber most other saints. He is probably the most famous "miracle worker" in Lebanon. You can search a lot of miracle stories attributed to him. One of the most famous miracles was curing a woman with hemiplegia in her dream and according to the story she woke up with surgical scars on her neck. She claims that the saint (long ago a dead person) performed the surgery.
Okay. So he's basically a folk hero to Lebanese Christians. Why do you think this merits inquiry?

Do you think there might actually be some miracles going on?
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Old 25th December 2020, 02:58 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Okay. So he's basically a folk hero to Lebanese Christians. Why do you think this merits inquiry?

Do you think there might actually be some miracles going on?
Well, I'm skeptical, but as I wrote I was having a debate with a Christian about God existence, religion, theism, deism, pantheism. He is arguing that Christianity is the religion that is closest to the truth and has the best answers to four necessary questions: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. And he told me about some of this saint's miracles, including this hand print mark. He says that "even the most skeptical people become speechless and are unable to debunk them" or something like that. He is not a Lebanese Christian, he is an Oriental Orthodox Christian. He is not like those evangelical nuts or religious fanatics. He considers himself open minded and will change his mind if someone provides a good explanation. But he doesn't like when skeptics speculate too much, he thinks that it's a sign that they don't want to believe but have no good explanations.

I just wanted to know plausible explanations. My knowledge is limited there.

Last edited by suren; 25th December 2020 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 25th December 2020, 03:25 PM   #29
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I have an explanation of why this happened. Lebanon has gone through a civil war lasting from 1975 to 1990 and resulting in an estimated 120,000 fatalities. This would leave many people highly stressed (PTSD anyone?). This results in people wanting miracles. Raymond Nader gave them one in 1994.
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Old 25th December 2020, 03:41 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
I have an explanation of why this happened. Lebanon has gone through a civil war lasting from 1975 to 1990 and resulting in an estimated 120,000 fatalities. This would leave many people highly stressed (PTSD anyone?). This results in people wanting miracles. Raymond Nader gave them one in 1994.
Interesting point, thanks, also looks like the country is very religious, a mix of Muslims and Christians. Probably religion plays a significant role in politics of this country.
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Old 25th December 2020, 03:55 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by wasapi View Post
Having sun spots on my hands, I just noticed one of the dark spots looks just like a heart. Obviously, I was tattooed overnight by Cupid!!! I must be really special!
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Old 25th December 2020, 04:59 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
And he told me about some of this saint's miracles, including this hand print mark.
Tell him he's begging the question.

Quote:
He says that "even the most skeptical people become speechless and are unable to debunk them" or something like that.
Like I pointed out earlier, that's not how debunking happens. Vague claims lacking in evidentiary detail aren't supposed to be debunked. They're supposed to be laughed at and dismissed for being vague and lacking in evidentiary detail.

What he describes as "even the most skeptical people become speechless and are unable to debunk them" is more likely just regular people who don't realize that they don't have to debunk claims like these.

Actually, it's more likely that he's just parroting a claim he got from somewhere else without evidence.

Quote:
He is not like those evangelical nuts or religious fanatics.
He sure sounds like one.

Quote:
He considers himself open minded and will change his mind if someone provides a good explanation.
He's reversing the burden of proof. It's on him to explain why this is a miracle, not on anyone else to explain why it isn't.

Quote:
I just wanted to know plausible explanations. My knowledge is limited there.
Well, you've been given several now.

But really, you shouldn't be here asking us for explanations. You should be up in his face asking him for evidence. And laughing him out of the room if he doesn't produce any.
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Old 25th December 2020, 05:04 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Disproportionate how?
>0
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Old 25th December 2020, 05:47 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Well, I'm skeptical, but as I wrote I was having a debate with a Christian about God existence, religion, theism, deism, pantheism. He is arguing that Christianity is the religion that is closest to the truth and has the best answers to four necessary questions: origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. And he told me about some of this saint's miracles, including this hand print mark. He says that "even the most skeptical people become speechless and are unable to debunk them" or something like that. He is not a Lebanese Christian, he is an Oriental Orthodox Christian. He is not like those evangelical nuts or religious fanatics. He considers himself open minded and will change his mind if someone provides a good explanation. But he doesn't like when skeptics speculate too much, he thinks that it's a sign that they don't want to believe but have no good explanations.

I just wanted to know plausible explanations. My knowledge is limited there.
So you want a plausible explanation of a claim about something alleged to have happened a while ago based on a few unconvincing photos and videos but you don't want us to speculate?
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Old 25th December 2020, 06:13 PM   #35
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Many (most?) (all?) religions have their miracles with just as good evidence as Christianity. Part of my evolution to atheism was the realization that believers in non-Christian religions were just as sincere in their beliefs as Christians are.
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Old 25th December 2020, 06:14 PM   #36
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Many (most?) (all?) religions have their miracles with just as good evidence as Christianity. Part of my evolution to atheism was the realization that all believers in non-Christian religions are just as sincere in their beliefs as Christians are.
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Old 25th December 2020, 11:01 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by suren View Post
Well, I'm skeptical, but as I wrote I was having a debate with a Christian about God existence, religion, theism, deism, pantheism.
Demonstrate any god exists

Originally Posted by suren View Post
He is arguing that Christianity is the religion that is closest to the truth
Unevidenced claim for an unevidenced "truth"

Originally Posted by suren View Post
and has the best answers to four necessary questions: origin,
Nope. The "goddidit" claim explains nothing

Originally Posted by suren View Post
meaning,
No god is needed for meaning.

Originally Posted by suren View Post
morality,
Is slavery moral? Because god says it is in the holey babble.

Originally Posted by suren View Post
and destiny.
No such thing.
Originally Posted by suren View Post
And he told me about some of this saint's miracles, including this hand print mark. He says that "even the most skeptical people become speechless and are unable to debunk them" or something like that. He is not a Lebanese Christian, he is an Oriental Orthodox Christian. He is not like those evangelical nuts or religious fanatics. He considers himself open minded and will change his mind if someone provides a good explanation. But he doesn't like when skeptics speculate too much, he thinks that it's a sign that they don't want to believe but have no good explanations.

I just wanted to know plausible explanations. My knowledge is limited there.
And this is just a load.
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Old 26th December 2020, 04:11 AM   #38
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I just thought of a plausible explanation.

Maybe some long dead religious guy came briefly back to life in order to burn the image of a bizarrely shaped hand onto someone's arm using some sort of flamey spirity stuff, for some reason.
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Old 26th December 2020, 05:10 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Robin View Post
So you want a plausible explanation of a claim about something alleged to have happened a while ago based on a few unconvincing photos and videos but you don't want us to speculate?
Well, his argument is that Nader's life changed completely, he thinks that a fake is a very unlikely explanation. He thinks that even if a nonbeliever sees a miracle himself or hears testimonies of many eyewitnesses he'll still dismiss it by inventing "ridiculously unlikely" explanations such as lies, brain disorders, or mass hallucinations. He claims that although science is a powerful tool to observe the reality, it's insufficient, since there is also the supernatural and atheists are close minded and they fanatically believe only in science without being open to other possibilities.

I just don't know how to respond to this, these are somewhat emotional arguments, but even I sometimes have such thoughts.

PS: This guy is educated (computer science) and is not like most religious people. He doesn't deny evolution theory, big bang, etc. Once he said that for him Christianity is not a blind belief but a "rational conclusion".

Last edited by suren; 26th December 2020 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 26th December 2020, 05:38 AM   #40
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There is nothing rational about it.
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