A very nice article from Uncommon Descent, No evidence for God’s existence, you say? A response to Larry Moran, covers the current high points in Intelligent Design arguments for God.
While all of these points are worth reviewing, I’d like to make a special note of the flying saint incident.
(Catholic, of course. Calvinists are too rationalistic – too unbelieving? – to ever fly, powered solely by the power of faith. Jesus Christ, on the other hand…)
The article writer begins, “The evidence for St. Joseph’s flights is handily summarized in an article, The flying saint (The Messenger of Saint Anthony, January 2003), by Renzo Allegri.” Then he quotes from the article:
The earthly existence of Friar Joseph of Cupertino was rich in charismatic gifts. However, the phenomenon which attracted the most attention occurred during his disconcerting ecstasies. Chronicles recount, as we have already said, that he need only hear the name of Jesus, of the Virgin Mary, or of a saint before going into an ecstasy. He used to let out a wail and float in the air, remaining suspended between heaven and earth for hours. An inadmissible phenomenon for our modern mentality.
“To doubt is understandable,” Fr. Giulio Berettoni, rector of the Shrine of St. Joseph of Cupertino in Osimo tells me “but it isn’t justifiable. If we take a serious look at the saint’s life from a historical point of view, then we see that we cannot question his ecstasies. There are numerous witness accounts. They began to be documented in 1628, and this continued until Joseph’s death in 1663, i.e. for 35 years. In certain periods, the phenomenon is recorded to have taken place more than once a day. It has been calculated that Joseph’s ‘ecstatic flights’ took place at least 1,000 to 1,500 times in his lifetime, perhaps even more, and that they were witnessed by thousands of people. They were the phenomenon of the century. They were so sensational and so public that they attracted attention from curious people from all walks of life, Italians and foreigners, believers and unbelievers, simple folk, but also scholars, scientists, priests, bishops and cardinals. They continued to occur in every situation, in whatever church in which the saint prayed or celebrated Mass. It is impossible to doubt such a sensational and public phenomenon which repeated itself over time. It is also worth noting that these events occurred in the seventeenth century, the time of the Inquisition. Amazing events, miracles and healings were labelled magic and the protagonists ended up undergoing a trial by the civil and religious Inquisition. In fact, St. Joseph of Cupertino underwent this very fate because of his ecstasies. But he was subjected to various trials without ever being condemned; final proof that these are sensational events, but also real, extraordinary and concrete facts.” (Emphases mine – VJT.)
Now, I have no doubt that the solid mass of atheists will insist that these miracles did not occur, regardless of the amount of evidence provided.
But of course, this just prove that they have a pre-supposition that miracles cannot occur. That is, a religious, dogmatic belief in the power of atheistic naturalism, regardless of the evidence.
One thing I find distasteful are religious beliefs that claim neutrality, but after you press a little prove to be as rigid and devout as any believer – even more so, considering the amount of evidence for a intelligently designed universe.