Questions from Evan, received in quick succession:
Impossible Story. Any explanation? Its pretty messed up. Over My Head: A Former Wiccan Tells Her Story
How do you explain this guy? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMu5F2icsT8
How do you explain this messed up video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcgkd_7KPd0
How do you explain this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91CnOAlYTRA and all the other videos claiming people saw Steven Hawking in hell.
how do you explain this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUziKZAkNwI and the first 2 comments of the video?
How do you explain the show Sid Roth’s its supernatural?
How do you explain all the online testimonies of people seeing Jesus, getting healed by Jesus, and such. Their are miracle videos on YouTube and, gee, on those videos there is sometimes lots of people that comment and say that they saw Jesus too. I saw a video of a woman who got emotional after her vision got healed by Jesus. I’ve seen Muslims convert after miracles, people seeing atheists in hell, atheist seeing Jesus, faith healers. I don’t think God is probable, but these things, honesty scare me. I don’t want God to be real because then hell is real and such. I just want to live in a normal universe. How do you explain all these things.
How do you explain this video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pn_S43SlnPY&pbjreload=10
How do you explain the “Heaven is For Real” kid who saw heaven and saw things he could not possibly know?
In my heart, I know God can’t really exist. If He is all powerful and all good, evil should not exist. Some bible stories seem so much like old myths and others have God doing really bad things. All of it seems fake yet their are so, so many testimonies of atheists, Muslims, etc coming to Christ through miracles, such as videos on the YouTube channel, The 700 Club. Their are so many inexplicable miracles. How?
Stories of Hindus seeing Jesus and being healed. Doctor baffled. Easy to find these. Just, HOW?
Explain this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmp3UNjeu0k
Blood leaking from Jesus tomb?
Lady saw Pope John Paul ll burning in hell and was suprised. Also saw Michael Jackson. Fake?
Atheist asked God to wake him up at a certain time if He was real and he woke up at that exact time.
How do you explain the girl Akiane who was raised in an agonstic house an had a vision of heaven at age four. The boy Colton Burpo who apparently saw heaven said that her painting of Jesus was accurate.
Answer by SmartLX:
If you search for the specific names, I think we’ve covered some of them specifically already. But there are a few simple explanations that cover all of these.
- Prior exposure to the mythology of Christianity (Heaven, Hell, angels, demons, etc.) helps to generate a dream or hallucination on the theme whether or not the person believes in it at the time. The agnostic girl, for instance, could have learned about Heaven from anywhere.
- An episode of sleep paralysis, especially in someone who doesn’t know what that is, causes a hallucination which seems inescapable until the paralysis ends, at which point terror and panic give way to immense relief, and cement the whole experience in the subject’s memory as intense, emotional, physical and therefore “real”.
- A dream, vaguely remembered, is altered in the subject’s memory on repeated recalls and retellings, especially when others ask leading questions about it. Children are particularly susceptible to this, and it’s the most likely explanation for Colton Burpo’s account.
- A miraculous “healing” is not what is claimed; the initial condition was misdiagnosed, or is capable of spontaneously resolving itself without a miracle, or was psychosomatic, or never existed, or has not in fact gone away. There is almost never prior evidence of the illness sourced from the facility where it was treated, which is seldom named.
- The whole story is fabricated specifically for the large, enthusiatic audience these claims always receive.
Evan, the burden is not on you to explain away every single claim you see or read about. The burden of proof is on those making the claims to establish verifiable support for them, and they never do. They don’t have to, because the audience is not stubborn nonbelievers, but rather believers hungry for reassurance in a world of justifiable doubt. This is why you see so many celebratory comments from believers on these videos, and often their own testimonies thrown in, and comparatively few skeptics.
Logically, you need to keep the concept of the argument from ignorance in mind. You are not forced to accept a claim if you personally cannot come up with an alternative explanation; “HOW?” is this fallacious argument in a nutshell. An explanation may exist which you haven’t thought of. A hypothesis with no direct evidence for it can only be established as fact if all other possible alternatives are eliminated, and that includes anything not yet hypothesised.
The next time you come across one of these claims, try out the following, in any order. This is basically what I do.
- Re-read the explanations above. Without pondering likelihood too deeply, simply judge whether each explanation might apply to the claim.
- Google the names involved to see whether any skeptical discussion already exists, or it’s all just believers trumpeting it without question.
- Analyse the story to see what evidence is presented, or whether any real evidence is presented. Is it all just a personal experience that doesn’t affect or even reference the real world in any way? If any material claims or prophecies were made, how do they stack up to this list of explanations? If there was a healing event, what evidence is there that the ailment 1. existed in the first place, 2. isn’t there now, and 3. couldn’t have been treated medically?
Good luck. If you like, comment and let us know how you do.