The boys over at the Christian apologetics site ‘Triabalogue’ attempt to deflect a popular anti-Christian criticism, namely, why among the numerous stories of God healing people, there are no medically verified cases of an amputee regrowing their missing limb(s).  The Healing of Amputees.

The critic’s basic argument is that, assuming god is the omni-everything that the bible says he is, the lack of medically verified regrowing of limbs among those who claim documentation of miracle-healing, is suspicious, given that the regrowing of a missing limb, clearly beyond the abilities of current science, would be the acid test of the miracle-healing claim.  Critics conclude that the reason we never see any medically documented cases of limb regrowth is precisely because there is no god in existence to do such healing in the first place.  Healing from cancer can be naturalistically explained away as cancer doing what it often does, going into remission.  Healing of the blind and deaf can also be explained naturalistically, either the body healing itself in ways most people aren’t familiar with, or the miracle-claimants lying about their former status as deaf or blind.  But regrowing limbs?  There is no faking that once it has been positively verified that the claimant was indeed an amputee and their new limb was not a surgical reattachment or transplant.

I think my fellow skeptics are unwise to pursue this particular argument, since, as proven from the article at Triablogue, this particular criticism emboldens apologists to lure us into areas of pure speculation.  They will raise issues about whether God has an obligation to heal, or whether healing missing limbs will do greater good for the world, other Christians speculate that healing an amputee might force overwhelming evidence on the skeptic and leave no room for faith, or they will speculate that such healings have been claimed, and pretend the skeptic is under obligation to investigate such claims at any cost.

I argue in another post that the minimum expenses and and time lost from work/family necessary for skeptics to track down important evidence and otherwise do a seriously thorough investigation on miracle claims, make it absurd for apologists to saddle skeptics with the obligation to “go check out the claims”.  If the apologists at Triabolgue are serious, they would obligate a skeptic living in America to expend whatever resources necessary to get to southern Africa (‘Gahna), properly interview all witnesses and get back home.  Absolute nonsense.  No Christian is going to travel half way around the world to investigate a claim that the ultimate miracle debunking has happened, so they have no business expecting skeptics to go halfway around the world in effort to properly conduct an independent investigation of a miracle-claim.

 

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