Not too long ago I came across a post by a news anchor about a shark attack that happened in Hawaii. Now there are few people who get more excited about Shark Week then myself. In fact, I just found out a couple of weeks ago that Netflix has Shark Week episodes and every night with my Droid Bionic plugged in by my bedside I fall asleep to past episodes I enjoyed or had forgotten all about using my Netflix App. I am not saying I have the knowledge of a marine biologist or an ichthyologist but when it comes to sharks, I know more than anyone I know. So I was all about reading about this terrifying attack in Hawaii.
I read the little article and then I watch the news clip and I can tolerate that the people involved all called this a miracle. But, as I read the comments. It was comment after comment of people praising the miracle. Everyone professing it was a miracle, praise Jesus!
Here’s what happened in the shark attack. A 20 year old German girl in a bikini is swimming alone about 75 yards out from the shore. She is attacked by a shark. A teacher and pastor from southern California is on the shore and hears a scream. He then sees the girl out there and she is surrounded by blood. He puts his swim fins on and goes out to save her. When he gets to the girl she is missing an arm at the shoulder. He takes her good arm and swings it around his shoulder and swims her back to shore where he is met by a friend and they get her on to the beach.
Now, I guess if you don’t know anything about shark attacks or miracles this might seem like one. I can understand one or two uninformed people claiming a miracle. That’s to be expected. Throw something sparkly in front of a sheep and it must be a miracle. However, as I continued to read all the comments to this story on Facebook I was in complete shock at how many people were talking about what a miracle it was! Everyone praising Jesus as I said. It made me sick to my stomach at the arrogance of these simple minded people.
These people didn’t offend me because I am an atheist and therefore I do not believe in miracles. They offended me because they were stupid. Nothing about this story is miraculous. Nothing! Don’t get me wrong the story is compelling. The pastor showed heroic levels of bravery. But, was what happened a miracle? No, it simply wasn’t. Wasn’t even close.
Here’s the definition of a miracle. “a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.“
Where in the story do we get miracle? Let’s break it down shall we.
First, shark attack itself. If you look at most shark attacks. Or look at all of them. Or, just look at a few of them. I don’t care because it doesn’t matter. No matter how many you choose to look at, most of them are going to look just like this shark attack we’re talking about. Here’s what happens. Someone usually is swimming where they shouldn’t be or at a time of day when they should not be swimming. They get bit by a shark. At some point they attract the attention of someone else and that person or those people swim out to help. Yes, that’s right, in attack after attack good Samaritans risk their lives to swim over to help their friends or strangers being attacked.
So, we know that there’s nothing unusual about a shark attack. We know now that in most shark attack cases someone will risk their life to swim out and try to save them. So far, nothing miraculous has happened. Everything that happened was completely explainable by science and statistical data. But, what about Judeo-Christian scripture?
Second, scripture. Does this attack fit the definition of a miracle by scripture. I know that expecting a Christian to have actually read the bible is a lot to ask. Oh they may have read some scripture from the New Testament and maybe heard a quote two from the Old. However, to have read the good book cover to cover. It just so rarely happens that I don’t know of a Christian who has actually read the bible cover to cover. There’s a name for those that have read the bible cover to cover, atheists! I know lots of Christians who have claimed to. But, if you’ve actually read the bible you can tell whose lying by just asking a couple of questions.
Keeping that in mind then lets look at some historic miracles of the bible.
- Moses parted the Red Sea. Unexplainable by science and nature. Miracle!
- The Ten Plagues of Egypt. All of those fit the miracle status, specially turning day into night for three days. Miracle!
- Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead. Well that’s impressive. Miracle!
- Jesus walks on water! That’s hard to beat.
There are many more miracles in the bible. I just named a few at random. But, what do they all have in common? All of them are unexplained by nature and science. It’s as simple as that. There’s no secret to a miracle here. It’s clearly shown what is a miracle. There’s even a definition to the word to help the slow folk understand what is miracle and what is not. Let me say it once again… Nothing in this story is representative of a miracle. Everything is explainable by either science or nature.
Coincidence is not a criteria for a miracle. It doesn’t matter if the man that saved her was a pastor.
It’s not a miracle that the pastor prayed to god for help while trying to save the girl. He’s a pastor, what do you expect him to do?
It’s not a miracle that just after praying the pastor suddenly felt a burst of strength. This is science and can be explained through the release of adrenaline and dopamine in his system. It’s nothing different than listening to your favorite loud music when you’re trying to stay awake. The boost of energy you get, it’s not a miracle. It’s just chemistry.
So why I am bringing this all up. Well, because I made the mistake of commenting and trying to explain that it wasn’t a miracle. I thought for sure some of the folks with an ounce of common sense would back me up. No one did! I was called names. I was asked to leave the thread. I couldn’t believe it! I am actually defending these morons and they don’t get it. To them I am just being a troll, trying to stir up some shit. It was just pissing me off.
I get mad when people who claim to be Christians no less about the bible than I do. It’s their damn book, learn it! I shouldn’t have to explain it to them. But, that’s the problem. The bible is just a tool to the average religious person. Means nothing to them unless they need to quote it to make a point. It is absolutely silly that same person will quote scripture as law to me and then when I quote another scripture back them? It doesn’t matter, they completely ignore it because they don’t believe in that part of the bible. Are you kidding me?!
I was rapidly trying to defend myself. Responding with huge concise posts as to avoid confusion. Yes I was sarcastic at times because it’s just hard to fight against a barrage of stupidity without it. This is when the reporter who posted the story jumped in. I couldn’t wait to hear her side of the story. Surly this seasoned reporter would at least see my side. She’s a real reporter, objectivity is the most important trait of a reporter. But, to my surprise she belittled me, and suggested that I don’t post to her threads. I was offended on so many levels and I struggled not to slam back. Instead, I took my time and once again tried to explain my position.
It turns out I was getting nowhere fast. But the news anchor did suggest that I call her. I declined at first. I felt like it was started here, it should be finished here. I made my final post in the thread and said that I was going to politely back out of it. I again explained my original attentions and I left the thread. A few days later I read this story…
Basically it’s a story of a man that was pronounced dead by doctors. He had been dead close to an hour while Dr.’s did CPR and could not resuscitate the man. They noted the time of death and let the family in to say goodbye. The man’s 17 year son old just won’t accept it. He says out loud, “Not today, you’re not going to die today dad!” Then suddenly a doctor notices a heartbeat on one of the monitors. Miraculously Anthony Yahle comes back to life!
I think to myself, I am an atheist I don’t believe in miracles. I don’t believe that just because in our limited knowledge that just because we can’t explain something that it has to be God. That is just silly and breeds ignorance. However, had people in this thread being saying it was a miracle, I wouldn’t have said a word about it! Just because I don’t believe something is a miracle doesn’t mean that others can’t. This story for the moment fits the definition of a miracle. It cannot be explained by nature or science. This fits all definitions of miracles. I can’t argue that. Why would I? It literally fits the very definition of the word.
I send the news anchor a private message and a link to this story. I try to explain, this is what I was talking about. This is what a miracle looks like. The shark attack story was at best mundane compared to what miracles are supposed to be. This is the point I was trying to make in your post about the shark attack I said to her. I wasn’t trying to troll, I wasn’t trying to start anything. I just couldn’t help listening to all these people cry miracle when there was obviously no miracle at all. To call what happened in the shark attack a miracle is an insult to real miracles.
The news anchor responds briefly and again asks me to call her. I didn’t respond to her for a few days, my birthday was coming up in a day or two and I had some serious concerns in calling her. I didn’t understand why should would want to actually talk to me? She said that she preferred a phone call because it’s better than a the written word as there is less likely to be a misunderstanding more or less. I am paraphrasing of course. I don’t completely buy it, beautiful TV reporters don’t just ask people who post in their threads to call them and better explain what they mean. I was sure it was going to be set up. Like she was working on some story like, “Trolls and Facebook!”
I already don’t have a great past, my present sucks and I am easy target to for someone with means to attack. And, I just don’t need that kind of attention. But, I have to call. She asked to me and I was just going to have to take her at her word.
After a couple of calls back and fourth we finally speak on the phone. All the headaches and worries. She was so completely friendly. I don’t know how long we talked for? It seemed like hours and at the same time it oddly seemed to go too fast. It was just a refreshing conversation. She opened up about some personal things in her life while we talked about religion. We laughed a bit and really did better understand where each of was coming from.
Now being a good reporter it has got to help to be able to make people feel comfortable and like you’re their best friend in order for them to covertly get the info they want from you. But, it just wasn’t like, she did just as much talking as I did, maybe more? So it wasn’t about trolling, or some other story. It was just about getting things straight. It was just such a refreshing phone call.
The more I thought about the call, the more I thought, I am glad I am not a huge psycho. She was so nice and friendly it just made wonder how she is when talking to other unknown people. I could totally understand a person thinking after that phone call that they are now best friends and thus the stalking would begin. Being the immature, goofy bastard that I am I almost called her up this after noon after she got done with the news just to leave a message for her in a creepy kinda voice like, “I loved the blouse you wore today! Call me later, I miss you!” I couldn’t do it, she doesn’t know me well enough for that kinda joke I decided in the end. Would have been funny though.
Anyways, so I was watching her later on the news and I kept thinking, how cool is that I totally talked to her on the phone with her last night. So that’s my story. Thought it was something different to share.