BillO- flight 1549 "miracle"

How do you mean?

I read that, coupled with the next line, as Bill dismissing secular thinking, because the fortuitous outcome due to the the skill of the pilot that he’d call Divine Providence secular people would say is Just A Coincidence. He’s doesn’t seem to be allowing for the same sense of amazement and gratitude for the outcome in secular thinking as in miraculous thinking. He’s wrong if he thinks that’s the case; the wonder and gratitude is there, but for the calculable skill and level-headedness of the pilot, not for the indefinable Hand of God Intervening. (If God was really watching out for the passengers, why did the plane crash in the first place, hmm?)

He’s explicitly dividing people into two groups, and says Do The Math, This Event Proves Us Believers are Clearly Right, and tacitly that Non-Believers are Clearly Wrong.

Rachel Maddow had a great segment last night on how the real lesson here is to have well-trained people appointed to positions where their training comes in handy, and to scrupulously avoid any cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, etc. for just that end. She didn’t even have to point out how “Heckuva Job Brownie” figures in as a specific counter-example.

Scylla, I know you’re not this stupid.

Nobody said it did.

Oh yes, the poor oppressed Christians. Bill O’Reilly is courageously giving them a voice. :rolleyes: Cry me a fucking river.

Y’know, if God wanted to save all those people on the plane, wouldn’t it be simpler for Him if He hadn’t made the plane crash in the first place?

Let’s look at it another way:

Have you seen videos where a race car impacts something, explodes into pieces, flips a few times, finally comes to a rest and the driver climbs out with just a few bumps and bruises? Yes, it happens.

Was it because the car was designed for the safety of the driver or because some divine being decided that the driver should not die on that day?

I tend to give initial credit to the engineers because so many others before have died in similar circumstances. If you want to get on your knees and praise God then please fire the engineers because they are obviously charlatans that are highly overpaid.

Back to the OP. The pilot was trained. The plane was designed with features meant for such a situation and it all happened to work out. Give the human devils their due.

I of course can’t speak for other people, but the problem I have with declarations of miracles are twofold.

First, it’s often based not on direct experience, but what one sees on the news or hears from friends. I mean, it seems that for many if something unlikely but good happens in the face of adversity, it must be a miracle. Those are the only criteria. Someone says, “oh, it’s a miracle that these people survived, because you know, it was a zillion to one chance; it could never have happened. Praise God for intervening and saving their lives,” and everyone else nods their heads and says, “yes, it sure makes me feel good to know that God is watching over us and fixing our mistakes.”

Except the odds were likely quite a bit better than a zillion to one, and almost all of the people calling it a miracle are just agreeing with what they’re being told; they don’t know anything about the real event or the details surrounding it. It’s a gut response based on superficial knowledge of an averted tragedy.

Second, and I realize that this may not be the exact quote, but when O’Reilly says:

He’s just got a number of things wrong. He first claims not just that he thinks it’s a miracle, but that anyone who is religious must know that it’s a miracle. Ok, whatever. Then, he fundamentally misses the mark on how most secular people view the world, in a way that belittles their view.

Things don’t happen randomly as chance coincidences, they happen as the result of actions. It’s not a coincidence that the plane landed successfully. It’s a direct consequence of the pilot’s actions. A person can make all best possible choices and still fail, but the difference between failure and success isn’t “coincidence,” it’s based on facts of the situation, not all of which may be known to the actor or observers.

I get really sick of the, “either God did it, or it’s just a freak alignment of probabilities,” argument. That’s my problem with ‘Miracles.’

Actually God hates us all, and he’s been actively trying to kill us all for quite a while (consult history if you doubt this); we’ve just been getting better at thwarting God’s assassination attempts as time goes by.

I believe in miracles. But while there was some luck at play here, calling this a miracle seems to be ridiculous. I get turned off to a rush to call something a miracle. I’m also a little less than pleased that they have now made the pilot a “hero”. So, now doing the job you were trained for well and saving your own life in the process makes you a hero.:smack:

Don’t get me wrong, I have a ton of great things to say about the pilot. Nothing BUT great things. And Thank God he was in the cockpit. But… agh, never mind. I’m just glad that everything turned out so well.

What I said was quite the opposite. He gave a voice and respect to an opinion he disagreed with. That makes him better than those who are unwilling to accord respect to the personal beliefs of others.

I’m not seeing the respect in his statements. It seems more like he was making a point that secularists were wrong. He’d be showing more respect if he didn’t try to tell us what secular people think.

How did he “give voice and respect to an opinion he disagreed with?” Because he acknowledged that nonreligious people wouldn’t claim that a miracle took place? He said it would be considered “coincidence” by secular people, which I disagree with; there is nothing “coincidental” about a highly-trained pilot in a well-designed plane being able to deal with an accident like that. It’s about hard work and planning and a number of other factors. So he didn’t “give voice” to my opinion at all, nor did he respect the opinion he presented, as he summarily dismissed it.

When O’Reilly and Beck stick to politics and current events, they are good. When they go out into the weeds with religion, I tune them out.

You’re right, I misread what you wrote. Of course, what you wrote was still completely absurd, as Cuckoorex and Jenaroph have already demonstrated, but at least this way you’re not being misunderstood.

Which is why I’m pretty much agnostic, which means I don’t know the answer. Atheists claim to know the answer. They assert positively that there is no God.

I suppose that if and when they can definitively explain the existence of matter from a purely secular standpoint than I might move into the atheist camp.

Until then, there’s shit all difference between “And then a big bang just suddenly happened out of nothing,” and "God moved across the face of the darkness and said “let there be light,” except the gnostics beat the cosmologists to it by several thousand years.

So, until the atheists stop plagiarizing and come up with some original ideas and explanations of their own, their just another religion (though kind of an ironic post-modrn one) and I’ll thank them to accord the same respect to others they feel they are entitled to themselves, or conversely to go tell them to fuck themselves should they lack that courtesy.

Which is always nice. :slight_smile:

You, Eonwe, and Jenaroph have a point.

They are never good. They are idiots with the gift of gab that have been given a forum. Their drivel is often wrong, misguided, devoid of facts and just panders to the lowest common denominator. They are never held accountable for the stupidity that they espouse no matte how wrong they have been proven to be.

They are the reason that God gave us the remote control. His mercy made it possible for us to change the channel with minimal effort.

Since this is the pit and it is [del]Oh really[/del] O’Reilly’s opinion I want to mention that this miracle was wrought to you by your local union members as mentioned in this Kos diary:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/1/16/11125/1166/655/684821

I’m not holding my breath expecting O’reilly to stop making yet another of his anti union caricatures on the TV soon.

I don’t. I don’t assert anything. To me, it doesn’t seem like there’s any evidence of or need for a supreme being. Thus, I don’t believe in God. You can feel free to believe or not believe what you want. It’s no skin off my nose, until it affects other people.

Scylla, you know damn well there’s a hell of a lot more to the Big Bang Theory than that.

Lack of belief is not a religion. Sorry.

Atheism is not defined as a positive assertion that Gods do not exist, it’s simply a lack of positive belief that they do. Even Richard Dawkins says that he cannot positively assert that gods don’t exist. Most atheists do not “claim to know the answer.” They actually make no claims at all. It’s a null position. An absence of belief altogether. Agnosticism is not the position that “I do not know,” it’s a position that it’s impossible to know. It’s not just an undecided position on gods, it’s a positive position about what it’s possible to know.

Wow, you really have no idea what you’re talking about, do you? You must never read any of the religion or EOG threads in Great Debates. You’re excessively uninformed on the the topic if you actually think you’re making some kind of telling point with all of this. You don’t even know what the words mean.
By the way, where did you get the idea that “gnostics” wrote Genesis?