An audio record of a miraculous healing

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An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by SEG » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:16 am

Hi guys and gals! I am having a discussion on my forum, A Christian and an Atheist and the guy I'm debating is putting forward an "Appeal to Faith" argument that his pastor's "incurable" voice was suddenly cured during his sermon on guess what? "Miraculous Healings"! What are the chances? He even states that this pastor appeared on Oprah, but I can't find it. What do you think? Do you think this is a genuine account?

A link to Duane A. Miller's first-person account of the event:
https://millertheology.wordpress.com/20 ... ars-later/

And the audio recording of the event itself:
Last edited by SEG on Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by landrew » Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:27 am

I'm not sold.
Anyone could change their voice like that.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by SEG » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:48 am

landrew wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 1:27 am
I'm not sold.
Anyone could change their voice like that.
Apparently it happened over 3 years ago according to the link to the article:
In January, I contracted a flu virus that ultimately penetrated the mylan sheath of my vocal folds and damaged the nerve tissue beyond repair.

Over the next three years I was seen by over 63 specialists and their teams (totaling over 200 doctors) as they tried to diagnose and treat me. I had been left with a voice that sounded like the worst case of laryngitis you have ever heard, and could only make that if I screamed at the top of my lungs. My daughters were both students at Baylor and I could not even call their dorm because I sounded like an obscene phone caller.

Though the congregation had been incredibly patient with my disability, I had resigned for obvious reasons in 1991. Everything I had ever done to earn a living had been connected to my ability to speak and suddenly my “tool kit” was gone.
But who knows if the audio was set up and the article is fiction?
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by ElectricMonk » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:51 am

Using hypnosis-type techniques, it is pretty simple to trigger "miracle healings" in the susceptible - no faith in anyone but the hypnotist required.
Problem is: the fix doesn't last, unless the "cured" change their habits as a reaction.

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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by landrew » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:31 pm

"Damaged beyond repair" is an opinion, and even if it were a medical one, it doesn't stand as a fact.
It doesn't qualify as a miracle, albeit remarkable if true. The annals of medicine are full of remarkable recoveries.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by SEG » Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:02 am

landrew wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:31 pm
"Damaged beyond repair" is an opinion, and even if it were a medical one, it doesn't stand as a fact.
It doesn't qualify as a miracle, albeit remarkable if true. The annals of medicine are full of remarkable recoveries.
Zactly! This "miracle" was not quoted in any peer reviewed medical journals that I could find either. The Christian reporting it was quoting from his own church, the Southern Baptists. Talk about confirmation bias! I wouldn't be surprised if the whole thing was faked. On the bright side, I did learn about a new informal fallacy, "Appeal to Faith"
Description: This is an abandonment of reason in an argument and a call to faith, usually when reason clearly leads to disproving the conclusion of an argument. It is the assertion that one must have (the right kind of) faith in order to understand the argument.

Even arguments that heavily rely on reason that ultimately require faith, abandon reason.

Logical Form:

X is true.

If you have faith, you will see that.

Example #1:

Jimmie: Joseph Smith, the all American prophet, was the blond-haired, blue-eyed voice of God.

Hollie: What is your evidence for that?

Jimmie: I don't need evidence—I only need faith.

Explanation: There are some things, some believe, that are beyond reason and logic. Fair enough, but the moment we accept this, absent of any objective method of telling what is beyond reason and why anything goes, anything can be explained away without having to explain anything.

Example #2:

Tom: Did you know that souls ("Thetans") reincarnate and have lived on other planets before living on Earth, and Xenu was the tyrant ruler of the Galactic Confederacy?

Mike: No, I did not know that. How do you know that?

Tom: I know this through my faith. Do you think everything can be known by science alone? Your faith is weak, my friend.

Explanation: It should be obvious that reason and logic are not being used, but rather “faith”. While Tom might be right, there is still no valid reason offered. The problem also arises in the vagueness of the appeal to faith. Tom’s answer can be used to answer virtually any question imaginable, yet the answer is really a deflection.

St. Bingo: You need to massage my feet.

Tina: Why?

St. Bingo: My child, you will only see that answer clearly through the eyes of faith.

Exception: No exceptions -- the appeal to faith is always a fallacy when used to justify a conclusion in the absence of reason.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by Austin Harper » Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:59 pm

With the audio quality, this must be a recording taken directly from the PA system in the church. If they are set up to record this particular sermon, they would probably be set up for it on a weekly basis. If so, I'd like to see the previous three years worth of recorded sermons, but for some reason they only shared six videos before this one, one of which is a trailer for the Puppy Bowl. Also, all of the other videos are actual video and not audio-only.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by landrew » Mon Dec 03, 2018 4:04 pm

"Damaged vocal cords" makes me think of scar tissue. I can imagine how over time, the flexing and vibration could soften the tissue and make it start working better. The recording seems to be showing this. I'd be interested to hear about similar stories where someone's voice improved over time, and it wasn't deemed a miracle, just a recovery.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by Pyrrho » Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:47 pm

In other news, the prayers of countless parents of terminally ill children were ignored.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by scrmbldggs » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:55 pm

Yeah, but those guys don't usually have a pulpit and/or an audience or reach worth mentioning...


(Oops, Israeli archaeologists...uncovered a rare prehistoric site near Tel Aviv described as a "paradise" for hunter-gatherers living 500,000 years ago.)
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by Pyrrho » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:06 pm

Upon listening to the audio clip, I have some ideas. One, his voice was filtered by the audio equipment to produce the strained effect. It improves gradually throughout the clip--if I was a cynical bastard, I'd say "Nice work, audio technician."

Two, he faked it.

Three, it's quite common for preachers like that to strain their voices in such a manner. Nothing about that clip suggests damage to the vocal chords.

If I wanted to be a true skeptic I'd have to read the medical records, hear his voice before the alleged damage, etc. Examining evidence requires evidence to examine. This piece of evidence is insufficient to arrive at a falsifiable conclusion.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by SEG » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:02 am

I've asked him to supply citations from peer reviewed medical journals, names of the doctors that have declared it incurable and documentation of same. Plus I asked him for details of the episode of Oprah. I guessing I'm gonna have a long wait.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by SEG » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:08 am

Austin Harper wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 3:59 pm
With the audio quality, this must be a recording taken directly from the PA system in the church. If they are set up to record this particular sermon, they would probably be set up for it on a weekly basis. If so, I'd like to see the previous three years worth of recorded sermons, but for some reason they only shared six videos before this one, one of which is a trailer for the Puppy Bowl. Also, all of the other videos are actual video and not audio-only.
Great point re the other sermons. I'm guessing most preachers wouldn't want their sermons recorded, for fear of being caught out in errors for example.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by Pyrrho » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:53 am

The other possibility is that his condition improved during the time he wasn't preaching, thus giving his vocal cords a rest. Nerves can regenerate to a degree.

Who knows. It's all just guessing.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by scrmbldggs » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:35 pm

Like when he stopped shouting to be heard? And scars do soften naturally over time...

SEG wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:02 am
...names of the doctors that have declared it incurable and documentation of same...
This is where it very often falters and those doctors and their diagnoses are hard to find. Notably in the "cured during an NDE" crowd.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by landrew » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:23 pm

Nothing to see here.
Let's move on.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by Matthew Ellard » Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:30 am

This is a silly thread. There are heaps of high end studio effects to change voices. You can add an electronic "Feel" to a voice using a vocoder. You can change the pitch and speed with a pitch shifter. You can remove volume changes with a compressor. You can add or removes "SSSS" with a "deesser" . The list is endless.

There are also really cheap effects that can do the same thing. This toy costs only US$29.
Voice changer.jpg
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by landrew » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:32 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:30 am
This is a silly thread. There are heaps of high end studio effects to change voices. You can add an electronic "Feel" to a voice using a vocoder. You can change the pitch and speed with a pitch shifter. You can remove volume changes with a compressor. You can add or removes "SSSS" with a "deesser" . The list is endless.

There are also really cheap effects that can do the same thing. This toy costs only US$29.
Voice changer.jpg
It would be harder to hoax this electronically than to just speak in a hoarse voice. I'm sure we're not listening to an electronically-altered voice.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by SEG » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:20 am

landrew wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:32 am
Matthew Ellard wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:30 am
This is a silly thread. There are heaps of high end studio effects to change voices. You can add an electronic "Feel" to a voice using a vocoder. You can change the pitch and speed with a pitch shifter. You can remove volume changes with a compressor. You can add or removes "SSSS" with a "deesser" . The list is endless.

There are also really cheap effects that can do the same thing. This toy costs only US$29.
Voice changer.jpg
It would be harder to hoax this electronically than to just speak in a hoarse voice. I'm sure we're not listening to an electronically-altered voice.
I'm sure it's BS now. He has had a peek at this forum as I quoted some of your comments back to him and he must have Googled this thread. He replied after seeing it that I misrepresented him. In fairness to him I will post his replies (It looks like he is enamoured by Landrew). Btw, This is the last time I will post anything else between the forums, I just did this as he mentioned this forum in his post.

Anyhow, this is the way it went:
Incidentally, you misrepresent my presentation of this matter in your post on SkepticForum.com:

1. I have not said that faith will prove this to you. Thus I am not making an appeal to faith. I ask that you either quote where I have said that faith will prove this to you, or that you edit your post. I take my integrity rather seriously.

2. I did not say that Duane Miller appeared on Oprah; Duane Miller states that he has appeared on Oprah. I quoted his statement. It is a minor point, so I don't need you to edit your post on skepticforum.com for that one.

3. Duane Miller is not, and never has been, my pastor. I stated that he was a pastor. I cited his statements that he was a pastor. He is not my pastor.
My pastor has played the recording for the congregation, and has cited it as an example. But Duane Miller is not my pastor.

It is enough to make me wonder if you're actually reading these posts, or just skimming for keywords so that you can rant about whatever the latest trending topic is over at that other forum. I truly prefer when people express their own opinions, and raise their own arguments, rather than cutting and pasting... But I suppose that Kripkean Dogmatism has you locked into your patterns.

By the way, kudos to that guy "Landrew" over there, who at least understands the concept of the scientific method, and proof versus disproof.
SEG reply:
But he doesn't believe this extraordinary event either! Lack of evidence probably.
OGs reply
The event would be recorded in Lancet or another journal if, and only if,
1. Duane Miller returned to one of the Doctors and said, "Hey, Look, my voice works now. You said it wouldn't happen," and
2. The MD decided to write up a paper describing the event, as a case study for peer analysis, and
3. Anonymous peers of the MD felt it was worthy of being published, and
4. The editors had space and inclination to print it.

Curious events occur all the time -- perhaps not miracles, and perhaps not apparent miracles like this one. But only if a Dr. decides to write up an event like this will it ever make it into publication in a peer-reviewed journal. So the implied general premise of your implied argument is incorrect.
SEG reply:
Yes, Og, curious events happen all the time. So do dishonest Christian "healings". So your pastor was overwhelmed with this "miracle", yet didn't report the circumstances to his doctors? In your words he didn't say, "Hey, Look, my voice works now. You said it wouldn't happen," ? Why on Earth would he not say something like that to the doctor? Most doctors I go to would jump at the chance of reporting a medical miracle, it would be a dereliction of duty if he didn't report this amazing occurrence to a specialist who was overseeing his treatment. Especially as he had gone to over 200 doctors!
OGs reply
As for
1. I have not said that faith will prove this to you. Thus I am not making an appeal to faith. I ask that you either quote where I have said that faith will prove this to you, or that you edit your post. I take my integrity rather seriously.
That was the insinuation. NP in re-phrasing it.
I have not insinuated
or implied
or even hinted
or vaguely suggested in an oblique way
that you need to use faith (by the implication and usage of the example you cited, blind faith) to see the answer.
SEG reply:
Yet you said earlier,
"So you can believe that it is a miracle, or you can shrug your shoulders and deny it.

But this is what I mean by a valid and true religious experience."
Then;
"I offer a challenge: Atheists, skeptics, free-thinkers... Tell me what bar you set, now, before the miracles occur, which would cause you to say -- and not take it back -- that "Surely this was the hand of God."
It sure sounds like a "God of the Gaps" argument to me. It sounds like BS more than ever now. How come the Oprah episode doesn't show up on Google? You should make the most of this OG for your Southern Baptist church and chase down the date of the episode so you and Chappy can spread the good word! I would LOVE to see this episode, so where is it? Now if you can't find it, or even worse, it turns out to be a big fat lie, would you be concerned that you have been hoodwinked?
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by SEG » Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:23 am

Does anyone think that a Pastor could afford to go to 63 specialists and their teams (totaling over 200 doctors)? It seems like an excessive amount of time and money spent, especially if all of them are telling you the same thing.

Unless some medical expenses plans are really affordable in the US?
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by Pyrrho » Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:17 pm

Unfortunately, without access to his private medical records, there's no way to know.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by landrew » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:56 pm

SEG wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:23 am
Does anyone think that a Pastor could afford to go to 63 specialists and their teams (totaling over 200 doctors)? It seems like an excessive amount of time and money spent, especially if all of them are telling you the same thing.

Unless some medical expenses plans are really affordable in the US?
Anecdotal and possibly these are not all paid consultations, and perhaps there's an assumption that each specialist had consulted with at least 2 others.
At any rate, it sounds fairly inflated.

I still believe that in another context, this would simply be regarded as a medical recovery, with no mention of miracles. The journals are full of "miraculous" recoveries without attribution to the supernatural. I once read a book called The Transformed Cell by Stephen Rosenberg M.D. who was director of the NIH (National Institute of Health). He said that although it's incredibly rare, a few people have fully recovered from very advanced stages of aggressive forms of cancer, spontaneously. Once again, supernatural miracles were not attributed. For those who do, I think the God of the Gaps is freely applied. The human body is still quite mysterious.
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Re: An audio record of a miraculous healing

Post by SEG » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:42 pm

Pyrrho wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 2:17 pm
Unfortunately, without access to his private medical records, there's no way to know.
Hmmm. Yes I agree Pyrrho. Pity they haven't been released as definite proof of this amazing event. It would have cemented his story and it could have gone on all the major media channels, generated masses of donations to his church and saved millions of souls. Pity.
“There are no known non-biblical references to a historical Jesus by any historian or other writer of the time during and shortly after Jesus's purported advent.” His so-called life was a farce.