Re: SOC: US Belief in Miracles

Date: Sat Apr 29 2000 - 07:43:42 MDT

In a message dated 4/24/00 9:58:11 AM Central Daylight Time,

> In the same vein, this week's Economist has an interesting article on
> the process by which Catholic authorities validate alleged miracles -
> they use real medical doctors, have well-defined criteria, and look for
> cases where there is no (yet) known scientific explanation for the
> miraculous recovery. The article notes that the standard for miracles has
> been rising over the years as medical knowledge increases (both in
> medical capability and in knowledge of the weird but explainable stuff
> that biology is capable of).

Yes, and in a very Roman fashion, the process is carried on in a judicial
proceeding, with each side having an advocate, i.e. one for the "prosecution"
of the claim, and one defending against it. (Just as a modern Anglo-American
lawyer could adjust to cases in the courts of Henry II with a little
retraining, I think Cicero would be at home in modern "curial" proceedings.)
The advocate opposing sanctification is known as the "Advocatus Dioboli", or
"Devil's Advocate", whence comes the term. I can remember as a very young
boy thinking that this was a cool job I might like to have when I grew up.

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
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        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
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       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

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