Welcome to sceptic.info
A sceptic is nothing more than a careful thinker who is informed by the only thing we should be informed by - evidence.
The benefits you have come from people who did the thinking. So you must think a bit more carefully in return.
Those who want to lead you into mistakes are personally but subtly attacking you. Take it personally if your power to think and make the best informed choices is violated. Most harm in life is subtle and crafty. Nature and reality are bigger than you and you cannot avoid them and you harm yourself trying to.
Lies and errors breed more lies and errors. They breed too much fear and uncertainty. Lies backfire for more people see through them than you think. Your errors are never your own business. You are part of society and to avoid impacting others perhaps in ways you don't realise, you need to work through them. The truth is not about what you want to think or even what you think. It will always be bigger than you so go along with it. There are more important things than brief comfort.
Be aware that religious and supernatural lies have the power to last longer than a lie should. Why? Because they avoid testing and because people are made to feel they are rebelling against a loving higher power if they scorn them. There are many reasons including how we are all conditioned to some extent in childhood.
A sceptic knows that possibilities are interesting but they do not count. What matters is what the evidence says and if we can trust the data. Probabilities count. The sceptic is not out for herself or himself but for the evidence. Remember that. Let the evidence guide your thinking.
It does not matter if aliens created Christianity by putting false memories in people in 50AD. It does not matter if Jesus was raised from the dead by the only witch who ever lived and not by God. It does not even matter if Jesus was raised by God. Those are only possibilities and they are worthless.
One big feature among religionists is that the absence of evidence is taken for evidence of absence. It is not. Absence of evidence that a miracle is a fraud does not mean it is in fact true.
Believers argue that the testimony they have for their miracle beliefs is reasonable and enough but they ignore the miracle testimony that does not suit their faith even if that witness is MORE convincing. A true believer in the supernatural looks for the best verified miracle even it is just a brick that floats in midair. It does not matter what it is, just that it is. Until a believer does that they cannot claim to respect evidence, truth and the scientific.
And what if there were people really and obviously transcending nature who claimed they were using tricks? Believers take their word for it that it was illusion. And if there are ghosts and gods they may use their supernatural powers to do magic tricks. Who says that if tricks happen, they have to be natural? If they cannot raise a dead man, they can tamper with nature, maybe plant false memories, to make it seem like they managed it. Nobody has the right to read more into something than they need to.
The gospels may say Jesus was reported to have been raised by God but they have no right to tell you to agree. They have no right to demand one particular interpretation of the data. That is propaganda not faith
'Believers' in magic/miracles/supernatural events are not believing but guessing. Also if a man dies and we meet him alive three days later we know nothing of how he became alive. We read that bones touched to a corpse raised it in the Old Testament. If something bizarre happened around Jesus we would not be so impressed. We are not told anything just that he showed up again. This is about believers having faith in their own arrogance rather than in Jesus.
People want the supernatural when things get bad enough. Otherwise they want it partitioned off. Nobody wants to live in a world of miraculous healings. They want order except when it suits them. Nobody is honest about that.
Armed with these truths we will examine some of the most famous and well "verified" miracle claims of all time.
Here they are.
Jesus Christ's miraculous sinlessness is a lie for the character depicted in the Bible has a cruel streak
Jesus' mother did not make the sun spin and seem to be about to fall in 1917 for the real miracle is why there are hardly any testimonies and the people would have stampeded and did not
Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet was a fraud who altered his own scriptures and falsely predicted the future in the name of God
No church or saviour has the right to put a person through the trauma of an exorcism when proof of possession is impossible
Catholicism despite the disproofs says that it has bodies of saints who never decayed but they are mummified and that is decay!
Lanciano Miracle has rotted flesh that it says is the result of communion bread having really turned into "Jesus"
Padre Pio was manipulative and did not have unnatural wounds and a doctor found them shallow
Guadalupe apparition and the miracle picture have serious credibility problems and the paint has cracked
Lourdes shrine has problematic apparition reports and healings and contradicts the Catholic teaching that a vision endangering people is false - she wanted them to drink from a dirty spring in an infectious dump
Turin Shroud may be strange but it does have tell-tale man-made errors such as the man's hair hanging as if he were upright
If a genetic disease were invented that could make tumours that develop human brains rapidly we would agree with killing them even if they are people so it is clear that religion is foolish to oppose abortion
Prayer is anti-humanist for suppose you had to pray to help John or just help John and it had to be one or other? Clearly you should just help even if it means at the expense of prayer
Prayer is offensive for it presupposes that harm should visit a person for their own spiritual good and assumes that God brings good out of evil
To say morality comes from God not us is a lie for we are deciding that God is moral so it is back to us again
If God creates morality he invents it - but it is still not real - and if it is a separate standard from him it is not about what he thinks and he cannot own it and has to abide by it like us
He does not own forgiving if he does not own morality so he deserves no praise for forgiving and will tell us it is about the principle to forgive not him
It follows that we have the right to dispute how he bestows mercy and this shows us a God that is relevant to morality is incoherent and a nonsense
Divine providence says that God looks after us but there is no evidence that saintly people live longer to serve longer
Free will is not a scientific doctrine for you cannot go back in time to do other than you did to test it so to say science and religion inform each other, ie overlap, is like saying you can learn about rivers by doing your research in the Sahara
Religion has no right when it is not science to tell people that science fits it
Science looks at death and sees something irreversible. Religion says God can undo it and raise us up. Then why is nature so determined to have death look exactly like the end and surely we admit that even if there is a God it does not mean he will bring us back? Is God communicating a lie through how nature, which he set up, works? If man is doing the talking then who is the liar? Man has to expect us to call him the liar.