Chapters Six and Seven:
Very painful reading. Keener is working desperately to convince the reader of the validity of these two premises for the plausibility of miracles:
1. Hundreds of millions of people in the world claim to have witnessed miracles. The odds that they are all wrong are extremely low. Even if a handful of these millions of miracle claims are true, Hume is proven wrong, and miracles must be accepted by mainstream scholarship.
2. The Western empirical world view is ethnocentric and racist. With the rise of multiculturalism, academia should abandon their narrow western/Humean world view and accept as equally valid, the world views of other cultures. And since a belief in the supernatural and miracles is wide spread among most world cultures, these concepts should be accepted as equally valid world views in western culture and academia.
I am choking and gagging at the bald face hypocrisy: Traditional/conservative Christianity has been vigorously (and often violently) attempting to impose its world view on the entire world for the last 2,000 years, but now that it is in decline, it cries out for acceptance under the liberal mantra of “multiculturalism”.
Let’s take a closer look at Keener’s claim: Because a lot of people in the world believe X, it is probably true.
—Because a lot of people in the world believe that evil spirits cause disease, it is probably true.
—Because a lot of people in the world believe that seizures are caused by evil spirits, they probably are.
—Because a lot of people in the world believe that they can communicate with the dead, they probably can.
—Because a lot of people in the world have claimed to see ghosts, they probably did.
Dear folks: Just because millions of people on the planet believe something does NOT make it true or even probably true.
As I continue plodding through chapter 7, with Keener’s repeated calls for “multicultural” respect for miracle claims and “majority world” (the Third World) healing practices, I dare Keener’s admirers to think about the consequences of his agenda. If we in western society give equal respect to all world views on health and healing as Keener encourages us to do, how would you feel about the following:
You show up to the local ER in the middle of a heart attack. As you are wheeled in from the ambulance, a clerk comes to your bedside and advises you that the hospital has just adopted a “multicultural” approach to medical care. Patients coming into the ER will be randomly assigned to three different categories of medical care:
1. Prayer (rotating between Protestant, Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Hindu, and Muslim clergy saying the prayer over you).
2. Folk medicine.
3. Standard, western, empirical medicine.
It’s your lucky day! A nurse brings a rooster to your bedside, slits its throat, and rubs the fresh blood on your chest. “That was your treatment. Hope you get better!” the nurse says, as she walks away.
This “multicultural argument” is a ploy. Conservative Christians would not use this argument for medical care, but they want us to buy it to give more acceptability to their miracle claims.