Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Should I send an email to JP Moreland?

I've been thinking quite a bit about whether or not I should send JP Moreland an email, to find out whether the details of his miracle story are accurate. Many skeptics (myself included) have suggested that he simply misremembered what the old woman claimed she saw. I mean, according to Morelands own account of the events (pages 155-156), the student was the first person to explain what he saw (3 angels, 1 taller one at the back and two at the sides). It seems like, if Moreland were to have experienced a faulty recall, it would have been at this exact moment. He would have taken the students report, and molded his memories of the old woman to match it. I mean, he WAS expecting a miracle, right?

So, as long as Moreland's report is accurate, this naturalistic explanation should explain away the miracle. The only problem is, I don't know if his report is accurate. It's quite clear by the way Moreland tells his story that he knows little about the power of suggestion and memory. If he did, he'd try to counter critics such as myself. But he doesn't. So, for all I know, there may crucial details he didn't mention that make his case a lot stronger.

However- there's still a catch. If I were to question Moreland on the details of his story, he may just end up just altering his memories to suit my demands! I know it sounds cynical of me, but I noticed that in his Closer to the truth interview, he said the angels stuck around for 10-15 minutes. However, in his book, he said they lasted 5-10 minutes. Contrary to what some of you may believe, this makes a big difference in determining whether regular hallucinations can account for the event. If the student reported that the vision was 5-10 minutes in length, was can reduce it to about 1-3 minutes, due to exaggeration/inability to perfectly record time, etc. But, If the vision were 15 minutes long, stretching it this much may look unrealistic. Details like this need to be sorted out if we want to come up with a conclusion as to whether this event really was miraculous or not.

So readers, do you think I should carry out this crazy plan? Do you think it will matter? Any feedback- positive or negative is appreciated.

2 comments:

  1. By the way, here is a good introductory article on OT scholarship written by none other than Gerd Ludemann:

    http://www.bibleinterp.com/opeds/lud358024.shtml

    Also, I already commented on JP Morelands blog, to see if he'd respond. I'm starting to regret it now, since I know full well he'll just subconciously add details that weren't originally in the story to refute me.

    Personally, I've never seen such an obvious case of memory invention. Another point I was thinking about was when he said he told no one about the old woman. Although Moreland wants to use that as evidence against fraud, I think it only proves that he put no thought into the old woman's testimony at all! I mean, if someone were to have told me they saw angels around me, I'd definatley tell that to my family/friends.

    But I still got this feeling, like it's too obvious. You know what I mean? Like, I don't even think the thought of false memories ever crossed his mind for even a second. I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't keep stewing over this stupid miracle. But I swear, it's all I've been able to think about for the last few days. Anyone think that's strange?

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  2. Turns out, hallucinations/visions/dreams/etc of exactly three angels are actually not uncommon:

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=uBhKAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA207&lpg=PA207&dq=hallucinate+three+angels&source=bl&ots=HAyRR91P8u&sig=4pKX0Od4bYPvPv12wfFYl_TouDM&hl=en&ei=-CfjTs7vJqPy0gH_jNXbBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&sqi=2&ved=0CBwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=hallucinate%20three%20angels&f=false

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=NAP-s4a0wOsC&pg=PA458&lpg=PA458&dq=hallucinate+three+angels&source=bl&ots=bUIhNQOfS5&sig=nA7BeaVIXgcJOw5ezNa-UQ9Vmzo&hl=en&ei=-CfjTs7vJqPy0gH_jNXbBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&sqi=2&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=hallucinate%20three%20angels&f=false

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=Zo1tSWLRq9EC&pg=PA66&lpg=PA66&dq=hallucinate+three+angels&source=bl&ots=IkAJxGndK4&sig=4LtPUgb4bQJFEAEkx-T7opAjuq4&hl=en&ei=-CfjTs7vJqPy0gH_jNXbBQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&sqi=2&ved=0CFAQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=hallucinate%20three%20angels&f=false

    http://www.dreamviews.com/f45/i-saw-three-angels-my-dream-74689/

    All these books and the article have at least one documented case of exactly three angels appearing in some way, shape or form. I also noticed how, in one case, the angels were standing in the same position as JP Morelands angels: one in the back, one on each side. Just go to "find on this page" and type in "three angels" to read each case.

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