Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Absence of Miracles

I have never experienced a miracle. I will almost certainly say that any other human being on planet Earth has never experienced one either.

Many religious people of any faith will use miracles as proof of their God or gods. But what really is a miracle anyway? Is it Divine Intervention? Something that seemingly breaks the laws of physics?

If it's the first, what events are just naturally occurring, and which are actual Divine Intervention?

Then again, if it's the latter, how can you tell when a miracle is actually is a miracle, and not just an illusion or a stroke of luck?

There are things people say are miracles but can be easily explained by science. Some of them seem like miracles at first glance, but if you look deeper, it can be explained by science. Then there are those that cannot be explained by science. Does that make it a miracle? Or does it mean that science has just not progressed enough to explain it?

On the other hand, if something can be explained by science and yet is so implausible that I would confidently bet my life on it that it wouldn't happen ever, and it DOES happen, does that constitute as a miracle?

I guess the reason this post is full of questions is because I would like to know what the theists out there that read this post constitute as a miracle. Have you ever actually personally experienced a miracle?

I would guess that you have never actually experienced a miracle. Am I wrong to say this?


Blogger Steve said...

"Miracle" is a term used by religious people to explain something that occurs, which seems impossible or highly unlikely. Rather than investigate into the actual cause of it, they simply brand it a "miracle" and leave it at that.

Thinking makes brain go hurty.

12:52 PM, November 22, 2005  
Blogger Beowulf said...

One of the problems is the flagrant abuse of the tem “Miracle.” The term is used for Skin creams that make us look younger; computer technology; the transition of a nation from oppression to freedom; and what a quarterback needs to pull off for his team to have a winning season. All these are called miracles today. Anything that takes extreme effort or which amazes people is now a miracle. I'm still amazed that airplanes stay in the air. But is that a miracle? The biggest hurdle here is finding an agreeable definition of a miracle.

Your post presupposes that there are no miracles occurring now. How do you know this? Either you must be omniscient, or you are stating a priori with naturalistic world view which by definition precludes miracles

Whenever someone asks if miracles are probable (or believable) they are really asking is there a God, and that is the crux of the problem. You see, at start of your inquiry you have already dismissed God as a criterion for support. Hume says we should judge miracles only on the basis of natural evidence - what we find occurring in nature as repeatable. The less common an instance, the less rational it is to believe. However, if one assumes that nature is the standard for judging the reasonableness of an event occurring, then you may have a point. But by assuming this, one assumes there is no God that rules over nature. What this does is in effect is beg the question.

If your honestly seeking an answer to your question, I would recommend this book
However, if you just get kicks out throwing out objections—don’t waste your time and money.

3:19 PM, November 26, 2005  
Blogger Pyro_Shark said...

My assumption is based on three things
1) I have never experienced a miracle, as stated in my post, 2) I have never known anybody who has claimed to experience a real miracle, and 3)There haven't been any historically verifiable miracles that I'm aware of. Unless you wish to debate any of those three points, by assumption that miracles do not exist or ever will stands.

Thanks for the book reccomendation. I don't have too much to read these days, but I'll look for it the next time I go to the library.

5:19 PM, November 29, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For reasons 1 and 2 miracles are by definition something rare. If everyone knew or was someone who had experienced a miracle then the word miracle would mean almost nothing. For your 3rd reason I believe your mind is narrrowed to the belief that a miracle is something so called "magical"
Scientists I would assume do not believe in "magic", however I do believe that a fair few believe in your "miracles" Many are trying to come up with scientific reasons for mainly bibical miracles, not to disprove them as miracles; they are miracle, but to give them an explanation beyond just God.
For example, there is a possibility for the "Parting of the Red Sea" At a certain time it is possible that the tide was low enough for them to cross. It is, of course, not proven, but it is a possibility that I would call a miracle, for it did what miracles do without technology or strength or any other human quality.

7:39 PM, November 29, 2005  
Blogger Beowulf said...

If I told you that I experienced a miracle would you believe me? I don think so. In effect, even if you were told by persons that they have experienced miracles, you would just deny that experience (I suspect)—and continue to hold that the there are no miracles.

8:50 PM, November 29, 2005  
Blogger Pyro_Shark said...

I'd believe you, but you're probably right - I most likely wouldn't agree that it was a miracle.

6:27 PM, November 30, 2005  
Blogger Addie said...

Well, as I said in my carnival submission, I experienced a so-called miracle. Frankly, though, the word has come to have meaning without the god/spritual/magical connotation. Just look it up at The first definition is one without any magical/religious implication.

I was in a car accident at 15. My mother was driving, my infant sister was in her carseat in the back. No one was hurt (except the other driver's car), and to me that qualifies as an "amazing or wonderful occurrence." Frankly, it was both.

My point, though it's late and I'm not completely awake, is that a lot of this is semantics. You will always have things that science has yet to explain. There will always be cleverly developed hoaxes that people will believe even after they're proven false.

It would be nice to believe a "miracle" can occur. It's hard to live in this world without that to hold on to, and some people need to cling to those ideas.

10:19 PM, December 04, 2005  
Blogger Morgaine said...

Have you read my post for the Carnival at The-Goddess? It's about a miracle that happened in my family. It would seem to be outside even the realm of quantum mechanics, in that there appears to have been some sort of intervention by a non-human entity.

11:23 AM, December 05, 2005  

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