Are miracles real?

It depends on what you think is a miracle

© Dave DuBay.

It’s a miracle!

Do you mean that literally?

Or literally in the Millennial sense of figuratively?

Miracle is an ill-defined term.

What is a miracle?

A miracle might be something unlikely but fortuitous. It’s easy to believe in that. Whether it was a happy coincidence or the will of God is a side question.

Or a miracle might violate the laws of nature. And that’s a tougher question.

The good, the bad, and the “meh”

You could argue that the existence of natural “laws” is a presupposition. Where’s the law written? By whom? There are consistent patterns in the natural world, but just because there are no known exceptions doesn’t mean there aren’t any at all.

That borders on relativism, however. If you can believe anything, then what can’t you believe?

And why assume there are exceptions without any independently verifiable exceptions to point to?

Instead, you could question the assumption that alleged events such as Christ’s resurrection violate nature’s laws. What if God used currently unknown natural processes? But if God did, what does that mean for Christian theology? (I have no idea.)

More modestly, you could argue that a miracle is the most likely explanation for what happened. That works if you can show the event actually happened. But that’s often the first sticking point.

Down the scale, you could say a miracle is more probable than other explanations.

Or maybe just that it’s plausible, so believing isn’t irrational even if you can’t persuade a skeptic.

Naysayers

There also are good and not-so-good arguments against miracles.

Miracles violate the laws of nature, but the laws of nature are inviolable, so miracles don’t happen. But that’s a circular argument.

Or, miracles assume divine power, so if you’re an atheist then miracles are automatically bogus. But that begs the question.

A better argument is Carl Sagan’s adage that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” This doesn’t totally close the door on miracles, but neither is it gullible.

That’s just, like, you opinion, man

Well, that about does it for me.

Belief in miracles is subjective, and people are free to believe as they choose.

Miracles are faith-based.

That’s it.

And faith is personal. To demonstrate something to another person is a lot harder.

Published by Dave DuBay

Dave is a Florida man. He blogs at https://davedubay.wordpress.com. He's also at twitter.com/Dave_DuBay.

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