if there was no belief in miracles that
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Stories about God raising Jesus from the dead and instantly healing the sick and statues coming to life to talk to us are miracle stories. A miracle is something that is not explainable naturally. So a miracle is an exception then to the way the science has observed nature to work. If dead people do not rise, then Jesus rising would be a miracle. Only a magical or supernatural cause can be behind it.
The only true miracle would be one where an event or thing was created from nothing as a sign. But the problem is you cannot even half-detect if it really came from nothing. God's speciality is creating - a God that cannot create is not a God or supreme or almighty. If blood appears on a statue, was it created? Or did some paranormal force within nature take the blood from somewhere and put it on and then make it invisible until the right moment or something? The problem is not that sceptics won't believe in miracles. The point is that they cannot even if they do think the paranormal may be true. Those who preach about miracles don't care about truth at all. They just want you to agree with them for that flatters them! And if it is a paranormal deception, is it wise to dally with such forces? THIS PARAGRAPH IS BOLDED FOR IT IS THE ONLY PARAGRAPH IN THIS WEBSITE THAT IS ESSENTIAL READING!
Those who tell us that an event is miraculous, are saying, "There is no natural explanation. I do not understand this occurrence therefore it is a miracle and there is no point in looking for a natural explanation." It rules out any hope that a rational or natural explanation may turn up. That is unfair because it could and many miracle claims are proven to be natural in origin in time. The person is claiming the right to rule out what cannot be ruled out. The person is claiming that she doesn't understand it so it was a miracle. That is an argument from ignorance. It is no good at all. She is anti-science for science is principally about finding reasons to doubt and disbelieve, it seeks out evidence that is contrary to what it thinks. Belief that there is evidence for the supernatural is fundamentally incoherent. Why stop with miracles? Why not say that if some unusual natural event happens such as snow in July that there is no point in looking for a natural explanation?
The Church says we should believe miracle tales when told by very trustworthy people. The Church says, "If we refuse to believe trustworthy miracle tales we must ask ourselves if we should believe any testimony to anything! Of course we shouldn't!" That is ultimately the only argument for belief in miracles there is.
The argument overlooks the fact that life will go on as usual if we reject testimony only to miracles. Many of us do that anyway. We do not need to believe in a miracle the way we need to believe that the garden centre gives us seeds that will grow. It is not the same thing.
There are things we cannot be expected to believe without hard evidence regardless of how good the testimony is. If miracles and magic don't fall into that category then nothing does. If we cannot be expected to believe in them, people must not promote belief in them. It demeans us.
Religion simply does not deal with those truths. It simply settles for saying, "Unbelievers or sceptics are simply relying on the assumption that miracles are not believable when they should be looking at the historical facts and the evidence." Religion attacks the messenger not the message ... belief in miracles is therefore hostile and nasty.
Likewise Christians complain that those who deny miracles happen or who say they are all dubious though they might be true are guilty of making assumptions when they should be looking at the evidence first and then deciding. That would be unfair.
But the deniers and doubters are not being unfair. It is not about evidence but what assumptions to form. Evidence is no good to you unless you form relevant assumptions. You assume for example that no devil or fairy or poltergeist has tampered with it. You have to assume that. You reject the supernatural not as a hypothesis but as a working hypothesis.
The denier or doubter is not assuming that the evidence for miracles is no good or stupid. He is only assuming that it is not enough. Good evidence that somebody has committed a murder need not be enough.
Another problem is that the miracle is never about evidence but about testimony. Witnesses need to say it is a miracle. We are under no obligation to accept anybody's testimony - especially a miracle testimony or we are not obligated to let somebody's testimony tell us what to think about God and what God wants us to believe. If a person says its your duty to God to believe be sure that person is manipulating you. There is no such duty. Jesus are you listening? Do you understand that there is a duty to accept facts but as belief is a matter of interpretation of evidence there is no duty to believe anything. And if there is, surely belief because of hard evidence comes before belief in testimony! Then there would be a higher duty to accept evidence and a lesser one to accept testimony.
Rene Descartes said you must doubt everything you can until you can prove or support it to your satisfaction. It is reasonable to assume things are true until you meet sufficient evidence that they are not or might not be only because doubting everything is bad for you. But surely this would not apply to the magical or the supernatural. Descartes' thinking has value in the sense that it shows there must be something that is to be considered false until it can be proven true. That something can only be miracles and the supernatural and God.
Science is accused of assuming nature is uniform in order to prove it. But what can you expect? We have to assume that. Yet religion accuses us of being biased and unfair if we assume nature does not allow for the supernatural. The religionists assume it does so they are more biased and unfair than us for their assumption is bigger. Also it is unnecessary. The assumption that nature acts like it follows rules that it does not break is necessary.
A miracle believer cannot know enough about an event or anything to be sure that it is a miracle. Their belief is mere arrogance. Their real God is their belief not God. You need evidence that miracles are possible. It is too serious of a matter to just assume that they are. It would be like assuming that the world will turn into custard in five minutes time. And you cannot have evidence at all for you do not know all the causes of an event. Miracles are an extreme violation of the rule, "The bigger the assertion the better the evidence there should be to back it up." Evidence is based on the assumption that there is no supernatural at work so evidence by default and by definition cannot be used in support of a miracle claim. All you end up with is evidence for something strange.
People feel uncomfortable and ashamed when miracle beliefs become what seems too much. But if there is a God who has supernatural powers, he can give powers to witches and make dragons and unicorns so that we could be living in a fairyland universe tomorrow. Mere belief in the supernatural is going too far. What people term going too far is merely a symptom of already having gone too far.
Belief in miracles and magic leads to exploitation. Challenge it if you don't want to be a passive supporter of the problem. Those who care about truth will welcome the challenge. Do you want to be exploited and see people being exploited?
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