Friday, January 29, 2010

A Material World: Rejecting Miracles

I have often been asked or have asked my self even the question what if the Bible was historically accurate and consistent, would that be enough evidence?

Well lets say for a moment that there are no problems that plague the Bible. There are no problems with inconsistencies or contradictions. There are no problems with historicity. For the sake of argument lets say the Bible is a completely reliable text. Would that be enough?

Even if I did accept all those parameters there is still one thing the Bible is predicated on. Miracles. A miracle is definded as, "an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause." Miracles are something that can not be explained by natural means. As a matter of fact there is no way you could try and explain them using natural means because they go against nature in every way. I'll give you a few examples of what a miracle might be. A hand that grows back after it has been severed, raining hamburgers, levitation, etc...

Christianity is predicated on one big miracle. The resurrection of Jesus Christ. If this event did not occur then Christianity ceases to exist. Now, we could argue till we are blue in the face if miracles do occur in our present world. But by definition miracles can not exist in a natural world. If they did exist and did occur then they would not be miracles and could be explained naturally. Miracles would then become a part of normal life and cease to exist.

I want to make a distinction before I move forward. There are some things science has yet to explain by natrual means. This does not make them a miracle by default. Take for instance the origins of our world. Scientists have a good theory of how it happened but most still say they don't know exactly how it happened. Just because we don't yet fully understand how things work does not make them miraculous. It just means we have not derived a natural explination at this current time in history. Miracles go against nature and have no natural explination. Thus being supernatural or abnormal.

Jesus' bodily resurrection goes against every thing that is natural and normal. Thus, again, being supernatural and abnormal. So even if the event did happen in our world then the only explination would be to invoke a supernatural force, i.e. God (or any other abnormal force you can think of really). The probability of this event occuring in our natural world is absolutely nil. I am not saying it could have "possibly" happened because by all means any thing is "possible". But science does not use possibilities; only probabilities.

So my argument is twofold.

  1. Jesus' bodily resurrection goes against nature and normality. Thus invoking the supernatural and abnormal.
  2. When invoking the supernatural and abnormal you throw out all probability. By doing so you open endless possibilities all having an equal probability of zero.
The problem with miracles is that they are not just indicative to Christianity. They have supposedly happened since the beginning of time -- or just since we could write about them anyways. They are present in every culture known to man. You see, the problem is, once you "prove" one miracle, you would have to prove them all because all are equally probable and possible. So Islam would be just as probable as Christianity. I hope you see the problem in and with miracles and why I reject them.

Plus if God does use miracles to show us he cares, etc..., he should stop the pointless suffering that happens every day to people who can't help themselves. People who have been born into starvation, genocide, and poverty. That would be miraculous. But seeing as miracles only happen to people who can afford them, I'll leave you with a great quote.

"We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already." — J.K. Rowling

1 comment:

  1. Scottish philosopher David Hume put the nail in the coffin, so to speak, on the philosophical plausibility of miracles over 200 years ago.

    The Benson study of intercessory prayer at Harvard University settled the matter beyond a reason of a doubt.

    Like Professor Daniel C. Dennett I agree that anyone who still affirms a belief in miracles needs to give a really really really good explanation. (Emphasis on the reallys is mine)

    With no prayer there can be no miracle, unless God is omniscient, and then there would be no reason for Christ’s death, because if God was omnipotent, then I'd have to agree with Muslims when they say Allah just forgave humanity, because he is that powers... cuz he's God.

    So to know the mind of a sinner and be an all loving being but not have the power to forgive them is a contradiction.

    To sacrifice one's own son in a ritualistic blood sacrifice is (not that much better). Not that it mattered, he came back alive a few days later anyway (or so the story goes). Why even waist one's time?

    I'm sure God has better things to do, such as stopping the universe (he apparently designed) from self destructing. But oh well, he was a crack pot designer anyway. I guess I'll go play with my useless nipples now (thanks God, they're great! But what are they for? This design thing baffles me).

    If I had any spelling errors, I apologize on God's behalf, he made my eyes very poorly... and they seem to be getting worse. Some design!

    And I think I might be getting a kidney stone.

    But at least the space time continuum is stable! (For now)

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