Miracles


Many naturalists reject the Bible as veridical because it in contains reports of miracles, and yet many of these same individuals say they would be willing to believe the Bible if they ever experienced a miracle.  I’ve heard some Christians cry “Inconsistency!” at this point, noting that the atheist uses miracles as both his grounds for disbelieving as well as his grounds for believing.  If the miraculous is the reason for his disbelief, how could it serve as the basis for his belief?

I don’t think there is any inconsistency here at all.  While they reject the Bible because of their belief that miracles do not occur, they recognize that if they were to personally experience a miracle it would prove that miracles are possible after all, and thus the Biblical report of miracles would become plausible, and perhaps even credible. 

Atheists and naturalists will often argue against miracles as Hume did: by saying they violate the universal human experience; i.e. humans have no experience of miracles.  There are at least three problems with this.

First, there is the confirmation problem.  How could anyone possibly know this to be true?  It would require that every person alive today be interviewed, and each and every one confirms that they have never experienced a miracle.  If even a handful of people claimed to have experienced miracles, then it would not be accurate to say it is the universal human experience that miracles do not occur.

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