|An Amazing Thing Happened
The Argument from Miracles
The argument from miracles simply says, There have been events throughout history that are not explicable by natural processes, and this suggests the supernatural at work. While this is not direct evidence of God, any argument that supports the existence of the supernatural supports the existence of God.
The argument from miracles (by which I mean events that cannot be explained my natural means) is not popular because it seems so unscientific. And, well, it is unscientific.
However, that is not a problem with the argument, but - I suspect - with the way scientists are trained, which prompts some of them reject supernatural phenomenon.
And there is a good reason for this. If a scientist is going to make progress in understanding the natural world, he or she can't just say, "Wow, a miracle!" then kick back on his sofa. No, it makes sense to pretend there is no such thing as the supernatural and look instead for a natural explanation.
Fine, but if a natural explanation cannot be found, it is perfectly reasonable for a scientist to say, "Well, I'm not sure what's going on here; I don't see any natural explanation, so perhaps we're dealing with a supernatural occurance." But I don't hear that very frequently.
I think many scientists know that this is a reasonable approach, and that rejecting miracles is just a convenience that helps them in their work. Perhaps they are afraid if they say something about the supernatural that they'll be mocked by peers who will think them too lazy to search for a natural cause.
Whatever the reason, too often the response when cornered is, "We're always making progress, and no doubt some day we'll understand the natural cause of that as well."
Or, if the miracle was long ago, say Jesus walking on water, the critics will claim the people were fooled (Jesus knew where the rocks were) or that people embroidered upon the story or, in their simplemindedness, they mistook a natural event for a miracle.
Yeah, maybe. But leaning too heavily on these responses strikes me as an evasion. No doubt science is always making progress, but saying that "some day" science will answer the question may just be a way of avoiding the issue today. And, while the arguments against historical miracles may also be true, they seem a bit too easy. Many events in history that nobody ever dreamed of doubting could be discounted by the same logic. Whoops! The Peloponesian Wars never happened. Zing! Socrates was a figment of our imagination. Poof! Archimedes' never existed.
There are undoubtedly tens of thousands of reports of miracles, from many cultures and throughout time. Perhaps many of them, or even most of them, have a natural cause, but it is false to say that because many are explicable that all are explicable. That's as silly as saying that there are lots of fake diamonds so real diamonds don't exist.
In short, of all the miracles ever reported, only one needs to be true to establish that supernaturalism is true.
Becoming a Christian
© Copyright 2002, Brad Haugaard.