Chapter

Miracles

DAVID J. BARTHOLOMEW

in Uncertain Belief

Published in print February 2000 | ISBN: 9780198270140
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683923 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270140.003.0004
Miracles

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The notion of a miracle is established as an act by some power external to the natural world. Aside from presenting points made by Hume, Lewis, Babbage, and other contributors, this chapter presents three categories that address the arguments against miracles: 1) theological objections that assert how miracles are inconsistent with God's nature; 2) scientific objections that claim miracles break physical law; and 3) historical objections that question whether these events actually happened or not. An investigation of these objections leads to the following conclusions: miracles do not directly defy worldly laws; the strength of the evidence of a miracle depends not only on the evidence, but on the probability that a God capable of acting in the world exists; many alleged miracles provide insufficient evidence for divine involvement; and the logic of uncertain inference can measure the value of human testimony as evidence.

Keywords: natural world; external; supernatural; physical law; theological objections; scientific objections; historical objections; divine involvement; evidence; God

Chapter.  12781 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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