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The Existence Of Miracles Essay

1070 words - 4 pages

The Existence of Miracles

When bringing the existence of miracles into question it is necessary
to firstly establish a definition of a miracle and exactly what
purpose they serve. As with many issues, theologians are divided on an
actual definition of what a miracle really is. Paul Tillich
(1886-1965) claimed that:

"A genuine miracle is first of all an event which is astonishing,
unusual,
Shaking without contradicting the rational structure of reality.
In the second place it is an event which points to the mystery of
being,
expressing its relation to us in a definite way." However, some
interpret miracles as simply "a series of myths" (David Friedrich
Struass).

There is, however, no doubt that with miracles comes "an awareness of
God", as they must always involve faith. The subject of miracles can
often be the deciding point as to whether people believe in God or
not. It must be noted that although many believers in God may be
predisposed to believe in miracles, non-believers in God can also be
predisposed against miracles, therefore it is recommended that a
balance between a "superstitious understanding" and a "mechanical
scientific outlook" must be achieved in order to diminish any
possibility of bias. One point of view is that miracles "possess
evidential value", miracles such as the resurrection of Christ (John
20) and the miracles performed by Moses in Exodus 7-11. It is thought
that these miracles provide the evidence needed to prove that God is
"at work" within the world.

Another point of view would be that the significance of the miracle is
not based on the actual event itself, but on its meaning. The actual
story and the events within it take second place to the primary fact
that a "miracle story" shows that "God directs and intervenes in human
history". Through this interpretation of miracles it is a form of
confirmation for believers of Gods existence and the fact that He is
watching over them. Theistic religions often face a great challenge in
the modern world as they must deal with the "rise of modern science"
and also acknowledge the "inconsistencies and errors" within the
Bible, whilst struggling to "integrate a belief in miracles, divine
purpose".

David Hume (1711-1776), although never declaring himself an atheist,
was quite sceptical of miracles and attacked them in his Enquiry
Concerning Human Understanding (1748). The cynical Hume lived during
the 'scientific revolution´, often called the "Age of Reason", as
everything had to have a reason and explanation due to new found
knowledge of medicines and the workings of the body, and also as a
result of Newton’s discovery of the laws of Physics. It seemed that
during this...

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