Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


IF A MIRACLE IS SCIENTIFICALLY IMPOSSIBLE THEN IT CANNOT HAPPEN?

Most miracle tales do not fit science. You have stories of clay statues being turned into birds. Men rising from the dead. Floods all over the world. Talking donkeys. It is said that some miracles do fit science. But that could be luck. Every clock with a broken hand that won't move is right twice a day. So there is no way to know for sure if any miracle really is a friend of science.

Violation scientifically impossible?

A violation of nature is scientifically impossible. Miracles that are violations of nature do not happen. So if a reported event looks like a violation, it might be impossible. What if it could be a violation - say hypothetically? That could be itself is bad. Impossible means impossible.

If an event is a violation, then the evidence for the event is wrong no matter how good it is. If violations are not real then the miracle that is a violation is not real.

A miracle belief is not a belief but an opinion

You simply canít believe in miracles. At most, you can only be of the opinion they happen.

Extraordinary but natural things happen. There is no need for the miracle hypothesis or belief in miracles.

Somebody says they saw a miracle. It is because you DON'T SEE that you consider it possible that they really did see it. And you decide it possibly or probably happened because they say so. People prefer to run after miracles that others tell them about to actually wanting to see for themselves. That is because they might see it for themselves and see that it is unconvincing. It is easier to believe in what you want to believe if you choose to depend on hearsay.

If violations of nature are impossible then miracles are impossible. Some believers still seem to bleat, "But if the evidence says a miracle happened then it happened." They make as much sense as those who would argue "It is impossible for there to be a God and no God at the same time. But we see the evidence for God in creation and evidence against God in the evil that happens. There is evidence for God so we are wrong to think his existence is impossible". Many say that miracles happening does not mean they are non-violations. Even if violations of nature are possible they may not happen or have ever happened. They would be very rare. Anyway a violation is so serious and upsets entire worldviews including scientific ones that it is better not to know or believe it ever happened.

Redefined?

Some define a miracle not as an event that is against the laws of nature but against the usual laws of nature. That translates as saying that there are laws of nature that only take effect occasionally. Though infrequent the miracles are still natural for they are not against the laws of nature. They are not real wonders or signs or miracles at all if nature does them! Those people are trying to obscure the fact that a God having to go against nature after he set it up is not much of a God.

That definition treats miracles as exceptions to the law of nature and not violations. It means nothing for it is just a guess. A real definition cares about what the thing actually is - this cares only about what one wants to think.

And where is the infrequent coming from? If you believe in miracles then you should believe that they may be recklessly common from this evening on. The infrequent is really, "I know such beliefs and happenings are threats so I will limit the damage by hoping and telling myself they don't happen much so their danger is reduced." Just go a step further and say they do not happen.

Are miraculous events violations of nature and God?

The definitions that deny a miracle is against nature donít change the fact that miracles may be a violation of natural law. If a violation is reported and a violation cannot happen then to say a miracle has happened is to say the impossible has happened. That is a contradiction for the impossible does not happen so this amounts to saying no miracle happened. That is what you are saying despite yourself.

If miracles happen and are violations then miracles disprove Godís existence because no rational God will make natural laws and break them as if he didnít set up the laws right in the first place and needed to change them.

Not the may. The may is enough. If they may be violations then they do nothing to help us realise that there may be a God. They are not evidence for his existence.

Miracles blaspheme God. I believe that miracles, if they happen, speak against the existence of God.

Christians object that miracles are not necessarily a violation. But how do they know? Christians make an assumption about miracles that they are exceptions to natural law and exceptions prove the rule and not violations. And in the light of that, they assume that miracles are signs of Godís love and presence. They say they believe in God and religion because of miracles which is a lie. It is because of what they have assumed about what a miracle is. And even if miracles are exceptions to the rule they are certainly not exceptions that prove the rule. Exceptions only prove the rule when you understand why they were made. And we donít know why God does what he does. So they are back where they started. The only possible definition for them is that miracles are God changing his laws because he didnít have them set up right in the first place!

God has the right to change nature if he wants

Another view is that God sets up nature and can change it if he wants. God is free and being free means you can restrict yourself or your freedom. God has to self-restrict. His being free does not imply that he has no law for himself. If God sets up a law that dead men will never rise, and then raises Jesus from the dead he simply cannot make his mind up.

It is strange to say that if nature does not change it is not a miracle but if nature remains nature and changes into a different kind then its a miracle. Nature is nature. Either way there is no case for a miracle.

Religion likes to say that God is not confined to his natural law. But when he changes it he makes a new law temporarily. For example, if the law is that statues do not bleed, then he temporarily makes a law to let one bleed. He is still exercising law. A law lasting for a second is still a law. He is not confined to keeping it the same but he is confined to law in itself. When God has to keep law and self-restrict himself, surely he will not suspend or alter nature after setting it up?

Christians say that some sceptics seek to define miracles as a violation of natural law so that they can argue, ďNatural law doesnít change. God set it up. Then God has to force change on it to do miracles. If he is really all-powerful he shouldnít need to force. He is not much of a God.Ē The believers object that this view makes God a prisoner of the laws he set up which is absurd. But nobody is asking or expecting God to be a prisoner of his own laws. God will make laws not to imprison himself but because they are needed. A God who knows what he is doing will not make a law of nature that he ends up forced to change. A God like that is a prisoner for he cannot do the perfect or best thing. Their argument is nonsense.

If God creates a law of nature and then breaks it then God is going against himself and is far from being competent. Then miracles would prove there is no God. The nearest they would get to proving God would be proving the existence of a clown with supernatural powers. Those who say that miracles are an exception to the laws of nature are merely changing the wording and pretending they are saying something different. Miracles lead to lies. If I am on a diet and I eat chocolate I have broken my diet and pretending its an exception makes no difference. Its a violation.

Religion argues, "A miracle is not a violation of nature when God does it for a reason." It is still a violation and that is that. Having a reason to break the rule, eg killing Joan so you can get her money to get urgent life-saving help for your children, does not make you any less a violator. This assertion by religion proves exactly that its case for miracles is based on lies. A miracle report - I said report not miracle - is just a cause for scandal.

Suppose the miracle isn't happening for a reason. Then in religion's logic the miracle happening without sufficient reason then must be a violation of nature. And miracles that happen for no reason - not even ridiculous one - are even more against nature.

Imagine to avoid a miracle being a violation God must have a good sufficient reason or a bad one. We can only guess why God might do a miracle. It follows that if there is no violation because there is a reason then we cannot know what the reason is. Because we cannot know that then our miracle is as good as an outright violation. A miracle that expresses no reason is as bad as one that has no reason.

Miracles would be violations as far as we can see. Religion says that if miracles are violations then they do not happen or should not be believed in. Let it say that then if it wishes!

Common ground

If miracles are impossible if they are violations of nature, then maybe some believers are agreeing with sceptics who say that miracles that are violations of nature didn't happen no matter how much evidence there is for them. They are agreeing with the sceptics that natural law is fixed and immoveable and cannot alter - though this is the major criticism most miracle believers make against the sceptics. If the believers really believe, they believe that if for example a prophet predicted God would part a river and a strange wind took place that blew a gap in the water that this would count as a miracle. That would be God using nature and not changing nature. God did not use nature to restore Jesus to life after three days dead. That was a contradiction of nature. They cannot accept the resurrection as a non-contradiction of nature.

Some sceptics would say that the scenario with the prophet fails to be compatible with nature. They would say that God still violated nature though he used it to make the miracle. They would say that a transsexual uses nature to change gender but this is still a violation of nature. They would say that just because nature was used does not mean that nature wasn't violated. Also nature might only SEEM to have been used. Just because it looks like the wind had natural causes that doesn't mean that it did. Strange coincidences do happen but we don't think of most of them as miracles so why should we think of a few coincidences in a religious context that happen even more rarely than non-religious coincidences as miracles or as religiously significant?

Religion complains, "Critics say that the laws of nature are fixed and that miracles cannot happen for they are a violation of nature. This is just dogmatically dismissing the possibility of miracles without even considering the evidence for them. Its an unfair approach. It is passing sentence on miracles before investigating them."

But many things can and should be investigated even though you know the evidence will only take you so far and not be enough. Religion is making a strawman. It is just trying to pressure skeptics to accept the evidence as watertight enough to allow for a real miracle.

Most critics say that miracles are naturally impossible though that in itself does not mean they are supernaturally impossible as well. But it could. If the supernatural is real it does not follow that it necessarily does miracles. It may even be stricter than nature if that were possible. Anyway critics say as a miracle is a violation, it is not believable even if it does happen.

Unbelievers dogmatic?

The reason the believers want us to deny that miracles are a violation of nature is because miracles being a violation means they are impossible. They do not want us to realise that a God who violates the law he set up is a mess of contradiction and incompetent and not a God. They are doing sleight of hand with facts and reason as they always do. They are being dogmatic on what a miracle is!!

If people who are dead stay dead and we are asked to believe Jesus didnít stay dead then we may be dealing with a violation. If religion can assume itís not a contradiction of nature or a violation of nature but a supernatural event outside of nature then we can assume itís a violation. When you can assume one why not the other? Why not give the preference to the most natural understanding? And especially when the believers are saying no violation of nature has taken place and then they define miracles as saying a miracle is supernatural and changes nature which is saying it IS a contradiction of nature.

Therefore the accusation that we are being dogmatic is slander for they are being dogmatic themselves. It follows then that miracles promote the immorality and arrogance of dogmatism. Since they are not signs from a loving God we are more entitled to believe they are violations, and therefore impossible, rather than supernatural events. A bad god wouldnít waste time doing them.

The believers are saying that we must look at the evidence for miracles before we can decide if they are a violation and impossible. That is like saying, "Miracles are not a violation of nature because there is evidence for them". That is unfair for if the idea that if "miracles are a violation therefore they donít happen" is right then the evidence is wrong. Evidence doesn't always point to the truth and we can pick up something as evidence when in fact it is only there for another reason and is in fact unrelated to the matter at hand.

We conclude that the unbeliever can see a miracle as a claimed violation of nature and therefore untrue and impossible. The believer has to make a host of assumptions in order to call the event a miracle. The unbeliever keeps it simple and the unbeliever is the wise and honest one. You should be frightened at nature misbehaving and violating itself so how deep is your faith if you say miracles, possible violations, are true?