Argument from miracles

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The argument from miracles is an argument for the existence of God relying on eyewitness testimony of the occurrence of miracles (usually taken to be physically impossible/extremely improbable events) to establish the active intervention of a supernatural being (or supernatural agents acting on behalf of that being).

One example of the argument from miracles is the claim of some Christians that historical evidence proves that Jesus rose from the dead, and this can only be explained if God exists. This is also known as the Christological argument for the existence of God. Another example is the claims of some Muslims that the Qur'an has many fulfilled prophecies, and this can also only be explained if God exists.

Criticisms[edit]

A counter-argument to the argument from miracles is the Argument from inconsistent revelations, which states that multiple incompatible miracles are alleged to have occurred which provide evidence for different religions. Not all these can be correct.

Another counter-argument is Occam's Razor, which can be used to argue that God is unnecessary to explain miracles for which natural explanations can be found. In his documentary The Root of All Evil?, British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins utilises this argument when examining the supposed miracles in Lourdes, France. According to Catholic theology supernatural cures occur in the area, but Dawkins expresses doubts as to their divine nature, noting that all the recorded cures comprise diseases which may have healed by themselves without the need for divine intervention.

References[edit]

  • David Hume An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, L. A. Selby Bigge, ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1902. ISBN 978-0-19-824535-3
  • Richard Swinburne [ed.] Miracles. London: Collier Macmillan Publishers, 1989. ISBN 0-02-418731-3