Friday, January 06, 2012

Miracles?

Let's talk about miracles. Can people in an age of science believe in miracles?  What are miracles?
I want to offer three ways people might think about miracles ( You are encouraged to expand this list in the 'comments').

1. Miracles don't really happen. This view would contend that events which appear to be unexplainable and thus are attributed to God are simply events which are currently unexplainable. As our knowledge increases, science will be able to explain the 'miracle'. This is a variation of the God of the Gaps argument.

2. Miracles are or will be explainable and consistent with what we know about how nature works. But God is present in a particular way( for example the timing of an event) which makes the event a miracle. God works within natural processes, in particular and unique ways.

3. God sometimes intervenes in supernatural ways. God is the one ultimately in control, not the laws of nature, and so while the laws of nature may normally be operative, that doesn't exclude supernatural actions by God.

These three points are, obviously, the barest of a bare bones discussion about miracles. It seems to me that all three could be correct. Some things we call miracles, aren't. Some miracles occur within the constraints of natural processes. Sometimes God intervenes directly and supernaturally in human activities.

So readers, what do you think?
    What are miracles?
    Do miracles happen?
    How do we know when something is a miracle?

I'm looking forward to reading what you think!





4 comments:

Bill Tammeus said...

I played golf in 60s-weather in Kansas City both New Year's Eve and today. Two miracles right there.

John Edward Harris said...

Option 2 and option two only for me.

Sarahlynn said...

No answer from me - I'm still thinking.

Fawnfeather said...

I definitely believe in Number 3, because I have had miracles happen that can't be explained by science even though I do believe in science. But, I do not think that a belief in science negates divine intervention and more than a belief in religion negates science. One of many examples I can share is that I was told one night that my father had an incurable, inoperable illness. i went home that night to get a bit of sleep with the understanding that I was going to loose my father. In the middle of the night I was jolted awake by a strong feeling and a voice saying, "Don't worry child, an answer is coming in the morning." At 10:00 the next morning, the phone rang. It was my father's doctor telling me she had found a doctor with more experience and expertise than herself who would be able to help my father, and he did. Maybe God gave my father that extra time, so my Dad could get right with God before he left this world. I don't know why. But, I talked to the chaplains at the hospital, and they told me that I had had the Damascus Road experience. When that feeling that I was left with when I got that message went away, I found myself begging for it not to go, because I'd never known such a feeling of peace and bliss. You can choose not to believe me, but that does not take away my experience. I've discussed it at length with both religious and scientific minds, and I am completely at peace with how I experienced this.