Miracles Revision Notes

Topics: Miracle, David Hume, God Pages: 4 (1100 words) Published: May 3, 2011

Miracles - REVISION

What constitutes a miracle?

A miracle is held to be an act of God, or an invisible agent, which goes against the laws of nature and has some religious meaning or significance.

Definitions of miracles are often very broad and leave them particularly wide to interpretation. We may say that it is a miracle that someone has recovered from a cold, but that is only the believer’s interpretation and cannot be verified as miraculous. It simply reflects the way that the believer looks at the world, and that he or she sees a religious significance in the event even if another may see it as a co-incidence. For example – 6-year-old Teesside girl fell 150ft off of the edge of a cliff in North Yorkshire and only received minor injuries, was this a miracle?

Aquinas –
- His definition of miracles is as ‘those things done by divine power apart from the order usually followed in things’. This view suggests that God can do what he wants with his creation. - Has identified 3 types of miracle:

1. An event done by God which nature could not do – could be said to be the most traditional approach. They are acts that contradict our regular experience. Aquinas uses the example of the reversal of the course of the sun. 2. An event done by God which nature could do, but not in this order such as recovering from paralysis or a terminal illness. Its possible for these things to happen but it is not usually expected, and so could be attributed to the direct intervention of God. 3. An event done which nature could do but without using the principles or forces of nature. For example, recovering from a cold more quickly than usual perhaps because someone prayed for this, and then it might be called a miraculous intervention of God. - This allowed for a range of possible events, which we could call miracles. - This also did not limit a miracle to a violation of a natural law and so is therefore, primarily...
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