Thursday, January 08, 2009

God wouldn't do miracles

According to this philosopher.


Merlijn de Smit said...

Seems a bit superficial to me. Focused too much on miracles as either intended to be proof of God's existence (not terribly relevant in ancient Palestine), Jesus' divinity, etc. or intended to do good things (such as healing lepers). There's a whole semiotic to Biblical miracles that the author seems to be missing: when Jesus walked on water, he was not just trying to show off (as it is the very human Simon found he could do it as well, for a while) but making a deeper point (water often symbolizing chaos, disorder in the Bible). Same with the healing of the sick (which refers beyond just healing a physical illness). Miracles are God's way of making a point - but the author doesn't think hard enough of what the point is.

philip m said...

Not good implications to argue for - he says it's not fair for a miracle to be done to one person, and not another. This reasoning ends in everybody starting life on an equal playing field, which clearly isn't necessary in order for the end-game to just.

He also misses the point of suffering in the Christian worldview.

Matt McCormick said...

Yeah, I get this response a lot: but you're missing the point of miracles--they aren't supposed to prove God's existence, they are supposed to do blah, blah, blah.

Look, there is just no denying that tens of millions of Americans, and many more worldwide, take the miracles of Jesus as reported in the Bible as the central evidence for believing that Jesus was the real son of God. If you doubt that, then you just need to talk to a few of them. Maybe you don't think that really is or should be the point of miracles. Fine. But they clearly differ.

Furthermore, the other point here is the problem of an all powerful, all knowing, all good being resorting to such tiny, superficial, inefficient means to acheive his ends. It just doesn't add up.

I've got a full version of a paper on this argument if you're interested. Email me.


mormongoldandcurrency said...

"...tiny, superficial, inefficient means to acheive his ends." (?) Miracles are not tiny and superficial to the individual for whom they take place. I doubt the woman whose cruse of oil and barrel of meal never failed her was unthankful or felt the miracle was tiny. Nor the leper(s) being cleansed, nor those who were fed, nor the blind receiving sight. I would argue that miracles are set to neither "achieve His ends, nor to prove his existence" certainly He is more powerful than that. Miracles strengthen the faith of those that "already" believe, bless their mortal existence, give hope, and sustainment. They also, in the case of the blind receiving sight, provide a level of comfort in life that is other wise, at the time, unable to be delivered by the compassion of medical science. It is apparent that one should not throw their pearls before swine, nor do miracles cause the unbeliever to believe. I have a full book on this subject, if anyone is interested - let me know.