The Miracle

Hume a philosopher has a simple syllogism agianst miracles:
(1) Laws of nature are exceptionally regular.
(2) A miracle is a violation of a law of nature.
(3) Miracles do not exist in nature.

This is a valid syllogism. But are the facts true?

Spinoza has a similar theory:

1. Miracles are violations of natural laws.
2. Natural laws are immutable.
3. It is impossible for immutable laws to be violated.
4. Therefore, miracles are impossible.

Kant also had things to say about miracles:
Kant’s argument can be summarized as follows:
1. Everything in our experience (the world to us) is determined by practical reason.
2. Practical reason operates according to universal laws.
3. Miracles occur either (1) daily, (2) seldom, or (3) never.
4. But what occurs daily is not a miracle since it occurs regularly according to natural laws.
5.And what occurs seldom is not determined by any law.
6. But all scientific knowledge must be determined by practical reason which operates on universal laws.
7. Therefore, it is rationally necessary for us to conclude that miracles never occur.

Flew’s argument against miracles can be summarized this way:

1. Miracles are by nature particular and unrepeatable.
2. Natural events are by nature general and repeatable.
3. Now, in practice, the evidence for the general and repeatable is always greater than that for the particular and unrepeatable.
4. Therefore, in practice, the evidence will always be greater against miracles than for them.

Alastair McKinnon’s argument can be summarized as follows:

1. A scientific law is a generalization based on observation.
2. Any exception to a scientific law invalidates that law as such and calls for a revision of it.
3. A miracle is an exception to a scientific law.
4. Therefore, a “miracle” would call for a revision of a law and the recognition of a broader law (which thereby explains the “miracle” as a natural event)

COMMON THREAD
Even in this admittedly unsuccessful anti-supernatural argument is hidden the premise of an apparently successful one, namely the evidence for the regular and repeatable is always greater than that for the irregular and singular. Science is based on uniform experience, not anomalies. Regularity is the basis of a scientific understanding. Therefore, science as such can never accept the miraculous. Thus the principle of regularity seems to be the common thread of the anti- supernatural arguments.

A Christian response:

1. The only cause repeatedly observed to be adequate to produce information is intelligence.
2. Now the information in the first single cell which emerged on earth would fill a whole volume of an encyclopedia.
3. But observation of regularities are the scientific basis for understanding singularities.
4. Hence, there is a scientific basis (in repeated observation) for believing that first life was caused by some intelligence beyond the natural world.
5. But since this kind of singularity produced by a supernatural intelligent being would be a miracle by definition, then we have a firm scientific basis for believing in miracles.

In short, repetition in the present does give us a firm scientific basis for believing in an intelligent intervention into the natural world. To borrow Hume’s term, we have “uniform experience” on which to base our belief in the miraculous origin of life. For we never observe an encyclopedia resulting from an explosion in a printing shop. We never observe a fan blowing on alphabet cereal produce a scientific research paper. No one would conclude Mount Rushmore resulted from wind or rain erosion. Why? Our uniform experience teaches us that the kind of information conveyed on Mount Rushmore never results from natural laws but only from intelligent intervention.

Since the rise of modern science anti-supernatural arguments have stressed the principle of uniformity. They have argued that:

1. Scientific understanding is always based on constant repetition of events.
2. Miracles are not constantly repeated.
3. Therefore, there is no scientific way to understand miracles.

Two things should be noted about this argument. First, this form of the argument does not deny that unusual events like miracles may occur, any more than it denies a hole-in-one may occur. It simply says that scientific law is based on regularities. And until one can establish a constant conjunction between antecedent and consequent factors there is no scientific basis for assuming a causal connection between them.

Second, neither does this argument deny that there is any scientific way to analyze singularities, such as the origin of the universe, or the origin of life, or receiving one message from outer space. It simply says that observed regularities must be the basis for analyzing singularities. For example, if we observe over and over again that a certain kind of effect regularly results from a certain kind of cause then when we discover even a singular case of this kind of effect (whether from the past or present), we have a scientific basis for assuming it had the same kind of cause too. This same assumption is behind the naturalists’ search for a chemical basis for the origins of life and an evolutionary basis for the origin of species. In both cases repeatable observations in the present are used as a basis for understanding the singularity of origin in the past. Without this principle of uniformity there would be no way of getting at singularities in either the past or the present.

Certainly we must grant that this is a legitimate procedure to base all scientific understanding in the principle of regularity. However, the question is this: Does such a procedure eliminate a scientific understanding of miracles? In order to better understand our answer to this question let us reformulate the naturalist argument in the light of the two qualifications noted above.

1) Scientific understanding is always based on constant repetition of events.

la) This repetition need not be a repetition of the event we are analyzing but only of other similar events.

2) Miracles are not constantly repeated events.

3b) Therefore, miracles need not be eliminated from the realm of scientific understanding.

Once the argument is put in this form we can see that all one needs to do to establish a basis for singularities such as miracles is to find some constantly repeated process as a basis for understanding them. This we believe can be done by adding these premises:

4) Constant repetition informs us that wherever complex information is conveyed there was an intelligent cause.

5) There are some scientific singularities (such as the origin of first life) where complex information is conveyed.

6) Therefore, there is a scientific basis for positing an intelligent non-natural cause for the origin of first life.

In short:
There is a way things typically go and we do not normally expect any different but
within that “typical” behavior there is room for exceptions. There is an intelligent being, God, in charge who is deciding when these exceptions occur. And these exception are miracles.

An example:
I am a dark coffee man. You can ask my friend Tom, every morning I get dark coffee and he gets a Latte. ask Tom, he says, “Alex ALWAYS gets a dark coffee.”
One day I say, “Tom call me crazy, but I want to try something new.” I intelligently choose to get a Latte. Tom thinks this is a miracle. He says “Alex, you surprised me, you ALWAYS get a dark coffee but today you chose to get a latte, this is a miracle.”

Simple illustration

Johnny came downstairs from his bedroom to get some cereal for breakfast. On the table were some Alpha-bit (his favorite cereal) letters on the table spelling out the following message: “TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE – MOM”

Remembering a recent biology lesson Johnny had learned about in school, he did not attribute the message on the table to be from his mother. There was no sense to jump to conclusions. After all, life itself is merely a product of mindless, random, natural laws. The wind could have knocked over the box and those particular letters could have spelled out. Or maybe teh cat knocked the box over! Johnny did not want to do chores, he was on summer break. He was going to the beach to see Mary.

Scott liked Mary as well. Johnny had rushed to the beach to see Mary as soon as he finished breakfast. When Johnny got to the beach he saw Scott and Mary holding hands. He ran to meet them but when he looked down on the sand he saw another message, ” Mary loves Scott” inside of a heart. For a second Johnny’s heart sank but then quickly he recalled his biology class again and remembered that this was probably just a natural law at work. There was no reason to accept a conclusion he did not like! Perhaps the crabs or the waves shaped the unusual, mindless, random pattern in the sand. He would just have to ignore the hand holding evidence. That was meaningless.

Later that day, Johnny noticed the clouds were shaped in such a way as to seem to say, “Drink Coke.” Swirling wind patterns? Johnny thought to himself.

Johnny could no longer take it anymore. He could no longer play the game of denial. “Drink Coke” was a sure sign of intelligence. It was not a random, nor a thing of natural forces. Even though Johnny had not seen an airplane, he realized that there was a skywriter who wrote the message. Besides he really wanted to believe it, because it was a hot day. Leaving him parched and thirsty for Coke.

This has been a paraphrasing of an illustration in the book, “I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist” by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek.

Justice and God

Some atheists use the injustice argument for atheism…
They will say that God cannot exist because there is no justice in the world, or if he does exist then he is some kind of sick, evil being who is cruel and unjust…(hence why they chose to be atheist, mostly do to spite and not real logic.)
may I ask where then did this sense of justice come from?

Justice and Morality are not from feelings or expectations
There is no sense to the idea that we all as humans should expect to be treated fair, and others to treat us as we treat them, without this idea of morality having a starting point.

The starting pointing is God. He puts order in the world. He created us to have a sense of morality and justice.

I believe that Justice and morality come from God. Assuming that everyone else has this since of justice and morality… where did it come form?…it came from God!

Read list:

CS LEWIS -Mere Christianity

DALE FINCHER – Living With Questions

Faith and Reason: Faith, Worldviews, and Truth

This is the first of several posts on the topic of Faith And Reason. A lot of people in this culture have the wrong idea of what faith actually is. I have heard too many people say that faith is a leap in the dark. And that faith is not based on anything.
These Faith and Reason posts will be a mini “apologetics 101″series. I hope to explain some misconceptions and give a little bit of apologetics training through my rants and thoughts.
Apologetics 101 training
World views – A world view is a set of presuppositions (or assumptions) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously) about the basic makeup of our world.”
A world view is a way of seeing the world. It is based on what we know about the world. Everyone has a world view, whether they want to admit it or not. World views are In the context of religion there are 5 main over arching world views. Each of these break down into several of thousand of specific world views, but speaking broadly here are the general and main 5.

Pantheist – believe that God is in all things. God is everywhere in nature, in humans, and everywhere else.
Atheist – does not believe that there is a “god.” Know there is no “god.”
Agnostic – unsure if God exists.
Theist – believe in a personal God. (Mono or Poly) ‘Personal God’ means that God has a personality, may or may not be able to be know.
Deist- believe in an impersonal God. (Mono or Poly)

The Christian Faith
Faith is based on facts, probability, reason, and knowledge. Faith should not be a leap in the dark, but it should be synonymous with confidence, trust, and assurance. Our faith is based on reason! It is not a guess or an emotion, but it is based on facts. Even, Wikipedia has the right idea: “Faith is a profound belief or trust in a particular truth, or in a doctrine that expresses such a truth.” Trust in truth.
I personally chose faith in God over there not being a God because probability. It is more probable that God does exist than he does not.

My rant:
Truth is naturally exclusive. Some one might argue that there is a neutral world view or an inclusive world view (all roads lead to God)….Even inclusivist excludes exclusivist, people who doe not agree with them. There is not a true inclusive world view, because truth is exclusive by nature.
Think about it this way. 1+1 is always 2. There is always one exclusive truth answer. There are an infinite number of wrong answers.


I need to make reference to Apologetics.com radio show: Apologetics 101, and I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler