A miracle if there is a God should be when he is bringing us to him by showing nature is not all there is.  In fact most miracles show very little concern for bringing people to God properly.  Nothing ever happens to teach us profound deep things.  The Bible he supposedly inspired is a mess. 

Unpack what I said.  A miracle should be a divine response to the human need for connection with God.  But the majority of witnesses to miracles, ones that have supposedly passed the tests of the Catholic Church, do not see them as being based on their spiritual needs.  Plus the fans are interested in the magic and if there is a message it is forgotten about.  Now if a miracle subject has to have a need, we end up with a new problem.  Needs, especially ones that should not be there, lead to wishful thinking and too much bias.

We all know that even if forty reliable witnesses testify to a supernatural event it is more likely that they are somehow wrong than that they are right.  We know that witnesses being reliable does not necessarily mean you should believe them.  There is nothing wrong with leaving it at, "I will put that on the record but I don't know what I should make of it."  Also, inexplicable and unexplainable are not the same thing.  An event is not made a miracle by being mysterious and impossible to explain.  A testimony to a miracle is not made true or probably correct by being mysterious and impossible to explain either.  So we might not be able to explain why people are saying something but that does not make it a witness to a miracle.  Even if it is a miracle what matters is that the unexplained is not the same thing as the miraculous.

Let us look at the forty for a minute. Witnesses are not a numbers game.  You may need two at the most.  One is definitely not enough for you need somebody to say something and somebody else to check them against.  If a testimony has quality that is what matters not how many people are giving the testimony.  The numbers make a good trick for hiding problems with the quality. People see the numbers and they focus on that.  It makes a claim look deceptively more convincing than it is.  Take an impressive mathematical calculation.  It is chalked on the board.  Fifty students witness it.  All barring two bear witness to it.  They give evidence.  But the two that can actually back this up by replicating it are giving quality evidence.  The others give evidence yes but it does not even matter in the face of the quality testimony.

One rule in testimony is that something testifying to itself is to be ignored.  It may be the truth but it is too risky to listen.  Plus there is no point to it and we might as well have nothing.   Now if God makes all things and makes us and our responses then saying he is doing miracles as signs is calling him a liar.  He is testifying to himself.

When an atheist or sceptic says, "Even good witnesses are not enough to establish a miracle," they are accused of being unfair.  Is this bias against miracles?  Not if they are talking about miracles which do fail to reach the bar of credibility.  If they are dismissing miracles they have not studied then there are concerns.  I would add that if you succeed in debunking the "best" verified miracles and the most important ones you can bank on it that inferior ones are fakes too.

Besides it is not simple. If we were believers in the resurrection of Jesus and our forty witnesses had an experience which said they got a warning he was a fraud, we would not pay any attention.  The point is that too many feel they have the right to dismiss the supernatural when they do not like what it says.  We simply go a step further and ignore all accounts.

Even if their witness is to the truth, we cannot agree with them.  At most we can hold that we must suspend judgment.  Faith and belief in a miracle is going too far.  Religious people do not stop at saying, "Jesus rose from the dead and that is my opinion."  No the Bible data asks for one to stake their life on it as if it were a definite fact.  Believers demand strong faith. They even end up saying faith is a form of knowing for it is a gift from God.

The argument that there are many fake miracles so a reported miracle is unlikely to be true is regarded as a fallacy. What if a man is known to be definitely the best role model of all time? He dies and nobody notices. So his influence is set to expire. Terrible witnesses report that he is alive and has appeared to them from another dimension. You can reason that all they are good for is suggesting the idea and argue that it makes sense that he would be alive and should be upheld as so remarkable that he is in a real sense still with us. This is putting the need for a miracle above the testimony.  The idea of a God doing miracles lovingly to fulfil a need in us is clearly incoherent.  He cannot do that without encouraging bias and so the whole scheme backfires.

Religion says science does its job and religion does its job.  They claim that one fills out gaps in the other.  So science cannot verify the miraculous.  So they argue that science merely merely makes way for the miraculous.  So science steps back?  This is fusing science and religion where science retreats to let religion come in.  It is religion telling science when to keep out.  Science however will not be limited by any ideology.  Science is about testing and does not retreat.  It is about itself without religious considerations. 

Attempts to show that science makes way for miracles are false and deceptive.  If you could use history to argue that a miracle was possible or probable, this is not scientifically valid. One reason is that scientific evidence to show the miracle is a fake or a lie could be out there and not found. Or it could be lost for good. Plus history by definition has only the right to say what something says or what the evidence is but has no right to ask that the historians interpretation counts and your contrary one does not. Let the evidence talk not the interpreters. Religion abuses history by saying, “It is our duty to believe that Jesus claimed to be God for the New Testament says so.”  If you would do that to history that shows what you think of science as well if it throws up a challenge.

We affirm that the whole faith conversation about true miracles and Christianity the religion of miracles is riddled with tricks.


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