The Argument from Miracles

This is the ninth in a series of posts responding to a list of 20 arguments for the existence of god from this article. To be fair, the article does state that these arguments don’t make a case except when taken all together, using the metaphor of a rope, but I am analyzing them individually so I have responses when I encounter the argument later in other sources.

  1. A miracle is an event whose only adequate explanation is the extraordinary and direct intervention of God.
  2. There are numerous well-attested miracles.
  3. Therefore, there are numerous events whose only adequate explanation is the extraordinary and direct intervention of God.
  4. Therefore God exists.

I actually spoke of this at length previously. In short, I deny premise 2, and further protest that even if miracles did occur, they would not necessarily prove a god, and certainly not a particular god.

So there is not really a proof from miracles. […] The argument is not a proof, but a very powerful clue or sign.

Quite so; the argument is not a proof at all, and isn’t even necessarily a clue, because maybe there are perfectly natural aliens behind the miracle claims. However, part of the argument actually works against him: the fact that miracles are claimed in every religion and culture that has ever existed. After all, what makes more sense: God proving himself in various contradictory religions thereby causing untold bloodshed, or all miracle claims having a perfectly natural explanation?

As I said, I deny premise 2, but I can further show that even a miracle such as a piece of bread turning into a piece of human heart flesh and beginning to bleed does not demonstrate the Catholic god. The particular example is important, because if Catholicism is true, this is the sort of miracle one would expect, and indeed it is claimed. Even if this event could be scientifically verified, it doesn’t prove Catholicism; it could just as easily be the prank of a pantheon that wants certain humans to think Catholicism is true. When evidence is equally expected under multiple hypotheses, it truly works for none of them; it simply cannot show why one of the hypotheses is better than the other.

I would go even further and remind my reader that, given the existence of random evil in our world, or even just the number of children who suffer and die every day for whatever reasons, the Bored Pantheon Hypothesis fits better with the evidence we can see, as these deities do not claim to be benevolent, but the Catholic god is claimed to be perfectly loving.

I’m sure more could be said, but no more is needed.


2 thoughts on “The Argument from Miracles

  1. Another amazing example of the short-sightedness of apologetic arguments. I’m fairly sure Kreeft would not be willing to accept the miracles reported by other religions as evidence of their veracity, yet he asks us to do so for his religion.

    I actually recently posted an article about this argument on my blog in my Heathen Apologetics series.

    1. It’s actually worse than that – he wants us to accept miracle claims the world over as evidence that his god exists. Crazy, right?

      I’ll check your article out.

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