This article argues that miracles occur necessarily.
This article will discuss 3 definitions of the term miracle:
- An effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.
- A sign.
- A wonder.
I chose these definitions because:
- Dictionary.com came up with the first definition.
- When miracles are discussed in the Bible they are referred to as signs and wonders. Eg. John 4:48. The phrase “signs and wonders” would often refer to the same set of things, as a particular event would simultaneously demonstrate the power and existence of God, and also cause people to wonder.
- The English term miracle derives from the Latin miraculum, which also means wonder.
Let’s deal with these one by one:
- This definition is irrelevant. It is only a small subset of things which can be ascribed to a supernatural cause, which is our real interest in the Biblical usage and also in any usage related to the demonstration of the existence of God.
- This definition would be referring to all things which could indicate the existence of God. In the Bible this might be something like Jesus spitting into the eyes of a blind man and therefore causing him to see. This example would be evidence that Jesus is God because he has an immense power to heal. Immense power can evidence the existence of God because God is the highest power, but I think there is an even more general principle than that. I think the ability to observe per se evidences God and exists necessarily.
- A wonder is something which people seek to understand. I think people naturally seek to understand everything, however, which would mean that a wonder is simply something which is not understood. I also think the existence of mysteries per se evidence God and exist necessarily.
Observation Per Se Evidences God, and It Exists Necessarily
Observation requires two role-players, an observer and and an observed, although the role-players may be the same in substance (ie you can look at yourself). The observer must be a mind and the observed can be just about anything. This mind must either exist necessarily or have some source outside of itself. Trace the trail and you get to God, the First Cause.
For a sign to be a sign, however, observation must lead to indication. This requires reasoning. For reasoning to be valid there must be transcendent laws of logic which must have a transcendent source.
Finally, for a sign to be a sign it must be created teleologically. Just like the observer’s mind, the sign-maker’s mind must also exist either necessarily or have some source outside of itself.
This all means that indication evidences God, but does indication exist necessarily? I think observation exists necessarily, but not indication. Indication might not exist necessarily if reasoning is invalid, or if signs did not exist, as signs are contingent. However, I think observation, as a part of consciousness, is a part of the human condition. While it could be argued that people are contingent, I think it can be argued that observation is necessary given the existence of people.
Mystery Per Se Evidences God, and It Exists Necessarily
Mystery, defined as something which people cannot know or understand, is an aspect of God. A great example of why mystery is an aspect of God is the entire book of Job, but here’s one verse if you don’t want to read the whole thing. If mystery is an aspect of God, and mystery exists necessarily, then it holds that an aspect of the Christian God exists necessarily, and there is some additional reason to think that the entirety of the Christian God may exist necessarily.
Mystery necessarily extends directly from the human condition, which I have discussed before. No person can ever know everything. This means that every person has their own, personal, unique evidence for God. I think that is one thing many people always want is their own, personal evidence for God.