"That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the
testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more
miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish"
-David Hume, in Of Miracles
He also points out in this chapter of 'An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding', that if miracles are granted as evidence, then those of multiple conflicting religious views are going to be irreconcilable, meaning such an a ceptance would not progress our understanding.
You might also like to read the related discussion on here: How improbable does an event have to be before we can say it didn't happen by chance?
But miracles have had a different soteriological role, than their literal reality.
For instance the 10 Plagues of Egypt are reckoned by scholars to show supremacy of Yahweh over each of the Egyptian pantheon. The plagues are scientifically plausible, like the Nile turning to blood relating to a red algae bloom. But consider the power of the story, including a dust storm blotting out the Sun, portrayed as showing the weakness of Rah compared to Yahweh.
I really like Barbara Thiering's interpretation of the miracles of Jesus, based on her direct study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. She relates what became Christianity, to the Essenes, a kind of monastic branch of Judaism, which required priests to hold to special standards in order to be supported by the community. In this picture, the loaves and fishes, and water into wine, weren't literal transformations, but the invitation to new people to be given the right to preach, by symbolically consuming the goods related to the rituals of having proven worthy of being sustained by the support of the flock. The walking on water, was reckoned to relate to a reenactment of the story of Noah, where a just-submerged pathway was provided for the priest-narrator, so Jesus was asserting his capacity to act as high priest, by taking up the role. The exorcusms, healings, and raising the dead, still have to be related to placebo effects.
It hardly needs saying that the Isra and Miraj Night Journey of Muhammed has the soteriological role of recentering the new Abrahamic faith from the Temple Mount to the Kaaba and Mecca.
I like tbis account of miracles in Zen:
A priest approached Bankei to challenge him. 'The founder of my
religion," boasted the priest, "stood on one shore of a river with a
writing brush in his hand. His disciple stood on the other shore
holding a sheet of paper. And the founder wrote the holy name of Amida
onto the paper across the river through air! Can you do anything so
"No," said Bankei, "My miracles are: When I am hungry, I eat; When I
am thirsty, I drink; When I am insulted, I forgive."
There is a song lyric:
Now Jesus was a conjuror,
Miracles were his game
He fed the hungry thousands
And they glorified his name.
He cured the lame and leper
He calmed the wind and the weather
And the wretched flocked to touch him
So their troubles would be taken.
And Jesus, knew the answer:
"All you who labour, all you who suffer,
Only believe in me"
But Judas sought a world where no-one
Starved or begged for bread
"The poor are always with us",
-from Stand Up For Judas, by Dick Gaughan
This gets at several points. Simply being a conjuror can't really be the point of miracles, or Yuri Geller would have his own church; they gain their 'cosmic' theological significance, when they are also pointing at deeper truths. However, grand narratives, even 'Justificatio sola fide', don't solve our own challenges for us: feeding the hungry, finding how to forgive, require more than witnessing any sorcery. The real miracle would be, and the real purpose of religions is to find, how to live well together.
Civilisations have collapsed many times before, and the real question is whether we can find the courage to live up to what we acknowledge to be our moral duties, before it's too late. Wouldn't that, be a miracle..?