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Questions tagged [miracles]

A miracle is an event attributed to a supernatural agent even if there is a naturalistic explanation for the event.

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Does quantum mechanics make miracles merely coincidences?

Part of the reason events like Moses parting the Red Sea or a person tunneling through a wall is considered miraculous is because this is considered a violation of a law of nature. But doesn’t the ...
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Can the Humean argument against miracles also apply to divine providence?

Hume famously said, 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 ...
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What is the status of the no miracles argument?

The most powerful intuition motivating realism is an old idea, commonly referred to in recent discussions as the “miracle argument” or “no miracles argument”, after Putnam’s (1975a: 73) claim that ...
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Would LEGIT miracles and prophecies serve as proof for a religion [duplicate]

Let's say that a random man comes to me and preaches his faith. He says that his religious book was sent down to Earth 3000 years ago and revealed to a man called 'X'. I ask him for proof about his ...
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7 answers
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How does quantum mechanics affect the probability of macro events?

Events in the world can be described on the macro scale or the micro scale. For events that occur in the macro scale, such as the shape of a particular rock that forms, would the rock have formed in ...
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Should religiously significant coincidences be seen as miracles?

It seems that in most of philosophical history, the attention of the word miracle has referred to a direct violation of a law of nature. It would, however, be naive to not notice how religious ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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David Hume on Miracles

David Hume's definition of a miracle (refining, paraphrasing): X is a miracle if (and only if) not X is an even greater miracle. Is this definition problematic in any way? When anyone tells me, that ...
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Can a zero prior probability for some theories be justified?

Let us assume the case of psychics and call the hypothesis of a “psychic explanation” H. Bayesian theory tells you to never assign a prior of zero. This is because if P(H) = 0, then no amount of ...
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Is there something a little artificial about 'miracles'?

A miracle is something that is currently inexplicable by the laws of nature: statues crying blood; the resurrection of the dead; turning water into wine; etc.. Suppose I can accurately guess the ...
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3 answers
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Is Hume's famous quote on miracles equivalent to Sagan's extraordinary claim principle?

Hume said "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 ...
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-2 votes
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Do miracles have a probability of zero, or are they simply extremely unlikely events?

Splitting the sea into two seems physically impossible because they break physical laws. However, is this because the chance of atoms rearranging together such that the sea splits is extremely minute, ...
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Can we assign probabilities to God and is the argument from improbability from Dawkins valid?

Dawkins essentially argues that if one observes some event that seems to be designed because it seems very improbable to have occurred, positing God as a hypothesis doesn't make sense, since God is ...
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When do we need an alternative explanation for statistically unlikely events?

When do we need an alternative explanation for statistically unlikely events? I ask because I am interested in miracles: is an extremely unlikely event enough to warrant the claim that something is ...
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2 answers
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Is this argument about miracles fallacious and if so how?

Is this argument about miracles fallacious and if so how? Every miracle we have studied can be better explained without God's intervention. So we infer via abduction and induction that God will ...
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1 vote
6 answers
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Is there anything a supernatural entity (e.g. God) could do to irrefutably prove its existence to humans? [closed]

I just posted a question in which I ask if spontaneously regrowing amputated limbs would constitute a proof of the supernatural, and several of the answers have presented interesting objections. This ...
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8 answers
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Is watching an amputated limb regrow proof of the supernatural?

A typical challenge skeptics present when confronted with claims of alleged miracles is "why won't God Heal amputees?". But, would that do the job? Consider the following thought experiment: ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does Bayes' Theorem justify rejecting an argument for the supernatural from a well-supported miracle?

Suppose you have really good evidence for a miracle. Let's say that given the evidence, the probability of the miracle having occurred is about 80%. Now, you also know that miracles can only occur if ...
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The anatomy of miracles [duplicate]

I myself think miracles are phenomena that cannot be explained by extant accepted theories. Now, science and scientific method claims to reject miracles and propose a reason and logic for every ...
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Why do we need repetitive demonstration to accept miracles happening?

From the highest upvoted answer on Is any aspect of the supernatural testable? What level of proof is possible for the supernatural?: However, you are probably wasting your time on the various ...
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Bayes and unknown probabilites: is this reasoning from the failure of explanation a fallacy?

Bayesian probability is an interpretation of the concept of probability, in which, instead of frequency or propensity of some phenomenon, probability is interpreted as reasonable expectation ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What was Spinoza's take on miracles: what are they are why think they do occur?

What was Spinoza's take on miracles: what are they are why think they do occur? I'm asking because I want to find out and this could, conceivably, be the easiest way. I've read a chapter or two of ...
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3 votes
11 answers
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Is getting 100 Heads in a row from a fair coin a miracle or not?

Suppose a man continues to toss a coin until he gets 100 heads in a row. Suppose the outcomes of all tosses from the 9999901th toss to the 10 millionth toss are all heads and 100 heads in a row didn't ...
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3 answers
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Is the idea of the word of God a means to understand human nature, and prayer?

The idea may sound stupidly ridiculous, but I wonder, can the word of God (Christ?) be read as an allegory on how it is that prayer works. If you see John 1:1-3 it says: In the beginning was the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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What is the point of prayer for theological rationalists?

Of course, there are psychological aspects, you can unify a community or concentrate on your life goals. I feel like Christians try to do something like that when they say that prayer should be a ...
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Does Alvin Plantinga's solution to the problem of divine action entail a total denial of the applicability of Newtonian physics to the world?

Alvin Plantinga offers at least two major solutions to the problem of divine action; that physical laws of the Newtonian sort are (often implicitly) qualified to apply only to causally closed systems, ...
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Why cannot reports of a miracle overpower all our experience and laws of nature?

A novice, I do not feel prepared yet to, but shall in future, read Hume; please tell me if Hume's originals answer my question. Source: pp 30-31, Philosophy ; A Very Short Introduction (2002) by ...
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1 vote
7 answers
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Are there any proofs that miracles are impossible? [duplicate]

Are there any logical proofs that miracles are impossible? In this case I define a miracle as an interference with nature by a supernatural power. [Edit: Possibly due to confusion about the ...
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2 votes
5 answers
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How does the success of science offer an objection to religious miracles?

I see today many newspaper columnists etc. say that atheism is a faith as much as any religious one. But surely (I say to myself) the success of science makes any religious claim about a supposed ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Are miracles compatible with our belief in empirical predictions?

I read the SEP entry on miracles a while ago and plan to take a shot at Hume's Of Miracles soon. Before I get started - I cannot understand how miracles even make sense. Here's my thinking so far: ...
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8 votes
4 answers
446 views

What is a miracle, and why should it influence our metaphysical beliefs?

There's a question on this site regarding what a rational person should accept as a miracle, but the question and its answers seem to take the definition and categorization (as well as consequence) of ...
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38 votes
13 answers
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What should a rational person accept as a miracle?

I was reading through this collection of short essays from theologians, scientists and thinkers each responding to the question "Does the Universe have a purpose?" which was suggested to me in a ...
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2 answers
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God's paradoxes and their implications [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is the definition of God consistent? As many of you, I've come across a few paradoxes of all sorts, from logic to math, linguistics and so forth. Some of such involve God or, ...
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