Thursday, 17 July 2008

Miraculous Recovery - A philosophical perspective on miracles

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Anonymous said...

why use one word when 100 will do?

firstly we have the ritual claim of the miracle of the quran. and again i must say that the claimed miracle (that it sounds remarkable in arabic) is not impressive. the Sermon on the Mount sounds mightily impressive in english despite being a translation from Latin which was a translation from greek which was a record of a speech made presumably in aramaic.

christians do not claim that this is a miracle - perhaps they should. it is certainly more impressive to me - and it has a very clear and beautiful message too.

for me miracles are simply events which we presently cannot explain. we know quite a lot more about the universe than we did 1400 or 2000 years ago or even last week. thus we no longer believe that thunderstorms are supernatural but we still have, for example, "miracle cures". i have some experience of "performing" non-conventional "cures" and one or two defy explanation. however i never claimed a "miracle" - i just acknowledge that our understanding of the universe and ourselves is less complete than we realise.

at lourdes in france there are many well-documented miracles. my favourite involved a women who was blind because a glass shard had severed her optic nerve. she was cured at lourdes - and could see. but x-rays showed that the nerve was still severed. that was the first miracle. then over a period of months the nerve regrew. that was the second miracle - buy one, get one free!

for me such events challenge our science profoundly. for others they are proof of the intercessionary powers of saints - a belief shared by catholics and shia - apparently to some effect.

the important things are perhaps to avoid making wild claims and to keep an open but critical mind.

its a dangerous business drawing dogmatic conclusions from scanty evidence.

claims of perfection not excepted.


Anonymous said...

No real need of the complexity of human thought to explain the obvious.

A miracle does not act against natural law. It is of itself - natural.Don't twist your brain trying to define a miracle. Accept it as given. It is simply the action of the Divine mind acting upon the human mind and this action being understood in human terms and recognised.

Every day somewhere someone experiences so called miracles. Employment opportunities. Health recovered. Safety guaranteed and so on. I could give you lists - countless lists of folk healed of the most terrible diseases and circumstances. Prayer, offered correctly is a healing agent and the real miracle is that prayer and the answer to it is possible.


Anonymous said...

...and your evidence for the existence of the "divine mind" is what exactly?

i suggest that it is the same as the evidence for the Thunder God of the Norse.

not understanding something is no excuse for invoking superstitions.


Anonymous said...

The evedence is in the experience. I don't ask that you accept what I say nor indeed do I care. But the evidential experience of the 'divine mind' is more easily forthcoming and understandable than the anthropomorphic and judgemental God of fundamentalist persuasion.


Anonymous said...

frank - i do not dispute that.

in fact i have had a few personal experiences which would steer me in that direction.

the real enemy is the word, "believe" and our ally is the word,"understand"? tom

Anonymous said...


The two short words you quote ( believe and understand)summarise completely the tortuous
complexity and misery- both mental and physical, surrounding religious debate.

You hit the nail on the head when you say our ally is "understand".

Muslims and Christians may believe whatever they wish, and defend their faiths by way of argument and persuasion - but do they UNDERSTAND. I would guess that few do.


Hasanul Arifin said...

Nice article bro! Perhaps the inclusion of Al-Ghazali's opinion on causality might shed a bit more light in this issue :)