Miracles GCSE RS

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  • Created by: R Butler
  • Created on: 05-04-13 14:42
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  • Is it reasonable to believe in miracles?
    • NO
      • David Hume, a scottish empiricist said that a miracle was "a transgression of a law of nature"
        • He had four main arguments against miracles
          • 3. Witnesses may be uneducated - at the time Hume only counted Europe in his finding about miracles because he claimed that other countries didn't know enough about science
          • 2. Witnesses may be unreliable
          • 4. Religions  rely on miracles and all major religions have their own, but they cannot all be correct and therefore they cancel each other out.
          • 1.  There is not enough evidence, with evidence comes a stringer belief
      • Morris Wiles said that a God who performs miracles is unworshipable as it makes him arbitrary.
        • The 'Problem of Particularity' arises. How can God choose which people he performs miracles on.
        • Wiles is a deist and believes that God is not immanent and takes no part in the day to day runnings of the Earth
      • Rudolph Bultmann and Dennis Nineham see miracles as outdated myths that didn't actually happen and need to be mordernised
      • "Miracles belong to a long lost world and have no place in a modern world" - Robert Morgan
        • This sentiment owes a lot to Bultmann who believed that miracles were acceptable in the first century but needed to be re-interpreted  in the light of modern existentialism.
      • If God had truly created a perfect world as recounted in the Bible, then there should be no need for miracles.
    • YES
      • By definition, a miracle is always going to be the exception.
      • Many miracles have been recorded from a post-enlightenment Europe
      • Jonathon Sacks (Chief Rabbi of the Orthodox Jewish Community) describes the 'Dignity of Difference' - all religions search for the same God but from different points on a mountain.
      • We cannot make such demands on God to perform miracles, faith is the dispelling of doubt.
      • Rowan Williams (ex-Bishop of Canterbury) said that we look for God in the wrong places, when he was asked where God was after the Beslan Massacre.
      • Aquinas said that miracles were acts of God, and defined them as "that which has a divine cause, not whose cause a human person fails to understand".


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