Realist views of miracles

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  • Realist miracles
    • Scientific
      • The best scientific theories that we have give us true descriptions of the world
      • Give us true descriptions of things we believe to exist but which cannot be observed. e.g QUARKS
      • The world is mind independent - the world exists the way it is regardless of what we think about the matter
    • Miracles
      • They come about through the activity of God or someone empowered by him
      • They signs of the Kingdom of God
      • They are objectively true even though they are not fully understood
    • Miracles as an extraordinary coincidence of beneficial nature
      • Juliane Koepcke - sole survivor of plane crash
      • Survived nine days in jungle while seriously injured
      • Extraordinary odds against her survival
      • If God helped her survive, what about the other passengers & crew? Were they somehow less worthy?
    • Miracle as an event brought about by a spiritual power, working through people
      • God worked through Moses to deliver the Israelites from slavery
      • The miracles of Jesus are regarded by some as historical events
      • Miracles as demonstrations of divine power and compassion are particularly important in catholic tradition
      • They invite belief in God and strengthen faith
      • Mother Teresa of Calcutta declared a saint - performance of at least 2 miracles essential before canonisation
    • Miracles as a violation of natural law
      • It is something that happens when God's intervention interferes with the normal workings of the laws of nature
      • It is an intentional act of God's will
      • It has religious significance
      • It encourages a 'god of the gaps approach'
      • Today's science does not accept this concept of violation - sees laws of nature as descriptive & probabilistic
      • If such intervention is an act of God's will, why is there so much suffering?
    • The significance of realist views
      • According to realists, miracles such as Jesus healing the paralysed man are objectively true - these support and strengthen Christian's faith
      • They are referenced to as powerful acts - reinforces belief in the omnipotence of God
      • Presented as signs of Kingdom of God, so reassure Christians that God is sovereign over the universe
      • Resurrection of Jesus - miracle - this is a source of hope
      • miracles - demonstration of God's power and love - Aquinas viewed them in this light - view of catholic church

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