Wiles on miracles

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  • Wiles
    • Wiles' argument against miracles
      • Anti-realist - God does not act in the world through miracles
        • Agrees with Tillich - miracles are sign events
      • The only miracle was that of creation
        • God's creation was good there - no need for further intervention
        • God put those laws in place which meant that miraculous events would be rare as otherwise humans could not rely on those laws
      • Interventionist God would seem to act immorally
        • Implies selective God who chooses to help some and not others - miracles happen very infrequently
        • Many reported miracles seem trivial - turning water into wine / walking on water - but there was no miraculous deliverance from holocaust
        • That would be a God not worthy of worship
        • Problem of evil unsolvable
      • Jesus' miracles
        • Biblical accounts of miracles are wrongly interpreted if seen as factual. They are myths - in order to express something about God
          • Jesus' refusal to provide an overwhelmingly convincing miracle illustrates how mistake it is to use miracles as proof of God's power
        • The strength of tradition suggests that he was a powerful healer
    • The significance of Wiles' views in relation to religious belief
      • Against this, Wiles claimed that God was at work in the world, actively sustaining it (though not through miraculous intervention
      • In his writings Wiles gives a more holistic view of God's activity as opposed to a view of Aquinas, who saw miracles as part of God's continual work in nature, sustaining the world.
      • Wile's claim that the act of creation was the sole miracle has led to claims that he was a deist rather than a theist
      • Wiles' views make the challenges of Hume irrelevant

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