Do Miracles Happen?

Rather than it being Advantages and Disadvantages, it is more of a strenths and weaknesses table for the existence of miracles, I hope it helps :) 

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Do Miracles Happen?


  • Miracles follow biblical teachings and therefore there is a lot of support for miracles
  • Evidence of recent miracles, e.g. Jeanne Fretel who was diagnosed as incurable with tuberculosis and upon her pilgrimage to Lourdes n 1948 all her sign disappeared completely and she was fully cured
  • Swinburne believed that although miracles were violations of the laws of nature, all laws of nature are 'corrigible' and evidence can show them to change in order for miracles
  • Although Swinburne did not outright agree that miracles did happen, he did present some information to test on 'miracles' as he believed there should be similar results. 4 historical ways:- memory of the experience, testimony, physical traces [if a person is healed] and scientific evidence
  • Swinburne also presents a strong argument opposing Hume's evidence against miracles, he questioned what Hume classed as an educated person, which led him to wonder who counted as barbarous and finally he noted that miracles do not try and prove another religion wrong from right
  • Some would argue that we do not notice when God performs miracles around the world as during the tsunami perhaps he allowed rubbish to help survivors until the boats came
  • C.S Lewis stated that we're either naturalists or supernaturalists [believe in God] and if we're supernaturalists, we can accept the possibility of miracles
  • Polkinghorne defends miracles [especially the resurrection miracle] as all the science tells us is that its against normal expectations


  • Hume's inductive argument was the it was irrational to believe that miracles could violate the laws of nature and so they didn't happen
  • Hume's evidence against miracles was that; they were mainly reported from uneducated people, from ignorant and barbarous nations and that miracles claimed from different religions conflict with one and other
  • Wiles found it difficult to believe in miracles [miracles other than the creation miracle] as it leads to believe in a God whom is bias and arbitrary, why does it seem that good people suffer?
  • It is hard to believe in miracles when evil is so prominent, why would an all-loving and all-powerful God allow such awful things to happen if he can act in the world? Nazi concentration camps for example
  • R.F Holland believed that miracles were just interpretations as imagine if a child was playing of a railway and got stuck when a train was coming and the train miraculously stops, his mother would call this a miracle but in actual fact the train driver collapsed onto the dead man's handle
  • The Bible describes God as holding back the sun, parting the sea and creating storms so why does God not stop natural evils such as Tsunami's which is a grave obstacle as he is letting both good and bad people suffer which would lead people to question miracles and faith
  • Flew agreed with Hume as only philosophers could have direct knowledge of miracles if they were there and so it is incorrect to assume that miracles do happen


Although Hume may be narrow in his claim that miracles do not happen on the basis of them defying the laws of nature, as Hick said exceptions to the norm would make Hume have to change his whole argument, therefore Hume's stance of miracles not happening can be debated. However, a large issue is the problem of evil and whilst some argue that God rarely interferes so we learn about the order of the world, why would he let so many innocent people suffer especially when he is previously seen in the Bible as being very involved in the laws of nature and the order of the world. Whilst there is strong evidence miracles do happen, the type of God who would perform the miracles is questionable which leads people to assume that miracles might just be our own interpretations as R.F Holland argued.


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