Critically assess the view that the concept of miracle is inconsistent with belief in a benevolent God

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  1. Critically assess the view that the concept of miracle is inconsistent with belief in a benevolent God.

Introduction.

Miracle is inconsistent with the belief in a benevolent God.

Main Body.

Definition of miracle: a transgression of natural law. In order for God to break natural law without the violation becoming natural law it has to happen rarely. Regular miracles would also discourage progression e.g. if we knew God would cure cancer than we wouldnt search for the cure. Thus miracles would have to be rare. 

Wiles believed that one of the major issues with the link between miracles and a benevolent God is that miracles require a partisan God. Why should God save Moses and his followers with the splitting of sea but not the Jews in the Holocaust? Every body is equal in God's image and so no one has greater value than another person. Thus by choosing to intervene with some then God is showing preference over others. Thus he cant be omnibenevolent. The only miracle that stays in line with a benevolent God is that of Creation, this is because it is the only miracle that benefits all. Even Jesus' resurrection for Wiles is not true as it only benefits those who believe, those who dont can not be redeemed. Some would argue that this belief would seriously undermine Christianity as a faith due to denying Christ's existence and involvement in the religion. Wiles would argue that it does not undermine the faith as the message and teachings can still be taken from the stories even if they are metaphorical. Whats the point of petition prayer and asking for something if God wont interact and intervene, makes this kind of worship pointless.

Similarily Bultmann and demythologising miracles, removing the supernatural elements of Christ miracles means that they can get to the true meaning of the miracles and teachings of God. 

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