Miracles

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What is a miracle?

  • When the impossible becomes possible.  When a coincidence occurs at the exact right time to bring about a good outcome. A misfortune is prevented and good is achieved
  • An act that breaks the laws of nature.  Something that happens which is contrary to the laws of the natural world.  The laws of nature are the way scientists expect nature to work
  • An act of God - God directly or indirectly performs a powerful, unusual and unbelievable act that achieves good and that we believe no human power could do.

DOES GOD WORK IN THE WORLD THROUGH MIRACLES?

Christianity-

Yes.  God works in the world directly through miracles.  Jesus performed miracles such as healing the sick to show God's power and love.  As God is in charge of nature, only he can override nature.  Christians believe that prayer can help cure someone from disease.

Judaism -

Yes. God has always worked in the world to protect the Jews through miracles, such as Moses parting the Red Sea to allow the Israelites escape from Egypt.

Islam-

Yes.  For Muslims, the greatest miracle is the Koran.  Muhammad received Allah's words as instructions on how humans are to live in a good manner and recorded them to pass on to all people.

Atheism/Buddhism - 

No.  Atheists and Buddhists do not believe in God.  Therefore, they do not believe that God works in the world through miracles.  For Buddhists miracles can occur, but they are not the result of an action by God.

CAN HUMANS PERFORM MIRACLES?

Christianity/Islam/Judaism - 

Humans can perform miracles but only when God is working through them.  Humans cannot perform miracles without God's help.  The human is God's agent for his power.  For Christians, Jesus was God in human form and this was why he could perform miracles.

Buddhism -

Buddhists do not believe in God, so miracles can be performed by humans and it is through the power of their mind that they occur.  Through meditation and leading a moral life, people can develop miraculous powers.  Buddha was a human and he could perform miracles.

Secularists - 

For these groups of people, miracles do not occur at all.  They argue that what is happening is not a miracle but evidence that our knowledge of the world and they way it works is incomplete.  The unexplained event is just something we cannot understand yet with our current level of understanding of the world.

EXAMPLES OF MIRACLES

In holy books - Jews believe that Moses parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could escape from the Egyptians.  Christians believe that Jesus healed a paralysed man so he could walk again.

History - eg British soldiers who were fighting in the Battle of Mons in WWI claim to have seen three angels in the sky who protected them and they survived.

Personal experience - faith healing is an attempt to cure people of disease.  Through prayer, people…

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