A Defense of the Rationality of Miracles

Brett offers a defense of the rationality of miracles in light of the laws of nature.

Can we give a defense of the rationality of miracles? To do so, we need to define a few things.

Number one, we need to talk about the laws of nature. What are the laws of nature? They are descriptions of regular patterns in the natural world. A miracle would be an act that is not consistent with those regularities or what we sometimes refer to as a violation of the laws of nature.

In nature, you have descriptions of regular patterns. A miracle would be a violation of that pattern, or a happening that’s irregular. 

Let’s make one more distinction between impossibility and improbability. A miracle is not impossible. What we mean by that is there's no law of logic that a miracle violates. Sometimes people misunderstand this. They think miracles are illogical. What they really mean is that they’re improbable. They’re an irregularity in the natural course of things.

Because a miracle is not impossible, and it doesn't violate any of the major laws of logic, then there's no logical impossibility. They’re possible.

Now, the question is: Are they are they probable? Just because we don't see something happening on a regular basis doesn't mean it’s improbable. In fact, miracles seem to be rare, but that doesn't make them impossible.

What is some of the evidence for miracles? This is where we look at some background beliefs. Namely, does God exist? We have to answer that question. In a theistic context where these things are possible and a God who is personal, we may have reason to think that He acts. We have expectations that are generated by His nature. It seems pretty rational to me that miracles are possible. In fact, given God and who He is, they actually should be expected. So, I think we can make a defense of the rationality of miracles.

video |
Brett Kunkle