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Examine what is meant by the concept of a miracle.

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Introduction

Emily Dean 6K Examine what is meant by the concept of a miracle. There are many potential definitions of a miracle.To begin with a miracle is often considered a change for the better and happens to person in the most unlikely circumstances. For example Alyosha, a young monk who is studying under the elder monk, Zossima. In the town near the monastery is a lady of somewhat lax morals called Grushenka who has had her eyes on Alyosha but has made no progress with him at all. Then Zossima dies, and the monastic community and people from the village gather round his bed. The expectation in Russia at this time is that if a very holy person dies, his or her body will not decompose. So for three days those around the bed of the dead Zossima wait patiently. Eventually it becomes ovious that there is a smell - Zossima's body is decomposing. Alyosha is devastated. The man whom he has looked up to and revered was obiously not as holy as he thought. Alyosha leaves the monastery and finds his way to Grushenka's house. He is totally vunerable, and one expects Grushenka to comfort him in her own way. Instead, Grushenka puts Alyosha together spiritually - the transformation in her is quite remarkable. ...read more.

Middle

Moore is an anti-realist who believes that a miracle is not an action by an agent God but is an event which has no explanation at all. Many people reject Moore's thesis and claim that miracles are actions by an agent God who brings about effects in the World. A third definition to consider is that "A miracle is an event caused by an everlasting or timeless God which is either in accoradance with the known laws of nature or else brought about by human beings." (An amazing coincidence of a beneficial nature.) This view is similar to the previous one , however this definition is based on a more realistic approach. In this view, an event is only correctly described as a miracle if it is brought about by the action of an everlasting or timeless God. The believer may claim that an event is a miracle on exactly the same basis as the previous one however what will make this claim true or false is whether or not the creator God did, in fact, bring about the state of affairs. As the believer has no possible way of proving that this is true. The claim will be made and supported by faith alone. ...read more.

Conclusion

according to David Hume this is the most accurate definition of a miralce. This says that miracles can never happen and natural law can never be broken. Hume is one of the philosophers who believe that miracles can never happen. Hume's rejection of miracles is a classic piece of philosophic writing and is often quoted. His attack on reports of miracles is clear and sustained. Hume is asks us to balance the improbability of miracles occuring against the evidence we have that they have occured. Hume argues : 1. A miracle is a breach of a law of nature - For example a man walking on water, or water being changed into wine. 2. Belief in miracles is not rational. For Hume, rationality involves the follwing principles: - Proportioning our belief to the evidence available. -Accepting that we have uniform past evidence for laws of nature Hume also argues that it will always be more rational to believe the laws of nature and that no miracles have occured. One of the concepts of the laws of nature Hume introduced is "A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature; and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can be posibly imagined." ...read more.

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