• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Miracles are based on fact, not faith' - Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

'Miracles are based on fact, not faith' Discuss By Jasmine George The validity of supposed miracles has been researched by many people over the years. Scientists do extensive research into many miracles that are reported in an attempt to prove that they are not in fact the work of some higher power, but just the working of the natural universe or the work of man. It is very difficult to define exactly what a miracle is. Some, such as Swinburne, see a miracle as 'a happening when people become aware of the divine', (religious experience) yet this is not accurate enough as somebody may find a miracle in the event of a birth or an object in nature. Others may perceive a miracle as something that happens which is 'unexpected with fortunate results', but without recognition of some higher power these events could just be seen as coincidences, for example, someone crashes their car and they had brought insurance that very morning. This could be seen as a miracle (if they have faith) or as a coincidence (if they did not). There are many important biblical words which could help clarify what a miracle is, for example thauma which means 'wonder', gerhurah and dynamis which means 'display of power' and oth and semeton which means 'sign'. ...read more.

Middle

One problem of the belief in the God of classical theism is that whilst some miracles are answered, there are plenty of people who have faith yet are not healed. This surely goes against the idea of an all - loving and omnipotent God as in Matthew it says 'Ask and you will receive' yet this clearly does not happen no matter how much faith you have that it will. According to Maurice Wiles a God who intervenes at Lourdes to cure a man of cancer but doesn't stop millions starving in Africa (who helps the individual but not the masses) is not worthy of worship. Although some people say that this may only include a spiritual healing or means entry into heaven, in the time Jesus was on earth he healed many a physical ailment so this shows that God is not averse to healing the physical body as well as the spiritual being. The essence of the Christian religion is faith and miracles and the two are very much integrated; without miracles there would be less faith and much of the authority of the Bible is dependent on miracles. The Christian religion believes that miracles are reliant on faith. Accepting the miracles in the Bible for example, Jesus turning the water into wine are based on faith as this happened around two thousand years ago and there is no enduring evidence. ...read more.

Conclusion

People who think miracles are 'an event with fortunate results' then miracles are very much based on faith because otherwise it could be seen as a coincidence. For example, a woman comes home from holiday two days early and walks into her house to find that her kitchens about to catch fire, this woman may have faith that it's a miracle or may just believe it's a very lucky coincidence. Holland suggests how easy it is for simple coincidences to be called miracles although one might argue that this would mean that it is just as easy for miracles to be called coincidences.7 Those who think a miracle has some sort of 'divine presence or intervention involved' believe that a higher power has to be present and also believe that this power will actually intervene in life on Earth. They have to have a belief in the God of theism rather than the God of Deism who is totally transcendent and above the world. There is nothing to stop anyone saying that miracles are not just unexpected events in an unprecedented future and that there is no such thing as miraculous just the unexplained, after all as Spinoza said, 'Human limitations prevent us from understanding the true character of reality. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miracles section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miracles essays

  1. To what extent is faith a legitimate basis for knowledge claims, in religion and ...

    This is different from 'I have faith that there is human life in other parts of the galaxy as found on earth'. Although both claims have the uncertainty of truth and validity, it can clearly be seen that one is somewhat more limited than the other is.

  2. ‘Our knowledge of miracles leads us to the conclusion that God exists.’ Discuss ...

    Events witnessed that were previously thought impossible cannot break the natural law, since the law itself is based on empirical evidence. Such an event should, in fact, render the law in need of adjustment. However, although Hick's comment is technically correct, it really only questions the accuracy of the definition of a miracle in relation to natural laws.

  1. R.S. Coursework - miracles

    Healing miracles may have different meanings to different Christians. Liberals believe that God is alive in a spiritual form, healing them by performing miracles on the minds of individuals and therefore not by actions but by mental healing. Charismatics believe that a part of God is around them, helping Christians

  2. What are Miracles?

    In the gospel it says that there were 12 baskets of food left over, and the liberal reader would believe that this would have been food from other people's pockets, not the five loaves and two fish that Jesus started out with.

  1. is faith a legitimate basis for knowledge claims?

    Different areas of knowledge have different answers and it is not necessary, therefore, to prove something in order to barely know about it. When we acquire knowledge in class everyday we get to know about new things but these things don't need to be backed by proof to be just "known" to us.

  2. Miracles. Many people have different views on what a miracle really is. For ...

    Jairus' Daughter, (Luke 8:40-42 and 49-50) this story is about an official in the local synagogue called Jairus who threw himself down at Jesus' feet and begged him to go to his home because his twelve year old daughter was dying.

  1. Examine two philosophical reasons for believing in miracles

    Hume's thirds reason, that miracles come from nations which are themselves unreliable, is totally unjust. Every nation could say the same thing and Hume's comment makes himself appear ignorant. The forth point that 'all religions claim miracles...which destroys the credit of other miracles' does not make sense.

  2. Describe the importance of the healing miracles of Jesus for Christian life today. ...

    We all know that we do not the great power to work the miracles Jesus did but we are able to small things that can help a lot. There are many places in which we can become better Christians and become close to God.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work