Miracles and Agents

Religious Studies 11 (3):319 - 327 (1975)
Abstract
IT IS ARGUED THAT THE CENTRAL PROBLEM ABOUT MIRACLES IS NOT WHETHER SCIENTIFIC REGULARITIES CAN BE VIOLATED, BUT WHETHER SUCH VIOLATIONS COULD BE ATTRIBUTED TO AGENTS. FOR A PHENOMENON TO BE ATTRIBUTED TO RATIONAL AGENCY, REPETITION BY THE AGENT MUST IN PRINCIPLE BE POSSIBLE: BUT IF REPETITION IS POSSIBLE, THE PHENOMENON CAN BE SUBSUMED UNDER SOME SCIENTIFIC REGULARITY. THE BELIEVER IN MIRACLES WISHES TO CLAIM THAT MIRACLES ARE BOTH CAUSED (BY AN AGENT) AND UNCAUSED (BY VIOLATING SCIENTIFIC REGULARITY); BUT THESE CLAIMS ARE MUTUALLY INCOMPATIBLE
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