Reconceiving Miracles

Religious Studies 25 (4):477 - 487 (1989)
Abstract
I reject the Humean approach to the possibility of miracles and offer a tradition-constituted approach which argues for the possibility of miracles. The Humean tradition, I argue, is based on three false assumptions: one, that the laws of nature are prescriptive and hence inevitable; two, that consequently miracles must be conceived as violations of laws of nature and hence impossible; and three, that miracles so conceived must therefore be ascertainable by nontheists and theists alike. In contrast, I argue, one, that laws of nature explain "dispositional properties" of natural processes and allow for novelty and creativity; two, that miracles properly conceived are occurrences whose proximate, sufficient, and necessary cause is God; and three, that miracles are therefore possible and ascertainable only to those whose presuppositions include belief in God
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