The Possibility of Miracles

Edited by Daniel Von Wachter (International Academy of Philosophy In The Principality of Liechtenstein)
About this topic
Summary Some have argued that miracles are impossible because the laws of nature or the causal structure of the world leaves no room for this. Others have held that the existence of probabilistic, chancy processes makes miracles possible. A third position is that even without probabilistic processes there is room for miracles. This category contains also texts that investigate whether there is ’room’ for miracles and how they fit into the causal structure of the world.
Key works That miracles are impossible has been claimed by Spinoza unknown, ch. 6, Voltaire 1972 (‘Miracles’) and Feuerbach 1843, ch. 13. More recently, many members of the Divine Action Project have assumed that miracles are impossible. See Russell et al 1993. The possibility of miracles has been defended by Swinburne 1970 and Larmer 1988. Fales 2009 argues that a non-temporal God cannot intervene. von Wachter 2009 argues that miracles are also possible if there are no probabilistic processes and that miracles are not violations of the laws of nature.
Introductions Encyclopedia: McGrew 2011, § 3.1.1. Treatise: Larmer 1988.
Related categories

7 found
  1. added 2018-07-03
    The Miracle Myth: Why Belief in the Resurrection and the Supernatural is Unjustified.Lawrence Shapiro - 2016 - New York, NY, USA: Columbia University Press.
    There are many who believe Moses parted the Red Sea and Jesus came back from the dead. Others are certain that exorcisms occur, ghosts haunt attics, and the blessed can cure the terminally ill. Though miracles are immensely improbable, people have embraced them for millennia, seeing in them proof of a supernatural world that resists scientific explanation. -/- Helping us to think more critically about our belief in the improbable, The Miracle Myth casts a skeptical eye on attempts to justify (...)
  2. added 2018-06-11
    Lockean Essentialism and the Possibility of Miracles.Nathan Rockwood - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (2):293-310.
    If the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary, then it appears that miracles are metaphysically impossible. Yet Locke accepts both Essentialism, which takes the laws to be metaphysically necessary, and the possibility of miracles. I argue that the apparent conflict here can be resolved if the laws are by themselves insufficient for guaranteeing the outcome of a particular event. This suggests that, on Locke’s view, the laws of nature entail how an object would behave absent divine intervention. While other views (...)
  3. added 2018-02-16
    Divine Intervention: Metaphysical and Epistemological Puzzles.Evan Fales - 2009 - Routledge.
    This study is a new look at the question of how God can act upon the world, and whether the world can affect God, examining contemporary work on the metaphysics of causation and laws of nature, and current work in the theory of knowledge and mysticism. It has been traditional to address such questions by appealing to God’s omnipotence and omniscience, but this book claims that this is useless unless it can be shown how these two powers "work." Instead of (...)
  4. added 2017-03-08
    Deism.Kenneth L. Pearce - 2017 - The Special Divine Action Project.
  5. added 2016-12-22
    Le Linceul de Turin.Tristan Casabianca - 2016 - Bastia: Anima Corsa.
    En 2015, plus d'un million de personnes s'est pressé pour se recueillir, pour prier ou pour simplement passer devant un ancien drap de lin : le linceul (ou suaire) de Turin. La raison de son pouvoir d'attraction est simple : il est réputé avoir enveloppé le cadavre de Jésus de Nazareth après sa crucifixion à Jérusalem. Et pourtant, à première vue, peu de choses se décèlent sur ce grand rectangle de plusieurs mètres de long : simplement l'image, de face et (...)
  6. added 2016-09-14
    Miracles: Metaphysics, Physics, and Physicalism: KIRK McDERMID.Kirk McDermid - 2008 - Religious Studies 44 (2):125-147.
    Debates about the metaphysical compatibility between miracles and natural laws often appear to prejudge the issue by either adopting or rejecting a strong physicalist thesis . The operative component of physicalism is a causal closure principle: that every caused event is a physically caused event. If physicalism and this strong causal closure principle are accepted, then supernatural interventions are ruled out tout court , while rejecting physicalism gives miracles metaphysical carte blanche. This paper argues for a more moderate version of (...)
  7. added 2014-03-30
    Divine Intervention.Evan Fales - 1997 - Faith and Philosophy 14 (2):170-194.
    Some philosophers deny that science can investigate the supernatural - specifically, the nature and actions of God. If a divine being is atemporal, then, indeed, this seems plausible - but only, I shall argue, because such a being could not causally interact with anything. Here I discuss in detail two major attempts, those of Stump and Kretzmann, and of Leftow, to make sense of theophysical causation on the supposition that God is eternal. These views are carefully worked out, and their (...)