The Bible calls on us to believe some pretty weird stuff: Creation Week, worldwide floods, pregnant old women, burning bushes, Red Sea parting, resurrection, and on and on.
Does a person have to believe in these miracles? If you think God doesn’t lie and the Bible is God’s Word, then yeah, you do. If you don’t care about God or the Bible, then I guess you are free to ignore miracles.
I recently listened to an interview with an atheist who denies miracles. He wrote an entire book about how irrational it is to believe in miracles.
His underlying assumption is that we only have reason to know things. Rational people can detect what is rational, and the rational is what we should believe.
Rational conclusions include the fact that dead people stay dead, water doesn’t turn into wine, Egyptian armies don’t drown in recently parted seas, etc.
Since miracles are a giant diversion from the norm, believing in them is not rational.
I agree that miracles are a deviation from normalcy, rather than this making them irrational and not worthy of belief, I would say this is what makes them miracles. He is using the very definition of what a miracle is to say there are no miracles. If they weren’t highly unlikely, they wouldn’t be miracles.
Believing in miracles has a touch of irrationality to it, because miracles, by definition, are irrational. But is it irrational to believe that nothing out of the ordinary could ever occur?
The real conundrum for the atheist is that they typically believe we all got here by a series of random, chance mutation. A process of random, chance mutation would have to have random, chance events happening all the time.
If random chance is the process we live by, how is there any rationality? Wouldn’t miracles–random, chance acts–be par for the course?
The evolutionist who believes in random chance evolution would be highly irrational to stake all on that theory and yet eliminate the possibility that something random and chance could happen.
The only way miracles make any sense is if we live in a rational and orderly system, one where we can rationally observe normal, repetitive behavior. The atheist author thinks we do live in a rational system. My question is: where did the order come from for miracles to violate?
The author admits in his interview that he cannot disprove the existence of miracles. To me, the rational step here then would be to believe that miracles could happen. Since they can’t definitively be proven to not occur, rational thinking would leave open a little bit of room that they could.
Rationality would realize that an irrational, chance, random process would eliminate miracles out of hand, because all sorts of irrational, random things (miracles) would happen.
Instead of seeing random chance all around us, the rational mind observes the order and rationality of the world and concludes that there must be a rational mind behind it all.
Once there, the rational choice would be to believe that the rational mind behind it all could violate the order at any time to make a point, maybe to get rational people’s attention, because they are too busy denying the existence of their rational source.
Miracles seem rather rational to believe in.