Arguments for the Existence of God from Miracles
Miracle: An event, which goes against the laws of nature, thought to be caused by God
If asked why they believe in God, many would say because they have experienced a miracle
Exam Tip – You must be able to refer to examples put forward as miracles in your essays
Miracles in Christianity
The Healing of Jairus’ Daughter
A man named Jairus had been following Jesus. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come and help his sick daughter who was only twelve. Without help she would die. As they were walking they met a messenger from Jairus’ house who explained that his daughter had already died. Jesus turned to Jairus and said, “ do not be afraid only believe.” When they arrived Jesus said to them , “ Do not cry, she is not dead, only sleeping.” They all laughed at him but Jesus took the child by the hand and called out, “ Get up my child.”. Immediately she got up and Jesus told them to give her something to eat.”
The Feeding of the Five Thousand
Jesus had been teaching the people al day. At sundown the disciples wanted to send them away as they did not have enough food to feed everyone. All they had was five loaves of bread and two fish. (There were about five thousand people gathered there) Jesus instructed the people to sit in groups of fifty.
After this Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, gave thanks to God and shared the food out. Everyone ate enough and there were twelve baskets of leftovers.
Every year hundreds of Christians travel to Lourdes in France in the hope of a miracle. Lourdes became an important place of pilgrimage in 1858, when a young French girl, Bernadette Soubirous (now St. Bernadette) had a series of visions of the Virgin Mary in a cave near Lourdes. During the 9th vision a spring of water appeared. It is the water from this well, which is thought to cure the sick and the dying if they are able to drink it. Lourdes is a Roman Catholic place of pilgrimage. To date, the Roman Catholic Church has confirmed 69 miracles as a result of the healing powers of the spring
Nicky Cruz was the infamous leader of the Mau Mau Gang in New York. His throat had been stabbed in a fight and he has struggled with pain and speaking since. At a church service led by David Wilkerson Nicky felt God heal his throat. Nicky believed he had experienced a miracle and went on to help other young people involved in gang crime. His miracle experience was an important reason for his conversion to Christianity.
Miracles in Islam
For Muslims, the ultimate miracle in Islam is the revelation of the Qur’an to Muhammad on the Night of Power. They believe that no human could write such a book without God’s involvement.
Muhammad’s Night Journey
Prophet Muhammad was visited by two archangels while he was asleep, who purified his heart and filled him with knowledge and faith.
The Prophet travelled from Mecca to Jerusalem in a single night on a strange winged creature called Buraq. From Jerusalem he ascended into heaven, where he met the earlier prophets, and eventually God.
During his time in heaven Muhammad was told of the duty of Muslims to recite Salat (ritual prayer) five times a day.
Aside from these two events miracles are not viewed as important in Islam as they are in Christianity.
Arguments For And Against Miracles
- God is omnipotent so can do anything, including miracles.
- God sees suffering and wants to help us.
- There have been 69 accepted miracles at Lourdes with no other explanation.
- If you accept that Jesus rose from the dead, a great miracle then why doubt other miracles?
- God is immanent and has a personal relationship with those who ask for help. Miracles simply show God’s ongoing involvement with His creation
- Why would God choose to help one person yet allow millions to die in eg earthquakes?
- People with terrible illnesses can get better. It doesn’t mean it is a miracle.
- Science can explain miracle claims.
- People can be healed through positive mental attitude. This is how Lourdes has helped.
- Just because we can’t explain something now doesn’t mean we won’t be able to in a few years time. What seemed like miracles years ago can now be explained using science.
- There have been so many miracle claims that have been proven to be hoaxes so it is not surprising that people have doubts
- Even if there have been 69-recorded miracles at Lourdes, millions visit this site every year and nothing happens to them so why should we accept that miracles happen
- David Hume urged people to carefully weigh up the evidence when considering miracle claims. He said that if an event could be explained in a natural way, was claimed by someone already with a faith or by someone with very little scientific knowledge then it should be disregarded. On balance the evidence would usually lead to the conclusion that a miracle has not happened.