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Argument from miracles

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Title: Argument from miracles  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Existence of God, Argument from religious experience, Philosophy of religion, Cosmological argument, Argument from morality
Collection: Arguments for the Existence of God, Miracles
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Argument from miracles

The argument from miracles is an argument for the existence of God that relies on the belief that events witnessed and described as miracles – i.e. as events not explicable by natural or scientific laws[1] – indicate the intervention of the supernatural.

One example of this argument is the Christological argument: the claim that historical evidence proves that Jesus Christ rose from the dead and that this can only be explained if God exists. Another is the claim that many of the Qur'an's prophecies have been fulfilled and that this too can only be explained if God (Allah) exists.


One counter-argument to the argument from miracles is the argument from inconsistent revelations, which states that multiple incompatible miracles are alleged to have occurred which provide evidence for different religions. Not all these can be correct.

Another counter-argument is Occam's razor, which can be used to argue that God is unnecessary to explain miracles for which natural explanations can be found. In his documentary The Root of All Evil?, British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins utilises this argument when examining the supposed miracles in Lourdes, France. According to Catholic theology, supernatural cures occur in the area, but Dawkins expresses doubts as to their divine nature, noting that all the recorded cures comprise diseases which may have healed by themselves without the need for divine intervention.


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Further reading

  • David Hume (ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge), An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1902 (ISBN 978-0-19-824535-3).
  • Richard Swinburne (ed.), Miracles, London: Collier Macmillan Publishers, 1989 (ISBN 0-02-418731-3).

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