MIRACLES, EXCEPTIONS TO NATURE?

The evidence for the exception to the rule needs to be equal to the evidence for the reliability of the rule.  That is never done because its an excuse for breaking the rule. But in fact if rule x needs to make an exception for somebody it does in fact not make an exception.  You have a new rule to suit the particular situation.  Eg, only dogs can walk here.  John walks here for he has terrible OCD and needs to.  That is in fact two rules.  And the only for the dogs is not literally true.

A miracle is...
 
A miracle is an event that shows or proves the activity of God. It is not obvious God exists if you see a statue. Believers in miracles say that it is obvious that God exists if he makes it bleed or talk.
 
A miracle is either a violation of nature or it is not.
 
Is a miracle an exception to the way nature usually works? A miracle undoubtedly is if you take it at its word. Some say that is all a miracle is. If so it would be an exception to the way nature works but not against natural law. It's not a violation. That is if you believe that exceptions really do prove the rule. 

The accusation

Religion says atheists should be looking at the evidence that miracles have happened instead of assuming they are as good as impossible.  They call that arrogance.  But do the believers look at the evidence for ghosts?  Why are they always told what miracles to check such as the resurrection?  If a miracle report is a miracle report then it does not matter where you start.  To pick out the resurrection shows a bias has already started unless it really is the name plucked out of a hat.  You have already tried to believe. You are called arrogant for not believing in the miracles religion WANTS you to believe in.  It is not about miracles but what they want you to check or believe.  It is believers who have a bigger problem with arrogance than the unbelievers.

The Christian religion says that Jesus rose from the dead and it is held that he is the only person who did that and nobody will do it again.

This tells us something.

The believers are as good as saying nobody rises from the dead. One person rising out of billions is the same as saying that virtually nobody rises.

Unbelievers are only going a little step further.  What is arrogant about that?  There is nothing important about that though religion makes a big deal of it.


It follows that even if unbelievers are biased believers are as bad and worse. The latter feel free to accuse unbelievers of being unreasonable and miracles is not a nice belief when it goes with an accusation.  And miracles necessarily lead to accusing.  Belief in miracles being immoral does not mean that they do not happen but it does mean we should go and investigate something non-miraculous instead!
 
Mutually exclusive?
 
Religion says:
 
Dead men stay dead
 
Jesus was an exception having risen from the dead.
 
It says that unbelievers in miracles make the mistake of thinking the two are mutually exclusive. Religion says all laws have exceptions and it does not follow that if something happens a certain way a lot that it should happen that way all the time. David Hume is accused of having made the mistake of thinking nature's regularity means there can be no exception. He didn't. He merely said that if a miracle happens, it is an exception, and you need huge evidence to make it sensible to believe in it. He meant that evidence says all dead men stay dead and if the exception is to prove the rule there must be very good evidence to justify belief in the exception. 

Christians say its the general rule that dead people stay dead. They say Jesus rose and this was an exception. The exception to a general rule does not override the general rule. The general rule still stands. The general rule will always be the big rule and the exception will always be small in comparison.

The general rule is actually bigger than the exception. It is more important then to say nature is regular than to say a miracle has happened. If there has to be a choice then stand by nature. In a way we have to be reluctant to believe in miracles. Being reluctant to believe does not mean you must never believe but it means you have to believe if the reasons are serious enough and good enough.

You need to debunk false miracles and verify the rare but real ones

Believers in miracles say they respect nature and its regularity and say that believing that rare exceptions such as miracles happen is not to undermine or destroy faith in nature.

But what if a miracle happens? You may have evidence that it happened. But even with having the evidence you cannot just assume it is a rare exception. There are countless other miracle claims made in the world. And most of these will be unknown to you. To have the right to say a miracle is a rare exception requires you to try to debunk all those other miracles. If you want to declare a miracle to be a rare exception you have to uncover evidence of fraud or possible fraud for all the other miracles. A miracle fake or real is a matter for evidence. That is why you cannot simply assume its a rare occurrence.

Look at it this way.

A miracle by definition is a rare and supernatural occurrence.

I need evidence to justify saying that is what a miracle is.

I need evidence that the many miracle claims in the world are all false or doubtful.

I need evidence to see which miracle claims are true.

I don't have that.....

Not an exception but a violation

There can be no exception to the law of nature. Why? Because miracles break the rules of nature and are not just exceptions. Take a statue that cries tears of blood. That is an event that presents itself as a violation of nature. It is not an exception. Take it how it looks.  It is not up to you to impose a look on it.

"An exception would be if some bird was spitting blood on its eyes making it run down its face. Blood coming from nowhere is a violation not an exception."  That is one thought.  But its still natural.  Its a bad candidate for an exception.  This is better.   "An exception would be if some material being from an invisible world we have not found was spitting the blood."  That would not be an exception either though it is a better candidate.  Its appealing to an invisible undetectable agency but still a physical one.  So is not talking about supernatural or miracle.  There is no need for the exception proves the rule nonsense. Just admit you have another rule to cover a unique or once off situation.  End the semantics.

Evidence cannot show you if a miracle is a violation or exception. You only guess.

If you have to guess that a miracle is an exception then why not guess that it is a violation?

Because of this problem, belief in miracles as exceptions still opens the door to seeing them as violations. It risks and opens the door to the bad things that that entails.

Conclusion

Miracles are either supernatural or they are not. To say they are natural makes no sense and neither does saying they are supernatural. We should not waste time studying them. But we have to for silly people put lies out there that need answering.

If God does miracles, miracles are exceptions for God makes the rules and his exceptions should show how wise his rules are. But they cannot be exceptions therefore God does not do miracles. This is not dogmatism for it is just what reason says. Miracles are evidence against the existence of God and evidence for the religious duplicity of human beings.