If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
Miracles are Married to the Vicious Circle
Miracles are events like magic. Religion says God does them. God makes all things out of nothing so he can do them. Making things out of nothing is a miracle.
Religion has to pretend that miracles are rational in the following sense: God does them because they are really needed and he does them to prove his presence and love. They have a direct or indirect message.
If we say, "It's not likely that X rose from the dead because dead men stay dead" the only possible reply the Church can give is that we don't know what is likely. We don't know, it might say, what exceptions there are to the rule.
So, "Jesus rose from the dead for it may have been likely". That is a bizarre argument. It does not follow. It is worse than, "Jesus rose for I think so and I am right for Jesus rose."
If we do not know what is probable, then can we say a miracle is probably rational? We cannot. It is even more irrational when religion is only guessing that God has reasons for doing the miracles that justify such a different way of working. In other words, religion only guesses that miracles are exceptions to the rule.
We do not think the dolls in the wardrobe come alive and come out when there is nobody about. If they did, we would see that as an exception to the natural rule that they stay in the wardrobe. An exception must prove the rule and not contradict it. Exceptions have to prove the law not contradict it. You can only know that something is an exception to the rule if you understand why the rule had to be suspended. An exception that is done for an insufficient reason or reasons is breaking the rule. It is not an exception.
So, "The rule is that dolls do not come to life. But these dolls were an exception though I don't know why." That is really a vicious circle for it is assuming an exception when it should try to understand how and why for until that is done you cannot know if it is an exception.
"God has reasons for doing miracles. God does miracles. Therefore God has reasons for doing them and miracles are the exception to the rule that prove the rule." That is a really hideous and bad argument. Its nothing more than seductive manipulation and deception. Miracles give us vocations as liars.
How could a miracle be necessary if it is not making sense and demanding circular reasoning and vicious circles? It cannot. If its not necessary for God then its not necessary for us either. Then why should Christians base their faith on the resurrection of Jesus? Its not even significant and yet they deny salvation to those who scorn it.
Vicious circles are attempts to mask the fact that we being irrational and concerned about what we want to believe and not the truth. They lead to a person being vicious and insecure. A vicious circle always shows that the person using the argument is arguing in bad faith.
Religion will answer that unbelievers have a vicious circle too.
Unbelievers say miracles probably never really happened. Believers say they are assuming what they want to prove - eg that nature is uniform and that no miracles have taken place. If so then the unbelievers are not giving evidence or proof that miracles do not happen.
Believers respond, “Those who disbelieve in miracles should not assume miracles do not happen. Instead they should consider the evidence for miracles first. They should not say no miracles are true unless they have successfully refuted them all or shown them unconvincing.”
The unbeliever is being accused of a tautology. He is supposedly saying, “You need evidence for miracles and there is none though I have not looked therefore miracles do not happen.” This is a serious accusation for anybody who uses circular reasoning is not arguing in good faith and the person is attempting to destroy truth forever by giving you a vicious circle for he is attempting to make an argument that cannot be refuted though it should be and deserves to be.
But what if both sides are equally assuming? If you have magic assumption a and mundane assumption b then you go for b. That is just wisdom and logic and you will lose the reality check if you start making magical guesses equal to non-magical.
The unbeliever does not need to use a tautology and if he did he would still be wiser than the believer though not much wiser.
If something happens then what do people do?
They say its down to nature.
They say its down to the supernatural
They say its down to both.
The unbeliever only needs to refute the most meaningful miracles. Or he can settle for saying there is no way to know one way or the other so he will assume the miracle did not happen.
Or he cab target the biggest ones.
Or the one he has the best access to. A miracle you see is a better target than any one you don’t see.
We have to assume that magic probably does not happen for we need to live firmly in mundane reality. Evidence cannot turn something that is unlikely into something likely for evidence is about what is likely.