If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone

 

BRIAN DAVIES AND MIRACLES
 
Brian Davies in THE REALITY OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL (page 74 to 77) argues that the idea that miracles are interventions by God makes no sense.
 
Believers in God hold that he creates everything that exists in the universe. Anything that exists only exists because he consents to it. The idea of God creating things and then keeping them in existence is inaccurate. What is happening is that God is creating everything now. He didn't create a dog once off. He is creating that dog every second. It looks like he is keeping it in existence because he is creating so rapidly that nobody notices that he creates everything afresh all the time though it may look the same.
 
God can only intervene if he lost control of a situation and had to fix this. Or if he was absent from a situation and had to become present in it. But the doctrine of creation says that God is never absent from anything and is deeply involved. If a miracle means intervention, interference or intrusion then a miracle must be impossible. If a miracle seems to have happened, then it cannot be the work of God. It is the work of a being that is not an all-good creator. So for Davies and for a more consistent belief in God, one must hold that even a miracle of a man being raised from the dead is no different at all from an acorn growing up. One is a wonder as much as the other. This means that there is nothing special then about a man coming back from the dead. In that case, Jesus Christ was a fraud for saying it was special. It is actually blasphemous to focus on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead for that is giving the other miracles, sunrises and birds singing second place.
 
Whatever meaning you take from miracles, what they imply is that there is no God. If a man rising from the dead is no more a miracle than moonlight then why does the man rise from the dead when everybody else stays dead? Clearly, we are meant to take the event as an intervention and a denial of the existence of God. We can't prove God does any miracle or raises anybody from the dead. We have to go by what the miracle looks like. If it looks like an intervention - and the resurrection of Jesus doctrine looks as if it is - then that is what it must be taken to be. It is an intervention - if you set things up a certain way and then change it even for a moment you are intervening.
 
Miracles in the sense of Jesus' mother appearing in Lourdes after being dead for centuries and priests turning bread into Jesus are blasphemous whether or not you take them as interventions or God stepping in. It is stupid to regard miracles as evidence that your religion is true for God is doing them to show it off.
 
Further Reading ~
 
A Christian Faith for Today, W Montgomery Watt, Routledge, London, 2002
Answers to Tough Questions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press, Bucks, 1980
Apparitions, Healings and Weeping Madonnas, Lisa J Schwebel, Paulist Press, New York, 2004
A Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Veritas, Dublin, 1995
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Enchiridion Symbolorum Et Definitionum, Heinrich Joseph Denzinger, Edited by A Schonmetzer, Barcelona, 1963
Looking for a Miracle, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
Miracles, Rev Ronald A Knox, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1937
Miracles in Dispute, Ernst and Marie-Luise Keller, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1969
Lourdes, Antonio Bernardo, A. Doucet Publications, Lourdes, 1987
Medjugorje, David Baldwin, Catholic Truth Society, London, 2002
Miraculous Divine Healing, Connie W Adams, Guardian of Truth Publications, KY, undated
New Catholic Encyclopaedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc, Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Raised From the Dead, Father Albert J Hebert SM, TAN, Illinois 1986
Philosophy of Religion for A Level, Anne Jordan, Neil Lockyer and Edwin Tate, Nelson Throne Ltd, Cheltenham, 2004
Science and the Paranormal, Edited by George O Abell and Barry Singer, Junction Books, London, 1981
The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan, Headline, London, 1997
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996
The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000
The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief Volume 1, Gordon Stein, Editor, Prometheus Books, New York, 1985
The Hidden Power, Brian Inglis, Jonathan Cape, London, 1986
The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil, Brian Davies, Continuum, London-New York, 2006
The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994
The Stigmata and Modern Science, Rev Charles Carty, TAN, Illinois, 1974
Twenty Questions About Medjugorje, Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D. Pangaeus Press, Dallas, 1999
Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer, Freeman, New York, 1997