If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
Religious faith and the absurd miracles
Religion says it believes in miracles because if you reject reliable people's testimony to miracles then you might as well believe nobody. This argument is fundamental to "belief" in miracles. It does not however believe in it itself.
If witnesses of the highest calibre staid they saw a prince being turned into a frog by a witch the Church itself would agree that this great evidence is not enough and it couldn’t have happened. The Church would say that absurd miracles don’t happen no matter how much evidence there is in support of them. The absurdity of the miracle would be proof that it couldn’t have happened. Evidence can mislead and religion and the world would take the absurdity of the miracle as proving that point.
If you said your teddy bear came to life and sang, La Isla Bonita, nobody would believe you no matter how sane and trustworthy you are. The reason the Christians don’t believe you is because they find it easier to believe in visions of Jesus and miracles of healing. You would get a better hearing if you experienced and/or reported one of these miracles. So the believers just focus on the miracles they want to hear about. This means that people who have experienced bizarre miracles like talking teddies cannot speak about them. The main message of this article is that the visions and healings are every bit as outlandish for several reasons as the talking teddy. The believers have no right to be so discriminating. They don’t care about evidence at all and whatever miracles happen do not happen for the purpose of being signs when nobody seriously takes them as signs. They have no right to assume that miracles like talking teddies don’t happen for they believe in miracles. Their selectiveness speaks of their dishonest arrogance.
When they use evidence, its purpose is not to enable themselves to believe. They use it to make themselves seem to be reasonable and innocent of caring about what they want to believe instead of the truth.
The Church would say that because evidence is based on what is reasonable to believe, that we cannot be expected to believe in absurd miracles even if there is testimony to them.
In other words, the Church is saying that the philosophers are right to be sceptical but we should believe in the miracles the Church believes in just because the Church says so. But that just leaves us guessing that miracles happened. The point of miracles is to take away the need for guessing.
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
Philosophy of Religion for A Level, Anne Jordan, Neil Lockyer and Edwin Tate, Nelson Throne Ltd, Cheltenham, 2004
Raised From the Dead, Father Albert J Hebert SM, TAN, Illinois 1986
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 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
The Problem of Competing Claims by Richard Carrier