John Shertzer Hittell On Miracles, From "The Evidences Against Christianity"

God may have done a plethora of miracles in the ancient past and may do so again in the future, but as Hittell argued in 1857, following David Hume, there isn't any reason for us to accept these miracle claims unless miracles are taking place today. This is the only reasonable conclusion. People who believe anyway are not being reasonable. To the question of whether miracles happen today, which ones are convincing to outsiders? Which ones have solid objective evidence for them? Which ones are not performed by tricksters and/or magicians? Which ones can be understood as self-healing via the placebo of faith? Where has an amputee's leg ever been made to grow back? Which ones are merely the result of chance? Required reading on the chance factor is David J. Hand's book, The Improbability Principle: Why Coincidences, Miracles, and Rare Events Happen Every Day.As yet, not one religious apologist worthy the name has dealt with Hand's book. They would prefer building intellectual deductive castles in the sky unrelated to the actual statistical analysis of rare events, which happen every single day.



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