The Meaning of ‘miracle’ – Part 1

I just finished reading Richard Swinburne’s chapter “Arguments from History and Miracles”, Chapter 12 in The Existence of God (2nd ed., 2004), about the same time Taner Edis did his post Natural miracles?” (
So, this seems like a good time to revisit the topic of ‘miracles’.

Back in 2008, I did a series of posts on the definition of ‘miracle’ proposed by Richard Purtill:

Swinburne gives his own definition of ‘miracle’, and he also refers to definitions given by Aquinas and David Hume. I will start with Aquinas’ definition, move on to Hume’s, and then take a look at Swinburne’s.

One thing that troubles me lately about some of these definitions, is that they make the involvement of God a necessary condition for the application of the word ‘miracle’.

To be continuted…

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