Humanists Refuse The Evidence of Miracles
Did the Bible writers err concerning miracles?
THE CLAIMED PROBLEM: When examined in the light of experience and reason, the Bibles claims about supernatural occurrences do not warrant belief. Our experience is that the natural world operates according to principles of regularity which are never violated. We also know from experience that many people are often mistaken or dishonest. Thus, its far more likely the Bible writers either erred or lied than the laws of nature were violated.
Could it be that one of the reasons God has done supernatural miracles is so humanists will have no excuse? No one can say that God did not demonstrate He exists. God not only has shown them, His miracles did so in a way that provided rock solid evidence.
Let us look at the assertions in the above humanist statement one at a time: Once gain the humanist author is throwing out accusations without any supporting evidence.
When examined in the light of experience and reason, the Bibles claims about supernatural occurrences do not warrant belief.
Why not? The humanist tries to answer this question...
Our experience is that the natural world operates according to principles of regularity which are never violated.
There are so many things wrong with this statement! For example, limiting their conclusions to "our experience" is not a valid limitation. Is their experience the only experience that counts? And whose experience are they talking about? The author’s personal experience? There are many things he probably has not directly experienced, but has asserted to be true.
Or maybe he is talking about the collective experience of present-day scientists. There is a problem with that. There are things that happened in the past that present scientists have not experienced. For example, scientists regularly rely on papers and books written by their predecessors.
So maybe by “our experience” the humanist means the total knowledge humanity has accumulated to date. By the way, the word “science” means “knowledge acquired by study.” We might say “our experience” means the accumulated science (knowledge) we have to date.
That accumulated knowledge includes knowledge of supernatural as described in the Bible. Humanists cannot pick and choose just those experiences that meet their self-centered criteria. If they are going to base their understanding of the world on experience, they must include supernatural events. If they leave them out, their understanding of the world will not be complete.
Principles of Regularity
The humanist’s statement that the "natural world operates according to principles of regularity" is an interesting statement. He is assuming you do not understand what this means, and as a result you will come to the wrong conclusion and be deceived.
The humanist is making a true statement. The natural world does operate according to the principles of regularity. He is implying that this excludes anything that does not regularly happen… such as supernatural events. I think we need to learn what the principle of regularity actually states.
Definition:The principles of regularity state that a moderately large number of items chosen at random form a large group are almost sure on the average to possess the characteristic of the large group. This principle states that when a sample is chosen at random, it is likely to possess almost the same characteristics and qualities to the universe.
Notice that the principles of regularity do not include certainty. They allow for historical events that are not consistent with the majority of events (exceptions). Meaning that, based on the principles of regularity, supernatural events, being historically rare, are allowed.
We also know from experience that many people are often mistaken or dishonest.
That is a true statement. It also applies to every humanist, including the author of the article are examining... an article that includes proven false statements.
Thus, its far more likely the Bible writers either erred or lied than the
laws of nature were violated.
Why is it "far more likely” the Bible’s authors erred or lied? How does the humanist arrive at that conclusion without any evidence? This propaganda technique is called assertion. You assert something is true without backing up that assertion with sound reasoning or evidence. Based on the above, it is equally true that it is likely the humanist who wrote their web page either erred or lied. However, unlike the humanist author we have provided solid evidence supporting this assertion in the chapters of this book.
More Information: https://www.gotquestions.org/why-should-I-believe-the-Bible.html
More Information: https://www.gotquestions.org/trust-the-Bible.html
What is the Evidence Miracles Are Real?
We cannot do a study of all of scripture, so I am going to limit our investigation to Jesus' miracles. Jesus probably did thousands of miracles, at times healing ALL who came to him. Thirty-seven of His miracles are recorded in the four gospels. The evidence they actually happened is overwhelming:
- Jesus' miracles were done in public. They were not done in secret or just for a select group of followers.
- Jesus' miracles were instantaneous and complete. And no magical formula was used, nor paraphernalia, nor prayer.
- Jesus’ healing miracles involved maladies that could not be faked. That’s why Jesus waited two days before coming to “heal” Lazarus (raise him from the dead). (John chapter 11.) The delay resulted in Lazarus’ body being in the grave for four days and physically starting to decay. There was no doubt he was dead. Then Jesus spoke and he was alive, and walking out of the grave.
- Jewish sources, such as Josephus and the Talmud (tHul2:22-23, the Babylonian Sanhedrin43a-b, and Babylonian Sanhedrin107b) attest to Jesus' miracles, attributing them to sorcery.
- The reports of His miracles are recorded in the gospels, which were circulated publicly during the lifetimes of people who witnessed them. If they had not happened as described, witnesses would have come forward to discredit the gospels and all of Christianity. The Jewish leaders, in particular, would have been very pleased to have witnesses who could discredit Jesus. However, those Jewish leaders had also witnessed His miracles themselves and could not deny them1.
John P. Meier writes: "Viewed globally, the tradition of Jesus' miracles is more firmly supported by the criteria of historicity than are a number of other well-known and often readily accepted traditions about his life and ministry. . . . Put dramatically but with not too much exaggeration: if the miracle tradition from Jesus' public ministry were to be rejected in toto as unhistorical, so should every other Gospel tradition about him." (From the book , A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus, volume 2, page 630)
Conclusion: The Bible writers were not dishonest, they neither lied nor erred. They accurately reported the miracles of Jesus, just as they happened.
So now the humanists turn in another direction to show there are no miracles. They call it the: Harms of the Supernatural Outlook
Because of believing that supernatural beings control the world, people have often misdirected their energies in attempting to solve problems. Instead of studying the world to discover scientific solutions to problems, they performed religious activities in an effort to obtain the assistance of benevolent supernatural beings or thwart the influence of malicious ones.
Is this true? Let's find out. Click here...
Foot Note 1: This is an argument from silence, and most arguments from silence are not valid. The only ones that have some validity are those in which the people who are silent had both a very strong motive to speak as well as the means to speak (or publish). For example, humanists argue that there is no secular documentation for Jesus’ resurrection (there is). This is not a valid argument from silence. Those in power, and thus had the means to speak, either had no interest (to the Romans Jesus was just another Jewish messiah), or it was in their interest not to speak (the Jewish leaders). In the case of Jesus’ miracles, it was in the interest of the Jewish leaders to publicize any reports that Jesus falsified His miracles. However, there were too many witnesses, and even their own eyes told them His miracles were real. They could not deny His miracles, so they were silent.