Defining Miracles

Defining Miracles

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Defining Miracles

'A miracle may be accurately defined as a transgression of a law of
nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition
of some invisible agent.'

David Hume

"Miracles are propitious accidents, the natural causes of which are
too complicated to be readily understood." George Santayana

A miracle is a 'marvellous event due to some supposed supernatural
agency' Oxford English Dictionary.

In my opinion I believe that a miracle is an event that cannot be
explained for by scientific reasoning, and so we do not understand why
and how it has happened. This could be due to the fact that we do not
have the scientific knowledge and understanding to fully be able to
explain it as even today we are learning knew things about the world
around us.

People interpret miracles differently; some may believe that they have
been performed by some higher power, such as Jesus, Allah and other
religious Gods. Others just simply believe that miracles are not
miraculous at all and are just showing that we do not fully understand
everything about the world around us.

Miracles can be broken down into four different main categories:

v Religious Miracles

- Religious miracles are miracles that are believed to have been
performed by a divine intervention. For example, in Christianity it is
believed that Jesus has and still does perform miracles. Some of the
Miracles that Jesus is believed to have performed in the bible are;
Jesus heals ten men, Luke 17:11-19 and Jesus heals a paralysed man,
Luke 5:17-26.

- Many Chritistians believe that the miracle of the resurrection of
Jesus validated his claim to be the only way to God, John 14:6. To
most Christians, miracles are proof of the existence of God, most will
claim that a miracle has occurred in either their own lives, or the
lives of someone close to them.

- In some areas of the world where it is believed that miracles have
happened special services are held where people will go in the hope of

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being healed. For example, many people visit Lourdes, as it is
believed that the Virgin Mary appeared to a French girl named
Bernadette. It is believed that she was cured by the water that came
from a spring produced by the Virgin Mary. Nowadays people bathe in
the water, believing that it had healing qualities and is Holy Water.
Lourdes is seen as a place of pilgrimage to many.

v Nature Miracles

- People often say that nature is full of miracles. After all, no one
can make a tree or a flower. Some feel that the process of producing a
baby in the womb is a miracle. This is because it is not possible to
recreate the process of the heart, brain, kidneys being made; the
whole idea of producing another human being is miraculous to some.

- There are some nature miracles that are accounted for in the Bible.
The cursing of the fig tree, Mark 11:12-21; Matthew 21:18-20; Luke
13:6-7. Turning water into wine, John 2:1-11. Calming the tempest,
Mark 4:35-40; Matthew 8:23-27; Luke 8:22-25.

v Media Miracles

- The media often uses the word 'Miracle' in the wrong context. They
will claim that an even is a miracle however they do not necessarily
mean that it actually was a miracle, it is a misuse of the word.

- Often when the unlikely happens the media will dame it a miracle,
for example, Miracle Girl Survives.

- See Newspaper Articles displayed at the end of this essay for

v Non-Religious Miracles

- Non-religious miracles are miracles that are not believed to have
been preformed by a higher power but by other means.

- Some believe that crystals contain healing powers, Here are a few
examples of Gem stones and what they are believed to cure: Amethyst -
Acne; Rose Quartz, Carnelian- Bruises; Fluorite, Larimar, Emerald,
Yellow Topaz- Colds and Flu and Aquamarine, Topaz, Blue Lace Agate -
Swollen Glands.

- Others feel that the Earth itself has healing qualities, this links
to Nature Miracles as it is to do with herbal remedies, they are
available in Health food shops and one range are Dr Bach Flower
Remedies. There is a wide variety of different remedies and each are
believed to help heal mental issues such as; living in the past, the
remedy suggested is Honeysuckle.

Some products have also misused the word 'Miracle'; for example,
'Miracle Grow' is a gardening product, perhaps the word 'Miracle' has
been used in its product name as a way of saying that the product
contained will have miraculous effects on your lawn and bedding

'Miracle Wash' by Briteside, a waterless car wash and polish, again
its name creates the idea of miraculous effects, when in reality it
does the same as many other car washes, the word 'Miracle' simply
attracts more attention to this product.

It is hard to give a definite explanation as to what a miracle is, in
a sense it depends on the person, a Christian will perceive an
extraordinary even as a miracle performed by God. However, and Atheist
would probably not think it to be a miracle at all.

Most seem to consider an unusual even that has a positive outcome as a
miracle; for example: Passing an Exam. Unusual events that have
negative outcomes tend to not be considered as a miracle; for example,
being struck by lightening on 4 separate occasions.

Unusual events cannot be used as proof of the existence of God and
they occur all the time and can be explained scientifically.

Here are some examples of unusual events that could be looked upon as

"Lieutenant I. M. Chisov of the former Soviet Union was flying his
Llyushin 4 on a bitter cold day in January 1942, when it was attacked
by 12 German Messerchmitts. Convinced that he had no chance of
surviving if he stayed with his badly battered plane, Chisov bailed
out at 21,980 feet. With the fighter still buzzing around, Chisov
cleverly decided to free-fall out of the arena. It was his plan not to
open his chute until he was down to only 1000ft above the ground.
Unfortunately, he lost consciousness en route. As luck would have it,
he crashed at the edge of a steep ravine covered with 3ft of snow.
Hitting at about 120 M/H, he ploughed along its slope until he came to
rest at the bottom. Chisov awoke 20 mins later, bruised and sore, but
miraculously he has suffered only a concussion of the spine and a
fractures pelvis. Three and a half months later he was back at work as
a flight instructor". Hecht, Eugene. Physics: Calculus. 2nd edition.
United States: Brooks/Cole, 2000. P85.

Flight Sergeant Nicholas Steven Alkemade was on a bombing mission over
Germany on 23 March 1944 when his Lancaster bomber flying at 18,000
feet was blazed apart and in flames when he was forced to jump,
without a parachute or be burned to death. He dove out of his
destroyed aircraft hoping on a quick death. His speed accelerated to
over 120 miles per hour and he impacted on a snow covered sloping
forest. He was completely uninjured and later captured by the Germans
who refused to believe his story.

Unlike the above examples there are some unusual events that have
happened that have been believed by many that it was a miracle
performed by God, or a higher power.

Text Box: The most famous would be the crying statue of Mary. There
have been countless reported crying statues of Mary from all around
the world, Lewis, Kansas 1996, Lake Ridge, Virginia: 1992, San Thomas,
Mexico 1992, Bolivia - July 28, 1999 etc.

In one case Las Vegas - 1998; in the back garden shrine of Pablo
Covarrubias stands a statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe brought from
the Basilica in Mexico City. The Virgin regularly weeps real tears
that are then harvested in little cotton balls and distributed to the
faithful. According to Pablo, many supernatural healings have been
documented, and one very windy day, an apparition of Mary appeared in
the sky above the shrine.

In conclusion I feel that it depends on a persons perspective and
religions beliefs as to whether they see an unusual event as a miracle
or not. Some may feel that a miracle is performed by God, whilst
others may think that it is just something unusual that has happened.
The misuse of the word 'Miracle' in media is something that I would
say is only due to the fact that it draws the reader's attention in. I
don't think that it is possible to completely explain what exactly a
miracle is as I mentioned previously it depends on a persons point of
view, but I think in conclusion, it could be left as an unusual event,
after all, it is the unexplainable which are called Miracles by some.
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