vrijdag 14 maart 2008

Mirakels: een thema met uiteenlopende raakvlakken


Basinger, David, "Miracles", Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward Craig e.a. (eds.), London: Routledge, version 1.0, 1998.

Informatief extract:

Does God at times miraculously intervene in earthly affairs? That is, do some events occur because God has entered our space-time continuum and directly modified or circumvented the relevant natural laws? Few philosophers today deny that this is possible. But many question whether we could ever justifiably maintain that such intervention has taken place. According to some philosophers, it is not even necessary to grant that the types of events believers label miracles - for instance, healings or resurrections - actually occur as reported. Since the evidence supporting the occurrence of such events is the personal testimony of a few, possibly biased, individuals, while the basis for doubt is the massive amount of objective research upon which the relevant laws are based, it is always justifiable, according to this view, to conclude that such reports are erroneous. Others contend, however, that the presence of some forms of evidence - for instance, independent confirmation from reputable sources - could make it most reasonable in some cases to acknowledge that even the most unexpected of events had actually occurred.
Some philosophers also deny that we could ever justifiably conclude that an event could not have been produced by natural causes alone. Since we will never be in a position to identify all that nature can produce, they declare, it will always be most reasonable for the scientist facing a currently unexplainable counterinstance to a natural law to continue to look for a natural explanation. Many believers, however, are quite willing to grant that nature could in principle produce any event, since what they wish to maintain is only that nature does not do so in the ease of miraculous interventions. Finally, while many philosophers acknowledge that belief in direct divine intervention may at times be justifiable for those who already believe that God exists, some also argue that no single event or series of events could ever compel all thoughtful individuals to acknowledge the existence of a perfectly good supernatural causal agent, given all we experience - for instance, the tremendous amount of horrific evil in our world. Many believers, though, are also willing to grant this point.

1 Definition
2 The possibility of miracles
Some philosophers (for example, McKinnon 1967) have claimed that the concept of a miracle, if defined as a violation of a natural law, is incoherent. Natural laws, they point out, are really only generalized descriptions of what does in fact happen...
...That is, unless it is assumed that supernatural intervention is impossible, we can have both the exception and the rule. Of course, many individuals do in fact deny the existence of any type of supernatural being. And even some who affirm the existence of such a being - for example, process theists (see Process theism) - deny that this being can unilaterally intervene in earthly affairs in the sense necessary to produce miraculous events. However, few philosophers today maintain that the existence of a supernatural being, or the ability of such a being (if it exists) to intervene, can be demonstrated to be impossible...

3 The credibility of personal testimony
4 Miracles as events unexplainable by natural causes.
5 Miracles as acts of God

[titels en extracties uit het betrokken encyclopedieartikel]

Creatieve commentaar:

Het onderwerp raakt zowel de natuurfilosofie, de godsdienstfilosofie als de wijsgerige theologie. Natuurfilosofisch uit zich dat of men kan afwijken van natuurwetten en wat de eigenlijke status is van deze natuurwetten afgezien of dit verband houdt met God. Het tweede, de godsdienstfilosofie, komt hier minder aan bod, maar zou zich kunnen vertalen in hoeverre de godsdienst afhankelijk is van een mirakel en een kritische kijk op de betekenis ervan in de godsdienst en welke eventuele problemen hieruit voortvloeien. Wat dan leidt naar een wijsgerige theologie waarin we die problemen proberen op te lossen. Die plaatst dan mirakels in een wijsgerige theologie van Gods handelen in de wereld. Zoals in het artikel vermeldt, wijst de procestheologie een unilateraal handelen van God in de natuur af ondermeer vanwege het probleem van het kwaad dat er uit voortvloeit.

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