Re: [XTalk] Is there a consensus?
- Bob Schacht writes
> perhaps you have not been on XTalk long enough to know howYou are correct that I have not been on very long, so maybe I'm rehashing
> frequently we have wrestled with this problem. For the purposes of
> historical study, how do you establish that a miracle took place? It may
> necessary to distinguish among the following:
> * "Miracles" that were perceived by witnesses as miraculous, but which
> in fact had some prosaic cause
> * "Miracles" that were an illusion: people thought they saw something
> that didn't really happen.
> * Miracles that "really did happen," whatever that means.
> So far as I am aware, we do not have objective tools of inquiry sufficient
> to establish the existence of a miracle in history. The best we can do,
> should do, is to obtain the concurrence of independent witnesses, and
> present what the witnesses reported, using such language as "A miracle was
> reported to have happened" rather than "A miracle happened."
something that has been hashed to death.
Furthermore, I agree that many so-called "miracles" can be removed, after
investigation, from the realm of the miraculous.
I don't think I agree that "we do not have objective tools of inquiry
sufficient to establish the existence of a miracle in history." Absolute
proof is not a useful concept except in the realms of physics and
mathematics. Your statement would only be true if you required a standard of
proof far higher than we require to establish, say, the historical existence