The Bible is not true because it contains miracles

From Iron Chariots Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

The Bible and many other holy books contain accounts of miracles. This raises several possibilities:

  • Miracles occurred both at the time of the Bible and in contemporary times. This view is sometimes associated with faith healing or Charismatic Christianity but apologists lack evidence of miracles actually occurring. They also seem to be different in type when compared to the miracles in the Bible.
  • Miracles occur but we don't hear about them, and the Bible is true. This is unlikely because a miracle is highly notable and news reporters would spread the news. In fact, miracle claims at are reported are generally trivial coincidences or fraudulent deceptions.
  • The Bible is true and miracles formerly occurred but they stopped occurring at some point. While apologists have the concept of cessationism which says the miraculous abilities of the apostles did not continue, they have no good reason to explain why all miracles seem to have stopped.
  • Everyday experience shows that the same sort of miracles do not occur in contemporary times. By inductive reasoning, miracles did not occur at the time of the Bible. Therefore, the Bible is false.

Skeptics generally accept the last option.

Contents

Unreliable reporting

Not only do miracles not occur in everyday experience or under scientific observation, they only appear to occur in places and times that have unreliable reporting or unreliable transmission of information. Many different religions claim to have associated miracles but the stories originate in circumstances with bad record keeping or have turned out to be frauds. For example, Chinese stories that dragons existed are not taken to mean that dragons actually exist, except in their mythology. By induction, we can say that miracles in a text indicate that it is mythological.

For this reason, David Hume argued in Of Miracles that we should not trust testimony from a source of unknown reliability, if it is contrary to experience.

Counter argument

"Most of the criticism against the Bible's legitimacy turn out to be nothing more than a subjective opinion of what is possible. The critic arbitrarily asserts that it is not possible for the sun to go backward in the sky, or for the solar system to be created in six days. [...] When the critic simply dismisses those claims of the Bible that do not appeal to his personal, unargued sense of what is possible, he is being irrational.[1]"

The fact that the sun cannot go backwards in the sky is not a matter of mere opinion. The motion of planets and stars are well understood by scientists (at least on the scale of the solar system).

The impossibility of the solar system being created in six days isn't just an opinion, it is backed by evidence from several branches of science! The solar system appears to have billions of years to develop.

If I said "I can fly around this room under my own power", you would rightly question my claim because it is contrary to everyday experience and scientific understanding. This argument is equally applicable to ancient texts.

Also, this is not the most popular argument against the Bible. The apologist seems to be forgetting that non-Christians generally don't believe in the Bible because there is no good reason to believe it. They are forgetting that they have the burden of proof.

"The laws of nature never cause anything; they are merely our assessment of how things normally happen[...] If God exists, and determines the laws of nature, he himself is not subject to them and can override them whenever he chooses to.[...] science is an ongoing process of learning in which from time to time things once claimed to be true are later found to be false.[2]"

This might be the case but the apologist still has not explained why miracles of the same type do not occur today. While skeptics are at risk of committing the black swan fallacy by rejecting miracle testimony, they are less inclined to reject good evidence of a contemporary miracle. Scientific knowledge is always tentative but that is not a reason not to rely on it. It has proven far more effective at describing the natural world than any other body of knowledge.

See also

References

  1. Jason Lisle, Is the Christian Worldview Logical?, The New Answers Book 3, ed. Ken Ham
  2. John Blanchard, Why believe the Bible?, 2004
Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
wiki navigation
IronChariots.Org
Toolbox