Argument from Miracles
All of the miraculous claims made by Christianity and other world religions share one commonality -- they are all bound by the law of cause-and-effect. Miracles may defy physics, they never violate causality. Since effects cannot be more than the sum total of their causes, miracles thus require supernatural causes to render its supernatural effects. Miracles are necessary for religious belief, because people need to be reminded that the process works.
- The Israelites feared and believed in both God, and his servant, Moses, simply because of the wondrous feats they performed to defeat the Egyptians (EXO 7:10-12; 8:7; 14:31).
- Jesus only performed miracles to convince others of his divinity (MAT 11:2-5; JOH 4:48, 5:36, 20:30-31; ACT 2:22; HEB 2:4), because that was the only way to attract followers (JOH 3:2).
Christians need miracles so they can have something to believe in, since Christianity doesn’t have much else to offer:
- The biblical creation story conflicts with most, if not all, fields of study.
- The gospels contradict themselves.
- Christian tradition is mostly usurped pagan stories, beliefs, and practices.
- Thomas Paine argued that scripture cannot be a revelation. While they may have been revealed to the author, their copied manuscripts are second-hand accounts, told by those authors and translators.
The most powerful arguments against divine miracles ironically comes from the Bible itself, which warns that miracles, signs, and other wonders are the hallmarks of false prophets, who are trying to make themselves look credible. These Satanic people (LUK 11:19; 2THE 2:9) will only deceive you (REV 13:13-14) and turn you away from God (DEU 13:1-3). Likewise, anyone who performs miracles and claims to be the Christ is just one of the many false Christs who will appear from time to time (MAT 24:24). Jesus coined the expression “wolves in sheep’s clothing” to describe these people (MAT 7:15).
|We could pray over the cholera victim, or we can give her 500 mg of tetracycline every 12 hours. (Christian Science doesn’t not believe in the germ theory of disease, they’d rather see their children die that give them antibiotics.) We can try nearly futile psychoanalytic talk therapy on the schizophrenic patent, or we can give him 300-500 mg a day of clozapine. The scientific treatments are hundreds or thousands of times more effective than the alternatives.|
Many miracle stories are exaggerations or hoaxes meant to attract followers. The Star of Bethlehem was likely a white lie (or “pious fiction”), written by the author of Matthew, or penciled in by a forgotten monk-copyist, to make his Gospel coincide with the Star Prophecy, which the other Gospels overlooked. The Gospel of John freely admits to being propaganda (JOH 20:31).
Additionally, many “miracles” have rational explanations. While it seems incredulous for all these unusual events to occur by chance to a specific ethnic group, in a small corner of the world, recall that the Biblical genealogies demonstrate that these events took place over a 4000-5500 year period. Each “miracle” is spaced apart by several generations of un-noteworthy dirt-farming, which credits the idea of miracles as freak occurrences. This is one reason why the Bible actively discourages its own readers from paying attention to the genealogies (1TIM 1:4; TIT 3:9). Examples of explainable miracles include, but are not limited to:
- Much of the miraculous healing which occurs after praying to saints is attributable to spontaneous regression/remission. A small percentage of cancer sufferers are able to “just walk it off,” without anyone’s help.
- Millions of pilgrims have visited Lourdes, only 65 have ever been “miraculously” cured (as of 1997). Of these, only 3 were cured of cancer -- if anything, their pilgrimage made them less likely to be spontaneously cured.
- Spontaneous regression/remission is a credible explanation because only miracles only address certain diseases and conditions, while ignoring the rest (e.g., Amputees never fully regenerate their limbs; Down syndrome has never been cured by god or man).
- Pat Robertson’s faith-healing is statistical, not mystical; he just lists combinations of names, places, and ailments, and then declares people cured. Getting a combination that matches to a home viewer in the US market is entirely analogous to playing 370,000,000 slot machines at once; he could hit that jackpot without divine intervention.
- Praying for healing is unnecessary, since an all-knowing God already knows who is sick and suffering.
- Stories of demonic possession can be attributed to migraines, epilepsy, and/or Tourette syndrome. Any of these diseases can trigger mystical visions, transcendent feelings (i.e., the sensation of leaving the body) and the sensation of being controlled by otherworldly forces. Epileptic seizures and Tourette’s can make their sufferers appear possessed (with uncontrollable seizures and unintelligible shouts), and closely match the symptoms of demonic possession as described in the Malleus Maleficarum (1487).
- The gift of prophecy is just people ad-libbing. Upon hearing recordings of people (or even themselves) speaking in tongues, those with the gift of prophesy fail to produce the same “translation” twice. 
- Much of God’s wrath (e.g., the destruction of Jericho; stopping the River Jordan) is attributable to earthquakes, especially since the entire region rests on a fault line.
- Isaiah’s miracle of briefly reversing a sundial was due to a passing cloud, which refracted the sunlight.
- Sodom and Gomorrah were likely destroyed by the comet/asteroid impact which created Umm al Binni Lake. While this accurately describes God’s power and wrath against the residents of those cities, it was also inadvertently extended to countless innocent people the world over. Even by conservative estimates, this impact was 10 times greater than the Tunguska Event. This impact likely triggered the 4.2 Kiloyear Event, which disrupted or destroyed most of the world's civilizations; Old Kingdom Egypt, the Akkadian Empire, and the Indus Valley Civilization fell simultaneously due to this event. Surviving cultures developed a sudden interest in astronomy, and with building large stone structures.
- Manna was the discarded cocoons of the trehala manna mealybug (Trabutina mannipara):
- The cocoons themselves are golden or brown colored, and are a nutrient-rich protein source.
- The beetles secrete trehalose, a white crystalline carbohydrate, which is still used as sweetener in fine Turkish cuisine.
- An insect-based origin explains why Moses was so adamant against hoarding manna -- because eventually “it bred worms, and stank” (EXO 16:19-24).
- The resurrections of Lazarus and Jesus were cases of premature burial, which was more common in the past, since pre-1900’s medical science was basically voodoo.
- The Plagues of Egypt were brought on by the Minoan (Thera) Eruption, a volcanic eruption so powerful that it destroyed the Minoan Civilization and inspired the myth of Atlantis. This event introduced colossal amounts of dust and particulate ejecta into the stratosphere -- 4 times as much as the 1883 Krakatoa Eruption, and 100 times that of the 1980 Mt. St. Helens Eruption. The resulting global weather pattern disruptions stopped the rains, causing the Nile to slow and stagnate, leading to insect swarms and algae blooms. The swarms and blooms spread disease to humans and spiked the insect-eating frog population. Airborne particulates served as nucleation sites for hail in the new disrupted weather patterns. The environmental impacts of the later “plagues” were equally inflicted on all Bronze Age civilizations; even the Chinese reported summer frosts and famines at this time. Simulations of these disrupted weather patterns have shown their winds were sufficient to part the seas.
- P. Kreeft, Faith and Reason: The Philosophy of Religion (Recorded Books, 2005).
- T. Paine, The Age of Reason (Cosimo Classics, 2007).
- C. Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (Ballantine Books, 1997)
- J. Randi, The Faith Healers (Prometheus Books, 1987).
- B. Radford, in Everything You Know About God is Wrong: The Disinformation Guide to Religion edited by R. Kick (Disinformation Books, 2007)
- J. Emsley, The beetle cocoon that was manna for Moses, [Online]. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-beetle-cocoon-that-was-manna-for-moses-1306263.html. [Accessed 6 MAY 2017].
- BBC, Computers show how wind could have parted Red Sea, [Online]. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-11383620. [Accessed 6 MAY 2017].