Saturday, September 17, 2011

Presuppositions on Miracles and God

In an earlier post I discussed what I called the "fallacy of contrary presuppositions." Namely, two presuppositions that a person upholds which cannot coexist without one contradicting the other. Recently I've been reading or encountering another series of contrary presuppositions that I often seen be made by accidental deists, liberal theologians, and similar groups. Many of these people will assert, at once, two things:

A) God exists

B) Miracles do not exist, or cannot be proven

Herein is the problem: A is affirmed without being established, yet B is affirmed without establishing why in light of A. Let me explain this contradiction by highlighting that both A and B deal with the supernatural. A affirms that God exists, which therefore affirms the supernatural exists; B denies that miracles happen or can be proven, hence either denying or objecting to the supernatural.

At this point we can immediately see the contradiction. Namely, that a person admits that a Being, energy or presence exists beyond the confines of the natural world, yet refuses to believe that anything that likewise goes beyond the confines of the natural world exists, or can be verified. In other words, they are affirming that A is true, yet they are denying miracles in B, even though the belief in A, by extension, confirms that B cannot be true in the sense that miracles cannot happen or be proven. Yet if the supernatural exists, that at least provides the possibility that miracles and other supernatural occurrences exist.

Many might immediately protest this reasoning and accuse me of opening the door for false miracles and giving validity to supposed miracles found in false religions. On the contrary, I am simply skimming the surface at this point. If B is false because A is true, then miracles have the possibility of happening, and then can be studied, and therefore some validity can be given as to whether or not they actually happened. To give an example: I believe in God, and I believe God performs miracles - but when miracles that supposedly happen at a Benny Hinn event are proven false time and time again with medical evidence and background checks of the supposedly healed, I can safely say that the miracles are false. Likewise, if I believe in the one true God of Christianity, then miracles attributed to false gods such as those in Hinduism, Islam or otherwise can be dismissed based on our presuppositions. This argument is merely meant to give validity to the idea of miracles, not to affirm miracles in toto.

In order for a person to uphold both A and B, they have to either admit to deism or some form of dualism: deism in the sense that they believe in a god, but he is a passive, absent one; dualism in the sense that there is a supernatural world, but this supernatural world will have nothing whatsoever to do with creation. Whether the person directly confesses one belief or the other, they will be separating themselves from orthodox, historical Christianity.