Friday, January 13, 2006

Secular Humanism and the Humean Treatment of Miracles

Secular Humanism Not Viable For Sundry Reasons
Secular humanism must be abandoned by serious thinkers. Secular humanism as outlined in the Humanist Manifesto I is wrongly theologically atheistic, metaphysically naturalistic, morally relativistic, and politically and economically socialist.

Dogmatic historical naturalism rules out a priori the credibility of miraculous events, but this contradicts rational and scientific thought. Being hopelessly naturalistic is not necessary for being scientific. Science's domain is not all events, but is limited to regular events. As long as theists believe that the world is orderly and regular and operates according to the law of causality, they can be scientific. The assertion that every event in nature must be considered a natural event begs the question. There is no empirical proof for this statement. Not all true explanations have to have predictive value. Philosopher David Hume assumed right off the bat that miracles are impossible, but this is fallacious. The wise thing to do is examine the evidence and see if miracles really did occur, not declare in advance that they are impossible as Hume and many other secularists, atheists, and humanists do. Atheists often say that evidence for individual events cannot be allowed unless the events are repeated. They make the special pleading that no miracle has occurred, can occur, and/or ever will occur in today's world.

Jesus Christ performed unique miracles that were instantaneous and always successful, unlike those of present-day faith (psychosomatic) healers. Biblical witnesses do not contradict each other. The number of witnesses is indeed sufficient. The witnesses were truthful, many of them displaying ultimate sincerity by dying for their beliefs. The witnesses were also not prejudiced. Reading the Gospels will actually show you that they revealed a high degree of skepticism. Jesus turned water to wine, escaped a mob, healed the sick, cleansed lepers, restored a withered hand, calmed a storm, raised the ruler's daughter, cured blindness, walked on the sea, fed five thousand, cast out demons, healed a man with dropsy, raised Lazarus from the dead after his corpse was decaying for several days, fed four thousand, healed a blind paralytic, cured epilepsy, healed an infirm woman, and restored a servant's ear, among numerous other miracles. He also rose from the dead three days after His crucifixion and appeared to many people who saw, heard, and touched Him. Jesus was not a "copycat" myth. [1]

Miracles Very Different From Magic
It is vital to distinguish miracles from magic. Miracles are under God's control, not available on command, from supernatural power, associated only with good and truth, can overpower evil, affirm Jesus is God in the flesh, and are never associated with the occult. Miraculous prophecies are always true. Magic is under human control, not available on command, from supernormal power, associated with evil and error, cannot overpower good, denies that Jesus is God in the flesh, and are often associated with the occult. Magical "prophecies" are often false. Naturalistically explainable magic fits the description of non-Christian religions' "miracles."

Metaphysical supernaturalism is true. [2]