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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What criteria would need to be satisfied in order for you to describe an event as miraculous?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (29471 points ) February 13th, 2014

I really don’t have a personal definition for miraculous. But I do have an idea of what it means to me.

Basically, for me, the idea of a miraculous event is one that defies the known laws of physics. You know those stories about some little woman lifting a car to save her child. Or even when the doctor says “remission”, but confesses no reason behind it.

Is there any circumstance that would cause you to describe an event as miraculous?

I don’t necessarily need to equate a miraculous event with a supernatural being, or god, or guardian angle. I’m quite comfortable with allowing the laws of physics to bend every once in a while without assistance from the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

If you need a supernatural being to accompany miracles, then please describe. I personally don’t see what difference it makes. If the laws of physics are suspended or bend every once in a while, and they do it on their own for no particular reason, then that’s fine. I don’t think it matters if God did it for or to you, or if blind luck, chance and chaos hiccuped in your favor. Either way, to me, it’s still a miracle.

BTW… I think the biggest miraculous event in all of history is the fact that we are here (whatever that means) and capable of sharing our thoughts with one another.

What do you think?

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9 Answers

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

Since I don’t believe in miracles, I am content to use “miraculous” to describe things that are impressive, highly enjoyable, or apparently unlikely. I use it only to describe nice things, but since you’ve asked this question I’m going to start using it as a synonym for “catastrophic”.

ucme's avatar

I’d definitely have to be very drunk for a kick off.

cookieman's avatar

Since I don’t believe in miracles, I am content to use “miraculous” to describe things that are impressive, highly enjoyable, or apparently unlikely.

This works for me.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think your reasoning is quite sound. Your definition fits mine. So I do believe in miracles, because there are a whole slew of events in everyone’s lifetime that defy rational explanation. The curse of religion has almost certainly been inflicted on us due to our need for an explanation for what we don’t understand.

flutherother's avatar

It would be unexpected and inexplicable. I’ve always assumed that miracles would be beneficial or at least neutral and so something unexpected and inexplicable and nasty wouldn’t qualify as a miracle.

Seek's avatar

I tend toward a literal definition of “miracle”.

After a lifetime of “I found a parking spot – it’s a miracle from God!” and “The baby’s green poop doesn’t mean she’s dying! Thank you Jesus!” I need a little more.

The “mom lifting a car off her child” thing isn’t a miracle. It’s a proven anatomical response to stress. Someone going into remission from cancer isn’t a miracle. Someone regrowing an amputated limb to full function would be.

tinyfaery's avatar

Anything that doesn’t follow the laws of science as we know it. And even then, a “miracle” could be a scientific fact we have yet to discover.

ETpro's avatar

I do not believe in miracles, and use other words to describe things like cancer suddenly going into complete remission. That happens routinely enough that it certainly is not miraculous. We even have a good idea of the mechanisms within the body that may be at play.

If I were to see a large mountain detach itself from the ground and float off into space, I’d class that as inexplicable, but as Arthur C. Clarke noted, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Maybe aliens were having a good laugh at my expense. Maybe I was just hallucinating. Maybe it was done with trickery. Nope, not necessarily a miracle.

I am willing to make one exception, however. It I wake up tomorrow and discover that overnight a wire transfer of One Billion Dollars came in, and the money is really mine to spend, I will call that a miracle! I may prefer to hold onto healthy skepticism, but I can be bought.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

There are way too many things or events I can call miraculous. Look above you any given day and see hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water flying overhead. Sure, science can explain how it happens but no man can do it, if man could control the process we would never have droughts or floods, would we? I start tossing bread and soon there are sever dozens of sea gulls in the air, wheeling and flying about and never have I seen a collision. I am sure if you took that many RF planes and put them in the air, even under the control of computers there would be accidents. There are events that happened in my life that would not have happened the way they happened and the time they happened which was the best time for the event to happen that I may benefit, I call that miraculous. It happens too much to be chance or a hiccup. Often it was something I prayed on, so I know it was God. When I wasn’t walking with God, those wished never showed up, even if ill timed, and certainly never at the right time.

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