miracle
(Lat., miror, I wonder at). Augustine propounds a subjective definition of a miracle: it is ‘whatever is hard or appears unusual beyond the expectation or comprehension of the observer’. It is only our habits of mind, therefore, that prevent us from seeing the entire cosmos as the miracle that it is, and that it would appear to be to someone who could see for the first time. In the medieval period the idea arises that a miracle is something special, ‘contra consuetum cursum naturae’ (contrary to the usual course of nature). The rise of the concept of hard, mechanical laws of nature in the 17th century set the stage for the definitive account of Hume in his famous essay ‘On Miracles’ (1750): ‘A miracle may be accurately defined, a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent.’ Hume argues that it can never be reasonable to believe in such an event on the evidence of human testimony, at least when that testimony is being used in support of a system of religion. For a miracle needs to be quite outside the normal run of things, whereas human ‘knavery and folly’, the kind of thing that leads to false or misunderstood reportage, is a recognized and regular natural occurrence. So the chance of any report being due to knavery or folly is always greater than the chance of it being due to an event that is quite outside the normal run of things. Hence, they provide the better explanation of the testimony.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MIRACLE — La notion de miracle est une notion religieuse, c’est à dire que ce n’est ni un concept philosophique ni un concept scientifique. Lorsque des philosophes ou des savants, des physiciens ou des métaphysiciens, parlent du miracle, ils traitent en… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Miracle — • In general, a wonderful thing, the word being so used in classical Latin; in a specific sense, the Latin Vulgate designates by miracula wonders of a peculiar kind, expressed more clearly in the Greek text by the terms terata, dynameis, semeia,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Miracle — ist der Name von Irene Miracle (* 1954), US amerikanische Schauspielerin und Filmproduzentin Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Miracle (Bell County, Kentucky) Miracle (Lincoln County, Kentucky) Miracle Hot Springs (Kalifornien) Miracle Run (West… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • miracle — Miracle. s. m. Effet de la puissance divine contre l ordre de la nature. La resurrection du Lazare est un des grands miracles de nostre Seigneur. miracle averé. ce miracle s est fait à la veuë de toute la ville. Miracle, Se dit aussi par… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Miracle — Miracle …   Википедия

  • Miracle — Mir a*cle, n. [F., fr. L. miraculum, fr. mirari to wonder. See {Marvel}, and cf. {Mirror}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A wonder or wonderful thing. [1913 Webster] That miracle and queen of genus. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Specifically: An event or effect… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • miracle — (n.) mid 12c., a wondrous work of God, from O.Fr. miracle (11c.) miracle, story of a miracle, miracle play, from L. miraculum object of wonder (in Church Latin, marvelous event caused by God ), from mirari to wonder at, marvel, be astonished,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Miracle — «Miracle» Sencillo de Foo Fighters del álbum In Your Honor Formato CD Género(s) Post grunge Rock alternativo Discográfica RCA Records …   Wikipedia Español

  • miracle — Miracle, m. penac. Est un cas, lequel advenu ravit en admiration ceux qui le voyent ou en oyent le recit, pour en estre la cause du tout, et purement divine, et non des naturelles. Ainsi dit on, Jesus Christ, les Saints et Sainctes avoir fait de… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • miracle — [mir′ə kəl] n. [OFr < L miraculum, a strange thing, in LL(Ec), miracle < mirari, to wonder at < mirus, wonderful < IE base * (s)mei , to SMILE] 1. an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific laws and is hence… …   English World dictionary

  • miracle — m. miracle ; prodige ; merveille. « E deja li miracle di Diéu se fasien vèire. » Ch. Riéu. voir prodigi …   Diccionari Personau e Evolutiu

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”