This chapter looks critically at the prevailing modern understanding of miracle, adapted from David Hume, where a miracle is a transgression by the Deity of a law of nature. I suggest that this stock understanding informs the widespread secular naturalism of our day, where the metaphysical concept of laws of nature becomes, in effect, the benchmark of reality. I question the utility of this view for establishing a meaningful view of nature and of the natural sciences, and look again at David Hume’s philosophy of induction. This leads me to highlight the ‘uniformity of nature’ as a more flexible concept by which to unify the sciences and to define miracle. I use the example of contemporary earth science to discuss how uniformity has informed scientific practice and scientific unity, and I suggest some ways in which the concept of miracle is both transformed and is transformative in this view.
|Title of host publication||Miracles|
|Subtitle of host publication||An Exercise in Comparative Philosophy of Religion|
|Editors||Karen R. Zwier, David L. Weddle, Timothy D. Knepper|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 3 Nov 2022|
|Name||Comparative Philosophy of Religion|