February 06, 2003

Miracles
Nothing minute at Minute Particulae - his latest discussion on miracles with this quote from Stanley Jaki is interesting:

They [miracles] represent the challenge of external reality, not of axioms of logic. That true miracles are never coercive, whatever their occasional impact on skeptics and scoffers, is their chief recommendation. A dispensation would never be truly divine that would take man's freedom away because such a dispensation would not also be fully human...

Jaki appears to imply that the impact of miracles on skeptics and scoffers is a secondary effect, but I thought it was the effect in the Old & New Testaments. Miracles in the bible were accepted as proof of authority. The test of prophets in the OT was, well, prophecy and miracles. Jesus said, "believe because of the signs and wonders" if you must. And more to the point, St. Paul certainly would seem to have had his freedom impinged upon, as did Jonah, and numerous others. I'm okay with saying that "human freedom will NORMALLY not be compromised". Of course the way around it is that Jaki could mean it as an "all or none" - either we have no freedom or all freedom, which is not the way I thought it worked. (Not that I'm arguing with Jaki; he's brilliant and I'm not. I'm just trying to understand that statement).

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