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The Power and Prison of Miracles 4 May 2009

Posted by MOZAFFAR in Misc.
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Much of religion involves the miraculous.  In speaking of the miraculous, we speak of anomalies.  Specifically, we often speak of two anomalies.  The first is the anomaly of habit.  The second is the anomaly of chance.

That the prophet Moses -p- and his people, while escaping the clutches of the tyrannical Pharaoh,  reached the sea, and after Moses -p- put his staff to the ground, and the sea split into two mountains of water, is a miracle.

But, which part of it is the miracle? 

If Moses -p- and his followers swam from one side of the sea to the other and thus escaped the Pharaoh, would that be any less of a miracle?

Or, let us make it easier:  if the sea parted into two mountains of water, on a weekly basis, would that be any less of a miracle? No it would not.  Because it would be an anomaly of habit.  Much of science is the study of the universe’s habits.   Thus, we might regard those events that seem to contradict our understandings of the universe’s habits, as miracles.

And, that is a problem.  It is a problem because it turns our attention away from miraculousness of the habitual.  Is the seemingly mundane any less of a miracle? It is a serious problem when our faith and belief rests on the anomalous.  Look to the habitual.

Is the habitual any less miraculous than the anomalous?  Is the birth of a baby any less of a miracle? Is the complexity and function of the human eye or the ear or hand any less miraculous?

Let us make it simpler.  Is a blade of grass not miraculous?  Look at its color, its textual, its reproduction.  Then, look deeper at its structure and complexity.  Then, look deeper at its role in the greater cycles of nature.

The other problem is the problem of chance.

To be continued, insha Allah.

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