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Miracles and Violations of Laws of Nature

Daniel Saudek

Abstract

The aim of this article is to spell out the relationship between miracles and violations of laws of nature. I argue that the former do not necessarily entail the latter, even in the case of the type of miraculous event which cannot be brought about by natural operations alone. The idea that they do is based on a deterministic assumption which is too often overlooked. The article also explores the reverse implication, i.e. the question whether violations of laws of nature entail miracles. It turns out that there are conceptual difficulties in defining what sort of events would qualify as such violations in the first place, but that a more general notion of God’s action contravening nature is viable. However, there are theological reasons against the assumption that God ever acts in this way.

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