A miracle is what is not naturally possible. It is a supernatural occurrence. It is paranormal.
Religion uses miracles as evidence for the truth of its claims.
Miracles are events that seem to be against nature or the way natural law usually runs. In other words, they cannot be explained by nature. Examples are the Blessed Virgin Mary appearing to children, the unexplained cure of incurable illness, blood coming out of nowhere on Catholic communion wafers, the sun spinning at Fatima in Portugal in 1917 and most importantly Jesus Christ coming back to life after being dead nearly three days. It is thought that only God can do these things.
Religion contends that God has set up laws of nature. At certain times, he will do things such as make a dead man live that seem to go against these laws. Why the change? Because he wants to use the event to say something religiously significant. These events are called miracles. In other words he uses a miracle as a sign that he exists and as a teaching tool. The distinction between miracle and magic is arbitrary. When God turns a prince into a frog it is a miracle. When a witch does it, it is magic.

One attempt to make a difference between miracle and magic is this. A miracle happens to promote a historical evidence based religion which God has guided though prophets and scriptures. Magic is fringe. It is confined to a few cranks and shamans or whoever.

This attempt is nonsense - every new religion is seen as crazy by nearly everybody and is considered fringe.

A fringe religion surely may have real miracles.  Why should it be about the religion being mainstream?  One big religion may see another big religion as NOT mainstream.  If evidence matters the size of the religion does not matter.

Hinduism is one religion but is made up of cells - it is a pile of sects coming together.

It is not the result of the miracle that should count as making it ridiculous. It is the power used. It's a bigger miracle to turn bread into Jesus without any change being perceptible than it is to turn a prince into a frog. It takes more power. The Catholic Mass where bread allegedly becomes Jesus surpasses any fairy story.
All miracles are silly beyond imagination.

When miracles are so ridiculous they make us less sure that a person found guilty of murder really did it for a demon or something could have pretended to be him and did it. That is bad for the surer you are of something so serious the better and the fairer it is to him. And the more outrageous the miracle is the worse the problem gets. How can miracles be expressions of the love of God when they do that?


To believe in miracles is to encourage the vile superstition of magic.
Further Reading ~
A Christian Faith for Today, W Montgomery Watt, Routledge, London, 2002
Answers to Tough Questions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press, Bucks, 1980
Apparitions, Healings and Weeping Madonnas, Lisa J Schwebel, Paulist Press, New York, 2004
A Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Veritas, Dublin, 1995
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Enchiridion Symbolorum Et Definitionum, Heinrich Joseph Denzinger, Edited by A Schonmetzer, Barcelona, 1963
Looking for a Miracle, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
Miracles, Rev Ronald A Knox, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1937
Miracles in Dispute, Ernst and Marie-Luise Keller, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1969
Lourdes, Antonio Bernardo, A. Doucet Publications, Lourdes, 1987
Medjugorje, David Baldwin, Catholic Truth Society, London, 2002
Miraculous Divine Healing, Connie W Adams, Guardian of Truth Publications, KY, undated
New Catholic Encyclopaedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc, Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Philosophy of Religion for A Level, Anne Jordan, Neil Lockyer and Edwin Tate, Nelson Throne Ltd, Cheltenham, 2004
Raised From the Dead, Father Albert J Hebert SM, TAN, Illinois 1986
Science and the Paranormal, Edited by George O Abell and Barry Singer, Junction Books, London, 1981
The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan, Headline, London, 1997
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996
The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000
The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief Volume 1, Gordon Stein, Editor, Prometheus Books, New York, 1985
The Hidden Power, Brian Inglis, Jonathan Cape, London, 1986
The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994
The Stigmata and Modern Science, Rev Charles Carty, TAN, Illinois, 1974
Twenty Questions About Medjugorje, Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D. Pangaeus Press, Dallas, 1999
Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer, Freeman, New York, 1997


The Problem of Competing Claims by Richard Carrier