Miracles happen in every context–secular and religious–and should be celebrated wherever they take place. They are not proof of a belief system. If we choose to belief in one belief system on the basis of its miracles, we should belief in all religions and atheism. A miracle is simply a phenomenon that’s positive and unexplained. Claiming you should subscribe to worldview because of “miracles” is a way teachers often trap people into letting go of their critical thinking. This is the basis of so many cults and negative decisions smart people have made, like getting martyred, quitting a job, or even flying a plane into a building.

Miracles don’t prove anything, but they are often claimed as proof of an entire worldview by religious people. Even the bible instructs its followers to reject teachings contrary to its gospel message that come with “lying signs and wonders” (yet it also frequently implores people to believe its claims based on its miracles). Belief in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is central to Christianity. I have no problem with this, though I doubt it happened. Let’s hypothetically say Jesus did rise from the dead. That would never prove (or disprove) hell, or that the earth has four corners (a flat earth is the biblical worldview), or that anything Jesus said is true. If I die and come back to life and tell you that 1+1 = 15, I would still be wrong. What we say still has to make sense. You can do all the miracles in the world and still have your entire intellectual work ahead of you

All religions make miraculous claims. People within a religion are often certain their religion is true because they have experienced or heard about miracles. Missionaries are convinced of their faith because of miracles. (However, I have seen that many people believe in miracles based solely on “testimonies,” or claim healing prematurely based on “faith.” Many miracle stories are questionable, and often the people claiming belief in them are uncertain about whether they really happened). Perhaps there is some correlation between confidence (faith), positive emotion, and “healing”–but to go from this to belief in an entire religion is a huge jump. What about the miracles of Islam? Hinduism? Spontaneous remission of disease in hospitals among secular people? Why don’t we believe in all these worldviews because of their miracles? What about healings people claim to have had while being abducted by aliens?

I am not concerned with the belief that miracles happen; we know they do. A miracle is simply a phenomenon that’s positive and unexplained. I am concerned with the idea that you should believe a teaching based on the existence of miracles. It’s dangerous. There are plenty reasons to be skeptical about the miracles of the Bible (some are clearly myths). There are many reasons not to accept falsehoods or gross immoralities based on the possibility that some kind of miracle might have taken place in biblical times. Miracles happen in every religion and in secular contexts all the time. Let’s be grateful and keep thinking critically.