[Article by Mark I Rasskazov, Editor in Chief of the Transegoist Daily Journal. Syndicated.]
The Metaphysics of the Miraculous
My metaphysical model is monism, which means that I believe that there is one reality, and that everything in it is subject to a single set of physical laws (the Standard Model of Physics — until something better comes along). Now, most monists do not believe in miracles. Why? Because the term “miracle” typically denotes something which is supernatural — i.e., something which defies the laws of physics; something which requires that we appeal to metaphysical dualism: the idea that there are two planes of existence; a physical one, and a separate one, a spiritual one, which can override the physical.
The majority of people who believe in the existence of a Deity (or deities) accept some dualistic metaphysical model. I believe in God, and I accept a monistic model. I also believe in miracles. Is this a contradiction? No; but I’ve had to manipulate the concept of “miracle” somewhat.
It has been said: “That which seems miraculous is actually merely the unexplained.”
I consider that statement to be accurate.
I add one twist:
That which is, admittedly, physically explicable, yet is clearly not coincidental must be considered to be miraculous.
The Ten Plagues of Egypt can be explained as a severe natural disaster. Does that mean that it is coincidence that it happened to occur just as the time was right for the Israelis to leave?
The parting of the Red Sea in the book of Exodus has been explained as being the result of comet activity. Does this mean that it is coincidental that it occurred just as it began to look like the children of Israel had their backs against the wall?
When the Israelis arrived at the Promised Land, on two separate occasions, the walls of a city they were attacking spontaneously crumbled at a strategically advantageous moment. This could have easily been the result of seismic activity. Coincidence?
I think not.
What I think is that this entire universe is a magnificent machine, which operates in a flawless, albeit brutal and bittersweet manner.
God does have love for mankind. That’s not to say that He’s very nice. He’s not.
God’s miracles are physical events that He has set into motion long beforehand.
In that sense, inasmuch as God is sovereign, every waking moment that you experience is a clear and present miracle.
Do not squander the beautiful and terrifying miracle that is your life.
6 thoughts on “The Metaphysics of the Miraculous”
Or, in other words, “happenstance”.
Explain to me Christ’s Resurection.
Explain Christ feeding the multitudes with a few fish via your Non-miraculous miracles Mark.
Also explain to me how God absolutely exists within the limits of temporal reality… which had a beginning.
Did God have a choice when he created the Universe or does he not have freewill either?
I dont think the Monist position is credible.
God is a Spirit. The Bible say’s so.
Understand that that which is commonly identified as the miraculous is, inherently, the unexplained. However, I will do my best to answer your questions.
1. Christ’s resurrection: I have reason to believe that Jesus received instruction from eastern mystics from the age of 13-29. It is said that these mystics mastered the ability to cause their bodies to enter into a state of such deep sleep, that it was death by any means of measure, and recover from that. I would say that death involves a change of frequency in whatever energetic phenomenon that is responsible for our consciousness. I SPECULATE that Jesus mastered the ability control the frequency of His own identity. Which could mean, theoretically, that He could disincorporate and reincorporate at will.
2. Christ feeding the multitudes: (side note; I have, myself, witnessed a similar event on a much smaller scale) Again — PURE SPECULATION, and I don’t claim that it is anything other than that, it is possible that He controlled the energy around Him to incorporate copies of the food before Him; after all, energy and matter are two different states of the same thing. Perhaps, He knew how to manipulate energy to “photocopy” matter, if you will. Pretty neat trick, if so.
3. “Did God have a choice when he created the Universe or does he not have freewill either?” God Is. God doesn’t choose to be, He simply is. And understand; there was not a time when the universe did not exist — the very concept of sequence is tied into the nature of space-time, which arose from the universe itself. It is therefore senseless to refer to something (including God) as being “prior” to the universe, as the very concept of “prior” is tied into the nature of the universe.
4. “I dont think the Monist position is credible.” I disagree. I don’t think any other model can be thought of as credible.
5. “God is a Spirit. The Bible say’s so.” And I say that the spiritual is not separate from the physical.
I smell equivocation.
You are Re-defining what is meant by the term ‘Universe’.
Ie The way it is used by science is to describe temporal Space/time/matter as a unity, and even science now admits The universe had a beginning.
Your trick is to suggest that the Universe actually incorporates the Spiritual domain as well. You even include God within *this Universe* and as such you then say *it* has always been here. This is trickery because you very well know that if we were to agree to your definition then Dualists would begin to call themselves Monists. And *Real Monists* like Dawkins would have good grounds to accuse you of Bastardizing the English Language, because they use the term monist to distingish themselves from the dualists whom claim there is a spiritual reality. And The True definition of (Christian)Dualism is that God is not a part of the created Universe. ie They use the term dualism to make a clear distintion between the temporal universe and the Eternal spiritual domain… even though the two are not, nor were ever claimed to be *absolutely separate*… The Temporal occupys a tiny ‘portion’ of the Eternal. And this being so clearly It is not true to say there are no choices, or beginnings or endings in Eternity. And the Bible clearly teaches God at some point in eternity chose to create the Heavens and the Earth. The Bible talks about God first Planning to do so… then doing it. There is a linear sequence… First there was God only, then the Angels, then the Universe, then Mankind, then we are told he will destroy this universe and create a new one.
That God has freewill is answers one of the fundamental puzzels as to why the universe ‘poped’ into existance when it did.
^^^ I dont have time to spell check that now.
Ill do it later.
“I smell equivocation.
You are Re-defining what is meant by the term ‘Universe’.
Ie The way it is used by science is to describe temporal Space/time/matter as a unity, and even science now admits The universe had a beginning.”
The universe had a beginning. Time is part of the fabric of the universe. Because time does not exist independently of the universe, it is nonsensical to refer to something as being prior to the universe.
“Your trick is to suggest that the Universe actually incorporates the Spiritual domain as well.”
It’s no trick. I have interacted with the spiritual (I was a part of a ghost hunting team for a while). The spiritual is physically measurable.
“You even include God within *this Universe* and as such you then say *it* has always been here.”
That is inaccurate. I do not claim that God is PART of the universe; I claim that He IS the universe.
“This is trickery because you very well know that if we were to agree to your definition then Dualists would begin to call themselves Monists.”
Please elaborate. The definition of what?
“And *Real Monists* like Dawkins would have good grounds to accuse you of Bastardizing the English Language, because they use the term monist to distingish themselves from the dualists whom claim there is a spiritual reality.”
Just because I’m a monist does not mean that I am intellectually compelled to believe everything Dr. Dawkins does.
“And The True definition of (Christian)Dualism is that God is not a part of the created Universe. ie They use the term dualism to make a clear distintion between the temporal universe and the Eternal spiritual domain… even though the two are not, nor were ever claimed to be *absolutely separate*… The Temporal occupys a tiny ‘portion’ of the Eternal.”
I vehemently doubt that there is any sort of consensus on this point among the majority of Christians. To clarify — if you were to say those exact words to them, they probably wouldn’t find them disagreeable, but were you to break down the metaphysical particulars of the above statement, I think many Christians would take issue with that.
I have said, “The spiritual is a part of the physical.” What you have just said is “The physical is part of the spiritual.” That is a razor thin distinction at best. Are you a Transegoist, Mr. Wikiriwhi?
As to the distinction between the eternal and the temporal, I would say that the universe entails, in the end, two ends of a physio-spiritual spectrum — light (with its infinite, eternal properties) and decay (which is the end result of the sequential space-time experience). Light transcends the sequence.
“The Bible talks about God first Planning to do so… then doing it. There is a linear sequence… First there was God only, then the Angels, then the Universe, then Mankind, then we are told he will destroy this universe and create a new one.”
The portion of the Bible to which you refer is a staggeringly simplified version of an account that had already existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years — we know that the Sumerians and Egyptians had a similar, but much more detailed account which amounted to the same thing. I look at the creation story, and what I see is an extremely sophisticated event being explained in such a way that the child like minds of the ancient Israelites could understand.
I give you more credit than that.
But you may not be ready to hear that, just yet.