|I think people believe that because that is included in the definition of a miracle--a happening that does not follow natural laws.
That's the commonly-accepted definition, yeah. (Actually, being (as previously mentioned) nasty and maladjusted, it kinda peeves me when people refer to events such as the birth of a baby or rainbows or pwetty fwowers as miracles, because technically they're not. Amazing, awe-inspiring, cool--sure; miracles--no).
|My question is specifically about the applying logical law to a religion that includes miracles. If laws are universal, then how are miracles explained?
Because physical laws are different to logical laws.
Logical laws are by definition absolute--as in, they cannot possibly not
be true. There's no particular reason to think that natural laws are absolute, even though they are obviously far-reaching and generally consistent. The Christian view is that logical laws stem from God's very nature, so that even He cannot do something 'illogical' (ie. nonsensical). Omnipotence does not mean God can create a square circle, which would violate the law of identity, or be both God and not-God at the same time and in the same sense, which would violate the law of non-contradiction.
On the other hand, physical laws are not an integral part of God's being, although they do stem from His sense of logic and order (and creativity and so on) to a large degree. God made the physical laws ex nihilo
, and is not bound by them--therefore, if He wants to bend or break one or two--by walking on water, making the walls fall down or raising the dead, for instance--He merrily does so without feeling bad about it.
|The truth value of a statement depends on the assumptions, axioms, and observational data that you base your logic on. It is perfectly possible for two people to disagree on the "truth" of something even if they both follow perfect logical reasoning, because they have started from a different set of first principles.
Of course it's possible for them to disagree
, but so? Even--especially--first principles can be examined by logic for validity.
|There is also more to the concept of "validity" when it comes to religion than just the question of whether it is "true" or not. For example, does it provide a measurable benefit to the people who practice it? To society as a whole?
Ah, kind of a Gattaca validity? OK. It's unfortunate that logical terms are also normal everyday-language words, makes for confusion. Of course, that line of thinking also kinda begs the question--saying 'X worldview is good for society because of Y and Z' implies that Y and Z are ultimately 'good' in some sense, which is again a religious/metaphysical statement. See Point 1: just because most people would agree that, say, lack of poverty is a Good Thing doesn't mean that is necessarily is
; that statement must somehow be justified!