Now, although Lewis, of course, did not think that nature was a closed system inaccessible to any action from outside it, and in fact, his entire book was written to argue the opposite point of view, I hope to show that this continual usage of nature as “total system” prejudices the argument against miracles, at least subconsciously, by suggesting that nature is a closed system, or at least a system which ordinarily is blocked to outside entry or interference. Thus, David Hume’s unfortunately classic definition— “A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature . . .”6—is premised on this understanding of a total system ruled by strict causal laws. I will posit a different way of looking at nature based on a critical distinction made by St. Thomas Aquinas, which, I will argue, can help us make a more effective argument for the possibility of miracles. Before we do this, however, it will be necessary first to revisit briefly the philosophical origins of the concept, and then examine the varying, but related, meanings which nature has.

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