The Miracle Myth: Why Belief in the Resurrection and the Supernatural Is Unjustified

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It is also, he insists, immoral. To believe that Jesus rose from the dead, Shapiro says, is a failure of both reason and ethics. He directs the book toward those who still believe, in an effort to get them to convert. One imagines Shapiro showing up at a church and pressing copies of his book on unsuspecting Christians.

Is It Immoral to Believe in Miracles?

Shapiro makes a strong case that a belief in miracles is unreasonable, but he seems unwilling or perhaps unable to provide actual evidence for his claim that something about a belief in miracles is immoral. Imagine if a bunny who was dead suddenly came back to life. What is the cause of this bunny resurrection?

Perhaps an alien shot a bunny resurrection ray at earth.

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Despite the repetition, or perhaps because of it, the presentation is less than convincing. Throughout the book, Shapiro suggests that people with expertise, people with standing—people, in short, with power—should be believed, while those without it should be mistrusted. And, as with the church, that argument from authority raises uncomfortable questions.


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When the poor say that they are harassed by police, for example, do we credit them? Or do we dismiss them because, for the well-educated, harassment is an unusual occurrence?

Is It Immoral to Believe in Miracles? | Religion Dispatches

Science and reason, he felt, were not quite as systemic as their proponents liked to believe. Though miracles are immensely improbable, people have embraced them for millennia, seeing in them proof of a supernatural world that resists scientific explanation. Helping us to think more critically about our belief in the improbable, The Miracle Myth casts a skeptical eye on attempts to justify belief in the supernatural, laying bare the fallacies that such attempts commit.

Through arguments and accessible analysis, Larry Shapiro sharpens our critical faculties so we become less susceptible to tales of myths and miracles and learn how, ultimately, to evaluate claims regarding vastly improbable events on our own.

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The Miracle Myth: Why Belief in the Resurrection and the Supernatural Is Unjustified

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