Why do religious people (or any people) consider good conclusions to bad situations to be miracles? Going about daily life on an average scale free of tragedy is not a rare, precious thing. It is the default. The real "miracle", or "anti-miracle", is that such a tragic and terrible thing happened in the first place. The odds are against planes crashing, being held at gunpoint, or being attacked by a shark. Just because one of these life-threatening situations ends in survival does not make it a good thing. The fact that such a thing happened in the first place is what is rare and out of the ordinary. This is more suited to being called a "miracle" or an anti-miracle in that it is a negative occurrence and not a positive one. Surviving falling out of a twentieth-story window is not good; the fact that one fell out of the window in the first place is bad.

Believing that a god forced this tragic, improbable, and dangerous situation on you just to "spare" your life with a denouement of survival is ridiculous. Such an occurrence is a not a net gain, but a net loss. While countless other people go about their usual lives without being trapped in a burning building or falling out of a rollercoaster, you defy the odds and become the one who does. If a "miracle" is a rare good thing, an anti-miracle is its evil twin. Being the only survivor of a plane crash that killed 200 people is not a "miracle", it is an anti-miracle.

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Tags: anti-miracles, faith, miracles, survival, tragedy

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Comment by Josh Gough on June 3, 2014 at 1:12pm

I've never thought of the term anti-miracle before. Interesting way of putting this.

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