Dio dialoga con noi: miracoli e preghiere

Abbiamo visto che probabilmente esiste un Dio, che probabilmente coincide con il Dio cristiano e che, anche se parliamo di un Dio d’amore, la presenza del male sulla terra è giustificato. Un Dio del genere probabilmente ci starà vicino facendosi uomo, allevierà la nostra condizione, ci indicherà un modello di perfezione conservandolo intatto nel tempo. Ma come renderà viva la sua presenza?

In altri termini, Dio interagisce con noi?

Sembrerebbe di sì, altrimenti che senso avrebbero preghiere e miracoli?

… if there is a God, who, being perfectly good, will love his creatures, one would expect him to interact with us occasionally more directly on a personal basis, rather than merely through the natural order…

La risposta divine alle nostre preghiere è parsimoniosa; ecco perché…

… answer our prayers and to meet our needs. He will not, however, intervene in the natural order at all often, for, if he did, we would not be able to predict the consequences of our actions…

Dio non vuole disturbare la conoscenza umana dell’ordine naturale attraverso interventi miracolosi frequenti che lo turbino.

Dio interviene nel mondo attraverso i miracoli. Definizione…

…A miracle is a violation or suspension of natural laws, brought about by God…

Quando siamo di fronte ad un miracolo? Ci sono dei parametri per capirlo, la conoscenza pregressa è essenziale. Facciamo un esempio…

… we ourselves might have apparently seen someone levitate (that is, rise in the air, not as a result of strings or magnets or any other known force for which we have checked). Many witnesses, proved totally trustworthy on other occasions where they would have had no reason to lie, might report having observed such a thing. There might even be traces in the form of physical effects which such an event would have caused… But against all this there will still be the background knowledge of what are the laws of nature, in this case the laws of gravity…

Fa parte della conoscenza pregressa anche ritenere che probabilmente esiste un Dio e che ha ragioni per intervenire nel mondo.

Scoprire un miracolo richiede un’opera investigativa che coinvolge conoscenza dei fatti e delle anime…

… Note that in all such cases what we are doing is to seek the simplest theory of what happened in the past which leads us to account for the data (what I have here called the detailed historical evidence), and which fits in best with our background knowledge…

Molto probabilmente dei miracoli reali sono davvero accaduti…

… I am, however, inclined to think that we do have enough historical evidence of events occurring contrary to natural laws of a kind which God would have reason to bring out to show that probably some of them (we do not know which) are genuine miracles… (See for example, the cure of the Glasgow man from cancer described in D. Hickey and G. Smith, Miracle (1978), or some of the cases discussed in Rex Gardiner, Healing Miracles, (1986)… Or, rather, we have enough detailed historical evidence in some such cases given that we have a certain amount of background evidence to support the claim that there is a God, able and willing to intervene in history…

Forse domani saremo smentiti, tuttavia, un investigatore razionale deve puntare sull’opzione più probabile al momento…

… It is so often said in such cases that we ‘may be mistaken’. New scientific evidence may show that the event as reported was not contrary to natural laws… Maybe. But the rational enquirer in these matters, as in all matters, must go on the evidence available…

Gli storici dicono di lavorare senza assunzioni religiose, e nel dire questo si vedono come neutrali: sbagliato! Fare come se i miracoli non ci fossero significa di fatto assumere una posizione anti-religiosa…

… Historians often affirm that, when they are investigating particular claims about past events important to religious traditions—for example, about what Jesus did and what happened to him—they do so without making any religious or anti-religious assumptions. In practice most of them do not live up to such affirmations. Either they heavily discount such biblical claims as that Jesus cured the blind on the grounds that such things do not happen…

La conoscenza pregressa, e quindi anche tutto l’apparato di argomenti del catechismo, deve essere assunto anche dall’investigatore

… But what needs to be appreciated is that background evidence ought to influence the investigator—as it does in all other areas of enquiry. Not to allow it to do so is irrational…

Attenzione: la presenza probabile di miracoli è un’ ulteriore indizio della presenza divina…

… The existence of detailed historical evidence for the occurrence of violations of natural laws of a kind which God, if there is a God, would have had reason to bring about is itself evidence for the existence of God…

Di solito, a questo punto, di grida all’argomento circolare: si indaga sui miracoli assumendo Dio e si rinforza la fede in Dio assumendo il miracolo.

Non è così, questa analogia lo dimostra…

… Consider, by analogy, a detective investigating a crime and considering the hypothesis that Jones committed the crime. Some of his clues will be evidence for the occurrence of some event, an event which, if it occurred, would provide evidence in its turn for the hypothesis that Jones committed the crime. The former might, for example, be the evidence of witnesses who claim to have seen Jones near the scene of the crime. Even if Jones was near the scene of the crime, that is in its turn on its own fairly weak evidence that he committed the crime. Much more evidence is needed. But because the testimony of witnesses is evidence for Jones having been near the scene of the crime, and Jones having been near the scene is some evidence that he committed it, the testimony of the witnesses is nevertheless some (indirect) evidence for his having committed the crime. Likewise, evidence of witnesses who claim to observe a violation of natural laws is indirect evidence for the existence of God, because the occurrence of such violations would be itself more direct evidence for the existence of God. If the total evidence becomes strong enough, then it will justify asserting that God exists…

Una ragione per l’intervento divino nella storia: fornire una rilevazione più completa.

Dio guarda l’uomo, lo vede più debole di quanto credeva e lo aiuta.

Cio’ comporta un Dio diverso rispetto a quello della scolastica, un Dio che vede la sua onniscienza limitata dalla libertà umana; in altre parole, la libertà radicale dell’uomo sorprende Dio che modifica i suoi piani.

Questo genere di intervento riguarda un po’ tutte le religioni monoteiste.

Come giudicare le diverse rivelazioni?…

… How are we to judge between these competing claims? In two ways. First, by the plausibility on other grounds of what they claim to be the central revealed doctrines…

Una rivelazione è più attendibile se si presenta con la firma di Dio. Il miracolo è una firma divina…

… The point of revelation is to tell things too deep for our unaided reason to discover. What we need also is some guarantee of a different kind that what is claimed to be revealed really comes from God. To take an analogy, non-scientists cannot test for themselves what physicists tell them about the constitution of the atom… In the case of a purported revelation from God, that guarantee must take the form of a violation of natural laws which culminates and forwards the proclamation of the purported revelation… God’s signature…

La rivelazione cristiana è quella più intimamente legata al miracolo. Prendiamo la rivelazione induista, cosa manca?…

… Eastern religions (e.g. Hinduism) sometimes claim divine interventions, but not ones in historical periods for which they can produce many witnesses or writers who have talked to the witnesses…

Ebrei

… Judaism claims divine interventions connected especially with Moses and the Exodus from Egypt, our information about them was written down long after the events…

Rivelazione cristiana e resurrezione di un uomo…

… The Christian religion, by contrast, was founded on the purported miracle of the Resurrection of Jesus. If this event happened in anything like the way the New Testament books record it as the coming to life of a man dead by crucifixion thirty-six hours earlier, it clearly involved the suspension of natural laws, and so, if there is a God, was brought about by him, and so was a miracle… Here we have a serious historical claim of a great miracle for which there is a substantial evidence…

Per calcolare le probabilità di questo miracolo bisogna tenere a mente alcuni punti cardine, innanzitutto la conoscenza pregressa… 

… The first point is that it is a mark of rationality to take background knowledge—other evidence about whether there is a God able and willing to intervene in history—into account…

In altri termini: non ha nessun senso chiedersi se il sig. Gesù è risorto senza prima essersi chiesti se esiste Dio eccetera, eccetera. L’indagine va fatta con ordine!

Secondo punto: la plausibilità. Avrebbe senso il miracolo la cui esistenza stiamo valutando?…

… The second is that, given that God does have reason to intervene in history, partly in order to reveal truths about himself, evidence for the truth of the Resurrection must include the plausibility…

Per esempio, l’incarnazione di Dio ha senso: un Dio buono vuole stare il più vicino possibile a chi soffre…

… the sort of reason I have in mind may be illustrated very briefly in the case of the Incarnation… A good parent who has to make his child endure hardship for the sake of some greater good will often choose voluntarily to endure such hardship along with the child in order to express solidarity with him and to show him how to live in difficult circumstances. For example, if the child needs to have a plain diet for the sake of his health, the parent may voluntarily share such a diet…

Terzo punto: bisogna valutare le alternative. Possiamo anche essere insoddisfatti della nostra ipotesi ma se è la migliore che passa il convento va presa per buona…

… Thirdly, the claims of the Christian revelation must be compared with those of other religions. If there is reason (of intrinsic plausibility, or historical evidence for a foundation miracle) to suppose that God has revealed contrary things in the context of another religion, that again is reason to suppose that the Christian revelation is not true, and so that its founding event did not occur…

Prendiamo ad esempio la dottrina del Paradiso

… My own view—to repeat—is that none of the great religions can make any serious claim on the basis of particular historical evidence for the truth of their purported revelations, apart from the Christian religion… One item of purported revelation common to Western religions (though not taught by all branches of Judaism) is the doctrine of life after death… This doctrine seems to me intrinsically plausible—a perfectly good God might be expected in the end to respect our choice as to the sort of person we choose to be and the sort of life we choose to lead…

Ma Dio non interagisce solo con “gli uomini” in generale, lo fa anche con i singoli. Prendiamo il caso delle preghiere

… He has reason, as we have seen, to interact in the public world—occasionally making a difference to it in response to our prayers for particular needs…

Anche la libertà radicale del singolo rende l’uomo sorprendente e Dio voglioso di rispondere a certe preghiere.

Prendiamo poi il fenomeno delle apparizioni.

Alcune sono verosimili ma altre volte, specie se si presentano in massa, lasciano dei dubbi. Ricordiamoci allora che l’apparizione puo’ essere anche un fenomeno interiore: reale, miracolosa ma interiore. Questa sua dimensione non ne diminuisce l’importanza…

… We may describe our experiences (perceptions) of things either in terms of what they are of; or—being careful in case we may be mistaken—in terms of what they seem or appear (general words)… An apparent experience (apparent in the epistemic sense) is a real experience… My apparent perception of the desk is a real perception if the desk causes (by reflecting them) light rays to land on my eyes… Now it is evident that, rightly or wrongly, it has seemed (in the epistemic sense) to millions and millions of humans that at any rate once or twice in their lives they have been aware of God and his guidance…

Un libro con il giusto approccio su un tema tanto delicato…

… David Hay, Religious Experience Today (1990)…

Ricordiamo il già citato principio di credulità: quel che sembra, è, fino a prova contraria…

… They may be mistaken, but that is the way it has seemed to them. Now it is a basic principle of rationality, which I call the principle of credulity, that we ought to believe that things are as they seem to be…

Senza il principio di credulità non potremmo stare al mondo, e non parlo solo delle persone religiose: è un principio razionale a tutti gli effetti…

…  it is important to realize that the rational person applies the principle of credulity before he knows what other people experience…

E’ vero, alcune persone sono scettiche per natura. Ma ricordiamo che ci sono anche persone daltoniche per natura: ognuno parte da com’è e deve poi indagare in buona fede: il daltonico si metterà gli occhiali e lo scettico pure…

… If some people do not have these experiences, that suggests that they are blind to religious realities—just as someone’s inability to see colours…

Sintesi…

… So in summary in the case of religious experiences, as in the case of all other experiences, the onus is on the sceptic to give reason for not believing what seems to be the case. The only way to defeat the claims of religious experience will be to show that the strong balance of evidence is that there is no God…

Dubbio: ma solo i religiosi hanno esperienze religiose.

Non è del tutto vero. In ogni caso: solo chi sa cos’è un telefono vede il telefono nella stanza.

Esempio

… a famous story of someone who could not recognize an experience of God for what it was until he was told something about God, see the story of the child Samuel in the Temple…

Tesi:

… I suggest that the overwhelming testimony of so many millions of people to occasional experiences of God must, in the absence of counter-evidence of the kind analysed, be taken as tipping the balance of evidence decisively in favour of the existence of God

 miracoli

richard swinburne: is jesus god?

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