Earman and Oderberg on miracles

Bill Vallicella quotes John Earman:

...if a miracle is a violation of a law of nature, then whether or not the violation is due to the intervention of the Deity, a miracle is logically impossible since, whatever else a law of nature is, it is an exceptionless regularity.

Well, maybe, and maybe not. But from an Aristotelian-Thomistic (A-T) point of view, a miracle is not to be understood as “a violation of a law of nature” in the first place. That’s just yet one more modern philosophical error alongside all the others. For a useful discussion of how A-T does understand miracles, see pp. 148-9 of David Oderberg’s Real Essentialism, available here through the magic of Google Books. (For the whole book, you’ll need to shell out a mere $31.16 at Amazon, which if you haven’t already you should do at once.) As Oderberg’s discussion implies, Bill is mistaken in attributing the definition in question to Aquinas, whose actual view (I would argue) is that miracles are suspensions of the laws of nature (as Oderberg puts it) rather than violations.
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