Joe Humphreys | The Irish Times
What makes a miracle? A glance at media output suggests we are surrounded by the supernatural. We have miracle foods, miracle drugs and miracle babies. According to the Central Bank, Ireland is a “Phoenix miracle” for bouncing back from economic disaster, while the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has pleaded for miraculous intervention in EU-UK negotiations.
“Juncker says miracles are needed for progress on Brexit talks,” ran a perfectly serious headline in The Guardian.
The overuse of the m-word serves to highlight what truly defines a miracle—because if it is to have any meaning it must signify more than just an unlikely event. A miracle importantly assumes the hidden hand of a greater, benevolent power, as Yujin Nagasawa, professor of philosophy at University of Birmingham and author of Miracles: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press), points out.