There has been some interesting talk about miracles resulting from my recent article at Catholic Herald UK on the Shroud of Turin.

I am on the side of those who believe in the shroud’s authenticity, and I respect those who shrug their shoulders and remain agnostic.

But the ones who interest me the most are the shroud deniers. The evidence for the shroud’s authenticity, if not conclusive, is increasingly compelling. We’re at the point now where it is easier to believe in the shroud’s authenticity than to believe they could have forged it in the fourteenth century.

But none of this matters to the dogmatic shroud denier. “It is an obvious forgery!” they bellow.

But have they taken the time to examine the evidence? I don’t think so because every theory of forgery has fallen flat and flopped.

No. Instead they deny not because of any evidence, but because of their belief system. If they are logical positivists then they cannot admit any possibility that the world is an open system. Like David Hume, the world runs according to natural laws and nothing can change that. Miracles are an impossibility because for a miracle to occur there would have to be some intelligent being outside the natural order that is greater than the natural order.

Their belief system does not allow for such a being. Therefore miracles must be impossible.

The curious thing about this is that these are usually the folks who tell us how open minded they are.

I think Chesterton somewhere says that the theist can have God and nature, but the atheist can only have nature. The theist, therefore is the one who is open minded because his mind, like the universe itself, is open to other possibilities. Its an open system, so weird things can happen.

The atheist, on the other hand, has only the natural order, and not only does the blind him, it also binds him. He is chained by his narrow vision of reality.