Do you believe in miracles (earthly ones)?

Time to Read: Rejoice that you can

Time to Listen: 3 Minutes 43 seconds


Do you believe in miracles (earthly ones)?

Let’s start by defining a miracle – A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment seems to be the most common definition. Divine intervention gets a mention in some definitions, hence “earthly” in the question?

So, what constitutes highly improbable or extraordinary?

What do you think?

Let’s start with lightning – the chances of being struck by lightning in the UK are 3 million to 1 against – you have more chance of winning the lottery…

OK – let’s move to the States and enter the Powerball lottery – chances against winning the jackpot are 175 million to 1 against, so small a chance that it is difficult for me to grasp.

For the definition of an earthly miracle – what shall we say?

1 in a billion?

Not enough?

1 in a trillion?

Still not a “miracle?”

OK, let’s jump to an extreme – what about 1 in 400 trillion times? (4×10 to the power of 14)

Come on, even the most sceptical of you must buy into that ridiculous, impossible extreme that basically means such an event would never happen.

There is one such event that has these odds, odds that Scientist Richard Dawkins (and you can’t get less “divine” than he) says are so great, that this event has no chance of happening. No scientific chance whatsoever.

And that event is…

Being a positive, optimistic sort of guy, I often talk about death, and how important it is to ensure you have no regrets in your final few moments on this earth.

And then I read this:

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds.
Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder 

From a real, a scientific and a statistical point of you – you do not exist.

And, you do – which makes you a miracle.

So, do you believe in miracles (earthly ones)?

Or, in other words, do you believe in you? 

With my love and best wishes

David

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14 Comments

  • naked leader

    Some of the messages we have received by email, in response to Do you believe in miracles (earthly ones)?…

    “Brilliant newsletter this week..thank you David”

    “I just read your ‘Do you believe in miracles (earthly ones)?’
    Really nice David, while scientific its actually very spiritual and something which resonates for me.
    Your right we are each incredible blessed to have been given our brief moment in the sun.”

    “Fantastic – well done!”

    “I saw your note below and got reminded of this little video. Aisha who speaks here is the daughter of a very close friend. I hope you enjoy this. Its 8mins 33seconds long….so longer than most of your messages!…”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFExgTJzEV4&feature=share&list=PL036C0A9EF828F11

    Thank you to all

  • Marcus Adams

    This is amazing!
    I believe in miracles, and I always believed the birth of my daughter was a miracle.
    This has made me realise that actually, yes, this was true.
    Life is a miracle!

  • Harry Peake

    Miracles are there to be had. The miners who were rescued in Mexico etc, it happens all the time if you look hard enough, and we have to believe in them, in some cases, it’s the only hope we have.

  • “Life is the wish that already came true”

  • Maureen

    That’s great Mike. So now you have to have another wish!

  • jackie witney

    love this weeks David

    “Or, in other words, do you believe in you?” – Believe in yourself and then so will others.

    And yes we are the privileged few, Richard Dawkins words have really got me thinking

  • naked leader

    There is such great satisfaction helping and seeing others grow in confidence, and belief in the miracle that is them.
    There will be plenty of tips and advice on how to do just that at this years coaching conference, which is themed coaching for a diverse workforce.
    More details

  • Christian Moss

    Growing in confidence is something you have to do yourself.
    Fair enough, you can help others in a small way but they must be the ones to take that on board.

    • jackiewitney

      Absolutely agree no one ever does anything unless they choose to.
      I believe though, through experiences that you can help others in a BIG way rather than a small way, by encouraging, noticing, praising them, and providing opportunity.
      People who have been treated badly by others will more likely have less confidence than those who haven’t.

  • Graham Stagg

    Miracles are only for believers.
    If you don’t believe, miracles will never happen for you.
    It’s all in the mind.
    I believed a miracle would happen one day and it has.
    The gift of life is certainly one of those.

  • Ethan Ross

    People can believe in miracles although they rarely happen.
    Botham’s Ashes in 1981 was perhaps an example of one happening but i think the word miracle over-rates the case in a lot of situations.
    Is something really a miracle?
    A miracle cure?
    If we had miracles that were worth having nobody would ever have to die.

  • Thomas Frith

    It’s all relative. One in 10 could be a miracle if you are taking about one thing and one in a million could be in another context.
    If you won the lottery and you had been given a 1 in 10 chance of winning you would still think it a miracle if you won.
    Those who have babies when they told they can’t have one think it’s a miracle when they do.
    Actually it’s just a scientific fact that they still can, there’s a slim hope.
    A miracle can be anything you want it to be.

  • Francis Greve

    The powerball lottery. Those odds sound generous!!

  • Daniel Terat

    It’s very thought provoking to think that we are going to die because we are lucky enough to have been born.
    Here’s a fact.
    More people have died in history than have been alive today.
    They were the fortunate ones too.

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