One of the most bizarre aspects of serious religious devotion are routine assertions of miracles. Even the most pedestrian events are claimed to be miracles, simply because a person can impose some meaning on them, however contrived. Case in point:
Subject: My Mother
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2007 6:45 PM
Just wanted you to know
After her fight with Alzheimer’s Mother passed in the wee hours of the morning. Last night as they were giving her a pain reliever, we stepped outside and saw a miracle.
Here in Alabama, we have had some really scary weather. I forgot how dark and mean the clouds can get. The sun was setting and suddenly, for a brief moment, we had the most beautiful sunset. In Alabama, this is a rare sight. Suddenly above our heads flew 3 geese. We immediately thought that was my Mother, my Father and the hope for the future giving us a message to be strong and have faith.
Ohmigod! A beautiful sunset! That’s amazing! And wow, three geese! (I particularly love that that’s one goose too many, hence the need for a goose to represent something totally different, namely “hope for the future.” If only she had another dead relative…)
So along these lines, I propose some further miracles:
“The line was short in the grocery store when I was in a hurry last week!”
“The dog didn’t puke on the carpet during my dinner party!”
“My parents had sex at just the right time to conceive me!”
“When I turned on the water spigot, water came out!”
Then again, I’m sure that such ordinary events are routinely claimed as miracles. No reductio ad absurdem of claims to miracles is possible, as the claims of miracles are already absurd.