One of the difficulties about discussing miracles is the problem of definition- there is no agreement about what word 'miracle' means or what can be considered a miracle. Various definitions by philosophers have been suggested:
1) a miracle is an event which violates the laws of nature and which is brought about by the action of God
Examples of such miracles- Jesus walking on water, turning water into wine, healing paralysed man, rising from the dead. Modern examples might include someone being cured of terminal illness at Lourdes.
Problems- too narrow, not all miracles are violations of laws of nature, often are amazing coincidences that are deemed to have religious significance and to be considered a miracle it is the religious significance which is important.
This definition shows a God who intervenes in the world and interacts with people and is involved in creation.
2) A miracle is an event that has religious significance
An event does not need to have broken laws of nature to be regarded as a miracle but reveals something about God. An everyday event such as birth of a baby can be seen as miraculous if it shows something to the believer about God or the wonder of the world.
This definition does not require an interventonist god (one who acts in the world) but sees miracles as events which reveal divine purpose and does not require belief in a god who intervenes occassionally to help some favoured individuals.
R.F Holland- miracle is nothing more than an extraordinary coincidence that is seen in a religious way. Example he gives- train driver has heart attack and falls onto brake on the train 'miraculously' saving child stuck on train tracks. Hollands defintion is dependent on personal interpretation which is subjective and varies from person to person. What one might interpret as a miracle, another might interpret as coincidence.
3) A miracle is an event caused by God
This is the view of Thomas Aquinas who defined miracles as 'those...