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By G. W. F. Hegel, Michael John Petry

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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) used to be a German thinker and an immense determine in German Idealism.

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3. Hence, God understands the universal laws of nature to be true. 4. Any event that contradicted the laws of nature would be an event God could neither will not understand. 5. What God neither wills nor understands cannot exist. 6. Hence, miracles cannot exist. The key notion is that one cannot simultaneously hold that the laws of nature are decreed by God and that exceptions to those laws are also decreed by God, because that would mean that God wills a contradiction. In response, a traditional theist might insist that God decrees not the universal laws of nature but instead those laws with “special occasions” tagged for their suspension.

Louis Wolzogen argued in 1668 for a middle way, which urged that natural knowledge or reason should guide our interpretations (when that knowledge was beyond all doubt), but it should not be allowed to touch the central mysteries of Christianity, which must be revealed to us by the Holy Spirit (see Israel 2001: 205–8). Samuel Maresius argued in 1670 that the Cartesian philosophers of the day (such as Meijer) were making difficulties where in fact there were none. The true interpretation of scripture is on its surface, and is accessed easily and naturally (see Preus 2009: ch.

And he established them for ever and ever; / He fixed their bounds which cannot be passed”. He cites also a passage in Jeremiah, and several from “the philosopher” of Ecclesiastes. What is interesting here is not really how compellingly these passages support Spinoza’s conclusion (for they are poetic expressions, and not very compelling as support for a philosophical claim), but rather Spinoza’s bold claim that scripture itself is opposed to using miracles as any evidence for God’s existence. That should come to many readers of scripture as something of a surprise.

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