A Gallup poll found that 83% of Americans believe in miracles. At the same time people have a conflicting urge to dismiss miracles as fakes because credence in them seems to demonstrate naÃ¯vetÃ© or ignorance.
Belief in miracles inspires cultism. Cults of the miraculous can be found in most societies and religions. They range from belief in the supernatural power of sacred relics or places, to visionary experiences, levitation, talking with tongues, exorcism, weeping statues. Miracles are not necessarily approved of by the Church. The miraculous cures of Lourdes are severely vetted by Catholic medical committees and prove to be very few in number. Christ himself never made much of his miracles: the only genuine one would be human regeneration and a spring of universal love. Cautions are given to students of yoga not to become too impressed with visions and acts of levitation and physical transformation.
Belief in God may not be necessary, but without a sense of the oceanic, the inexplicable, the eternal mystery lapping around the world of take-aways, taxes and credit cards, nobody can be fully human. Miracles spring from the openness of people to the inexplicable. It is no paradox that miracles are much more common in simple communities with faith that the extraordinary is part of daily life. One is not led to discover evidence for the supernatural. It comes of itself when you can no longer bask in confident unbelief. There is a doubtful difference between a life of doubt diversified by faith and one of faith diversified by doubt.