I remember one winter morning when my wife called me from work in tears. She was very shaken up and told me that on the way to work, she was driving on a four lane highway and lost control of the vehicle she was driving. The car spun around 360 degrees and came to a stop on the shoulder facing in the right direction. She said other cars had been around her, but she hadn't hit any. Her story was shocking and I was relieved beyond words that she was okay.
I also remember retelling the story to others and how most people described what happened as being "miraculous". After some time had passed, this incident and others that occurred which people describe as being "miraculous" gave me pause to consider the concept of miracles.
First, what is a "miracle" anyway? Some people may consider a "miracle" to be an event where the impossible happens. For the sake of this article, I'll call these events Type A Events. Examples of Type A Events may be a person who is repeatedly and consistently able to walk through a solid brick wall to the other side with direct observation by others, a boulder floating in midair, or a penny appearing on the table I am sitting at right now. Of course, people claim and make assertions about these kind of events happening, but they are universally unable to demonstrate that these events actually occurred in any valid and reliable way.
However, these are not the kind of "miracles" most people talk about and describe. The kind I hear people talk about are what I will call Type B Events. Examples of Type B Events would be a Haitian adule found in rubble a week after the recent earthquake there (who had water near them that they were able to drink), a person winning the lottery, or my wife not hitting any cars during her spinout. These are not instances of the impossible happening. They are instances of things happening which are unlikely to happen.
So let's imagine two different hypothetical universes, where Universe One is identical to our own and where a god exists and Universe Two which is identical to ours but where no god exists, people don't have the concept of a god, and things happen by chance. In Universe Two, Type B Events would still occur, it's just that people wouldn't call the events miraculous.
So what are people who call Type B Events "miracles" thinking the world would be like without what they call miracles? Basically that universe would be one where no unlikely events or close calls would ever occur. Car crashes would either not occur at all, or if they did, they would always result in a horrible accident and death. People in Haiti would have survived unscathed or they would die. There would also be no lotteries. I think this would make quite a funny Saturday Night Live sketch if one were made for Atheists.
I think of this universe that we live in as one ruled by chance and it certainly makes more sense that way. Good things happen to both good and bad people and bad things happen to both good and bad people. To me, I never have to ask "why" some random event happened. Sometimes things just happen.