On Miracles and Modern Spiritualism: An Answer To The Arguments Of Hume, Lecky, And Others, Against Miracles.:
The Uncertainty of the Asserted Phenomena of Modern Spiritualism.
Another modern argument is used more especially against the reality of the so-called
Spiritual phenomena. It is said, "These phenomena are so uncertain; you have no
control over them; they follow no law. Prove to us that they follow definite laws
like all other groups of natural phenomena, and we will believe them." This argument
appears to have weight with some persons, and yet it is really an absurdity. The
essence of the alleged phenomena (whether they be true or not, is of no importance)
is, that they seem to be the result of the action of independent intelligences,
and are therefore deemed to be Spiritual or superhuman. If they had been found to
follow strict law and not independent will, no one would have ever supposed them
to be Spiritual. The argument, therefore, is merely the statement of a foregone
conclusion, namely, "As long as your facts go to prove the existence of distinct
intelligences, we will not believe them; demonstrate that they follow fixed law,
and not intelligence, and then we will believe them." This argument appears to me
to be childish, and yet it is used by some persons who claim to be philosophical.