An analysis of humes criticism of the belief of miracles

Craig, Reasonable Faith,n. Essays on the First Enquiry, Oxford: When anyone tells me, that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself, whether it be more probable, that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or that the fact, which he relates, should have really happened.

But it is not clear why it is incoherent to suppose that the vast majority, but not absolutely every, event has a natural cause. Unless all evil is essential or necessary the religious position will collapse. The second thing to say is that Swinburne seems to want to have his cake and eat it in your essay.

Although an event of this kind may be improbable, it does sometimes occur.

Hume’s Critique of Miracles

They are just as contrary as light and darkness, truth and error. On one side, there is the question of the credibility of the witnesses to the event. If God is both willing and able to prevent evil then why is there evil in the world?

According to the New Testament, Jesus walked on water, calmed raging storms, healed diseases, exorcised demons, and brought the dead back to life!

Hume on Miracles, Frequencies, and Prior Probabilities (1998)

If the gremlin advocate simply wishes to attribute this, that, and the other to gremlins without offering any suggestion as to what gremlins are likely to do; if the gremlin advocate offers gremlin hypotheses only after the fact, whenever other types of explanation are difficult to find, then gremlin-hypotheses are empirically empty, and are not really hypotheses at all.

William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: According to the logical positivists, unless a statement could be verified by experience, or else was true or false by definition i. The evaluation of the claim that a miracle has occurred will therefore be sensitive to the probability of the claim that God exists, and the evaluation of the categorical form of the argument will therefore depend on the overall evaluation of the evidence of natural theology and of atheological arguments such as the problem of evil.

Craig, Reasonable Faith, As Moses was working in the fields a angel of the Lord appeared to him in fire flaming out of the holy bush.

The evidence for the Christian miracles is testimony. According to Hume, we reason inductively by associating constantly conjoined events. When anyone tells me, that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself, whether it be more probable, that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or that the fact, which he relates, should really have happened.

Hume suggests that during certain times in history we are told of miraculous accounts of travelers. Oppy, Graham,Arguing about Gods, Cambridge: Consider the following passage, which is typical: He first claims that no miracle has in fact had enough witnesses of sufficient honesty, intelligence, and education.

Hume was concerned with the way spectators find pleasure in the sorrow and anxiety depicted in a tragedy. And on the view that there are no natural laws whatsoever, the set of events satisfying the Humean definition of a miracle is, trivially, empty.

Hume’s understanding of miracles is flawed. Discuss.

And finally, the miracle reports of different religions cancel each other out, thus making none of them effective for proving the truth of their doctrines. It might have been said with some shew of plausibility, that such persons by their knowledge and abilities, their reputation and interest, might have it in their power to countenance and propagate an imposture among the people, and give it some credit in the world.

Given this account of miracles, understood as violations of laws of nature, how should we evaluate claims that miracles have occurred? In this context he argues that any idea or belief in life in a future state is too faint and weak to have any practical influence over our passions and conduct.

He said that he would tell God "Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence! He also argues that since miracle reports typically occur among uneducated, barbarous peoples, they are inherently untrustworthy and, hence, unworthy of our belief.

Obviously the credibility of an event increases when more witnesses attest to it. But when one attempts to develop this idea into mathematical probability theory, one must avoid untoward consequences, and Hume simply did not possess the mathematical sophistication to accomplish this.

Reason itself is utterly impotent in this particular. He wrote in the Treatise that in every system of morality he has read, the author begins with stating facts about the world, but then suddenly is always referring to what ought to be the case.

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An argument may be put forward as criteriological but be best analyzed, on reflection, as explanatory; an explanatory argument may be best analyzed in probabilistic terms. If the theory of probabilistic inference he himself presents in "Of Miracles" is taken literally, it has the consequence that if the Arizona Republic were to report that I won the lottery, you should disbelieve the report, because my chance of winning the lottery is less than the percentage of erroneous reports by the Republic.Hume speaks of “our evidence” for the truth of miracles, belief in them being “contrary to the rules of just reasoning,” and miracles never being “established on evidence.” “A miracle can never be proved” is a far cry from saying that a miracle has never occurred and never could occur.

But if the reasoning in David Hume's epistemological argument against belief in miracles is correct, then no matter how hard God tries, God cannot give Russell an evidentially justified belief in Himself by performing miracles.

According to Hume, no matter what miracles God performs, it is always more reasonable to believe that the event in. Hume: Critique of the Belief In explaining Hume’s critique of the belief in miracles, we must first understand the definition of a miracle.

The Webster Dictionary defines a miracle as: a supernatural event regarded as to define action, one of the acts worked by Christ which revealed his divinity an extremely remarkable achievement or event.

In this book the author offers a critical analysis of David Hume's argument against miracles from his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, "Of Miracles" is one of the most influential works written in defense of the position that belief in supernatural occurrences is not reasonable.

David Hume

Using Hume's work as a point of departure, the author addresses the two most important epistemological.

Criticism R. F.

Hume on Religion

Holland has That is, he rests his case against belief in miracles upon the claim that laws of nature are supported by exceptionless testimony, but testimony can only be accounted exceptionless if we discount the occurrence of miracles. Hume on Religion First published Tue Oct 4, ; substantive revision Mon Mar 27, David Hume’s various writings concerning problems of religion are among the most important and influential contributions on this topic.

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An analysis of humes criticism of the belief of miracles
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