• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

ASSESS HUME'S ARGUMENT AGAINST MIRACLES

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

ESSAY 4: ASSESS HUME'S ARGUMENT AGAINST MIRACLES. To assess Hume's argument against miracles, it is necessary to begin with, his definition of what a miracle is. For Hume a miracle is a 'transgression of a law of nature by a particular violation of the deity or by the interposition of some invisible agent'. In his argument Hume does not set out to destroy the concept of a miracle, entirely, but rather prove that the likelihood of a miracle occurring is very unlikely. For Hume, a miracle by definition goes against the uniformal experience that we humans have of the metaphysical world. For so long, people know that wine does not turn into water without assistance, and that people cannot walk on water and even more people do not come back from the dead. The prior knowledge we have, has been handed down from years of actual experience of such matters and from scientific experiments giving us concrete evidence. ...read more.

Middle

For example, it has not rained in the desert for months, people are starting to die from dehydration, and then all of a sudden rain appears. The believing community understands this as a miracle from God, even though no natural laws have been broken. Better yet, natural have been adhered to. It has not rained in months, and the rain cycle is due at that point at that time. Nothing wondrous has to happen, but God is viewed here as a commitment of an all loving God, to always provide and nourish, and is merely fulfilling His duties, following the thoughts of the Dominican priest, . Special circumstances and the timing have led the community to believe that this is a miracle in an anti-realist way, no matter what anyone may argue. For them, this is a miracle carved in stone. If a miracle has been reported, for example, Hume would find it necessary to question that report. ...read more.

Conclusion

A miracle can be confirmed a miracle, iff the supposed miracle be subjected to thorough examination and scrutiny by the best in the fields, such as scientists- the people who have nothing to gain and everything to lose. If these people cannot explain the situation, it can be termed as a miracle. Even though this seems like a good argument, it is not. Hume is using an ad hominem argument, because it attacks the person not the actual issue at hand. These do not make good arguments. Just because person A is less intelligible than person B, what that person A has to say does not become less important or less reliable. Several would dispute this stand taken by Hume, some would even say that people should accept testimonies given by the person who has actually experienced this miracle, under the absence of special considerations, seriously, and the sceptical arguments should be rejected. This is the principle of credulity. Additionally, again in the absence of special considerations, believing the experiences of others is reasonable. This is the principle of testimony. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miracles section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miracles essays

  1. David Hume and Miracles.

    The argument Hume employs can be interpreted in different ways depending on the perspective of the reader. For Hume and anti-theists, the improbability of the event pointed them to their logical conclusion that the event didn't happen: while for theistic readers the argument merely enforces their belief in an omnipotent

  2. Miracles. Many people have different views on what a miracle really is. For ...

    He then anoints the hands, saying, "May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up."6 The Sacrament of the sick gives strength to those who are seriously sick and give hope and moral support to families.

  1. "BY DEFINITION MIRACLES DO NOT OCCUR" DISCUSS

    The last of the a posteriori (psychological) arguments, the conflicting claims argument, has a more philosophical edge to it, than the previous three arguments. Here, Hume said that miracles among different religions cancel each other out and noted that all gods cannot be true so there are no such things as miracles, merely religious propaganda.

  2. What is a miracle? Describe how Jesus was presented as a miracle worker, giving ...

    - One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. 23As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

  1. Talking about miracles

    not used it when he came in contact with people in need. Jesus refused to perform miracles to draw attention to himself to show who he was, in some cases Jesus told people who he healed not to tell anybody.

  2. The girl in the story was labeled as a girl, which is interesting to ...

    Jing-mei's mother didn't know what she wanted her to do, so she experimented. First came the dancing and singing trails, " at first my mother wanted me to be a Chinese Shirley Temple" (Tan 450). Jing-mei never agreed to the things that other wanted her to do.

  1. Discuss the differences and similarities between the two stories concentrating on how they begin ...

    SAFARIS TO ANY YEAR IN THE PAST. YOU NAME THE ANIMAL. WE TAKE YOU THERE. YOU SHOOT IT. This is an example of Bradbury's cinematic style of writing. It catches the readers' eye even before they have started to read the story, as it looks interesting and unusual on the page.

  2. Describe the importance of the healing miracles of Jesus for Christian life today. ...

    Luke has a vision of Jesus and this is that he is a great miracle worker and wants this to come across in his gospel. In the story of the paralysed man (Luke 5:17-26) Jesus shows how he uses both spiritual and physical healing.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work