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"Assess Hume's reasons for rejecting miracles."

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Introduction

"Assess Hume's reasons for rejecting miracles." A miracle is held to be an action of God, or an invisible agent, which goes against the laws of nature and has some religious meaning or significance. Miracles have traditionally been taken as validations of religious claims. As the Christians believe in the Bible they say that the miraculous signs and wonders they see testifies that it was God working through him accompanied Jesus' ministry. His resurrection from the dead is seen to be the greatest of these miracles and even till this day it is regularly taken as a sold reason for believing in the existence of God. According to Hume no matter how strong the evidence for a specific miracle maybe, it will always be more reasonable to reject the miracle than to believe in it .He distinguished that there are two factors to consider in deciding whether to believe any given piece of testimony. ...read more.

Middle

The evidence to support miraculous events is often contradictory and in Hume's estimation is always tainted with primitive superstition. He described the accounts as being sourced from "ignorant and barbarous" people. However for Hume, a miracle is by definition an event that is unlikely as anything else. He says miracles for him involve violations of laws of nature. Laws of nature are as well established, as it is possible for anything to be. Therefore, Hume says it will be more likely that the testimony of a witness to a miracle is false than it is true. It will always be more rational to disbelieve a claim that a miracle has occurred than to accept it. Hume himself defined miracles as a "violation of law by a supernatural being". He further went on to say that the "laws of nature" are based on past experience. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although many find Hume's arguments persuasive there are also setbacks. Some argue that miracles do not have to be violations of laws of nature. An answered prayer for example may be described as a miracle but it does not violate any natural law. Miracles for the people who believe in them are simply events that point us towards God. Hume argued that accounts of miraculous events should be dismissed as the witnesses lack credibility. Hume's claim that religions base their credibility on miracles is not true. He goes on to say, "apart from the miracles of Jesus (which appear to have been performed out of compassion, rather than to make any claims of authority), none of the mainstream religious movements actually make such a claim." Hume did not mention whatsoever how a person should respond to miracles where they themselves experienced them. Experience of a miracle would count as evidence to the person. ...read more.

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