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The issue of whether it is reasonable or not to believe in miracles is a complex and divided matter. There are many varied opinions on what a miracle actually is so each need to be assessed and a reasonable evaluation given.

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Introduction

Miracles Edward Cohen 2) The issue of whether it is reasonable or not to believe in miracles is a complex and divided matter. There are many varied opinions on what a miracle actually is so each need to be assessed and a reasonable evaluation given. Starting with Hume, he defines it as 'A transgression of a law of nature brought about by a particular violation of the Deity.' He would also go as far to say that the Christian faith is closely linked with miracles both when it started and today. Christianity is not reasonable and this belief flies in the face of all understanding and experience. Hume feels that miracles is the absolute last resort of explanation for any happening, one must look at all possibilities before coming to that particular conclusion. Mel Thompson in "Teach Yourself Philosophy of Religion" sees Hume's ideas as a simplistic view on miracles based on an eighteenth century view of the universe. He feels that miracles are a natural process, speeded up and a natural event happening at just the right moment. ...read more.

Middle

Hume was therefore arguing that it is always more reasonable to reject extraordinary beings as being contrary to the weight of the human experience. There is no evidence to count against the weight of human experience, because the testimonies of people who claim the experience of the miraculous are rarely of any quality. The evidence to support miraculous events is often contradictory and is always tainted by primitive superstition. Hume would only accept evidence from educated and intellectual sources, only a truly trusted source can there even begin to be any debate of whether a miracle has taken place or not. Hume also stated that all founding figures performed miracles, that religions base their claims for authority on these miracles. Yet they cannot be right. These stories must cancel out the claims of the religions. Hume made four basic argument against miracles, the first is there are witnesses of "good sense, education and learning" can a peasant witness be taken seriously? ...read more.

Conclusion

The mere idea that religions based their faith on miracles is untrue also, apart from Jesus who mainly performed miracles out of compassion rather than to show authority no other religion makes such claims. He also fails to see how an individual should respond to a miracle that they have experienced, experience of a miracle would surely count as evidence to a person. Maurice Wiles also makes his arguments against miracles, and God's action in the world would not be confined to certain instances. Rather the "idea of a divine action should be in relation to the world as a whole." There is therefore no single act of God applicable to an instance, but a constant act of God applying to the world as a whole. Wiles considers a God that interferes in the laws of nature to be arbitrary - if God does intervene, why is there suffering in the world? Why does God intervene where children are suffering? It is on this note that having taking into account the various arguments miracles do not occur as a God who performs such acts is random, unknowable and not Omni - benevolent, therefore miracles should not be believed in. ...read more.

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