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

Miracles are more of a Hindrance than a help to Religious Belief. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Miracles are more of a Hindrance than a help to Religious Belief. Discuss. Hume is viewed as the definitive spokesperson on miracles and his description of miracles, ?a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity?, is relevant as if we agree with this then immediately objections become obvious. The ?volition? of a deity to cause a statue to drink milk is questionable when millions live in poverty and millions die from AIDS, for example. The benevolence of an all powerful deity is not evident in a world where evil is certainly present through out concept of evil. However, believers may comeback to appeal to mystery or use the euthyphro dilemma, ?is what God does good, or does God only do what is good?, thus suggesting that pain and evil in the world are somehow beneficial. However, analyzing the problem of evil and God?s selection of when miracles should be performed the credibility of revelation has been questioned as it seems that whilst this does not prove God any less it leads to a God which is less desirable to believe in. ...read more.

Middle

Wyles also adds to this conversation as he brings up the question of why God created a world which would need to be intervened in if he is omnipotent. Therefore a belief in miracles and in God as benevolent and omnipotent seems to be inconsistent and religious belief struggles because of this. However, these issues concern philosophical principles and metaphysics whereas perhaps we should be more concerned with the actual experiences of miracles and their credibility. Hume uses his definition of miracles to come up with his system for assessing the credibility of claims, stating that it has to be more likely that the fundamental laws of physics are being broken than the person is mistaken or lying. For this he points to the witnesses having to be a completely neutral figures who are educated, not a women, not from a ?barbarous? nation etc. In fact he goes on to say that the chance of a testimony being fact could never outweigh the chance of the witness(es) being mistaken and the laws of nature being upheld. Therefore Hume?s objection lies in his belief in the concrete stature of the laws of nature, this is damaging to religious belief as it points out the fact that potentially science could explain every instance where a miracle has seemed to occur. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, although there then seems to be scope, using Swinburne and Ockham, to take experience seriously we have to look at this evidence and see that conflicting claims seem to conclude this subject with miracles as a hindrance to religious belief. As religious experience is a type of miracle the conflicting messages and different religions which these experiences come from seem to sully the reputation of miracles and therefore religion. Also miracles which cause or ask for the saving of human life conflict with those such as the story of Joshua which allows for murders to occur. Although mystery may still be alluded to as an explanation the conflicting nature of different miracles seems to discredit their influence upon religious belief. Aquinas classifies miracles as ?Those things?which are done by Divine power apart from the order generally followed in things?. Whilst this agrees with Hume?s definition that miracles are ?a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity?. However, Aquinas allows for the laws of physics to be maintained whilst miracles are occurring, for example, a loose bolt in a plane could be tightened without God having ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy 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 AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. The idea of miracles is a major obstacle to faith in the modern world ...

    impossible for us to ever prove they exist; the laws of nature have been supported by billions of examples over a period of many hundreds of years, and so an apparent miracle would need to outweigh all the evidence needed to establish the original law.

  2. Science Solves All The Problems About Where We Come From Discuss

    He feels that, in accordance with this statement, science has already solved the problem of where we come from, and will ultimately solve all problems with no help from religion. In conclusion, after looking at both sides of the argument, I feel that I agree with the statement, but only in part.

  1. Assess Humes reasons for rejecting miracles

    Therefore for Hume, Adam living to 930 was simply a story made up by the uneducated, as living so long would suggest the laws of nature to be false. Additionally Hume believes that miracles used by religions to prove their religion true would be cancelled out, as not every religion could be true.

  2. The verification principle offers no real challenge to religious belief. Discuss

    Weak verification refers to statements that can be shown to be probable by observation and experience. Ayer argued that the sense in which verificationsim should be used is the weak sense because the strong sense of verification had no possible application.

  1. What are the principles of natural law? Every adult has the right to become ...

    and with the right intentions. Wanting a child in order for material gain (such as benefits) would be wrong because of bad intentions. That an adult has the right to become a parent seems clear cut, but issues such as In Vitro fertilization (IVF)

  2. Conocer es Ignorar

    Cada vez �l hac�a algo mal. Primero se quem�, luego inhalo el humo, quem� su comida, quem� su cueva. Luego, despu�s de llevar el fuego al exterior, quem� el bosque. Con el conocimiento viene el poder, dicen. El conocimiento es importante, pero casi inmediatamente de relieve la necesidad de saber qu� hacer con ese conocimiento.

  1. Philosophers Views on Miracles Essay

    the ruins of ?The Lourdes? to be cured from their illness by drinking the water of Virgin Mary. It is fact that there have only been 67 miracles recorded and this again questions the worthiness of the God and to why only 67 out of the billions of people in the whole wide world have been cured.

  2. Describe and explain the atheistic rejection of miracles

    An example of this would be solar and lunar eclipses. We have a scientific explanation, but in many countries around the world they are still viewed as supernatural occurrences ? in other words, they believe them to be miracles. Finally, Hume?s fourth point argues that all major religions claim miracles,

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