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

    At the Pentecost the power of healing was given, as one of the gifts of the Holy Sprit to the disciples. The power of healing as Jesus performed in his time has been transferred or delegated to those who believe in him and gifted, this shows that Jesus is alive

  2. "BY DEFINITION MIRACLES DO NOT OCCUR" DISCUSS

    Hume's a priori (philosophic) argument that "a miracle is a violation of the law of nature..."

  1. Explain the term 'miracle'

    He has great faith in Jesus and Jesus, determined to help, tries to show the man that to him everyone is equal. His way of doing this was to perform a miracle and heal him. Although most people believed that God punished the man by receiving leprosy, Jesus did not feel that this kind of unkindness was fair.

  2. Critically assess Hume's dismissal of miracles.

    When considering these three further points one can find further faults with Hume's argument. Hume's first point that there has never been a sufficient number of men to testify for a miracle is an unclear point because he does not state what a sufficient number is.

  1. What is a miracle?

    Luke's use of the story The centurion received, from Jesus, the highest praise given to anyone in l Luke's Gospel. He pronounces: I tell you, nowhere, even in Israel, have I found faith like this (7:9) It should always be remembered that the man was a Gentile.

  2. Miracles essay.

    He is basically saying people are able to explain how things work and unlikely to believe in an unexplainable event. However Sir Arthur Conan-Dolye said that 'when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains must be the truth.' Can you violate a law that is not absolute?

  1. David Hume and Miracles.

    This raises a disturbing problem for the empiricist namely that if the laws of nature are by definition invariable the phrase 'laws of nature' becomes an unproductive part of the empiricist's vocabulary - it is reduced to a resolutely mute peculiarity of the English language.

  2. In the Twenty First Century, a miracle has several interpretations.

    However the miracles were performed not to give him glory or to encourage others to follow him, but rather to show the love and compassion of God. Luke's Gospel presents the miracles, as a sign that Jesus was really the Son of God.

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