Philosophy essay-miracles

Topics: Metaphysics, Atheism, David Hume Pages: 2 (684 words) Published: March 23, 2015
Philosophy essay
‘Critically assess the view that miracles prove the existence of God’? ‘Miracles’ is a Latin word which means wonder. A ‘miracle’ is an event that is caused by God and can have religious significance. There are many definitions of miracles and there is no agreement on what the word actually means. In this essay, I am going to talk about the Philosophers who are in support of miracles and those philosophers who do not believe in miracles. David Hume was an empiricist; this meant that he gained his knowledge through his senses. Hume derived his own specific definition of miracles and stated that is a ‘transgression of a law of nature brought about by a particular violation of deity’. This definition means that Hume believed that it was more likely that the report of a miracle was mistaken then the laws of nature was violated. He did not state that miracles did not happen however he did state that it would be impossible to state that miracles happen and prove that it was God who started the miracle. Hume had many arguments against believing in miracles; he stated that there was not enough evidence of miracles in order to outweigh our general experience. There are also insufficient witnesses; miracles must be witnesses by a good educated person. According to Hume, miracles only happened to uneducated and insane people. Hume never questioned if miracles occur however he did question if a miracle can prove god’s existence. Swinburne is another philosopher and he criticised Hume’s argument. Swinburne stated that miracles may not fit the laws of nature as an individual understands them. Swinburne also had reservations about the laws of nature and stated that they can be seen as generalisations. Swinburne then stated that the more evidence there is for a miracle, it is stronger that the possibility happened, which proves that miracles do happen and it can prove the existence of God. However, Maurice wiles was a professor of divinity at Oxford...
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