‘It is difficult to accept that miracles happen’ Discuss
‘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 different definitions of miracle 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 definition of miracles and stated that it 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 than 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 prove them 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 witnessed by a good educated person. According to Hume, miracles only happened to uneducated people. Hume never questioned if miracles occur however he did question if a miracle can prove gods existence.
Many people disagreed with Hume’s argument and many other philosophers criticised the argument. Swinburne stated that miracles may not fit the law 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.
Hick also commented and stated that we do not know the laws of nature and that they appear to be broken before. He...