- Hume: "A miracle is a violation of a law of nature by a God or a spirit."
> Ward: "...totally unworkable definition."
- Laws of nature didn't exist in people's minds before Isaac Newton.
- Ancient world + Bible authors had evidence to support things happening our of the ordinary.
- Deterministic and probabalistic laws:
D: If you do X, Y will happen.
P: If I do X, Y will probably happen.
- Attacks Hume for setting up miracles to fail.
> Felt by definition, miracles can't happen.
- 'De dictor' = miracles
- 'De re' = reality
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- Do not multiply entities beyond necessity.
- The simplest explanation is usually the best.
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C. S. Lewis
- Hume originally says we should not assume there is a link between cause and effect.
- However, contradicts himself:
> In laws of nature there must be a link between cause and effect.
- Double standard.
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- Agreed with Hume's point of view of miracles but admitted it had significant weaknesses.
- Evidence for miracles = indirect.
> Why should we believe small evidence for miracles over large evidence against.
- If you witness a miracle and search for a reason, but can't find any other explantion, then why shouldn't you just claim it as a miracle?
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- Accepts that Hume incorporates criteria generally used for the assessment of testimony.
- However, finds Hume to be far too imprecise.
- Suggests two principles in support of miracles:
> Principle of Credulity - what one seems to perceive is probably the case.
> Principle of Testimony - it is reasonable to believe that the experiences of others are probably as reported.
- "Most alleged miracles do not give rise to conflicts."
- Evidence types:
3. Physical traces.
4. Natural law.
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- Deist view.
- Rejects the idea that God directly intervenes in the world.
> Therefore, rejects the existence of miracles.
- "The world as a whole [is] a single act of God."
- Thefore, He would not undermine the natural laws He created by intervening in the world.
- An omnibenevolent God would not perform trivial miracles.
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Philosophical reasons to believe in miracles.
- If miracles violate laws of nature, depends what laws are.
> Laws of nature = probabalistic not deterministic > theoretically possible for them to be broken.
- Swinburne's suggestions of good indirect evidence:
> Testimony (principles of credulity and testimony)
> Physical traces
- Anti-realist view.
> Miracles are just how you perceive things from your form of life (redefinition of what miracle means).
- Direct evidence.
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