RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE AND MIRACLES
- An empiricist and sceptic
- Miracles are 'violations of the laws of nature'
- There must be an explanation for a miracle occuring - more likely than the miracle occuring to start with
- Miracles don't have many sane or educated witnesses
- religious believers may know that accounts of miracles are FALSE but continue to spread them because it is a 'good cause'
- It is mainly among the backward nations that stories of miracles are spread - not as common anymorw
- Almost all religions have miracle stories, yet they cannot all be right as they contradict and cancel each other out
- A law of nature is is something that can be tested scientifically - we collect evidence and reach a concluson if the same outcome occurs each time. He says that these laws are unchanging once discovered.
Humes Maxim -
'No Testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to establish'
- A miracle is false unless the idea of the witness being wrong is more miraculous than the miracle itself, for example, the feeding of the 5,000
Humes Probability Argument -
- There are laws of nature which appear to be unverying and universal, based on past experience
- Sometimes there are reports of miracles happening which violate these laws of nature
- Which is more likely; The law of nature is wrong or the reports about the violation of the laws of nature are incorrect?
- Conclusion - it is more likely that the report of a miracle happening is false than a law of nature being violated.
Why do miracles matter for religious believers?
- Miracles support arguments for God's existance
- Miracles are signs of God's continuing activity in the world
- Miracles how that prayers are answered
- The miracles of ressurrection
- Miracles show that Jesus is from God
- Miracles show God's providence
- Quantum Laws prove that the universe is probablistic - miracles do not violate laws
- Humans have created these laws, this means that miracles could be thought of as being natural
- 'Perhaps God can suspend natural laws on occassions'
- If God is all loving he would want to interact with his creation and may do so through miracles
- Miracles, in their very nature, have to be occasional - if they were regular life would be…