Hume, a rejection of miracle. OCR Philosophy A2

  • Created by: Rhianna
  • Created on: 22-05-13 15:41
What is Hume's definition of a miracle?
'A transgression of the laws of nature.'
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What do sensible people base their beliefs on?
Proportion of evidence
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What are your choices when someone tells you they've witnessed a miracle?
1. Believe them or 2. assume they are lying or mistaken
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Which choice did Hume argue was correct and why?
Hume said to assume they are lying or mistaken because the balance of probability suggests this.
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For a miracle to be called a miracle at all what must it do?
It must be something that never happens in the normal world.
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Where do reports of miracles seem to come from?
'Ignorant and barbarous nations and places.'
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What did Hume say about reports of miracle stories from different religions?
That they cancel each other out.
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What did Hume say about our interpretation of events?
That we are likely to look for supernatural causes which would colour our interpretation.
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What is the criticism relating to Hume's understanding of laws of nature?
Hume views LON as prescriptive. But they are actually descriptive, only describing our current understanding of the world. They can't be broken, events add to our understanding.
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As a result what do modern thinkers want to modify Hume's argument to?
That miracles are improbable rather than impossible.
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Why might some religious people reject Hume's argument?
Because it misses the point of the miracle: its revelatory purpose.
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What do miracles have to do with myth?
Even if miracle stories are untrue this doesn't mean they are meaningless.
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What does Hume not consider?
The possibility of first-hand experiences of miracles.
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What else does Hume not consider?
That miracles may leave evidence which everyone can see.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Proportion of evidence

Back

What do sensible people base their beliefs on?

Card 3

Front

1. Believe them or 2. assume they are lying or mistaken

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Hume said to assume they are lying or mistaken because the balance of probability suggests this.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

It must be something that never happens in the normal world.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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Comments

Kate

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Really helpful but don't forget the second half of Hume's definition :)
'A transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the deity or by the interposition of some invisible agent.' 

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