What is a miracle?
A violation of natural law or an event of religious significance
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3 main types of miracles?
Healing miracle (cures paralysed man), Raising from the dead (Jesus resurrected Lazarus) nature miracle (Jesus walked on water)
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What is a theistic god?
A god that created the universe and still has complete involvement in all events. Without this god the world would not function
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what is a deistic god?
A god that has created the universe and then allows it to run according to natural laws, as if it were a machine. This god makes no further intervention with the world
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What is the cosmological argument?
Sees god as an unmoved mover and the uncaused cause who is responsible for all movement and change
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What is the teleological argument?
examines the way in which the world is ordered and states it cannot be down to chance
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What is a god of classical theism?
omniscient, omnipotent
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What is omniscient?
All knowing
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What is omnipotent?
Has absolute power
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What are Hume's 4 criticisms of miracles?
1. Insufficient evidence 2. Human testimony 3. Barbarous nations 4. conflicting religions
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What does Hume mean by "Insufficient evidence"?
He felt that natural laws must be true as they have been observed many times, however as miracles violate these natural laws they are unlikely. He also states that is more likely for the witness to be wrong than the miracle to have happened.
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What does Hume mean by "Human testimony"?
He felt that there were never sufficient men of sound mind and unquestionable intelligence. He also argued that many religious believers would create or adapt claims to affirm their faith/that God exists.
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What does Hume mean by "Barbarous nations"?
He stated that miracles reported in barbaric and ignorant nations are invalid as there is no scientific proof, and the nature of the population means they are unbelievable (human testimony)
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What does Hume mean by "Conflicting religions"?
Hume states that as religions each contain their own accounts of miracles, for one to be right the others must be false. This then contradicts and destroys all religious evidence for miracles
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What is an example of Hume's argument for conflicting religions
Jesus' resurrection is a miracle within Christianity and Muslims believe that the Qur'an being given to Muhammed from Allah is a miracle. Qur'an states that Jesus was not crucified and resurrected.
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Scientific view on laws of nature
Science states that the laws of nature are descriptive not prescriptive and as they are constantly changing. They are summaries of repeated past events and therefore cannot be transgressed.
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Scientific view on miracles (natural law version)
Scientists believe that if an event violates the laws of nature either the evidence for that law is wrong or there is another law in place that allows the 'miraculous event' but hasn't been discovered/taken into account.
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Scientific view on miracles (unique version)
Scientists argue that there are in fact events that are entirely unique and can only occur once. Events such as these can be the Big Bang or black holes, and although they are unique they are not of religious significance
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What is Hick's view on miracles?
Hick states that miracles cannot happen because of the definition of NLs"Generalisations formulated retrospectively to cover whatever had, in fact, happened". As miracles are violations of this,"We can declare a priori that there are no miracles"
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Why does Hick think NLs are wrong?
Hick would say that we do not know the laws of nature, and that they appear to have been broken before. Believed that when new things are observed our understanding of the natural law should simply be widened.
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What is Swinburne's view on miracles?
Swinburne acknowledges that it is difficult to outweigh the scientific evidence, but that we do have enough historical evidence to suggest that there is a God and that God can violate the laws of nature.
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According to Hume what is a miracle?
“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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What does Aquinas state a miracle as?
those things done by divine power apart from the order usually followed in things
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What are Aquinas' 3 different types of miracles?
1.An event done by God that nature could not do(reverse Suns pattern) 2. An event done by God that nature could do but not in this order (recover from paralysis) 3. An event nature could do but is done without the use of nature(rapid defrost of lake)
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What is Ocham's Razor?
The philosophical principle that states when faced with competing explanations for an event one should choose the simplest one
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What is a God of the Gaps and an example of this?
A God used to explain all occurrences that do not have a valid and proven explanation. Used by some to explain miracles
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What is the Rationalist Approach?
The rationalist approach is that the laws of nature cannot be violated so there must be a logical reason for all miraculous events. IE Jesus walking on water was actually walking on a bed of rocks
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What are the criticisms of Hume?
1. They are not ordinary events 2. Scientific explanation in future 3. There are other forms of evidence 4. Some of his points were unexplained
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(criticisms of Hume) Explain "they are not ordinary events"?
As miracles are not seen as ordinary events NLs should not be applied to them, as they are unique
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(criticisms of Hume) Explain "scientific explanation in future"?
Scientific development has rapidly increased in the last 100 years, and to tell people that a man would walk on the moon would have been called absurd. If Swinburne's argument was valid we would had to refuse to believe it was true as it broke NLs
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(criticisms of Hume) Explain "there are other forms of evidence"?
Swinburne gives 3 forms of evidence. They are: 1. Our apparent memories. 2. The testimony of others. 3. The physical traces left by events in question (science is also based on these, if not valid for miracles, not valid for science)
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(criticisms of Hume) Explain "some of his points were unexplained"?
Hume argues that there are never sufficient witnesses but does not give a specific amount that are sufficient. He also claimed that the accounts of miracles come from barbarous nations, yet there are claims from all nations with varying culture
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What is an interventionist God and what are the issues with this?
an interventionist god is a god that intervenes very rarely and will allow extensive suffering in some cases and then sometimes protect others. this questions the value of life from god's view, and makes god seem disloyal
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What are the different types of religiously significant events?
1. signs such as Stigmata (religious markings such as cut palms from Jesus' crucifixion) 2. Natural events 3. Amazing coincidences
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What is the argument for the interpretation of miracles?
Some state that many religious believers will manipulate a coincidental event to have religious significance, or many people will see it as miraculous when it was entirely coincidental (slightly like Hume's argument)
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Christian view on questioning miracles?
There are many miracles stories to be found in the Bible e.g. parting of the red sea, The Bible is clear that miracles happen. So, to doubt in miracles is to doubt that the Bible is divinely inspired
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Card 2


3 main types of miracles?


Healing miracle (cures paralysed man), Raising from the dead (Jesus resurrected Lazarus) nature miracle (Jesus walked on water)

Card 3


What is a theistic god?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


what is a deistic god?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is the cosmological argument?


Preview of the front of card 5
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