Responses to Hume

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Hume seems to be working with a model of natural laws in which those laws are more...
...fixed and unalterable than is actually the case.
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This model would discount many advances in...
...science where natural laws have been seen both to be clarified or changed by exceptions to those laws.
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Laws are not perscriptive as Hume suggests but...
...descriptive.
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Therefore, natural laws are likely to change as...
...understanding increases.
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Who argued that a natural law is the 'best description of how the world works that we currently have,' but which can be modified by new discoveries?
Swineburn.
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Given that natural laws are probabilistic, they are not...
...deterministic.
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Secondly, Hume doesn't clarify what he means by people of sufficient...
...number/education required to witness a miracle.
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What level of education is required before...
...a witness can be believed?
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What would Hume say to modern-day...
...claims to miracles?
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For example:
Careful, emprical by medical practioners at Lourdes?
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What does Vardy argue?
Hume's criticisms only apply to the quality of the witnesses to a miracle rather than the miracle itself.
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Also, induction is only true if...
...the principle behind induction is true.
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What if miracles are the exception to...
...inductive instances.
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Instead of induction predicting an exact future, it predicts...
...probabilites.
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Although most but not all testimony may support the uniformity of natural laws, miracles oculd still...
...occasionally (by their nature they are occaisional/unsual) take place.
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Why would the improbability of the event mean that it did not or...
..could not ever happen?
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What does Ahluwalia argue?
Hume may be guilty of making a jump from 'what is improbable to what is beyond rational acceptance.'
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Believers might say that precisely because it is improbable...
...it is more likely that God has intervened in nature.
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What does Polkinghorne argue?
God may act in new and unexpected ways as a situation demands.
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Who argues that, because laws are probabilistic and not fixed, there could be events that take place that are unlikely but don't actually break the laws of nature?
Swineburn.
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How does Swineburn respond to Hume's point that miracles in different religions cancel one another out?
This would onnly be th e case if they were incompatible with one another.
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What 2 principles does Swineburn apply to religious experience so is applicable to miracles?
1. Principle of testimony. 2. Principle of credulity.
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Which 3 places does he argue that we gain evidence for both miracles and scientif, natural laws?
1.Memory 2. Testimony (of others) 2. Physical traces left behind after the event (for example: the grave clothes of Christ in the tomb.)
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From this, he concludes that: "if the evidence is not sufficient to establish the occurence of a miracle...
...then neither is it to establish the certainty of a natural law."
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Hume famously rejected accounts of miracles that had been experienced at the grave of Abbe Paris, a well-know jesuit, despite...
...these being witnessed by credible and reputable people.
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This is because he argued we have to oppose the 'cloud of witneses,' with...
..the absolute impossibility or mircaulous nature of events to which they relate.'
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This may mean that he is...
...judging the case before he looks at empirical evidence.
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Card 2

Front

This model would discount many advances in...

Back

...science where natural laws have been seen both to be clarified or changed by exceptions to those laws.

Card 3

Front

Laws are not perscriptive as Hume suggests but...

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Therefore, natural laws are likely to change as...

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Who argued that a natural law is the 'best description of how the world works that we currently have,' but which can be modified by new discoveries?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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