Saturday, October 02, 2021

Hume's arguments against miracles do not imply atheism

 The arguments against miracles by Hume do not imply that God does not exist. In fact, Hume explicitly says that his arguments are not affected by the existence or the nonexistence of God. If God exists, he says, we can know about what he does through the course of nature, but miracles contradict the course of nature, therefore, we should reject all miracle claims even if we are theists. 

3 comments:

Starhopper said...

The problem with Hume's argument is it is Argument by Definition. He says that miracles "contradict the course of nature" and therefore defines them as such. But to a believer, the course of nature is simply the will of God as expressed in His creation. So if God decides to insert a miracle into the stream of events, what occurs is still His will, which cannot contradict itself.

And other than the Grand Miracles (the Incarnation and the Resurrection, which are a special case) all other miracles can be seen as affirmations of nature, rather than their contradiction. Jesus heals people; well, people are healed all the time. Jesus turns water into wine; well, that is happening non-stop in vineyards. He calms the storm; well, storms abate every day. He walks on water; well, water is continually changing its form, from solid to liquid to gas. He multiplies the loaves and fishes; well, is that not what is happening all the time in nature? Rather than contradicting these processes, the miracles of Jesus are simply demonstrating that He is their master.

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