Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, September 1995

download word file, 8 pages 5.0

Downloaded 203 times


In explaining Hume's critique of the belief in miracles, we must first understand the definition of a miracle. The Webster Dictionary defines a miracle as: a supernatural event regarded as to define action, one of the acts worked by Christ which revealed his divinity an extremely remarkable achievement or event, an unexpected piece of luck. Therefore, a miracle is based on one's perception of past experiences, what everyone sees. It is based on a individuals own reality, and the faith in which he/she believes in, it is based on interior events such as what we are taught, and exterior events, such as what we hear or see first hand.

When studying Hume's view of a miracle, he interprets or defines a miracle as such; a miracle is a violation of the laws of nature, an event which is not normal to most of mankind. Hume explains this point brilliantly when he states, "Nothing is esteemed a miracle, if it has ever happened in the common course of nature.

It is no miracle that a man seemingly in good health should die on a sudden." (Hume p.888) Hume states that this death is quite unusual, however it seemed to happen naturally. He could only define it as a true miracle if this dead man were to come back to life. This would be a miraculous event because such an experience has not yet been commonly observed. In which case, his philosophical view of a miracle would be true.

Hume critiques and discredits the belief in a miracle merely because it goes against the laws of nature. Hume defines the laws of nature to be what has been "uniformly" observed by mankind, such as the laws of identity and gravity. He views society as being far to liberal in what they...