"By Definition a Miracle Can Never Happen" Discuss

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‘By Definition a miracle can never happen.’ Discuss. Clearly the answer to this question depends on your definition of a miracle. The traditional understanding of a miracle involves the interruption of a Law of Nature, usually bearing deeper religious significance. ‘A transgression of a Law of Nature’ to quote Hume, suggests to many an impossible event and it is therefore immediately obvious why many agree that, ‘by definition, a miracle can never happen.’ However, it is interesting to note that Hume, in his famous argument against miracles, at no point implies that a miracle, by definition, can never happen. The basis of Hume’s attack is that there will never be sufficient empirical evidence to justify believing in a miracle. He argues a two pronged argument which holds both a theoretical side and practical side. Hume’s argument can be summarised by the quote “a wise man proportions his belief according to the evidence.” This is due to the fact that Hume’s argument is heavily focused on the evidence surrounding miracles. Hume’s theoretical case against miracles begins with a summary of his view of the Laws of Nature. He says that these Laws are constant as we always witness them happen which is why it is logical to assume that the sun will rise in the morning. This is due to establishing cause and effect relationships between morning and the sun rising. The more experiences we have of this event happening, the less likely that the opposite effect will occur. So going back to the example of the sun, if a man said that the sun didn’t rise one morning, according to Hume, it is more logical to state he is mistaken in some way as it is more logical to assume the sun had risen. Hume said that “no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavours to
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