David hume essay on miracles summary

Although Bernheim did not explicitly talk about virtue, the article shows that his Lehrbuch nonetheless considers self-distanciation a matter of virtuous behavior, targeted at an aim that may not be fully realizable, but ought to be pursued with all possible vigor. Focusing on some of its most important spokespeople, the paper shows that they start from the historicist presupposition that distance can in principle be overcome by a reconstruction of the original intentions of the framers of the Constitution. With the help of Hans-Georg Gadamer, who explicitly based his philosophical hermeneutics on the notion of distance, this presupposition will be criticized.

David hume essay on miracles summary

The degree to which we believe one claim over another is proportional to the degree by which the evidence for one outweighs the evidence for the other. The weight of evidence is a function of such factors as the reliability, manner, and number of witnesses.

Now, a miracle is defined as: Nothing is esteemed a miracle, if it ever happen in the common course of nature. It is no miracle that a man, seemingly in good health, should die on a sudden: But it is a miracle, that a dead man should come to life; because that has never been observed in any age or country.

There are, however, two ways in which this argument might be neutralised. Hume therefore lays out, in the second part of section X, a number of reasons that we have for never holding this condition to have been met.

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He first claims that no miracle has in fact had enough witnesses of sufficient honesty, intelligence, and education. He goes on to list the ways in which human beings lack complete reliability: People are very prone to accept the unusual and incredible, which excite agreeable passions of surprise and wonder.

Those with strong religious beliefs are often prepared to give evidence that they know is false, "with the best intentions in the world, for the sake of promoting so holy a cause". The history of every culture displays a pattern of development from a wealth of supernatural events — "[p]rodigies, omens, oracles, judgements" [6] — which steadily decreases over time, as the culture grows in knowledge and understanding of the world.

Hume ends with an argument that is relevant to what has gone before, but which introduces a new theme: He points out that many different religions have their own miracle stories. Given that there is no reason to accept some of them but not others aside from a prejudice in favour of one religionthen we must hold all religions to have been proved true — but given the fact that religions contradict each other, this cannot be the case.

Criticism[ edit ] R.

Hume, David | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

That is, he rests his case against belief in miracles upon the claim that laws of nature are supported by exceptionless testimony, but testimony can only be accounted exceptionless if we discount the occurrence of miracles.

Composition, Reception, and Response" ch. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. References[ edit ] David Hume.

Of Miracles introduction by Antony Flew. Open Court Classic, Selby-Bigge ; third edition revised and with notes by P. Hume, Holism, and Miracles. Cornell University Press, Ithaca.David Hume and Miracles by Wayne Jackson David Hume (), a Scottish philosopher, was an agnostic, i.e., he did not believe there is sufficient evidence to justify the confident affirmation that God exists.

Formerly: Over Three Hundred Proofs of God’s Existence

IMHO, this post raises a good point. I would only trust a historian who is an expert in this time period (which would necessarily include Biblical scholarship) for an opinion on whether Jesus of Nazareth lived and preached and rose from the dead.. The reason why I stroked out the last few words of the preceding sentence is because of the notorious unreliability of eyewitness testimony.

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David hume essay on miracles summary

Hume second point against miracles the lack of creditable witness to the miracle. In Hume’s essay on miracles in part II, Section X he is trying to answer the question, can miracles even occur.

He asks if there is one criterion that any sensible person can use to confirm a miracle had occurred. "Of Miracles" is the title of Section X of David Hume's An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding ().

SparkNotes: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding: Section X