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David Hume

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Lesson

David Hume's rational arguments against miracles and responses to those arguments.

Outline

Miracles

Part 2
 

II.  David Hume

A.  Two Interpretations

1.  The Metaphysical Interpretation

a.  A miracle is a violation of a law of nature.

b.  Nothing can violate the laws of nature.

c.  Metaphysical interpretation would introduce a contradiction.

d.  Hume's greatest discovery - analysis of a law of science.

e.  No certitude that what has happened in the past will happen in the future.

f.  You cannot then teach that miracles are impossible.

2.  The Epistemological Interpretation

a.  Nobody can prove that miracles are impossible.

b.  No human could ever know that a miracle did occur.

c.  Hume's argument deals in probabilities.

d.  Miracle must be the least likely event possible.

B.  Responses to Hume

1.  A person may be an eyewitness to a miracle.

2.  Some important natural laws would not have been discovered following Hume's skepticism.

C.  Hume's Subsidiary Arguments

D.  Answer to Hume's Subsidiary Argument