In: Philosophy and Psychology

A miracle, as a broad definition, is an act of God that “transgresses the laws of nature” (David Hume), an act that seems to defy all rational. For many this offers strong evidence for the existence of God, as these inexplicable events must have a cause, that of a transcendent, metaphysical being. However, for others, most notably David Hume, miracles are a logical impossibility, an oxymoron if you will. He tried to prove, through a priori and a posterior reasoning that miracles, because of their metaphysical origin, cannot be what people claim them to be (intervention by God). Problems with the law of nature to language problems with the way miracles are experienced and reported provide ammunition for those that agree with the assumption in the title. By defining what miracles are and then exploring the criticisms and counter criticisms for these definitions we should arrive at a conclusion as to whether miracles, in the sense they are defined, are possible.

Brian Davis proposed that there were two different types of miracles, the essential difference being the varying degree of possible divine intervention that can be attributed to the event. Strong Miracles are events that can only be attributed to God – he is intervening in the world to change the course of history. This may be, as Hume suggested, a “transgression of the laws of nature by a particular violation of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent”. However, Humey boy took issue with strong miracles, citing an a priori criticism, ie one that criticises using deductive reasoning alone. Hume, an empiricist, believed that “a wise man proportions his beliefs to he evidence”, meaning that unless one can physically verify evidence a statement cannot be true. As experience tells us that natural laws hold firm, ie they are universal constants otherwise they could not be natural laws, then it is...

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