Hume's Argument Of Miracles

769 Words4 Pages
Hume justifies that religion cannot be founded on reason and relies on faith through his argument of miracles. In order to understand his critique, it is important to define and connect the laws of nature, testimony, and miracles. Hume refers to the laws of nature as accounts of regular occurrences that are established through fixed and unchangeable experiences (74). Hume indicates that testimony is that which a witness reports about an event. Because these testimonies are accounts of experienced events, he notes that that human testimonies are subject to laws of nature. Thus, some testimonies follow the laws the nature and others go against it. In other words, some testimonies are more regularly and constantly conjoined with truth than others and those with the utmost truth represent the laws of nature. He notes that the laws of nature have in favor of them unwavering universal testimonies (71). Hume then explains that miracles are unusual events that defy the laws of nature. Here, Hume draws out the…show more content…
First, he affirms that knowledge of miracles comes solely from the testimony of others who claim to have seen miracles. In order to believe in miracles, one must rely on the secondhand experience of others, which is less reliable than one’s own experiences. Hume attests that in all of history there has not been any miracle confirmed by a sufficient number of men with good-sense, education, and learning to see beyond the delusions that miracles can be mistaken for (75). Second, he indicates that an agreeable emotion of surprise comes from miracles, which tempts one to believe in them (75). Third, he remarks that the reports of miracles come from ignorant and barbarous people of chaotic societies resulting in an unreliable source (77). Lastly, he states that every religion swears by the truth of their own miracles against those of other religions
Open Document