• Submitted By: Kejzi
  • Date Submitted: 05/24/2015 6:43 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1120
  • Page: 5

He maintained that sense experience (empiricism) is the only reliable guide to reality
He is a sceptic because he argues that we cannot reason accurately beyond what we see as this requires us to make assumptions
He contended that miracles are impossible
We establish cause and effect relationships based on our experience of the world which leads us to making predictions about what will happen in similar cases in the future
The most experience we have of an event, the less likely it is that the opposite will occur and so, miracles are less likely each time we experience a ‘normal event’
Other people’s testimonies are the only way to disprove/prove miracles and so he would postulate whether it is more likely that a miracle occurred or, that the accounts are mistaken
He does not believe in chance/supernatural intervention
“No evidence 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 establish”
His practical argument
Modern thinkers respond to Hume:

CS Lewis (1898-1963) FOR

Converted to Christianity in 1929 – had been an atheist

Defended miracles - he believed we had two options about how we view the world

(1) We are either naturalists and believe that reality is physical and there is nothing else
(2) We are supernaturalists and we believe that non-physical things such as God and the soul exist
He saw naturalism are self defeating because if we are just physical beings who are subjected to the laws of cause and effect then our decision to believe in naturalism is physically caused and we have no choice about what we believe. It is caused by physical factors

However, if we accept the possibility of God, then we can accept the possibility of miracles
In rejecting this, the naturalist is making assumptions that the world is purely physical
Anthony Flew (1923-) AGAINST

Accepts that Hume is technically correct to say that miracles...

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