Arguments from Miracles

Edited by Daniel Von Wachter (International Academy of Philosophy In The Principality of Liechtenstein)
About this topic
Summary A miracle is a visible divine intervention, i.e. an event that God brings about directly instead of an event to which a causal process would have led. Evidence for the occurrence of such an event is evidence for the existence of God. The ordinary notion of a miracle includes also miracles performed by a man with special abilities that he received from God, but philosophers often do not include these cases in their concept of a miracle. Texts in this category discuss whether can be and whether there are such events and what the correct criteria for believing in such evidence are.
Key works Swinburne 2003 is a defense of one particular miracle claim, it is the most detailed account of how we can know about a miracle. Most criticisms of arguments from miracles are in the Humean tradition; see the category ‘Hume's argument against miracles’.
Introductions Twelftree 2011; Larmer 1988
Related categories

24 found
Order:
  1. Hume and Miracles.Matthew C. Bagger - 1997 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 35 (2):237 - 251.
    "Hume and Miracles" relates Hume’s essay "Of Miracles" to the Port-Royal ’Logic’ and John Locke. It argues that Hume did not, as is often supposed, intend to suggest that well-attested miracle reports defeat themselves by undermining the laws of nature they defy. Instead, Hume argues that the specifically ’religious’ nature of the testimony relating to miracle claims rules out their acceptance because of the frequency of fraud in religious matters. Hume’s views are too austere because one might wish to reject (...)
  2. Miracles as Evidence for Theism.David Basinger - 1990 - Sophia 29 (1):56 - 59.
    In an ongoing dialogue, Robert Larmer and I have been discussing whether the undisputed occurrence of certain conceivable events would require all honest, thoughtful individuals to acknowledge that God has intervened in earthly affairs. I argue that there is no reason to believe that a nontheist who acknowledged certain healings to be strong evidence for theism but did not see such evidence as outweighing what she viewed as the stronger counterevidence, and thus remained a nontheist, could justifiably be accused of (...)
  3. Turin Shroud, Resurrection and Science: One View of the Cathedral.Tristan Casabianca - 2017 - New Blackfriars 98 (1073):709-721.
    In a topic as controversial as the Turin Shroud, it is always surprising to note that there remains a large area of consensus among scholars who hold opposite opinions on the origin of this piece of fabric. According to the consensus view, neither science nor history can prove that the Turin Shroud shows signs of the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. However, the reasons provided for this important claim are not convincing, especially in light of recent developments in historiography and (...)
  4. The Shroud of Turin, the Resurrection of Jesus and the Realm of Science: One View of the Cathedral.Tristan Casabianca - 2014 - Workshop on Advances in the Turin Shroud Investigation.
    In a topic as controversial as the shroud of Turin, it is always surprising to notice that there still exists a large area of consensus among scholars holding opposite opinions on the topic. According to the consensus view, neither science nor history can ever prove that the Turin Shroud shows signs of the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. However, the reasons given for such an important claim are not convincing, especially in regard of recent developments in historiography and analytic philosophy.
  5. The Shroud of Turin: A Historiographical Approach.Tristan Casabianca - 2013 - Heythrop Journal 54 (3):414-423.
    Criteria of historical assessment are applied to the Turin Shroud to determine which hypothesis relating to the image formation process is the most likely. To implement this, a ‘Minimal Facts’ approach is followed that takes into account only physicochemical and historical data receiving the widest consensus among contemporary scientists. The result indicates that the probability of the Shroud of Turin being the real shroud of Jesus of Nazareth is very high; historians and natural theologians should therefore pay it increased attention.
  6. The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology.William Lane Craig & J. P. Moreland (eds.) - 2009 - Wiley-Blackwell.
  7. Of Miracles and Special Effects.Hent de Vries - 2001 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 50 (1-3):41 - 56.
  8. Review Of: O. Gingerich: God’s Universe. [REVIEW]Yiftach J. H. Fehige - 2008 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 11:232-234.
  9. Hume, Miracles, and the Paranorrnal.William Grey - 1993 - Cogito 7 (2):100-105.
  10. On Hume's Philosophical Case Against Miracles.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2003 - In Christopher Bernard (ed.), God Matters: Readings in the Philosophy of Religion. Longman Publications.
    According to the Christian religion, Jesus was “crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again”. I take it that this rising again—the Resurrection of Jesus, as it’s sometimes called—is, according to the Christian religion, an historical event, just like his crucifixion, death, and burial. And I would have thought that to investigate whether the Resurrection occurred, we would need to do some historical research: we would need to assess the reliability of (...)
  11. Butler and Hume on Religion: A Comparative Analysis.Anders Jeffner - 1966 - Diakonistyrelsens.
    TOPICS DISCUSSED INCLUDE THE ARGUMENT FROM DESIGN, THE THEOLOGICAL IMPORTANCE OF THE NEW NATURAL SCIENCES, ARGUMENTS FROM MIRACLES, THE MEANING OF STATEMENTS ABOUT GOD, THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE IDEA OF GOD AND VARIOUS APOLOGETIC ARGUMENTS, AND ETHICAL AND META-ETHICAL THEORIES. (BP, EDITED).
  12. Miracles As Evidence for God.Robert Larmer - 1999 - In God and Argument. Univ Ottawa Pr.
  13. David Hume, 'of Miracles'.K. T. Maslin - 1995 - Cogito 9 (1):83-89.
  14. The Argument From Miracles: A Cumulative Case for the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.Timothy McGrew & Lydia McGrew - 2009 - In William Lane Craig & J. P. Moreland (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology. Blackwell. pp. 593--662.
  15. Hume, Miracles, and Probabilities: Meeting Earman's Challenge.Peter Millican - manuscript
    The centrepiece of Earman’s provocatively titled book Hume’s Abject Failure: The Argument against Miracles is a probabilistic interpretation of Hume’s famous ‘maxim’ concerning the credibility of miracle reports, followed by a trenchant critique of the maxim when thus interpreted. He argues that the first part of this maxim, once its obscurity is removed, is simply trivial, while the second part is nonsensical. His subsequent discussion culminates with a forthright challenge to any would-be defender of Hume to ‘point to some thesis (...)
  16. Review of The Resurrection of God Incarnate. [REVIEW]N. N. - 2005 - Faith and Philosophy 22 (2):235-238.
    Whether or not Jesus rose bodily from the dead remains perhaps the most critical and contentious issue in Christianity. Until now, argument has centered upon the veracity of explicit New Testament accounts of the events following Jesus� crucifixion, often ending in deadlock. In Richard Swinburne�s new approach, though, ascertaining the probable truth of the resurrection requires a much broader approach to the nature of God and to the life and teaching of Jesus.
  17. Miracles and Good Evidence.Douglas Odegard - 1982 - Religious Studies 18 (1):37-46.
    EVEN IF ’MIRACLE’ MEANS A VIOLATION OF A LAW OF NATURE, A CASE CAN BE MADE FOR THINKING THAT MIRACLES ARE POSSIBLE, DETECTABLE, AND COMPATIBLE WITH SCIENCE. THE CASE WORKS BY DEFINING A LAW-VIOLATION AS AN EVENT OF A KIND THAT IS EPISTEMICALLY IMPOSSIBLE UNLESS THERE IS GOOD EVIDENCE OF A GOD’S PRODUCING AN INSTANCE. HUMAN AND NON-HUMAN OBJECTIONS ARE CONSIDERED AND ANSWERED.
  18. Miracles, Evidence, Evil, and God: A Twenty-Year Debate.Christine Overall - 2006 - Dialogue 45 (2):355-366.
    This paper is the latest in a debate with Robert Larmer as to whether the occurrence of a miracle would provide evidence for the existence of God or against the existence of God. Whereas Larmer’s view is categorical (miracles occur and are evidence for the existence of God), mine is hypothetical (if the events typically described as miracles were to occur -- although I do not believe they do -- they would be evidence against the existence of God). The reason (...)
  19. Miracles as Evidence Against the Existence of God.Christine Overall - 1985 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):347-353.
    AN ASSUMPTION IN DEBATES ABOUT THE PHILOSOPHICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF MIRACLES IS THAT IF A MIRACLE (A VIOLATION OF NATURAL LAW OR A PERMANENTLY INEXPLICABLE EVENT) WERE TO OCCUR, IT WOULD BE EVIDENCE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN GOD. THE PAPER EXPLORES RESERVATIONS BY SEVERAL PHILOSOPHERS ABOUT THIS CONNECTION BETWEEN GOD AND MIRACLES, AND PRESENTS ARGUMENTS TO SHOW THAT IF A MIRACLE WERE TO OCCUR THERE WOULD BE GOOD REASON TO DENY THAT GOD EXISTS.
  20. Review of Robert J. Fogelin, A Defense of Hume on Miracles, Princeton[REVIEW]Terence Penelhum - 2004 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2004 (1).
  21. Proofs of Miracles and Miracles as Proofs.Richard L. Purtill - 1976 - Christian Scholar’s Review 6.
    AS AGAINST HUME’S VIEW THAT "A MIRACLE CAN NEVER BE PROVED SO AS TO BE THE FOUNDATION OF A SYSTEM OF RELIGION" I ARGUE THAT THE POSSIBILITY OF MIRACLES CAN BE DEFENDED ON PHILOSOPHICAL GROUNDS, THAT THERE IS HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR THE OCCURRENCE OF CERTAIN MIRACLES AND THAT SUCH MIRACLES CAN IN FACT GIVE GROUNDS FOR THE PREFERENCE OF ONE SYSTEM OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF OVER ANOTHER.
  22. Miracles and the Case for Theism.Victor Reppert - 1989 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 25 (1):35 - 51.
    THIS PAPER IS A DISCUSSION OF MACKIE’S HUMEAN ARGUMENT THAT MIRACLES CANNOT PLAY A ROLE IN A CASE FOR THEISM. I ARGUE THAT MACKIE IS MISTAKEN IN CONTENDING THAT MIRACLES CANNOT FORM PART OF A CASE FOR THEISM. IF THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT CERTAIN EVENTS DEVIATE FROM THE ORDINARY COURSE OF NATURE, AND IF AFFIRMING THE EXISTENCE OF GOD WOULD RENDER THAT EVIDENCE MORE COMPREHENSIBLE THAN OTHERWISE, THEN IT MUST BE ADMITTED THAT EVIDENCE THAT THESE EVENTS HAVE OCCURRED IS EVIDENCE (...)
  23. Hume on Miracles: Interpretation and Criticism.James E. Taylor - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (4):611–624.
    Philosophers continue to debate about David Hume’s case against the rationality of belief in miracles. This article clarifies semantic, epistemological, and metaphysical questions addressed in the controversy. It also explains the main premises of Hume’s argument and discusses criticisms of them. The article concludes that one’s evaluation of Hume’s argument will depend on one’s views about (a) the definitions of ’miracle’ and ’natural law’; (b) the type of reasoning one ought to employ to determine the probability that a particular miracle (...)
  24. Miracles and God's Existence.J. C. Thornton - 1984 - Philosophy 59 (228):219 - 229.
    THE AUTHOR ARGUES THAT THE HUMEAN "A PRIORI" ATTACK ON MIRACLES IS INTENDED TO SHOW THE INCOHERENCE OF THE NOTION OF A WELL-ATTESTED MIRACULOUS EVENT (NOT THE INCOHERENCE OF THE CONCEPT OF A MIRACLE). THOUGH THIS TYPE OF ATTACK CAN BE PRESENTED IN A POWERFUL FORM, IT SUFFERS FROM AN UNDULY NARROW ASSUMPTION CONCERNING THE NATURE OF EVIDENCE AND EXPLANATION, FOR IT "IS" POSSIBLE TO DESCRIBE CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH IT WOULD BE REASONABLE TO CONCLUDE THAT A MIRACLE HAS OCCURRED. HOWEVER, (...)