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
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31 found
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  1. added 2020-02-04
    The Christian Philosophy of Miracle: Ideas of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke.Valentin Yakovlev - 2019 - TSU Publishing House.
    The author of the monograph is a Candidate of Culturology, Associate Professor of Tyumen State University. The monograph tests approaches to the understanding of the essence of Hobbes’s and Locke’s ideas about miracles that are more flexible than a formational-evolutionist approach. The monograph presents the main characteristics of these ideas as Christian philosophical ones, shows their general Christian direction and the historiographic perspective of studying these ideas primarily in line with Christian philosophy. The monograph is intended for experts in the (...)
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  2. added 2020-01-21
    Miracles and the Perfection of Being: The Theological Roots of Scientific Concepts.Alex V. Halapsis - 2016 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 9:70-77.
    Purpose of the article is to study the Western worldview as a framework of beliefs in probable supernatural encroachment into the objective reality. Methodology underpins the idea that every cultural-historical community envisions the reality principles according to the beliefs inherent to it which accounts for the formation of the unique “universes of meanings”. The space of history acquires the Non-Euclidean properties that determine the specific cultural attitudes as well as part and parcel mythology of the corresponding communities. Novelty consists in (...)
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  3. added 2020-01-21
    Ultima ratio deorum.Alex V. Halapsis - 2016 - Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research 10:100-106.
    Purpose of this article is to investigate the role that the "miraculous" – that is, everything that goes beyond “natural” – plays in the worldview of Western man. Methodology. I do not consider “miracles” as the facts of nature, but as the facts of culture, so in this article I am not talking about specific cases of violation of “laws of nature”, but about the place of “miraculous” in the view of the world of Western man and those transformations, that (...)
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  4. added 2020-01-09
    Negative Natural Theology and the Sinlessness, Incarnation, and Resurrection of Jesus.Robert Greg Cavin & Carlos A. Colombetti - 2014 - Philosophia Christi 16 (2):409-418.
    We respond to Swinburne’s reply to our critique of his argument for the Resurrection by defending the relevance of our counterexamples to his claim that God does not permit grand deception. We reaffirm and clarify our charge that Swinburne ignores two crucial items of Negative Natural Theology (NNT)—that God has an exceptionally weak tendency to raise the dead and that even people with exemplary public records sometimes sin. We show, accordingly, that our total evidence makes it highly probable that Jesus (...)
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  5. added 2020-01-09
    Swinburne on the Resurrection: Negative Versus Christian Ramified Natural Theology.Robert Greg Cavin & Carlos A. Colombetti - 2013 - Philosophia Christi 15 (2):253-263.
    We consider the impact of negative natural theology on the prospects of Christian ramified natural theology with reference to Richard Swinburne’s argument for the Incarnation and Resurrection. We argue that Swinburne’s pivotal claim—that God would not allow deceptive evidence to exist for the Incarnation and Resurrection—is refuted by key evidence from negative natural theology. We argue, further, that Swinburne’s argument omits dominating items of evidence of negative natural theology which seem to critically weaken the probability of the Incarnation and Resurrection. (...)
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  6. added 2019-11-12
    El papel de los milagros en la filosofía de George Berkeley / The Role of Miracles in Berkeley's philosophy.Alberto Luis López - 2016 - In Laura Benítez Grobet, Leonel Toledo Marín & Alejandra Velázquez Zaragoza (eds.), Episodios filosóficos del platonismo: ecos y tensiones. Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico: pp. 333-354.
    La creencia de Berkeley en los milagros ha sido poco estudiada por los especialistas debido, quizá, a su connotación teológica; sin embargo, una vez que se estudia la cuestión resulta que tal creencia no es, como se podría pensar, sólo resultado de la fe, por el contrario, una lectura atenta muestra que la creencia en los milagros es compatible con la filosofia inmaterialista y, de hecho, es coherente con ella. Aunado a esto, la creencia en los milagros permite mostrar que (...)
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  7. added 2019-09-30
    Is It Reasonable to Believe That Miracles Occur?Alberto Oya - 2019 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 38 (2):39-50.
    Traditionally, miracles have been defined as supernaturally caused events which are outside the scope of scientific explicability. In this paper I will criticize the argument that, when we lack a scientific explanation for an event but it has an adequate explanation in theistic terms, then the most reasonable conclusion is to claim that the event is a miracle. I will defend that this argument would not work unless we had prior independent evidence for God’s existence. Furthermore, I will argue that (...)
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  8. added 2019-06-06
    Miracles, Evidence, Evil, and God: A Twenty-Year Debate*: Dialogue.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 (...)
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  9. added 2019-03-27
    Zur Epistemologie des Wunders: Swinburne versus Hume.Jörg Disse - 2019 - In Ulrich L. Lehner & Ronald K. Tacelli (eds.), Wort und Wahrheit. Fragen der Erkenntnistheorie. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer. pp. 171-191.
    Der Aufsatz befasst sich mit der Frage der Möglichkeit von Wundern in Auseinandersetzung mit dem Wunderverständnis von Richard Swinburne und David Hume./The article deals with the question of the possibility of miracles opposing the theory of miracles of Richard Swinburne and David Hume.
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  10. added 2016-12-08
    The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology.William Lane Craig & J. P. Moreland (eds.) - 2009 - Wiley-Blackwell.
  11. added 2014-09-29
    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.
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  12. added 2014-04-02
    David Hume, 'of Miracles'.K. T. Maslin - 1995 - Cogito 9 (1):83-89.
  13. added 2014-03-31
    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.
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  14. added 2014-03-17
    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 (...)
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  15. added 2013-06-10
    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.
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  16. added 2013-03-06
    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 (...)
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  17. added 2012-06-16
    Miracles As Evidence for God.Robert Larmer - 1999 - In God and Argument. Univ Ottawa Pr.
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  18. added 2012-06-16
    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 (...)
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  19. added 2012-06-16
    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 (...)
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  20. added 2012-06-16
    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.
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  21. added 2012-06-16
    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).
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  22. added 2011-04-12
    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.
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  23. added 2011-04-01
    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, (...)
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  24. added 2011-03-31
    Of Miracles and Special Effects.Hent de Vries - 2001 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 50 (1-3):41 - 56.
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  25. added 2010-12-08
    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.
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  26. added 2010-11-03
    Review Of: O. Gingerich: God’s Universe. [REVIEW]Yiftach J. H. Fehige - 2008 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 11:232-234.
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  27. added 2009-04-10
    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.
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  28. added 2008-12-31
    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 (...)
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  29. added 2008-12-31
    Review of Robert J. Fogelin, A Defense of Hume on Miracles, Princeton[REVIEW]Terence Penelhum - 2004 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2004 (1).
  30. added 2008-12-31
    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 (...)
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  31. added 2008-12-31
    Hume, Miracles, and the Paranorrnal.William Grey - 1993 - Cogito 7 (2):100-105.