Miracles and God's Existence

Philosophy 59 (228):219 - 229 (1984)
Abstract
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, WE CAN KNOW ON "A POSTERIORI" GROUNDS THAT THE PROBABILITY OF THESE CIRCUMSTANCES EVER HAVING OBTAINED IS EXTREMELY REMOTE. FINALLY, IT IS ARGUED THAT (UNLESS THE DESIGN ARGUMENT IS SOUND) WELL-ATTESTED MIRACLES ARE, NEVERTHELESS, THE ONLY POSSIBLE GROUNDS WHICH COULD JUSTIFY A REASONABLE BELIEF IN THE EXISTENCE OF A PERSONAL GOD
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DOI 10.1017/S003181910006770X
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