David Hume the philosopher said that as nature never does certain things such as let the dead come back to life, we should assume for the sake of argument if nothing else, that a report that say Jesus rose, is not believable.  He didn't call it false.  He just said at best we should admit we don't know or just believe it is false.  Belief is not certainty.  He told us that commonsense shows a person saying they seen him is more likely to be mistaken or lying about such a thing.


Is Hume saying nature does not allow miracles for it rolls on unchanged therefore miracles do not happen?
The miracle believer says the only way out of the circle is to admit that evidence says miracles seem possible. Is that a matter for history? Or philosophy? Or science? Believers say it is history for you can only go by what people testify to and the evidence they present. The reality is that you cannot tell anybody what to think of the evidence. You give it to them and let them draw their own conclusions. Miracles then do not justify setting up religions that get your children or pressure people to believe or prevent them making responsible and informed religious choices. They do not justify people becoming priests and preachers and popes who have not armed themselves with the evidence or thought much about it. They condemn it.


It is said that an assertion that miracles should be believed not to happen for logic says we must not believe, is putting the matter outside of science.

What?  Religion says that theology and science complement each other but are different paths to truth.

So we are told that science cannot detect when God has worked a miracle and that if we say a miracle is just silly that puts it outside of science?

So should science say it has no way of being sure if the sun is real and not a miracle illusion? It flatly does not care about the miracle possibility.

And I will add that too many are desperate to keep scientists away from poking around miracles.

Anyway we will leave it there.

The idea is that science is strictly about testing and then thinking and not just thinking and reasoning.
Inductive thinking is just thinking without being informed by the evidence and before you look at it.
Deductive reasoning is thinking about the evidence and what it points to and what it all implies and suggests. Each discovery is really a sum of discoveries actual and potential.
Ayer writes of the view that "scientists do not employ inductive reasoning. They advance hypotheses, submit them to the severest tests that they can devise, and adhere to them so long as they are not falsified."
He says this is not fully accurate.

He says that nobody avoids inductive reasoning and it need not be a barrier to accuracy and the validity of tests. It does mean they take nothing for granted and keep challenging their inductive reasoning habits and conclusions. In God terms, the scientist if she believes, believes almost against her will. That is still godless. Science is atheistic and anti-God. If it is not it is trying to be though it does not know it.
Another thought, if you think God shows himself by how he makes things then this reluctance means ultimately you call God, if there is one, a liar.  How could science be valid if there is serious reason to think that of a God?


A claim that nobody can test to show if it is false is no good. You have no way of showing it false. If you claim you have an invisible undetectable frog in your kitchen then that is as good as claiming that God has made you rule the world and people are blinded from seeing that and they think you are just Joan or John living in the humble caravan. It implies that anything goes and one pile of rubbish deserves as much respect as another.

Christian John Lennox says that Hume will not admit there is an observation that would prove his view that miracles are not believable to be false. Thus his sceptical view is non-falsifiable. The problem is an idea seems best avoided if you have no way to show how it might be wrong.

We have several responses to Lennox.

First - Hume did outline when miracles would be a reasonable belief. His complaint was that you are forced to take the word of others for it that a miracle happened so by implication he was saying he would believe if he saw one himself.

Second - saying that until his time nothing had met a sufficient standard is not the same as saying that nothing will never come up. The latter would be the non-falsifiable view.  We can all say the same thing today.  It makes no difference.  He was not biased Lennox.

Making claims and protecting them from evidence is not the same as making a claim for which no evidence will be attainable. The first is a cover-up and the second makes it too easy to lie.  Hume was complaining about both. You don't need a test for any of this.  It is obvious.  Or if you like, looking at it is a test.

Saying God wants all to be healthy but then saying sickness does not refute God is protecting yourself from evidence. I said yourself. It is selfish. It is not the same thing as you saying you cannot live on the sun if you could go there though you cannot give evidence.

Lennox complains that the miracle claim may be falsifiable or non-falsifiable only to the witness. I cannot know or be sure that Bernadette saw Our Lady even if she did. What is non-falsifiable to you is not necessarily non-falsifiable to me. That is irrelevant.  If you see a miracle then believe but don't let others get carried away about it.

Christians are doing what Hume is accused of. They say that belief in a creator gives you a satisfactory reason for trusting nature to work reliably so you can be sure that a miracle really happens for evidence says it does. So they are saying that there is no observation that proves their view that some miracles are believable is false. Suppose it is true that Hume was guilty of non-falsifiable scepticism. They are worse than Hume for clearly the person who looks at nature and makes judgements is not the same as somebody who assumes God and then makes judgements. Now where you had one non-falsifiable you have two. I know which one I would choose if I had to.  Hume.

To choose between them and Hume if it were an equal playing field would show they are still too narrow minded for they don't encourage or affirm those who agree with Hume.
Lennox is talking about miracles. This is very general and is not about any specific miracle. It is about trying to say, "miracles are possible therefore they happen." Possibilities do not count. It is probabilities that matter. The reason is it should be, "miracles are possible therefore they might happen." But that is balanced by, "miracles are possible therefore they might not happen." So that is the real root of his "refutation" of Hume's good sense.  It is nonsense.
The discussion should be about specific miracles. What if there is only one miracle? Or one that counts for investigating? Lennox wants to get you from, "miracles may happen" to "I believe Jesus rose."


The idea of miracle lacks credibility and only leads to gross errors. Hume was right and the implications of what he wrote are deeper than what he actually wrote!


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