Can Miracles Be Proved or Disproved?

Whether miracles have happened in the past cannot be disproved based on counting how many times miracles have not happened. Such logic may seem valid on the surface, saying that someone has observed a phenomenon many times and never seen a miracle. But once the problem is examined, we find that counting how many times a miracle does not happen bears nothing on whether or not it did happen on one occasion. Counting how many times a bit of data happens says nothing of whether an anomaly occurred. Miracles, by definition, are an anomaly. Thus the skeptical method, made widespread by David Hume, of saying that miracles cannot happen because they have never been observed, is both circular and invalid.

The question of whether an anomaly of nature (a miracle) can happen rests not on counting probabilities, but on whether God exists, which is an entirely different question. If God exists, then miracles are possible. But we cannot make categorical statements discounting miracles based on probabilities, most especially not by counting how many times they have not occurred.

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About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
This entry was posted in Apologetics, Skepticism. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Can Miracles Be Proved or Disproved?

  1. Vinny says:

    I don’t think that is what Hume is saying. The fact that a miracle has never been observed.doesn’t mean that a miracle can’t happen. It simply means that a natural explanation for a claimed miracle will always be more probable than a supernatural one.

  2. Vinny says:

    I believe that those quotations confirm my understanding of Hume.

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