Hume's Posteriori Argument against Miracles Is not Valid

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[Author’s Name] [Instructor’s Name] [Date of Submission] [Course Title] Hume’s Posteriori Argument against Miracles is not Valid Introduction In this essay “On Miracles,” Hume argues against the miraculous (Mossner 64). His argument is divided into two parts, his a priori (before the experience) argument of part I, and his a posteriori (after the experience) argument of part II.


The ‘a posteriori argument’ states that even if miracles were a possibility according to evidence, they in fact, have never occurred (Johnson & Anthony, 72). Hume’s ‘a posteriori argument’ has some merit from a general perspective, they are problematic from the perspective of an individual miracle test-case, i.e., the alleged resurrection of Jesus. I will argue that although the first of Hume’s three ‘a posteriori argument’s succeeds in showing that there may be no miracle proofs, it doesn’t show that there is not a sufficient probability for establishing our test case. Anti-Thesis In his first argument from a posteriori considerations, Hume sets out the qualitative requirements of a proof and a successful probability for a miracle along with the quantitative requirements of a miracle proof, and he argues for the (implied) thesis that the quantitative requirements of a proof have not been satisfied (Hume, Enquiry, 116-117). For Hume, the following qualitative conditions are required for a good individual miracle-testimony: the witness must be highly educated, socially outstanding, patently honest, have lots to lose by lying, and be situated in such circumstances that, if lying, exposure would readily result. ...
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