David Hume was a Scottish philosopher well known for his philosophical empiricism and his views about miracles. He was born in 1711 and died in 1776. Although his views were recorded over 200 hundred years ago, when the question of miracles is addressed today, philosophers still rally around his perspective.
Hume was a sceptic and probably an atheist and denied that miracles ever took place in history. The really big issue, of course, for everyone when thinking about miracles is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, because that is the biggest of miracles. Hume did not believe that Jesus was resurrected from the dead and also felt the early christians could not be believed, so there was no proof that God existed.
The biggest question, of course, is whether God exists
As a philosopher Hume undoubtedly has influenced millions. He believed that everything that happened in our world did so according to “the law of nature” and, if there was a god he could not work a miracle because he could not transgress this law of nature. Further, he argued that if someone reported a miracle then that individual was mistaken, delusional or lying for some reason. He never did say what he would conclude if he saw a miracle happen.
David Hume was proud of his arguments against the belief in miracles and so in effect against the belief in a supreme being. He said in his publication, ‘Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding’, “I flatter myself, that I have discovered an argument of a like nature, which, if just, will , with the wise and learned, be an everlasting check to all kinds of superstitions, delusions, and consequently, will be useful as long as the world endures.”
No one in our modern society would accept what in the philosophical, scientific or religious sphere is clearly spurious, and if it is, it should be identified as such. This blog is not about many happenings that people might call miraculous, but is restricted to physical miracles or healings which happen to people through the actions of God as described in the christian scriptures.
In Hume’s argument against miracles every objection always refers to someone else, who supposedly is deluded, mistaken, or lying. Nowhere in the his writings does one find information that says that he personally went to the person who claimed a healing/miracle to determine the validity of such a claim. In the literature of today the same holds true. One needs to ask if you are agnostic or atheist why not go to the people directly involved and ask questions? And don’t just go to one such person but several. Are you afraid you might find evidence that is contrary to you current belief. All you need to do is find one genuine healing/miracle to prove that God exists. And that can change your life.
Much is said about finding evidence. History provides ample evidence in regard to miracle/healings. On occasion a claim may not be genuine, however, written records show that God has often helped those who revered him.
Below is information that shows that miracle/healings have occurred over the centuries.
- The Old Testament to the New Testament, 16 recorded instances.
- The New Testament, 40 recorded instances.
- The Patristic Church Fathers. 50 AD – 600 AD. See web, ‘Patristic Fathers’.
- Medieval Period. 600 – 1400, See web, ‘The Voice of Healing’.
- Reformation Period. 1400 – 1700, See Web, ‘The Voice of Healing’.
- 1700 – 1800, Cornelius Jansen, John Wesley, See Web, ‘The Voice of Healing’.
- 1900+, Emily Gardiner Neal. See Web, ‘1988 Wheaton College Archives’.
- 1900+, Fr. McAlear, See Web, ‘The Finger of God for Healing, Catholic Online’.
- 1900+, See Web, ‘Smith Wigglesworth, Evangelical’.
- 1900+, Francis Mcnutt, See Web, ‘Christian Healing Ministry’.
- And there are many others.
In the New Testament, Mathew 10:8, Jesus told his followers to heal the sick. Since then a good number have been doing so, in different times, different places, and even in different ways.
If you are an unbeliever you can research this topic more intensely and come to understand and accept the truth that healing is possible because of Jesus’ death on the cross. Ultimately, you will decide whether David Hume’s view of miracles is valid, or if Jesus’ view is valid.
David Hume is buried in a tomb in Scotland which you can see if you search, ‘David Hume, Tomb’. He died some 250 years ago. On the other hand Jesus died about 2000 years ago but he needed no permanent tomb because he was resurrected from the dead.
In Revelation (King James 2000 Bible) Jesus said, “I am he that lives, and was dead: and, behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen: and have the keys of hades and of death.
Jesus also said, in Mathew 11:28, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” You can, if you want, do that today.
Thanks for visiting.