Discussion of the Feasibility of Miracles and the Grounds for Christianity
Existing Without Miracles



Kurt Erler
Philosophical Classics
11/11/96

In the following Discussion, I will point out the facts and ideas that
disagree with Hume\'s ideas. The ideas are the ones on miracles in An Enquiry
Concerning Human Understanding involving Section ten Of Miracles. The idea of
this is using the circle philosophical argument. If one agrees that Christians
believe in the Bible, and that miracles have people understand the Bible as Hume
points out, then Christians must believe in miracles. If one takes away any of
these things, the statement does not hold. In this case, the removal of the
Bible is used. Hume confronts the ideas of religion directly by stating that
without the splendor of miracles, Christianity and other beliefs would not
stand. He states that miracles are used to make us believe the scriptures.
This is not true, since from the starts of Christianity there were not always
scriptures. There were pieces of art work done for generations before the texts
were written and after that, they still had to be published. From there, only
the rich were well off enough to afford such a book. In fact, the Gospels were
written from 20-100 years after Christ died. The Acts were a collection of
works made from two hundred to three hundred years after the crucifixion,
collected from different accounts. And then there are the letters, which were
written approximately four hundred and fifty years after the fact. They were
written by St. Paul, who was also a soldier for the Roman army and killed
hundreds of Christians, who believed and followed God, without the scriptures
that Hume talks about. From this, if you take away the scriptures, God\'s church
carries on and if you take the people from the church, "God\'s church" still
survives. The scriptures do not make people believe, they help people
understand. For this Hume is correct. He states that miracles help Christians
understand what they believe, but the belief and faith are deeper. Miracles and
parables helped people believe and understand what was to be our faith, but they
are not what faith is about. You can take any miracle, and faith will still
exist. Miracles are also becoming more understood. There is thought that as
Hume presents, some miracles are in themselves tricks of nature, such as the
splitting of the Red Sea. At a time of extreme low tide one can cross, and that
the Egyptian army sank because of the mud or their heavy armor they were laden
with. There are bodies and armor found underneath the Red Sea that is Roman and
there exists evidence of this being the cause of it. Hume says that miracles
are the defiance or the breaking of the rules of nature. In his explanation,
the lifting of a house or mountain is just as big a miracle, as is the lifting
of a feather by the wind. As stated, in this Hume is possibly correct, that
miracles are phenomena of nature that can, with advances in science, be
explained. This is what Hume calls Transgressions of a law of nature. Hume
defining non-natural events is led to believe that they are miracles, but all
the time miracles, through science, are seen to be possible, so a miracle then
is not a miracle as much know, yet the faith is not broken. Hume is also trying
to end in his mind, what he thinks is superstition. He thinks that when we
start to think clearly about religion, we will start to lose our belief in it.
Again he is using the argument that is stated in the above paragraph. Hume\'s
criticisms are not aimed to tell you that your religious beliefs are false,
instead he does not agree with the evidence given to support their convictions.
He says the only advantage to holding onto your religious beliefs or being able
to support them, is that you could give an unbeliever reason to share your
beliefs. If you think that there is rational evidence for your beliefs, then
you can go out and share them and get others to believe the same. Again,
Christianity holds without the miracles, for in the beginning, there were no
miracles that were talked about. Here is where a fideist is true. A fideist is
someone who is willing to stick to their religious beliefs without having to see
proof or miracles, so they just have faith. The advantage is that they are what
people would be without miracles and that they are what would carry the