lecture04 - LECTURE 4 MIRACLES 1 INTRODUCTION The...

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1 1 LECTURE 4 MIRACLES 2 The occurrence of miracles is • maintained by most theistic religions. [doctrine] • claimed by many people to be evidence or reason for theistic belief. [evidence/reasons] INTRODUCTION 3 [1] What IS a miracle? [The Metaphysical Question] [2] Under what POSSIBLE circumstances WOULD it be RATIONAL for a person to believe that a miracle had occurred? [The First Epistemological Question] [3] Are any of us ACTUALLY IN those circumstances? [The Second Epistemological Question] THE QUESTIONS
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2 4 What is a miracle? Hume: "a transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity or by the interposition of some invisible agent." THE METAPHYSICAL QUESTION 1 5 DEF: An event e is a miracle if and only if (1) e violates a law of nature, and (2) e is caused directly by God or some other supernatural person. THE METAPHYSICAL QUESTION 2 6 - The Water-Wine Example Lesson: An event cannot be a miracle if it is caused by a purely natural force/process or has a naturalistic explanation. A miracle is not defined in terms of what we believe or know about events or the processes which cause them. WHY REQUIRE [1]?
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3 7 Denying a natural cause/explanation is not necessarily affirming a supernatural or personal one. Lesson: To count as a miracle, an event must
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2009 for the course PHIL 102 taught by Professor Pust during the Spring '08 term at University of Delaware.

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lecture04 - LECTURE 4 MIRACLES 1 INTRODUCTION The...

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