Saturday, April 23, 2011
The David Hume god
Consider some of these quotes from Hume: "We should never repose the least confidence in human testimony," or "It is a miracle, that a dead man should come back to life; because that has never been observed in any age or country. There must, therefore, be a uniform experience against every miraculous event," or "We readily reject any fact which is unusual and incredible in an ordinary degree." The evidential proof of Hume is the outright denial of miracles, even miracles attested to by witnesses should never be accepted. On Hume's account, unless one has 100% proof, the event should be rejected. How does Hume's testimony hold up by using his own criteria?
Hume fails the test, when his criteria is applied to himself, for no one can give 100% evidence, atheist or Christian. If we are to reject human testimony, then what shall we do with Hume's testimony? Philosopher William Lane Craig states, "For an argument to be a good one, it isn't required that we have 100% certainty."  In a court of law, the evidence only needs to be tipped in your favor (51% or greater). When looking at miracles, like the resurrection story of Jesus, 100 % proof is not what is needed. All claims can be evaluated on their merits and an inference to best explanation is what should count. The late atheist turned theist, Anthony Flew, was honest when he said, "we should follow the evidence wherever it leads." 
 Nagel, Thomas, The Last Word, p. 130