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Why You Shouldn't Believe Miracle Claims

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Published on Feb 23, 2012

The problem of miracles is that rational people should never believe a claim of one. This is a modern retelling of David Hume's argument. Essentially what it boils down to is that you should always believe the explanation with the highest probability. Since miracles by definition violate the laws of nature, they must have a lower probability than any conceivable natural explanation (if the laws of nature were violated on a routine basis, they wouldn't be the laws of nature).

Therefore, it is always more likely someone is being either intentionally dishonest (lying, joking, exaggerating, etc), or honestly mistaken (were tricked, suffered a hallucination, or simply misperceived or misremembered an actual event), than a miracle occurred. Given that we have no examples of the laws of physics being violated today (such as people walking on water or coming back to life after being dead several days), the probability of such an event happening based on our background knowledge is extremely low (if not zero). On the other hand, with over 7 billion people on the planet, there are certainly BILLIONS of falsehoods transmitted from person to person every day (intentionally and unintentionally). There are billions of people misperceive or misremember actual events, and billions of people who deceive others either deliberately or accidentally. When you hear a report of a magical event therefore, the odds are several billion times more likely that you are dealing with one of these things than that an actual miracle occurred.

This video is reuploaded from cdk007's 'Logic of Religion' series: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list...

Check out his channel for more great videos. http://www.youtube.com/user/cdk007

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