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The Angry Philospher vs. God

ianspigler
Posts: 24
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7/19/2011 11:19:48 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
The great empiricist Robert Hume was asked " If you don't believe in God how can you explain the clockwork nature of the universe ?" Hume replied " Just because the universe appears clockwork doesn't necessarily mean that it is, You can't prove that it is clockwork." he was then asked on his opinion of miracles, he said " Since miracles defy fact, they go aganist the whole of human experience, and since one testimony can't contradict the entirety of human experience, they are false."
thisisnottom
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
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7/19/2011 12:09:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
1. Do you mean David Hume?

2. It wasn't Hume's point that miracles can't be true because they contradict experience it was that they can never be rationally believed because no amount of testimony can evidentially outweigh the collective miracle-less experiences of humans. Or, in short, false miracle testimonials greatly outweigh "true" miracle reports.

3. There are well known problems with Hume's maxim. For one, it presupposes frequentism which is a pretty much disavowed epistemological position. For two, read John Earman's book on Hume. :)
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Thrasymachus
Posts: 29
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7/20/2011 4:02:30 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
3. There are well known problems with Hume's maxim. For one, it presupposes frequentism which is a pretty much disavowed epistemological position. For two, read John Earman's book on Hume. :)

I'm not as up to speed on Hume as I'd like (and I've only skimmed bits of Earman), but I'm pretty sure one can cash out a fairly respectable Bayesian version of Hume's dictum (e.g. "P(miraculous stuff|background) is uber low, so we need a stonking good odds ratio for the testimony of a miracle to kick us above 0.5"). But I may well be wrong about that.
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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7/20/2011 5:14:02 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/19/2011 11:19:48 AM, ianspigler wrote:
The great empiricist Robert Hume was asked " If you don't believe in God how can you explain the clockwork nature of the universe ?" Hume replied " Just because the universe appears clockwork doesn't necessarily mean that it is, You can't prove that it is clockwork." he was then asked on his opinion of miracles, he said " Since miracles defy fact, they go aganist the whole of human experience, and since one testimony can't contradict the entirety of human experience, they are false."

You mean you wish me to subjectively 'disprove' Humes subjective position that miraculous experiences are highly subjective and therefore unprovable? is that what you wish?
The Cross.. the Cross.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
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7/20/2011 8:31:59 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 5:14:02 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 7/19/2011 11:19:48 AM, ianspigler wrote:
The great empiricist Robert Hume was asked " If you don't believe in God how can you explain the clockwork nature of the universe ?" Hume replied " Just because the universe appears clockwork doesn't necessarily mean that it is, You can't prove that it is clockwork." he was then asked on his opinion of miracles, he said " Since miracles defy fact, they go aganist the whole of human experience, and since one testimony can't contradict the entirety of human experience, they are false."

You mean you wish me to subjectively 'disprove' Humes subjective position that miraculous experiences are highly subjective and therefore unprovable? is that what you wish?

That wasn't Hume's argument.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,927
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7/20/2011 8:46:38 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 4:02:30 AM, Thrasymachus wrote:
3. There are well known problems with Hume's maxim. For one, it presupposes frequentism which is a pretty much disavowed epistemological position. For two, read John Earman's book on Hume. :)

I'm not as up to speed on Hume as I'd like (and I've only skimmed bits of Earman), but I'm pretty sure one can cash out a fairly respectable Bayesian version of Hume's dictum (e.g. "P(miraculous stuff|background) is uber low, so we need a stonking good odds ratio for the testimony of a miracle to kick us above 0.5"). But I may well be wrong about that.

Earman actually reinterprets Hume's maxim in Bayesian probablistic terms and then argues that Hume's argument still fails - i.e. that, in principle, it is possible for a miracle to be rationally believed in based upon testimony. Or in other words, a particular miracle claim can have an astonishingly low antecdent/prior probability yet turn how to have a relatively high posterior probability.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
DATCMOTO
Posts: 6,160
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7/21/2011 4:53:26 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 7/20/2011 8:31:59 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 7/20/2011 5:14:02 AM, DATCMOTO wrote:
At 7/19/2011 11:19:48 AM, ianspigler wrote:
The great empiricist Robert Hume was asked " If you don't believe in God how can you explain the clockwork nature of the universe ?" Hume replied " Just because the universe appears clockwork doesn't necessarily mean that it is, You can't prove that it is clockwork." he was then asked on his opinion of miracles, he said " Since miracles defy fact, they go aganist the whole of human experience, and since one testimony can't contradict the entirety of human experience, they are false."

You mean you wish me to subjectively 'disprove' Humes subjective position that miraculous experiences are highly subjective and therefore unprovable? is that what you wish?

That wasn't Hume's argument.

" and since one testimony can't contradict the entirety of human experience, they are false."

Seems like that's EXACTLY what he's saying here.
The Cross.. the Cross.