, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 21–31 | Cite as

Miracles and rival systems of religion

  • Bruce Langtry


Plague Human Sacrifice High Priest True Religion Background Evidence 
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  1. 1.
    David A. Conway, ‘Miracles, Evidence and Contrary Religions,’Sophia Vol. 22, No. 3, October 1983, pp. 3–14; Bruce Langtry, ‘Hume on Miracles and Contrary Religions,Sophia Vol. 14, No. 1, March 1975, pp. 29–34. All page references in parentheses are to Conway's article.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    David Hume,Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge, second edition, Oxford, 1902, pp 121f.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    C. D. Broad, ‘Hume's Theory of the Credibility of Miracles,’Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, New Series, XVII, 1916–1917, p. 82; A. Flew,Hume's Philosophy of Belief, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1961, pp. 181–182; see also J. C. A. Gaskin,Hume's Philosophy of Religion Macmillan, 1978, pp. 106, 118–119.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Samuel Clarke,The Works, 1738, Vol. II, p. 701.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Conway, in his footnote 14, says: ‘Since Christians accept, e.g., God guided the Jews out of Egypt, there is no difference and so no contrariety here.’ It is true that Christianity and old Testament Judaism are not contrary religions. It is also true that Christianity and post-Biblical Judaism do not give contrary answers to the question, ‘Did Moses perform these miracles?’ But the important point is that, despite their agreement on the miracles, Christianity and post-Biblical Judaism are contrary religions.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    A full exposition of this argument would need to spell out, amongst other things, the last step—for, of course, ‘C entails Y and M confirms Y’ does not entail ‘M confirms C’.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J. Y. T. Greig, (ed)The Letters of David Hume, Clarendon Press, 1932, Vol. 1, pp. 350–351.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer SBM B.V. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Langtry
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneAustralia

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