This title is asking the student to consider different definitions of miracles and in particular Hume’s definition of ‘a violation of a law of nature’ – which could be considered to make miracles almost by definition impossible. Students could assess the strength of Hume’s a priori argument, and then consider other definitions of miracles such as those of Tillich, Holland and Wiles. Lewis and Ward could be used to provide a critique of Hume and Wiles.
Ever since Hume’s definition of a miracle as a ‘violation’ of a law of nature, there has been debate over whether miracles do or even can happen. The question I will be addressing in this essay is whether the violation definition of a miracle makes miracles impossible, and considering the strengths of alternative definitions of miracle.