Hume on Miracles – Philosophy Tube

Hume on Miracles – Philosophy Tube

Hume’s famous discussion of miracles is actually still used in the philosophy of religion today.
Knowledge, Logic, and Religion Playlist:

The text is pretty easy for those who are interested:




Our comment music is ‘No!’ by Vim.
Other Music:
‘Hallelujah Chorus’ – Handel
‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ – Metallica
‘Human’ – The Killers
‘Superhuman’ – Chris Brown ft. Keri Hilson

Clips from ‘The Prince of Egypt’ and ‘A Few Good Men’


  1. Wendy Nerd on April 29, 2022 at 7:33 pm

    You look like a teenager here. OMG.

  2. taylor neill on April 29, 2022 at 7:36 pm

    It seems to me that the problem with Hume’s ‘balancing argument’ is that it presupposes that natural laws are always left to themselves (and elsewhere that miracles are a violation of natural laws). I see no reason to suppose that the regularity of natural laws is ‘exceptionless’ if there is a God who can intervene or overpower them.

    If God exists, there are possible scenarios where the evidence does better support a non-naturalistic explanation – even if some of that evidence is based on human testimony. The most that you could say using Hume’s principal, therefore, is that we should be skeptical of supernatural claims because natural causes are more likely. But the unlikelihood of the event is entailed by any meaningful definition of the word ‘miracle’! Thus, the objection could be rephrased: “We should be skeptical of unlikely claims because they are unlikely.” This is a truism at best.

    Only if you assume that natural laws cannot be interrupted (i.e. that God does not exist), does the argument make sense. But the argument does not even aspire to show that God does not exist.

  3. Plamena Metodieva on April 29, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    was that tom cruise in risky buisiness

  4. JREHangzhou on April 29, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    There seems to be a contradiction in your video. You use Hume’s argument to discuss that miracles don’t exist. But then you say if Jesus rose from the dead, even if it is a miracle, Hume sees through it, that it doesn’t prove who it is from. Doesn’t this throw out your whole argument? If Hume is right, you can’t say Jesus rose from the dead or performed any miracles. And if rising from the dead doesn’t prove where it is from, maybe look to the one who did the miracle to see where he says the supernatural power is coming from. That might be a good start.

  5. Nate on April 29, 2022 at 7:40 pm

    I think that God mostly causes miracles within the laws of nature. I’m biased though cause I’m Christian

  6. Jory Jones on April 29, 2022 at 7:42 pm

    5:43 That is correct.

  7. talstory on April 29, 2022 at 7:43 pm

    is it possible that miracles happened in the old days but don’t today because we have tv and the internet?

  8. Winta Carty on April 29, 2022 at 7:44 pm

    This is so helpful my exam is in 2 hours and I needed a quick video to give the run down on humes beliefs❤️

  9. Duygu Yiğit on April 29, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    well, hume is also the guy who said we can never prove that laws of nature are unbreakable. (on causation, same book? (inquiry?)) what we merely have on laws of nature that we assume that they are such laws. even we added all the instances together and they are a tremendous number, this wouldnt still make a law as the way we see it. then miracles shouldnt be that big of a problem.

  10. oliver wright on April 29, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    That’s Toon Link, not the normal Link…

  11. Roe T on April 29, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    I have my AS Level philosophy resit in about two hours and I only started revising last night. I’ve had so much caffeine I think I’m dying. This channel is going to help me pass my exam before I kick it. thanks mate.

  12. Syeda A on April 29, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    Hume was just a wannabe anti-christ

  13. Sir Copperfield on April 29, 2022 at 7:49 pm

    Following this logic we shouldn’t believe in 90% things that we (think we) know.

  14. Firmus on April 29, 2022 at 7:51 pm

    It is unreasonable to expect evidence for an event that is defined by being an exception from rules by which things are proven. If you could prove a miracle, it wouldn’t be much of a miracle. Hume was wrong.

  15. The Bible interrogates authors on April 29, 2022 at 7:52 pm

    So you grant the miracles but won’t believe Jesus when He says Who have Him the power and ability to do them?
    Why agree to miracles but disagree to what He says?

  16. Rick89 Martinez on April 29, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    I recommend Hume’s Abject Failure by John Earman.

  17. NN on April 29, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    I’ve never seen a miracle and even the few "unusual" event I’ve experienced I don’t consider them to be miracles because I don’t have any kind of assurance that they were real to me the first thing that makes a miracle possible is that it really occured unless the person who experienced that cannot tell the difference between what’s real and what isn’t which can be proven , I think science is very clear and direct which makes it reliable but even science cannot defy logic and still make sense if miracles are events in which natural laws the basis of science are altered by some supernatural agent is it not logical that science cannot explain it ? you cannot explain something beyond reason by current reasonning , unless you expand your means to reach or get close to what was beyond you because reducing the supernatural to something you can manage and and control is impossible not mimicing it and faking it , the "real" thing if that is possible than "nothing is impossible" is no longer a slogan it becomes very very real .

  18. Kathleen Smith on April 29, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    An earlier video said how suppositions should to be falsifiable to be taken seriously, if I understand correctly.

    How would that work here?
    If we had rock solid documentation of “a miracle”, something that contradicted all know scientific / natural laws…
    How do we know that the natural laws as we understand are correct?
    If a natural law permanently changed, how do we know that the natural law wasn’t as fixed as we thought, and our understanding just fell short?
    Apply this same thing to a momentary event…
    As we’ve gotten better at explaining many natural phenomenon, would there not always be doubt we missed something?
    So, how is this properly falsifiable?
    Could someone other than a deity truly know that they intervened?

  19. Robert Stevenson on April 29, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    One correction. By definition, Hume’s position does not (and empirically cannot) prove that miracles cannot happen but mearly expresses his philosophy that you should not believe them. Take that as you will of course. But it is an important distinction.

  20. sosunfreak on April 29, 2022 at 7:57 pm

    the hume memes are the best

  21. lord buss on April 29, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    The most important thing Hume said was Hume’s Law and it’s an intellectual crime that people don’t talk about it more often.

  22. Shada on April 29, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    A better question about Miracles: How do you prove that which can not be true unless god literally says "Fuck it"

  23. Sam Leheny on April 29, 2022 at 7:59 pm

    Hume was the man.

  24. Kyle Rusk on April 29, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    You can never. When enough imperical data is presented, a miracle simply becomes scientific fact. Show us the F#@$ing evidence.

  25. ПАЗВЛЕЧЕНИЯ & ПЕСНИ on April 29, 2022 at 8:02 pm


  26. ECKDavid on April 29, 2022 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks for your thought-provoking videos. It`s gratifying to see that intelligent and creative videos are possible on YouTube.

    Practically all of us are victims of collective delusions to some degree. I`m thinking of Heidegger`s call of conscience, living authentically, rather than miracles. For example, most people are totally clueless about the true history of capitalism (Mexie explains it well).

  27. Lostintime on April 29, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    Lenin seizing the means of p was a miracle …

  28. Demeter on April 29, 2022 at 8:05 pm

    you seem really nice and sweet

  29. S K on April 29, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    I healed my dad. He was misdiagnosed with “uncurable” Huntington’s Disease by the wretched Kaiser Permanente of Milpitas. We moved to India. He saw a new doctor here. She prescribed him a medication that was cheap and helped a lot. He was fine for a year and a half, then started getting worse. We went in to his new doctor and she called for an MRI. Turns out he had Normal Pressure Hydrocephaly. Not HD. This NPH can be cured with a medical device called a shunt. They wanted to put one inside his brain. Thanks to YouTube I got to do some research. There are two types of shunt as it turns out. And one is just installed in the spine. So I persuaded the surgeon to go that route instead. It’s now 2 years later and he is totally fine, he’s 80 and looking forward to a long life. He would have been a vegetable without a seriously miraculous series of events that included his resilience, my skepticism of his original quack diagnosis and persistence, the luck of moving to India at the right time, modern medical tech (the shunt is built by Medtronics in the USA), and probably God and money and other things (the surgery was so inexpensive that we paid out of pocket). So, to me and dad, miracles exist. Like you can’t take any of that story and not see miracles and coincidences everywhere. So, what gives?

  30. Phil Hynes on April 29, 2022 at 8:08 pm

    Was Jesus ex-humed here?

  31. Pierce Delahunt on April 29, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    Here in the US, Christopher Handley went to prison for having Hentai that the court/jury decided violated the Obscenity Act. Fucked.

  32. Jeffrey Bull on April 29, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” – George Carlin.

  33. Bagandtag on April 29, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    There’s no way this is the same dude from the newer videos what the fuck did you do to him?

  34. Alice Bordwell Haugen on April 29, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    Hmmm. We only know that the laws of nature are universally applicable if we believe that to be true – it can’t be proven by evidence because we have a finite data set. Always convenient to assume what you want to prove.

  35. Belen Haymes on April 29, 2022 at 8:11 pm


  36. Applicable Apple on April 29, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    "Diana was still alive hours before she died" well no shit

  37. pulchrat on April 29, 2022 at 8:13 pm

    Hume’s conclusion sound a little pessimistic. As an example from science, Newtonian mechanics and flat space were physics concepts proven and re-proven a functionally infinite number of times over centuries, then Einstein showed in one study that reaction are not always proportional, and space can be bent. The conclusion should be not that miracles are impossible, but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  38. Sombre Cynic on April 29, 2022 at 8:13 pm

    If the supernatural interacts with reality then it becomes apart of nature hence the supernatural cannot exist. Once it begins to exists it becomes natural.

  39. Scott Eralus on April 29, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    During my first time out with a Meetup group of atheists, a quick initial survey of my new friends of what brought them to the “dark side “, almost each person said Hume. That’s how I knew I was in the right place with the right people. A side comment re: the senate here in les etats unis, we DO vote for them. Some states allow for the appointment of a senator to fill a vacancy. See recently the California governor appointing a Democrat to fill the senate seat left open by Kamala Harris when she became Vice President. Good show on your channel btw. Gonna hit like then I’m off. Peace.

  40. Jeffrey Bull on April 29, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    "Tell the lie. Make it big. Repeat it often and be sure it reaches the population with the highest concentration of the least intelligent" Josef Goebels. Hitler’s minister of propaganda.

  41. Max Metodiev on April 29, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    This was the first philosophy tube video I watched

  42. Julia Nadeau on April 29, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    I think there’s a flaw in Hume’s take on miracles, not necessarily in the notion that miracles don’t exist, but in the notion that we can know all the laws of nature. Our ability to perceive the world around us is finite, as is our ability to measure, quantify or define it. Ergo, our understanding of these natural laws is finite. Furthermore, one can reason that the nature of miracles stem not from a supernatural agency, but due to our lack of understand of the natural laws which govern the phenomenon in question. This is, of course, implied by the word "supernatural" itself. Not that supernatural exists beyond the laws of nature, but that the supernatural exists beyond OUR UNDERSTANDING of nature itself. This further suggests that the existence of not just miracles, but the existence of deities and other so-called supernatural phenomena might someday be understood through study and exploration of the phenomena, rather than dismissing the phenomena as "supernatural", or even unreal, since it defies our current understanding of these natures. This is part of the problem I have with Scientism, because while philosophers frequently ponder and rationalize such matters, the fundamentalist scientists would dismiss the "supernatural" outright and thus refuse to explore any phenomenon that even hints towards the supernatural.

  43. Pfhorrest on April 29, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    I like to generalize Hume’s line of reasoning about miracles to cover all kinds of questions in defense against various forms of nihilism. Just as you can never say that a miracle has happened, some event that does not have a naturalistic explanation, only at best that something has happened for which we don’t have a naturalistic explanation *yet* , so too you can never say that there simply is no answer to any particular question, only that we have not yet come up with an answer to it *yet* . In particular, people raise disagreement about morality as an argument for moral nihilism, but just because there (ostensibly) aren’t answers to moral questions that are as widely accepted as scientific answers about reality, that doesn’t mean that there *simple are no answers* to those questions, just that we haven’t conclusively figured them out *yet*.

  44. Alaa Atif on April 29, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    I think your more recent videos lack the number of awful jokes displayed in this one. Please reconsider.

  45. Josh Gosh on April 29, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    Who are you kidding about only referencing Christian scriptures. Everyone watching this knows the actual real reason why you won’t reference other religions miracles. Because it would require courage that you don’t have.

  46. Matěj Jureček on April 29, 2022 at 8:20 pm

    I don’t really believe in miracles, but just because we have no evidence for ‘x’ doesn’t mean that ‘x’ doesn’t exist. Just sayin’, that’s the whole problem with empiricism I think, you never know anything.

  47. Knotty Queen on April 29, 2022 at 8:22 pm

    Jesus didn’t have "assistance" he *was* a God: fully God and fully man; therefore miracles supported his claim that supernatural or more than human given, human ability

  48. agreeableWitch on April 29, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    I couldn’t find my professor’s Hume notes in his mess of a canvas page, you totally saved my assignment that’s due tomorrow. Thank you so much!

  49. xuan trang nguyễn on April 29, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    Can you clarify the point that "the possibility of each not happening was even more crazy than the possibility that it did" ?

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