Philosophia Christi

Volume 10, Issue 1, 2008

John DePoe
Pages 229-238

Vindicating a Bayesian Approachto Confirming Miracles
A Response to Jordan Howard Sobel’s Reading of Hume

This paper defends a Bayesian approach to confirming a miracle against Jordan Howard Sobel’s recent novel interpretation of Hume’s criticisms. In his book, Logic and Theism, Sobel offers an intriguing and original way to apply Hume’s criticisms against the possibility of having sufficient evidence to confirm a miracle. The key idea behind Sobel’s approach is to employ infinitesimal probabilities to neutralize the cumulative effects of positive evidence for any miracle. This paper aims to undermine Sobel’s use of infinitesimal probabilities to block a Bayesian approach to confirming a miracle.