a1 University of Colorado
Hume states that a miracle is a violation of the laws of nature. Anyone reporting the occurrence of a miraculous event commits himself to the proposition that the event runs counter to the laws of nature. It is, Hume points out, not enough that the reported event fail to be “conformable” to our experience for us, licitly, to accept the report as of a miraculous event or—if we are the witnesses and reporters—to judge that what we have witnessed is miraculous.
To use one of Hume's examples: the Indian from a warm climate is surprised to discover that water freezes. His previous experience has never been such that he could be prepared for this contingency; the freezing is not conformable to his experience but neither is it miraculous since it is not contrary to that experience.