A discussion on david humes dialogue concerning natural religion

Hume on Religion

By showing that the argument from design fails, Hume hopes to prove that religious belief cannot possibly be based on reason.

Philo puts this point to Cleanthes: Perhaps, therefore, there is more than one God involved in the creation of the universe? This project follows lines of investigation and criticism that had already been laid down by a number of other thinkers, including Lucretius, Hobbes and Spinoza.

The argument is supposed to work by way of analogy an argument of this form is called an argument by analogy: Hume rejects both these metaphysical arguments for the immateriality and immortality of the soul.

Regarding the suggestion that thought and consciousness must belong to or inhere in an immaterial substance, Hume objects that we have no idea of either immaterial or material substance. So the question is really, is there enough evidence in the world to allow us to infer an infinitely good, wise, powerful, perfect God?

That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish; and even in that case there is a mutual destruction of arguments… EU, Furthermore, experience shows us, Hume maintains, that there do exist constant conjunctions between matter and motion, on one side, and thought and consciousness on the other.

Immediately after this, however, Philo proceeds to reverse his reversal i. Does it have successive, distinct thoughts? Genuine theism involves a more specific set of beliefs: Any degree or kind of unnecessary evil — however small — would tell against the existence of God as an infinitely powerful and perfectly good being.

As belief is almost absolutely requisite to the exciting our passions, so the passions in their turn are very favourable to belief… Admiration and surprise have the same effect as the other passions; and accordingly we may observe, that among the vulgar, quacks and projectors meet with a more easy faith upon account of their magnificent pretensions, than if they kept themselves within the bounds of moderation.

Philo, according to the predominant view among scholars, is the character who presents views most similar to those of Hume.

Why should we not assume that God has other human features such as passions and sentiments, or physical features such as a mouth or eyes D, 3. Each of them is such that the credibility of the testimony may be diminished when we give due weight to these factors. From every point of view this doctrine is considered unsound.

No argument considered so far aims to prove that God does not or cannot exist. The third range of factors Hume mentions are the variable historical and social conditions that affect credulity. The first category concerns the witnesses to the event.

It follows from this that many other hypotheses and conjectures, consistent with the evidence presented, may be considered as no less plausible. In this life we assume that punishment must not only be deserved, it must also achieve some relevant social end or value e.

Second, the universe and a machine are not strictly analogous phenomena because they are not independently existing entities, rather the universe is a whole and a machine is a part of it.

A second and related argument is that it is impossible for matter and motion to produce thought and consciousness.

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

In stark contrast to the perfectly harmonious machine that Cleanthes considers the universe to be, they tell us that our world is actually a miserable place, filled with evil.

It is therefore almost random to choose the analogy between the universe and a machine. From the divine perspective, viewing the universe as one system, the removal of such ills or afflictions would produce greater ill or diminish the total amount of good in the world. As a result of this process, as shaped by human fears and ignorance, the world becomes populated with human-like invisible, intelligent powers that are objects of worship.

We cannot, for example, attribute any thing infinite to God based on our observation and experience of finite effects. You must prove these pure unmixed, and uncontrollable attributes from the present mixed and confused phenomena, and from these alone.

Demea objects to the abandonment of the a priori arguments by Philo and Cleanthes both of whom are empiricists and perceives Philo to be "accepting an extreme form of skepticism. Moreover, Hume also recognizes that events frequently occur that are unexpected and which we do not know the cause s of EU, 8.

Cleanthes bases his belief in empirical theism on the argument from design.From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.

The tendency of Hume’s discussion of evil, Dialogues concerning Natural Religion in Dialogues and Natural History of Religion, edited by J.A.C.

Gaskin, Oxford & New York: O’Connor, David,Hume On Religion, London &. A short summary of David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. This free synopsis covers all the crucial plot points of Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

David Hume Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion ()my Hermippus, that though the ancient philosophers conveyed most of their instruction in the form of dialogue, this method of composition has been little practised in later ages.

Free Essay: David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion provide conflicting arguments about the nature of the universe, what humans can know about it.

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (Penguin Classics) [David Hume, Martin Bell] on mint-body.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In the posthumously published Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, the Enlightenment philosopher David Hume attacked many of the traditional arguments for the existence of God/5(21).

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