Analysis of Diaglogues Concerning Natural Religion by David Hume

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Word Count: Professor Nelson Philosophical Perspectives 12 October 2012 Writing Assignment #1 Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by David Hume is a philosophical piece concerning the existence of God. Arguments for and against the existence of God are portrayed in dialogue through three characters; Demea, Cleanthes, and Philo. All three agree that God exists, but they drastically differ in their opinions of God’s attributes or characteristics, and if man can understand God. The characters debate such topics as the design and whether there is more suffering or good in the world. It is a very common view among philosophers that Philo most represents Hume’s own views. Philo doesn’t go as far as denying the existence of God but…show more content…
For a God who does not have infinite power, the defeat of all sin and the defeat of the grave is almost a definite impossibility. To believe an impotent God could resurrect would be as illogical as to believe any human could complete this task. The second portion asks if he is able but not willing. This would make him malevolent. God is supposed to be omnimalevolent, all loving and all good. A God who is able to stop all evil but doesn’t is clearly not loving then, correct? Christians would respond that this apparent ignorance from God is actually human sin and not God turning his back on us. The final portion of the old questions asks “is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?” (Hume 198). It would seem logical that if God is omnipotent and omnimalevolent as Christians believe then he would be able and willing to stop all evil. Since there is clearly evil in this world, wouldn’t that mean that God is just evil and relishes in the suffering of humans? Of the three questions, this is the least logical. God could not be omnimalevolent and evil because, by definition, these two characteristics contrast. Someone could not be all good and evil at the same time. Later on Philo, clearly the skeptic, brings up four sources of misery in the world that are, according to him, unnecessary. These four sources are physical pain, general laws, limited abilities, and the fragile nature of the universe. The first source of misery that Philo addresses is physical pain.

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