David Hume: Proving The Existence Of God

Decent Essays
David Hume, a philosopher of the Enlightenment, challenged the thinking of the eighteenth century by questioning transcendentalism and believing one’s knowledge comes from one’s own senses. Considered a skeptic of the eighteenth century, Hume believes “we cannot get beyond our central perceptions to discover the essence of things, therefore we cannot find the causes of things” (Sonnino 3/10/16). He instead calls this theory “constant conjunction,” when one may consider things to keep happening in the same way they had before. Previously, philosophers such as Isaac Newton believed experience explains the causes of things (Sonnino 3/10/16). Formulating the laws of motion and universal gravitation, many people regard Newton’s findings as an attribution to God for creating the world as a perfect machine.…show more content…
By using examples such as earthquakes, wars, and violence, he argues, if God created a perfect world these things should not exist. Hume argues Newton’s explanations for causes are only impressions upon our thinking, therefore one cannot prove the existence of God.
The philosophy of Immanuel Kant, therefore, is a frantic effort to escape from the implications of David Hume, whose beliefs haunted the philosophes of the Enlightenment. First, Kant accuses many philosophers of indifferentism, stating “those pretended indifferentists fall back into those very same metaphysical dogmas they profess to despise” (Kant 50). Adam Smith’s theory for example, regarding the “invisible hand” that controls society, makes reference to a metaphysical being. Philosophers who challenged the theory of God threatened Kant as he tries desperately to bring God back into the
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