David Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion Essay

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David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion provide conflicting arguments about the nature of the universe, what humans can know about it, and how their knowledge can affect their religious beliefs. The most compelling situation relates to philosophical skepticism and religion; the empiricist character, Cleanthes, strongly defends his position that skepticism is beneficial to religious belief. Under fire from an agnostic skeptic and a rationalist, the empiricist view on skepticism and religion is strongest in it’s defense. This debate is a fundamental part of the study of philosophy: readers must choose their basic understanding of the universe and it’s creator, upon which all other assumptions about the universe will be made. …show more content…
David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion provide conflicting arguments about the nature of the universe, what humans can know about it, and how their knowledge can affect their religious beliefs. The most compelling situation relates to philosophical skepticism and religion; the empiricist character, Cleanthes, strongly defends his position that skepticism is beneficial to religious belief. Under fire from an agnostic skeptic and a rationalist, the empiricist view on skepticism and religion is strongest in it’s defense. This debate is a fundamental part of the study of philosophy: readers must choose their basic understanding of the universe and it’s creator, upon which all other assumptions about the universe will be made. In this three-sided debate, Hume’s depiction of an empiricist is clearly the winner. Three characters, Demea, the rationalist, Cleanthes, the empiricist and theist, and Philo, a skeptical, agnostic empiricist prepare to discuss their ideas about the universe in Part I. The discussion begins as the characters debate how they should teach their students philosophy, ethics, logic, and theology.
Demea believes that students should learn “logics, then ethics, next physics, last of all the nature of the gods.” (pg.127, Part 1) His immediate reasoning is that theology is “the most profound and abstruse of any, required the maturest judgment in its students; and none but a mind enriched with all the other sciences, can safely be entrusted with
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