David Hume's Views On Natural Religion

2294 Words Mar 10th, 2016 10 Pages
In Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, David Hume challenges the existence of God by presenting three different arguments from the perspectives of three philosophers. First is that of the fideist, Demea, who presents the weakest argument. The reader is quickly aware that this perspective is the least believable according to Hume. Although Hume quickly dismisses the idea of faith as a basis for the existence of God, he uses faith as a wedge in the attempt to break apart the argument of for intelligent design presented by the second character Cleanthes. A majority of the Dialogues is dedicated to this cause, as the strongest argument is from the perspective of intelligent design. The third character, Philo, is the skeptic wielding the pickaxe, and believed to be the voice of Hume, has the most difficult time dismantling this concept. By the end of the dialogue, it is unclear as to the true position that Hume is taking concerning natural theology. It is my understanding that Hume would accept the existence of God through the perspective of natural theology, if it were not deterred by the misuse of a Deity through organized religion as a means to control the masses. Because of this misuse, it is understandable why Hume remained a skeptic (at least publically) for the duration of his life (Craig 486-512).
As we begin the Dialogues, Demea is complimenting Cleanthes on the education of his young student, Pamphilus. I find the compliment disingenuous. I believe it serves…
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