Download Hume's critique of religion : 'Sick Men's Dreams' by Alan Bailey, Dan O'Brien PDF

By Alan Bailey, Dan O'Brien

During this quantity, authors Alan Bailey and Dan O'Brien study the total import of David Hume's arguments and the context of the society during which his paintings got here to fruition. They research the nuanced nature of Hume's philosophical discourse and supply an educated look at his place at the attainable content material and rational justification of non secular trust. The authors first aspect the pressures and kinds of repression Read more...

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Extra info for Hume's critique of religion : 'Sick Men's Dreams'

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It should therefore be a superbly designed and potent instrument for the discovery of the truth about our place in the world and our relation to God. 3 Some Modern Interpretations 13 Most people have usually supposed that they understood in some very vague way what it meant to say that there was a God; and, so long as they supposed that human words were only a rough guide to what was claimed, that the claim was not demonstrably incoherent. (2004, 1) Making due allowance, then, for the need to reflect the level of vagueness and ambiguity that is genuinely present in the usage of this portentous and emotionallycharged term, it seems potentially helpful to take as our starting point a rare moment of convergence between one of today’s most controversial atheist authors and a similarly uncompromising advocate of theism.

Pyle accordingly sums up the case for interpreting Hume as a covert defender of atheism as follows: of course you won’t find this argument against theism spelled out anywhere in the text. But read the clever way in which Hume has Philo play Cleanthes off against Demea, and Demea against Cleanthes, and judge for yourself the merits of this ‘atheistic’ interpretation of the Dialogues. (2006, 132) It is readily apparent, then, that thoughtful commentators who have paid close attention to Hume’s writings on religion have found themselves in substantial disagreement over even such an apparently crucial issue as whether these writings do or do not constitute an endorsement of what we have been calling the God hypothesis.

It seems, therefore, that it would be advisable for any fresh attempt at providing a comprehensive account of Hume’s views on religion to set out not just the positive case for a particular interpretation of Hume’s position but also a satisfactory explanation of why Hume’s writings provide so much scope for seemingly plausible rival interpretations. 4 The Way Forward The controversy between theism and deism on the one hand and atheism and materialism on the other hand is often seen as a manifestation of a fundamental disagreement about the place of intelligent mind within the ultimate nature of reality (see Ward 2008, 12).

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