Religion, Demea and Philo
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by Hume tries to explain whether there is a possibility of religious belief being rational. Hume being an empiricist, someone who believes that all kinds of knowledge are got through experience, strongly reasons that beliefs are rational only if they are adequately reinforced by experiential evidence. This leads us to the question that seek to find out whether there is sufficient evidence in the world that allows individuals to assume an infinitely wise, good, perfect and powerful God. Hume is not concerned if individuals can rationally prove the existence of God but if they can draw conclusions on the nature of God.
Hume has presented three characters that he has given different positions to represent on the issue. The three characters are in a conversational dialogue. Demea is given the responsibility to argue for religious Orthodoxy. He reasons that there is no way an individual can come to understand God's nature through reason. He vehemently believes that no one can ever know God's nature at all cost since God's nature is characteristically beyond the comprehension of human beings. Philo, a philosophical skeptic concurs with Demea in his reasoning that God cannot be comprehended by human beings. However, he goes ahead to give convincing opinions for his position. Cleanthes on the other hand argue according to empirical theism- the notion that individuals can understand about God through reasoning from all the evidence that has been presented by nature (Hume 80). He argues against Demea and Philo. His empirical theism belief is based on the design argument which states that the beauty and complexity of the universe can be explained only by speculating the existence of one intelligent designer, who in this case is God.
[...] Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion Introduction Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by Hume tries to explain whether there is a possibility of religious belief being rational. Hume being an empiricist, someone who believes that all kinds of knowledge are got through experience, strongly reasons that beliefs are rational only if they are adequately reinforced by experiential evidence. This leads us to the question that seek to find out whether there is sufficient evidence in the world that allows individuals to assume an infinitely wise, good, perfect and powerful God. [...]
[...] On the other hand, Cleanthes would be happy with the way the conversation ended since he was declared the victor. Conclusion In a nutshell, Hume has successfully ended the book with a literary device. Declaring Cleanthes the victor confirms his fear for religious powers. It also serves a philosophical purpose in the sense that it should neutralize any misunderstanding that may arise due to his embrace of fideism. Work Cited Hume, David. [...]
[...] Philo claims organized religion is extremely destructive. According to him, it is bad for morality since it is responsible for many worldly evils, it has also caused a majority of civil wars, oppressions, persecutions and slavery. Furthermore, he argues that it promotes selfishness instead of selflessness as a result of too much focus on the salvation of a believer's soul. This makes religious people only care about themselves and lack developed capacities to care about others (Hume 85). He fails to see how organized religion can effectively promote good. [...]
[...] In part XII of the dialogues, Philo and Cleanthes are alone. Philo makes use of this opportunity to make a revelation of what he truly thinks, regarding the entire discussion. Surprisingly, he confesses that he believes in the existence of the design argument. He argues that it is not possible to disregard the fact that all creatures in nature have a purpose they are to serve, nothing was created in vain and that everything is being done in the best and comprehensible manner possible (Hume 82). [...]
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