Download Routledge Philosophy GuideBook to Hume on Religion by David O'Connor PDF

By David O'Connor

Hume on faith introduces his significant paintings at the topic, Dialogues pertaining to traditional faith and assesses Hume's lifestyles and the heritage to the paintings. the information and textual content of the paintings also are thought of besides Hume's carrying on with value to philosophy today.

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Notwithstanding that their respective theisms are quite different, there is an important similarity between them. It is that both seek to give support and comfort to religious practice, although in very different ways. Cleanthes, by way of natural religion, proposes to underwrite an accessible deity. His is a god who resembles us, a personal god who, while greatly exceeding us in power, knowledge, and goodness, is yet, being ‘finitely perfect’ (DNR: 105), on a continuum with human persons. It is a deity who cares about us as individuals and whose caring seems plausible and natural to us; that is, it seems in character with the rest of Cleanthes’ description of ‘the Author of nature’ (DNR: 45).

33 34 Two sides of theism: two conceptions of deity 35 36 Cleanthes and Demea each represent one side of theism. Cleanthes 37 upholds the idea that faith and reason coincide in fundamental and Folio 3 2 AN OVERVIEW OF THE DIALOGUES important respects, while Demea represents (perhaps inconsistently) the ‘faith alone’ or fideistic strain in theism. Notwithstanding that their respective theisms are quite different, there is an important similarity between them. It is that both seek to give support and comfort to religious practice, although in very different ways.

4 The conversation among the three main characters is presented 5 to us as a flashback. Pamphilus is telling Hermippus what took place 6 the previous summer when he was present in Cleanthes’ library 7 throughout a discussion there among Cleanthes, Demea and Philo. We, 8 for our part, suspend our disbelief about Pamphilus’s word-for-word 9 recall of a long, detailed, and often subtle conversation. 10 In preparation for his tale, Pamphilus gives a sketch of each 11 participant in the discussion. He tells Hermippus that Cleanthes, who, 12 for a reason we are not told, is responsible for Pamphilus’s education, 13 has an ‘accurate philosophical turn’ of mind (DNR: 30).

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