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Philosophy of Science and Religion - Essay Example

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Philosophy of Science and Religion

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. 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). He implies that all the above tenets guide everyone’s scientific reasoning, and they point out to the conclusion that an author of the order exists. He also argues that theists believe that both God and human beings both have brains; however, God’s mind is not one hundred percent similar to humans. 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. This is because organized religion strives to influence people into morality by promising them reward and punishment. However, he believes that people are not motivated by vague, uncertain and distant promises but their own natural inclinations. He is convinced that people are motivated to be good by the moral, basic human sentiments of benevolence which drives them towards compassion and desires of a just world. Having a keener look at Philo’s sentiments concerning the design argument, one realizes that there are no inconsistencies with the stand he has upheld throughout the discussion. All he is saying categorically is that, there is evidence in the world, that tries to explain some reason resembling the human intelligence. Frankly speaking, there is nothing of a religious nature in his weak ...Show more

Summary

Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by Hume tries to explain whether there is a possibility of religious belief being rational. Hume is not concerned if individuals can rationally prove the existence of God but if they can draw conclusions on the nature of God…
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Philosophy of Science and Religion essay example
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