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hume Paper

Hume “I was from the beginning scandalised, I must own, with this resemblance between the Deity and human creatures.” –Philo David Hume wrote much about the subject of religion, much of it negative. In this paper we shall attempt to follow Hume’s arguments against Deism as Someone knowable from the wake He allegedly makes as He passes. This kind of Deism he lays to rest. Then, digging deeper, we shall try our hand at a critique of his critique of religion, of resurrecting a natural belief in God. Finally, if there’s anything Hume would like to say as a final rejoinder, we shall let him have his last word and call the matter closed. To allege the occurrence of order in creation, purpose in its constituent parts and in its constituted whole, regularity in the meter of its rhythm and syncopations, and mindful structure in the design and construction of Nature is by far the most widely used and generally accepted ground for launching from the world belief in an intelligent and om!
nipotent designer god. One does not have to read for very long to find some modern intellectual involved in the analysis of some part of Nature come to the “Aha!” that there’s a power at work imposing order, design, structure and purpose in creation. Modern religious piety salivates at the prospect of converting scientists and will take them any way it can. From Plato to Planck the problematic lion of religion must be rendered safe and tame. Religion must be reasonable, after all, we are reasonable “men.” Einstein writes that the scientist’s “religious feeling takes the form of rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection.” We have been struck dumb, however; we can no longer be incautious with such temptations to believe, with such sirens sounding for sensible, systematic sureness. The Des…

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