- Series: Hackett Classics
- Paperback: 129 pages
- Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; 2 edition (March 15, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0872204022
- ISBN-13: 978-0872204027
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (Hackett Classics) 2nd Edition
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Hume was very concerned about rationality. Hume was never publicly and explicitly an atheist, but his rational mind, concerned about sensory and intelligible evidence, led him to question and doubt most major systems of religion, including the more general philosophical sense of religion and proofs of the existence of God. The primary arguments in his 'Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion' deal with the Argument from Design, and the Cosmological Argument. There is an assumed distinction here between natural religion and revealed religion, an especially important distinction in the Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment philosophical structure.Read more ›
Most of the Dialogues is devoted to discussion of a posteriori arguments for the existence of God. The main argument considered here is the classical argument from design, which Hume seems to understand as an analogical argument of the following sort: the complexity and order of the universe show that it is similar to artifacts created by human intelligences; similar causes have similar effects; therefore, the universe must have been created by a being with something like a human intelligence; therefore, the universe must have been created by God.
Hume's objections to this argument are legion, and many of the individual objections are both ingenious and forceful. He provides reasons for thinking that the universe isn't all that similar to artifacts created by human beings.Read more ›
This book doesn't answer those questions, but it does point out that they are incorrectly asked to lead to certain comforting conclusions about the existence of god. The operation of the world doesn't really point to an intelligent creator, the book points out, as much as a self-sustaining vegetable intelligence, the type that allows nutrients to go up the roots of a plant or that controls the cell division of an amoeba.
This is presented in an elegant and frankly airtight argument by Philo who, as much as I could tell, is Hume's mouthpiece-even though Hume throws in some lame sidesteps to pretend that he's actually on the side of natural religion, perhaps to sneak this incredibly dangerous little book into the hands of people who might not otherwise read it.
I read this book in one sitting, and my head had a strange throbbing sensation at the end. I actually laughed a couple of times because too many ideas were bouncing around in there at once. I press this book into the hands of all my friends who regard the evidence of god as self-evident, not to destroy their faith but to destroy the foundation of lies that it often rests on.
Kant regarded this book as the last word on the subject, and I agree.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the first work I've read by Hume, and I'm now committed to reading Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding as well. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Scot Mason
In my opinion, besides the Trial and Death of Socrates, this is the single best introduction to reading philosophy. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Marc Dellorusso
This book came looking brand new and had absolutely no marking inside. It is exactly what I asked for I am happy.Published 24 months ago by Rachel truax
This book was sent to my daughter at school. I appreciate your effort in getting it to her quickly. Nice job!Published on October 5, 2013 by kathleen acciavatti
it did its job. I did my homework while learning a couple things along the way. great book no damages and easy to readPublished on September 13, 2013 by Mzraim
Personally, I rejected theism in response to just the sort of philosophical reasoning presented by Hume (though I hadn't read the dialogs themselves or the other essays in this... Read morePublished on July 19, 2010 by Civil_Debate