Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

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publisher not identified, 1779 - Natural theology - 264 pages
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User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

David Hume (1711-1776) was one of the most influential writers of the Enlightenment. In his An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), he argued that there was insufficient evidence to believe ... Read full review

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User Review  - dcunning11235 - LibraryThing

It was good to read this in it's (more or less original) prose, as Hume wrote it. A lot of very perceptive arguments; and the dialogue format serves well to couch Hume's views, forcing you to think ... Read full review

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Page 262 - If it affords no inference that affects human life, or can be the source of any action or forbearance : And if the analogy, imperfect as it is, can be carried no farther than to the human intelligence, and cannot be transferred, with any appearance of probability, to the other qualities of the mind...
Page 24 - To whatever length any one may push his speculative principles of scepticism, he must act, I own, and live, and converse like other men ; and for this conduct he is not obliged to give any other reason, than the absolute necessity he lies under of so doing.
Page 222 - What I have said concerning natural evil will apply to moral, with little or no variation; and we have no more reason to infer, that the rectitude of the Supreme Being resembles human rectitude than that his benevolence resembles the human.
Page 131 - The world plainly resembles more an animal or a vegetable, than it does a watch or a knitting-loom. Its cause, therefore, it is more probable, resembles the cause of the former. The cause of the former is generation or vegetation. The cause, therefore, of the world, we may infer to be something similar or analogous to generation or vegetation.
Page 197 - I SCRUPLE not to allow, said CLEANTHES, that I have been apt to suspect the frequent repetition of the word, infinite, which we meet with in all theological writers, to savour more of panegyric than of philosophy, and that any purposes of reasoning, and even of religion, would be better served, were we to rest contented with more accurate and more moderate expressions.
Page 165 - But it seems a great partiality not to perceive that the same argument extends equally to the Deity, so far as we have any conception of him, and that the mind can at least imagine him to be non-existent or his attributes to be altered.
Page 186 - Epicurus's old questions are yet unanswered. Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able ? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing ? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil ? You ascribe, Cleanthes (and I believe justly), a purpose and intention to Nature.
Page 64 - ... to human art. But is a part of nature a rule for another part very wide of the former? Is it a rule for the whole? Is a very small part a rule for the universe? Is nature in one situation, a certain rule for nature in another situation, vastly different from the former?
Page 104 - First, by this method of reasoning you renounce all claim to infinity in any of the attributes of the Deity. For, as the cause ought only to be proportioned to the effect, and the effect, so far as it falls under our cognizance, is not infinite, what pretensions have we, upon your suppositions, to ascribe that attribute to the Divine Being? You will still insist that, by...
Page 232 - Supposing there were a God who did not discover himself immediately to our senses, were it possible for him to give stronger proofs of his existence than what appear on the whole face of nature? What indeed could such a Divine Being do but copy the present...

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