Spectres of False Divinity: Hume's Moral Atheism

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OUP Oxford, Mar 11, 2010 - Philosophy - 272 pages
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Spectres of False Divinity presents a historical and critical interpretation of Hume's rejection of the existence of a deity with moral attributes. In Hume's view, no first cause or designer responsible for the ordered universe could possibly have moral attributes; nor could the existence (or non-existence) of such a being have any real implications for human practice or conduct. Hume's case for this 'moral atheism' is a central plank of both his naturalistic agenda in metaphysics and his secularizing program in moral theory. It complements his wider critique of traditional theism, and threatens to rule out any religion that would make claims on moral practice. Thomas Holden situates Hume's commitment to moral atheism in its historical and philosophical context, offers a systematic interpretation of his case for divine amorality, and shows how Hume can endorse moral atheism while maintaining his skeptical attitude toward traditional forms of cosmological and theological speculation.

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1Humes Moral Atheism
2Mitigated Skepticism and Humes Liminal Natural Theology
Humes Critique of Religious Passions
Religious Passions and the Deitys Moral Status
5The Argument from Motivation
6The Arguments from Evil
7The Arguments from Determinism

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About the author (2010)

Thomas Holden is an Associate Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of The Architecture of Matter: Galileo to Kant (OUP, 2004).

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