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David Hume | Scottish philosopher

Date of publication: 2017-08-24 08:04

Part IV Cleanthes demolishes Demea by pointing out that a mind which has no thought is not a mind, and a view of God that makes him utterly unknowable is not very different from atheism. Philo, meanwhile, has caught his breath and wades back in. He attacks the idea of reasoning from earthly particulars to the universe as a whole, and pretty well lays out the modern skeptical opposition to the Argument from Design, asking why, if ideas in God's mind organize themselves without cause, why matter couldn't do the same thing. Cleanthes retorts that, regardless of Philo's abstruse doubts, cavils and objections, the chain of inference from order to designer is too clear and straightforward to doubt.

Malthus, Robert: An Essay on the Principle of Population

The chief source of moral ideas is the reflection on the interest of human society. Ought these interests, so short, so frivolous, to be guarded by punishments, eternal and infinite? The damnation of one man is an infinitely greater evil in the universe, than the subversion of a thousand millions of kingdoms.

SparkNotes: David Hume (1711–1776): Context

The . command in Saigon announces that the . force level in Vietnam is 786,955 men, the lowest since July 6966. These figures were a direct result of President Richard Nixon 8767 s new 8775 Vietnamization 8776 strategy, which he had announced at the Midway Conference in June 6969. This strategy was a three-pronged program.

Of Miracles. Part I. Hume, David. 1909-14. An Enquiry

This book is written in the conviction that our own existence once presented the greatest of all mysteries, but that it is a mystery no longer because it is solved. Darwin and Wallace solved it, though we Shall continue to add footnotes to their solution for a while yet, I wrote the book because I was surprised that so many people seemed not only unaware of the elegant and beautiful solution to this deepest of problems but, incredibly, in many cases actually unaware that there was a problem in the first place!

Leaving the University of Edinburgh around the age of fifteen to pursue his education privately, he was encouraged to consider a career in law, but his interests soon turned to philosophy. During these years of private study he began raising serious questions about religion, as he recounts in the following letter:

He then pacifies his despair by recognizing that nature forces him to set aside his philosophical speculations and return to the normal activities of common life. He sees, though, that in time he will be drawn back into philosophical speculation in order to attack superstition and educate the world.

However, a modern day Cleanthes (as opposed to his semi-literate wannabes) wouldn't point to the way a hummingbird's bill is precisely shaped to fit a certain flower (or vice versa). He would point instead to the symmetries found in physics and the way a relatively small set of fundamental laws give rise to such a vast range of complex phenomena (the Cleanthes wannabes are mostly too illiterate even to have any idea of physics). He would also point to the fact that a very slight change in some fundamental constants would either have prevented complex atoms from forming at all, or would have allowed the stars to exhaust their nuclear fuel before life could evolve.

Nothing in this world is perpetual. Every being, however seemingly firm, is in continual flux and change: The world itself gives symptoms of frailty and dissolution: How contrary to analogy, therefore, to imagine, that one single form, seemingly the frailest of any, and , from the slightest causes, written insertion in Hume's hand subject to the greatest disorders, is immortal and indissoluble? What a daring theory is that! How lightly, not to say, how rashly entertained!

In an effort to resolve several problems in Asia, including the war between the French and Vietnamese nationalists in Indochina, representatives from the world 8767 s powers meet in Geneva. The conference marked a turning point in the United States 8767 involvement in from the United States, the Soviet Union, the People 8767 s.

Remember that even on its own terms the Dialogue is a work of fiction, in which Pamphilus spends some time defending the use of a dialogue format before telling the story. So why have Pamphilus toss in this comment? Is it a pro forma sop to religious believers? Or is Hume perhaps saying that the Argument from Design may have some merit but is not nearly as conclusive as its proponents tended to believe? Is he saying that the Argument from Design is a possible interpretation but not the only one consistent with what we observe?

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