David Hume <ul><li>“Part II: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion” </li></ul>Team Lakers: Shelby Morrow Shoko Kondo Michael Caine PHIL 201
Who is Hume? <ul><li>Scottish 18th century philosopher </li></ul><ul><li>Empiricist </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All matters have to come through experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Had a reputation of being an Atheist </li></ul></ul></ul>
The Characters <ul><li>Demea: existence of God should be proven through a priori reasoning </li></ul><ul><li>Cleanthes: “experimental theist” or orthodoxy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses evidence of design in the universe to argue for God's existence and resemblance to the human mind (anthropomorphism) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Philo: (representing Hume) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Humans cannot make assumptions about the divine (not even through a priori or observation of nature) </li></ul></ul>
All agree that they are, “not concerning the being but the nature of God”(141) Demea Philo Cleanthes
The Story Demea: “ He that is, or in other words, Being, without restriction, All Being, the Being infinite and universal”(142) Meaning: It is almost as ungodly to claim that we can actually understand God’s nature as it is to claim that there is no God at all. “ ...so neither we ought to imagine, that the Spirit of God has human ideas, or bears any resemblance to our spirit”(142)
Philo: “...the question can never be concerning the being , but only the nature of the Diety” (142) “ Nothing exists without a cause; and the original cause of the universe (whatever it may be) we call God; and piously ascribe to him every species of perfection” (142) Meaning: Agrees with Demea. Argues that God must exist because every effect has some cause; therefore, there must be an ultimate cause.
“ Our ideas reach no farther than our experience: We have no experience of the divine attributes and operations...” (143) Meaning: Basic common sense reasoning. We have no experience of the divine elements; therefore, we cannot know what God is like. ( experience )
Cleanthes: “...You will find it to be nothing but one great machine, subdivided into an infinite number of lesser machines” (143) “ By this argument a posteriori, and by this argument alone, we do prove at once the existence of a Diety, and his similarity to human mind and intelligence” (143) Meaning: There is enough evidence to draw conclusions of what God is like. Wherever there is a “machine” there must be a designer behind it.
Broken Down Explanation of Cleanthes’ Argument of Design: (1) In my experience, whenever I have encountered a machine, that machine was made by a human intelligence. Therefore, (2) all machines are made by human intelligence. (3) The universe is analogous to a machine. (4) Therefore, the universe must have been made by something which is similar to a human intelligence.
Demea: “I could not approve your conclusion concerning the similarity of the Diety to men” (143) “ WHAT! No demonstration of the being of God! No abstract arguements! No proofs a priori !” (143) Meaning: Demea disagrees with Cleanthes. He does not approve that God and men are at all similar and a posteriori proofs are only probable proofs, not conclusive proofs. That is, when we give an argument from experience we can only prove that our conclusion is more likely than not; we can never prove that it is definitely true.
Philo: “...wherever you depart, in the least, from the similarity of the case, you diminish proportionably the evidence; and at may at last bring it to a very weak analogy ; which is confessedly liable to error and uncertainty”
Meaning: Does not mind that his argument is a posteriori and spends the rest of the time explaining why it is such a bad argument (Cleanthes fails at inductive inference)
<ul><li>1. It is an analogy between </li></ul><ul><li>two separate existing entities </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(not similar enough </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>which makes it invalid) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>“ Unless the cases be exactly similar, they repose no perfect confidence in applying their past observation to any particular phenomenon” (147) “ A change in bulk, situation, arrangement, age, disposition...may be attended with the most unexpected consequences...”(147)
2. Incorrect in saying that the machine represents part of the universe and he is relating it to the entire universe, in which we are unfamiliar with. “ ...in so wide a step you have taken, when you compared to the universe houses, ships, furniture, machines...” (147) “ From observing the growth of a hair, can we learn anything concerning the generation of a man?” (147)
3. How can we conclude that such an ordered system is similar to a man-made system, and it is therefore even less reasonable to assume that all order is the product of design? product of design? “ Therefore the universe could not originally attain its order and arrangement, without something similar to human art” (149) “ Can you pretend to show such similarity between the fabric of the house, and the generation of a universe?” (151)