Ideas from 'Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion' by David Hume [1751], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Dialogues and Natural History of Religion' by Hume,David (ed/tr Gaskin,J.C.A.) [OUP 1993,0-19-282932-7]].

green numbers give full details    |     back to texts     |     expand these ideas


2. Reason / E. Argument / 3. Analogy
An analogy begins to break down as soon as the two cases differ
12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 4. Pro-Empiricism
Events are baffling before experience, and obvious after experience
28. God / A. Divine Nature / 3. Divine Perfections
We can't assume God's perfections are like our ideas or like human attributes
28. God / B. Proving God / 1. Proof of God
The objects of theological reasoning are too big for our minds
28. God / B. Proving God / 2. Proofs of Reason / b. Ontological Proof critique
No being's non-existence can imply a contradiction, so its existence cannot be proved a priori
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / a. Cosmological Proof
A chain of events requires a cause for the whole as well as the parts, yet the chain is just a sum of parts
If something must be necessary so that something exists rather than nothing, why can't the universe be necessary?
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / b. Teleological Proof
The thing which contains order must be God, so see God where you see order
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / c. Teleological Proof critique
The universe may be the result of trial-and-error
From our limited view, we cannot tell if the universe is faulty
Analogy suggests that God has a very great human mind
How can we pronounce on a whole after a brief look at a very small part?
If the divine cause is proportional to its effects, the effects are finite, so the Deity cannot be infinite
This excellent world may be the result of a huge sequence of trial-and-error
From a ship you would judge its creator a genius, not a mere humble workman
Creation is more like vegetation than human art, so it won't come from reason
Design cannot prove a unified Deity. Many men make a city, so why not many gods for a world?
Humans renew their species sexually. If there are many gods, would they not do the same?
This Creator god might be an infant or incompetent or senile
Motion often begins in matter, with no sign of a controlling agent
The universe could settle into superficial order, without a designer
Ideas arise from objects, not vice versa; ideas only influence matter if they are linked
A surprise feature of all products of 9 looks like design, but is actually a necessity
Why would we infer an infinite creator from a finite creation?
Order may come from an irrational source as well as a rational one