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I have never seen the Golden Plates of which he spoke and claimed to have been given by an angel. Unsure of their existence. LDS is the one to ask. Some sounds are a symptom of old age, tumors, hearing problems, etc. Rarely a voice from Heaven. This is normal and happens in most cultures. It is only AFTER the Creator revealed Himself to those He chose to reveal His existence to, is when the knowledge of His existence was confirmed by miraculous events coupled with the Creator's appearing and speaking to either one The miraculous events were necessary, apparently, due to the inherent ignorance of those who would not believe in the Creator UNLESS they saw miracles happening, having been detected by their senses.

Faith-based belief in the Creator is becoming rare, due to the ignorance of demanding evidence that He exists. It is difficult to determine what Yeshuah's adoptive father taught him, other than carpentry. He may have been formally educated and I don't see why not. He would have had to learn how to read Hebrew as well as Aramaic. He also understood that the money-changers using the temple was wrong. We read about Yeshuah Jesus when He was 15 years of age It is only after age 30 that the events of His life get really interesting Yeshuah was an Emissary of God the Creator He was not God as some Christians believe, but the Son of God.

Being only the second female to be created, Lilith being the first who was banished Eve was destined to be the mother of all generations of humans. That was her role. Their women learned the art of Guile after the Fallen Angels came to Earth and mated with human women. But that's another very interesting event that should be investigated further. They were the Sons of God, or Sons of the Creator.

Satan was one of the Sons of God who later rebelled against the Creator But Satan wasn't as powerful as he imagined himself to be, but only stupid, immoral and ignorant of his own lawful place among his peers. The great majority of the Holy Angels understood what had happened and were against Satan and his supporters for what he had thought he could do. Satan was destined to fail, of course. Eve, OTOH, was naive and ignorant of such matters of temptation, envy, etc.

She trusted Satan as she had trusted God and her husband, Adam She could not comprehend that someone would try to make her disobey the Law. If God didn't leave those instructions, you could say that it was HIS fault that His two creations failed to know enough not to eat the fruit. Satan took the form of a snake, lizard, or some other animal, and spoke to Eve. It is also quite evident that Satan was extremely envious of Adam and his wife. Because God had shown Love for His two creations, while Satan was punished for his disobedience and anarchy against his Creator.

God didn't just disappear; He came back. Thanks for the sermon pussytard. But I suspect you're like all those debauched priests and nuns because in unguarded moments you tend to let your true nature show I hear you've been giving her a good lickin and she still keeps on tickin, aye?

Here puss puss. Oh BTW, how's your boyfriend Ritchieguy? And you lie. Oh yes, yes you do lie pussytard. God can tell if you've been bad or good you know. He has sharpened his skills since he had to ask Cain where his brother was. To punish everyone who don't deserve to be punished would be illogical and unreasonable. Did you get punished justifiably for your infraction of their law? Did your parent s give you a second, third, fourth chance to redeem yourself in their eyes? We are given the chance to make choices and the Free Will to stand by the choices we make.

If you drive at 90 mph in a 50 mph stretch of road, you can expect to hear a siren and a cop car following you Ultimately, we are ALL children of our Creator. Our parents provide the genetics that make up our physical body. There is NO better place for the Soul to reside.

You wouldn't place your computer down at your feet when you're using it, right? Maybe some would. LOL Parenting is a wonderful vocation, and future generations depend so much on what kind of parenting we do now. It's the same with our Soul. What we do now determines what consequences our Soul will face. And what we do in our lifetime determines the kind of life we will have. Ultimately, WE are responsible. Most humans find it extremely hard to believe if they can't detect God with their senses He hears AND sees us It's for this reason that Satan is busy tempting mankind and luring us to be evil.

So how is your boyfriend, Otto? You still giving him head? Otto will now copy what I said and keep it to show in other threads with the thought that I will run from Phys. Otto pollutes each and every thread in Phys. If they are hungry yes. Fish is only a metaphor for womanly smells you know.

You chose your nickname appropriately - nazi reasoning: the facts count, but you decide what the facts are. I showed you your crap was crap. I win. And my namesake happens to be otto preminger. Dont fucking call me a nazi. Otto Preminger. Otto LIES all the time about other people and is lying in this thread Otto is suffering from demonic possession, as well as Psychopathy and Dunning-Kruger Effect. And it's pathetic how McCarthy has his crew of sockpuppets here voting, especially given the scope. Wow, 10 votes! Same here. And most of the voters created since the article came out - go figure Seriously: None of us here are active in that particular field of research - an internet comment section is not 'peer review'.

So why should he give 2 cents worth what is said here? That he does is rather revealing only cranks care what the public thinks instead of getting their science right. Correctness of science is not decided by popular vote. But if you value acceptance over correctness Dolphins, Apes, Cats - all have their intelligence for their survival and their social structures ie all the same in kind and Yes, of course you, as an atheist would equate the instinctive need to survive by cats, dolphins and apes, with man and his "vastly superior intelligence".

Perhaps you are right about man's intelligence being no better than that of animals. YOUR intelligence or lack of it certainly provides the evidence for it. But then, why ask such questions when you are clearly hateful of any belief in a Creator. Just continue to live your life while doing what you do, and enjoy your time.

Mike Massen It appears that you haven't a clue as to the messages I have given to you while answering all 10 of your questions. It isn't surprising and I recognize that your attempt at baiting was your opportunity to show Otto and his sock puppet, Captain StumpyDumpy that you are, indeed, one of their own. I believe that you have become as intolerant and vapid in your mindset regarding those of us who love and cherish our faith and belief in the Creator, as Otto and your best friend, Captain Stumpy are.

You join their ranks in the Phys. BTW, your queries and comments in general, are written poorly. You cheeky little article. You assume conflict. Hi Mike, nice to see you're still around! That's why Einstein was a genius. How can anyone distinguish claims in stories from any true communication of god?

I was impressed by this from the article: So we and "we" here means both scientists and the public have a problem: the knowledge that scientists gain about the natural world stays relatively locked up within the scientific community, the scientists have no incentive to share it more broadly, and the public grows ever more distrustful of scientists. That reduces science funding opportunities, which means researchers New Testament, Paul supposedly said Galatians those that practice adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, "and such like" shall not inherit the Kingdom of God Noum, Yes!!

You DO have a sense of reality and humour! Welcome back! Complete utter crap, only uneducated seeking determinism fear Science but, less than a god! Engineering is branch of implementation of so much Science, Eg My post re mobile phones, PCs, medical etc. Also because you're so emotionally attached to an old primitively written manipulative book, you miss immense statistical science as it conjuncts with psychology, it clearly shows your god is mere emotional claim for power It was an amusing "back and forth" that was comical and enjoyable.

You would have had to read it to get a good laugh out of it. Also because you're so emotionally attached to an old primitively written manipulative book, you miss immense statistical science as it conjuncts with psychology, it clearly shows your god is mere emotional claim for power :- - MM What? That quote came from the link that was offered by rderkis. Do you understand the definition of "relatively locked-up". Does that help any? WhydG Curious? Here is the link to the thread. It's down near the bottom, beginning with my little soliloquy re theoretical scientists.

Mar 26, The biggest current question is whether we can see B-mode polarizations in the cosmic microwave background attributable to gravity waves from inflation. This took a hit from B-mode polarizations from interactions with galactic dust in the plane of the Milky Way. We're still looking for them, but the recent LIGO detection of the first gravity waves lends some fuel to the search. And remember that Einstein didn't just invent relativity; he also proved quantum mechanics with his photoelectricity paper showing that absorption of energy was quantized just like Planck had shown with emission, with his quantum theory and note that the photoelectric effect was what he won his Nobel Prize in Physics for-- not relativity.

See Noum? I will tell you a old mans 69 story. I don't think most of you will understand the point but I will tell it anyways. When I was in vietnam at a hospital recovering from malaria. There were five rocks Korean solders laughing there heads off at a cock roach climbing a wall. I mean they were rolling in the dirt laughing. I looked at them and thought what fools, what idiots. There was nothing funny about it. And felt sorry for their ignorance. It was only later that I was able to reflect on it and realize that I was the one that was missing missing out.

I could not see the humor, I was the one that was not having fun and living in the moment, not taking life in and appreciating all aspects of it. No matter how you attack me or attack what I say, it is you that is missing out on one of the finest things man is capable of feeling.

And if you have never felt it how can you say I am wrong. I am a little confused by your reply. I was 18 when that happened and we called them probably wrongly Rocks.


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I was not a Christen then and even now am probably more of a science geek then you. I program computers in Assembly, mixed language programming, pascal, visual basic and a couple others. While not my primary occupation, I have sold a few programs, I have written. I have a RCX 14" research grade telescope, on a home made trolley, in my garage , along with a 4'X4' cnc plasma table and a bridgeport mill I converted to cnc. Being 69, I am sure I said some of this stuff wrong please forgive me. I am not bragging because I doubt it's anymore.

In other words as far as the science world, been there done that. Can you say that as far as the holy ghost goes or have you never experienced it? When I was in vietnam at a hospital recovering I was the one that was not having fun and living in No matter how you attack me or attack what I say, it is you that is missing out on one of the finest You have your beliefs and they have theirs.

You're not going to change their minds and there's no reason to change yours for anyone. Just keep believing and have faith while leading a good life the way you've been doing. They may try to persecute you for your beliefs, but never take it personal and never change what you feel is right for YOU. And you can take comfort in knowing that you have done all that you can to ensure a good outcome for your immortal Soul. That would be an unwise choice that you might regret, as so many others have regretted. Since you are Otto's sock puppet nobody should be surprised.

It is YOU that has been following me into many threads just to question my posts and demand that I give you proof so that you can validate what I've said. You are one sick M-F and your mental illnesses are proven in every thread where you attack commenters for their opinions. You have proved time and time again that you are Otto and many other commenters agree on that estimation of your mental illnesses that drive you to commit gross violations against the commenters of this website. You behave as though you OWN Phys. Opinions are not "claims", except in your sick mind that is what you have decided they are.

You have stolen identities from commenters and you would try the same thing on me. You have stolen gkam's identity and tried to control him as you have done with antialias and several others. YOU are a wicked Soul-Eater and you hate it when I have warned people against giving you their personal and public information that you will use against them. You published gkam's private info in Photobucket. You should be sent to jail for that misdemeanor Stump has displayed gkam's personal identity, including his Social Security number, full name, address, phone number, email address and military records ON THE INTERNET in Photobucket, never bothering to redact that private information, thus rendering gkam a potential victim of wide spread dissemination of his identity over the internet.

There are criminal charges for this type of crime, and it is time for all of Stump's victims to come forth and accuse him and justifiably so, that he may be stopped from doing it to others. Stumpy, Uncle Ira, and possibly Piss1 are ALL Theghostofotto obutthead you tried this already back when you had three other socks and forgot to change profiles to respond to me accordingly None of those were me These lies will get repeated in many other threads by StumpRump over and over.

His wickedness continues. There is no conflict between the sicence and the faith in the Creator of the universe and all created inteligent beings in it. There is conflict between the pagan system that worship worthless idols, the most popular among them is the Golden Calf, and the truth of eternal, unchangeable and holy Creator Who creates and sustains life in the universe. Example: the scientific evidence that the Earth is very old contradicts the young-earth creationist religion. You don't need to explain dark matter to explain there being either a god or no god as those two issues dark matter and god are totally irrelevant to each other.

It would make no difference if science explained less than 0. These divorced old men, whose kids probably can't even stand being around them, are totally void of anything meaningful in life, so they come here imagining The entity prefers that physical proof such as documents are provided, as was done with gkam when gkam emailed his personal docs to Stump because his pride was hurt and his honor called into question.

This is a famous ploy, and another name for it is called, the "snares of the Devil". Atheists and Agnostics in this site and elsewhere don't like reading about Satan because they subconsciously regard it as an attack on their personal choices and agendas. But those choices don't alter the fact that Satan has been freed and finds glory among atheists. He will gather to him the Souls that atheists refuse to believe they have.

La Promenade du sceptique ou les allées

It's just a matter of time Instead I used them to comment in News forums to assess current events and their possible outcomes. And to argue against others who are obvious Communists. So here I am, back on Phys. Otto now controls and commands them. Atheists and Agnostics in this site and elsewhere don't like reading about Satan..

Do you not ike reading about Santa? If so, why not? Evolution is just a change brought on by expediency, otherwise - an extinction. Scientists are presently attempting to duplicate the methods to propagate life from dead matter. He is associated with Christmas to encourage gift giving. I didn't personally know him, did YOU? It is also associated with pagan ideals of "bringing forth anew", simply because of the fertility of rabbits.

Oh BTW Your life is being observed AND recorded without you being aware of it. Even Satan is fully aware of this ongoing testing. But now he's back, and his time to exist grows short. Your life is being observed AND recorded without you being aware of it so, your god is a perv? I find those who THINK they are smarter because they can spell "trigonometric" or "differential equation" - yet can't do them, immensely humorous.

Just sayin'.. I find those who THINK they are smarter because they can spell "trigonometric" or "differential equation" yet can't do them, immensely humorous. Of course you're "just sayin'".. You come here, along with the others of the Rant Brigade, peddling your name calling hatred against those of us who professionally engage in science that will forever be far beyond your comprehension.

Those of you in the Rant Brigade are the ones who always start it with a litany of foul mouthed name calling, then when someone, such as myself, challenge your foul mouths to a comparison of my math skills to yours, that becomes the greatest offense any respondent to your foul mouths can commit. Your name calling foul mouths attest to your inabilities to engage with others in socializing with others in fields of science.

Your almighty god had his son killed and blamed everyone else for it. Since that day he has remained silent, presumably out of shame. And what sick pervert has a garden with a snake and two naked people? Those very words, ".. No they are not. You are lying again. That should come a no surprise to anyone. These divorced old men You are catching on, kid. Honing your observational skills, eh? Were you there? I will now add your sock to my list of members of the Phys.

Phil DePayne. I think religion is ok unless it harms people, i. Jim Jones. If Scientology works for you great. Or join a cult. It's a free country, founded by Deists and Masons, with a few Puritans and other Protestants, and later an addition of Catholics.

Skepticism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

I think that many people from antiquity through the Middle Ages would have still been ignorant of science even without widespread Christianity. Christianity adopted "scientific" thought of Greece and the Ptolemaic period, which would have existed and not been challenged even in a pagan Middle Ages. Perhaps Islamic science would save the day? Well, that would be a stretch. Now, science has reduced the importance of religion, which is evident in a decline of participation of religion throughout the world. Instead of arguing with a philosophy that is not based on rationality, note that they have sowed the seeds of their own destruction by carelessness.

Instead of arguing with a philosophy that is not based on rationality, Those remain. Mar 27, Not a member of a "rant" brigade. Even "rantors" will tell you that. I get along with them because I'm not an idiot who says "differential equations" without a clue. Show ONE time where I called names. You professionally engage in science? Bout as much as I do, I'm sure. My comprehension? Your idiotic rant is beyond it. Fortunately, it is still light years ahead of yours for everything else There is conflict between the pagan system that worship worthless idols, the most popular among them is the Golden Calf,.

I guess you mean that concrete bull statue on Wall Street Why isn't there a bear, too? It's easy to look back now but it was only with the discovery of radioactive decay that the age of the Earth was known to be 4 billion years, even Eddington, or was it Kelvin? The concept of curved spacetime in not something that would readily spring to mind to explain action at a distance.

Now you imagine your IQ is 50 points higher simply because you went on another one of your foul mouthed name calling rants Isn't that discussiom missing some very basic definitions? If I understand it well no church specifies what god really is, what is its his? Am I right?

Main article: Marriage and Morals. Main article: The Conquest of Happiness. Main article: Mortals and Others. Main article: A History of Western Philosophy. Main article: Unpopular Essays. Main article: The Impact of Science on Society. Main article: The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell. Disputed [ edit ] Not enough evidence God! Not enough evidence! As quoted in Wesley C. May 11, by Emily Eakin: "Asked what he would say if God appeared to him after his death and demanded to know why he had failed to believe, the British philosopher and staunch evidentialist Bertrand Russell replied that he would say, 'Not enough evidence, God!

Not enough evidence. There, Rosten writes : "Confronted with the Almighty, [Russell] would ask, ' Sir, why did you not give me better evidence? This has often been published as a quotation of Russell, when an author is given e. In all affairs — love, religion, politics, or business — it's a healthy idea, now and then, to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

As quoted in The Reader's Digest , Vol. If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years. In respect of these events, which engage our deepest hopes and fears, we are generally ignorant of the causes that are involved in producing them — especially when human beings are in a more primitive and backward state of society. By this means, human beings hope to control what they do not understand and are afraid of. As a result of this process, as shaped by human fears and ignorance, the world becomes populated with human-like invisible, intelligent powers that are objects of worship.

The religion of polytheism is very different from genuine theism in so far as it does not concern itself with the abstract and speculative question concerning the origin or supreme government of the universe. These are questions that primitive people who are struggling for their daily survival do not have time to speculate about. The question that Hume now turns to is how theism arose from polytheism.

In respect of this issue, Hume observes that there are two conflicting tendencies in human nature. These conflicting demands are best satisfied by representing the various gods as something like ourselves and attributing particular qualities and attributes to them that are relevant to their specific sphere of influence e. Over time, among the vulgar, one of these gods will gradually emerge as a particular object of veneration and worship.

In their anxiety to please and praise this god, worshippers will continually try to outdo their predecessors by attributing greater and greater powers and perfections to him. At last they will reach a point where they represent this god as infinite and entirely perfect, whereby they render his nature inexplicable and mysterious.

This conflict, as Hume explains it, has deep roots in the dynamics of human nature and our conflicting propensities. The result of this process is an inherent instability in theism itself. On the one side, there is a tendency, originally present in polytheism, to anthropomorphize the gods in the hope of placating and controlling them. This influence of the human passions and propensities affects the stability of our idea of God in another way.

Our natural fear of future events encourages a conception of God that is severe and cruel. Clearly, the general point that Hume aims to establish by means of these observations is that the natural sources of religion are in conflict with one another and generate a continual cycle of opposition and instability in our religious beliefs and idea of god. The origins of religious belief rest with human fear and ignorance, which gives rise, in the first place, to polytheism.

The same psychological forces that give rise to polytheism gradually transform it into a system of theism. This system of theism is, however, itself a product of conflicting tendencies in human nature that result in an unstable oscillation between anthropomorphic and mystical ideas of god. The conclusion that Hume draws from all this is that religion generally rests on human weaknesses and vulnerabilities and that reason has little influence over its evolution or stability.

Richard Bentley, the first Boyle lecturer, neatly states the view that many theists hold concerning the relationship between religion and morality:.

The general view defended by Bentley, and many other apologists for religion, is that without religious principles and institutions to guide and motivate us, the moral world will collapse into nihilism, egoism and the arbitrary rule of power. The foundation of this, however, rests with egoism and moral scepticism.

That is to say, according to Hobbes, human nature is driven by psychological egoism and there is no real distinction between good and evil, right and wrong, just or unjust. On the basis of a naturalistic and necessitarian conception of human nature, Hume aims to show how moral motivation and practice is possible i. One important element is the role of the indirect passions in accounting for the sanctions and support provided to moral life. A vicious character, he argues, produces hate and humility dishonour and shame that makes us unhappy.

In contrast with this, virtue produces love and pride, which makes us happy. This is the fundamental mechanism by which virtue is rewarded and vice is punished. This mechanism operates no less effectively among atheists, who have no belief in God or a future state, as it does among those with traditional theistic beliefs. We are naturally constituted, Hume maintains, to share the emotions of our fellow human beings. The closer our relationship, and the more we resemble each other, the stronger the communication of emotion will be T, 2.

By means of this principle of sympathy, human beings naturally take an interest in the happiness and welfare of others — especially our family, friends and neighbours.

The Skeptic's Walk: Discussions on Religion, Philosophy, and Worldly Affairs

Hume denies, therefore, that human nature is wholly selfish or without any benevolent concerns or dispositions. At the same time, Hume also emphasizes the point that our sympathetic and benevolent tendencies are limited and highly partial — both of which pose serious obstacles for social peace and cooperation.

In this way, while Hume plainly rejects Hobbist egoism and allows that we are naturally social beings in a number of significant respects i. This is something that we must find a solution to if we are to be able to live together in groups larger than families and small clans.

Our human nature, combining both passions and reason, provides a remedy for this problem. In the first place, Hume denies that we lack any real standard of right and wrong or good and evil. The relevant standard depends on our sentiments of pleasure and uneasiness T, 3. More specifically, our moral sentiments, understood as calm forms of love and hate, enable us to draw the relevant distinctions in this sphere. It is evident that Hume aims to describe a standard of merit and demerit that, although it depends on our given human nature, is in no way arbitrary or without rational constraints.

There are no obligations that we have in respect of these institutions and practices that are prior to or independent of these conventions. The general basis of our commitment to these conventions is that they serve our individual and collective interest. Failing this, we would have no relevant motive to obey these rules of justice. Clearly, then, with respect to property, there are no natural rights or claims of justice outside our created, conventional practices. On this view of things, God and a future state are wholly unnecessary for moral life and human society.

The relevant foundation for moral life and conduct rests with the key elements of human nature that we have mentioned — pride, sympathy, moral sense, and conventions. Moreover, the psychological mechanisms involved are strong and steady enough in their influence to ensure that there exists a reliable correlation between virtue and happiness and vice and misery. By these means, we find that human beings are constituted in such a way that they are capable of moral conduct and able to sustain social cooperation and harmony.

In so far as religion plays any role here, Hume maintains, it is more likely to corrupt and disturb, than to contribute, to morality or social stability. In developing this account, Hume draws heavily from earlier work by other freethinking, irreligious, and radical philosophers, such as Hobbes, Spinoza, Bayle, and especially Shaftesbury. While it is evident that Hume believes that religion is not necessary for morality, he stops short of claiming that religion is always destructive of morality — even though this is a view that would be no more extreme than the contrary view frequently advanced by religious apologists i.

Nevertheless, in a variety of contexts, Hume does maintain that religion — especially monotheism — has pernicious and corrupting tendencies. One of the most sustained discussions of this general theme is in The Natural History of Religion , where Hume compares the effects of polytheism and theism on their believers Sects.

In this context. Hume leaves his readers with the clear view that religion, far from being a source of support for moral practice, is in fact a major source of moral sickness in the world. Hume returns to these same general themes in the closing passages of the Dialogues. In this context Philo emphasizes the point that the doctrine of a future state has little practical influence over human conduct D, EM, 3. Beyond all this, he also points out the particular dangers to society of the clergy when they gain too much power and influence D, This is a theme that Hume also touches on throughout many of his other writings, including The Natural History of Religion , several of his essays, and his History of England.

At best, religion has little practical influence in guiding or supporting moral conduct. The most effective and reliable levers for this purpose rest with various elements of human nature that operate independently from our religious beliefs i. At its worst, which is how we commonly find it, religious principles and institutions disturb and pervert that natural and reasonable moral standards that human nature has provided us with.

Two methodological and historical caveats should be briefly noted before addressing this question. Thomas Reid and, even if it were, it would not show that his critics were wrong about this matter. Second, and related to the first point, Hume lived and wrote at a time of severe religious persecution, by both the church and the state. Unorthodox religious views, and more especially any form of open atheism, would certainly provoke strong reactions from the authorities. Caution and subterfuge in these circumstances was essential if difficulties of these kinds were to be avoided.

While conditions of suppression do not themselves prove a writer or thinker such as Hume had a concealed doctrine, this possibility should be seriously and carefully considered. The view that has, perhaps, been most dominant during the past century has been that Hume was a skeptic and, as such, stands in a position that endorses neither theism nor atheism. Throughout his writings, while he is certainly concerned to discredit various dogmatic proofs for the existence of God, he also avoids advancing or endorsing any dogmatic atheistic arguments and their conclusions — preferring to suspend all belief on such matters NHR, There is, on this account, no commitment to some further, more specific, set of attributes.

Clearly major religions like traditional Christianity require a robust conception of God. With regard to robust theism, Hume is sharply critical and goes well beyond the bounds of a more limited soft skepticism. That is to say, Hume pursues what we may call the hard skeptical aim of providing grounds for denying the theist hypothesis in its various robust forms. For example, in a number of passages of the Dialogues Hume suggests that the abundant evidence of unnecessary evil provides us with compelling grounds for denying that there exists an omnipotent, morally perfect being who is the creator and governor of this world.

In light of these considerations, we may conclude that with respect to robust theism Hume is a hard skeptic who defends a non-dogmatic form of atheism. While Hume may be a hard skeptic about robust theism, it does not follow that he is either a hard or a soft skeptic about thin theism. The key passages that are generally relied on in support of this view are found in the last section of the Dialogues XII. NHR, Intro. EU, To strengthen the skeptical side of these reflections Hume has Philo point out that there are other analogies available to us e.

In light of these observations, we may conclude that it is highly problematic to present Hume as any kind of theist, either robust or thin. The question remains, however, whether his final skeptical attitude to thin theism is better understood as hard or soft in character? According to this interpretation, we should accept our epistemological predicament and avoid any final judgment on such matters. The whole is a riddle, an enigma, an inexplicable mystery. Doubt, uncertainty, suspense of judgment appear the only result of our most accurate scrutiny, concerning this subject.

There are two hard skeptical arguments concerning this hypothesis that are especially important. The first is that Hume points out that our experience suggests that mind is always accompanied by body D, 5. Any reasonable hypothesis, therefore, should be consistent with this aspect of human experience. Although our experience may be narrow and limited, given the nature of the object of our investigations, it nevertheless provides some substantial basis for rejecting or denying the hypothesis of theism, including the thin version.

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Second, Hume also argues that there are alternative hypotheses that are available to us that are more plausible and consistent with human experience. In particular, we may easily revise the old Epicurean hypothesis of eternal matter that generates cycles of chaos and order D, 6. This is a hypothesis that provides us with natural explanations for forms and orders of life and existence in a manner that clearly anticipates important features of Darwinian theory.

His arguments are harder than this and present grounds for denying theism, both robust and thin. In the previous section it was suggested that Hume may be properly described as a hard sceptic who is a non-dogmatic atheist. This returns us to a point that Hume had made earlier in the Dialogues ; namely, that in both theoretical and practical terms a mystical form of theism — lacking any significant anthropomorphic features — is indistinguishable from a form of scepticism, where all conjectures about the nature of God remain entirely undecided, unknowable and irrelevant to human life D, 6.

What really matters, Hume suggests, is that the falsehoods, frauds, hypocrisies and cruelties of religion in the various robust forms that it almost always takes are firmly resisted and rejected. The term irreligion has several other specific advantages. Thus T,1. Thus EU, The author and editors are grateful to Doug Jesseph for comments on an earlier version of this article.

Religious Philosophers and Speculative Atheists 2. Empiricism, Scepticism and the Very Idea of God 3.

Bishop Robert Barron: "Religion and the Opening Up of the Mind" - Talks at Google

The Argument from Design 5. The Problem of Evil 6. Miracles 7. Immortality and a Future State 8. Religion and Morality Was Hume an Atheist? Whatever we imagine is finite. Therefore there is no idea or conception of anything we call infinite. No man can have in his mind an image of infinite magnitude, nor conceive infinite swiftness, infinite time, or infinite force, or infinite power … And therefore the name of God is used, not to make us conceive him for he is incomprehensible , and his greatness and power are inconceivable , but that we may honour him. Also because whatsoever … we conceive has been perceived first by sense, either all at once or by parts, a man can have no thought representing anything not subject to sense… Hobbes, Leviathan , 3.

This take on the idea of God is clearly more Hobbesean than Lockean. The Deity is known to us only by his productions, and is a single being in the universe, not comprehended under any species or genus, from whose experienced attributes or qualities, we can, by analogy, infer any attribute or quality in him… EU, In this context, he specifically mentions Clarke and condenses his argument into a few sentences: Whatever exists must have a cause or reason of its existence; it being absolutely impossible for any thing to produce itself, or to be the cause of its own existence.

In mounting up, therefore, from effects to causes, we must either go on in tracing an infinite succession, without any ultimate cause at all, or must at last have recourse to some ultimate cause, that is necessarily existent … D, 9. On this basis Hume argues: Creation, annihilation, motion, reason, volition; all these may arise from one another, or from any other object we can imagine. Not only the will of the supreme Being may create matter; but, for aught we know a priori , the will of any other being might create it, or any other cause, that the most whimsical imagination can assign.

In the Dialogues Hume explains his position as follows: … there is an evident absurdity in pretending to demonstrate a matter of fact, or to prove it by arguments a priori. Nothing is demonstrable, unless the contrary is a contradiction. Nothing, that is directly conceivable, implies a contradiction. Whatever we conceive as existent, we can also conceive as non-existent. There is no being, therefore, whose non-existence implies a contradiction.

Consequently there is no Being whose contradiction is demonstrable. I answer, that the uniting of these parts into a whole, like the uniting of several distinct counties into one kingdom, or several distinct members into one body, is performed merely by an arbitrary act of mind, and has no influence on the nature of things. Did I show you the particular cause of each individual in a collection of twenty particles of matter, I should think it very unreasonable, should you afterwards ask me, what was the cause of the whole twenty.

This is sufficiently explained in explaining the cause of the parts. The Argument from Design An obvious limitation of the cosmological and ontological arguments is that they are highly abstract and, while they may convince a few philosophers and theologians, they cannot serve as the basis of religious belief for most ordinary people D, 9. But surely, where reasonable men treat these subjects, the question can never be concerning the being, but only the nature of the Deity.

The former truth, as you well observe, is unquestionable and self-evident. Nothing exists without a cause; and the original cause of this universe whatever it be we call GOD; and piously ascribe to him every species of perfection. Look around the world: Contemplate the whole and every part of it: You will find it to be nothing but one great machine, subdivided into an infinite number of lesser machines… All these various machines, and even their most minute parts, are adjusted to each other with an accuracy, which ravishes into admiration all men, who have ever contemplated them.

The curious adapting of means to ends, exceeds the productions of human contrivance; of human design, thought, wisdom, and intelligence. Since, therefore the effects resemble each other, we are led to infer, by all the rules of analogy, that the causes also resemble; and that the Author of nature is somewhat similar to the mind of man ; though possessed of much larger faculties, proportioned to the grandeur of the work, which he has executed.

The exact similarity of the cases gives us a perfect assurance of a similar event; and a stronger evidence is never desired nor sought after. But wherever you depart, in the least, from the similarity of the cases, you diminish proportionably the evidence: and may at last bring it to a very weak analogy, which is confessedly liable to error and uncertainty. You find certain phenomena in nature.

You seek a cause or author. You imagine that you have found him. You afterwards become so enamored of this offspring of your brain, that you imagine it impossible, but he must produce something greater and more perfect than the present scene of things, which is so full of ill and disorder. You forget, that this superlative intelligence and benevolence are entirely imaginary, or, at least, without any foundation in reason; and that you have no ground to ascribe to him any qualities, but what you see he has actually exerted and displayed in his productions.

Philo puts this point to Cleanthes: In a word, Cleanthes, a man who follows your hypothesis is able, perhaps, to assert, or conjecture, that the universe, sometime, arose from something like design: But beyond that position he cannot ascertain one single circumstance , and is left afterwards to fix every point of his theology, by the utmost license of fancy and hypothesis. Now without some such license of supposition, it is impossible for us to argue from the cause, or infer any alteration in the effect, beyond what has immediately fallen under our observation.

Greater good produced by this Being must still prove a greater degree of goodness: a more impartial distribution of rewards and punishments must proceed from a greater regard to justice and equity. Every supposed addition to the works of nature makes an addition to the attributes of the Author of nature; and consequently, being entirely unsupported by any reason or argument, can never be admitted but as a mere conjecture and hypothesis.

I will allow, that pain or misery in man is compatible with infinite power and goodness in the Deity, even in your sense of these attributes: What have you advanced by all these concessions? A mere possible compatibility is not sufficient. You must prove these pure unmixed, and uncontrollable attributes from the present mixed and confused phenomena, and from these alone. I am sceptic enough to allow, that the bad appearances, notwithstanding all my reasonings, may be compatible with such attributes as you suppose: But surely they can never prove these attributes.

Miracles Miracles are an essential and fundamental element of the major monotheistic religions i. It follows from this: That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish; and even in that case there is a mutual destruction of arguments… EU, As belief is almost absolutely requisite to the exciting our passions, so the passions in their turn are very favourable to belief… Admiration and surprise have the same effect as the other passions; and accordingly we may observe, that among the vulgar, quacks and projectors meet with a more easy faith upon account of their magnificent pretensions, than if they kept themselves within the bounds of moderation.

The first astonishment, which naturally attends their miraculous relations, spreads itself over the whole soul, and so vivifies and enlivens the idea that it resembles the inferences we draw from experience. But just as metaphysics teach us, that the notion of substance is wholly confused and imperfect, and that we have no other idea of any substance than as an aggregate of particular qualities, inhering in an unknown something. Matter, therefore, and spirit are at bottom equally unknown; and we cannot determine what qualities may inhere in the one or in the other.

ESY, The important and intelligible issue, according to Hume, is not the question of the substance of thought but that concerning the cause of our perceptions T, 1. If you answer in the affirmative, I conclude that, since justice here exerts itself, it is satisfied. If you reply in the negative, I conclude, that you have then no reason to ascribe justice, in our sense of it, to the gods.

If you hold a medium between affirmation and negation, by saying, that the justice of the gods, at present, exerts itself in part but not to its full extent; I answer, that you have no reason to give it any particular extent, but only so far as you see it, at present , exert itself.