David Hume Essay Research Paper Hume

David Hume Essay Research Paper Hume

David Hume Essay, Research Paper

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Hume & # 8217 ; s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion ranks among the greatest Hagiographas in the history of Western doctrine. The work references

the sensitive issue of the cognition we have of God through ground entirely, and, in the procedure, Hume presents statements which undermine the

authoritative cogent evidence for God & # 8217 ; s being. The statements in the Dialogues assume an of import eighteenth century differentiation between natural faith and

revealed faith. Natural faith involves cognition of God drawn from nature, entirely by the usage of concluding. Often this involves pulling

decisions about the natural design we see in the existence. Revealed faith, on the other manus, involves spiritual cognition derived from

disclosure, specifically divinely divine texts such as the Bible. From his earliest Hagiographas, Hume attacked both of these alleged avenues of spiritual

truth. In the Treatise of Human Nature ( 1739-40 ) , published when he was 27, Hume attacks natural faith reasoning that our thoughts reach no farther

than our experience ; since we have no experience of Godhead properties and operations, so we can hold no construct of Godhead properties. In his

ill-famed essay on miracles from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding ( 1748 ) , Hume goes a measure further and onslaughts revealed faith.

He argues that it is ne’er sensible to believe in misdemeanors of natural Torahs, such as studies of miracles and prognostications, which in bend are the

foundations of revealed faith. Given the rational bankruptcy of both natural and revealed faith, what remains, for Hume, is what he calls vulgar

faith. Vulgar faith is the spiritual belief of the multitudes, and we understand this by bring outing the true psychological causes of these beliefs,

such as emotions and inherent aptitudes. He examines coarse faith in his Natural History of Religion ( 1757 ) , a work he composed at the same time with the

Dialogues. The Dialogues, though, trades entirely with the topic of natural faith and in this work Hume offers his most systematic review of

the topic.

THE CHARACTERS OF THE DIALOGUES. Hume & # 8217 ; s determination to compose this work in dialog signifier is important. During the eighteenth century,

Great Britain was among the most free states in Europe, and political governments allowed a great sum of unobstructed look. However,

spiritual leaders believed that rational cogent evidence for God & # 8217 ; s being were about as built-in to Christianity as the Bible itself. Consequently, functionaries

viewed direct onslaughts on natural divinity as an maltreatment of free look. To avoid political confrontation, Hume adopted the common literary

technique of showing controversial statements in duologue signifier. There are three chief characters in Hume & # 8217 ; s Dialogues. On the conservative side

of the issue, a character named Cleanthes offers a posteriori statements for God & # 8217 ; s being, peculiarly the design statement:

( a ) Machines are produced by intelligent design

( B ) Universe resembles a machine

( degree Celsius ) Therefore, the existence was produced by intelligent design

The design statement rests on an analogy between the design we recognize in human-created artefacts and similar design we recognize in the

existence. This similarity of design entitles us to reason that the existence was similarly created by intelligent design. Most of the Dialogues focal points

on facets of the design statement. Next, a character named Demea prefers a priori statements for God & # 8217 ; s being, peculiarly Leibniz & # 8217 ; s

cosmogonic statement:

( a ) The universe contains an infinite sequence of contingent facts ;

( B ) An account is needed as to the beginning of this whole space series, which goes beyond an account of each member in the series ;

( degree Celsius ) The account of this whole series can non shack in the series itself, since the really fact of its being would still necessitate an

account ( rule of sufficient ground )

( vitamin D ) Therefore, there is a necessary substance which produced this infinite series, and which is the complete account of its ain

being every bit good.

Earlier guardians of cosmological-type statements, such as Aquinas, argued that an infinite series of causes of the existence is impossible. Therefore, a

foremost Godhead cause is required to get down this series of single causes. However, Demea ( and Leibniz ) assume that an infinite series of causes of the

existence is possible. Even so, Demea argues, we still need an account of the full aggregation of finite causes, which must be found outside of the

infinite aggregation of single causes.

Finally, a character named Philo is a skeptic who argues against both a posteriori and a priori cogent evidence. Philo offers a watercourse of unfavorable judgments against

the design statement, many of which are now standard in treatments of the issue. For Philo, the design statement is based on a faulty analogy: we

Don & # 8217 ; t know whether the order in nature was the consequence of design since, unlike our experience with the creative activity of machines, we did non witness the

formation of the universe. The enormousness of the existence besides weakens any comparing with a human artefacts: although the existence is orderly here, it

may be helter-skelter elsewhere. Similarly, if intelligent design is exhibited merely in a little fraction of the existence, so we can non state it is the productive

force of the whole existence. Philo besides contends that natural design may be accounted for by nature entirely, in so far as affair contains within itself a

rule of order. And even if the design of the existence is of Godhead beginning, we are non justified in reasoning that this Godhead cause is a individual, all

powerful, or all good being. As to the cosmogonic statement, Philo argues that one time we have a sufficient account for each peculiar fact in the

infinite sequence of facts, it makes no sense to ask about the beginning of the aggregation of these facts. That is, one time we adequately account for each

single fact, this constitutes a sufficient account of the whole aggregation.

The three characters in Hume & # 8217 ; s Dialogues are slackly based on characters in Cicero & # 8217 ; s authoritative duologue, On the Nature of the Gods and we may

moderately presume that Hume & # 8217 ; s audience recognized this. In Cicero & # 8217 ; s duologue, a character named Cotta was a spiritual skeptic, and his instructor was

named Philo. Second, a character named Balbus voiced an Orthodox Stoic position of the Gods, and Balbus & # 8217 ; s instructor was named Cleanthes. Finally a

character named Velleius presented a 3rd Epicurean position. Cicero himself introduced and concluded his duologue, declaring Balbus the victor. In

Hume & # 8217 ; s duologue, excessively, the storyteller declares the Orthodox Cleanthes the victor over the disbelieving Philo. For Cicero, the chief issue of the duologue is non

so much the being of the Gods, but the nature of the Gods, and whether they intervene. However, for Hume the being of God is the most

outstanding issue.

Publication OF THE DIALOGUES. Hume began work on the Dialogues in approximately 1751. He seemingly revised the manuscript about 10

old ages subsequently, and likely once more in 1776 prior to his decease. During the last few months of his life, Hume scrambled to do agreements for the

publication of his manuscript, which finally appeared in print three old ages subsequently in 1779. For more than 100 old ages, the 1779 publication was the

footing for other printed editions of the Dialogues. However, because Hume did non supervise the 1779 publication, more recent editions return to the

original manuscript, which is in the ownership of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and is presently available on microfilm. Differences between the

1779 edition and more recent 1s are undistinguished, although recent editions contain notes which describe the assorted alterations Hume made to

the manuscript. In his correspondences, Hume left an interesting paper trail refering to the composing and ultimate publication of the Dialogues.

The first indicant of the manuscript is in the undermentioned missive to Gilbert Elliot of Minto, in which Hume asks Elliot to reexamine some & # 8220 ; sample & # 8221 ; parts of

the manuscript ( likely Parts 1-4 from the concluding 12 subdivisions ) :

You wou & # 8217 ; d perceive by the Sample I have given you, that I make Cleanthes the Hero of the Dialogue. Whatever you can believe of, to

strengthen that Side of the Argument, will be most acceptable to me. Any Propensity you imagine I have to the other Side, crept in upon

me against my Will & # 8230 ; I have frequently thought, that the best manner of composing a Dialogue, wou & # 8217 ; d be for two Persons that are of different

Opinions about any Question of Importance, to compose alternately the different Partss of the Discourse, & A ; answer to each other. By this

Meanss, that vulgar Error woud be avoided, of seting nil but Nonsense into the Mouth of the Adversary: And at the same clip, a

Assortment of Character & A ; Genius being upheld, woud make the whole expression more natural & A ; unaffected. Had it been my good Fortune to populate

near you, I shou & # 8217 ; vitamin Ds have taken on me the Character of Philo, in the Dialogue, which you & # 8217 ; ll ain I coud have supported of course adequate:

And you woud non hold been antipathetic to that of Cleanthes. I believe, excessively, we coud both of us have kept our Temper really good ; merely, you

have non make & # 8217 ; d an absolute philosophical Indifference on these Points. What Danger can of all time come from clever Reasoning & A ;

Enquiry? The worst bad Sceptic of all time I knew, was a much better Man than the best superstitious Devotee & A ; Bigot. I must inform

you, excessively, that this was the manner of thought of the Antients on this Subject. & # 8230 ; I cou & # 8217 ; d wish that Cleanthes & # 8217 ; Argument coud be so analys & # 8217 ; vitamin D,

as to be render & # 8217 ; d rather formal & A ; regular. The Leaning of the Mind towards it, unless that Propensity were as strong & A ; universal as

that to believe in our Senses & A ; Experience, will still, I am afraid, be esteem & # 8217 ; d a leery Foundation. Tis here I wish for your

Assistance. & # 8230 ; The Instances I have chosen for Cleanthes are, I hope, acceptably happy, & A ; the Confusion in which I represent the Sceptic

seems natural. [ March 10, 1751 ]

Three things are peculiarly notable in the above transition. First, from the start Hume tries to portray Cleanthes as the & # 8220 ; hero & # 8221 ; or victor of the

duologue. Second, Hume notes his witting effort to show all sides of the difference in their strongest visible radiation, and thereby promote the literary quality of

the piece. Third, Hume argues that no public injury will ensue from sing Philo & # 8217 ; s disbelieving statements.

Between 1751 and 1761 Hume worked on and further circulated his manuscript ; nevertheless, at least one friend discouraged him from printing

it, presumptively for political grounds. Hume therefore set the undertaking aside, and took it up once more in 1776 when he found himself terminally ill. To procure its

publication, Hume included in his Will the undermentioned petition to Adam Smith:

To my friend Dr Adam Smith, late Professor of Moral Philosophy in Glasgow, I leave all my manuscripts without exclusion, wanting him

to print my Dialogues refering Natural Religion, which are comprehended in this present legacy ; but to print no other documents

which he suspects non to hold been written within these five old ages, but to destruct them all at his leisure. And I even leave him full power

over all my documents, except the Dialogues above mentioned ; and though I can swear to that confidant and sincere friendly relationship, which has of all time

subsisted between us, for his faithful executing of this portion of my will, yet, as a little recompense of his strivings in correcting and publication

this work, I leave him two hundred lbs, to be paid instantly after the publication of it. [ January 1776 ]

In malice of Smith & # 8217 ; s assigned undertaking, Smith felt that the Dialogues should stay unpublished even after Hume & # 8217 ; s decease. Smith himself was a cupboard

spiritual skeptic, and his vacillation was motivated more by practical concern instead than spiritual piousness. Smith communicated his reluctance to Hume

and, consequently, in the undermentioned missive to Smith, Hume relinquished Smith of the immediate duty of printing them:

After reflecting more maturely on that Article of my Will by which I left you the Disposal of all my Documents, with a Request that you

shou & # 8217 ; d print my Dialogues refering natural Religion, I have become reasonable, that, both on history of the Nature of the Work, and

of your Situation, it may be improper to travel rapidly on that Publication. I hence take the present Opportunity of measure uping that friendly

Request: I am content, to go forth it wholly to your Discretion at what clip you will print that Piece, or whether you will print it at all.

[ May 3, 1776 ]

In the above, Hume leaves it to Smith & # 8217 ; s discretion as to when the Dialogues should be published. But Hume rapidly became uncomfortable with this

agreement and, a month subsequently, asked his long clip publishing house, William Strahan, to set up for its immediate publication:

I am besides to talk to you of another Work more of import: Some Old ages ago, I composed a piece, which woud make a little Volume in

Twelves. I call it Dialogues on natural Religion: Some of my Friends flatter me, that it is the best thing I of all time wrote. I have hitherto

forborne to print it, because I was of late wishful to populate softly, and maintain remote from all Clamour: For though it be non more

objectionable than some things I had once published ; yet you know some of these were thought really objectionable ; and in prudence,

possibly, I ought to hold suppressed them. I there present a Sceptic, who is so refuted, and at last gives up the Argument, nay

confesses that he was merely diverting himself by all his Cavils ; yet before he is silenced, he advances several Topics, which will give

Umbrage, and will be deemed really bold and free, every bit good as much out of the Common Road. Equally shortly as I arrive at Edinburgh, I intend to

print a little Edition of 500, of which I may give away about 100 in Presents ; and shall do you a Present of the Remainder, together

with the literary Property of the whole, provided you have no Scruple, in your present Situation, of being the Editor: It is non necessary

you shoud prefix your Name to the Title Page. I earnestly declare, that after Mr Millar and You and Mr Cadell have publickly avowed

your Publication of the Enquiry refering human Understanding, I know no Reason why you shoud have the least Scruple with respect

to these Dialogues. They will be much less objectionable to the Law, and non more open to popular Clamour. Whatever your Resolution

be, I beg you wou & # 8217 ; d maintain an full Silence on this Subject. If I leave them to you by Will, your put to deathing the Desire of a dead Friend, will

render the saloon

lication still more excusable. Mallet ne’er sufferd any thing by being the Editor of Bolingbroke’s Works. [ June 8, 1776 ]

In the above, Hume acknowledges that the publication of the Dialogues might do some blare because of the badness of Philo & # 8217 ; s statements.

Again, though, he attempts to spread the issue by noticing that his Dialogues are less utmost than his Enquiry, presumptively intending his essay

on miracles.

Unfortunately, Hume & # 8217 ; s unwellness progressed to the point that he would non populate to see this modest printing of the Dialogues. In an supplement to his

will, Hume requested that his nephew, Baron David Hume, see to the publication of the Dialogues if Strahan failed:

I desire, that my Dialogues refering natural Religion may be printed and published any clip within two Old ages after my Death ; to

which, he [ William Strahan ] may add, if he thinks proper, the two Essaies once printed but non published. & # 8230 ; I besides ordain, that if my

Dialogues from whatever Cause, be non publishd within two Old ages and a half of my Death & # 8230 ; the Property shall return to my Nephew,

David, whose Duty, in printing them as the last Request of his Uncle, must be approved of by all the World. [ August 7, 1776 ]

A hebdomad subsequently, though, Hume considered doing extra programs to procure the endurance of the Dialogues. In a missive to Adam Smith ( August 15 ) he

notes his purposes to hold two extra transcripts made of his manuscript, one entrusted to his Nephew, and the other to Smith. Two yearss before his

decease, Hume dictated a concluding missive to Smith:

I am obliged to do usage of my Nephews manus in composing to you as I do non lift to twenty-four hours.

There is No Man in whom I have a greater Assurance than Mr Strahan, yet have I left the belongings of that Manuscript to my

Nephew David in instance by any accident it should non be published within three old ages after my death. The lone accident I could forsee,

was one to Mr Strahans Life, and without this clause My Nephew would hold had no right to print it. Be so good as to inform Mr

Strahan of this Circumstance. [ August 23, 1776 ]

A hebdomad after Hume & # 8217 ; s decease, Strahan received the manuscript of Hume & # 8217 ; s Dialogues. In a missive to Strahan, Smith continued voicing his belief that the

manuscript should stay unpublished:

The latter, Tho & # 8217 ; finely written, I could hold wished had remained in manuscript to be communicated merely to a few people. When you read

the work, you will see my grounds without my giving you the problem of reading them in a missive. But he [ Hume ] has ordered it otherwise. .

. . I one time had perswaded him to go forth it wholly to my discretion either to print them at what clip I thought proper, or non to print

them at all. Had he continued of this head the manuscript should hold been most carefully preserved and upon my death restored to

his household ; but it ne’er should hold been published in my life-time. [ September 5, 1776 ]

Smith continues in the above missive trying to carry Strahan to at least print the Dialogues in an edition offprint from Hume & # 8217 ; s forthcoming

short autobiography. Strahan seemingly agreed, and the autobiography was published individually in 1777. Smith wrote him the following note of

thanks to Strahan, explicating how gross revenues of Hume & # 8217 ; s other plants might be enhanced by decently clocking the release of the Dialogues:

I am much obliged to you for so readily holding to publish the life together with my add-ons separate from the Dialogues. I even flatter

myself that this agreement will lend non merely to my quiet but to your involvement. The clamor against the Dialogues, if published

foremost, might ache for some clip the sale of the new edition of his plants, and when the clamor has a little subsided the Dialogues may

afterlife juncture a quicker sale of another edition. [ October, 1776 ]

About a half of a twelvemonth subsequently, Strahan was still undecided about whether he would even presume the undertaking of printing Hume & # 8217 ; s Dialogues. In the

following missive to Hume & # 8217 ; s nephew, Strahan explains that it might look better if it was published by the nephew himself.

As for Mr. Hume & # 8217 ; s Dialogues on Natural Religion, I am non yet determined whether I shall print them or non. I have all possible

respect to the will of the asleep: But as that can be every bit good fulfilled by you as by me, and as the publication will likely do some

noise in the universe, and its inclination be considered in different visible radiations by different work forces, I am inclined to believe it had better be made by you.

From you some will reason it comes with properness as done in obeisance to the last petition of your Uncle ; as he himself expresses it ;

from me it might be fishy to continue from motivations of involvement. But in this affair I hope you will make me the justness to believe I put

involvement entirely out of the inquiry. However, you shall non, at any rate, be kept long in suspense, as you shall shortly hold my concluding

declaration. [ February 3, 1777 ]

Ultimately, Strahan made his determination and declined to print the Dialogues. In a missive to Hume & # 8217 ; s brother ( i.e. , the male parent of Hume & # 8217 ; s nephew )

Strahan repeats his logical thinking that the Dialogues & # 8220 ; might be published with more properness & # 8221 ; by the nephew ( March 3, 1777 ) .

The about absurd preoccupation with public image continued as Hume & # 8217 ; s brother strategized as to how long his boy should detain in conveying the

Dialogues to the imperativeness. Hume & # 8217 ; s brother recorded his ideas in a answer to Strahan:

My sentiment was that he [ i.e. , his boy, and Hume ‘s nephew ] should detain the publication of the duologues on Natural Religion till the terminal of

the two old ages, after this that he had a rubric by his uncles colony upon your non publication of them ; otherways it carried the

visual aspect of being excessively frontward, and of more than he was called upon in responsibility ; and if a clamor rose against it, he would hold a hard

undertaking to back up himself, about in the beginning of his manhood. What weighs with him is, that his publication every bit early as he had the

power, would look more like obeisance, than a voluntary title, and of opinion ; and acquit him in the eyes of the universe & # 8230 ; [ March 13,

1777 ]

Indeed, Hume & # 8217 ; s nephew delayed for two old ages and the Dialogues eventually appeared in the center of 1779. Upon its publication, Hume & # 8217 ; s friend Hugh

Blair wrote to Strahan noticing on the deficiency of & # 8220 ; noise & # 8221 ; that it produced.

As to D. Hume & # 8217 ; s Dialogues, I am surprised that though they have now been published for some clip, they have made so small noise. They

are extremely elegant. They bring together some of his most objectionable logical thinkings, but the rules themselves were all in his

former plants. [ August 3, 1779 ]

Within the undermentioned few months, four reappraisal of Hume & # 8217 ; s Dialogues appeared, each of which confirmed Blair & # 8217 ; s initial reaction. The first reappraisal to

appear was the lead article in the Critical Review diary. The reappraisal opened observing that & # 8220 ; neither the friends of faith have any juncture to be

alarmed, nor her enemies to prevail. Freedom of question can ne’er be deleterious to the cause of truth. & # 8221 ; The referee concludes with merely mild

unfavorable judgment reasoning that & # 8220 ; If the expostulations advanced by Philo had been produced with modestness, and answered by Cleanthes every bit to the full as the nature of the

inquiry would hold allowed, the writer would hold been applauded by every reasonable and spoting reader. But when they are proposed with an air

of victory and rebelliousness, this work assumes a more disadvantageous signifier, the facet of infidelity. & # 8221 ; ( September 1779, Vol. 48, pp. 161-172 ) . The

2nd reappraisal of the Dialogues which appeared in the London Review was more flattering. The reappraisal expresses hope that & # 8220 ; it will turn out no

unacceptable nowadays to the Orthodox & # 8221 ; and concludes that & # 8220 ; & # 8230 ; in our sentiment, whoever carefully peruses these Dialogues will non readily be infected

with either of the two greatest corruptnesss of faith, enthusiasm or superstitious notion & # 8221 ; ( 1779, Vol. 10, pp. 365-373 ) .

Finally, William Rose & # 8217 ; s reexamine in the Monthly Review opens observing that the Dialogues are & # 8220 ; written with great elegance ; in the true spirit of

ancient duologue ; and, in point of composing, is equal, if non superior, to any of Mr. Hume & # 8217 ; s other Hagiographas. Nothing new, nevertheless, is advanced upon

the subjects. & # 8221 ; Rose concludes, though, on a more negatively. For Rose, if Hume is right that God does non be, so & # 8220 ; the wicked are set free from

every restraint but that of the Torahs & # 8230 ; the universe we live in is a fatherless universe ; we are chained down to a life full of misery and wretchedness ; and we

hold no hope beyond the grave. & # 8221 ; Rose notes that & # 8220 ; Hume had been long drifting on the boundless and roadless ocean of agnosticism & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; and Hume

should hold desired a more unafraid peace at the terminal of his life. & # 8220 ; But his love of paradox, his excessive chase of literary celebrity, continued & # 8230 ; & # 8221 ; and, for

Rose, this formed Hume & # 8217 ; s motivation for printing the Dialogues. Rose acknowledges that Hume lived a virtuous life, and suggests that Hume & # 8217 ; s natural

good pique, instruction, and luck overcame the negative effects of his doctrine. But if his doctrine was let loose among world, Rose

asks, & # 8220 ; Will those who think they are to decease like beasts, of all time act like work forces? & # 8221 ; Rose believes that even the best political system needs to be

supplemented with fright of godly penalty to control immortality within the jurisprudence. Nevertheless, Rose concedes that philosophically minded readers

will non be harmed by the Dialogues, although the Dialogues & # 8220 ; may function, so, to corroborate & # 8230 ; the unprincipled in their biass & # 8230 ; . & # 8221 ; ( November

1779, Vol. 61, pp. 343-355 )

INTERPRETIONS OF THE DIALOGUES. In Hume & # 8217 ; s twenty-four hours, as now, the two cardinal interpretative inquiries of the Dialogues were ( 1 ) Which

character, if any, represents Hume? , and ( 2 ) What are the positions of that character? Given its literary manner, the Dialogues affect a complex web of

privacy, and, consequently, Hume & # 8217 ; s coevalss took greater strivings to understand the concealed significance of the Dialogues. Virtually all early

observers on the Dialogues attempted to place Philo as Hume & # 8217 ; s mouthpiece, as Rose does below in his reappraisal when declaring Philo the hero:

Cleanthes & # 8230 ; defends a good cause really feebly, and is by no agencies entitled to the character of an accurate philosopher. Demea supports

the character of a rancid, diing Godhead, really acceptably ; but PHILO is the hero of the piece ; and it must be acknowledged, that he urges his

expostulations with no inconsiderable grade of acuteness and nuance.

The London Review besides made this clear from the beginning of their reappraisal:

The undermentioned sentiments, which are represented as the echt sentiments of Philo, or Hume himself, seem to us so of import as to

deserve interpolation as a specimen of the whole.

For the referee, the representative subdivisions of Philo & # 8217 ; s positions are the first half of Part XII of the Dialogues in which Philo reduces the struggle

between godlessness and theism to a verbal difference. The referee concludes that & # 8220 ; This rapprochement of these two apparently most distant oppositions, is

of more service to true faith than volumes of deity & # 8230 ; . & # 8221 ; The referee is reflecting the column angle of the London Review as a whole, which

tended to be sacredly disbelieving.

Thomas Hayter made attempts to set up clearly that Philo, and non Cleanthes, speaks for Hume. The introductory remarks to his Remarks

focal point entirely on this issue. After citing Pamphilius & # 8217 ; portraiture of the three characters, Hayter argues,

From this representation one might at foremost be led to look for Mr. HUME himself under the mask of CLEANTHES, and to anticipate from the

oral cavity of CLEANTHES the famed Metaphysician & # 8217 ; s ain sentiments. Let us see nevertheless that Mr. HUME, after the great nominal

high quality attributed to CLEANTHES, could non perchance, without visual aspect of amour propre, have appointed CLEANTHES his representative.

The fact so indisputably is, that PHILO, non CLEANTHES, personates Mr. HUME. CLEANTHES assumes at times ( p. 242 and 244 ) the

tone of DEMEA: while PHILO possesses in general the exclusive sole privilege of retailing the intent of Mr. HUME & # 8217 ; s former Philosophical

productions. & # 8212 ; Every singular trait and characteristic of those productions may be traced in the parts of the Dialogue assigned to PHILO.2

Other critics attempted to expose a deeper privacy on Hume & # 8217 ; s portion. Joseph Milner in his Gibbon & # 8217 ; s history of Christianity considered

argues that Hume is insincere when articulating Cleanthes the master of the argument:

In his duologues refering natural faith, we have the substance of all his doubting essays ; and notwithstanding his declaration at the

near in favor of Cleanthes, the natural religionist, it is apparent from the whole tenour of the book, and still more so from the full

agnosticism of his former publications, that Philo is his front-runner. Sincerity constitutes no portion of a philosopher & # 8217 ; s virtuousness.

He continues that Hume & # 8217 ; s purpose is to & # 8220 ; cut down Polytheism, Spinozism, Christianity, and all kinds of positions of the deity to the same degree of grounds, or

instead of no grounds ; and on the ruin of all, to set up his atrocious cosmopolitan scepticism. & # 8221 ; 3

Possibly the most acute analysis of Philo was given by John Ogilvie in his Inquiry into the causes of the unfaithfulness and agnosticism of the

times. Like his coevalss, Ogilvie argues that Philo is Hume & # 8217 ; s mouthpiece.4 However, Ogilvie charges further that even Philo & # 8217 ; s grants

can non be taken at face value:

& # 8230 ; Philo expresseth, in really strong footings, his belief of a Deity, such as he represents him. He even thanks this Being, or Mind, or

Thought, that atheists are really rare. And, notwithstanding his love of remarkable statement, he professeth to pay to him profound worship.

P. 232. But, as Philo & # 8217 ; s declarations upon this topic are contradictory, I construct his impressions most favorably, when I consider him as

excepting a Deity from the existence.

For Ogilvie, Hume is involved in dual privacy. First, he conceals his positions behind the head covering of the character of Philo. Second, Philo himself is

hiding his true positions by doing empty grants toward God & # 8217 ; s being. Ogilvie & # 8217 ; s treatment of Philo & # 8217 ; s privacy is peculiarly relevant in

position of the twentieth century observers, noted above, who take Philo & # 8217 ; s grants as sincere.

Ogilvie continues that, for Philo, the options for believing in the creative activity of the existence are between & # 8220 ; a unsighted nature & # 8221 ; or & # 8220 ; an Omnipotent

Tyrant, holding neither wisdom, justness, goodness, nor any perfection. & # 8221 ; Ogilvie argues that it would delight us & # 8220 ; much better to believe that this universe

was formed by a causeless multitude of atoms & # 8230 ; instead than to compete

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