David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (the arguments) – Introduction to Philosophy


In this lecture/discussion session from my 2013 Introduction to Philosophy class at Marist College, we finish up our study of David Hume’s classic work in Philosophy of Religion, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, by focusing on most of the arguments about God’s existence and God’s nature made between his three interlocutors — Philo, Demea, and Cleanthes. After engaging in some review about terminology , we look first at Demea’s a priori cosmological arguments. Then, we examine in more detail Cleanthes a posteriori arguments from analogy, i.e. design arguments, and examine what makes such arguments strong or weak. We then look at the alternative models of divinity proposed by Philo, and finish by discussing whether we can really know anything about a transcendent God’s nature

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