Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Dialogues 1–11 discuss religion’s foundation in human reason. Dialogue 12, in which Philo. the relentless opponent of pro-theistic arguments, makes his “confession” that he embraces natural religion; namely, the view that the cause or causes of order in nature bear some remote analogy to human intelligence. Hume’s Natural History of Religion, although published earlier than the posthumous Dialogues, is, in effect, a second volume to them. It presents a complex naturalistic explanation of religion’s origin in human nature, providing a sophisticated (and controversial) account of religion’s origin that is also a critique of religious belief. The core of this critique is an argument that theistic belief cannot be rendered so as to significantly differ from an atheism that grants that natural order has some cause or other.

Keywords: Natural propensities, natural beliefs, human nature, foundation in reason, origin in nature, sceptic, design argument, analogy, theory of meaning

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.