Philosophical Quarterly 57 (227):190–211 (2007)
AbstractHume's 'Natural History of Religion' offers a naturalized account of the causes of religious thought, an investigation into its 'origins' rather than its 'foundation in reason'. Hume thinks that if we consider only the causes of religious belief, we are provided with a reason to suspend the belief. I seek to explain why this is so, and what role the argument plays in Hume's wider campaign against the rational acceptability of religious belief. In particular, I argue that the work threatens a form of fideism which maintains that it is rationally permissible to maintain religious belief in the absence of evidence or of arguments in its favour. I also discuss the 'argument from common consent', and the relative superiority of Hume's account of the origins of religious belief
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Citations of this work
The Relevance of Hume's Natural History of Religion for Cognitive Science of Religion.Helen De Cruz - 2015 - Res Philosophica 92 (3):653-674.
Adam Smith on the ‘Natural Principles of Religion’.Ryan Patrick Hanley - 2015 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 13 (1):37-53.
Nietzsche and Hume: Naturalism and Explanation.P. J. E. Kail - 2009 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 37 (1):5-22.
References found in this work
Reason and Belief in God.Alvin Plantinga - 1983 - In Alvin Plantinga & Nicholas Wolterstorff (eds.), Faith and Rationality: Reason and Belief in God. University of Notre Dame Press. pp. 16-93.
Hume on Superstition.Martin Bell - 1999 - In D. Z. Phillips & Timothy Tessin (eds.), Religion and Hume's Legacy. St. Martin's Press, Scholarly and Reference Division. pp. 153--70.