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Title: Hume's true religion
Author: Marshall, P. C.
Awarding Body: University College of Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 1995
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Following J.C.A. Gaskin, this thesis adopts the position that Hume was a subscriber to a form of attenuated deism, i.e., That he was committed to the view that the original cause of the universe was an extra-mundane, non-moral, non-intervening, intelligent deity who never displays any form of concern or care for the creatures that have come to inhabit its creation. The aim of the thesis is to show how Hume's major writings on religion and religious concerns converge on this conclusion, either directly or by way of defeating possible religious challenges to such a limited conception of the divine nature. My chief concern has been to establish that the above detailed conception of the original cause of the universe does indeed represent Hume's own position on this matter. I have attempted to show that Hume's commitment to such a supernatural or extra-mundane cause of the universe is perfectly consistent with his more general epistemological claims as to the limits of human knowledge. In Chapter One I focus on Hume's increasingly severe criticisms of the design argument for the existence of God. In Chapters Two, Three and Four I address Hume's own attenuated deism, its content, status and rationale. Chapter Five identifies Hume's motive for tackling religious questions and concerns. Chapters Six and Seven demonstrate how Hume's treatment of miracles and faith effectively dispose of two possible religious challenges to his own limited conception of the divine nature. The final chapter unfolds the legacy that Hume hoped to bequeath us through his writings on religion and indicates how his own attenuated deism serves to promote this legacy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available