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It is the one of his works which most explicitly asserts his Deism; but on account of its rationalistic treatment of concrete religion in general, which only nominally spared Christianity, it was that which first brought upon him much theological odium in England. He is establishing Atheism; and in one single line of a long essay professes to believe Christianity. The publisher being undeterred, other steps were taken.
Meantime, there being already separate issues of the essay on “Miracles”, it has seemed desirable to similarly reprint the “Natural History of Religion”, one of Hume’s most important treatises; the more so as so many readers have been led to suppose they had perused the whole of it in the mutilated edition above mentioned.
It does not save the credit of the pious publisher that his excisions fail to make the treatise innocuous to his faith; and many readers may have found the pruned version very sufficient for its purpose.
Warburton had written certain characteristic observations on the margins of his copy of Hume, which Hurd thought worth printing; and the lion handed the copy over to his jackal, who, after slightly manipulating the material, published it anonymously as “Remarks on Mr. Hurd thought the “thin disguise” sufficed to take-in everybody, Hume included; but Hume actually wrote to his publisher soon after the issue: “I am positively assured that Dr.
David Hume’s Essay on ‘The Natural History of Religion’: Addressed to the Rev. Warburton wrote that letter to himself, which you sent me; and indeed the style discovers him sufficiently”.
Hume’s intention is to present three arguments concerning God, allow these arguments to respond to the problem of evil, and ultimately discern which argument is most rational.
The problem of evil is one of the most important problems faced by theologians and philosophers alike.Generally, the problem of evil arises when one tries to reconcile God’s existence with the presence of evil on earth.In Hume’s specifically the problem of evil is presented as a clash between God and the suffering humans endure.“Sir”, he characteristically begins, “I suppose you would be glad to know what sort of book it is which you are to publish with Hume’s name and yours to it. Hurd wrote a pamphlet against it, with all the illiberal petulance, arrogance, and scurrility, which distinguish the Warburtonian school.This pamphlet gave me some consolation for the otherwise indifferent reception of my performance.” On this Hurd, with theological accuracy, writes: “He was much hurt, and no wonder, by so lively an attack upon him, and could not help confessing it in what he calls his ‘Own Life’ ”.They are based partly on Cicero's de Natura Deorum. David Hume successfully proposes three plausible responses any human may generate when considering the nature and existence of God, and personifies these responses through three characters.While all three agree that a god exists, they differ sharply in opinion on god's nature or attributes and how, or if, mankind can come to knowledge of a diety.Hume started writing the Dialogues in 1750 but did not complete them until 1776, shortly before his death.Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.In the only cheap edition of Hume’s “Essays and Treatises” now in the British market, the essays on “Miracles” and “A Particular Providence and a Future State” have been omitted, while the “Natural History of Religion” has been extensively mutilated, at least thirteen separate passages, some of them lengthy, being suppressed in the interests of the popular religion. A cheap and complete edition of Hume will doubtless ere long be forthcoming.