Is Hume 's Natural History Of Religion Really A Problem? Essay

779 Words Dec 21st, 2014 4 Pages
Is Hume’s Natural History of Religion Really a Problem?
In this essay I will explain how Hume’s natural history of religion isn’t so much a threat to religion as it is a valid explanation. Hume’s claims of natural explanation will be presented and assessed based on their rationality of how religion has progressed through history. From here I will analyse Hume’s argument and then proceed to consider a counter-argument against this natural history of religion involving supernatural explanations. From here I shall provide thought on his natural history and the subjectivity of religion itself.
Hume clearly tells us that Polytheism was the earliest form of religion. He compares polytheism to a rough start in the religious world that perfects itself as time goes on. As such, it is to no surprise that Hume then describes this more perfect religion as monotheism. It is because of the ability to reason that which makes it more sensible to progress towards monotheism than to progress from it. It is this way of explanation that Hume uses to explain that reason is what brings us from a broader form of religion, polytheism, to a more specific and single explanation, monotheism, and not vice-versa. To do so the opposite way would be an irrational way of progressing, in a sense, in our theistic views.
Polytheism was also formed without rational principles. When reason is used, Hume claims that monotheism is found and that is the answer. To support this idea, he also writes that there…

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