Essay about Religious vs Science

Submitted By zeetoe
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Religion or Science
Kristine Le
PHI 208
Dr. Kate Andrew
March 01, 2013

Religion or Science Philosopher and historian David Hume was considered as a deist, aside from being an empiricist and someone who usually supported the theory of evolution. Even if Hume believed that God created the universe, he did not think that God was further involved in anything beyond creation. This was especially true in how he formulated his moral theory wherein he claimed that man was inherently inclined to do good because it was beneficial to him. As a result of this, religion was not necessary for man to do well towards his fellow man. Hume went on to move that miracles were very rare events, but he never really denied its existence. According to Hume, a person who considered himself wise should just base his beliefs on concepts that had the highest degree of probability. Since it was more probable, due to the rate of occurrences of the events, for miracles to not happen, it served as greater evidence against miracles. So is it religion or science? Hume study in philosophy during the height of European Enlightenment was the one that truly directed his life’s works and direction (Geisler 1999). The theories that were formed during the Scottish Enlightenment bore the mark of much of the contested relation between the religion, human nature and sociability.[1] Hume was infamous for his argument that religion could not be demonstrated when it came to the limited human understanding. However, the Hume’s point was more of even without the support of the religion aspect; it was intrinsic human nature to demonstrate morality in the context of sociability.[2] This became an area of great debate in the remainder of the century under Scottish context. Morality had set out debates about the “regulation of self-interest” by which men choose the best rules of conduct or policy for society that would be best efficient based from theories and other proposition that they could find (Wilson 2004).[3] The theorist’s role was to provide for acceptable moral frameworks by which there would always be significant trade offs between personal and group sacrifices in exchange for desired outcomes for the society.[4] Hume’s moral theory emphasized the intrinsic ability of man to be good without having to adhere to the concept of religion.[5] It gave emphasis on the observer’s standpoint for a chain of events that involved the agent and the receiver and the spectator of a deed, wherein it would be accounted as a virtue or a vice.[6] His theories gave birth to the earliest ideas for the utilitarian school of thought when it came to philosophy.[7] Adam Smith was one of his supporters when it came to the morality that had to do with its utility value.[8] Hume did not pursue much of the utility value of the action but he certainly sparked the following of philosophers in the likes of John Stuart Mill as well as Jeremy Bentham.[9] The moral theory was more inclined towards the fact that he was refuting the necessity of God or a religion for man to be good and to function well in society because values can either be learned or were already naturally.[10] This took away the value of a person’s good will towards others since he merely does it because he naturally acquired or developed it, motive that goes beyond that goes beyond this theory. The discussion of empiricism in a critique against the moral theory is important because it was the philosophy that dominantly motivated Hume’ theories. Apologetic writers had pointed out how Hume’s philosophy was problematic, specifically with his skeptical empiricism approach. According to Geisler, this approach was self-defeating not just because skepticism was vulnerable to criticism but from the methodology Hume employed to qualify for meaningful prepositions.[11] Hume moved that propositions needed to be empirical or analytical. However the statement “only analytic or empirical