Thomas Holden

in Spectres of False Divinity

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579945
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722776 | DOI:

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This concluding chapter summarizes Hume's overall case for divine amorality and assesses the significance of his commitment to moral atheism, both for our wider understanding of his theoretical and practical philosophy, and for our understanding of the philosophical history of irreligion in the early modern period. It is argued that a proper understanding of Hume's commitment to moral atheism casts light on his general epistemology as well as the precise scope and force of his sceptical critique of traditional natural theology. Hume's moral atheism also has the important practical consequence of ruling out the fideistic proposal (found in Hamann, Jacobi, and Kant) that we might responsibly believe in or at least hope for a moral God even in the absence of knowledge.

Keywords: atheism; epistemology; fideism; irreligion; Hamann; Hume; Jacobi; Kant; moral atheism; natural theology

Chapter.  3132 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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