The Leading eBooks Store Online 4,272,009 members ⚫ 1,419,367 ebooks

New to eBooks.com?

Learn more

The Natural History of Religion

The Natural History of Religion by David Hume
Buy this eBook
US$ 4.99
(If any tax is payable it will be calculated and shown at checkout.)
As every enquiry, which regards religion, is of the utmost importance, there are two questions in particular, which challenge our attention, to wit, that concerning its foundation in reason, and that concerning its origin in human nature. Happily, the first question, which is the most important, admits of the most obvious, at least, the clearest solution. The whole frame of nature bespeaks an intelligent author; and no rational enquirer can, after serious reflection, suspend his belief a moment with regard to the primary principles of genuine Theism and Religion. But the other question, concerning the origin of religion in human nature, is exposed to some more difficulty. The belief of invisible, intelligent power has been very generally diffused over the human race, in all places and in all ages; but it has neither perhaps been so universal as to admit of no exception, nor has it been, in any degree, uniform in the ideas, which it has suggested. Some nations have been discovered, who entertained no sentiments of Religion, if travellers and historians may be credited; and no two nations, and scarce any two men, have ever agreed precisely in the same sentiments. It would appear, therefore, that this preconception springs not from an original instinct or primary impression of nature, such as gives rise to self-love, affection between the sexes, love of progeny, gratitude, resentment; since every instinct of this kind has been found absolutely universal in all nations and ages, and has always a precise determinate object, which it inflexibly pursues. The first religious principles must be secondary; such as may easily be perverted by various accidents and causes, and whose operation too, in some cases, may, by an extraordinary concurrence of circumstances, be altogether prevented. What those principles are, which give rise to the original belief, and what those accidents and causes are, which direct its operation, is the subject of our present enquiry.
NuVision Publications, LLC; January 2004
54 pages; ISBN 9781595472496
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: The Natural History of Religion
Author: David Hume
 
  • News
Philosopher of the month: David Hume - OUPblog (blog)
Sun, 06 Mar 2016 00:32:59 -0800
Philosopher of the month: David HumeOUPblog (blog)Books I and II of Hume's Treatise of Human Nature were published in early ...
Religious belief: A natural phenomenon with natural causes - OUPblog (blog)
Sat, 19 Sep 2015 00:35:44 -0700
Religious belief: A natural phenomenon with natural causesOUPblog (blog)The consequent tension is the central theme of his ...
Atheists with Attitude - New Yorker
Sun, 13 May 2007 21:00:28 -0700
New YorkerAtheists with AttitudeNew YorkerThen came “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon,” by Daniel Dennett, ...