Berkeley's and Hume's Philosophy About God

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 169
  • Published : February 26, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
Berkeley's and Hume's Philosophy about God

When people think about empiricists, they usually discuss views of great philosophers such as George Berkeley and David Hume. Empiricists believe that all knowledge comes from the senses. Rationalists, on the other hand, believe that we can gain knowledge through the inspection of innate ideas. Although Berkeley and Hume are both empiricists, they still have different opinions about the existence of God. Berkeley's philosophy uses God as the central figure in his metaphysical system. However, Hume uses scientific observation to postulate his theories and he does not rely on God to support his arguments. I will argue that Hume's Philosophy is stronger then Berkeley's George Berkeley was an empiricist, who wrote "A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge". Berkeley believes that all of our knowledge comes through sensory experience and that mind-independent material objects do not exist. He says that there is no evidence proving that mind-independent material objects exist through immediate sensory experience, or through presumptions based on this sensory experience. Berkeley wants the reader to believe that everything around us, such as: chairs, tables, books, etc, are all in our minds and that these ideas do not have any absolute existence in our world. He sees himself as being the defender of common sense, but his extravagant theory seems anything but common sense. It sounds absurd to suppose that objects are nothing but collections of ideas, but his arguments are actually quite clever and refined. Berkeley begins my stating four common-sense principles which include: "1) There is the belief that we can trust our senses, 2) The qualities we perceive as existing, really do exist, 3) The things we see and feel are real, 4) All skeptical doubt about the real existence of things, is unjustified" (Goldstein). After showing that physical objects can not exist outside the mind and that everything is an idea,...
tracking img