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Conception Of The Religion, Natural Religion By Philosopher David Hume (Essay Sample)


Directions: Answer the following question as thoroughly as possible. NOTE: Your answer should be treated as an ‘essay' – with a brief introductory paragraph containing a thesis (as opposed to a ‘topic sentence'), distinct paragraphs supporting that thesis, and a coherent overall structure.
Length of Response: Approximately 1300 – 1500 words (please include accurate word count on the title page)
Due Date: Monday, March 5, 2017, 11:55 PM; PLEASE NOTE: Except in rare, excused cases, this deadline is firm.
Submission requirements: Submit your exam in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format, uploaded back into Moodle. Begin with a separate title page that includes your name and my name, the title of your essay, and the date, along with the Honor Code Pledge: I affirm that I have upheld the highest principles of honesty and integrity in my academic work and have not witnessed a violation of the Honor Code. See below.
FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS: You may discuss the questions with your classmates, but your answers should be your own. Each answer should be self-contained; don't rely upon answers given elsewhere on the exam to ‘count' as part of a separate answer. Finally, any secondary sources you consult, including online sources, need to be cited somewhere in your exam.
1) Conduct a clear and focused comparison and/or contrast of the conception of the religious, the proper attitude toward it, and its relation to suffering, as seen in Fear and Trembling, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, the Cornel West piece, and the Malick film.
ELABORATION: You should be able to find a clear and thesis-able connection between these ‘texts'. Maybe it's that all four argue for some kind of ‘mysticism', maybe it's that all four argue that religion's most important role is in its impact in the world. Etc. But as you do so, make sure you address key points in the text in support of your thesis. For instance, with Hume, you will need to at least address some of the attitudes as presented towards the traditional arguments for the existence of God, and how they fit into the larger point that Hume wants to make, etc.
Remember, a ‘thesis' is a direct, one-sentence assertion, formulated in response to the writing prompt or question. While your introduction can include an ‘about' sentence (in this essay, I shall discuss… or… this essay is about…), an ‘about' sentence is not the same thing as a thesis. A thesis needs to say, “I shall argue that…” or the like.
Both Fear and Trembling and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion need to be read in full. RELIGION IN AMERICA need only read the three pages in the attachment and then watch The Tree of Life write essay based on these four vegetarian dishes. Thank you.


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The conception of the religion, the proper attitude toward it, and its relation to suffering are evident in various texts, including Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by the philosopher David Hume, Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard, the Cornel West piece Prophetic Fragments, and even in the 2011 Terrence Malick’s film The Tree of Life. This paper compares and contrasts the conceptions as seen in these four texts. This essay argues that the connection between the four texts is that they all focus on the rationality of religious beliefs.
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by the philosopher David Hume includes three characters, namely Cleanthes, Demea and Philo. In this text, Hume extensively examines whether religious belief could be rational. Given that this philosopher is himself an empiricist, meaning a person who believes that knowledge comes through a person’s experience, he maintains that a religious belief is rational only if that particular belief is adequately backed by experiential evidence. Therefore, the question that Hume tries to answer is as follows: is there an adequate amount of proof to infer an infinitely perfect, powerful, wise and good God? He presented the three aforementioned characters to explore the issue. Each of them represents a dissimilar stance on the topic. They explained the problem of irrefutable suffering and pain in Part 10 of the Dialogues.
With regard to suffering and God’s existence, Philo comes to the conclusion that the fact that suffering exists is major evidence against God’s existence. According to him, suffering and pain cast doubt that a wholly maximal perfect and loving deity with respect to power is in existence. In Part ten and eleven of his text Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, David Hume, through Philo, argues that because of the occurrence of suffering and pain, an omnipotent being cannot exist. Philo asserted that the existence of cases of suffering and pain in the world is logically mismatched with the existence of such a being. It is notable that the views of Philo are most similar to the views of Hume. Hence Hume looks at the rationality of religion at length.
Famously referred to as a religious knight of faith, Soren Kierkegaard was a religious author and later became the first existentialist philosopher in the world’s history. Soren Kierkegaard wrote his text Fear and Trembling under the alternate persona of Johannes de Silentio for the purpose of highlighting the internal conflict with religion that a person has to experience for him or her to mature into the religious phase of life. In so doing, Kierkegaard also explores the subject of rationality of religion. In the text, he outlines three different phases of life which Kierkegaard thinks that every person goes through. These are the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious phases. The author’s ideas of the religious phase focused on the notion that a human being could comprehend his/her existence, but surrender it in order to follow God. In essence, Kierkegaard believed that when a person follows God, he/she would be able to regain their purpose.
The author’s thoughtful ideas with regard to gaining back everything by losing everything to their faith in the end resulted in his philosophies being spread extensively through a number of religious movements. Existentialism emphasized that a human being has choice and freedom, and has to live reasonably in spite of living in a world that is not reasonable. Then, when a person acknowledged his/her existence and chooses to live fully for God, he or she would be able to advance from the ethical stage of life to the religious one. Johannes de Silentio in the text was in...

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