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In Defense of Natural Theology: 3 In Praise of Hume


The author of this chapter points out that Hume’s criticisms were, in fact, valid. He says that Hume was pointing out deficiencies in reasoning towards God, and says that Hume was right in pointing out that an unbiased investigator would not, and should not find the traditional arguments (cosmological, teleological, ontological) convincing. He says that it’s a result of being an eager believer that the proofs seem convincing, but they fall flat because of three main errors.

The first is the evidence error, where the theist offers evidence that is categorically inappropriate to the subject at hand. The second is jumping the gun, where the theist concludes more than is warranted by the argument. The last is begging the question, sometimes by appealing to information that could only be known by revelation, or by assuming a premise without justifying it, that more or less implies the conclusion desired.

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