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Spectres of False DivinityHume's Moral Atheism$
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Thomas Holden

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199579945

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579945.001.0001

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(p.209) Conclusion
Spectres of False Divinity

Thomas Holden (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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