Religion, rationality and David Hume

robhu recently set the atheist hit squad on a luckless university chaplain who had the gall to criticise the Great Dawkins. Yellow, the chaplain, argues that the current atheist backlash is President Bush’s fault, but that Bush’s sort of religion is unrepresentative of Christianity as a whole.

robhu‘s argument that religion is irrational has provoked a series of interesting posts from Yellow. The first one starts off talking about Sam Harris before the topic begins to turn to rationality.

The second gets into some philosophy, with Yellow pointing out that Hume’s arguments on causality and induction lead to the conclusion that science itself is not strictly rational. To my shame, I wasn’t that familiar with Hume before this, mainly being aware of his stuff on miracles (and that he could out-consume Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, of course), so it’s been interesting to do some reading up on the web pages of various philosophy departments (Stanford’s is particularly good). I’ve left a comment on Yellow’s blog, remarking that there’s something slightly odd about invoking the arch-empiricist Hume in an attempt to argue for Christianity. ETA: added link to my comment.

Finally, there’s a third post on cosmological arguments for the existence of God. The absence of physical content in these arguments gets on my goat, so I responded there, too.

2 thoughts on “Religion, rationality and David Hume

  1. Subject: Darn you, Paul Wright~
    I’m on vacation, both kids are asleep and I could myself go to sleep any time I liked. But no, I had to check my friends page and you had to post this thing full of your insidious hyperlinks (how do you create so darn many? have you created some macro just for that nefarious purpose??) and each gosh-darn link led to things that went on for pages and pages and I had to read every word. And I’m a Christian, so much as I’d like to tell you to go to Hell for bringing all these articulate atheists to my attention, I can’t, because it would make Jesus sad. And now it’s late. And it’s All Your Fault.

    Love, Andrew

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