“That Prince of Agnostics, David Hume” ~ T H Huxley

 Hume, with Helps to the study of Berkeley, by Thomas H Huxley

“He said he never had entertained any belief in Religion since he began to read Locke and Clarke. I asked him if he was not religious when he was young. He said he was. . . . He then said flatly that the Morality of every Religion was bad, and, I really thought, was not jocular when he said ‘that when he heard a man was religious, he concluded he was a rascal, though he had known some instances of very good men being religious.’” ~ James Boswell

The Natural History of Religion

The whole is a riddle, an enigma, an inexplicable mystery. Doubt, uncertainty, suspense of judgment, appear the only result of our most accurate scrutiny concerning this subject. But such is the frailty of human reason, and such the irresistible contagion of opinion, that even this deliberate doubt could scarcely be upheld, did we not enlarge our view, and, opposing one species of superstition to another, set them a quarrelling; while we ourselves, during their fury and contention, happily make our escape into the calm, though obscure, regions of philosophy.

The Reception of David Hume In Europe

According to Diderot, as recorded in a letter to his mistress, Sophie Volland, 6 October 1765… The first time that M. Hume found himself at the table of the Baron, he was seated beside him. I don’t know for what purpose the English philosopher took it into his head to remark to the Baron that he did not believe in atheists, that he had never seen any. The Baron said to him: “Count how many we are here.” We are eighteen. The Baron added: “It isn’t too bad a showing to be able to point out to you fifteen at once: the three others haven’t made up their minds.”

Advertisements