Empiricism In David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

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In David Hume 's "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding", Hume discusses the concept of empiricism. Empiricism, is the epistemological theory that people can gain knowledge through their senses; the experiences collected is through the senses. These experiences are applied to real time situations in order to make sense of the setting in a situation. Throughout the book Hume discusses a wide variety of topics ranging from ideas and impressions to miracles. The section concentrated in this essay is on section 11 of the text. Section 11: Of a particular Providence and of a future State, deals with the concept of God and the afterlife. Hume and a friend argue whether or not we are able to come up with an explanation on the concept of an afterlife;…show more content…
He does agree with virtues and vices, and believes that people act virtuously for their own benefit. Would agreeing to the benefits of virtues and vices, still play a role in the idea that there could be an afterlife? People act in ways to benefit their own agenda. Participating in virtuous actions allows for someone to gain a pleasant spot in the afterlife. People do not act good without knowing that there is some kind of benefit in it for them. "I deny a providence, you say, and supreme governor of the world, who guides the course of events, and punishes the vicious with infamy and disappointment, and rewards the virtuous with honour and success, in all their undertakings. But surely, I deny not the course itself of events, which lies open to every one 's inquiry and examination. I acknowledge, that, in the present order of things, virtue is attended with more peace of mind than vice, and meets with a more favourable reception from the world. I am sensible, that, according to the past experience of mankind, friendship is the chief joy of human life, and moderation the only source of tranquillity and happiness." (Hume 11.108, pg. 97) He also says that he believes in the events of punishing and rewarding, but who could provide valid punishments and rewards without judging the individual, too harshly or too much in favor of that person. As mentioned before people usually act in order to benefit themselves, there could be a possibility that someone punishes someone due to a personal vendetta they hold on the person or they may reward them greatly when a reward like that is not required in the first place. Throughout history religious doctrines have shaped communities and provided rules to live in harmony with everyone; that includes condemning acts of murder, stealing and many more. A divine creator had to have created those laws

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