Religion Issue





Religion Issue

Jean Jacques Rousseau Social Contract has been credited with the initiation of revolutions across Europe and more in France. The Social Contract is generally an argument that holds the view that all monarchs have a divine right to legislate. Roseau notes that all people that are sovereign and have the all-powerful right to govern. On the other hand, David Hume in the Treatise on Human Nature explores human rationality or reasoning. Hume’s work is divided into three sections namely Of the Understanding, Of the Passions and Of Morals all of which discuss human behavior and reasoning towards social issues such as justice, religion and morality. The two authors provide interesting accounts on issues such as morality, religion, equality, governance and justice.

Rousseau lived in the enlightenment period, which was during the 18th century. Unlike other philosophers during this period, he had a strong support for religion and toleration of different religions. He is widely remembered for his statement, “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” (Rousseau & Scott 31).This means that no sin in nature can be termed as an original sin. In addition, he opposed the claim of the “chosen elite” who automatically gain salvation. In other works such as Emile, he provides that man is naturally of good nature but is corrupted by civilization and society (Rousseau & Scott 31).

Rousseau in Civil Religion notes that national divisions led to polytheism in the sense that people wanted to be demigods as he provides in the statement, “From the mere fact that God was set over every political society, it followed that there were as many gods as peoples.” (Rousseau & Scott 43). This means that people in their quest for power created the different religions despite the presence of only one God all due to greed for power. The section of The Social Contract it becomes evident that the national divisions identified by Rousseau gave rise to the civil and theological intolerances despite of similarities between people of different religions, cultures and societies (Rousseau & Scott 43).

 Rousseau provides examples of the considerations between different nations in their perceptions and beliefs to their respective gods. The God of Israel and the gods of Chamos, Phoenician Baal, the Latin Jupiter and the Greek Zeus all have similar needs and wants from their people. In addition, he notes that the differences arise from the boundaries brought about by political activities. The boundaries are generally physical in nature to separate one country from another (Rousseau & Scott 56).

            On the other hand, Hume provides that a simple idea is accruable from a simple impression. Thus, all human ideas are ultimately derived from experience. This is an indication that he rejects all ideas that are termed as intellectual and innate as found within rationality philosophy to advocate for the concepts of empiricism. Hume advances a critique of the various philosophical foundations of the theological systems in society. He goes on to discredit the various dogmas of orthodoxy in religious beliefs. Some view his works as atheist in nature in that he uses naturalism and skepticism as the basis for his arguments (Russell 29).

            In scholarly literature, it is evident that Hume removed a majority of religious material from the Treatise given that he did not want to cause misunderstandings and offence towards the Orthodox Church. In other works, such as Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748), formed a platform for him to air his considerations and opinions on religion in a substantial manner. In addition, his considerations of religion and deep analyses are evident in the preceding works namely Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779) and Natural History of Religion (1757) that provide deeper accounts of religion that his earlier works. These works are all similar in nature in that they are all extensions of his naturalism and skepticism ideologies (Russell 51).

Hume notes that, “There is not a greater number of philosophical reasonings, displayed upon any subject, than those, which prove the existence of a Deity, and refute the fallacies of Atheists; and yet the most religious philosophers still dispute whether any man can be so blinded as to be a speculative atheist.” (Russell 37). Such statements provided his audience with a deeper understanding of his ideology towards religion. The statement indicates the presence of differences between defenders of Christianity and its theology and the defenders of atheism.

 From such a statement, it becomes evident that the assumed Golden age of English theology was because of the alliances between theology and philosophy. It was essential for theology to provide a rational defense for their ideology with an aim of warding off the atheistic and skeptical criticism of atheism. In addition, the ideology of empiricism to provide the highly skeptical conclusions on the knowledge and existence of God were widely covered in the works of Hobbes. Hobbes is of the opinion that humans lack an idea of God, thus god is incomprehensible to man. This has been likened to a blind man trying to provide an idea of the color and sight of a fire burning. Hume copies such ideologies in his work.

In addition, this is similar to the nature of the works of Hume. He notes in the Treatise that “all our ideas, or weak perceptions, are derived from our impressions or strong perceptions and that we can never think of any thing which we have not seen without us, or felt in our minds” This has been termed as a copy principle by opponents of empiricism and atheism. In addition, Hume barely mentions God in the Treatise. He notes in the Enquiry “The idea of God, as meaning an infinitely intelligent, wise, and good Being, arises from reflecting on the operations of our own mind, and augmenting, without limit, those qualities of goodness and wisdom.” (Russell 45)

In conclusion, the two authors in the two works did not provide individual opinions and accounts of their views on religion per se. Rousseau provides that religion is but a division brought about by national boundaries whereas Hume is of the opinion that God is not known to man hence he is incomprehensible to mankind. Hume’s ideology is based on a copy principle that he accrued from earlier philosophers during the period of enlightenment. I think that Rousseau provides a rationally acceptable view that no man is born superior to another. In addition, I would tend to disagree with the skeptical and empirical view taken up by Hume on his view towards rejection of an all-powerful God.

Work Cited

Russell, Paul. The Riddle of Hume’s Treatise: Skepticism, Naturalism, and Irreligion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, and John T. Scott. The Major Political Writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Two Discourses and the Social Contract, 2012. Print.

How to place an order?

Take a few steps to place an order on our site:

  • Fill out the form and state the deadline.
  • Calculate the price of your order and pay for it with your credit card.
  • When the order is placed, we select a suitable writer to complete it based on your requirements.
  • Stay in contact with the writer and discuss vital details of research.
  • Download a preview of the research paper. Satisfied with the outcome? Press “Approve.”

Feel secure when using our service

It's important for every customer to feel safe. Thus, at Supreme Assignments, we take care of your security.

Financial security You can safely pay for your order using secure payment systems.
Personal security Any personal information about our customers is private. No other person can get access to it.
Academic security To deliver no-plagiarism samples, we use a specially-designed software to check every finished paper.
Web security This website is protected from illegal breaks. We constantly update our privacy management.

Get assistance with placing your order. Clarify any questions about our services. Contact our support team. They are available 24\7.

Still thinking about where to hire experienced authors and how to boost your grades? Place your order on our website and get help with any paper you need. We’ll meet your expectations.

Order now Get a quote