David Hume and Intelligent Design

David Hume, the famous Scottish philosopher and author who is often quoted in debates on whether or not miracles exist, atheism vs theism etc. had much to say on the issue of whether there was evidence of an Intelligent Designer behind the existence of the universe.

Hume stated,

“Wherever I see Order, I infer from Experience that there, there hath been Design and Contrivance. And the same Principle which leads me into this Inference, when I contemplate a Building, regular and beautiful in its whole Frame and Structure; the same Principle obliges me to infer an infinitely perfect Architect, from the infinite Art and Contrivance which is display’d in the whole Fabrick of the Universe.” (David Hume 1977, 120; A Letter From a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh).

In the Introduction to his book The Natural History of Religion (1757), Hume stated:

“The whole frame of nature bespeaks an intelligent Author; and no rational enquirer can, after serious reflection, suspend his belief a moment with regard to the primary principles of genuine Theism and Religion.”(Hume1956, 21).

In The Natural History of Religion (1757), Hume wrote:

“Were men led into the apprehension of invisible, intelligent Power by a contemplation of the works of nature, they could never possibly entertain any conception but of one single Being, who bestowed existence and order on this vast machine, and adjusted all its parts, according to one regular plan or connected system. …All things in the universe are evidently of a piece. Every thing is adjusted to everything. One design prevails throughout the whole. And this uniformity leads the mind to acknowledge one Author.” (Hume 1956, 26).

The order of the universe proves an omnipotent Mind.” (Hume 1978; Treatise, 633n).

“Is there a system, an order, an economy of things, by which matter can preserve that perpetual agitation which seems essential to it, and yet maintain a constancy in the forms which it produces? There certainly is such an economy; for this is actually the case with the present world. The continual motion of matter, therefore, in less than infinite transpositions, must produce this economy or order; and by its very nature, that order, when once established, supports itself, for many ages, if not to eternity. But wherever matter is so poised, arranged, and adjusted, as to continue in perpetual motion, and yet preserve a constancy in the forms, its situation must, of necessity, have all the same appearance of art and contrivance which we observe at present.”

Clearly Hume was a “designist”, an intelligent design proponent.
He was definitely not an atheist but rather a deist.

Thus, David Hume often cited by atheists and skeptics to prove that miracles do not exist, was not an atheist but an Intelligent Design promoter.  Today, he would be maligned, black-balled, ignored, mocked and dismissed outright by the whole atheist crowd.

Once again, this reveals how incompetent and foolish the so-called “New Atheist” disciples really are.

Hume, David.  The Natural History of Religion. Ed. H. E. Root. London: A. & C. Black, 1956.

Hume, David.  “A Letter From a Gentleman to His Friend in Edinburgh,” in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.(1st ed. – London, 1748), 1977.

Hume, David.  A Treatise of Human Nature. Ed. L. A. Selby-Bigge; rev. edn. P. H. Nidditch. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978.


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