Hume And Bill Essay

1090 words - 5 pages

In Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Hume argues that “we know that, in fact heat is a constant attendant of flame; but what is the connection between them, we have no room so much as to conjecture or imagine” (8). From this Hume argues that the correlation between cause and effect can not be known 100% of the time. If one follows the path of Hume, moral relativism is the end result. Relativism is described by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as “that some central aspect of experience, thought, evaluation, or even reality is somehow relative to something else.” There is no ultimate truth in the universe, because ultimately everything is relative to something else. The groundwork for ...view middle of the document...

Hume believes that if “the effect be not known, the power can not be known or felt.”(14) It is quite possible to know the final cause and initial situation. Hume does not disagree with that at all, total truth in the middle cause though is unable to be known. There simply is none, which is shockingly close to relativism.
Hume is the precursor to relativism in the modern world, which has gained much traction because of its alluring simplicity. Relativism is described by Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy as “that some central aspect of experience, thought, evaluation, or even reality is somehow relative to something else.” Much like Hume, a relativist can see the beginning situation and the final cause, the issue arises in the middle. Everything is relative to something else such as, choice, race, historical periods, or other such factors. The varying factors make ultimate truth unattainable, or even unnecessary. What is morally licit in one culture is completely prohibited in another. What makes one “more moral” over the other? Taken to extremes, relativism would essentially mean the end of all moral law. For most people however, this would mean that aside from evils akin to murder, adultery, and theft, almost anything would be permissible. There would be distinction between one “truth” and another's “truth.” The barriers between people, such as those listed above, would separate people from people. One culture might view something someway, while another might view it completly different. This could as simple as food, or as serious as crime and punishment. The point is that truth does not ultimately matter, instead truth is replaced by comfort and the unintentional offending of one culture's “truth” starts to dominate our minds, rather than actually observing the truth.
Relativism closely links itself with Hume, precisely in the fact they both condone the presence of absolute truth in the universe. With Hume, this issue arises in the middle process and our inability to know it completely. Relativism finds complaint with the numerous differences in peoples, so ultimate truth can not possibly be possible. The difference between all those people essentially guarantee the lack of truth. Relativism...

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