David Hume: Allegorical Representations of Mythology

David Hume: Allegorical Representations of Mythology

  • Submitted By: LeeDias
  • Date Submitted: 03/03/2009 6:55 AM
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Words: 1288
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David Hume: The Allegorical representations of Mythology
An allegory is a symbolic representation of a theoretical, abstract principle. The blindfolded lady holding the balance, for instance, is an allegorical representation of justice - the abstract concept of justice symbolized in a figurative model. In The Natural History of Religion, David Hume (1711-1776) denigrates the gods of polytheism as gross allegorical representations of the attributes and adventures of human beings[1]. For Hume, the idols of ancient cultures were ordinary products of the ignorant and superstitious mind, little superior to their human architects. Hume deduces that if humanity were to apprehend the invisible, intelligent agent by contemplation of the works of nature, they could not but entertain an authentic conception of one single Supreme Being.[2] Simultaneously, throughout his dissertation, David Hume overemphasizes the relevance of his genuine theism assumption – nothing more than a pure belief in one Supreme Being by rational comprehension of the whole frame of nature. However, David Hume ignores the fact that without the assistance of allegorical representations such a Supreme Being would be nothing but a theoretical, abstract idea incomprehensible to humanity and, consequently, ineffective. This paper analyses how the concept of the Supreme Being, God, is unavoidably converted into allegorical representations in order to be appreciated and exist perpetually.
In his book, The Origin of the Idea of God, Father Wilhelm Schmidt (1868-1954) theorises that “in the beginning, human beings created a God who was the First Cause of all things and Ruler of heaven and earth[3].” The Sky God was not portrayed in any form of mundane allegory; there were no temples dedicated to Him or priests in his service. He was extremely glorious for any mode of imperfect human devotion. Unsurprisingly, He gradually faded from the consciousness of His people. He became so inaccessible that...

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