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Essays On Suicide And The Immortality Of The Soul

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Essays On Suicide And The Immortality Of The Soul

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Question:
Explain about the Essay How are values established according to Hume? What human characteristics does he privilege in determining a value system and how do they inform our morality? How are they related to “Utility” and “Justice”? Are you convinced by his characterization of society? Explain your position?
 
Answer:

Introduction:
David Hume in his book An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals has made an effort to find out the basic principles relating to ethics and the general rules of values and morals. By doing so, the writer has created a paper based on general moral by keeping the perception of human nature. The researcher now makes an effort to evaluate the points of the author critically and thus prepare recommendations on the views of Hume regarding the values, which are to be established and the features of a value system and their relation to justice and utility (Hume, David and John Valdimir).
David Hume is reported to have written on the various subject matter, but his primary idea lies predominantly in the sphere of establishing values and the fundamental principles of morals. Developing values and morals is entirely based on the human actions. It is because man is not only based on thinking, they are also related to sociology and takes an active part in the affairs of the society. Human life is governed by moral values, and this is the primary reason that Hume selected mankind as background in making his findings on the nature and origin of the morals and values. In the book referred above, Hume made an analysis of human understanding. It was Hume’s first significant publication. The importance of the book was to interpret the fundamental human morals. In the book, there were many proofs given that exercise the fact that morals of any nation are the essential key to establishing core values. Hume’s idea of morals helps us to develop the essential features of morals. One of the significant findings that Hume made is the difference between logic and ethics. Logic clearly depicts human beings as thinking creature, but ethics and morals concern humans as social beings (Hume, David, and Tom L. Beauchamp). Hume primarily established the values that logic is based on thinking and power of reasoning and its basic function is limited to ascertaining certain facts. On the other hand, morals are primarily based on the idea of establishing values, and it extends way above the point of merely depending only on facts. According to Hume, moral ideology is characterized by the confusion and misunderstanding of the concepts of logic and ethics. The process of establishing facts or logic is widely different from the mechanism of establishing values and morals. One of the basic reasons of Hume for considering that establishment of values are based on feelings and not on intellect is that people perform any action due to their willingness and feelings. In the preferred book, Hume related his scratching of a finger to the destruction of the world. This is because he wanted to highlight the fact that like moral obligations, preferences also comes from human desires and not from facts only. Throughout his findings, Hume used the empirical methodology. So, Hume found that values are established by mere simple sense impressions and not from the evaluation of facts.
In determining the value system, Hume has made several recommendations on human characteristics. According to Mind theory of Hume, determining human, the value system depends on human passion which includes human emotions, feelings and desires. The true passion includes joy, grief, hope and fear that arise from good and bad things or sufferings or pleasure. However, indirect passion involves human pride, shyness, hatred and affection in a complex manner. Hume further proclaims that the factors of indirect passion are not directly responsible for the establishment of an efficient value system. Any value system must recognize the difference between the fact realm and moral realm. The source from which facts are determined is sense experience. On the contrary, values of any kind depend only on feelings. Sense experience can usually be considered as having the meaning in the case of every person. The basic human characteristics in establishing value system are feelings which are personal and private in nature. In addition to it, persons may vary in their feelings in any matter. Opinions regarding any particular circumstances or issues differ from one person to another. The empirical method of study which is adopted by Hume begins with the enquiry of the actions which is approved by a majority of individuals. So, the essential elements of a value system must start from the investigation of the human feelings which is the base of moral and value (Hume, David, and Tom L. Beauchamp).
 
The word “utility” according to Hume describes a person’s activities which can be used to bring about happiness and welfare to the entire nation where he belongs. The utility is the factor that matches Hume’s only criteria of goodness. The emphasis that Hume has given to the principle of utility makes him a utilitarian. But it must be kept in mind that human beings are not simple creatures and their self-satisfaction is not dependent on a single theory of happiness (Hume, David). Hume was mainly committed to developing the rules of “justice”. In doing so, he found that the justice rules are also connected with the moral and ethical sentiments of human beings. Hume further stated that the general rules of justice work best in a systematic plan and action. Hume deviated from the fact that people have clear access to their individual motivations. Hume disregards a rationalistic explanation of justice rule by merely depending upon his theory which is well defended by him in part I of section I of the referred book that the moral differences are not emerged from reason only (Hume, David).
After judging all the aspects of Hume’s theory, the researcher has chosen to differ from the ideology of Hume. It is because the researcher feels that apart from the mere personal feeling, desire and preferences, facts also play a significant part in determining value system. If the blending of facts is done with the morals, then we can establish an effective and efficient value system. The researcher also chose to differ from the utilitarian principle of Hume (Hume, David). It is because Hume said that utility can be the sole reason for survival. But in the reality, it is not so. Apart from utility and happiness, human beings also require many reasons and things for survival. Utility and happiness are no doubt one of the essential need to survive but it is not an essential necessity to survive. The approach of Hume concerning utility is half-hearted. It is because he has not made the full effort to denote the reason only utility is the sole reason for the happiness of human beings. The greater difficulty of Hume’s theory lies in determining what Hume meant to say by the word “Law” to describe “Justice” (Hume, David).
It can be concluded that if Hume’s theory is regarded as a society based justice, it cannot be made only on the mere principle of utility. According to Hume’s theory, if the utility is the sole method of goods distribution in the society then utility means that what is needed for a society to continue its existence. The conclusion to Hume’s theory is not a substantive theory because Hume has failed to give a formal idea of social justice. Theory of Hume clearly depicts that the justice rules are explicitly contained in the law. The main reasons for which Hume’s theory can be neglected are laws of nature are descriptions or descriptive in nature. They are not common prescriptions what Hume addressed them to be in his theory.
 
Reference List
Hume, David, and John Valdimir Price. Essays on Suicide and the Immortality of the Soul. Thoemmes Press, 1992.
Hume, David, and Tom L. Beauchamp. An enquiry concerning human understanding: A critical edition. Vol. 3. Oxford University Press, 2000.
Hume, David, and Tom L. Beauchamp. An enquiry concerning the principles of morals: a critical edition. Vol. 4. Oxford University Press, 2006.
Hume, David. A treatise of human nature. Courier Corporation, 2012.
Hume, David. An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals. Start Publishing LLC, 2013.
Hume, David. An inquiry concerning human understanding. Ed. Charles William Hendel. Vol. 49. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1955.
Hume, David. Moral and political philosophy. Simon and Schuster, 2010.

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