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. Berkeley’s arguments for the existence of God were
that the ideas that humans are aware of, do not depend on
everyone’s wishes and, if that is the case, then these ideas
have to have some kind of existence apart from our minds.
Furthermore, if none of us can be responsible for the ideas we
perceive than there must be some other “thing” that controls or
occupies the ideas. Therefore, the other mind has to be greater
than ours and that person’s mind is God. When Berkeley introduced the idea that God is the
universal mind, it is crucial to the argument because it is the
root difference of perception between Hume’s and Berkeley’s
disagreement. On page 25, Berkeley states that “from what has been said, it follows, there is not any other substance than spirit, or that which perceives,” which proves that the will or
spirit is constantly perceiving the world so it is continuously
outside of the human perception. Propounding this idea also
means that when a person does not look at the object, it does
not mean that it goes away. In contradiction to Berkeley, Hume puts forth that there are two different kinds of perception: impressions and ideas. Impressions are the original perceptions and the ideas are the copies of impressions. For example, for the first time a person sees an object, they could have an impression of that specific object. Nonetheless, later on, when that person sees the object again, they will have an idea of the object in their memory. While our impressions or ideas may come from sensory experience, the mind wants to create a relationship between the ideas. Therefore, this is the reason why it effects on how we experience things. Our mind wants us to think of the object, but when we do not see the object anymore, we want to believe that the object is still there. Hume’s argument is based on impressions and ideas and the things that do not have an impression or an idea are in the
state of effects that do not exist. Additionally, since
impressions and ideas are correspondent than the ideas are
always derived from perception. Moreover, Hume rejects the principle of universal causation, the principle of induction, and the rejection of an external world. Hume’s understanding of
the principle of universal causation is that the cause can never
be perceived and demonstrated. He supposes that the only thing
we have is the present impressions, the ideas of impressions,
and the connections or interferences. Likewise, his rejection
towards the principle of induction is due to the idea that we
also assume. For example, we assume that the laws that we create
will be held constant. However, Hume is determined that there is
no reason to believe in this because we cannot demonstrate that
the future will remain like the past through experimentation.
Lastly, Hume depletes the existence of God and substance. Hume
encounters that the experience we have every day is based on a
sequence of impressions, which could be and are unrelated to
each other, are not necessarily attached to the external world.
In other words, we can never know what is outside of our own
perceptions because we only have the power to know our own
perceptions. This statement holds justification for knowledge of
the world and knowledge of God’s existence. Additionally, Hume
believes that since God and substances, also proclaimed to be
part of the material world, cannot be a result of perception
because they could not be demonstrated by mathematical proof. It
concludes that both, God and substance, cannot be known to
exist. Hume’s and Berkeley’s conception of perception is exquisite and their arguments are equitable. These philosophers argued for the same theme yet their conception of perceiving ideas and things in this world, are significantly different. The biggest difference, that I wanted to make accountable in this paper, was Berkeley’s idea of our mind perceiving things with the help of God. Whereas, Hume has attacked the idea of God, however he believes that there is not an existence of God and God does not aid us with perceiving things in this universe. The only idea that they had in common was that the only source of genuine knowledge is from experience. Even Hume states on page 20 that “What is the foundation of all our reasoning’s and conclusions concerning that relation? It may be replied in one word, Experience.” This shows that, both philosophers have different perspectives, yet everyone needs experience in order to perceive the different objects and/or ideas.
In conclusion, Hume’s and Berkeley’s discussion of
perception had fair arguments, however the root of their
arguments are what made their beliefs different. Hume and
Berkeley shared a common ground of the idea of perception,
however the biggest difference was Berkeley based his argument
of perception of God and Hume decided that there was more to the
argument than with the answer of God.