I did a bit of research on Hume a while back and although i donâ€™t have any particular disagreements with his philosophy ( I find it to be rather astounding), i don't quite get his "Humean Method", the test he put to any claim. Maybe you can clear it up a bit, or tell me where i go wrong.
As I understand it, the first step in this process is to ask whether the claim is analytic. (Negation leads to a self contradiction)
For example, the claim that a triangle has three sides. Is that analytic? Yes b/c saying that a triangle does not have three sides would be a self contradiction. Therefore that claim could be accepted as fact.
However, what if you take the claim â€œGod existsâ€? This is not analytic b/c its negation does not necessarily lead to a self contradiction.
So the next question you would ask is, Is it synthetic? In other words, can it be traced back to sense data ( â€œimpressionsâ€ as Hume puts it)?
If the answer is: â€˜yes, it is conceived though the 5 sensesâ€™, then it passes the empirical criterion of meaning and can be accepted as fact. If the answer is â€˜noâ€™, then according to Hume we must be dealing with a vacuous idea, we must be dealing with â€œnonsenseâ€.
Going back to the claim â€œGod existsâ€. We know that it is not analytic, but is it synthetic?... Hume says No because he feels it is impossible to trace the idea of God back to sense data. He said, â€œ our ideas reach no further than our experience. We have no experience of divine attributes and operationsâ€¦.â€ Therefore, God, for Hume, becomes nonsense even though he doesn't out-right say it. At least not in anything i've read.
I donno, did i get that right?