Demea’s argument that humans are miserable and believing in God somehow alleviates that misery is a simply false argument. Human pain is not alleviated because of a belief in God; it is a combination of reality and mindset, not blind reverence, which accounts for pain decrease. It is impossible that God is the sole reason that your pain diminishes. By painting these pictures of what the world appears like to Demea, he manages to explain his side. Demea begins his argument by explaining in short that the world is a miserable place. This is something even Philo agrees with him about and they go on to give a truly desolate, depressing description of the earth. “Remorse, shame, anguish, rage, disappointment, anxiety, fear, dejection, despair: who has ever passed through life without cruel in roads from these tormentors?” (Hume 61) So is the world really a horrific place where one’s only joy can stem from believing in God, because he helps to take the pain away?
Even the design theory, the theory that if something (a machine) were made that it had to have a designer, is taken into account saying that we were made a put on this earth but happiness was not part of the things we were equipped with, according to Demea. Demea and Philo go to a discussion about how even in nature one is the prey and one predator, the prey always in a state of fear, keeping in mind that entire connection between suffering and how God affects it. Another quite strong argument by Philo is “we are terrified not bribed to the continuance of our existence” (Hume 62). It is not a bribe says Philo that drives us but an internal fear. Fear is not that drives the average person, joy, love, and happiness can just as well be factors.
Philo takes it a step further and says “Man is the greatest enemy of man” (Hume 60). Basically Philo and Demea take a pessimistic look at the world giving many examples leading up to Man being man’s worst enemy is Philo’s argument against Demea. He believes man can easily kill and tame the animals and rise up against all other animals as the superior being. It is our actions toward other humans which Philo raises the biggest eye. We are each other demise. Something that holds some truth, is the plausible argument, man is man’s own enemy, feasible no? It is a strong point even if as a whole the main argument that believing in God is the only way to suffer less in this wretched world. The world is not so wretched, as the two philosophers are only too quick to claim. They neglect to mention happiness, love, pleasure, satisfaction, and humor which all also exist, making it easy to see the world is not that dismal place which they claim it to be.
After Cleanthes does not have much to say, Philo strikes with penetrating questions. He discusses God and his actions with humans. He says “…assert the moral belief attributes to the Deity, his justice benevolence, mercy, and rectitude, to be in the same nature with these virtues in human creatures…” (Hume 63) He continues by explaining how God has the choice of happiness or wisdom, but although he has control he uses his power incorrectly, when he could allow all-good. Philo even asks in the discussion “In what respect, the, do his benevolence and mercy of men?” (Hume 63) Philo is almost pleading looking for a reason why. Cleanthes speaks up and says that Philo is denying his “true intentions”. He points out, much like in this argument that “for every one vexation which we meet with, upon computation, a hundred enjoyments” (Hume 65). Cleanthes is hitting the nail on the head; Philo and Demea have neglected the positive side of life.
It is this side of life, our experience and beliefs and well as reactions to
physical pain as to where the pain comes and goes from. Our aches and pains draw from a source, which is in debate and should not be. Seeing things one sided is dangerous because you neglect the other side (in this case the happiness that exists in life). Like believing the world is flat, not being open minded can lead to a lock on our realm of human intellect. It is not if you believe in God, you world will be less wretched, but rather while believing in God you gain hope and things fall into a balance. One that does not exist with its counterpart; pain and pleasure cannot be single. Thus pain is simply extremely complicated, but its basics is that on action and reaction for a balance in the universe do we feel pain – not connected to our pious beliefs.