Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion is a
philosophical work by the Scottish philosopher
David Hume. Through dialogue, three philosophers named Demea, Philo, and Cleanthes debate the nature of
God's existence. Whether or not these names reference specific philosophers, ancient or otherwise, remains a topic of scholarly dispute. While all three agree that a god exists, they differ sharply in opinion on God's nature or attributes and how, or if, humankind can come to knowledge of a deity.
In the Dialogues, Hume's characters debate a number of
arguments for the
existence of God, and arguments whose proponents believe through which we may come to know the nature of God. Such topics debated include the
argument from design—for which Hume uses a house—and whether there is more suffering or good in the world (
argument from evil).
Hume started writing the Dialogues in 1750 but did not complete them until 1776, shortly before his death. They are based partly on
De Natura Deorum. The Dialogues were
published posthumously in 1779, originally with neither the author's nor the publisher's name.