Kelly lambasts Hume for his reckless denial of cause and effect. It’s patently absurd on its surface and seems it’s only purpose is to reject the God who is the necessarily conclusion of such a premise.

Hume’s statement to which he reacts:

Before we are reconciled to this doctrine, how often we must repeat to ourselves, that the simple view of any two objects or actions, however related, can never give us any idea of power, or of a connexion betwixt them: that this idea arises from a repetition of their union: that the repetition neither discovers nore causes anything in the objects, but has an influence only on the mind, byt that customary transition that it produces: that this customary transition is therefore that same with the power and necessity; which are consequently qualities of perceptions, not of objects, and are internally felt by the soul, and not perceived externally in bodies?

Kelly’s response:

This denial of cause and effect seems to be a total dereliction of all good sense! Why would a very clever man like Hume have seriously attempted to establish such a position? What Stanley Jaki said about the Idealists in his Gifford Lectures in the University of Edinburgh (not far from where Hume once lived) seems to be the correct answer: ‘The idealists got rid of rationality to avoid God.’ By the same token, it would seem that Hume got rid of causality to get rid of God. But in so doing, Hume would also have made modern science impossible, had his assumptions been followed.

The impossibility of science following from this foundation is critical, as often the philosophers such as Hume are counted on the “side” of science when the interaction between faith and science takes place.

The fact is that causality is axiomatic and need no proof.

Causations is a basic axiom which all who live in the world have to assume in order even to survive, and after basic survival, it has to be assumed in order to make any sense of the realities around us.

He goes on to cite Thomas Reid as having debunked Hume in his own time with his Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man.


  1. Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, I.III.XIV
  2. Kelly, Systematic Theology - Volume 1, p.87-88