David Hume to Donald Trump: ‘I was only kidding about preferring the destruction of the world to the scratching of my finger’

Hume

Hume: ‘Wasn’t being literal’

The brilliant Scottish philosopher David Hume, whose Treatise of Human Nature in 1739 turned the world of moral philosophy upside down and spurred Immanuel Kant to write his momentous critical philosophy in response, arose from the dead today to tell Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that he was only kidding when he said it’s perfectly reasonable for someone to prefer the destruction of the world to the scratching of one’s finger

“Donald, when I wrote my Treatise I was only 23 years old and was a little full of myself at the time,” said Hume, who died in 1776 at the age of 65. “It was my view, as a brash young man looking to make a name for himself, that reason is the slave of emotions and our moral views are based on our passions, not on our reason. That’s why I said—I’m not sure of the exact words, but it was something like, ‘It is not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger.’

t3“Ha-ha, of course I was only kidding. I really didn’t expect anyone to take me literally, which is why I felt I just had to come back from the dead and tell you to stop destroying American democracy because you don’t want to be branded a loser.  Your inciting of the mob, by telling your supporters that your opponent, Hillary Clinton, can only win by cheating, is taking my dictum too far.

“Whether you win or lose is far less important than the health and credibility of American democracy. It’s not a coincidence that I died just a month after your 13 original colonies issued their Declaration of Independence against King George. I felt the world was moving in the right direction, and the time was right for me to go. I had written all my works. I had made a name for myself. I didn’t need to stay on this earth just to indulge my passion for claret and cheese. Enough is enough. Plus, I was gaining weight.

“Listen, Donald. Your mother was from Scotland. We’re like family. You must stop preferring your vanity to the health and well-being of American democracy. It’s the oldest continuous democracy in the world. You must stop undermining it in the service of your ego. You must stop telling the mob that your opponent can only win by cheating. That’s so terribly corrosive to your country. Do you really want to win so badly that you would prefer the destruction of your country’s democracy to the nicking of your ego? I can’t believe you really want that. What I really mean’t when I said that thing about my finger is that I hope they invent Mercurochrome soon, so I can scratch my finger AND wish no ill upon the world.

“So, let me close by saying, the next time your ego gets a little bruised, put a little Mercurochrome on it, put your white hat on instead of your red hat, and buck up. Let democracy work its magic. And if you come out the loser, you’ll still be a WINNER in my eyes. I have to go back to being dead now. Best of luck to your country. I’m afraid your country is going to need it.”

This is a work of satire. It is fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos (some modified): pd, tnn (Creative Commons). Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.

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