A CANDID ATHEIST
Thomas Nagel is a professor of philosophy at New York University where he’s taught for several decades. He is also an atheist, which isn’t terribly surprising for a secular philosopher.
In his book, The Last Word (Oxford University Press:1997), Nagel writes:
“I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and
well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to
be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”
You have to admire such candid honesty. He says later in the book that he has a problem with “cosmic authority”. So do most people, they’re just not as honest as Professor Nagel.
In a more recent book, Mind & Cosmos; Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False (Oxford University Press:2012), Nagel is once again extremely candid. He writes of a universe that demonstrates design and intelligence. He writes of objective morality. He writes of how difficult it is for evolution to account for morality and consciousness. Yet, he maintains his steadfast atheism even though he seems a bit vexed in the book.
I am reminded of the quip by C.S. Lewis that an atheist can never be too careful about what he reads. The reason is that it will typically shine the light on the holes in atheism. This is exactly what is going on with Dr. Nagel. He wants atheism to be true – but keeps bumping into “divine signposts” throughout the universe. Looks like King David is proved right once again: Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God”.
The same could be said of the Apostle Paul who wrote in Romans 1:20 (NLT), “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God”. Thomas Nagel seems to almost agree. What about you? I’m convinced!
by Pastor Jay, Senior Pastor