• Peter Kupisz

Prominent Atheist Philosopher Doesn't "Want" God to Exist

Skeptics sometimes accuse Christians of believing that God exists because theists like the idea of a good God and everything that follows from that. The allegation is that believers in God feel better about life after death, seeing their loved ones again, ultimate justice, etc. This, so the reasoning goes, produces a strong bias in people to believe regardless of the evidence.


While the allegation of bias may, in fact, be true for some theists, atheists can also have their biases and prejudices. They can be biased by a desire to have personal autonomy in their lives and to avoid the moral demands that God would place on them. Thomas Nagel, a highly respected philosopher at New York University, admits that he has a potential bias when he states,


...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.

Reference

Thomas Nagel, The Last Word (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 130–31.

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