Thomas Nagel on the existence of God
"I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: 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. My guess is that this cosmic authority
problem is not a rare condition and that it is responsible for much of the
scientism and reductionism of our time. One of the tendencies it supports is the
ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about human
life, including everything about the human mind.... This is a somewhat
ridiculous situation.... [I]t is just as irrational to be influenced in one's
beliefs by the hope that God does not exist as by the hope that God does exist."
Nagel, Thomas, The Last Word, pp. 130-131, Oxford University Press, 1997. Dr
Nagel (1937- ) is Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University.
Note: Thomas Nagel is an American philosopher, currently University
Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, where he has taught
since 1980. His main areas of philosophical interest are philosophy of mind,
political philosophy and ethics.