NagelIn his book The Last Word, Thomas Nagel, an atheist professor of philosophy and law at New York University School of Law, defended philosophical rationalism against subjectivism.  At one point he admits that rationalism has theistic implications—implications he does not like.  He suggests that subjectivism is due in part to a fear of religion, citing his own fear as a case in point:

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 life, including everything about the human mind.  Darwin enabled modern secular culture to heave a great collective sigh of relief, by apparently providing a way to eliminate purpose, meaning, and design as fundamental features of the world.”

Nagel’s admission is consistent with the Christian claim that those who reject the existence of God do not do so wholly for intellectual reasons—the will plays a vital role as well.

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