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Thomas Nagel on his atheism

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Elioenai26, Sep 9, 2012.

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  1. Elioenai26

    Elioenai26 Guest

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    “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.” Thomas Nagel

    Comments?


    THOMAS NAGEL (B.A., Cornell; B.Phil., Oxford; Ph.D., Harvard; D.Litt (hon.), Oxford), University Professor, Professor of Law, Professor of Philosophy. He specializes in Political Philosophy, Ethics, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Mind. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society, and has received a Mellon Distinguished Achievement Award in the Humanities, the Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy, and the Balzan Prize in Moral Philosophy. He is the author of The Possibility of Altruism (Oxford, 1970, reprinted Princeton, 1978), Mortal Questions (Cambridge, 1979), The View From Nowhere (Oxford, 1986), What Does It All Mean? (Oxford, 1987), Equality and Partiality (Oxford, 1991), Other Minds (Oxford, 1995), The Last Word (Oxford, 1997), The Myth of Ownership: Taxes and Justice (with Liam Murphy) (Oxford, 2002), and Concealment and Exposure (Oxford, 2002).
     
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  2. The Engineer

    The Engineer I defeated Dr Goetz

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    So Thomas Nagel is an atheist? That's cool.
     
  3. Received

    Received True love waits in haunted attics

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    He sounds like Lee Strobel trying to impersonate an atheist.
     
  4. Danyc

    Danyc Senior Member

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    Let's skip our comments and just get straight to your inevitable 'point', Elio.

    What does this have to do with anything? Get to it.
     
  5. Rajni

    Rajni ☯ Ego ad Eum pertinent ☯ Supporter

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    Out of curiosity, is there a particular religion's concept of God that he is specifically opposed to which has inspired his fervent hope that no God exists?





     
  6. Paradoxum

    Paradoxum Liberty, Equality, Solidarity!

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    Perhaps he thinks that if a God made this world then he is probably amoral or immoral, considering all the suffering.
     
  7. JGG

    JGG Well-Known Member

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    I didn't care what Dawkins thought, I didn't care what Hitchens thought, I didn't care what Flew thought, I didn't care what Russell thought, and I didn't care what Nietzsche thought. Who's Thomas Nagel, and why should I care what he thinks?
     
  8. Elioenai26

    Elioenai26 Guest

    +0
    Because he is an atheist and a good case can be made that he has spoken the very thoughts that many atheists think, but are for whatever reason, loathe to communicate.
     
  9. JGG

    JGG Well-Known Member

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    Maybe he has. I admit I don't know what other atheists think. Nor, as I have previously stated, do I particularly care. I don't understand why you care what an atheist's unspoken beliefs or non-beliefs are.

    I believe that Ms. Mary Kochan and Dr. Riley speak for multitudes of Christians in my own community. Those unspoken beliefs and attitudes can and do effect me. Again, I don't see why you care if there are atheists who don't want to believe in God.

    Again, I'm still not sure who Thomas Nagel is and why you seem to think he speaks for atheists.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2012
  10. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist I believe in life before death!

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    He certainly isn't speaking my thoughts, and I'm still not sure why I should care what he thinks.

    If I were to put up a quote from a Christian who said that his main reason for believing in God is that he just didn't like the idea that God doesn't exist, or that there might be a final end to one's life, what would that mean to you?

    Or let's say that I were to put up quotes from Christians who have doubts about the truth of Christianity? Or who are giving their deconversion testamonies? What would such quotes mean to you?


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  11. The Engineer

    The Engineer I defeated Dr Goetz

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    Atheists are content with their lives, you can't read thoughts, the cosmological argument is crap, the ontological argument is crap, dualism is wrong, Stephen Hawking never said that, you keep ignoring what we say and quantum physics don't work that way.
     
  12. Danyc

    Danyc Senior Member

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    /thread
     
  13. quatona

    quatona "God"? What do you mean??

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    Seems like he speaks on his anti-theism rather than his atheism, and on top, his strong personal emotional inclination.
     
  14. TemperateSeaIsland

    TemperateSeaIsland Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi

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    Some Atheists would like a god to exist but lack the belief that one exists, some don't really care if one exists or not because they don't see any evidence so see pondering such things as a waste of time and some dont want a god to exist for various reasons. Thomas Nagel belongs to the latter, why should the other groups of atheists care what he has to say?
     
  15. Cromulent

    Cromulent Well-Known Member

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    I don't want the God of the bible to exist, because the way I read it, he is one of the most evil characters ever created.

    I have nothing in particular against the existence of other, less monstrous deities, except the fact that their existence is also not supported by any evidence.

    One atheist doesn't speak for all atheists. I think the OP is cherry picking what he wants to believe, and using that to support his own preconceived position. A classic example of confirmation bias.
     
  16. KCfromNC

    KCfromNC Regular Member

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    I'd imagine this statement would look a lot different in context. How about you restore that context and let us decide if this is an accurate summary.
     
  17. Gadarene

    Gadarene -______-

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    /user, more accurately
     
  18. Gadarene

    Gadarene -______-

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    So make the case, don't just claim one can make it.

    I for one disagree with him - not only is what one wants irrelevant to truth, one also doesn't need to want God to not exist - given that there are no good reasons to think he does exist.
     
  19. Received

    Received True love waits in haunted attics

    +733
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    I would totally wear that bumper sticker (even if I'm not an atheist, and my car isn't that wide). :)
     
  20. SithDoughnut

    SithDoughnut The Agnostic, Ignostic, Apatheistic Atheist

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    I could just as easily claim that the Westboro Baptist Church voices the opinions many Christians pretend they don't have. What's it like to hate gay people, Elioenai?
     
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