Monday, November 20, 2006

The Cosmic Authority Problem:

From Academic Integration and the Christian Scholar by J.P. Moreland:

In my view, Christian complementarians give up too much intellectual ground too quickly in light of the pressures of philosophical naturalism. I am neither a sociologist nor the son of one, but I still opine that philosophical naturalism is sustained in the academy and broader culture by sociological, and not distinctly rational factors. In my discipline of philosophy, signs indicate that important figures are finally acknowledging this. For example, naturalist Thomas Nagel has recently written:

"In speaking of the fear of religion, . . . , I am talking about . . . the fear of religion itself. 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." [6]

6. Thomas Nagel, The Last Word (N. Y.: Oxford University Press, 1997), pp. 130-131.


  1. in...10 years ago.

  2. For an evolutionist referring to something that happened 10 years ago as recently should seem reasonable.

  3. It's only fair to add that Nagel is by no means convinced himself on the merits, even though he criticizes some theories favored by unbelievers. Selectively quoting him to support some brand of theism is like selectively quoting Orwell on behalf of reaction -- it reveals more about the quoter than the quoted.