I saw the following quote from philosopher Thomas Nagel on HuffPo:
“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.”
I couldn't think of a single atheist who rejected religion because of wishful thinking. I need to know if anyone here agrees with Nagel's reason for being atheist.
Our preferences and "wishful thinking" do in fact drive and motivate our reasoning. Without emotion we'd be paralyzed by all the little commonplace decisions we don't notice.
And yes, I've encountered people with the inverse of Nagel's position, who know that they want to believe in a god, and know that that's shaped their thinking.
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!
He is hardly any different from an agnostic who does not want to believe in a god and is waiting for a proof that there is no god.
I would ask what "well-informed" is supposed to mean? Also, I assume there is homogeneity in Nagel's bevy of religious believers because if Nagel's religious believers are of different religions he quite conveniently ignores the blatant contradictions between their belief systems as do they. I suppose the ability to look past the obvious makes them some of the "most intelligent" people Nagel knows. Were I a student at NYU and read that quote after taking one of his classes I would ask for my money back.
I learned long ago that I don’t get a vote regarding reality. Reality is whatever it is, regardless of my desires. The best I can do is attempt to accurately perceive the truth of how things are.
However, if you ask me if I’m glad there is no evidence for the temperamental, sadistic Christian creator god, then with a sigh of relief I say, Hell yes!