What Is It Like To Be A Theist?

For those who like this kind of thing ─ I confess to a mild and occasional weakness for it myself ─ here is atheist philosopher Thomas Nagel (What Is It Like To Be A BatThe View From Nowhere) reviewing a book by theist Alvin Plantinga, not altogether unsympathetically.  Sample:

The interest of this book, especially for secular readers, is its presentation from the inside of the point of view of a philosophically subtle and scientifically informed theist — an outlook with which many of them will not be familiar. Plantinga writes clearly and accessibly, and sometimes acidly — in response to aggressive critics of religion like Dawkins and Daniel Dennett. His comprehensive stand is a valuable contribution to this debate.

I say this as someone who cannot imagine believing what he believes. But even those who cannot accept the theist alternative should admit that Plantinga’s criticisms of naturalism are directed at the deepest problem with that view — how it can account for the appearance, through the operation of the laws of physics and chemistry, of conscious beings like ourselves, capable of discovering those laws and understanding the universe that they govern. Defenders of naturalism have not ignored this problem, but I believe that so far, even with the aid of evolutionary theory, they have not proposed a credible solution. Perhaps theism and materialist naturalism are not the only alternatives.

Best sentence:

My instinctively atheistic perspective implies that if I ever found myself flooded with the conviction that what the Nicene Creed says is true, the most likely explanation would be that I was losing my mind, not that I was being granted the gift of faith.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What Is It Like To Be A Theist?

Comments are closed.