The uncertainty of unbelief

Science and religion are portrayed to be in harmony in the Tiffany window Education (1890).

This they wilfully forget.

2 Peter 3:5.

Professor Thomas Nagel is reckoned among the most influential philosophers of the English speaking world. He is not only a scholar, but also a very brave man. He has had the courage to say what many others feel, who, like him, refuse to believe in God. 

Towards the end of his book, “The Last Word”, Nagel writes about the fear of religion, stating that he speaks from experience, being himself greatly subject to this fear. He wants atheism to be the truth. It makes him feel very uneasy that “some of the most intelligent and learned people I know are believers in the religious sense.” It is not only that he doesn’t believe in God and hopes that his thinking is correct; it is more so his hope that there isn’t a God. He doesn’t want there to be a God, nor that the universe has been created as it is.

While reports in the media frequently give the impression that science has “done away with God”, scientific journals and textbooks convey another impression. Science can prove neither the existence nor the non-existence of God. It would therefore be foolish to base our faith or disbelief on statements by scientists. The apostle Peter indicates that uncertainty on this question is due to a determined decision against God that people have made previously. It is “scoffers”, whom Peter mentions in this connection (v:3), who deny God’s actions in creation and intervention in world history.

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