Anti‐theism, the Underground Man, and Escaping Absurdity

Philosophical Forum 53 (2):115-131 (2022)
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Abstract

Guy Kahane holds that theism has unattractive consequences, since it threatens both privacy and autonomy. Here, I suggest that Kahane’s position echoes that of Dostoevsky’s famous Underground Man. But the Underground Man is ensnared in difficulties that resemble the problem of absurdity as developed by Thomas Nagel. Dostoevsky’s own solution to that problem involves love—but love naturally invites compromises with respect to privacy and autonomy. Perhaps the best way to solve the problem of absurdity is to make precisely the opposite of Kahane’s axiological judgment— which would recommend pro-theism over anti-theism.

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Mark B. Anderson
Tarrant County College

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References found in this work

The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Behaviorism 15 (1):73-82.
The View from Nowhere.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 43 (2):399-403.
The absurd.Thomas Nagel - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (20):716-727.
Recent Work on the Meaning of Life.Thaddeus Metz - 2002 - Ethics 112 (4):781-814..
Should We Want God to Exist?Guy Kahane - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):674-696.

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