Authors
Guy Kahane
Oxford University
Abstract
Whether God exists is a metaphysical question. But there is also a neglected evaluative question about God’s existence: Should we want God to exist? Very many, including many atheists and agnostics, appear to think we should. Theists claim that if God didn’t exist things would be far worse, and many atheists agree; they regret God’s inexistence. Some remarks by Thomas Nagel suggest an opposing view: that we should want God not to exist. I call this view anti-theism. I explain how such view can be coherent, and why it might be correct. Anti-theism must be distinguished from the argument from evil or the denial of God’s goodness; it is a claim about the goodness of God’s existence. Anti-theists must claim that it’s a logical consequence of God’s existence that things are worse in certain respects. The problem is that God’s existence would also make things better in many ways. Given that God’s existence is likely to be impersonally better overall, anti-theists face a challenge similar to that facing nonconsequentialists. I explore two ways of meeting this challenge
Keywords God  Thomas Nagel  Value Theory
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ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2010.00426.x
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
Problems of the Self.Bernard A. O. Williams - 1973 - Cambridge University Press.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes 50:115-151.

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Citations of this work BETA

Our Cosmic Insignificance.Guy Kahane - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):745-772.
The Meaning of Life (Second Revised Edition).Thaddeus Metz - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Our Cosmic Insignificance.Guy Kahane - 2014 - Noûs 48 (4):745-772.
In Defense of Irreligious Bioethics.Timothy F. Murphy - 2012 - American Journal of Bioethics 12 (12):3-10.
Personal Anti-Theism and the Meaningful Life Argument.Myron A. Penner - 2015 - Faith and Philosophy 32 (3):325-337.

View all 41 citations / Add more citations

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