This is the subtitle to a new book, Mind and Cosmos, by Thomas Nagel with Oxford University Press. Nagel is a materialist, not a theist or creationist. You’ve probably heard of his famous 1974 paper, “What is it Like to be a Bat?” Many atheist philosophers are starting to doubt the Darwinian paradigm. For instance, atheist philosopher of science Bradley Monton has written extensively on intelligent design while promoting it as an atheist. Here’s the description of the new book given by Oxford University Press:
The modern materialist approach to life has utterly failed to explain such central features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, or value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology.
In Mind and Cosmos, Nagel provides an insightful analysis of the Darwinian world view, offering a perspective quite different from that found in such books as Richard Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker. What we know about how mind and everything connected with it depends today on our ideas about the origin and spread of living organisms as a result of the universe’s evolution. But Nagel states that “it is prima facie highly implausible that life as we know it is the result of a sequence of physical accidents together with the mechanism of natural selection.” What is the likelihood that self-reproducing life forms should have come into existence spontaneously? What is the likelihood that, as a result of physical accident, a sequence of viable genetic mutations should have occurred that was sufficient to permit natural selection? Nagel’s skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. He does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic.read more »
There are primarily six passages in the Bible that concern the issue of homosexuality. In Leviticus 18.22 it says that it is an abomination for a man to lie with another man as with a woman. In Lev. 20.13 the death penalty is prescribed in Israel for such an act, along with adultery, incest, and bestiality. In Gen. 19 Sodom is destroyed for their homosexuality and wickedness.
In I Cor. 6.9-10 Paul writes, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the Kingdom of God.” The words in the list translated “men who practice homosexuality” refer in Greek literature to the passive and the active partners in male homosexual intercourse. In I Tim. 1.10 along with fornicators, slave traders, liars, and murderers as “contrary to the sound teaching of the Gospel.” In Rom. 1.24-28 Paul states,
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.read more »
The problem is how one overcomes or reconciles the absurdities. If one chooses not to overcome or reconcile the absurdities then that is a problem as well. I will argue that living a life by accepting the absurdities with no reconciliation is impractical and cannot be lived consistently. If a person lives the absurd life consistently then the consistency is teleological in the practical fulfillment of life. If a person lives the absurd life inconsistently then the point of practical living is impossible (there will be an evaluation of this paradox). Camus and Sartre are correct in their recognition of an objective absurdity. However, the problem with this recognition is the adoption of their conclusions being true. Camus and Sartre continue to live of a life whilst understanding them to be meaningless, valueless, and purposeless. Nietzsche embraces the paradox of objective absurdity and adopts an illusory lifestyle of meaning. The theists who attempt to recognize a divine telos are either correct (i.e. Dostoevsky) or incorrect to a certain degree (i.e. Kierkegaard). Kierkegaard’s (Either/Or) “blind leap” is an inconsistent application of a divine telos to himself; thus, making the “blind leap” and inconsistent attempt at consistency. Kierkegaard does not apply the understanding of a divine telos in a way in which it may be coherently be understood and applied to one’s life. He simply meets the absurdity at a halfway point.