In an imaginary afterlife

Here we have Michael Nugent going head to head with Robert Grant who wrote that terrible article in the Irish Times, on the radio program News Talk.

It’s slightly shocking, because as I mentioned, Grant is a philosophy tutor at TCD, yet he repeatedly and consistently draws wild conclusions from what Michael says that simply are not there – and surely if there’s anything a philosopher should know better than to do, it’s that.

The presenter is torture to listen to, frankly, because he sounds as if he’s slobbering the whole time, plus he’s silly. (The ten commandments ffs!)

A takeaway from Michael:

[Religion] hides its testability in an imaginary afterlife and therefore it never gets the reality check in people’s minds.


  1. Dave Ricks says

    Lately I see that Richard Dawkins and Michael Nugent do something like a Rorschach test when they challenge liberal believers and agnostics with a literal or explicit description of God. Around 23:00, Nugent posed a question: If you believe the universe was created for us, do you think that was an efficient way to create a world for us? I might find Nugent’s question ill-defined and meaningless, but ask it, and the answers will come.

    1) Robert Grant interjected, “Inefficiency is one of his values,” which I find funny, since he described himself earlier as agnostic. I decided against agnosticism a few years ago because if agnosticism means a question or proposition cannot be answered or evaluated, then agnosticism is work, to define the questions and propositions that cannot be answered or evaluated. Agnosticism is no refuge for the intellectually lazy! Also, the biggest point I got from seeing Rebecca Goldstein talk at CFI-DC is the Abrahamic god is an “all-in-one” creator of matter and morality, versus the Greek and Roman gods. Grant spoke up for one kind of god versus another, which is funny in his role as a public intellectual; his agnosticism might need more work, to define for the public the gods he dismisses versus the gods he still waffles over.

    2) George Hook responded, “There’s something unexplainable to me how this whole thing happened, and the only way, the only way I can explain this inability to explain, is a superior being.” I transcribed that carefully as a remarkably articulate example of his view: His understanding is limited, therefore he imagines a god exists. But as an explanation, he doesn’t explain how his god exists.

    3) Michael Nugent replied: “Just say, ‘I don’t know.’ Why do you have to make up an explanation for the bits you don’t know?”

    So lately I think what looks like a discussion of metaphysics at face value is really psychology. And between those three views, I’m with Michael Nugent.


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