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A Response to H.J. Mccloskey's "On Being an Atheist

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RESPONSE TO H.J. M CCLOSKEY’S “ON BEING AN ATHEIST”

Tarnell Brown Student # L22657685

PHIL201_D44_200940 Sean Turchin Liberty University, December 14, 2009

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It has long been the contention of the atheist that there are no good arguments for the existence of God. In his article “On Being an Atheist,” H.J. McCloskey seeks to nullify the classical arguments for God’s existence by contending that they are not rationally sound. He further holds that the existence of evil proves the impossibility of an omnipotent, all-good necessary being who has created the universe. This missive is an attempt to give refutation to Mr. McCloskey’s argument, also by means of reason and logic. It is the presupposition of the author that God does in fact exist, that He is a necessary being, and that the existence of evil in no way poses a problem to the logic of His existence. Mr. McCloskey essentially begins his argument by implying that the known arguments for the existence of a theistic God are made up of a series of proofs, none of which can be definitively proven. In fact, he is dismissive of such proofs, contending that “most theists do not come to believe in God as a result of reflecting on the proofs, but come to religion as a result of other reasons and factors.”1 While this statement is most likely true, it is erroneous to dismiss the theist’s belief on the basis of its origins. In doing so, McCloskey commits the fallacy of genetics. At the outset, McCloskey demands that the teleological and cosmological arguments provide definitive proof of God’s existence; failing this, they should be abandoned. This is an unreasonable standard, as most things can only be proven to be reasonably true, and it is commonly accepted that one’s beliefs only need be reasonable in order to have validity. According to Woodhouse, “the choice between competing theories is based on reason and does not require absolute certainty.” 2By committing the fallacy of division, McCloskey treats the cosmological, teleological and argument from design proofs as defective separates, giving no shrift to their complementary natures and erasing the possibility of their working in conjunction to use a best approach. Yet, as Foreman has pointed out, it is this very approach that scientists use in their treatment of such theories as the magnetic field and the existence of black holes. 3 No scientist has ever seen a magnetic field, but it provides the best explanation for the existence of certain observed phenomena. When used concurrently, these arguments present a strong epistemological case for a morally perfect, omnipotent necessary being who in fact created the universe. However, as he has treated these arguments separately, it then becomes necessary that a separate defense is offered in support of each.

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McCloskey, H.J. "On Being an Atheist." Question 1, February 1968: 62. Woodhouse, Mark B. A Preface to Philosophy. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2006: 37. Foreman, Mark. Approaching the Question of God's Existence. Lynchburg, V.

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The Cosmological Argument One of the major philosophical arguments for God is the cosmological argument. It holds that the universe cannot have come into existence of its own volition, and thus must have a first or ultimate cause. The first cause is defined as a necessary being, a self contained entity that exists in and of itself and cannot fail to exist. This necessary being created or caused to exist a universe of contingent beings, entities that in fact exist but can fail to exist, and are not self contained. By definition, the theist’s concept of God is that He is a necessary being, and everything in the universe is contingent upon Him for its existence. This, to McCloskey, is absurd. Says he, “the mere existence of the world constitutes no reason for believing in such a being.”4 What then is the cause of the universe? To this question, the McCloskey offers no answer. It is his argument that the existence of the universe entitles one to nothing more than an inference of the cause equal to the effect, the universe. This does not follow the rules of logic. Is the explanation of a shoe an inference to a cause equal to the effect; i.e. another shoe? Of course, this is not the case, as a shoe is contingent upon the existence of a cobbler to bring it to be. In addition, the cosmological argument in and of itself does not constitute the whole of the case for God. The argument in and of itself does not show anything other than the existence of a necessary being which is the ultimate cause of the universe. It is nothing more than an opening insight into the existence and nature of God, but it is hardly the final word on the matter. McCloskey himself admits that the universe must have some cause, without taking a stand as to what that cause must be. He seems to scoff at the idea of a necessary being by presenting the theist’s offering of the cosmological argument as an either/or proposition: either a necessary being must exist, or there is an infinite regress of causes. 5 While this argument is certainly a seemingly valid one, it still does not rule out the improbability of a necessary being. Quite the opposite is true, in fact. Because it is neither valid, sound, or even a probability in plain common sense, the universe cannot have been caused by an infinite regress of causes, therefore there must have been a necessary first cause. God meets the requirements of this necessary first cause quite nicely, while McCloskey’s objection does not quite meet the standard of being consistent within itself. The Teleological Argument/Argument from Design McCloskey’s next lines of attack are the teleological argument and the argument from design, which, based upon certain similarities, he places together. The argument can be defined, according to Wikipedia, “as an argument for the existence of God or a creator based on
4

McCloskey, H.J. "On Being an Atheist." Question 1, February 1968: 63.. Ibid., 63

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perceived evidence of order, purpose, design, or direction — or some combination of these — in nature.”6 According to the article, the standard for this proof is absolute, nothing short of indisputability. Here again, McCloskey plays fast and loose with the laws of logical discourse. It has never been a philosophical requirement that the arguments in favor of a particular belief be indisputable, only that they be reasonable. In order for this standard to be reasonable, the arguments in opposition to the existence of God must also be indisputable. They are not. The arguments for God, including the teleological, seek only to point to the probability of God’s existence. Take the following argument as an example, based on the relationship of biblical prophecy and recorded history: 1) It is possible that God exists 2) If God exists, it is possible that He reveals himself to man through the Bible 3) If God reveals himself to man through the Bible, it is possible that He tells man, through the use of His prophets, of future events 4) If the Bible shows records of future events, they must (verifiably) come true in order for God to be real and the Bible to be God’s word 5) Future events predicted in the Bible have (verifiably) come true) Therefore, God is real and the Bible is His word. Is this argument indisputable? No, it is not. Is it reasonable? Based upon its premises and conclusion, it would seem to be reasonable and valid. There are examples of biblical foretelling that have come true at a later time, with the authority of recorded history as verification. Isaiah’s prophecy of the Phoenician city of Tyre being cast into the sea and Alexander’s use of Tyre’s rubble to build an underwater causeway to the Mediterranean island where the city’s inhabitants fled to fortify their resistance is one that immediately comes to mind. While this does not prove God’s existence, it does seem to fit within a best explanation scenario. Getting back to the matter of McCloskey’s disapproval of any arguments that imply the existence of God based upon the apparent order in the universe, McCloskey gives the impression that it is his belief that the advent of evolution has erased the need of a necessary being as the universe’s designer. He writes, “so many things which were, before the theory of evolution, construed as evidence of design and purpose, are now seen to be nothing of the sort.” 7 Brushing

6

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. "Teleological Argument." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 2009 April. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleological_argument (accessed December 16, 2009).

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McCloskey, H.J. "On Being an Atheist." Question 1, February 1968: 64.

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aside the fact that he is clearly begging the question, the matter becomes one of “to whom does he refer?” Evolution is hardly a theory that has won acceptance among men of reason as being a definitive curative for the question of the order of nature. In fact, it may be said to have some elements of the post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this because of this) fallacy, as it presupposes existence without giving cause for existence. Evolutionists and their ideological counterparts the Big Bang theorists do not agree amongst themselves, a fact that Morris pointed out with some amusement in his book “That Their Words May Be Used Against Them.” He offers the following quote from the scientist Geoffrey Burbidge to Scientific America; “Why then has the big bang become so entrenched in modern thought? Everything evolves as a function of time except for the laws of physics. Hence, there are two immutable, the act of creation and the laws of physics, which spring forth fully fashioned from that act. The big bang ultimately reflects some cosmologists’ search for a creation and for a beginning. That search properly lies in the realm of metaphysics, not science.”8 Even were one to accept evolution as the process behind the design and order than nature, there are many things that cannot be explained by such things as random variations and natural selection. Notwithstanding the contradiction between the idea of randomness and order, it seems that upon reflection, one must agree with Evans that “chance variation and natural selection are inadequate to explain the order which has evolved.”9 Whence came the evolutionary material to begin with? Even with the acceptance of evolution as a possibility, some sort of intelligent designer creating and guiding the process seems to fit the best explanation scenario. These laws are the product of a designer whose purpose is to engender beneficial order. The Existence of Evil Having sought to deconstruct the cosmological and teleological arguments, McCloskey next offers the existence of evil as a proof against God’s existence. In asserting that “no being who was perfect could have created a world in which there was unavoidable suffering or in which his creatures would (and in fact could have been created so as not to) engage in morally evil acts, acts which very often result in injury to innocent persons,”10 McCloskey paraphrases the well known statement of J.L. Mackie concerning the seeming illogic of the existence of God in the
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Morris, Henry M. That Their Words May Used Against Them: Quotes from Evolutionists Useful for Creationists. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, Inc., 1997.
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Evans, C. Stephen. Philosophy of Religion: Thinking About Faith. Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, USA, 1982: 65
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McCloskey, H.J. "On Being an Atheist." Question 1, February 1968: 62.

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face of evil. It was Mackie’s claim that an omnipotent all good being would always eliminate evil as far as it could; since the being possessed all power, Mackie reasoned, the elimination of evil should be complete. In offering this logical form of the problem of the existence of evil, both Mackie and McCloskey have overlooked certain mitigating factors; namely the principle of the greater good and the free will of man. The principle of the greater good as it pertains to the existence of God holds that it is not ultimately beneficial to eliminate an evil when the elimination of that evil would result in the loss of a good that is great enough to outweigh the particular evil. By definition, an all good being would not initiate or participate in any action which results in a net loss of good; therefore, some evils must be tolerated. Many critics do not accept this greater good theodicy, and indeed, McCloskey implies a rejection of any such thinking; “…results from the operation of natural laws which are the best God could devise and which lead to greater good over all (as if a God who is all-perfect could not have devised a world in which the operation of the natural laws resulted in less suffering…”11 He suggests that even were God to exist, the presence of evil shows Him to be either less than omnipotent or less than good. It is the belief of the theist that God did indeed create a world in which the operation of the natural laws resulted in no suffering, but that idea will be covered a little later. The imminent point is the logical inconsistency of this particular contention; that an all-good God should eliminate evil at the expense of good. Herein lies the rub. McCloskey, and he is hardly alone in this, demonstrates a vast misunderstanding of the principle of omnipotence. There is a world of difference between being all powerful and having the power to do anything. Although on the surface, they seem the same, one implies possessing the all the power it is possible to have, and the other the power to do anything, even the logically inconsistent. By implication, the belief that God is behind the order in the universe also entails that God is a rational being. He cannot, or will not, do anything against His nature, and the logically inconsistent or impossible goes against His nature. It is a limitation imposed upon all beings, necessary or contingent; all the force of the universe cannot create a square circle. It is worth noting that in the theist’s conception of the world that God created the world as a perfect entity, free of pain, suffering and evil. Natural laws at the time of creation were benevolent, as man lived in harmony with nature. It was as a result of an act of disobedience, that which we know as sin, that evil came about in the world. Hence, all evil, moral and natural, is a result of man’s transgression. This is implied in the words of the Bible, as Augustine of Hippo came to see after his conversion: “Augustine found his answer when he came to the understanding that sin is not a substance with its own existence, but rather is only a perversion of a creature’s will turned aside from God to lower things.” 12 This is hardly a view that McCloskey,
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McCloskey, H.J. "On Being an Atheist." Question 1, February 1968: 66. Battle, John A. "How Can Gob be Just and Ordain Evil?" WRS Journal 3:1, 1996: 1-10.

12

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and indeed many theists, find satisfactory, but it is a major component of the defense of God and maintains the logical consistency of his nature. All of this brings us to the question of free will. McCloskey seems to believe that an all-good omnipotent God should have created a situation in which man felt compelled to use his free will only to perform those actions which are good. This again is a logically inconsistent. We have already discussed the limitations of omnipotence in the creation of the logically inconsistent; square circles cannot be created. Compulsory direction of free will is a contradiction. By their nature, contradictions are self defeating entities. They cannot exist. If, as the atheist points out, God would not allow utterly pointless evil if he were to exist, then the theist must respond that there is no utterly pointless evil. This is consistent both with the ideas of greater good and the argument that a disobedient act of free will is the origin of both moral and natural evil. What is not discussed in McCloskey’s article but is definitely worthy of mention is the theist’s belief that God will cause this imperfect universe to pass away eventually and replace it with a perfect universe, free of pain and suffering. It will only be inhabited by those who have demonstrated the tendency to use their free will as an agent of good, and who have accepted God’s offer of amnesty for their sins by accepting the covenant established by his propitiary offering. Some might argue that this is a matter of faith, not logic. However, a logical argument must have a conclusion that is consistent with its premises, and the idea of a new perfect universe to replace the old imperfect one is certainly not inconsistent with the premise of an all-good, omnipotent necessary being who is the creator. McCloskey’s Endgame Having attempted to deconstruct the classical arguments for God’s existence, McCloskey concludes his article with an argument that atheism is a more comforting worldview than theism. It is his statement that “Atheism, adopted by a thoughtful and sensitive person, leads to a spirit of self reliance, to a self respect which demands that we comfort and help those who need such support, and to a furthering and supporting of all measures which will reduce or moderate the blows of fate.”13 This is a very subjective argument, as what is comforting to one is anathema to another. Be that as it may, as it was presented as a supporting argument for the nonexistence of God, it must herein be addressed. Mr. McCloskey may indeed be comforted by his atheism, and his tendency towards comforting and helping those in need is certainly a commendable moral trait regardless of his religious beliefs; it speaks well of him. However, as a system, atheism leaves much to be desired in terms of ultimate meaning. In short, if there is no God, what then is the point of existence? Secondarily, how then do we define evil or morality? By the very laws of evolution that McCloskey espouses, there is no evil, only survival of the fittest. If man chooses to do that which we term as good, it was only because his survival dictated that action. Does that not then make “evil” merely a matter of the rational self interest of an entity concerned with its survival?

13

McCloskey, H.J. "On Being an Atheist." Question 1, February 1968: 66.

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Jean Paul Sartre has said that all of French Existentialism can be found in Ivan Karamazov's contention that if there is no God, everything is permitted, in Dostoevsky’s work, “The Brothers Karamazov.” While Sartre certainly had no inclination to prove the existence of good, there is a certain salience to this statement. Part of the beauty of life is the sense that through all of its peaks and valleys, it has meaning of some sort. Yet, if the universe exists only as result of some cosmic accident, this sense of meaning then becomes false and therefore, invalid. Look at the following contention of Craig: “If there is no God, then man and the universe are doomed. Like prisoners condemned to death, we await our unavoidable execution. There is no God, and there is no immortality. And what is the consequence of this? It means that life itself is absurd. It means that the life we have is without ultimate significance, value, or purpose.”14 While this is again subjective, it is reasonable to say that this is hardly a comforting point of view. There is much to be said for the normative views of morality that the theist point of view has engendered in society. Without such views, it is reasonable to say that that which we as a general whole define as evil would most likely never have found such definition. Without some common conception of morality, then what would the world be but a lot of relativistic hedonists, an untenable situation of brutality and anarchy. Were there no original conception of right or wrong, could any form of government ever pass a set of laws to protect the interests of common good? Would man have ever been able to conceive of judgment against those who disturbed the common good or caused harm? There is also the matter of human accomplishment. If the universe as a whole is just an accidental entity hurtling inevitably to a deliberate grave, the sum total of human accomplishment is rendered meaningless. Individual accomplishment then becomes absolute in its absurdity. Craig has pointed out that atheists have sought to find meaning in the concept of a universe without God. Camus’ solution was to live in love for one’s fellow man, while Sartre advocated discovering an all consuming passion and to devote one’s self to following it. While these are certainly commendable ideas, in the face of the lack of God, they lack inherent consistency. Love is not an act of nature, nor a chemical reaction; where is Camus’ love for his brethren without an ultimate cause that creates it. Passion is meaningless if there is ultimately no end, without the possibility of immortality offered by God, whither goes the value of Sartre’s passion? It is therefore the conclusion of this author that atheism hardly provides any more comfort than the theist’s belief, if any at all. It was stated in the opening that it is the presupposition of the author that God does in fact exist, that He is a necessary being, and that the existence of evil in no way poses a problem to the logic of His existence. While admittedly this essay does not prove this belief definitively, nothing short of un ultimate act of divine revelation can (and some would most like quibble with that!). It does, I believe, show that such a belief is reasonable and valid, and that the theist is logically justified in holding them. Moreover, it is my ultimate belief that it demonstrates

14

Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008;

72.

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McCloskey’s defense of atheism and his deconstruction of theism to be lacking in the arena of self-contained consistency.

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Bibliography

Battle, John A. "How Can Gob be Just and Ordain Evil?" WRS Journal 3:1, 1996: 1-10. Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008. Evans, C. Stephen. Philosophy of Religion: Thinking About Faith. Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, USA, 1982. Foreman, Mark. Approaching the Question of God's Existence. Lynchburg, VA. McCloskey, H.J. "On Being an Atheist." Question 1, February 1968: 62-69. Morris, Henry M. That Their Words May Used Against Them: Quotes from Evolutionists Useful for Creationists. Green Forest, AR: Master Books, Inc., 1997. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. "Teleological Argument." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. 2009 April. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleological_argument (accessed December 16, 2009). Woodhouse, Mark B. A Preaface to Philosophy. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2006.

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...Phil- 201 Response Paper The argument of whether or not it is possible to prove or disprove God’s existence has been going on for hundreds if not thousands of years. Many scholars, atheists, and non-believers throughout the years have argued against the existence of God, but in H.J. McCloskey’s, On Being an Atheist, he shows a much deeper look at his argument by discussing what he thinks might be the overarching argument of Gods existence. After reading McCloskey’s article I have found many weaknesses in his argument and aim to point them out to show the truthfulness of Gods existence. In order for theists to properly bring truth to this matter we must understand the background to the beliefs of the atheists. The very first problem with McCloskey’s article is that he states that the theist’s argument in favor of God’s existence does not hold any proof. He believes that our proofs do not hold any girth and there for should be done away with. McCloskey states on page 64, “To get the proof going, genuine indisputable examples of design or purpose are needed. There are no such examples, so the proof does not get going at all.” This argument is an interesting one but is disproven by some other arguments atheists might have. Many traditional approaches to different solutions use proof or the idea of it to support it. If you examine the traditional approaches you will find that proof is seen as a series of logical steps which lead to a conclusion without having any unquestionable...

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On Being an Atheist

...article, “On Being an Atheist”, H.J. McCloskey discusses the reasons of why he believes being an atheist is a more acceptable than Christianity. McCloskey believes that atheism is a more rational belief versus having a God who allows people to suffer so he can have the glory. He believes to live in this world, you must be comfortable. The introduction of his article, he implements an overview of arguments given by the theist, which he introduces as proofs. He claims that the proofs do not create a rationalization to believe that God exists. He provides 3 theist proofs, which are Cosmological argument, teleological argument, and the argument of design. He also mentions the presence of evil in the world. He focuses on the existence of evil to try to support his non belief in God. McCloskey believes that if there is evil, then there cannot be a God. Not one of these arguments can actually reach the point of certainty that God does not exist. First McCloskey argues about the Cosmological argument. McCloskey provides a dispute against the cosmological argument: “The mere existence of the world constitutes no reason for believing in such a being.” The claim of the cosmological argument is only stating that a being exist. In response, Evans and Manis talk about a non-temporal form of the cosmological argument. They break it down into three factors: “Some contingent beings exist. If any contingent beings exist, then a necessary being must exist (because contingent beings require......

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...Response Paper McCloskey Article Anthony Powers PHIL 201- C09 November 6, 2015 Response Paper McCloskey Article In his article, On Being an Atheist, H.J. McCloskey attempted to prove how that holding an atheistic pattern of thought was much easier than holding a theistic worldview. McCloskey even referred to theism as a “comfortless spine-chilling doctrine.” Since McCloskey stated that proofs do not hold a vital role in the belief of God. I would question what would play a role in the belief of God for McCloskey. Since he believes that theists come to the belief of God based on other reasons and factors rather than just believing in God for a basis of our religious beliefs, then where does the Christian philosopher fit in? As a theist we are to move away from the point of proving Gods existence and rather explain why we hold to the theist view. Relating to Forman’s presentation, the best explanation approach is the best possible way to combat this view that the proofs should be abandoned. Although we may not be able to fully establish the case for the existence of God, we are able to give reasons to believe in the God of the Universe. The amount of proof that is necessary for McCloskey to form a belief of atheism, should be examined because like theism, it can not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The explanation of the beliefs of theism is most likely the best explanation as to why a God exists. Although there is many explanations as to Gods existence, the best......

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...Response Paper H. J. McCloskey Article Shawna Upchurch Liberty University Summer 2015 PHIL 201-D18 H.J. McCloskey had written an article called On Being an Atheist that was publish on February, 1968. In this article he speaks about if God is real. Even though we cannot see God in person does that mean he is not real? There are some that does not have a belief in God even those there is no proof stating there is not a God. This does not mean that one should not listen to others then they try to tell you that there is not a God. But the best thing to do is listen to them and see what proof that they can show to state as to why they think that way. Then there are some that believes that there is a God but does not believe in all that is said that he had done. McCloskey stated in page 62 that, “Philosopher colleagues attribute to much importance to the role of the proofs of the existence of God as a basis for religious belief, that most theists does not come to believe in God as a result of reflecting on the proofs, but come to religion as a result of other reasons and factors.” (McCloskey, 1968) McCloskey used three arguments to support his claims; these three arguments are cosmological argument, teleological argument, and Argument from design. McCloskey had went on speaking about the cosmological argument and about the universe. McCloskey was more into the idea of a big bang. This can be broken down into three ideas from Evans and Manis on their non-temporal form of......

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...Elder 1 Tonisha Elder Phil 201 Response to McCloskey article May 7, 2016 Elder 2 In McCloskey’s article “On Being an Atheist”, McCloskey shares with us his arguments on why being an atheist is more comforting (if you will) than being a Christian. McCloskey believes that the three proofs (Cosmological, Teleological, and the argument from design) are not a basis for proving God’s existence. McCloskey discharges the proofs by saying in his article, “, theists do not come to believe in God as a result of reflecting on the proofs, but come to religion as a result of other reasons and factors.” (McCloskey, 62). Although there are many ways that one could come to believe in Gods existence, thinking cosmologically, I can’t help but to look at Gods splendor around me or think of the universe, and doubt that God does in fact exist. In “Approaching the Question of God’s existence, Foreman says, “There are certain effects we see in the universe that show God exists.” (Foreman). Foreman touches on the fact that there is no one argument that proves one hundred percent that God exists. He goes on to share that these three arguments do have value, and when put altogether they all do prove to some degree that God does in fact exist. McCloskey attempts to break down each of the proofs to in a way persuade the reader on why these proofs are invalid. The first one he addresses is the cosmological argument. This proof or argument is the one that is most argued...

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On Being an Atheist

...In 1968 H.J. McCloskey wrote an article to his fellow atheists entitled "On Being an Atheist". His purposes for writing this article were to inform other atheists of the supposed inadequacies of theists' belief in God, and to address accusations that the position of atheism is "cold" and "comfortless".[1] The author intends to show that in fact, it is theism that is the cold and comfortless position to hold. Mr. McCloskey is undoubtedly an intelligent and thoughtful man. His article was written in an easy to understand syntax, and was surely embraced by many that hold a similar position. In fact, I think that any Christian would find it easy to wholeheartedly agree with Mr. McCloskey. Atheism is a much better alternative than serving the kind of god he describes in his paper! While McCloskey's arguments sound good, his portrayal of a vengeful, vindictive and manipulating god seems foreign to a discerning Christian. Upon reading his article, one questions the depth of the author's research on the God of the Bible at all. It seems almost as if his only understanding of Him comes from the obviously uninformed theists he quotes in his article. One gets the impression that all theists are either dim-witted or gluttons for punishment, maybe even a little of both! McCloskey attempts to refute three well-known arguments for God’s existence. McCloskey’s arguments in most cases focus in the problem of evil. In his attempt to refute the cosmological argument,......

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On Being an Atheist

...H. J. McCloskey's "On Being An Atheist" PHIL 201 - B15 Professor C. Wayne Mayhall Dorothy Thomas Liberty University July 9. 2010 Author H. J. McClosky gives us a negative answer in dealing with the question of God's existence. McClosky attempts to answer a different question. So he does not believe. How we face the world and create meaning for ourselves is the crutch of a divine benefactor. In the literature of disbelief by setting aside argumentation "On Being An Atheist", the article written by McClosky does little more to this reader than confirm a faith in God and the existence His role has in one's life.      Granted it is well to know opposing arguments to understand one's own view of a subject. Scores of enlightened men have written declarations of how organized religion is the enemy of humanity. Karl Marx proclaimed religion to be the "opiate of the masses." Battles raged and wars fought, human lives lost over the question of the existence of God.  From around 1200BC, after which Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam emerged the notion of a God who is both good and powerful, a recent idea in the in human events. Prior to that time we only had Greco-Roman pantheon, whose members interfered in human events only when their egos are challenged. Yet, in a world without God, our desire for love and compassion is almost nonexistent.  We tend to overwhelm ourselves by the very question we seek to answer. Using logic is thoughtful and...

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