the last part of his argument McCloskey claims that atheism is more comforting
than theism. If it was not for theism we could not consider the meaning of life
or try to figure out what our lives purpose was. We would just live in a world
where we live, and we die with no hope or promise of a better life after death.
For those that believe in the existence of God and believe in His word that was
set forth we have hope, and we gain comfort in that hope of a better life after
death. Through God we are able to share our burdens, and once we are relieved
of those burdens we will be in a much better place. However, for atheism what
you see is what you get they do not believe that they have someone to lighten
their heavy burdens and that once your life is over that is it all there is,
there is nothing else.
the Problem of Evil McCloskey’s main objection to theism is the presence of
evil in the world and he raises it several times: “No being who was perfect
could have created a world in which there was avoidable 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.” Evan and Manis say that “good is opposed to evil, in such a way that
a good thing always eliminates evil as far as it can”. In the beginning God did
not create the world with such evils in it. These evils came about with the
sins of man. Adam and Eve were drove from the garden based on the bad choices
they made, they allowed the evil to be expelled upon the earth. God cleaned up
the evil and the mess of man once with the great flood. If God gave us free
will to make choses for ourselves then we should have to deal with the consequences
of our actions. Even though he is an all-powerful being why should he continue
to clean up the mess that we as a society have brought upon ourselves. If man
wants evil to sice to exist, then we must put an end to it ourselves.
claims that the presence of imperfection and evil in the world argues against
“the perfection of the divine design or divine purpose in the world.” He argues
that with the amount of imperfection and evil in the world that God must be
non-existent. He brings up the question as to how could an omnipotent,
all-perfect being create a world that is so imperfect? How can this God allow
such horrendous things to happen? Evans
and Manis remind us that the cosmological argument and the teleological
argument are not going to give proof of Gods existence they only help us do discover
the knowledge giving to us by God to reach the conclusion of His existence.
reading in Evans and Manis the argument can be made that there is an
intelligent designer of the universe. It may not be indisputable evidence but
evidence nevertheless. As stated in the reading that there is a “beneficial
order” things do not just occur by chance because they are far too complex. Everything
is designed is such a way that there must be some kind of “intelligent being
exists by whom all natural things are directed to, that being is God”.
McCloskey goes on to say that everything we know and see came about only
through evolution. McCloskey uses Darwin’s theory of evolution as grounds to
base his belief of a non-existing God on. Upon reading the article On Being an
Atheist and the text by Evans and Manis on might argue that evolution and God
intelligent design are one in the same. Once finalizing the order of things God
could have simply just set things in to motion. “The evolutionary process, is
simply the means whereby God, the intelligent designer, realizes his purposes”.
If evolution really did occur, it was only because God allowed it to.
In is next argument McCloskey
addresses his “proof” of teleological argument. The teleological argument
argues the existence of an intelligent designer do to the “fact the natural
world appears to exhibit purposive order or design” (Evan & Manis). McCloskey
claims that “to get the proof going, genuine indisputable examples of design
and purpose are needed”. He feels that an indisputable example does not
actually exist. So, there for its proof never gets going. For McCloskey’s need
for absolute proof he cannot use an argument as this one because the problem
lies within itself. This argument does not give 100% actual proof of Gods
existence it merely just suggests and points towards His existence. So, there
for the claim made by McCloskey cannot be used to provide indisputable evidence
of Gods existence based on the teleological argument.
In his article McCloskey states
that “The Cosmological Argument does not entitle us to postulate an
all-powerful, all-perfect, uncaused cause.” As previously stated the
cosmological argument is based on the necessary beings and the contingent
beings. In saying that you cannot have one without the other. Based on the
final paragraph Evan and Manis claim that the cosmological argument the base of
Gods existence and it is used to justify the existence of God and everything we
see, and that the argument is “more than an entering wedge into the knowledge
of God” you must believe it to be true so that you may defend the argument of
the Cosmological Argument: McCloskey claims that the “mere existence of the
world constitutes no reason for believing in such a being i.e., a necessarily
existing being.” The Cosmological Argument argues the existence of God. That
God is the creator of the universe and all things in it. McCloskey does not
believe that the existence of the universe is enough evidence to justify the
existence of God. For McCloskey everything that exist could just as easily not
existed. Evans and Manis claim the answer hinges on “the contingency of the
universe”. Evan and Manis feel that there are “necessary beings” and contingent
beings”. A contingent being is something
in the universe that can be seen and that we know it exists, but its only existence
because its existence is dependent upon something else. A necessary being is a
being that merely exists without need of any validation; it is the source from
which all contingent beings exist. In this case the contingent being would be
the universe and everything in it. The necessary being would be God. So, there
for based on the argument of Evans and Manis God must exist because the
universe and everything in it exist.
In the article “On being Atheist” by H J McCloskey, McCloskey
refers to the arguments as “proofs” and often implies that they can’t
definitively establish the case for God, so therefore they should be abandoned.
McCloskey uses what he considers to be three “proofs”, The cosmological,
teleological, and the argument from design to disprove the existence of God.
McCloskey is basing these “proofs” on the fact that there is no scientific
proof of Gods existence that we only have what is considered to by God’s word
as proof. Based on Foreman’s presentation, “Approaching the Question of God’s
Existence, McCloskey is using his “proofs” to argue something out of context.
The cosmological, teleological, and design arguments were never intended to be
used in such a way, and McCloskey was saying that since these “proofs” liked
scientific justification then they much not be true.
For this response paper we were to
examine the article by H J McCloskey “On Being an Atheist”. In his article McCloskey
tries to justify his reasoning for not believing in the existence of God. By
using our text we will argue the existence of God and justify our belief in a
God against the lack there of by McCloskey.