Response Paper to McCloskeys Article On Being Atheist

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Philosophy

Document 1

He goes ahead to explain that most people are moved to theism not as a result of proof but by reflection of the cause of everything, citing that theists believe that there must be a creator, who is the first cause and who is responsible for the creation of everything that exists now and who now has the entire world in his hands. McCloskey disregards this view arguing that it less conclusive seeing as it does not give room to the thought there might be an uncaused cause of everything that theists attribute to a creator. In his view, the proofs given by atheists on the existence of God are not definitive and should, therefore, be ignored. In his arguments, McCloskey is too quick in dismissing the arguments put forward by atheists who believe in the existence of God simply because he feels that they do not meet the standard he deems as bearing 100% certainty.

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Looking at the issue of the existence of God from McCloskey’s point of view which involves disregarding any arguments or proof given that doesn’t seem to give 100% certainty is wrong and would result in missing out on the valuable insight that theists might have with regards to their belief in the existence of God. Considering that there is a natural explanation for the existence of the universe and the objects existing in it, it makes sense to believe in the reality of the causal activity of a being that is necessary existent and the reason behind the existence of the universe and the objects in it (Evans & Manis 69). McCloskey’s argument that the universe might have always been in existent is not objective as the theist argument on the existent of a necessary being does not make any assumptions on the age of the universe but only focuses on the existence of the universe and other contingent objects in each which point out to the undoubted existence of a necessary being (Evans & Manis 70).

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His argument that if a cause is required for everything in existence, then there should be a reason for the existence of God is also misguided as God is not a contingent being and, therefore, isn’t a cause for His existence. McCloskey argues that the existence of the universe does not warrant the argument that the cause of the universe is all perfect, all-powerful and uncaused. This is correct as the cosmological argument does not prove the existence of such a being or even say that there is a god but only suggests that the contingency of the universe and the objects in it only points out to the existence of a cause (Evans & Manis 77). McCloskey argues that the existence of imperfection and evil rules out the possibility of the existence of a perfect and loving God citing that a perfect and loving God would not allow evil and suffering to befall his people.

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In light of Evans and Manis (77)’s closing argument, the existence of suffering and evil has nothing to do with the existence of God. Seeing as no indefeasible proof has been put forward to show that the claim of God’s existence is wrong, it is more reasonable to seek to understand the qualities of God in order to understand why He lets evil and suffering thrive rather than dismiss his existence just because evil and suffering exist while it is believed that a loving and all perfect God would eliminate all evil and suffering. McCloskey is of the thought that no perfect being would have created a world with avoidable suffering or where His creations would engage in immoral acts.

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What he intends to put across in this argument is that it is illogical that a loving, perfect and all-powerful God would allow suffering. To illustrate his argument, he gives the examples of difficult situations which people go through such as the death of loved ones from natural disasters such as floods, fires or earthquakes among other natural causes or as a result of disease, or the occurrence of disease leaving the victim scarred for life such as in the case of a child who contracts meningitis and is impaired irreversibly, or a case whereby one suffers a stroke and is consequently deprived of mobility for life. He then goes ahead to explain that in such cases it would be more comforting to believe that there is no God; as atheists believe, therefore having no one to blame for causing the unfortunate occurrence or for failing to do anything to prevent it as opposed to knowing that the occurrence is God’s will as theists believe.

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