McCloskey – On Being an Atheist – Questions And Answers

On Being an Atheist

The article of the McCloskey, “On Being an Atheist” highlight numerous arguments which are seeking to justify the non-existence of God-Atheism.The claims he raises on the justification of atheism are put on some general level while giving much focus upon the Christian God and put forth counter-arguments for the claims. He puts proofs, that is, arguments by theists to be less of justification groundings on the existence of God.

Basing our facts on the cosmological argument, he argues that “mere existence of the world constitutes no reason for believing in such a being.” As argued by Evans and Manis, the point that there are creatures in the world which have no idea of their existence indicates that some being should have been there to cause their existence (p. 73). Failure of such being to exist, the creatures too wouldn’t be in existence due to the fact that the trail could not be infinite. The happenings of everything in this world has to be due a cause by something. Therefore, the existence of the universe depends on a cause believed to be caused since the causes aren’t infinite. The argument of Evans and Manis on cosmological argument would support the fact that, “we aren’t entitled to postulate an all-powerful, all- perfect, uncaused cause.”

With respect to the teleological argument, the design bases its argument on the intelligence relating the way the world came into existence. The counter argument of such standings by McCloskey states that, “to get the proof going, genuine indisputable of design and purpose are needed.”  He suggests also that if any case we need to believe anything it should be that there was a malevolently powerful or an imperfect designer. This contradicts the argument over the breaking of nature in which existed uncaused cause. In addition, he has no undisputable proof on the argument that an imperfect designer was there, making his claims disputable too. Saying there was an imperfect designer, he tends to agree with the fact that nature was broken at one time. McCloskey’s idea of indisputability of a proof of God’s existence is disregarded by Evans and Manis by contending that indisputability is “so high, perhaps, that a proof of theism is in principle unattainable.”

In addition, McCloskey proposes that since evolution exists, there is no need for a designer. On the other hand, one could argue that God designed the world to continue evolving without need for redesigning. Keeping the fact that it could be true that evolution makes the need of a designer to be not there, but still it would be implied that just like machines and equipment meet their purpose of design, so did God achieve His purpose. With regards to Evans and Manis, “the evolutionary process, even if it is a mechanical process, is simply the means whereby God, the intelligent designer, realizes his purpose.”

It is further argued by McCloskey that the existing of imperfection and also evil is proving that God’s divine perfection doesn’t exist. The existence of evil and imperfection makes it true to say the divine purpose of the world is not true.Therefore, in correspondence to the view of Evans and Manis on imperfection and evil, someone would reason that cosmological arguments do not contend a world which is perfect without evil, but reasons that uncaused cause of the first cause existed, implying perfection of lack of evil. The understanding of such cosmological argument makes the atheist like McCloskey to assume that the purpose or the divinity of the world is something which one is supposed to realize or see.

Within the McCloskey argument of the evil, he suggests that it is perceived that evil is pointless if God did exist, God would not have given room for pointless evil, and thus God doesn’t exist. Even though one would feel that some evil are pointless would not mean that any evil is pointless. This is merely an opinion. On the other hand, a counter argument would read, pointless evil cannot exist if God exists, and therefore probably God exists, and therefore it is probably no pointless evil in the world. The use of the word probably is definitely intentional. God can neither be disproven nor proven, but people can just certainly argue against Him or defend Him. Ultimately, belief in God only relies on one’s faith just the same way we do about everything in our lives. At the same time, man should always strive in pursuit of knowledge and grow in wisdom at every chance we come by so as to validate our beliefs on more practical groundings.

McCloskey concludes that atheism is comforting compared to Christianity. He doesn’t recognize that life without God lacks purpose. The absence of God in our lives, makes dogs not that different from human beings. Within the argument context that humans are simply the result of a non-guided evolutionary process, then there is lack of actual significance or purpose within us. Every undertaking we pursue in life would ultimately contribute towards a meaningless race of organisms and would be eradicated in the future.

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