On Being an Atheist Essay Paper

On Being an Atheist
On Being an Atheist

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On Being an Atheist

Introduction

Topics in regard to Gods existence have resulted in ongoing battles that have lasted for quite a while. These topics have sparked several debates with some people agreeing with the existence of God while other refuting such claims (Boehme, 2014). However, the debates that pertain to the existence of God have intrigued several philosophical ideas with many people alleging that they being that God cannot be seen, his existence is debatable.

Other schools of thought also allege that if God exists and claims to be all powerful, then evil should not exist in this world. It is essential to note that there are several pieces of evidence that support the existence of God (Boehme, 2014). This paper, therefore, attempts to critic McCloskeys views in regards to the atheist objections and also describes several arguments that establish his illusions of the existence of God including the opposing arguments against his existence.

Proofs Can’t Establish the Case of Gods Existence

To begin with, McCloskeys view implies that there are no proofs that can establish Gods existence and those allegations should be abandoned.  In my view, McCloskey makes no effort to determine what evil is nor does he explain its existence. In other words, he attempts to discredit people’s belief in God by making allegations against the origin of their beliefs. However, McCloskey fails to address why the faith of a people may not be valid and whether they take the time to discover such evidence before they ascent to Christian theism (H.J. McCloskey, 1974).

McCloskey views God as jaded, unforgiving, uncaring, and punitive and believes that the best proofs on the nonexistence of God can be depicted in the evil acts of his creation since morality has strongly subdued the proof of an intelligent creator designing the universe. For Christian, the expressions of truth are only found in Christ’s words in John 14:6 that He is the way, the truth and the Life.

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The Cosmological Argument

The author of the article, “On Being Atheist”, opens by giving a description on the reasons theist believe in God.  He purports that the grounds of such beliefs are inadequate and gives the reasons as to why the atheist do not believe in Gods existence. McCloskey in his article tells of a Christian friend who believed that philosophers place so much of importance on the proofs that regard to the existence of God as the foundation to their religious beliefs (H.J. McCloskey, 1974). In my view, in order for the universe to exists, there was its origin or something that created its existence. Nothing has the capacity to create itself and there is the need of an independent creator that existed before the universe.

In the book: Reasonable Faith, William Lane Craig, alludes to the fact that there must be a creator responsible for all the creation activities and the creator needs not a cause to do the things that have an origin. This, therefore, means that everything that exists needs a cause and saying that something has no beginning denies the existence of a predecessor. McCloskey also alleges that the Cosmological Argument does not give us the right to postulate an all-powerful case that he considers uncaused (H.J. McCloskey, 1974). 

In as much as this argument provides no proof of the existence of God , it supports the idea of a necessary being as the only responsible cause that erases the need for an infinite regressive cause. In my view, there is only one possible view that is compatible with other views on Gods existence, a factor that makes it an individual’s choice to desire learning about the existence of God.

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The Teleological Argument

This argument is an argument from the design point of view that alludes to the existence of a maker of all the contingent objects. This argument in some way has some connections with the cosmological argument that implies that all the designs employ a greater designer, there is a designer in the world, and that the designer is the greatest (H.J. McCloskey, 1974).  McCloskey as other philosophers claims that to believe that nature was designed; there is a need for indisputable examples.

In other words, this author claims that the evidence and examples on this must never be refuted and also contends that indisputable claims are essential and unreasonable in defining God. In my own view, a given example or evidence on the existence of God such as nature shows the indisputable possibility of a creator and there is nothing that can be disputed in this claim (H.J. McCloskey, 1974).

In regard to McCloskey’s claim on the presence of imperfection and evil is an argument that is incompatible with the perfection of the Divine Creator since the creator set a perfection standard for goodness, but man as a sinful being made the imperfect evil possible.

On the other hand, McCloskey suggests that evolution should take the place of a Divine Designer. In my view, this would imply that everything that exists in nature is primarily motivated by chance, which would hardly be the case since everything in nature requires some guidance (Feser, 2013).

This is a process since everything has a specific construction and certain functions. If there is not a Divine Designer then this would mean that everything in nature may function by chance, a factor that could see things happen in any manner. For example, the snows would come during summer since everything functions in no order.

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On the Problem of Evil

McCloskey also stresses in his articles on his objections on the problem of evil by alluding that no being that is perfect and claims of goodness could create the world in which there is suffering of the creatures. According to Feser (2013), the element of evil remains one of the conversant objections that have widely been presented by the atheists. The atheists tend to view why people should not believe in God as described. These objections are mainly posed by the frequent occurrences of suffering and evil that is presently seen.

This remains the reason why many philosophers, as well as McCloskey, dismiss the claims on Gods existence basing their claims on the presence of evil. The theist approach of Gods view is in relation to His attributes that depict Him as omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent. On the other hand, the atheist believe that if all this attributes point towards God and He truly exists as  He claims then he had the capacity to stop suffering and evil.

Other theists also take a stance on the concept to the of evil by leaning on the free-will defense, which alludes that God was the creator of human beings and was the same giver of the free will to choose what is right and wrong. This according to them is considered better since humanity has the freedom of choice than to haven none. According to this view, the evil that is prevalent in the world today exists since man chose the way of evil (Feser, 2013).

Considering the fact that we have been granted the free will to choose what we opt right or wrong, humanity therefore needs to choose to believe in God, who needs to be worshiped, and praised. God has the capacity to mitigate the element of evil, but this means we may lack the free-will to choose. The coming of Christ to offer salvation to Humanity would not have made any sense if God chose to eliminate evil offer salvation.

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Some theists respond to the problem of evil through a free-will defense in which God is stated as the creator of human beings with a free will since it is better to have the freedom to choose that to lack the freedom of choice (LeDrew, 2013). In other words, the evil that exist in the world is a result of the choice of a man to do evil. As free will beings, we need to believe in God, worship and praise Him. If God would have eliminated evil, then Christ should not have come to offer salvation and he would not have died for our iniquities.

On Atheism as Comforting

At the end of his article, McCloskey concludes by asserting that atheism is more comforting than theism. In his argument on this point, he uses the existence of evil and the sufferings that occur of the innocent to support his atheistic perceptions that a perfect being may not necessarily exist and allow evil things to occur (LeDrew, 2013). He also contends that people who follow theism are more likely to find cold comfort in believing religiously and that people need to find comfort and strength wherever they can find it inclusively.

Thinking about this, it is essential to note that people in many instances may need comfort, a factor that makes them seek for spiritual authorities to assist them in understanding things, both the bad and the good (LeDrew, 2013). A Biblical understanding of the element of comfort is encouragement which can be done through the use of words or the presence of an individual to help in the times of need. Comfort in this case as viewed by Christians remains in the ability of Christians o choose whether to believe in God or not, thus giving them the chance to know God more, understand him and commit to him truthfully.

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Conclusion

McCloskeys view implies that there are no proofs that can establish Gods existence and those allegations should be abandoned.  In my view, McCloskey makes no effort to determine what evil is nor does he explain its existence. McCloskey also alleges that the Cosmological Argument does not give us the right to postulate an all-powerful case that he considers uncaused (Boehme, 2014).  In as much as this argument provides no proof of the existence of God, it supports the idea of a necessary being as the only responsible cause that erases the need for an infinite regressive cause.

On the Teleological Argument McCloskey as well as other philosophers claims that to believe that nature was designed; there is a need for indisputable examples, views that find to substantial backings. McCloskey also stresses in his articles on his objections on the problem of evil by alluding that no being that is perfect and claims of goodness could create the world in which there is suffering of the creatures and concludes by asserting that atheism is more comforting than theism (Boehme, 2014).

In a nutshell, I believe that McCloskey provides minimal pieces of evidence on his claims that are aimed at supporting atheism and instead attempts to point out to the faults of Christians as a claim to refute the existence of God. The arguments of this theist, therefore, point out to the existence of God.

References List

Boehme, A. J. (2014). The Atheist’s Primer. Reviews in Religion & Theology, 21(1), 114-116. doi:10.1111/rirt.12286

Feser, E. (2013). The New Atheists and the Cosmological Argument. Midwest Studies In Philosophy, 37(1), 154-177. doi:10.1111/misp.12000

H.J. McCloskey (1974). “On Being an Atheist, “The Southern Journal of Philosophy – Vol. 15 – Issue 1 – pp. 101-111

LeDrew, S. (2013). Discovering Atheism: Heterogeneity in Trajectories to Atheist Identity and Activism. Sociology of Religion, 74(4), 431-453.

Thiessen, J. (2014). There Is No God: Atheists In America. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 53(2), 453-455. doi:10.1111/jssr.12099

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