athiest paper

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Atheist Response Paper
Katherine Carpenter
Phil 201
Liberty University Online

There have been huge issues on the existence of God for centuries. In the article "On being an Atheist" by H. J. McCloskey he states that the cosmological, teleological, and the argument from design are false. He also said that there is no definitive proof that God exists so we should forget the idea of God. The main issue that McCloskey has with God is because of the presence of evil in the world.

Throughout this article McCloskey uses the word “proof” when referring to arguments which he believes cannot absolutely authenticate a case for the existence of God as Creator. We must first understand that no one argument can reach the point of assurance of the existence of God. According to McCloskey, theists use the argument from design and the arguments of cosmologic and teleologic, as different proofs to promote their claim, but theist uses rationality in their arguments, those beliefs that correlate equally together to support their argument regarding the existence of God.
Rationality is important in the life of a theist because their beliefs adhere together to form knowledge of belief in God. A proposition becomes true and forms the basis of truth if it adheres to another proposition. Rationality helps established these truths in areas where facts may not be known. Christians gather evidence to help in the understanding of an argument and do not just take a single argument and try to establish truth.
I personally believe McCloskey is narrowed minded in his thinking. Theists do not generally come to God based only on the proof or lack of proof of God as the creator. The majority of people have other underlying reasons for believing in God. Even a person that does not have any knowledge or insight into evolution or creation will choose one. The proof is shown to us by the universe that there is an intelligent, all-knowing, and all-powerful being. McCloskey states that theists are interested more with the cause of the creation theory as a whole. McCloskey also states that theists believe that there must be a first cause, everything created by a creator as well as continuing to operate in the universe.


McCloskey has an argument on the subject of the cosmological argument, which he believes is irrational to say the least. In this argument McCloskey tries to attack this it as merely an argument from the existence of the universe as we know it, and not the universe as existing from something. In his belief he believes that the existence of the universe alone does not prove that it was caused by someone. McCloskey’s basis is that theists have no idea of evolution and if they did that they would understand that their argument is flawed. There must be evidence of something about the universe that lends support to the claim that it indeed had a cause and that cause was God. As pointed out by Evans, contingency would be the term used in pulling this argument together. If we were look at the objects that are around us in the universe, we can wonder if they needed to exist. They may not have a natural reason for existing but are required. If the existence then is not required, then it makes it incomplete unless it has a causal purpose of a necessary being. In principle; the existence of a contingent being has no explanation, unless an essential being exists. There is no explanation needed for a necessary being. McCloskey goes on suggesting that in this universe there is nothing that would make a person believe that something had to exist just because it was a necessary being. McCloskey states: “If we use the causal argument at all, all we are entitled to infer is the existence of a cause commensurate with the effect to be explained, the universe, and this does not entitle us to postulate an all-powerful, all-perfect, uncaused cause,”(McCloskey, 1968). By all…