“It is useful for us to remind ourselves of the reasons for and virtues of our belief” is a quote that rings true in McCloskey’s essay On Being an Atheist. Assessing why we believe something is a necessary part of truly understanding our beliefs. Throughout the article McCloskey argues against the proofs often used for theism. Specifically he addresses the cosmological argument, teleological argument, and the problem of evil. He uses all of these points to argue that atheism is a “much more comfortable belief than theism…” (McCloskey)
Before addressing the specific proofs McCloskey addresses, it is necessary to point to one error in McCloskey’s essay. McCloskey writes a very thoughtful, and a very intelligent essay, but the one error in the essay is that he is attacking each proof separate. He is not addressing all the proofs together. It is hard to know and believe in a god if you just look at one aspect instead of intergrading all of them together. Just saying that a god created the world is not sufficient in proving there is an all-powerful, all-perfect god. Dr. Foreman in his presentation “ Approaching the Question of God’s Existence” defines this idea as the accumulative case approach. Dr. Foreman believes that God’s existence is the best explanation, but not the only explanation out there offered. He also suggests in explaining God’s existence to avoid using proofs, but instead provide reasoning. So when McCloskey is arguing that the proofs can not definitively establish the case for God, technically he is correct. You cannot establish a case for God if you are proving the existence by saying the only option is a god, and that only one aspect alone is a proof. However, the argument for the existence for God is best give...
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... ultimate purpose and all they have to look forward to in their life is death and non-being. Without God at the end of a life humans can only have a relevant purpose, they can influence society or the lives of their friends and family, but without an eternity everything is heading toward an end and the purpose they have achieved will end as well. With God however, even in death there are new beginnings and an underlying purpose to life. That even when a life ends and the universe ends, there is something to move on to and so theism provides more comfort than atheism.
In conclusion, McCloskey’s article on atheism does not disprove a god. The proofs refuted about the cosmological argument, teleological argument, the problem of evil, and the claim that atheism is more comforting than theism are all disputable and none of them are prove that there is absence of a god.
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