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Response to "On Being An Atheist" by H. J. McCloskey

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McCloskey in his article, "On Being An Atheist" claims that proofs or arguments which theists provide to support their belief “have no weight”. He speaks of this primarily in relation to the ontological argument, the argument which attempts to show that the very concept of God implies his reality. McCloskey believes that there is no point in debating on this particular proof because it has no bearing but the ontological argument serves as the very foundation for other arguments which supports and defends God’s existence. If not for the purpose of proving His existence, the ontological argument is still necessary because it distinguishes the characteristics of God whom we are defending. The first rule of philosophical discourse is clarity and since God is the main topic, there is no way in which we should avoid discussing the ontological argument. Actually, McCloskey’s failure to analyze the ontological argument is one of the reasons why he failed to understand the theists’ arguments.

The diversity of religious beliefs scattered in the world is not aiding the theistic endeavor. It has further complicated the defenses used by theists all over the world. Fortunately, Evans clarified some misconceptions about the characteristics of God in his article. For one, atheists refute the belief of an all powerful being because it will result to absurdity. According to them such a being should be able to create an object that is both a circle and a box or if not create a boulder so heavy that he himself cannot carry. But such a rebuttal should not be considered as worthy to be accepted. It is only a mockery. Atheists fail to remember that the God who is being supported by the cosmological, teleological and moral argument is a God of reason....

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...ant us that dream except God. He alone provided the promise of a life devoid from unhappiness, fear, hunger, despair and even death. He alone has the ability to grant true justice to anyone because of his capacity to see deep within a person’s heart. He alone has the power to do what we cannot do and that is comfort enough for any responsible theist. It is a comfort which is immeasurable and cannot be equated with words. It is a comfort which gives us strength to move forward amidst the evil and injustice we see in this world. It is the very thing that makes us want to live for tomorrow.

Works Cited McCloskey, H. J. “On Being An Atheist.” 1968.
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