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.
Atheism is certainly one of the adversaries of theism. However, atheism provides an important role to theism by acting as a “devil’s advocate” which, in turn, ultimately strengthens theism. In the journal article “On Being an Atheist” written by H.J. McCloskey, McCloskey is both critical of the classical arguments for God’s existence and offers the problem of evil as a reason why one should not believe in God. McCloskey progresses through, in his opinion, the weakest arguments for theism, such as the cosmological argument, teleological argument, and the problem of evil.
Additionally, McCloskey claims that since the universe exists that there cannot be a being who created it (On Being an Atheist, 1968, p. 51). C. Stephen Evans and R. Zachary Manis in Philosophy of Religion: Thinking About Faith suggest, when discussing the non-temporal form of the cosmologica... ... middle of paper ... ...iefs of an Intelligent Designer, but gives weak examples and the use of “proofs” to try to show atheism is the way to go. He does not give an unbiased view of atheism and uses emotional tactics to try to sway readers to his side. Evans and Manis provide sound arguments in order to combat McCloskey’s damaging argument which he unsuccessfully proves atheism is better than theism. Works Cited Craig, W. L. (2008).
In the article “On being an Atheist”, by H.J. McCloskey, the author first says that these arguments for theism are only “proofs” and cannot be truly proven. However, there are certain things that cannot be explained and therefore an individual can use “the best explanation approach”. This approach suggests that since there are certain situations that cannot be explained, that situation can be said that it could possibly be caused by God. These things that cannot be explained such as the emergence of language in civilizations or the idea of an atom that we cannot neither see nor touch.
Therefore in this paper, I will argue that Berkeley`s response to skepticism is not successful because he thinks that god is the base of knowledge. Before I begin to prove my thesis I would like to give a little background about skepticism and external world (material world). In this paper, skepticism argues that there is no way that we could know anything and that we live in a place where “knowing” is not possible. Additionally, the material world refers to something that can be perceived, in addition, being the world that we currently interact with. You might ask yourself, “What are the things that are in this certain world?” Well, basically everything that is not the mind is considered to be part of this world.
While McCloskey’s article may resonate with some atheists and seem to be a valid attack on the theist’s belief, it fails to strike any real blows and instead shows the disparity that comes with atheistic beliefs. In his article, McCloskey uses the term “proofs” rather than arguments when discussing the three ideas that he finds to be the most motivating forces for theist’s to theistic beliefs. In the article, he states that “move ordinary theist to their theism”(3). He believes that these “proofs” do not offer definitive evidence that proves God exists without even the slightest room for doubt; therefore, the belief in God should be completely abandoned. For an individual who claims to believe in a worldview based on self-reliance and science, this is completely contradictory.
Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, 3rd Ed., 71-90. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008. Evans, C. Stephen, and R. Zachary Manis. Philosophy of Religion, Second Edition, 69-77.
In the article “On Being an Atheist”, H. J. McCloskey tries to show that believing in God is unreasonable. McCloskey first tries to point out flaws in theism by trying to disprove the cosmological and the teleological arguments. After trying to show the flaws in the two argument he brings up the problem of evil to try to discredit theism as a self-contradictory belief. At the end of his article he tries to show his readers that atheism is comforting and that theism is not. When you go through McCloskey’s argument it shows many flaws in his reasoning as he wanted to show that it is impossible that there is a God.
In his article, "On Being an Atheist" Mccloskey gives a few contentions that look to support the non-presence of God, Atheism. This he does utilizing a few cases made by theists on a general level and in addition centering all the more on the Christian God. The cases are isolated into a few segments whereupon he lays his countering contentions. At the presentation, he gives a concise review of the contentions exhibited by theists, who he alludes to as "confirmations," guaranteeing that none of the evidences make enough avocation to accept that God does exist. Despite the fact that one of the verifications may not indicate the presence of God, all the evidences together give a solid confirmation to the presence of God acknowledging their accord or absence of disagreement.