H.J. McCloskey's On Being an Atheist Essay

H.J. McCloskey's On Being an Atheist Essay

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Response to McCloskey

In his article “On Being an Atheist”, H.J. McCloskey, an Australian philosopher took a serious stance on arguments against the existence of God. He offered numerous reasons for the stance he took including, the problem with evil to suggest that one should not believe in God. McCloskey believes that atheism is a much more comfortable and understandable belief as opposed to believing in God who allows the suffering of innocent people just to get the glory out of their lives and achieve the ultimate good. He moves on to say that in the end, to live in this world, a person must seek comfort wherever you can find it. Since atheism was adopted by a thoughtful and sensitive person, it leads to a spirit of self-reliance, and on to a self-respect, which causes a person to comfort and help those in need of support. In doing so, it will decrease the blows of fate. McCloskey is saying that it is better to help each other than to believe in a God that could not be perfect himself. He states this because he feels that since the world is imperfect than God cannot possibly be perfect. If he were perfect, then the world would be perfect. However, because evil exist, God cannot exist, therefore we must live in this world as it is, and except the ludicrousness of life. His arguments are not logical or are they sound, and it will be complicated and interesting to argue against him and his views.

Throughout his article, McCloskey, uses the word “proof” when discussing his arguments he believes, cannot definitively establish a case for the existence of God. We must understand that no single argument can get to the point of certainty pertaining to the existence of God. According to McCloskey, thei...

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...e. I think that even though he made some decent arguments he still failed to provide enough evidence to disprove the existence of the Creator. It is possible to have the presence of evil with having a perfect Creator based on the arguments that God gave his greatest creations the ability of free-will. This free-will can be respected but also abused. It is up to the people to decide what is right and wrong. Some of the decisions that people make create evil or bring about evil.

Beebe, James R. Logical Problem of Evil.
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. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2009.
McCloskey, H. J. “On Being an Atheist”. Question One (February 1968): 62-69.

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