The article “On Being an Atheist” by H. J. McCloskey (1968) discusses a great number of claims about Christianity and religion. The author tried to destroy the arguments concerning the existence of God referring to various theories. Evans, Manis, and Craig (2010) considered those attempts insufficient having represented a great number of evidence that demonstrated the opposite results. Thus, the analysis of the article has showed that the author strongly supports the point of view of atheists and focuses on the application the “proof” aspect to strengthen his position, but the arguments of the opponents demonstrated that the used statements were invalid and based more on the darkened presupposition.
The Argument “Proof” in the McCloskey’s Article
McCloskey in his article “On Being an Atheist” has argued that it is impossible to prove the existence of God with the help of “proofs” (McCloskey, 1968). In order to grasp a complete vision of McCloskey’s (1968) argument, it is important to understand what proof actually means in terms of knowing about God (Evans & Manis, 2010). Dr. Mark Foreman inserts that to analyze McCloskey’s (1968) point of view, it would be appropriately to regard proofs as mathematical equations. Foreman in his presentation “Approaching the Question of God’s Existence” states that the term “proof” is certainly effective in mathematics but it will not give the appropriate result in case of analysis of the God’s existence (Evans & Manis, 2010). Thus, Foreman outlines that it is impossible to prove the existence of the Lord in the same way as mathematical equations are proven and it but requires a completely different approach.
McCloskey (1968) stated that “mere existence of world constitutes no reason for believing in such being” (p. 62) responding to the statement Evans and Manis (2010) applied to the timeless form of the cosmological statements. They strongly emphasized on the existence of a contingent being that required the application of the necessary being (Evans & Manis, 2010). They explain such phenomenon by the fact that a contingent being needs the necessary being as its final cause. They stated that the presence of a contingent being proves through the raising of an idea that there is no peculiar explanation for the cause (Evans & Manis, 2010). Thus, they mentioned that everything requires the cause and God is not an exception. However, the authors have also mentioned that the Lord is not a contingent being and consequently God does not need to have an origin (Evans & Manis, 2010). Saying shortly, the cause of the world would be the Lord and infinite and uncaused existence.
McCloskey *(1968) also concentrated on the item of cosmological argument and noticed that it “does not entitle us to postulate an all-powerful, all-perfect, uncaused cause” (p. 63). Regarding the answer of Evans and Manis (2010), it becomes obvious that the applied approach is a theoretical ground that requires the deeper study because it still does not represent the proved statement. Even is the argument is successful, it still demands additional study. McCloskey’s (1968) evidence mentions only once the fact concerning the existence of God. Besides, the highlighted argument neither proves it nor rejects (Evans & Manis, 2010). McCloskey (1968) tried to avoid some parts of the theory that caused misunderstanding the peculiar evidences that could become the great resource for proving.
The Theological Argument
Investigating the teleological arguments, the author asserted that it is necessary to see the accurate evidence to get the proof of some phenomenon (McCloskey, 1968). Talking about the indisputable examples, McCloskey (1968) concerns the facts that cannot be rejected. Thus, regarding the standard of “indisputability”, it would be appropriately to consider the example when an individual consumes a lot of not healthy and fat food, which further leads to the development of obesity (Evans & Manis, 2010). It is obvious that there could not be any other result. Consequently, the fact converts into the conclusive evidence. Of cause, it looks like a reasonable fact, but it cannot concern the God.
It would be effective to consider that the nature has numerous instances of design and the designed forms are a result of the designer’s work (Evans & Manis, 2010). Thus, the nature and universe are also the result of the designer’s actions. Such aspect can be contemplated everywhere (Evans & Manis, 2010). The edicts of nature and the functioning of the human body within the nature continue to correspond to each other beginning with the time when the person made it a constituent part of record and observe.
McCloskey (1968) also stated that the evolution shortened the need of a designer. However, Evans and Manis (2010) insist that the evolution theory continues to develop only under the guidance of God. Thus, the evolution and God are constituent and interdepended parts of the whole universe. God forms the goals through the evolution. Researching the nature processes, it is appropriately to conclude that the construction of the nature remains stable and unchangeable because in case of its random changing it would hard to study it (Evans & Manis, 2010). Thus, the stability is the result of the Lord’s contribution.
Supporting the statements of the old atheist community, McCloskey (1968) has inserted that imperfection is an evil and it argues against “the perfection of the divine design or divine purpose in the world” (p. 64). Studying the issue deeper, it becomes obvious that theological argument has limited essence. The meaning of the words good and bad does not have a conclusive line. Different cultures of the world give the peculiar meaning to the word “evil” (Evans & Manis, 2010). The theological statement focuses more on the order and outline. It is possible to insert that deviation from the definite order can cause emergence of imperfection connected with the evil (Evans & Manis, 2010). However, in that case the phenomenon would mean that the free choice is an anathema but not a gift.
Problem of Evil
Regarding the problem of evil, McCloskey (1968) outlines that the current world is full of evil and it brings harm to the innocent people. Interpreting the argument of the author, it would be appropriately to say that a good being reduces a bad one to the extend it can induce the great loss or provoking the worse evil (Evans & Manis, 2010). However, it is logically that the Lord cannot do the impossible things. There are situations when it is necessary to apply evil to achieve good. Regarding the concept of morality, it becomes rational to state that absence of knowledge about the evil will cause absence of knowledge about the good (Evans & Manis, 2010). Thus, it is important to get to know more about some bad things to enrich knowledge about the positive aspects.
McCloskey (1968) also insisted, “might not God have very easily so have arranged the world and biased man to virtue that men always freely choose what is right?” (p. 66). Evans and Manis (2010) state that in case the Lord formed the world free of the wrong actions so it would be hard to admit the freedom existence in it. The issue also reveals the phenomenon of a free will. Answering McCloskey’s (1968) statement, it would be rational to mention the example, when individual won money in the lottery but one significant condition was to invest money in the projects required by the producers of a show that proved absence of free will (Evans & Manis, 2010). The same situation is with the universe and the God. The God does not control the actions of people their freedom.
Argument of Craig against Atheism
Concluding the article, McCloskey (1968) has mentioned that atheism is more confronting than theism. His argument outlines the depravity of a person because of the evil affect and suffering the world connected to the absence of the Lord and hopelessness. William Lane Craig rejected such position in his article “The Absurdity of Life without God.” He asserted that in case the individual does not believe in God, such person has no purpose in the life. Besides, a person who does not believe in God feels the impunity and consequently can commit negative deeds (Craig, n.d.). The purposeless reflects only in waiting for the life end and testifies about the pointless. Consequently, in case the atheists determine the all abovementioned arguments more confronting than the loving God, who was not really revealed but induced the creation of more positive aspects, thus, they keep a scary and unacceptable way of life (Craig, n.d.). The author insists that life free of God is unsecure and hopeless.
The analysis of the McCloskey’s (1968) article showed its refuted core because of the rejection the number of facts that proved the existence of the Lord. The author tried to negate the presence of God as a creator of the world but his position was supported by the weak facts that further were rationally rejected by other scientists. For example, Evans and Manis (2010) also applied the theological and cosmological arguments and successfully proved the opposite facts. The author strongly condemned the existence of evil that was not exterminated by the God. The statement was rejected by the fact that only knowledge about evil could help to impede its development.
Text by Nina Wong, the writer at https://superbessay.com