RESPONSE TO “ON BEING AN ATHEIST” BY H. J. MCCLOSKEY
In his 1968 article, McCloskey made a strong case against the existence of God, while defending his stand on atheism. His arguments are centered around the three proofs that religious people use to explain why they believe in God. Over and above, he argues unapologetically against faith, and questions the existence of a good God in such a world full of evil and moral decadence. The question of morality does not escape him too, and in his submission is that there is more solace in atheism than in believing God and, therefore, it is easier to be an atheist than it is to be a believer in God. This paper delves into the intricacies of his argument and critiques his approach while responding to some of the age-old pertinent questions he raises.
The ontological proof, according to McCloskey, does not hold any value and therefore has nothing to do with why theists believe in the first place. There is no discussion around this theory. There is, however, an obvious interest in trivializing the cosmological proof of God’s existence. This is the proof that is founded on cause and effect model that the world must have been brought into existence by some omnipotent being. What this proof fails to explain is the origin of that being, and therefore in trying to explain where everything comes from the theory cannot explain the cause of the supposed creator. As a result, a vicious circle comes about, the very same thing that the proof tries to stop. There is no way, according to McCloskey, that the world as we know it could be the design of a quintessential God. It is easy to get carried away by these counter-arguments against the proofs of God’s existence, but remember what proofs are. Proofs are definitive methods of establishing something, and they can be demonstrated quantitatively like in mathematics or science. Proofs, therefore, cannot be enforced in the arguments against God and they cannot...
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