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Response Paper

At the beginning of his essay, McCloskey dismantles the three established and scholarly proofs of God’s existence. Although some people may wonder why McCloskey disproves these arguments first and would even accuse him of practicality for having done so instead of attacking God’s existence itself, one should remember that the basis of Christian faith rests upon these three arguments of God’s existence, which have been established by the greatest of Christian scholars in early history. McCloskey begins with the cosmological proof of God’s existence and disproves its validity. According to McCloskey, “The mere existence of the world constitutes no reason for believing in the existence of [an all-powerful first cause or uncaused cause]” (McCloskey 63). This is logical. It would be perfectly all right to think that the existence of a computer necessitates the existence of a maker, because one knows that that is true. Nevertheless, the existence of the world is different from the existence of the computer, for the computer is man-made. Any man-made object is made by man, but since the world is not man-made, then it is definitely not made by man, OR perhaps nothing or no one really made it. The belief of theists is that anything that exists must have been made or created at some point. Nevertheless, no one can simply state this claim a priori; otherwise, it will be an assumption. Thus, McCloskey refutes the cosmological proof of the existence of God simply because he was speaking from what he knows and from the limits of his knowledge, which are simply and practically the same as the limits of any sane person’s knowledge. McCloskey is innocent in making his atheistic claims for it is true that he cannot see or perceive that the existence of the world necessitates the existence of a maker. Besides, anyone who can see such an existence must only be claiming to be able to do so perhaps on the basis of personal faith, an imagined vision, or a physical proof to which he subjectively assigns meaning. In short, a theist believes that God exists because he has won the lottery that he was praying for, his sick child got better, the pastor said so, or just because he could “feel” it. Nevertheless, the point is that, in any case, no theist has seen the “connection” between God and the world. Moreover, since there is no way that a maker is seen as necessary, it also follows that it does not matter whether this maker is all-powerful or not. Aside from the cosmological argument, McCloskey refutes the argument from design and the teleological argument, because, according to him, in order to prove that this argument is true, “…genuine indisputable examples of design or purpose are needed” (64). This is also logical. What is “design” anyway? Perhaps, the theists have sought to define design as the series of events or an elaborate interconnection of things and events that somehow either makes some sense to them or emotionally appeals to them. Perhaps, what the theists see that makes them believe in a design is a pattern or a cycle, like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly, or the harmonious revolution of the planets around the sun. This is so dramatic and it feels so good to bask at these wonders of nature. Nevertheless, although it is possible that a pattern is ...Show more

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(Name) (Professor) (Subject) (Date) Response to H. J. McCloskey’s “On Being an Atheist” Although most people in this world are theists, some like H. J. McCloskey have stood up boldly for their atheistic beliefs. The result is therefore a clash of beliefs…
Author : estokes
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