Response to “on Being an Atheist”

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Response to “On Being an Atheist”

By: Casandra Privette

In his article, On Being an Atheist, H.J. McCloskey tried to show that atheism is a more reasonable and comfortable belief than that of Christianity. McCloskey argued against the three theistic proofs, which are the cosmological argument, the teleological argument and the argument from design. He pointed out the existence of evil in the world that God made. He also pointed out that it is irrational to live by faith. In my response, I will argue that McCloskey’s article is one-sided and thus flawed in his conclusion that atheism is more comforting than Christianity and when one examines all the evidence, Christianity is truly a source for great comfort today.

McCloskey argued that the cosmological argument was an argument from the existence of the world, as we know it. He stated that believing in an uncaused first cause of the universe is a problem because nothing about our universe forces us to that conclusion. I disagree with that premise. Many philosophers, from Plato to Aquinas, have argued that regardless of whether the universe had a beginning moment or has always been in existence that God is the necessary cause of the universe. Many argue that everything in the universe is contingent and that if contingent things exist; they require a necessary being as their ultimate cause. Therefore this necessary being is God. I believe that every cause and be traced back to a first cause: God.

McCloskey grouped the teleological argument and the argument from design together and summarily rejected them both by suggesting that mankind does not yet have a full understanding about creation. He offers the theory of evolution as the explanation of many examples of creation that would have once been explained by the teleological and argument from design. I disagree with McCloskey’s rejection of the argument from design. The theory of evolution does not automatically negate the teleological...
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