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Does God Exist

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By medy5000
Words 2421
Pages 10
Arvin D. Medlock Jr.
PHIL 201-DO2
Professor R.D. Kuykendall
5 May 3, 2015
McCloskey Response Paper “On Being an Atheist” Does God Exist? That is the question we face! For many years Theists and Atheist have debated this question for many years along with their central views and beliefs that we as human being rely on as it relates to Life and God. The Point of views and debates center around the Cosmological Argument, the Teleological argument (argument from Design) and the most debated argument as it relates to this topic called the Problem with evil? When questioning wither or not God Exist these traditional arguments play significant roles in investigating and proving or discrediting someone’s view or stance on this specific Philosophical belief. As you read McCloskey article “On Being an Atheist” he argues the Theist stance who believe in the Existence of God from the perspective view of an Atheist. McCloskey in writing this Article is not trying to discredit their belief in the Existence of God, but to raise questions, doubts and uncertainties concerning their arguments on which they stand on to prove their belief by ultimately concluding that the Theist arguments are not valid and should be disregarded as evidence to prove their belief in the existence of God. The problem with McCloskey argument against the argument of Theistic View is the Theist argument is not to literally prove their belief concretely on the existence of God, but there view is design to give us what is called “Best Explanation”. According to Forman Best Explanation “is to Arrive at a view you can live with, to discover which view offer the Best Explanation with the least number of Problems”(Forman 177). The debate between wither God existence or not existence will always be a controversial issue. The Theistic View nor the Atheist View have absolute proof to determine with validity and completely prove their beliefs with solid facts are true. Therefore since each belief or view presents its own problem as it relates to their particular belief then its important then that each view must argue from the stand point of Best Explanation. So in response to McCloskey article I believe he seeks to discredit the Theistic View Best Explanation. One of the arguments that McCloskey attempts to discredit as it relates to the Theistic View is the Cosmological argument. In simplicity the Cosmological argument believe that everything exist only exist because something cause it to exist. The Cosmological argument is one of the main arguments that most use when arguing the existing of God. In the book “The Philosophy of Religion” by Evans and Manis states that the Cosmological argument “are attempts to infer the existences of God from the existence of the cosmos or universe”(Evans 67). The bases of this argument is the Idea of causality and the first cause. In other-words the universe did not come into existence all by itself, but in fact there was an ultimate first cause. What we know to exist today wouldn’t exist if nothing caused the beginning to exist. This in fact leads the Theist back to the original question of first cause. That is the belief that something had to already be in existence. The first cause that Theist believe in is the necessary being. The Theist believe that in fact that God is the necessary being so therefore everything in the universe is subjected to God for its own existence. In the world of Christianity this will simply referred to the Christian belief that God is the ultimate creator and ruler. McCloskey in his article does not discredit the Cosmological argument, but attempts to discredit the Theistic View that God is that necessary being or first cause that caused the universe into existence. McCloskey does not discredit the theory of something that exist that cause the universe to exist but simply seeks to prove that something or someone was not God. McCloskey states in his Article “Mere Existence of the world constitutes no reason for believing in such a being” (McCloskey). In other-words he believed that in fact that it was something that pre-exist that caused the universe to exist but that which pre-existed wasn’t God. Although the Cosmological argument might not simply prove the existence of God it simply sets the foundation for the belief in the existence of God. McCloskey simply is saying that although it gives us reason to believe in the pre-existence of a necessary being or first cause this argument does not in fact prove the existence of God. McCloskey states that Cosmological Argument “Does not entitle us to postulate an all-powerful, all-perfect, uncaused cause”. (McCloskey). McCloskey argument is valid it, however it does not prove that God does not exist. Therefore since the Cosmological Argument never gives specific details or describe and or deem God as the necessary being or the first cause it still stands as an effective argument to solidity the Theistic View to support their belief that God does exist. The next argument that McCloskey attempts to discredit is the Teleological argument. Evans and Manis in their book “The Philosophy of Religion” says that this argument “is often referred to as the argument from Design”(Evans) Its basically saying that the worlds natural appearance is evidence that in fact there the existence of an Intelligent designer. Evans and Manis believe that the Teleological argument is also a Cosmological argument because they both are based on the existence of cosmos. The only difference is that Cosmological argument deal with existence of cosmos while Teleological argument deal with the character or the being of cosmos. Evans and Manis states that the Teleological argument is “The natural world appears to exhibit purposive order or design, and infers that its cause must therefore be an intelligent designer” (Evans). McCloskey this time is not only trying to discredit the Theist ability to stand on this argument as solid proof that God does exist but in fact attempts to discredit the Teleological argument. McCloskey states in his article that “genuine indisputable examples of design and purpose are needed” (McCloskey) It is my belief that McCloskey believes the evidence that is needed to make the Teleological argument a solid argument is not valid because he refers to Evolution as replacing the need for an intelligent designer. With the belief of Evolution McCloskey now discredits the bases of Teleological Argument because there is no need for an intelligent designer which means then that you can no longer can argue your belief that God does exist on the foundation of the Teleological argument. McCloskey tries disproof this argument by endorsing the Theory of Evolution. The Evolution Theory is not acknowledged by many but provides a legitimate argument against the Teleological Argument. According to “Darwin’s Theory of Evolution” states that Evolution is “a gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form” (the free dictionary). McCloskey somewhat is right that the Teleological Argument does not prove its own argument because it cannot provide with irrefutable evidence to solidify the intelligent designer argument, however when understanding the Theists View that’s not the focus of their argument. The Theist view argument focuses on the complexity of order and that because of the complex order of that which exist although it may have evolved there still had to be a something (intelligent designer) to create or initiate that which has evolved. Most Evolutionist still believes in some form or way of the intelligent designer. Evolution does not rule out the possibility of the argument of the intelligent designer, because the complexity of order only make sense when explained and argued with the intelligent designer theory. Therefore McCloskey argument against the Teleological argument is not valid because in cannot invalidate the intelligent designer theory which means it then cannot proof that God does not exist. Although the Teleological argument does not prove that God does exist it is still a legitimate Best Explanation to argue the existence of God. The most significant argument that McCloskey makes from the perspective of an Atheist is the argument he make on the Problem of Evil. For Theist this argument by far is the most difficult to overcome. McCloskey does not just argue wither or not God exist, but he now begins to question actions or the lack there of from the existence of God. Basically McCloskey simply ask if God existence why is there evil in the world? McCloskey in article says “might not God have very easily so have arranged the world and biased man to virtue that men always freely choose what is right” (McCloskey). Many people have suggested multiple answers to that question. Those answers include that because of evil we are allowed to know what is good and what is right. Without evil how would one know what is right or wrong. In the book “The Philosophy of Religion” by Evans and Manis provides a couple answers to McCloskey questions. The first answer given is that if there is no Evil then there is possibility for greater good. Manis and Evan state that greater good is “a good being always eliminate evil as far as it can without the loss of greater good or the allowance of a worse evil” (Evans). Theist argue that although evil is a problem it serves a purpose. That purpose is to allow us to see the Good in someone or something. In other-word evil help good stand apart from bad or right from wrong. The other answer to the problem of evil that Evans and Manis gives is what is called free will theodicy. Evans and Manis state that “God created free creatures in order that the most significant forms of love and goodness might be realized” (Evans). In other-word the problem with evil is not a valid argument to prove that God does not exist simply because God gives each person the freedom of choice. Theist believe that evil in the world is not because God does not exist, simply prove there is a God and evil exist because man has free will. McCloskey argument as it relates to the Problem with evil to prove that God does not exist is in invalid because that will eliminate and suggest that man has no free will and suggest then that evil just happens or the creator of that creation created that creation which is evil to be evil. Therefore since you cannot eliminate free will theodicy then the Theist argument for the Problem with evil further proves their stand on the belief of the existence of God. McCloskey concludes his Article by giving an opinion. It is of McCloskey opinion that Atheism is more comforting than theism. McCloskey believe that it is lot easier to not believe that God exist compared to believing that God does exist and have to face the reality that bad things does happen to us and around us. The question is how can one believe in God yet a love one dies, face a loss of Job, face with disease or a gravely illness. McCloskey says “Let us not consider more explicitly whether belief in God would bring comfort and security of which a denial existence of such a God would deprive us” (McCloskey). McCloskey in other-world believes it’s much easier to suffer and not believe in God, than it is to suffer and believe in God because the occurrence of bad things often make you wonder where was or where is God. The question once again is it is easier or more comforting to believe there is no God during difficult times. If so then how does one answer the purpose in which he/she exist if he does not believe in the existence of God? William Craig in his Article “The Absurdity of Life Without God” states “for if there is no God, then man’s life becomes, ultimately, absurd” (Craig). In other-words that the non-existence of God or ones non belief in God means life becomes un-necessary. That when you believe there is a God and believe in God that life now has a meaning and a purpose. McCloskey believes that atheism is more comforting because atheist are more supportive of one another. McCloskey says atheist “Lead to a spirit of self-reliance, to a self-respect which demands that we comfort and help those who need such support, and to a furthering and supporting of all measures which will reduce or moderate the blow of fate” (McCloskey). In other-words atheist do not need God because they have each other to rely on. Theist then would refute that by asking the question what do you when you are left alone and no one to turn to? Some Theist believe that there is an ultimate helper who no matter what will always be there for you. Theist also believe that everything good or bad has a meaning, has value and has purpose and without God you will not know the meaning, the value or the purpose of anything Good or bad in your life. I believe that this argument is based on an opinion and not facts, because ones comfort is dependent upon ones belief. If one believes in God then most certainly one would feel more comfortable with the Theistic View than the Atheistic View and if one believe there is no God then that one would be more comfortable with the Atheistic View than the Theistic View. I do not believe this argument is valid because it is not constructed with facts but founded upon ones personal opinion. In conclusion I hope you enjoyed my response as much as I enjoyed writing it. Although I believe McCloskey does in fact have some great points I believe he failed to discredit the Theistic View from using the argument that it use to best explain why it believes what he believes.

Work Cited
Craig, William, “The Absurdity Of Life Without God”- William Lane Craig “The Absurdity Of Life Without God – William Lane Craig. 16 Dec. 2008. Web. 20 Aug. 2012.
Evans, C. Stephens, and R. Zachary, Manis. Philosophy of Religion: Thinking about Faith. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2009. Print.
Darwin Definition of Evolution: thefreedictionary.com Copyright © 2003-2015 Farlex, Inc http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Darwin's+theory+of+evolution
McCloskey, H.J. “On Being an Atheist” Question 1 (1968): 64-69. Web.

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Ontological Argument

...existence of God (18) The Ontological Argument is an a priori and deductive argument which attempts to prove God’s existence. It is also a reduction ad absurdum argument which shows that the existence of God could not be denied because to do so would involve adopting an illogical argument. It was formed by St. Anselm (1033-1109), but is still a strong argument for the existence of God today. Anselm firstly argues nothing greater than God can be conceived and secondly, it is greater to exist than not to exist. He next explains that if we conceive of God as not existing, then we can conceive of something greater than God. To conceive of God as not existing is not to conceive of God. Anselm states that it is inconceivable that God doesn’t exist and therefore God exists. Anselm thought that not believing in God is ridiculous, claiming it is better to exist in the mind and in reality than to just exist in the mind. Existence is a predicate of perfection. Therefore God must exist in reality. ‘The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’’ (Psalm 14).Anselm stated that even an atheist must have a definition of God because even the suggestion that God does not exist requires the concept of God. It seemed logical to conclude that to argue that there is no God; even the fool must understand the concept of God. Since the greatest thought must have an equivalent reality to be greater than even the least significant thing in reality for God to be the greatest thought, God must exist.......

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