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Mckloskey's "On Being an Atheist"

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By jcwaltman
Words 1827
Pages 8
A response to H.J. McCloskey's Article, "On Being an Atheist"
In 1968 H.J. McCloskey wrote an article to his fellow atheists entitled "On Being an Atheist". His purposes for writing this article were to inform other atheists of the supposed inadequacies of theists' belief in God, and to address accusations that the position of atheism is "cold" and "comfortless”. The author intends to show that in fact, it is theism that is the cold and comfortless position to hold.
Mr. McCloskey is undoubtedly an intelligent and thoughtful man. His article was written in an easy to understand syntax, and was surely embraced by many that hold a similar position. In fact, I think that any Christian would find it easy to wholeheartedly agree with Mr. McCloskey. Atheism is a much better alternative than serving the kind of god he describes in his paper! While McCloskey's arguments sound good, his portrayal of a vengeful, vindictive and manipulating god seems foreign to a discerning Christian. Upon reading his article, one questions the depth of the author's research on the God of the Bible at all. It seems almost as if his only understanding of Him comes from the obviously uninformed theists he quotes in his article. One gets the impression that all theists are either dim-witted or gluttons for punishment, maybe even a little of both!
McCloskey attempts to refute three well-known arguments for God’s existence. McCloskey’s arguments in most cases focus in the problem of evil. In his attempt to refute the cosmological argument, McCloskey makes the claim that when a theist uses this argument, he has not “thought far enough nor hard enough about the problem of an uncaused cause." It is upon making this statement that McCloskey’s bias takes center stage. The author expects the theist to explain what he himself cannot explain about his own position. McCloskey’s initial...

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