To reply to McCloskey’s claim that there could not be a God due to the amount of evil there is I would first acknowledge this claim. At first I too agreed with this claim that how could someone so great and loving let so much evil and pain into the lives of people who do not deserve it. Simply because I did not understand how God could be so great and let evil into this world. Since then certain truths about theology have been explained to me so I can understand the good of God verses the evil found in this world.
The Cosmological Argument attempts to prove that God exists by showing that there cannot be an infinite number of regressions of causes to things that exist. It states that there must be a final uncaused-cause of all things. This uncaused-cause is asserted to be God. Arguments like this are thought up to recognize why we and the universe exist.
As regards the cosmological argument itself, McCloskey states that "all we entitled to infer is the existence of a cause commensurate with the effect to be explained, the universe, and this does not entitle us to postulate an all-powerful, all-perfect, uncaused cause." (p.63) This is indeed true, there is no reason to necessarily infer a God person, however; the inference is of the nature that suggests (hence the term infer) a cause of such magnitude that it is practically God-like. Moreover, his words do not disprove the rational of a God. Entitlement not to call this cause "God" is neither entitlement to deny calling this cause or considering this cause to be "God."
The argument discussed is one that has an unending list of contingent beings, all of which need a cause for existence. According to the article, McCloskey assumes that the argument calls for an uncaused cause to start an infinite number of contingent beings. McCloskey believes that each contingent being simply exists with an infinite number of causes that eventually lead back to a case of chance. In “Philosophy of Religion” by Stephen Evans, Evans refers to this way of thinking as a “brute fact.” According to Evans, by claiming this stance would turn the partial argument into a whole argument and concurrently, “this will require the defender of the argument to claim that the contingency of the whole of the universe can validly be inferred from the contingency of all its parts.” Where McCloskey’s ignorance further takes a violent curve against acquiring knowledge about the beginning of the universe connects to his argument is when he said “This means that the first cause must be explained as being a necessarily existing being, one who cannot exist.” What he is alluding to, and is also the focal point of his disapproval of theism, is that humans do not have the right to claim that a being created the universe. If an atheist can claim that there is no such existence of God, then why is it that a theist cannot claim the existence of a God?
McCloskey refers to the arguments for God’s existence as “proofs” and often implies that they can’t definitively establish the case for God, so therefore they should be abandoned. However, the biggest problem with viewing the arguments for God’s existence as “proofs” is that they are not proofs like the proofs in Mathematics which are one-hundred percent certain. (Foreman) These are arguments, not “proofs”, as there is no way to come to a one-hundred percent certain conclusion with such arguments. Therefore, McCloskey is viewing and trying to use the arguments for God’s existence in a wrong way and in a way that they were not meant to be used.
In the article McClosky refers to the cosmological, theological and the argument from design as “proofs” and states many times that there is no definitive case that God actually exists. By stating he establishes
H.J. McCloskey attempts to answer the following questions. Is the existence of God rational? Do the so called opinions for the reality of God have any truth-value? Can an atheist live a more content and ultimately calmer life? McCloskey allegations say that atheism, not theism is a better interpretation for the world we observe. In this paper I will try to challenge some of the interests that McCloskey makes about the “proofs” of God, specifically the Cosmological and Teleological Arguments. I will then focus on his concerns to an morally impeccable God who allows sin and evil to happen in an earth that he made. Lastly I will try to describe McCloskey’s allegations that life, as an atheist, is more relaxing than a life based on the acceptance of a supreme existence.
The cosmological argument for the existence of God is as follows: The world could not exist by itself so there must be a first cause that brought him into existence. The universe can not have an infinite past, he must have had a beginning, or to the extent that anything that starts with a cause, there must be a first cause. The fact that the universe has a beginning implies that it has a cause. But this cause is it necessarily God? William Lane Craig, The Kalam Cosmological Argument in (1979), says he can prove it. The creative cause of the universe created something that did not
The word “proof” is frequently used in the article to reference the arguments (such as ontological and teleological) which McCloskey believes are insufficient to establish the existence of God as a Creator. McCloskey argues that these proofs should be dismissed because they lack evidence. The dismissal of these proofs however are incorrect. It is impossible to assume that God’s existence can be definitively be proven by any one argument. It is the basic idea that the creator of the universe surpasses our humanistic ways of thinking. Which is to say that we cannot stand to reason his existence. According to McCloskey the argument of design along with the cosmological and teleological arguments are used by the Theists as proof to support their
In the article, “On Being an Atheist” by H. J. McCloskey’s, he makes several arguments as “proof” of God’s non-existence to support his atheism. He attacks arguments made by advocates on the existence of God. The arguments argued by Theist are not arguments for proof of God’s existence but are arguments for definitive beliefs of God’s existence. Any argument on proving the Almighty God’s existence is unsatisfactory. The Theist does not attempt to offer “proof” of God’s existence but rather offer arguments that are the best explanations of the existence of God. Merely observing the universe only does not prove the existence of God; however, when glazing into the Universe as a whole, denying the existence of an intelligent, moral,
When looking for strengths in this argument one must look at the simplicity of the argument. In the simplest form you have a God who created everything. The universe at some point in time began to exist. This argument states that the cause of the Universe was God. This also confirms the Bible's description of creation (Holt, 2008).
McCloskey makes the claim that he is reminding fellow atheist why they believe there is no God. He claims that the traditional proofs have no merit. I believe the sheer magnitude and complexity of the world we live in is strong evidence of an intelligent designer and creator. Only an intelligent creator could form a world where the air that we breathe is part of such a complex system. We also live in a world that has morals, which points to a morally perfect Being that we model our lives and society by. The Cosmological, Teleological and Moral arguments create a cumulative case for why God exist. God’s
However, the "argument from design" points out that just as earthenware is fashioned by potters, the world must also have been created by a great Designer who was knowledgeable and powerful enough to do so, namely, God. For too unerring is the orbit of the solar system and too inherently complex is human anatomy to be referred to as a coincidental mistake, there must be an initial maker. Likewise, the cosmological argument maintains that there must be an initial source that brought the universe into existence, for it could not have done so on its own. This unique cause, thus referred to as God, is concluded to be highly probable through the study of causation, motion, and infinitude. St. Thomas Aquinas once addressed this cosmological reasoning by saying that any form of motion must have been moved by some other force, a spontaneous first cause. This claim is logical because reason tells us that there must first be an existence to initialize movement; nothing comes from nothing. Another argument for this basis, is the law of morality. This argument contends that moral order is vital to the existence of humankind, and as such, there must also exist a higher being to have planted and
David Eagleman, during an interview with National Public Radio in February of 2009, coined the term “Possibilianism”. An exploratory middle ground position between atheism and theism. In this essay I argue that possibilianism as a new standpoint in the debate on the existence of God is irrelevant, as it holds the same ideological stance as agnosticism.
The Cosmological argument can be simplified into three reasons that everything that begins to exist has a cause; the universe began to exist, therefore the universe has a cause. Using the first proposition and the basis of metaphysics, something cannot come from nothing. If this were possible, everything and anything that comes into being emerges from nothing. Some may argue the quantum theory, which gives particles the ability to come into existence from nothing, but these particles do not materialize from nothing. Instead, they appeared from a quantum vacuum. So again, everything that exists has to have a cause. If everything were caused by something else though, then there would be no first cause, and if there were no first cause, then the first effect would not exist. Therefore, the ultimate cause of the universe then must be uncreated. A being that does not exist in time so therefore does not come into existence. In this case, God is the ultimate creator because he exists outside of time and has neither beginning nor end. This type of argument argues the existence of contingent things on the necessity of a God being the ultimate