Mccloskey Argumentative Analysis

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In 1968 a philosopher named H.J. McCloskey wrote an article titled “On Being an Atheist,” which attacked the main arguments held by theists. The main arguments that he refers to as “proofs” are the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, and the ontological argument. McCloskey’s article debunks these arguments as being false and without proof. He states that theists should dismiss the idea of God entirely. He claims in his opening statements that he will show reasons why theists should be miserable just because they are theists (1). This article sparked a fire in the Christian community and many articles and books have been written in regards to this article. It is important for Christians to understand what they believe and why they …show more content…
These arguments do come together though to form a strong case for the theistic belief in God. Dr. Mark Foreman suggests using four elements when approaching these arguments. These elements are the best explanation approach, the cumulative approach, the aspect of defeasibility, and the minimalistic concept. The best explanation approach simply implies that God is the best explanation for certain aspects of the universe. This approach is actually used often throughout science to affirm things we cannot see or touch such as electrons and black holes. God is the best explanation, but not necessarily the only explanation. The second important thing to remember is that yes, these arguments are defeasible, meaning that it is possible they could be wrong. However, atheists and McCloskey have yet to provide a defeater for our arguments. We as Christians could be wrong, but someone has yet to prove us 100 percent wrong. The cumulative case approach is the idea that not one argument is the ultimate argument for proof of God’s existence. Instead, a collection of all the arguments provides us with the strongest case. The last thing to remember is that the arguments are being used to advocate for a minimalistic version of God. There are so many facets and details about God …show more content…
McCloskey makes the following statement challenging this argument, “The mere existence of the world constitutes no reason for believing in such a being.” (2) There is definitely a reason for our universe and why it is the way it is. Evans and Manis make a valid point when they say that there appears to be no natural reason why our universe exists versus nothing existing. Many of the items in our universe are contingent meaning that they exist but they do not necessarily have to exist. When this is taken into consideration then it leads one to wonder what purpose those items have for existing at all. “Contingent beings require a necessary being as their ultimate cause.” (3) There are several objections to this theory. The first argument is the atheistic claim that the universe has always existed. This objection can only go against the temporal forms of the argument though. The non-temporal form of the cosmological argument does not deal with the concept of time, and is able to stand up to this objection. The second argument is that if everything in the universe needs a cause, then so must God. Manis and Evans make the observation that God is not a contingent being so it is unnecessary to provide an explanation of his beginnings. They point out that God would not be God if we humans were able to trace His origins. Through this reasoning we can believe that God is the

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