On Being a Theist Essay

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Atheism is certainly one of the adversaries of theism. However, atheism provides an important role to theism by acting as a “devil’s advocate” which, in turn, ultimately strengthens theism. In the journal article “On Being an Atheist” written by H.J. McCloskey, McCloskey is both critical of the classical arguments for God’s existence and offers the problem of evil as a reason why one should not believe in God. McCloskey progresses through, in his opinion, the weakest arguments for theism, such as the cosmological argument, teleological argument, and the problem of evil. In the end, McCloskey asserts that atheism is more comforting than theism. Through the course of the article, McCloskey brings up constructive points of theism, however at …show more content…
Nevertheless, the world around us is made up of contingent beings which rely on a cause for their existence. This is seen in the fact that a son requires the cause of a father and the father requires the cause of a father and so on. Therefore, it is essential that the contingent beings must have a first cause that is created by a necessary being: a being that is uncaused and thus does not need further explanation (Evans & Manis, 2009, p. Loc: 672).
McCloskey also claims that the cosmological argument “does not entitle us to postulate an all-powerful, all-perfect, uncaused cause” (1968, p. 51). This statement by McCloskey shows his lack of understanding of how “limited a conclusion the cosmological argument reaches” (Evans & Manis, 2009, p. Loc: 760). The cosmological argument only claims that an uncaused necessary being was the first cause of the universe. Thus, this argument is not only an argument for the Biblical God, but for any god of any religion. The argument withholds any sort of description of an “all-powerful, all-perfect” being and thus one must look to other arguments for these elements of God.
McCloskey claims that “to get the proof going, genuine indisputable examples of design and purpose are needed” (1968, p. 52). McCloskey’s standard of “indisputability”

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