On Being an Atheist by H J McCloskey Essay

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H J McCloskey intelligently put his thoughts together and shared his beliefs in his article called “On Being an Athiest” addressing some key arguments discussed in atheism and theism from an atheistic point of view. He makes no apologies for bringing up a difficult topic and for trying to argue persuasively for his views. He makes a great point when he states, “…I make no apology for doing so, as it is useful for us to remind ourselves of the reasons for and virtues of our beliefs (50).” Whether a theist or an atheist we should know what we believe and why we believe what we believe. This paper will use the material recently studied in Philosophy to respond to “proofs” and ideas put forth by McCloskey in his article.
McCloskey dives
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These arguments help to find the best explanation for the existence of God.
The first argument that McCloskey discusses is the Cosmological Argument. In a nutshell, this argument calls for a necessary “first cause” for the existence of the universe. McCloskey claims that the mere existence of the world is not enough reason to believe in a necessary being—what the theist claims to be God. Developed by the Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle and then more fully developed in medieval days by Thomas Aquinas, it was used more as an inductive argument and not a deductive argument. Some believed that the universe had a beginning in time and others do not. Temporal versions of the argument call for a beginning, and as such, it must have had a cause. Whether God was that cause or there was a Big Bang, there is agreement among many that there must have been a first moment in time. The nontemporal versions of the argument state that there has always been a God eternally both past and future. The support for this claim lies in the “contingency of the universe”. There are things everywhere in the universe that exist, but could just as easily have not existed. These things are things which exist contingent on other things. It is at this point that I feel McCloskey begins to lose his argument. He begins to explain that as we consider the contingency, we must constantly go back until we find that there is a “necessary being”

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