Response “On Being an Atheist” by H. J. McCloskey

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The Idea of God's Existence

The idea of God's existence is a subject of debate that is frequently brought up; researchers have offered a variety of arguments for and against the existence of God. In contrast to theists, atheists have the most comfortable place in society, according to an article by H. J. McCloskey. McCloskey goes on to counter arguments that theists are miserable because they adhere to his fundamental religious principles (McCloskey 62). The article outlines the main arguments for why atheists' knowledge and understanding virtues are superior than theists'. McCloskey bases his claims about the theists' comfort zone on cosmological and teleological ideas. The article explains that God’s existence can only be verified using the cause and effect analysis which clearly indicates God's inexistence according to McCloskey. McCloskey attempts to illustrate the uncertainty of the existence of evil and God as a good being. The discussion below presents a counter argument concerning the “On being an atheist “article.

McCloskey's Argument Against Theists

McCloskey majors on the fact that theists do not have any actual proof indicating the existence of God. McCloskey refers to the universe life as an outcome of mysterious causes and effects that lack credible substantiation. The infinite cosmos of creation becomes quite challenging to explain some of the phenomena in existence using science. Three principles may be used to account for the existence of God namely: space, time and matter. Science has been utilized for the past many years to justify God’s existence, but none explains the state of the world before everything came into existence. For instance, there are three fundamental factors in the laws of nature namely time, matter and space. The elements are interconnected, and the existence of one of the factors depends on the presence of the other two. The story of God’s creation entails the quantum of time, matter, and space. Time is the imprecise continual advancement of existence. The matter is any substance that occupies space in the form of volume. Space is an expansively free area. Scientists have exact definitions for the three factors that coincide with the above definitions. The creation theory consists of the time factor which was in the beginning: time defines the advancement of historical, contemporary and future events. The earth represents the matter, and matter occupies space. The heaven represents the space. The concept of the three principle factors of existence exhibits that God as limitless: He is extraordinary and more complex than the entire universe. God is beyond human understanding. The main point is that no scientific theory in existence within human capacity can clearly justify or unjustified God’s existence. The lack of credible proof does not necessarily mean that God does not exist.

Theists' Reflection on the Cause

McCloskey mentions that theists base on indistinct reflection on the cause every entity in existence (McCloskey 64). McCloskey’s statement depicts that to believe in something an explanatory cause is necessary including God. God is unconditional and not accidental hence any verification of his existence would mean that He is not God. God is a Supreme Being; He is unlike human if we were able to reach God as any human what’s the point of him being God.

Evolution Theory and God's Existence

McCloskey insinuates that the evolution theory replaces the creation story. The evolution concept may prove to be logically compelling, but it does not necessary provide a reason opposing God’s existence within the laws of life. The evolution process could as well be the process that God used the creation. Despite the evolution theory logics it cannot be used whatsoever to explain and justify the atheist belief in God’s inexistence.

The Teleological Argument

The teleological argument means the purpose or objective. McCloskey explains that every entity designed has a cause or rather a purpose to exist (McCloskey 64). The teleological concept majorly dwells on the assumption that everything in existence has a critical purpose of being. McCloskey suggests that for the earth and everything in it to exist there must be proof. First, the theory of teleology indicates some shortcomings in the evolution concept with regards to justifying God’s inexistence. According to the teleological argument, the evolution theory is void and baseless: who is the designer? The theory does not state the designer of the universe and his aim of the entire process. The whole idea of life existence is complicated, probably beyond human grasp since the designer is way intelligent than the human being. The complexity of comprehending the reality of life has continued to challenge the intelligent design movement for centuries. The theory of teleology clearly indicates that for one to create or design something, he or she must afar his design. The design of the universe would require design skills beyond human capacity: since people are part of the world. The theory of teleology illustrates that the design agent of the universe complexity beyond human understanding, logic, and reasoning. McCloskey conclusion on the teleological concept is exclusively biased; he only points out the explanations suiting his beliefs in atheism.

The Importance of Faith

McCloskey appears not to understand the term faith and its essence in the theists. He dismisses the logic of faith to theists ignorantly. The atheists regard theism as a contagious virus that is curable simply with an attempt of logic reasoning. According to Tillich, faith is the condition of being ultimately apprehensive entailing pledge, valor and risk taking (McCloskey 65). McCloskey compares theist faith in God to a criminal friend perception. The comprehension of belief is quite open-ended: it could also simply mean believing in something without having proof. The foundation of Christianity is built of a pillar of faith. Christianity involves the pledge to the spiritual or Supreme Being. Faith in God does not acknowledge the existence of any tangible proof: seemingly both the theists and atheists share the concept of faith. The atheists live through the day hoping that they will achieve their daily objectives and schedules: It is because they also believe in something even they cannot explain. No human being can prove that the existence of things like axioms of sense or whether the sun cannot explode the next second. How can they possibly be sure that their minds are working accurately while reasoning God existence? McCloskey’s claim on the theists’ faith mediocrity is baseless and vague.

The Existence of Evil and God

McCloskey further addresses the perception of evil that originates from the atheist society of reasoning. McCloskey questions the concurrent existence of evil imperfection and the flawlessness of God as the principal designer of the universe (McCloskey 66). First, the idea portrays God as evil. The determination of morality greatly depends on the individual and the societal beliefs origin. The various cultures in the world perceive evil in different ways. The level of goodness and evil is quite arbitral depending on the individual. McCloskey should have begun with a precise definition of what he means by evil so that it is easy for the reader to focus on a particular direction. The significant difference between good and evil indicates that once pure goodness was known. The fact that evil existence suggests that nothing is perfect unless the imperfections are considerably integrated into the perfection. McCloskey relates the concept of imperfection to the teleological and cosmological arguments depicting that God is the origin of evil in the world. The evil occurs as a result of human beings freedom to will: a perfect state of creation implies a significant compromise on human liberty. McCloskey suggests that if indeed God created the universe he is the creator of the evil in the world. The principles of atheist perceptions are established based on pure logical reasoning and evidence: contrary to McCloskey reasoning at this point.

An Irrational Conclusion

McCloskey presents a claim and makes no single effort to prove or explain his conclusion. Surely, such irrational reasoning cannot justify that God does not exist. Christian’s belief in God majorly depends on faith, and purpose in life. The pursuit of knowledge and growth in wisdom is crucial in validating some of our daily perceptions in non-mystical ways.

The Comfort of Atheism

Finally, McCloskey concludes that the atheists’ position is rewardingly comfortable than the theists’ position. According to Lane Craig, the theist and atheist perceptions make no sense if the ultimatum of life is at the grave. Craig suggests that God’s existence prompts the understanding of morality in the human lives: what is the point of caring about evil and good deeds in the society if God does not exist (Craig 74). God determines the reference point of morally upright and wrong acts. Firstly, the fact that McCloskey refers to the Christian position as comfortless portrays God as evil. God is the original foundation of moral power, and He is divine. The society distinguishes moral uprightness depending on the cultural differences, but God’s definition is consistently clear and definite. God’s inexistence suggests that our existence as a human is the same as that of any object on earth, for instance, a cow. The existence of God provides people an essential purpose to live every day. The evolution theory of universe existence illustrates that we as human simply have no rationale: without a purpose to live every deed in life is meaningless. The purpose of life is the primary source of comfort. God’s definition of morality establishes the human purpose of living.


McCloskey’s case reasoning exhibits a distinctive atheistic perception. McCloskey addresses some key issues that need clarification with proper knowledge and wisdom. However, he is biased in his arguments and reasoning to justify his mere belief of God’s inexistence. McCloskey addresses various concerns and claims indicating only one side of the coin. The idea of understanding God’s existence may entirely be overwhelming for human minds, but the existence of evil can never justify God’s inexistence whatsoever. The intelligent design, teleological and cosmological theory make meaningful sense but do not establish the reference point of God’s existence conclusion. God’s existence remains a mystery: the only chance we human have is to oppose or support its debate.

Works Cited

Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. 3rd ed. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008. Print.

McCLOSKEY, H. J. "On Being an Atheist" Question 1". (1968).

April 13, 2023
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