PHIL 201 Paper Heidi Stephens

Topics: Atheism, Existence, Logic Pages: 5 (1544 words) Published: April 12, 2015

Heidi Stephens
PHIL 201
McClosky Paper

In McClosky’s article entitled “Being an Atheist”, he tries to convince readers that the atheist beliefs, or non-beliefs, are more comforting to the mind than religious beliefs. While others tend to base their atheistic beliefs on lackluster issues and knowledge, McClosky brings forth an argument that could make some think about their decisions to believe in Christ. However, just because there is no visible or scientifically proven proof that something exists; it does not mean that it does not exist. This is what McClosky fails to see in his argument.

It is understandable that a non-believer could doubt things that are not proven to their own eyes. One issue with McClosky’s argument revolves around God and evil. Many atheists, including McClosky, have the view that if God is so important, so almighty, and a “do gooder”, why would he allow evil to exist? McClosky has the worldview that it is better to not believe in any god than to believe in one true God who would allow evil in his world. However, what McClosky and other fail to realize is that with good comes evil, and with evil comes good. One cannot exist without the other. Professor Foreman argued that there is no singular instance where we can prove that God exists, but rather many that together suggest proof. Professor Foreman also uses electrons as an example of something that exists, but we do not have actual proof as to what it actually is. Electrons produce light and energy, which we all know exists. Black holes are another example provided by Professor Foreman, and while they are talked about often, no one really knows what they are, what they look like, or how they exist. Just because something cannot be proven to exist in every facet of one’s logic does not mean that it does not exist.

Another issue that McClosky has issues with involving an actual God are cosmological arguments. The biggest issue that McClosky, as well as others, have is that they are judging the matter inaccurately. Many times, people want to find the literal, actual sense of somethings, and it is not always possible. Evans and Manis describe many types of arguments that people use to judge different issues. Evans, C. Stephens and Manis, R. Zachary, Philosophy of Religion, IVP Academic, 2009. Not all arguments work for all issues. The cosmological argument can only be effective if someone takes into consideration different issues to make a judgment. The cause of the universe must be necessary, as everything has a beginning and eventually an end. While there is no singular instance that points to God creating it, other than the book of Genesis, the multiple factors combined point to the argument that God did create the universe. To base ones belief in God solely in the cosmological argument is weak, as Evans and Manis conclude. Id. at 77.

McClosky wants “indisputable proof” (p.64) in terms of a technological argument, as well. While indisputable proof would be fantastic, it simply does not exist. The same can be said for the aforementioned electrons and black hole; we know they are here, but we do not know exactly what they are or when they were formed originally. While many throw this argument around in their efforts to support evolution, there is not ironclad proof of evolution. There is no documented, indisputable proof as to when the first breath was taken, or when the first step was walked, or even when the first cell was formed. However, we do breath, walks, and are full of cells, so we somehow exist. This argument by McClosky and others is weakened due to science’s inability to prove other thing that we know actually exist, or actually occurred. It is normal to be skeptical, even on things that have been proven, or are highly believed in. However, very few things in this world have indisputable proof, and the argument that it must exist in order for something to exist is...

References: C. Stephen Evans and R. Zachary Manis. “Philosophy of Religion”. IVP Academic, 2009.
Mark Foreman. “Approaching the Question of God’s Existence.” PointCast Presentation, Philosophy 201, Online Class through Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, 03/26/2015.
H.J. McClosky. “On Being an Atheist” from Question 1. Pages 62-68. February 1968.
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